Our year 2 opener will be much more difficult thats for sure.
Rittenberg: Why Brady Hoke needs to win in Year 1
You think Alabama is tougher than Western? C'mon.
Denard will have a year in the system, as will Borges have a year with Denard.
Also, our D has a year in system with Mattison.
Finally, our incoming freshman class has a potential to make a significant increase in the ability and athleticism of our special teams.
Im pumped. Then again, im on my 5th cup of coffee today, so everything is getting me jazzed up.
2012 will be a good year for us, en mi opinion. We lose a few guys, but we return the core and bring in some solid guys in the 2011 and 2012 classes.
No offense, but it's probably a good thing you're not a betting man. I highly doubt he's anywhere else in 2012.
I'm not sure if you're saying he'll be beaten out by Devin or Bellomy or that he'll go pro, but I agree with WolvinLA. I would be very happy to take you up on that bet
I am with you on this. I think the wild card for this year will be Denard's ability to adjust to a modified pro-style. If he doesn't -- and plays terribly in a bad loss to ND, for instance -- we have the potential for a DR/DG QB controversy. DR is the heart and soul of the team, but it is just possible that DG is considerably better under center. If that happens, Hoke's leadership will be challenged to do the unpopular right thing and sell it to everyone or to stick with popular wrong option and pray that it works out. The good news is that Denard is such a great guy that he can probably be persuaded to do whatever the team needs. The other good thing is that it looks like Borges is smart enough to run an offense in which Denard can be pretty successful. Unless he does, then Denard is probably in the pros as a Percy Harvey slot guy after this year.
Your scenario will not happen. Brandon said he had a long talk before hiring Hoke about adapting his offense to suit Denard's skills. There's no way he gives up on that after two games.
The only way I can see Denard losing his job is by injury causing him to miss a few games. It's possible that DG could come in and be so good that a controversy starts when Denard is ready to return.
I certainly do not want that scenario to happen. I wouldn't expect DR to be replaced after two games. I am just worried about a QB controversy beginning after ND. I confess to being worried about the ND game: hungry, rising Irish, new system for Denard and our offense. I think it will be hard for us to win. But given our hoped for defensive improvement, the increased experience of virtually every starter, and the comparatively easy schedule, I find only Denard's adjustment to be a cause for worry about the season as a whole.
Despite these concerns, and having failed to secure OSU tickets on Monday, I am preparing to pay scalpers prices for me and my two boys so that we can fly up for Brady Hoke's first beatdown of OSU.
I'm worried too about what the offense will do early. It may take a little while to find its way but it should be potent vs OSU, especially if a second reliable running threat emerges.
I have a few beefs with this statement. Here is one:
Michigan better find a very highly rated QB in this upcoming class that can come in right away and compete with Bellomy for the 2 spot because there is no way that UM can keep Denard off the field.
I seriously commend you for having to say that around here.
It may sound crazy to some, but you may be correct. If Denard does not adjust to the pro-style game, it is not out of the realm that DG - who is probably a better fit - could pass him as QB. That said, Borges seems willing to be flexible and run a system that will incorporate Denard's speed.
If Devin does pass Denard, it is always possible that he moves to the role of WR/RB/punt returner. He is way too athletic to keep off the field, but at the same time, if QB doesn't fit, he could play the Breaston role nicely. (I know - he is a QB - but we are talking "if he is not the starting QB.")
We don't really have the quarterback depth to move him elsewhere if he gets passed. Especially if we don't take a QB in the 2012 class.
If injuries didn't exist, I think that would probably work really well. Think about a situation where DG is the QB and have Roundtree and Denard to throw to. Think about Denard running an end-around. DG doesn't have the wheels Denard has but is still a major running threat and with all of that our running lanes would be wide open for our RBs with the OL that we have.
The only problem is what happens if DG goes down. Do you move Denard back to QB? Then you have a QB who hasn't been practicing the O at QB and you lose your top WR. If you put Bellomy in, you have a kid with no experience starting at QB and NO ONE but walk-ons behind him. If we had a solid QB in the 2012 class, maybe an EE, it would be a lot more feasible, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.
