Why we won't "suck" in 09'

Submitted by jcontiz on November 16th, 2008 at 1:27 AM

So I figured everyone could use a little positive energy... since, well, we won't talk about it.

Let's take some time and discuss what we can look forward to next year..

Offensively - 2 quality dual-threat QB's coming in (we don't know what will happen, but they are there, with a lot of pressure)

RB's - We have like 20. Seriously. Minor, Brown, Grady, McGuffie, Shaw, Cox, Toussaint, others? We're stacked.

WR's - Basically the same as this year. With training/practice, and a semi-competent QB throwing to them, they will be better.

O-Line - We're going to be much better. I mean, we've improved a lot, and next year with all the redshirts coming in and competing I think we will be even better. 8/10 man rotation will be beautiful.

Offensively we will be improved. The players won't know 1% of the playbook and can build upon what they know. Excellent!

Defenseively - I'm a bit scared. We either lose Graham/Taylor/Johnson/Jamison or just Taylor/Johnson/Jamison. Mike Martin is solid and hopefully Cambell will get his ass to Ann Arbor. Van Bergen actually played today and looked ok, so we may be ok if Graham sticks around.

Moutan has really come on and is starting to emerge as a quality LB. Ezeh is always pretty solid. Demens/Fitzgerald maybe next year? Better than J. Thompson.

CB's - Gah.. Stewart/Harrison/Trent = gone. We can erase them. Warren/Cissoko should be solid, but who at safety? One of the recruits? (Bell, Turner, Vlad?) Mike Williams? I need input here.

Special Teams - Hey, we have Zoltan.




November 16th, 2008 at 1:33 AM ^

Demens is a WILL. Fitzgerald or Evans is more likely to step in next year than Demens.

I'm guessing that Mike Williams will play FS next year and Brown will move to SS.


November 16th, 2008 at 2:01 AM ^

Brandon Smith was a high four star safety from our last recruiting class that should see significant playing time at safety. If I can remember correctly, he received very high praise from the coaches over the spring and summer.

Also, we should have a very good unit at wide receiver next season--look for Tony Clemons to move back to the outside with Mathews, Stonum and Hemmingway (all of these guys were big time recruits and they will all have experience now too). While Odoms, Robinson and Feagin share time in the slot. Roy Roundtree will probably contribute as well (I just do not know if RichRod will put him in the slot or on the outside). All in all, we probably will not have to lean on guys like Savoy and Babb next season, which will be nice.


November 16th, 2008 at 2:15 AM ^

Roh, LaLota, Jones, and Campbell (if he's with us) will get some PT next year with all the D-linemen leaving. As Dallas said Brandon Smith may possibly be a starting safety. He had an appendectomy early in the season that pretty much forced him to take a redshirt. And don't forget about Gallon on offense. He's electric and could get some time at either slot or RB.


November 16th, 2008 at 2:41 AM ^

I would not rule out the possibility of Threet starting again next year, and I don't mean that as a bad thing. Given an offseason to watch film, work on his mechanics and with the motivation provided by a pair of talented frosh looking to take his job, I would be surprised if he didn't look improved next year. (Sheridan, too, but he probably has less upside.) Of course, if Threet does start, I imagine it would be a Leak/Tebow kind of arrangement where one of the frosh occasionally comes in.


November 16th, 2008 at 9:13 AM ^

"I would not rule out the possibility of Threet starting again next year, and I don't mean that as a bad thing. Given an offseason to watch film, work on his mechanics and with the motivation provided by a pair of talented frosh looking to take his job"

Forcier and beaver are coming in December. they are going to have the whole offseason to know the playbook and barwis of course

chitownblue (not verified)

November 16th, 2008 at 9:39 AM ^

First, I have no idea what Barwis can do to a QB to make him so much better, but Threet is being trained by Barwis as well, so if he does help, they both have that.

Second, Forcier may not enroll early, as he may not graduate in time.

Third, people need to realize that it is EXTREMELY rare for true freshman (or RS freshman) QB's to succeed. Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, and Chad Henne are the exception, not the rule (also, Bradford and McCoy were both redshirts, not true freshmen). Remember - Beaver and Forcier were the #6 and #8 DUAL-THREAT QB's in this class - maybe top 20 overall. Chad Henne was the #3 QB in the nation, and a five-star, Ryan Mallett was #2, and a five-star. You may not want to hear it but there is, at this point, a distinct perceived talent-gap between Henne/Mallett and Forcier/Beaver.


November 16th, 2008 at 12:07 PM ^

also won't have the best player in college football next year to lob passes to the way Chad Henne had Braylon Edwards. Not to mention that Beaver is rehabbing a labrum injury to his non throwing shoulder. Its quite possible that he won't be ready to start practicing until summer camp.


November 16th, 2008 at 2:18 PM ^

How do you even compare these two groups of qb's? They play an entirely different style of game. Sure Tate/Shavodrick might not be great in a pro-set, but I can be completely sure saying that Henne/Mallet would be awful running the spread option. It's all about fit, and Tate/Beaver are perfect fits for RR.


