Stetson’s picks as a trust issue

Jake Rowe:

Todd Monken had a great game plan in the passing game and it resulted in open receivers consistently. But that’ll only take you so far if you aren’t throwing to the open man. Stetson Bennett IV did some good things on Saturday but if you were to sit down with him right now and get him to speak candidly, he’ll tell you that he missed some golden opportunities.

The first came on the batted interception where he tried to key on the middle of the field. He tries to throw the football over the traffic and into tight coverage when he had Tre’ McKitty standing all alone in the left flat for what would have at least given Jack Podlesny a chance for a 40-45 yard field goal. Bennett doesn’t seem comfortable throwing the football short and to the perimeter unless it’s a designed play or his first read.  [Emphasis added.]

Here’s a clip of the three interceptions from Saturday night.

On that first interception, McKitty curls into the left flat and there’s nobody near him.  Now, I realize the snap wasn’t particularly good and that may have led Stetson to make a quick decision and give up on reading the field, but the pass protection was actually good enough there for him to reset.

I’ve already posted about the second pick.  (Again, there’s an open McKitty as a viable option.)  The third pick was simply a bad decision made worse by poor mechanics.  As I watched the play unfold, I assumed he was going to throw the ball out of bounds after dodging what would have been a brutal sack and live to fight another play.  You knew as soon as the ball left his hands it wouldn’t end well.

That being said, it’s easy to explain that last one as him simply trying to do too much to rally the team.  I get that and I’m pretty confident he’ll learn from that mistake.  It’s the not trusting Monken’s passing scheme that bugs me more.  Bennett left a lot of yardage on the table in that game because of that and that’s got to get fixed.

He’s also got to do a better job of recognizing what a defense is trying to take away and what that leaves him to work with.

Again, it seemed like Monken left him with better options.  Stetson’s got to trust more.

UPDATE:  Hey, don’t just ask me.  Take it from the head honcho.

Georgia is going back to fundamentals this week in practice as it goes Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Expect quarterback Stetson Bennett to work on stepping up in the pocket.

“We do a lot of drills in practice to simulate the pocket where you have to step up and through it,” Smart said. “I think that’s one of the things Jake (Fromm) was really good at. He could fill the pocket and step up in the pocket in either run or throw. And we continue to work with Stetson on that. He’s shown the ability to do that. He didn’t always trust it Saturday, and he’s got to a good job of that. He’s got good pass protectors around him.”  [Emphasis added.]

The 5-foot-11 Bennett had five passes batted down with Alabama linemen reaching out to re-direct passes.

“Alabama has really big defensive linemen, which typically push or cave in the pocket,” Smart said. “Some of it is looking for a throwing window. Some of it is being willing to pull it down and run because he’s a really good athlete and avoid that if he doesn’t have that throwing window.”

Smart said Bennett’s stature isn’t only to blame for the batted passes.

“You look across the league in the NFL, college football, height is not the greatest indicator of batted balls,” Smart said. “It’s the pocket. And a lot of that comes from experience. And he’s gaining experience. He’s not elite in experience, he doesn’t have a ton of it.”


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

29 responses to “Stetson’s picks as a trust issue

  1. munsonlarryfkajim

    Now we know why he was buried on the depth chart.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ApalachDawg aux Bruxelles

    which is why i dont think a rematch is a forgone conclusion that bama can do the same things to us again

    Liked by 1 person

    • Everything about the Daniels situation is weird. Either a) he and the coaches disagree on how healthy the knee is, b) he has an attitude problem, c) he can’t learn the playbook, or d) none of the above, but he can’t beat out Bennett.

      I don’t see any of those as anything other than a disaster.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Russ

        It’s just lack of experience with our system/players. That’s the one advantage Bennett has, even though he was buried on the depth chart. He got a lot of snaps last year so the coaches (but NOT Monken) saw him a lot and “knew” him. Daniels is new to everyone and has limited time with the coaches/system.


  3. spur21

    That one pick on the deflected ball – it would have hit a helmet even if Bama didn’t get their hand up.

    Senator I don’t see it as a lack of trust – more of a “I’m going to prove how good I am” mindset. Dueling with Jones rather than staying with the program. Maybe he will prove me wrong but right now I have almost zero hope that he will correct his problems.


    • Ignoring wide open receivers is a weird way to go about proving one’s worth.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Got Cowdog

      IDK. Could be that SBIV learned some bad habits on the scout team. It could be that the schemes he saw playin Opfor practice and the JC stint were limited. He really hasn’t had much time with the ones, has he?
      It might take a minute to absorb all that Monken is throwing at him. At least that’s what I hope. What I’m worried about is that his height keeps him from seeing across the field clearly for the crowd of big asses in front of him.


  4. NotMyCrossToBear

    Monken is earning his paycheck.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As much as I luv my DAWGS, this team is just not passing the eye test. The running game’s not quite as good as it should be, neither is the passing game. The defense ought to be outstanding, but it just gave up 41 points. Right now I doubt we’re going to get another shot at Alabama, I think we’re going to lose another game or two in the regular season. Hope I’m wrong!


    • gastr1

      No disagreement re: the next game vs Alabama, but there are a lot of new parts trying to function together without having had much practice at it. Give them a chance re: the eye test. Logic suggests there will be improvement. (Whether it’s enough for Bama is another question.)


