Georgia football beat writer slams Stetson Bennett on Tennessee Sports Radio Show.
Stetson Bennett has been the starting quarterback for Georgia football for the last seven games. He has started a total of eight games this season. As a starter, he has led the team to eight wins and zero losses. This being the case Bennett still has his doubters when it comes to how far he can take this Georgia team. These doubters include not only fans but also Georgia’s own beat writers.
One of those beat writers is none other than Mike Griffith. This should be no surprise as he has built a reputation for talking down about Georgia’s football program. He’s criticized both Kirby Smart and his players on more than one occasion. Now he has gone as far as to say that Georgia football should trade their starting quarterback for another one in the SEC East. That’s right, Mr. Griffith wants Georgia to trade quarterbacks with a division rival.
Why would he say such an outlandish thing? Why would such a thought go through his mind? Well, just take a look at the comments he made about starting quarterback Stetson Bennett in a recent interview on Tennessee’s sports radio station 99.1 The Sports Animal.
When asked about his takeaways from the game against Tennessee this is what Griffith had to say in relation to Bennett:
I think people that watched that game now look at Stetson Bennett and go this guy isn’t that great. I had somebody say well, you know, Tee Martin came in after Peyton Manning. I said no, no, no, no, no, Stetson Bennett is not Tee Martin. (laughs) You’ve got this wrong. That’s not a good comparison.
I’m not saying he can’t be the quarterback of a national championship team. There’s actually people saying that he should be in the Heisman Trophy discussion. I’m just looking at it and this guy threw four passes in the Spring Game and was the third string quarterback. He was the third string quarterback going into Fall Drills. He was the third string quarterback coming out of Fall Drills. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what other SEC team he would start for. So I guess if you want to give him credit for seeing it through sticking around Georgia and being a good guy, he’s a cool guy, everybody likes him. But are his talents really in line with other SEC quarterbacks we see? I’m not sure. I mean, like I said, he’s behind a great offensive line, James Cook obviously was a pretty good running back, some of those catches the receivers made.
I’m just trying to be real here. I’m not trying to be a hater. And I get it, this kinda goes to the quarterback gets too much credit and too much blame thing. Let’s not make Stetson Bennett anymore than he really is. He’s a crafty little quarterback with good mobility but he’s got a pop gun arm. He’s got a hell of an offensive coordinator that can scheme ya and create open guys.
Again, if Georgia could trade Stetson Bennett for Hendon Hooker, if they were being honest, (chuckles) they’d do it in a split second. I mean, look at the dynamics Hooker brings. Think about how many times he shook off sacks, how big that arm is, (laughs) that is one heck of a quarterback there at Tennessee.
First of all, it doesn’t matter where Bennett was on the depth chart at any time during camp. There is more to being a quarterback than where you were in certain camp drills. All that matters is who showed up and who the team responded to week in and week out in practice. Something that isn’t talked about enough is attitude. When a quarterback is rated coming out of high school heart and attitude aren’t included in that rating.
Speaking of recruiting ratings, someone needs to remind Mr. Griffith that Georgia football has 3 quarterbacks on their roster right now that were rated above Hendon Hooker. If Kirby Smart or Todd Monken wanted to replace Bennett as QB1 JT Daniels, Brock Vandagriff, and Carson Beck were all rated as better prospects than Hooker. So to even infer that Georgia would think about trading quarterbacks with Tennessee is absurd. Georgia has plenty of talent waiting in the wings if necessary.
Another thing that is noticeable in Mr. Griffith’s comments is he seems to give everyone credit for Georgia’s offense other than Bennett. From the offensive line to the receivers, to the running backs, and then to the offensive coordinator.
During the interview, he was even asked about Bennett’s fearlessness when running the ball and he deflected the notion by responding with a question of his own. He asked, “what would the score have been had Hooker been playing for Georgia?” He wouldn’t even allow the host of the Tennessee sports show to give Bennett any credit of any kind and he is a Georgia beat writer.
Bennett has given everything for this team this season. He has put his body on the line trying to convert first downs and trying to score touchdowns. He doesn’t need to be the next Tim Tebow or Peyton Manning. All he needs to do is play within himself and the offense while taking care of the ball. He’s earned this opportunity and if he wins Georgia football a National Championship a lot of people will owe him a huge apology.
That all said if Mr. Griffith is so enamored with Tennessee football, maybe he should go cover them. The open spot on the beat could then allow someone that actually cares about Georgia football to cover the team. There are plenty of fans and journalists alike out there that could do it the right way while being fair and honest about the team. Players like Bennett who have worked their butts off to get to where they are deserve people that actually care about them covering the team.