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Posted on Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 4:02 p.m.

Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez not concerned with Tate Forcier's Saturday demeanor

By Michael Rothstein

Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez would have preferred to discuss starting quarterback Denard Robinson.

During Monday's press conference, he was visibly bothered by numerous questions about the status of one reserve quarterback Tate Forcier.

During Saturday's season-opening, 30-10 win over UConn, television cameras and reporters in attendance watched Forcier -- last year’s starting quarterback -- separate himself from teammates.

Rodriguez said Monday he wasn’t bothered by Forcier’s demeanor during the game and that it was a non-issue.


Sophomore quarterback Tate Forcier, who started all 12 of Michigan's games as a freshman, did not play on Saturday against UConn.

Melanie Maxwell |

“Is the coach making a big issue out of it? No,” Rodriguez said. “Any time somebody doesn’t play, whether it is Tate or somebody else, they are probably going to be disappointed. I don’t see a problem with guys being disappointed if they don’t play.

“Now, if it crosses the line as far as not being a team player and all that, then we’ll have a conversation. If we need to do that, I’ll do that.”

When approached after Saturday's game, Forcier said “All you need to know is I’m out.”

On Monday morning, Forcier was seen entering Schembechler Hall for a workout with the rest of his teammates.

Forcier’s father, Mike, told both the Associated Press and MGoBlog that his son would not be transferring from Michigan. Forcier’s father told the AP his son is “150 percent fact” staying at Michigan.

Forcier did not play a down against Connecticut. When Robinson briefly left the game with an injury, true freshman Devin Gardner came in to replace him.

Rodriguez said Monday that Robinson -- who earned Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors -- will start again against Notre Dame on Saturday. Both Gardner and Forcier, Rodriguez said, will see reps during practice.

Rodriguez, though, isn’t concerned by Forcier’s apparent displeasure with not playing Saturday.

“Do I look concerned to you all? I’m just asking,” Rodriguez said. “I’m concerned with all our players. Let me make it clear, every one of our players, I’m concerned with every one of our players all the time. All the time, both what they do on the field and off the field, that’s what you do as a coach, you’re concerned about your players just as you think a parent would be.

“So am I concerned that it’ll affect the team? Nah. Nope. Am I concerned about the players? Sure. I want all my players to be happy all the time. Inevitably, 110 of them probably won’t be. But, for the most part, if you win, you would expect most of them to be happy or fake it.

“But, again, I don’t blame guys for being disappointed if they don’t play. That’s human nature.”

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 8, 2010 : 6:38 p.m.

Take away Tate's contribution last season and RR would already be gone. I don't know why RR's knickers are in a knot, be he needs to get over it.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 1:48 p.m.

Hang in there, Tate!


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 1:36 p.m.

I have to agree that Tate is a good QB and should be given the chance to play. That is, if he isn't engaging in some behaviors that might lead coaches to question his commitment. Those who stay will be champions.


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 10:37 p.m.

"You guys have a team that could amount to something this year. You have a skunk for a coach, though. You all will see that one day much like others (WVU and some UM players) have already witnessed." I thought he stunk from the way he left WVU and fired our entire staff his first day on the job. And to this day he has accomplished anything of significance, unless you count us throwing a big party over the slightest chance of a winning season; he's succeeded at lowering our expectations to a place they haven't been in 45 years.


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 10:03 p.m.

After all the reasons to glorify RR after Saturday, I still see a lot of you see him in his true light. He'll kick anyone under the bus. Poor Tate - he saw this too late. If RR decides not to use Tate all year, it's a real shame RR didn't let Tate know of the decision until after the year started for obvious reasons. I'm sure RR knew well before Saturday how he'd use his QBs. I am all for using the best players. I don't have a problem with benching someone who is less suitable for the starting job. But there is no reason to hide behind secrecy when it comes to something like this. Tate had every right to know he wasn't stacking up for remaining to be the starter. If he hadn't been a starter in such a fashion as the previous year, then it would have been a different story. If anyone made a story out of all of this, it was RR and his drama-playing. I'm sure we'd heard excuses about how Tate let the team down some way and he had to use a backup if the game hadn't gone the way it did. RR plays these little tricks and keeps his card close to his vest until he needs them. You guys have a team that could amount to something this year. You have a skunk for a coach, though. You all will see that one day much like others (WVU and some UM players) have already witnessed.


