“But other than that I came here to be a quarterback.”

The SEC requires that all players be made available to the media after the conference championship game, which meant that the media got its first crack at Justin Fields this season.  That, in turn, meant the media got to touch the third rail of Georgia football — Fields’ future plans.

He handed it diplomatically, which I would think wasn’t the easiest thing to do, considering his team had just lost a heartbreaker and that he was a key part of a play that was certainly a factor in the loss.

Seth Emerson ($$) explores the question thoughtfully here.  My impression of Fields is that he is an immense physical talent, something that was clearly on display in the UMass game, but that he is going through a transition of learning how to play in a pro-style offense.  What Seth does a good job of bringing out is that such a transition was a feature for Fields in picking Georgia in the first place.

“I feel like we probably added a few plays, a few formations for me. But other than that I came here to be a quarterback,” Fields said. “We run a pro-style offense. If I want to play at the next level, this is the type of offense they run. So I kind of knew that before I was coming here.”

I assume the coaches have been straight with him throughout the learning process.  I also assume that it’s obvious to everyone concerned that Fromm has good command of Georgia’s offense already and, post-LSU fretting by the fan base/media aside, won’t be supplanted by another quarterback whose grasp of the offense isn’t as strong, skill set notwithstanding.  Fields himself sounds like he knows that.

“Jake, he’s a great quarterback,” Fields said. “He’s probably the smartest quarterback that I’ve been around in my whole life. You’ve got to give it to him. I’m just going to continue to learn from him to get better.”

If Fields were to decide to jump ship after the bowl game, he’d have to sit out a season.  I would also expect that Kirby would have a list of schools, starting with other SEC programs, from where Fields would be blocked from transferring.  So unless he wants to go Juco for a year, that makes starting in 2019 anywhere else an iffy proposition anyway.  Seth notes that the ideal scenario for all concerned would be for Fromm’s improvement to continue such that going pro after next season would be the logical course of action for him.  But who the hell knows as we sit here if that’s how things play out?  I doubt even Fromm knows for sure.

Fields knows he’s at a program that’s invested in his future as a starter.  The question is whether Georgia’s timetable for that matches his own.

Advertisements

69 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

69 responses to ““But other than that I came here to be a quarterback.”

  1. Derek

    When the kid is ready, he’ll be unstoppable.

    Right now I see too much Shockley: overthinking and trying too hard with limited reps.

    That said, when 11 is on, he’s probably the best we’ve seen.

    Nobody and I mean nobody has performed out of an empty set vs. Alabama. Jake did tho.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bulldog Joe

    Ease your way in learning it from one of the best or get thrown in there to sink or swim?

    That’s the choice.

    Like

  3. Jeff Sanchez

    Should have redshited. CKS / CJC botched Fields this year, IMO.

    If a redshirt wasn’t ever in the plan, should have given him “live bullets” in the second half of blowout games and not let him hand it off to Prather Hudson into the line over and over and over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Derek

      In this day and age I think that’s probably Fields’ call to make.

      If he wants to preserve 2 years, CKS would let him. CKS isn’t going to make him.

      Like

    • JG Shellnutt

      If you redshit, I would recommend a colonoscopy

      Liked by 1 person

    • CB

      Good news is he can still redshirt.

      Like

    • Go Dawgs!

      Justin Fields will not be spending five years in Athens. That’s simply not in his plan. It’s possible that he’d stick around for his one year in charge after Fromm exhausts his eligibility like DJ Shockley did. But four years in Athens is the max that a player of Fields’ caliber is going to be prepared to spend. After that, it’s time to go get paid, and good on him for it. I suspect Kirby knows that.

      Like

      • The other Doug

        I’ll add that if Fromm isn’t good enough to jump to the pros after 3 years as the starter than he never will, and that if after 2 years on campus Fields can’t beat out a not draftable Fromm then he isn’t going pro either.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bulldog Joe

        In the NFL, it’s better to get pay and stay rather than be one and done.

        Keep learning the offense and stay healthy.

        Like

      • I hope he turns out to be as great as the UMass flash and the practice observations have made him out to be. There are no sure things though in regards to making it to the league. There is plenty of precedent for a recruit of his caliber to be both a huge success across both levels, as well as to not make it. We all certainly hope the former is true.

        Like

      • Jeff Sanchez

        What did playing JF1 (and using him the way we did) accomplish for the team and him this season?

        Like

      • Tony Barnfart

        I get the “Knowshon Moreno” mistake, but at the Quarterback position I have a hard time believing that a kid could go from not-ready to early entry after a redshirt sophomore year. Because that’s the argument. Keep in mind also how impossible that would be if he couldn’t unseat Fromm.

        Because if he can’t unseat Fromm (a 4yr guy), but is somehow himself convinced he’s no more than a 4 yr player, then he’s still only looking at 1 yr to play. So whether that’s a true Sr year or a redshirt Jr year is irrelevant. Hindsight is 20-20 but in a perfect scenario, it would have been nice to figure out how ready he was within the 4 game redshirt window. Then everybody would have more options and much less awkward pressure.

