what can happen with a scheme and routes that minimize his deficiencies. And I'd like to return to that.
in town for free camps
what can happen with a scheme and routes that minimize his deficiencies. And I'd like to return to that.
I dont think that the offense was as great as people think it was last year. In some ways, this is the root of the disagreement of Borges' playcalling this year. Last years offense put up some great stats but look at what they did agaisnt good Defenses. I mean, they scored 7 points against OSU and 14 points against Mississippi State and overall did not look impressive.
even really good offenses often struggle against good competition, that is the nature of the game. See Oregon in the title game last year for example. Second, I'm not here to say the offense was impeccable last year, it wasn't. But it managed to have a scheme that allowed Denard to run AND made him a serviceable passer. That is the missing link this year
OSU had the 2nd best defense in the nation and we actually did better than average against them. I noticed you left out the other top 10 defense we faced last year. Weird.
That sums it up.
That said, by scheme, I don't necessarily believe it's as simple as formation. RR designed plays with simple reads. Contrary to the selective memory of some on here, Denard was hitting corners, digs, ins, outs, covered slants, etc. He was a solid passer, not great, but good enough for what the offense was trying to do.
while I disagreed, I did it in a respectful sort of way--maybe it didn't come across that way and if so that wasn't my intent. Now on to your reply. I look forward to you offering a reason beyond "nerves" and "he's just bad" as the explanation why a QB that, factually and every other way, was a decent passer last year, has regressed just as he should be making the most improvement as a passer, his junior year.
Now, on one side of the aisle we have your "nerves" and "he's just bad" explanations. On the other side we have:
-The clear and incontrovertible fact that he was a decent passer last year and was able to move the ball that way, with 63%, 2500 yards and 18/11
-the fact that he has a new system: while the shotgun runs are mostly the same as last year (with the exception that some are using power blocking not stretch) the passing scheme is different:
-receivers this year have reads to make that didn't exist last year--that's how West Coast systems work
-Denard has reads to make that didn't exist last year. He has tio anticipate the read the receiver will make while also anticipating the defenders.
-He has to go through progesssions that did not exist last year. Last year it was "one key one throw"
-he is being coached to a different style of footwork than he's had--hence all the footwork discussion he and the coaches do this year.
-And he is sometimes now under center, which means backpedal, go through progessions, anticipate reads, and throw. NONE of this he had to do last year. He DID do that as a HS Senior--and look Ma! 47% completion percentage.
Now, a good passing QB can do this stuff and should be expected to do this stuff. HOWEVA, Denard is not a good passing QB. THAT'S WHY, Rodriguez had a simple passing scheme that mostly eliminated all of the above that I just listed. Why? To minimize Denard thinking about anything other than throwing to that one guy right there.
That's my analysis. Yours is "nerves" or he's just bad.
I'll let coaches and rational people decide which one of our explanations "is a joke"
analysis that's your perogative. Meanwhile Al Borges is busy moving to easier pass routes and reads for Denard to have more success with.
I never once stated Denard was an accurate QB. He never has been. But his RESULTS have been far, far better, because of the deficiency limiting scheme he had last year. It doesn't make much rational sense that he would regress so thoroughly in precisely the year that he should be making his greatest improvement, and there is an explanation sitting there--an explanation that the coaches themselves anticipated prior to the season--but you choose to ignore that. Feel free to believe that the mental game, footwork and reads have nothing to do with how accurate a QB is. Coaches would all disagree with you, but maybe they don't know that much.
We did score the 3rd TD from the I-form, albeit on a fake. I think that we continue to see I-form, if for nothing else than to keep the defense honest.
Having multiple offenses isn't a bad thing to give other defenses plenty of looks and confusion. Denard's accuracy has dropped this year but that is mostly due to less bubble screens or quick out routes that RR's offense used that this one does not. I would be okay with giving Denard some easier throws to make, but the fact is he's going to have to improve downfield accuracy in order for the offense to sustain drives.
Don't abandon the I, just use it more to Denards strengths. Rollout, play action, screens and draws instead of runs up the middle and drop backs.
I understand the backlash, but I also feel there may be something fundamentally less effective about the I-form when you have Denard.
In the shotgun, before the play even starts, the defense has to worrk about the RB, a pass, or Denard running. We've seen the nightmares this causes for D coordinators.
