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Posted on Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 5 p.m.

Brady Hoke updates Denard Robinson's health, gives thoughts on dual-QB system

By Nick Baumgardner

Following Michigan's 28-14 loss at Michigan State on Saturday, football coach Brady Hoke offered little information on quarterback Denard Robinson's injury status.

On Monday, it was more of the same. Hoke said Robinson's departure in the fourth quarter was due to a back bruise.

During the Big Ten coaches teleconference Tuesday, Hoke said the junior quarterback felt better Monday and shouldn't miss any game time moving forward.

"He should be fine," Hoke said. "He was better yesterday. I think he just took a shot in the back. He's in good shape."

Thumbnail image for DENARD-ROBINSON-1.jpg

Denard Robinson was 9-for-24 passing for 123 yards against Michigan State.

Robinson was sacked four times before being knocked out of the game following a late hit by Michigan State's Marcus Rush in the fourth quarter.

His day didn't end well, but didn't start much better.

Robinson had his worst game as a starting quarterback, going 9-for-24 passing for 123 yards. Michigan sophomore quarterback Devin Gardner was tossed into the game periodically, in packages with and without Robinson on the field at the same time.

Gardner was sacked three times, was credited with minus 15 yards rushing and went 3-for-7 passing for 32 yards.

Hoke firmly backed Robinson as his starting quarterback Monday. On Tuesday, he offered his thoughts on rotating signal callers.

"I don't think anyone is a big fan, but I've also seen it work," he said.

Hoke pointed to Northwestern as an example of a positive two-quarterback system. The Wildcats have used packages this season that involve senior quarterback Dan Persa and sophomore Kain Colter. Colter was used as a wide receiver earlier this season against Michigan, and also as a straight option quarterback.

Hoke gave no indication of further rotation plans for Robinson and Gardner. But didn't really rule the concept out, either.

"There's something to be said for it to a certain degree," he said. "Maybe if you want to get a guy out for a series and let someone else take a couple shots in there.

"It works for different people different ways. Really, it's about where you're at in your program."

Michigan is in the midst of its bye week. The Wolverines will play host to Purdue on Oct. 29.

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.


Terrin Bell

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

I think Denard is a outstanding leader, excellent runner, but his passing abilities have always been not great. The problem doesn't seem to be physical ability, but poor decision making under pressure. Forcier with all his off field problems was a much better passing quarter back and he could run a bit as well. Time will tell with Gardner. Denard still has made many games that otherwise would have been failures exciting to watch. I would love to be proven wrong, but I don't see Denard being an NFL Quarterback because in the NFL the focus is on throwing, which is Denard's weakness. The NFL doesn't want people continuously tackling the quarterback, which is the player that often makes the most money.


Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 12:36 a.m.

Whatever one may think of Denard, the OL was dominated by MSU's DL. Gardner was sacked three time and only had 37 yards passing. No great game there. If Denard or Devin or Tom Brady was quarterbacking, they lose that game. The DL of michigan also showed some softness agaisnt MSU, no corner containment. We aren't there yet and I hope when we go to a bowl game it's not against an SEC team with big dominate lineman. If you win in the trenches, you almost always win the game. Don't know how we'll fare against OSU with their DL. It's painful to think of losing to them again. In 2 or 3 years we'll look great with all the O lineman coming in next year. We'll just hope for the best and some coaching miracles this year and next.

Terrin Bell

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 1:30 p.m.

Maybe, but Brady could throw a ball under pressure, which was the big problem with the MSU game. MSU's defense dominated the run and put pressure on the OL because U of M couldn't loosen the defense up with a passing game. If the OL has to continuously play a run offense, that makes it work a lot harder and it gets tired quicker. If Michigan could of had more success passing early before the OL became over tired, the OL wouldn't of had to work as hard because MSU would have had to respect the pass. Denard has the arm strength but he clearly struggles with throwing under pressure, and Gardner doesn't have enough experience yet to be judged. I suspect Tom Brady, Charles Woodson, and Anthony Thomas would have fared better against the same MSU team.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 7 p.m.

