Who cares what you call it?

Tag: Brady Hoke

25Mar 2011
Uncategorized 36 comments

Who cares what you call it?

Brady Hoke says “tough” too much.  Whatever that means.

I try not to turn my blog into one of those that calls out competing* blogs in order to establish some sort of superiority.  Because, after all, the blogosphere has been kind to me.  The guys at Maize ‘n’ Brew asked me to join them, MGoBlog and The Wolverine Blog link to my site on occasion, etc.  My blog is mostly for my pleasure, not because I want to get rich or win any awards.

But Brian over at MGoBlog wrote a post today that bugged me a bit, so I’m responding at length.  He takes issue with Brady Hoke’s comments about running the “power play” and makes tongue-in-cheek comments about “manball” and “toughness.”  I just don’t see the point.

Brian says:

There are consistent reports that Hoke makes condescending comments about the spread at alumni events. Manball? Manball.

He then goes on to suggest that all people who agree with Hoke’s offensive and verbal philosophies are old, mustachioed, and averse to change.

Well . . . okay.  So what?  Football’s rules have largely been the same since the forward pass was legalized.  Eleven guys on the field, four downs to get ten yards, etc.  The emergence of the single wing offense in recent years blew people’s minds.  How can you have a running back taking snaps and gaining yards?!?!?!  Well, it’s because football is football.  Blockers need to block, runners need to run, receivers need to catch, tacklers need to tackle.  People didn’t figure out how to stop the single wing before it disappeared around the time of Al Capone.  It just got boring.  So teams started running the wishbone triple option.  Then they started running I-formation plays.  Then they took out the fullback and created the run-n-shoot.  Then they put the quarterback in the shotgun formation and gave him five wide receivers.

What’s the common theme?  All of them work.  You know, if they’re run well.  Paul Johnson is making the triple option work at Georgia Tech, Chip Kelly runs the spread-n-shred at Oregon, and Bret Bielema scored 83 points in one game using good ol’ fashioned power running at Wisconsin.

It seems Brian is infuriated that Hoke would be audacious enough to speak condescendingly about the spread (and zone blocking in particular), but this is what coaches do.  Bo Schembechler liked to run the ball and never shied away from his disdain for throwing the ball.  But his teams ran the ball well, so it was okay.  Mike Leach threw the ball all over the place at Oklahoma and Texas Tech and thinks throwing the ball gives him an advantage over teams that run the ball more.  It works.  Why does it matter?  If Brian were asked, I bet he could completely eviscerate other successful blogs.  He could find fault with their advertising, their commenting formats, their content, etc.  In fact, he does this type of thing quite often, at least as far as content goes.  He thinks his blog is superior to others.  If he didn’t, he would change.  And that’s fine.  But if those blogs are gaining readership and making money, then it’s all just useless babble.

Of course, much of his stance is based on the fact that Denard Robinson, a Dodge Viper in a Jeep Wrangler world, is Michigan’s quarterback.  Robinson possesses the talent to be perhaps the most electrifying spread option quarterback in the history of the game (however short the history of the spread option is), but now he’ll be playing under a coach who eschews zone blocking and likes fullbacks.  And it’s true that Robinson was a Heisman frontunner at one point in 2010, a record-breaking signal caller who took the country by storm with his speed, elusiveness, smile, dreadlocks, and failure to tie his shoes.  That’s not something that should be completely dismissed.

But when it comes down to it, a coach has to meld a player and a system together.  He shouldn’t change the system to fit a player, and he shouldn’t abandon a talented player just because the player isn’t an ideal fit.

Hoke said . . .

Once we get the power play down, then we’ll go to the next phase.  You know, because we’re gonna run the power play.

. . .which makes Brian unhappy.  He talks about how Michigan has athletic linemen and a tiny starting running back (Vincent Smith), which doesn’t exactly make you think “power run.”  Power plays are usually left to mammoth offensive linemen, battering-ram fullbacks, and tailbacks with thighs like tree trunks.

Except Michigan’s offensive line was already inching its way toward 300 pounds across the board, Hoke ran plenty of split back sets in 2010 at San Diego State, and running backs coach Fred Jackson has essentially said, “Vincent Smith will probably not be our starter in 2011.”