Devin Gardner agrees.
dGardner7 Devin Gardner
I'm just feeling like the job is for the taking...watch me take it!! #ImOnOne
DR will not have a problem playing under center but DG may. DG has never played under center, all of the snaps he took in high school were in the gun. DR played under center in high school.
... at the peak of his game.
After three god-awful years of mind-numbing debate about how much RR did or did not have to win, do we really need to start this just yet?
So how many wins does Hoke need to stay off the hot seat?
Wow, seriously? I'd be pretty happy with 9 wins.
on ESPN radio.
For those who are interested the losses - per Jalen - were:
One of the 3 - Minnesota, NW, MSU
One of the 2 - Iowa - Illini
One of the 2 - Nebraska, OSU
Interesting that Minnesota and Illinois get mentioned but not ND or even SDSU. And if we only lose one of two with Nebraska and OSU I'll be a happy camper.
Um... 12 games, we lose 4, and win 9.
I think we'll win the next bowl game!
Because RR accomplished that record in 2010 with an arguably more difficult schedule, an awful DC, and essentially the same starters (20 starters returning from last year) except those guys were a year younger. I think most fans will be at least a little upset and a little worried going into 2012 if Michigan goes 6-6 or worse this season.
The first half of the season is cupcake. Granted it gets tough after that, but I'm expecting a reasonably good bowl invitation.
I will be pissed off if it ends up that we fired Rodriguez just because Brandon had a power trip. I am sure most UM fans are not going to be patient.
Wiith that said -- Go Blue!
And the number of wins we have in 2011 will determine for you whether or not RRod was fired because of a Brandon power trip how, exactly?
If we beat ND, all things become possible.
Even if we don't beat ND, we can still have an awesome record heading into NU and OSU, if we beat Sparty. Sparty must be beat down.
Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. I agree that Notre Dame should be a major challenge this season but if the Rodriguez era has taught us anything it's that ND should not necessarily be a barometer for the success of the season at hand.
It used to be. Compare the records (before the last 2) in years we beat ND vs. lose to them.
Yeah man, the good old days.
Just like the last two years?
Now is not the time to worry about the 2012 season. Trust in the football IQ of this awesome football staff that Coach Hoke has assembled.
This article sounds like something Drew "not-so-Sharp" would write. That's it he has infected ESPN!
I was thinking we would have it rough just based on the schedule. I didn't realize all the quality players we will lose
I agree that RVB and MM will be the biggest losses, and it sucks that they're in the same position group. However, I think a DL of Wilkins, Q, BWC and Roh would be pretty strong, with guys like Jibreel Black, Ash, and others getting time in there as well. We might even start Black at SDE in place of Wilkins, and though we'd be giving up some size, Jibreel Black is a player and should be looking really good by his junior year. Guys like Pipkins and/or Wormley might be able to play right away too.
I'm not as worried about Woolfolk, he's a solid player but I like Avery and one of our young CBs will pick up for TW. Losing Molk hurts, Huyge not so much unless we start having injuries. We lose some receivers, but we return good ones as well so that loss will be light.
Altogether, we'll have a slightly worse DL, but every other position group should improve from 2011 to 2012.
With the DL, we need two of BWC, Washington, Wilkins, Ash, and Talbott to step up and be starters on the inside for us. One of BWC and QW will start this year, so we just need one more. If that doesn't happen, we're relying on true frosh and I agree that isn't a good thing. If Black can start at SDE we're good, and I think one of Rock and Heitzman can play a solid back-up after a redshirt yet. I say slightly worse because we still return 2 of 4 starters and likely a lot of rotation guys, plus a very good freshman group.
We won't be relying on youth nearly as much as before. Maybe JT Floyd is there, maybe not. If he's not, we still have Avery and Talbott as juniors, and Countess, Taylor, Hollowell and Brown as sophomores. Corners don't need to be upperclassmen to be good, so as long as you aren't relying on true frosh, you're good. We'll likely start one JR and one SO, and the back-ups will either be other SO/JRs or a stud frosh.
