Kirby Smart takes issue with JT Daniels question: I've been coaching for 25 years
Georgia coach Kirby Smart on one hand understood why media and fans are wondering why it took until now for JT Daniels to start since the quarterback himself said Saturday night that it was a “coaches decision” since Week 2.
Production-wise Daniels had the best numbers for a Georgia quarterback since 2013 when he put up 401 passing yards on 28-for-38 passing with four touchdowns in the win over Mississippi State.
“Absolutely I would,” Smart said of people wondering about his decision. “But I also think people need to take into consideration that I’ve been coaching football for I don’t know how many years, 20 or 25 years and God knows (offensive coordinator Todd) Monken has probably doubled me as old as he is. There’s not a decision that we make as coaches, as a coaching staff, as an offensive coaching staff, five guys that I adore and think the world of … maybe the question should be, man, aren’t they glad they’ve got JT here, when nobody thought that maybe they needed him.”
It is still unclear how mobile Daniels was earlier in the season, and how mobile Smart and Monken believed he needed to be to face the likes of Alabama and Florida. Perhaps they weren’t confident in his confidence in his injured knee to put him out there against those top 10 teams.
“Would I have loved him to go out and do that same thing to other teams? Absolutely. But the decisions were made on who we felt gave us the best opportunity to win, and a lot of that had to do with mobility and Stetson’s play,” Smart said. “As Stet struggled, we had to look for other options. He did a great job with his opportunity, he also had some help in receivers that came back and how Mississippi State played them. I don’t want to use that to demean how he played. He played unbelievable. I’m as proud as hell for the way he played. But every decision we make is who gives us the best opportunity to win the game and the men in that room who are making those decisions, they’ve got a lot of experience doing it.”