What I've seen from the practices so far.

Submitted by FormerWolv on August 13th, 2010 at 4:39 PM


Now, i'll start this off by saying information on in this entry is accurate, aside from opinions of course. 

Some things I know about the team I feel I should relay:

1. Our RB's **(excluding Smith) can't catch worth a damn & Toussaint is getting a long look as the #1 RB.

**edit: Smith has shown in games he can catch no doubt, but the others worry me...

2. Our o-line will surprise many, lewan is looking more and more like jake long every day. Which will in-turn improve our QB play even more, because how many times did we see tate make an ill-advised throw due to pressure?

3. A 2nd year in GERG's system will greatly reduce the big plays that plagued us last year, our secondary is benefiting from going up against our offense in scrimmages, and you can see the confidence increasing everyday.

4. Odoms and Stonum are also getting long looks at #1 and #2 WR's, roundtree is slot #1.

5. Denard has improved passing, but not enough to warrant a lock on the #1 QB spot. His mistakes are still worrying. 

The major question in my head: Will RRod allow gardner to RS and lead the team next year, because right now, he COULD play a good bit, but, is it worth wasting a year on an OK season with 2 other similar QB's when he could have 4 strong seasons?

6. Not surprisingly, the coaches do not want turner back (unless a major major attitude change). They reward hard work and well, he was lacking in that area. 

7. RRod accepts physical mistakes (within reason), but he will let you know that he does not mental mistakes. He is old school, just like Bo.

8. I'd be very very surprised if we did not make it to a bowl this year. I strongly feel that our D will be IMPROVED from last year. A second year in GERG's system and a good chunk of returning starters will be the main reason for this, not to mention there is a small sense of urgency around the team.

9. Cullen Christian will see the field a good bit this year, and is playing like he should.

10. The true freshmen (non-early enrollees), haven't seen much in scrimmages, yet, mostly due to summer school and the complete lack of knowledge about plays etc. The older guys are really showing some leadership here, and the coaching staff is helping them along. I'd parallel this to your first day in high school, but that feeling of being completely lost lasts a month. 

11. There is a tight knit family atmosphere around the team, and the guys are really thriving from it. 



August 13th, 2010 at 4:44 PM ^

Nice. It looks like Vincent Smith is our only RB who can catch, which kinda sucks, but I think Toussaint could be really good. I really want DG to redshirt. He could even be a 4 year starter if he does.


August 13th, 2010 at 4:53 PM ^

The one thing that sucks about this situation is that RR knows he needs to win, and he'll play DG if he thinks that might even slightly raise our chance to win. Even if his playing helps us win 1 more game, I don't think that's worth it, but RR will. I think RR did a good job of not wasting redshirts last year, except for Vlad.

Section 1

August 13th, 2010 at 5:55 PM ^

not only would I disagree with you that that's somehow not "worth it"; I'd freaking DEMAND IT!  (I don't have any technical opinion about Devin one way or another.)

You're right, in noting that the team did not waste any redshirts last year, and I'm okay with that too. 

But geeze, I don't want our guys to win simply to raise a gigantic middle finger to the anti-Rodriguez media; I want our guys to win, period.  I'll be happy to supply a large middle finger later on.


August 13th, 2010 at 6:33 PM ^

Really? For 1 more win? If he reshirted, he would have another season, which could definitely mean a differnce of 3-4 wins. We might not get another high profile QB guy for a couple years because we've got good, young QBs. A 5th year DG could lead us to 10+ wins. A sophomore or junior behind him who has never really played could mean 7.


August 14th, 2010 at 11:21 AM ^

No true freshman QB. can be expected to win even one game for a team. There is a long history there, with QB's even more heralded than DG, and very very seldom does their play lead a team to a win. I want him to redshirt because it is entirely unlikely that playing him will be any advantage over playing Tate/Denard.


August 14th, 2010 at 5:05 PM ^

With Barkley, USC destroyed OSU, and without him the following week they lost to unranked  Washington.  USC couldn't move the ball in the air with Aaron Corp, a redshirt sophomore, five-star recruit (scout, 4-star rivals) who worked with the 1st team during Spring Camp.

I'm not arguing that Michigan has a comparable situation, just contesting the logic that true freshman QBs can't possibly contribute, even to a team that already has first-rate prospects at the position with more experience.  It's clear that they can contribute, and from what we've been hearing, DG is playing well.


August 14th, 2010 at 5:22 PM ^

They didn't destroy OSU; they won by three points (18-15)  in an ugly, defense-dominated game.  Barkley did play well on the game-winning drive but otherwise turned in a shaky performance. 

