For those of you who keep up with the constant media buzz out of Michigan camp, it seems like the QB competition this fall is close:
Yes, I know that last one is about running backs. Keep in mind for later.
Rodriguez says this about the QBs...
Could that be taken to mean the Wolverines will go with two quarterbacks?
"Oh, I don't know," Rodriguez said. "I mean, I know. I'm just not ready to tell you."
And, from QBs coach Smith:
"We're interested in wins and losses," Smith said. "If it takes two, it takes two. If it takes five, it takes five." [Empahsis mine.]
First, is it too early to panic about the QBs? And does this mean Threet is no good? And how many QBs will Michigan use? What is it that RR knows that he won't tell us?
In my opinion the answers are, no- go ahead and panic (but see below), yes (at least for now), at least 4, and he won't tell us that basically, "we haven't got one." No offense to Sheridan, but if a supposedly good recruit in Threat is not clearly better than someone from Saline then he is currently not impressing anyone. I know that so far Justin Feagan has been no good in practice, but mark my words he will play, even if it's only that he learns 3 plays by heart and does only those. (Waggle, anyone? Ok, probably not.)
So, when RR names the starter in a few days (he says he will in a few more practices), it's not going to matter one bit who it is. At least it won't now.
So minor injuries aside (hopefully), I take the 3rd article above as more or less proof that Carlos Brown will be playing "quarterback" a lot, and that position is going to require quotation marks this season. If CB plays "QB", we will require more running backs, and the new guys are good, so they get to play. That is not a huge surprise since Brown has lined up as QB in practice and everyone has seen him doing it. However, everyone seems to be focusing on Threet and Sheridan- but aren't we missing something?
It's hard to tell what to make of Michigan's new information-Rich environment, but I think the conslusion here is that the QB "race" between our two "throwers" isn't actually that important- I mean it's important in that we aren't going to have a really good QB this year, but now that neither of them are that special, it's not that important WHICH of the "throwers" plays.
We were deperately hoping that Threet could be the guy. He was rated coming out of Adrian, and at least had been in school a year. But he's not that guy. If he was, we'd know. If he was any good at all, no other QB would see the light of day. Whatever RR disinformation you might believe in, Threet having a tough time so far is not disinformation. Now that he's not THE guy:
1. We are going to run all the time. Last year WVU ran about 70% of the time. This year we will approach 80%. I think RR was prepared for this, even lining up Carlos Brown in the spring. We were going to run a lot anyway, now we're going to run more. Since the emphasis will be on "running", I think the plan is simply to play more "runners" and less "throwers" at QB. I bet you see some zero QB sets this year. The "throwing" we will do will be all short throws- bubbles and misdirections to pint-sized receivers.
2. The backfield sets will include no less than a billion crazy sets in which we have lots of different running backs running, running backs (Carlos Brown) playing "QB", and electron wide outs running on misdirection plays. This is a simple calculation, our RBs are so much better than our QBs that we will simply choose one position over the other since we are going to run a lot anyway.
3. The hope is that Justin Feagan will play more and more as the year goes on. At the moment this doesn't seem really super likely but don't think he won't get the chance against MAC teams like Toledo and Notre Dame (zing!).
4. I would start to be concerned about the OL at this point, because the offensive season is in their hands now, and news is not encouraging. Now that we know the QBs aren't super good, the OL is the biggest X factor left- and with inuries it's becoming more X by the day. We are moving DLs to OL- alarm bells are ringing.
5. No, we are not going to consider the possibility that Sheridan becomes a good and able starting quarterback. I'll go ahead and hope that I'm wrong to dismiss that possibility, but I'm not.
So, what's the point? The point is that this was the likely scenario all along, and RR was prepared for that. It's too bad that it's true, but it is, and it's not a surprise. So, should we be worried about the quarterback? Capital Y-E-S. But keep in mind Threet being awesome wasn't the planned scenario, we just had kind of hoped that it would all work out Somehow. Now that the situation we had kind of been hoping for in the back of our minds has not come true, we shouldn't be any more worried than we were last fall, or than we were this spring. I think it's unlikely that any of the quarterbacks from this year plays extensively next year, with a double asterisk for Feagan (* suddenly becoming awesome, less likely, ** switching positions, more likely), and by the time October 2009 comes around we'll never see them again. But really, if you think about it, that was the hope anyway.