I have this ongoing cycle where I get pretty pissed at Borges on Saturday, then I read or watch these press conferences and have newfound faith in him. For the record, Al, I'm cool with flip-flopping this dynamic so that I can't stand what you say in press conferences and then loving the results on Saturdays.
Tuesday Presser Transcript 9-20-11: Coordinators
Does this game feel different for you because it’s SDSU? “Well, looking at that part of it, I guess is different. We’re obviously more familiar with this team because we just coached the team. It’s nothing to do with any of that stuff. It’s about San Diego State against Michigan. Anything else is just smoke and mirrors.”
Rocky Long said you have advantage because you know the SDSU players and their signals. How much does that come into play? “No. I really don’t get caught up in that too much. Signals and all that stuff, it’s overrated. Way overrated. There are 17 teams in the NFL that run the same offense. They use the same terms. Nobody changes -- they may change a little bit here and there, but not significantly enough to where it scares people.” Do you use the same signals here at Michigan as you did when you were at SDSU? “No we don’t. A lot of ours is sent in on wristband calls anyway, so it’s difficult for anybody to get what we’re doing because they’d have to have the wristband.”
Were you involved in recruiting Ronnie Hillman? “Hillman was already committed when we got there. Our job was really just hanging onto him.” Did he look good back then? “Oh yeah. The kids that we kept, we thought were pretty good players.”
Are you surprised by how prolific they are offensively? “No. No. Not at all. Not even a little bit.” Does that make you feel good? “No. We have to play them. Made me feel great last year. They’re a good team and they deserve respect, and we’re going to give it to them. Our kids are well aware of what they’re dealing with here. We’ve made it clear that this is going to be a tough contest. We better come ready to play.”
(more after the jump)strong>How do you view Denard’s passing game last weekend? “Well kind of a tale of two halves. We weren’t very good in the first half. We’ve got to get better obviously, and he knows. We’ve been talking about squaring away some of the footwork issues which will significantly help his accuracy. And I have to do a better job of getting him into situations where he can complete more balls. We did that a lot during the second half of the game.”
Has there been a common theme to why you’re not putting up points in first quarters? “Yeah … I don’t know if there’s a theme. It’s always something different. There’s always a glitch here and an error there and a missed assignment here. Last game we had too many missed assignments. We’re working on getting that better, and it’ll get better. A few systematic growing pains, but a few things that should have been done correctly that weren’t done correctly -- we’re going to work on them until we get them straight.” So just a lot of little things? “A lot of little things, yeah. And it’s not any one player. It’s all of us. That’s usually what it is. It’s funny whenever you’re sputtering, the general tendency is to blame it on one instance, whether it’s the quarterback or the coach. It’s very seldom such a situation. It’s usually a litany of problems.
“I’ll tell you something else that’s happened, too. Because a lot of these teams are aimed at stopping Denard, some of the things they’re doing on tape they’re not doing when they play us. So there’s an adjustment period there too for us as coaches. Sometimes it takes us a little longer than we’d like to. Historically as a coordinator we generally do a lot better early in the game. I’d like to start faster just like everybody else would. But it’s a long game and you may not have a good quarter. A bad game, that’s a whole different thing.”
Molk said they run a unique defense, which is different than anything else you’ve seen. What makes them unique? “What Rocky Long has done -- and I’ve been lucky. I’ve coached with Rocky twice at UCLA and San Diego state, and against him when I was at Oregon. I’ve seen both sides of him. He’s taken a 3-3 concept and created a lot of looks from the 3-3 that makes it hardly recognizable as a 3-3. What seems to be very helter-skelter is not at all. It’s a very disciplined style. Every guy’s in a gap. Everyone has a responsibility. Coverage is sound. But it’s not what you see every week, and that requires a little more preparation. It’s almost like facing a wishbone team when you’ve never seen a wishbone team.”
Does that give you an advantage because coached it twice and against it? “Maybe a little bit, but not really. What Rock does a good job of is nuance. He’ll give you a bunch of stuff that you don’t anticipate seeing every game. There’s going to be a different plan a different blitz a different something. Knowing the core of the defense helps a little bit, but it may not be exactly what you think when the game starts. It probably isn’t going to be what you think. The idea is to quickly identify what you think they’re doing and make your adjustments accordingly.”
Is Vincent Smith the ideal size for a primary running back? “I want a guy who weighs 220 pounds and runs a four-nothing. But those aren’t falling out of trees these days, so you take what you get. Ronnie Hillman is not the size you’re looking for, but he knows how to gain yards. One thing as a coach is you can’t get locked into that. There’s something you like, but this game is about production, not potential. So if a guy’s smaller but produces, you have to find a way to let him play.”
