Jon Chait on Denard Robinson as starting QB prospect

Submitted by Erik_in_Dayton on April 1st, 2010 at 2:29 PM

I think Chait does a nice job of writing about U of M football issues. Here he talks about the prospect of Robinson starting at QB this year. I am personally pessimistic about having Robinson starting, but Chait makes some good points as to why last year really didn't tell us much.



April 1st, 2010 at 5:40 PM ^

Am I the only one that remembers how good Tate was last year when he was healthy? Tate has earned the right to be the starting QB. If the season starts and Tate sucks, then a switch could be made. Otherwise, I think it would probably be best if Denard remains the backup QB. He'll get a handful of snaps there every game, plus plenty of snaps in the slot, RB, and possibly even outside reciever. That way we almost always have both the best QB and the best athlete on the field at the same time.

Blue since birth

April 2nd, 2010 at 3:49 AM ^

I don't think people are forgetting.I'm certainly not.

I think it's just recognizing Denards exposiveness and understanding his situation last year.

My bet's on Tate starting and Denard seeng alot more time...At QB(he may come in somewhere else occasionally).

Three very desirable happenings...

We're two deep(and freshman free) at QB
DG redshirts
Denard gets on the field

What's the most logical way to accomplish all three?

The dreaded "duel-QBs".

Obviously,this is all based on my expectations of both Tate and Denard be fulfilled.

...Totally,reasonable,expectations...They are!Really.

^^^ do I need those commas?Rhetorical,I don't care.I'm an artist.

I think I may have just misused "rhetorical".

...Now I'm rambling.I hope nobody reads this.



April 1st, 2010 at 5:50 PM ^

I'm disappointed that Chait - a professional writer - got "less than" and "fewer than" mixed up. If something is countable - like football passes - you should say "fewer than."


April 1st, 2010 at 6:48 PM ^

The article raises some very good points. Given everything, we really didn't see the true Denard last year. And it is often between year 1 and year 2 that a player takes giant strides. If Denard is the man now, I say more power to him. The kid has worked his tail off and earned it.

Tim Tebow was not a great passer. Same with Vince Young, Pat White and Rick Leach. If Denard can be a serviceable passer.... with his ability to run.... and in this offense.... the kid can be a terror.


April 2nd, 2010 at 10:15 PM ^

Tebow was a pretty good passer, especially prior to last year. And Vince Young was a great runner, but he also threw for 267 yards in that Rose Bowl against USC. If I remember correctly, he completed his first ten passes or so. He was a 65% passer that year, and according to Wikipedia was the top-rated passer in the country that year. So. . .he was pretty good at throwing the football.


April 2nd, 2010 at 1:15 AM ^

let's say Denard DOES have that Heisman potential (a stretch to me from here, but indulge me a sec). And let's say he's gonna lose you a few games to start but really needs the game reps, the confidence in him displayed by the staff. And let's say Tate's playing okay but really does seem to have plateau'd, has lost a little bit of favor with RichRod.

And let's say you're a coach that desperately needs to gets some Ws to retain his job.

Which way do you go for Connecticut? Down the line? Get past Notre Dame and start him for UMass, Bowling Green, and Indiana? Or tuck him in there right now and haul in Tate down the stretch if need be against UConn?

Or do you play whoever's hot? Provided they really WERE hot, I would love it. Otherwise, I'm scaring the cats w. my screaming during game time.


April 2nd, 2010 at 1:26 AM ^

Last year, Denard looked like an athlete playing QB. In what little bit of film I've seen of him this year, he looked like a QB playing QB. I'm going to have a "never say never" outlook this year.


April 3rd, 2010 at 4:28 PM ^

I think it's a good situation for UM to get Denard a lot of looks in spring.

The assumption that Tate makes giant leaps in his sophmore year is possible, but not assured. You're talking about a kid who came in that was as schooled as any HS QB in the country. Spending his last few years of HS in class half the time and his afternoons with QB coaches prepare a kid pretty well. From the first snap, it was obvious he was prepared. As the season wore on injuries and a tougher schedule took it's toll.

He'll improve, but there isn't the upside that one normally gets from high school tutelage to college level tutelage. He is what he is, a quick but not blazing, slightly undersized kid. He'll adjust to game speed better this year, but that he keeps making leaps might not be his trajectory. He threw a lot of interceptions even in high school. Many more Td's, but his vision and throwing lanes must have suffered on occasion from his height at a much lower level of football.

Denard was as raw as possible. If he had a weak arm rather than an inaccurate one, he wouldn't be worth the time. Strong arm plus tremendous speed is a dangerous combination. Given he threw lazers, they were simply to the opposition half the time, and the fact that he's a threat with his feet every single play, I think he's an exciting prospect.

You know RR understands that he needs to win, and that those wins are more likely to come early in the season. If you see Denard trot out early in the year, then that means he's made tremendous progress in accuracy and Michigan is a much scarier team. Either way, you can rest assured that RR will go with who he thinks can win, he needs w's. and if you trust your coach, you have to assume he knows what he's doing and what it takes to win.