I'll save everyone the trip, he's been a member for 3 weeks.
Mitch, this is a decent post, but it just isn't diary worthy. Fine post, just make it where it belongs.
Recently, I have experienced a different feeling in my football psyche. A feeling that Texas fans had with Vince Young or Florida Fans had with Tim Tebow. It’s a feeling that no matter what team we’re playing, no situation is too much for Denard’s abilities.
Many people are comparing Denard and UM’s hot start of 2010 to Tate and UM’s hot start of 2009. Here are the goods:
Like a grenade with the pin pulled, the UM fan base was ready to explode at the first sign of something good. Enter Tate Forcier. Tate, a freshman, came in and because his name wasn’t Sheridan or Threet, was already a better “fit” for RR and his offense. Throw in a win against Western Michigan, the first home opener win in 3 years, and the UM fan base and national media started to salivate. Next up, Notre Dame. Tate seemed unflappable in a thrilling win, which included Tate’s iconic cut back run. All these things added up to UM fans and the media needing to raise up somebody and who better than Tate. The QB at UM IS the notable position. Tate was winning(to that point). Tate was a QB. Tate was a freshman (and hey, no freshman has ever won the Heisman before, so why not Tate). And Tate had some good stats:
I’ll sum it up
Total through first 4 games:
54/87 671 yds 7 TDs 2 INT
40 carries 127 yds
Passing: 62% Completion Rate
Rushing: 3.2 YPC
Those stats coupled with a big, emotional win against Notre Dame and then starting 4-0, made for some pretty sweet tasting TATE = HEISMAN kool-aid or purple drink, if you prefer. And we drank it, and we loved it.
Then events transpired and we arrived at the 2010 football season with a lot of questions. QB? Bowl game? Transfers? Tacopants?
Enter Denard Robinson.
Now, when Tate was thrilling UM fans last year, it was good, but he wasn’t doing anything that hadn’t already been done before. We’ve had hot starts. We’ve had a freshman QB. We’ve had Heisman hopefuls. With Denard, we have something we’ve NEVER had. We’ve got a kid that in his first start, set the all-time UM total yards in a game record. And what did he do as an encore? Destroy that record and not worrying ‘bout stats. His game against Notre Dame, given the circumstances, is probably in the top 10 of ALL-TIME individual performances during the college football regular season.
Through the first 2 games, he has 885 total yards! The first two games! That ranks Denard 34th in the Nation in total yards just behind Stanford and in front of 87 other football teams including: Wisconsin, West Virginia, USC, Florida State, Washington and Texas, just to name a few.
The very fact that every time he touches the ball he has the ability to get into the end zone is amazing. The last player I could honestly say that about is Desmond. Hellooo Heisman.
Finally! Michigan has a truly special player that makes other fan bases cringe when they see Michigan on the schedule. Don’t get me wrong, 2009 Tate was good, but 2009 Tate wasn’t making any opposing fans nervous last year. You can’t say that about Denard.
As UM fans, we have gone through more in the past 4-5 years than most teams go through in 100 years. Undefeated going into tOSU, Bo dies, we lose. The expectations of 2007 and then The HORROR. 2008 enough said. 2009 Tate hype and then the fall. NCAA violations, transfer galore, and too many questions about UM football. In 2010, we need to stand up and keep giving praise to UM football and Denard because Denard 2010 is not Tate 2009. HE16MAN!!
Note: This isn't meant to be anti-Tate; it is meant to be pro-Denarnd. I love Tate and believe that if he wouldn't have gotten hurt last year, he would have had a really good season.
I'll save everyone the trip, he's been a member for 3 weeks.
Mitch, this is a decent post, but it just isn't diary worthy. Fine post, just make it where it belongs.
but then you didn't really post any reasons why his article isn't a good diary, you just looked up the fact that his screen name is only three weeks old.
He defined a position and brought in information to support the position. Now maybe he did or didn't do a good job of supporting his position, but it wasn't like he just posted a link and said, "hey this is cool"
In a way your comment is more a waste of electrons than his diary.
The fact that he is a 3 week member doesn't have anything to do with it not being diary worthy, that just explains why he made a post that wasn't. It's common for new members to make that mistake, just pointing it out to him in a polite way. I didn't insult him, even said his post was good, just in the wrong place.
Diary worthy, according to Brian, is something worth more posterity. This isn't some statistical research really or a great in depth breakdown of a play or position group like a diary typically is. There is nothing wrong with the post in general, it just isn't diary worthy.
