You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 8 a.m.

Rich Rodriguez's firing leaves Denard Robinson in tenuous spot at Michigan

By Pete Bigelow


Denard Robinson rushed for 1,605 yards in 2010.

Melanie Maxwell I

Should he return to the University of Michigan, Denard Robinson will be an early frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy in the 2011 college football season.

Should he transfer in the wake of Rich Rodriguez’s firing, the dynamic quarterback will spend the season on the sidelines, per NCAA transfer rules.

Those are his choices.

“He’s got a hard decision to make, one way or the other,” said Art Taylor, his coach from Deerfield Beach High School. Robinson, a true sophomore, was the cornerstone of the Michigan football team’s offense in 2010, and so much more.

Seemingly out of nowhere, he won the starting quarterback job in training camp, became a Heisman Trophy candidate in his second game and rewrote the NCAA record book by the end of the season.

He ranked third in the country with 1,605 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns, Michigan’s most dynamic threat in a decade.

But that success emerged from Rodriguez’s particular version of the spread offense - not to mention Robinson has been steadfastly loyal to a coach who believed in his quarterbacking skills when others didn’t.

Taylor lamented the possibility that Robinson’s talents could be squandered in a system not tailored to his strengths.

“There’s no doubt in my mind he would have been a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2011,” Taylor said. “That offense he was in was really made for him. It’s not that he couldn’t do a drop-back, but then you are taking a great weapon away ¬- his legs.”

Asked following the Gator Bowl whether he’d stay at Michigan if Rodriguez was fired, Robinson said, “No response.” He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

During his press conference Wednesday, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon acknowledged that coaching changes bring risk of attrition. Ultimately, he said he cannot hire a coach based on possible consequences.

But by the same token, Brandon said he’d seek a coach who could modify his schemes for the strength of current players.

“One of the things that I look for is a coach who can modify their approach and their attack based on the personnel that they have,” he said. “I think that’s an important discussion to have with any candidate. …

“I will be interested to hear from candidates, how do they think about that and how will they try to take advantage of that, as opposed to ‘there’s only one way to win and this is the way.’”

Taylor was unsure whether that would be enough to sway Robinson.

“’Modify’ is a big word,” he said. “If a coach doesn’t run the spread, I don’t know. A coach is going to run what he wants to run. It sounded like a lot of mixed thoughts going out there.”

Taylor knows first-hand the difficulties a coaching change can cause with players - but also knows they can be overcome. Earlier this year, he took over the Cooper City High School program, which was coming off consecutive 1-9 seasons. In his first year, Taylor led the team to an 8-3 record that included a playoff victory. But in Robinson’s case, Taylor thinks his standout pupil is in a tenuous position.

“I think he might wait and see who is going to get in there,” he said, “but he’s also got to think of his future.”

Pete Bigelow covers the Michigan football team for He can be reached at (734) 623-2551, via e-mail at and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.



Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 1:14 p.m.

@Lorain Steelmen -- I think you have a basiscally valid point that Lloyd Carr was on a kind of cruise mode. I don't quite agree with comment about maintaining the program only up through 2000, but I don't disagree with it too strongly either. One of the problems Carr faced is one many coaches who achieve the pinnacle of success face -- "Okay, you did great by winning the championship... now do it again." Did y'all watch any Florida games this year? Urban Meyer was in misery. His team went 7-5 (I think), but early on the Gator Nation was in an uproar. "How dare you not win every game?" They seemed to be asking. The game is in a transition, and not a good one -- it is becoming increasingly clear the very best players are coalescing around a few schools that offer the best visibility and potential to go to the pros. Please don't say "that's always been the case" because it hasn't... at least not to the degree we see today. Did anyone watch the Under-Armor High School game the other day? Here's the unhealthy thing I saw -- all the hoopla and attention paid to the kids and the "moment of decision" for the school... the manufactured drama with the multiple hats and all that. So the same schools came up time and again -- Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Florida, Texas, USC. Those schools have become football factories for the pros, and the kids coming out of high school know it. And those schools play it up -- without actually saying the words, the message is: "You come to our school and you'll get noticed and you'll get drafted." The Big 10 schools face a challenge here because they're cold-weather schools that don't near the attention the SEC schools do. Cold-weather makes a difference -- not because it's uncomfortable, but because in inclement conditions the fast motion speed game had better be backed up with the ability to control the ball and gain yards on the ground. I had no personal animosity torwards Rodriguez except for the fact I think his plan to "rip and replace" was ill advised. His style won in the Big East because a) smaller players on the opponent's side, and b) he had a good and under-appreciated defensive coordinator there that made that side of the ball work. Let's take a look at the numbers for NFL drafts since 2000 by some key schools: West Virginia o 17 players total drafted since 2000 o 2 first rounders o 2 second rounders o 2007 - none o 2008 - three overall o 2009 - three overall Michigan o 46 players total drafted since 2000 o 8 first rounders o 10 second rounders o 2007 - seven overall o 2008 - six overall o 2009 - two overall Michigan State o 32 players total drafted since 2000 o 4 first rounders o 2 second rounders o 2007 - three overall o 2008 - three overall o 2009 - one overall Florida o 50 players total drafted since 2000 o 9 first rounders o 7 second rounders o 2007 - eight overall o 2008 - two overall o 2009 - three overall Alabama o 35 players total drafted since 2000 o 3 first rounders o 6 second rounders o 2007 - three overall o 2008 - none

larry kramer

Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 1:07 p.m.

good insights DonAZ--somebody has those stats--I agree on their importance. I was an intellectual late bloomer. wife says she's still waiting!


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 12:33 p.m.

@Larry Kramer -- I didn't play for anybody. I was a "late bloomer" so to speak, so in high school I was way undersized to even be considered. That was 35 years ago. I didn't say speed was overrated. I like fast players. My general point is that speed by itself is not the answer. There is a more comprehensive mix of speed, quickness (different from speed), strength and balance that comes into play. Your question about time of possession is interesting. I wonder if there's a correlation between ToP and winning. I know in "the old days" there probably was. Ball control was pretty important because scores were lower and scoring capability a bit less than now. And your question brings up something I've been pondering for a long time -- what is a statistic we'd like to see readily available that we believe would tell a game story better than what we have already? There are certain stats I tend to look at right away when Michigan loses -- obvious things like turnovers and 3rd down efficiency. But 3rd Down % by itself doesn't really tell the story... making a bunch of 3rd and 1 yard conversions is quite a different story from being proficient at converting 3rd and 8's. And the stat I really wish I could get my hands on would factor in when something occurs in the game. For example, penalties are never good, but sometimes a penalty comes at the worst possible time and kills a critical drive. On the defensive side I'd like to capture missed tackles and the yards gained by the opponent after the missed tackle. That would be hard since "missed tackle" is so qualitative. Anyway... I admit Denard Robinson is exciting. He's not only fast but lightning quick those first two or so steps. That's the quality Barry Sanders had -- his first two steps were mind blowing. I'm not sure Robinson is quite so good (yet) at changing direction... which is why, I think, teams toward the end of the season were able to effectively contain him. And that's where Michigan's problem really came into play -- our offense was just too one-dimensional. Contain Robinson and you've contained the offense for the most part. Which is why I wish -- oh, how I wish -- we had a healthy Brandon Minor in the backfield along with Robinson. In other words, a strong runner capable of breaking longer runs. When healthy, Minor would bull through tackles with the best of 'em.

larry kramer

Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 12:05 p.m.