Are you resigned to the fact that this is going to be tailback by committee? “Until somebody steps to the forefront and establishes himself as that guy, we’re not just going to name a guy. That’d be absurd.”
Can Vince be that guy? “I think he can be one of those guys. I don’t know, we’ll see as he goes. All options are open, I’ll say that.”
Hoke was pleased to see Fitz back in there. What did he show you? “He did some nice things. He really did. Fitz is a tough guy. He runs the ball, and he’s relentless. He’s not afraid of the defense. He makes no concessions to the defense. He’s good inside the tackles. He’s got pretty good speed outside. His game is good. He has pieces of his game that still need improvement, but he’s going to give you everything he’s got. He has the ability to make a long run.”
Thomas Rawls? “He’s a talented kid we need to find out more about. If it’s a freshman that’s a good back, so be it, but we’ll never find out unless you put him in a game.”
What did you find out about him? “He’s not afraid to run the ball inside. He’s like Fitz. He’s a tough runner. He’s got a good burst of speed. Until he gets the ball more, you’re not going to really know.” Can we expect to see him more? “I think so. Yeah, I think so. How much, I’m not sure.”
What scares you most about Rocky’s defense this year? “The same thing they did in 1995. They’re all over the place, and if you let them leak and you can’t get your play started, you’re going to have a long night. You have to do a good job picking up their pressures, and you have to give your quarterback a chance to see some of the throws, and you have to run the ball well enough that they’re not playing you as a one-dimensional team.”
How key is it to have Denard establish a passing game? “It’s critical. We’re about balance. We’re going to find a way to be a balanced football team. We’re going to keep working to that end. We do it everyday in practice. For every run we throw a pass. A lot of people say, ‘What do you do that for? You’re a better running team.’ Well we’ll still be a good running team because we still work on running. But I know that at one point in time it’s going to be a difficult thing to do against certain teams. And if you don’t have the ability to throw it over the top of a defense or under a defense without a relative amount of consistency, it’s going to show up. You have to be able to do it, and we’re never going to give up on it.”
Have you been drawing up your own spread plays or have you been borrowing some plays from last year’s film? “We’re always going to research it. We’re constantly trying to enrich ourselves professionally to learn more and more how to use our personnel. And if it means going here, going there, talking to this guy, talking to that guy, tweaking schemes -- we’re constantly doing that. We ran a lot of this stuff in the spring. When I came here, I knew that we weren’t going to be a completely pro-style offense. Until we reach a point where we have that kind of personnel, we’re going to be running more of a hybrid. If you’re going to be running a hybrid, you better know what you’re doing in that other style.”
Have any players come up to you and suggested any plays from last year? “No, not really.”
San Diego State was a spread team before you got there. How does transitioning to pro-style at Michigan compare with the transition at SDSU? “We blew up the whole thing for a pro-style offense because we had a pro-style quarterback, so it was a completely different scenario.”
Did you expect to still be working on Denard’s footwork? “Everyday. Everyday. Everyday we go through footwork drills. We never stop with our fundamental foundation.” Did you think you’d have to work on it continually? “It wouldn’t make a difference who it was, whether it was Denard Robinson, Ryan Lindley, Jason Campbell. Everyday they go through their steps and their footwork and how things go. We never assume that they just know it and stop.”
Do you see improvement or regression? “There’s been some drastic improvement in some areas. The consistency is still not where it needs to be. When he does it and does it right, he can sling it. He threw a glance post late in the game and his fundamentals were pretty, and that ball came out like it was shot out of a cannon. But he’s not unlike so many kids that I’ve had in my first year. Ryan Lindley was very much the same way. They were still learning what we wanted as a fundamental foundation. Once they get it, they get it. It seems to all come at once.”
What has made Lindley so successful? “He’s just played a lot. He’s got a rocket arm. He’s smart. On top of things. Real good football intelligence. He’s got a big strong throwing arm. He wants to be a great quarterback.”
What was he like when you got there? “He was the same thing. Just didn’t run our offense. He’d run somebody else’s offense. But he’s always been an ambitious kid.”
Were you hoping to get Devin Gardner some snaps? “Oh yeah, I’d like to get him in every game. All these questions about Denard Robinson are all fair questions. Denard Robinson is not going to develop any of these skills with Devin Gardner in the game. That’s bad and good, because God knows I’d like to get Devin in the game. It’s just hard to do unless you’re going to commit to a two-quarterback system, which we’re not going to do. We’re going to wait and find instances we can get him on the field.”