I've had a Board post bumped to the Diary, and a Diary post bumped to the Board. Yes, it can get confusing at times.
IMO, this is not a Diary post (it is not uncommon to see this level of analysis in comments), but no real harm no real foul.
Love the enthusiasm and the positive attitude!
But the fact remains that other than the next 3 games there are not a lot of "easy" wins on the schedule.
I think Michigan wins 6-7 games last year if Tate and Molk stay healthy.
And although I think Michigan is GOING to win 7+ games this year, there are so many unpredictable factors ahead in this season to guarantee anything.
The team just needs to take things one game at a time and put all of their heart, soul, and energy into winning that ONE GAME each week.
If we do that and we get a little luck in terms of injuries, TOs, etc then we will certainly have a better end result than 2009.
" That ranks Denard 34th in the Nation in total yards just behind Stanford and in front of 87 other football teams including: Wisconsin, West Virginia, USC, Florida State, Washington and Texas, just to name a few. "
I shuddered reading this. There's no question this kid is incredibly special but every team in the country needs a lot of luck to make it through the season with limited injuries and we're no different.
On the bright side, Denard is 34th and he played UConn and Notre Dame, not UNLV, San Jose State, Coastal Carolina, Marshall, etc.
Now if we could just get a little better at tackling at first contact and maybe find a non-Denard option at running back ...
"...2009 Tate wasn’t making any opposing fans nervous last year."
Absolutely not true.
Let's be ecstatic about Denard. Let's list the reasons we're not going to crash after a hot start in 2010 (because we do need to reassure ourselves), given a much better OL, improved receivers, and yes even better QB play. But let's not climb over Tate to do it.
Love the passion, but let's not ahead of ourselves. Tate had a very good start to the 2009 season and would have probably continued to play well if he had stayed healthy (I also think Molk's injury and a very inconsistent running game play a part), which is the exact same thing you can say about Denard this year. He is one sprained ankle or tendon strain away from struggling just as much as Tate last year. Yes, the teams Denard played in these first two games are better than the first two from last year (not by much, as UConn is better than WMU and last year's ND team was better offensively than this year's), but we have not seen him against even an average defense.
People dump on Tate because it is convenient and works with the narrative that has played out on the field and in the media, but this TEAM is playing better than last year's team, and while a large chunk of that improvement can be attributed to Denard, Tate put up very good numbers last year and would have performed well this year if given the opportunity. Now, whether he deserves such an opportunity is a different discussion, but to say that Denard is significantly better than Tate after two games is jumping the gun a bit IMO.
Denard is playing great right now and should lead this team to a 5-0 start, but I'm not going to christen him a Heisman hopeful until he performs well against the Iowas, Wiscys, OSUs, and even MSUs of the world.
but I absolutely hate this attitude. Denard just put together two of the best individual performances in the history of college football. He's better than Tate. Devin Gardner is better than Tate. That's why our coaches have structured the depth chart the way it is. Tate way injured last year, and that's too bad, but he's not injured now, and he's third on the depth chart.
Denard Robinson is the leading Heisman candidate right now. Every Michigan fan deserves to enjoy this and hope a little. Why the hell wouldn't you want to?
...you go ahead and be Andy Dufresne, I'll continue to be Red for now. Hopefully we both end up in Zihuatanejo.
I'm all for giving Denard credit, but I absolutely hate the attitude that Tate is somehow not a good quarterback. He might not be as fast as Denard, but he's great at reading the defense and quickly making the right throw.
Don't forget that he played the majority of last year with an injury to the shoulder on his throwing arm either. I think he will end up being an important part of the offense this year.
I never said I'm not enjoying it. But it seems that people are crowning Denard as a superstar after two great games, and along the way are dumping on Tate. This season is going to be a long one, and to make conclusions right now about how it will play out seems excessive to me. But I am in no way dismissing what Denard has done, and as an alum and fan I am ecstatic.
People dump on Tate because it is convenient and works with the narrative that has played out on the field and in the media,
This is not true. Any negative media attention on Tate has been caused, and furthermore fueled by Tate himself. The sulking on the sidelines, threatening to transfer etc come across diva-ish. He made huge steps vs ND in showing the media and the public (I won't presume to know how the team views him) that he is willing to be a team player. I hope Tate the best, and in all likelyhood, he will be needed on the field this year and his next two years at M.
