Paulus Saga

Submitted by Route66 on April 16th, 2009 at 3:31 PM

I thought I would drop a diary entry on this subject as all board entries seem to get eaten up within hours.

When this all came down I thought that it was a win win for UofM. Paulus could provide depth at worst and at most, a very good QB option for a year while Tate and/or Denard grow into it. But then as the day has worn on, I have realized that this is the exact opposite of a win win. I love RR and the new regime, but this situation does nothing but rock the ship that was just getting righted.(sp?) Just when we were getting into a groove with a QB that gave us something better than Death, and another to come in and help, RR throws a wrench into the mix. I AM ALL FOR THE DEPTH AT QB, but this is just adding another ring to the RR circus.

Tate's interview was interesting with the Daily, and I almost wonder if it was even real. He seemed a little hazy with details and that should NOT be the case with your arguable #1 QB. Things like this do not help team chemistry, assuming what we all have read and heard is true. Even if Paulus does not end up signing, it still ripples the water. If Tate doesn't know what to think, how much trust can he or the team have in RR. And save your "This is College football, grow up!" garbage, becuase this team is young and at the very least needs to be able to trust the staff.

There, I have that off my chest. I may feel that this is a slippery deal because I think Tate and Denard are more than capable, but any way you slice it, it is a distraction. Those tend to not be very positive.



April 16th, 2009 at 4:02 PM ^

RR knows we need depth at qb. He doesn't want DEATH from last year and besides that he has two freshman this year. Its a one year gig. A few injuries in the fall could have you wishing we did have paulus. I don't like the fact of him just jumping into the mix either (overcoverage in the news included) but how is him joining the team any different from the kids coming in in the fall? he will get hit just like the others and go through the same stuff they do.


April 16th, 2009 at 4:10 PM ^

Don't think that the ESPN hype machine is indicative of what would happen if he actually joined the team. You'd get some media hype when he signs and maybe if he plays. But I think we all expect that he'd be nothing more than a possible back-up QB at this point.

Once he arrives on campus I don't think he or RR would do anything to turn this into a circus. As much as the guy annoys me, he was the perfect team player at Duke - taking a back-up role his senior year after starting for a while and not making a stink about it.

The QB job is Tate's. The only way that Paulus would play is if Tate got hurt. I don't see it turning into that much of a circus and we're desperate for depth. When you think this is a bad idea, keep picturing what will happen when Nick Sheridan has to play significant minutes due to injury.

Sure, I'd rather have Jason Forcier every day of the week as our backup QB than Greg Paulus, but we can't really afford to be that pick this season.


April 16th, 2009 at 4:11 PM ^

Gettinjimmywithit - Bringing in Greg Paulus is not like bringing in any other recruit on a personal level. Ya if this is video game he is another good option, but your dealing with fragile-just-out-of-high-school qbs here. They are going to react in some way. Your philosophy may be that if they can't deal with it then they shouldn't be starting, but I think it could be a disruption to the mental progress this team is making with the players it already it has on the roster.

Dan Man

April 16th, 2009 at 4:15 PM ^

The only way this changes the situation is that there is one more QB competing. That's all. Nobody was promised the starting job. They have to earn it.

I think RichRod knows what he's doing here and I trust him. Do you think you know the situation better than he does? Would you really tell Paulus to pound sand out of fear of rocking the boat? Damaging Forcier's frail ego? Give me a break.


April 16th, 2009 at 4:23 PM ^

...overreacting, but it just does not sit well. You are right, I do not have the pulse of the team so I really don't know what is going on inside the locker room. If he signs and comes in and beats Tate or Denard out, SWEET! I am just more concerned with how this is being handled.(from our perspective) It just seems like a circus we don't need. Other than that, lets just win games.


April 16th, 2009 at 8:02 PM ^

a bit. It is true that Threet should have been here so really Paulus/Forcier would be replacing a guy who should be here, and was here when at least Tate committed. That tells me another QB is no big deal. But it's the unknown that bothers me, to your point.


April 16th, 2009 at 4:16 PM ^

This reminds me from the scene in Miracle when coach Herb Brooks brings in his great Minnesota player right before the olympics just to see how the team reacts and the captains told him that he is not part of the team. I feel like we need that to happen with the leaders of our football team right now!


