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5 questions for Georgia football entering spring drills: Quarterbacks and much more

SystemSystem Posts: 10,778 admin
edited March 2023 in Article commenting
image5 questions for Georgia football entering spring drills: Quarterbacks and much more

ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart has a knack for finding the right answers.

Read the full story here


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    kirkhilleskirkhilles Posts: 1,103 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Can't wait till the G Day game!

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    CandlerParkCandlerPark Posts: 724 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    The "bigger, stronger (better?) version of Stetson Bennett" label is being thrown around a lot, referring to both Gunner and Brock at different times. But it's a little off to me.

    SBIV 's skills are almost as unique as his story. Despite JD Daniels being "bigger" and "stronger," Stetson beat out a QB who was more highly rated than either Gunner and Brock. By his second national championship, Stetson's combination of speed, confidence, and experience combined with increased arm strength and accuracy to make him one of the very best QB's in college football.

    In other words, it isn't how big or strong Stetson was that sets him up as the new Georgia standard. Yes, he's skilled and more physically gifted than most folks realized. But it was his heart, leadership and achievements that set him apart. Whether any of our current quarterbacks have that stuff is an open question.

    I'm not saying Stetson is the be-all/end-all of QBs. I hope Beck, Vandagriff and/or Stockton quickly make us forget about Bennett -- and win three straight Heisman's in the process. :-)

    If so, they'll do it in their own ways -- not as "versions" of Bennett.

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    thadecthadec Posts: 611 ✭✭✭✭ Senior


    The reason is because whatever SB IV's attributes, his limitations (height and arm strength) came at a cost to the supporting cast. Best example: Kearis Jackson, who had 36 catches for 500+ yards and 3 TDs as a sophomore when "JD Daniels" got more playing time - and this was in 10 games - only had 37 catches for the same amount of yards and 1 TD in the 30 games since with SB IV starting 29 of them. So where Jackson looked like he could potentially develop into a 4th or 3rd round pick after his sophomore year, the combination of his poor stats since and pedestrian measurables (5'11", 195 lbs, 4.55 40) means that he has no shot to get drafted. And the writers and commenters on Dawgnation, who have thrown plenty of darts at WRs who either chose not to come to UGA over the years or transferred out in order to get into situations where they can put up better numbers, have gone into complete radio silence on Jackson's plight. Jackson literally hasn't been mentioned since he ran a 4.55 in the 40 instead of an expected 4.48. The tailbacks? More of the same. Because defenses knew that SB IV wasn't going to consistently beat them on vertical and outside-the-hashmark throws, they tended to play up their safeties. UGA responded by using passes to the RBs and TEs to replace the running game. Result? Again, thanks to a combination of a pedestrian 40 time (4.6) and 830 rushing yards in 15 games, a guy in Kenny McIntosh who had 3rd round talent is likely going to drop to the 5th. The folks who are claiming that McIntosh will be more highly valued by teams because of his 43 catches for 500 yards and pass blocking and UGA's RB by committee system are deceiving themselves ... there is no evidence that NFL scouts value that sort of thing over proven pure running ability and no reason why they should (as at the NFL level an RB who is great at blocking and receiving but not much of a threat at running the football is basically worthless because whenever he comes into the game the defense is going to know that it is a passing play).

    Naturally the result of 4 and 5 star athletes at WR and RB coming to UGA to be utilized as role players that go on to be 3rd day draft picks or undrafted free agents will mean that those 4 and 5 star athletes are going to pass up Athens for other programs. And since - as every SB IV critic reminded everyone - it was surrounding SB IV with all those guys with 4 and 5 star ability that allowed Monken to call and SB IV to effectively run that system to begin with, it is not in UGA's interests to replace the likes of Jackson, Cook, White, Blaylock etc. with 3 star recruits who are willing to accept a lesser role in return for playing time at a major SEC program.

    And that is why a "bigger stronger SB IV" is needed. The only way to keep the blue chip RBs and WRs coming is by playing QBs who can consistently make the plays that open up the offense in a way that allows those guys to get the same stats playing for UGA that they would have by playing for USC, Ohio State, LSU, Alabama, Clemson etc. The scheme that SB IV ran only worked because the players and coaches tasked with defending it knew that SB IV was surrounded by guys with blue chip ability. Run that same scheme with 3 star players - guys who can't separate quickly, make guys miss in space, break tackles or get yards after the catch - and UGA loses the title game to Alabama last year AND watches Tennessee beat LSU in the SECCG this year. Yes, Monken had a great scheme and SB IV was very effective in it, but they would be the first ones to tell you that the blue chips in the supporting cast were the ones who made it work. UGA needs to play QBs that will allow them to recruit blue chips at more positions than TE. And even at TE, it is amazing that a guy with generational talent like Brock Bowers only has 1800 receiving yards in 29 games. And that Washington, despite the insane ability that he showed at the combine - which saved his first round draft status by the way - only had 28 catches last year. Even a 3 star recruit who transferred to Alabama for playing time and didn't get drafted despite defeating Deshaun Watson for a national title like Jake Coker would have gotten those two better numbers because he would have been able to get the ball to both down the field just as he did to Calvin Ridley, O.J. Howard and even a future CFL/XFL guy ArDarius Stewart. Those guys were able to get their numbers - with Ridley and Howard becoming #1 draft picks - in an offense where Derrick Henry rushed for 2200 yards and was a 2nd round pick. That is why Alabama was able to recruit the boatload of WRs, RBs and TEs that they used to win the 2017 and 2020 national titles. And why - by contrast - UGA's RB and WR recruiting hasn't benefited from UGA winning back-to-back titles at all.

