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Posted on Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 3:51 p.m.

Pro potential? Should Denard Robinson stay at quarterback, switch positions

By Dave Birkett


Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson scores the first touchdown of the Wolverine's annual spring game, Saturday, April 17th at Michigan Stadium.

Lon Horwedel |

Denard Robinson has a good chance of winning Michigan’s starting quarterback job this fall. He may even be the favorite.

But a 6-foot, 188-pound sprinter with questionable accuracy and imperfect mechanics, most think Robinson’s NFL future is at a different position like receiver, return specialist or defensive back.

Robinson has said time and again he wants to remain a quarterback, and he chose Michigan because coach Rich Rodriguez gave him the opportunity to play that position.

“Rich and his staff promised my kid something,” Art Taylor, Robinson’s former coach at Deerfield Beach (Fla.) High, said this week. “I have total respect because they allowed him to do it. It would have been very easy to move him, it really would. But in Rich’s offense it makes sense to have Denard there anyway.”

Robinson’s unique talents fit perfectly in Rodriguez’s spread offense. He’s explosive, has a powerful arm, and like Pat White, who Rodriguez won big with at West Virginia, is a nightmare to tackle in the open field.

But if Robinson, or anyone, is a position switch away from a potentially big payday, what responsibility does a college coach have to see to it that happens?

“I think your responsibility as a coach is to make sure a player does all he can within your program to have success as a college student-athlete,” Rodriguez said earlier this spring. “To graduate with a degree, to have success individually and for a team. Is it your job to get him to the NFL? It’s your job to help get him there, prepared for it. But he’s got to be good enough individually and you got to do a good enough job teaching him to get there.”

Asked specifically about Robinson, Rodriguez said: “You got to do what’s best for your program. Our first obligation is to win as many games and have as much success at the University of Michigan as you can. And when we recruit guys, we say we’re going to help you achieve your goals and dreams and all that, but you’re playing for the University of Michigan and what are you going to do for our program. This is what we’re going to do for you individually as an athlete and a person, and then hopefully you’ll do this for us.”

ESPN analyst Todd McShay said during a pre-draft conference call in January that he subscribed to a similar philosophy.

When critics panned Florida coach Urban Meyer for not properly preparing Tim Tebow for the NFL, McShay defended Meyer.

“It’s not Urban Meyer’s job,” McShay said. “It really isn’t. I keep going back to that because Urban Meyer’s job is to win games and the job of his staff is to win games at Florida, and they won a lot of games during (Tebow’s) four years there. They got him to win a Heisman Trophy and they put him in position to make a run at a career in the NFL. And everything that’s come around with it, with all the fame that he has, I think he’s in position to do a lot of things off the field that maybe he wouldn’t be able to do if he didn’t play at Florida.

“Unless Urban Meyer sat in (Tebow’s) living room one day and said in four years I’m going to do this, this, this and this, and one of those promises was to develop you as best I can for the NFL, I don’t have a problem with it. I’m assuming that he didn’t because at no point in time has Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer’s relationship ever waned, it seems.”

Despite some suggestions he’d move to tight end or H-back in the NFL, Tebow was drafted in the first round as a quarterback by the Denver Broncos, No. 25 overall.

Taylor said Robinson believes he can reach the NFL as a quarterback, too, and Robinson showed remarkable improvement this spring. As a true freshman backup last year, he completed just 14-of-31 passes with four interceptions.

“Here’s the thing, Denard knows and we’ve told (him) as high-school coaches, ‘Denard, in the long run, you might be in the NFL a great defensive back, a great wide receiver,’” Taylor said. “In Denard’s mind - and this is what you want - Denard thinks he can play quarterback in the NFL, and you know what, who knows?

“I don’t know how much the NFL will change in the next two years. But I do know one thing, I do know Denard can play in the NFL at the receiver position or at the defensive-back position. I know that for sure. The kid’s just too explosive.”

Robinson and Tate Forcier, who started all 12 games last year, are expected to battle for the No. 1 quarterback job into fall camp.

Rodriguez has said Robinson will be on the field somewhere if he’s not the starter, but there are no plans for Robinson to change positions, now or in the foreseeable future.

Taylor said that’s the right approach, no matter how it impacts Robinson’s NFL prospects.

“Can Denard play receiver? Can he play defensive back? Hell, yeah he can,” Taylor said. “But that’s not Rich’s job. His job is to win. If you don’t win, like all of us, we get fired.

“Denard can play at that next level, and I think the NFL has always done that. The NFL will take people and move them to different positions, just like colleges do. But Rich promised him a chance to play quarterback and I think it’s the right position right now, especially for that offense.”

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.


