Why Devin Gardner Will Redshirt

Submitted by Jon Benke on February 9th, 2010 at 4:02 PM

This will actually be much shorter than its counterpart, but that's because it's really a no-brainer. Gardner red-shirts, not only because it's in the best interest of the team/program, but when you look at this current Michigan team, it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that it's a very pass heavy offense... Shit, Larry Holmes could have figured that out. The 2010 team is going to look more like Texas Tech of past years, than West Virginia of past years, and what QB do you want in that situation - Tate Forcier. This team has great WR depth, and with questions at the RB position, it just makes sense that Rich Rodriguez will go with a more pass heavy offense.

As far as Devin Gardner goes... Gardner's mechanics have slipped a little, passing wise, over his senior year, so a year of working on that, while red-shirting, is the best thing for him. It'll also make the transition from Forcier to Gardner easier. I think Denard Robinson will improve, and I think he can make those quick slant passes, so having Denard back-up Forcier, while Gardner red-shirts, that'll work.

The added weight, as I hear Forcier has already gained 10 pounds from last year, and with better offensive line, hopefully Forcier can make it the season without a major injury.


Jon Benke

February 9th, 2010 at 4:20 PM ^

I didn't read too much of the other thread, because it just didn't make much sense. This is a very pass heavy offense, and Tate is clearly the man for this offense. The fact that Gardner's mechanics have dipped a little from how he looked coming out of those summer camps, that just pushes the red-shirt more and more. Just my opinion.


February 9th, 2010 at 4:30 PM ^

^ I think this comment pretty much sums it up.

Tate will take (nearly) all the snaps, barring injury. Denard will take the rest of the snaps. If both are incapable of playing, then we'll probably see Gardner.

I hope we can see more of Denard outside of the QB position. The guy is just so electric; I think it'd be hugely benificial to use him as a decoy on play-action, screen pump fakes, etc.


February 9th, 2010 at 5:58 PM ^

I agree to an extent. I think even if we are short on QBs (due to injury or other factors), RichRod might use up all options before burning Gardner's redshirt. I would say Turner was badly needed and some might say he had to play last year for our defense to get better and RichRod didn't burn his redshirt. I know Turner arriving late is a completely different situation than the early-enrolled Gardner, but it goes to show you that RichRod is willing to hold on to a redshirt if he thinks an extra year would help a recruit, and the team, out in the long run, regardless of need.


February 9th, 2010 at 4:26 PM ^

Gardner will redshirt if he is clearly the third-best QB on the roster, or simply at the same level as Denard. (We won't play both of them, and redshirting Denard doesn't make much sense.)

Gardner will not redshirt if he is clearly the second-best option at QB (or, however unlikely, he is the best option).

It ultimately comes down to Robinson. Can he establish himself as a viable #2 QB, and not just the designated-run guy? If so, we can afford the luxury of redshirting Gardner. If Denard is not improved, then we probably have to play Gardner (and start to think about using Robinson elsewhere).


February 9th, 2010 at 4:36 PM ^

Well said.
More specifically, I will add that I think Denard has the tools (including arm strength AND accuracy), but as Magnus said in the meltdown thread, the game seemed to be moving too fast for him. I hope and expect to see improvement in his ability to read defenses, in which case I expect him to be the second best QB on the roster.


February 9th, 2010 at 4:32 PM ^

Nothing about last year's QB convinces me that any decision should be made at thist time. Forcier played every play like it was 4th and goal with no time on the clock, which led to many unforced turnovers. Robinson was unable to get buy on speed alone, and he too was turnover prone. We need a spirited QB competiton in the Spring with the position up for grabs. Before that competition plays out, it is naive to conclude DG will or will not red-shirt as a matter of course.

Captain Obvious

February 9th, 2010 at 4:33 PM ^

and likely never will run a pass-based spread. The read option and a large dose of running will always be present. You really can't compare our offense to TT's at all. Sure, we will pass more given that we have an accurate passer vs. gifted runner (Pat White), but we will never have the ridiculously imbalanced pass heavy spread. IMO we will always have 50-60% + running plays unless RR abandons what he knows and adopts something else entirely (not gonna happen).