    So yes, be grateful for what SB IV accomplished at UGA. But realize that if UGA is going to maintain it, they are going to need a QB with a stronger arm.

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    truthtellertruthteller Posts: 232 ✭✭✭ Junior
    edited March 2023

    "SBIV 's skills are almost as unique as his story. Despite JD Daniels being "bigger" and "stronger," Stetson beat out a QB who was more highly rated than either Gunner and Brock. By his second national championship, Stetson's combination of speed, confidence, and experience combined with increased arm strength and accuracy to make him one of the very best QB's in college football." - CandlerPark

    Stetson finally overcame the head games he used to played with himself - he really was his own worst enemy before he transferred away from Georgia. He was an interception waiting to happen. His decision making was absolutely horrible. Not good traits for a QB. Even while he was away at junior college, he threw many interceptions - way more than anyone would be comfortable with. HOWEVER, I believe that Monken had a huge influence on Stetson, even way more than people realize. At some point after he returned to UGA, the light bulb came on for Stetson, and the rest is history. This is the genesis of why so many of the fanbase had little to no respect for Stetson, even after he led the dawgs to the 1st natty. I always chuckle when people get hurt because there is still remenants of distrust concerning Stetson. People have long memories and it's always bizarre when people question why fans weren't positive towards him from the get-go. I have great respect for what he was eventually able to do, because I remember very well how poorly he got started.

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    reddawg1reddawg1 Posts: 3,685 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Actually Sb didn't start too poorly. In his 1st 3 games, he led the team to victory when D'Wan Mathis was heading us to a loss. HIs 1st 3 games he was 53-84 for 63% completion,with 5 TD's and no interceptions. THis with freshmenrecievers who he had very little 1st team reps headed into the season.(Covid year).

    THen came the BAMA game and suddenly the defense was a wee bit different. In the Fla game he looked pretty poised in the early going until he got hit on his shoulder and he wasn't quite the same following that hit in that game(they put Mathis in) but had to get him out) and SB did the best he could with a bum shoulder in that game and the next, but he wasn't the same. Remember FLa had Trask and Pitts and Toney, and they gave BAMA all they wanted that year.

    So, barring that hit on his shoulder who knows just how well SB performs the rest of the season. HE certaily started out with a bang!

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    GoodOlDawgGoodOlDawg Posts: 460 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
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    CandlerParkCandlerPark Posts: 724 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I often enjoy your contrarian comments, @thadec. But I'm having trouble with the logic of this one.

    Faulting Monken and Bennett for Kearis' drop in receptions doesn't hold up when you consider that the 2022 offense passed for 46 more yards and 4.6 more completions per game than the 2020 team. And, oh yeah: In those two drop-off years for Kearis that you find such fault with, they won two national championships .

    The big difference is that Brock Bowers and Ladd McConkey turned out to be better playmakers than Kearis. Plus there was a lot of other healthy receiving talent on the team for the ball to get around to.

    I'm not sure why Kearis being on the small side and only running 4.55 in the 40 reason is SBIV's fault. But those measurables -- not his unremarkable stats -- are the reasons he couldn't climb up the ladder via the combine In fact, those measurables bolster the point that -- no matter how much I love that DGD -- he didn't have the blazing speed that would have made him a consistent downfield threat.

    When Georgia's has had pro-level WR talent, that talent has done well in the draft even with mediocre college stats -- even though, admittedly, the recent sample size consists of only one guy: George Pickens. But the point is that this will happen again: When we get another immensely talented WR, he be drafted high.

    It's true that we're not the WR magnet that Ohio State, USC or Tennessee currently are. That's the thing those three schools do best : Develop receivers. In contrast, we do everything best and win national championships.

    At the same time, our 2023 WR crop is easily one of the 10 best in the country (and would've been in the top five if that one young man hadn't dropped us on signing day). Plus, two very good WRs transferred into UGA. Plus, Ny Carr, who committed to Georgia last year, may be the highest rated WR we've recruited since Pickens; he's the No. 11 receiver in 2024 according to On3.

    And all that's without any of the recruits or transfers even knowing who our quarterback will be. If Beck or Vandagriff has a big year (especially throwing downfield), I suspect that some of the high-ranking WRs who currently considering Georgia will look a little harder in our direction. But I'm not worrying about it: Championships don't hinge very heavily on how many five-star WRs you can bring on to campus.

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