Monday, November 5, 2012

QB Controversy at U-M? NO, STOP IT!

ATTENTION ARMCHAIR QBS, COACHES, ATHLETIC DIRECTORS, ETC:  There is no quarterback controversy at the University of Michigan!

Please take the time to read that once more, and maybe a few more times to let it sink in.  I'm serious.  Read it as many times as it takes for you to fully grasp those words that are written clearly and concisely in the English Language.  It is the only language I am capable of speaking and writing in (even though I know very basic Spanish and some cuss words in Italian) so there should be no confusion here.

Okay, if you're still puzzled let me spell it out further.  Ready?

For the remainder of the 2012 season, when Michigan's senior quarterback, Denard Robinson, is healthy enough to play he will be, and SHOULD BE, the starting quarterback for the Wolverines, and Devin Gardner will remain the backup.  There is no controversy, discussion, second-guessing, wiggle room, ambiguity, or two ways about it.  Enough.  Stop with the nonsense.

Yes, Devin Gardner was a 5-star recruit and the #1 dual-threat QB coming out of high school and he sure looked the part on Saturday.  Not to diminish Gardner's accomplishments on Saturday but they did play the Minnesota Golden Gophers who don't exactly tout a defense that draws comparisons to the '85 Bears.

And yes, Hoke said in his Monday presser that the offense we saw on Saturday was more of the pro-style Al Borges will run starting next year and Gardner ran it well.  He appears to be more of the "traditional QB" mold and a better passer than Robinson.

All that is great, but Denard will still be the starter for the rest of the season as he should be.  This supposed "QB controversy" is simply another case of the backup QB, goalie, etc. being the most popular guy in town and fans overreacting to the point of ridiculousness.

Robinson may not be the ideal QB that everyone, including the coaching staff, wants to see under center for U-M.  However, the fact remains that he is still one of the, if not the, most dangerous player in all of college football.  He has not put up the gaudy statistics, broken records, led dramatic comebacks, etc. by luck.  He is a very good football player who makes plays and knows how to win football games.  Oh yeah, he has also started every game the last three years up until Saturday.  One good performance by Gardner is not enough to wipe that away nor should it blind us all as to how special of a player Denard Robinson truly is.

Let's not overlook the fact that Robinson IS the Michigan rushing attack which is why he accounts for over 75% of the team's offense.  He's accomplished that by playing QB, not RB, WR, or anything else. 

We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the RBs and the OL are struggling and Robinson is the only ball carrier who has proven that he can overcome those shortcomings.  With that said, stop and think before you speak when you suggest he should be moved to RB or WR for the rest of his college career.  If that move was to be made it would've been done either before last season or before this season at the latest.  You don't make drastic position changes like that nine games into the season unless your team is desperate and does not have anything left to play for.  Michigan is not one of those teams.  Enough with the charade.

Look, what Devin Gardner did on Saturday was very encouraging and comforting for the future.  If Denard is held out of games at any point during the rest of the season we now know that Team 133 has a very capable backup.  That is a complete 180-degree turnaround from the sentiment we all felt after the Nebraska debacle.  But that is as far as it goes, at least for the 2012 season.

As for next year, the optimism is completely different.  Denard Robinson, for better or for worse depending on which fan(s) you speak to, will have graduated.  Now you can talk all day about Devin Gardner being your starting quarterback.  After Saturday's performance you would have to believe it may very well be his job to lose.  He has the size, the arm strength, and overall ability to be very effective in a pro-style offense and he certainly can make things happen with his feet if things break down in the pocket.  Saturday may have been a bit of a glimpse of what 2013 will look like and that is very exciting.

Notice I did not mention incoming 5-star recruit Shane Morris as being thought about as next year's starter.  That is because if you think that is a good idea you really don't know much about football.  Not trying to be a (insert expletive-filled insult here) but it's the truth.  You do not start a true freshman at QB at a program that has championship aspirations unless you either have no other feasible option or said freshman completely blows away the other candidates. 

For every Chad Henne there are about a gazillion Jimmy Clausens.  Keep in mind Henne had Edwards, Avant, and Breaston to throw to, Hart in the backfield, and a very talented and experienced OL.  Morris will not have those luxuries.  Let the senior Gardner lead the team for a year, Bellomy play the role of backup, and let the talented 18-year old redshirt and learn for a year. 

Don't agree with me, go back and watch some Jimmy Clausen highlights (if there even is any) from his freshman year at Notre Dame.  He was the top QB recruit and looked like a deer in headlights all season long.  Not pretty.  Basically, chill out with the Morris for Heisman 2013 campaign.  This is not Xbox. 

To get back on track, the moral of the story is that if you are one of those fans that have been screaming from the mountain tops since around 3:00 PM on Saturday that Devin Gardner should start over Denard Robinson save your breath.  It ain't happening.  The coaches have said as much and they are right.  Michigan will be just fine with "Shoelace" under center and will more than likely be fine next year with Gardner, not Morris, as the man.  Enjoy the rest of the season and the rest of Denard Robinson's last year at the starting quarterback.

**This blog can also be found at If you are a fan of the Wolverines, The Big House Report is a MUST-READ. GO BLUE!! **


  1. Not sure I agree Debo, with national champs hopes gone (not like we really had much hope) and big ten title hopes out of the discussion for the most part, why not use the last few game of the year to get Gardner some experience, we could also help denards draft status by playing him some in a percy harvin type roll and showcase his skills. To your point about Robinson being the only running threat, well my argument to that would be if we had a QB that could throw the ball more than 20 yards down the field with some accuracy and consistency I would be willing to bet our running game would benefit a ton.

    1. Good point about the running attack. However, their B1G hopes are still alive. Maybe not great but alive. No coach in America will make a drastic switch like that as long as that chance exists. Sends a terrible message to the team. Also, Hoke and Co., while great guys, are not in the business of helping players' draft statuses. They are in the business of winning games and Denard still gives them the best chance at that. Besides, scouts are well aware of his skill set by now. Also, if you want to be sentimental, Denard deserves better than to be benched due to injury unless he was a complete failure at QB. Contrary to popular belief, he has been THE REASON U-M has won a lot of games in the last 3 seasons. Thanks for the comment! Sincerely appreciate them!

  2. So the depth chart for next year at QB is:
    1. Gardner
    2. Bellomy
    3. a walk on

    IMO, Morris doesn't see the field next season unless both Gardner and Bellomy go down early in the season with injuries.

    1. Exactly which is highly unlikely. If he is to be the "next guy" so to speak rushing him would be doing him a disservice. Let him sit, redshirt, and have 4 GOOD years. I love the idea of having a RS Sr. QB with a canon for an arm and 5 years in a system. Not to mention Hoke, Borges, and Mattison will truly have "their guys" by that time so might as well maximize your prized QB recruit while recruiting his predecssors to sit and learn. That is how chanpionship programs such as Alabama are built.