"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
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|5 years 2 weeks ago||A week after throwing for a career high in yardage||
A week after throwing for a career high in yardage, some people want to jump all over the kid.... after a win no less. Remember, Roundtree got caught from behind last week on what was TD pass #4 for Denard. Add in the drops by receivers and the fact that he did not play the whole game, and Denard could easily have passed for 340 plus yards against 4 TDs and 2 INTS last week.
Sure the weather effected his throwing yesterday. Not saying it was all weather related but anyone who has played quarterback at a fairly high level would know that weather does play a significant factor in your success. Moreover, it has been a long season. First all the Heisman talk then all the talk of how this team can't win in Big 10 play. All those things take a toll on player.... especially a first year starter. Denard was bound to reach whats commonly referred to in other circles as a "rookie wall". And if this is his wall, over the last few weeks he has still been playing pretty well as he battles through it.
Rich Rod cautioned people after Denard's early success. He warned us that as a first year starter, he would have periods where he would struggle. In our Heisman giddiness we hardly paid attention to those words from RR. Well, he was right. But this has been hardly unexpected. I expected it, many you probably expected it and I know the coaches expected it, so why panic now that we see what was expected? Patience people.... patience. Denard is just a Sophomore, and considering the tremendous leap that he has made from year 1 to year 2, his best days are likely ahead of him.
Last sobering thought: Is there a better Sophomore quarterback in the country? Maybe... maybe not. But Denard is certainly in that discussion.
|5 years 2 weeks ago||Yes, he had incredible measurables. But more than that||
Yes, he had incredible measurables. Like you correctly pointed out, "once in a century". But more than that, his feel for the game, vision and instincts were off the charts. There were times it seemed like he had eyes in the back of his head. Just an incredible talent. A born running back. Without a doubt, he had the potential to be the best ever.
|5 years 3 weeks ago||Agreed. The 2 long passes to Roundtree||
Agreed. The 2 deep passes to Roundtree were right on target and beautifully laid out there for him. Showing marked improvement in touch. The second long one to Roundtree easily could have been his 4th TD pass if Roy didn't get tracked down from behind. Still, great play by both guys.
|5 years 3 weeks ago||The coaches often have Denard||
Great point about more CEO's being introverts. That said, the coaches often have Denard entertain recruits. Probably more than any other player. So whether he is an "I" or an "E" there can be little doubt that he is a charismatic guy with great leadership skills.
|5 years 3 weeks ago||Hardly an introvert||
Hardly an introvert. Just not a media hound
|5 years 3 weeks ago||I have always been impressed with Avery||
I have always been impressed with Avery this year. The kid competes, is always around the ball, is rarely out of position and has great hips to stay with receivers. And that tackle against Sheelhaase was one of those things that you can drill on all day everyday but it really can't be taught. If you could teach it, all of our players would be capable of making that play. And as we know from this year, they really haven't been able to do it. That was pure football instinct. And Avery has it.
Even on the one play where he got beat, he was right there. Unlike some of our other corners who get turned around and badly beaten, I haven't seen that out of Avery at all this year. This young man is a keeper who will only get better with experience.
|5 years 3 weeks ago||Just noticed||
Just noticed my double "pass" gaffe in my post above. Multi-tasking while at work can do that. Anyhow, that pass play was awesome. Go Blue!
|5 years 3 weeks ago||That was my favorite too||
That was my favorite too. I kept yelling for Denard to run the ball because it was wide open for him. Then at the last minute he threw a frozen rope to Junior and for Junior to, first of all, catch that lazer was amazing. Then for him to use some nifty sideline footwork to turn that play into a touchdown was simply awesome.
The Tate pass to Junior pass which bounced around at the goal line would have to rank next - one of the few times all year that fortune has favored this team. Followed by the Vinopal stuff.
|5 years 3 weeks ago||Denard and Tate both played a whale of a game yesterday||
Denard and Tate both played a whale of a game yesterday. I was particularly pleased with Denard and his growth and maturity as a passer. Some of his throws were simply outstanding. If you add in the easy dropped passes..... he was really 14 for 20 with somelike like 325 yards (conservatively, adding in the dropped passes). And if Roundtree had a little more speed, he would have had 4 touchdown passes.
All of that said, I agree.... sometimes these guys just need to take the easy yardage. I think that will come in time.
|5 years 3 weeks ago||Speaking of mentors, I bet Denard||
Speaking of mentors, I bet Denard has been a huge mentor to Tate. If for no other reason than Tate watching Denard and how he always give deference to his teammates and makes everything more about team instead of himself. Just being around a person like that can be huge for a young man's (Tate) maturity and development.
Gotta love this young team and how they work together. And you have to feel good for Tate. He waited patiently, played team ball and was justly rewarded for it yesterday.
|5 years 4 weeks ago||Sort of along these same lines||
Sort of along these same lines, here is a blurb from Ivan Maisel of ESPN:
In short, he is in favor of retaining Rich Rod and giving him a chance to revamp his coaching staff.... that we are too far in to make a change now.
|5 years 4 weeks ago||Vinopal is a fan favorite||
Vinopal is a fan favorite and should be. The kid is blue collar and is fighting against the odds. America always loves an underdog.
That said, he looked in above his head last night. Missed tackles and blown off the ball by blockers. He can potentially be a good one but right now he should probably be taking a red-shirt. It is a shame that we have to rush him into action because we have virtually zero options at that position.
Carvin did not show much as well last night. Probably another guy who should be taking a red-shirt.
Why MRob not seeing the field remains a mystery which points more and more to the fact that he must be viewed as a liability in pass coverage. LB here he comes.
On a positive note, I have been quite impressed with Courtney Avery. In limited action, he has been able to stay with his man and use his hips very well. Terry Talbot made a bad play last night but has shown some ability to cover as well. Those 2 corners may end up being pretty good for us.
|5 years 4 weeks ago||We need to stick with RR and fire||
We need to stick with RR and fire Gerg. Much like Illinois did with Zcrook. That is a completely different team with new coordinators.
|5 years 5 weeks ago||Iowa game planned against Denard for 2 weeks||
Iowa game planned against Denard for 2 weeks. And he is still among the leaders in the nation in pass %. Moreover, one of the throws by Tate to Junior was underthrown and into double coverage, requiring the defender to fall down and for Junior to make a play on the ball or else that would have been interception # 3 for Tate. Possibly even more troubling, Tate continues to carry the ball like a loaf of bread and is a turnover waiting to happen unless he cures that very bad habit.
I think things stay the way they are. Rich Rod is a pretty solid guy who is not given to whimsy or flights of fancy. No knock on Tate but RR knows what he has in Denard and will continue to cultivate his monster talent.
Things will not change UNLESS Denard physically can't go.
|5 years 6 weeks ago||Denard||
If you look solely at the way Denard threw the ball BEFORE the last 2 weeks, would you still feel that way? Maybe, maybe not. But whether you feel either way about this question, the gap in your decision would not been as large as it may be today.... today after 2 sub par games.
So really, the question is, why are such rash judgments being made after 2 sub par games? Why are blanket statements and blanket conclusions being drawn after just 2 sub par games?
Before the last 2 games, Denard was making every throw.... long, short, slants, you name it. He was actually throwing the deep ball better than I have ever seen Tate throw the deep ball. As Coach Rod said after the Indiana game regarding Denard's deep ball, "his completion % on those deep throws is actually very good". And Denard is still among the leaders in the nation in overall completion %.
