Sunday, March 16, 2008

Scramble to fill the void at QB

Chad Henne started his very first game at QB as a true freshman in 2004 and went on to start 47 of 50 games during his career from 2004-2007. During Henne's first three seasons (when he started all 37 games) he took virtually every snap. Last year, due to injury, Ryan Mallett started three games in Henne's absence but Mallett transferred to the greener pastures of Arkansas leaving Michigan with no experience at the quarterback position for 2008. This situation is reminiscent of 1979 when the Wolverines scrambled to fill the void left by the departure of Michigan's first QB to start as a true freshman and start for four years- Rick Leach (1975-1978). After Leach left the program, Coach Schembechler rotated in little-used B.J. Dickey, John Wangler, and true freshman Rich Hewlett. Each player started at least one game during the 1979 season. Similarly, in 2008, Coach Rodriguez may end up with a triumvurate of Steven Threet, walk-on Nick Sheridan, and true freshman Justin Feagin. It would not be beyond the realm of possiblity for all three (or certainly two) of the above to start games next season. In 2008, the odd-man-out appears to be David Cone. Cone (currently a So./Fr.) does not appear to fit into Coach Rodriguez' plans even at this early stage of the proceedings. At the first spring practice session, Steven Threet and walk-on Nick Sheridan took the majority of snaps. Despite his walk-on status, Sheridan is considered more mobile and a better athlete than Cone and thus a better fit for the spread offense. Once new recruit dual-threat QB Justin Feagin arrives in the Fall, Cone's snaps would be limited even further. I consider it extremely likely that Coach Rod will encourage Cone to continue his education at another institution of higher learning once spring practice has concluded. Go Blue!

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