April 16th, 2009 at 5:34 PM ^

Whateever makes us a better football team. I don't care who it is or how they got here. Line 'em up, coach 'em up, and start the guy that gives our 2009 football team the best chance of winning. Freshman early enrollee deemed best...great start him. Freshman shows up in fall and is best...start him. Duke basketballer with a year of eligibility transfers in and is best... start him. Hell, if Greg Oden has an epiphany and decides this basketball thing isn't working out like he planned, determines that he has a year of eligibility left and wants to play QB at Michigan, and RichRod works him out and determines that Oden gives us the best chance of winning football games, START HIM!

All of this mamby pamby talk about hurt feelings, mixed allegiences and distractions seems immature and condescending to the players involved. Improving and winning is what matters most.


April 16th, 2009 at 6:37 PM ^

If you read Tate's comments in that interview it's glaringly obvious his feelings have been hurt. Whether that means he will never have what it takes to succeed in life or college football (as so many suggest) I do not know. But the kid was supremely bothered, that's for sure.


April 16th, 2009 at 4:58 PM ^

I look at this a different way.

1. I believe this is just priceless PR for Michigan and for our rebuilding football program at a national level. Local level Michigan haters are trying to run with nothing. On the west coast I think it's a positive story if anything.

2. In a very rare circumstance indeed it's April and we still have scholarships available for the fall.

3. While Tate looked good last Saturday it was against our C+/B- defense.

4. Worst case scenario if JForcier and/or Paulus compete for a spot they end up not playing a snap and the QB situation ends up where it stands today.

5. No matter how this entire scenario plays out it will/has served Tate a little humble pie and that cannot be a bad thing. I like his confidence but it doesn't hurt for him to be reminded that he is still a HS kid nothing will be handed to him.


April 16th, 2009 at 6:11 PM ^

Worst case scenario would be thus;
Paulus comes in, does pretty well and backs up Tate. Denard rides the pine, sees some writing on the wall and transfers. Next year he (Denard)becomes the second coming of Pat White, or any other uber talented qb you want to insert there. I don't think I like this anymore, at first it seemed cool.


April 16th, 2009 at 5:21 PM ^

He'll add some much needed depth and leadership to the position. Although he hasn't played football at the college level, 4 years of Duke basketball probably thought him a thing or two about team work and poise. Hopefully he won't start because I'm anxious to see Tate go at it, but if he's an athlete and a competitor he should be an asset to the bench and the locker room. Tate seems like a confident kid, so I don't think this will bother him too much, but admittedly I don't know the kid personally to make that call. In any event, if we have the scholarship available to give away this season, I don't see the downside of using it for a single season. As long there isn't any internal strife over it, I think it will do more good than harm. Also, I'm a desperately optimistic UM fan, so I have to imagine it will work out.


April 16th, 2009 at 5:28 PM ^

i don't like RR's indecisiveness with decisions as major as who our starting qb is going to be. last year was a disaster in part because we were splitting snaps far, far, far, far, far too long between our two prospects, one with the qualities of an average college pocket passer and the other with the qualities of an average high school mobile quarterback. competition is great, but the eventual starter needs as much attention as we can possibly give them.


April 16th, 2009 at 5:28 PM ^

If you look at the situation from a distance, it looks like RR is desperate or at least making a desperate attempt to add to the QB stable.

From a knowledgeable fan perspective it looks like an insurance policy. But I'm not sure it would do much good, unless you're trying to keep DEATH off the field.


April 16th, 2009 at 5:46 PM ^

Good post R66. This is becoming a quagmire. The kid hasn't played FB in 4 yrs, prior coach doesn't think he would fit RR's system, loss arm strength, did not play in spread option run, Duke FB coach says the 4 yr absence would be too hard to overcome as QB. The highly recruited QB is becoming upset, not about the competition but the trust and confusion. If DRob redshirts, he could transfer, why risk that? The BB player has no interest or loyalty to UM in particular just wants to get up to speed to salvage a pro career in apparently anything. Tate has been here 4 months and only knows 1/2 the playbook. Last year's QBs spent spring summer and FB season and only tried to execute 1/2 the playbook. Now a BB player that played HS FB 4 yrs ago is gonna come in and start. How is this good or win-win?


