Jack Kennedy and the DG Redshirt

Submitted by Blue Blue Blue on December 31st, 2010 at 12:16 PM

so Tate is ineligible, and we are hoping not to burn Gardner's (maybe) redshirt over the bowl game.

If Denard getes dinged (the kind where he had to come out, but we expect him to go back in), could this be the time for Wolverine nation to turn to Jack Kennedy........who will ask not what the team has done for him, but will ask what he can do for the team........for a couple of plays?

with Tate's future looking cloudy (or should that be puffy?), DG looks to step in for 2 years of apprenticeship to Denard, then two years of his own.........if we can avoid using him on Jan 1.

anybody else expecting a Kennedy sighting?


Happy Jack

December 31st, 2010 at 12:25 PM ^

don't forget, in some sense RR is coaching for his job tomorrow.  he doesn't know if he'll be the coach at Michigan next week which would lead me to believe he would play the guys that give him the best chance to win, regardless of a burned red shirt.  that's what I'd do at least.  if we lose tomorrow it's going to be very bad for his case to keep the HC job.  


December 31st, 2010 at 12:44 PM ^

I don't understand this thinking. I want Michigan to win. I don't want to have Denard have to miss time and our team to put a 2008-esque quarterback on the field. That would make the game that much more unbearable.

I want RR not to give up, that will just lead the team to givng up. I want him to win. I want him to want to win. Putting his best players on the field is how you win. If Denard has to come out, you put your best players on the field. Even if it's only for a few plays, you have to use him.

Gardner has 3 more seasons to try and get another redshirt season. If Denard and Tate can cover all or most (although I would never hope for an injury) of next year, a red shirt is still possible.


December 31st, 2010 at 3:40 PM ^

I was thinking the same exact thing.  If its a major injury then do what you have to do, however if its something small and he will be in the next play I think that we can run some kind of wildcat type offense and be completely fine for a series.  I do not want to risk a year of DG for one game.  I honestly believe the DG will be the QB that leads us back to the promise land  and we need him as long as possible.


December 31st, 2010 at 4:59 PM ^

But on the other hand, leaving aside the coaching situation, would you rather take a loss to Mississippi State in a meaningless game (and one you might lose even if you play Gardner) or would you rather burn Gardner's 2013 (if he were to go pro early) or 2014 season?  For me, that's an easy call.  I'd like a win tomorrow, but I'm not going to be crying on Monday if we lose.


December 31st, 2010 at 3:02 PM ^


I'm talking more a couple plays.  If DR gets hurt right before halftime of a competitive game and they decide during the break that he cannot come back, then so be it: bring in DG.

If it's for a play or two just because DR has to get his pads readjusted or whatever, then no.  This game simply isn't worth it.  You cannot look at this as a win at all costs game.  Why should it be any different if we lose the game by 6 with Kennedy playing a few snaps as opposed to winning with DG playing a few snaps?

If there's any judgement of RR to come from this game it should be of the defense: we all know what RR's offense can do w/ Denard in there.

Plus, if you burn DG's RS you are looking at serious QB depth issues again and have to scramble to find a QB this recruiting year (considering Tate is on the fence).

And, from a fan perspective, since it is more likely that JH is already coming here, the last thing I want is DG's RS burned.

Happy Jack

December 31st, 2010 at 3:51 PM ^

I wouldn't trade a couple snaps of Gardner or even an entire half of Gardner to win the gator bowl this year for 12 or 13 games in 4 years when the team could hopefully be primed for a run at the MNC assuming DG turns out to be the shit like he looks like he will be.  Then again I'm not RR.  I'm sure RR feels like he's coaching for his job tomorrow.  If Michigan looks really good against MSU it's going to make firing him harder- it'll probly still happen- but in RR's mind he needs to coach the game of his life tomorrow to keep this job.  


December 31st, 2010 at 5:28 PM ^

I don't know. I'm one to think you play to win now. One in the hand is worth two in the bush style. There's no guarantee that DG will be here in 3 years. He could bolt with a coaching change. He could get injured. Our team could really suck in 3-4 years.

No one wants to think about it like that, but you play with what you have, and you play to win. These kids, including DG, came to play. You let them play, even if it means just the few snaps. They are here to help the team win games. This is where they are needed. This is where they should play.