The power is the base play of Brady Hoke’s philosophy.  Just like any intelligent person wouldn’t have expected Rich Rodriguez to run many powers and whams from the I-formation in 2008, Brian shouldn’t expect Hoke to run loads of quarterback iso’s and and zone stretches in 2011.  That’s not Hoke’s game, or Borges’s.  Rodriguez ran the zone read option with two stiffs at quarterback, Nick Sheridan and Steve Threet.  They were game stiffs, but they shouldn’t have been in an offense that required them to run so much.  Michigan won three games.  Put those guys in a pro-style offense, and I bet they would have won . . . four (the same three plus Toledo).  The difference is minuscule.  Meanwhile, those running backs, linemen, and receivers gained experience that allowed them to improve in 2009 and then 2010.  The growth of David Molk and Martavious Odoms, for example, would have been stunted if they had to play in a pro-style offense that first year.  Molk wouldn’t have had practice with the timing and accuracy of those shotgun snaps, and Odoms might have spent the year sitting on the bench.  After all, who needs a 5’9″ freshman receiver when you’ve got a two-back, I-formation base set?

And why wouldn’t the power play be the first thing for Michigan’s players to learn?  You don’t hire Rich Rodriguez to run the counter trey, you don’t hire Mark McGwire to teach your hitters how to bunt for a single, and you don’t hire Christina Aguilera to teach you the National Anthem.

Here are the 46 offensive snaps from San Diego State’s game against TCU in 2010:

1. Split backs – Power run
2. Split backs – Reverse flea flicker
3. I-formation (on the goal line) – Fullback dive
4. Shotgun spread – Pass
5. I-formation – Iso run
6. Shotgun spread – Pass
7. I-formation – Play action pass
8. Single back, three-wide – Dive
9. Shotgun, split backs – Pass

10. I-formation, three-wide – Power run
11. I-formation – Play action pass
12. Shotgun, three-wide – Pass
13. Split backs – Power run
14. Shotgun, split backs – Screen pass
15. Shotgun, three-wide – Pass
16. Shotgun, three-wide – Zone read option
17. I-formation – Power run
18. Shotgun, three-wide – Pass
19. I-formation – Play action pass
20. Single back, three-wide – Pass
21. Shotgun, three-wide – Pass
22. I-formation – Play action pass
23. I-formation – Power run
24. Shotgun, three-wide – Pass
25. Split backs – Pass
26. I-formation – Naked bootleg pass
27. I-formation – Draw
28. Shotgun, three-wide – Draw
29. Shotgun, four-wide – Pass
30. I-formation – Play action pass
31. I-formation – Iso run
32. Shotgun, split backs – Pass
33. Single back, three-wide – Pass
34. I-formation (on the goal line) – Power run
35. Single back – Dive
36. I-formation – Play action pass
37. I-formation – Zone run
38. I-formation – Play action pass
39. Shotgun, three-wide – Screen pass
40. Split backs – Power run
41. I-formation – Play action pass
42. Split backs – Screen pass
43. I-formation – Pass
44. Split backs – Dive
45. Shotgun, four-wide – Rollout pass
46. Shotgun, four-wide – Pass

I’m using “power run” a little loosely because I don’t want to break down every play – this isn’t a UFR – but the strategy of using a fullback and a pulling lineman is there.  Fifteen of those plays (or about 33%) are either based on power running or, in the case of play action, the threat of the power run.  These numbers are only based on one game against a very good team, which SDSU trailed for most of the time.  But when roughly one-third of a coach’s offense is rooted in a single series of plays, you can’t just scrap the whole thing.

I think the mindset regarding Denard has morphed into “Give him the ball every play and don’t let anyone else mess it up.”  Which is fine until your quarterback carries the ball almost 300 times in one season and misses time in ten out of twelve games due to injury.  As we saw this past season, the threat of Denard Robinson running the ball was practically just as dangerous as him actually running it.  There were all kinds of examples of wide open receivers running free because Denard took a single step toward the line of scrimmage.

There are multiple ways to use his speed, not just as a 300-carry feature back.  He can run the naked bootleg (seen in the above playlist), he can sprint out from the shotgun (seen in the above playlist), he can run a quarterback draw (not seen above, but SDSU’s quarterback was s….l….o….w), etc.  Run a play action bootleg and see what defensive end or outside linebacker can handle him out on the edge.  It won’t look the same as last year, but it can be effective.

Brian also complains about Hoke’s frequent use of some form of the word “toughness.”  I agree that it’s a platitude, but welcome to coachspeak.  Find me a coach who doesn’t use the word “tough” more often than a Ford commercial, I dare you.

