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Todd Monken praises Stetson Bennett, excited about future of Georgia football quarterback room

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Georgia offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Todd Monken during the College Football Playoff semifinal game at the Capital Orange Bowl against Michigan at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

ATHENS — For all that Georgia has been on the offensive side of the ball under Todd Monken, stability at the quarterback position has been a rarity.

The Bulldogs cycled through three starting quarterbacks in his first season in Athens. In 2021, Georgia bounced between JT Daniels and Stetson Bennett before Georgia finally settled on the latter.

“Both of them were good players,” Monken said. “It was never where you thought just this much of the other. So, as we kept going along, we thought Stetson and the ability he gave us gave us a chance. It was a little bit different in terms of who we were going with. At some point I thought we can win it with either one of them at quarterback.”

Related: Todd Monken pushes back against the idea the Georgia football offense must carry the defense in 2022

Entering the 2022 season, Monken seems to have that elusive stability. Bennett is the unquestioned starter for the Bulldogs. He spoke as a team representative at SEC media days and there’s been a lot of talk about his improved leadership abilities.

The confidence that comes with that stems from this being the first offseason where Bennett was the clear starter for the program. The benefits of that trickle into other aspects of his game, something Monken has noticed in the early stages of fall practice.

“I think he is doing a much better job of in between his reps of carrying the message that we talk about and to make sure we are on the same page,” Bennett said. “I think that is the biggest thing. It is not him talking to receivers in terms of how we would do it. It is that we are all on the same page, carrying the message from our meeting room to on the field. That’s a sign of leadership — going over ‘how did you see it?’ ‘well, this is how I saw it, this is how we talk about, let’s get it right.’”

Bennett threw for 29 touchdowns in 12 starts last season. With all Georgia brings back on the offensive side of the ball, it’s easy to see statistical improvement for the Bulldogs this season.

Bennett was not the only quarterback Monken spoke about on Thursday. Once again, he believes Georgia has really strong depth in the quarterback room between Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff and Gunner Stockton. Beck seems to have a leg up in the quest to back-up Bennett, but the two scrimmages Georgia has will go a long way in determining how that battle shakes out.

Monken praised Vandagriff’s playmaking ability, while also stating his belief that Stockton can be a tremendous player for the Bulldogs.

“People look at it and think they aren’t a good quarterback room because of Stetson Bennett. But no, Stetson Bennett is a really good player,” Monken said. “Those guys are really good players, and I think they will continue to get better. We ask a lot out of them. We do a lot of quarterback controls, so there is a lot that we ask them to do. It makes it hard on them.”

What Georgia is on offense this season will come down to how well Bennett executes and how Monken goes about getting the most out of Georgia’s bushel of skill players.

To start the 2022 season, the quarterback and offensive coordinator are very much in lockstep with each other. That tends to be the case when you’ve spent three seasons working together, one of which ended in a championship.

Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken shares his thoughts on the Georgia quarterback room

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