3 And Out

Wed, Jul 28, 2010 : 7:42 p.m.

lol and spit out my energy drink while reading this article: Denard Robinson has 0 (NO) NFL QB potential. Let's just settle that right now...we all know it. Plausible scenario that will play out: D Rob shares QB with Tate this season. Shows flashes of athleticism but also flashes of mistakes and turnovers. Michigan struggles to finish 6-6 regular season and then drops the bowl game. Coach Harbaugh comes in to replace the failed current coaching staff... Harbaugh utilizes Devin Gardner to run his NFL style offense.... D Rob moves to slot receiver where he excells big time. Michigan starts winning again. Go Blue.


Tue, Jul 27, 2010 : 3:42 p.m.

Rich is going to run the ball,period.Denard can't break a window with his arm.Rich will wear Denard out on the ground,i bet he will run him 20 times a game.Tate will be back in there before long.

Sean T.

Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 11:59 p.m.

The purpose of the site is for us to blog, whether we agree or disagree. Every critic or arm-chair QB has the right to their opinion and nothing will change that! The folks that dislike RR have no more say in the productivity of the team than those whom love RR. There's no such thing as solidairty when the fan-base is split because of the stature of the program. What many of us see as a "rough-spot" is seen as "Total destruction" in reference to the football program. There's not one Michigan Fan that wants to lose but the negatives of the Head Coach are startling compared to what we had before he got here. Just because I think RR sucks isn't going to cause a Butterfly effect and they'll lose 9 games. His first season here no one was a RR hater and the team still played horribly so please folks stop calling us non-faithful because we love UofM so much that we want this rat-bastard out of Ann Arbor!


Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 6:41 p.m.

No sense in moving Shoelace,we promised him QB so leave him.Use him in a wildcat look if he doesn't beat Tate for the starting job.The kid will be a pro player,for now he's at UofM.Where we need him to win ultimately should be where he ends up on any given play.He has to much explosion to watch from the sidelines.GoBlue!!!!!


Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 3:21 p.m.

Its interesting how losing has turned everyone against the team that they "love." The real problem with Michigan isn't that we don't get the respect from the rest of the country but that it's the FANS and ALUMNI that are the detractors of the program. Think what you will, but Rodriguez is regarded by his PEERS (and not a bunch of unqualified critics) as having one of the best coaching minds in the game. How about some solidarity? If you don't like it, then shut up. You make the entire program look worse.

David Vande Bunte

Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 12:06 p.m.

When I watched Denard Robinson last year, I thought of one thing. "Antwaan Randle El". He was a QB for 3 years at Indiana, before switching over to WR for his senior season. He has had a decent if not great NFL career at WR, a career he never would have had if he had stayed a QB. I don't know if Denard is a Randle El yet, I am willing to give him through this season. If he has improved as much as reports out of spring practice have said, great. It means Michigan will be that much better this coming year. If those reports don't mesh with what we see on the field, and Denard continues to have accuracy issues, I think he will have to switch positions just to get playing time with both Tate and Gardner already at QB. It all hinges on his improvement throwing the ball.


Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 11:40 a.m.

DOC - the Ravens are an NFL team and I am talking college football. And you give one example in 10 years of a team with a bad offense and outstanding defense winning a ring. Not a big sample size. All I am saying is that Michigan's defense doesn't have to be world-beating to win championships (like 1997). They just have to be average (top 50 nationally). Couple that with an offense that is a machine (like top 10 nationally) then *I guarantee* that Michigan would be 10+ game winners every year. Just look at WVU with Pat White. Top 10 offense and top 50 defense and 11 wins every year. Admittedly, the problem right now is getting Michigan's defense from 90th+ ranked to top 50. The offense will be top 10 by next season.


Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 11:23 a.m.

Oh Macabre and Doc so you guys are saying that Clemson, Georgia Tech, West Virginia, Michigan, Minn, Central Michigan(last season who knows with the new caoch), BYU, Oregon, Florida and Mississippi State to name a few do nothing but play gimmick offensive football because they run the spread option. Last I knew it's about scoring touchdowns and stopping teams from scoring. You so called arm chair coaches seem to think that if it doesn't suit you idea of football it's gimmicky and are narrow minded. The spread option and spread is designed to get the offensive personel out in space one on one with a defender. What's gimmicky about that? Just because the QB has to be able to read the defense and adjust?....Give me a have more teams using the spread and spread option than ever before and they have been successful doing it. Florida won a NC running it. Until defenses learn to adjust you will see more and more of it like you did with the West Coast offense. Time to get into the new decade of football....the days of 3 yards and a cloud of dust is over.

Terry Star21

Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 11:23 a.m.

So right Michboy40 and my friend Theo212.....and the anticipation of seeing this locked-in future pro quarterback is exciting for this season. Only one year removed, by four years of improvement will show this season...they will hate him in columbus and wish they had him at michigan state penitentiary and our king RR will look like the coach of the year that he is...I am very realistic, and we won't win all thirteen, but michigan 10-12 wins - and that will be just great. Michigan - 38...osu - 3 (wind aided fg), Michigan- 38....msu - out of jail card


Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 10:28 a.m.

