“Almost nothing at quarterback has gone according to plan.”

Seth gets asked in his latest mailbag to address the quarterback pecking order in spring practice ($$).

This was supposed to be the year where we didn’t have to deal with endless questions about QB1 and now there are reports of Carson Beck taking the majority of first-team reps during (at least a couple of) spring practices. Is there going to be a quarterback controversy and, if so, have I just contributed to it?

Brian P.

Beck as well as Brock Vandagriff have been getting some first-team reps, but people are probably overthinking this: In Stetson Bennett, you have a sixth-year senior who was just named offensive MVP of the national championship game and the Orange Bowl. And before those games, Monken and Smart were pretty clear about Bennett being the starter. The only reason anyone would doubt his being the starter for this season is, well, the same reason people never expected his career to go this far.

There’s certainly an intense competition going on at quarterback … to be the guy in case Bennett goes down. That’s why you give Beck and Vandagriff reps with the first team now, so you see how each performs in those situations. Bennett then gets just enough starter reps this spring to be on track, and in the preseason you get ready for Oregon, which by the way is not the kind of opponent you give someone their first start when you have the national championship-winning quarterback still on the roster.

So, is that all there is to it?  I’d like to think so, and not because I’m in Camp Doubt Stetson.  What I’m a wee bit troubled by, though, is that I don’t remember players lower on the totem pole getting more reps during spring practice when Fromm and Daniels were QB1s.  Given that Stetson’s never been through a spring when he was the clear choice at starter until now, I am not exactly sure why he doesn’t need those reps himself.  That’s why I can’t entirely discount the steady stream of whispers I’ve heard about message sending coming from his coaches.

That being said, I think Seth is absolutely correct that the coaches would prefer Stetson as the starter for the Oregon game, because in a setting like that, there’s no substitute for experience (all other things being equal, of course).  What I hope isn’t going on right now is Bennett assuming that preference will excuse a lackadaisical approach to his job along the way.  Kirby Smart doesn’t strike me as a guy who does “fuck with me and find out” less than seriously.



Filed under Georgia Football

30 responses to ““Almost nothing at quarterback has gone according to plan.”

  1. Derek

    I think they both know who they are dealing with. I just hope its amicable between them.

    My first twinge of concern at possible tension was Stetson not addressing the crowd at the Sanford celebration. Why? Is Kirby afraid of Stet’s getting too big? Is it ego? If so, whose? Is Kirby concerned about Stetson’s ability to handle things? Is he right to be?

    Beyond the speculation, its possible they don’t think Stet needs the practice reps. He could have a sore arm. Maybe they think that the Stet they got last year was “maximum Stet?” Maybe they know one of these two back ups is gone after Spring so make sure you’re getting the best one?

    Who knows? I hope when everything settles this is all fake drama and its all good at the BM.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. uga97

    […All other things being equal..]

    If the incomplete pass, playclock restart rule goes into effect, then teams with returning starters will have an even greater advantage. Thus, Bennett should be the man. With our D being “down” this year, & our ridiculous returning O, we need to Sco’ and sco’ some more, and that starts with Bennett at the helm.


  3. Fake drama indeed. If Stetson gets the reps, folks will scream about Kirby not preparing the backup. Now that Kirby has learned that lesson, it’s palace intrigue mixed in with a healthy dose of Stetson doubts. If anyone has concerns about the QB situation, go snuggle your Championship swag and mutter “I trust Kirby and Monken”.

    Liked by 9 people

  4. mdcgtp

    Senator, I don’t know if I would use that expression. I will so for those of who thought that having clarity in his position in the pecking order would catalyze him to assume a clear leadership position are still waiting for that to happen. In fact, the reverse was true. It is safe to assume that, if Kirby issued challenges in public, words were said in private. There is still time to grow out of the situation, and summer is more important. that said, it’s disappointing.


  5. In Todd I trust.

    There’s a reason he didn’t seem to try actively to get back to the NFL or to a college head coaching job.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. practicaldawg

    I agree with Seth. God knows Stetson doesn’t need every single first-team rep available anyway. It’s not like he ever got any in the last 2 offseasons.