On the OL, you can't ask for much more than a very good starting five. If we have multiple injuries, it's a problem, but in 2012 both Pace and Bryant should be solid back-ups, maybe even Posada and Miller. Any team relies on youth in their OL 2-deep.
We're on the same page with WR, plus we'll have a frosh or two, and WR is a spot a freshman can contribute.
I agree with that for the most part, but the bottom line is that 2012 is a full season away and of course some of the guys we'll be counting on then are somewhat unknowns now. Wilkins, Terry Talbott and Richard Ash all redshirted last year, but that doesn't mean they won't be good. At one point no one knew a think about RVB and then as a redshirt soph he was a starter and he looked good. We don't need that from all the guys, just a couple of them.
And of course we won't have all-Big Ten guys at every spot, but that's normal too. Roh and Black and the BWC/QW combo will be challenging for honors and the other guys will be the filler guys waiting their turn. With the talent in the 2012 recruiting class, depth should be decent at least.
Same situation with CB. Yeah, we don't know a lot about Countess or Taylor or the other guys, but one of them will step up, and one of Avery, Floyd and Talbott will be good. Probably Avery, but just because Talbott didn't look great as a true frosh doesn't mean he won't as a junior. And he didn't look that bad.
And as you said, those two spots just won't be our strengths, but we'll have those at LB and S. Not many teams are equally strong at every group. We'll be solid.
...and don't forget about this class of 2012 coming in. It isn't crazy to think that we could have an impact player as a freshman out of that group.
the drop off from van bergen is not that significant. We have ends on the roster right now that i believe given the time of this season will produce more than RVB ever did. And i am sorry the loss of woolfolk in my mind by that time will be more of a blessing than anything. I think people forget we recruited a guy named blake countess who i expect to be a very good corner better than woolfolk. And by 2012 without even putting any of the haul of linebackers we got for the class of 2012 on the field our backers will be better. Poole, ryan, gordon, lets not forget about kellen jones he will have a year in the system. Our defense in 2012 will be a top 30 defense and our offense should be really good. I am not saying the schedule is not tough but i think we will have an excellent team. A football team that feed the rock with rawls and cox and a defense that can flat stop people. And 2013 there is no telling how good we could be. This year may have some bumps in the road but it will be an 8 win season. GO BLUE
For all of the post about our "decimated defense" and how "Hoke inherited a bare cupboard." Those were fun.
Don't hold your breath.
I'm not worried about next year's schedule because we just need to focus on being Michigan. When we're elite, we can beat anyone.
OMG HARD SCHEDULE 14 MONTHS FROM NOW!!!1!!1!11! Let's see how good we are this year before talking about 2012.
7-5 record. I really don't want to experience another losing season.
The following games should be wins: WMU, EMU, MN, Purdue.
Here are the toss ups: ND, SDst., NW, MSU, IA and IL
Probable loses: NE and OSU.
There's really no power house team in the B1G that I can say we cannot beat. The key to the season will be winning 4 of the toss up games, all the gimme's and who knows since OSU may be down this season we may be able to knock them off at home.
So a record of 9-3 would be an excellent way for Hoke and company to start. But I could live with 7-5!
I'm not worried about 2012...though my thoughts are that the defense will be better and we will probably be in the running for B1G championship game!
He couldn't get rid of RR soon enough, but it sounds like he is already making excuses for Hoke. I don't agree that Hoke has to win this year.
That being said, Hoke will win this year. I think he will manage to win about as many as RR would have anyway, but Brandon will be crowing about how he is "a Michigan Man," he "gets it," and how "things are headed in the right direction.
I just wish the season would get here so the program can be about the players on the field and not about David Brandon.
He could have gotten rid of him in November, no? And he was making the same "excuses" about not bring able to predict injuries and all, and looking at the direction of the program more than the wins and losses. But last year they weren't excuses; it was showing that Brandon "gets it." But keep being irrational.
does "get it."
