Friday, June 15, 2007

Ryan Mallett's Winter of discontent

At the 4th Annual Carr's Wash 4 Kids, true freshman sensation QB Ryan Mallett discussed the tough times he suffered during his first Michigan winter. Apparently, he did not like his first Michigan winter and he went two weeks with hardly talking to anyone. The adjustment to college life was made even more difficult by the fact that Mallett started at Michigan in January while the rest of his class was still in high school. Mallett did not have the support network of other Michigan freshmen as he was an early enrolee. The social isolation he experienced as an early enrolee is one reason I am opposed to the trend of bringing in freshman early.

It sounds as if the internet rumors about the possibility of transferring to the University of Arkansas were not unfounded. Fortunately, Mallett reports that he is past the homesickness now but he readily admits that it was bad. The winter was hard, he said, but it will be worth it come fall, when he'll be the primary backup to veteran quarterback Chad Henne next fall. Go Blue!

*Note: Photo of QB Ryan Mallett (15) with Coach Carr from final Spring Practice of April 14, 2007 by mzgoblue



At 6:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe he almost left because of the winter. Whats so bad abot the winter? I think he'll mature and become the new saior of Michigan football. GO BLUE!

At 11:29 PM, Blogger EricGoBlue said...

The WEATHER caused this much turmoil and doubt in him? To me, that doesn't speak well to Mallett's character. If I were a teammate or coach, I would be concerned on several fronts:
(1) He doesn't know how to prepare. (He didn't bring a COAT?! You've got to be kidding. It's cold and it snows in Michigan. That's predicatble. Clearly, life hasn't taught him to be prepared. How is he going to prepare for the tough, UNpredictable Big Ten schedule if/when he is the team leader?
(2) He "suffers" within. Crossing campus in the cold and snow was difficult for him. That's another "WHA...?!" I personally trudged across central campus many a below-zero day. It can be beautiful if you step outside the cocoon of your head. He's made a big decision and he's JUST getting started - make the best of it - enjoy what you're doing. This is something he's going to have to learn to project to his teammates when things get tough and your down in a game. Have fun, be positive, and exude confidence in your decisions.
(3) He was upset that people weren't talking to him. This isn't good - a QB needs to be an extrovert, not afraid to start the conversation. Be UP UP UP when everyone around you is down. Be the leader. On the sideline, there are going to be TOUGH times. Is he going to sit there and pout, alone unless someone comes over to "talk" to him? Or will he be the motivator, some added energy when the team needs it.

Some may say I'm being "tough" on the kid, but I don't think so. I'm not expecting Mallett to be perfect at this young age. But there are certainly keys to personality learned early that will lend to a person becoming a true FOUNDATION and leader for the team.

It seems the coaching staff may have a LOT of work to do on Mallett. Hopefully he can get it together by the time Henne moves on and the UM team and fanbase look to Mallett to assume control.


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