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 7 p.m.

The issue with Tate and RR is simple, RR doesn't need Tate anymore and wants his scholorship. Do you recall the QB's inherited when he arrived and who stayed and where are they now. What everyone needs to realize is that we have three fantastic QB's that any other school would love to have. There is only one person that can take the snap so the it is highly probable that DG and Tate will move on to another school since DR has two more years of eligibility. Spread QB's don't leave early for the pros and normally don't make a team. Pat White was cut by the dolphins.


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 6:40 p.m.

Don't go anywhere Tate. This was just one game and if Shoelace gets hurt or has a bad game, another number will get called. I don't want to go back to last year with a 18 year old QB in the Big Ten. Just don't want to go back there.

Jay Allen

Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 2:52 p.m.

Katrina Hancock from WDIV Channel 4 in Detroit on her Twitter is reporting Tate is all set to transfer. This broke last night. Yes, UConn is over rated. Disagree, that's cool and that is your right. But tell me this, *IF* UConn had been in the Big 10 last year and played U of M's schedule, does anyone really think they would be 8-5? They were much slower than Michigan. The quarterback was launching ducks up on anything over 12 yards. Against a bigger, stronger, faster team, they are exposed. Playing against Big East teams, sure they may be 8-5, whatever. They are GREAT for where they play. Give it to them for that. But they were 3 point under dogs with an over under of 52. They got beat by 20 with an over/under of 40. Those that are ON CAMPUS and are in the know will tell you when you get on RR's blacklist, you are done. Brandon Minor is a classic example. The kid wasn't hurt, he just would not bow to RR. Now I do not know the issue with Tate and RR. I do know it is deep and the two will not communicate. And most of us here are adults and I know a few commenting have kids. Now please THINK!!! If your son started in any sport for a prestigious school (Michigan)one year and the next year he was on the outs, what would you do? If you thought being at Michigan was the BEST thing for him academically, you TOO would go to the press and play nice. Exactly what Tate's daddy has done. Trying to make nice. It is too little, too late. Lastly, I want U of M to go 10-2. Beat OSU, play January 1'ish and have a great year. I WILL come back here and i WILL admit I was wrong, if this occurs. But how many of the Kool-Aid drinkers will come back WITHOUT EXCUSES and admit *IF* they are wrong? Then we'll see how crow tastes with Kool-Aid.


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 12:11 p.m.

I think there might be a bigger issue if Tate looked happy or like he didn't care that he wasn't playing on Saturday... Hope Tate received good advise from dad/friends/team mates/coaches and is working hard this week.


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 11:31 a.m.

I wish there wasn't so much whining about this. Tate said he was going to stay (or his Dad did), I hope he does too. And just because he didn't play in the opener, doesn't mean his skills will not be needed on another date. Personally, I like the whole idea of having Tate's spotlight reduced. While NDame (or any other opponent) is prepping for UM's Denard Robinson, we may just choose to unleash a vertical game on them with Tate. Let's not mourn about the coaches decision people; there are several games yet to be played. For now, lets enjoy our win, support our team and get ready for the Domers. Go Blue!


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 10:16 a.m.

I've heard that Tate did not work that hard during the off season. I'm not sure if he just thought he had the starting job wrapped up since he proved himself last year. Looks like DROB was just hungrier and the best player gets to start. I still think if Tate works a bit harder he will see some significant playing time this year. I want two great QB's ready to lead this teams. So I hope Tate gets himself ready to be able to lead this team


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 8:43 a.m.

I'm waiting for today's article: "No Word Yet Today On Rich Rodriguez's Level Of Concern Over Tate Forcier And Transfer Rumors." @righteouswinger: The reasons Tate lost his wings are well-documented, and were serious enough that even his teammates have referenced them to the press.


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 8:25 a.m.

Headline: Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez not concerned with Tate Forcier's Saturday demeanor Rich Rodriguez; "Im concerned with all our players. Let me make it clear, every one of our players, Im concerned with every one of our players all the time. All the time, both what they do on the field and off the field, thats what you do as a coach, youre concerned about your players just as you think a parent would be." Think you're sensationalizing? Is your job to create news, or report news?

