Denard w/ teammates post-game in locker room

Submitted by BKFinest on October 11th, 2010 at 9:20 AM

As per Sam Webb, Denard addressed the entire team in the locker room after the game, and apparently took sole responsibility for the loss, and apologized for his performance and vowed to work as hard as possible to never allow that to happen again.

I'm sorry, but this kid is something else. Not only is he extraordinary on the field, but for this kid - and he is a kid as a sophomore - to take on this kind of leadership role after such an emotional and gut-wrenching loss, I can't begin to tell you how special I think he's going to be for us in the future. As Sam Webb said, he's got "it".

Chins up. Beat Iowa. Let's go Blue.



October 11th, 2010 at 11:01 AM ^

Let me preface this by saying that I've never had a problem with Tebow. Hating a guy for doing all the right things just seems assanine.

So, needless to say, I had no problems with his "speech" following the Ole Miss game. He publicly took responsibility for the loss, and his promise inspired the whole team. What he said really came true.

Tebow never has had a problem with the spotlight or being in front of cameras. That is just who he is. I'm not going to blame the guy for that.

Denard is clearly a guy that loves football and loves Michigan, but doesn't love being interviewed. So, he made his statement in the locker room. Again, that is just who he is.


Tebow's speech became a season-changing moment and a piece of Florida lore. I can only hope that Denard's will have the same effect.


October 11th, 2010 at 11:32 AM ^

I am not going to hang this loss on Denard, but it does show some leadership if he hangs it on himself, as long as he uses it positively.  I am not a RR hater, nor do I think he should be fired after this loss, but I am going to put this loss directly on him.  He put Robinson in a position to fail.  It is like he heard all of the grumblings about making Robinson win it with his arm and said, "I'll show them that he can pass!"  We ran it down the field on both of those early posessions and should have run it into the endzone.  Instead, he makes his run first Qb drop back and throw into a crowded, short field in a red zone situation.  I realize that the throws were off and the plays would have worked if he had put them on the money, but why risk it?  Then, he spends the whole second half dropping Robinson back and playing him like a Pro-style QB.  He worked away from the strengths of Robinson and the O-line.  I am hoping RR uses this loss as much as a learning experience as Denard does.  Run, Run, and then throw off of fake run.  It works, so why screw with it? 


October 11th, 2010 at 11:46 AM ^

he was hoping that if Denard hit a few more like the one to Hemingway at the half, it would draw different looks from the MSU D and open the running lanes, but MSU's staff was having none of it.

We all mock Dantonio, but the guy can coach. My guess? He's gone at the end of the season to replace Les Miles at LSU.


October 11th, 2010 at 12:20 PM ^

Denard converted on 4th after 3 straight drops...  and Roundtree dropped a TD in the 1H...  Bottom line, we did not play as well as we needed to if we were going to beat a solid MSU team...  Let's clean up, dust off and build toward an OSU win... 

M_Born M_Believer

October 11th, 2010 at 12:33 PM ^

I agree with everything you stated.

I fully believe that Denard is going to come back Saturday and play extemely well.  He has the talent to back up his moxie.  This could very well be a definfing moment for him.

I was at the game, but I did DVR it and yes watched it again last night (kinda my personnal quick UFR).  I knew which plays to look at, so yeah Denard was pressing, but there is plenty responsibilities to go around.  For example:

1) Calvin and RR - I was frustrated with the pass attempt on 3rd and 4 on the first drive, why?  We were ramming the ball right down their throats, what better way demoralize them than to keep running it in.  Being crazy enough, I would have ran it twice if needed had they some how managed to stop us on 3rd down.

2) On the same play (and other board coaches (RE: Magus) help me out on this one), but some accountability on that interception falls on Roundtree too because I have always been taught that when you run a crossing route.  You are not suppose to "drift" after you make your cut, you are suppose to run straight across.  When you look at the replay, Roundtree starts his cut across the field at the goal line, but kept "drifting" into the endzone.  This only closed the gap for their FS to come up and cut in front of Roundtree.

