here's one vote for "John Beilein's head in a Futurama jar"
Answer: Antwaan Randle-El, Pat White, Kordell Stewart.
Question: Name three athletic college QB's who excelled at the position in college but were moved to other positions in the NFL.
Would these players have been drafted higher, and been better prepared to contribute in the NFL, if they had made those position switches in college?
Would Denard Robinson be better off (e.g. drafted higher, bigger contract) if he were to switch to WR or CB now rather than insist on playing QB in college when he has virtually no chance of playing the position in the NFL?
NOTE: This is NOT intended to start a Denard vs. Tate QB discussion. I am genuinely curious about the opinions of the board as to the advisability of Denard's remaining at QB in college vis-a-vis his NFL future.
So I just finished watching the Spring Game for a 5th time, and I will admit that watching it that many times has changed the opinion that I had after the first time that I watched the game. First of all, thanks to MgoVideo for posting the 720p torrent so that I could watch the game as often as possible!
So, I only concentrated on Tate's and Denard's drives. This was because I don't see Devin making huge strides this year to supplant both of these QB's. His plays reminded me of Denard's last year, except Devin can run the Zone Read a bit better than Denard at this point of his career (# of practices, that is, since Denard didn't enroll early). That may seem like something that shouldn't just be glossed over, but Devin's inability to read the defenses in the passing game, along with his penchant to revert to his shotput throw under durress causes me to be a bit dismissive. He IS the future, and the future looks bright, but why rush it?
So, after watching the two QB's, I have to say that I do not see Tate and the inevitable #2 nor do I see Denard as the inevitable #1. I'll share what I have, and see if maybe it gives some people a different perspective. I guess I should say that I don't personally care who starts for this team. I don't think a single person is ever bigger than the team.
So, I counted the number of pass plays called, run plays called, and put a check mark next to pass plays that I would consider those that forced the QB to "read the defense". So, WR Screens, HB Screens, etc. wouldn't get a check mark.
Tate: 35 plays, 19 pass plays, 16 run plays
Out of the 19 pass plays, Tate suffered 2 "sacks" due to the pressure from the #1 defense. So, unlike the official box score I actually have 17 passes that Tate threw (completing 10), not 16. Out of the 19 pass plays that have Tate as the QB, 5 required looking downfield and disecting the defense. 1 of these resulted in an Incomplete and 1 resulted in a "Sack". So, 14 pass plays were screens or rollouts to one side of the field where Tate looked for a WR or TE on the play side sideline.
Denard: 30 plays, 16 pass plays, 14 run plays
Here I also have Denard going 9 for 12. Even though there were 16 pass plays, 4 of those had Denard tucking the ball and running for positive yards. Out of the 16 pass plays, though, only 2 required a reading of the defense, and both went to Roundtree. I did not include the 97-yard pass or the pass to T-Rob because both pass plays were a 4 Verticals route with the inside receiver slanting towards the opposite hash (thanks Mark Campbell!). The 2 I gave him included the PA Rollout left to Roundtree (he wasn't primary receiver, FB was, and Roy looked like he played a hitch or dig route) and the 2nd TD pass to Roundtree (was an all curls pattern, but Denard had to direct traffic and wait for a hole in the defense to thread it in there).
My conclusion was that we can win with either of these QBs and that we need to stop using the old-school mentality that you HAVE to have a #1 guy. The playcalling will be totally different based on who is in, but even if the same plays are called, they will have totally different packages depending on who is QB. With Tate, the Zone Read and Belly plays could be successful if they keep a TE in as a pulling H-Back type. That way the line could be used for the RB and the TE could pull in a trap-style block in case Tate wants to keep it (since he is Dilithium-deficient). With Denard, I think the passing game becomes more simplified with more 4- or 5-WR sets so that he has the gaps to take off or be powerful in the Zone Read scheme.
I just think that if you only saw the game in attendance or once or twice, take another look. I was much more excited for both QBs after the last time I watched.
As a sidenote, I bombarded everyone with a lot on the QBs, but I did have other observations:
1. Will Campbell was destroying Centers and Guards all day, but the Michael Cox TD was due in large part because Will pushed himself right out of the play. If he kept his head up he would've eaten....no wait, that would be inappropriate...
2. Love the nuances of the new defense, and can't wait to see who ends up at Spur, since Kovacs seems to have that Bandit positon locked up.
3. I think Brian was the one that pointed out that the weakness of having guys like Mike Williams and Kovacs as the SS's was that the 4 Verticals route would expose their lack of speed, yet RichRod ran that play several times. Maybe film or GERG?
"Even stoic Wolverine fans crave a basis for some kind of optimism. As of Saturday, whether or not he actually pulled ahead of Forcier for the full-time role in any meaningful way, Robinson is it. You may now get carried away."
(First off - I know, I know. It's the off season. Gimme a break.)
Alright, so, I managed to stomach some of the grammar over at GBMW, and I came away with a few interesting tidbits. According to them, Tate and Denard look about even, with Denard's legs giving him a slight edge. They also said, however, that the offenses aren't running any plays to stretch the field at all right now, so whether that's because the QB's aren't up to it (Tate's shoulder?) or they're just working on other stuff, I don't know.
They also said the split in time right now is about 50% Denard, 40% Tate, 10% Devin, and that Devin is making substantial process, and though he's behind on the learning curve, he can do things the other two just can't. So go with me on this for a minute:
Rodriguez has stated on numerous occasions that the intention with Denard is to get him on the field wherever possible. We know that he's a ridiculous athletic talent, but to this point, he's proven to be a gamble whether he'll hurt or help more, and that's likely to always be the case to some extent.
Tate has proven to be a ridiculously awesome QB sometimes, but, also clearly has physical limitations. That can't really be argued. He's always going to be a touch smaller, a touch slower, with a touch less arm. But we do know, when healthy, he's awesome. He's not quite the athlete Denard is, but he's a safe bet to make plays and keep us in the game.
Then you've got Devin, who has the true star power potential to take us to new heights. He's simply not there yet, but actually could be at some point this year.
So then, I think we see the logic behind the QB process here. The goal is to eventually get Devin starting, at which point you don't want to relegate TWO other exceptional talents to the bench. So, we work the offense with Denard to make sure he's really good at what he's good at, then coach him on other positions. We start out the year with two QB's, similar to last year, and eventually, if and when he's ready, we work in Devin. At that point, we rotate uber-athlete Denard entirely to other positions, so we're not wasting two exceptional talents on the bench at any one time, and the QB rotation becomes Forcier-Gardner instead, with Robinson full time at other positions. Eventually, Gardner transitions to the full or most of the time starting role, and we end up with this:
Awesome, super athletic, NC winning starting QB.
Backup/split time QB that the rest of college football would kill to have as their full time starter
Athletic playmaker in the vein of Randle-El or someone similar, who takes over the game all over the field, and occasionally lines up at center to mess with defenses heads.
THAT, my friends, is a dream scenario.
Apparently, Jeff Demps, a running back in FL, has run the fastest time, so far, in the world in the 100m dash. 10.11 was his time.
After demanding that the press respect Demps and make no comparison to anyone who could be faster, Urban Meyer said Demps "can do whatever he wants to do."
If odds were 3 to 1 in favor of Denard, would you take?
If there was a way to set up the foot race (perhaps this year in pre-bowl festivities) would you want to see Denard light him up?