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A college sports blog from The Oakland Press, dedicated to covering Michigan and Michigan State athletics as well as former Oakland County athletes at other schools.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Denard Robinson presents a dilemma for Michigan

He's too good to sit. Yet, he's not good enough at what he needs to be for the program to move forward. Denard Robinson is a playmaker. He's not a quarterback.
I've said before that Michigan can win with Robinson as its QB, but it has to let Robinson have full reign. If the Wolverines are going to win this way, the way they won Saturday 28-7 over San Diego State, then Brady Hoke and offensive coordinator Al Borges have to be all in and turn over control of the offense to Robinson and his athleticism.
Stand back, watch and hope nobody can catch him.
Robinson rushed for a career-high 200 yards and three touchdowns to help lead Michigan over SDSU and to a 4-0 start. However, he completed just 8 of 17 passes and threw two interceptions. Against the Aztects, U-M survived those passing numbers and stalled drives. Against the upper echelon of the Big Ten, they likely will not.
Robinson, who consistently picks up more yardage on the ground than through the air, should be a run first, run second quarterback. Or, he should be at a different position.
One or the other.
It'd better for the long-term growth of the program under Hoke to have a pro style QB and start implementing a pro style offense. It'd better for the NFL future of Robinson to start playing as a slot receiver, running back and kick returner. Yet, it's better for Michigan right now to just let him run loose.
Robinson's like a great hitter on a National League team that can't play a single position in the field. If he were a senior, the answer would be simple: just ride it out for this year and start fresh next year. But Robinson is a junior and I just don't see him becoming a better pocket passer.
Considering there's no proof that backup Devin Gardner is capable of being a strong drop back quarterback either, I think Hoke's best bet is to worry about his pro style offense in 2013. This is Robinson's team right now, and the Michigan coaching staff has to turn it over to him, not try to find a gray area in the middle.

My column for Sunday's Oakland Press on Michigan State


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