April 16th, 2009 at 5:53 PM ^

A few points that I haven't seen much about...

-Richrod is a professional coach, this is his judgment and I am sure he has weighed all of these factors, and has probably consulted other coaches (Rod Smith), team leaders/captains, and probably the QBs.

-Paulus clearly is a team player who just rode the pine his Senior year at Duke. I do not think he would be anything different on this team, his character seems top notch. At the most him and Tate can play catch all summer with Drob.

-Paulus must be operating at an amazing level mentally, he just played 4 years of ACC basketball. Most of it as a starter, he clearly knows how to be a team player, and he knows what pressure feels like. This is a hell of a combination for a backup QB - in the event that something happens... Throw in a little natural talent, and quite a QB pedigree and you really have something.


April 16th, 2009 at 6:00 PM ^

I thought Antonio Bass was going to be our QB. Whatever happened to him?

Also, why haven't Max Martin or Mister Simpson gotten any carries this spring?


April 16th, 2009 at 6:07 PM ^

Okay, anyone who thinks one year of Greg Paulus would cause Denard Robinson to transfer or ruin Tate's confidence is overly paranoid. Both guys came in here to compete. Both are high school kids. Both realize they aren't ready for college and have a lot to learn. Hell, Tate committed to Michigan despite the possibility of other top-QB's signing up.

Having a former top prospect who hasn't played in four years and will only be on the team for one year - most likely as depth insurance only - isn't going to affect those guys at all. Come on!

If it helps Michigan, and I think in some small way it does (i.e. prevents Nick Sheridan from seeing the field) then they should go after it.

But here's what I'm hoping. The link below is from the NCAA about how they treat cases like this on an individual basis and favor strong academic standing. What I'm hoping is that this will allow Jason Forcier to join the team - which in my opinion is the best case scenario since he's Tate's brother, used to be on the team, and has played four years of competitive football.…


April 16th, 2009 at 7:34 PM ^

Point out your point. I came with my own opinion of the situation. I have rarely read his blog.(did not actually read that today) And I am having trouble understanding what you think I copied....? I paid attention to the bottom of the article like you said, and I am having trouble finding a correlation. That is cool of you to join today and then call someone lame. Way to make a great first impression.

The Original Seth

April 16th, 2009 at 6:29 PM ^

How is this even being seriously considered?

It's nonsense like this that makes a program a laughingstock. This is worse than anything Lane Kiffin's done this year - it's a vote of no confidence and a hail mary pass, all rolled into one and aimed at a young, talented team of players when they need to be going into the dead period with their heads cleared.

Yeah blergh blergh compete for every position blergh blergh. How about the coaching staff communicating clear confidence in the players they've got, rather than calling up a damn basketball player?

** edit: not an argument about the "psychology" of the whole thing, just a comment on how ineffectual and chaotic this makes the front office look

Super Unknown

April 16th, 2009 at 6:33 PM ^

Regarding the comment about how "we are just getting into the groove with a QB" and the RR wrench. I think "we," as in the fans, just became comfortable.

I highly doubt that the team is phased by this. If the team is having a nervous breakdown over this "wrench" then there are more serious problems to contend with.

Sorry if this was already stated. I just got home from work and don't feel like sifting through all the Paulus posts.


April 16th, 2009 at 6:59 PM ^

I have always believed Tate's proclamations about welcoming competition...until today. I am assuming those still posting that he could not possibly be fazed by the Paulus circus did not read this interview:…

He is all kinds of rattled. When you repeat 15 times that you're fine with something you are not. That's how you talk when a girl breaks up with you or you get fired from a job. You "protest too much," as they say.

Quotes you do not want from your likely starter:

"I want to believe my coaches, I committed (to) them"
"It’s hard. I can’t give you a word on it."
"I might not be getting the whole story from my coaches"

And yes, I know the response from many is "well then he's a baby and he'll never be a good quarterback anyway." Putting aside whether that's true, I hope we can at least dispel the notion that this could not/will not affect morale.


