Speight vs Peters: Final Spring Practice

Submitted by MGoStrength on April 30th, 2017 at 12:27 PM

I know this conversation will probably drag on for a while and it's still purely speculation at this point, so if you're already over it don't read any furter.


With that said, although I do still think Speight is probably #1 on the depth chart right now due to age, experience, and a number of quality games last year (with some bad ones too), based on what I've seen so far in the spring, and in particularl the last spring practice video, Peters looks way better than Speight.


Speight often threw to one WR without looking at other options.  Speight often through into traffic or good coverage, rarely completed his passes, and did not use any head, eye, or ball fakes to decieve his intentions to the defense.  


Peters on the other hand looked sharp, completed most of his passes, and found open recievers quickly.  Caveots apply.  I don't know who was playing defense on those recievers or even who most of the recievers were at the time other than the TEs that were easy to spot.  And, it wasn't live so the QBs knew they weren't going to get hit.  But, based on what I'm seeing this spring, Peters may be our guy next year unless there is a big swing in how these guys are performing in practice.  I don't see Harbaugh as the kind of coach to just give it to Speight based on last year if he's being out-performed by Peters in practice.


For those who haven't seen the video, here's the link from Scout:





April 30th, 2017 at 12:30 PM ^

Peter's would have to be light years better to take the starter spot. Skill is not the only factor as in game experience is huge. Speigjt is a seasoned veteran now with lessons learned from last year. I think he is going to make a big leap forward this year.


April 30th, 2017 at 12:45 PM ^

has been proven to be a bad player on the field. Houston's stats were a fraud due to the offensive system.

Plus, there's a team dynamic in play. How do you explain to your teammate that you're benching a staritng QB who led your team to a 10 win season plus a NY6 bowl game? He played well last season. QB is a whole different animal when it comes to naming starter. See NDSU QB (Jensen) and Carson Wentz or Tyler Palko and Joe Flacco at Pitt or Marquise Williams and Mitch Trubisky. Same thing.


April 30th, 2017 at 1:02 PM ^

A WHOLE lot of people here have condemned Hoke for coddling seniors.

The player with the best shot of helping the team win should play. I'm with the OP; Peters was sharper, more poised, and has more potential.

Speight struggled throwing deep last season and that doesn't appear to have improved.


April 30th, 2017 at 1:05 PM ^

If you read the practice reports, speight still handles situations better when things turn to Chaos.  Peters can make the beautiful throws in a vacuum or without the full pads on, but they're saying he's still not great under pressure.  Now the progress Peters makes this offseason and into fall camp will determine which QB starts.  Harbaugh will bench a former starter to start someone who he believes will win more games (he's done it before at Stanford).

This thread is a little early IMHO.  We shall see in fall.  


May 1st, 2017 at 12:54 PM ^

Alex missed 1 GAME due to injury - he was healthy and ready to play after that, but JH saw his limitations ans went with potential.

History will repeat itself in 2017 at Michigan. Speight will start vs Fla, but Peters WILL take the job - the sooner the better for Michigan's chances to beat osu and make the CFP.

Book it!


April 30th, 2017 at 6:51 PM ^

Go watch the spring game again and report back; Peters did as well or better than Speight under pressure. He made more catchable passes on the move and also scrambled for a touchdown. Speight might move like he's calm, but the results of the plays aren't, I don't think, as good.


May 1st, 2017 at 12:10 AM ^

You realize that Baumgardner (MLive) took stats of this right?

Speight was 6/17 with a pick while under pressure. Peters was 1/6 with a pick. Peters also wasn't pressured on his TD run. He just had an open lane and no open receivers.

But let's just ignore the stats, coaches, and beat writers all saying how much Speight is better when there's pressure.


May 1st, 2017 at 10:54 AM ^

I'm not saying that you're right or wrong but I honestly would like to know why anyone ever listens to anything that these coaches say. They lie, all the time, for lots of reasons. Almost every major coach out there does it about most of the questiosn they are asked for lots of different reasons. Do you truly think Harbaugh is really going to give you any information? Like at all?