D Rob was a true Freshman last year. I'm waiting until after this season to see what kind of QB he may be. It's not until his Junior and Senior season that anyone should expect him to "come into his own". If D Rob struggles to separate himself from Tate and Devin, then he will be moved. No need to make that decision right now...

Jay Allen

Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 9:46 a.m.

@flyerpride01. AMEN!!! Perfectly said. This gimmick offense will yield 5-6 maybe 7 wins if they have enough kids to finish the season that have not been arrested. Iowa, MSU, OSU, Wisconsin and PSU are all losses. People, if RR was all that, he would have NEVER been allowed to leave. They would have done whatever it takes to keep him there. Your rose colored John Lennon glasses are not allowing you to see the big picture. U-M football is in trouble.


Mon, Jul 26, 2010 : 8:54 a.m.

The 2000 Ravens defense set a new NFL record in holding opposing teams to 165 total points; the feat eclipsed the mark set previously by the 1986 Chicago Bears of 187 points for a (16) game season. In fact at one point in the season the Ravens played (5) consecutive games without scoring an (1) offensive touchdown but still managed 2 wins during that stretch. It's hard/impossible to disagree that DEFENSE wins rings. BTW, this has NOTHING to do with Denard Robinson.


Sun, Jul 25, 2010 : 8:59 p.m.

No matter where they play, the NFL isn't going to be interested in someone that doesn't perform. Except for the extraordinary player, a lot of the success of a player is dependent on the head coach that is placing that player in the proper position. That coach must place all 11 players in the proper position on each side of the ball after teaching them how to play that position. So, in a roundabout way, a coach IS preparing a player for the NFL by providing an atmosphere that is noticed by NFL scouts. If that coach's playbook doesn't contribute to any player being noticed, he's doing a disservice to those players. You all have to decide if RR is doing that for his players or being stubborn-headed about sticking to "his" way of coaching a game. As far as offense or defense being the most important part of winning, I think that's a toss up for most, but defense can win games when the offense struggles (blocked punts, interceptions, etc all for scores). Defense can prevent an opposing team from winning by preventing them from scoring. The offense can't do that in any form. So my vote is for a better defense. Course, I went to VT, so I'm prejudiced. An explosive offense, on the other hand, only needs a mediocre defense, but then you're dependent on the other team being bad, which you don't have control over.


Sun, Jul 25, 2010 : 6:25 p.m.

Another point about good offenses versus good defenses. At the collegiate level, offenses are more prone to unforced errors be it fumbles, misreads, overthrows, wrong routes, etc. In college, if you have a defense that is good at stopping the run and you can force teams to throw 15, 20, 25 yard passes, then chances are very good you will be a top 20 defense. The corner or safety can totally screw up their coverage on 20+ yard pass plays but they're likely going to get bailed out by a poor throw, wrong route, or some other failure. Look at the best M defenses of the past 20 years. Both of those defenses were outstanding against the run (1997 and 2006). And it obviously helped to have Woodson in the secondary, which made that 1997 defense incredible. In the NFL, offenses are much better because the players are elite and rarely miss. So defenses need to be good at stopping every facet of offense.


Sun, Jul 25, 2010 : 6:21 p.m.

Agreed...barely a worthy article. Denard is only a sophomore, even with his advanced NFL skills we'll see from him this season, let's hold off - I for one don't want to lose this kid to the NFL next season or his senior year. Let the kid have fun - score 4 or 5 touchdowns against osu and maybe 7 against Big 10 doormat michigan state. It's all about fun for him...oh yes, and us - 10 wins minimum.


Sun, Jul 25, 2010 : 4:22 p.m.

He hasn't even won a starting position on a losing team and is asking if he has pro potential? Kinda like putting the cart before the horse. Go Green Go White!!!!

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Jul 25, 2010 : 4:08 p.m.

Just as an aside. I've studied the issue as to which is more important: offense or defense. The answer, breaking it down as much as I can, is almost equal. I found that offense is actually slightly more important, but the difference amounts to about 2% of any formula I can construct for winning football. Offense becomes a little more important at the professional level, mainly because defenses have to be designed to stop offenses, so it's more about the athletes and there's more parity in the NFL. If you look at Super Bowl participants, for example, the average Super Bowl offense is 25% better than the NFL modified average, while the average Super Bowl defense is only 17% better than average. Whenever I hear the homily that defense wins championships, I figure it's just a commentator trying to give the average fan something digestible he can remember to say to his friends after consuming 20 beers.


Sun, Jul 25, 2010 : 2:26 p.m.

This is a total non-article. If Denard is thinking of attracting the pro scouts why is he at Michigan? To be pro material one needs to be a top performer on a top performing team. That's big fish, big pond. Medium fish in small pond will not cut it. Even a big fish in a very erratic pond is not enough. Sorry guys I hate to hear myself say and I hope the best for Denard but he is in a tough position.