The #1 reason not to play Devin Gardner during a hard hitting, close game: I TD pass into the end zone would not be called back because the QB was 3 yards past the line of scrimmage if Denard Robinson was the QB. He would have ran it in himself or would have known where the line of scrimmage was! I am not saying don't play Devin, just don't play him until the outcome of a game has been desided.

Joe Kidd

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 6:39 p.m.

How does the discussion connected to this story evolve into DRob's NFL expectations? Who cares? Many players who excel in college fail in the NFL. Criticize RR all you want, but last year's offense was a lot more exciting than this years. Record setting too. I think DRob will perform best in a spread offense and not in this one. Spread the offense and the defense spreads and his line of vision will improve. I've never seen a football player quicker than he is but the openings just aren't there this year. If Coach Hoke doesn't want to run a spread he should put Devin Gardner in as QB. Could losing Gardner be a concern? He has two years left. Why stay as a back up for this year and next and maybe be the starter in his senior year. Reminds me of Brady and Henson. Why would Henson stay and ride the bench watching Brady when he could go play baseball full time? So switch them back and forth. I will never forget the msu game when Brady was taken out for Henson who immediately throws an interception that lead to the loss. Never thought Henson was as good as Brady.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 11:32 a.m.

Could not believe how bad Denard's passing was. Yeah there was high winds but MSU quarterback dealt with it. Denard seems to over throw a lot. This is a heismann candidate? I am a big go blue fan. But, I am sorry its been a long time since I have seen such a poor display of passing. Is this what it is like when you play a better quality team. Only reason I see gardner coming in is so you have a quarterback that can pass then the defense keys on this and boom. I know it sounds like I am not a fan but let's get a coach working with denard on the basic fundamentals of passing. To previous poster Lumberg --No Denard will not make it as a NFL quarterback. To small and not a good enough passer. Maybe as a wide out. Go Blue !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 4:52 a.m.

Denard is this teams best RB. I think Gardner would prove to be the best QB given the opportunity. Time to adjust accordingly. And a bye week with a weak Purdue team following is a good opportunity to do so.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 3:19 a.m.

@Mick: Plausible Argument No.1 stems from examining the game against MSU. Pretty much everyone who follows football understands the "Invisible Factor" which determines the fate of any given quarterback: the efficacy of that QB's Offensive Line. It's not only DR who was brought in by the WCIMFH, it was many of the players on the Offensive Line. MSU hit Michigan's O-line and went through it like bricks through tissue paper any number of times. When not just one but THREE or more defenders penetrate into Michigan's offensive backfield: Michigan's offense will fail. (just like any similar offense on any football team.) People talk about Denard's vulnerability and his lack of progress in "setting his feet" - well, if he had a WALL in front of him, he wouldn't be looking to run for his life on every play - and would have the time he needs to throw passes effectively. If Denard had a truly GOOD offensive line, he'd right now be shocking the nation with his amazing capabilities. This lack also brings criticism of Coach Borges: but if he had an O-line he COULD RELY ON, then he too would look pretty amazing for his game calls. Remember back a little: We all know that the first priority for Hoke was to rebuild the Defense and bring it up from basement level. But we should remember also: that meant the offense would have to "go as it is" into the 2011 season. More progress will come - no one could have done it better than Hoke has so far.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 9:29 a.m.

Nicely said. Perspective and context.

jeff blue

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 2:46 a.m.

ALL, This was a "team loss" -- not a DR loss. Michigan is now recruiting better players. We have not truly had a tough team since 2006. That is why in 2007: 1. We lost to App State at home in a close game 2. Were throughly crushed at home by Oregon in game #2 3. Got blasted in our last two regular season games at Wisconsin and OSU at home. Then Carr retired and things got worse, much worse. We must be patient as Hoke rebuilds. Rebuilding is tough, very tough, but some day we'll have a top 5 team again.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 11:56 p.m.