April 16th, 2009 at 7:50 PM ^

A guy who's played two years of D1 football and has transferred adds depth. An incoming freshman who's just completed his high school career adds a little depth. A guy who last played football four years ago in high school and who hasn't stepped out on the field since then with pads on does not add depth.

He hasn't played football for four years; at this point, his exploits in high school don't mean jack shit. People keep talking as though he can just march right in and truly compete for the starting QB position, when in fact he'll be more qualified to hold the clipboard — and I don't think that he's considering coming to Michigan just to hold a clipboard.

I'm not going to rush to criticize RR since we have no idea what the true story is, but I don't know why he would have spent more than five minutes with the guy, since he can only get one year out of him. Would RR give a freshman who said he would turn pro after one year a scholarship? I strongly doubt it, and I don't know why he would do the same thing with a guy in Paulus's position.


April 16th, 2009 at 9:06 PM ^

And that's precisely why I wholeheartedly support Paulus coming here. Competition is what makes USC great because 3-4 guys are competing just to play. So you're basically playing live games in practice because of all the depth. That simulation translates on the field.

When RR was hired, what did everyone compare the program to? What was the gold standard? It was USC this, USC that. Well, if we want to be like USC we need to have competition. There are three guys vying to be USC's QB next year. If Barkley wins out, Mustain will never play and Corp has a slim chance of playing. If Corp wins, Barkley has at most 2 years and Mustain won't play, even though Mustain was a 5 star.

You see this type of competition everywhere amongst the strong programs. How about the battle between Colt McCoy and Jevean Snead. There doesn't have to be a loser here. Snead is the QB now at fast rising Ole Miss. Matt Cassell is starting in the NFL. Heck, even Matt Gutierrez made a team. Competition makes everyone stronger, even the initial "losers."

The sad part of the Paulus fiasco is that there isn't even much competition to begin with. Paulus will only play one year, so it's not like Forcier will never play. For Tate to throw a hissy fit over such a small infusion of competition is troubling, to say the very least.


April 16th, 2009 at 9:54 PM ^

Seems to be very quiet. I wonder why. Maybe we are all idiots and making this something out of nothing. Or maybe Brian knows something and it is best if he keeps his mouth shut because of the blogs popularity and the ramifications of his possible statements???


April 16th, 2009 at 11:35 PM ^

that an offer TO PLAY FOOTBALL has been made, but keep in mind Paulus, per NCAA rules, would have to get a waiver from the NCAA to enter a graduate program at Michigan. There is also the issue of Paulus getting admitted to a graduate program at Michigan, but that appears not to be a problem since Paulus is a good student. (see…)

See generally


April 16th, 2009 at 11:02 PM ^

Maybe this is wrong, but I think Tate's hurt reaction might just be spur-of-the-moment "wtf?" offense. Like honestly, I doubt that in the long run he'll care at all, unless Paulus does come here and pulls a miracle. At first, if I were Tate, I'd be a little apprehensive, too, not knowing the whole story and wondering what's going on behind the scenes. When he was quoted in that TMD article, he was probably at the same stage we are, nearly: "wtf Paulus to Michigan since when?".

I mean, I guess I could see this going sour but honestly, if you think the coaches won't talk to Tate and tell him what's going on completely ASAP, then you're probably wrong. The coaches are coaches who've had success for a reason. They know what they're doing. And I'm pretty sure they can handle this (DRob is probably sitting at home going "ok...whatever" to all of this).


April 17th, 2009 at 1:26 AM ^

if paulus signs, whatever. he adds to the team.
remember, we're one injury away from having our QB options be coner/robinson/sheridan.

tate has effectively, zero competition right now and having to compete for the job is good for him and for the winning culture of this team.

tate can't trust RR because he signed another QB? please...absolutely no jay cutler-ish shenanigans should be tolerated on this team.

and yes, i will give you the "This is College football, grow up!" garbage...This is college football!

Greg McMurtry

April 17th, 2009 at 9:24 AM ^

that I'd want Paulus on the team is to ensure that DRob would get a redshirt for '09. So, the depth would be Tate, Paulus, then a toss-up for 3rd string, allowing DRob to stay out of game action and keep his redshirt. Then DRob gets his extra year and he and Gardner will be the solid #2 and #3 in 2010.