With capable competant leadership this is still Michigan. Who says we aren't probable losses on the schedule for some of these teams we're assuming will beat us? Have our standards fallen that far that we're hoping for wins against Illinois and MSU and anticipating losses to Ohio and Nebraska?
The last three years of low expectations and clearly incompetant coaching has turned a lot of us into jelly fish.
Before we talk at all about 2012, let's see what happens in 2011. This isn't stratomatic football. Teams surprise up and surprise down every year. It's college football. Most seasons are so different from the last that it is almost equivalent to the NFL with full free agency for every player every season.
This is MEEEEEEEEEEECHIGUHN!
Honestly this kind of boilerplate, cliche journalism bothers me. What coach doesn't need to win? Paterno, maybe.
I disagree, but in a way that agrees with your larger statement about the quality of the journalism here. I think Hoke does not need to win as much as most other coaches (he is perhaps on par with Chizik and Dantonio - coaches coming off exemplary seasons). Brandon clearly stated in the article that he expects Hoke to struggle this year. The author goes on to use a flimsy argument about a tough schedule in year 2 potentially impacting the ability for Hoke to be successful in year 3 or 4 or even 5. But only if year 1 didn't go well. Which is really dumb.
Rittenberg is one of the better bloggers for ESPN. He makes a lot of strong points, and I agree that it is important for Michigan to have a good season. Anything less than eight wins is going to spell trouble for next year. Too many losses this year and I think you will see some decommits from the outstanding class we have coming in in 2012. I agree with Rittenberg on the fact that struggles this year could possibly mean struggles next year as well; HOWEVA Brady Hoke has a history of having a rough first year and being able to turn it around without anyone noticing. I don't think he is in any risk of losing his job after one year, and two bad seasons is not going to spell the end of him. If at the end of the third year he is still struggling then I think it would be safe to say that Michigan may start to look elsewhere.
Brady Hoke knows what he's doing, and there are a lot worse programs to take over right now.
I'm leaning more towards 8 or 9 wins but if the defense can make big leaps, then I'm on board!
I'm not trying to get into a debate over what might be and what might not be depending on next season. That's not the point. The point is that, at this time, there are waaaaayyy too many 'what ifs', too many variables, to write such a speculative column. It was only meant to stir debate and generate hits. And yes - that's the point of most columns, but this is just ridiculous, just way to speculative at this point. I dont care how good Rittenberg has been in the past. This column was garbage - and you are right, it does seem beneath him.
If we don't get to 9 wins it means we will have gone through the RRod experience for nothing. The offense would have been special this year with Denard being a second year starter in the system.
This better work or DB will look terrible...
And the team wouldn't have been special, and we'd have gone through another year of the program under a cloud, and recruiting would have been terrible. Come to the realization that the Rich Rod era didn't have to be gone through "for nothing", but it endedup being that way. It's too bad, but it is what it is. Change was made not for a modestly better year this year, but for long term improvement over many years. Maybe not improving as much this year to be better in 2013 and beyond.
Your argument is confusing in that you claim a moderate improvement in win totals (which is the baseline expectation was for RRod) would result in uncertainty.....but Hoke kicking ut a 7-5 year wouldn't?
I think if Hoke doesn't get to 8 wins (at least) than all of this positive early recruiting will most likely disappear and we will be back to square one. he has to show marked improvement in D and Special Teams with only a small drop off in offense (RRod's specialty).
I think that is asking too much.
And our schedule is very favorable this next year with OSU imploding. Not gaining wins would be a HUGE problem.
A 7-5 season would not destryo recruiting. The players are liking the coaches because they are honest and real people. Mattison has been called the best recruiter in the nation and we are seeing it. I am sure they are talking to the recruits about the future and not how they are going to win the championship this year.
If 7-5 does not destroy recruiting why was a change made? I understand the D was terrible, and I whole heartedly supported a GERG cleansing, but to change the entire coaching staff and NOT expect improvement is crazy.
I am absolutely torn on the situation. I like Hoke (so far). I love Mattison but I am deathly afraid of Gorgeous Al ruining what could be an awesome O now that we have 3 years experience and a returning starter.
BTW, 8-9 wins is not "winning a championship" and should be achieveable. If not, I think it will be a fairly big problem as teams will be able to negatively recruit us again but we won't know for sure until next year.
Well we made a change in 2008, and did we expect improvement right away? No, because the offense was a hole. Guess what? The defense is too now. We made a change not to better this year, but in the long term. The idea is that this was maybe a 7-5, 8-4 team with everyone coming back, because improvement would be offset by close games not bouncing our way. Then you have 2-9, 5-7, 7-6, and day 8-4, with a year of "is Rich going to get fired?" even hotter, and instead of 20 good recruits, we have 3, with everyone else waiting to see what happens, and committing elsewhere (with a staff that wasn't lights out in recruiting to begin with). So we're firing a coach a year later with an even weaker recruiting class set up in a year primed to get talent in our own backyard. So another year Michigan is thought of as a program going no where, lengthening the process.
Instead a change was made to not win every last game this year, but remove the cloud from the program, make it seem as if the error is behind them, and the program is on an upswing, after the transition (and not starting that versus Alabama), will be getting back to greatness. Even if you don't win more than last year (even though the hope is you do, a little), you start bringing in players who will ultimately be the cause of you winning, and then look better against the bad teams we've struggled with, to make the big jump in year 3. And if we're still struggling with Indiana in Hoke's 3rd year, he's going to be in as much trouble as Rich Rod. But it's about recruiting. (Among other things- no one wants to believe Brandon when he says it's not just wins and losses, but the feel of the direction of the program. Well, they did when it meant he "gets what Rich is doing" last summer and early fall, but not after he fired him. Maybe he saw some things he didn't like).
You really can't compare 2008 to now...completely different situations.
But, don't forget that our D was terrible back then too - we lost to APP STATE in 2008 with a senior laden D!! Our D has been a giant crater for the last 5 years. It's not like we were world beaters when Rich Rod came around only to have him destroy the D. He pushed it into the grave but it was already 80% in there when he showed up.
The issue I have is that people want to hit the reset and be ok with not winning until year 3 of Hoke's tenure - which is bullshit. When Rich Rod came there was NOTHING on either side of the ball and in 3 years he turned the offense into one of the most explosive we've ever seen.
Youth curtailed our Offense but there was no doubt we were headed in the right direction and this year was the year to see the fruits of our labor come through. Now, we have no idea what we have for an Offense and we STILL have a historically bad D (even accounting for the expected improvement).
That is not a trade off I would have made.
And BTW, I'm pretty sure that Denard being in the race for Heisman (and potentially winning it this year) would have done more for recruiting than improving 30 spots on our D from 120 to 90 and winning only 7 games.
Last year for total offense Michigan was ranked 9th, SDSU 16th. Not a huge drop, and one I think we can live with. On the other side of the ball is were we need to have significant improvement. I for one believe this coaching staff is built around defense, with a good OC.
This formula should work better for Big 10 football, now and in the future.
Let's not forget, this is a team that needed end of the game heroics in four games (ND, IU, Illinois, & D1AA UMass) just to get to seven wins in 2010.
I think we should be happy with 7 wins this season. That IU game was so frustrating to watch...they were going for it on 4th and 11's in the first half lol. We got kill it in our non conference games, i think we can start the season either 4-0 or 3-1.
Michigan should never be "happy" with 7-5. UNDERSTAND it, and not freak out is a different thing, which you are wisely preaching.
But the key is that we won those games . . .with the worst D in our history (mostly for youth and depth issues) and a very green O with a 1st year starter at QB.
I think 9 wins is a realistic expectation for wins now that we have improved depth and experience on the D and virtually everyone returning on O.