What can you do to help the defense perform better in the first quarter? “That’s a concern, and it’s not lack of preparation. It’s not lack of them wanting to do a great job. It’s not lack of hustle. In some ways it’s just them not making the adjustments of something new that’s happened that they haven’t been ready for. I think I have to do a better job of trying to foresee anything possible that something could happen and try to give them that beforehand, because there’s a lot of guys that haven’t played a lot of football, and all of a sudden it shocks them. No defense is good enough to not line up correctly and be successful, and that showed on a number of their runs. We just weren’t lined up correctly. We got it adjusted on the sideline, and guys did a great job of understanding it and went back out and did better. But you’re right. We’ve got to do a better job coming out of the box.”
Ryan Van Bergen said they don’t usually make adjustments until they get back to the sideline. How much do seniors need to step up and make those adjustments in the middle of a drive? “I think what happens is the guys that are in charge of the defense out there -- the guys that are the communicators have got to really take urgency in communicating. It’s never going to be exactly like you practiced, so when there is an adjustment to be made, then guys have to step up and there’s some guys that have never done that before. They’re learning to do it. They did as the game went on. But that’ll bite us if we don’t get that squared away. And believe me, we addressed it, and we’ll continue to address it.”
Who do you want to be communicating to teammates on the field? “You have to do it with linebackers. The safety position is too far away. The D-line won’t hear them. You have to do it with linebackers. In that linebacking corps, Jake Ryan has never played before. There’s Brandin Hawthorne, who’s never been out there much before, and there’s Kenny. You really can’t have one guy do it. You need to have a couple guys on the same page doing it. Again, that comes with experience, and it comes with me addressing it and us practicing it. I don’t blame them. It’s something that’s happened, and it’s my job to make sure we get that corrected, and that’s what we have to work on.”
Are there things like the goal-line stand and only giving up three points that you take away as a positive? “Definitely. The goal-line stand, since we started, that’s been huge. In our meeting room, there’s a sign that says, ‘Give me a place to stand.’ That’s up there and there’s not many signs up there. That really means that until that ball crosses that goal line, as long as I have a place to stand, they aren’t in yet. Our guys believe in that. We had a huge scrimmage in camp, and they did a great job in that and they believed in it. Really we should have stopped the one against Western Michigan. By them doing that [against Easter], it just reinforces that it’s never over. Doing that was good, and to come right back and get what’s called a sudden change, where we started on the 24-yard line -- for them to bull up right there … those are positives. Anytime you keep them out of the endzone, that’s your goal. If you ask me, ‘Was it pretty? Was I happy with it?’ No. Not at all. I mean we’ve got a long, long way to go on defense. We’ve got miles to go, but the guys are running a race, and again they came out today and worked really hard and worked to put in what we wanted to put in. We just have to play perfect. You say, ‘You can’t ask for that,’ but we have to. We have to have every guy doing exactly what he’s supposed to do and everybody running to the football and everybody communicating, and then we’ll have a successful defense.”
How has Desmond Morgan progressed since camp? “I’m really excited about him. Here’s a young freshman. I don’t think he ever dreamed of playing right now. Gets thrown in against Notre Dame. I know he would say he didn’t play great in that game, but we have confidence in him, and he practiced hard, and he comes back, and he plays in this game. Every time he plays, he’ll get better. That’s the thing that we’ve got to make sure that these young guys keep improving and living up to the standard and working up to the standard, and then you’ll be fine.”
How do you fit Cam Gordon and Brandon Herron back into defense when they return? Hawthorne and Ryan seem pretty entrenched. “Everything for us is how you practice. Everything. You can be a guy that’s started for three years, and if somebody practices better or if somebody is close to even with you and he practices even with you or practices full speed, he’s going to be in there. Brandin Hawthorne and those guys, Jake, they’ve played a lot of football now. They’ve had a lot of growing pains. Until somebody beats them out, they’re going to be the guys that are in there.”
What did you see from Raymon Taylor? “Raymon Taylor, I thought he showed he could cover. I thought he really showed the athleticism that we knew. I thought he showed a freshman on that stupid penalty. Again, there’s another example of a guy just out there trying to survive, trying to do everything he can do, and then there’s times he’s got to communicate for our defense to be successful. It’s hard for a freshman to do that, so you have to make sure he’s on page with that and you don’t give him too much too early. But I thought he did a nice job early.”
