Prediction-More Tate

Submitted by myantoniobass … on October 20th, 2010 at 9:02 PM

It's a bye week, time for us to play future know-it-alls. What % of snaps will Tate see the rest of the year, assuming Denard is healthy?  And why?  I guess the more popular answer will be 0%.  The most shared fact will be Tate's 2 INTs against Iowa, even though 1 of them was when the game was out of reach.  However, I disagree with the 0% camp.

I'll predict he sees 30%, but it moves close to 50% for both Wisconsin and O-state.  Tate put up 21 pts in less than 2 quarters, while Denard put up 24 pts. in his last 6 quarters.   Also, forget the film/prep for Tate argument, we were clearly in a pass heavy situation the entire attempted comeback.   

I'd love to see Denard return to September form.  But I believe Iowa and State revealed a game plan that others will replicate.  He still had good rushing stats against Iowa, but after Tate's bombs to Hemingway and his poise in the red zone, I think they have to platoon him at least a bit.



October 20th, 2010 at 11:01 PM ^

Iowa game planned against Denard for 2 weeks.   And he is still among the leaders in the nation in pass %.   Moreover, one of the throws by Tate to Junior was underthrown and into double coverage, requiring the defender to fall down and for Junior to make a play on the ball or else that would have been interception # 3 for Tate.   Possibly even more troubling, Tate continues to carry the ball like a loaf of bread and is a turnover waiting to happen unless he cures that very bad habit. 

I think things stay the way they are.   Rich Rod is a pretty solid guy who is not given to whimsy or flights of fancy.   No knock on Tate but RR knows what he has in Denard and will continue to cultivate his monster talent.   

Things will not change UNLESS Denard physically can't go.



October 21st, 2010 at 9:29 AM ^

How many people were bitching about all those throws that Chad Henne chucked up to Braylon against MSU back in 06 that were all, basically, jump balls?  Did people say "Oh we should consider that an interception because it was a jump ball"?  Junior is taller and more athletic that the other guys back there, give your WR a chance to make a play on the ball and if he can't he's likely to cause enough problems there won't be an interception.


Yes, Tate seems to not carry the ball as close to the vest as he should but sitting around saying the throw to Hemingway was crap and should be considered an interception is ruling out 1 HUGE thing - the talent of WR.  Sure, if we had Odoms out there on that one that would have been an absolutely horrid idea but when you've got a guy that's that much taller than the CB you give him a chance - Henne made a living on it and we all talked about how awesome those throws were but when Tate does it he's being wreckless - I don't buy it...


October 21st, 2010 at 1:42 PM ^

Tate's throw was in a game that most everyone had already given up on and it would have taken an 06 MSU-esque style comeback to make it a game vs Denards that was at the end of the game with the game on the line.  I'd argue that Denards pass was NOT a safer throw at all - you have to consider more than just what the throw looked like but the game situation.  Forcier's situation was dire - we needed points, we needed them now and we were going to have to take some risks to get those points. Denard's situation was we're trying to take the lead in the closing moments of a game that would quite possibly ruin our entire season if we lose it and we had enough time left that we could have just kept on throwing short passes and running the ball and probably have been just fine if we would have taken the safer throws/runs.  So, I guess I'll disagree with the idea that Denard's was safer if for no other reason than the worst case potential outcome: Forcier - we lose a game we had all but lost anyway vs Denard - we probably lose a game that we desperately needed to win.


With all that being said, I support the decision to throw on both occasions but that doesn't mean I thought either decision was "safe"...


October 20th, 2010 at 9:12 PM ^

I think alternating Denard and Tate could make both of them more dangerous.  Teams are obviously spending most of their time prepping for Denard.  Tate was effective against Iowa because they hadn't prepared for him.

So it would be fun to let Denard have at it first, then switch to Tate and force the defense to adjust.  Once they get used to Tate, throw Denard back in.  The defense will spend the entire game adjusting rather than playing.

On the other hand, if a defense shows it can't stop Denard, just leave him in and let him tear them up.


October 20th, 2010 at 9:39 PM ^

This also leads to less first-team reps for each QB during the week, and can disrupt offensive rhythm during a game.

It's really, really hard to make a true 2-QB system work. Florida did it a bit when Tebow was a freshman, but they used him situationally, not as a true 2nd QB (Leak was the starter and got a vast majority of the snaps).