Furthermore, watch Michigan’s team in 2010.  Third-and-short on offense?  Michigan can’t line up and run the ball.  Third-and-short (or third-and-medium, or third-and-long, third-and-a-parsec)?  Michigan can’t get a stop.  Need a broken tackle?  You won’t get it from Shaw or Smith.  Need a tackler to stop someone in his tracks?  If it’s not Jordan Kovacs, it’s probably not happening.  I won’t question any individual player’s toughness, but the team as a whole could use an injection of it.  All coaches preach toughness, but if it takes Brady Hoke repeating the word “tough” until his face turns blue to get his team to actually play like it, then I’m fine with it.

Conclusions and predictions:

  1. Rich Rodriguez’s 2010 offense was good.  So was Brady Hoke’s.  Brady Hoke is not Rich Rodriguez.  And despite both being somewhere between chunky and fat, Al Borges is not Calvin Magee.
  2. If Brady Hoke can teach his players how to run the system, it will be successful.  If he can’t, it won’t.
  3. The zone read option won’t disappear completely from Michigan’s offense, but it doesn’t really matter.  Denard Robinson rarely ran it for Rodriguez, and it wasn’t very effective when he did.
  4. If Ronnie Hillman can run the power frequently and gain 1,500 yards on the ground, then Michigan can find a running back on its roster to run the ball with some consistency.  That player will not be Vincent Smith.
  5. Coaches will continue to say “tough,” coaches will continue to say “execute,” but the next time a platitude in March decides the outcome of a game in November will be the first.
  6. My advice to impatient and angry Michigan fans is to wait and see what happens.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the Brady Hoke hire when it happened, either, but I am very confident that Michigan will improve defensively.  This offense probably won’t be quite as explosive as the 2010 version, but an above average offense combined with an improved defense should improve upon the win total from last season.

*I don’t know what else to call them, but we all know they’re more popular blogs than mine.

23Mar 2011
Uncategorized 1 comment

So about all these offers . . .

5-star receiver Stefon Diggs

Many Michigan fans seem worried that the new coaching staff has thrown out offers with what fans deem to be reckless abandon over the last couple months.  At last count Michigan has verbally offered 130 prospects from the class of 2012.

The key word there is “verbally.”  Due to a new rule for this recruiting cycle, high schoolers cannot receive official, written offers until August 1 of their senior year.  That means someone like Stefon Diggs (pictured above) won’t be 100% sure of who’s recruiting him until a little over four months from now.  In the olden days, kids could receive written offers on September 1 of their junior years, meaning Diggs would have been offered several months ago.

One thing to watch is how many kids actually accept offers this early in the process.  Since they can’t have official offers in hand for another several months, kids may be feeling out the process a little longer.  It seems that there have been fewer early commitments in the class of 2012 overall.  Only 19 of the 130 offered have already committed to a particular program.

While offers are coming at a much faster rate this year, they seem to be going to higher level athletes.  Of the 130 offers, 84 of them (56%) are on the Rivals 250 to Watch list, which means they are likely to be 4-stars or higher.  In my opinion, many of the other 46 players have a very good chance of being 4-stars, as well.

By about this time in the past few recruiting classes, Michigan not only had offers out to some lower level guys, but actual commitments from guys like Teric Jones (buried on the bench at RB), Antonio Kinard (a non-qualifier who ended up at Miami), Isaiah Bell (buried on the bench at LB), and Delonte Hollowell (who ended up as a middling 3-star prospect).  This is not to say that those guys won’t end up being solid players at some point, but early offers and commitments should be elite kids.  You can find the Teric Joneses and Antonio Kinards of the world late in the recruiting game, like Michigan has with Ray Vinopal, Jake Ryan, and Russell Bellomy.

Additionally, Michigan’s midwest recruiting base is pretty talented this season, which means the coaches – and recruits – don’t have to travel far.  Forty-four of the 130 offers (34%) are to kids from Big Ten states.

I was not a huge fan of the Brady Hoke hire, so this is not coming from the we-need-a-Michigan-Man-to-right-the-ship perspective:  I am legitimately not concerned with the number of offers the Wolverines have put out there.  This coaching staff seems to have a better grasp on the type of talent Michigan can and should recruit.  I will voice my concern if and when Hoke starts tossing out offers like candy to MAC-level and Big East-level talent, but so far that’s not the case.

27Jan 2011
Uncategorized 12 comments

Mailbag: How will the blocking schemes change?

