ATHENS — Stetson Bennett might soon be working his way back into headlines for football-related reasons.
Bennett is expected to receive a Senior Bowl invite, and should he choose to compete against the likes of TCU quarterback Max Duggan at the annual all-star game, he might have the ideal NFL coach on hand to evaluate him up close.
The Senior Bowl confirmed that Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy will lead the American team.
The event in Mobile, Ala., which draws hundreds of NFL personnel, from head coaches to team owners, presidents, general managers and scouts, has shifted to a format that will allow several franchises to have representation on both teams’ coaching staffs.
The practices start on Jan. 31 leading up to the game on Feb. 4 at South Alabama’s beautiful Hancock Whitney Stadium.
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Bennett’s next move
Bennett has said he wants to play football as long as he can, and he has worked hard to make that happen to this point.
Getsy’s significance at the Senior Bowl where Bennett is concerned is that he operates an offense in Chicago with former Georgia and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields that might fit Bennett’s skill set.
UGA coordinator Todd Monken, who created a lot of the success for the Georgia offense with his versatile schemes and brilliant play calling, discussed how the NFL game has changed to benefit smaller, more mobile quarterbacks like Bennett and projected top NFL draft prospect Bryce Young.
“There’s more of the high school game that got to college and the college game that’s in the NFL in terms of spread,” Monken said.
“All you’ve got to do is watch the Chiefs and the Dolphins, and you’re seeing spread offense, motion shifts, RPOs,” said Monken, a former record-breaking NFL offensive coordinator himself.
“So you’re seeing a lot of that that carries over because that’s what quarterbacks are comfortable with, at least what they’ve done.”
Coach Kirby Smart shared many times that Bennett’s mobility was key for the UGA offense.
About Justin Fields
Smart recruited Fields and did everything he could to keep him at Georgia because of his affinity for mobile quarterbacks.
Fields is a former 5-star quarterback and first-round draft pick who set a Chicago Bears franchise record for quarterbacks with more than 1,000 yards rushing last season.
Fields seems to have a long-term future in Chicago, even with the Bears having the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, but Bears general manager Ryan Poles recently said he would have to be “absolutely blown away” to selected a quarterback with that selection.
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Further, Poles made it clear to ESPN that Chicago is excited about Fields’ potential, saying “We’re excited about his development and where he goes next. He showed ability to be impactful with his legs. There’s flashes with his arm. Now if we can put that together, I think we have something really good.”
Bennett and Fields future teammates
Bennett, like Fields, has not always been as consistent with his arm as others among the elite quarterback ranks, but he has shown flashes throwing the ball while making an impact with his legs in big games.
The irony, should the storybook scenario play out with the Bears drafting or signing Bennett as a free agent, is that Bennett said he transferred out of Georgia in 2018 to avoid competing with Fields and then-quarterback Jake Fromm.
“They had their guy at that time, and I saw that,” Bennett said, asked by Manning during his ESPN Plus show ‘Eli’s Places’ why he left after one season as a walk-on in 2017.