Q&A with Al Borges, offensive coordinator of the Michigan football team
Al Borges, the new offensive coordinator of the Michigan football team, spoke at length Wednesday about his background, his plans for the Wolverines’ offense, and perhaps most importantly, Denard Robinson.
Here’s a sampling of the questions he received, along with his responses.
Q: Is Denard Robinson a good-enough quarterback for the NFL?
A: There’s no question. His arm is not the issue. He’s got plenty of arm. We just need to see how he fits with NFL schemes and see how he can do. Again, I’m just judging that based on watching film. I have not stood there and gotten a chance to coach him.
Q: Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison didn’t want to watch last year’s film. You did. What did you learn?
A: What they did in the past, really, is a little irrelevant. But I watch film to see a) if there are relative schemes to what we’re doing so the transition can be a little smoother and b) what is the skill level of the players I’m working with?
I’ve got to watch Denard Robinson to see - I know how well he can run - I need to see how well he can pass. I watch to watch some of the running backs who may only have 20 carries, but I want to see those 20 carries to see how they might be used.
Q: How do you tweak the offense to suit Denard Robinson’s strengths?
A: We’re a pro-style offense. We’re not going to be shotgun every play. But we’ll probably favor a little more gun now than we did last year at State, and we ran quite a bit of shotgun last year.
But because of him, and some of the things you can do in the gun with him, we’ll be in a little more gun than we have in the past. But to say we’re going to be a gun team? No, we’re going to line up under center and come downhill on our runs.
Q: When you went through the transformation at San Diego State, was it more difficult than this one?
A: At San Diego State, we were dealing with a two-win base. The transformation was not just physical, it was huge mentally. Here, they weren’t bad now. They won seven games. We’re dealing with a seven-win base, which in my opinion, everybody’s opinion, is a better starting point.
Q: Michigan has had a lot of trouble taking care of the ball the past three seasons. Will you emphasize ball security?
A: Four points of pressure, baby, just like they did when George Halas coached, OK? Dog-gone right. I’d go into what all those are, but you don’t want to hear it. But we’re going to take care of that dog-gone thing so our defense doesn’t get into a bind.