That was a good article. Long...but good.
landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
That was a good article. Long...but good.
I'm going to be perfectly honest here, and this is coming from someone who idolized Denard for a solid 4 years, whose only jersey is a #16, and who ate up everything Denard related for the past 5 or so years... I'm just not that interested in a piece like this right now. There was just so much content during his time here and immediately afterward, from articles projecting his career to articles celebrating his time in uniform to articles looking back at a career well spent at Michigan, and I loved all of it, but for now I've moved on. There will be a time where reading these articles will stop being about raving over how great Denard is, and will transition to being nostalgic about one of the historically greatest wolverines to ever play for Michigan, but it's just not that time yet. It will come, but for now I've moved out of the idolizing phase and have yet to move into the true historical appreciation phase.
This is nothing against the other Brian or his blog (or even this piece), just something that was on my mind.
So you wrote all that to tell us you didn't want to read the article?
Well I wrote all of that to hopefully start a bit of a discussion on what people think of the issue of how athletes are remembered... but sarcastic responses that add nothing are cool too.
I thought your post was sarcasm. But if not, his sarcastic post added much more. Your post was a bit too much.
I think your sarcasm meter is off
In your opinion.
He beat ND under the lights (throwing for over 300 yards), beat Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl, and threw a laser-dart to Dileo to set up a win over a decent MSU team. I know he underachieved in some big games but he definitely had his moments.
Where all 0-4 against OSU. We can all use stats to say what we want. Doesn't mean they, or Denard, didn't matter greatly to the Michigan football program.
You started off questioning whether he was a great Wolverine, now you're saying specifically quarterback. He was one of the brightest spots in some very dark days of Michigan football history. For that reason and more, Denard will always be remembered.
So let's get this straight, you didn't get all weird talking about your raging boner when he committed then? You've regressed a bit then...
The facts clearly indicate that he was not a great drop-back quarterback, but he was never meant to be a drop-back quarterback. Comparing Denard's numbers against Henne's or Brady's and saying he doesn't measure up is disingenuous. Denard is arguably one of the greatest dual threat quartebacks in college football history, but he doesn't get that kind of credit because he played on some of the least talented Michigan squads of the past 40 years.
I can't think of another Michigan player that was relied on so heavily to carry his team than Denard had to the past three seasons. If you were playing Michigan and good enough to stop Denard chances are you won. That isn't something that can be said for many other Michigan offenses. The fact that Denard lead Michigan to winning seasons in each of the years he was a starter is a testament to his ability. Had DRob played on a team that wasn't so fundamentally flawed at so many positions, who knows what we'd be saying about him now that he's gone, but I think the overall opinion would be much more positive.
But I recognize that there still exists the faction out there in the fanbase that reviles Rich Rodriguez, thinks the spread is communist football, and look at Denard's inability to stand tall in a pocket and launch a 60 yard TD strike as evidence that he ultimately was a failure as a quarterback at Michigan. That's an opinion and you're entitled to it. But I think you're dead wrong
So, "ghost of," are you saying that nobody here on mgoblog watched Denard play against "decent opponents?"
I absolutely adore Denard, but yes, in the grand scheme of things, I feel like he will (unfortunately) be remembered in a similar vein as a standout player on one of Bump Elliott's teams.
I disagree. But, I do think it's a much different thing to remember a player 10-20 years after playing than 40-50 years or more later.
But except for a handful of players, almost nobody remembers players from over 50 years ago. That is changing, though, because a lot more people actually see the games now than 50 years ago. Back then, you might be lucky to see 1 or 2 games televised per year, and attendance also lagged for many years, so maybe 75,000 people, at best, if it's a home game saw the game, with no replay of any kind for great plays. I could go on, but suffice it to say, there is a much better chance players of today will be remembered and acknowledged than those of 50 years ago. And for the reasons saveferris points out, Denard will be remembered and honored as one of Michigan's greats.
He won a BCS bowl, that's a good thing.
Eh, he's an all-timer in terms of stats though isn't he? Plus the sugar bowl win was pretty nice. Henne never beat Ohio State or won a BCS game. To say Denard will be an afterthought is probably a bit much, though I agree he probably won't be remembered in the same vein as Harmon/Woodson/Griese/Hart/Long/etc.
Jake Long was the 1st overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft, and is widely regarded as one the best, if not the absolute best, linemen to ever come through Michigan. Staying for his senior year helps too. I would argue that he most certainly belongs in that group.
