Monday, September 12, 2011

Thoughts on Denard Robinson

The Twittersphere is amazing on a number of different levels, but I find it particularly so in that it is instantaneous feedback on the reaction of fans during sporting events.
Everybody sees that fist you just slammed to the coffee table, that shoe you just fired at the television or that red, bitter beer face you just made. And conversely, the utter joy on the other end of the spectrum. Just in short 140 character or less bursts on the Internet, that's all.
Never was that more evident than during the Michigan-Notre Dame Saturday game. Man, were people down on Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson in the first half. Why isn't this guy a running back or a receiver? Robinson, you see, has run the 100 meters in 10.3, which likely makes him the fastest quarterback in college football history. But he also has a pretty throwing arm. Decent mechanics. He completed 63 percent of his passes last year - and his receivers dropped a lot of balls. He was the Big Ten Player of the Year. He is not a good player, he is a great player. Or should I say, he is not a good QB, but a great QB. Because that's what he is - in my opinion, anyway.
It wasn't shared by many people as I piped up on Twitter (patcaputo98) during the first three quarters of Saturday's game.
A couple things:
- My point isn't that I was right and others wrong because Robinson led a dramatic comeback in the Notre Dame game, posting phenomenal statistics (when was the last time a QB threw for 338 yards and four touchdowns on just 11 completions?). There is still most of the season remaining. And if I'm wrong, I'm wrong. Just like you all, it's an opinion. I respect the thoughts of others on this subject.
- I'm not trying to be judgmental or race bait here, but if Robinson were white, would there be the same clamoring for him to change position? It does seem moot in this sense - his backup Devin Garnder is black. But I do believe there is some racial stereotyping going on here, although subconscious.
Michigan fans are used to a more traditional style. So is Michigan's new coaching staff (offensive coordinator Al Borges' background is in the West Coast Offense). I think Devin Gardner is a terrific player, but there is no way he is as threatening to opposing defenses as Robinson. Gardner has a chance to be very good, Robinson is already special.
- Where the patience? Robinson has been asked to change his style of play. Doesn't he get any slack from Michigan fans in this regard? Also, and I think Michigan's coaches got the message regarding this late in Saturday's game. They need to play to Robinson's strengths for the betterment of the team. Get that defense right. The offense is in really good hands with Denard Robinson.
Replay of my livestream chat Monday with Oakland Press sports editor Jeff Keuhn

Video streaming by Ustream



Blogger MRLINUX said...

I think Denard's throwing style is awkward (though he has a strong arm) and his decision making is suspect (e.g. that screen pass that was intercepted - where they heck was that throw going). He seems like he's not necessarily in command. Though I believe you're right, let's give him a chance to adjust to the new system - he's a special talent. He doesn't seem to make a lot "reads" he seems to be a lot more "react".

11:39 AM 
Blogger Steve said...

I agree he is a good quarterback. But he is not a great quarterback because of his throwing. You've been touting his throwing for three years now and I'm waiting for some signs of consistent accuracy, touch, and other factors. The Notre Dame game, 338 yds/11 completions, was nothing more than throwing 35 yard jump-balls that only showed that ND's hideous secondary cannot locate a ball and jump.

However, he is most definitely a productive play maker and, for the college level, you can get away with that and furthermore...I'll take that.


3:41 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Round peg in a square hole .. should be somewhat tactical to limit his offensive damage with this scheme for a defensive coordinator.

6:08 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I think he needs to work on deeper throws where he puts air under the ball better. I believe he will get pretty accurate with shorter routes when he adjusts more to different offense.

1:10 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

We'll have to see. There are more people it seems who agree with you than me on this issue.

1:11 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

They need to put in spots that are going to throw fear in opposing defenses.

1:12 PM 

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