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Stetson Bennett has some words for the Senior Bowl’s executive director

Stetson Bennett has some words for the Senior Bowl’s executive director

Things are slow, which means that things that wouldn’t hit the radar screen when things aren’t slow otherwise make a blip.

Here’s something that made a blip.

In response to the nonsensical “Baby Gronk” phenomenon, Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy posted a lengthy tweet aimed at making the point that preparing a kid to play pro football at a young age doesn’t matter. That at the end of the day, it’s about being big and strong and fast and willing to run full speed into other football players — and the development of this skills is irrelevant to any amount of training during childhood years.

“If you’re none of those things, good luck,” Nagy concluded. “Rarely matters when you start grooming your kids.”

Nagy’s take is relevant for some positions. For others, like quarterback, a sudden growth spurt or some fluke incident that gives the player a rocket arm overnight won’t really matter if the player has little or no experience at reading defenses, processing information before and during the play, studying playbooks and film, and/or leading other football players.

Rams quarterback Stetson Bennett opted for something more direct than that, in response to Nagy.

“’Rarely matters when you start grooming your kids,'” Bennett tweeted. “Thank you for the overarching parental advice, Jim. Perhaps parents with dreams for their kids, or kids with dreams in general, should only listen to you, master king of talent evaluation. Lol — a scout who saw an opportunity…”

There’s a history here. Bennett declined an invitation to attend the Senior Bowl. And Nagy then described Bennett as a low-round prospect.

“The only quarterbacks in the last five years since I’ve been here that we haven’t gotten in the past were Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence,” Nagy previously said, via Jonathan Williams of SI.com. “Those guys were the presumptive No. 1 overall picks. We called around before we started to reach out to Stetson’s people, and he was a sixth- or seventh-round pick, which is a lot better than he was going into the year, which was a priority free agent.”

The Rams picked Bennett in round four, even without Bennett attending the Senior Bowl.

The selection was a surprise, given that Bennett widely was regarded as a guy who would go in the later rounds. How much did Nagy’s comments influence Bennett’s perceived status? It clearly didn’t affect the Rams.

Still, Bennett seems to hold a grudge. It’s hard to fault him for that. The Senior Bowl is a business, and it relies on as many prospects as possible showing up and participating. If too many players decline to continue to practice and play football for free after not getting paid for two or three or four years, the Senior Bowl will become a junior-high production, at best.

That said, it’s Nagy’s job to get players to come. But it’s easy to see why Bennett would regard Nagy dismissing Bennett as a sixth- or seventh-round pick as sour grapes.

Stetson Bennett has some words for the Senior Bowl’s executive director originally appeared on Pro Football Talk