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Kirby Smart reveals Trevor Lawrence's early success affected Justin Fields' at Georgia



  • ShoottheHoochShoottheHooch Posts: 1,572 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Respectfully, what a crock! Anybody who watched every play of Fields’ freshman season knows that in most every game Fromm would have the offense ticking, then, out of the blue, after a Bulldog score, Kirby relegated Fromm to the sideline while Fields went in for the next drive which usually ended in a punt against SEC competition and maybe a score against a cupcake team.

    If anything, Kirby mismanaged Fromm since Jake had earned the starters position through his play and Kirby was simply placating Fields.

  • MontanaDawgMontanaDawg Posts: 1,743 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited January 2021

    We can continue to debate Smart's decisions regarding Fields and Fromm until the cows come home, but we will never know what could have happened had Fields been chosen as the starter over Fromm. Field's arm talents were hardly even used at Georgia when he did come in for a play or two and was mostly used for his running ability. Certainly Field's dual threat ability is something that Fromm didn't have and can create more problems for a defense as we all have seen.

    All I know is this: Fields started at Ohio State the following year under a 1st year head coach AND a brand new offensive scheme with very little game experience under his belt and no starting experience. He played lights out for a 1st year starter in his first full season at OSU. Fields threw for 3,273 yards, 41 TDs, and only 3 Ints with a QB rating of 181 in Year 1 at Ohio State. He has been a leader and an elite FBS QB from the start at OSU.

    2021 could and should be the year of the Natty for the Dawgs. If we don't at LEAST make the playoffs next season then every single fan out there should be majorly disappointed. Once again, the SEC East is the weaker division, and we should pretty easily win the East. Florida will not be a threat. Bama will reload but will have some work to do to get back up to their standards and find a new OC. An SEC Championship is certainly within reach if Kirby can get the Saban curse off his back. The talent is certainly there....just need coaching, development, and most of all - execution.

    I expect Daniels to start next season, but I also think this could set up as another Fields and Fromm type scenario with incoming Vandergriff and 2nd year Beck. Will Kirby make the RIGHT decision at QB? Has JT already been anointed the chosen one?

  • joelljoell Posts: 34 ✭ Freshman

    I kinda sympathized with Jake. He was ranked up there with Deshaun Watson, Trevor , Burrows, Tua, when in reality, he was not at their level. So despite giving the maximum effort, he could not live up to the unrealistic expectations.

    As for Fields, like him or not, he's an elite level QB. And if he's healthy tomorrow, I would not be surprised if they defeat Bama.

  • SWDawg68SWDawg68 Posts: 1,591 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I really like your post, and agree with your first point. You only refer to facts and even though I love the banter about the woulda, coulda, shoulda, when it comes down to it, he wasn't what they say he was. He did give all he had, but in the end..

    OH, and I will take that bet, even with the points!

  • rhbatchrhbatch Posts: 729 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    It was what it was and it is what it is. Seems to me that hard work and loyalty should be worth something. Kirby is the coach and I am very glad that he is.

  • DawgSonOfGamecockDawgSonOfGamecock Posts: 148 ✭✭✭ Junior

    Great post 87Dawg_11. To add to your point, not only have those two programs had difference makers at QB, I think it also illustrates the differences in how the respective coaches make personnel decisions. Kirby, described as a player's coach, chose loyalty over talent when assessing his quarterbacks, while Saban and Swinney were willing to make the difficult decisions in order to get the more talented QB on the field. They ultimately didn't care about hurt feelings, be it the QB's or the fans'.

  • reddawg1reddawg1 Posts: 3,316 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    My recollection was Kirby put Fields into games late to hand off the ball as not to get Jake a late game injury when the game was in hand. Video tape shows Fields remarking to a fellow player after a game that he "handed the ball off remarkably well"(sarcastically). We all know Kirby's MO is to get a lead in the 2nd half and start running and shortening the game. He never IMO thought for a second about Hey, let's get the kid some throws. That IMO didn't sit well with Fields.

    You have a 5 star as a back up but you are afraid he may throw a pick and lose a game for you . That's Kirby for you. For better or for worse. Go by the book and don't think outside the box too much. In the end no confidence with Fields cost him his service.

    I know most of you won't like this but I don't think Kirby realized what he had in Fields. He didn't see Justin leading his team to a Natty playoff in 2 years. But I also don't believe we had the supporting cast and OC that could get him to where he is today. That guy is at Ohio. St. The guy we had is now at Tennessee. An ok old school but not innovative OC. Cheney, then Coley. LOL! That wouldn't have turned out so well. Justin's smiling all the way to the bank.

  • ShoottheHoochShoottheHooch Posts: 1,572 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Next year, you should watch some Dawg games. Perhaps you will learn something about Kirby and Dawg football!

  • Bigjohnson92Bigjohnson92 Posts: 564 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    Did I actually just read ‘he was so talented, that we let him work on a fake punt all year’. What?

