There is a shit ton to unpack from this Todd Monken quote:
During the interview, Monken revealed that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic caused some early setbacks with Daniels prior to his arrival in Athens last June.
“The pandemic was obviously a setback in terms of his rehab, so getting him here was probably the best thing we could do,” said Monken. “Once he got here, all he did was work his rear end off to try and get healthy, to learn the offense.
“He’s a rare individual in terms of loving football and studying the game. He didn’t get his opportunity early on, again, due to his health. He was eventually healthy, but he requested to go down to the other end (scout team) to continue to work. He continued to work and compete, and when his opportunity came, he took advantage of it.”
Monken was asked if there were any regrets.
“Obviously, there are things, I’ll be 55, and I look back at things I could have, should have, and would have done differently. But there’s no sense in looking back at that,” Monken said. “The moment JT played and prepared, it was time to move forward. And I think he’s done a great job, not only for his opportunity, but since then.”
What I get from that is:
- Daniels wasn’t physically ready when he signed with Georgia.
- His recovery time was further delayed due to the pandemic.
- He recovered, but wasn’t game ready, so he practiced with the scout team.
- It appears he was game ready prior to the Mississippi State game. (In time for Jacksonville, in other words.)
- The decision as to when to start Daniels was Monken’s call.
It bears repeating there is no mention of Kirby Smart in that quote. Monken doesn’t even say “we”. Maybe it’s time to consider the possibility that Smart’s kept his hands off the wheel more that he’s been given credit for in certain quarters.