        Like

  4. ASEF

    Is Jake going to be willing to surrender the sort of playing time Fields will need next year to grow as a player? Alabama managed it this year. Tua sat the equivalent of 3 games over the regular season.

    It really just comes down to how willing the players are to get better in practice and share the limelight. And most of them aren’t.

    Like

    • AlphaDawg

      Looking at the schedule next year I can see several games that should be well in hand by the mid 3rd or 4th qtr, use a similar rotation as Bama did this year with Tua and Hurts.

      Like

  5. Mayor

    Not rocket science. Fields is backup again next season. If he only plays in 4 games it’s a redshirt year and he loses no eligibility. If Jake goes pro Fields is the starter in ‘20 with 3 seasons of eligibility. If Jake stays, Fields is the starter in ‘21 with 2 seasons of eligibility.

    Like

    • The other Doug

      Also, Fields had solid grades in HS and early enrolled, so he should be able to grad transfer after 3 years.

      Like

    • RandallPinkFloyd

      Highly doubt he’d redshirt. One way or another, he’s not spending five years in Athens.

      Like

      • Tony Barnfart

        why ? what has Justin Fields shown us IN COLLEGE that makes him so special ? At some point, his Rivals ranking becomes irrelevant. I saw a kid this year that needs a ton of work. So either the coaches who had Fromm ready as a Freshmen suddenly forgot how to coach or this entire situation is approaching the delusional.

        Liked by 1 person

        • RandallPinkFloyd

          Or he’s only been playing QB for 3 years and needs more time to develop. Not sure about you, but I saw a kid with all the tools that has put the ball on the money when he makes his decision. He clearly just needs more time as he opts to tuck it and run too often. He’s not spending 5 years in Athens, sorry that you think that’s delusional.

          Like

  6. Michael L. Murphy

    Fields obviously believes that his maturation is enhanced by being around Fromm

    ________________________________

    Like

  7. willypmd

    Last Iblooked Jake was projected as the #2 pick in the 2020 draft behind Tua, after last Saturday, I wonder if that is flipped.

    Regardless, I think most likely scenario is Jake leaves after next season and Fields adopts the keys to a Bentley for his junior season.

    I actually think the QB management was pretty solid given we had no back up plan if Fields got hurt. I was not a fan of giving him snaps in the SEC championship game

    Like

  8. Hobnail_Boot

    Whoever asked him those questions ought to be embarrassed. Georgia just lost a heartbreaker. I get that access to him has been unavailable until that point, but delving into (creating?) that narrative is low rent.

    Kudos to Fields for handling it like a veteran. He’s clearly a sharp kid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Normaltown Mike

      “..Fields for handling it like a veteran. He’s clearly a sharp kid.”

      You got it all wrong. Fields is “a natural” with “amazing instincts”.

      Fromm is a “gym rat” and “another coach on the field”

      Like

  9. MDDawg

    I thought coaches couldn’t block kids from transferring anywhere with the new rules. Or is that just for grad transfers?

    Like

  10. ATL Dawg

    My problem is with the way they used Fields. Against the bad teams, it was mostly mop up duty late in the game, handing off, and killing the clock. That did nothing for his development. Against the good teams, they randomly threw him out there for one play here and there, just to have him run the ball without any intention of letting him throw it. That hurt them against LSU when the offense had absolutely no rhythm and they abandoned the non-Fields running game.

    All of this severely bit them in the ass on the fake punt against Bama when he was put in a really difficult situation and was nowhere close to being prepared to handle it.

    The coaching staff handled his in-game development horribly this year and they deserve even more criticism than they’re getting.

    Like

    • PTC DAWG

      This is a very fair point. Good work. It’s a question worth asking the staff…

      Like

    • exactly. it isn’t really his fault he has no idea what to do when he is thrown in there randomly at this point. with the backup qb we have retained the Richt era’s penchant for simply handing it off and hoping guys magically get better.

      Like

      • if we didn’t trust fields at 28-7 in first half against GA Tech.. then we didn’t trust him enough to scare the field against Bama, no matter the situation

        Like

        • Dawgwalker07

          I don’t think the Tech game was a lack of confidence in Fields, I think it was a tune up for the next week and the staff wanted to make sure the first team was firing on all cylinders before facing Bama.

          Like

    • dawgfan

      I imagine the staff would say they see practice every day and they know what Fields can and can’t do at this point.

      Like

      • ATL Dawg

        IF they said that, my response would be this…

        If practice is just as (or more) important than the games, then why make a concentrated effort in games to play as many young guys as you can, as often as you can, at every other position? And why constantly talk about how important it is to get those young guys lots of quality playing experience for the purposes of developing them and building team depth?

        Quality game experience matters tremendously. They say it all the time.

        Like

        • dawgfan

          It’s common sense. If he was ready or it was warranted they would play him more. You’re right, Kirby doesn’t hold anybody back.

