landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
Last year I attempted to coin a clever nickname for the Feagin-Threet quarterback pairing: "Dual Threet." Dual is now a slot receiver and Threet is moseying on out of town, possibly to North Dakota State if you believe random guys on a message board. (Do not believe random guys on a message board. Believe specific guys on a message board.) So it goes for Michigan in the past couple years.
I've been a stalwart supporter of Rich Rodriguez since his arrival. I didn't think Ryan Mallett's departure was his fault, nor did he have much of an opportunity to land a dual-threat guy in the month or so he had to finish off Michigan's 2008 recruiting class. The one guy it seemed he did have a chance with, BJ Daniels, ended up at South Florida amidst a flurry of payoff rumors that even The Wolverine—normally a place that shies away from incendiary allegations like that—lent credence to. The hand he was dealt was an exceptionally poor one. I can find no better way to sum it up than this: how many walk-on quarterbacks can you remember at power (or even decent) programs, and how did they do?
I've got exactly two:
There's almost no precedent for a quarterback situation like the one Michigan faced in 2008, and almost no way to claw yourself out of a hole that vast at the most important position on the field. Once that hand was dealt, Rodriguez was dead meat.
So the reasonable criticism of Rodriguez are mostly confined to his role in setting up his hand: "running off" Mallett, the Boren defection, the fruitless chase of Pryor, and so on and so forth. I didn't find any of these arguments compelling, since I knew Mallett had a foot and a half out the door even when Carr was running the team and that the Borens had major daddy issues and the options outside of Pryor were about nil. The decision to hire Shafer was a poor one, and that seemed like it should be held against Rodriguez. Other than that, it was Angry Michigan Whatever Hating God all the way.
You can tell there's a but coming, so: but. But the Threet transfer bothers me. Even with the recruitment of Forcier and Robinson, Threet is the most experienced quarterback on the roster by two years and has some decent starting experience. He will find no better situation wherever he transfers unless it's to some podunk I-AA school. The transfer makes little sense for him personally or professionally unless there's something behind the scenes we don't know about.
Meanwhile, Michigan now finds itself down to two true freshmen before they have to drag out another walkon, be it Nick Sheridan or Nader Furrha or whoever. Even if Threet was mostly poor a year ago, he was obviously far superior to the alternative, and at worst he would be the backup next year. With Denard Robinson something of a project, every one of Michigan's egg is now in Tate Forcier's basket. Threet leaving the program is an obvious negative.
So it doesn't make sense on anyone's part. Why did it happen? I go back to a quote from Calvin Magee in the aftermath of the Michigan State game. Dan Feldman's Daily article on the transfer highlights it:
By staying and giving Michigan another feasible option besides Sheridan, Threet opened himself to public criticism from the Wolverines’ coaches. Offensive coordinator Calvin Magee described Threet’s three-interception performance against Michigan State on Oct. 25 as “inconsistent, like it always is.”
Man, that's pretty rough. Behind-the-scenes reports from insiders always said Threet had major confidence issues and didn't respond well to this staff's high pressure style. Maybe they tried to adapt. That evidently didn't last, so Threet decided he'd be better off elsewhere.
It's obvious neither side had much faith in the other. That's not unexpected given the rickety nature of the pairing, but I can't help but think that Bo or Lloyd would have found a way to finesse it better. I don't know. Maybe I've been talking to John U. Bacon too much.
what Threet wanted from that meeting, beyond an assurance that he would have an even shot at the job--which I can't imagine RR or any coach denying-right?
But what I find interesting is that he wanted to meet RR with his parents. This suggests that there may have been something other than playing time involved in his concerns. Could it have been about the coaches approach that some players find offensive? Even Leach, a rabid supporter, said that he was taken aback at first.
to a certain extent since RR has his family and other coaches invite their families to practices.
I guess this whole group (including wives and kids) could all have no problem with language that most other people would find offensive, but highly doubt that.
I don't see anything unusual with parents coming with their kids to meet coaches, especially in college.
Good post. I agree that RR didn't need to lie to Threet to keep him, but I wonder just how hard RR tried to keep Threet once he knew Forcier was coming and Robinson was an option. Unless Tate is far better than everyone expects, Threet would likely be able to start for at least the first 1/3 or 1/2 of the season, and I doubt RR would pull him if the team was doing reasonably well. Threet would then have the option to enter the NFL draft or fight one of the RS freshmen for the starting spot in 2010. Now, there is no back-up plan and two freshmen and two walk-ons composing the depth chart. I won't knock Threet for leaving because he saw the writing on the wall; I question RR allowing that writing to be so prevalent without a good reason.
usually I can see where Brian is coming from, but (and you knew there was a but):
I don't get it.
Threet (nice guy, etc.) is not going to be a good college QB. Yes, some good
QBs start out bad. But ALL bad QBs start out bad. IMHO, watching Threet,
something was missing. Accuracy. Leadership. Certainly, the ability to Run.
I had no belief that the guy would be anything but mediocre. On top of that,
he was getting killed running the ball, and (bad for him), RR wants the QB
to run the ball. I dreaded his return, because his return, from my viewpoint,
meant another very mediocre season.