I understand the fan perspective of saving players to be used more efficiently, but putting in a walk-on who isn't particularly built for our offense, nor was heavily recruited, is the equivalent of quitting. Even if it's for one snap, it's quitting.

You're resigning that this game means nothing. You might as well not even watch it then. It apparently means nothing to you.

I don't work that way. I don't think most of the people here work that way. We want to see Michigan win. We want to see Michigan give everything they've got.

I can understand fans' patience and impatience with long term results, but the short term goal is always WIN. If you don't win now, that jeopardizes the long term goals, regardless of which coach is at the helm.

As far as depth, I'm not worried if DG stays through a coaching change. That's all rampant speculation. We don't know that Denard would leave. We don't know that the next head coach would call plays to his current players strong suits. There's so many "what-ifs" that I'm just not worried about it.

Communist Football

December 31st, 2010 at 12:19 PM ^

RR has already said DG is the backup. Such a shame that Tate's indiscipline has led to this. (Let's also remember that DG would have never played earlier in the year if Tate hadn't had such a poor offseason.)

It's also a shame because Tate appeared to have turned a corner with the team.


December 31st, 2010 at 12:24 PM ^

MSU would defintely go after Denard if they knew Kennedy was going to be his backup.  I actually wouldn't be surprised if it was just for a play or two if they put in Kennedy instead of Gardner.  If it was something more serious they would have to burn the redshirt.


December 31st, 2010 at 12:42 PM ^

I feel like MSU was going to go after him no matter who the backup was because the backup would be a significant step down from Denard regardless of who it was. Basically, this is what all the teams we played this year did. Remember all the talk about Michigan State practicing twisting his ankles and what not...This whole Tate being an idiot thing will not change how much MSU wants to get Denard out of the game.


December 31st, 2010 at 12:54 PM ^

I'm not sure how much this actually "protects" Denard.  If I'm a Miss State player, I'd drool at the thought of Michigan having to throw a true frosh with almost no game experience (Gardner) in there.  Realistically, we'll be in trouble if Denard gets hurt, no matter who's in there. 

Blue Blue Blue

December 31st, 2010 at 12:32 PM ^

not real action.......but if Denard gets the wind knocked out of him at the end of another long run, and stays down (briefly), he still needs to come out for the next play.  If we are sure he is coming back, would RR still undo the whole medical redshirt thang, and cost DG a season, over a snap or two?

It still seems viable for Kennedy to be used instead of DG,if it is just a hiccup.


December 31st, 2010 at 12:21 PM ^

I wouldn't mind it. I much prefer having DG for the future. Perhaps we could also possibly see Gallon? Wasn't him that was being reported was taking snaps at QB (which he played in high school)? I thought he was simulating Relf, but perhaps there was another reason too? I assume he ca do the QB lead iso well enough for a few plays.


December 31st, 2010 at 1:00 PM ^

I don't really know what the answer is, but going forward, we've got to stop getting Denard killed.  No matter whom the coach is next season, his carries have to go down significantly.  A lot of people say we should emulate Oregon.  Well, their QB (Darron Thomas) carried the ball 86 times in 12 games, sacks included.  I don't think you can realistically expect a QB Denard's size to survive 20+ carries a game, and I'm getting tired of always having an injured QB when we play OSU. 

skunk bear

December 31st, 2010 at 1:09 PM ^

Running Denard like that is what makes the offense work.

It is an inescapable downside to running a run-first, read-option with a smallish QB with great running skills.


Edit: This was meant as a reply to jmblue. Sorry.


December 31st, 2010 at 1:40 PM ^

Chad Henne was a four-year starter.  Only in one of those four years did he have injury issues.  His predecessor (Navarre) was a three-year starter and never missed time due to injury.  To compare that to what we're seeing now is ridiculous.

And the difference between Oregon and us has more to do with philosophy than personnel.  Even when RR had TWO of the nation's top runners in Slaton and Devine in 2007, he still had Pat White carry the ball 197 times.  RR has always preferred his QB to be a primary running threat.  He may want to rethink that.  Unless you're a 250-pound beast like Cam Newton, you probably can't survive a season carrying the ball that much.

skunk bear

December 31st, 2010 at 2:16 PM ^

This is Denard's skill set and why Denard is the starter. Denard has improved as a passer, but it is that breakaway speed that makes Denard, well, Denard.

To make Denard a throwing QB who runs just enough to keep the defense honest isn't RR's offense. What you are seeing is RR's offense.