Practice Twitter Dump Comment Count

Brian August 13th, 2010 at 12:27 PM

roundtree-schilling denard-robinson-fall-practice-2010

With Rodriguez ramping up the media restrictions in the wake of the Jihad and the Daily publishing details of that edge pitch play they debuted against Iowa, glimpses from within Michigan's early practices have been rare. This has ticked off the Blade guy, but come on Blade guy, what do you expect? Rodriguez tried.

Anyway, the Big Ten Network has stopped by and the twitters are lighting up with 140-character bursts of potentially useful information. They are collected below, organized by position and theme. I won't link to each individual tweet but they can be found at @BTNDaveRevsine and @BTNBrentsBlog (by Brent Yarina).


Based on today - tough call on QB situation. All 3 have had some good moments. DR clearly improved as a passer.  [Revsine]

Devin Gardner can't put a pass in the wrong place here early on. Rapid fire drill, he's on the money with everything. [Yarina]

Gardner definitely looks like he could get snaps. He's very impressive, but Denard has improved as a passer quite a bit. [Yarina]

It's one day, but #Michigan looks good. If I was making choice, I'd split snaps between Robinson and Gardner. DG is good. [Yarina]

Denard Robinson looks like a completely different passer. Add the threat of pass to his running ability, and #Michigan could give d's fits. [Yarina]

He [Tate] was banged up today. But emergence of Gardner and Denard's improved passing don't help. [Yarina]

UPDATE: one more from Revsine, responding to MVictors about a QB question:

I would definitely say Gardner is in convo - impressive kid. G&H seem to think Robinson is the best of the 3. Tough call.

The Mystery Of The Wingless Helmets

Yarina posted this picture:

tate-forcier-no-wingsYou'll note that Forcier's helmet is plain blue, sans wings. A twitter guy named GoBlueNColumbus (ouch) caught this and started pinging Yarina with questions:

The #Michigan people told us not to read anything into the lack of wings on some helmets. [Yarina]

Didn't pay too much attention [to who didn't have them], to be honest. As far as big names go, though, he was the only one I noticed. [Yarina]

Meanwhile, Rodriguez after the first practice on the "handful" of guys not prepared to play football:

"If they don't [improve their conditioning] they will not have the opportunity to wear the winged helmet on Sept. 4 [in season opener against Connecticut]," Rodriguez said.

Dollars to donuts the plain helmets are a motivational device and that Forcier's absence at offseason workouts has put him in the bad group. They didn't accidentally hand last year's starting quarterback a plain helmet. [UPDATE: Maybe they did? A Countdown to Kickoff video shows Tate in the regular helmet.]

Michigan's facebook page has a set of 20 photos that does not reveal anyone else in the bad group but do show Koger, who had been rumored to be in the handful, in possession of wings.

Various Individuals Mentioned

At Michigan's practice. Love the "M" drill - runner trying to get thru 3 levels of blocking. Saw good moments from Michael Cox & W Campbell [Revsine]

Great energy in 1 on 1 tackle drill. Vlad Emilien just had a big time hit. Sweet move earlier out of Terrance Robinson. [Revsine]

Vladimir Emilien just made a bone-crushing hit on a 1-on-1 drill. The entire defense celebrated the hit. [Yarina]

Good team drill going on right now. Jeremy Jackson looks like he could help at WR. D Robinson clicking nicely with the short stuff. [Revsine]

Marvin Robinson, Brandin Hawthorne and Courtney Avery among the others who had good moments [Revsine]

Gerry and Howard both impressed with Jibreel Black. DiNardo also likes the way Patrick Omameh has looked today. [Revsine]

Loss of Mesko is obviously a concern, but the frehman Hagerup has really boomed a few [Revsine]


One thing's for sure: #Michigan coaches are very intense and vocal. [Yarina]

Mike Martin on difference between this year's defense: "I think we're a lot closer." [Yarina]

Take it for what you will. I'll update this with any subsequent information.



August 13th, 2010 at 12:34 PM ^

When you earn them?

Seems really strange for someone that was the starting QB last year and has not had any 'issues' that we know about...


August 13th, 2010 at 12:58 PM ^

No issues?   Have you been living under a rock this off-season?  Tate's on-field leadership is impressive, but his responsibilities as a starting QB simply do not end there.  Particularly when his team is struggling...

I apologize in advance if my sarcasm detector is off, but your comment appears genuine.


August 13th, 2010 at 1:58 PM ^

But to pull the wings seems really harsh. What I am trying to say is that is should be something reserved for a person kicked off the team or suspended and is trying to get back on or the freshmen during summer practice working towards earning their 'wings.'


August 13th, 2010 at 12:37 PM ^

Great stuff!  I had not idea about the helmets, I like it.  I would be shocked if Tate is the starter in the opener.  This is starting to get fun with beginning of camp and game 1 only a few weeks away!


August 13th, 2010 at 1:29 PM ^

...iff last year's starting quarterback who singlehandedly willed two wins versus teams from Indiana before getting injured and having to play through that, shocked if a highly hyped recruit with the best throwing accuracy on the team and also some pretty good legs, shocked if a guy who got a few early Heisman mentions as a true freshmen, is the Day One starter?

There's a possibility here that Rodriguez is pushing Tate, making him work extra hard because that's what leaders need to do, putting extra pressure on him because that's how you get everything out of a guy like Tate Forcier.

I am as excited as you are about Denard's emergence as a passer, but I think there has been a widespread misinterpretation of motivational tactics as signs that a decision has been made, egged on by media (including, unfortunately, Tim and Brian) loving a good QB position battle.


August 13th, 2010 at 2:56 PM ^

and with respect an offensive system like the spread where so much is on the QB, it's especially understandable why people would be anxious, and eager to talk about, the possibility of someone other than Tate starting at QB.

On the other hand, if Denard and Devin are playing well enough to push for the starting job, shouldn't that be enough motivation for Tate?  I suppose RR may need to remind him that the starting job is earned and that the coaches are always reevaluating the players.

Oaktown Wolverine

August 13th, 2010 at 3:06 PM ^

Tate played really well the first half of the season, but really tanked in the second half. The real season begins in Big Ten play, and frankly, Tate didn't deliver after the Penn State game.  I'm curious to see witch Tate comes back, the Tate from the first half of the season, that carried our team, or the Tate from the second half of the season, that made poor decisions and couldn't throw the ball away to save his life. 

I know the board loves Tate, but I want us to win with whomever our best QB is currently, not who was good against ND, MSU and Indiana last season.

Oaktown Wolverine

August 13th, 2010 at 4:08 PM ^

I don't think his being injured was the reason Rich Rod was chewing him out over and over for not getting rid of the ball or running around under pressure with the ball exposed. I don't deny he was injured and it affected his performance, and I don't deny he was a freshman making freshman mistakes, but I just didn't see him get better as the season went on. He continued to make the same mistakes, and thats why Rich Rod was so angry with him at times on the field. 

Like I said, I hope he comes back strong and has improved his decision making as a sophmore, but he is no shoe in for the starting QB spot for a reason.


August 13th, 2010 at 11:20 PM ^

that is a damn strong analysis. I think it is certainly short sighted to think that Tate didn't have a huge part in the early success of last year's team. Denard is about potential but I watched Tate against ND last year and he looked phenomenal. Tate's injuries and David Molk's injuries were the problem last year....not Tate.


August 14th, 2010 at 8:36 AM ^

I agree completely...At the beginning of the last season, Tate definitely showed that he possesses the intangibles that a big-time quarterback needs.  No matter how strong DRob's arm is, that early season leadership, before the injuries, needs to speak to Tate's ability to play the game.  Some guys are great practice players and some guys don't show up until the lights come on.


August 14th, 2010 at 8:41 AM ^

Having said that, the most important intangible is definitely leadership.  The way it sounds, that may be the one that Tate needs the most work on.  I've always heard that we lead from the front, or by example.  Unless he was hurt or sick, he was not doing either by not working out with his teammates over the summer.  I hope he gets this figured out, because the way he started last season seemed like he was destined for great things.

Still in AA

August 13th, 2010 at 12:43 PM ^

Watch out Brian, Geaux_Blue is likely to remove your post speculating on the wingless helmet.

My guess is that Tate and others got new helmets at some point this week and they have not been updated yet. He has them on his helmet in monday's practice video.


August 13th, 2010 at 1:04 PM ^

we should leave posts up that herald Rivals' crack reporting when they weren't there and ignore the university's statement. because what bad could come out of a post speculating something the school very candidly passed the buck on and is refuted by Forcier having worn a helmet with wings every day before today? i'm sure no dumpster fires will ensue...


August 13th, 2010 at 12:45 PM ^

It's quite interesting to see an outsider with no agenda put DG ahead of Forcier right now.  I am still in the camp that wants to see a DG redshirt, but we all know that RR will play whoever gives him the best chance to win now.  Sadly, external and internal politics have probably put RR in the position where winning right now has to take precedence over building a program. 

 Consequently, I'm not so sure a DG redshirt is going to be a "given" anymore.  Now, I want Sept 4 to arrive even sooner.

August 13th, 2010 at 1:04 PM ^

I don't understand what you're you think that even if Devin is legitimately our second best QB he should redshirt this year for a potential 5th year that Rodriguez is not assured of being around for? I mean, if you're Rodriguez, aren't you going to put your best players on the field no matter what? He had a major recruiting win in landing Devin, especially considering the last two years...I imagine he's gonna wanna show that off and strengthen his case for keeping his job.


August 13th, 2010 at 1:59 PM ^

Normally I've been in the Redshirt DG category, but if he's really that good (and why shouldn't he be? He was nearly the #1 QB recruit), then play him. I think the thing we all fear is freshman ineptness. We started TWO freshman QB's last year who were not nearly as highly rated and that worked out okay (not great, but it could've been  SO much worse). I don't want to burn DG's redshirt for two plays, but if he gets plenty of use, then yes. Play him.

Chad Henne would agree.


August 13th, 2010 at 2:40 PM ^

That means the other two guys were worse than the freshman. (Barring Michigan Hating God injuries). I mean, we're agreeing. Because you should always play the best players. Because it's fair for the player.  It's fair for the team (tell your seniors that yeah, we could have won a couple more games, but I was thinking 4 years down the road). And probably best for you, as as coach, because tomorrow is never guaranteed. (What if your next recruit IS Chad Henne? It looked liked he was going to sit a number of years...but...). And the players know. They know football; they know who is doing the best out there. And if someone does their best, and doesn't's that look for motivational purposes?

Ideally Tate or Denard play, not because Devin isn't ready...but because they've improved that much. (And vice versa, if Devin plays, it's because he's lighting it up, and not because the others are struggling).


August 13th, 2010 at 12:47 PM ^

I like the motivational ploy.  It sounds like the BTN crew likes Devin Gardner too. Who would have thought we could have had a stable of QB's?  If we had three different QB's that can play at the college level, that would be awesome because you never know when the injury bug can strike.  Like the Tigers.


August 13th, 2010 at 12:51 PM ^

means doom.  Sure its possible it could mean that he is just too good to keep off the field but it more likely would mean that Tate and/or Denard suffered from injuries or really poor play, either of which is potentially a nightmare scenario. 


August 13th, 2010 at 1:15 PM ^

One thing that I think a lot of us are missing when trying to decide whether or not we should worry about freshmen contributors at any given position is the depth at that position.  A terrifying situation is having a freshman that needs to play somewhere because we have no depth whatsoever.  However, if we have reasonable depth at a position and a freshman ends up gaining significant minutes, that may be a function of an over-performing freshman.

I would say that our QB depth is average (is this optimistic???).  Even if Tate has been slacking off, I do think last year can serve as something of a baseline expectation for him.  Even if he doesn't improve at all, I think performances like we saw from him last year can still be expected.  Accepting this premise, if Robinson and Gardner are ahead of him, then they should be producing better results than Tate last year (someone please agree with this). 

Gardner has the arm to be a deep threat, the size to take a beating, the speed to be a running threat, and has been in the program since January.  It is possible that he has advanced enough to be able to put his physical gifts to use on the field.  Not something we should bank on, but if he sees the field, it is likely due to his development rather than Bo crying.  FWIW, I think RichRod has one of the better track records when it comes to getting usage out of a physically gifted freshmen QB (Pat White).  There are a lot of things that look DOOM-licious to me about this team.  QB is not one of them.  I just touched wood to ward off any jinxes.


August 13th, 2010 at 3:36 PM ^

You should also remember that TP2 started as a true frosh over a senior who had been in the system his entire collegiate career.  And The reviews have unanimously said that DG is a more polished quarterback and passer than TP2 was coming out of high school. (and some even say after his sophomore season based on mechanics)  So we shouldn't be worried, would you prefer he sits on the sidelines and does nothting?