DonAZ: good work compiling the stats: but where is the total time of possession for each game?--not criticizing you here, cause you do have a point. I wonder if our Heisman Trophy winners would agree that speed is overrated. I really wish real Big Ten players (current and past) would comment--the're the real experts. By the way DonAZ. who did you play for? I played 2nd string for Chelsea 50 years ago!

Lorain Steelmen

Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 11:56 a.m.

I think many here, are beginning to see just how huge a hole, Carr let this program slip into. Yes he won a NC in 1997,but largely because the kids decided they were going to get it done. he managed to maintain the program thru about 2000, but LC was in cruise control after that. The country club atmosphere that RR inherited here must have stunned him, and significantly set his time table back. But RR is gone now, so we must find the right guy. Let's hope Brandon gets serious, because if he brings Hoke in here, the parking lot will be empty, before the introduction meeting is over.


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 11:16 a.m.

@Larry Kramer -- let's take a look at the stats for D. Robinson against quality teams where Michigan lost the game. Because "exciting" is of secondary importance to "winning." Again Michigan State o Robinson 17 for 29 in passing for 215 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT o MSU Cousins 18 for 25 in passing for 284 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT o Robinson 21 carries for 86 yards, 1 TD o MSU Baker 22 carries for 147 yards, 1 TD o Edge -- Michigan State Against Iowa o Robinson 13 for 18 for 96 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT o Iowa Stanzi 17 for 24 for 248 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT o Robinson 18 carries for 105 yards, 0 TDs o Iowa Robinson 31 carries for 143 yards, 2 TDs o Edge -- Iowa Against Penn State o Robinson 11 for 23 for 190 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT o PSU McGloin 17 for 28 for 250yards, 1 TD, 0 INT o Robinson 27 carries for 191 yards, 3 TDs o PSU Royster 29 carries for 150 yards, 2 TDs o Edge -- PSU, because they won the game Against Wisconsin o Robinson 16 for 25 for 239, 2 TDs, 1 INT o Wisc Tolzien 14 for 15 for 201 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT o Robinson 22 carries for 121 yards, 2 TDs o Wisc White 23carries for 181 yards, 2 TDs o Wisc Ball 29 carries for 173, 4 TDs o Edge -- Wisconsin because their balanced attack prevailed Against Ohio State o Robinson 8 for 18 for 87, 0 TDs, 0 INT o OSU Pryor 18 for 27 for 220, 2 TDs, 1INT o Robinson 18 carries for 105 yards, 0 TDs o OSU Herron 22 carries for 175 yards, 1 TD o Edge -- Ohio State Against Mississippi State o Robinson 27 for 41 for 254, 2 TDs, 1 INT o MSU Relf 18 for 23 for 281, 3 TDs, 1 INT o Robinson 11 carries for 59 yards, 0 TDs o MSU Ballard 20 carries for 76 yards, 3 TDs o Edge -- Mississippi State

larry kramer

Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 12:53 a.m.

this kid is the most exciting wolverine since Woodson, Carter, Howard. It amazes me how much you armchair wolverines can be so mean spirited to a 20 year old kid who plays his heart out for our school! SHAME ON YOU!


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 12:33 a.m.

I like Denard... good kid, great attitude. But no top tier team is going to make him their quarterback. They'll try really, really hard to make him a runner or a flanker, but not a QB. Why? 1) He's too small. He can't see over the linemen and he gets too many of his passes tipped or batted at the line. There's 0% chance he'll play in the NFL as a QB... the size increases there and he'll be a boy among men. 2) He's too small. That means he gets pummeled when he tucks and runs. A nicked up running back is one thing; a nicked up QB is another. He definitely showed the wear and tear in the second half of the season. 3) His passing is decent, but not excellent. He's got a nice bullet pass, but his touch passes are poor. Did you see what Luck and Mallet were doing? Now that's what quality QB passing is all about. 4) Unless he's paired with some other credible threats, defenses will key on him. That's what Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Mississippi did to great success. Denard was 51% of U-M's total rushing. Guess what defenses expected -- that's right: Denard run. Mississippi State's defense said as much: "Their offense was very predictable." That's a death sentence. 5) What teams want -- and more importantly, what NFL teams want -- is a tall, big, relatively mobile, smart and accurate passer. Pass first but use legs to escape a sack second. Denard is not that type of QB. He can leave if he wants. He'd be better suited staying at Michigan and being open to the idea of lining up in the backfield or split wide as a flanker. Frankly, I'd rather have a good coach come in and show Gardner the ropes to be a pro-style QB first with mobile legs second. Mallet and Luck showed how *just enough* mobility is all you need... stay out of trouble until receivers open and then pass. Beyond that, speed is overrated. QBs can pass a ball a whole lot faster than a QB can run it.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 8:19 p.m.

RR is gone!! So what if DR transfers. He only showed that he could play at a high level when we played the school of the blind. The big 10 is all about defense and DR found out that just speed isnt gunna work. For him to be a true threat he needs to go to a conference where there isnt a defense. He has the wrong build to run in the big 10. I would much rather see Gardner in this year and work on a QB for the future and not just a guy who will make 1 play but miss many more. Our problem is that we thought we could run around people. Thats not possible in the big 10, the defenses are too good. I'm ready for 3 yards and a cloud of dust again. Hey Llyod you ready to come out of retirement? We could use your 9 wins a season again. Why has there been no talk about brining him back to establish Michigan football again? Bring him back and have his successor be his assistant coach and teach the guy what Michigan is all about. Bring Carr, Hoke and Ron English back and see where we go. Ron English knew what defense was about. Bring him back for the D-coordinator position.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 8:16 p.m.

What I posted earlier about freshman quarterbacks was that only Rick Leach won the starting job as a freshman before last year. There were other freshman QBs but they only played because someone else got injured. The point is that for the most part freshman need a lot of training and Denard got hammered by critics as a freshman for playing like a freshman. Denard has made great progress since then-- and if he continues progressing he'll be one of the greatest QBs in the country


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 7:11 p.m.

MSU, Iowa, Wisc and OSU combined averaged giving up 118 yds rushing and 210 yards passing per game. DR, himself avg 104 yds rushing and 160 yds passing against them only playing a little over half the Iowa game and shared time with Tate against OSU. He was amongst the top 10 in passing effeciency until late in the year and as his receivers dropped passes so did his rating. The qb's of these top 4 B-10 teams avg together only 10 more yards per gm than did DR. He is a true soph, 13 games into his career, to say he can't get it done against the best of B-10 is ludicrous. He made a number of great passes this year (along with some very bad ones and continued exp. will fix that), that td pass to Odoms in the bowl game was perfect. He will continue to get bigger & stronger as he reaches his twentys. I certainly hope he is the first to slap the banner this fall.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 5:57 p.m.

Portage "We were headed in the right direction with RR..." Where have you been Portage for the last 3 years? Headed in the right direction? From 9-4 to 3-9 to 5-7 to 7-6 and huge blowouts to our rivals & in the bowl? From 0 NCAA violations ever to 4 major violations? "just to much baggage that either he brought and that was created by the RR bashers." Again with names like "haters" or "bashers". The people who disagree with you and didn't want RR anymore are "bashers" and created the problems? I guess DB is a "basher" too then, since he fired RR? By the way you have the record for "bashing" people in your comments... except you have the remarkable ability to bash some of the best coaches on the planet, like Bo, LC, Les Miles, JH, Tressel,... Lorain " By whacking RR this year, he has stuck his finger in the collective eyes of this team." When DB brings in the new HC the players and everyone else will soon forget about RR. They are competitors and they want to win more than anyone else, so when it turns around the players will be the first to appreciate what DB is doing. Portage, Lorain, Tater,... RR is gone. Get over it already... how many shots do you want to keep taking? It's over... move on. We're tired of your whining and your hating and your bashing.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 5:52 p.m.

