‘I don’t know that we’re going to be great this year,’ Kirby Smart on Georgia’s 2024 defense

With just over two weeks of spring practice remaining, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart isn’t yet sure what to expect from the Bulldogs defense in 2024.

Despite the questions in the secondary due to the departure of starters Kamari Lassiter, Javon Bullard and Tykee Smith to the NFL, Smart’s concern falls on the defensive line.

“Either we’re maybe a little weaker on the defensive line or we’re really good on the offensive line,” Smart said. “The glaring thing I’ve seen at practices is that the offensive line has done a really good job. That’s not to say we were subpar on the defensive line last year. We just weren’t great. We didn’t have a dominant guy, but we’re always going to be good on defense. I don’t know that we’re going to be great this year, but I think we have a chance to be great on offense.”

UGA wasn’t as dominant in the trenches in 2023 as we’ve grown accustomed to for a Smart defense. After leading the country in run defense over back-to-back national title seasons, Georgia finished 16th in that category last season.

The loss of players such as Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith played a part in the regression. The good thing for UGA this year is the return of starters Warren Brinson and Nazir Stackhouse. Those two have to become game wreckers if the Bulldogs want to get back shutting down the run game.

Georgia will end spring practice on Saturday, April 13 in Sanford Stadium. Kickoff for G-Day is set for 1 p.m. ET, televised on SEC Network+.

Story originally appeared on UGA Wire