In effort to totally piss off Brian, Hoke announces Gardner "might" start if season started tomorrow

Submitted by BlueCube on April 18th, 2014 at 4:44 PM

He said Shane Morris has closed the gap this spring and it will be "pretty exciting to hear what they did this summer.

I'm not buying it, however if Morris does start I will assume he has become one hell of a quarterback.





April 19th, 2014 at 12:36 PM ^

"just because Brian says there is no chance that Morris starts (and I agree) doesn't mean there really isn't."

This stuff gets so annoying. People think Gardner is a sure starter because he performed quite well despite an absolutely terrible interior OL and subsequent lack of a running game and will have a lot of experience over Morris, not because Brian said so. Saying "just because Brian says" makes it sound like there aren't actual reasons for believing it. As if Brian just read it in fucking tarot cards and people here blindly follow him.


April 18th, 2014 at 5:29 PM ^

But what is there to gain? We get some peace of mind. Gardner might not work as hard over the summer because he knows the job is his. Shane might similarly lose motivation if he thinks there's no point.

There is literally nothing to gain by publicly naming a starter at any point before the first snap of the season. And even privately, the starter should only be named at the end of camp, before the first practice of game week.


April 19th, 2014 at 1:39 AM ^

Because the kids on the team are basically brainwashed into believing everything the coaches say. So if they tell both guys they've gotta fight it out, the guys are going to believe them and act accordingly.

There is a limit to this, of course. You can't tell an All-American to keep his nose to the grindstone or else that freshmen is gonna have his job. In fact, I'm pretty sure Gardner knows that he is going to be the starter, but he also knows that a motivated Shane is good for Michigan, so he will play the game. This is a people business. Fans aren't people.


April 19th, 2014 at 1:47 AM ^

So are the kids brainwashed or not?  You just confirmed my point.  Everyone in this world that follows Michigan football knows that DG is the starter and you just agreed with that.  There is no point in playing this game if it is hollow and empty.  With the situation that M has at QB this year it's just silly.  


April 19th, 2014 at 2:04 AM ^

It's never silly. It's a motivational tactic.

The kids are brainwashed. If Hoke tells these guys there is a real competition, then they will believe him. I just suspect that Hoke isn't telling both of them the same things. This way, its a win-win. Gardner knows where he stands but Shane busts his ass.


April 19th, 2014 at 2:17 AM ^

My point is it's not going to motivate anyone. It's about as transparent as this type of thing can be given the situation. I understand the philosophy but it requires a certain situation to be effective and in this situation it is indeed silly. Also, I am confused, does Devin know he is going to be the starter or not? You can't say Hoke has them brainwashed and then say you think Devin knows he is going to be the starter. That doesn't make sense.


April 19th, 2014 at 2:32 AM ^

Sure. They are brainwashed, at least if Hoke is any good. All athletes are to some degree or another. But what matters is what the coaches tell them face to face. In my scenario, Devin doesn't "know" he is going to start in the same way we do, he knows it because his coach has told him he will. Meanwhile, he is telling Morris to keep working and improving because there is a legitimate competition. Now, what does he tell the press? He can't say Gardner is going to start without hurting Shane's trust in him. He can say its an open competition and it will not hurt Devin's trust, as he and Devin have their own understanding.

Regarding brainwashing, it is definitely true. As college athletes, it is very easy to miss the forest for the trees. Guys are made to live and die with each practice, each workout, each rep. This is particularly true for young guys and guys who have yet to make the starting lineup. It changes as you get older, as the coaches soften their approach with you and give you more respect and ownership of the team. I love that shit.


April 19th, 2014 at 4:25 AM ^

Gives a little more motivation to Shane. Sends a message to the rest of the team that no ones job is safe over the summer. That sorta thing.

I don't really care how Hoke handles it, I just don't see any reason for him to declare to the press that there is no competition.


April 18th, 2014 at 6:15 PM ^

It's just as likely (meaning, who the fuck really knows) that naming Gardner the starter would show him the coaching staff believes in him and give him the confidence boost he needs to have a great season after a tough 2013 where he sacrificed himself physically for little reward.  I know if I had gone through what he did last year and a coach was acting like I still hadn't earned a place at the table I might start tuning said coach out.

None of us know the personality of the people involved and I doubt the issue makes much difference either way at the end of the day, but acting like there is a definite right answer (pretend no one has ever secured a starting position until it is time to run out of the tunnel) is just as bad as getting worked up about Hoke's statement.


April 18th, 2014 at 6:40 PM ^

with the silly spin, and spin, and sack move he introduced.  We can talk about his fixation for one receiver and or route.  We could say that whatever he learned about throwing the ball out of bounds in 2012 was lost by the time 2013 rolled around.  In many ways Gardner regressed between the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.  


April 18th, 2014 at 6:53 PM ^

Or we can talk about how that silly, silly spin move became less and less of his repertoire as the year went on. We can talk about how his pocket manipulation improved leaps and bounds over the year (unfortunately was lost amid the constant pressure and sacks). We can talk about how he had only 3 INTs (every QB has "should have" been interceptions) in Big Ten play despite having absolutely no rushing support. Or maybe the fact that in the biggest game of our year, he gutted out an almost comeback on a broken foot. 

There is a nonzero chance that Morris passes Gardner before next fall. Absolutely nothing either player has shown indicates this particularly close to being likely. 