So thus, I don't understand all the drama. I guess it is something to talk about.
But the upside is pretty clear: the focus will all be on the new guys. If Tate
can hit the short passes and the occasional over-the-middle, we will be better
off. The rest of the O will be much better than last year, and the defense couldn't
be much worse. There is much to look forward to.
Give Threet credit. There was writing on the wall, and he could read it. He clearly
wasn't confident enough to know that he would win the job despite the
incoming freshman. Thus, it is good that he left. I wish him well, but can't
say I'm sad to see him go.
Finally, let's all agree to find this post again midseason. It will be interesting to
see what Brian and the rest of the "Oh No Threet Goes" crowd is saying at that
I think the issue people have is that fans are putting WAY too much faith in a true freshman figuring out how to run this complex offense while not getting hurt. Threet might be a mediocre QB, but he would at least be a mediocre QB with a year of experience in the system. Now you trot out Sheridan and Robinson as backups, and I'd much rather see Threet in that role than either of those guys. So when Tate is nursing a rib or knee injury after the 4th game of the season and we see Sheridan warming up on the sideline, let's revisit all of the "We're better off without Threet" posters.
Griese was the equivalent of today's "preferred walkon". He did walk on officially, but it was made apparent that he could earn a scholie pretty easily with his bloodlines and his skill set being pretty set for the offense at the time. A good friend of mine was on the team with Brian, and they would go out drinking all the time in Brians first 2 years at Michigan... no one cared too much because he was just a walk on at that point. Things soon changed.
It seems that I am one of the few who thought Threet could play. Certainly when compared to Sheridan (damnation by faint praise, I know)
I thought he had pretty good zip, and was accurate enough.
Some of his problems were the result of inexperienced receivers running lousy, or just plain wrong routes.
It isn't all that great for your confidence to be throwing to a spot, only to watch your little slot receiver break the other way.
But I wasn't at practice, and there had to be something going on in order to cause a room full of professional football coaches to thing Sheridan was marginally better.
I read Magee's quote back when, and had the same thought Brian did.
But I'm guessing Magee had seen plenty of missed reads, and bad decisions.
Overall I'm sorry to see the kid go, experience at QB is essential.
I wish him nothing but luck, but would have preferred to have seen him split time with Forcier and Denard this year.
In a professional sense, Threet’s decision makes no sense (unless he had NO CHANCE to play QB at Michigan any more.) If his goal is to play in the NFL the best path was to stay at Michigan and compete for the job. Even if he loses to one of the freshmen, there is a significant chance of injury or benching. That was how Threet got the job in the first place. Even if he starts at NDSU (or similar) the path to the NFL is astronomically harder. Unless, he had no chance of playing for Michigan. As a two time transfer, Threet is starting to look like a two time failure (fair or not.) The fact that he may not have gotten along with or liked RR or the offense is of no consequence at this point if his goal is the NFL. As can be learned from watching one episode of House M.D., at times the ambitious must survive unpleasant but temporal situations by keeping their eye on the prize. If Threet’s goal is to get an education—he had that at Michigan and he could have done it without the concerns of being a starter. I am left to conclude that either it was clear Threet had no future as the Michigan QB or he made a poor decision.
From the team’s perspective, this can only be bad news. The team loses a potential contributor at the most important position and only gains a scholarship which cannot replace what was lost.
As far as Threet’s potential, I think we have moved past his recruiting stars and accolades. RR has seen plenty of Threet (to say nothing of Chan Gailey.) That knowledge completely eclipses recruiting stars or Matt Stafford’s stats as a freshman. I am left to conclude, either RR decided that Threet had no future as the Michigan QB (right or wrong) or Threet just made a decision that was out of his control.
If I had to guess, I would say RR put much of the blame for the offense on the QB’s shoulders. He has admitted that he originally believed his system could be finessed to cover the lack of experience or talent. He may still believe once he gets a guy that fits his system he can finesse the lack of experience. Very successful people do not abandon their ideas or lose confidence easily. I think there is abundant video evidence to support the idea that good decision making leading to easy throws or runs by the QB can substitute for raw talent in RR’s offense. This also explains Sheridan starting over Threet.
For RR however, this cannot all be waved away. At some point, good things need to outweigh the inexplicable bad things that keep happening. Guys have to start accepting being back ups (like they do at every other school) and stop transferring. The players on the field have to start playing well. Entire position groups have to stop being decimated by injuries leaving only hideous back ups because everyone else transferred. The kick returners have to stop fumbling. Patience is a virtue but at some point progress must be made regardless of how “understandable” the failures appear to be.
end of message.
I see this as nothing more than a coach and player who want to go their seperate ways. I think RR put off any meeting with Threet and his parents until after recruiting season...because he needed to know what he had coming in to give a honest answer to the Threets.
Once RR had Forcier and Robinson signed, he likely knew Threet's playing time and reps with the first unit would be severely curtailed.
I'd rather have a coach who was honest with me, then one who jerked me around and left me thinking I still had a chance when I likely didn't. Gives Threet the opportunity to decide if he wants to stay..be a back-up and get a Michigan education, or chase his NFL dream.