May 1st, 2017 at 12:48 PM ^

Yes. Harbaugh does give out information. When he's trying not to tell the media or fans something, he just won't address it. He hasn't lied a single time. So there's no reason NOT to believe him when he says Peters lacks command in the huddle and doesn't handle pressure well.

Especially when that is echoed by practice observers and spring game stats.

Peters has a bright future. But the kid has a lot to work on first. He has a better arm than Speight, but there's A LOT more that goes into QB than what the ball looks like coming out of your hand. At this point in time, he's not ready. That's being said by coaches and practice observers. And there is no reason to lie, nor has Harbaugh ever lied to us about anything.

If there's anything he wants to keep from you, he just won't say anything. He'll go into the submarine. He doesn't have to answer anything. So there's no incentive to lying. Especially if it's going to beat down the confidence of this kid.

The Fan in Fargo

April 30th, 2017 at 7:07 PM ^

Speight didn't handle the crunch time chaos that great if I remember correctly this past season. In the games at the end, he didn't win them. It wasn't completely in his hands but he sure as hell didn't put the team on his back. Now, if Speight is the starter the first few games this next season, he better be showing that he's a redshirt junior because as soon as Peters gets the confidence in practice that he can and is handling the pressure, he will get the nod if Speight isn't getting it done. That's my opinion and note that I have been wrong hundreds of times. I've been right many thousands of times though! Speight doesn't have the physical tools and talent that Peters has. His edge is mental right now. Will it last?


April 30th, 2017 at 2:21 PM ^

People condemned Hoke for a lot of things; doesn't mean they were right.  People thought he was an idiot identifying offensive talent; he just had two WRs and a TE drafted, the TE winning a number of national awards for excellence.  They thought he pulled in an amazing offensive line class his first year; none of those guys go drafted this year.

By all accounts, Peters is practicing quite well, but Speight has shown more than enough to justify the coaches' faith in him.  He reads defenses pretty well, can move around in the pocket to escape pressure, and has actually performed reasonably well in high-pressure situaitons.  Peters might still beat him and earn the starting nod, but this place has absolutely fallen into the trap of loving the backup goalie without a wealth of information justfying those expectations beyond a spring game.


April 30th, 2017 at 1:46 PM ^

...so I wonder if that clears away a lot of those murky issues about justifying such decisions to the team, etc., compared to other coaches/programs.

I'd be surprised if the players, having observed both QBs every day in practice by September, didn't understand and accept a performance-based decision by the coaching staff either way.

Plus, I don't think the players would look at Peters over Speight at that point a "benching" -- I think they'd perceive it as one guy rising to win the job over the other in a competition.

I think that's one (of many) reasons why JH is seen and proven as a successful leader -- his organization clearly understands what the expectations and benchmarks are, and he sticks with those clear guidelines. 


April 30th, 2017 at 2:15 PM ^

O'Korn had 1.5 years, was benched in his second year, and then took a year off due to transfer rules.  Speight was the clear starter last year, competed until the final game, led the team to a 9-3 record, and was one of the most efficient QBs in the conference by the end of the year, despite getting mediocre protection and inconsistent running games toward the end of the year.  Comparing the two isn't remotely fair.

I think Peters is very talented, but he'd absolutely need to be light-years ahead of Speight to justify a move.


April 30th, 2017 at 1:15 PM ^

Speight actually had the starting five OL: Cole/Bredeson/Kugler/Onwenu/Runyan

As we head into fall camp, that is your starting five. JBB has been limited and so has Spanellis. Filiaga will get a look in the fall. RT position isn't settled at all.

Note: the defense was by far ahead of the offense as they should be in the spring.


April 30th, 2017 at 2:27 PM ^

Ruiz needs more experience. Filiaga has a chance, but will be coming from behind in a very short period of time giving the edge back to Runyan/JBB/Spanellis. I will also say that this group will be slightly better than last year's OL.


April 30th, 2017 at 2:31 PM ^

Regardless, the OL is likely going to be not great yet for what seems to be the 400th season in a row. Because of that, how a QB faces pressure could be what separates the two guys. I'm not saying it will be Speight, but we saw Speight was actually pretty damn elusive last year.  I know Peters is more mobile, but that certainly doesn't mean he'll be better under pressure.