Sean T.

Sun, Jul 25, 2010 : 2:11 p.m.

The Michigan Offensive and Defensive Lines dominated no one. There was the common flash from our "season savior" Brandon Graham, whom we owe all gratitude for his explosion and great play. He was the only spark of the defensive side of the ball at all. Our o-line play had heady play by the center but he still dominated no one and schilling played pretty steady also. But overall both the O-line and D-line stunk all to hell!


Sun, Jul 25, 2010 : 1:55 p.m.

Jarhead - Very true words: "offenses win games and defenses secure them." Great offenses can give you insurmountable leads in games. The D's only job is to ensure those leads are maintained. In other words, you can bend but just don't break. I'll take a nationally ranked top 10 offense and a 50th ranked defense any day of the week over a top 10 defense and 50th ranked offense. Michigan's problem is the defense hasn't even been middle of the pack. It's way down in the 90 to 110 ranking for the past two seasons. Totally agree that RR's spread is much more interesting and exciting to watch than Carr's offenses. Not saying Carr wasn't effective, because he was, obviously. I just watched M-OSU 2009. You can tell the play designs are much more advanced than Carr's offenses. If not for true freshman mistakes, Michigan could've EASILY won that game. Tate had his way with the OSU secondary for much of the game. I have a lot of hope for this year's offense. You can see just how powerful it can be with an experienced QB.


Sun, Jul 25, 2010 : 7:40 a.m.

I don't know if RR is going to be as successful as Bill Belechick. And someone else may have made the transition easier at Mich. But he is here and I support him. I like his brand of football and the scoring potential and the excitement. I loved Lloyd (and Mo and Bo) but I had issues with Lloyd's conservatism and safe play calling. Boring! I wonder how well Lloyd would have done had he gone to Florida or Texas or USC, and changed their whole "culture"? And don't give me the argument of the quality of players he would have gotten. He still would have held the reigns back. (3 points against Ohio State?) The only game I saw where Mich really opened up was the Capital one bowl. That was the kind of playcalling that should have been there throughout the 2000's. Rememeber, when Moeller came back to Mich from Illinois he brought Lloyd with him. Mo and Lloyd were def coaches first. I have a problem with "defenses win games, or wins championships". Points scored wins the game. If you depend on your defense to score the points, you're in trouble. In todays game (overall) your offense better be a scoring juggarnaut. The statement should read "Offenses win games and the defense secures it". ESPN picked the Mich 97 defense as the defense of the century. We may see another like it but I wouldn't hold my breath. If any good def cord can pick apart this gimmick offense, then why didn't Lloyd and his staff. Jim Herrmann (def cord of the 97 def) got fired because of it. And Ron English didn't do any better. The spread is a sign of the times. And who says more of the pros will not change, even so slightly with more mobile QB's coming into the league?


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 11:17 p.m.

DOC - The O line was dominated against Iowa and OSU? Are you kidding me? What games were you watching? To the contrary, Michigan's D line dominated for much of the game against both OSU and Iowa. You need to go back and watch game film of last year. The 2010 Michigan offensive and defensive lines will be very good. I'll be the first to eat my words if I turn out to be wrong.


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 9:59 p.m.

We did not know how good we had it watching M football for the 45 years prior to the current situation. Those days are long gone. Now we're just like many many other NCAA teams trying to put together a winning season every few years. This is what life's like on the other side. We're livin' it, man. And, it's going to get worse before it gets better. At least the stadium is distinctive. There is no distinction in the level of play inside it. There is no distinction in mediocrity.


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 9:43 p.m.

Compair RR to Carr? It's called CLASS! Carr has it, RR doesn't. RR is what Martin and Colman wanted, and were willing to pay millions not to go under oath to explain how he got he. The Woman's Football Academy went from 500 to under 200 with RR. Will we even fill the Big House this year? WE WANT OUR CLASS AND RESPECT BACK!


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 9:05 p.m.

Macabre Sunset, I TOTALLY agree (so-far) with everything you've wrote on this subject. I hope we're wrong, but I seriously doubt it. The offense RR runs in the BIG 10 is a gimmick...but time will tell. From last year I noticed (2) underlying factors which I believe led to the demise of football season. The first thing I noticed was the team play went south when the weather changed in mid-OCT. If RR continues to recruit athletes from warm weather states and they begin to dominate the roster this could be a problem. I currently live in Miami and when the temperature reaches the 50's around here everybody starts bundling up. (i.e Robinson and Forcier) and the "U" hardly ever looks good playing up north late in the year either. Secondly, the offensive line got dominated last year against Iowa, P-St, Illini, and OSU. I cannot EVER remember a UM O-line getting pushed around like last year's unit. I did my research and I noticed RR did NOT have ONE player from West Virginia playing on Sunday's...ZILCH/NADA. You need to have the horses in the trenches to win at the game of football. I hope RR's 3-3-5 scheme works and we will see against OSU, since (to me) that's the game he must either win or at least the team must look good losing at Columbus. GO BLUE I AM DOC


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 4:21 p.m.

