“The player development is the main thing I like (about Michigan),” Williams said. “You can see that they develop their players. They get them in the gym and they work them hard. And their hard work pays off.”
For the past few weeks, I’ve been pretty vocal about my rooting interest in seeing Denard Robinson become Michigan’s starting quarterback, and have often gotten asked why. Scanning MGoBoard this morning, it appears as if the masses are suddenly all a-twitter about Mr. Robinson as well. Before the inevitable Denard-backlash strikes, I’d like to briefly explain my enthusiasm for the young man:
1. I enjoy rooting for the underdog. Unlike Tate, Denard wasn’t bred to be a quarterback, and hasn’t had the benefit of private lessons from the time he was weaned from breast-feeding. Tate was immediately tabbed the presumptive starter by many people on the internet – from commenters on this blog to Brian himself (check the tagline on the site). Obviously, I felt this was somewhat premature, given that Robinson had yet to set foot on campus. Tate has the benefit of years of additional training, and months of additional practice time in the offense – I think it’s a cool story that Denard is able to push him, and it says a lot about Denard’s competitiveness and overall talent-level that he’s able to do so.
2. Many here know me to be a contrarian. Would I derive a healthy amount of satisfaction seeing the legion of amateur-quarterback coaches on this site who write authoritative scouting reports based on 90 second highlight films to be proven wrong? I absolutely would. The gap between Robinson and Forcier, clearly, was oversold by these people from the jump, or the “competition” as it exists, wouldn’t be as intense as it apparently is.
3. Shoelace = Awesome.
4. By far, the most important factor, for me, is that Robinson is exciting. From the little we’ve seen, and the bit more we’ve heard, Robinson’s game is, for lack of a better word, sexy – he’s a touchdown waiting to happen. Forcier’s highest praise, really, is that he’s extremely fundamentally sound. To me, I know which one of those sounds more fun to watch – I’d prefer to watch a dynamic game-breaker than an effective game-manager. I was excited when Michigan hired Rodriguez, because, FINALLY, we had a coach that would find us a quarterback who would inflict as much running-QB trauma on the opposition as we’ve suffered at the hands of Dennis Dixon, Vince Young, Troy Smith, Donovan McNabb, Armanti Edwards, and even such luminaries as Jarious Jackson. Well – we’ve GOT one of those – Denard Robinson.
I want to be clear, however: I’m not a football coach. I know nothing about throwing mechanics. My opinion, really, is useless. What I’m laying out here is not “why Denard Robinson is better” – because I am thoroughly unqualified to say such a thing. What I’m saying is why I prefer Robinson.
My praise of Denard really drew out alot of dickheads on this forum, and you all know who you are. You know, the same ones who will be saying they knew all along how great Denard was gonna be.
I will say it again for those of you with selective memory and those who still have Forcier's shlong in their mouths.. ITS ALL ABOUT DENARD, and remember, it was DICLEMEG who has been telling you so since MARCH.
“Incest is wrong because it brings Buckeyes into the world”
This is the eleventh entry of the 2009 MGoShirt Alert, a design project that will enable MgoBlog readers to vote for upcoming designs in the new MGoBlogStore.
On Friday, I rolled out an unfinished design that I asked you, the MGoBlog faithful, to embellish with your unique senses of humor. To my delight, there was well over 100 responses, which can be viewed here in the event that you missed them. In the end, however, it was clear that one reader's suggestions gathered more steam than any other. Congratulations, then, is in order to Beegs, who came up with this:
I added the tagline below, after struggling with it most of the day yesterday during various home improvement jobs. In the end it just seemed to make perfect sense to bring it all back to the family values nonsense. This shirt may very well be asking for legal trouble, but it's all in malicious hate and ridicule of the enemy-- good times!
I also thought it was worth sharing my original 'final' design for the retro shirt, borrowing heavily from a Chrisgocomment word that I remember surfacing several months ago:
Since I've never heard, read or smelled the word 'douchenozzle' anywhere but here on MGoBlog, I thought it had some insider community appeal-- but in the end it was definitely worthwhile to open the shirt design up to the MGoCommunity instead. Thanks again to everyone who got involved... we're less than two weeks away from the opener boys!! GO BLUE!!
Time to vote. What do you guys think of Beegs' shirt?
|pollcode.com free polls|
|What do you think of MgoShirt #11?|
|Five Stars Four Stars Three Stars Two Stars One Star|
***** Five Stars: Justin Boren puts all but one slice away from 3 whole pies! If only he could find someone on campus to add all dem up!