@theo "We need big, slow, drop back QBs so that we can lose bowl games, and to osu" Or ones like the following: Chad Henne, John Navarre, Elvis Grbac, Todd Collins, Tom Brady or Brian Griese? How about last years QB of the NC team Alabama? Maybe Peyton Manning? Not a single one of these guys is known for their swiftness of foot. I'll take ANY of their records over Denard or Pat White (check out the career W/L record) I know its hard to imagine that there was a time when Michigan football meant there was a chance for victory. By the way, Gator Bowl points 14. In the Lloyd Carr era, only two times were the Wolverines held to that few points in a bowl game. Of course one was a 7 point loss, the other was a 14 point loss. How close was the Gator Bowl. Oh wait, I think Mississippi State just scored again.

joe golder

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 5:27 p.m.

Coach I thank you and your staff. I hope where ever you end up the problem fans are better medicated. You were so close to pulling it off. You have a life long here.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 4:42 p.m.

And you have NO IDEA what he was "taught". Some kids don't learn, period. You have no clue whether or not Tate is one of these kids. Everybody else on the team seems to be willing to work hard and do what it takes, except Tate. I guess Rich Rod gets blame for Tate, but not credit for the attitudes of all the other players (which, by the way, stayed very positive despite the crap all around them).

Mike Perkins

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 4:41 p.m.

@Papabear, I have agreed with a lot of what you have said but this is where I have to differ. Tate not being taught to be a Michigan man is just obsurd. Denard was the #2. He surely should have had the worst attitude and it wasn't Floyd (underclassman) who called out Tate it was Troy Woolfolk (who got medical redshirted) who put him out there. He's the one who let us know that DRob had surpassed Tate. Tate also admitted in his interview that he was slacking and partying too much. A lot of times bad grades and that go hand in hand. Braylon Edwards is a "Michigan Man" and thought of as an A-hole. And Henne was severely "booed" in his last game. We do have some out there grinding the NFL but not that many to be so arrogant about what "WE" have produced.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

You're putting Tate's slackass attitude on the coaches? Seriously? Everybody else is busting their butts all year long, Tate isn't... and that's the coach's fault? You can bet his issues in the classroom are due to the fact he was homeschooled his whole life (he played football at a private highschool that didn't require him to attend classes there as long as his parents were registered with the proper agencies to allow them to keep him qualified from home). And I'm willing to bet, based on the improvement I saw in Denard between year one and year two, that he wasn't going to be denied that starting job. So you have one player slacking and another player working harder than anybody, and it comes down to the last week and both run the offense with comparable efficiency... who are YOU going to start? Yeah, that's what I thought.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 4:31 p.m.

Denard is a great kid. I think he is smart enough to have a talk with the new coach before he makes any decision.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

Dusty, while what you are saying may or may not be true, this one most likely falls on the coaching staff. A good coach would've had him working his but off in the off season. These are kids, part of college is developing them. Part of that development is teaching them how to be a man, specifically... a "Michigan Man" This is why the argument for a Michigan Man at the helm is so strong. Tate was obviously never taught what it took to be a Michigan Man, had he been taught that, his work ethic never would've been an issue. So fine, you wanna say that tate didn't work hard enough in the offseason? That's OK! I say it's because he was let down by his coaching staff, his position was given away (he saw the writing on the wall), and he isn't the one to blame for this. Raw deal or not, He's still most likely a better fit in any offense that isn't a "Pat white RR spread". Does this detract from DRob, NOT AT ALL. DRob is a fantastic football player and one of the more dynamic ones we've seen at Michigan, but Tate is a great football player too. All I'm really trying to get at is that whether or not DRob is retained won't make or break the program. We've got two truly good QB's and with work either could be good. I just personally think Tate is the better option.

Lorain Steelmen

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 4:05 p.m.

OK, in order to assist Brandon, I have put together the 'official' short list. If Davey hires Hoke, we'll know know he's an idiot. 1.Les Miles, age 57, @ LSU, 89-39, with the Cotton Bowl friday. 1 NC 2.Urban Meyers, age 46 @'retired', 104-24,1 NC 3.Jim Harbaugh, age 47,@ Stanford, 58-27 4.Gary Patterson, age 50,@ TCU, 98-28 5.Chris Peterson, age 46, @Boise St., 61-5 6.Brady Hoke, age 53, @ SD St, 45-50...Hoke, as in 'joke'. Personally,I'm betting on Miles or Patterson. I think JH goes to the NFL. I think Meyers comes out of retirement, probably in 1 or 2 years. Not sure if either Patterson or Peterson, can handle the 'big boys' in this league, on a week in, week out, basis. Miles may be getting 'too old' to be a serious candidate. How long could the 'Mad Hatter' be expected to stay? Nothing about Hoke appeals to me. Good luck to Brandon. Anyone can fire someone, but it takes a sharp cookie to hire the right guy. I am waiting to see if Davey is as sharp, as everyone thinks he is! By whacking RR this year, he has stuck his finger in the collective eyes of this team. And I can tell you there are alot of upset kids over at Schembechler Hall! And if Davey picks the 'wrong' guy, UM will be set back,(un-necessarily), 3 to 4 years. No sense offering anyone a 5 or 6 year contract, because we all know he only has two years, to win the conference title...or he's TOAST!


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 4:01 p.m.

Denard was 20th in the nation in passing efficiency. How good would it have been if Roundtree could catch? What was it, 22 dropped passes by Roundtree on the year?


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:59 p.m.

GoBlue, don't be an idiot. Tate was called out by JT Floyd PUBLICLY for not working in the off-season. It has been well documented that he slacked over the spring and summer, both on the field and in the classroom. he didn't want to work. That's why he didn't start.

Mike Perkins

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:57 p.m.

Doug Flutie, Jake Plummer not large in stature. The knock on Troy Smith was that he was too small. M. Vick isn't a tower either. What seems to be happening is the two schools of thought of, big and tall equals better QB, you know where this is going. The kid threw some nice balls this year along with some bad. He is a QB. I'd love to coach him at the position as would a lot of coaches. Don't let this one get away. We will regret it. Besides keeping in the pocket protected reading then having the ability to improvise would truthfully make him more of weapon.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:50 p.m.

They weren't more developed passers as sophomores. Troy Smith in particular was a pretty terrible passer as a redshirt sophomore. Denard is a true sophomore and finished with a QB rating ranked 20th in the nation. And don't even start with the "all his numbers were against cupcakes" because everybody in the country played some cupcakes and he's still in the top 20.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:50 p.m.

@Dusty You couldn't be more wrong! The reason Tate didn't start this year is because he didn't fit in the RR system. DR would of started last year but he couldn't complete a pass to his team. I give him credit he worked hard in the off-season to correct that problem. If JH or LM come to UM and Tate pulls his head out, he is your starting QB no question about it!