Where did Tate say he was going to transfer? If I remember correctly, that was a rumor generated by Rothstein after Tate made an admittedly confusing comment after the UConn game. As for the sulking on the sidelines, I will reiterate that we only had a minute or so of lingering camera time to judge his performance for the whole game. But I'm not going to argue the merits of Tate in terms of his behavior - he clearly screwed up in the offseason and has shown some signs of immaturity. But most of the story surrounding Tate this year has come not from Tate himself, but from others commenting on him. While those criticisms might be valid, I do think that he has become a convenient scapegoat for last year's struggles as well as an example for why Denard has blossomed this year, when in fact there are myriad of factors for both.
It was Tate's decision to skip many of the offseason workouts. It was his decision to pout alone on the bench in the opener. It was his decision to text a reporter (does anyone else on the team ever do this?) with the message "All you need to know is - I'm out." He brought this on himself. I think he's a good player, and a valuable part of the team. I don't want him to transfer. But he doesn't need people to make excuses for him when he screws up.
When did Tate text a reporter to say he was out? I only heard that he said the phrase in passing as Rothstein spoke to him as he left the lockerroom after the UConn game. If he actually texted to reporters afterwards, then he certainly deserves blame for it.
I just think people are attacking Tate because he is an easy target, not necessarily because he was as "disrepectful" toward the program as others believe. He missed some offseason workouts and clearly slacked off, and he certainly should be vilified for it. But people are acting like he is a bum who is a major downgrade at QB after basically two games of DR, and I'm questioning the logic of bailing on the kid.
Before we get carried away . . .
Against Notre Dame in 2009, we scored 38 points, versus 28 points this year. And that was on far fewer possessions, and without the benefit of three interceptions and great field position given to us by the defense.
Against Notre Dame in 2009, we punted four times, versus 10 times this year.
As amazing as Denard is -- and trust me, I am not a doubter by any means -- it's way too early to say that our offense as a whole is any better than it was last year. Our overall performance against Notre Dame was better last year, and we know what happened after that.
Whether Denard 2010 is Tate 2009 is not the issue (and is an unnecessary implied dig at Tate in any event). The real question is whether Michigan 2010 is going to be different than Michigan 2009. The jury is still out on that.
Last year we were at home. What Denard did on the road before a hostile crowd was simply remarkable.
You've made some good points, but I don't fully agree with your offensive comparison between our games with Notre Dame in 2009 and 2010.
I would say that they were about even and the 2009 team actually got the same (slightly better) field position.
Let's throw out the special teams kick off return for a TD.
In 2009 12 offensive possessions led to 4 TDs and 2 FG attempts.
In 2010 16 offensive possessions led to 4 TDs and 2 FG attempts, but we went conservative opting to punt and maintain a lead rather than gamble inside of ND territory, had we been aggressive we very well could have scored another TD.
In 2010 we averaged 33.25 yards a drive with an avg. starting position of the 31.6 yard line
In 2009 we averaged 35.83 yards a drive with an avg. starting position of the 32.1 yard line
2010 0 turnovers, 2009 1 turnover that led to 8 Irish points.
I'd say the two offensive performances were even so your point still remains though.
"Take one game at a time."
Say it to yourself over and over and over until you stop grinning like a five year old being offered ice cream and panting like an adoring puppy at the sound of the name "Denard Robinson."
Gotta say, though, it is fun to be "relevant" again.
As many posters have pointed out, and Rittenberg wrote today, the biggest difference between the two is that Denard is doing this WITHIN the confines of the offensive scheme, while Tate's magic last year - and it was magical - was his ability to do a whole lot with nothing when everything (frequently) broke down. I think that is the biggest reason to predict that we will continue to see good things happening with Denard and this offense. The offense is running well, and when you combine Denard's natural talent and his hard work mastering the offense you get Denard magic.
See, I'm getting a little concerned that Denard is playing outside of the offense with the number of times he holds onto the ball and runs. Denard has run the ball 28 and 29 times in the first two games, which I believe is more than Pat White (and for that matter any QB in RR's offense) ever did. Now, I know that this has led to some spectacular results, but the top 2 RBs on the team (Smith and Shaw) have combined for 40 carries and 128 yards.
To me, that isn't the offense - that is Denard calling his own number because he thinks he can make the play and not distributing the football effectively. RR's running game works best when you have RBs squirting by crashing LBs and DEs constantly whiffing as the QB or RB run past them. Right now, opposing defenses can guess with great certainty that Denard is going to keep the ball mores times than not, and pretty soon that is going to lead to some big hits and (hopefully not) an injury to the most important cog in the offense.
but the problem with it is that Denard is *far* more effective with the rock than the RBs have been, even if the defense knows it's coming. If Denard is really keeping it when he shouldn't, and opposition Ds are keying on it, then the RBs should be getting better mileage as a result (and it's not that he not handing it off at all, the RBs are still getting enough carries to know whether they work or not.) But that isn't happening.
