Saturday, August 13, 2005

Football is coming!!!!

Well sportsfans, summer is winding to a close yet again and I think that everyone knows what that is almost here. The NFL preseason has begun and just today Rex Grossman managed to become this year's first significant needless preseason injury. Congrats to the Bears on that. I know that every blog worth its salt is doing a college football preview, so I thought that I would join in on the fun with a slight twist. Instead of blathering on about how great Steve Breaston is going to be, over the next few days I plan to preview each position and try to give a best case scenario, a worst case scenario, an injury scenario and my best guess as to how the group will perform throughout the year. So with no further ado, let's take a look at the quarterbacks.

Quarterbacks (Chad Henne, returning starter)
Best Case: Henne is coming off of a spectacular freshman season and the obvious best case scenario would be for him to grow as a player and as a leader. Word on the street last season was that Terry Malone limited the size of the playbook Henne was expected to run. This season he is sure to have the entire playbook at his disposal, and that could be a dangerous proposition indeed for opposing defenses. Matt Gutierrez is back in good health and is perhaps the most talented backup quarterback in the Midwest, if not all of Division 1A.

Worst Case: Henne goes into a sophomore slump, the fans and media turn on him (John Navarre style) and Lloyd Carr is left with a massive QB controversy.

Injury Case: As I already mentioned, Henne has one of the country's better backups in Gutierrez. If by some horrible stroke of fate he is injured, Michigan should be alright at the position. Depth would become a concern though, as after Gutierrez there are a slew of scout team types and true-freshman Jason Forcier.

Best Guess: It is my opinion that many Michigan fans are expecting too much out of Henne in the year to come. I strongly suspect that his production will be better than last year, but not by much as he plateaus just a bit. Figure on 3000 yards and 25 TDs with 10 INTs.

[EDIT]: My good buddy Owais pointed out that he noticed that Henne had a tendency to "short" some of his passes last season, only to be bailed out by Braylon Edwards. Not to worry though, Coach Carr addresses this in a quote from ESPN's Michigan Preview:

"I think the biggest improvement Chad made is that he is much stronger through the hips, through the legs than he was a year ago," Carr said in the spring. "As a result of that, he is throwing the football better because he is stronger through the hips. You throw the ball through the legs to a great extent."