I think Chait does a nice job of writing about U of M football issues. Here he talks about the prospect of Robinson starting at QB this year. I am personally pessimistic about having Robinson starting, but Chait makes some good points as to why last year really didn't tell us much.
Jon Chait on Denard Robinson as starting QB prospect
I would love to just see him on the field...give him the ball at whatever position and just say "go"
I am not sure about his logic. He explains that it is almost impossible to look good as a true freshman QB and he should improve tremendously from last year. Doesn't the same thing hold true for Tate? It would seem presumptuous to say that Forcier has reached his ceiling as a sophmore and Robinson is passing him just becasue he has a year more experience. I would say they will both be better, but Tate is going to be better than the adequate Big Ten QB he was last year and Robinson will be better than a guy who looked like he joined the team that morning and they only had time to teach him one play.
His point was also that Denard didn't enroll early. Thus not having the advantage of spring ball, while Tate did. The logic seems fair to me to be honest.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought the point he was trying to make is that he thinks Denard has a higher ceiling than Tate. So if Denard was able to do enough this off-season to reach his potential, then passing Tate on the depth chart is very possible and nothing to be down about.
go....the correct way though
I thought you were wanting to see Jon Chait on the field.
The best part him at QB would be that he would probably also write the best and strongest denunciation of his own performance and defenestrate the coaches for such poor decision making that would make them put a fortysomething political writer in the backfield.
Tate has earned the right to start the season as starting QB. If things go as I expect they will, there really won't ever be a reason to experiment after that point. We all know Tate can play some ball.
I see what you're saying, but I disagree with the sentiment. Whomever is playing better at the start of the season should start, regardless of who started last year.
that practice can reasonably show what the game will be like. It can't.
I don't want to lose to UConn because Robinson looked killer in practice, but throws two interceptions with his first three passes on the field. Tate is a KNOWN commodity in the game now. Always start a sure thing. Try out your chance when the sure thing isn't working/needed.
isn't the same thing as an unknown. We KNOW Tate doesn't suck, like we knew Nick did.
I seem to recall posts last year telling us that Khoury looked so good that Molk probably wouldn't start.
The biggest challenge for QBs moving from HS to major conference college football is the speed of the game. Spring practice doesn't come close to replicating that.
Agree with pretty much everything he says. Tate's a solid QB but doesn't have the elite speed that made pat white so successful at WVU. If Denard can complete 60% of his passes I'd take him over Tate 60% of the time every time
And 'IF' Tate ran a 4.4 this wouldn't be an issue. Neither 'IF' is going to happen, so we are still left with Tate as the QB and getting Robinson in the game somehow.
Well, it's within the realm of the physically possible that Robinson completes 60% of his passes, given that this is his first real coaching he's had, ever.
It's not within the realm of the physically possible that Tate becomes a D-I level sprinter.
At the end of the day, we have 2 kids - one who has been trained to be a QB since he was 6, and another who has hardly been trained at all. If you told be that the latter is progressing appreciably faster, I wouldn't be shocked.
You just can't teach this...
50% of me wants to start Denard, and 50% of me wants to take a nap. While the other 50% of me wants the season to start already!
both Tate and Denard would have red shirted (like Devin should this year). I was just surprised that when Denard was in and the whole defense thought run, he still couldn't complete many passes. Hopefully that was just inexperience with reading a college level defense. I think they just both need to be on the field...
Not rocket science.
If he can get his passing game on point and learn to read defenses, I have no doubt that he WILL win a Heisman before it's all said and done...He's that special.
See above. There are a lot of if's with the kid. I say we should take what we are more confident in. Put him at RB, slot, and occasional wildcat QB and I know he will put some fear into opposing defenses. Put him exclusively at QB and ask him to play the whole game and I am less confident.
I think it is a pretty fair article and I tend to agree with it.
I've thought a fair amount about the possibility of Denard taking the starting spot, and this article matches my thinking almost exactly. I think it's a bit of a long shot, but there's definitely a possibility Denard could start.
Raw athleticism isn't nearly as important as mental skills when it comes to QB, though. So either Tate starts and UM has an incredibly smart, calm, accurate QB (awesome), or Denard starts and UM has an insanely athletic QB who would also (hopefully) be smart, calm, and accurate. Cautious optimism has me looking at this as a win-win.
of course there are a lot of "IFs" with the kid. There are a lot of "IFs" with every young quarterback. I would argue that Denard completing 60% of his passes (I don't know how you can say this is never going to happen) is much more realistic than Tate suddenly running a 4.4.
Completing 60% is an excellent rate for a QB. It would take quite a bit of work for Denard to get to that point as a passer.
The thing is, he doesn't have to be as good of a passer as Tate in order to be successful here. I hardly thing Pat White was seen as a stellar passer when he shredded Georgia and Oklahoma.