3) The 2nd daming INT, again just a fans perspective, Denard pumped.  By that time it was too late.  I believe that in the film you will see the entire side of the field had opened up with the man coverage.  The route was covered, thus the correct read was to pull it down and take off.  I like my chances better with him running is such open space.

4) Again on RR - I like V Smith, hard worker, team player, loves M, but Magnus has it right on the nose.  He should never be on the field on a 3rd or 4th and short again unless they deploy him in the slot.  Need to trust Hopkins as a power option up the middle if the read dictates that.

5) Mr. Ezeh - Ummmmm where exactly were you going on both of those long TD runs?

6) This one bugged me the most.  When I watched the game again, I counted the number of times we ran the ball in the final 20 minutes of the game.....Ya know what, it was a grand total of 4 and they were all Denard running.  That's right, our team strength, our bases of running our entire offense went out the window.  That can't happen, we have to stick to what we do well.

Being relatively new to the board, I do not know if it is 'ok' to nit pick plays or such, but this is what I saw.  I certainly confess that the coaches know a ton more than I do.....


October 11th, 2010 at 12:40 PM ^

I give Denard a lot of credit for standing up and taking responsibility for the loss even though it was a team loss. I don't think you can hang this on RR either, Denard missed a lot of reads including when to pull the ball down and run on passing plays when the the lanes are there. This is a maturity that will come from Denard as he grows more comfortable in the big games. The offense has yet to reach its full potential.


October 11th, 2010 at 1:07 PM ^

I guess I am just quicker to accept the mistakes of the young.  Denard did make some bad reads, Cam Gordon looked awful on a couple of those big runs, Christian got beat on a double move, etc. but I can put those into the category of young guys making mistakes in a REALLY big game and under a lot of pressure.  I am a little more upset with the likes of Ezeh (although I realize that even a senior college player is still just a kid) and RR.  RR seemed like he cracked under the pressure and made Dantonio look like a genius.  That said, coaches are allowed bad games, too, and I am not giving up on RR, but I would hope to see an improvement over that effort. If he gets outcoached again this year against OSU and next year again by Dantonio I will be changing my tune. 


October 11th, 2010 at 2:52 PM ^

This loss was not on the coaches.  Denard missed the throws that he had to make and there were critical drops.  MSU did well enough against the run that it would have been stupid to run more, unless you trust our field goal team.  I think Denard wants to succeed as a passer and will only get better, but with that said I wish he would tuck it and run just a bit more often, especially with no one open.


October 11th, 2010 at 7:07 PM ^

Instead, he makes his run first Qb drop back and throw into a crowded, short field in a red zone situation.

He's not a "run-first" QB.  He's just a QB.  He has more pass attempts than run attempts on the year.  He attempted 40 passes at Notre Dame, and for some reason I don't recall you complaining that that was too many. 

If anything, Denard may need to be taught to look to run more on passing downs.  I believe he's only scrambled once all year (against UConn).  His instinct on pass plays is to keep looking downfield.


October 11th, 2010 at 11:16 AM ^

If he vowed to make sure everyone would work hard to make sure it never happened again, and won the rest of their games and the National Championship.

I mean, jeeze, I can see a lot of fun in the Tebow bashing, but this is a little out there. 


October 11th, 2010 at 2:15 PM ^

I've noticed (rather worryingly) how that national media has been fawning over Denard in a Tebowesque fashion.  I hated the media slobber over Tebow and I hated the way he manipulated the attention of got as well.

But seeing how Denard comports himself, I'm pretty confident that he won't fall into the same trap.  He truly is mature beyond his years.  He's incredibly humble, genuine, and hardworking.  He's not a whore for the media.

I honestly can't think of a better person to be the face of this football program.


October 11th, 2010 at 9:27 AM ^

This may sound a little too rah rah, but I really think we are going to see a side to DR and the offense that we have not seen yet coming up this week.  Driving back from the game I turned to my buddy and told him that I would not want to be Iowa.  Let's just hope my vengeant feelings somehow transfer over to the team.  Maybe, right?

ND Sux

October 11th, 2010 at 9:36 AM ^

after the UMass game, I told my friends "I would not want to be Bowling Green".  The result: a much better effort and a trouncing of BGSU.  I expect a much better effort on Saturday, and a close win against Iowa.  We CAN play with this team.  The biggest reason we lost on Saturday was turnovers.  Tough to come out with a win when you're minus 3.  Otherwise we moved the ball very well. 