Elaine F. Owsley

Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 7:19 a.m.

This is another example of what happens when one player is given so much press. A very young player (Tate) who perhaps isn't mature enough to handle the situation realistically. "Too much, too soon" applies here. Let's hear more about the TEAM - no one player wins the game alone. The coach doesn't win the game by himself. Think "group effort" guys!!!


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 7:15 a.m.

"Poor um. Win a game but still have the dark cloud over your head." Poor MSU, win a game and you are still completely irrelevant.

Jim Nazium

Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 6:06 a.m.

This type of story and some of the responses are a prime example of the "wussification of society". Life can be disappointing, grow up, learn, try harder, appreciate what you have, yada yada.... Geesh, these wimpy comments by some who are of the "National Enquirer" mind-set, make me wanna puke. I would be willing to bet that "They" are the kind of people who would vote to have Dodgeball eradicated from all schools so the weak ones wouldn't get pummeled and actually learn to Respect those with a Great Arm and superior athletic talent! Where's Abe Simpson when you need him to tell us about bravery and heroism?


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 5:49 a.m.

I'm guessing that Forcier has a scholarship that Rod would like to have back, so he can give it to someone else. So, I'm guessing that Rod is in the process of throwing Forcier under the bus, just as he threw W. Va. under the bus, and his real estate co-investors under the bus. Can someone tell me why Forcier hadn't earned his "wings" until recently? I'm telling you, this is RR all the way, screwing people over to benefit himself.


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 4:48 a.m.

Tate's toast and he knows it.


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 4:28 a.m.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of disappointed players all over the country. This is a non-story.


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 4:04 a.m.

After watching UM play such a great game, I have to defend RR this time. Is that me really saying that? Anyway, I said it. For the last two years, I've watched UM football and kept saying to myself that the QBs I saw would never fill the bill if RR was going to bring WVU football to UM. Seeing the similarities to Pat White, the almost gold and blue uniforms, and all, it almost made me think WVU was playing UConn again. RR played the right guys Saturday in the QB spot. And unfortunately for Tate, he's not the kind of guy that fits the RR type of team. As far as UConn being an able opponent, I think they just had a bad, first game of the year. A few more receptions and less dropped passes and they'd been in the game. UM probably played well enough to have beaten them in any event. Now that all you UM fans have seen RR's game like it's supposed to be played, I think you'll agree with me finally that your QBs are going to get their bell rang once in a while. He's just too exposed to hits and leg injuries. A freshman QB might or might not be good enough to fill in for an injured starter. I still don't think Tate would be a suitable fill-in. My guess would be he hits the road sometime soon. I feel like I know UM football better than most of you up there since I've watched this very same game plan for so long. I kinda think that next Saturday will tell whether UM has learned the WVU style of football well enough to say they're back, or that UConn was really overrated. But one thing I can say is that UM has a solid foundation to become a power again now that they've learned to play the game the coach has been force-feeding them for the last two years. Still don't like the guy, but RR and UM played a great game Saturday. Congrats to all of you up there.


Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 12:50 a.m.

Mr. Rothstein unlike your last story I see you decided to list Associated and MgoBlog as sources in this story. However, I think you listed sources for cover rather then any ethical obligation, it seems to me that you would enjoy a soap opera more then a football game. I dont see anything new in this story from your last one besides listing your sources and then listing the questions the press asked the coach and his responses that dismissed the speculations you made in your last story.


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 10:55 p.m.

as usual Rod Rich is foolish


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 10:05 p.m.

It is an interesting problem isn't it? Three quarterbacks, all who could start at other schools and two who may not get much playing time. Stay or go? The problem with going is there really is not guarantee of playing time. Transfer to another school this month and be eligible in a year. Might work out, but what if that school recruits a top QB? Stay and perhaps step in due to an injury or just a bad game by the No 1 QB. DR was fantastic, but its just one game, maybe too early to tell if he can sustain this level of play. ND game is going to be very interesting. But the bottom line is, defense wins ballgames.


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 9:56 p.m.

I have a question....why don't we have Tate be the QB and Denard as a slot/running back?? Wouldn't this make it the best of both worlds? we have a good passer with some running ability and all of Denard's talents on the field at the same time.


