Bill Shanks

Time for questions to be answered

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Aaron Murray puts a hit on Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, front, as he welcomes him as a late arrival to the Bruce Arians charity golf tournament Wednesday.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Aaron Murray puts a hit on Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, front, as he welcomes him as a late arrival to the Bruce Arians charity golf tournament Wednesday. bcabell@macon.com

It’s that time of the summer when we football fans start asking questions. And this week we might start getting some answers, or at least some sort of “coach speak” that will let us know we are getting close to the start of college football season.

The SEC Media Days start Monday. That marks a chance for media folks to be seen, and maybe along the way, a few good questions will be asked. It’ll also be the chance for new Georgia head coach Kirby Smart to make his debut.

You can be certain Smart is going through the Nick Saban media playbook this weekend, as he’ll likely be similar to his mentor in dealing with reporters. So don’t expect a whole lot of new information from Smart when he takes the podium Tuesday.

Smart likely will be asked in all sorts of ways what his quarterback situation will be this season. Everyone is already guessing when Jacob Eason will take over the offense for the Bulldogs. It’s not a question of if, but when, it happens. Smart likely doesn’t know, but he’ll be asked anyway.

That’ll be a lingering theme all week long in Hoover, Alabama, as once again a number of SEC teams are looking at quarterback competitions in August. Along with the Bulldogs, Florida, South Carolina, Missouri, Alabama and Auburn are all unsure of who will lead their offenses come September.

Smart will also be asked about his running back situation, which is all of a sudden a huge concern. Nick Chubb is coming off the knee surgery. While he looked good in limited time in the spring, there’s still reason to wonder when it’s realistic to expect Chubb back.

And now Sony Michel is hurt, with a broken arm from an ATV accident. So Georgia might be looking at Brendan Douglas, Tae Crowder and freshman Elijah Holyfield to run with the ball in the season opener against North Carolina.

Tennessee head coach Butch Jones likely will be asked about his team being the favorite in the SEC East. After years of hearing how Tennessee was so young, the Volunteers now have one of the most experienced rosters in the SEC. With Florida a question mark due to the quarterback situation and Georgia having a number of issues under a first-year head coach, Tennessee should win the division.

With Steve Spurrier gone, the SEC Media Days won’t be as interesting. But his replacement, Will Muschamp, likely will have plenty to talk about with his South Carolina team. He better preach patience, as the Gamecocks seem to have a long road ahead to get back in the conversation as contenders.

Saban will likely provide some fireworks, as he’ll be asked about what he’ll do with two of his players who faced some offseason trouble. Cam Robinson and Hootie Jones were let off the hook in Louisiana by a sympathetic prosecutor. Saban likely will tell the reporters why it’s not important and instruct them on what really is relevant this season.

Les Miles will be asked about how hot his seat is at LSU. Even though he was brought back, Miles’ Tigers probably have to do well to avoid a repeat of last year when he was almost ushered to the border. And we’ll see if any of the reporters actually know the name of Missouri’s new head coach.

So as we suffer through one of the slowest sports weeks of the year, get ready for a little football. We’ll at least hear the SEC coaches get us even more pumped up for the upcoming football season.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on “Middle Georgia’s ESPN” – 93.1 FM in Macon and 99.5 FM in Warner Robins. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at thebillshanks

show@yahoo.com.

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