November 16th, 2008 at 5:02 PM ^

It's not like our QBs have run all that much this year. They are not Pat White types. They run occasionally but they're not all that great at it. If you swapped Threet with Henne or Mallett they'd be just as good at handing the ball to our RBs and far superior at passing to the much larger number of receivers we put out there.

This is why I've never believed the claim that RR ran off Mallett. Why would he? I think Mallett wanted him to grovel, and a new head coach has to be the boss. Too bad it didn't work out, otherwise Mallett would be starting IMO and we'd probably have a more effective offense.

chitownblue (not verified)

November 16th, 2008 at 5:20 PM ^

You utterly missed the point.

I wasn't attempting to say Henne or Mallett would suceed in the spread. I was trying to say that they were more highly regarded than Forcier or Beaver. Which is true. They were, for what they did, better players, and more highly regarded than Forcier and Beaver are for what they do. That's all.


November 16th, 2008 at 5:36 PM ^

What they do have going for them is that we should be running it more next year (RB's or them) and they won't have to make the tough throws that so many freshman QBs struggle with. I figure they'll struggle quite a bit, but because of their running ability it should be as painful as Mallett's adjustment.

Enjoy Life

November 16th, 2008 at 5:19 PM ^

Forcier is only 6 Foot, 183 but Pat White is 6-1, 192 and he has done pretty well in the RR option spread.

As to True Freshman QBs, there is that guy who has played most of the year for that team down south. And, only lost 1 (soon to be 2) games.

I predict RR will go with the freshman unless they are simply not ready at all. Similar to installing the spread option this year, waiting only delays the inevitable MNC.

chitownblue (not verified)

November 16th, 2008 at 5:22 PM ^

Are you under the impression that Tate Forcier is as big a recruit as Pryor, who was roundly described as a once-in-a-generation talent?

Fine, Pryor has done well. But again - exception, not rule.

Enjoy Life

November 16th, 2008 at 5:55 PM ^

Statistics (not impressions):

Pat White: 2005, 2 Star (Scout.com), #53 QB, shared time at QB his Freshmen season (replaced Bednarik in 7th game after injury to Bednarik with WVU down 24-7, WVU won the game 46-44) in the RR option spread.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Oh, and there was a freshman back too!

Forcier is #12 QB rated 4 stars.

So, yeah, there is reason to be psyched about next year!!

chitownblue (not verified)

November 16th, 2008 at 6:28 PM ^

Argument by anecdote is utterly meaningless. You pointed a two star, of literally thousands in that class that performed well. Congratulations.

I'm not attempting to say Forcier and Beaver won't be good. I saying that relying on them to be good, as true freshmen, is not something, historically speaking, you should expect.

Enjoy Life

November 16th, 2008 at 7:52 PM ^

You're right.

Why hold out any hope of a good season next year?

Why point to an actual, historical precedent (even though it is not statistically valid) that in the recent past, freshmen have made major contributions?

Let's just generalize with "Third, people need to realize that it is EXTREMELY rare for true freshman (or RS freshman) QB's to succeed."

Naw, I will never be that down. The glass is always half full!


November 16th, 2008 at 5:55 PM ^

I think there is a chance Forcier is underrated. This would be due to his size. Have to remember, star rating also is big on potential, and while Forcier's potential is below that of Newsome, Shepard, or some of those other freakish talents, his floor could be much higher due to having a person QB coach. I'd say this could be ideal for Michigan at this time, since we need someone to step right in and play.

Six Zero

November 16th, 2008 at 9:59 AM ^

by Michigan State. Just a gut feeling I have and I'm sticking to it. I like Threet and am still pulling for him, but the bottom line, ESP. after today, is that what we need for this team is, quite simply, a QUARTERBACK WHO CAN MAKE SOME PLAYS when we need him to. It's because of this that ultimately Threet and/or Sheridan will not finish the season next year.

I wouldn't rule out Shavod either-- he's just SO physically unprepared. GUY IS A TWIG.


November 16th, 2008 at 2:15 PM ^

It would be a mistake for RR to wait half the season to start the freshmen qb's. Just fyi Forcier is the #2 dual threat qb, and Shavodrick is the #3 dual threat qb, per espn (http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/recruiting/football/columns/story?column…).

Threet/Sheridan have had an entire season to provide some noticeable improvement. They've failed at that. Forcier/Beaver have been in this type of offense their whole lives for the most part. Forcier, especially, has been groomed to be a qb his whole life. He has worked hard at his mechanics and has a flawless throw. I'm going to call it right now, I think Tate starts the first game next year, with Shavodrick getting some significant snaps.


November 16th, 2008 at 4:41 PM ^

A lot of coaches will tell you that the biggest improvement is made between seasons, not during them. During the season the emphasis is primarily on the preparation for the next opponent. During the offseason the player has far more time to work on his mechanics and watch film of his own performances.


