Michigan Football: Mailbag Question — Who the better quarterback is?


Posted at 6:00am — 4/22/2010

Michigan Football: Mailbag Question — Who the better quarterback is?

Have you asked any of the starting defensive players who the better QB is, Denard or Tate?

I would be interested to find out what they have to say.

One other question, I am a little concerned about the secondary. Not just because they were very bad last year or because they are young. But this offense does not pass the ball deep very much so the secondary does not get to practice against it. How are they supposed to get better at stopping the pass? Do they simulate this some so as to give the secondary the looks they need?

Also, I hear Cam is doing a great job, but he is not very fast for a free safety. So is he doing great against the run and a weak passing attack (which is what we have)? When we face an offense that passes a lot will he then be the wrong guy for the job, or has he gotten faster.

Just some thoughts thank you.
Derek F.


GBMWolverine Response:

No, we have not asked any players questions regarding quarterback evaluation. Even though such thoughts would be interesting, the coaches make key decisions about starting quarterbacks and not players. But players, like all of us, have opinions. To be 100% honest, even if we had asked such a question it would be improper for us to quote a player, especially since this would entail a sensitive choice between two teammates that might (likely not) cause some ill feelings. This team needs a minimum of distractions, whether internal or external.

We have heard defenders coming off the field saying how tough it is to defend or contain Denard with his speed. The biggest thing for Denard will be if he can show enough of a passing game to move the linebackers and the safeties back enough to respect his passing game. If that happens it will open up not only his running aspect, but also make life easier on the running backs, since the defense would be forced to honor the passing game and not have the luxury of putting 8-9 defenders in the box every play.

Every practice we have attended, gotten reports from, or seen film of, the wide receivers and defensive backs do a one-on-one full go, with 100% intensity, that is a highlight of practice. Out of all the individual group drills this group is the one we frequently focus on because much can be learned about both the receivers and the defensive backs.

The Defensive Backs/Secondary also receive(s) a ton of work during individual and group time. In our opinion the amount of work is not an issue. We think this is one of the better times to actually judge the wide receivers, along with the defensive backs. This seems a better choice than the 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 deals.

With regards to Cam Gordon’s speed, in our opinion the ability to accelerate and cover 5 to 8 yards quickly is more important than how fast a player can run 40 yards. Anticipation and reading patterns can also make up for a lack of top end speed. Where top end speed can be a factor is if Michigan runs man, or cover two coverages.

Even then we still think explosiveness and hips are a more important key to playing in the secondary.

An important observation to consider regarding the defensive backs is we all will not really know the true proficiency/ability until UM plays other teams with different offensive schemes. Until the defenders are tested vertically, we will not have an accurate assessment of how this group will compete. Michigan has many players coming in this fall that might help out this coming year, or at least work into the two deep. A young secondary, even one that is talented, will, on occasion, imitate bread in a toaster.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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