I watched some of the UM spring game, and I concur that Denard seemed to have much better mechanics. His decision making was quick and solid, too. I'm not sure how much was due to playing UM's second-string defense. In an absolute sense, he looked quick and accurate. Of course, the year the Lions went 0-16 they had a 4-0 pre-season record.


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 4:05 p.m.

Denard will have much more of a defined role at QB this year. His throwing mechanics are much much improved and his arm strength is wonderful. He knows the playbook now where as last year he was very much limited in passing plays. Denard showed more accuracy in the spring game still a bit of a zinger needs a little more touch but overall looks to be the better fit for this offense. Tate appeared to be the same QB while Denard appeared to be ahead of him but then again lets wait til fall. Either way look for much more QB play and throw in a little RB, WR, and return man possibly.


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 3:58 p.m.

flyerpride - what's with the Rich Rodriguez-bush thing? Seriously, politics have no place in a college football discussion. azwolverine - I am confident in RR to make this team better than ever. But my optimism is tempered knowing the roster issues RR has had to deal with in establishing his program here. That said, Michigan's non-conference schedule was rated the toughest in the B10. And there is nothing "manageable" about this year's schedule. The B10 is very good this year top to bottom. Michigan has a difficult schedule. Based on the last two seasons, it would be quite an accomplishment by RR and the team if they notched even 7 wins this year.

Macabre Sunset

Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 3:49 p.m.

Oh, and wolvdoug, as I've pointed out many times, the spread is a concept, like "west coast" is a concept. It is not a specific playbook. Rodriguez's version of the spread is a gimmick where the quarterback is primarily a zone-read running back. A good defensive coordinator can pick that apart relatively easily if he has decent athletes who can maintain a disciplined approach. In general, a "spread" is simply an offense where the goal is to read a defense dynamically, spread defenders out and create mismatches. You do see that at all levels of football, most notably in how the New England Patriots deploy their receiver sets. Do you want to compare Rodriguez's offense to Bill Belichick's? Do you think Tom Brady could quarterback at Michigan right now (given eligibility)?

Macabre Sunset

Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 3:42 p.m.

How did it work out when we had top recruits? Let's look at Lloyd Carr's record: 122-40 overall, 81-23 in the Big Ten, 13 bowl appearances in 13 seasons, one national championship, a share of five Big Ten championships. 74-12 in the Big House, 28.7 points scored per game, 18.3 points allowed per game, six seasons with 10 or more wins, one season with five losses. No less than five wins in the Big Ten in all 13 seasons, extending Michigan's streak of winning seasons in the conference to 40. That streak ended, not coincidentally, with Martin's Folly, otherwise known as Rich Rodriguez. Now let's look at The Failure's record: 8-16 overall record (it took Carr six seasons to reach 16 losses and he had his 8th the week before he beat Ohio State in his debut season. 3-13 in the Big Ten (it took Carr seven seasons to lose 13 games in the Big Ten and he is already sixth in Michigan history in Big Ten losses, while he remains tied for 12th with Langdon Lea in victories). He ended Michigan's 33-year run in bowl appearances, one that dated back to the days when Michigan went undefeated, tied Ohio State, and was denied a Rose Bowl berth because the quarterback was injured and the Big Ten presidents felt the Buckeyes had a better chance of winning. Big Ten championships? He tied for ninth in his debut season, he was even worse last season. National championships? Well, we know that answer. He's not adding to the school's 11 championships. 7-8 in the Big House, that's half as many home losses as Bo Schembechler had in 21 seasons. He's 1-8 on the road, and has managed to eclipse the great Langdon Lea, who never won on the road in his debut (and final) season 110 years ago. He has averaged 24.9 points per game (with help from Delaware State), but has allowed 28.2. In fact, despite the Delaware State massacre, his teams have allowed 330 and 347 total points in his two seasons. The previous Michigan record was 279. His nine and seven losses rank 1 and 2 in Michigan history. The eight games below.500 by far the worst stretch in the 131 seasons of Michigan football. He tied the Michigan record for losses in Big Ten play in 2008, and broke that record last season. In short, he has brought the greatest football program at any level in the history of organized sports to its knees. It will take years to recover from what Rodriguez has done. And that recovery will not take place with a tiny quarterback who can't throw. That's not football, that's just a gimmick that a decent defense (something you do find in the Big Ten) can easily defend.


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 3:26 p.m.

Good point michboy40...let me add this that there are so many teams running the spread or some form of the spread that they can't all be considered wrong or the offenses considered to be are just a few of the teams..Missouri,Oklahoma State, Texas, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Texas Tech, Illinois, Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan, Northwestern, Minnesota, Penn State, Purdue, Cincinnati, South Florida, West Virginia, Arizona, Oregon, Auburn, Florida, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, BYU, UNLV, Utah, Wyoming, Central Michigan.....This is just a growing list of teams that either run the spread or some form of it....Are they all losing top notch recruits?,,,,Are they all considered gimmick offenses?....I highly doubt it.