Screw Sparty, on to Iowa. 


October 11th, 2010 at 10:22 AM ^

Already looking ahead to next year?

Well, we lose Mouton (starter), Ezeh (starter), Rogers (starter), Schilling (starter), Moundros,  Ferrara, Dorrestein (starter), Webb (backup), Banks (starter), Sagesse (backup), and Patterson (backup). 

By my count that's 11 players, 6 starters, 4 backups, and Ferrara (three deep).  If TWolf does in fact come back (I believe this is the thought as of right now) and Martin stays (no inside info, just a thought), our D would look something like:

RVB / Martin / Black

Roh / Demens / Player X / Gordon or Carvin Johnson

Kovacs or Marvin Robinson / JT Floyd / TWolf / Cam Gordon

I think it's safe to say that our secondary, with Talbott, Avery, and Cullen, will have a significant depth / experience upgrade next year.  However, I am not sure that (no matter how bad Ezeh is) the improvement in our secondary will be greater than our decline at LB. 


October 11th, 2010 at 10:57 AM ^

Yes, this.  This is what I proposed in a thread a week ago or so, and it assumes we bring in Avery Walls (or any FS really) and another CB in this class.

Move Cam Gordon to LB the second the season ends, put him on a weight program and watch him grow, prep him to take over Mouton's spot. 

Woolfolk at FS.  Put Greg Brown and Avery Walls at FS, the two of them can duke it out with Vinopal to see who will be the back-up and the starter once Woolfolk goes pro.  The lesser of Brown and Walls can redshirt.

At CB we have Floyd, Avery, Christian, Talbott who will all have at least a full season of spot duty experience.  We will also have Hollowell and (other CB recruit, Crawford or Kitchen) who won't be needed, but might surprise. 

This plan would improve the FS spot (likely by a lot) improve the CB spot (best sophomore over Rogers), and mitigate the loss of Mouton with Cam Gordon.  Adding Cam to the LB corps we can more comfortably put Roh at DE permanently, but going to a 4-man front would make that moot anyway.


October 11th, 2010 at 11:33 AM ^

Obviously the linebackers are shaping up to be the sorest/thinnest spot on defense next year, but I don't think moving Cam Gordon would work out very well. It seems that Cam has the athletic ability to make the plays at safety but lacks the technique to tackle effectively. He does have the instinct and willingness to go for the killshot, but he's completely whiffed (all but once, I think) on those this year.

Before Sparty his story was being solid in run support while lacking playmaking ability in open space. If you move him to linebacker, would he really have a better nose for the ball in lots of traffic while trying to shed blocks?

Another position switch would derail a lot of his progress. I don't want to see him turn into a perennial position journeyman/utility guy. I'd rather see the coaches try and build him into a destroyer of souls as a safety.


October 11th, 2010 at 11:48 AM ^

Most of what you say makes sense, I guess what we disagree on is how good he'd be at LB.  My 2 concerns are that (1) Cam outgrows the FS spot (he's already 6'3" and around 210 as a second year guy, and bigger than that and it will be hard to keep the speed needed for FS, and (2) the game experience of our returning LB's.  If we can have as many guys on the field as possible who have starting or significant playing experience, our defense will be better. 

A couple things that would make my plan worth less are - if we don't find another good CB and TWolf is needed there, and if we have guys really step up at LB to where Cam isn't needed there.  My goal is to have the best 11 on the field, we'll just have to see who those end up being.


October 11th, 2010 at 11:04 AM ^

I realize that people expected a bit too much from Big Will as a true freshman, and we seem to be showing some restraint this year (I'll admit I'm disappointed he's not contributing more), but if he's not starting or getting significant playing time as a 3rd year player, I think he's a bust as far as 5 star recruits go. I'm hoping that's not the case, though, and the real point I want to make is that the projected D-line in 2011 will hopefully include him in the regular rotation.

