If I had read this before I just watched the countdown video I would have been inclined to agree. But in the last couple weeks Ive heard a lot from family and friends in Ann Arbor that Sheridan is starting to look really good. And after watching that video... well... and I might eat my words... He looked impressive. Sweet juke too.
Minimizing a QB's Impact on an Offense
So it seems the QB & OL will be the biggest weakness of the team this year. In addition, it seems that Usain Bolt is fast (topical!) and Charlie Weis is a super genius. Ok, I’ll stop there. Anyway, lack of depth, talent, experience and fit to the system are all contributing to the low expectations of these position groups this year. Now, I’d love to talk about the OL. It’s the biggest part of the offense and thus probably more crucial to the success of the team than even the QB. However, I’m going to ignore the OL basically for 2 reasons: 1) I don’t enjoy feeling like this little guy, and 2) I don’t think there’s anything that can be done to mitigate the situation. But what about the QB issue? When you have minimal talent and experience at the QB position, can one reduce the impact of the QB on an offense?
I want to find out and hopefully there will be some insightful comments* that can add to the discussion. I don’t have a ton of time to research the topic, so my research outline consisted of:
IF (Google == helpful) THEN
“The Bucs like to minimize the position to the point that their quarterback has no more impact than a receiver does for most teams. On most plays, he's a bystander.”
This may be overstating the situation a bit, but I can not image RR saying to the staff at a meeting, “Goll-ly fellers, I know we have some perrrty speedy RBs and some dang good WRs, but we autta have Nick Sheridan be the playmaker fur dis here team.” It’s logical to assume that the staff would want to mitigate what seems to be the weakest part of the team, isn’t it? So what did the ’99 Bucs do?
Short passes to the RBs:
“A dozen of his passes were thrown at running backs.”
Run a heck of a lot more than they pass:
“On first down, the Bucs have rum 61 percent of the lime [sic].”
Not a lot of down field passing:
“A whopping 66 percent of their pass attempts this season have been for 10 yards or fewer, and only 12 percent have been for more than 20 yards.”
This seems to reinforce the idea that the offense will not be what we have become accustomed to under LC. Decisions will be easy ones for the QB. Passes will be short and designed to allow the RBs and WRs to make plays. First and second downs will be run heavy to make sure the QB isn’t pit into 3rd & ten situations.
Now, some of this may sound similar to what Michigan did with young QBs and that’s because it is. But recall, the offense and young QBs LC had are not the same RR has. I don’t expect short crossing patters that take 8 seconds to develop, nor do I expect 5 yard out patters that require a howitzer to complete. More bubble screens that are easy for the QB to read. Of course, the spread-option is an easy read. The bottom line? Expect a ton of carries for the RBs and the fewest passing attempts by a Michigan QB since Elvis Grbac gave us The Catch.
*insightful comments are defined as the opposite of this: "The O-line is no reason to freak out. They will gel."
- The hope/goal is to build confidence in QB while lowering mistakes to build overall confidence is whole offensive unit/system. WR/RB/OL like to believe in leader/QB/Offensive Coordinator and vice versa. So how do you get a QB whose never taken a snap get/earn that title/respect from both sides or coaches and players? You give the rock at first to those who have played and then integrate down. I think Michigan's running game is a 3-4 out of 5 on any given Saturday. Brandon Minor should get 80-120 yards or more depending on if he breaks one. Carlos Brown/McGuffie have had that,"Break one,"title on them since they came out of the crib.
- The OL already knows the sportswriters are penciling in Michigan potential losses on them. Next on the media firing squad will be the QB. I'm sure both units of players are already prepping those responses in case of loss.
- I think this team, give a desperate moment, will take a variety of huge lunging punches and or deep bombs though. If you are 60-75 percent run, with Sheridan throwing the quick outs...fake an end around, hide the ball, pause, and throw one up to Mathews or a taller guy. Cant lose there if you're down.
- To minimize the weight on a QB, you have to hope for yards after catch. Especially out of the slot and other wide outs if you are going to,"throw off," and or 5-10 yard dink passes. You don't want it to look like a broadway play though. Or run horizontal and high five one coach one on sideline and then end the play being helmet smacked by the opposing teams bench warmers on the other side. I think Lee Corso calls those players,"mr horizontals." Angles and knowing when to CUT IT BACK from the run and pass after catch are huge. You hope the guys know how to juke by now. I am guessing they do or else they'd be somewhere else.
- Utah is a tough opener for this current situation. If they go down early and rally it's a double win in my opinion. Or if the QB saves the day with jukes and lasers, Michigan will be riding the big mo into Notre Dame. If they lose, you want to see the fight and resiliency. Win quietly and lose loudly. I just want em to go down swinging no matter what.
I just watched the video as well of the beanie scrimmage. I'm pumped. All Hail Rich!
Sheridan should be the guy.
but what if we struggle against utah? and then we put in threet, and he does good? won't rich rod be a liar then? wouldn't that mean he lied to all of us about adapting his system? i thought threet was supposed to be the guy?
or, did you run out of meth and start mainlining cough syrup for your fix, leading to a slightly crazier but perhaps less paranoid high?
I agree with MA, really (I have a hard time forming set opinions based on heavily edited video clips of a player).
Experience aside, Mathews, Clemons, Hemingway, Odoms, Butler, Brown, Minor, Shaw, McGuffie, and Grady are all immensely talented players, all of whom, aside from Grady and maybe Mathews have the ability to turn six with any touch. It would make sense, especially with a suspect O-line, to try to prioritize getting them the ball quickly, and minimize the amount of time the o-line needs to pass-block.
Simply: with weapons like that, it seems hard to believe that Rodriguez would hand the keys to to Sheridan, and ask him be Pat White or Chad Henne.
I watched RR giving a presentation of the Zone Read a few weeks ago. According to this presentation although they may get an audible from the sideline before the snap, from snap to handoff is when all the major decisions are made. And the QB makes those decisions. That doesnt mean I expect our QB to run for 60yrds and a TD(I dont want him to kick field goals either), but he has to distribute the ball to the right place for each defensive look. So I wouldnt say our QB will be the least important player, because hes the most important player in the zone read.
What if they both got hurt? Sheridan and Threet that is. Personally, I would love to hear(I would also stand up and cheer at this point) if I could hear the pa announcer at Michigan Stadium go,"Carlos Browns pass is complete over the middle to Jim Potempa, first and 10 Michigan."
I just watched the last few countdown videos and I think Sheridan looked pretty solid. Sure, those were the highlights, and he may have fucked up 5 times for every good play, but at least there were good plays. He made hard throws. He made some nice cuts to get yardage. The pitches looked accurate. I think we're in better shape than a lot of people make it seem. That, or I'm homer-ly optomistic.