Which Michigan QB from the past would be the best fit for our current offense?

Submitted by mGrowOld on November 17th, 2010 at 8:22 PM
We can all see first-hand how amazing Denard is in running RRs offense but i wonder how some of the QBs from our past would've fared if they had a chance. I think we can rule out pretty much everone between Elvis and Chad but what about the others? How good would Michael Taylor look running these sets? How about Steve Smith? I could make a hell of a case for my own all-time favorite Wolverine Ricky Leach putting up some monster stats as the trigger man in a spread n shred system but that's not the guy i think would be dwarfing Denard's numbers if he was here now. My guy would be Dennis Franklin, he of the all time best winning record in Michigan football history as a starter at 30-2-1. Who would you want if you could take any Michigan QB to run RichRod's very potent offense?



November 17th, 2010 at 9:02 PM ^

Second to Michael Taylor - oddly enough, one of my favorite Michigan games is a loss, the 30-31 loss to Jimmy Johnson's Miami team - that game was one of the all-time greats...


It was him getting hurt against ND that started the era of big tall stand-up no mobility guys, as Elvis Grbac replaced Taylor...

I loved Steve Smith as well, and I sometimes think that John Wangler could run a bit...hell, Harbaugh could run some too (they ran some option with him)...


November 17th, 2010 at 9:21 PM ^

Michael Taylor or Rick Leach. Both would have excelled running the spread. I saw Michael Taylor play when I was a Junior and he was a fine option QB. Fast, too.

That being said, Denard would probably do better than either!

Goddamn I want to beat Wisconsin this weekend. By about 70.


November 17th, 2010 at 10:05 PM ^

Never saw him play, but Tom Harmon sounded like a beast.  More recently, Bass if you want a QB or Tyrone Wheatley if you just want an unstoppable athlete.  Wheatley was bigger AND faster than everyone else on the field, and running the zone-read with him would have obliterated most of the B10.


November 17th, 2010 at 10:33 PM ^

I still remember seeing him break off a 40 yard TD run and thinking, wait a minute, QBs can run the ball? That was my RichRod moment where a lightbulb went off and I could have revolutionized the game, but I was 11 at the time so there wasn't much I could do.


November 17th, 2010 at 11:03 PM ^

My choices would be the same as the OPs: Taylor, Leach, Smith, and Franklin. Taylor was probably the most efficient as a passer, completing over 60% in his junior and senior years; Smith was a pretty explosive runner and a decent passer; Leach would have loved the running component of the offense, was big enough to absorb the pounding, and was capable of hitting the big pass; Franklin completed about 50% of his passes, and while his ypc wasn't hugely impressive, he was quick and shifty enough to really take great advantage of the open spaces this offense creates.


November 17th, 2010 at 11:07 PM ^

In terms of completion percentage for their careers, Michael Taylor is significantly higher than both Steve Smith and Dennis Franklin. The latter two were in the neighborhood of 50% or so; Taylor's final two seasons were both over a 60% completion rate.


November 17th, 2010 at 11:58 PM ^

I have chosen The Mad Magicians of 1947. Everybody handled the ball. I don't think they would have an issue running RR's scheme. Thanks for the video WolverineHistorian.


November 18th, 2010 at 10:16 AM ^

Can't believe there's 98 responses and none of them mention Benny Friedman.


Benny was the Tate Forcier of his day, considered too small to be quarterback, he was such an amazing talent that Fielding Yost came back out of retirement just for the chance to coach him. He was the first great passer in football, but was also one of the best runners in the game too.

Benny actually led the NFL in rushing AND passing one year.

Granted, the competition was entirely different back then, so I don't know how well a little Jewish boy would fare against the monsters of the gridiron today, but Friedman was underrated for just that reason his entire career.

Benny is in the conversation of best athlete of his generation (my pick: Cool Papa Bell).


November 18th, 2010 at 11:44 AM ^

I never saw him play, but from all the reports, he would have thrived.   In the NFL, he was both the leading passer around and a consistent runner.  FWIW, he would have won the Heisman at least once if they gave the award out in the 20's.