RR wS trying to rebuild, he was given three years. Fortunately Hoke has most of the starters returning. The pressure will be on him if he wins with RR's players but loses with his recruits.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 2:30 a.m.

Whine whine whine Denard was the Big ten MVP last year and had the best total yards of any QB in the B10. Not to mention he was the only player in NCAA history to get 1500 yards both in running and passing. You think RRod had a bad year last year, just imagine what kind of year he would have had without Robinson. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water, maybe the pass percentage could be better, but we have flat out one of the best QBs in the country.


Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 2:19 a.m.

I see your point, but Denard makes up for his passing with his feet which makes him a very good QB overall ( best in total yards in B10). If he did both very well then he would be the best NCAA QB of all time. I think as fans we have preconceived opinions on what a QB should do-- pass. I think those opinions are changing as the role of the college QB is changing. Watch Wisconsin-- when their QB is in trouble he uses his feet.


Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 12:36 a.m.

I'm not sayng Gardner is the answer and that Denard isn't any good. I'm saying he has to improve greatly in the passing game. Whether that is a function of his mechanics, or play calling it needs to improve. And he doesn't always make the plays he needs. Not to say Gardner would do better but that we need better passing from the position.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 9:31 p.m.

We certainly don't have anyone better than Denard. People assume that if we start the backup QB that somehow we'll score more points-- I don't think so. Denard makes plays when there is nothing there- he scrambles away from sacks-- he gets the third down conversions. Remember that Gardener was sacked three times Saturday, and how many minutes did he play? Total yards is what counts.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 3 a.m.

tim - everyone is entitled to an opinion, and just because you don't agree doesn't mean they are whining. No one is disputing what he did last year and that without him Michigan wins 5 or 6 years last year. He was the Big Ten offensive player of the year primarily because of his running ability not for his passing. Because of his running ability he doesn't need to be a great passer but he does need to be better. Ten INTs this season are too many and I don't want to see a repeat of last year where teams gear up to stop his running and he can't pass enough to losen them up. We have one of the best athletes in the country who plays QB for us and he is one of the most exciting players in the country. But he is not one of the best QBs in the country.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 2:05 a.m.

I've been a long time Michigan fan and Denard is an exciting player to watch and he seems like a great kid. I know this isn't popular but I do have concerns about his passing ability. He looks very uncomfortable in the pocket, he needs to slow down and set his feet for his throws (which he doesn't always do even when he does have time, not that that was often on Saturday). I agree with some of what Chiro said, he doesn't seem to see the blitzes well even when they are disguised. I know the receiver need to read this too and break their routes off and that did't always happen. Also, he seems like he is thinking too much, I saw several plays were he should have ran the ball but is trying to stay in and make a tough throw in windy conditions. It's almost like he knows he should run but want to prove he can throw. My biggest concern is with his mechanics, they are very poor and should be improving by this point in his career. You definitely need to keep him on the field because he is so explosive, but I do wonder if he should be the full time QB. I know some will point to the Minnesota game and the 2nd half of Northwestern and say he is a good passer but I look at the 1st half of the NW game and see a lot of what I already mentioned. By the way, just because a fan questions a players ability doesn't mean they are throwing him under the bus. I live in Lansing, so the last few years have been brutal, but I always support UofM and Denard to the MSU fans I have to deal with every day at work.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 1:52 a.m.

Just make sure all of you line up in the "we loved you all along Denard" line when it's time to hive five and hug the QB who leads us to Indianapolis to play for a BIG TEN Championship. How good is Denard. He hasn't played a complete game yet this year, and he is still on EVERYONE"S top 5 in the Heisman voting. He is the best athlete in college football. No, he's not Peyton Manning. But he is a great college football player. Coach him up and put him in position to help MICHIGAN win! GO BLUE!


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5:25 p.m.

FYI. ESPN does not have DR in the top 9. So not EVERYONE. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 4:47 p.m.

Re: Heisman: Who is &quot;everyone&quot;?