    • Tony BarnFart

      I think our talent will win the day for the rest of the regular season. We should have been able to keep better pace offensively with Alabama, but for some bad decisions at QB. If Stetson hits a few more checkdowns and manages the game a little better, I think our D gives up less, even if only by virtue of time of possession and field position. That game was a few bad decisions away from being 34-34 late in the 4th.


  6. Derek

    He needs to quit trying to play like he’s Brett Favre and play like the 5’10” 170 lb. qb he is. Stop trying to be a hero. Stop trying to be something he isn’t.

    Just run the fucking offense and take the easy ones. Throw it where our guy is and they ain’t!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Russ

      I think this is it. And it’s the thing that gives me hope. I firmly believe Monken can scheme for Bennett (just see all the examples posted above and previously) and Bennett has the capability to execute it. He just needs to fit into the system and fight his instincts.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. dawgphan34

    It’s weird how in the iron sharpens iron forge of pressure is a privilege practices, Mathis by all accounts beat out everyone for the starting job. For 3 weeks they watched all the QBs and thought that he was the best.

    He got <1.5 quarters of playing time, but SBIV seems to get a lot of time to just figure things out.

    It’s weird how guys like Fromm and SBIV get lots of chances, but guys like Mathis, Fields, and Newman can’t seem to find a place in this offense.


    • classiccitycanine

      Well, Fields never saw this offense, and Newman was the starter when he opted out on his own, but don’t let that stop you from getting on a roll.

      Liked by 3 people

    • jdawg108

      This tale ignores a lot of reality.

      I would have liked to see D’wan get a little longer one the offense, especially given that we now know Arkansas has a pretty stout D.

      However; Fromm stepped up big time when Eason went out. If not for some piss poor officiating and offense play calls in the 4th quarter, he would have won the Natty as a true freshman. Should fields have gotten opportunity more than clean up? Absolutely. Use him like Fla did Tebow/leak, and I think we beat Bama in 2018. But you don’t bench Fromm.

      Stetson stepped up and led us to some big wins. It would have been nice to put D’wan in second half Auburn and Tennessee and let him run the offense, but… Stetson did come through. He earned the spot. I would’ve liked to see him benched for a series following his second interception, but I’m not paid $7 mill a year. In hindsight Mathis couldn’t have done worse, us down 10.


  8. Mid-Age Man Coniston

    What you hope is that, due to limited reps, thus is a reflection of a QB not entirely in command/familiar with a system. You also hope our staff coaches up said QB to get comfy ASAP. I trust the offensive staff we have now — imagine how screwed we’d have been with the last one in place — the question now is can SBIV learn quick enough to make a difference this season. Building a cohesive offense takes either enormous talent or time. We’ve had precious little of the latter and we’re not blessed with the former at QB (despite his guts and athletic ability, which is, to some extent, underrated). That’s why this bye is perfectly placed to help the team take a look at what it has learned and build on that. I’m not saying we’ll magically solve the QB issues, but maybe we can take some significant steps forward.


    • Bay Area Dawg

      If I had to guess I would imagine that SBIV has a slight Napoleon complex and has been an underdog his whole life. He probably feels he has to prove himself every time he steps on the field, which he probably has had to do his whole life. Traits like this are why he tries to force the ball downfield and not take the easy check down.

      Hopefully, they can reinforce the QB job is his and make him understand he doesn’t need a HR every play, but can take a single or double when the it’s available.

      It can be hard though it took me a while to learn this day trading and just take what the market gave me and not always look for the HR trade.


  9. I don’t think we can survive throwing between the hashes. We really wore Auburn out with RBs, TEs and WRs in the middle but teams have started catching on with INT and too many should have been INTs. Also, batted passes.

    I don’t think it’s play calling because there are usually guys on the outside. I don’t know if Bennett can’t make the throws or just didn’t feel comfortable or what it is. I’m starting to think he just didn’t get many reps preseason want he’s still playing catch-up.


    • biggity ben

      This is an interesting turn in sentiment since we were complaining about only throwing outside last year. I don’t think the issue is throwing across the middle, it’s not throwing to the receivers that often don’t have anyone within 10 yards of them, wherever they may be on the field.


  10. FlyingPeakDawg

    How in the hell can you not be comfortable playing pitch and catch with our huge TE’s?? It’s like a point of emphasis or something in the QB room that says to ignore that easy play other teams in the same position use so effectively against us. Somebody show film of Brady/Gronk, Romeo/Whitten, etc. to let our QBs know this is highly acceptable at the next level.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. benco04

    Our QB situation is bizarre. Try and emotionally divest from Georgia football and really look at how this went down. There’s no other word for it. It’s bizarre.

    Supposed #1 gets beat out (according to some reporters) and opts out. Highly touted transfer that supposedly beat him out is too gimpy to play. Athletic second year guy beats out remaining contenders and promptly poops pants along with the entire offense for first five possessions of the season. He gets replaced by highly recruited freshman, oops, I meant former walk-on and fourth string QB. Fourth string QB then becomes program’s leader.

    Y’all, that is weird.

    Digression on the topic aside, this is the framework with which we must study Stetson Bennett’s performance thus far. If you think he’s not pressing every time he gets the ball, you’re delusional. The test now will be, can Monken refine his tendencies to force the ball and get him to see the field? If so, he goes from a liability to serviceable…which is exactly what he was in the first half. Serviceable.

    The question of whether there is another “more serviceable” QB on the roster is moot if Bennett can start hitting the open guys that Monken has schemed for him.