April 18th, 2014 at 7:00 PM ^

that Gardner should start, for any number of reasons.  But that wasn't the question.  The question is about preparing for the 2014 season and how Gardner comes out of the gate.  We have evidence of what happens when he has no competition, he regresses.  It remains to be seen what happens when he's pushed in competition but even if he regresses, there is now a legitimate plan B should it be needed.


April 19th, 2014 at 1:44 AM ^

This is true, but Gardner is a fifth year senior going into his second full year as a starter. He is not short on confidence. It is probably his biggest strength.

He knows the job is his, just like we all do. But he also knows that a good Shane is good for the team, so he will play along. This is what senior leadership is about. The point is, announcing it to the press is pointless. And in fact, if Hoke tells him he's the man and goes and tells the press otherwise, Gardner feels in on it. It draws him closer to the coach.

Michael From TC

April 19th, 2014 at 6:43 AM ^

did you read any of the reports last year?


did you see him around campus?


everything has indicated that the once-cocky, smag blasted, kid who was going to be the future of QB at UofM, looks shell shocked and beaten down to the quiet kid who keeps to himself.


Devin took a beating last year and his confidence was part of that.


April 18th, 2014 at 8:48 PM ^

hokes just making a statement in saying no one performed to the "expectation of the position" last year and last year was a failure, QB included.  if they played solid football last season and were not an inconsistent hot mess every week then id prob expect him to name the 5th yr senior as starter coming out of summer.  but not the case.  hokes just throwing it out there that all 22 spots are open and no one is "safe" after such a poor season.  if hes doing it everywhere else and essentially holding open tryouts for 21 positions then it makes no sense to not do so for QB.  as long as gardner gets enough first team reps then theres no issue.  we all know gardner is the starter, hoke knows it, nuss knows it, as does everyone associated with the program and most fans / media...hes just posturing and i do not mind it (as long as hes not actually crazy enough to think anyone but that athletic freak gardner provides them with best chance of winning every week - considering the questionable blocking from OL, TEs, FBs and RBs, as well as marginal rock toting by RBs, they need truly dangerous dual threat QB handling it every snap).  ---and side note- i personally believe every team in modern era of college ball should utilize dual threat QBs and also try to be as multiple as possible in terms of personnel and scheme...theres very few teams like bama and stanford and lsu who are consistently recruiting all the necessary pieces (several pros on OL, truly dynamic skill players, and legit pro style QBs)  to annually compete at championship level with pocket passers running more traditional pro style O's....those rare teams do not necessarily need the athletic QBs adding that extra dimension to beat you....otherwise, pretty much all championship teams of late are spread to run teams with athletic QBs and some spread to pass squads that become infinitely more dangerous when their QB can sprint for 15 yard first downs in bw passing 45 times/game.  hopefully nuss is bringing this type of philosophy and over time converts hokes stubborn dated idea of offensive football...why shackle yourself by not recruiting sick athletes to handle the ball every single snap...i really hope hoke does not trap his OC in a bo-era 70's / 80's offensive prison bc post-gardner theyll REALLY struggle vs osu and msu and good teams with mismatched identity / personnel


April 18th, 2014 at 5:07 PM ^

""The addition of (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier), with his resume, who he's coached, how he's coached and his own resume as a former player, has been significant and it's helped," Hoke says. "He's been positive. For both of them."

Of all the items mentioned, this one I definitely believe. It will be very interesting to see what both Gardner and Morris look like moving into August, although like others, I am decidedly wary of the coach-speak which would hint at a serious competition. It seems more like this is geared to motivate these guys, but then I could be reading it incorrectly. 


April 18th, 2014 at 5:09 PM ^

I think is going to end up like this. Gardner starter, Morris 2nd, Bellomy 3rd, Speight redshirt. Morris will be starting next season unless Speight blows up which could happen.


April 18th, 2014 at 5:26 PM ^

I'm not sure why these kinds of statements bother anyone.  I would have been surprised if he'd said otherwise.  It's April, and pretty much everyone on the team (Gardner included) needs to have a strong offseason if the team is going to take a step forward.  I don't see the staff guaranteeing anyone else a starting spot, either.  





April 18th, 2014 at 5:14 PM ^

If Morris really has improved that much, and is making high-level decisions with the ball, I could see using them both. Morris in more standard sets and Gardner in situations where his running ability could be a big advantage. Hell, put 'em both on the field at the same time and let Gardner use some of his WR skills.

No, neither of these things is likely to happen, but then again, I don't watch them in practice, so I don't know how either has looked.


April 18th, 2014 at 5:15 PM ^

LOL at everyone here who thinks Gardner is default starter.  Devin is a great person.  Devin has great personality.  Devin has great intellect.  Devin has great running ability.

Devin, regardless of injured foot, has poor accuracy.  Devin, regardless of intellect, has poor decision making skills on football field.  Devin, regardless  of personality, has not shown any leadership in the locker room.

Devin is not in Borges' offense anymore.  Nuss wants the QB to run even less.  Don't be surprised if they decide to go with a more accurate QB who makes better football decisions, especially when this is a must win year for Hoke.



April 18th, 2014 at 6:03 PM ^

You won't have to quit the band because DG will absolutely be the starter next year.  In the same vein, I'd start at center on a basketball team made up of freshman.  Doesn't make me a good basketball player, just better than everyone else on my team.


Gremlin has some vaild points that some here simply refuse to acknowledge.

Naked Bootlegger

April 18th, 2014 at 8:57 PM ^

Gremlin MUST be an insider who personally witnessed Gardner's complete lack of leadership in the locker room.   Why else would a random internet dude state such a baseless claim?   He's an insider, fo' sho'.