Friday, December 11, 2009

Coach's Corner: Why I Like Denard Robinson in this offense

Posted at 8:00am -- 12/11/2009

Coach's Corner: Why I Like Denard Robinson in this offense

This is not meant as cut on Tate Forcier. He is a solid quarterback and is good enough to get the job done at Michigan in my opinion.

This is about what type of quarterback I have personally found the most difficult to defend in the quarterback read offense. As most of you know, it is now very prevalent in high school football.

Over last two seasons I have had the misfortune to defend quarterback read option packages against two outstanding athletes. One had an excellent freshmen season at the University of Toledo as a slot, his name is Eric Page and he was discussed in detail on the board last season. He had one game where he not only ran for an eighty-yard touchdown from scrimmage, but he also returned a kick-off ninety yards for touchdown.

The other played at Toledo Rogers, led his team to the State Division Two playoffs, and is going to be a freshmen quarterback at Toledo next season. Both were the super athlete type of quarterback; scary as h*ll runners who could also throw.

I have also defended the spread against some division two players/quarterbacks that use more of the Texas Tech short passing game model. These two quarterbacks were also solid athletes but not at the same level as the first two mentioned.

In my experience, it is harder to defend the first type, the super athlete who can kill you with his legs and keep you honest with his arm. Neither player was a super passer, but both could throw the seam, fade, and skinny post if a defense cheated too much.

This type of quarterback, who if you drop the linebackers under those passes listed above, can go for sixty yards with a pocket scramble or on a read option run, if a team does not spy them or keep the linebackers tight. This is harder to defend than the short passing dynamo game. Yes, the short passers can be a pain in the *ss, but not the scary nightmare the super athletes can be.

I am the first to admit that Denard Robinson was not ready this season. He was too limited by a lack of experience and knowledge of the offense. And if he does not pick the offense up better over spring and summer, he will be equally limited again next season and be ineffective again.

Where I disagree with some of my Michigan message board users is that Denard Robinson cannot throw and will make Michigan one-dimensional.

He has a stronger arm than Tate Forcier and with experience, in my opinion, will be more than just a competent thrower that will keep offenses honest.

And his ability to break long runs will open up the passing lanes, making it easier to complete passes. Not to mention his type of speed at quarterback makes playing man very risky, if you man up and he breaks a seam, he will score before the defensive backs ever realize he is running.

In my opinion you cannot decide who plays by factoring in if another player gets upset. You have to play the player who gives the team the best chance to win. Whoever loses the competition either needs to deal with it and do what is best for the program, or transfer. If Denard Robinson does not start and wants to be a quarterback, do you encourage him to transfer? I am not sure Denard Robinson is a back up type and has always said he wants to play quarterback. There are rumors around that he wants to be given a shot at quarterback and was not happy with how he was used and the limited amount of time he was given.

What will happen next season, I have no clue? But as I said, I am not talking about performance, but this discussion is based on 100% potential/ceiling/athleticism. And for that, of the two, Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson, Denard has the highest ceiling/most potential. Now, once Devin Gardner gets here, we will see.

Written by GBMW Staff

Go Blue -- Wear Maize!


Anonymous said...

Great stuff coach ...

Will you be doing a break down of all the positions, players and with the new recruits coming in and how that will either help the team or still have weaknesses at certain positions.


Anonymous said...

I hope Denard sticks around to get his shot.

david said...

I am sorry. On this one, i have to disagree. I do agree that his athleticism is higher than Tate's, and he did have less time with the offense and was not ready. BUT, Tate had more of the stuff that cant be taught. 1. Swagger. You said it yourself. I think he was beaten down a bit by Coach Rod, and also the injury made him think too much. 2. Accuracy. This kid can hit a dime from 20 yards. Denard, while he may not know the offense as well and may have a stronger arm to stretch the field with long passes, has a real problem with accuracy and ball handling. How many of his passes were intercepted? When you look at the number of attmpts, this is not a good ratio. I think he is talented, but I am not sure he has the elite arm of a Big Ten quarterback.

Tate has the accuracy, swagger, and foot "jukability" (i.e. ND game), but he does need to learn his reads better. Too much time in the pocket, and not finding the open passer killed him.

But alas, had Mich not snubbed Kelly, and Kelly recruited Tate (which Tate would be perfect for Kelly's spread offense), this would be a scary as hell offense already. And I doubt people would be using the "remember, these are young players" excuse right now.

Kelly is not ours, Rod is. But Rod is going to have to adapt to the Big Ten quick, or I will be cheering for an ex-Wolverine QB to take over the helm.

Go Blue, baby. Go Blue.

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