I think the shortcoming the offense faced in B1G play the last two years came more from the fact that we were playing mostly underclassmen against mostly upperclassmen and that we didn't have a servicible RB - could be wrong though.
In the I-form, before the play even starts, the defense only has to worry about the rb or a pass. Denard can run on a rollout or a qb sneak, but I feel this limits his dynamite, either by allowing more time for the defense to read the rollout, or less room for Denard to run on the sneak.
I understand that Borges wants to install his offense, and he's obviously 1,000,000 times more flexible that RR, but I think that Brian and the OP are correct in being skeptical of the I-form when it keeps the most explosive player in college football under center.
You know what else "limits his dynamite"? Throwing interceptions and incomplete passes.
The dude ran for 200 yards yesterday, and you're complaining about his limitations when running the ball. We're talking about his limitations as a passer...which are significant. An open receiver is an open receiver, whether you start the play standing up, sitting down, under center, from shotgun, blindfolded, in the stands, on the sideline, or standing on one foot. Yes, he's made bad reads in the passing game (he's been doing that for three years), but the more egregious errors are the wide open receivers that he misses.
"You know what else "limits his dynamite"? Throwing interceptions and incomplete passes."
I couldn't agree more. Would you say he's more likely to throw interceptions and incomplete passes out of the gun when defenses have to worry about his legs as a primary weapon or in the I form when the only immediate running threat the defense has to worry about is our tailback?
"We're talking about his limitations as a passer..."
I couldn't agree less. This thread is about Michigan running the I-form versus the shotgun for the rest of the season - not about Denard's limitations as a passer.
I will agree that Denard's shitty passing stats are an excellent point to refer to in this discussion, overall, however looking at the entire scope of this thread and my comment that you responded to... that's not what we're talking about here.
To miss wide open receivers in both formations. It has nothing to do with how open it gets them and everything to do with throws that are no where near close.
My problem with the I-form offense with Denard at QB is it takes away the best play action play in the NCAA: The Denard fake run. As we saw this weekend and many times last year, no play action comes close in effect or reliability to Michigan's "Denard take two steps towards the LoS". I'm glad Borges finally called it this week, and hope to see it used a few times a game throughout the season.
Good grief... We've run that play literally every week so far this year, sometimes on multiple occasions. You act as if this is the first time Borges pulled it out of the archives.
Go back, watch the first few games over, and then smack yourself in the forehead.
This play is a once or twice a game call not the basis for a passing offense. To say that lining up in the I takes this play away is like saying lining up in the shotgun takes away the flea flicker.
Honestly, right now Borges is not calling it as much as he would like, IMO. However, we need to keep some element of the I-Form/Pro Style offense for two reasons:
1. We can hardly get much worse at it, and at some point, things are likely to click with more practice and usage in game situations.
2. It makes it harder to defend the Spread/Shotgun elements of our offense. Last year when we were more one-dimensional, we had more problems scoring and moving the ball later in the season as people started to adjust to our game film.
I think that the offensive line and runningbacks are not that far off in being able to consistently run the ball out of the I formation. In the replays I have seen the line looks pretty solid at pulling and vs SDSU looked like they got some push. I honestly think that the biggest issue is that we havent been able to complete anything deep consistently and defenses have been selling out on the run.
This year, once B1G play starts, the I will exist only as a change up or as something to work on when the game is in hand. It will not be the bread-and-butter O formation.
It's biggest problem is not Denard, it's that we can't run out of it. This has been the biggest dissapointment with it. Denard may get his footwork straightened out, but we are not going to get a new set of O Linemen this year.
It will be the O formation of the future, but it is a couple of recruiting classes away. We are blessed that we have Denard until then and that Borges knows how (and is willing) to play to his strengths.
I think one of the main reasons why we cant run out of the I is because we cannot pass the ball downfield. If we were able to get some balance than I think you would see the running game open up more outside of just the spread.
It would be interesting to go through Hoke's presser transcripts to see how many time he's mentioned they need to improve "blocking at the point of attack." Seems like a weekly mantra. These O-lineman were not recruited to run the I-form power. That doesn't mean they don't do it well from at times. But as Brian repeatedly points out, when you have a guy like Molk who is a master of the zone scheme reach block, or a guard like Omameh with the agility to take out LB's on the second level but is no iso-road grader, you're not playing to your strengths.