But my point with DR is that we don't really know how good the RBs are because they have had so few carries compared to DR. There isn't a RB within 30 carries of his total, even if you factor out sacks as runs. I think we shortchange the RBs a bit here because Robinson has been so dynamic - these are good runners who can put up some big numbers with enough chances, and I think we will see that in the coming weeks. For all of DR's gaudy running numbers, I think the offense would be best served to have some more balance.
Some of his carries are clearly designed QB runs, but the big question here is really how often he is making the correct read at the mesh point with the RBs - this is something that Brian is grading for on the offensive UFR - according to last week's UFR, Denard rarely made the wrong read, which means that defenses are inexplicably scheming against the RB, not the QB. I would bet good money that more often than not he is pulling the ball out because it is the correct read - in essence, it appears that RR and Denard are simply taking what the D is giving them for now.
Those QB designed runs also help set up those WIDE OPEN receivers like Roy Roundtree's TD in the ND game. I think as the season moves on, the RBs will get more carries because that will be the correct read for DRob as defenses put a real emphasis on taking him away. The problem for the future defenses we play, is that Denard will get better and better with more experience running this offense. (Scary huh?) It's really "Pick Your Poison" with Denard because of his improvement in the passing game and the game slowing down for him. We also have to give the o-line tons of credit. They've done a great job so far this year.
As far as a QB like Denard taking too many hits and risking injury - I remember a QB very similar to Denard, playing in the Big10 with far less talent around him, who ran the ball a lot too. I believe he started all 4 years at Indiana. Remember Antwan Randle El? The thing is, Antwan wasn't as fast as Denard. To all my fellow Michigan fans: Enjoy the journey with Denard at QB for the Maize and Blue. We will look back at these games very fondly! Go Blue!
Denard's job is to read the D and make a decision to hand off, run or pass. I'm no coach, but it appears to me that the Ds have taken away the RBs. That's why DR has kept the ball so much. In fact, I think he has missed add'l reads, in that, he should have kept the ball MORE. but even he needs a break now and again.
I agree that the defensive coaches are trying to take away the RBs, but I'm also fairly certain that there have been instances where DR could have handed off and decided to keep it himself. It will be interesting to see the UFRs for ND, because against UConn he dominated in part because nobody knew what he could do with the offense. With a week to prepare for Denard, it will be interesting to see if ND changed its focus or DR simply took control.
The Rittenberg article struck me too. He doesn't seem to improvise much (unless he drops the snap). We've never had a guy like Denard and I credit the line and him. Every guy has to block because you never know if he'll come his way. That has to help with the effort.
Either way I'll take it. I'm still slightly skeptical, but I like what I see.
Having a bad day? Even newbies should be allowed to voice their opinions and thoughts about an exciting 2010 start.
True. But the standard of review is a higher for a diary than, say, a message board post, which this could (should) have been. If one chooses to post a diary filled with unverifiable opinions, one should be prepared for critical responses.
if Denard injures his shoulder, like tate did last year, and if molk is lost for the season to injury like last year, as well as our 2 top Running backs getting injured, like last year, then this year could be exactly like last year. also if Junior Hemingway, oh wait that already happened.
I don't think it's likely to happen (again,) but the point is that it can, and let's not get too ahead of ourselves.
because i think our QB backups are much better than last years, as well as the Oline depth and experience.
True, that book is funny, but I don't see it as applicable to your post or Michigan's situation.
If Kobe Bryant breaks his leg, Gasol and Derek Fisher retire, and Lamar Odom starts playing right handed, the Lakers will probably not be good next year, but you don't assume those things to make predictions about a team's success or failure.
If you believe that Robinson is flawed, that RR cannot coach, and that rest of the M team right now is just not very good, that is one thing. But to evaluate them with the assumption that their entire team is going to get injured is not a good method to evaluate their likely success or failure.
Tate Forcier played very effectively for four games, put up nice numbers against ND an showed a hell of a lot of heart and moxie in playing out the season with a torn god damned labrum.
We're going to be needing Tate at some point this season and his big game experience and confidence will absolutely help. This sort of default comparison Denard Good/Tate Bad is pointless. We have talent and depth at the position now and that's a good thing.