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 2:44 a.m.

Hope you're right 10dz


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 1:53 a.m.

oops, &quot;high&quot; five.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 12:46 a.m.

Blue99, Thank you! Everyone else are just a bunch a whiners! For crying out loud people! Its only Denards 2nd yr starting and on top of that he's been coached by two different coaching staffs and michigan were 6-0 only cause of him. He not Andrew Luck but how many QBs are. He can pass good enough to win period. Why don't u blame blame Borges for having the worst game plan on a single game to date. Hoke had a few errors himself. Relax folks, this coaching staff is great and Denard should be on the field 100% of the time. We will win period with Denard,they just need to keep him on the field and the fans need to quit thinking they know what's best for the team.Go BLUE!


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 4:44 p.m.

Exactly - the first 6 games of the season was a cake walk. Our toughest games are coming up. It would be nice if we had any kind of throwing game.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 2:17 a.m.

UM just lost the last MSU rivalry game with Denard at QB. UM also lost to all teams in the Big 10 with good defenses last year (MSU, Iowa, PSU, Wisco and OSU) starting with MSU also like this year. At midseason, it is a lot like what happened last year.

NC Wolverine 20

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 12:13 a.m.

DR did not struggle throwing against Minnesota or NW (2nd half) or ND (4th Q). One of the reasons both DR and Devin struggled against MSU is that their D-line tore up our O-line. Given time, DR will plant his feet, square his shoulders, and deliver good throws. So, the O-line needs to step up. Besides, while this debate is interesting in an academic sense, the fact is that DR is the QB, should be the QB, and will remain the QB.

Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 11:41 p.m.

Mick. Yep, agreed. Good discussion! Regardless of where we all come down on this one. I have a 'gut feeling' that DRob, Will start to get his emotions under control, which means he WILL improve his mechanics, and he WILL start seeing the field better, as the game starts to 'slow down'. In a postive way, saturday will help him, handle blitzes, (which he WILL see more of), and the team as a whole, will be more poised as it takes on Purdue, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, and 'ohio'. This is a great bunch of kids, attitude-wise, and I don't see any quit in any of them. Granted, they will not overpower anyone, BUT they CAN, 'out-finess' all of them. (One at a time, like walking up a stair.) For now, that's good enough to get to Indy. Let's worry about the Badgers or Lions when we get to that point.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 12:39 a.m.

Good post Mr. Steelmen


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 11:38 p.m.

What? What's everyone talking about? I don't have my headset on, so I can't hear what the heck is going on and I'm so frickin' out of the loop.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 2:12 a.m.

Did you order the red code? lol! Hoke not wearing the headset means that he is not on the details of the play. I don't know if that is good or bad, but the 4th and inches call...


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 12:48 a.m.

Why do you have to make such snide comments? It adds nothing to the discussion. Are you pleased with your comment? Did it make you feel better? I think the way Coach Hoke handles the team on the sideline is just fine, he's involved from what I can see, he acts as a CEO and lets his coaches do their jobs, that's the kinda guy I would want to work for, how about you? Hoke is classy on the sidelines, we're in good hands.

Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 11:30 p.m.

Blue99. Why yes, I also noticed the comparable stats for Robinsoin and Cousins...123/120 yds. on 14 attempts. Cousins is a 5th year senior. DRob a 3rd year junior, and learning his second new offense, in two years. Here's my take on that. Robinson WILL get better, Cousins will NOT get any better. In particular, on staurday night, Wisconsin will provide a challenge that Cousins &amp; co. can not overcome. The same will be true in Lincoln, on the 29th. I am ok with Robinson, because we all know, he WILL get his mechanics in order, and the game WILL slow down for him. We all also know, that Devin Gardner will do the same. My hope is, that DG, gets another year of eligibilty from the NCAA, so that he can be 'top dog', after DRob graduates. By the way, your comment about this being a team sport, are right on target. Keep the faith....title #43 is closer than many's VERY close!


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 10:47 p.m.