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 2:32 p.m.

"Urban Meyers job is to win games and the job of his staff is to win games at Florida" (and others say similar things about RR). I disagree completely. This is a athletic program at an educational institution, and at Michigan in particular. The top priority is to take care of those kids, to help maximize their development as students, as young men, and as athletes. For whom are they winning? The University's revenue? The coach's job? The fans? What do these kids owe to any of them? They aren't getting paid, for work that generates tens of millions of dollars in revenue. Either pay them, or make the priority their development and take the revenue we can still get. Now an unfortunate requirement (from the coaches perspective) is that while doing the above, they also have to win ~75-80% of their games, beat OSU, win Big Ten titles, and compete for national titles. And they have to do it all with complete integrity. I understand that's a tall order, but if they can't handle it, there are plenty of other coaching jobs available.


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 2:12 p.m.

To all of you lamenting the "system" RR runs, and the lack of top reqruits coming to Michigan I say this: How did it work out when we had all the top reqruits? Lloyd Carr was run out of UM with one of his most "talented classes ever". We had Henne, Hart, Long, Arrington, Manningham, Graham, etc... and could not even hold off Appy state!!! Top reqruits don't mean squatt! Guys that buy into the system are what makes a team go, they don't have to be five stars to win football games! I don't like some of the things RR is doing/has done, but the idea that our program will suffer because we are not sending guys to the NFL is bogus and narrow minded!


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 2 p.m.

I would love to see D ROb have a breakout season, but I think he's still a season away. He did not play much last year, so he is still pretty green. Neither of these guys are strudy enough to play the whole year without injury so I'm glad he is staying at QB because we will need him. They must find a way to get him and Tate on the field at the same time though, that's the key! When you have Tate in at QB, put d Rob in the slot or backfield. Anywhere but on the bench!


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 1:09 p.m.

Are we there yet? Just get this season started because at this point, no one knows what's currently going on or what's going to happen. I predict 8-4, but that's based on what I think Michigan (pre-RR, anyway) should be able to do in a down year against a manageable schedule, which I feel they have. Anyway, that's my pick, now I just want to get to the games to see because, as I said, no one really knows anything at this point.


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 12:42 p.m.

GOBLUE47..Honestly im the biggest die hard Michigan fan you'll ever run into..Im just old school Michigan.(solid defense, play action pass to the tight end, deep ball to your outside reciever, and looking forward to whos the next to don #1)..When Bo said a Michigan man will coach Michigan I got chills down my spine..Im all about the tradition of what Michigan was before Rich Rodriguez-bush took over the reigns..I'll ALWAYS be a Michigan fan, but when circumstances come about that I dont agree with i'll whole heartedly voice my views on what I feel about the program now..I refuse to sit back an act as if I dont see a HUGE problem with michigan football that I never imagined would come about..An in the event things get turned around this year, (which I highly doubt)i'll be the first to admit that I was wrong..An obviously u must care on my opinion GOBLUE47 because u took the time out not even to comment on the subject, but yet attack my views an opinions which doesnt make our defense or recruiting any better..Its not about me, you, or about Rich Rodriguez-bush restoring what was once known as one of the proudest college football programs in history.. Blah blah blah..when you start paying my at&t bill GOBLUE47 maybe i'll respect your opinions then. fair enough?


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 11:44 a.m.

@sparky79 robinson was playing against our number 2 defense in the spring game. if you recall our number 1 defense had lots of troubles.


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 11:12 a.m.

In the photo... it looks like the left shoe is tied! The right shoe may or may not be tied. This could be an indicator of changes to come.


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 9:59 a.m.

Michiganiac at least has a clue. No one kid is going to make RR's career or help RR keep his job if RR keeps his job it's becuase the powers that be feel that he is an asset to the University at the position of head coach. Some of you really thing your gibberish matters vs just enjoying good debate on this blog. Now here is a dose of reality I know who is going to be the QB this year, give up okay here it is boys and girls it's the QB that RR picks. Here's another interesting opinion or Maybe not interesting to some of you fortune tellers we need the season to start cause some of you folks are running out of things to say cause a lot of you folks are getting downright booooooooring as in in your saying a lot of nothing. At this point I would imagine RR feels more safe with Tate as I said, "At This Point". A spring game tells us a little about where Denard is but come on it's no where's near the measure of a game when the opposing defense will and I say will rattle and black and blue Denard. If in a real game Denard is better then he will get more playing time at QB but will share the position at best but then again RR will make that decision.


