QB1

There’s something else I want to focus on from spring practice that merits a separate post.  Take a look at something from Graham and Seth ($$) about the quarterbacks:

One:

It hasn’t been all good for Beck though. He did throw an interception in a team drill on Thursday. Smart has mentioned previously that Stetson Bennett has “banked a lot of reps,” during his Georgia career, so this might be a case of trying to give the QB room a deeper look. That being said, the staff has elected to pull Bennett from 1st team during drills in favor of Beck at times in the last couple of weeks. On at least one instance this week, Beck was subbed into the first unit after Bennett made a poor play. Some observers feel the pressure from Beck has caused Bennett to press at times.

Only time will tell if Beck can put serious pressure on Bennett for the starting job, but right now he is executing in an impressive way. G-Day should be interesting.

Two:

Stetson Bennett was called out a few times on the mic by Smart, wanting more leadership from his quarterback. That backs up what Smart said publicly after Tuesday’s practice. It was observed at Thursday’s practice that Vandagriff and Carson Beck were getting most of the reps, with Bennett standing next to Todd Monken and going over the play calls. So a dual purpose of giving the young guys reps while the starter and play-caller got some mental reps, so to speak.

It’s early, so I don’t want to read too much into this — for one thing, there’s some credence to be given to the notion that Bennett is a known quantity, so giving Beck and Vandagriff a majority of the early reps makes a certain practical sense — but I can’t help feeling like there’s a sense the coaches are trying to find some way to push Bennett in a way I never sensed with Daniels or Fromm when they entered spring practice as the number one.

The question is why.  Is Bennett suffering from some sort of post-natty complacency?  Is Monken trying to find the lever that motivates Bennett to up his game from last season’s effort?  You got me, but it does seem like there’s something going on.

49 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

49 responses to “QB1

  1. Biggen

    I hope he is being pushed. We seem to recruit high level QBs every year but never start any of them. Competition is good for everyone including the entrenched starters.

    There has been some rumblings that Bennett is still out partying like the did right up to his GMA appearance.

    Like

  2. munsonlarryfkajim

    I love Stetson and hope he leads us to the promised land again. But if he takes his foot off the gas and gets complacent in the slightest he will end up on the bench

    Liked by 2 people

  3. In talkin season, speculation runs rampant. I trust Monken and CKS though…they’ll find the right combination of carrot and stick.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Former Fan

    Probably because SB’s weakness is that he presses and makes mistakes under pressure. By putting him under pressure like this in practice, they can work on that issue.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Former Fan

      And by pressure, I don’t mean from being pressured by the D, but when the game is on the line, and he feels like he has to make a big play.

      Like

    • bucketheridge

      Totally agree on Stetson’s Achilles heel being his tendency to press and try to make too much happen. Hopefully he’ll be confident enough in his ability to play his game and trust that he wins out.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Skeptic Dawg

    Maybe Beck and BVG have surpassed Bennett on the depth chart and they are simply better quarterbacks. Does anyone else find it odd that Beck stuck around? As the season played out, I assumed that Beck would be the first guy in the transfer portal. Instead, Daniels is the only guy leaving town. Just seems strange to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • biggusrickus

      He was a redshirt freshman who would be entering the spring as number two on the depth chart. It made sense for him to hang around through the spring, at least, to see where he ends up.

      Also, I have no idea who’s outplaying whom in these spring practices, but trying to create drama out of not much information is par for the course.

      Liked by 5 people

    • jim1886

      Agree, believe the coaches think Vandagriff & Beck offer more upside.
      Also, if neither has any hope of playing time, one will transfer after g day game.
      Qb & kicker is the only areas that Kirby dies not substitute

      Liked by 1 person

    • godawgs1701

      There just aren’t a lot of places where you can transfer and be guaranteed you won’t have to beat out other talented players for playing time at quarterback (at least, at any football program that would be an attractive spot to land) – and usually those players have been on campus and in the system longer than you have. Maybe Beck just figures that he’s going to have to win a job regardless, might as well be at the school he chose first. If so, that’s certainly refreshing.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ciddawg

    Its spring….The only pressure here is to create a QB controversy so people will read their articles…Stetson Bennet has never been complacent a day in his life…you don’t go through 4 years of everybody trying to run you off to QB1 Natty Champ without showing up everyday and balling out…
    I do believe his biggest contribution this spring is to soak up the Monks theology, give the pups some hope to keep them out of the portolet and to tell Beck if he throws a pick he better dam well act like he wants to tackle the guy every chance he gets…

    Liked by 9 people

  7. practicaldawg

    Feels like a familiar story. Staff is determined to start the higher rated QB and gives them more first team reps before the season. Mathis can tell Beck how this one ends.

    Like

  8. akascuba

    It is talking season. If there’s nothing to talk about we have no content to sell. No worries just make some stuff up and see what attracts the most clicks then that’s the story to run with. The older I get the more cynical I get.

    The program has never been in a better place. There will be shit to worry about after the season starts. Right now I’m still appreciating the National Championship.

    Liked by 7 people

  9. cowetadawg

    How do you keep a room full of talented QBs “all in” and away from the portal in this age? Like this. Kirby’s on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That still looks more like a search for #2 than who is #1.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. uga97

    Proper contingency planning & competition. There should be no problem that CKS & Co. are making sure “the next man up” is ready & constantly pushing the guy ahead of him. Always be ready for “next man up” moments, per-se.