  7. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2021)

    Here’s what I don’t understand:

    If the whispers you’re hearing and I’m hearing about sending a message to Bennett are true, if Kirby and Monken aren’t happy with his leadership and other aspects of his game this Spring, if he’s maybe more concerned with taking a victory lap or whatever… then why did he come back in the first place?

    Like, if he lost his hunger because he achieved his dream, that is a perfectly reasonable response. I can’t blame the kid if that’s the case. He shut up loudmouth idiots like me, he proved himself to his team, he helped us win the illusive National Title we have all waited for so long to reach. So why not ride off into the sunset a legend who will literally never buy his own beer in this state for the rest of his life and start the next phase?

    By choosing to come back if his heart was maybe not in it all the way, he caused a lot of other dominos to fall, because there was no way Kirby wasn’t going to keep riding with him over everyone else, and for good reason.

    It’s just… dude is the oldest guy on the team and you expect with the age to come more maturity than say someone younger like AD Mitchell, but all I’ve heard all spring is Mitchell came into his second Spring Practice on a mission to destroy every defensive back he sees while I’ve heard the same whispers about Bennett you have, Senator. Why decide to come back, set all those other wheels in motion as a consequence of your decision, and not be 100% committed to putting in everything you have? If he wanted to spend more time enjoying this school year as Stetson Bennett, Hero of Dawgnation, then he probably should have gone to law school.

    I agree with you Senator, that Kirby and Monken can get it fixed before Oregon, because Kirby don’t play that.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. mg4life0331

    If it was a true competition, JT probably wouldn’t be in the portal. But honestly, IDGAS what Kirby does because I trust him to do the best he can with what he has.

    Liked by 3 people

    • godawgs1701

      JT failed to beat out Stetson Bennett last year after his injury. I can see why he wouldn’t be 100 percent confident to beat him out this year, even if he was assured it was a true competition. Bennett started last year 4th on the depth chart and was told he wouldn’t play – instead he went in there and won the backup job and we know the rest.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. godawgs1701

    Folks, as long as Kirby Smart is the head coach of Georgia we are never going to know what’s going on with our quarterbacks. It’s just that simple and I’ve given up.

    We do know that the guys battling it out for the backup job have gotten most of the first-team reps in the small number of practices that were able to be viewed. We don’t know what’s happened in the others. It makes sense that we would use a lot of this time to get a backup quarterback ready – in three of Kirby’s six years we’ve ended the season with the guy who opened as the backup taking the starting snaps. Two of those three seasons ended in a national championship game. That stat alone leaves me perfectly happy to let Kirby sort things out. The fact that we once had a quarterback leave town who ended up winning a Big Ten title and not much else didn’t make me doubt Kirby’s ability to handle the quarterbacks before the national title and it certainly doesn’t after the national title.

    Liked by 12 people

    • godawgs1701

      That stat becomes four of the six years if you consider Greyson Lambert started the North Carolina game in 2016 only to eventually give way to Eason – I don’t think we really ever expected that he’d be the starter for long.


    • dawg100

      He rode a true frosh and a 4th string walk on to the national championship game and we ask if Kirby can manage QBs!

      We are an odd lot, for sure.

      Liked by 7 people

  10. whybotherdude

    FWIW, I have been told they expect Beck to take over as QB1 by EOY. That and $7.50 can buy you a decent shot of bourbon at a bar. I think it is to keep Beck and BV “happy” and out of the portal. Beside Bennet did pretty good with just a few reps last year in spring practice so maybe if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.


  11. boz864

    I’ve read the rumors as well.. but just like the rumors this fall about JT coming back to be the starter, it didn’t happen. I give zero credence to these rumors and would bet the house that Stet will be the starter come fall unless something goes terribly wrong.

    What is most logical is the desire to develop all the talent he can, as best he can, so that players are ready when it’s go time. Let’s not forget that the game is only 60 minutes of playing time… if I’m the head coach with the transfer portal being what it is, I want to give everybody as much action as I can to keep them happy and engaged. Kirby’s recruiting pitch is steel sharpens steel, and the best path to the NFL is conditioning, practicing, and playing with the best talent all day everyday.