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:44 p.m.

edjasbord "The big difference was that Smith and Young had good size - they could take a lickin' and keep in tickin'. They were also more developed passers, which influenced defenses." That is a good point. Smith, Young, and even Cam Newton are all pretty big guys, and can take more hits. That is a concern about DRob, especially the way RR ran him so many times.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

To be fair, Ryan Mallett only started as a freshman because Henne was injured.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:37 p.m.

And my god, people. Still, after all this time, talking about "Denard needs to change positions". And because he doesn't compare to Andrew Luck, one of the most advanced college QBs we've seen in years? Come on. Denard broke several Michigan and Big Ten records, as a first year starting sophomore. Maybe he'll never be a pro QB, but the kid IS a college QB, and a damn good one.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:35 p.m.

aklion "Gee, you mean when you change coaches players are likely to leave? Makes me wonder when this happens now that the new coach will receive as much hell as people were pouring on RR when he had players leave. Of course for those people who never supported him I am sure the answer will be something along the lines of, well...this is different." RR is gone aklion... get over it and move on. Acceptance is the last stage of grief. DRob is a great athlete who has a great attitude, and is humble on top of that. If he decides to stay (hopefully he will,) I believe that because of his great attitude he will work hard on continuing to improve in his weak areas and be a great asset to our team and program. He could be a great weapon in a variety of positions. His passing skills did improve from his 1st to his 2nd year, and they would need to continue to improve if he wants to be a QB. There was an awful lot of pressure on him this year, due to our terrible D, terrible special teams, and basically no FG kicker either. With that said, he would certainly need to improve certain things, like making better decisions, reducing turnovers,... It's hard to say what will actually happen because we don't know who the next HC is. We would be fortunate to keep this quality young man at UM.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:34 p.m.

@Tim I'm not sure what you are trying to say, but I think you're saying that only Rick Leach started as a freshmen in the past 40 years. That's just not true. John Navarre, Chad Henne, Ryan Mallet, and Tate Forcier have all done it this decade.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:34 p.m.

Ok, enough with the "tate got a raw deal" garbage. He lost his starting job because he let what little success he had as a freshman go to his head and he didn't want to work in the off season. Not to mention he didn't want to run the offense the way it is supposed to be run. He'd look to his first read, then instead of going to his second he'd just improvise. Sometimes he'd look great, sometimes he'd throw a pass he shouldn't have even considered throwing. It's Tate's own fault he didn't start his sophomore year. Nobody else's.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:31 p.m.

Agree with several others here - Denard is a great runner, and a valuable M team player, but needs to move to a different position. Anyone who closely watched Stanford's QB, Luck, control his offense and rip apart VT the other night, knows what a real QB is and not a one trick pony that superior defenses and opposing coaches shut down in a heartbeat. Seems I recall Pat White is now trying to make it in baseball...


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:29 p.m.

@tim: The big difference was that Smith and Young had good size - they could take a lickin' and keep in tickin'. They were also more developed passers, which influenced defenses. Not really comparable to DR.

I love Michigan Football

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:24 p.m.

If Brandon offers Miles the same amount of money he offered Harbaugh, Miles will be our coach by Monday. Book it.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:24 p.m.

Remember those days when Smith at OSU would at the last second scramble for the first down when Michigan had them nailed or how Young for Texas beat Michigan/ OSU/USC by scrambling out of the pocket----- If Denard was in their position he would have gotten the first down- made a couple moves and then ran the length of the field. If Denard transfers it will be a huge loss for Michigan.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

A good coach will improve DR's game. I always wanted MI to have a good option QB, and Denard can do that. Whoever comes in as coach will certainly sit DR down and explain his role as QB. It's a team game, and DR cannot be the entire offense, which was plainly visible as the season wore on.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:10 p.m.

He should concentrate on will bring fame 'n fortune, perhaps, but will not last forever.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

Mo, the idea that DR can easily be replaced and by Tate of all people is just a sign of desperation now that RR is officially fired. Of course DB is great and of course he made a lot of mistakes, this really was his first year what the heck do these bashers want? Didn't firing RR appease your bloodlust now the bashers are going after DB what kind of irrational thinking is that? This kid DB could very well be one of the greatest college player ever and for sure the one of the greatest at Mich. You give our offense a good defense and the whole team will shine as a whole and DB can only get better next year.

Mike Perkins

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

And sorry for the misspelling of athlete. I was totally going off!

Mike Perkins

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3:03 p.m.

@Chad Williams and the rest of you on here that say DRob is a beast. In the progression of a college athelete says an athelete will come in raw and end up better in 4yrs. If this is the case and he expanded this much between yr 1 and 2 what would yr 3 and 4 be. 9 Starters returning on offense. 9. Which means we had 2 Senior starters on O. What elite team had that issue. Defensively our linebackers totally let us down. I watched every game this year over and over. Ezeh was super slow didn't fill holes. 1st year saftey switch. Major injury to best SENIOR corner before season. This Defense has a huge learning curve......and WE have a huge problem with patience. Not a happy Wolverine right now. What is all this talk of underlying factions fighting for control of the program, not supporting the staff..... Really??? We deserved to have 52 hung on us in front of the World.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 3 p.m.

Are there any real good Afro American coaches that would fit our program? I'd like to see someone with progressive skills with experience. We were headed in the right direction with RR just to much baggage that either he brought and that was created by the RR bashers.I would like to see a coach with integrity and a proven winner that has recruited several classes of great recruits and not someone that just inherited someone else's great recruits. We've got to get back to basics which means nix the popularity contest and get real about this which probably means this may require a patient somewhat time consuming search. If we're patient I think it will pay off in dividends. I think the Michigan faithful figure the next 2 years could very well be in the toilet and I know that the RR bashers have come to realize we're in for a long haul. Lets use this reprieve to get a darn good proven coach and recruiter. I watched my first Mich. game in 1955 I guess I can have a little patience with this process we're in, can you?

Mo the Educator

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

Wow. So now we don't need Denard Robinson either? His stats don't count? The dignity with which he's played on a lousy team doesn't count? Working his (behind) off to earn the starting job against the incumbent and the kid recruited to replace him doesn't count? And when the other coaches in the country said (like many on here) "Sure Denard, come here and play PR/KR!", one guy (Rodriguez) gave him a shot at the QB position and all he did was as well as he possibly could have done in a record-setting season on a team with no defense and no running game. Why wouldn't he be loyal to Rodriguez? "Michigan" didn't say he could be a QB, Rodriguez flew down to FL and promised him that. It boils down to this: 1) We are INFINITELY worse if Denard transfers 2) If he did so to follow the one college coach who had that faith in him and the advice of the high school coach who mentored him, that's understandable. but 3) he's been NOTHING but a team player, has NEVER talked about his own accolades, ALWAYS praises his teammates, and is about the most rose-colored glasses pro-Michigan kid we've had at QB that I've seen. That said, I think he'll stay.

Chad Williams

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 2:31 p.m.

