Michigan football coach Brady Hoke says Denard Robinson can be an NFL QB, despite what analysts say
The general consensus among National Football League analysts on Michigan football quarterback Denard Robinson is simple.
He'll be an interesting, athletic talent somewhere on a pro roster -- just not at quarterback.
With all due respect to those analysts, Michigan coach Brady Hoke doesn't want to hear it.
Don't tell him what Robinson can, and can't, do.
"I think he can," Hoke said Wednesday. "There will be other people that think he can't.
"But, you know what, that won't be their decision."
Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com
In an interview with The Associated Press earlier this year, Robinson said once his career at Michigan is over, his intentions are to pursue a career in the NFL at the only position he's ever known.
Robinson has been one of, if not the most, electrifying signal callers in Wolverine history during his tenure in Ann Arbor, but not really for his arm.
His 1,702 rushing yards in 2010 -- an FBS record for a quarterback -- seem to speak almost as loud as his 15 interceptions and paltry 55-percent completion rate in 2011.
He'll likely be a Heisman Trophy candidate when the 2012 season begins, but not for his pocket presence or throwing mechanics.
"He's not going to be a quarterback (in the NFL), no chance of that," ESPN NFL analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said shortly after the completion of the 2012 NFL draft. "He might be a 'wildcat' quarterback, but that's about it.
"He's going to have to have a position change."
Kiper, and others, have routinely suggested Robinson make the switch to wide receiver/ kick returner at the next level, and fully embrace the change moving forward.
If any position changes do happen, they'll have to wait until the 2012 college season is over. Asked if he has ever considered allowing a player like Robinson to tinker with other positions while in college to better serve his NFL future, Hoke's answer was a predictable "no."
"This is about the team," he said. "We all have signed on for Michigan. And we'll take care of Michigan first."
Despite all the chatter about Robinson's future, Hoke maintains he's rather comfortable with Robinson in the present.
In 2010, he set records in Rich Rodriguez's spread-option offense. In 2011, he struggled at times to adapt to first-year offensive coordinator Al Borges' hybrid spread/pro-style offense, but developed as a leader and managed to lead Michigan to a Bowl Championship Series win.
"I thought he had a very good spring," Hoke said. "His attention to the detail in the throw game was very good, and I thought it was good (last season) against Nebraska and I thought it was good against Ohio (State). I thought he was more decisive, and I thought fundamentally from a technique standpoint he's been better.
"We like the heck out of him as our quarterback."