First of all, let me say that the idea that Kirby Smart “plans” to avoid a quarterback controversy — like that’s something controllable — is borderline laughable.
If Justin Fields manages to supplant Jake Fromm as the starter this season, there is no way in hell a kid who started in a national title game as a true freshman isn’t going to have plenty of options outside of Athens available to him. And if Fromm keeps Fields on the bench until he leaves for the NFL draft… well, we’ll see if Kirby’s as good at convincing quarterbacks to wait until their time comes as Richt was.
By its very nature, you can’t control a situation when you say it’s all about competition and letting the best player start. It’s silly even to pretend otherwise.
That being said, it seems to me there are two very obvious outcomes: if Fromm is superior to Fields on the field, he starts, and vice versa. Period.
The tricky part comes if things aren’t so clear cut. What if Fromm’s command of the playbook is better than Fields, but Fields is the kid with the better physical attributes? You can tailor a playbook, which they did for Fromm last year, but you can’t coach arm talent or running ability. Which kid gives you the better chance to win?
Even if you say that’s Fromm at the start of the season, aren’t you going to want to play Fields, not just to take advantage of defenses with some special packages, but simply to develop him so that at some point his command of the playbook catches up with his physical gifts? What if while this process is ongoing, Georgia keeps on winning with Fromm at the helm?
These are all rhetorical questions, of course, meant to illustrate that Kirby will have much to occupy his attention at the most important position on the field. He’s Kirby, so I would be surprised if he hasn’t already given this a reasonable amount of thought (especially since he’s seeing up close what the two bring to the table), but the idea that there’s some sort of organized plan to keep everything under control isn’t the least bit realistic.
That’s something I’m sure the coaches recognize. Whether the pundits and the fan base do, on the other hand…