Gardner's outstanding presence

Submitted by Alumnus93 on November 12th, 2012 at 1:47 PM

After seeing Gardner play twice now, I am taken aback by his presence on the field, and it is beginning to feel like the Michigan Qbs of old. One can feel it by watching him play, as he is a total gamer, is quite heady, and is very imposing.  He is bringing athleticism to the pocket type Qb that is very effective and efficient.  Evidence is the safety he avoided,  and also the incredible td he ran when he tiptoed the sideline and got the pylon.  While watching Denard it has often felt he was bringing Qb skills to an elite-skilled Rb,  but watching Gardner its taking a true pocket passer and adding great ball skills and athelticism.   Wow, the future is looking bright at Qb for next year. 



November 12th, 2012 at 2:00 PM ^

Denard Robinson is indeed a RB/WR playing quarterback.  There's a reason that very few schools were willing to give him a shot at quarterback.  Not that he hasn't done great things from that position, but he's very limited when it comes to playing like a traditional QB.

Creedence Tapes

November 12th, 2012 at 2:32 PM ^

The biggest thing I notice is how one dimentional our offense is when Denard is in the game. With Devin in the game, all of a sudden our wide receivers are getting the ball more, and our running backs have more room to work with, since the defense has to respect the pass. Denard did some great things, but Devin makes the rest of the guys on offense play better.


November 12th, 2012 at 2:35 PM ^

We really didn't become a two-dimensional team with Devin. We just went from a team that runs 65/35 to one that passes 60/40. The bottom line is that if Denard doesn't get hurt, we probably put up a good amount of points against Nebraska, and look just as potent against bad defenses in Minnesota and Northwestern (Seriously the only even "average" defense to beat Denard the past two years was Iowa's last year, he eviscerates bad ones)


November 12th, 2012 at 2:38 PM ^

So much of the one-dimensionality is based on the playbook and the play calling.  He did pretty well passing a couple of years ago--but the passes were especially picked to play to his strengths.  I think Borges should mix in some more of those passing plays instead of the 'Denard Robinson can only throw short passes' mentality.  Caveat: I'm an armchair quarterback and have never played the position personally other than video games


November 12th, 2012 at 2:05 PM ^

I'll admit I was just as critical as anyone of him after watching him play last year.  He looked frequently lost and tried too often to scramble around and open up big plays with his legs, thinking his athletic advantage was as great as it was in high school (relative to the competition).  I thought (by default) Bellomy was going to be our guy moving forward until a younger player came along.

The Devin we saw in the Minnesota and Northwestern games is night and day compared to what he did last year.  His pocket presence is top notch and I think he's done an outstanding job on deciding when to tuck and run.  He's made a couple of bad decisions on his throws but other than that, he's been very intelligent and accurate with the ball.  The future is bright with this kid.


November 12th, 2012 at 2:06 PM ^

I was really impressed with Gardner's ability to "feel" the pressure in the pocket and know when to step up. There were a couple times he made a half step forward to narrowly avoid a defender coming to around the edge that he couldn't possibly have seen.


November 12th, 2012 at 2:40 PM ^

We also would not have any Denard vs Devin talk if the OL hadn't been a let-down this year.

It seems that every play is a QB scramble, and there a few lanes for the RBs.

Really - if Denard scambles and gets picked (like ND) then the argument is that he doesn't make a good QB.

Devon scrambles and almost gets picked and a miracle tip, juggle and catch saves the day. If that was picked there would be no Denard vs Devin talk.


November 12th, 2012 at 2:07 PM ^

If he continues to hit deep balls, as Brian pointed out, you can't defend 4 verts with a scramble-ready QB. That's going to cause nightmares next year after a solid off season as "The Guy". You already see the fruits of this labor, as those quick hitches and outs are wide open and the throws right on the money.

It's clear that this staff won't get the Denard-like prospects in the future, but maybe Devin's success will open up the possibility of getting those special 6'4 QBs who can run as well.

I have to imagine, now that Devin's on film as a guy who can pass, that we will see the "Deuce" in some form against OSU.I'm not sure how you account for Denard running, Devin's deep ball, and Devin's scrambling all in one play, but it can't be easy.


November 12th, 2012 at 2:08 PM ^

Our 2013 schedule is much more favorable than this year with an easy OOC slate that includes ND @home. Both ohio and the huskers also come to the big house which should give us the upper hand in both those games as well. That leaves only games at msu and psu being road games of any difficulty. It's way too early obviously, but there is a real chance of running the table next year with Devin at the helm and a more experienced defense leading the way assuming the O-Line is serviceable.


November 12th, 2012 at 2:11 PM ^

He seems to be a "gamer".  I love Denard as much as the next guy, but I would agree that Denard is more of an athlete playing QB.  Devin looks the part of a QB and I am excited about his future.  His presence and poise is pretty remarkable considering the very small amount of practice time and game experience.

On a separate note, am I the only one that would to see Denard incorportated into the gameplan.  His legs still work, right?  He is still our best athlete/runner?

Is that something we are waiting to spring on Ohio?


