Stop yelling. I know you read the headline, clicked the link and came here to see just how dumb of an idea this is, so let me make one thing perfectly clear: Stetson Bennett is, if anything, a late sixth- or seventh-round NFL Draft pick. Once touted as "the best college football player in Georgia's NFL locker room," Stetson Bennett's NFL Draft resume? would rocket any quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft to the first overall pick. If Anthony Richardson, Bryce Young, Will Levis or C.J. Stroud had back-to-back national championship titles in their scouting reports, it's game over. Congratulations and welcome to the Carolina Panthers! But what Bennett's scouting report also contains is a ton of intangibles. Simply put, Bennett has a toolkit that can only be used by Star Wars villain and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
The Bennett Belief System
Bennett shouldn't have made it onto the field at the University of Georgia. The Bulldogs QB is undersized by a wide margin and arrived in Athens behind the likes of Justin Fields, Jake Fromm and JT Daniels, to name a few. None of those reached the heights Bennett did. Why? Without getting into the statistics of it all, let's talk about those intangibles.
Bennett walked on at Georgia, which was in the Fromm Era, but made a bold decision when Fields committed to the play in Athens. Transferring to Jones County Junior College, Bennett led the Bobcats to a massively successful season, which relaunched him back into the transfer portal. Once again, Georgia pulled Bennett back in.
"When I left I thought it was deuces out forever from UGA," Bennett said years later. "I didn't think I was coming back. I kind've knew when I pulled the trigger that I'm not just here at Georgia to hang out and be on the team and have some footballs in 30 years. I want to play ball, I want to do what I think I can do. Went over there and figured out that I think I'm right. To go be in that position where you are the starter, it comes down to you in certain situations. That taught me a lot."
Bennett sets himself apart from the crowd by constantly betting on himself. Even as a member of the scout team, where he was tasked with replicating the play styles of the teams the Dawgs were set to face, Bennett showed off his ability to adapt and ball out. When you're constantly being shown up by a guy who barely suits up in the locker room, the rest of the team is going to rise to the occasion.
The Patriot Way Begins to Fade
Meanwhile, in New England, the Patriots are in a bit of a sticky situation. When former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones got hurt early in the 2022 season, fans were given a snapshot of what the Patriots could be if they didn't have their first-round pick at the helm. With Bailey Zappe under center, the Patriots had a bit of a renaissance. However, when Jones returned and struggled against the Chicago Bears, the Foxboro crowd began to call for Zappe to replace him.
In a post-Tom Brady world, the Patriots don't have an identity. Bennett's grit and determination give the Patriots just that.
In a less spiritual and more tangible way of looking at things, no one motivates an Alabama quarterback more than a Georgia quarterback. With Bennett behind Jones, we may see the Patriots signal-caller actually play beyond his normal milquetoast abilities. If Jones was just a product of receivers such as DeVonta Smith and Jerry Jeudy, we'll find out when Bennett shows up to organized team activities.
But in a more serious way of looking at things, the Patriots used to be a rough-and-tumble team that felt high brow and blue collar at the same time — which is very much in line with New England as a whole. Brady, despite his model looks and perfectly coiffed hair, was a product of hard work and not letting any mistake stand. The Patriot Way, which was born out of the peak Brady-Belichick Years, has been left behind, it seems.
Bennett can bring it back, even if he doesn't see the field.
"My dad used to tell me this story about Erk Russell," Bennett once said. "Daddy walked on at Georgia Southern when Erk was there. First team meeting of the year, coach Russell just walked in and wrote, 'Do right.' Do right. As far as football goes, I was just always trying to do right. Do the best that I can to get to where I wanted."
If that doesn't sound like a New England Patriot, then I don't know what does.
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