had this command of the field that I also saw flashes of with Henson (damn yankees, indeed!).
I did not make this headline up
had this command of the field that I also saw flashes of with Henson (damn yankees, indeed!).
Henne was 0-4 against OSU, 1-3 in bowls, and had one certifiably bad year.
Measured by YPA, Henne was never as good as John Navarre's Junior OR Senior years (and his completion % was comparable on significantly fewer throws).
He has neither the efficiency stats nor the wins to even be in the conversation.
I'll probably get grenades for this, but Henne's offensive lines were some of the worst in the throwing era, whether you look at Harbaugh on, or Grbac on.
In 2004, Jake Long was 2nd team All-Big 10, Matt Lentz was 1st team all-big 10, David Baas was 1st team, Adam Stenavich was 1st team.
In 2005, Stenavich and Lentz made 1st team.
In 2006, Kraus and Bihl were 2nd team All-Big 10 and Long was 1st.
In 2007, Kraus made 2nd team, Long made 1st.
Henne never played on a line with fewer than 2 all-conference players, once had 4, and once had 3.
2001, John Goodwin was 1st team all big-ten.
2002, nobody was.
2003, Tony Pape was 1st team, Dave Pearson was 2nd, and David Baas was 1st.
Navarre played behind significantly worse offensive lines.
Often overlooked, but he gets my vote.
He was amazing, and a bit of a pioneering figure at the QB position for UM as it entered the modern era of offense.
Full time starter for three years. Won three Big 10 Titles. A combined 6-2-3 against ND, MSU and OSU in an era where all three of those rivals were annually either a MNC contender or top-20 team. Rose Bowl Champion. The QB half of a Heisman winning pass catching combination.
I'd gladly put his career up against any other UM QB. I think he's the programs best, but thats just one man opinion.
The three best quarterbacked teams I've seen since I've been closely following Michigan:
1. 2000 Henson
2. 1999 Brady
3. 2003 Navarre
I never closely followed the team with Grbac, Harbaugh, or Collins as QB's, but Harbaugh's 1986 looks rediculous from stats.
He may have finished #2 in the Heismann in 1986. I think he would have won it had UM gone undefeated. But, I would have to double check that.
Dont worry about Collins. He is not in this discussion. Good QB, but not great.
I still like Elvis. Everytime I watch a classic game or see his highlights on Wolverine Historian, I am reminded of just how good he was. He was 22-2-2 in Big 10 games he started. Thats awesome.
Everyone picks Brady, Harbaugh, Leach, Henne it seems, so I have decided to carry the torch for Elvis.
usually throws the critical interception" QB. He broke my heart several times. He was exactly the same way in the NFL.
#3 not so much. I know it's fashionable to knock Navarre, but in this case I think he merits some of it. He was definitely better than perceived, but not even close to top three IMO. I'd take Henne any day of the week over him.
What if you are playing Ohio State?
-1 for overlooking the fact that Henne was the least of our problems in the 2004, 2005 and 2006 games.
-1 for saying "BOOM! MUSKETED!"
- 1 for no Sarcasm meter
- Eleventy Billion for not succumbing to my wit and charm.
The only thing he lacks record wise, and it's a big one obviously, is the win against OSU. He can read defenses amazingly well, make every throw there is to make and has a cannon when he gets even a second to set up. The only thing he lacks physically is mobility, but he makes up for it with the cannon.
I think about how many amazingly clutch drives and throws he had and it boggles my mind. MSU 2004 and 2007 and PSU 2005 just to name a few of the top of my head. Huge clutch drive against Iowa 2004, @Illinois 2007, the whole Rose Bowl game against Texas. As was said above, watching the lasers he threw in that Capital One Bowl game was amazing. Just think if Michigan had played that wide open an offense for even one of his seasons.
The only thing he lacks record wise, and it's a big one obviously, is the win against OSU.
Records as starter:
Henne: 32-13 (71%)
Navarre: 30-11 (73.2%)
Brady: 20-5 (80%)
Grbac: 31-6-3 (83.8%)
Harbaugh: 24-5-1 (82.8%)
Chad Henne has the worst record as a starter of any QB in the discussion. And again, I keep throwing out someone that NOBODY would put in the discussion (Navarre) as a comparison point. Further, only one of the above QB's was 0-for career against OSU.
Do you think Navarre was a better QB than Henne?
I don't. I just don't think that someone who we have such a hard time separating from a universally derided player should qualify as our greatest QB.
It must be noted, though, that Henne is only one of that group to have started as a true freshman. In fact, most of the rest of them didn't even see the field much in their second year in the program. Henne recorded 24 starts as a freshman and true sophomore. If the others had done likewise, they presumably would have recorded lower winning percentages than they ended up with.
Henne's freshman year was 10-3. Sophomore was 7-6. Also, the Oline in 2005 was just dreadful.
Actually, we went 9-3 in 2004 and 7-5 in 2005, for a 16-8 total. We still had an 11-game regular-season schedule those years. The 12-game schedule was adopted for good in 2006.
By the way, I forgot about this earlier, but it should also be noted that Henne was knocked out or severely limited in three of our four losses in 2007.
The only loss in 2007 that Henne didn't start was against Wisconsin.
He lost the ASU game, and we were behind a bazillion by the time he got hurt vs. Oregon.
Henne actually did start against Wisconsin (so it goes against his record), but played only two series in the first quarter before reaggravating his shoulder. He can hardly be blamed for that loss.
And don't forget OSU, when Henne was clearly a shell of his usual self. He gets the loss charged to his record, but a lot of other players might not have even tried to gut it out that day.
Oh, well I didn't count Wisconsin against Henne. So, it's a wash if you want to absolve him of OSU.
As Shock points out, the inclusion of Henne's freshman year actually improves his overall win percentage.
