March 24, 2021 –
BY DAN MATHEWS
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – Kirby Smart should allow for more players to meet with the media. The same with his coaches too.
Before the start of spring practice, Kirby Smart did make a handful of assistant coaches (Dell McGee, Matt Luke and Cortez Hankton) available to the media. It was a nice surprise and hopefully is something of a new trend within the program.
It helps for us in the media to get to know these men a little better than through word of mouth references or reputation. We should get the chance to hear from the coaches at least once during an offseason.
Am I saying for all interview requests be granted anytime it is turned over to the sports information department at UGA? No, I’m not. But, we should be able to talk to assistant coaches more than just once or twice over the course of years on the job.
For example, we had never talked to former offensive line coach Sam Pittman, until we had the chance to meet with him at Rose Bowl media day in 2017. He had been on the job for almost two years and that was our first chance to talk with him. I’m just using Pittman as an example. But, it would be nice to hear directly from the coach for one of the program’s most successful position groups on the team.
Kirby does make the offensive and defensive coordinators available to the media one day each fall camp. But, wouldn’t we like to hear from them more often? Again, not asking for a regular availability. But is it too much to ask for Dan Lanning and Todd Monken to talk to the media once a month during the season? Don’t you the fans want to hear from them more often?
Plus, imagine the chance your giving them to potentially raise their profile for becoming a head coach. More content for athletic departments to access on these coaches, seemingly could only help them get in front of these athletic directors and university presidents.
As for the players, it would be nice to hear from more guys on the team. We are entering the second week of spring practice and yet to hear from quarterback JT Daniels. No offense to the players we’ve heard from already… But, it would be nice to hear from one of the most influential and recognizable players on the team.
Also, I get the no freshman players being available rule. So, make it a status for the players to reach. You want to get your personal brand out there and get your chance to talk? Play well and earn that right.
Players want to be known for their play on the field. But, they also come to play for a program like UGA, to take in the notoriety that comes with being part of the program. It’s a learning experience for them and is something that can serve them for other interviews later in life.
Kirby has made some strides in my opinion towards becoming a better program leader this year. One, is some of the things he said in his recent interview with Matt Chernoff about how the offense could be handled at Georgia this season. Honestly, makes me believe that we could see more explosive plays and high scoring performances this season. Another reason for this belief, is what he said about his reliance on Will Muschamp, after he joined the program as an analyst. To me, that is part of Kirby growing as a coach to say he’s always looking for informed opinions to help him become even better at his job.
It’s been a nice offseason so far to this point. Could we just let the fans hear from more players and coaches?
Chuck Oliver Show – Anchor/Fill-In Host
WCNN-AM 680 The Fan, also on FM at 93.7
WFOM-AM 106.3 FM ‘XTRA SPORTS AND TALK’