Hello everyone, Thanks for indulging me and engaging in a civilized discussion. Thank you to those who disagree with me for not attacking my intellect or character. To those who say who cares about what might or might not translate to the pro game, I say this, if it is something that would benefit Denard in the Pros, that would mean that he achieved success at U-M, does it not? I would like to see Devin at QB with Bellomy getting some playing time for his maturation and experience with an eventual smooth transition to Shane Morris when his time comes. With that being said, if Denard matures at the position and proves me wrong, I will gleefully eat my words. Make no mistake folks, I care about U-M's success 1st and foremost, I didn't make the 1st comment because I care about what happens in the Pros. I hope we continue to win games this year and improve greatly while doing so. I will cheer on my team with all my heart, U-M Football is as special a thing to me as there is in my life! Go Blue for this is Michigan!!!


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 12:40 a.m.

Thanks River, same to you my man


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 11:26 p.m.

Not too many kids playing college ball that have no interest in the next level. Gotta believe Denard would like to play in the pros. He will never be drafted as a QB. He does, however, have a great chance of being drafted at another position. On top of that...when UofM players get drafted, it convinces high school talent to come here. So, it is in the best interest of any college to prepare their players for the next level. I enjoyed your post and all the ones following it. It's nice to see respectful, civilized comment from MICHIGAN fans...and I emphasize MICHIGAN fans.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 10:02 p.m.

Did anyone else happen to notice that Cousins also went only 13 for 24 for 120 yards in that game? Denard actually had MORE yardage on the SAME number of attempts as Cousins. I mean, did anyone consider that Denard didn't have a great day throwing the ball because of the wind? Neither team could throw the ball against the wind in that game. Stop whinning because it LOOKED like he was just missing targets and consider the playing conditions. Would it have been nice to hit a few more of those - absolutely. Would it have been nice for the recievers not to DROP one or two of those incompletions - absolutely. Would it have been nice to be in third and short instead of third and long - absolutely. Would it have been nice to NOT have to be running for his life (both he and Gardner, by the way) because the line couldn't pick up the blitzes effectively - positively. Would it have been nice to NOT have had one or two great completions called back due to penalties - positively. Point is, there was A LOT more to that statistic than Denard simply having bad mechanics. Its a team sport, put the emphasis on the team where it belongs. THAT's why there's no question in Hoke's mind as to who his starting QB will be. Denard gives the team the best chance to win, period.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 2:17 a.m.

Good point on Cousins stats.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 2:05 a.m.

&quot;Denard gives the team the best chance to win, period.&quot; Denard's last pass in the game at UM 14 - MSU 21? Denard's pass gave MSU another 7 sweet points without a single snap from Cousins. That is how erratic and dangerous he is to his team. UM 14 - MSU 28 - Game over by Denard. A 20 game veteran QB heisman candidate at the least should protect the ball, not pass it to the other team for the score. Denard's passing is 50-50, more dangerous than Russian Roulette which is 1 to 6. He could win and he could lose the game for you.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 9:48 p.m.

Maybe this coaching staff figured none of our running backs could overcome the MSU D. First alternative? Play Denard &amp; Gardner instead of Denard &amp; the running backs. Next alternative, recruit some backs in 2012 who can play against top defenses in the Big 10.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 8:54 p.m.

