Les Snead sheds light on Stetson Bennett’s time away in 2023: ‘It was very beneficial for him’

Stetson Bennett was the Los Angeles Rams’ fourth-round pick in 2023 but he didn’t suit up for a single regular-season game. Not because the Rams didn’t need him with Matthew Stafford at quarterback, but because he spent the year on the non-football illness list for an undisclosed reason.

It was an unusual way for a quarterback to spend his rookie season, but Bennett is back with the team now and working through OTAs. It’s encouraging, especially after Sean McVay couldn’t say at the end of last season whether Bennett would be with the Rams in 2024.

Rams GM Les Snead spoke about Bennett in a recent interview on News19 in Alabama and he shed some light on the quarterback’s absence in 2023. He didn’t say why he was away from the team all year, but he said it was good for Bennett to be able to take a step back and spend some time out of football.

Snead says Bennett was “an exhausted human being” because of everything he went through during his college career, so spending a season away from football was good for him, according to Snead.

“I know this: Last year was very beneficial for him. I think he took advantage of that year away from the game,” Snead said. “You know what, he’s an exhausted human being based on everything he had done to walk on, to go to JUCO, to come back, to turn down small schools, say ‘I’m going to try to do this Georgia thing.’ To win a job, then to win the thing, and then to determine, ‘I’m going to come back.’ And when you come back, it’s really win it again or you failed. And that does take a toll on a human being, so I was jacked for Stetson to be able to take that moment and breathe a little bit.”

Snead was asked whether he’s glad the Rams drafted Bennett, and he didn’t leave much doubt about that. He and the Rams are happy to have drafted the Georgia quarterback in 2023.

“Looking back, for sure. I think our ecosystem was going to be very good for him and we had a plan for him, whichever direction it went,” Snead said. “And so there was a luxury that we had. And we had gone through it the year before where we had won a Super Bowl and it really started when we lost our first one but we were an exhausted building so there was an element of understanding the toll it takes to put a team, to do your part. The responsibility of the QB, and in our sake, we saw what taking a break, giving some guys a break from the game to get refreshed – I call it, to get bored and fall back in love with the game you grew up playing in the backyard.”

Snead added that he’s excited to see Bennett play this summer because “preseason football – and I’ll probably get in trouble for this – is absolutely boring to watch,” but Bennett brings some fun to the position with his ability to make plays off-schedule.

“But when you get a player like Stetson, he’s fun,” Snead said. “He’s got a little backyard ball to him where he uses his mobility to make some off-schedule plays, that makes preseason football fun. So I look forward to seeing how he evolves.”

Bennett is getting reps behind Stafford and Jimmy Garoppolo this spring and will compete to be the Rams’ No. 3 quarterback this season, assuming they keep three passers on the 53-man roster come September.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire