Monday, February 16, 2009

Reactions to the Threet Transfer


The blogosphere has now had sufficient time to react to the news that dropped late last night: Steven Threet will no longer be a Wolverine. Here's a roundup of the reactions from several Michigan and national blogs (I urge you to click the links to get the full picture from each of these blogs ... I'm obviously not going to copy and paste their entire articles):
MGoBlog: This is obviously not good for anything except my prediction that Tate Forcier would be the opening-day starter. For all Threet's faults he looked competent at times last year and could have been passable as a sophomore; Michigan is basically down to the two freshmen and then it's time to close your eyes, pick a walk-on, and pray.

Maize n Brew: While we at Maize n Brew respect Steven's decision to transfer and wish him the best in his future endevours, we're a little perplexed by his decisions. Watching Threet play this year, he's not really that bad a fit for the offense. He's got a live arm and decent speed for a gigantic honky. While he's not a prototypical "spread" quarterback, I can really name only protoytpical spread quarterback in college football. I'll give you a hint. His last name is Pryor. So if you're running the spread, chances are you're imporvising a tad with a quarterback that is spread deficient in some manner or another.

Varsity Blue: The Threet transfer probably does mean one positive thing for Michigan fans: that Tate Forcier has looked good enough in the training program and volunatary QB-WR workouts as to pose a significant threat to Threet’s starting position. Of course, it also means bad things, like “Michigan only has 2 quarterbacks between safety and Nick Sheridan.” The QB depth situation becomes almost as bad as it was last year, though the second option (likely to be Denard Robinson) is a step up from either Sheridan or Justin Feagin.

Michigan Sports Center: Aside from the effect Threet's decision to leave has on the team, this is yet another negative publicity type of moment for the Michigan football program. There have been plenty since Rich Rodriguez was hired, and until he starts winning, there will be plenty more. It's never usually good for a team's image when players leave the program, but when a quarterback leaves, that negative publicity is even worse.

The Diag: Of course, it's not like Threet lit the world up when he started last year (he won just one game as the starter), so to assume that there will be some gigantic drop-off is sort of silly. What Forcier and Robinson lack in game experience, they may make up for in versatility. All those QB running plays that went for naught in 2008 may prove very valuable in 2009 -- if nothing else, the playbook can open up.

More than that, this lets Rodriguez stop dancing around his QB issue. He does not have to force Threet, a drop-back style guy, to fit into his spread offense. With Forcier and Robinson he has more prototypical spread guys, so the pieces may simply come together better.

Dr. Saturday: The Wolverines hotly pursued and had commitments from a pair of primetime, athletic quarterback prospects last year, Shavodrick Beaver and Kevin Newsome, and lost both during the subsequent on-field collapse. Now their loss becomes clear: Threet's departure all but guarantees the offense is doomed to another rebuilding year, and that's only if Forcier is enough of a revelation to hit the ground running in 2010. If not, the spread 'n shred is stuck in the starter's block for the foreseeable future.

The general tenor of Michigan fans seems to fall somewhere between proclaiming doom and seeing the opportunity for Forcier or Robinson to open up the offense next year (with the caveat of AHHHHSHERIDANOOOOOOOOOOOO). This seems about right. U-M might have some early struggles with a true freshman quarterback, and those struggles may very well extend to the end of the season, so it would obviously be nice to have a competent guy under center who has some experience. However, it may be better for the long-term development of Forcier and/or Robinson to have the ball in their hands from day one. They'll almost certainly get the lion's share of practice snaps in the fall, and Forcier is already on campus and will get a ton of spring reps.

Threet's departure obviously doesn't bode well for Michigan. However, I'm not ready to jump off a bridge or anything. Remember, he struggled mightily last season, and there was no guarantee that he was going to be much better in 2009 (or even the starter, or even the backup if Robinson came on strong in the fall). The lack of depth and experience (besides Sheridan, but that doesn't really count) scares me a lot, but the prospect of Forcier getting even more time with the first team makes me more confident that he can have a solid freshman campaign, and the team can be back in the Big Ten title hunt in 2010.


mikey said...

Eh....this could be really good or really bad. I highly doubt Rich Rod is going to mold Denard into Pat White off the bat. I haven't really seen Tate play, but hopefully all this talk about accuracy will make up for it.

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Anderson said...

Your summaries are always top-notch. Thanks for keeping us apprised. I’m reading every word here.

Anonymous said...

I think most people would do the same when they are headed with the situation

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