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Kirby Smart unconcerned with critique from Justin Fields’ father

ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart said Jake Fromm and Justin Fields are doing “a great job competing,” and didn’t seem overly concerned with comments made by Fields’ father in an ESPN interview.

The Bulldogs’ quarterback situation has been closely monitored through spring and fall drills, and the scrutiny figures to increase after Fields’ father spoke indirectly about the competition. 

Pablo Fields said Alabama’s decision to bench Jalen Hurts in favor of Tua Tagovailoa “wasn’t an Einstein move” in an article angled at his son taking over for Jake Fromm.

“They weren’t going to win that game without the switch,” Pablo Fields said. “They just weren’t. But I hope that opens eyes because teams will do it in every [other] spot — tackle, guard, center. They’ll figure a way. But playing the best quarterback, sometimes there’s a big blowback — especially if it’s an unseen commodity.”

Smart and Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney have had their eyes opened to Fields, the 5-star recruit who played at Harrison High School, through spring and fall drills.

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Both coaches have bent over backwards to make it clear the Bulldogs’ have open competition at every position, including quarterback, even after Fromm led the team to an SEC championship.

“You don’t rule anything out,” Chaney said, asked if Georgia might consider a two-quarterback system.

Smart said at the start of fall camp he’s “excited to see” what Fields can do, and he provided positive feedback on both quarterbacks following last Saturday’s 150-play scrimmage.

Both Fromm and Fields, Smart said, had good command of the huddle.

Smart said the Bulldogs “try to have a policy” where things that happen in the locker room stay internal.

“We try to have a policy on our team that everything that happens within our family stays within our family, we ask our players to deal with the media in the right direction,” Smart said, “because we have one voice on this team, and that’s my voice, and the players obviously have their own.”

Fields’ father obviously felt it appropriate that he have a voice in this instance.

Smart made it clear outside comments won’t have an effect on who he plays at quarterback or any other position.

“I think it’s important that it’s a team goal that we will play the best players,” Smart said, “that we will do the best thing we can to help our team.”

Fromm, Smart said, is far ahead of where he was at this stage last season.

“He’s much more comfortable; you can’t even imagine from last year to now,” Smart said. “His development has been good because he’s played all these games. He has really good command of the huddle and has good presence.”

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