His passing skills werent the greatest but he broke the school for total yards in the season. Broke a Ncaa record 2000 and 1500. He did things no one did before plain and simple. He only played 7 min against Bowling green and had 200 yards. 500 against ND and 350 against uconn. Not stiff competition but teams that went on to better seasons than we had. He spoiled us a bit and expected him to do those things against osu, wisky, and iowas of the world. Name one qb that would but he still averaged 300 yards a game in big ten play more than any player in the conference. The coaches picked him as the mvp of the league cause they know how dangerous he is and they game planned for him and didnt care for the rest of the offense. So its a bit unfair to critize a guy playing 11 vs 1. If others would have stepped up that would of opened more opportunity for him.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

I don't think DRob will go any where. I think the kid want's to get paid some day and if he wants any chance of that happening, he needed to get away from RichRod anyway. He has 2 choices: 1. Learn how to be a better QB 2. Switch positions. Neither of these was going to happen under RichRod. Also, following RichRod is no guarantee of success either. What if RichRod hired on someplace that had the next Tim Tebow or Cam Newton already on the team? And who knows when RichRod will get his next gig. A lot of folks are saying he may take a year off, so where would that leave DRob? Nope, if DRob actually thinks this through, instead of some snap decision, then he'll stay and perhaps end up a better player for it. He'll see the field no matter who's the coach.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 2:24 p.m.

Les recruits the South so well because LSU is in the south.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

We have two great QB's sitting on the sidelines in both tate and drob. They are both roughly at the exact same point in their careers and it's kind of a choice with which to go now (assuming both are still here). Tate is better at making decisions, a much ebtter passer, and a better scrambler (sure he's not as fast, but he's smarter and can throw better), he also had more swagger/moxy as a frosh than DR had as a soph. Drob is faster and has taken ownership of his leadership position a bit more than tate did (not necessarily a good measurement as tate was a freshman, drob got his chance as a sophomore). I think with a good set of coaches tate ends up being the better qb. Id rather have a great passing, running, and decision making game with a QB that CAN run and scramble than I would have a mediocre passing and decision making team with it's only strong suit being it's run game (which gets weakened by worse reads). Tate got a raw deal; he was pushed to the side for Pat White 2.0 (DRob). Sure he didn't react the best, but can you blame the kid? He's 19, did what he could to carry the team, had a poor coaching staff (probably wasn't getting the type of "be a man" training you are supposed to get from your coaching staff); and then just got kicked to the curb. With a father figure on the team (read: New coach) that will take the time to work with Tate instead of chasing their golden ticket (pat white)... I'd say Tate ends up being one of the better QB's Michigan has seen.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

Why does LSU hate Les Miles? Sorry, I haven't really kept up with SEC football this season.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 2:18 p.m.

Some of you are claiming that Denard didn't perform well against the good competition, but that's really not the case. No, he didn't win, but how can you when you get no help from your defense? His numbers against Wisconsin were borderline absurd. 239 yards passing,121 yards rushing, 2 rushing TDs and 2 passing TDs. He racked up over 100 yards rushing and 96 yards passing against Iowa even though he left the game early in the second half. Against Michigan State he racked up over 300 yards total offense. He's a ridiculous talent. Is he a great passer? Well, no, how could he be? This past season was basically his rookie year. Go look at the snaps Ryan Mallett took at QB when he was a freshman at Michigan. It wasn't pretty. It takes time to develop as a passer at the college level.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 2:18 p.m.

Denard is a true quarterback,in the past 40years only Leach was to start at QB as a freshman--and Denard got hammered from critics last year for making some bad passes. Give the kid a break, what else can you expect from a first year starter-- I don't know how many records he's broken this year. Just think if the D had given him a bunch of 3 and outs what he could have done.

I love Michigan Football

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 2:12 p.m.

I believe Les Miles is the perfect candidate to take over. 1. Michigan Man 2. Kicked the snot out of Tressel and Ohio State in the National Championship 3. Can recruit the south 4. Has very good offensive and defensive lines 5. Runs duel QB's, would fit Devin and Denard perfect 6. 50/50 runs both spread and pro-style offenses 7. They absolutely hate him at LSU, so I can see him wanting to leave now 8. The 2nd luckiest coach that I know (you know who is 1st) 9. I believe all our current kids would play for him and he could adapt to what we have 10. I think he can handle the media and would be able to unite the fanbase


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 2:09 p.m.

Those talking about Tate Forcier's future role at Michigan ought to recognize that this guy is most likely in more of a jackpot than just being ineligible for the Gator Bowl. The athletic academic support group, led by Hughes, are incompetent, and Forcier's academic problems weren't recognized in time to guide him to success. He may transfer, or possibly be booted out of school due to this incompetence. There is more "brooming" of failing staff to come.....Keep posted.

Mike Perkins

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 1:47 p.m.

@Truebluefan and blueiniowa. I know everyone on here has obviously played football or at least watched the sport so I shouldn't be talking to a bunch of "wannabees" or folks that don't have a clue. We should all at least understand football somewhat is my point. Denard not being able to play in another system is hogwash. As a matter of fact I personally would hate playing against someone who could drop back make a throw, handoff, option, and by God SCRAMBLE better than any other QB in college. Explain to me O' Traditionalist why he couldn't adapt? He's too short?? What?? He's not that accurate?? What?? Apply a few names to your thinking....Doug Flutie, Ryan Mallett (that arm was like a tommy gun when he was at UM. All over the place.) Bottom line is with good coaching an athlete can change! Gimme a break!


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 1:31 p.m.

DR is a good fast player he is not a QB. If he were in the SEC there are several with his speed and talent. He had to throw up some numbers he was the only one with the ball in his hands. When they started to play "Real Teams" his producation went down. He should stay here get a degree and play for a good coach who can help him with the position he will play at the next level. Follow RR, get hurt and get a low draft,because he won't play QB in NFL


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 1:23 p.m.

So you guys are worried about losing your star player. Here's a strategy: 1) Allow him total control in the selection of the head coach. 2) Allow him veto power on which players should should be recruited so he's happy with his teammates 3) Keep maize-and-blue as your school colors but allow him to design your uniforms including his choice of colors. 4) Provide seats on the team plane for his entire personal entourage. 5) Erect a 65' banner of his portrait in the center of the city so he can view himself while driving to practice. Then all you need to do is wait for him to strike a deal with ESPN to announce "The Decision" that he intends to take his FB skill to... Oops... Sorry, I thought this was the Cleveland Cavs website. PS: If you don't understand #3, Cleveland's colors are wine and gold but their away uniforms were dark blue during the Lebron era.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 1:18 p.m.

Bring back RR


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 1:14 p.m.

Great. Now high school coaches from Florida are giving Dave Brandon advice. I think he should wait get input from Florida grade school gym teachers before he makes a hiring decision.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 1:07 p.m.

@NoBowl4Blue: Rich Rod will never win a BCS game as he is not a BCS coach? Check your facts. He's already won a BCS game, against the SEC no less. 2005 Sugar Bowl.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 1:05 p.m.

DR was alright at QB but he was not good when it counted. Take away the first 5 game stats and he becomes a "subpar" QB at Mich. If he leaves Mich after the new coach is announced, then so be it. Mich. has always found good QB's. DR would be better suited at a wing back or slot back position were his skills as a poten. "heisman" candidate could be more utilized. DB will be missed if he leaves, however, this season he proved that when you took him out, Mich. became a "below average" offense. Therefore, much work is needed on the "whole part" of the Mich. offense instead of the "part whole."

David Vande Bunte

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 12:46 p.m.

Why would Denard have to transfer, exactly? Why are his skills only useful in a spread option? Couldn't they also work in any other offense, if the coach gives him the green light to take off if the situation warrants? If Michigan goes back to a pro style, what prevents Robinson from scrambling on a bootleg? What prevents them from running a fake handoff in a 2 TE set, as opposed to a 4 WR one? Anything Denard Robinson can do in a spread option can be adapted to another offense. Regardless of how the other positions get switched around, the Quarterback is in every formation, isn't he? Basically, Denard wants to be known as a QB that can run, rather than a runner who can throw, right? So wouldn't he look forward to the chance to prove his critics wrong, by demonstrating he is just as good under the center as he is in the shotgun? Of the most famous mobile QBs in NFL history, how many utilized a spread option from the shotgun? Steve Young didn't get all those rushing yards in the NFL in a spread option, he got them in the West Coast offense! What I am saying is that Denard's skills aren't limited to one particular offensive style. A mobile QB is a threat in any offense.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 12:40 p.m.

