It's imhe on mgoblog
AP: Everybody Panic! Internet: Eh, Not So Much, Probably
In the unorganized morass that is my non-Thunderbird inbox there is one email labeled “URGENT!” by its sender and it points to this article, specifically the headline:
Wolverines plan to play 3 QBs in opener, coach Rich Rodriguez says
Though this has since been changed to "Michigan Eyes Quarterback Shuffle" without any mention of the previous 50-point bowel-destroyer—as is the wont of media organizations whose OMG HITS editors go too far with their provocative headlines, see "Win at All Costs" and Detroit Free Press—you can see the remnants of the original in the title tag. (Unless this, too, has been altered without notice by the time you read this.)
Though Rodriguez dismisses the "if you've got two, you've got none" axiom about binary quarterbacks—ie, the only valid digits are 0 and 1—surely if you've got three you've got none. And that goes double when one of the three completed 16 of 49 in the last two games of last season and looks like Billy Bob Thornton just got done cutting his hair in The Man Who Wasn't There.
Doctor Saturday, however, points out that the headline does not match the quote in the article:
beware the extreeeeemely misleading headline hitting all the wires Sunday that suggests Rich Rodriguez may rotate three quarterbacks in the Wolverines' opener against Western Michigan. That header is based on a teasing throwaway line -- "Maybe we’ll have three starting quarterbacks," Rodriguez said. "That would be neat." -- from the bottom of an obligatory media day story whose first 23 paragraphs focus exclusively on freshman's Denard Robinson's totally quirky habit of playing with his shoelaces untied.
Rodriguez's statements, in fact, have a distinct air of noncommittal football coachspeak (which obviously):
"Until we play a game and see how they perform under game conditions we won’t know for sure if anybody solidifies the starting role," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez declined to identify a frontrunner. Asked if he's seen separation from the three candidates, he said, "Some days, and some days I don't."
And the most recent post on this blog contains a full-fledged debunk from Tim Sullivan on the matter:
The "all 3 QBs will take snaps" AP article floating around is really disingenuous. The only time Rodriguez mentioned such a thing was a joke that all 3 would play at the same time. While it wouldn't surprise me if all three guys took some snaps against Western, this current talk is really much ado about nothing.
Okay, panic averted, especially given the AP guy's previous unreliability* and the half-retracted headline above.
When asked if for the opener, there’s a good chance each of the three quarterbacks (Sheridan, Forcier, Robinson) will take snaps, Rodriguez’s answer was, “Yes. Yeah. In what order and how many (snaps) I couldn’t tell you. Right now all three of them look like they’ll play in the opener.” I gasped.
I pinged Tim again and he recalled that quote as referring to the entire season, but he didn't want to call Greg a liar and neither do I. The totally reliable Angelique Chengelis also has the same quote but adds a disclaimer Greg left out: "Again, it's two weeks out. There is a lot that's going to happen in the next two weeks."
So what we have here is both an object lesson on the multifaceted nature of perception and awareness—yea, verily our lives are not that different from those of the common housefly even if we've evolved away from the compound eye—and what appears to be an admission by Rich Rodriguez that the freshmen are not clearly superior to a guy who was Not Good a year ago.
I still think this is complete horsecrap coachspeak and Nick Sheridan's time as a starter has expired, by the way, but the quote is the quote, unless it's not. Here's another quote, with the bold mine:
"We've gotten it out of some of the young quarterbacks, Denard and Tate (Forcier) and even Nick (Sheridan). Nick has improved his play, and some of the new guys (and) the new freshmen have come on."
"Even our redshirt junior." Compound eyes and all that. Could the official site please start posting full transcripts?
*(Assumption: unnamed AP reporter is Larry Lage since he's the local AP guy who covers Michigan stuff. 1) Lage got on the radio a couple weeks ago and claimed he "did not buy" Michigan's home-and-home with UConn was a real thing because it had only been reported by the UConn Rivals site. At that point it had made it into originally-sourced pieces in Connecticut newspapers, IIRC, and anyway anyone with their ear to the ground couldn't help but have heard from someone who it was. 2) Remember the "Get a life" kerfuffle towards the tail end of last year? It was Lage who sliced a detailed answer from Rodriguez on how he deals with fans into the most unflattering two sentences he could and thereby ignited Yet Another Dumb Media Firestorm. Moral: take AP stuff on Michigan with a grain of salt.)
Meanwhile in Denard Robinson. I am somewhat less certain that Tate Forcier is the once and forever starter than I was on Wednesday when I told a bar full of people "there are no people not named Tate Forcier" but it's not Sheridan that's caused the wobble. It's Denard Robinson, the real focus of the story that started the above hubbub and this year's "you may remember me from such Mountaineers as" target.
QB coach Rod Smith:
Offensive coordinator Calvin Magee said Robinson is bigger than Pat White was when he came to West Virginia as a freshman, and quarterbacks coach Rod Smith said Robinson's speed compares favorably to White's.
“I don’t want to blow him up, but he’s fast," Smith said. "He’s fast. It’s fun to watch because when he breaks through - and I love Pat to death, but I’m not so sure this kid - he’s fast. They’re close."
Indeed, the official site's "Letters from Camp" has a lot of stuff like this:
• Robinson scored on a 58-yard run around the left side of the offensive line.
• Quarterback Denard Robinson had a pair of plays over 40 yards, including a 45-yard TD pass to receiver Greg Mathews in the two minute drill.
• Quarterback Denard Robinson accounted for four touchdowns at practice, scoring a pair of rushing scores and tossing two TD strikes.
• During a third down drill, Robinson escaped from the pocket and had a long 72-yard touchdown run down the right sideline.