The California Golden Bears use a zone blocking system

Hey Thunder,
I’m curious as to how you think the Michigan offensive line will perform in 2011. What are the main differences in zone blocking vs. man blocking schemes, and do you think Michigan’s current group is up to the task? I’ve never coached offensive line (or defensive line) in my brief career, so I’m curious. Thanks!

To first get some terminology out of the way, no team out there runs a true “man blocking scheme”, at least not the way many people interpret those words  That phrase can be disingenuous. 

When one talks about zone blocking, it usually refers to a play in which a running play is intended to go in a general direction, not necessarily to one particular hole.  The offensive linemen do follow some rules about who to engage, but generally, a linemen tries to lock on to a defender, take him in whichever direction he wants to go, and then let the running back find a lane to follow.  A good explanation from a blog I like comes from Smart Football’s post on the matter.

When one talks about man blocking, it often refers to rule blocking.  There are some plays within man blocking schemes in which the offensive linemen choose who to block based on counting the number of defenders to their side of the ball.  For example, on a running play to the right, the center might block the #1 guy to the right of the ball (whether it’s a defensive lineman or linebacker), the guard takes #2, the tackle takes #3, and the tight end walls off #4.  In that type of situation, it doesn’t matter how the defense aligns – the linemen just count at the line of scrimmage and then try to drive defenders off the ball.  A post from footballcoaching.com provides a list of pros and cons for each type of scheme.  Man blocking schemes do have the ability to run complicated plays, such as the counter trey, on which the backside guard and backside tackle pull and lead through a hole.  Unlike zone plays, these plays typically are intended to go to one particular hole.

As for how Michigan’s linemen will fare in what we can only assume will be a more man blocking-oriented scheme, I think they’ll be just fine.  Rich Rodriguez and Mike Barwis realized last year that 290-pound linemen can’t get the job done at Michigan, so several of them bulked up to 300 pounds for the 2010 season.  I don’t expect that Michigan will return to having oodles of 320-330 lb. behemoths, but some of these guys should be able to hit 310-315.  New strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman has talked about keeping down his players’ body fat percentage, so I don’t expect Michigan to turn into a bunch of Wisconsin Badger-like fatties.

Individually . . .

LT Taylor Lewan. He was somewhat light this past season due to his youth, but I think he can be successful in any scheme.  He’s strong, nasty, and athletic.  I’ve said since he was recruited that he plays like Jake Long.  He’ll continue to add some weight and continue to be a mauler.

LG Ricky Barnum (?).  I’m operating under the assumption that Barnum will replace the departed Steve Schilling.  Barnum has flirted with playing offensive tackle in the past, but he doesn’t have the length to play tackle.  To me he’s a prototypical bowling ball of a guard.

C David Molk. Molk might be the lightest guy on the offensive line, but he’s also the strongest.  Centers are typically the smallest offensive linemen, so I’m not concerned about his lack of size.

RG Patrick Omameh.  I still think that Omameh would be a good fit at offensive tackle, although I’m not sure he’ll switch positions at this point.  He doesn’t have the prototypical body type for a guard in a man blocking scheme; he might be heavy enough, but he’s more the athletic guard type than a straight ahead mauler.  He’s excellent on the move, like former UCLA Bruin and Baltimore Raven Johnathan Ogden (although obviously not as big and probably not as good), so I expect offensive coordinator Al Borges to run counters, waggles, and traps to utilize Omameh’s athleticism.

RT Mark Huyge.  I’ve never been impressed with Huyge, but maybe he’ll take a leap as a senior.  He’s got the size, but I’ve just never thought of him as a great athlete.  If another guard steps up (Rocko Khoury, maybe), I wouldn’t mind seeing Omameh bump out to RT and having Khoury step in at right guard.  We’ll see what happens.

These guys probably won’t be the equivalent of the mean, nasty, road grading offensive linemen that populated Michigan in decades past, but they should be able to hold their ground.  If Borges and Brady Hoke hold to their promise of making changes to the offense based on personnel, then they should be able to take advantage of this line’s strengths.  I don’t want to see Borges forced into zone blocking if that’s not his specialty, but he needs to get these guys on the move.

15Jan 2011
Uncategorized 20 comments

Mailbag: Why would Denard change positions?

Denard Robinson: Faster than a horse.