**** Four Stars: Boren scarfs down 2 pizzas and still has room for bread sticks.
*** Three Stars: Benedict Arnold eats an entire pie himself, for breakfast.
** Two Stars: 6 slices. He just doesn't have an appetite until snow plow season.
* One Star: Justin can barely get down 3 slices. Fat quitter Buckeye bastard.
There's been a lot of questioning about how final judging will work-- it's quite simple, really. I'll take the poll results of each design, and weigh them against the star value of their vote: In other words, every five-star vote will get multiplied by five, every four-star vote will be multiplied by four, etc. until a final 'score' is tallied for each design. That score will then be divided by the total number of voters to get an overall average score. I think we're going to go with the three highest-rated shirt designs and have a final deathmatch poll to determine the winner, probably a week from today.
Tomorrow I look forward to unveiling the shirt known simply as "The Woodson." Until then, see you next time for another exciting edition of-- MGoShirt Alert!
- Michigan players find better communication in Robinson defense (link)
- Bielema remains firm on suspensions, cause still unknown (link)
- Wisconsin may start redshirt freshman at Quarterback over Sherer, Clay No. 2 back (link)
- MSU quarterbacks feature mixed results, freshman Caper leads pack (link)
- Preseason Butkus Award list features Seven Big Ten players, including UM's Ezeh (link)
- Five Big Ten Players on Rimington watch list, including Michigan's Molk (link)
- Seven Big Ten Players on Nagurski watch list, including Michigan's Graham (link)
- Minnesota to utilize the Wildcat offense. (link)
- MSU offensive line continues to shift as injuries in replacement slots persist (link)
- RS Freshman Brinson may be Greene's replacement in Iowa (link)
- Graham on ESPN top 25 draft board (link)
- Illinois cornerback and expected starter/contributor out for season with torn ACL (link)
- MSU's "Celebrate the State" Michigan directional scheduling bonanza (link)
- ESPN Big Ten Position Rankings: Special teams: UM #2 (link)
- Indiana starting true freshman at DT ($$$ link), Seven projected starters missed a practice or more this past week (link)
- OSU linebacker Spitler with strained calf, return unsure only in timing (link)
1. Illinois - plenty of proven experience across the board at skill and line positions
2. Iowa - their offensive line should be terrific
4. OSU - TP and O-line experience put them just above Michigan if Blue doesn't hit on all cylinders, which I am assuming
5. Penn State - O-line and receivers need to prove themselves first
6. Wisconsin - seems to have too many new starters to rank any higher
7. MSU - I think they are generally overrated given the rebuilding throughout the backfield and along the line
8. Northwestern - less worse than the remainder
9. Purdue - less worse than the remainder
10. Minnesota - less worse than Indiana
11. Indiana - going to be a rough year
Why Michigan #3? Well, I think that if everything goes according to RR's plan, Tate has a good year recognizing defenses and feeding the dot receivers and TEs, Minor can go for 1400 yards behind a much more solid O-line, avoid turnovers, and the stretch O begins to finally spread its wings. There are many hopeful ifs in there, but that's the point. I think if Michigan can get things rolling early, we might see dramatic results. Much of the rest of the Big 10 will have questions to answer themselves offensively. Even if Michigan is more "average" to expectations, I see it in the top 5 offensively, which will take pressure off the defense, too, in terms such as time of possession, field position, playmaking etc.
1. OSU - reloading at linkbacker seems to be their biggest question
2. Iowa - if their line performs well, they might be the best defensively
4. Penn State - secondary kinda feels like Michigan's last year to me
5. MSU - enough quality returning to be formidable
6. Wisconsin - solid, but not special
7. Northwestern - secondary and LB play should be decent
8. Illinois.- unimpressive D last year bleeds into this one
9. Purdue - they are at least one step up from the stench of the cellar
10. Indiana - in the battle for worst, they lose because of their D-line
11. Minnesota - not less worse than Indiana
Why Michigan #3 again? There are certainly equally significant ifs on the defensive side of the ball, and healthy skepticism in the team's ability to meet these goals, but hear me out. If Graham and Martin can be nasty all Big 10ers, Ezeh be a 100 tackle stud, and secondary avoid the big play thanks to strong play from Warren and Turner, with solid pursuit angles and tackling across the board, I think GERG's scheme will be well-suited to the offensive schemes in the Big 10.