In the secondary, I would like to see a second corner emerge from this year's freshman, and be able to move Woolfolk back to safety next year. I'd like to see Cam on the field still, he's shown he can tackle well for the most part, but no matter how much he improves Cam won't have Woolfolk's speed.

double blue

October 11th, 2010 at 9:33 AM ^

his picks are the easiest thing to point in terms of loss, but the d being out of position, not being able to kck field goals, and dropped passes are not his fault.   without him i don't think we win nd or indiana and probably not even umass (o god horror II)- so i can handle him having a bad day.


that is great leadership and while i don't know that that's enough to beat iowa it's enough to know we should not take the slide we did last year and that is what all the haters and naysayers think is going to happen. 


October 11th, 2010 at 9:37 AM ^

Love to hear that from Denard, its awsome and i do think he will bounce back but until we have a dominant defense to help back him up all that is is talk.  But hope the play inspired football just dont see it happening.  When something like this was said previously you knew it was someones A$$ but now...

Magnum P.I.

October 11th, 2010 at 10:55 AM ^

If this were an equation, the defense sucking and the special teams being a mess would be constant terms. There is no significant variance there. Denard's performance (or more generally, the offense's performance) is the variable term. The outcome is likelihood of winning the game.

The only part of the equation that affects the likelihood of winning is Denard. We have to stop hoping for a defensive renaissance--it's not going to happen. Denard has to be superman for us to have a great season.

Odds of winning = B0 + B1(Denard) + e


October 11th, 2010 at 9:45 AM ^

If I ever have a son, this is what I'd want him to turn out like (athletic ability or none).   Kudos to his parents.  Love this kid.


October 11th, 2010 at 9:57 AM ^

Since Lloyd took over, Michigan has not responded well to a tough mid-season loss the following week.  There's usually some type of hangover.  Hopefully this will re-energize them.  That plus all that "look at what happened in '09" crap.


October 11th, 2010 at 10:18 AM ^

1995, we lost to Northwestern, and followed that up with a flat win against Indiana

1996, we lost to Purdue and followed that up with a stinker the next week to Penn State at home.

1998, we lose the season opener at ND, then come home and got blown out by Syracuse

1999, we lost at MSU, then came home the following week and lost to Illinois

2002, we lost at ND, then next week struggled to beat Utah 10-7.

2003, we lose at Oregon and Iowa within a three game span, then have to come back down 17 to beat Minnesota.

2004, we lose to ND and barely beat San Diego St. by 3.

The 2005 team was all over the map, alternating wins and losses.

2007, do we really need to go into that?

Fact is Michigan struggled the game after a loss during the Carr regime.  Whether it was the opponent or their own emotions, those games were typically close unless we played a woeful opponent.


October 11th, 2010 at 11:43 AM ^

And apparently you have a broad definition of "mid-season"

1995 - you really consider 34-17 "flat"?

1996- Do you just mean 1st loss (since we're changing the meaning with each post). Because after the Penn State game you mentioned, we upset a super highly ranked Ohio State Team, costing them a National Title....

1998- After those first two games of the season mid-season games, we won 8 in a row.

1999- after Illinois (still a loss, right?) we won all the rest of our games.

2000- after losses we: won at Champaign 35-31, beat Indiana 58-0 and Penn State 33-11.

2001- after the most gut wrenching loss of Lloyd's career, came back and beat Minnesota 31-10.

2002- You know Utah's pretty good, right? and somehow you failed to mention the midseason game, where after getting stomped by Iowa, we beat MSU 49-3.

2003- now it's a 3 game span? It's easy to prove anything if your metric goes all over the place. I love how maybe the greatest comeback in our history is showing we couldn't recover from tough times. We did that IN GAME that year.

2004- I'll give you this one. But we didn't actually lose.

2005- so alternating wins and losses, isn't that not being down after a loss? Nice to leave it out when it doesn't prove your point. Lose to Wisconsin, beat MSU  at their place; lose to Minnesota, beat great PSU team in a game a few people around here remember... (oh, and after the ND loss, did beat the hell out of EMU. I know, EMU, but if you can count near loses to bad teams, we can count doing exactly what you're supposed to, and stomp bad teams, no?)

1997, 2006- when you don't lose earlier than the last game of the season, I guess you can't count those.