Denard is merely going through a slump right now. Something that tends to happen with all young quarterbacks. You have to stick with them and let them play their way out of it.
|5 years 6 weeks ago||I don't know about that||
I don't know about that. I understand being excited about Tate but a little perspective is in order. Tate's decision making yesterday was not all that great. Not saying that Denard's was either but I don't see how any reasonable person can say one has better decision making than the other. Case in point: Tate really should have had 3 picks yesterday. That ball that he threw into double (possibly triple) coverage (the first pick), the ball that he threw into double coverage (the second pick), and the ball thrown to Junior in double coverage which was clearly underthrown and right to the Iowa defender. How that Iowa defender does not come up with the ball is beyond me and was completed due to what seemed to be a combination of poor footwork by the Iowa defender and the tenacious ability of Junior to fight for the ball. But if that Iowa defender gets his footwork together, plants himself and comes forward he catches that ball because he was much closer to it.... but instead he fell backward. In short, from a coaching stand point, all 3 decisions were poor.
And for the life of me, I still can't understand why Tate carries the ball like a loaf of bread. Jeez.... you would think that in all this time he would finally have gotten that corrected. The way he runs around back there carrying the ball like a loaf of bread is a fumble waiting to happen.
That said, overall, I think Tate did a good job. Certainly better than Denard yesterday who seems to being going through something of a slump. But to say one makes better decisions than the other is merely opinion devoid of the facts imo. Both of these guys have made poor decisions.
|5 years 6 weeks ago||Denard was not at his best||
Denard was not at his best but I don't think Denard's play was necessarily the problem. He rushed for over 100 yards and threw the ball fairly well (decent not great) but the bigger problem seemed to be the playcalling and penalties that keep killing drives.
Some of the playcalling has been highly suspect of late and a number of times we marched the ball down the field (getting 7 yard runs on 1st down, moving the ball) only to have penalties back us up and kill drives.
I wouldn't be so quick to change quarterbacks after a couple of sub par games. Every quarterback has ups and downs.... particularly young ones. You have to let them play through it.
|5 years 6 weeks ago||I think Tate had an advantage||
I think Tate had an advantage in that he had not been game planned for. Iowa had been game planning for Denard for 2 weeks.
Moreover, Denard has not been anywhere near 100% lately. The bye week could not have come at a better time for Denard.
|5 years 6 weeks ago||Denard is in the best position||
Denard is in the best position. I don't care if he is ranked 1st or ranked 5th.... if he puts together a couple of big games against some of the better Big 10 defenses, and plays solid in the other games, based upon his numbers, the fact that he has broken records this year and the publicity that he has gotten, he would likely win it.
Although cases can be made for other players, for most non-homers, Denard is the first person that comes to mind when thinking about the Heisman.
|5 years 7 weeks ago||Without knowing more facts||
Without knowing more facts, it is hard to tell whether he is a criminal or just a very bad business man - guy who let his ego get out of control but maybe a guy who actually had good intentions when he started out but got in over his head.
Again, I say that based upon the ESPN segment - meaning, without more facts.
The fact that he actually flew down to Jamaica a number of times shows that he had some type of "intent" to create the vacation resort. And then his business partner ran out of money. And his partner was supposed to be the guy with the "deep pockets" on the deal. Thus, that left Rumeal holding the bag sort of speak.
There can be little excuse for the strip club charges and a few of the other exhorbitant purchases however.
And one thing is clear, the guy is a selfish jerk. There is no excuse for him to treat his mother the way he did.
|5 years 7 weeks ago||Coach Rod can't catch a break from the media||
Coach Rod can't catch a break from the media. All the guy has ever done is care about young men, be a stickler about going to class, run a tight ship regarding keeping kids on the straight and narrow (very few discipline problems), and make a mistake that most teams have made regarding practice time.... and for his reward all he gets is demonized at every opportunity. The guy has to live up to an impossible standard - perfection.
When I look at what he looked like when he took this job (youthful and vibrant) vs. what he looks like today (vibrant but hardly youthful anymore), sadly, in 3 short years Coach Rod's face has become a roadmap which shows the enormous pressure this guy has been under.
He is a good human being. He deserves better
|5 years 7 weeks ago||I never said||
I never said he would be stuck on the bench. I said that he may be a #2 or change of pace. And as we all know, once you are a #2 and prove yourself, you can always end up as the starter. It happens all the time in the NFL.
|5 years 7 weeks ago||Ummm..... not to split dreadlocked||
Ummm.... not to split dreadlocked hairs or anything. But students have had stood eyeball to eyeball with Denard put him at a solid 5'11". And Mel Kiper, Jr. said that he is 5'11 1/2".
But of course you could be referring to Tay Odoms. Well, if that is the case..... my bad.
|5 years 7 weeks ago||When you look at guys like Dennis Dixon||
When you look at guys like Seneca Wallace, Mike Vick, Dennis Dixon, or even Vince Young.... not saying he is as good as those guys yet.... but when you look at those guys at the same stage that Denard is at (2nd year player), they never came close to being as accurate as Denard is. Thus, I think it is safe to say that Denard can make it as an NFL QB.
I think it is easy to be enamored with his explosiveness. But once Scouts see him throw the ball, I think they will come away very impressed. And there will likely be a Scout or GM with enough vision (like Rich Rod) to put him at quarterback. And once given a shot there, I would never bet against this kid.
|5 years 7 weeks ago||They said the same thing when Denard came||
They said the same thing when Denard came out of high school. And Rich Rod saw what others didn't see and now he is rewriting the record books as a quarterback.
And much like Rich Rod saw something the others didn't see, there will be a scout and/or GM that sees the same thing and goes against convention by putting him at quarterback in the NFL. And he will succeed there. Maybe not as an every down signal caller but definitely as a #2 or change of pace quarterback.
And it should be noted that they said the same thing about former Iowa State quarterback Seneca Wallace. Scouts predicted that he would have to change to wideout. Scouts also said he was too small at 5'10 1/2". Seneca Wallace is now in his 8th year of playing quarterback in the NFL. And Denard is by far a better quarterback prospect than Seneca Wallace ever was.
|5 years 8 weeks ago||I have noticed this too..... and the aplomb in which he does it||
I have noticed this too.... and the aplomb in which he does it. I am sure those reporters constantly have to do a double take and ask themselves, "did he just dodge me?"
He is so smiling, unpretentious and non-offputting with it that you don't see it coming until it is too late. It is as if he is toying with them at times. A subtle dilithium shot. Left, right and gone!
|5 years 8 weeks ago||The thing about that Mike Martin/Shoelace pic||
The thing about that Mike Martin/Shoelace picture, is it clearly shows Shoelace to be closer to his listed 6 foot than we were being led to believe by a few of the pundits and/or TV announcers earlier this year. I also noticed last week that as he was being helped off the field for the couple of plays that he missed with his sore knee, that when he stood up next to the Trainers, Denard appeared atleast as tall if not taller than them. And they were the Trainers who looked like they may have played ball at some point - not those little guys that you sometimes see.
As many have reported here on Mgoblog (from in-person sightings), Denard is atleast a solid 5'11" .... and may very well be a legit 6 footer
|5 years 8 weeks ago||And lets not forget that he hit the deep ball when he needed it||
And lets not forget that he hit the deep ball when he needed it. That deep pass to Hemingway with a 300 pound lineman about to tee off on him was money!!!
Denard has guts! Most people would not have been able to get that pass off under those conditions.
|5 years 8 weeks ago||Wow..... have we gotten spoiled||
Wow.... have we gotten spoiled. The guy has connected on those passes all season long. He simply had an off game with the deep ball. It happens.
See Jay Cutler and Eli Manning last night. Even Payton Manning and Drew Brees have been off and on with their deep passes this season.
|5 years 8 weeks ago||He doesn't have to sustain it||
He doesn't have to sustain it. Even if he puts up numbers somewhere around 70 to75% of what he is putting up now, those will be some pretty incredible numbers.... and certainly enough to keep him the Heisman frontrunner.
That said, 2 things will be his key: 1) stay healthy, and 2) keep coming up big in big moments. The guy has been clutch! He needs to keep that up. If he does, and if he stays healthy, he will win the Heisman.