MSU had an experiment with that last season, and it often resulted in a disruption of the offense and everyone appearing uncomfortable (particularly when Nichol was in). Eventually (like 8 or 9 games into the season), the coaching staff gave up and settled on Cousins as the starter and the guy that would get the vast majority of the reps in practice and snaps in-game.

Tate Forcier is a good back-up to have and, at this point, is a more polished passer than Denard Robinson. However, if you're truly looking towards the future, you want to look for "The Guy." Based on athletic ability and upside, Denard Robinson seems to be that person. Forcier is close to as good as he'll ever be, but if Denard can improve his decision-making and touch, the sky's the limit.


October 20th, 2010 at 9:23 PM ^

I don't think it's a bad idea to have Tate playing, in at least a few drives in late 2nd qrt or 3rd qrt. This can make their half time adjustment more difficult as they don't know who we will send in in the 2nd half. They have very different skill sets and can do different damage to our opponent's defense. If one has a better day, we can stick with him. particularly, i like Hopkins can hook up with Tate and get more reps in those couple of drives.


October 20th, 2010 at 9:32 PM ^

that a healthy Denard secedes 50% of his snaps to Tate, then you're cork-on-fork retarded.  30% is still insane, and I thank God every day that these kinds of people never have a position of responsibility anywhere near a football team.

Denard is your quarterback.  And he's really, really fucking good.  Deal with it.  


October 20th, 2010 at 9:42 PM ^

This is definitely the sentiment that I agree with. If Denard is 100%, Tate does not see the field. Tate does not offer us the 2-dimensional play that Denard offers us on every single play. Honestly the only reason Tate has gotten in this year is because Denard wasn't 100% and that's really the only reason.

This bye week is going to be a tremendous help for this team. With everyone getting close to 100% by Penn State, we are going to come out firing on all cylinders.


October 20th, 2010 at 10:03 PM ^

To be fair, it's not like Tate is a statue back there - the guy was effective running the offense last year both through the air and on his feet.  I think it is clear that Denard is the far better rusher but Tate is perhaps a bit more polished a passer, though obviously Denard will be able to make more inroads as a passer than Tate suddenly hooking up to ridiculum and becoming faster.  Right now, the QB who can best lead this team to a victory in the given situation should play, and I don't think either player should "expect" to have the starting position.  Sure, continuity would be great, but as of right now I think the coaching staff needs to win games now and worry about egos later.

myantoniobass …

October 20th, 2010 at 10:09 PM ^

And BTW, when a post is prefaced with "it's a bye week, let's be future know it alls" it is setting a fun tone of practically pointless speculation (though I did offer some analysis to my well prefaced future speculation).  God bless and Go Blue.


October 20th, 2010 at 10:11 PM ^

I understand your sentiments, but act like a michigan man, not an angry Domer.

If you want people to not do something it's usually more helpful to tell them how to fix the problem than it is to yell "you fucked up!"


October 20th, 2010 at 9:43 PM ^

I don't think the plan will change much at all from before the season. Denard will be the starter, and Tate only used if there's an injury to Denard, Denard plays poorly enough that we need a change of pace, or the game is completely out of hand in our favor. We haven't really had the 2nd option come up yet, and I hope it doesn't happen. I think Tate's performance against Iowa will give Rich the confidence to use Tate should that situation arise, at least. 


October 21st, 2010 at 10:09 AM ^

"Denard plays poorly enough that we need a change of pace" & "We haven't really had the 2nd option come up yet" - were you watching the MSU game?  It was ugly and, even the most ardent Denard supporter knows that Tate is a better passer.  Not a better total package but when you're down big and your only hope is to throw the ball it doesn't make any sense to leave your best passer (who has tons of experience and tons of big game/tight situation experience) sit on the bench.  Do we totally forget what Tate did in the 4th quarter against MSU last year?  Denard really wasn't doing a damn thing against MSU and when it got to the point that it was plainly obviously to everyone it just wasn't working that day Tate should have come in.  MSU should have been like last years Iowa game - Denard just didn't have it that day so you sit him, let him get his wits about him, and put Tate in to see if he can do anything.  RR is always talking about having 3 QBs good enough to win with, well, put your money where your mouth is and rather than watch the game completely go to shit give one of them a shot.  I'm not saying Denard shouldn't be the starter but he should have the same leash that Tate had last year - when it's obvious the kid is having an off day you shouldn't feel bad about putting in the backup...