2007- Followed up toughest two weeks in maybe Michigan history by beating Notre Dame 38-0 (again, not midseason)...I'd say that was a nice bounce back. And followed tough OSU loss by beating Florida...but anyway...


The only real FACT of the matter is over 13 years, we only lost back to back games FIVE times. That's remarkable.  It shows the ability to not let one loss snowball into season ending dives. For comparison, that's how many times we followed a loss with a loss just LAST YEAR (and the year before that). It's really not as easy as it sounds.

If you wanted to make a point that college kids are down after a big loss, and sometimes don't just bounce back, well, duh.  But to say that Lloyd was somehow worse at it than somebody else is just completely in line with your point total.


October 11th, 2010 at 12:34 PM ^

First off, I only said the week following a tough loss was a struggle.  Not the entire freaking season.

Second, I didn't say we lose every time out.  We just have a tough time.

Third, I can consider I 34-17 game flat when you go through the motions and can pull away in the second half against an undermatched team.

Lastly, we typically have more talent than the squad on the other side of the ball.  So you're typically not going to be running into 2, 3, 4 game losing streaks. 

I'm not interested in going all carpal tunnel on my hands, but here's a few things for you to mull over.

1996 - Yeah we beat OSU.  That's "The 'Freaking' Game".  How do you not get up for that?

2000 - You know the officials gift wrapped that Illinois win for us, right?  Indiana sucked.  And for some reason, Lloyd punched in that last touchdown against PSU in the last minute of the game when it was unnecessary.

2002 - You know Utah was pretty average then right? Also, you fail to mention that going into the MSU game that year, their team was in shambles with head coaching instability and Jeff Smoker issues.  Also, that's the year after the Spartan Bob game.

2003 - Ah, the Minnesota game.  You mean the game where we came out FLAT and turned things around in the second half?

2007 - We smoked an awful ND team with a senior ladened squad.  And when I say mid-season, I really mean regular season.

Point is, we do not have the type of team, especially on defense, that can go through the motions against Iowa, get down 14-21 points, and come back.  We have not proven that this year.


October 12th, 2010 at 9:53 AM ^

And you've talked about things all over the place.

I'm not going through every game you list as a "loss" (even the wins) and looking for who might have actually been a better team than us, but on your points-

34-17. I guess MSU was flat this weekend for only winning by around that much when they could have kept scoring and easily pulled away....why can't they get up for us?!?

1996- ah, it only counts for being up if it's a game we shouldn't be up for.  Interesting addition to your measurements.  Guess we weren't up for MSU this weekend, since it's freaking MSU.

2000- Illinois was a good team, that would go on to win the Big Ten the next year.  And we had numerous chances to quit in that one. But didn't.  And Indiana sucked, sure. But it wasn't even close. If 34-17 isn't enough, and you want the team to dominate the score, how can 58-0 not be your desired result? You seem to act like it's a failure both ways. Or more accurately, a failure if it's not enough, but just a bad team if it is. Nice. And I'm sorry 26-11 against Penn State isn't a big enough win for you (if you take away the late TD).

2002- Utah tumbled after they played us, but had played well to that point. They had beat the hell out of Indiana, and played Arizona tough.  I don't know that MSU was in any more shambles that year than any other, but you seem to have so many criteria for exceptions to them being flat after losses.  So it's Spartan Bob's fault....I guess coaching had nothing to do with that.

2003- There's a big difference between FLAT, and DEFLATED. Flat actually usually comes from winning, and then suddenly not showing up.  That team was being destroyed by fans and the media after the previous two weeks. And you might recall, Minnesota was pretty good in that era. That's a testament to his ability to rally the troops, not a knock.

2007- "A senior ladened squad"? You mean the team lead by a freshman quarterback, and a banged up Mike Hart toughing it out, amazingly? If only the seniors had been healthy... But again, you seem to have an excuse for every "up" game, but there are no excuses for any "flat" game. 

And you skipped a lot of them....

I mean, yeah, we can't go through the motions against anyone, and fall behind 14-21 points, and come back. Duh. I guess Rich better not have his team come out "Flat", by your standards.