And if we had kept RRod 1 more year and failed to achieve that goal, THEN I would say take a broom to the whole bunch.
I am not sure why everyone is ok with staying at 7-5 this year when we have so much momentum.
2011 =/= 2008.
So if the defense improves with coaching, but the offense struggles a bit with transition, you have about the same team. Add in some experience improvement that gets offset with the ball not bouncing our way in every single close game, and you have a wash. Really, 2008 O is pretty = to 2011 D. And the converse might be closer than you think, talent wise. 9-3 isn't ridiculous. Or 7-5. Or 8-4. But as minimum or maximums? Might be guesswork.
I sincerely hope you are right but doubt it for one reason - FG kicking. You can't win low scoring games without a good kicker and I am very nervous about putting our hopes on the shoulders of a freshman kicker, no matter how accomplished he was in HS.
That was the first year he tied or beat the record Bill Lynch had in the last year of his tenure at Ball State (6-6). Let's hope Hoke doesn't "turn it around without anyone noticing" in the way he did at Ball State, or we are in for many, many years of pain.
But I'm sure your OSU ilk will be happy. But how'd his last 3 years go?
by only looking at those 4 brutal games. Sure, we'll probably be overwhelming underdogs in those 4 games but we could and probably should win 1 of them.
But the rest of the schedule is quite a bit easier than our easiest eight games this year. We should be favored in all of them and besides Iowa and MSU (both at home), there shouldn't be a game in which we aren't the heavy favorites.
So the difference is really just that we have ALA instead of SDSU (which I agree is a big difference) and that ND is on the road instead of home. The rest of the 2011 and 2012 schedules are the same in difficulty (same teams, same number of home and road).
So we could assume that an equivalent team would win one less game in 2012 than 2011. That's not that bad. If the team is a game better in 2012, which is reasonable to expect, we should win about the same number of games in 2011 and 2012 (7-8). Then watch out in 2013 when these recruiting classes start seeing the field.
They were talking about this on WTKA the other day....
What is the reasoning/obsession in making sure other people aren't excited? Sure, if you're saying 14-0 (or even 11-2), you're probably headed for disappointment. But what's wrong with being excited about a new season of Michigan football, and hoping we can do well (as long as you're not prepared to jump off a building at 7-5)? Is it feeling "superior" by being realistic, or just raining on the parade of anyone excited by Michigan football without Rich Rod? (Which is a completely different thing than being excited Rich is gone...which is kind of mean; but no less than thinking Rich was the be all and end all of Michigan Football, and "I just can't get excited by it anymore, so neither should you" like the Craig Ross article in the preview).
Cannot wait for camp and the season to start (Hello count down to Kickoffs on MGoBlue.com) -- too much speculation on the internets...
We need to beat Sparty. I am not confident on beting Notre Dame but I think we need to be Sparty.
Hoke'll have a years' grace, but we will struggle to win one of
-Neb (no way)
-Sparty (slight chance, would be major upset though)
-Cbus with their current roster (barring colossal f-ups by their QB)
-ND (Big House maybe makes up for being an inferior team)
We can get Iowa with their changes on d and at qb. SDSU, NW and IU I really hope we win two. Top potential everything goes our way 9-3; lowest we should go is 6-6.
If we move up 50 spots in overall defense, we would still be awful. Hoping the d-line can dominate because I am very skeptical of what's in back of them.
I am very optimistic of Rawls and the o-line for whatever illogical reason (please gods of health!), and of course there's wild-card Denard who can win us games we shouldn't. The idea of DG stepping in and #16 as a type of slot occasionally like Harvin is exciting, don't know if this staff would go there.
We shouldn't, however, lose more than 5. If Hoke can't match or better RR's last year - and GM improve our defense dramatically - it won't bode well and the pressure will ramp up significantly next year, tho' the late recruiting start and his undersized, undertalented inheritance are legitimate excuses for a while. Then again, Pipkins + O'Brien or Wormley + Diamond + Burridge (sp?) would make us monsters in a couple of seasons.