When do you know a true freshman is ready for playing time? “You know they’re ready by how they practice, by whether they understand the defense, whether they execute the defense in practice -- whether they do things like a Michigan defensive player has to do it. But then you never really know until he gets out there. There’s a lot of guys that do a great job in practice, then all of a sudden they get out there and you see a different person. But I was happy for him. It brings another guy in the mix, and that helps us.”
Who are some of the freshmen who might continue to get playing time? “Well I think Brennen Beyer, when he went in there, did some good things. Again, most of these freshmen, and I can name a lot of them, they go in there and you go, ‘Oh man, how did you make that mistake?’ But then you have to keep believing in them. You’ve got to keep believing in them as long as they’re practicing hard. Sure enough, Brennen Beyer comes in this game and plays much, much better than he did the last time he was out there. That’s what you have to count on. If they’re practicing like you want them to, when they go back in there the next time, you just have to make sure they don’t hurt the whole defense while they’re learning. That’s what our job is -- to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
When Raymon Taylor went in, why not Courtney Avery? “Courtney’s never played nickel. The nickel position is a guy that’s got to cover a pretty fast slot receiver and do a lot of moving and things like that. We just felt that Courtney’s much more suited to be the corner, and Raymon could be that guy. That’s what we were looking for: another guy. We haven’t had two that we’ve felt real comfortable with, because Thomas has been playing that. That gives us a chance to bring another one along.”
When you left Michigan for Notre Dame, was it weird for you when you had to play Michigan, and is that similar to what some of the other coaches are going through this week? “That was a long time ago. That was a lot of football ago. I just know this staff that came from San Diego gave so much to that program when they were there and worked so hard and turned that thing around. You have to know that these men that came from there -- there is a feeling in there. Those guys that are on that team bought into everything and worked as hard as they could and got their reward, too. But this is also a profession. And when David Brandon is your boss and he’s the guy that you answer to, then you better you make sure when the time comes you are coaching for this and you do everything you can -- and this group will for sure. They have, automatically. There’s some emotion down in there, but I don’t think it affects the game at all. If anything, whenever you compete against somebody you respect, you always want to do the very, very best job you can. That’s probably the ultimate of when you want to do a great job -- when you’re going against somebody you really respect, and I’m sure that’s the case with them.”
Can you talk about Craig Roh’s performance? “Craig Roh -- you guys asked about him last week and the week before, and I asked about him in meetings the last week and the week before. I’ve really been proud of him. I’ve been pretty hard on him. I happen to coach him myself, and so at one point he said, ‘Coach, I’ve never heard that everything I did wasn’t good before,’ and I just said, ‘It isn’t. Not for the level I want you at.’ He’s really made a commitment. He’s a guy who, in his mind, probably felt like he hit rock problem going two games without any production. And then all of a sudden he just kept working and kept working, and you could see it happen I think a week ago in practice. I saw a different guy. A guy that said, ‘Okay I’m going to buy into everything.’ And sure enough he goes out there and plays like you’ve seen him play before. And he knows he can play even better than that. We’re counting on him. We need him to really, really play, because he offsets some of the youth and some of the experience.”
Is San Diego State the best offense you’ve faced so far? “This is a really, really good offense. You have a quarterback that’s going to be the best quarterback we’ve played. This guy, he’ll play in the league. He’s got an arm that can throw it from hash to hash. He’s the real deal. The running back -- they say he’s a Heisman candidate. When I watch the film I see it. I’m not voting. This is a guy that can be physical, can be really quick and make you miss tackles, and has and will run away from you if he gets in the open field. He’s got all of those things. This will be the toughest back we’ve played without a doubt, and the quarterback will be the best quarterback we’ve played against, too.”
Can you tap into Borges’ knowledge to prepare for them? “We kind of go against that offense everyday. But there’s always differences. Al’s a much different coordinator than the offense we see on film. They’re a really, really good offense. They’ve got Al’s, Darrell’s, Dan’s, and Jeff’s players. They’ve been coached by those guys for a couple years, so you know they’ve been really well coached. This will be our biggest challenge."
Were you hoping to get Devin Gardner some snaps? “Oh yeah, ... God knows I’d like to get Devin in the game. It’s just hard to do unless you’re going to commit to a two-quarterback system, which we’re not going to do. We’re going to wait and find instances we can get him on the field.”