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 9:48 p.m.

"Even on one of the greatest weekends of RR's tenure at UM, the "whine and sleaze" segment of the press wouldn't let him enjoy the fruits of his labor, preferring to "stir the pot" and continue in their attempts to sabotage the program. " It's the job of the media to get and deliver facts, not participate in the coach's self-thrown party for his one game winning streak. Whether our only other QB with any game experience (and also our most experienced QB) is planning to stay is a big deal and as a fan I want to know what the coach has to say about it.


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 9:37 p.m.

I suspect Tate will get the last laugh. Although I wouldn't want to see it, it's not an unlikely scenario that Tate will leave, DR will get banged up, and Gardner won't be able to produce the wins RR will need to keep his job. Leave now, Tate, or you'll be as big a dope as Rodriguez for burhing Gardner's redshirt.


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 9:34 p.m.

Does anyone know whether Tate could play in 2011 if he does not get on the field for UM and transfers mid-season? I'm assuming not, but I don't know for sure. By waiting until after the first game was played, did Tate ruin his chance to play in 2011 somewhere else?

Sean T.

Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 8:06 p.m.

Actually for RR to be not concerned is an issue! That sounds like "I don't care because I don't need him". Tate did a lot for the UofM in his short period of time here and it will be a painful loss if he leaves. Just watch, when the rest of the opponents force Denard to pass and he can't deliver a deep-out or a seam-route. Our offense will be much worse than last year! Remember folks, that the jury is still out on Denard's passing ability and I for one believe nothings changed too much.


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 8:03 p.m.

I don't agree that UConn was overrated. They were 8-5 last year, and their five losses were for a total of 15 points. They returned a majority of their starters. Hence, they really weren't that overrated at all. Give Michigan some credit, but yes, their quarterback and receivers missed some big play opportunities, but that happens nearly every game to nearly every team.

Jimmy Olsen

Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 7:49 p.m.

Since Tate's Dad had to come to town this summer and put Tate back on the straight and narrow - I'd bet he stays. His summer work obviously was not up to par with Denard or Devin. If he works hard he'll get his reps. Meanwhile - lets count our blessings to have 3 good QB's, odds are someone is going to get banged up sometime this season.


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 7:15 p.m.

Knowing Tate's dad, I think he would of called out the media if they were off base. But, his dad seems to know that exactly what was reported was exactly how his son was feeling and what was meant. No out of context comments from dad... So, I'm guessing Tate leaves. Especially since he didn't play at all. Doesn't that mean he can sit out this season when he transfers, and start next season? Just my wild speculation. Maybe I should check out his website for updates! QBFORCE dot com : Alright!


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 7:05 p.m.

Forcier is an idiot if he doesn't transfer: he now knows what he didn't before the UConn game: Gardner won't redshirt. Forcier is fabulously talented, and should move on. UConn was VERY overrated. The quarterback was jumpy, shifty, nervous, threw like a schoolgirl. Just horrible - I would guess he hasn't recovered completely (physically or mentally) from his knee injury. And the defense never learned from play to play. Very puzzling performance.


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 6:45 p.m.

Agreed, Wonderin'. How about that Mr. Rothstein? Do you still believe your earlier interpretation of the "out" comment? You seemed pretty sure at that time.


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 6:37 p.m.

Maybe too much emphasis is being placed on Forcier's reaction Saturday. He is still young and has probably had most things go his way up until now. As a consequence, he felt disappointment in not being able to play, but there may be more to the situation than is seen by the media and fans. I would have thought that Tate would have come in for Denard, but that was a coaching decision and they will have to be responsible for their actions. Hopefully, Tate can get his act together and be a productive team member. Again, one never knows, maybe he will see action against ND, considering he beat them last year as a freshman.


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 6:20 p.m.

It's pathetic that Michael Rothstein wrote an article slamming a kid based on a statement taken out of context, and was one that could also be interpreted in more than one way. It was a lame, mean spirited article and an example of heartless yellow journalism.


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 5:53 p.m.

4-0 last year to start and these articles were all about how great Tate how things change so fast in Wolverine Nation. Like a hypodermic needle of high-grade Kool aid, this win was... It's one win against an above-average Big East team that played very horrible horrible football on Saturday. Let's hold the Kool-aid, people. Snicker at "RR's great victory..." lol...


