Georgia Football: Tuesday post-practice news and notes –

  • October 27, 2022

Kirby Smart had another injury update after practice Tuesday afternoon. There were both good and bad news.
First, the good news.
Smart said outside linebacker Smael Mondon has practiced this week and taken all his reps. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the sophomore will play his first game in three weeks when Georgia and Florida meet Saturday in Jacksonville (3:30 p.m., CBS).
“I’d venture to say he’s in a good position,” said Smart.
Fellow inside linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson said that will help the Bulldogs in several ways.
“Me and Smael, obviously we have chemistry together,” Dumas-Johnson said. “That chemistry comes back.”
Smart also said running back Kendall Milton (hamstring) looked good on Monday, but did not see him much Tuesday. Smart spent most of Tuesday’s practice with the defense.
Now the bad news.
Smart said that defensive tackle Jalen Carter (knee) and wide receiver AD Mitchell (ankle) have only practiced sparingly. Their prognosis for Saturday does not appear good.
“They’ve done a little bit, but we don’t feel great about them,” Smart said. “Jalen has probably looked better than Adonai, but I don’t know at this point if either one of them will be able to play.”
… Smart also confirmed the foot injury to safety Dan Jackson that’s expected to cost him the rest of the year.
…. Smart was also asked for an update on running back Andrew Paul, who underwent ACL surgery two months ago.
“He’s doing good. I get to visit with him once or twice a week in the Bones Dining Hall area, and he’s a quiet kid,” Smart said. “So, you always worry about a guy when he’s not with the team as much when he’s injured. But he’s rehabbing. He couldn’t be with a better athletic training staff. I know Ron (head trainer Ron Courson) has a great history with ACL recoveries and is expecting him to come back stronger than ever.”
… Smart also confirmed the UGASports report that freshman offensive lineman Earnest Greene III underwent back surgery.
“Earnest also had surgery. I can’t say the word, it’s a little too complicated for me. He had back surgery. That’s what’s been bothering him. We’ve had problems with it and it was one of the things we tried to treat,” Smart said. “We got to the point where the doctors advised us, ‘Look, at this point, we got to take care of it and get it fixed, so he can come back and be healthy.’ We’re expecting him to come back for the bowl practice or at the end of January and be able to lift and go full speed and get into spring. But it was at the point we couldn’t do anything else but have surgery.”
… Freshman offensive lineman Drew Bobo continues to recover from labrum surgery and is expected back in the spring, Smart said.
With Georgia set to face arguably some of the better offenses his team has faced, Smart was asked if his defense had something to prove.
“I don’t know they have to prove anything. It’s not about proving it, it’s about being at your best when your best is needed,” Smart said. “I think we’ve played really good complementary defense, meaning complement the offense. When we’ve had turnovers in the red area, I feel like they’ve gone out and put out some fires. They’ve gone out and created some turnovers at opportunistic times.”
However, Smart did admit his defense is still rebuilding.
“We have not played our best. We got a lot of players individually that might be playing their best, but we have not played our collective best as a defense. As a coach, that’s what you’re trying to achieve,” Smart said. “We lost a lot of good players, and unfortunately, we’ve had some good players out this year, when you count Smael [Mondon] in that and you count some of the linebackers and Jalen (Carter), it’s been tough.”
Smart wasn’t complaining. Injuries are part of the game. Every team has them.
“I’m not one to sit up here and make excuses,” Smart said. “We get paid to coach the players that are out there. And the guys that are out there have done a tremendous job of giving us great effort day in and day out, and they’re buying into the standard of the University of Georgia defense, which is half the battle is your buy-in.”
On Tuesday’s practice: “A lot better day today than Monday. I didn’t think Monday was great. With getting back out there and getting going, I thought it took a little while to get their motors running. You haven’t had a practice with Friday, Saturday, Sunday off, and then they go back out there for a Monday practice. They didn’t have the tempo I wanted to have,” Smart said. “But today was much better. I thought they got after it today, and that’s kind of the expectation. You’re playing a rivalry like this, you expect guys to come out ready to play and practice, and they did.”
Smart was asked how not having a night game thus far has affected his recruiting: “I don’t ever concern myself with when the game is. If you had to set a perfect time for recruiting, it would probably be 3:30. It gives you time to visit with them afterwards. You get to see them,” Smart said. “The night game, No. 1, it is not great for your team. You are sitting around all day. You get more time with the recruits on the front end but less time on the back end. The 3:30 gives you time on the front end and the back end, but I am not complaining or looking for anything.”
Smart was asked where Florida might not be getting enough credit: “They are extremely physical. To me, they’re extremely disciplined. They don’t beat themselves. They do a really good job at both lines of scrimmages. You can see what Billy (Napier) is building in terms of recruiting. Number two, the way the players play,” Smart said. “They play to a standard. They play physical and hard. I am not saying that old Florida teams didn’t, but I don’t know if people acknowledge that when you see 6.3 yards per carry and they lead the country in terms of rushing yards.”