great interview, guy has been one of my favorite wolverines, and now more than ever. When asked about the similar starts in 2009 and 2010, while claiming expertise as a "michigan" and prfessional football player he stated that he sees night and day improvement on on offense from last year to this year while admitting he was skeptical after last year, nothing negative. Of course i wear rose bowl colored glasses.
John Navarre interview
Wow I like how you make it seem like it was all his fault throughout his time at Michigan. Navarre was a pretty good quarterback at UM, maybe not the best that has played but definitely not the worst.
But considering the team that guy had around him, who's fault was it? Henne had most of that team for one year as a true freshman and he went to the Rose Bowl. Navarre put up some amazing numbers with some amazing football players, but I can't forget how frustrating it was to watch him stare at the receiver he was throwing to practically before he even got the snap. Yes, he did beat Ohio State, and he seems like a great guy, but I remember several remote throwing moments.
You're conflating Navarre's admittedly poor performance in 2001 (when he had a very weak offense around him) with the great overall team we had in 2003, and assuming that we always had 2003-caliber talent on offense. We didn't.
Our 2001 offensive line was horrendous - the worst of the Carr era. Our tailbacks were mediocre - Perry was nowhere near the player he would later become. Our WR corps had one playmaker (Walker) who was double-teamed every week. We had to run reverses to Calvin Bell every week just to give our offense a little boost. To make Navarre feel more comfortable, Stan Parrish greatly limited the playbook - which had the effect of making us even more predictable than usual. Navarre had a bad season, but he was not in a position to succeed. Only good D and an outstanding punt-rush unit (we blocked like seven punts) saved that season from being a total disaster.
that the most abused Wolverine in modern program history would also be the last QB to lead us to victory over the Buckeyes? Football can be full of irony.
In a world where so many rely on Kirk Herbstreit for knowledgeable analysis nothing appears ironic to me any longer.
I think Navarre's senior year was very successful. It was his preceding difficult years that sort of led us to expect another frustrating season in 2003, but he consistently defied those expectations. Perhaps the biggest improvement he made that year was in gaining the composure to take a step up in the pocket to avoid a sack and then fire accurately downfield.
That seemed to be a common recurring event in the 03 season. "Oh shi- that defensive end is bearing down HARD. Navarre is way too slow to avoid this inevitable sack." [Navarre steps up, just out of reach and fires to Avant. First Down!]
Navarre's Junior year was also soild and in fact arguably better than his senior season.
People were way too hard on him.
I wouldn't say it was better than his senior year (he posted career high numbers across the board that year), but it was solid. If that had been his first year as a starter (which was originally the plan), Navarre would probably be remembered much differently. Of course, if he hadn't gotten that experience in 2000 and '01, it's possible he'd have struggled more in '02.
A lot of the hard feelings directed at Navarre were really the product of the fact that he was thrown into a situtation he was not ready to handle. Getting F-d by Henson really put Navarre in a spot he was not ready for.
It's like getting mad at Sheridan in 2008.
Navarre did progress to the point that he was a legit upper-half Big Ten QB by his senior year. His picks against OSU are a horrendous memory, and the large number of batted balls for a guy his height are some of the negative memories I have. But his comeback and TD reception against Minnesoata still stand out to this day and his hard work and progression over the course of his career leave him to me as a real net plus to the program.
While he had a tendency to have way too many passes batted down for being as tall as his imaginary friend, he had one of the prettiest deep balls I've ever seen thrown. Guy took way more flack than he deserved. The guy wore cement cleats, but thats what you get from a player that a lot of people thought would play DE at Michigan.
Had the chance to ask a UM coach about Navarre and the batted ball syndrome, and he commented that at the time the crossing routes that UM ran were 5-7 yards shorter than most teams ran, by design, thus resulting in less room to 'float' a ball in. It made sense at the time, but didn't make me feel any better that a QB standing just a shade under 8 feet tall got balls batted down.
Some people appear to just hate even the talk of Navarre. I got negged for praising him, and you got negbombed for ripping on him.
Henson 2000 (Jr)
Henson 2001 (Sr)
Navarre 2002 (Jr)
Navarre 2003 (Sr)
Gutierrez 2004 (So)
Gutierrez 2005 (Jr)
Guiierrez 2006 (Sr)
Henne 2007 (Jr-red)
Henne 2008 (Sr-red)
Antonio Bass 2009 (Sr-red) / Ryan Mallett (So-red)
What one early unexpected, Buckeye inspired departure by Henson affected.... remember in 2001, Sweatervest's first year, he would have been going against a Sr / Heisman candidate Drew Henson instead of a raw John Navare.... think that game might have turned differently?
This is correct, except that Henne and Mallett were never going to redshirt - Carr promised both the chance to play as true frosh. And Bass was a WR in Carr's system.
This makes me very sad.
but that Minnesota game is something I will never, ever forget.
I was at the Metrodome that night and Navarre easily could've quit after we fell down three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. But hell no, we stormed back and pulled off what I believe is still our biggest comeback in the program's history.
I lost my voice that night after way too many rounds of "It's great to be a Michigan Wolverine!" as we exited the stadium. Been to many more meaningful games and celebrated bigger victories, but that was a truly special evening.
So for that I raise my glass to Mr. John Navarre.
I was at that game at the metrodome, too. I'll never forget the looks on the Gopher fans' faces. That Meeechigan victory is something the Gophers still haven't recovered from.
You are correct sir; that game still haunts them. I'll never forget the walk out of the dome that night and sitting at a bar on the sidewalk post-game. The beverages tasted sweet that night.
Navarre's game at Minnesota is what seals it for many people looking for a signature Navarre positive moment.
Sheridan's game at Minnesota is what seals if for many people when they are looking for a signature positive moment.
We really love it when guys we don't expect rally Michigan to keep the Jug.
He took a lot of abuse while he was here. After the Minnesota game, I was listening to the radio, a guy called in and said, "John Navarre, welcome to the Michigan program." As if all his hard work and sacrifice, up until that point.... meant nothing. I wanted to strangle the guy. I am glad that things are going well for him.
John Navarre is on my wife's un-laminated list.
I shit you not.
It's not laminated.
He overachieved, and I asked no more of him.