Has anyone ever done a comparison of Denard and other Michigan quarterbacks? It would be pretty cool to see where he ranks in things like BCS/Rose Bowl wins, rivalry wins, stats in big games, game winning drives, and some of the other more common QB stats. It seems like I've seen something similar before but can't find it.
I caught a few minutes of the win vs. OSU on BTN replay a couple days ago and at one point Denard was something like 13 of 16. I feel like I've heard so often that Denard was such a terrible quarterback that I forgot that he had some really good/respectable games.
we get an IP block on this guy already?
I have a feeling that the problem, "ghostofFerbert," is that it appears as though you are trying to present your opinion as "fact," while everyone else's is an "opinion." I'm sure you didn't mean to say that everyone else here just has opinions, while you have facts, right?
He disagrees with you. There's nothing horrible about what he's doing.
I think you missed the context of that comment...
This is not a comparison. Maybe that has something to do with why people take issue with your comments... they are poorly-wrought attacks instead of thoughtful criticism
This is probably the website you were looking for:
Unfortunately, the owner hasn't updated it in about 10 years.
But isn't this the point of the OP article?
There is no way of knowing what the first two years of the Hoke regime would have been with Gardner as the QB, or any alternative universe. I'm glad that it was Denard's world for those two years, though. He stayed when he didn't have to, and he left as a figure to be aspired to.
I can't make you appreciate Denard Robinson, and maybe in twelve months he will be an afterthought. Maybe I'm romanticizing his football career at Michigan because I witnessed it as a student. Still, I cannot see how acknoweledging what #16's achievements were and how the affected the Michigan football program is a sign of "delusion."
I think that Denard will be remembered for many years.
He's not going to be an all-time legend, like Woodson or Desmond. But I've watched every Michigan game since the 1990 season, and I think Denard is the most consistently exciting player I've seen in the uniform since pre-shoulder-injury Wheatley. We've had plenty of stars, but Denard is the most electric and fun player we've had in a long time.
I go back further, to the early 70s, and the only player I remember as consistently electrifying as Denard was Anthony Carter. The wow factor goes a long way in terms of legacy.
I also can't remember this kind of mutual love affair between a player and the Michigan community. Denard was about more than football, as the OP points out. The other day I watched a replay of the hoops win over OSU at Crisler this past season, and there was Denard dancing with the Maize Rage. The guy is so immensely likable. He'll always be one of my favorites.
It's a nice luxury to have as worthy a successor as Devin Gardner. He might not be quite as lovable or on our 'all time' list (yet)... but he's pretty damn charismatic too. Seems like a great kid and a rare talent, and I'm ready for him to make this his team for the first time. So I've moved on as well...
Still love Denard no matter what
the whole thing, particularly given that I've never heard of the website. But I got caught up in it. After finishing, I think it's as fitting an "epitaph" for a remarkable career as I can imagine. Thanks for the link, that was time well spent.
Will be hard to forgive Denard for one thing, though: making me want to watch Jacksonville Jaguar games this fall. The very idea is grotesque to me, yet... I don't see what choice I have. Damn you, #16. Damn you.
but we are all Jaguars now
I always enjoyed watching Denard because he was always one play away from making that huge play. It was hard to walk away from the TV because I was always afraid i'd miss something.
Then again, he also made me drink.. a lot... on Saturdays.
Damn shouldn't have been cutting onions while reading that.
Denard is an oddity in that I miss Denard as a person and a player, yet I also hope never to see someone like Denard line up at quarterback again. It's an odd dynamic, one moment you're thinking "We are so lucky to have this kind of playmaking ability at quarterback." Four plays later I'm thinking "Someone get Navarre on the phone and see if he still has his deep ball and any eligiblity left."
At the end of the day, Denard himself showed the potential glory of the spread'n'shred style of offense, the fact we relied on him so much led us to seeing more of his flaws than we might have in other eras when he would have had a larger offensive supporting cast to work with (and highlighted some of the recruiting issues we were having for awhile).
I suppose I never want to see Michigan Football in a situation where we must demand so much production from one player ever again.
"I suppose I never want to see Michigan Football in a situation where we must demand so much production from one player ever again."
That's why we love him so much . . . . he wsa put in that position. And he delivered.
hope he writes one for trey burke too
Whatever your opinion of the subject, I think that the writing itself was quality.