It's also interesting to note that, statistically, Henne's best year in terms of completion %, YPA, and TD/INT was his freshman yeare.
The fact remains that Henne, unlike all of the others, had to start every game as a true freshman and true sophomore, and his winning percentage in those two seasons (.667) was worse than that of his upperclass years. Do you seriously dispute the notion that the others would have also had their winning percentages lowered if they'd started as freshmen/sophomores?
Throw in the fact that Henne - unlike all of the others - had an injury-plagued senior season, and it's not a very fair comparison.
Henne went 11-2 as a junior and 6-4 as a senior starter, but if you toss out the Wisc and OSU games (in which he either didn't play much or was severely hobbled), then he was 17-4 (.809) when healthy as an upperclassman.
is that Henne (not talking about any other QB's) was NOT hurt by a freshman campaign. The sophomore season is isolated from his freshman year. Repeat. Taking out Henne's freshman year would not have helped his career win percentage.
I understand that. But the .750 mark he put up that season is still worse than what he put up as upperclassman when healthy (as noted above, we were .809 when he was healthy those two years). And in his sophomore year, our winning percentage (.583) was much worse. None of the other QBs cited above was a full-time starter in EITHER his first or second year in the program. Not one started a game as true freshman, and most only started a couple as a redshirt frosh. So how fair of a comparison is it?
Grbac started 5 games as a frosh, and was full-time as a sophomore.
Also, the whole "when healthy" thing is dabbling in hypotheticals - what if Henson had stayed? What if Brady beat Griese out in 1997? What if Gutz didn't get hurt?
Plus Henson had some serious issues with a broken foot that limited him in several games if I remember.
At the same time, by all accounts, Henne really shouldn't have played in some of the games he did his senior year. When he did play significant minutes, we were a different team with him in there (NWU, ILL, MSU...forgetting some) with the exception of the Mario Manningham drop-fest of an Ohio State game.
I didn't include Wisconsin for him. I thought Mallett played the entire thing.
Point taken - the OSU o-fer is the largest glaring weakness on his resume in my mind. So are you saying Grbac was the best ever then? Where's Griese on the list?
Also, how many of the games you counted had multiple QB's play?
To your point - Henson and Navarre played in a lot of the same games to gether I believe. Did you only count the ones where the started played the whole game?
Obviously 2005 hurt Henne's winning percentage significantly, but the team, not just Henne, was pretty horrible that year. And I don't know if you can fault Henne for giving up 42 to the Buckeyes in 2006, when his stats were 35-21-0 267Yds 2TDs
Navarre was only pulled from 1 game he started - a win against Illinois. I actually did not count that for him, as he was awful, and Henson won the game. That's the only game where both of them got significant playing time.
I also counted 2007 NW as a win for Henne - he didn't start, but came in with the team behind.
Henne only played part of the Oregon game, but gets the L, as the team was waaaaay behind when he got hurt.
OSU record is a huge detriment to the argument, but i don't believe anyone had as many clutch drives (in my memory anyway) as Henne. And I don't think those losses were on him in the same way that 2000 the defense handicapped Henson, as was rightly pointed out. Defense was often poor in those years, tackling always poor.
This question needs to be clarified a bit. If we are going on pure talent alone then Henson is the guy. If you are going on numbers then Henne obviously wins. But if you are going on leadership, or what Shock loves to call "intangibles" then you go with a guy like Harbaugh or Leach.
My vote goes to Harbaugh. Nitty Gritty got it done when he said he would. His numbers when you take into consideration the era he was playing in are pretty astounding, and he was the closest a Michigan QB has come to winning the Heisman.
Henne definitely lacked in the pure QB leadership department as far as being the face of the team. At the same time, he had Braylon, Hart, Long, Woodley, Harris, etc as major leaders, so it wasn't imperative that he play a huge role in that area. He definitely led with poise under pressure and with his play at crunch time though.
Just one example, but one none the less.
Vs. MSU in 2004, where Braylon blew up my friend and I watched Braylon basically choking Chad on the sideline saying "get me the fucking ball" over and over again. Henne then promptly got him the damn ball.
He wasn't really a leader so to speak, because as you mentioned he had leaders on the team. But it is hard to underscore what he did with the game on the line.
Agreed. I brought Robohenne into the conversation below. Henne was ABSOLUTELY lights out in the 4th quarter when it was on the line. MSU in 2007 is the best barometer of that. Illinois of that year as well. If he had been healthy that entire year then a lot of things would've been different. I still think we get slaughtered by Oregon though.
I wanted to say Leach but nobody has mentioned Wangler. Wangler to Carter was special and don't forget Wangler was hampered after Lawrence Taylor viciously broke his leg
1000 cocktails to you sir for bringing up in John Wangler, the Royal Oak Kid.
You wont win the argument of 'best ever', but if we were to do a favorite QB of all time, Wangler would be it for me. Ahead of Harbaugh by a nose.
First Rose Bowl win for Bo. Just the way he inspired his teammates as he rehabbed from an injury, that in those times was usually a career ended, is one of the best stories in program history.
Has a UM QB ever performed so heroically in a loss the way Wangs did in the heartbreaking 1980 ND game? I dont think so.
He also threw the most famous pass in team history.
Not a bad argument, but then UM became QB U 15 years later and he keeps falling further down the list.
vs Brady(that was a special match up), but my favorite to watch was Wangler to Anthony Carter. The way Wangler threw the ball and the poetry in motion of AC making the catches were simply-the best of times for this Michigan Fan-Go Blue!
I haven't taken a stand yet, so I'll say this:
Best single season had by a UM QB: Henson.
Best career: Harbaugh.
Anyone know how to embed a poll into the comments? That would be interesting.
Are we forgetting Robohenne?
I've made my stance, but Robohenne is off the charts.