If it's in the spread it isn't really excellent. Bubble screens and the like tend to inflate numbers. If it's 60% downfield passing completion rate, then that is pretty good.
yac(s) mean nothing?
While I agree with the general sentiment that an accurate Denard would be a better fit at QB, let's not forget that what makes guys like Robinson so good is that they are instinctive runners who can make plays with their feet against even the best defenses. He has been successful following this pattern since he start playing QB, and all of the discipline progression reading and patience in the pocket that is needed for 60% completion percentage will probably not come naturally to him. I'm sure his mechanics have improved somewhat and he is a more accurate passer, but like Tate last year Robinson will probably take off running once his first or second options are not immediately open or if he sees a lane. While I'm all for improving Denard's passing, if you are not careful you might rob him of those instincts that allowed him to succeed thus far.
Denard, at the end of last season, had a long way to go before being a viable option to start at QB. He also fumbled way too much, so he has to get that under control. The one thing that concerns me about Forcier is his play against good defenses. I know that he was only a freshman last year, but he played poorly against the three best teams we played. But I'm sure DRob would have played even worse against them. I find it hard to believe that DRob would start the opener against UConn.
also compromised by injury after Indiana. I didn't see it, but wasn't his playing against Wisconsin reminiscent of his playing vs. ND?
he had one of his better games against wisconsin and played well against ohio st (when he wasn't turning the ball over...5 times) he also played extremely well against MSU. wait what were the three defenses he played badly against?
Iowa, PSU, and OSU. The injury probably had something to do with it.
now that i know which games we're talking about. yea i can't say i disagree too much. altho webb and koger dropping key third down passes didn't help against PSU
PSU was the only one of those three that he didn't perform pretty well in.
Tate didn't play well against Iowa. He was like 8-19 passing and threw a bad interception. The ground game kept us in it.
He was also concussed... might be relevant to his performance in that game especially in regards to timing and decision making
And even if he hadn't been, we could hardly fault him for struggling on the road, as a freshman, against a BCS-bowl team. But it's wrong to say he perfomed well.
Penn State was the only game where he looked overmatched for 4 quarters. They were full of upperclassmen and had multiple all-conference guys on their D. Iowa beat him up and he looked confused late, but the concussion might have been why. OSU he was very good for 3 1/2 quarters and then tried to make to much happen. IMO if B. Minor had been healthy we'd have won but he wasn't. MSU we looked good in the second half. I'd say Iowa and PSU were too much for him, and maybe OSU but he was a freshman and has far from reached his potential. The real issue for Tate is just staying healthy and having a nice running back to compliment his game. ALSO, ppl forget that Roundtree didn't play much against MSU or Iowa nor emerge until late in the season. Roundtree's presence could be huge for the two home games in 2010 (Iowa and MSU).
I think DROB could surprise a lot of people this year. When Pat White went to WVU, he had a year to redshirt, refine his mechanics and learn the system. DROB has now had a year of the same, and I for one am hoping he has made the same progress. I still have a man crush on the Force, but I'm really excited about DROB's improvements. Legit QB competition can only help the team.
I think one of the more troubling aspects of the QB battle is that the loser doesn't suffer equally in this battle. WIth Denard, he will see the field no matter what. With Tate, not so much. If Tate doesn't win, he will only see the field as the backup. If Denard doesn't win, he will see the field elsewhere and as the backup. Denard will get his time no matter what, Tate wont. So, even though I would love to see Denard get the start, I would feel too bad for Tate.
The huge plus is going to be that if one has to come out the other is ready, with a different set of skills for the defense to contend with. Regardless of who starts the quarterback depth chart will be hugely upgraded compared to the last two years. I think Tate will start but from what I have seen of Denard - brief appearances last year and a few clips from this Spring - I think he is a good enough passer and should only get better.
I would personally want Forcier to be the quarterback but I also want Denard getting more touches, whatever position he plays in.
As much as I'm interested in seeing how much he has improved as a passer, I'm also interested in seeing how Robinson does with the read option play (not sure if that is the correct terminology) to the running back. When Robinson was in the game last year, it was almost like a the wildcat - Robinson took the snap and immediately started running to where the play was designed with the running back being an additional blocker.
One of things that made Pat White great was his instinct's on the read option - when to keep it and when to give to Steve Slaton. Slaton and White were a killer combo cause both had the ability to go all the way every time they touched the ball. I'd love to see a running back develope this year for UM who strikes that fear in the oppositions defense.
Hello, Vincent Smith. With permission from Angry Michigan RB Hating God, of course.
That being said, Tate is our starter - I'm in agreement with the poster above who is surprised nobody recalls all that justified accolade early in the year (and all those Tate for Heisman mostly psuedo-jokes). Although it does make me so, so happy we are talking favorably at all about our back-up QB, let alone starting QB, and that there just might be some competition at the position. Yay for returning QBs.
Vincent Smith does not have the blazing speed of Steve Slaton. He's shifty and quick, but he doesn't quite have that fifth gear to leave everyone behind. Probably even more so for a while after his knee surgery.
I just hope whoever starts can run the zone read in addition to passing and/or running fast on his own.
If Denard isn't on the field at QB they should find a way to get him on the field IMO.
Am I the only one that remembers how good Tate was last year when he was healthy? Tate has earned the right to be the starting QB. If the season starts and Tate sucks, then a switch could be made. Otherwise, I think it would probably be best if Denard remains the backup QB. He'll get a handful of snaps there every game, plus plenty of snaps in the slot, RB, and possibly even outside reciever. That way we almost always have both the best QB and the best athlete on the field at the same time.
I don't think people are forgetting.I'm certainly not.
I think it's just recognizing Denards exposiveness and understanding his situation last year.
My bet's on Tate starting and Denard seeng alot more time...At QB(he may come in somewhere else occasionally).
Three very desirable happenings...
We're two deep(and freshman free) at QB
Denard gets on the field
What's the most logical way to accomplish all three?
The dreaded "duel-QBs".
Obviously,this is all based on my expectations of both Tate and Denard be fulfilled.
^^^ do I need those commas?Rhetorical,I don't care.I'm an artist.
I think I may have just misused "rhetorical".
...Now I'm rambling.I hope nobody reads this.
I'm disappointed that Chait - a professional writer - got "less than" and "fewer than" mixed up. If something is countable - like football passes - you should say "fewer than."
but he probably won't
The article raises some very good points. Given everything, we really didn't see the true Denard last year. And it is often between year 1 and year 2 that a player takes giant strides. If Denard is the man now, I say more power to him. The kid has worked his tail off and earned it.
Tim Tebow was not a great passer. Same with Vince Young, Pat White and Rick Leach. If Denard can be a serviceable passer.... with his ability to run.... and in this offense.... the kid can be a terror.
Tebow was a pretty good passer, especially prior to last year. And Vince Young was a great runner, but he also threw for 267 yards in that Rose Bowl against USC. If I remember correctly, he completed his first ten passes or so. He was a 65% passer that year, and according to Wikipedia was the top-rated passer in the country that year. So. . .he was pretty good at throwing the football.
let's say Denard DOES have that Heisman potential (a stretch to me from here, but indulge me a sec). And let's say he's gonna lose you a few games to start but really needs the game reps, the confidence in him displayed by the staff. And let's say Tate's playing okay but really does seem to have plateau'd, has lost a little bit of favor with RichRod.
And let's say you're a coach that desperately needs to gets some Ws to retain his job.
Which way do you go for Connecticut? Down the line? Get past Notre Dame and start him for UMass, Bowling Green, and Indiana? Or tuck him in there right now and haul in Tate down the stretch if need be against UConn?
Or do you play whoever's hot? Provided they really WERE hot, I would love it. Otherwise, I'm scaring the cats w. my screaming during game time.
Last year, Denard looked like an athlete playing QB. In what little bit of film I've seen of him this year, he looked like a QB playing QB. I'm going to have a "never say never" outlook this year.
I think it's a good situation for UM to get Denard a lot of looks in spring.
The assumption that Tate makes giant leaps in his sophmore year is possible, but not assured. You're talking about a kid who came in that was as schooled as any HS QB in the country. Spending his last few years of HS in class half the time and his afternoons with QB coaches prepare a kid pretty well. From the first snap, it was obvious he was prepared. As the season wore on injuries and a tougher schedule took it's toll.
He'll improve, but there isn't the upside that one normally gets from high school tutelage to college level tutelage. He is what he is, a quick but not blazing, slightly undersized kid. He'll adjust to game speed better this year, but that he keeps making leaps might not be his trajectory. He threw a lot of interceptions even in high school. Many more Td's, but his vision and throwing lanes must have suffered on occasion from his height at a much lower level of football.
Denard was as raw as possible. If he had a weak arm rather than an inaccurate one, he wouldn't be worth the time. Strong arm plus tremendous speed is a dangerous combination. Given he threw lazers, they were simply to the opposition half the time, and the fact that he's a threat with his feet every single play, I think he's an exciting prospect.
You know RR understands that he needs to win, and that those wins are more likely to come early in the season. If you see Denard trot out early in the year, then that means he's made tremendous progress in accuracy and Michigan is a much scarier team. Either way, you can rest assured that RR will go with who he thinks can win, he needs w's. and if you trust your coach, you have to assume he knows what he's doing and what it takes to win.