Three games into the season, fans are calling for Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges to unleash QB Denard Robinson.
Let Denard be Denard!
The problem is that we’ve been down that path before.
Fans are frustrated seeing Denard under center at the controls of the pro style, power game that Hoke and Borges favor. But for the Wolverines to have sustainable success Denard must balance between his remarkable running skills with the ability to deliver the ball down field.
Letting Denard be Denard resulted in him running the ball 26 times against Eastern Michigan.
That’s too much mileage (and hits) on Shoelace for an opponent of this caliber.
We’ve seen the result of QBs running wild the last few years. In 2009 we saw Tate Forcier get beaten to a pulp, but at least the Wolverines had Denard in the wings.
As Denard emerged as the starter prior to last season the Wolverines had the luxury of Tate Forcier on the bench.
But this year, after the flame-out and subsequent transfer of Forcier, Denard is backed by the talented but inexeperienced Devin Gardner.
Every time Denard takes off down field he risks injury, and the Wolverines’ season hangs in the balance.
The longer he struggles with stretching the field, the more teams will flatten out their defenses, widening ever so slightly to cut off the edges where Denard has shown he so dangerous running the ball.
The result will be encourage him to take the ball up the middle- the best case being a long touchdown run (the quickest path to the endzone being a straight line) but increasing the likelihood of a dangerous gang tackle where are kinds of nefarious things can happen to ankles and other body parts.
When the Buckeyes aren’t busy taking payoffs or getting tattoos, we’ve seen what they do to players when they’re on the ground.
Every time Denard enters a pile Wolverine fans will have to worry about shenanigans like this.
So perhaps you can appreciate why Al Borges is trying so hard to help Denard find a rhythm throwing the ball, especially early in the game.
He’s not being stubborn, he trying to preserve Denard to last the entire season.
We know Denard can throw the ball with authority, he has the arm strength.
He needs repetition in game conditions to process when and where to make those throws.
So far this season his timing has been off, or his throws have been undisciplined AKA happy feet and I’m not talking about no penguin movie. The cancellation of the 4th quarter against WMU didn’t help matters. There is no substitute for game snaps.
Consider how dangerous Denard’s runs will be when the defense is stretched covering receivers down field?
A balanced attack will not only decrease the chances of Denard getting injured, but result in a dangerous offense with the capability to stagger opposing defenses.