Mailbag question: About the quarterbacks


Question about the quarterbacks:

How does a quarterback get hurt, where he has a broken leg, in spring practice? Then on top of that, we find out that two quarterbacks are hurt Sheridan (with a broke foot) and Cone (with a broken hand).

I never heard of quarterbacks getting hurt like this by their own team. What is going on or do they let them go at it during the spring.

Do they not wear a maize or red jersey to say, “Don’t hit the quarterback”?



Thanks for the question.

Injuries are big part of the game of football. They happen in practice, in the weight room, and during games. It is tough for us to comment on specific injuries because we are not sure how they happened. I have seen players have serious injuries running conditioning or agility drills. Scott Dreisbach broke his hand on teammate’s helmet doing non-contact drill. Freak injuries happen in.

As for hitting in practice. it is one of the great debate topics: How much and how often do you hit? And is Full Go or not. In Michigan’s offense, it is almost impossible to properly time up if the quarterback is not live at least part of the time. Same as was true when teams were running option and veer offenses. Quarterbacks needs to learn to hold onto the ball as long as possible and deliver it while taking a hit so they’re ready for real games.

You can do certain things to help protect your quarterback like popping him without taking him to the ground. Eventually your quarterback has to take some shots in practice or the offense will not be as effective.

If the defensive end / outside linebacker holds up because the quarterback is not live, then the quarterback never gets a feel for how fast he needs to make the decision. He will also not appreciate the importance of ball security if he is just playing two-handed touch and nobody is trying to strip him of the ball.

In certain drills and scrimmages Michigan has had quarterbacks in red jerseys who were not live. In others, quarterbacks were live and took some shots. Bottom line for us is that injuries happen and they are a big part of the game. Without knowing specifics, we tend to give staff benefit of doubt here. The staff is doing what they think is best to improve the football team.

Going back to last year, a couple of us told the story about the defense and Coach Rod during spring practice.

Coach Rod called out the defense for “hitting like pillows” and was laying into them for a couple of minutes (in not such nice language). Then five minutes later, he was chewing out the defense for hitting too hard because two quarterbacks got hurt in those five minutes.

PLEASE NOTE: NOW NOT SAYING THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED HERE, but it does show how tinuries can a happen. Remember that MaizeMan said that he thought the coaches were not happy with how practices were going the last couple of times. Maybe they ramped it up a little bit (though, again, we’re not sure what happened).

Let’s hope they put some body armor on Tate and refrain from even “touch football” or even “flag football” type of contact on him. Realistically, he needs to learn how to run the offense and what to expect in game conditions. There’s always a risk, but we need him healthy and need him to learn the offense as quick as possible.

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Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine