I would bet that the number of head coaches in Div 1A who have started freshmen at QB for two entire successive seasons since 1950 is no more than 10, if that. If RR started DG, that third straight season with a frosh at QB would have to put him in a class all by himself, and I don't think that's a distinction he wants. If DG sees any playing time, that means that Tate and Denard have not progressed or have been seriously injured, and neither of those are good things. People who think that a pure frosh DG with no experience in RR's offense is going to come in and beat out sophomores who've already gotten a year's worth of PT and practice in that system are living in a really interesting fantasy land.
Unverified Voracity Found A Northern Daniel Moore
So this happened. Will MS Paint ever go too far? If it hasn't already, it won't ever get there:
If you think that's impressive or, more likely, disturbing you should see user LongLiveBo's collection of these that now goes six deep. "Barwis Beach" is a favorite. I hope LLB is a hobo or student, because if he's not his job is really, really boring.
Bzzzt. Mark Snyder got the defensive coordinator job at South Florida, which takes him off Michigan's list for their linebackers opening. He also talked to reporters, including this here site's Tim Sullivan, about the position at halftime of the UConn game. Birkett has a quote currently open in my tabs so we'll go with that:
“Still talking to guys,” Rodriguez said Sunday at halftime of the Michigan-UConn basketball game. “I may do it in a week or 2, I may do it after signing day.”
Hiring a guy right now does not seem like a huge priority. If it was going to get done before signing day it probably would have gotten done at the coaches meetings.
The new name. And since all Michigan coaching news involves the Bulls in some way, the new name on the list is recently departed USF linebackers coach David Blackwell. He's talked with Michigan about the job:
Linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator David Blackwell has had contact with Michigan about its linebackers job.
Blackwell was officially given his walking papers and is looking for a new gig. As you can see in the table below, Blackwell has extensive experience as a linebackers coach.
That's twelve straight years Blackwell's been coaching the position, eight years as a recruiting coordinator, and one year as the increasingly popular "co-defensive coordinator." His bio has a bunch of accomplishments that are debatably his—it's hard to assign credit or blame to a single position coach, but it is true that Clemson was a consistently excellent defensive team with Blackwell coaching and his departure was because Tommy Bowden got axed, not because he just wasn't hacking it.
Also, if some people are concerned that this might be a sort of crony hire, that's hard to see. Rodriguez was long gone from Clemson by the time Blackwell showed up and whatever weird USF connection he's got going appears totally coincidental since Blackwell only got one year with the Bulls before Jim Leavitt had to choke a walk-on. Rodriguez's familiarity with Blackwell is limited to coaching against his Pitt team for three years early in his tenure at West Virginia and whatever contact he maintained with Tommy Bowden's staff at Clemson. This is not a guy Rodriguez goes way back with.
In Blackwell's single season at USF the Bulls finished 49th in rushing defense, 25th in pass defense, 24th in total defense, and 19th in scoring D. However, some of USF hilariously weak non-conference opponents had something to do with that. Wofford, Western Kentucky, Charleston Southern are two I-AA teams and a team (WKU) that was a I-AA three years ago. Also, those numbers are a slight step back from the previous year, when USF was 10th in rushing D and 11th in total D against a tougher slate of opponents.
In games against actual competition, USF gave up 7 to an explosive Florida State outfit and 19 to West Virginia but 34 to Cincinnati, 41 to Pitt, 31 to Rutgers, 31 to Miami, and 29 to UConn in losses. Not all of those numbers are as bad as that, though. Like Michigan in 2008, USF's defense was crushed once Matt Grothe went out and ridiculously erratic BJ Daniels came in. Daniels seemingly went three-and-out or threw a 70-yard touchdown on every drive, so there were a lot of opportunities for opponents to score.
Also, one year is not a good sample size.
Blackwell also has a twitter. It tends towards multiple exclamation points and was last updated in August.
Brief, unavoidably homoerotic interlude. So this picture of Denard Robinson at his track meet—which MGoBlog covered in detail—has been floating around the internets:
1. Daaaaang. I bet he can punch through a cow.
2. It looks like Denard got a temporary case of Greg Oden disease there, eh? (The one that makes you look old, not the one that makes you have a series of increasingly terrible injuries that cause people to compare you to Sam Bowie.)
3. Pretty sure the big bald white dude in the background is OL coach Greg Frey.
As long as we're talking about Robinson, Devin Gardner finally getting the piece of paper he needed from Inkster and enrolling at Michigan for spring practice opens up a world of possibilities at quarterback. Everyone's got their opinion on this—I've been getting emails about it since Gardner committed—and here's mine. Assumptions:
- Gardner will almost certainly not be better than Tate Forcier this fall. If Michigan gives a freshman quarterback extensive playing time for a third straight year it is bad, Rodriguez-firin' type news.
- Redshirting Gardner is best for both him and the program unless Gardner plays a lot better than he did at the UA game and in the state finals. That throwing motion degraded over the course of the year to the point where he was really pushing the ball; he needs probably a solid year of coaching to go back to the zippy delivery he developed over the summer.
- Robinson didn't even run the zone read last year and is so far behind Tate that once there are other options at quarterback it makes sense to get Robinson's athleticism on the field in any way possible.
So. Tate starts, Gardner is groomed as the backup quarterback but not put on the field unless circumstances demand it. I just can't see a few plays late in blowouts being more helpful for Gardner and the program than a fifth year. If Tate gets dinged for a series or two, Robinson is the guy. If he's out for an extended period, it's time to put in Gardner (and pray). Robinson evolves into a slash player that takes some wildcat-type snaps at quarterback and also functions as a slot receiver/tailback. Michigan should also look at having him return kicks.
Cone, mad flow, nothing new here. Via TomVH, David "Febreze" Cone's latest masterpiece:
(Someone needs to unescape their text.)
This is why you don't hire your head coach as an assistant. I think most people thought West Virginia was in a little bit of trouble when Doc Holliday got snatched up by Marshall, but probably not this much trouble:
Didn't he say that he would not go after Florida commits when he came here as an assistant?
After his "racist" comments while at NC State I never thought I could forgive him. I got over it and accepted him with open arms. After this, I hope he is never welcomed back at WVU.
Hide the trash cans if he comes to the Civic Center on Wednesday.
That was after Holliday swooped in and snake oiled two West Virginia commits away from the 'Eers, so West Virginia fans are probably even more pissed off now that WR Darius Millines pulled the same trick. Add in Richard Ash and Davion Rogers defecting to Michigan and it's been a suboptimal recruiting year in WVU. They're losing recruits like Tennessee did in the aftermath of the Kiffin fiasco… so who's the head coach there anyway?
The other angle: dude, Doc Holliday is some sort of ninja snake charmer if he can get recruits to bail on a consistently top 25 team in a BCS conference for a mediocre CUSA team in the same state.
Etc. Underground Printing is featured at AnnArbor.com. I'm quoted about our relationship, which is working out great. Baseball picked up a commitment from the top player in Illinois. Teric Jones is moving back to offense for spring. Orson goes curling and loves it. In three months he will be Canadian. West Virginians search for Rich Rodriguez vastly more often than people in Ann Arbor.
Triple stamp and Cosign this post.
As stupid as it sounds I was the 1 guy hoping Gardner wouldn't get admitted early so we don't have to hear the "rumblings" after each practice and how Tates running with the 2's and 3's and he's going to transfer and Gardner completed a pass today he's the starter. Let the kid come in and develop, he's not going to run it better than Denard this year and he's not going to be more accurate or know the offense better than Tate. If we need him this year we are in disaster mode. Sheridan would most likely see the field if we needed a guy to play extensive minutes before Gardner. People don't understand how difficult it is to step in and play at this level.
As stupid as it sounds I was the 1 guy hoping Gardner wouldn't get admitted early so we don't have to hear the "rumblings" after each practice and how Tates running with the 2's and 3's and he's going to transfer and Gardner completed a pass today he's the starter.
Surprisingly, you are not alone.
(and maybe controversial) anyone who thinks a true freshman Gardner is a better or more desirable choice than Tate this year is a fool. Brian is right, and there isn't even a good argument for the other side.
I'm not clear why this has become such an emotional issue around here. If you, and whoever else, thinks that Tate will undoubtedly be a better QB than DG this fall, then that will bear out in practice and the coaches will annoint Tate. If, for whatever reason, DG explodes and shows he has what it takes to be the guy, then that means he's probably really good since we know Tate is no slouch when healthy. Competition at the spot is a good thing; I don't think there's any reason to be worried.
you can't triple stamp a double stamp.
Shoot! I thought Denard looked pretty small compared to some of the guys that play on the O and D lines. Without pads, he's a lot bigger than I thought. What, on Earth, must those linemen look like sans pads? (homoerotic interlude concludes now).
Mr. Blackwell also sounds like someone ready to step up to DC if/when GERG is ready to retire.
LLB verse The Shredder. A friendly challenge throughout the football season... each MSPaints a single frame to summarize the previous game. MGoCommunity votes. Score will be kept.
May the best MSPaintMan win.
You have 8.5 months to practice. Go!
I think this friendly MSPaint competition will eventually lead to better quality MSPaint jobs with each competitor trying to outperform his opponent.
Ode to the free market.
(Your name was just put on a list by the WLA)
HOLD ON TO THE DAMN BALL!
I'm worried about it already.
I don't know if anyone else knows this, but Blackwell's agent is, coincidentally, Rodriguez's agent as well. Should help him there eh?
Do it now. I mean, come on -- it uses the phrase "Scottish tetris."
What about our other incoming QB, Conelius or the depth chart? If say Denard and Tate both go down I think we have to consider the long term. If we're in the hunt for something like a Big Ten title then I'd say put Gardner in and pray, but if we're already mostly done for the season then why burn Gardner's redshirt? Hit up the depth chart or burn Coneliu's redshirt instead. I'd rather have Gardner for a 5th year than some junk wins at the end of a season that just get us a slightly better bowl.
We have a couple of walk-ons that might be able to step in. Sheridan is back right (I know, I know)? Does anyone have an inside scoop on either Kennedy or Furrha? Kennedy looked pretty sharp in last year's spring game.
I am not suggesting anything. Only mentioning that there are other options beyond Conelius.
I know it was a small point in the UV today, but is anyone else excited about Teric Jones moving back to offense? Don't get me wrong, if the coaches thought Teric would be a major contributor last year, he wouldn't have moved to D, but he was a kid I was excited about last year, and he could play the Vincent Smith role while he's getting his knee back to full health.
Teric Jones has the speed that VSmith doesn't. I think he can be a solid contributor.
WolvinLA2, I was thinking just the same thing. Check out his senior year highlight film; this kid can be a playmaker at RB. I was hoping that he'd contribute on the offense last year, but our CB depth issues changed that. Hopefully spring and fall practice will give him time to show the coaches what he has got. RB position is wide open.
It sometimes happens when you reach Warp 11...
I would not have recognized him in that pic at all
if not Greg Frey, my money's on Mad-TV's Will Sasso.
Wow, I seriously had no idea how...sculpted...DRob's body is and I'm embarassed I didn't look into this earlier.
He's going to be unstoppable!
"Had a recruiting meeting this afternoon and have enjoyed a nice night at home with my family in our new home. You can't beat living in T ..."
I'm telling you, all that inbreeding is catching up with West Virginia. Hell hath no fury like a West Virginian scorned.
I've seen him play a couple times in person this year and I agree he needs to redshirt. His throwing motion really needs to be worked on, it's not pretty. The ONLY reason he needs to come in is if Denard or Tate are hurt. I also want to say that I like moving Teric back to running back for the spring. We need some running back depth for the spring and if he impresses he could get some PT this fall.
weren't going to qualify. I.e., Brian Robinson.
has officialy been Barwis-ized. If we can just have a decent year, this team will start to show the nation more of the excellent work out regimen, and how it can make good players better. I strongly feel that year three of this madman's program will turn our O-line and D-line into freaks. They will rip appendages off, spill blood, and eat the children of our opponents. There is so much riding on a successful season, and I can't wait to go see it happen. It all starts with a scrappy, underrated UConn team. Go Blue!