In general, when you trot a true freshman out there, you've got to brace yourself for a lot of mistakes.  He may make good plays to offset them (Henne certainly did in '04) but not always.  After the last two seasons, I've had my fill of freshman QBs for awhile. 


August 14th, 2010 at 6:12 PM ^

I misremembered the USC-Ohio State game.  I still think that it's  the case that Barkley played well, both relative to Aaron Corp (who passed for only 110 yards against a Washington team that gave up an average of 241 passing yards/game), and to other Ohio St. opponents (Barkley passed for 195 yards against Ohio State, while Ohio St. opponents averaged 171 passing yards/game)..


August 14th, 2010 at 12:58 AM ^

A hypothetical situation. Say playing DG is the difference between 6-6 and 7-5. Maybe he steps in for one series and breaks a 75-yard run, or something. Figuring that 7-5 will result in Rodriguez's job being saved, and 6-6 puts him on somewhat of a brink, would you take it? Or would you risk that the next coach will be someone who has no connection to Gardner? What if Gardner transfers? I know it's easy to say, "Well, any coach could use someone like Gardner." But you could say the same thing about Ryan Mallett. It might be worth sacrificing one year so that we can get three more out of him, rather than zero. It's not necessarily a choice between "three years" and "four years." Occam's Razor, though.

Obviously, this isn't something that Rodriguez will encounter; the only way he could pick between those records would be on the day of the Ohio State game, which should not be Gardner's first playing time. Clearly.


August 14th, 2010 at 1:26 AM ^

"If" he ends up being really good, what if he doesn't stay four years? He could play 3, or redshirt, play 2, and leave.  Which gets you more wins then?

(And it's just a reverse hypothetical...I'm not predicting He's going to be better than Vince Young and leave early blah blah blah).


August 13th, 2010 at 7:38 PM ^

But a strong four year contributor.  I think that the difference in quality between Gardner (Frosh edition) vs. QBs this year == very small, if not Gardner being behind them. The difference between Gardner (5th year senior edition) vs. What ever QBs are on the roster == HUGE. We will be royally kicking ourselves in 4 years if we burn Gardner's RS for any other reason then injury emergency. 

Besides, if our defense is being that bad that we are struggling to score with Tate & Denard, Gardner wouldn't win for us either... we would be just flat out screwed.


August 13th, 2010 at 4:47 PM ^

... only one of your observations is correct, please let it be:

8. I'd be very very surprised if we did not make it to a bowl this year. I strongly feel that our D will be IMPROVED from last year. A second year in GERG's system and a good chunk of returning starters will be the main reason for this, not to mention there is a small sense of urgency around the team.

Thanks, and +1, for stopping by.


August 17th, 2010 at 7:57 AM ^

Because this team isn't by far the best he's ever seen. The velocity with which they make plays is not just sensational, and the hitting power is not just a phenomenal, earth shattering force. Our RB's are not lighting the atmosphere on fire as they streak through, and our WRs' hips are not made of swivel and grease.


August 14th, 2010 at 1:39 PM ^

The confusion I think comes from people initially speculating that Roundtree could be moved to the outside as it was thought that he's more of a natural at that position than Odoms.  That  made a lot of sense to me as it would then leave an open position inside for some really talented guys.  But, I've subsequently read that the staff wants to keep "their best" guy Roundtree closer to the quarterbacks.  As fans we can all have our opnions on what should happen, but I gotta assume the coaches are the best informed.  On a related note, I'm excited about the idea that Stonum is in great shape.  I hope that this indicates a lot of summer work that hopefully includes working on other parts of his game.  A burner on the outside that can stretch the field and put fear in the safeties would be the final piece to the offense. 

steve sharik

August 13th, 2010 at 4:59 PM ^

...and being able to flank him into empty sets w/o substituting--thereby not allowing opponents to identify personnel groups as easily--is a significant part of the offense.  If the RB can't catch, that limits the offense, and that's why V. Smith was #3 last year and a strong candidate to start this year.  If the other guys could catch better, especially Touissant imo, they'd likely start.


August 13th, 2010 at 5:00 PM ^

I thought Smith would be a light to non-contributor this year because of his injury.  If he ends up being back close to a hundred percent, it will be huge for the team.  I like his mental ability or "football instinct" more than any other back on the team.  Also, his speed is very deceptive, and that helps him slip by tacklers who misjudge him.


August 13th, 2010 at 5:06 PM ^

Thanks for posting it.  Hopefully the RBs will get over their case of the dropsies.  Other than that it sounds like things are going well.


August 13th, 2010 at 5:08 PM ^

Another question for you: please confirm the existence of an Alumni Assocation chapter plaque on the moon.  The rumors have been in flux for far too long.

Please, and thank you!