October 20th, 2010 at 9:49 PM ^

I definitely think we'll see more of Forcier. Yes, Denard is our starter, and has ridiculous ability, but you have to love tate's crisp passing, particularly on those slants to JR and Stonum. Being able to hit those is both frustrating to the defense and confidence boosting to the offense. Denard has made some great throws into tight coverage, but I'm pretty sure defenses from here on out will do everything they can to force michigan into passing situations while Denard's in there. Iowa probably was ecstatic about holding Robinson to what, 5 or so yards per carry? 

I see no problem getting both QB's involved. You can point to Tate's 2 interceptions, but quite frankly, his energy and desire to try to make plays was the only thing really keeping us alive against Iowa.

I can't believe i'm saying this, because it's so rare from a speedster like Denard, but he's got to learn to take off on the pass plays and kill the D. once he learns how to do that, how can you contain the guy?


October 20th, 2010 at 9:53 PM ^

his energy and desire to try to make plays was the only thing really keeping us alive against Iowa.


Er, no.  Our playbook kept us alive.  And it always will, provided we dont fumble or throw picks in the redzone.  Both our quarterbacks can do this - and only one of them has otherworldly ability to run the ball too.  Pretty sweet combo, right?  Did you know he LEADS THE FUCKING NATION IN RUSHING YARDS? 


October 20th, 2010 at 9:59 PM ^


In an earlier post on the board with the SI interview of RR, he stated that Denard is the QB of this team.  When listening to the interview RR seems very confident in Denard's ability and does not seem to be even looking at platooning the QB position.

myantoniobass …

October 20th, 2010 at 10:05 PM ^

Hard to argue with the coach.  His staunch support says something, and that makes my original % guesses too high.  I guess my more pessimistic side thinks Denard's Iowa and MSU performance is not an aberration and thus Tate gets up to around 50% by the last two games.  Let's hope Denard is healthy and can bounce back from a bad 6 quarters.


October 20th, 2010 at 10:00 PM ^

I would like to see Forcier get in for at least three drives, somewhere in the first three quarters.  I want opposing defenses to have to prepare harder, work harder, and think harder than they normally would.  That can cause a total breakdown in the fourth quarter: first mentally, then physically. 

But, of course, no matter what we speculate, we won't really know until it happens on the field.


October 20th, 2010 at 10:09 PM ^

Look, I know Tate's polished as a passer and we'd like to give him the upper hand in that regard - but the reality is the numbers are just about equal, if not in Denard's favor.  Sure, he makes some bad throws - but so does Tate, so why so much give for Tate here?  Their passing capabilities are not appreciably different.  

Meanwhile, Denard is like the fastest fucking dude in the universe. 

So, tell me.  Please tell me.  How the fuck do coaches gameplan any harder if we have a second, more limited QB entering the game?  The fucking playcalls aren't gonna be any different on our end.  But we sure as shit will be a lot easier to stop running the ball.  So, really, all that shit about making teams work harder is utter rubbish and just formulated by you to justify the use of a more limited QB who just so happens to impress you in games that are mostly out of reach.

Seacrest. Out.

Dan TrueBlue

October 21st, 2010 at 8:54 AM ^

Because of the one thing that Tate has shown that Denard hasn't: a remarkable ability to pass on the run.  While their passing numbers are about equal, the situations that they got those numbers in have been very different.

Denard can run when the game's on the line.  But we've also seen him struggle to pass under pressure.  Tate can scramble out of the pocket under pressure, and still get the ball off.  Does that mean Tate is the better quarterback?  Not at all.  But it could mean he's better under certain situations.

When the opposing defense is able to apply pressure and contain the run, and the team is down a couple scores near the end of the game, so that passing becomes more critical, then why not go with Tate for a bit.  Especially if Denard is struggling.

You make it sound like their skill sets are the same, Denard's just better in every way.  Not true.

Also, it was a legitimate topic.  With due respect, your attitude isn't justified.  We're a message board, for fans of the team to enjoy themselves.  What's decided here doesn't matter: it won't affect who's played next week, or even public perception at large.  So, chill.  Have fun.  Respect others.