Thanks for the blog, which I enjoy. As you are clearly knowledgeable about football, I was surprised by the following comment:

“My initial reaction is to expect that Robinson will transfer, perhaps to Pitt, where former Michigan offensive coordinator Calvin Magee has alighted. He could go to Pittsburgh, sit out 2011, and have two years of eligibility to play quarterback. In my opinion, the best chance Hoke has to retain Robinson is to make a pitch for Robinson to become a running back or wide receiver.”It seems to me that if Robinson stays, he simply must be a quarterback. Otherwise, with Forcier gone, Michigan would be down to one scholarship quarterback, which is clearly unacceptable.

As of now, there are no QB commits in the 2011 class, and at this late date, I suspect the best Hoke could get is a mid-range three-star who will show up in August unprepared for Division I football. If Robinson transfers, we will have to live with that. But if Robinson stays, I cannot imagine that the coaches would choose to hand the job to Gardner, with an anonymous true-freshman three-star kid as his backup.

Let’s assume that Gardner would beat out Robinson in an open competition (not at all obvious to me, but I’ll run with it). You still need two guys ready to play the position. QB is hard enough to learn when you practice it full-time. I can’t imagine that Robinson would have be able to learn a new playbook, get fully prepared to back up Gardner, and have any significant amount of time left to practice other another position that he has never played before.

On top of all that, Robinson seems to want to play QB. I doubt that he would survive a whole season at running back, given his propensity for injury, and he has no history catching the ball. But even if Robinson wanted and were suited to another position, the lack of depth at QB pretty much precludes that idea.

Again: love the blog. I just wonder what on earth you were thinking when you suggested a position switch for Denard. It seems to me the world’s most impractical idea.

Best regards, Marc

Here’s my thought process on the matter…

Denard is an excellent runner. He’s a mediocre thrower and I’m not sure he has the ability to play quarterback in an offense that’s something other than an option offense where he’s a frequent running threat.  His mechanics are iffy, his decision making is iffy, and his 62.5% completion percentage belies his scattershot arm.  There’s a frustrating lack of accuracy on short throws from Robinson that often prevents his receivers from doing much with the ball once it hits their hands – and that’s to say One could point to Roy Roundtree’s frustrating drops – especially in the second half of the season – as a reason that Robinson’s completion percentage should be higher, but I would argue that Robinson’s running ability created a significant amount of wide open, easy catches (see Terrence Robinson’s catch against UConn, Roundtree’s touchdown against Mississippi State, and Roundtree’s long touchdown against Illinois for just a few examples).

I don’t think I said this in the other day’s post, but I expect that Brady Hoke will recruit one or more quarterbacks in the Class of 2011. They probably won’t be top-tier guys, but they’ll be quarterbacks nonetheless. That would leave Devin Gardner, perhaps Tate Forcier (if he’s reinstated), and a freshman or two.

I believe Gardner is a better fit for a pro-style offense than Rodriguez’s zone read option. Gardner isn’t a great runner. I think he’s a pocket guy who can scramble. He would be great out of the shotgun, but he’s not going to break big runs like Denard, Pat White, etc. I won’t say that Rodriguez and Gardner were a mismatch, but I think Gardner would be more effective when deployed like Ohio State’s Jim Tressel uses perennial bonehead Terrelle Pryor.  So here are the steps I was suggesting Michigan should take:

1. Prepare Gardner to be the starter.
2. Bring in a freshman or two and see if they can handle being the backup.
3. Move Denard to RB or WR. Create a package for him to be the “Wildcat QB” or just let him get a few reps at QB in case of an emergency. And if people get hurt ahead of him, he could always move back to QB in a Paul Thompson (ex-Oklahoma QB/WR) or Justin Siller (Purdue QB/RB) type of way.

I don’t think Denard is as injury-prone as you suggested, although I do think he’s injury-prone for a quarterback and was asked to run too much. He got his shoulder dinged up, but the main reason that mattered was because he was playing quarterback. A minor shoulder injury isn’t a big deal for a RB because he doesn’t have to throw. And Denard did bang up his hip and knee, but I would guess a majority of running backs get dinged up throughout the year. They were all pretty minor injuries, and I don’t think they would have been as big of a deal if Denard wasn’t a QB and touching the ball on 100% of the plays.

It’s unclear whether Robinson has the ability to play wide receiver, which requires precise route-running and good hand-eye coordinator.  Quarterbacks usually have pretty good hands, and with Robinson’s speed, I don’t doubt that he could play receiver, at least the college level.  And he’s already essentially a running back at times; we’ve seen his patience in waiting for blocks to develop, his ability to outrun or outmaneuver defenders, and his ability to accelerate through the hole.  Receiver might be a huge question mark, but I have no doubt that Robinson could be an outstanding running back at the college level.  I see no discernible difference between Robinson and Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson – one is listed at 6’0″, 193 lbs. and the other is 5’11”, 191 lbs. – who seems to be doing rather well for himself.