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 5:46 p.m.

jcj, You are 100% on the money. The media has a job to do and if they only ask softball questions, they won't have a job for long as no one will be interested in reading. But, as we know the word 'fan' comes from 'fanatic.' Some people on this page have a difficult time dealing with the reality that their thoughts and opinions are not the only ones that matter.


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 5:46 p.m.

I'll take a victory an way we get it, but that wasn't a "great" victory. It was an overrated team we should have beaten, and we did. Good start. As Denard gets hit 20-30 times a game, we'll see if he can keep this level of intensity. Tate was great early too, but the hits add up and wear you down. That's what is wrong with this offense. And the DBs didn't get challenged by deep throws. They will. Kelly is a great coach, and I'll bet ND comes out throwing deep over and over. If we can't stop them, it will be ugly. Finally, RR saying a player will stay has a 50/50 probability of being true, based on previous comments.

Jay Allen

Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 5:10 p.m.

This entire thing started back in the summer. There is an issue with Tate and RR. RR wanted to "show him" who was boss and did not let him have his wings. RR tried to cover it up by saying "he wasn't in shape". Right.......2-3 weeks in all of sudden he's in shape? I have been an athlete all of my life. In the grand scheme of things, 2-3 weeks is a blink of an eye and those who believe that rubbuish are not very smart. Then when the rumors started 1 month ago about Tate transferring, all of a sudden he got his wings. RR gave in just to shut people's mouth up. And just like Minor last year, Tate is in RR's doghouse. Tate is gone, I said this 3 weeks ago. Might being during the season and it may wait until end of school year, he's done, stick a fork in it. Dennis Fithian and I had a nice, LONG conversation about Tate. He knows what I know and more important, WHO it came from. BTW, I told Dennis who would start yesterday, I was right. Trust me, including YOU tater, everyone who is sipping Koo-Aid thinking Michigan is back, just wait until they play a real team. UConn was obviously over rated and UConn made many mistakes that were unprovoked. After ND, Wisconsin, Iowa, MSU and OSU let's see if the Kool-Aid is still plentiful.


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 5:05 p.m.

@Tater "On a day where RR should have been asked nothing but questions about Michigan's great victory" You gotta be kidding! I now think this story is being beaten to death, BUT you and others that want nothing but soft questions for RR are nothing more than cheerleaders for the U of M. It is not the job of the press to be cheerleaders any more than it is their job to purposely try to stir up trouble. But it is their job to ask legitimate questions! And that's exactly what they were doing.


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 4:24 p.m.

Robinson had a super day and I enjoyed every minute of the game. However, Tate is too good to sit on the bench. I wish he would transfer so we could watch him play as well. He is better than half the QB's I watched this week end. Come on down to Alabama, our Senior QB will be gone next year and you would fit very nicely with Saban.s guys!


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 4:06 p.m.

Absolutely no way that Tate is not better than Devin Gardner. The fact that he's third string means he's still in the RichRod doghouse.

Lorain Steelmen

Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 4:05 p.m.

This is still a team game, and there will be many opportunities for all three QB's. Coach Rod has said he wants two or three guys, at every position, that we can win with, and I take him at his word. It's time to focus on Notre Dame. We'll need EVERYONE on this squad, contributing at his best, to win this game. Go Blue!


Mon, Sep 6, 2010 : 3:56 p.m.

I'm still bummed by this whole thing with Tate. I watched a video of all the plays Forcier made last year, and there's no doubting his moxie, pocket presence, and throwing accuracy. Sure he made some mistakes, especially late in the year after injury, but I have no doubt that this team could win with Tate Forcier. Don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic that Denard is our starter, I just wish I knew Tate was our #2, given his experience and what he accomplished early last season. I wish Tate would have gotten at least a series last week, even though Denard was beyond lights-out. I don't buy into people saying he's a whiner or cry baby. He's a competitor. He wants to lead this team. Unfortunately for him, after last week it looks like he isn't going to have that chance, even if Denard gets hurt. As it is, I'm going to trust in Rich Rodriguez and the coaching staff to put the best possible product out on the field. After all, they want to win even more than I do.