    Like

  12. siskey

    I don’t think that Bennett will get “Fat and Happy” but if he does these guys are there to push him. Kirby is not above getting a transfer if the situation really called for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. MGW

    I don’t think it’s any kind of fake juice, ploy, or funky practice strategy. I think we’ve got a rock solid starter with two very talented kids, with significant time in the program, actually pushing hard for his job.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. whb209

    MGW,
    I think you nailed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Derek

    I’m far more worried about who will start opposite Kelee than tea leaf reading the spring qb race. Absent injury/arrest, Stet starts vs. Oregon, period.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. W Cobb Dawg

    I’ll be happily surprised if we enter the season with SBIV, Beck and Vandagriff on the roster. But I expect a shake out. That’s too much talent to have sitting on the bench.

    And the latter two would be handed starting jobs at plenty of schools. Ole Miss or FU, for example, would be falling all over themselves to get either Beck or Vandagriff.

    Like

  17. godawgs1701

    This really just reinforces to me what I thought about the QB situation in 2022 all year long – Bennett has earned his chance to be the starter this year but he still is going to have to out-perform a very talented quarterback room in order to be the starter all year long. If he can do it then obviously the sky is the limit, and if he can’t then Georgia obviously is still in a great place because the guy who beats him out is going to have to be playing great football. I’m all for it.

    Perhaps the coaches feel that Bennett is mentally tough enough to weather a challenge. He certainly has shown a lot of mental toughness over the course of his career. Eason and Fromm seemed to rattle a little more when they were being pushed.

    Like

  18. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    While we are spinning QB thoughts, here’s one that read on another board that was half-jest, half-serious, and 100% bat shit crazy: Stetson is staying unless, maybe even until, he gets an NFL free agent contract for a team that needs a back-up with wheels. Meanwhile, he is staying shape and learning as much as he can from Monken.

    I laughed my ass off when I read that, but now? I dunno…

    Like

  19. CB

    I’m not going to get my hopes up and allow myself to believe that the elite talent behind Bennett is starting to separate itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. dawgphan34

    I would be surprised if Bennett isnt #1 come fall, but also seems like you can’t be splitting reps at #1 because Bennett still needs those reps to stay sharp and get better, right?

    that’s why they pay Smart the big bucks.

    Like

  21. Brian Smith

    Over the past few years Smart has started Jake Fromm and Stetson Bennett over Jacob Eason, Justin Fields, and JT Daniels. Whether or not you agree it was correct to do so, I would guess that other coaches recruiting against him for quarterbacks bring up this fact pattern. “The guy with the most talent doesn’t start at Georgia, look at what happened when Fields left for Ohio State, JT Daniels didn’t do anything except win and he vanished, you won’t vanish here.” or whatever. Again, it doesn’t matter whether we as Georgia fans think this is correct or not, Smart has to deal with it. Particularly in light of trying to recruit a QB like Arch Manning. How do we show that young QB’s with a ton of arm talent get a chance here (without having a game in which to give them a chance?) spring practice and rumors.

    This approach has little risk. Stetson Bennet is 24, he’s not getting taller, he’s not getting stronger, he’s not learning a portion of the playbook he doesn’t know. Nor is he going anywhere. So in short Kirby Smart might well sit him in Spring because he can.

    Another potential reason, his best wide receiver, after beating Alabama, and having a chance to return to play with the starting quarterback with whom he beat Alabama, elected to play for Alabama. No one Georgia recruited at receiver appears to be world changing although of course they could turn out to be, however Smart has a wide receiver problem. How do we convince elite wide receivers that Georgia is a good place for them to come play absent a game in which a quarterback throws NFL type passes to wide receivers? Spring practice and rumors.

    I think we would be wise not to be fooled by this. It is certainly possible that upon seeing Carson Beck make “frozen rope wow throws,” that he has decided, “perhaps we should get those throws into the game.” However, spring practice talk is cheap, and if you had bet on “Quarterback making wow throws” against the field of potential Georgia quarterbacks over the last half decade you would be broke. To be fair, he won and won big, so he gets the benefit to run his team the way he sees fit.

    Another potential reason, the front seven loses several first or second round picks this year. In the long run I absolutely trust Smart to replace those guys. But any given year that can be difficult. Perhaps he takes an honest look at what he has coming back and says, we’re going to need to score more points, or at least we had better prepare like it. This seems unlikely, as I just don’t think Kirby Smart thinks this way, but it wouldn’t strike me as unusual.

    In any case, Stetson Bennett is your three year starter walk-on QB and none of this matters. This, like the rest, is just a guess, but I’m going to need to see Smart make “ability to throw the football” a key part of his QB evaluation rubric before I believe he is doing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure you were in the stands in 2018 for every game that was not LSU in Baton Rouge asking why wasn’t Justin Fields starting.

      Eason wasn’t exactly lighting up the App State defense when he got hurt. Fields did not prove during the games he played in at Georgia that he was the superior QB1. Kirby decided not to play with the team chemistry last year after JT got healthy … we won a title.

      Liked by 4 people