• The practice session ended as Robinson tossed a 78-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brandon Moore down the right hash mark.
And Fred Jackson's gotten all McGuffie on him, with bonus sad type of program under Carr quote:
"I promise you this, there ain't nobody in the country who can catch him," Jackson said. "In my 18 years here, I've never seen a kid that fast. Nowhere. And I've seen some fast kids on other teams, (but) I've never seen anybody that fast.
"I mean, it's scary. Every time you miss him in practice, strike the band up, it's a touchdown. He's going to shock a lot of people."
This time last year that hype was going to a kid now at Rice. Jackson might not have been totally wrong—since McGuffie had his moments and if he hadn't gotten his face crushed could have been a change-of-pace back or a slot receiver—but the "I've never seen a kid like this!" gambit doesn't work if you use it every year.
At the very least, Robinson will get a snap or a drive or a package from game one and will be given an opportunity to show whether or not "Denard Robinson is made of dilithium" translates to games.
How much do you want to bet that the Brent Musberger's of the world are just salivating at the prospect of being able to run the nickname "Shoelace" into the ground this Fall. What's the over/under on how many times we're going to hear the Shoelace story on game broadcasts this year?
It'd get annoying after a while, but I still hope we hear it 13 times this season.
Just saw read this quote from Sheridan in the Detroit News, touting his experience as trump card in the quarterback race:
"It won't be something new to me," Sheridan said. "I've run out of the tunnel and stepped on the field and played in front of 110,000, so I'd like to think that's something I've got going for me."
The first thing I thought was that he should have, for full disclosure, really have said: "I've run out of the tunnel and stepped on the field and played LIKE CRAP in front of 110,000, so I'd like to think that's something I've got going for me."
I don't care how much he played last year, my sanity will be tested anytime he's on the field this year. I don't care if Forcier or Robinson are playing, I'll feel better and more optimisic.
despite what Brian says, I think Sheridan is in the mix.
These quotes about their being even cannot just be coachspeak/smokescreen. Do you seriously believe he would have Sheridan taking snaps with the first team just to build media suspense? The kid is in the mix. He will very likely play. I will be upset.
That's not entirely true -- Tate's accuracy numbers in high school were very high, especially for a high school QB. You can teach mechanics and such all you want, but there's an element of accuracy that is either there or it isn't, and coaching can only do so much.
Wait, must win? Yeah, must win. Weird as hell to utter it aloud if you are a long time supporter of Wolverine Football. However, don't kid yourself, it's a huge game. When I think of UofM football I think of the 2006 season. 11-0, opening day victory over an SEC team. Then a M.A.C.-CMU drubbing, followed by a line of consecutive victories. And then barely losing to tOSU, coupled with a bowl game loss to the PAC-10. But, I think my history of Michigan Football kind of stops there. It then merges into a moment, a moment I am still sort of in. After giving up 21 points in the second quarter and the ensuing 34-32 opening day loss to Appalachian State, my ability to remember what I knew of Michigan is lost. My point is this, you can play 3,4 or 5 QB's coach if you want. But this team and it's fan need to stop the bleeding and win a home opener. I WISH it were like basketball or baseball where you could try this and that in pre-season tournaments. Football is a different animal, especially in these days of the BCS. So, if you are hoping to go to a bowl game as a Wolverine fan(as I am), well, I hope WMU is a W for you(us).
Go Big Blue.
Are you a NY Giants fan?
CPS...are you kidding? No way Furrha beats out Cone. No way. Check your efacts.
Hey, all three have their attributes. Coner's got the experience. (He is, after all, 1/1 for 21 yards. And against the LOLphers, no less.) Furrha's got...um...well, he's got "it". I can see it in his eyes. He wants to play. And Kennedy has a famous name.
Sure, RichRod says it could be any one of those guys, but let's face facts. It's Furrha.
You know that if Coner's out there, he's going to do the hand clap for the snap, and that'll only get him into his rhythm. Next thing you know, he's bustin' out mad rhymes, the OL gets confused and Moosman is called for a false start.
Kennedy is likely to get shot by someone mistaking him for the former president. Seriously. When have you last seen this guy? Never. He's in hiding and rightly so. Every day he goes to class is a race against death.
So who's left? I'll tell you who's left. All 5'11", 175 lbs. of Furrha. There's your starter. Book it.
I hope this isn't written in stone. I mean if the starter comes out and is moving the offense and looking decent, why change it?
Assuming Robinson isn't the starter, I can see maybe getting him there for a few snaps.
If guys are struggling, I could see them rotating QB's to try and find someone. However, if one of them is moving the offense and putting points on the board, I hope they don't rotate Qb's simply because that's what they were planning on doing.
I would agree with you. But since we only have one guy who has played at all and the other two viable candidates are true freshman, it makes sense to get them all game experience as quickly as possible. If someone is stuggling, then it is a no brainer to try something else, but even if someone is doing well it makes sense to get them all snaps. Theoretically, Western being a MAC team and all, we should smoke them regardless of who we play at qb because of our running backs, offensive line and defense. ND is much better and we need to see how Tate and Denard react to game conditions to see what we have going forward. Also, you might want to set up ND and future teams for a trick play with Denard or Tate. And then there is always the dreaded chance of injury to the starter.
They'll be alright
Could Michigan potentially beat Ohio State this year? The Buckeyes lost some key starters but this program always reloads with new talent. The jury is still out regarding Terrelle Pryor's QB expertise, and if he can manage an offense. With that, some so-called experts are saying Ohio State will be down slightly this season. They are ranked in the top 10 in most polls. It would be really nice to crush em.