No offense, but this sounds like a Skip Bayless analysis. And by that I mean you're either irrational or straight-up wrong except for the obvious "Denard can win us games."
While his writing skills might need some work, I don't think the analysis is all that bad. We're not going to be favored in any of the games that he predicted us to lose.
Sparty a major upset? They lost a lot of key players. Don't get caught up in the Detroit sports media world. They were 6-7 two years ago. They play a weak out of conference and they lost two games by forty points last year. I am not afraid of sparty.
We were 5-7 two years ago. We won our out of conference (not much tougher) and were not competitive in a number of games. I doubt they are scared of us.
Somehow I do not see Brady and Borges tirelessly trying to pound a square peg into a round hole this season. Denard played under center in high school and adapted to the predominate shotgun when he arrived here. Maybe I should be worrying and nervously pacing back and forh while contemplating just how badly Denard is going to play this year. Who predicted Denard would have a breakout year in 2010 - no one! Who predicted Denard might be switched to another position toget playing time and to exploit his speed and quickness - too many! Enough already fellow Michigan Fans. To-date Brady , Borges, and Mattison have surely impressed me in recruiting and along the way have earned my respect. So I'm willing to give them the BOTDoubt for this upcoming season. Okay, I know, so I'm drinking Dave Brandon's kool-aid. Go Blue.
Dude, after watching the spring game last year, I think all people who followed Michigan football closely predicted Denard would have a great season. My friends, who don't follow Michigan at all, were like "how could Tate not be the guy - he was awesome as a frosh," to which I replied "you will know the name Denard Robinson by the end of the season."
I'm sorry: it was that obvious. After this past spring game...not so much. If you're not at least a little bit nervous about our offense this year, then you're living in a cave. I'm just hoping we can get our shit together by the time B1G play starts.
So how our quarterback looks in the spring game is the ultimate barometer (used barometer twice, now three times in the same thread) of the team's offensive success? For some reason I think we are all going to see more progress, more skill development, and a more intricate playbook come this fall. Let's be rational here. Borges is a good coach, he'll make it work.
And that season worked...out....ok....uhmmmmm...yeah...
will adopt enough of the spread look to allow Denard to be successful this season with a basic passing game, bootlegs and spread option looks. DG will be a more than capable backup. The real question to me is what happens the following year. Will it be more of the same? If we pick up Gunner Kiel, the answer is unclear. If not, then I'd guess there will be some very serious competition between DG and Denard. That competition will be largely based on how prolific the offense is this year. To add some more fuel, I think our chances with Kiel are substantial if Denard does not light the world on fire this year with his drop back passing. That's probably a fair expectation based on what we've seen thus far.
Mattison in particular will have a couple of years of recruiting success living on past accomplishments with the Ravens and Ray Lewis, but without winning, recruiting will become a tough sell. If reasonable success can be had for a couple of years, and I see that as nine wins, this year's class and hopefully next year's recruits will be in the system and the D should be solid.
One thing that would be a huge help would be to get a good number of the 2012 recruits to start next January. As we have found out painfully, it typically takes a couple of years to get recruits physically and mentally ready to play.
Okay, I'm concerned that our offensive production may drop off some, but I'm clinging to the thought that in this fall practice Denard will get it together and set the tone for the non-conference games. Most of us were pleasantly surprised to see Denard sky rocket into the outer orbit last season, not just play well - he exploded. Okay, Denard is in a new system this year, of course the strategy is going to be to run plays he's familiar with while blending in new plays from the Borges playbook. Fear of Denard's running ability will set up mid range passes like last year. Now if Denard's accuracy in the long ball has improved - then boom! To the moon Alice. I am still a Denard Day Dream Believer until proven otherwise. Also, the HBM coaching triumverate is going to bring only good things to AA, in my humble opinion. Hopefully we will win at least 9 games this season before a decent bowl win to top it off. Go Blue.
I agree. Denard will step up like he always does. I think he will excel in this offense. He certainly has done so on my ps3.
Because losing sucks.