I appreciated Denard for killing himself to save us fans from watching what would have been the second-best football team in Washtenaw County for 3 years. You might care more about what he wasn't, I appreciate what he was.
what they accomplish on the field, we might as well join the SEC. Denard was Denard, and that was enough.
He said "strictly". Both matter. You're free to question Denard's legacy but at this point you're just being a dick.
Is Denard the greatest QB ever? No. But seriously, how do you have an argument about his stats with no one mentioning one of the most impressive single seasons statistically of all time? It turned out it was good RR got fired, but if he stayed, Denard's stats would have been unreal. They're already impressive. Yes, his passing left plenty to be desired, but he obviously didn't fit Borges' system. Obviously totally impractical, but if they had brought in Hoke and demoted RR to OC for the rest of Denard's career, no one here could sanely criticize him.
Furthermore, if we're trying to talk objectively here, you need to stop criticizing him for his record against good teams and other stats that are mostly dependent on the rest of the team. (Insert favorite QB of all-time) wouldn't have taken Michigan to a BCS bowl or a win over Ohio with the defense RR was fielding. Give him that '97 defense and Denard would be an absolute legend. I hate when people have tunnel vision for simple numbers like NC's and Rose Bowl appearances as if no one else on the team matters.
Tangent: Sweet Jesus, how good was Barry Sanders?. If he had stayed in the NFL, he'd be the all-time rushing leader, despite playing with awful offenses.
He may not have had the best stats against the tough opponents but he did have the ability to break a play every time he touched the ball. Wins and losses are a team measurement and I think the point is he didn't have the greatest supporting cast to excel in that category. However he made the best of it and gave his all to keep games close. He didn't play defense so I'm not sure how he can be held accountable for losses. Look what happened when he had a competent defense, 11-2 and a BCS win.
Geez buddy.... Do you have to make the same point 17 times? We get it. Move on.
He also had a competent defense in 2012, but he was still a poor quarterback. With a competent defense, he threw 29 touchdowns and 24 interceptions while completing less than 55% of his passes. I give him a ton of credit for his athleticism (speed, agility, arm strength, etc.), attitude, and leadership, but he was never a good "quarterback."
I think some people need to give Rodriguez a little more credit for what he got out of Denard back in 2010. He still played poorly against decent teams, but the numbers he put up were overachievement to a large degree. Rodriguez did a poor job in lots of ways, but he got the most out of Denard as a run/pass threat. That's because Rodriguez recognized his deficiencies and game planned for them, which is something that Borges struggled with at times. When Denard came out of high school, he was something like a 47% passer and averaged something like 4.3 yards/carry (those numbers might be a bit off, but I'm trying to remember off the top of my head from about 4 years ago). With a mediocre OL, mediocre receivers, and a mediocre Vincent Smith as the other running threat, Rodriguez squeezed 63% passing and 1700 rushing yards out of him. Kudos to Rodriguez.
He was not a great QB. But he was a great football player. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't he have 9 of the top 10 offensive yardage performances ever at Michigan? If that isn't the makings of a legendary career at Michigan I don't know what is.
I thought the article was fitting. Denard was a constant sparkle of hope during the darkest years of Michigan football in recent history. He was someone that nearly everyone wished they were...the quarterback for the University of Michigan who enjoyed college to the max and was a great person. Will he be remembered for his quarterbacking ability? No. Does that matter? Not really. Denard was more than just a quarterback and that is how he will be remembered. He was imperfectly perfect and gave us moments/experiences that will stick with us years from now.
In 30 years when I am telling my kids about my favorite Michigan players Denard will be mentioned. I will tell them about how every time he touched the ball I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what will happen. I will tell them about his smile and love of the game. I will tell them about his shoelaces. I will tell them about seeing him at Wndys in the Union and at the Maize Rage being a genuine person who just loved the college experience. I will tell them about how in the UTL game had one of the greatest single game preformances in Michigan history.
Denard was a constant sparkle of hope during the darkest years
He was imperfectly perfect and gave us moments/experiences that will stick with us years from now.
I will tell them about how in the UTL game had one of the greatest single game preformances in Michigan history.
Bravo ... very nicely written ... that captures the essence of Denard very well.
I loved your phrase "He was imperfectly perfect" ... very apt.
As for the UTL game, that will go down as Michigan legend. I recall watching that game, glued to the TV. I was supposed to pick my wife up at the airport that night ... she had to wait over an hour until the game finished.
I was texting a buddy back in Virginia during the game -- he's a big Florida fan -- and he reported they too were glued to their sets. His 10 year old son, a big Gator fan, was jumping up and down screaming for Michigan.
