Practice Twitter Dump

Submitted by Brian on 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 2:40 PM ^

Revsine.  It's way too early to read anything into practice reports.  I have heard a lot of opinions about the plain blue helmets and the meaning of it, but Jerald Robinson had a helmet like that on too.  IF it is a ploy to distinguish the guys who have been working hard to win from the guys who have not put in the work, then I am all for it.  Two things can happen; one the guy gets motivated and quits being self-centered and the entire team benefits, or the guy sulks and gets washed out which makes the team stronger to remove those that do not want to be part of one heartbeat, one mind.


If you're worried about how it makes the kid feel, then you'll also not mind going 5-7 for now until eternity.


August 13th, 2010 at 2:46 PM ^

Probably the most encouraging thing that I have seen out of all of this twitter buzz is that we will have 3 capable QBs this year.  I don't personally care who it is (although I would like to see DG redshirt), but it sounds like whoever is under center will be solid.

On the rumors of Denard's throwing development, I am not all that surprised by this.  While he threw a ton of picks last year, the majority of those were the result of poor reads or poor decision making.  Rarely were his picks the result of underthrown balls that just floated in space.  While he has largely been type-cast as a running QB (and he will run), I remember during his recruitment that arm strength was one of his positives.  If he has learned to make the proper reads, and has worked on his mechanics during the off-season, he could be the real deal.


August 13th, 2010 at 2:55 PM ^

When I read this:

"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]"

My initial thought (for about half a second) was that Campbell was the runner in the M drill. He could be the next William Perry! He'd make Beanie Wells look like an American Apparel model!

But then it hit me that he was probably playing defense...


August 13th, 2010 at 3:00 PM ^

Assuming that regardless of what happens in camp DG won't play to start the season.  Unless one of them gets hurt early I doubt RR would burn the redshirt right away.  But if something happens, awesome luxury to have three.

On the other hand if DG is that good, and we need him, you can't hold back.  We get on a run and this could be a 10 win season - can't hold back.

Still, I hope Tate doesn't immediately drop to No. 3.  Hate to see someone who did so much last year fall out of the mix.

Nice to finally hear news from an actual football field.


August 13th, 2010 at 3:18 PM ^

Yes, it's all coming together.  Last night I had a dream that I couldn't watch the UCon game but later found out that we won 51-36 and were up 51-3 at one point.  Watch out The Knowledge, you may soon have some competition on your hands.


August 13th, 2010 at 11:36 PM ^

Our secondary will be fine...?

Ha, sorry that wasn't convincing. Woolfolk and JT will be solid, but we just can't afford to lose either to injury. I could see Cullen Christian getting some meaningful minutes, but having him start, especially in the beginning of the season, spells DOOM in my mind. And as long as our D-Line puts pressure on opposing quarterbacks, we'll manage.

Let's hope DRob can work his magic...


August 13th, 2010 at 11:47 PM ^

I think highly of Tsate also, but if DRob beats him out, wouldn't that mean that DRob is even better?  Just saying that rather than saying "p[lease let it be Tate" or "I really hope it is Denard" wouldn't it make more sense to just be excited that there are 2 real options?


August 14th, 2010 at 12:26 PM ^

If we are going to play 2 quarterbacks, I would rather they start the runner and bring in the passer if the team gets behind.  This is how Bo did it in 79/80 where BJ Dickey or Rick Hewlett would often get the start but everyone would yell at Bo to "Whip out the Wang" to bring John Wangler in whenever things did not start good.  Of course in those days with Anthony Carter around, Wangler really should have gotten all the snaps.


August 13th, 2010 at 3:46 PM ^

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.

for non-appearance at voluntary summer workouts.

Steve in PA

August 13th, 2010 at 9:31 PM ^

He was essentially given the keys to the team and could have been in the driver's seat to start this season.  If he showed up mentally/physically not ready to play that's entirely on him since as last year's starter he would know the expectations.

I hope he's not turning into Todd Marnovich.


August 14th, 2010 at 9:49 AM ^

But, I think we have to keep a couple of things in perspective. First, we're putting together some pretty thin, circumstantial evidence, (helmets, Troy's statements, Twitter posts from a reporter, etc.) and deciding that Tate won't be "The Guy". Second, we're using said evidence to paint a picture of a kid who's not as committed to his own future as his teammates are to theirs. That may be carrying the conclusion too far.

Tony Soprano

August 13th, 2010 at 4:07 PM ^

expectation that the coaches have that the players be physically and mentally ready to go when camp starts - most were and some weren't.  Obviously, although the summer workouts were voluntary, you would expect that players who are expecting to play football or the next 3 months would get their bodies in shape and ready to play. 

Nobody said they had to show up at a certain time and place and do certain excercises, but certaintly they should have STAYED in shape during the off-season. 


August 13th, 2010 at 4:58 PM ^

So if I'm reading this right, Denard good, Denard fast, Denard accurate, everyone love Denard, DG moving up fast, DG awesome.....Tate....sits down and real tired looking.  So, is Tate starting or.....


August 13th, 2010 at 5:07 PM ^

According to a Bruce Feldman article on ESPN (in response to his top 25 rankings, where he has MIchigan 25th) - Denard is in the driver's seat and Tate/DG are having to play catch up at this point.  Apparently this is per a conversation he had with RR.

So, if the season started tomorrow (wouldn't that be awesome) - it would be Denard.


August 14th, 2010 at 12:42 PM ^

I'll 2nd that and give you a non-transferable +1.  Let's hope that Brian figures out that that the ones that think the new voting system is good are the ones unaffected by the change with their thousands of points.  Also I agree that a thread with no votes and over a hundred posts in unreadable as there is nothing to make the really good or bad points stand out.


August 14th, 2010 at 10:06 AM ^

Nice to hear he had impressive moments in practice. Still holding out hope he impresses enough in practice to  get a lot of playing time this year because he could be a absolute force on the line.