Butch Dill / USA TODAY Sports

Word Games: Kirby Smart 2016 SEC Media Days

HOOVER, Ala. - There are any number of things to write about at Media Days. I decided to write about the words or phrases Kirby Smart said more than anything else.

So how do I know that I hear every word that Kirby said today? I followed him from room to room here at SEC Media Days and listened to what he said to reporters. I was not allowed to follow him to rooms that other outlets have who pay a rights fee to have access to players and coaches (ESPN and CBS). 

With that said, I expected Kirby to talk much more about the upcoming quarterback competition this August, but he was asked more about other subjects, which dictated the amount of times he said or referenced specific things. 

“Team”/“Program” - 15 times. Many times Kirby just referenced “team” or “program” when he was talking generally. But several times it was in with regard to Jonathon Ledbetter’s arrest over the weekend. The No. 1 thing you don’t want heading into Media Days is a distraction… that arrest provided that for a media that is usually low on details and hits the big picture more often than not. 

Kirby also said those words with excitement several times saying “my team” or “our program”. He was asked several times about if his time at UGA makes him more or less likely to win. His response was that 18 (I think he said) former players were coaching their alma maters - including his “good friend” Mark Richt at Miami. 

“Alabama”/“Saban”/“Nick” - 14 times. Usually, probably 75% of the time, Kirby was directly answering a question about his time at Bama or the influence Saban had on him and his career. Typically the questions came from reporters who cover the Tide, including a strangle-delivered question from the outlet “Touchdown Alabama!”

“Compete” 10 times - Kirby seemed to say that more often in the spring, but referenced it 

“Tough” 8 times - Some of the times Kirby was talking about injuries. More often he was talking about wanting his team to be “tough”. 

“Camp” 8 times - Kirby talked more about “camp” with reporters about what will happen with Michel and Chubb during fall camp. Kirby also referenced “camp” during discussion of the pending QB battle. 

Others: “Recruit” (4 times), “Mistakes” (3 times), “Hungry" (2 times), “Challenge” (2 times).


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