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Posted on Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 5:27 p.m.

Rich Rodriguez calls quarterback Nick Sheridan the 'safe' option

By Michael Rothstein

While not tipping his hand, Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez gave an interesting assessment of his quarterbacks Tuesday.

Considering that two of his three options - Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson - are freshmen, his conclusion shouldn't be too surprising.

"We had Tate Forcier here in the spring, but that's just 15 days, and so having those guys for a short period of time has given us encouragement how quickly they've learned," Rodriguez said. "But we also have Nick Sheridan, who knows the offense and is kind of the safe guy to put in there."

He also said he wasn't sure what to expect regarding playing time when Robinson arrived before the preseason, but that he had been a "pleasant surprise" and that it is a "bonus" he'll be able to contribute to the offense.

That, though, doesn't sound like an endorsement of a starter.

While Rodriguez didn't name a starting quarterback Tuesday, he did give a little bit more insight into how he might use the quarterbacks Saturday against Western Michigan.

"We're just going to play it by ear," Rodriguez said. "There could be two quarterbacks in one particular series, depending on the play. We've kind of prepared ourselves to do that by doing that in practice."

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by e-mail at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein.



Wed, Sep 2, 2009 : 10:21 a.m.

2000 Blue. Why do you insist that Shoelace will wound up being a slot receiver and Tater will be the man? The first time Tater that hit be one of those big,fast linemen, he'll be another McGuffie. Also, keep in mind that Shoelace is a damn good passer...that combined with his speed wil drive the opposing team crazy.


Wed, Sep 2, 2009 : 8:25 a.m.

what's a michigam man?


Wed, Sep 2, 2009 : 7:29 a.m.

I see everyone has been sucked into RR's hype. The real starter on Saturday will be the one QB that has been here the longest, David Cone.


Wed, Sep 2, 2009 : 5:50 a.m.

I like it - Justin (a.k.a. Benedict) Boren Award! Thank God, we can talk about football again. Rich knows what he's going to do. He's not telling us. Tune in Saturday to find out. Oh and raddes: They can tell us how many days it has been since we beat OSU, and then respond John L. who??? Go Blue!


Wed, Sep 2, 2009 : 5:49 a.m.

Justin Boren may be the last real Michigam Man


Wed, Sep 2, 2009 : 12:58 a.m.

some of you so called fans should be nominated for the justin boren award.


Wed, Sep 2, 2009 : 12:55 a.m.

Sheridan can't hit the broad side of the big house


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 11:45 p.m.

Play it by EAR?! OK, so what's next? Drawing up plays in the sand?


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 9:54 p.m.

we don't care that rr can't make up his mind. he is our man!!!!


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 9:37 p.m.

I'm glad to see an article about what actually happens on the field again. I wouldn't put too much stock into Sheridan actually starting, though...RR is just blowing smoke so as not to show his hand to WMU. Forcier will start and Sheridan will probably be next in line in case of emergency. I'm sure there's also a few plays in the plan for Robinson to show his speed and bust one loose. Sheridan starting? No. But he will get some snaps and is most likely the most qualified backup at this point.


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 8:54 p.m.

Illinois shuffled QB's after every play many years ago, it didn't really help them much.


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 7:50 p.m.

Dear Coach Rod, it's YOUR spread. On EVERY play, we need to keep the defense guessing. Handoff? Pass? Keeper? Trickery? Please, please, please keep those options open for EVERY play this year. Sincerely, Intelligent Michigan Fans


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 7:49 p.m.

Well, I guess its come to this! Living in Columbus and being a Michigan fan is already difficult but reading post after post of pure trash seems to get quite old. Remember, at 3:30pm on Sat, we'll all be doing the same thing--cheering for Michigan! Now I'm a skeptic and believe in RR and this football program. I believe we're on the right track and success and victories are right around the corner. I could care less about these BOGUS charges or RR's personal endeavors (which I think all the true Michigan fans can agree on). However, I can't help but take some names down and if you're going to hate--you better hate all the way through the season. IF (and I know this is a big IF) this team does well, and tones and attitudes in posts begin to change after such harsh criticism, you are the LOSER fans Michigan doesn't need right now. OSU fan, you know the ones, thumping their chest due to their long term memory ('02 NC was yesterday and Maurice who?) and forgetting all their short term memory (Jim O'Brien, 2006, hey, congrats your basketball team ends its probation this year) are having a field day with this. Let them talk--they're soooo good at it! I thought I'd never see the day Michigan fans would be "two-faced" about their own program. Either you're a Michigan fan or not! Check your posts Saturday........ Go Blue!


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 7:46 p.m.

This is bothersome. I don't see Nick Sheridan as "safe". I see him as completely incompetent. No offense, I like the kid's attitude and his devotion to Michigan, but really? Safe? He could not find the broad side of a barn last year. Go with the Frosh, either one would be better that Nick. I agree that none of these guys will be starters two or three years from now. Studs are going to start flocking to this program when the bs settles down.


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 7:01 p.m.

Buck1, nobody can predict the future, but your logic makes sense. If anything, I could see DRob switching positions, because he has the least likely chance of being an NFL QB (rawer mechanics & short). He could be a great slot/ WR type guy like Percy Harvin, though.


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 6:27 p.m.

C'mon RR, you can tell us who is starting, we'll keep it a secret. After Tate has us up 38-10 at the end of the 3rd, then Sheridan and DRob can get some playing time.


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 6:25 p.m.

dont think gardner is going to come here to sit on the bench or rotate plays....he may be ok with parttime for one year but not 2-3.....i can see tate or drob transferring when it becomes apparant that devon is going to be the man


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 6:05 p.m.

Could this be the beginning of the end of RRod?


Tue, Sep 1, 2009 : 5:33 p.m.

Could this be the beginning of RR pioneering the shuttling of QB's from play to play?