For me, kudos to RR for being honest, because alot of coaches would have told Threet what he wanted to hear.
During the season, Magee was quoted as saying that RR's system would NEVER run properly until a QB who could run was recruited..I knew then that Threet's time as Michigan's QB was likely very short lived.
how quickly everyone forgot how bad our qb's were last year. I'm actually pretty glad that there is zero chance of sitting through another year of Threet while a young qb develops. Get the guys in there and let'em go - sometimes true freshman qb's work out (see Chad Henne).
All I remember from last season was watching other teams and thinking, "God, if only we had that quarterback." And it wasn't just watching elite teams, it was almost every team - KU, USF, Tulsa, Boise, anyone...
If Brian is right and Threet was not a naturally confident kid, did we really want him running the team? Imagine the impact that must have had in the huddle. No wonder Odoms couldn't hang on to the ball, he probably never expected it to get there in the first place. Don't we want a guy that knows he'll deliver game after game. I think that was what our team missed last season the most.
Threet leaving is a significant hit. Chengelis is right on, Forcier and Robinson are just freshman. They're good but not super and they lack experience. The play book will be as thin as that used last year. And it will be a major stroke of luck if the starting QB can get through the long season without injury. The offensive line still has to prove they can consistently block.
All in all, it going to be another rough year.
Who was counting on Threet to lead us this year? I wasn't. I was hoping to hell that Forcier would be the starter from the get go. If September rolled around and Threet was still taking snaps, I don't know if I could stand to watch. Now I finally feel like I have something to look forward to. Yeah, it would be great to have him on the depth chart, but he was a placeholder, not the future. So, let's move forward.
I know I'm late to the party, so if I reiterate anything from the nether regions below I apologize.
Losing Threet is a big loss, and I don't understand anyone's claim to the contrary. Sure, he wasn't going to be a great QB, but he certainly is a better option, at least in the short term, over two freshmen, one of whom is clearly a work-in-progress, DEATH, and a walk-on from across the street. People kill Threet because he played like, well, a freshman last year, yet they fully expect Tate to step in and lead this team to victory without any hiccups along the way. That is just not going to happen folks, and now instead of at least having a serviceable backup with some extended playing experience, we have Sheridan and two freshmen. Pray that Angry Michigan Quarterback Hating God turns his attention to Lane Kiffin, because otherwise last season might look like a godsend.
As for the whole "some freshmen play great - look at Henne", here are some other names on that team - Edwards, Avant, Breaston (3 NFL receivers), Hart (record-setting RB and NFL pick), Kraus and Long on the line, I'm sure I'm missing someone else. That was a very, VERY good team, with talent and stability at all the big positions and enough depth and talent to help Henne along and protect him a bit. This team, as presently constituted, would have lost by 30 to that 2004 team.
I wish Threet the best, and he seemed like a good soldier despite all the cries for his removal, the injuries, the loss of confidence both by himself and his coaches, and the typical growing pains as a young QB at UM. The fact he left this program with few options, and with lower confidence than when he arrived, says something both about the culture that may have overtaken this team toward the end of the year and the sometimes-overboard attitudes by those who follow and direct the program.
When you add the running aspect to RR's offense, it simplifies things ALOT for the QB.
Control of the weakside DE/OLB becomes so much easier if he must respect the QB run option. If the QB is talented..if often forces extra defenders into the box and gives a much easier read on the outside. It becomes a one on one game and with Michigan's athletes, it is a matchup M should win.
As usual, the DCs will throw alot at him..blitzing from different areas and confusing his reads..but if is truely a threat with his legs, Tate can really make his life alot easier by making a few of his own plays.
Forcier's early arrival in AA is also VERY helpful. He can start getting a repore with his WRs and watch film of RRs offense. By the Fall, he'll likley be more of a Reshirt Frosh than a true Frosh..especially if he's getting the vast majority of the snaps in practice.
I think we'll see a mixture next Fall of Forcier, Sheridan, Robinson and perhaps some springkled in Feagin. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Feagin is more of an ingredient than many think. We keep being told he's going to be a slot..but I never see him on that depth chart.
Most people were basically not expecting jack from the team this year anyway. So, what difference does it make who is the starting QB? Seriously, if all you expected is 5-7 or 6-6, well--that really hasn't changed anyway. IF you are expecting more, then you MUST be basing it on good ju ju or exceeded expectations ala Forcier and/or football god drooling generosity.
This, to me, is just such a non-issue. I think everyone's anxiety is just talking. Threet made a decision he thinks is best for him--right or wrong, whatever his motivations, it is HIS decision and none of us really has to live with it. And, its just college football. In the greater scheme of things, it really doesn't mean jack shit--esp. in today's economy.
I'm content waiting for year 3 RR. 9 wins in 2010 is the expectation. Maybe even a win over OSU--maybe. After that, I expect UM to be back on the powerhouse wagon and words like perennial will be applied again.
Wow, that's a lot of responses on this topic.
-seemingly nice kid
-tough season/difficult circumstances
-not built for our system
-trying to make something out of a college career that, to this point, HAS to be disappointing for him.
-Good luck in the future.