I asked this question early but I will be more specific now. 1. What does Denard bring to the table? - Speed, running skills, scoring threat from anywhere on the field at anytime, option skills, an understanding of the option read, arm strength. 2. What does Denard lack as a QB? - Height, Size, durability, accuracy, footwork, ability to understand and read Defensive scheme, throwing machanics, inability to read blitz packages and adjust. Some of these things can be overcome i.e. Vince Young, Tim Tebow, etc... and have been successful. 3. What does Devin Gardner bring? - Arm strength, accuracy, height, size, footwork, throwing mechanics, escapability. 4. What does he lack as a QB? - Experience, maturity, understanding of the offense, pure speed. The issue becomes, what do you do when Iowa, OSU, Nebraska, and possibly Illinois run a defense that forces Denard to throw and keep him from running (which they all have)? You lose that is what you do, unless you are incredibly lucky and have a bunch of turnovers go your way and penalties against the other team. What is the solution to the problems? Here is my Herman Cain moment with a 5 step solution to the problem: 1. In 2 weeks practice from the prostyle offense the entire time. (This creates balance in your offense and allows Denard time to throw) 2. Use Denards speed as a escape weapon and force teams to respect the RB game more. 3. For the love of god run the counter trey! 4. Get your Oline in a 3 point stance so they can achieve a lower pad level and win some battles. 5. Get Denard's footwork under control (he is a big boy, tell him if you step off of your back foot once during practice to throw down field you will not start against Purdue)! If None of those work then you know where you need to go! If they do then keep on teaching him.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

Sounds like you should be on the coaching staff, either that or you see Denard in practice all day every day. You and I and all of the other critics need to know that THIS coaching staff is working with Denard. They are judge and jury on whether to play Denard or Devin. Prior to the MSU game his passing stats were Top 15 in the nation in Div 1. You are overstating Denard's inablities and overstating Devin's abilities. As for Devin, what about the pass completion to the end zone when he was 3 yards beyond the line of scrimmage? Inability to understand the defensive scheme, poor judgement?


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

Regarding the debate; Denard's NFL future does not concern me. His playing days at Michigan concern me the most. Yes, he is a very erratic passer and needs to be much more consistent for the remainder of the season. Thus far, Denard has not cost us a game this season. His pick 6 late in the 4th quarter cost a chance to tie against MSU. The Al Borges' call on 4th a very short prior to that may have as much or more impact on our chances to tie the game so that's up for debate. It is worth mentioning that many of our fans often turn against our QB when they encounter difficulties. Chad Henne, a Senior in 2007 took a lot of flack after his disasterous start after two games so much that the fan cheered when he went out of a game injured. The fans were clammering for Ryan Mallet to step in. John Navarre got flack for four years. Every time a Michigan team lost a football game, fingers point to either the Head Coach or the QB. That's the way it is. Is it right? No, it is a terrible injustice. Each of the forementioned QB past and present has given us a lot of great moments to cheer about. You may not like 'em right now but in Denard's case, he'll come through.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 2:09 a.m.

Yeah Brady, Navarre and Chad H needed time to mature before they played well but Denard is not a young QB anymore, he is also a veteran. He has 20 games worth of experience already and should be playing well at QB if he is really at that position. Denard has 5 games and 1 year to go.

Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 8:09 p.m.

I tend to be in the same 'camp' as heartbreakM. IMHO, Robinson can be, an excellent college QB, with excellent running skills, and marginal to good, passing skills. The college game is just that..the college GAME! I have NEVER believed, that playing in college, was intended to be, merely a 'training ground', for the NFL. Frankly, all that is repugnant to me. Personally, I don't follow the NFL, and never will. The NFL, to me, is just business, not 'sport'. If there is an better kid out there, or a better 'leader', for the UM football program, I have not seen him. Having said that, I also like Devin Gardner, both as a kid, and as a QB. Both these guys, WILL improve, in their skills, and both will graduate, with great UM careers to look back on. And, if neither one, takes one snap in the NFL, I am just fine, with that! Lets' just say for now, that Denard, may become a sensational high school, or college coach some day, and have a tremendous impact on molding young men. Then I think, Michigan will always be proud to call him 'a Michigan man'. The same can be said for Devin Gardner. And I think it will. For now, I was in the group, that believed that Gardner deserved MORE reps against the first five opponents. I Believe now, that DR is no.1, clearly, and should be. I always believed that this team needs, TWO guys, to step in there, and lead this team. At the end of the exercise, it is TEAMS that win titles, NOT individuals. I still maintain that this team, IF it stays realitively healthy, CAN run the table. With help from Wisconsin and Nebraska, in the next two weeks, that is a distinct possibility. It is up to Hoke, to groom both these kids, and the remaining 113 players to do just that! Title #43 is STILL out there to be won, WITH Robinson, as our starting QB.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 7:50 p.m.

