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Posted on Tue, Apr 19, 2011 : 2:06 p.m.

Denard Robinson talks about adjusting to Michigan football team's pro-style offense

By Pete Bigelow

Denard Robinson broke free on the first play of the Michigan spring football game Saturday for a 55-yard run. That was Saturday's lone highlight for the quarterback, who otherwise went 5-of-14 passing for 68 yards - or 70 yards - depending on the source.

Here, Robinson talks with's Adam Rittenberg about adjusting to the pro-style offense, the effect it will have on his run game and his outlook on the 2011 season:



Tue, Apr 19, 2011 : 10:32 p.m.

Agree, XTR. My hope and assumption is the coaches will take advantage of the skill set of their current players. Rather than a square peg in a round hole, I believe what we will see is the converse - a round peg in a square hole. It will work, but it isn't a perfect fit.

Blu n Tpa

Wed, Apr 20, 2011 : 1:27 p.m.

XTR/1bit Both Coach Hoke and Coach Borges have stated many, many times that they will utilize DRob's skill set in their offense. What was the FIRST play from scrimmage last Saturday? DRob in his interview (available above) understands he needs to get better with his footwork and reads if he's to be successful now and at a higher level. The WR's are also on the record of being upbeat about this new offense that gives them more opportunites to produce. The TE's are absolutely giddy over the new playbook. Same with the RBs. This is all new to them and to us. I did like "a round peg in a square hole" analogy. I think the coaches have a different plan: Band saw, get the pieces to fit. TiM Go Blue!


Tue, Apr 19, 2011 : 9:49 p.m.

Forcing Denard to do a Tom Brady will be fitting a square ped to a round hole. That will be similar to making Tom Brady run the spread. If they still want Denard as QB, they should still make him run (QB draw) although in a lesser frequency than last year as the RB's, WR's and TE's get in the mix more. Making Denard a pure passer will make things more worse than last year, that is if the staff still wants Denard to play as QB.


Wed, Apr 20, 2011 : 1:05 p.m.

they should still make him run (QB draw) although in a lesser frequency than last year as the RB's, WR's and TE's get in the mix more Isn't that what Borges has been saying he wanted to do all along?


Tue, Apr 19, 2011 : 8:28 p.m.

"That was Saturday's lone highlight for the quarterback" Would it have been better for the team in the long run just to make that spring "game" a highlight reel of Robinson? Do we suppose perhaps Hoke and Borges knew there are other elements of a balanced attack that needed work, rather than Robinson's ability to run in a broken field? 5-for-14 passing ... do we suppose that maybe Hoke and Borges are working hard to break Robinson of his bad habit of tucking and running too quickly when receivers aren't obviously open? Do we suppose that opposing defenses last year knew of this trait and exploited it, which might explain some of dropoff of numbers for DR later in the year? I still think Hoke and his coaches know what they're doing. We stand a better chance of winning games we should and playing competitively in those we are at present overmatched.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 3:26 p.m.

With the drop back WCO, there will be a ton more situations where Denard needs to make a decision to throw it or tuck and run. His decision making was awful his freshman year, but still not so good his sophomore year. This is a major concern with more passing integrated into the offense. Given his speed, I'd rather see him tuck and run than chuck the ball away. He'll learn to get out of bounds.


Thu, Apr 21, 2011 : 5:51 p.m.

Blu, you're really stretching now.

Blu n Tpa

Wed, Apr 20, 2011 : 5:32 p.m.

tbf Well I thought I listed the benefits of having the rest of the offense on the same page as a plus for starters. Also getting more players into the mix is generally good for the team. And you are way too smart not to notice that DRob runs with elan and getting out of bounds isn't always at the top of his "to do" list, which is why "the Gardner" better be ready. But I think DRob wants to be successful in this new offense, mostly because he said so. Turns out for the WCiMFH, DRob running was his 'great LAST option' (captials added). At least his last option at Michigan TiM Go Blue! (Come on, that was funny!)


Wed, Apr 20, 2011 : 3:23 p.m.

Denard's issue last season was the opposite. He didn't tuck and run nearly enough on passing plays where nobody was open. He ended up forcing the ball into coverage, leading to incompletions or interceptions. Blu n Tampa - why wouldn't "run Denard, run" be the last option on every passing play? He's the fastest player on the field, so isn't that a pretty good option? As long as he gets out of bounds instead of taking open field hits, which RR stated Denard needed to do more, I see "run Denard, run" as a great last option.

Blu n Tpa

Wed, Apr 20, 2011 : 1:07 p.m.

Way to use those quotation marks, but that's not what DonAZ wrote. You left off the question mark which means it's a question, not a statement requiring a rebutal. I guess you could make an overreaching comment about DRob running on ANY passing play by simply implying that EVERY play in the WCiMFH playbook had as the last option, "Run Denard, Run". I do think DRob has a habit to "check" down to his feet a tad early on passing plays. If this was just about him, that might be OK but it also affects the WR and O-Line. They get in the habit of thinking it's 'one thousand one, one thousand two', DRob's either threw it or he's gone, so they give up on the pass play. My opinion is the Coaches want everybody to stay with the play for another second, at least. I think that Coaches Borges and Hoke sometimes want DRob to go through his progression and if nothings there, just throw it in the seats. Maybe the coaches don't want DRob being taken off the field because of a 3 yard run. Maybe they understand he needs to be in games at the end to be of any value to the offense, to the team. MAYBE they understand this is NOT the offense he WAS RUNNING! TiM Go Blue!


Wed, Apr 20, 2011 : 7:40 a.m.

Denard does NOT have a "bad habit of tucking and running too quickly when receivers aren't obviously open" that needs to be broken. Denard ran by design last season. I can count on one hand the number of times a pure passing play broke down and he ran last year. To say otherwise is to not understand the offense he was running.