Everything about that game says "Michigan Legend" ... and Denard was center-stage for that.
As long as they continue to show highlights of UTL (and they still show highlights of Wangler to Carter, so you can count on it), Denard will be a historical, legendary Quaterback for Michigan.
I don't give a damn about all the stale QB stats you can throw out there. That's not why I watch the game.
Denard is a Michigan legend.
Wangler to Carter was to break a tie against INDIANA. Denard's 4th quarter was against Notre freaking Dame.
Imagine for a moment that Denard was able to transfer to AZ. The timing didn't work out, because of RR's year in broadcasting, but if he had landed the job immediately, who knows what decision Denard might have made? I think Denard would be finishing an all-time college football career, would be a Heisman finalist (barring injury), and not get drafted any higher. Michigan would be in great shape, too, with a more experienced Devin hitting it off with BorgesBall.
as he related in the Eisen interview. This might be paraphrased, I did not compare it word for word with the podcast, but it certainly captures the essence.
In first meeting with Denard after he was hired, the first thing Denard said was "Coach, I'm not going anywhere. My dad wants me to get a degree from Michigan and I'm going to stay."
but there was no option to follow RR at the time, right? Maybe that was a side-effect of The Process.
To say that Denard wasn't a great Wolverine would be ludicrous. Lets not forget that we put way too much on his shoulders in the first place. Until Fitz' break out year in 2011 he didn't even have a legitimate back to help ease the pressure. Smith, Shaw, etc were just average backs at best. He was always required to do so much just for us to have a chance at winning. Regardless of the stats, what he was able to accomplish even in the last two years while playing in Borges' system was no easy task.
Denard's most important Michigan legacy might be the way he helped hold the team together after RR's departure. The runs against ND were thrilling, no doubt, as were the OMG UTL passes that ended up in the right hands. But the decision to stay in and hold on directly contributed to some wins the team might not have otherwise had, and bowl appearances that might not have otherwise occurred.
The decision to stay reflected more than anything Denard's character, a quality far more important than athletic ability and the quality for which he will be best remembered.
he will be remembered as a legend. Anthony Carter played on some disappointing michigan teams (for the Bo era) and is remembered as a legend. Denard played surrounded by the weakest talent we have had in over 50 years and was THE reason we were competitive at all in any of those games. People are entitled to their own opinions, but the idea that Denard's on the field accomplishments aren't enough to put him in the legend category seems crazy to me.
Further, in my life, there are only two performances against OSU that are in the same ballpark as Denard's in 2011 - Biakabatuka and Kolesar.
No one is arguing that he was among the most talented drop back QBs we have had. That argument is a paper tiger. What he was, was the best player we had over a 3 year period. And, I think, the most valuable player to his team that I have seen at Michigan in my lifetime. Woodson had James Hall and Marcus Ray. Griese had Hutch and Backus and Tuman and Streets. Henne had Hart and Long and Manningham. Who did Denard have? I don't want to take a dump on the players around him because they busted their asses for UM. But give the not a legend stuff a rest. Denard was Michigan football for 3 seasons. It isn't his fault we were starting walkons on defense.
He won the Big Ten twice and won Bo's first Rose Bowl.
And while OSU was almost assuredly Denard's best game, and an all time great....if you're going to say "ball park" you'd have to consider Chris Perry in 2003, Drew Henson in 2000, Desmond Howard in 1991, and probably as good Charles Woodson in 1997 who set up Michigan's touchdown, stopped a OSU touchdown, and returned a kick for a touchdown.
you're right about ac. i was thinking the 6-6 year was during his time. i was wrong. and i actually agree with all of the osu performances you mention...still, pretty good company.
If you wanted to rank the two you mentioned as 1 & 2 I may or may not argue with it, but you could. If you're talking ballpark, which means close, it's been awhile, but legendary performances against them didn't used to be so rare.
The bottom line is that (IMO of course) we owe Denard a huge debt of gratitude for sacrificing a chance at great statistics to stay at Michigan and play in a system that didn't always play to his strengths.
For those who harp on his "weaknesses," there is a great chance that if he had transferred to a spread school and sat out a year to heal nagging injuries, he would have put up some of the most prolific stats in the history of the game, and may have gotten a Heisman over "Johnny Football."
I would hope that even those who want to say that Denard wasn't the greatest pure QB at Michigan would at least recognize that he was a great player and an even better human being.