  12. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    “What I’m a wee bit troubled by, though, is that I don’t remember players lower on the totem pole getting more reps during spring practice when Fromm and Daniels were QB1s.”

    As I get older, my memory gets worse, too. But I don’t think we’ve ever had a 6th year senior in spring practice that just won a natty. I can do an internet search to be certain, but I am pretty confident that I’m right about that.
    My thought is that Stetson did great, but not as good as he could do (watch the first quarter of last year’s KY game – or almost any game in the first quarter for evidence). I think if he is working some, but spending a lot of time talking with Monken that makes perfect sense regardless of who is getting first team reps.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Texas Dawg

    I suspect it is an intense competition between Vandagriff and Beck to see who stays and who goes. The one who stays is the heir apparent. I can’t see both of them here when we kick off against Oregon. I would love to keep them both, but I just don’t see that happening.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Ozam

    Per Jim Donnan: SBIV is the man. Coaches using spring to let backups work with 1’s and 2’s for experience and confidence.

    Net net…. Don’t buy the drama.

    Liked by 6 people

  15. Matt Stafford did not play a down in Preseason for the Rams.

    Sometimes, as a coach, you know what you have in a guy, and you work the other guys. That’s what’s happening in Athens. Kirby put it pretty simply, “Stetson’s banked a lot of reps.” I believe I talked about that last year…while people were hemming and hawing about needing to get the young kids ready “for next year,” Kirby was giving Stetson the reps he’d need to successfully win a title.

    Now, those younger guys are getting reps. Does Stetson have more to learn? Sure. But, he likely has a ten-fold head start on those guys from a true reps perspective, and honestly… the practice D right now won’t show him much he hasn’t seen.

    We all know that either Beck or BVG is one play away from being the starter… and though talented, will have a steep learning curve in game time. Give me all the live reps you can now, and let Stetson (who has an exceedingly high number of live reps banked) work on mental reps.

    Liked by 5 people

  16. timberridgedawg

    Stetson was never supposed to end up being the guy last year but they knew what he was and they gave JT the keys and wanted to look at Beck and Brock. Then JT got hurt early and Beck wasn’t ready so they went to the guy with the experience and the higher floor. They probably felt like JT would be back and Stet was good enough to win until Florida but then Stet Wally Pipped JT and never gave the job back.

    This year they know what Stet is and decided his ceiling is more than than they thought but there isn’t an experienced JT to fall back on so a Plan B is a lot more urgent in the event Stetson gets hurt. Nobody other than Stetson and JT have really taken any snaps outside of garbage time in the last two seasons. They need to figure this out so more snaps for the twos make sense.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. I’m trying to decide if I’ll live long enough to experience a UGA football team where the fans don’t argue about who’s playing quarterback either in games and/or practice. 😉

    Liked by 5 people

  18. Munsoning

    Beck was headed to FSU until FSU didn’t want him as QB1. But he’s going to be QB1 at UGA? No way in hell.


  19. dman2020

    I am worried about that long snapper battle.


  20. archiecreek

    Are we saying that UGA has a quarterback whisperer???
    Times, they are a’changin’!!


  21. row105

    when you win the National Championship the purveyor’s of rat poison and misinformation just come crawling out out of the weeds. There is a QB controversy at Oregon but nobody knows or cares because discussing or exposing it won’t generate clicks or sell soap. It’s April in Athens and we have 3 National Championship trophies. I ain’t got time for any of this other shit. SBIV will start at QB versus the Ducks no matter what the tabloids, insiders or whispers say. Here is some speculation for ya……I hear we’re going to convert to the veer offense because SBIV has become addicted to Oxycontin or was that Pappy Van Winkle?
    My very inarticulate point is its spring football. Who knows , who cares…..it not real.


  22. Not sure what we are worried about.

    I predict a 15-0 season with a final victory in the national title game 70-0.