Hard to do? Michigan was up 28-3 in the 4th quarter against Eastern. Ron English's offenses have only scored more than 28 points 3 times (none in 2009; 2 x in 2010 - 30-45 loss to WMU; 41-38 win over Ball State; and once against a division 2 school in 2011 41-9 over Howard).
If Borgess can't get Devin on the field against EMU with a 25 point 4th quarter lead, when does he possibly think that he might be able to "find instances we can get him on the field" in the remaining games on the schedule?
I can only think of 2 plausible explanations, neither of which thrill me:
1. With the transition and whatnot, Borges wants to this team to put as much on tape as possible and get a good field with his playcalling. But, the biggest problem with that for me is THEN STOP RUNNING DENARD.
2. As a former Michigan assistant, Hoke has tremendous(!) respect for Ron English and in some weird sort of way to show love, kept starters in to make people believe it was a close game while not running up the score. This would a weird notion indeed and again makes me yell THEN STOP RUNNING DENARD.
Other than that, I really don't see any sort of plausible explanation.
I got yer' plausible explanation:
Denard Robinson is not going to develop any of these skills with Devin Gardner in the game.
I think Borges made it pretty clear...
really need to develop his running skills? Because they weren't working on the part of his game, passing, that needs to be worked on. So what difference would it have made if Devin was in the game or not?
and it may be a bad one since the passing game wasn't working, but perhaps the mentality was that you don't start throwing on a team that you are already beating 28-3. You go Wisonsin on them and just run run run. I would like that explanation more if the running had come from our running backs, and I too would have like to see more passing. I don't know, just one man's thought.
would say you pull your starters. Or you don't run your QB who missed parts of 10 games last year because of injury. So if Denard goes down we have a QB come in who hasn't gotten any snaps because our head coach is afraid of EMU when he's ahead by 4 scores with 10 minutes left in the game.
I think you have to take a step back and also realize that to get Denard any practive over Devin, they have to keep making first downs. So yes, you will run Denard, or call the read option, to get yards, because that's what's working. Then you can call a pass play that you want Denard to practice on, and when that's incomplete, you call the read option again to get the first down. So the result is, when you are up 28-3 on a cream puff, that you get one play to throw away for every first down. Because what's different in the game versus practice is that there is a flow. Also the defense wasn't just creating three and outs time and again, so if you give Denard 3 practice throws, punt, give EMU good field position, they move the ball and kick a field goal, then go to kickoff, you really haven't gained anything more for Denard to practice with. Also you've let EMU score late in the game, and then everyone will focus their complaining on how Brady Hoke let them back into the game with Lloyd Carr style play calling, i.e. offense 3 and out, punt, hope the defense holds.
But with all that said and done, I think some of it was also Al Borges figuring out how to use passing from the Read Option call. Not just on the last drive, but all of them and more towards the end. If you noticed, Denard pulled the ball less toward the end of the game, and that's when Vince got his yards. Go back and read the transcript and I think you'll find that part of what has caused Al Borge's errors is the fact that people defend Michigan differently because of Denard. If Denard hadn't thrown that interception, I think you would have seen EMU backing people out of the box, and shifting to pass protect more. Then power running might have started to click, and the rhythm would have clicked an entirely different way. But instead it took Denard breaking it for 52 yards to get EMU's defense to spread out and add more people spying for Denard. Then that opens up the read option for the RB to keep it.
He does need to develop his skills on the read option, which we hardly ever ran last year (despite popular perception) and looks to become the offense's base play, given its success so far.
I am glad Devin hasn't played yet, it is best for his long term development. Coming out of HS Devin wasn't near ready to play major college football, he could have been force fed last year and probably would have fallen back into bad habits in regards to throwing the ball. Now Devin has a new coaching staff with a new offense to learn, give him time, he needs it.
From a fundemental standpoint, Denard isn't ready to run this offense either, hence, it is a work in progress. I think Devin would make some of the same mistakes with regards to footwork and what not, that we see Denard making. I would rather see Devin perfect his fundementals out of the spotlight and be capable of hitting the field running when his number is called.
Last week was far from ideal with Denard having so many carries. Like the jump ball offense, running Denard 26 times is probably not sustainable. Patience I say, patience. Let's get Denard up to speed before we wring our hands about Devin missing a few relatively minor snaps.
it's not up to Al Borges when Devin Gardner gets in the game.
Are you saying that Brady Hoke was afraid to put Devin Gardner in the game with a 25 point 4th quarter lead against Eastern?
While Rumsey may be a bit abrasive, and perhaps somewhat uninformed, I hardly think questioning why we were still running Denard with such a big lead is out of bounds.
