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Philosophy advice from Kirby Smart: Figure out what players can do before you nail down your philosophy


New Georgia head coach Kirby Smart has an idea of what he wants his Bulldogs to look like when kickoff comes in the fall, but as he noted during a presser yesterday, the exact philosophy and personnel that fans will see is hard to say right now because the limited opportunities that Smart has had to watch his guys get after it with pads on.

One reporter asked for more specifics on what each side of the ball would look like, noting that Smart had spoke in broader terms previously, and Smart added, "I'm probably going to speak in broad terms again to be honest with you, broad terms being that we want to be physical and explosive on offense, and we have to be able to run the ball."

"Now how do we do that? Today is not the day to go out there and see if we can run the ball because we just don't have enough equipment on. But that identity has to be created through being able to run the ball."

Then Smart shares a nugget that all coaches should keep in mind as they interview for head coach or coordinator gigs.

"We have to figure out what these players can do before we figure out who we are."

Smart goes on to explain that, yes, he does know to an extent through their off season conditioning, but you can't really get a feel for whether your personnel is a 3-wide receiver grouping, or a two running back and two tight end set is going to give your squad a best chance to win until the pads start smacking.

A fair number of coaches, like hardcore believers in the Wing-T or single wing offense, believe that your offensive (or defensive) philosophies travel with you, regardless of your situation. Whether your offense should adapt to the strength of your players, or your players to should adapt to the offense is an interesting chicken-or-the-egg type debate. Smart doesn't subscribe to that line of thinking, and his stance is clear.

"We're not going to make our personnel fit [Georgia offensive coordinator] Jim Chaney's offense...we can't do that."

Smart goes on to explain why that question is easier to answer on the defensive side of the ball in the clip.