All the Denard hype is nice and well deserved, but I think that misses the paradox of this team.
Tate was heralded in this system, although clearly not to the degree of Denard, but it suggests that people are focusing on the symptom rather than the underlying “illness.” RR is the virus and Denard is the infection, just as Pat White was the infection.
RR funnels his offensive genius through the QB position having concluded that danger emanating from the man with the ball every offensive play is the best way to stress defenses. Steven Threet and Ryan Mallett allow defenders to simplify their duties producing better performance; no LB has to worry about being embarrassed by their speed and elusiveness.
To generate the mismatches and opportunities that the QB position alone can generate, he wants the QB to threaten every defender on the field. Nick Sheridan threatened no one, Tate Forcier threatened much more and Denard scares everyone. But it is safe to say that RR would have inflated Scarecrow Pryor’s (“if I only had a brain”) stats to White/Robinson levels and intends on inflating Gardner’s to such levels.
But you can’t threaten if you can’t block and catch. I have seen the best WR blocking of my life from this team so far, and the OLine is doing stellar work with room for improvement, which is scary in itself. WVU had talented mobile lines, excellent blocking and diverse threats, which made his less heralded talent dynamic.
So, on one hand if we assume that RR will have a stream of talented dual-threat QBs passing through Michigan, we will always see White/DRob stat freaks at the helm. On the other hand, as the other positions rise to the level of RR’s vision, the redonkulousness of the stats will soften slightly as a Slaton comes on board and the OLine becomes polished.