          Like

    • Boz

      Totally agree.. one play here and there does nothing to develop him. He runs on the field, blood pressure up and adrenaline pumping, then has to perform his reads? That’s a tough proposition. Give him an opportunity to run a series.. 3 and out or 12 plays but would rather him play 1 series than 5 single plays. That’s the only way the game is going to slow down for him, at least that seems logical to me.

      Like

  11. CB

    Scenario: Barring injuries, Fromm has a solid junior year, but decides to stick around for one more. Fields makes the tough decision to redshirt during his 3rd year and takes over the reigns 2021 with two years of eligibility. At that point Georgia should have two additional solid back ups with a year in the system under their belts in Rhys Plumlee and perhaps the kid from Hawaii, and with the new redshirt rule Fields could still be made available to play in the SECCG and the playoff if Georgia makes it in during his redshirt season.

    Like

  12. Looking back at our players that have trusted “the process” (possible juniors to the next level) and have stayed at UGA for their senior years may have started to filter down to the eyes and ears of our younger student athletes to the point of learning and growing has more value than $$$$ or playing time (transfer)…..only time will show that to be true or not, tis an exciting time to be a DAWG….HOW SWEET IT IS!

    Like

  13. diving duck

    It’s still hard for me to believe he chose Georgia. It’s not 2008 anymore. The NFL has successfully accommodated spread quarterbacks. He could win a Heisman in 2020 if him and Haselwood both go to Oklahoma. Whether he transfers or not the recruits that followed him here accelerated the program’s timeline exponentially.

    Like

  14. Mick Jagger

    I think both QBs have handled a media created “controversy” very nicely.

    I agree that Fields was mishandled all year – make me believe “the plan is no plan” that CKS mentioned.

    Like

  15. DawgByte

    Leading into the LSU game Fromm was feeling the heat from Fields and it showed up big time in Jake’s performance against the Bayou Bengals. The staff knew it too and did what they needed to calm Jake and his performance since LSU has been lights out. Some of the throws he’s making are NFL quality. Fromm is not going to give up his starting role any time soon as long as he plays like he is and we’re winning.

    Like

  16. stoopnagle

    Of all the things I worry about related to Georgia football, this is pretty far down the list.

    Like

    • Russ

      I get what you’re saying, but for me it’s probably near the top of my Dawg football worry list, simply because the program really appears to be humming along nicely.

      Like

  17. Jack Burton

    “If he leaves, he leaves.”

    No big deal.

    Like

  18. DawgPhan

    Hope everyone makes it work the best they can for themselves and the team.

    Like

  19. Derek

    In my view the time this gets hard is when Jake is deciding whether to go pro or not after next year. I don’t see him being taken high like Stafford and so I don’t know why he’d feel any pressure to go. But a decision to stay would really put pressure on Fields if he doesn’t want to redshirt.

    Like

    • PTC DAWG

      Check around at the “mocks” that are out there for 2020….I’m not sure you opinion carries much weight as to what the eggspurts think.

      Like

  20. dawgfan

    Could it be that Fields is just not that good? We need a quality QB signee to enroll early to push him.

    Like

    • Macallanlover

      I think he really is that good, when it comes to the potential he has. It could be that he, his Dad, and his coach knew he needed the polish and skill development he would never get being rushed onto the field in other programs. None of them seem dumb enough to think he was going to just step in and unseat Jake Fromm and felt he could learn the pro style skills he was lacking.

      If you take him at his word in that statement he was aware all along he would play very little in year one, and probably year 2 as well. No way to project where he, or Fromm will be at the end of next year. If Fromm stays for his Senior year, it could get very interesting.

      Now if Fields is discontented, and made the interview story up, he will bolt in early January. I think he stays for one more year at least.

      Like

  21. W Cobb Dawg

    Turning Fields into a pro-style statuesque QB is an utter waste of talent, just as it was with Shockley. It would be an epic travesty if we try to do that.
    Fields’s skill set is nothing like Tom Brady, or Drew Brees, or Jake Fromm. You’ve got to get this kid in an offense that allows him to use his mobility.

    I’d love it if he remained at UGA, but only if we adjust the offense to better use his talent when he’s in the game. if we aren’t going to adjust for Fields, than this QB situation has the potential to be a source of team acrimony that will be bubbling all the time and boil over if/when Jake has a bad game or Chaney calls plays that waste Fields’s talent.

    You either adopt the offense to accommodate Fields, or you let Fields walk and look for a Fromm prototype. You’re not going to turn Fields into ‘Fromm with legs’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Russ

      I agree, and I don’t think it takes major changes. Just tweak the offense to have more true RPOs with Fields and give him the option to run or pass. Once he does that and burns some teams, then the play action really starts to open up for him.

      Like

  22. fred

    I will never understand Fields coming to UGA ! Did he really think he would become the #1 QB? with fromm there? The kid will leave .

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.