Gee, you mean when you change coaches players are likely to leave? Makes me wonder when this happens now that the new coach will receive as much hell as people were pouring on RR when he had players leave. Of course for those people who never supported him I am sure the answer will be something along the lines of, well....this is different. Yeah, right. Oh, and by the way it will be a crying same if the most exciting player M has had since Desmond does leave.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 12:37 p.m.

I think Denard could learn to play in any system-- look what Troy Smith did to us, we would play great D and he'd still run for the first down. Please please please Denard your better than Troy Smith and at least as good as Vince Young at his days at Texas.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 12:33 p.m.

Denard had his first season really starting this year. Tate pretty much was the starter last season. Denard in his first serious year as a starter was being looked at for the Heisman, became the first play in (FBS) NCAA history to pass for over 2,000 yards and rush for 1,500 yards. For a sophomore that is absolutely phenomenal. During most of the season his numbers were on par with Cam Newton who won the Heisman. I seriously don't understand the comments that are less than high on Denard being the QB at Michigan. He's the BEST player on the team without doubt or exception. With proper instruction he will improve in his QB decision making and is a fantastic college QB. He will have difficulty being a QB in the NFL at 6ft tall but he is athletic enough to play various positions. I for one hope he stays at Michigan. I'm sure the new coach will open every position on the field to whoever works the hardest at practice.

The Ben

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 12:33 p.m.

Denard had 100 yards rushing against Ohio State. In the first half. He also had turnovers to kill the drives, but that doesn't take away from what he did to the OSU defense. He was inconsistent this year, but he's a true sophomore, right? I saw evidence that he can be an effective passer, too. He made some great throws during the year. Those who are calling him overrated are part of the problem at Michigan right now. People are ripping Denard because they have and agenda, and their agenda is that they prefer a pro-style offense and pro-style quarterbacks. So they are ripping on Denard because it bolsters their argument. Denard was arguably the LONE bright spot on the Michigan team this year. They would have been sub-500 without him. We should be thanking him for minimizing the embarrassment this year instead of ripping him. Without knowing who else is going to step up and fill the void, it would be stupid to run Denard off. The next few years are going to be enough of a challenge without running off the best athlete on the team.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 12:27 p.m.

what it is is it. can not pick a coach on what is in place now. got to use them best you can while rebuilding. that rebuilding word is going to pop up. so get used to it.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 12:24 p.m.

Keeping it. Slaves? Any player has a choice. Play, don't play. Here's the thing. Every player knows what the deal is. Once you sign, leaving a school is difficult but NOT impossible. I'm not sure what the disconnect is but committing to a college is not all that different than accepting a job offer. You obey the rules, do your work, accept the benefits and everyone's happy. In the real world bosses change, companies are merged, and jobs are cut. Go or stay, everybody who has ever had a job has faced it. Why should college students who play sports be treated any better. I was a sales rep and used to bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars, and more, a year. Did I get to keep that? No. Think of it this way. A 18-19 year old young man gets a entry level job that pays him, in education and training, $25-40,000 a year in benefits. Where else is he going to get that? Anywhere? I hope you share where that can happen because all my kids are under 18 and I'd rather they made that than me spend it on something so useless like a college education.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 12:10 p.m.

That is two "Michigan Men" (Miles, Harbaugh) who turned down the coaching job!! LMAO. I wish all RR recruits transfer to Ohio State and RR gets a job on another Big 10 team and kicks Michigan butt for the next 10-15 years.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 12:08 p.m.

@keepingitreal: Are you kidding me? Coaches are professionals and the last I checked college players are suppose to be student athletes. You honestly think the players are what makes the NCAA great? Come on, the NCAA is fun to watch because the players turnover every four years.Players come and players go. Coaches make programs because they can continuously recruit great players. Slaves? LOL, these kids are getting full ride scholarships that are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars! They can then use that education to make income throughout their life. As soon as DR goes Pro then he can go wherever he wants. College is suppose to build character. If at the first sign of real adversity he runs then that does tell me something.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

It's funny--I for one did not think DR deserved offensive MVP honors in the Big Ten or all American honors based on what he actually accomplished in terms of wins and losses. I got creamed by the people on these boards for saying so. He was Michigan's MVP, but not the overall B10 MVP (in my opinion, it would have to be Tolzien or MSU's QB). DR's stats were basically gotten against the non-conference competition and the weaker competition in the B10, or in garbage time against Iowa. He did have successful first quarters in most games, until teams saw him play a series or two and then got disciplined, as both MSU's did. Now, that being said, he is fun to watch and I think he has a world of potential. But he is selling himself short if he thinks he can only play in one "system". I think you need to coach how to play football, which RR did not do well. He coached his particular system OK with no attention to fundamentals, and no defense, based on his results at Michigan. He needs to at least give the new coach a chance. He has to sit out a year anyway, so it does not matter if he switches now or in 4 months from now. Either way, he's not playing next year. He may find that being at Michigan is great (as many of our alumni already can attest to), and find that another more sound coach will give him for football and other skills. One thing I will add is that he is so much more classy of an individual than Pryor and thanks our lucky stars that he said no to UM


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 11:49 a.m.

Agree with Jerry Pap. Denard's future after college is NOT as a QB. He's not big enough and doesn't have the skill set the pro's look for in a QB. A Percy Harvin type player is a good analogy. It doesn't mean he still can't play QB at Michigan, but it will depend somewhat on who we hire as coach. In either case, he needs to learn how to pass better in the off-season, and hopefully the new coaching staff will help him do that. He's a great kid and it would be a shame to see him go elsewhere and sit out a year.

chill out

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 11:47 a.m.

Denard is a great player. All anyone has to do is to look at his numbers, which are unprecedented, and he's only going to get better. Denard is clearly the best qb we have, and he will be the starter next year even in a pro-style offense. He's a lot like Antwan Randle-El, who was in a pro-style offense at Indiana, and who ran for a lot of yards there as the starting QB. Also, anyone ever hear of a qb named Terrelle Pryor? Newsflash - he's in a pro-style offense, and he can run with the football.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 11:37 a.m.

Tate is the one who really got a raw deal out of this. I'd be more concerned with keeping him than drob. Lets face it, tate was a decent QB as a frosh and he got pushed to the side. I honestly doubt he was given a fair shot with pat white 2 (read: Drob) sitting on the sidelines. Sure Drob can run really fast, but his vision isn't the best (rb or qb) and he can't pass for crap. Tate showed moxy last year, but obviously needed work. A lot of his problems, his attitude, his weaknesses (gets down on himself during games) could all have been rectified in the off season, instead he got sat because denard can run fast. Tate is smart (despite his recent gpa problems). He excelled in high school with a massive load as well as putting in a ton of time for football. He's been raised as a QB since the time he was like 3. He's groomed for the position. Light on his feet, full of swagger, decent decision maker (remember, he's still pretty young), good football knowledge, decent passer. With the right QB coach and the right Strength and Cond. coach tate could be a heisman quality player. I don't know about you guys but I'd rather have the player that can pass, scramble, run, and read than the guy that can only run.....