November 12th, 2012 at 2:16 PM ^

If he can't grip a ball and it hurts when he falls on his elbow, why would we want him on the field?  Whether he's playing quarterback or not, people are going to try to hit him when he has the football.  That's a basic truth of football.


November 12th, 2012 at 2:12 PM ^

Does anybody else see a similarity to Drew Henson in Devin's game?  Mobile, seemingly heady (small sample size), decent arm with unorthodox throwing motion.  Like Drew, a heavily recruited 5 star Michigan High School QB with enough athletic ability to force coaches into getting them on the field somehow, someway.

Please tell me Devin doesnt play 3rd base.


November 12th, 2012 at 2:14 PM ^

Not disagreeing with your point that Gardner has become a very good QB but in arguing that he brings something to the position that Denard lacks I wouldn't cite two examples of things Denard can do in his sleep. Better thrower? it appears so. Better at avoiding sacks and finding the endzone on the run? Not a chance. Gardner is definitely the perfect transition to the new offense though. I hope he gets his redshirt year and outplays Braxton Miller every week for the next two years.


November 12th, 2012 at 2:39 PM ^

I actually think Devin may be better at avoiding sacks, with a couple caveats.

Denard avoids sacks primarily by being too damn fast to risk blitzing. But when there is pressure and a collapsing pocket, he usually goes down or makes a poor decision.

Where Devin excels (given his limited experience) is in manipulating the pocket and delivering throws under pressure. His size definitely helps here, but he also seems to have more of that sixth sense that good QBs have for when and where to move to keep a play alive. Devin is also more willing to scramble, which has really helped us.

Denard is a guy you build an offense around, because he has unique strengths and weaknesses compared to other QBs. Devin is more of a dual threat type that can excel in a more traditional offense by using his athleticism to extend plays and burn teams that sell out on defending the pass.


November 12th, 2012 at 2:15 PM ^

Sorry to say but it feels as if we had the wrong Qb at wr.....  however I prefer to see Denard at Rb... he reminds me of Chris Johnson, and think about it.... Denard can take the punishment, as hes been taking it like a man for four years now.  We should start using Denard as GB is with Randall a slot WR but then a RB on third down,   and returning kicks, too.... and work him into more rushing carries.  I cannot see a reason why Denard isn't just as good as Chris Johnson, or even Jamaal Charles.

david from wyoming

November 12th, 2012 at 2:23 PM ^

No. You don't get it (and most likely never will)

A Devin vs Denard comment or post WITHOUT data, analysis or evidence is a worthless comment or post.

A Devin vs Denard comment or post WITH data, analysis or evidence is perfectly fine and encouraged.

Note, your gut feeling or 'boy does he sure LOOK like a qb' is not evidence.


November 12th, 2012 at 2:39 PM ^

Didn't I just tell you above to keep the Devin vs. Denard comparison out of this???  David is exactly right - the topic has been hashed and is only going to start a flamewar.  Call me what you will - my purpose as a Mod is to prevent flamewars.  So knock it off!  Like my 4 year old son, this is your second warning.  The next time I have to say it is a timeout.

His Dudeness

November 12th, 2012 at 2:28 PM ^

Can we PLEASE not insinuate that Michigans leading yardage gainer of all time should be benched because his back up played two games and "looked good" and "is tall?"


November 12th, 2012 at 2:30 PM ^

Apparently some people can't accept these two things are both true:

a) I really, really hope Denard is healthy this week as when healthy he gives the team the best chance to win.

b) I think Devin has done a great job so far and can also be really, really special next year at QB with an offseason of practice in an offense that Borges feels most comfortable calling.


November 12th, 2012 at 2:30 PM ^

I think another plus to Devin playing qb is it give future recruits a chance to see what our offense will be like next year when we roll out our pro style, man ball Michigan offense. No one on this site can tell me that wr recruit we covet so much can't see himself craving up yards with Devin throwing him the ball next year.


November 12th, 2012 at 2:35 PM ^

Apparently some people can't accept that this one things is true:

It's the OPINION of some people in the Michigan fan base, including me, that Devin gives us our best shot to win.

Everyone's entitled to an opinion or is yours the only one that counts?


November 12th, 2012 at 2:44 PM ^

Denard is the all time yardage leader and should be given his job back when he is healthy.  However, Denard has struggled to move the ball against good defenses (see MSU 3 yrs, VT, Bama, ND)   Those teams stacked the run against him and dared him to throw, with him failing most of the time (except Junior Hemingways bailouts).

Although DG hasnt faced a legit defense yet either, its hard to just say he would have done better.  His game does seem like it could do better against the tougher D's as he has a better ability to get the ball to the receivers.  I also think Denard is a way better runner, but on designed running plays.  I honestly believe that Devin is better at scrambling and tucking and running on designed pass plays.  Idk how many times ive screamed at the TV for Denard to RUN!!! as he sits in the pocket and ends up throwing a wounded duck up for grabs.  

With our RB situation however I believe we need Denard simply for the fact that he IS our running game, and he moves the chains. 

It is an interesting topic to debate, and I dont think anyones opinion on this QB situation should be chastised because it definitely is not a no-brainer