This kind of offensive and defensive scenario would see a radical shift in the give-away/take-away margin. And, if players just held the ball last year, where would it have ended?
I am not going to try to translate this optimism into wins and losses, just thought I'd put it out there for consideration.
I am not rating the kicking games, but since we have one of the most powerful forces binding the fabric of space punting...
Was able to catch essentially three quarters of the Jones' game tonight (the other couple we went with, who drove, wanted to leave just into the 4th, so I didn't have much choice). I intended to keep stats, but this was the first football game that I've ever been to where they didn't sell programs (at least on the visiting side) so I didn't have anything to write on. Sorry, I'll be better prepared next week. Now for some points of review:
- First things first: Spartanburg High was incredibly out coached in this game, so everything that follows (and probably all season) should be viewed through the lens of terrible play calling and utilization of available talent. They continually tried to run the ball up the middle when it was apparent to everyone in the stadium that doing so was futile.
- Second, Jones' receivers have hands of stone. Also needs to be kept in mind when reviewing Jones' stats, probably for the rest of the season. I would pretty safely predict that Jones will have terrible stats this season that are not entirely (or at all) reflective of his abilities.
- Third, tonight's game was against Dorman High who was the only team to beat Byrnes last year (ranked preseason #2 nationally) and looked pretty solid again this year. Dorman is also approximately twice as big as Spartan High (Dorman has about 3,200 students in grades 10-12 and Spartan High has about 1,800 students in grades 10-12).
- Running - Jones is not nearly as fast as I expected him to be. I can't seem to find a 40 time on any of the recruiting sites, but if I had to guess I would say he's probably 4.5 at best, and that's probably generous. He did seem to be able to cut fairly well and did make good reads on the cut backs. It was difficult to tell if his inability to make plays with his legs was because he wasn't as fast as anticipated or because the defenders were faster than anticipated (remember, he was playing a pretty darn good team). It's not that he's slow, just not as fast as I thought he would be. He's probably the fastest player that Spartan High had on offense, but my guess is that Dorman High's offense had at least 4 players on the field on every play who were faster. This is a point that I will be certain to reevaluate next week.
- Passing - Jones is a pretty accurate passer in the short passing game (less than 15 yards), but struggled with accuracy beyond that. He had average velocity on his long balls and was probably a little too forceful with the short passes. He had at least a half dozen passes in the 0 to 15 yard range that were right on the money and just flat out dropped, mainly all by the same receiver and in critical situations. He really seemed to struggle throwing the ball down field. He was either long or floated the ball on virtually every pass over 15 yards. That said, on the balls that he was long on he had good velocity. He was more accurate on the run than when in the pocket on both the long and short passes. He seemed to make good reads, although the play calling didn't afford many options. I have no idea why, but most of their plays started from a single back, double tight end formation and typically either both tight ends would stay in and block with the back releasing or one tight end would release and the back would stay. Either way, the most options he ever had on any given pass play were three receiving options. He seemed to process the reads well and quickly, especially on short routes and was effective at placing the ball at places where only his receiver could catch it. When routes were covered he appeared to make good decisions to bail out and run, but again he wasn't nearly as fast as I anticipated so this mitigated the effectiveness in such situations. I don't know the final stats for sure, but I would be surprised if he rushed for more than 20 yards tonight.
- With all of this, definitely remember that all of these observations are just off of one game that is the first game of the season and was against a very formidable opponent. Altogether I would assess, at least in week one, that Jones is a more effective passer than runner, although his passing skills are very raw. With proper coaching I don't have any doubt that Jones could develop into an effective passer, but he certainly is not there yet. It is also worth keeping in mind, as I said before, when reports on Jones come in through the season in the media, remember that it does not appear that the coaching staff are particularly effective at calling plays or making in game adjustments and that he doesn't have what appear to be particularly skilled receivers to through to. Just my two cents for this week. I'll report back after every game that we attend, which should be all but one or two.
For those who are wondering, the reason why the thread was titled this way is that there is a dispute over the spelling of his first name (i.e. whether it is Cornelius or Conelius). I intended to obtain a program to settle the matter, but as I said previously they didn't have any programs. The PA announcer said Cornelius, but again it was an away game, so I wouldn't take that as evidence either way.
Also, I realize that this is a double post. I should have posted it as a diary to begin with, but I messed up. I will be sure to get it right in the future. In other words, I'm sorry, so please refrain from the snarky comments.