Jon Benke

February 9th, 2010 at 4:48 PM ^

When he was talking about trying to keep Ryan Mallet, that the spread can be both run based and pass based, so while captain of something, thee obvious isn't one of them. This team, with the depth at WR, and questions at RB, and with Tate Forcier at QB, will be more pass based!

Jon Benke

February 9th, 2010 at 5:04 PM ^

Tate was only a true freshmen, we had two senior RBs, and the offensive line didn't really give Tate much time for anything. I think we'll have a better offensive line, which should, along with age and expierence, help let Tate have more time to throw. We have good WR depth too.

Jon Benke

February 9th, 2010 at 6:18 PM ^

I said that our offense would look more like Texas Tech than West Virginia, that's all. And I later mentioned, sure, that may have been overstating my point (that we'd look like Texas Tech), though the point was; we'll pass more, which I still think we will. That's my opinion.

And with the passing game bein' a strength, which it should be, that you'd want the QB to be Tate.


February 9th, 2010 at 6:07 PM ^

I don't understand how you can positively say the offense will be run based. I tend to believe that RichRod will run the best offense for his personnel. Shaun King was a better passer, so he obviously passed much more than he ran. Woody Dantzler was a better runner (as shown by him playing RB and KR in the pros), so he obviously ran the ball more. Same with Pat White. I think to declare we will automatically be a run based offense because 2 Freshman QBs didn't pass as much last year while 2 senior RBs ran it more is a bit premature.


February 9th, 2010 at 7:33 PM ^

and the resulting comment battle arise from your saying it would "look more like Texas Tech". The problem with that is that TT under Mike Leach ran a specific spread game called the AirRaid that RichRod has never used before. It is based on route combinations and a mentality that practices the passing game above all else. While there is obviously more passing going on in our offense than the Pat White-RR days of WVU, to call it something similar to TT is a mistake. In fact, it is this mistake that got Tuberville fired from Auburn after the '08 season, when he hired an AirRaid disciple, and then forced him into a spread running attack. Assuming that someone who coaches a passing spread offense understands a running spread offense and vice versa is oftentimes incorrect.


February 9th, 2010 at 4:34 PM ^

Gardener will no doubt not start opening day, but if he looks like the guy of the future midseason, then I think he will burn his redshirt.

Jon Benke

February 9th, 2010 at 5:16 PM ^

We can agree to disagree.

EDIT - lol, I love how I get negged by people, when all I was doing was quoting the Head Coach; Rich Rodriguez, and when he said that his offense can be both pass based and run based, when someone in front of a computer somewhere said that it can't. That makes perfect sense.


February 9th, 2010 at 5:15 PM ^

Can we all agree that:

~ DG would benefit from a redshirt.
~ The coaches would like to redshirt him if possible.
~ If Tate takes a step back, they may burn the redshirt.
~ If Denard isn't a viable QB, they may burn the redshirt.
~ If Tate gets hurt, DG will play.

Therefore, the only real question is: If DG is a sensation in spring ball and is clearly ready to play, but Tate remains a solid option, will DG play?

And if that is the only question, can we PLEASE, for the love of Angry Michigan Quarterback Depth Chart Clarity Hating God, wait until at least the spring game before we argue about this?


February 9th, 2010 at 5:32 PM ^

We have so few relevant things to talk about... so do we talk about the same things over and over with no new information, or do we talk about things of lesser interest and relevance?

In this particular case, however, we've already had at least 3 of these threads today. And it's been the exact same conversation every time, because nothing happened since yesterday. We haven't seen him throw a pass, run a sprint, lift a weight, or scratch his ass.

Jon Benke

February 9th, 2010 at 6:05 PM ^

That may have been pushing it, but I was trying to make the point of; our offense won't look like West Virginia of past years, and that the passing game should be a strength. I was trying to joke and have fun, but quickly found, well, you can't do that here, which is my fault.

Jon Benke

February 9th, 2010 at 6:25 PM ^

There's been too much talk of Tate Forcier and the passing game, mostly bein' my fault, and not enough on Devin Gardner. We need more discussion of Gardner...


February 9th, 2010 at 6:38 PM ^

I think it depends on how Michigan gets out of the gate. A slow start could lead to some desperate moves, but ideally Gardner takes the year to learn the system.