Nobody wants a quarterback controversy, but everybody wants to talk about one.

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…

29 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

29 responses to “Nobody wants a quarterback controversy, but everybody wants to talk about one.

  1. Derek

    I’m a firm believer in treating them no different than anyone else on the field. If fields can contribute, play him. If Fromm feels pressure and screws up fine. If Fields tries to do to much, play him less. Give them what they deserve.

    That being said, Kirby seems that he has a different take on it with the way he dealt with Eason. Now there may be things there we just don’t know like maybe Eason was having too good a time In Athens and the players didn’t respond to him for example. I’m just glad we have the problem because I think we may have the 2 best QBs in the country.

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  2. Dawg1

    I LOVE Fromm’s game, leadership etc. Always have since HS.

    But this Fields kid is very, very special as well.

    So, Kirby should play him in 4 games, USC, LSU/Auburn, Alabama in SECCG, and a playoff game. Then shut him down like the Nationals did with Strasburg and Redshirt him to create class separation.

    Or not? 🙂

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  3. CPark58

    “Because they don’t draft you at the next level just based on your play performance, they want to see what system you played in, how did you play, did you grow as a quarterback, have you learned.”

    It sounds a lot like bullshit but there is lot of truth here. Mitch Trubisky out of UNC was picked #2 overall and signed a $30m contract and started a grand total of one year at UNC. Not to mention every year there is some QB from Noname U who is projected high in the draft.

    It’s just up to the coaching staff to manage the egos to keep depth.

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  4. PTC DAWG

    Kirby could have worse issues, that’s for sure.

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  5. AusDawg85

    The QB in the best position on opening day to lead this team is Fromm. That won’t change without injury. Fields will get playing time, and there may be a situation when we need Fields’ unique skill set over Fromm to win a game late…but I doubt it. I think the bigger controversy will be next season…a junior Fromm vs. soph / redshirt Fields? No idea how you pick just one then.

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  6. Bright Idea

    If the team is winning games, like last year there will be no controversy. If Fromm throws 3 picks at USCe and the game is lost, look out, the media will start demanding that Kirby give Fields a chance to start. As for the fans, Fromm is a favorite on a long leash no matter how good Fields may be. Fields signed with Georgia knowing that Fromm was there so I expect him to be patient but he knows he’s good enough to supplant Fromm. The team will be fine with either, as long as they’re winning.

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  7. Tony Barnfart

    Maybe based on the Dawg Porn we read this morning we just deploy offensive substitutions in 11 man platoons…. each guy can have his own team. Not to mention it’s also a complete mind$&*k to your opponent.

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  8. Otto

    I watched CFB live last week and this was a lead question with McElroy and McFarland, they both agreed it was a nonargument but it was lead QB controversy being discussed which is the situation in a nutshell.

    UGA is the program on the rise which is national titles starved in a major media market whose rivals are major media markets and UGA has a coach who promotes competition. It all adds up to this getting blown out proportion by the people who make a living off of talking and being watched by a fan base which is eager for the season to begin.

    I do agree with statement that Fromm came in establishing leadership from his moment on campus. Fields seemingly has as well but Fromm was up against Eason who while talented never seemed to completely fit in as Fromm does.

    Fields will have a tough time getting past Fromm this year. The only way I see it happening is by injury or Fromm struggles like Hurts did in a big game but that would likely take the same stage as well. Also like Hurts and Tagovailoa I see the younger QB getting snaps, looking good, and if Fromm isn’t lights out a portion of the fan base calling for a change at QB. If the script turns in a exact carbon copy of Bama UGA with UGA winning on a QB change watch out for the media attack next year.

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    • stoopnagle

      Thankfully, Alabama has a full-on QB controversy that’s already blown-up so our problem will stay under the radar nationally for the time being.

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      • Otto

        I don’t think we have one at the moment just Bama didn’t a year ago at this time but the stage could be changed just as it has at Bama.

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      • Otto

        I do think and hope UGAs 2 QBs would handle it better than Bama’s should UGA be in that situation.

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  9. 69Dawg

    What if, like last year, Fromm gets injured and Fields comes in and plays lights out. Do we see Fromm not getting back on the field except in mop up? It would seem that whoever starts the season will hold the job, baring injury. Lose big and the crap will start to fly.

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  10. CB

    I’d really like to see Kirby quell his desire to unleash Fields. I’d let him see his first action against UMass (Homes FCS opponent), and then against Tech (home rivalry game). This is when the management comes in. I’d pick my spots in the SECCG which will likely be against Bama, and then hopefully you have two potential playoff games. If you can hold him out of one of the final three games (assuming Georgia makes the playoff), you suddenly have an extra year of space between Fields and Fromm with the new redshirt rule. That might make Fields feel better about potentially biding his time behind Fromm.

    I know Kirby already said he wasn’t redshirting Fields, I’m just projecting.

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  11. Macallanlover

    It is silly to think anyone can gameplan how to play a QB controversy in advance, you are dealing with so many variables, not the least of which are two highly successful and talented athletes with all the personality differences that exist between two humans from varied backgrounds.

    The only thing I am confident of, Kirby will not be as dumb as Saban has been letting this mess simmer to a boil. This Bama situation isn’t a result of a narrow-minded fan base, or the media, anyone with a football IQ above 5 saw this coming, yet Saban sat back and let the two players, as well as their teammates stew on this alone? I don’t know of any competent manager/person in charge that would choose that route. I am assuming Hurts was being honest in his candor last Saturday so color me surprised that Little Nicky blew this one…badly. He deserves to get burned by his inaction, that locker room cannot help but be divided as no one wants to be treated like that in such a time of stress.

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  12. Just testing this out here…

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  13. CB

    Have we pointed out that Fromm’s average stats after one season are basically just as good as Aaron Murray’s were for his career? Better in some instances.

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