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 8:35 a.m.

sparky79 r u familiar with the infamous Allen Iverson rant on practice?...well if so then you should enjoy this.."spring game, we talkin about a spring game? not the actual game, but the spring game" again I deeply admire all the optimism but lets be honest with ourselves here Michigan is the only school in which D. robinson would have a chance to be a starter at..please someone name one other big ten school in which Denard would start at..illinois, (maybe) an people my opinion is just that (my opinion)..Rich Rodriguez-Bush has simply decimated everything that Michigan stands he'll try an change the winged helmets..4-8, 5-7 at best..whos the leader on D? maybe Denard can play nickelback.


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 8:08 a.m.

Perhaps this nothing article could have contrasted the differences between a spread O and a traditional pro offense. Good, bad, or indifferent Lloyd Carr & Moeller prepared guys for the NFL if they had the talent. Going back to the late 80's look at the M QB's. Grbac, Collins, Dreisbach, Navarre, Griese, Henne. The current QB's just don't match up in terms of pro ability and it is because of the system RR runs. We have lost a major recruiting edge as a result. The same can be said for RR's and RB's. Michigan needs to dump the jacked up high school offense.


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 8 a.m.

"I love the optomism of all of you, ( I really do) but what games were you all watching last year? (seriously) Denard appeared to be so lost in the sauce last year (clueless) it was so hard to watch.." You, obviously, did not watch Robinson in the spring game.


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 7:24 a.m.

I love the optomism of all of you, ( I really do) but what games were you all watching last year? (seriously) Denard appeared to be so lost in the sauce last year (clueless) it was so hard to watch..the kids 170lbs soaking wet, but yet an still at qb, rr-bush chose to run off of takle with the kid behind the shakiest line in u of m history! In my eyes an for the sake of the team, I feel its time to find out what other position Denard can play..(To me) he doesnt appear to have the savy of tate, or the promise of gardener..Maybe if rr-bush understood that a fake dive an sideways pass in the big 10 will never get it done..the cupboard is bare this year..I say play Denard at every position possible to fully utilize his talents..All the matters for rr-bush at this point is W's (wins) 10 -12 wins..(hahahahaha) hillarius..try 4-6 wins an maybe the pizza pizza bowl..


Sat, Jul 24, 2010 : 6:26 a.m.

tater wrote, " I'm looking for the "two-headed monster" at QB this year." Let's hope it's not the Fumble - Interception kind.


Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 11:11 p.m.


Macabre Sunset

Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 9:55 p.m.

That's a lovely sentiment: who cares if Michigan players excel in the pros? But unfortunately we should care very much. You see, the best players tend to end up in the NFL. And if Michigan is teaching an offense that you won't find in the NFL, the best players will avoid Michigan. Hence Michigan's first appearance outside the top ten in the recruiting rankings since before Lloyd Carr was here. The NFL is anything but stodgy. It does not, however, reward game plans based solely on gimmickry. RichRod has an entire playbook based on a similar concept to what is often called the Wildcat in the NFL. Run that 2-3 times a game, defenses are often fooled until a good defensive coordinator makes an adjustment or two. Plan for it, and elite athletes stop it. The Big Ten has elite athletes, and Rich Rod's gimmickry is a giant FAIL. As is his recruiting. And his quarterbacks. And, unfortunately, Denard Robinson unless he converts to a position better suited to his decent skill set.


Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 9:27 p.m.

It really is disappointing that our first concern is not that all our athletes graduate with a first class UM degree. I love a winner, but it is even sweeter when it is done right. As long as we provide this opportunity the TEAM will benefit over the individual.


Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 9:18 p.m.

Who really cares where Denard Robinson plays if goes to the NFL? I totally agree with Michiganiac. It doesn't matter what they do in the NFL or how high they get drafted, only what they do at U of M. I mean of course it's always cool to see former players excel in the pros but if I had to choose, I would always choose for them to do well at Michigan instead of in the NFL. Obviously you have to do well in college to get in the NFL, but you know what I mean. Besides, if Michigan is to do well this year, it starts with the defense. The worst defense in Michigan history for the past two years simply isn't good enough. To me, the safety play is what killed them the most. Give Kovacs credit I mean the kid tries hard, but he just isn't what they need at safety. Hopefully Cam Gordon can help solve that problem, but be ready to see some big plays come from the opposing offenses. Losing Graham is going to take a big toll on their d-line (obviously) which won't help the DBs one bit giving opponent's QBs more time to throw. I'm still looking forward to Michigan football as always so hopefully Rodriguez can work it out. GO BLUE!!


Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 9:07 p.m.

I like Denard. If he stays off the cell phone on the sidelines before the game, the sky is the limit including the NFL. Go blue!


Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 8:03 p.m.

All this talk of Denard Robinson switching positions is premature. Going on last year alone, you could say that Forcier is *the* starter based on passing ability alone. However, last year also showed that its not a sure bet by any means that Forcier will be able to stay healthy for an entire season. He's small and he's going to take a lot of hits playing in this offense. You think Michigan pulls off that epic 2004 comeback vs. MSU if Drew Stanton stayed healthy?


Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 7:28 p.m.

Good grief, he's just entering his second year. It is a bit early to be thinking NFL, but that may become clearer by the end of the season. Seems to be a dilemma with two outstanding prospects. Who plays and who sits? And will one leave if they sit? Mallot did well leaving in order to play. I sure wish all the articles on M football were about defensive players instead of offensive players. I do not like the lets see if we can just outscore our opponent game plan. "If you score you may win. If your opponent never scores you will never loose." Defense wins ball games. Go Blue

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 7:10 p.m.

He's not ever playing QB in the NFL. He can't even throw a pass. He's not durable enough to play RB, and, given RichRod's gimmicky offense, he's going to have to run the ball 15-20 times a game. Odds are good Robinson will break, like most RBs that size who are given that kind of work. This offense can't work in the Big Ten, and whoever is coaching in 2011 will have to hope Devin Gardner can throw the ball.


Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 6:13 p.m.

"Can Denard play receiver? Can he play defensive back? Hell, yeah he can, Well he should get a chance to play QB if that's what he wants to do. If he "throws" the ball anything resembling last year then move him to any other position.


Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 6:06 p.m.

To me this is a nothing story.Who cares what these players do in the nfl. They are members of the UofM football team and I really only care what they do here.Don't get me wrong I like to see people from the uofm get drarft and drafted high.But to worry about what position someone plays so they can make it to the next level.Is putting the cart before the horse.The only thing these kids should worry about right now is what they do on feild this year.Let the rest sort itself out, because most the time thats what happens.If you deserve to play in the nfl and your the right size/shape you will get drafted. To me if i follow the logic of this article Mike Hart should of never played at runningback or for the uofm.He was to small to be an nfl back and we all knew it all along, But we loved him wearing the maize and blue on saterdays didn't we.


Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 5:11 p.m.

You can't judge Denard until he has more experience and their is more depth, talent and experience around him,which should be this year.


Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 4:56 p.m.

Denard has almost a zero chance of becoming an NFL QB. He does not fit the NFL QB profile at all, at least right now. He does have an excellent chance at another position, but due to Michigan's shortage of players at QB, he needs to stay there. Devin Gardner is still the best prospect of the 3, but will take time to grow into the position. To be effective and become a starter this year, Robinson MUST become a solid passer. Last year, he wasn't credible throwing the ball. He ran a lot of the time and used the pass as an occasional decoy. But, the other team rarely bit on it. He needs to be effective at BOTH running and passing. We'll see after the summer camp where he stands.

Sean T.

Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 4:56 p.m.

If Denard wants to play in the NFL he'll have to change positions. Sadly, history has shown a change of positions for his skill-set except for Micheal Vick. But never say never, he may develop into a good passer with the right tutelage. I even seriously doubt he will be the starter at the UofM but he will be a intricate part of the offense and special teams.


Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 4:55 p.m.

There are some defenses in this league they will have Denard and Tate for lunch. Even if they can be somewhat successful they still have to stop somebody. Don't see it 5-7 wins max


Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 4:25 p.m.

Shoelace can be the second coming of Pat White. If Denard gets better at the zone read hand off and is a serviceable passer, there is no doubt this offense will be very explosive.


Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 4:13 p.m.

I have to agree with the general sentiment here, it is not a college coaches job to prepare an athlete for the NFL. Does it often happen that college is a springboard? Of course. Denard vs Tate? I love the idea of a competition and the team can't lose if there is an open competition. Tate can throw better based on past appearances, but will that remain the case? 8 wins this year is about what I expect, not what I want


Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 4:10 p.m.

"...but I see coach using a 2 qb system defenses wont know what to do." Crush two tiny QBs instead of one and force Devin Gardner to burn his pretty red shirt.


Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 4:05 p.m.

In RR system, the QB as a threat to run is key to their success. While Tater has the experience and a good arm, his ability to consistently run is limited, thus opposing defenses will be able to adjust. What gives Shoelace the advantage is that defenses will always be looking for the run but not necessarily the pass which Shoelace has the arm to produce. I respect RR for giving this young man the chance to be a college QB because all too often everyone wants to convert Black QBs into traditional positions of reserved for Black athletes. Robinson is going to win a lot of games of M and he will be a job saver for RR.


Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 3:48 p.m.

Unless he has vast improvement Forcier has the experience and is a better thrower but I see coach using a 2 qb system defenses wont know what to do. go blue


Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 3:46 p.m.

How is there going to be 10-12 wins, if the team doesn't even have a clear cut QB at this point?

Terry Star21

Fri, Jul 23, 2010 : 3:37 p.m.

If you look at the history, there have been athletes that have grown as much as 4 inches in college...this kid has all the tools and he has worked hard to improve himself and has done very well...I like Tate, but Denard will be our quarterback...... 2010 Michigan, Denard @ QB............ 10-12 wins