"Next year is the year." It's been a common joke surrounding the Georgia fan base, and a painful one. It's left Georgia fans cautious towards expectations for their football team.
However, heading to the 2021 season, Georgia's football program is in a prime position to make waves. They have all the returning pieces needed to win, including a quarterback that provides belief in an offense that showed incredible signs at the end of last season.
"Don't tell me, show me" seems to be the motto around the fan base at the moment. However, the coaching staff and program as a whole are not shying away from national title expectations this fall.
"We never shy away from that being our goal," head coach Kirby Smart said Tuesday when asked about title expectations.
However, Smart and his staff don't talk about it every day; they spend their time working on how to accomplish their goal:
"It's not something that we have to talk about every day. Why would you talk about that every day? Because you're focusing on the wrong things if that's the case. You need to be focusing on how you're going to do that."
One of the ways Smart and his staff have spent the offseason preparing their football team for the upcoming season — and even spring practice — is by taking care of "what's between the ears." Georgia's staff has put players through group sessions where they work on developing the minds of the young players.
And they are young. Smart said Tuesday that after a team run this week he asked players to stand up if they've ever been through spring practice at the University of Georgia, which means they would have had to be on the roster in the spring of 2019. Smart quickly realized that nearly 65 percent of his current roster has never had that experience. As he put it, that's scary.
Are there title expectations for Georgia this year? Yes. But Smart says he understands that's the expectations they've placed around the program. He demands that type of excellence.
Nothing has changed surrounding the way in which Georgia's football program operates. The outside noise may be louder and filled with hopeful narratives, but it's business as usual within the program.
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