Friday, November 16, 2012

Why recent comparisons between Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner are inaccurate and unfair

Gardner, Robinson: Perception is delusional
No quarterback I can ever remember in this state, whether it be college or NFL, has ever been judged by a more unfair standard than Michigan's Denard Robinson.
He has led his team to victories over Notre Dame (twice), Nebraska in his only meeting, Ohio State after a long drought by the Wolverines, Michigan State by making a couple clutch plays at the end and a BCS bowl.
"He is a great athlete, but he is not a quarterback." I have heard that said literally 1,000 times from fans and various members of the media, as if they are mesmerized by the same delusional spell.
Robinson got hurt. He didn't play vs. Minnesota and Northwestern. Devin Gardner did a good in his place. All of a sudden he is a better QB than Robinson, and certainly a better passer. Well, the facts don't bear that out, especially when it is considered Roy Roundtree made a bale out catch to save Michigan vs. Northwestern, and spare Gardner being blamed because his earlier interception almost ended a chance for a Michigan comeback.
This is what Robinson did last season vs. Northwestern: 17-of-26 passing for 337 yards and two touchdowns. It was a road game. Michigan fell behind by 10 points in the first half when Robinson was intercepted three times. In the second half, he was brilliant as a passer, completing tosses of 57 and 48 yards. He ran for 117 yards in that game, too. Michigan won it 42-24. He played far better vs. Northwestern on the road than Gardner did vs. the Wildcats at home this year - but nobody remembers. And it’s like everybody forgot what Robinson did passing the ball vs. Minnesota last season. He completed his first 11 passes in a 58-0 rout. He ended up 15-of-19 passing for 169 yards .He didn’t run much that day. He didn't have to.
This isn't meant to dismiss Gardner. There is no question he proving he should be Michigan's QB to open next season. It's just to point out he is being judged by a much fairer standard than Robinson as a passer. His numbers vs. Minnesota and Northwesten were good: 12-18, 234 yards vs. Minnesota, 16-29 for 286 yards vs. Northwestern. He had two touchdown passes and an interception in each game.
But against the same competition. Robinson was better.


Blogger Steve said...

1-3 Vs. Ohio State. 1-3 vs. Michigan State. I love how you boost him up by mentioning his ONE win against each of those teams. And Notre Dame? Please... they have not been that relevant in many years (except for this year... oh yeah, he lost to them this year.)

Do most people think he is terrible? No. But do we think he is a great quarterback? No. He will always beat the terrible teams while amassing incredible stats, he will beat the good teams sometimes, and it was usually by some last minute heroics by him or his receivers, and he will beat the great teams never, while getting shut down.

You told me three years ago that he was a good passer, and you based that on quote, "his ability to throw in high school." Which was laughable then and still is.

We get it... you touted him huge back when and now you can't back off that. But we know what we see.

7:11 AM 
Anonymous ST said...

I could not agree more. Robinson completed 60% of his passed as a Sophomore. It's not like the guy can't throw, you just need to play to his strengths, which the current O.C. has failed to do. He is not a drop back passer, he thrives when you spread the field out, utilizing zone read run plays, screens, slants and quick reads. Borges has tried to force him under center, thus forcing him into difficult reads and throws. The ND game epitomized Borges's stubbornness, it was obvious he was struggling, but not once did he help Robinson and put him in a position to get comfortable. It's clear that Robinson is not an NFL QB, but it's a shame that more fans don't understand how great of a college player he has been. It's also a shame he got hurt in the Nebraska game, because he and the offense were starting to heat up when he went down. This is not even mentioning the huge mistake the coaching staff made with the back up QB's. Gardner should have been ready to play, he didn't, and it's probably going to cost them a shot at a conference title.

9:55 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good points, but I think most fans question how Robinson has done in the big games. He beat a down-and-out Ohio State team last year, and he barely got by a MSU team with a freshman quarterback this year. The two quality teams he faced as a senior quarterback this year - Alabama and Notre Dame - he looked miserable. He will never throw a pass in the NFL and you know it.

11:11 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chad Henne, Mike Heart and the boys were 0-4 against O.S.U., but that rarely gets brought up. To blame the losses to M.S.U. and O.S.U. on him over the past few years is crazy. There were 22 other guys on the field during those games, not just him. Did he struggle in some of those games? No doubt about it, was it all his fault, no way. M.S.U. dominated some of those games at the point of attack, and literally pushed the "D" all over the field, especially during the 2010 and 2011 games. It also should be pointed out that everyone thought he was gold last year once they got on a run and went 11-2. I read the article again, and I don't see anyone proclaiming he's going to be a NFL QB, so why bring that up? He's a bit flawed as a traditional QB, but this is not the NFL, and if it wasn't for him, they wound not have won as many games as they did during his career. I can just see it now, the same people that bitch about him, will be bitching within a year or two how predictable and boring the offense is. Just wait, or Google "Al Borges/Auburn.

3:00 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Steve,
Just for the record, he's 1-2 as the starter against MSU, and he's currently 1-1 as the starter against OSU. Not to mention being 2-1 against ND. Those are just facts. According to what you are saying, he is the worst record setting QB in the history of the game. Also, although he's a 1st year starter, Andrew Maxwell is a Redshirt JR, and MSU has one one of the best D's in the conference this year. Say what you want, but his performance against MSU this year was gutty, especially on that last drive. Is he perfect? Heck no, but he'll go down as one of the most dynamic players in the history of the conference. I guess it's just fun to hate...

3:35 PM 
Blogger Steve said...

Hey Anonymous,

"According to what you are saying, he is the worst record setting QB in the history of the game".

When and where did I say that? Never and nowhere. Watch your hyperbole and you'll come across as more credible. As for the records, I meant he and the team had those win/loss records against OSU and MSU. As far as Notre Dame, I said that they have been irrelevant for so long (except for this year, the year he was terrible against them), and I'll stand by that.

The fact of the matter is, and the part you did not address, is that he has been awesome against bad teams (hence all of Pat's quoted stats against Minnesota and Northwestern...whoopee). He has been average against good teams (I still contend the fact that he had amazing receivers in the past saved him in so many of those games... he is the best 500 quarterback). And he has been awful, consistently awful, against really great teams.

He was certainly productive and fun to watch as a college quarterback. I just ask you to look back and see what teams we were playing when he was productive and fun to watch.

Fun to hate... nice. Just because what I've seen over four years doesn't match what you've seen doesn't mean I'm "hating". I'm stating my opinion.

11:02 AM 
Blogger Rob K said...

Hi Pat, loved your stance on D-Rob past few months good stuff bro.

2:25 PM 

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