Am I the only one who is perplexed at the &quot;won't make it in the NFL as a QB&quot; contingent that speaks up from time to time. From Tim Tebow, to Denard, going all the way back to Vince Young (and many others) there is always a crowd concerned with whether a CURRENT college player has the goods to make it in the NFL. To this crowd I often ask? Why is this relevant to what he is doing now? Save that talk for the draft (like that is a good indicator anymore anyways) and focus on what they can accomplish in college. Or what they cant. Or how they can best serve the team right now. Not all the comments bash the player in question (like those above) but I simply do not understand why anyone is invested in a player so much to state they will or won't succeed in the NFL...WHILE THEY ARE SILL PLAYING IN COLLEGE? It makes no sense and serves NO purpose. There could and should be thousands of comments about Denard and his skills at the moment and how they pertain to the current Big Ten season. Denard struggles with passing ... this is great fodder for the NOW, not for the NFL. Everything else, is, well, nonsense.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 7:37 p.m.

Mick: I think you raise valid and interesting points, but my take on DR as QB is a bit different than &quot;does he throw well&quot;. I look at him as &quot;does he lead well&quot;, and to that, I say yes. As a RB, I don't think he would be as successful because he doesn't have the type of escapability that most RBs have (well, good ones) but when given space to operate where the defense must respect his option to pass, he has great escapability. I think that is why he runs so poorly when the better defenses are facing him--because they are taking away his run (much as a defense would if he was a featured RB). DR doesn't seem so much a &quot;hit the hole&quot; runner as a &quot;design option&quot; runner which you must do as a QB. His best runs on Saturday were the handoffs he got from Devin Gardner when they ran the end around (or his TD run which he barely got off when he broke a tackle-sack). I don't know why DR is having such difficulty throwing this year after making dramatic improvements last year. Is it offensive changes? Footwork? Confidence? Excitability? Whatever it, I'd have to believe is correctible. He is such a great leader of this team, that I think we give him the benefit of the doubt and say, he has earned his starting role for better or worse. I think he may never be All American QB, but he will be a memorable leader of the Wolverines team and a beloved athlete-student here. I think the coaches realize this and that is why they are subbing in Devin Gardner occasionally but leaving Denard in the leadership role.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 7:15 p.m.

For all those people that want to give credit to the WCIMFH for us having Denard on our team, he sure leaves a lot to be desired in the passing game and especially in big games. As much as I enjoy many of the things Denard does for us, we are being hamstrung by some of his deficiencies. It just seems like such a political quagmire for our beloved team. I honestly don't see him as a QB in the NFL, therefore he should concentrate on a position(s) that will give him the most upside for a future in that league. Don't get me wrong now, he's a great young man, but if he's unable to perform against the better Defenses in college, what do you think that would mean for him in the NFL? I see him as a Chris Johnson type RB at the next level, with his speed and elusiveness. This is going to be quite interesting and unnerving for us as a fanbase going forward, it would create a lot of debate. I just want us to win and mature in the right type of formation in the future, starting with Purdue. Some of Gardners' miscues was due to his inexperience on the field IMHO. Maybe with more time he wouldn't be making those miscues. The RB's might have more success due to a possible change, I believe Devin has a chance to be a Cam Newton type player if given the full time gig. I look forward to the debate that might ensue from my comment, if you disagree, please give plausible arguments, not hyperbole.


Fri, Oct 21, 2011 : 11:14 a.m.

Mick -- Denard was a better passer at this point in the sesason last year. Greater completion %, more passing yards, fewer INT's. Denard's mechanics have regressed a little and the pass play calling has not fit his strengths...IMO. Borges needs to look at more tape regarding throwing plays from last year.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 11:51 p.m.

What is Hoke's record in big games?