Brady Hoke said that himself - that he wasn't that comfortable even with the 28-3 lead. Check the post-game presser notes (on Droid or I'd link them myself).
Eastern gained all of 90 yards after their first quarter explosion. If Hoke really wasn't comfortable up 28-3 against EMU maybe he needs to loosen his belt a couple of notches.
is NOT a photogenic man.
I should know, he could be my twin.
This comment made me curious, so I had to scroll all the way up the page to see Borges' picture. I busted out laughing as a result. I don't know why I thought it was so funny.
Were you involved in recruiting Ronnie Hillman? “Hillman was already committed when we got there. Our job was really just hanging onto him.”
Subtract Hillman add Denard.
Borges and Brady are really making me worry about SDSU. They talk about them like they are the best team we'll face all year.
They have been talking SDSU up big time, either they're very concerned OR hopefully they love their former players and make them out to be better than they really are...guess we'll see!
we have 3 head coaches
But I agree that this will be one of the best QB's we will face. I'm worried about their short passing game opening up thier running game. This is a game where the offense will need to move the ball and score early and often throughout the entire game. If our offense scores less than 30 points in this game there is a good chance we will not win this game.
I still think DROB is going to have a breakout game where he plays well from start to finish and I hope it will be this Saturday!
I love these pressers from the OC and DC. They are great! I don't remember but did RR and Carr's coordinators have these pressers? Keep them up guys!
I never saw Hillman play in a game, so I went to youtube and he has a pretty good highlight film (with some badass rap accompanying it).
Ronnie Hillman 2010 highights http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyNWPk7Oq90
Cierre Wood highlights (also including badass rap) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1bn6NcZK_Q
Hillman looks pretty good, real quick with great moves. He does make me worry after seeing EMU gash our defense in the first quarter, so we will see. We do have Denard.
Echo the comments about having 3 coaches, we have 3 guys who know what they are doing on the field and can explain it. Not to harp on last year, but there were times I thought GERG didn't know what was going on out there. He looked just as out of place as the players out of position.
Hillman played against 6 defenses last year that were worse than ours. My 13 year old could put up good stats against those Ds. I do think he is very talented, but SDSU's schedule last year was ridiculously easy.
I can't post in the ticket spreadsheet from work so here we go...
I have 2 club seat tickets (section 312) available for Saturday's game. Send an email to my gmail account (jonnyGoBlue) with your best offer. Yes, I'll give them away for free if that is the best offer given, I just want them to be used.
Mattison's comments on Roh say a lot. He's taken a guy (and I presume there are others on the team) who has been accustomed to being patted on the back and told him his performance is not good enough. That's what Bo famously used to do, break guys down and remake them. Hopefully he's turned the corner and will be more of a force. I happened to catch Roh's post-game locker-room interview and he said how much he loved the staff so that's a good sign of things to come.
Regardless of what happens this season, I'm really encouraged by Mattison and Borges' standards. I think they both have a very clear idea of where they need to be to compete against the best teams. They are not content with game plans, schemes or players who aren't up to the toughest games on their schedules.
Mattison did the same thing to Martin. He told Martin that he was a good player, but that Mattison coached NFL drafted players and Martin had to work harder to get drafted. Mattison is honest and drives these kids hard.
I'm not sure if the questions are better this year or that Heiko's doing them differently/better, but I'm reading things that I didn't get before--specifically in this week's, Borges telling us that he's reached out to guys outside the program in terms of tweaking our spread plays. That is great info and it makes me hopeful as well that Borges will figure out the spread part of our offense and take better advantage of what he has in Denard. I love that Borges subsumed his ego enough to reach out. Good for him.
Blocking patterns are different and skill sets require adjusting. it does not make for an efficient offense. This is evidenced by the offensive performance to date. The four touchdowns in the fourth quarter against ND was an aberration primarily due to incredble luck.
DR was a better paaser last year. Making him pass out of a pro style offense hinders his footwork and thus inaccurate passes. Also, by forcing him to learn new footwork even out of the spread his passing efficiency has suffered. There at times when you must take the skill set of a player and just improve what he has. Tebow was effective in college even though his throwing form was unorthodox to say the least. No one tried to change him until the pro's and that has not worked out well.
Let DR throw as he has thrown all his life with a good amount of success. Trying to change him now is a mistake.
FWIW, I live in SD and I can tell you that SDSU is the real deal. If their defense can throttle DR then it will be a long day for Michigan. SDSU offense will score a ton of points. Be ready for a tough afternoon.