  • kirkhilleskirkhilles Posts: 1,061 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Yep. Honestly, it was just a mess altogether. Some things to consider:

    1) He didn't commit to us first. He committed to Penn State. So, you could ask how "they could let him go"

    2) We weren't even close to being the first school to give him an offer either. We were 31st to do.

    3) The Top 2 QBs commits of 2020 chose schools behind Lawrence and Fields KNOWING they weren't going to be the starters Freshman year. Does Vandagriff expect to start next year instead of a likely Heisman strong pre-season candidate?

    4) Fields played in 12 games Freshman year. Tua played in 8. We gave Fields 4 TDs, 39 passing attempts and 42 rushing attempts.

    5) The perception seems to be that Lawrence was named the starter Freshman year and was given the "keys" from the beginning. Check again. Game #1: Bryant had more attempts than Lawrence, #2 Bryant had 2x the # of attempts than Lawrence, #3 Lawrence had 2/3rds of passes, but Bryant still in the mix, #4 still sharing with Bryant. It wasn't until Game #5 that he was pretty much declared the starter.

    6) Ohio State didn't exactly "name him the starter" upon transfer. It was close to season start before he had won the job. Maybe that was just rhetoric, but if not then maybe he wasn't fully ready yet... which means he CERTAINLY wasn't ready to play all 12 games for a team that had almost won the NC.

    And then came the "incident" with the baseball player and so, I mean, there's nothing to say beyond that. In theory (since he got immediately availability because of it) even if he was the starter, that would've sent him packing.

  • kirkhilleskirkhilles Posts: 1,061 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Yes, but Tua didn't start ONE GAME as a freshman. In fact, he only played in 8 games vs Fields played in all 12 for us. It wasn't like Hurts had taken them to the NC game and then Tua starts game #1 Freshman year.

  • reddawg1reddawg1 Posts: 3,316 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Basically Fields was not brought along as well as he should have been. It showed in the SEC Championship game. We needed a spark, we dominated early on and fell flat later in the game, the momentum swung when BAMA inserted Hurts. We could have used Fields coming in and giving us a potential boost, but Fields wasn't ready, KIrby obviously felt like Jake was the only chance we had. Turns out it was so unlike what BAMA did.

    I would at least offer the possibility that if Fields had been given more meaningful snaps during the season , he would have been ready for his opportunity, if allowed to do so. It was never to be. I, like others, feel like the fake punt was an act of desperation and I have reviewed it several times, maybe I will go back and review it again, maybe I missed it but I didn't see anyone being wide open.

    The shame was: for whatever reason and whoever's fault, Fields wasn't trusted by Kirby enough to be inserted as Hurts and Tua were in successive years to provide a spark.

  • HunkerDawgHunkerDawg Posts: 76 ✭✭✭ Junior

    Good article Mike.

    I wish my fellow Dawg fans could finally just be happy for Justin without gnashing teeth. We enjoyed having Jake. Wish it could have worked out for Justin here. Understand why it didn't from all sides. It's not a new type of problem, and as problems go it's a great one to have. Move on. Root for the young man to be Bama. Happy we have Monken and JT in '21. GO DAWGS!!

  • Ddavis0777Ddavis0777 Posts: 384 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    Kirby gets paid millions a year to win. If not, he loses the opportunity. Using that logic alone, anyone who thinks he didn’t start Fields due to race, is race baiting. If fields was going to give us a better chance to win, he’d have played.

    I think the biggest factor driving this drama was that Fromm was not as gifted as Fields. But seeing this on the surface was misleading because this drastic disparity was offset by how much more DEVELOPED Fromm was. And how much more experience he had in the offense/SEC.

    Similarly, Fields and Lawrence were the #1 & 2 five stars from that year. As a result Fields and those influencing him likely saw him as “just as good” as Lawrence. But again, he wasn’t quite as developed. We have to remember stars are a reflection of POTENTIAL, not PRESENT ability. As you see the experts were right, look at Fields and Lawrence now. And look at where Fromm, a four star, landed. I just think these kids get gassed up way to much with this star system, and this on top of liberal transfer policy result in situations like this and always will.

    I still hold no ill-will and hope OSU beats Bama tonight. Fields for MVP!

  • MontanaDawgMontanaDawg Posts: 1,743 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited January 2021

    Let's look at one single fact concerning this tiresome Fromm-Fields debate: Fromm was a 4th Round NFL Draft Pick. 4th Round.

    Lawrence, Fields, Jones, Lance (ND State), and Wilson (BYU) are all projected 1st Round picks this year. Even if Fromm had stayed an extra year he wouldn't be going in the 1st Round. No way. He may not have even gone in the 2nd Round. His potential ceiling had pretty much been reached the last couple of seasons, and he realized that (and so did the NFL Scouts). Coming back this season would probably have helped the Dawgs but not so much his draft potential.

    So there you have it. Fields fits in perfectly with the Ohio State offense. He may even end up an Atlanta Falcon.

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