April 30th, 2017 at 7:51 PM ^

It's time to get some elite talent on the OL. We are starting to see that show up. Speight does have some mobility and can escape the pocket. To date, when they practice at full speed, Speight leads Peters. Peters has more ability and just needs to grow and gain experience.

The Fan in Fargo

April 30th, 2017 at 7:17 PM ^

I think this group can be loads better than the past offensive line talent wise. Fact of the matter is the three seniors that left didn't have the right mix of poisons. Braden and Magnuson remind me of my nice cousin that I never wanted to hang out with because he was too nice and boring. They weren't mean enough but were smart players. Kalis was mean but lack of oxygen to the brain got the better of him more often than not it seemed. Mason Cole can lead by example this year and he has to send the right message to the other four. Kick fucking ass but play smart. If refs are throwing bullshit flags on them for playing their style of play, run plays that send the message to those refs that shit like that isn't going to fly. Run right at those crooked pricks and take them out. Flow of the game baby. 


April 30th, 2017 at 2:39 PM ^

I don't get the Speight hate around here.  He was the only reason the team moved the ball against OSU or FSU; save for one run by Evans, they couldn't do a damn thing on the ground against the Seminoles and nobody broke 3 ypc against OSU.  And it wasn't for a lack of trying; they ran 40 times against OSU and 30 against FSU.  In those 2 games, against fercious pass rushes and (for OSU at least) elite secondaries, Speight threw 74 times for 3 TDs (vs. 3 INTs) and completed 60% of his passes.  Not great numbers, but I'd be surprised if Peters could do any better this year, especially with a worse offensive line.

What I saw last year was a guy coming into the offense and who, toward the end of the year, basically carried it for portions because the offensive line couldn't block and generate much on the ground and, outside of Butt, the receivers failed to pull in a lot of 50/50 balls.  That limits your offense, and for a QB constantly staring down 3rd-and-long, a lot of your "bad tendencies" of trying to win a game can bubble up.  Peters is the future, but I've not heard anything to make me believe the coaches don't think Speight is the best guy for the position, and until such time I don't think it much matters how a guy looked in a spring game.


April 30th, 2017 at 3:10 PM ^

I don't think it's hate, but rather an acknowledgment that Peter's is the future and experience with him under center this year will speed up the process of him learning to deal with the pressure.

With what I expect will be a solid defensive unit again this year, I'm much more comfortable with letting Peter's start and cut his teeth early. I'd feel differently if the defense couldn't bail him out when he screws up. Plus, I'm not as worried that an early season loss ruins a championship run anymore especially since we're going to have to beat OSU to do it this year and the next. I want the qb with experience AND the highest ceiling when The Game is played.


April 30th, 2017 at 5:28 PM ^

That's fine and I get the sentiment of wanting a guy to get snaps, but it shouldn't be at the expense of a season where you have an incumbent coming off a solid year and enough questions elsewhere that throwing a kid to the wolves isn't optimal. It's highly unlikely Peters would have a better first year than Speight did last year, and in a world where you have questions on the offensive line and receiver, the minimal playing time benefits Peters would get could easily be lost by digging his face out of the dirt for 12 games.


April 30th, 2017 at 6:56 PM ^

Yeah, I don't see any Speight-hate. I just think he has a low ceiling and appears to have reached it...I'm not seeing much improvement/progress.

Peters, on the other hand, can run and throws with better touch: I think his ceiling is much higher.

Speight has started some games and might know the system better. Everyone is starting from scratch in the "chemistry with receivers" category.

Stringer Bell

April 30th, 2017 at 1:15 PM ^

I don't think that's true.  As mentioned below, at Stanford Harbaugh gave the job to RS freshman Andrew Luck despite having a returning starter.  After Kaepernick took over, Harbaugh never gave the job back to Alex Smith when he returned from injury despite the fact that he was pretty good.


April 30th, 2017 at 1:31 PM ^

that Stanford was 5-7 the year before so the returning QB wasn't safe. Michigan is coming off a 10 win season. You don't bench a starting QB who had a good year and led them to the NY6 bowl game.

SF was an unqiue situation where Kaep set the world on fire and led them to the SB. It's different in the pros as opposed to college footbal.