I agree completely. Denard is playing out of his mind, but when your QB has nearly 4 times as many yards rushing as the rest of your RB core, that is a recipe for disaster. Tate played well last year and will help this team win this year, and I for one think that you can enjoy one player's accomplishments without bashing the guy who preceeded him.
they will not continue to let DR go wild. if they change their focus to contain DR, this will open up holes for the RBs. i expect that to happen come big 10 season.
I think ND certainly tried to contain DR but he still made them pay. That is why he has the potential to be a special player at UM. But at the same time, he does call his number a bit too much for my liking, meaning he exposes himself to more shots than I like for a QB. But yeah, I expect the RB production to improve as defenses focus on DR.
Things went downhill after
A) Tate's shoulder injury
B) Molk injury and ensuing relatively bad O-line play (remember the bad snaps during the Indiana game?)
C) Started playing better teams (first 4 games were Western, ND, Eastern, Indiana ).
If Tate, Molk, and Brandon Minor had been healthy last season would have been quite different. But they didn't, and so... 5-7.
Now that I think about it this whole "Tate sux" meme makes even less sense because last season the offense was, largely, not the problem. It was the defense.
Lastly RichRod has repeatedly claimed we have 3 good QB's. I hope he's not just saying that to make them feel good.
Tate was the best QB on the team last year. But through the first four games he was not given the opportunity to play full games. Denard has played all but 3 snaps this year. Tate wasn't given the chance to rack up stats.
I thought the biggest mistake last year was that the coaching staff didn't let Tate stay in games long enough to get offensive timings and rhythms going that could've set up a dynamic conference season. The QB switches of last year didn't lose any of the first 4 games but it certainly didn't help the team going into the rest of their season.
We would not be hearing all the same hype and accolades for Denard if he was pulled for the majority of UConn and pieces of ND.
I'm glad that the coaches have put their confidence and full games of snaps to Denard this year so far.
Tate is a solid QB and no doubt he was a warrior last year. I know the injury during the Indiana game was worse than anyone realized. Given the right weapons and a good offensive line, I think Tate could put up huge numbers. That said, I think the offense under the 2010 Denard is on a different level.
i think that we should all be excited for Denard and the heisman hype....i feel that everytime we play a game we have an excellent chance of winning....last year i always had my doubts. but from the looks of it so far this year, i am very excited.....but we still gotta let the season play out.
The entire team this year is better, hungier, and set up better to succeed. Denard is a huge part of that and he will continue to grow, as will the rest of the team through the rest of the season. We're going to turn a lot of heads this year and next year will compete for the conference championship and a BCS birth.
Tate was pretty hyped up after two games last year but I don't think anyone was seriously talking Heisman. Right now Denard is the outright Heisman leader - there really is no argument about that after these two performances.
All anyone needs to counter this shallow, weak argument is to take a look at the blocking that allowed Denard to score on the long run against ND. This is a completely different team
when has Denard even had to stare down a defender and make a critical pass? once? on the last pass play of the game-winning drive. I wonder how many times Tate had to scramble around for his life last year against Notre Dame compared to this year and Denard. I would agree with most people arguing your post that the offensive line and the blocking downfield has more to do with Denard's stats than his physical talents alone. Was he even touched by a Notre Dame defender on his 87-yard run? I would say our offensive line deserves a lot more credit than Denard does right now. He has plenty of time to throw and hasn't had to make a tough decision all year, except the one already mentioned above with the pass to Roundtree on 3rd down. I hope Denard keeps putting up these numbers and Michigan continues to win, but I am not ready to announce Denard as the end-all be-all to Michigan football. You're talking about him like he's doing it all on his own, which he clearly is not. I want to see how the other two quarterbacks do in this offense against tougher competition before giving Denard any more credit. If he is head-and-shoulders better than Tate and Devin than that is one thing, but not having a means of comparison is hard to gauge his current level. Just my opinion.
Who's to say that Tate wouldn't have already thrown twelve touchdown passes and be at the top of the hype list again this year? He still has a place in football, hopefully it will be at Michigan, if given the chance. If he had met all the challenges given to him by the coaching staff, would he have been the starter? Don't get me wrong as I love what Denard is doing. It would be well for others to realize what he does. He has a god...he's not (insert your diety here.)
Tate had an easier job in many ways because it is always easier to get yourself up to play sensational for one game rather than two games back to back. Denard had to do it for 2 games back to back. It is a much harder task to get up for and play great football back to back versus a UConn and ND (on the road mind you), than Western Mich and ND. The Western Mich game was somewhat equivalent to the UMass game we play this week. UConn was a legit opponent.
This is no knock on Tate. I am just stating the facts.