Sunday, October 28, 2012

No Denard Robinson = Bad News

What happens when #16 is gone for good?
After watching last night's Nebraska game without Denard Robinson its clear that the Wolverines are going to have a large question mark at the quarterback position heading into next season.  According to Coach Hoke Devin Gardner is the #2 quarterback but he didn't take a snap under center last night after Denard exited in the 2nd quarter.  Instead we had to watch redshirt freshman Russell Bellomy attempt to learn on the fly in a very hostile environment and fail miserably.  Bellomy may end up blossoming into a good quarterback but after watching him last night most people don't see that happening.  I personally feel it is way too early to even try to grade him as a signal caller and using last night as the only evidence is simply not fair.  We all know that highly touted QB Shane Morris will be a true freshman next year and many Wolverine fans are ready to create a new Legend Patch with his name on it already, even though he hasn't even finished high school.  The bottom line is that this season is far from over and we need to cherish the time we have left with Denard.  Once this season is over however, we will all have to ask ourselves who will run the show next year and beyond?

Looking at next season there are 3 possible options for quarterback:

1.  Senior Devin Gardner can finish his Michigan career under center even though he looks like the most talented receiver on next years depth chart. 

2.  Redshirt sophomore Russell Bellomy can have a full off-season to learn and develop and become the first Brady Hoke-recruited quarterback to play the position within the more traditional pro-style offense.

3.  True freshman Shane Morris will be thrust into action before he really should be in hopes that his skill set is the best fit for the new offensive scheme.

Personally I'm not crazy about any of the above options.  Gardner is easily the best athlete and brings an element to the offense that is the closest to what Denard has been doing for the past three seasons but is that really the goal at this point?  Bellomy struggled mightily last night but one would think that a year of learning and preparing to be the starter might give him the mental edge and physical strength to play the position at an acceptable level.  My issue is that I'm not convinced he actually has the physical talents to be a successful quarterback at Michigan.  He was under a lot of duress last night, but when he wasn't, his arm strength just did not appear adequate on several throws.  That is reason for concern.  The third option is one that many "fans" seem to want but it might be the least realistic and the longest shot of the three.  Don't get me wrong, Morris appears to have all of the tools to be great at some point in his career, but the odds of a true freshman quarterback coming in at 6'3" and under 200 lbs. having more success than Bellomy and Gardner is just not very likely.  The facts are that Morris' Warren De La Salle High School team finished the regular season at 5-4 and was absolutely drilled in 3 of those losses for a combined score of 112-13.  Morris played in 2 of those three games and completed just 17 of 38 passes for 194 yards with no scores and three interceptions.  I'm sorry but those are not the box scores for a quarterback who is going to come in as a true freshman and dominate the Big Ten.  I am not being negative or bashing Morris I'm just stating the facts and being realistic. 

I hope we can all finally agree that Denard has spoiled us in many regards and next year is a bit up in the air at quarterback.  Denard has made some bad throws and broken our hearts a few times throughout his career but he has done so much more good than bad and is by far the best option we have right now.  The reality is that he will be gone next year and currently we don't seem to have a worthy replacement.  Brady Hoke is recruiting at a ridiculous level and will have Michigan back in the top ten year in and year out before too long but we have to be realistic and realize Michigan is in a bit of a re-building phase right now.  We need to be patient, support whoever ends up calling the shots for the offense, and have faith in the coaching staff.  That's what we do....this is Michigan, fergodsakes.

18 comments:

  1. Good post Coach B. I didn't get to watch the ball game. I had to work. I was optimistic about Bellomy for next yr and thought it would be grreat to be able to keep Gardner at receiver. Just based on the way Hoke and the rest of this staff operates I really think we will see Morris get a redshirt unless the other guys are just terrible. An I see Gardner under center next year for sure. I know he is a good receiver. But I think it's pretty obvious that having him at receiver and no QB to get him the ball efficiently is pointless. We have some young talented receivers who will have to step up next year. I really just think Garnder under center next year goes us the bet chance to win football games

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  2. I don't remember. Who's the kid who out of '14 who said he would commit on the spot if offered?

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  3. I think going with Gardner next year means taking a huge step back. I don't understand moving a guy back and fourth that many times. We don't have many playmakers as it is and moving him back to QB takes away one of our few threats. If they go with Bellomy next year than what happens in the future? Morris is our future QB so I don't see why you would start Bellomy when we all know he isn't our future QB. The coaching staff isn't going to waste Morris's eligibility for two or three years to back up Russell Bellomy

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  4. I also have to wonder if this hurts our recruiting at all. I know we are bringing in some big time players but I also think we need to bring in a lot more skilled position players!!

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  5. Sorry but Morris is not and will not be ready to step in next year. I don't think it's fair to judge Bellomy on just this game. I just think that what I said is what the coaches have planned all along Nd that is why we haven't seen much of him this year wen in the blowouts. I could be wrong. Just my opinion. I hope in wrong I hope Bellomy starts and lights it up next year. Lotta ppl don't see that happening though.

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  6. I am scared to death when I think about the QB situation next year. I still don't know why Bellomy does not get more practice with the starter and I really don't know why he did not see more playing against UMass, Pur and Ill.Those are the games the back up need to get meaningful playing time. I can't blame Bellomy for last night but I can blame the coaches for not have him ready to play or changing the game plan when he went in. I really believe Borges needs to go. Last night was not the first game when we have all said what are you thinking. How many bad play calls have we seen in the redzone? And how can a team with DR not score a TD in three games this year? Alright back to the post.