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 11:29 a.m.

There were 2 negatives pulling on DR last year, he was new in terms of starting at QB and he was playing hurt. Part of that pain came from inexperience like not running out of bounds but rather taking the collision to pick up an extra yard or two. I suspect his second full year at QB will be played much smarter.

Matt Whale

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 11:23 a.m.

Education is the key, learning other things beside football. Many players don't get drafted to go to the pros. Denard will probably get drafted, but with his multiple injuries he might be a low pick. Although maybe he will win the Heismann, who knows? I do think he should stick with Michigan though.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 11:11 a.m.

Mike Perkins-- thank you for some sanity. Even Vince Young was a red-shirt sophomore when he started showing what he was capable of, and that was after playing a quarter-ish of a season the year prior, and that was still a year before he peaked. Now I am not saying Denard will be Vince Young; who was the most dominant force in the modern era, (you Tebow honks need to go back watch the Rose Bowl,) but there have been flashes where he has looked like him, so I feel fine making the comparison. I hope the new coach finds a way to keep this kid and schemes within his strengths. Denard as a senior may be a freaking force of nature that nobody can stop. I sure hope it isn't for some time in the Big East or Conf USA. I really really wish RRod had the foresight to redshirt DG.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 11:11 a.m.

So many things going on with the program. Personally I would have liked to see RR stay one more season. See if he can put together a 9 or 10 win season, and improve this much maligned defense. If he can't do it next year then maybe we can see how Brady Hoke does with another season at SDSU and maybe make a move on him. I really don't think we'll get Jim Harbaugh. This would have been very easy for Dave Brandon to do. He could have said something like "We have seen improvement in the program from Rich increasing the win totals by 2 games each year. Coach Rodriguez understand that 7 wins a year is not up to our standards and it is not up to his standards. He knows we need to compete for Big 10 Championships. He is going into the 4th year of his 6 year contract, we knew it would take some growing pains to get to the level that we want to be at, Coach Rod thinks we're almost there." Now if he sucks again next year we'll be able to see what Brady Hoke did with another year and have some opportunities to fire RichRod in December and get a jump on the head coaching search. In terms of Shoelace, he's a great player. Very dynamic. Some of the late season struggles may have been because he was pushing too much. He knew they had to score on every possession. This may have messed up the offense a bit. Don't forget, it was his first year starting. QB's make their biggest improvement between year one starting and year two... scary to think about. I have confidence he will do well no matter where he goes. Hopefully the new coach will put a scheme together that takes advantage of his unique skills.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 11:07 a.m.

Some of the people on this board are ridiculous. I love how a QB isn't great unless they can spin a 30-yard out pattern off their back foot. Denard was a true sophomore still developing his passing skills. He wasn't the greatest at reading defenses obviously but that comes with more experience. I really hope Denard stays because Tate seems like a head case who also can't handle UM's academics. Then we'll have Devin pick up for Denard after he graduates. Bottom line, we need Denard.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 11:03 a.m.

@Chad I don't think anyone called Denard trash. He is far from a Heisman Canidate. Once UM played a team that could play defense Denard looked human and consisently left the game. He is best suited as a WR. He can't run the ball 15 times a game and not get hurt.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 11:02 a.m.

Denard is a great representative of this program. He came here to play qb, got the opportunity, and had mediocre success on the whole. He will do what he wants to do, which may be following RR, but there is little evidence that following RR will get him any closer to the NFL. There is much more evidence that a position switch would get him closer (thus not following RR). Sometimes kids have to face hard realities about their future. His is bright, no matter what, but it is brightest if his current dream is tinged with some reality, some practicability. Denard would not be better off, in terms of his future, following RR. RR, with all his love for Denard, does him a disservice by playing him at QB if Denard's dream is to play QB in the NFL. He will never accomplish that goal. He would be better off with a coach who prepares him in a more realistic fasion, in a different position.

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 10:46 a.m.

Denard had a long, long way to go before he could be considered a Heisman candidate. It was fun speculating when Rodriguez's gimmicks were dominating the easier half of the schedule. But when it came time to play the tougher Big Ten defenses, as well as the defense-minded Mississippi State Bulldogs, Robinson was contained. His arm wasn't accurate enough to force those teams to think pass. Denard has two seasons of eligibility remaining and transferring to play them (in 2012 and 2013) is a distinct possibility, if all he cares about is rushing records and being the "guy" who does everything. If he's a team player, however, and has any interest in playing at the next level as anything other than a wide receiver, he will give a long listen to Michigan's new coach. He will be atop the depth chart in spring practices, and that's an opportunity for him he will not get anywhere else. A good coach can coach to a special talent like Denard's, and that could be very exciting to watch this fall.

Chad Williams

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 10:44 a.m.

Its funny how denard is trash and not good enough. All that is funny and how is the big ten mvp garbage? Yea he was a bit predictable as would any first year starter would be with out a consistant rb. When is the last time michigan had a qb mentioned in the heisman race? By the way he had a heck of a work ethic to go from im not sure if he is a qb to big ten mvp in one year. With that development there he is easily a front runner for the heisman and preason big ten mvp. While mr. tate looked like the same qb as last year. Now i will say we have Gardner but are you ready to start a new qb 4 years straight? Robinson is leaving because he knows that the next guy will get all the credit for what rr did for him and he is loyal unlike u of m.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 10:44 a.m.

I think Denard is over-rated. I don't care if he transfers. I'm more worried about Tate getting his crap together. Tate had to come into just about every game this year because Denard would get hurt. He is way to fragile. Yes, Denard has improved his passing game but if we could get a RB then Tate should be and will be our QB. AS Always Go Blue!!


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 10:38 a.m.

@newe82: Does it tell you anything about the character of any of the coaches that UM is trying to lure away from their school and team? Why would you question DR character if he feels that opportunities are greater somewhere else given the change about to take place at UM. These players are not slaves. As a matter of fact they are the engine that make the system go not the coaches as many of you seem to think.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 10:26 a.m.

Go the distance.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 10:15 a.m.

-He would never be considered a Heisman candidate next year. He had good games in the first four game with MAC schools basically, and they were not geared to stop him. He lost all the important games in the Big Ten. He was very ineffective the last 5 games to say the least. -IF he transfers and IF Michigan lets him, then he has to sit out the 2011 season, private pay for two semesters (spring and summer do not count). If he goes out of state (Florida would be in state) he has to private pay as an out of state student, he cannot afford that. -he isn't going anywhere, get real... He probably doesn't even know the rules for transfering -his skills do not translate to the NFL, so he would be much better off being used as a part time rusher, and a full time slot back. That is the only way to get him into the NFL. Lots of NFL players have his skill set right now.

J. Dean

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 10:12 a.m.

The advantage with Les Miles is that he runs a form of the spread which means that the offense would be on some familiar ground.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 10:01 a.m.

Devon was also recruited by RR he may leave may not like new coach


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 10 a.m.

If a spread offense-oriented coach like Pat Fitzgerald comes as head coach (if he can be pried away from his alma mater Northwestern to accept a bigger paycheck and a much larger stage), Denard has no reason to go elsewhere. He'd be very ill-advised to make a decision in the emotional backwash of the Rodriguez fire and before the new HC is named. Harbaugh now looks like a distant dream. In my opinion, a Brady Hoke hire would be a middle-of-the-road decision. His hiring might stabilize things after yet another painful transition, but for those looking for even greater things after Carr (don't those years look much much better now in retrospect?) this would be a wasted six years (3 under RR, 3 to to rebuild) only to go back to the future. Les Miles--maybe. But my hope would be that Brandon can find the right coach who can not only turn the program around, but represents the kind of integrity that Michigan has always demanded and to some extent took for granted for many years. If anything, these last three years have taught us to be careful what we wish for, and to be very careful and informed in our decision making. Even the strongest edifice can be damaged or brought down in a short time.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 9:46 a.m.

I really believe that Devin Gardner is the QB of the future whether Denard stays or not.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 9:39 a.m.

I always thought it was going to be uphill at first with RR and his spread. I figured a slow climb with this spread and really a major change for Michigan in every concept of their game including selling the spread to the fans and alum. I always believed year 5 maybe year 4 this thing would take off and pay us dividends well, so much for my Kool-Aid drinking theory, RR will have to take his,"snake-oil-salesman" program elsewhere and maybe some are right maybe he wasn't a fit at Mich. I firmly believe that we haven't seen or heard the last of RR, I've seen stranger things in my many years on this earth. With all my Kool-Aid talk aside I think at this point we need a proven winner and not another experiment that could very easily set us back another 5 years. Let's face it, Hoke might be good but he would be another crap-shoot for us. I personally think there is a rave about Harbaugh who has done nothing yet as a head coach in the NFL and if history prevails he will have a tough time at San Francisco or Miami. I can't understand why he's not taking a more stable position doesn't he have a passel of mouthes to feed? Job might not be there for him at Mich. if he fails in the NFL. Lot of college coaches fail at the NFL level I'm curious to see how Pete Carrol does. Talk about some awesome college teams. Patience is the key here, get it in your head boys and girls whomever we get it could be a long time getting back, some of you could become Grandparents, we need a proven winner.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 9:37 a.m.

Nice to see so many people on this board that "know what's right" for Denard. Perhaps he will decide for himself. All I know is that I like him, he has been a terrific representative for U of M, and I want him to stay here and continue to dazzle in whatever role. If he wants to follow RR, or transfer to another school, then I wish him well.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 9:32 a.m.

Its sad to see all the comments about one guy. Sure Denard is good but this is a team sport and the next coach should be a person that understands that and brings all these kids together to work as one. Each one of these kids has a special talent that needs to be worked into the idea that this can be a great team and work together doing it. If Denard is to win the Heisman trophy it should be because it was done as a team not one individual. This is something Dave Brandon has to consider when making his next selection on who is the next coach and I wish him luck in that effort.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 9:19 a.m.

Denard seems like a good kid, but he was one of the most overrated players in college this year. He had great games against below average teams, but good teams shut him down after one or two series. I believe in Brandon after hearing him at the press conference. I think the next coach will turn DR into a fantastic player instead of a flash in the pan always hurt player like he was with RR. If he leaves good luck to him, but that is the wrong decision. If he makes it to the NFL he is not going to be a QB so why transfer and waste a year? DR is at a crossroads like Brady was back in the 90's. Transfer or not transfer, I think it worked out well for Brady and will for DR if he stays as well. It will also tell me alot about the kids character if he abandons his teammates.

J. Dean

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 9:14 a.m.

If Denard can't play as a QB, I say make him Devin Hester and put him in as a kick returner.

Mike Perkins

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 9:13 a.m.

Some of you guys are bananas. Denard was a true Soph. What Soph. doesn't make mistakes? It's called development and he deserved his chance to do so. Remember Cone and the other guys we endured watching in RR yr 1. I would have much rather enjoyed the growth from that and given it another year of growth than to just say, Oh well Denard, you can't play QB in any other system so happy trails. He is a weapon and the best in the program currently. If "HE" leaves that is when others will go. Vick doesn't play in a spread and I think he is doing just fine in his career. I am starting to think "WE" eat our young. Not a good look around the nation.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 9:09 a.m.

For all of the talk about our 'young' defense, we had a veteran offense. That offense was darn near as good as it was ever going to be under RR. We racked up 65 and 67 points in two seperate games. What happened when we faced actual competition? 17 points against MSU, 7 against OSU, 14 against Miss St. The defense wasn't the only problem on this teams, folks. The offense couldn't score when it counted against top teams. As good as Denard was, he couldn't get it done within the context of RR's offense against the best teams. UM was blown off the field SIX TIMES! In other words, Denard will find more success under a more competent, well rounded head coach. By the way, why are we still talking about RR? We only talk about coaches who still coach at Michigan. Go Blue!


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 9:01 a.m.

Denard needs to stay. Great, RR is gone but this team basically sucked and should own up to it and work hard to come out next year and take care of business. RR wasn't a great coach for Michigan no doubt about that but he doesn't run the ball, make the tackles, or kick field goals. Michigan's performance on the field was just awful and I'll give the coach(s) at least 50% of the blame but not all of it. This team should "feel bad" because they were horrible and got their coach fired. All this would be a non-issue if M only lost a few games, beat Ohio State and won their bowl game.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 9 a.m.

You will soon see what a mess is upon UM. They will not get who they expected as coach, will settle again for who will say yes. The administration is a mess, and I think not being truthful. Just wait and see, you think it is a mess now - just wait.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 9 a.m.

Thgeo tour king is dead he was terrible don't you get it? He will never win a BCS game as he isn't a BCS coach. DR would be well advised to stay here and develop as a player which will compete again in a couple of years. Unfortunately your king left the cupboard bare on D and special teams.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 8:46 a.m.

Denard when prevented to run in the open is an ordinary QB. If he starts to pass, he turns into Mr. Turnover. That explosive athlete can be more productive as an exclusive RB, slot WR, kick and punt returner. When he passes, he is ordinary. Will Denard still want to be QB and transfer and sit out one year? We will see. If he does, then good luck to him.

jerry pap

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 8:39 a.m.

By the way Denard isn't going anywhere--He will not sit out a year to transfer.

jerry pap

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 8:37 a.m.

If Denard and his High School Football coach were thinking about the future they would embrace the elimination of the Spread at Michigan. Denard's future is not as a QB. He will more likely play slot/wing/ and run back kicks and punts in the NFL but not play QB. Denard is an awsome talent and I honestly believe his talents would be more suited as a Percy Harvin type player than a QB. He has done an amazing job at QB but he is also going to become injured often the way Richie RodSUCKez was using him. Put Denard out in space, motion him into the backfield, run the wildcat now and then and Denard will be a Heisman trophy winner and stay alive to play in the NFL in that very position.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 8:35 a.m.

I meant 11-1


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 8:31 a.m.

If RR is named the head coach of Pitt or Conn Shoelace will transfer to that school. RR will have a season to build a offense to suit Denard. They will have a 10 & 2 or 11 & 2 season andd Mich fans will be crying why didn't we givee RR a couple more years


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 8:29 a.m.

We were as laughable as the Lions. That's why RR is gone.

Sean T.

Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 8:23 a.m.

I truly doubt he would be a Heisman candidate after the Big Ten season started.(If RR were still here.) He couldn't pass good enough to keep the team in the game for a full sixty minutes. I hope DB finds a coach that has a staff that would specialize in QB development. That way Denard can become a true QB.


Thu, Jan 6, 2011 : 8:18 a.m.

and so the wheels keeps coming off this rig. Soon we will be as laughable as the Lions.