Thankfully, Denard had the season that he did. His athleticism forced the media, other coaches, and Michigan fans to acknowledge that he is a unique talent that needs to be utilized AT QUARTERBACK. Hopefully the inherent, often unfair, pressure that is placed on incoming Michigan coaches (see RR) will be positively applied to Al Borges and Brady Hoke in order to inspire a prolific offense at Michigan that is a hybrid of both Borges' and Robinson's areas of expertise.
It is discouraging that Al Borges has a history of being an offensive coordinator that seems set in his ways, considering the personnel he will have to work with for the next few years. I’m hoping that the success of Denard and this year’s offense will have an impact on Al Borges’ philosophy from day one. Brian mentioned that his traditional West Coast style utilizes the threat of the pass to set up the run. What are the chances that he abandons this even a little bit by using the threat of Denard’s legs to set up the pass? I’d like to be optimistic but given Borges’ track record, I’m not.
Brady Hoke acknowledged that he has a special talent in Denard, and hopefully he believes it as much as we do. If it isn’t already apparent, I was irate about the firing of RR, but I completely buy in to Hoke as a Michigan Man who will do everything he can do to win. Hopefully he will insist that his passion for putting Michigan first rubs off on Borges. It really is not that difficult to adapt if one can swallow their pride and admit that there are other ways of doing things. West Coast offenses use similar blocking schemes as we have these last few years. We have a diverse stable of running backs that can run isos and also get to the outside. Implementing the zone read and its associated pass-looks into what Borges knows and loves would be a smart basis on which to build what he envisions as our offensive future.
I think the majority of us are hoping for an offense similar to last year’s, but also realistic that this will probably not happen. Are there any instances in which a West Coast style OCs has implemented the spread option INTO his traditional offense to adapt to personnel/changing times? Does anyone agree that implementing a few zone read packages into the Borges playbook would be beneficial not only to this team, but for the long run in Ann Arbor? I understand that we want coaches to teach what they know, but I think we’ve all seen the effectiveness of dual threat quarterbacks and the offenses that can be built around them (See this year’s national championship teams).
Nevertheless, I wish I was more optimistic about seeing a hybrid of Borges and Rodriguez on the field this fall, but I’m not. Any words of encouragement would be appreciated.