Georgia football will start its first season in five years without Stetson Bennett on its roster on Saturday, but the former Bulldog QB is plenty busy these days in Los Angeles.
The Rams’ plan is to stick with starter Matthew Stafford at quarterback this season, but Bennett could be one snap away from playing behind an aging veteran who has dealt with back issues.
Los Angeles opens its season on Sunday, Sept. 10 in Seattle, with Bennett currently the only other QB on the 53-man active roster.
Rams general manager Les Snead explained what would happen if Bennett were pressed into action while assessing his preseason earlier this week.
“If we ever had to get to Stetson, at that point and time, there be a game plan that would be put tougher,” Snead said. " …. we would probably reduce some things, and it would be a different package than what Matthew can take into the game, and it would be tailored more to what Stetson can be and less of what he can’t do.
“You never really want to get to your backup quarterback, but that is definitely possible in the NFL — the vision is to not get there, and we’re still guessing about Stetson a year from now.”
Snead explained how Los Angeles drafted Bennett in the fourth round with hopes the “super powers” he flashed at Georgia in 2022 would transition into the NFL.
Bennett did indeed make his fair share of highlight plays, often outside the pocket with his feet.
But PFF graded Bennett the lowest of the 70 NFL quarterbacks to attempt passes in the preseason, and he was pulled in his final preseason start after throwing two interceptions on the Rams first three drives in a 41-0 loss.
“You’re always trying to predict whether — and I called it the super powers — the skill set that he displayed in college, does it transfer to the NFL,” Snead said. “We did get to see some of the mobility, and ability to use that mobility within the pocket and move the chains, and he was a guy that was not necessarily, or I would say a little bit fearless sometimes in terms of trying to make a play, we did see some of that.
“Like a lot of rookie QBs, not there yet, and the transition to the NFL can be humbling at times, and he has gone through that.”
Bennett remains confident he can adapt, saying he just wants to be coached up in Los Angeles and is willing to do whatever it takes to improve.
“I like to be coached,” Bennett told The Athletic earlier this week. “Like, if something is wrong, tell me. Get on me. I’ll fix it, because I want to. Yell at me. Tell me to do better, because I’ve got to do better for the team.
That’s the attitude Sean McVay said he likes in Bennett, is his ability to put the bad plays behind him.
“Usually if you can overcome those lessons, and apply them,” Snead said, “you have a good shot of evolving to whatever potential you might have.”