Like I said, it’s partially dependent on whom Hoke can recruit to play QB. If he can’t recruit someone for the class of 2011 and Tate Forcier doesn’t return, then Denard surely has to stay at quarterback. But I agree that Denard does want to play quarterback, and there’s something to be said for that. I just also think that Denard’s NFL future depends on his versatility, and playing RB or WR might prepare him more for his future. Guys who convert from QB in college to another position in the NFL generally aren’t anything more than role players in the NFL, although there are a few exceptions (Josh Cribbs, Antwaan Randle-El, etc.). There are guys out there like Julian Edelman, Brad Smith, and Bert Emanuel, but I don’t think many superstar college players want to be the next Bert Emanuel.

None of this is to say that I dislike Denard Robinson or that I want him to transfer.  His leadership, on-field demeanor, effort, and talent are unquestionable.  I hope he remains at Michigan for two more years, Brady Hoke can use him effectively, and Robinson goes on to a long and illustrious football career.  If his goal is to be an outstanding college quarterback, win a lot of games, and re-insert himself into the Heisman race, then it might be in Robinson’s best interest to play at a different school.  But if his goal is to maximize his effectiveness and begin a transition to a position that is more likely to get him to the NFL, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for him to become a running back.

14Jan 2011
Uncategorized 3 comments

Tate Forcier, ex-Wolverine . . . for now

See you later, Tate.  Or not.

During Wednesday’s press conference to introduce new head coach Brady Hoke, athletic director David Brandon was asked about the status of Tate Forcier, Michigan’s starting quarterback in 2009 and backup in 2010.  Brandon responded that Forcier is “no longer with the program.”

Some reports indicate that Forcier is no longer at Michigan due to flunking out during the fall semester.  Mike Forcier, Tate’s father, stated that his son did not flunk out of school. Regardless, he was ineligible for the Gator Bowl against Mississippi State.  Forcier is supposedly enrolled at a community college in the hopes of re-applying to the University of Michigan.  If Forcier were to be reinstated to U of M for the fall semester, he would not lose a year of eligibility, as far as I know; he would be a true junior for the 2011 season.

Forcier is a 4-star recruit from San Diego who enrolled early in January 2009 to take the position vacated by Steve Threet (transferred to Arizona State) and Nick Sheridan (relegated to the bench).  He immediately seized the starting position and  held onto it for his entire season freshman.  The team went 5-7 and Forcier finished 165-for-281 (58.7%) for 2050 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.

Some reported immaturity and the meteoric rise of classmate Denard Robinson sent Forcier to the sideline for the majority of 2010.  He originally responded poorly to the benching, entertaining thoughts of a transfer when true freshman Devin Gardner overtook the sophomore Forcier for second place on the depth chart during the 2010 opener against Connecticut.  However, Forcier’s third-place spot on the depth chart turned out to be maturity based rather than performance-based, and he eventually overtook Gardner.  Forcier saw spot duty in several games, but really showed out when Robinson was injured against Illinois.  Forcier finished out the second half of the 67-65, triple-overtime victory.  He ended the season 54-for-84 (64.3%) for 597 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions.

I was excited about Forcier when he was recruited back in 2009.  I thought he had a chance to be a version 2.0 Rich Rodriguez quarterback, the type who would throw the ball a lot, run a little bit, and hand off to some as-yet-undiscovered superstar Rich Rodriguez running back.  But . . . uhhh . . . none of that really happened.  Forcier turned out to be a little too headstrong for his own good, throwing passes he had no business throwing, scrambling with the ball loosely held in one arm, taking his starting job a little too lightly, and ultimately losing his spot on the football team.  He still has potential to be a decent quarterback if he matures – both on and off the field.  But I also won’t be surprised if he fades into the background like both of his quarterback brothers (Jason, who was a backup at Michigan and Stanford; and Chris, who played at UCLA and Furman).
Forcier’s departure almost guarantees that new coach Brady Hoke will need to recruit one or more quarterbacks for the Class of 2011.  Even if Forcier finds himself back on Michigan’s campus in the fall, the quarterback position would remain thin with only three scholarship players.  While Hoke has promised to incorporate Denard Robinson’s skills into the offense, I expect that Michigan will try to find a pro-style quarterback before National Signing Day.