Batman out.


October 20th, 2010 at 10:13 PM ^

Denard starting for his big play ability in both aspects. Tate coming in if we are behind and have to throw to catch up and Denard coming back in (or staying in) if we need to milk the clock. Also Tate has shown the ability to come off the bench and will not take it as a slight. I want both in the backfield as well especially in a close game as that would be indefensible.


October 20th, 2010 at 10:20 PM ^

I don't get it. Rodriguez has already said Denard is the starter and the team wants him to start. Denard is the leader of the offense and can do more than Tate in the game. I know Tate is a better passer right now, but what has Denard done for him to have snaps taken away?


October 20th, 2010 at 10:24 PM ^

Yeah, I want Michigan to reduce the playing time of the most exciting player in college football, who also is the nation's leading rusher, and who completed over 65% of his passes against 2 of the best defenses in the nation the past two weeks, so we can put a QB on the field whom his teammates and head coach publicly berated for his lack of commitment and preparation this past summer.

That sounds like a brilliant fucking idea.


October 20th, 2010 at 10:36 PM ^

Unless he gets hurt, throws a shoe or spontaneously combusts. Otherwise, unless we have a big lead or the game is out of reach, the more talented player and respected leader needs to play.


October 20th, 2010 at 10:43 PM ^

I can't see it.  Denard is the starter.  As long as he's healthy and performing, he'll be at QB.  The bye week gives him a chance to get over some of his bumps and bruises.

Zone Left

October 20th, 2010 at 10:43 PM ^

Tate and Denard have opposite problems.  Denard plays completely within the offense.  He very rarely scrambles on passing plays and seems to make the vast majority of his contribution within the design of the offense.  I wish he'd scramble more, especially when the opposition plays man.

Tate can't play within the offense to save his life.  He reminds me of my high school team's QB way back when I was in my Senior year.  Dude was a pretty good athlete, played hard, and tried to "make a play" on every single play.  He liked to run around a lot and forced a lot of bad passes.  Tate is a  much more talented version of him.  When he's on, he's on, but he can't let the game come to him and forces a lot of throws.  He threw two picks (one was obviously an end of game throw that happens when yardage has to happen) and should have had another on that duck Hemingway snagged near the end zone.  

Just my thoughts, I a lot of folks like Tate, but I'm terrified when he plays.


October 20th, 2010 at 11:54 PM ^

Watch the last pick again.   He didn't run around because he liked to, he ran because Dorrestein whiffed on his block and Iowa got pressure on Tate with a 3 man rush.

People think Tate just "wants to scramble" but I don't agree.  IMO it's usually because he's running for his life.

If anyone would be a great scrambler, you'd think it would be Denard.  With his speed he could easily pick up big yards if he doesn't see an open guy. 

Zone Left

October 21st, 2010 at 12:05 AM ^

The last pick was totally understandable. He basically had to force a throw in a difficult situation.
<br>It's not that he scrambles a lot, it's that he tries to make a big play every play instead of playing within the system. The first pick was terrible, and the cross-field bomb to Hemingway was a really bad idea--even though it worked.
<br>Until he settles down some, I won't be comfortable with him in the game. Obviously he was the best choice last year and had to play in a really difficult situation, but after twelve starts, he's got to let the game happen or it's going to keep resulting in several disastrous plays each time he sees significant action.


October 21st, 2010 at 12:32 AM ^

People think Tate just "wants to scramble" but I don't agree.  IMO it's usually because he's running for his life.

If you watch him, he seems to instinctively leave the pocket if his first option is covered, regardless of whether or not he's seriously pressured.  I wouldn't be surprised if that was something his HS coach drilled into his head.  At that level, it probably made perfect sense, but here it frequently gets him into trouble.  That's when almost all of his INTs occur.  He's got to learn to trust his proctection and step up in the pocket instead of bailing.    

Captain Obvious

October 20th, 2010 at 11:29 PM ^

will just never accept Denard as our QB.  They will grudgingly allow him to play as long as he is putting up NCAA record type numbers, but the moment he shows the slightest of weakness while playing injured they want him out.

And yet, somehow I know these same people wouldn't want to put in Denard as a change of pace if it was Tate that was putting the numbers Denard has been this season.