November 17th, 2008 at 1:17 PM ^

ESPN recruiting is pretty stupid. Do you really think both those guys are better than Newsome? Or Eugene Smith? Or Tahj Boyd? It's cool to see our guys rated highly by anyone, but the fact that all of those guys were left off is pretty suspect.


November 16th, 2008 at 6:37 PM ^

From what I've heard Ricky Barnum and Patrick Omameh are legit. One or both is expected to start next year. I haven't heard anything about O'Neil but I wouldn't be too worried about it since we'll be pretty deep at O-Line for the next couple of years.

Blue Balls

November 16th, 2008 at 8:41 PM ^

How long will the Michigan Offense have to struggle next year before we see one of the Freshmen qb's. To start one of the Freshmen Quarterbacks is just not going to happen.

I would love to be in the stadium when Coach Rod sends one of these Freshmen Quarterbacks into play-can't imagine what it will be like.


November 16th, 2008 at 10:06 PM ^

Competition is a staple of RR's football philosophy. The best QB will start, not the one who has been here longer. It could be Threet, Forcier, Beaver, or maybe even Sheridan, but whoever the staff thinks is best will start. Hopefully, that person will show improvement over the QB's play this year.

Enjoy Life

November 16th, 2008 at 10:49 PM ^

I'll bet a freshman will start next year.

RR started Sheridan because he graded out the best. Threet is simply too slow to ever be successful in the spread option and I doubt he will be getting faster any time soon.

I guess Sheridan's pass mechanics could get a lot better, but I'm not counting on it.


November 17th, 2008 at 12:32 AM ^

Tell Jonathan Casillas that Threet is too slow. He'll probably disagree, since he had to chase Threet 58 yards downfield.

There's a difference between being "too slow" and "not making the proper read." Threet is more guilty of the latter. He's not Pat White (who is?) but he's plenty fast enough to keep a defense honest if he chooses to do so.


November 17th, 2008 at 9:53 AM ^

So far, next year is shaping up to be pretty miserable. Graham would be crazy not to leave, and that means our entire front four and a starting CB will need replacing. If I am to believe what I have read on a weekly basis about how terrible and untalented our linebackers and safeties are, then next year we will be ranked 100+ in Div I-A in most major defensive categories. If we can't stop anybody despite having a front four that pressures QBs and frequently blows up plays in the backfield, then imagine how bad the defense will be when QBs have all day to throw and we need eight men in the box to shut down running plays.

On offense, even though we won't lose anybody to graduation, we will probably still be replacing two or three guys with redshirt and true freshman. Specifically, quarterback. As someone said earlier, true freshmen QBs rarely carry a team to anything meaningful or put up huge point totals.

2009 is another rebuilding year. I'm keeping my expectations very low. If we are better than 6-6, I'll be shocked.


November 17th, 2008 at 1:14 PM ^

Todd McShay from ESPN, along with their other draft experts, have Graham as around the 10th DE in the draft, and the expect him around late second and early third round. If he stayed another year it could really improve his draft stock.

They are saying a lot of good things about how great a DE class this is, and BG isn't one of the guys who gets mentioned.


November 17th, 2008 at 1:52 PM ^

It's all about striking a balance though. We have an amazing DL, but they can be neutralized by a short, effective passing game which has happened repeatedly becuase of poor LBs and safeties. However, these guys are getting better, and so hopefully after another year in the system we can see some improvement in these two departments. If that is the case, we can afford to have less talent on the DL and still become a better defense because of improvements in other positions.


November 17th, 2008 at 4:46 PM ^

I agree. Our LB's will be better next year because Thompson's replacement will likely be at least a wash, and Obi and Mouton will improve over the off-season. Our secondary will likely improve, because Booboo and Mike Williams will be as good as the guys they replace and Donovan and Stevie will benefit from an extra year to improve. The D-line will see some decline, but the guys filling the vacant spots are solid, and I don't see that group's performance dropping as much as we think.

chitownblue (not verified)

November 17th, 2008 at 5:05 PM ^

I sort of agree with this. Cissoko is sort of better than Trent today, so I don't see a drop-off there. I like Harrison, but I think he's better suited as a corner/nickel/LB type than a deep safety, and Williams has looked solid for the past 2 weeks.

I think 2009 Mouton/2009 Ezeh/??? will be a better LB unit that 2008 Mouton/2008 Ezeh/John Thompson.

Brandon Graham, I think, will be back. This is a huge DE class in the draft, and Graham is getting predicted as a 3rd round pick. Mike Martin, clearly, is one DT. If we land Campbell, I'd imagine we'd see him at DT. If not, we get Sagesse. RVB at the other DE should be fine.


November 17th, 2008 at 5:15 PM ^

Exactly. I think that defense, as a unit, will be as good, if not better, than our defense this year. The coolest thing about it is that most of the guys starting next year will be around the following year as well.