Stetson Bennett is not worried about what people think about him. It could be because he is playing on a stage that very, very few people will ever play on. It could be because of the confidence he has in himself and his game.
Certainly, though, Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken and other Georgia offensive players expressed their trust in Bennett on Tuesday, despite an underwhelming performance in the SEC Championship game. Even with JT Daniels making his way down to Miami, as reported, Bennett will remain the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback.
“It wasn’t really anything JT did,” said Monken on why Bennett has been the primary starting quarterback. “It was more along the lines of what Stetson did that we thought gave us the best chance to win, his mobility, those things, in the run game and the pass game when things break down we believe give us the best chance to win.”
Daniels has not started since Georgia faced Vanderbilt on Sept. 25, but he still has a lot of Georgia fans that would rather see him start. The former five-star from Southern California shined early in the season. However, his injuries paved a way for Bennett, then a backup, to show his skills and the Georgia coaching staff has opted for continuity ever since then.
“The mailman” has been one of the most efficient passers in the country this season, completing 64 percent of his throws. One bad game is not going to lead him to cave under pressure or start listening to the doubters.
“I wouldn’t listen to myself if I was giving a speech on heart surgery,” said Bennett on Tuesday. “Not comparing football to heart surgery, but it’s the same kind of gist. So why would I listen to somebody who doesn’t do this for a living and just watches it happen. It really doesn’t bother me. It’s a bit frustrating sometimes, I guess, but like I said, I don’t have social media, so I don’t wallow in it. I don’t sit in it. I don’t think about it. All I’m thinking about is beating Michigan and being the best quarterback I can be for my teammates.”
There was no mistake about it, Monken feels Bennett is the right guy for the job. It was refreshing to hear too. Amongst all the quarterback controversy built up from both media and fans, there was not much ‘coach-speak’ during Monken’s presser, just a coach who has been successful at both the college and NFL levels, explaining what he sees in his players.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that we can win the National Championship; there’s no doubt in my mind we can do it with Stetson Bennett,” said Monken.
Georgia players seem to echo sentiments similar to their offensive coordinator when talking about Bennett.
“I mean, he’s been doing what he’s doing all year, so I mean, it ain’t nothing new,” said senior running back James Cook. “Just continue to do him and play football and put him in the right situations for us to win.”
Now Bennett will get ready for the biggest game of his career with a chance at a National Championship. He will have his doubters, as well as supporters, but most importantly his play on the field will speak loudest and he has been counted out before.
For Monken’s full presser: