What is the best strategy for LA Rams to develop rookie QB Stetson Bennett?
By Bret Stuter
There is not a lot of middle ground over the LA Rams' selection of former Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett, and that feels about par for the course. While the Rams waited to use the 126th overall pick in Round 4 of the 2023 NFL Draft, any selection of a player who is destined to be a bench-sitting backup is going to get mixed reactions from fans. And that's fine because we all have an emotional stake in the LA Rams, which brings with it a sense of review and personal commentary over decisions that the team makes.
But now that he is on the team, what is the best strategy for LA Rams to develop rookie QB Stetson Bennett? Is his NFL career solely to stand in the shadow of starting quarterback Matthew Stafford? Will the LA Rams front office consider one of our previous article strategies, and plan to develop rookie quarterbacks as future trade bait to land better draft picks? Perhaps with another quarterback. But for now, the Rams appear to be quite content with their current rookie selection.
And here is one reason why:
So what is the best way to plan to use Stetson Bennett this season? One simple phrase comes to mind: Emergency use only.
Stetson Bennett needs time to adapt
The key to getting the most out of backup quarterback Stetson Bennett is to carefully limit his exposure until he is ready to shine in the NFL spotlight. It's already quite clear that some have a bone to pick with Rams backup quarterback Stetson Bennett, going so far as to troll the guy for not graduating from the University of Georgia with a degree. That's just whimsical nonsense, as the presence of a college degree means very little to a professional athlete. While the NFL has the best track record of college graduations, less than half of NFL players hold a degree. Of that number, many NFL players return to school after establishing themselves in the NFL to finish their college.
If lacking a bachelor's degree is so controversial, imagine the outpouring of negative narratives if Stetson does not shine in his first live NFL action?
The key is to keep Stetson Bennett under wraps. Let him learn the LA Rams offense inside and out to the point where he knows as much as starting quarterback Matthew Stafford. Work him hard in training camp, and give him plenty of snaps in NFL preseason games. But beyond that? Let him watch, observe, learn, and get hungry.
Much like Baker Mayfield, Stetson Bennett will not wilt under pressure. In fact, he will likely rise to the occasion. So why rush the guy to compete too soon? The bigger the stage, the brighter the spotlight, the better this guy will perform. Will that help his development? I believe whole heartedly yes. And it will keep him out of sight from the social media trolls who are already showing just how desperately they want to decry Bennett's NFL career.