Wednesday, January 09, 2008

It's Pryor Or Bust For Rodriguez and U-M

My initial reaction during these very early days of Rich Rodriguez’s stint as Michigan’s football coach is that he is putting all his eggs into one basket.
It is into the basket of quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who solidified his spot as the top high school player in the nation over the weekend by winning MVP honors in the U.S. Army All-Star game.
Pryor is the total package. Extraordinary running ability. Excellent arm. A lot of size. Think of Vince Young, yet a better passer. He is the prototype for Rodriguez’s spread offense, and seems refined enough to start and produce as a freshman.
But it’s all about Pryor now. Rodriguez better get him. He was in on him at West Virginia and appears to have the inside track, but other schools are ready to pounce, too, including Ohio State, which just might be willing to start Pryor right away ahead of Rob Boeckman after his so-so performance in the BCS title game loss to LSU.
Michigan has no returning starters at the skill positions. Mike Hart, Mario Manningham, Adrian Arrington - are gone. Their backups, such as Carlos Brown at running back and Greg Mathews at receiver, have been underwhelming to this point. With Ryan Mallett transferring, QB is very thin. Pryor would help, obviously, but he might have to be a miracle worker as a freshman. And if Rodriguez doesn’t land him, it will be a major blow.

Random Thoughts

- Mike Martz should play well in San Francisco, at least for awhile. QB Alex Smith took a step back this year because of injury and ineffectiveness, but is not without talent. He has some good receivers to work with there (Vernon Davis, Darrell Jackson, Arnez Battle), but they had been underachieving. Frank Gore is a premier running back and the offensive line is pretty good. Developing Smith is the key.

- Darren McCarty back with the Red Wings? I am sure it would sit well with the fans. He was extremely popular in this town. But can he keep pace with the most-skilled team in the NHL. At this point, I would guess not.

- What a brutal road trip this is for the Pistons. But they are a prideful team, and will be motivated at Dallas and San Antonio after a subpar performance against the Celtics Saturday. I see them splitting their games in Texas.

11 Comments:

OpenID sanmarinoitalo said...

Just typed a long comment re: Lions and did not get thru.
before I do it again, checking to see if it gets thru.

9:28 PM 
OpenID sanmarinoitalo said...

Hi all lions fans, Happy? new year.

Want hope for the future?

If one of these does not occur before next season, this 50 year
frustrated fan is gone:

Ford sells team. We know this won't happen.

Ford sells 50% ownership of team to loyal fans.

Ford allows 5 of us selected by fans to co-manage lions. We would expect no pay---but all fans would regain hope.

Allow me to replace Millen. I am
a winner. I would expect no pay
unless expectations are met!!!!

This is the second time i've tried this. First, longer version, did not get thru. I have more comments
and suggestions on how Ford can again be respected. HE MUST PROVIDE US WITH HOPE.

By the way, my name means "WINNERS"

9:48 PM 
Anonymous maddog52 said...

I agree with you on the Pryor situation. Heck no offense, but if I were Carr I would talk to his receivers mainly Manningham and talk him into staying. I personally don't think he is ready. He may have the better ability arrington. But I think Arrington is more NFL ready then Manningham. From a maturity standpoint alone. As far as Ryan goes. If you don't get Pryor boy you are stuck. Who is your QB?

I tell you watcing the Pistons and Redwings. IF I had to choose one that I think is more legit to win a championship I think I will go Wings. I just love the way they are playing. I like some of the new blood that Holland has brought in.

Pistons I am just not sure. Yeah they probably will make the Eastern conference finals. At the same time. ONe guy that has really disappointed me is Prince. After the first few games I really thought he was ready to take the bull by the horn. This guy hasn't really improved. Most of the time he is out there like a dud. He is good when he wants to be.

What a shame on the baseball HOF. Very disgusting that Morris and or Trammell couldn't make it and only Gossage could. I think Baseball should change it to something similar to that of the NFL.

12:01 AM 
Blogger Wabi-Sabi said...

I agree about Pryor. I expect that he's the real deal and I think that UM definitely has the inside track.

However, I remember the accolades that accompanied Jason Gwaltney when he arrived at WVU. Unheralded Steve Slaton turned into a much better college back.

Risky to rely that much on a true freshman.

1:19 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

sanmarinoitalo,
Truth is, there is no fan who could have taken over the Lions and done worse than Millen has done the last seven years. He has done as bad a job as possible.
Caputo

11:06 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Maddog52,
I agree, but kids want the money now, not later - even if it might be more later. Prince is awfully inconsistent.
Caputo

11:09 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

wabi-sabi,
Yeah, that happened at Ohio State with Justin Zwick and Troy Smith a few years ago, too.
Caputo

11:10 PM 
Anonymous Marty said...

Pat,

While I could have done a better job that Matt Millen as a GM, that doesn't mean I should get the job. Just because a below average GM would be a big improvement to Millen doesn't mean we should get one to replace him; we would still have a bad GM, just not as bad. I would like to get an established NFL GM, like Ron Wolf. He is the only established and respected GM that I can think of that doesn't currently have a job. I doubt he would want to come out of retirement, but it is a possibility.

Having a great GM is and always has been the most important thing in sports. Look what Terry Ryan did in Minnesota, or Dombrowski did in Florida, or what Jerry West did in Memphis, or Dumars in Detroit, or Holland in Detroit. The biggest difference between Ford and Illich, is that Illich tries to get the best people to run his teams, while Ford lets personal emotions and friendships rule who runs his teams.

-Marty

11:01 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Marty,
I couldn't agree with you more, although sometimes the key is finding the next great GM before he becomes one. Like Joe Dumars or Ken Holland. But, yeah, firing Millen for just a less mediocre GM makes no sense at all.
Caputo

2:37 PM 
Anonymous Marty said...

Pat,

It would be nice ot find the next great GM before he becomes the next great GM, but that is a crapshoot. We already know that Ford has a bad eye for GM talent, so it would be best if he just went after someone who already has proven himself. I can't trust him to make a good decision on someone who isn't established. Illich hasn't shown a good ability to find those diamonds in the rough either, so he overpaid to get Dombrowski (The established star) and that worked wonders. The problem is that there aren't many GM's in the NFL that are established stars. Lets hope that when Bill Ford takes over, he has more sense than his father in picking who runs his team. (I think his dealings with Ford have shown that he will. His recent moves in taking over the CEO job himself, then going out and getting Boeings rising star seem to be great moves.)

-Marty

3:06 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Marty,
You hit it right on the head. Doesn't matter. Ford doesn't have the proper feel to find the right people for that position. Experience level aside.
Caputo

11:37 PM 

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