    1. Devin Gardner needs to stay at WR. It is truly the best place for him.

    2. Russel Bellomy. He has the tool's to play QB but he needs to be coached up for next year. He needs to see real playing time not practice with the second teamer. I remember how bad DR was his freshmen year. The PSU game comes to mind when DR had to replace Forcier.

    3. Shane Morris. I am getting the feeling he is not the savoir we hoped him to be. I have watched 2 of his games this year and was not that impressed. He has thrown way to many int's and has very little touch on the ball. I also know he has NO weapons around him either. So we will have to wait and see on him.

    So in the end I believe Bellomy will be the starter next year. And that could make for a very long season for us next year..

    And one last thing did I miss the memo on all UM RBs being out for the year and that's why the ballboy are playing RB now? Or is the O line and Fitz really that bad?

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  7. I actually question the coaching staff a lot more than I do Bellomy for yesterday. He's a freshman and I never expected him to be great. However the play calling when Bellomy went into the game was no different then when Denard was in the game. Since they are both different types of QB's that is on the coaches to make the correct play call for each one. You could see that with Nebraska on defense, as soon as Denard exited they dialed up the blitz packages on almost every play. The Michigan offensive staff made zero adjustments to the blitz and were still running read options and play action passes.

    I think Bellomy has potential, but I really question why Hoke would be so concerned with winning the B1G and then continue to use a guy that clearly isn't working in the biggest game of the season, especially when you do have another option that will most likely force Nebraska out of their blitz package. I feel the coaches blew that game, not the players.

    Also, as far as Morris stepping in, that would be the worst choice they could make. Really he should be a red shirt next year so that he can fully learn the offense and then can start in either his redshirt freshman or sophomore seasons (depending on how Bellomy turns out).

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  8. Does anybody know what's going on with Denard. How bad is he hurt and when he will be back?

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  9. There is no way Morris can start next year, to other people's points he NEEDS the extra year to learn and prepare. I wouldn't be surprised if Hoke brings in a Mattison caliber O-coordinater to run the show next year as well. Borges is doing a poor job in my opinion and needs to go. I can just not get over the plays last night. If nebraska is gonna bring pressure every play throw on 2 TE's and a back or do quick slants and get rid of the ball. After Bellomy got done with his option read there was a guy in his face and he had to force things. I still don't understand that option play either down in the red zone, was he thinking we were Army or Navy for a second? It is so frustrating to watch an offense put up no points in so many games.

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  10. Shane Morris shouldn't start right off the bat next year but he should definitely get his feet wet like we did with Mallet. bellomy is nothing more than a stop gap

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  11. I truly think we should start Gardner at QB next year. People seem to forget that he is a pretty good QB, his arm strength is much better than Bellomy's and I don't see that changing by next year. Does anyone remember the Illinois game last year? Gardner did rather well in that game. He gives us the all-important run/throw option at QB, something that Bellomy doesn't have. Shane should redshirt his first year to bulk up and learn the offense and start the following year. As for weapons, we will need someone to step up, Treadwell would be a nice pick-up here. We still have Funchess who could easily be moved to WR since he already has the build of a WR anyways.

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  12. It's got to be Gardner. It has to be. We want to win football games don't we. He has done pretty good this year at receiver. Yes. I would say with the right quarterback he could probably put up so sick numbers. However, there isn't a quarterback like that on our campus. I will say this. Idk the extent of DenArds injury, but if Bellomy plas against Minnesota next week we will learn a lot more. He will hve a whole week to get ready. If he still blows then I will write him off. I'm just not ready to yet. And if he does still do as bad as he did last week then Gardner needs to be the guy. OH AND BORGES BLOWS FAT ASS NUTS. FIRE THAT IDIOT.

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    1. I believe DR is fine and will play Saturday. Minn. is playing pretty good.UM needs this win.

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  13. That's good. I think what he injured might be easy to get back from but might be a nagging injury that gets re-aggravated from time to time. Just a thought

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    1. I may have spoke to soon about DR. Hoke said he is close to playing. They are getting both Bollemy and Gardner ready to play. Per twitter.

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  14. I'm starting to hate Al Borges too, but in his defense he is trying to run an offense that is not his specialty. We have to run spread because of DR, and this is why I thought that we should have moved DR to WR last year. Started DG at QB and gotten another QB in the 2012 Class. My hope is if we keep Borges that we switch to the pro-style and run the damn ball with Rawls and god willing Green signs with us. I saw the offense Borges ran at SDSU and it was different and better than the crap he is running now. On a high note our defense looks good and it's only gonna get better.

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  15. Hoke said that Gardner and Bellomy will compete for the starting job if Denard was unavailable. I am thinking Denard WILL be ready to go, but it is encouraging that if Denard were out for a longer period of time, that Gardner would still be an option. That said, Bellomy was probably in there because Gardner hadn't taken practice reps in weeks probably.

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  16. Everyone is aware that Shane Morris played through mononucleosis this season, right? That being said, he didn't play much in his senior season of high school and making the jump to being a Big Ten QB with this lack of experience is a concern.

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