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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Will they stay or will they go? And should they?

Articles in both the Detroit News and Free Press discuss the possibility that QB Ryan Mallett along with receivers Mario Manningham and Adrian Arrington might not be back next year. Manningham and Arrington are weighing whether or not make themselves available for the NFL draft while pocket-passer Mallett is deciding if he should transfer in the wake of Michigan hiring spread-offense guru Rich Rodriguez as its new coach.

So, what will each player do and, more importantly, what should they do?


With all the injuries to Chad Henne this season, the consensus #2 high school QB in the country last year (behind ND's Jimmah Clausen) got more playing time than even he could have imagined. However, the year turned out to be a mixed bag for Mallett.

After Michigan opened the season with two ugly defeats, Mallett started against the suck-ass Clausen-led Irish and brought home a victory that anybody probably could have brought home. The following week was even more impressive when Mallett helped the Wolverines up end 10th ranked Penn State. Suddenly, it looked like a QB controversy was brewing in the Big House.

Not so fast, my friend.

From that point on, it Mallett seemed to struggle the rest of the season. And I mean really struggle - like just taking the snap from center. Even worse, rumors swirled that there was an attitude problem.

WHAT WILL HE DO: Transfer. With Rodriguez in A2 and Terrelle Pryor - a Vince Young-esque dual threat QB and #1 recruit in the country now considering Michigan - Mallett sees the writing on the wall. However, since he does have the game experience - and if Pryor doesn't come to UM - Mallett could be the BMOC on a wide open attack if he sticks around.

WHAT HE SHOULD DO: Transfer. Even though he played in a shotgun-centered offense in high school, his lack of running ability will never make him The One in Rodriguez's eyes - and he knows it. Mentally that will be tough...coupled with the fact that Michigan will be only recruiting QBs in the VY mold, further making it obvious that, "Damn, we wish you weren't here." Plus, if the offense struggles, the fans - unfairly - will blame him for "slowing" Rich and his spread down. Sadly, this talented


Remember ND game in 2006? When Manningham seemed to explode onto the scene, going from mere talent to superstar? Since then, while he's put up some big games (MSU, anybody?), he doesn't seem to play at that top level each and every time he takes the field. He's also had some dropsies (OSU, folks?) and seems reluctant to lay his body out there or take the tough hits across the middle.

This season, Manningham was benched a game for violating team rules and seemed to run half-ass when the play wasn't to him. But man oh man, is that talent still there as evidenced in the MSU game.

WHAT WILL HE DO: Declare for the draft. Manningham has always struck me as the sort of guy who's playing for the M on his driver's license and not the one on his letterman's jacket. Furthermore, reading his quotes makes him sound like he's gone (Manningham said, "The decision I make will be based on this next game" which I frankly don't believe and, when you think about it, doesn't make sense in terms of what he should be basing his decision on).

WHAT SHOULD HE DO: Stay. He needs to prove he can produce week in and week out, as he'll need to do in the pros. One more year, especially in an offense where - while he might not see as many deep balls - he will see a lot of quick routes that will showcase his gamebreaking abilities. I also think a lot of scouts would like to see him take the tough hits and hang on to ball when it counts.


I always liked him. He's a hard worker who never got the pub of a Manningham, but his work ethic and attitude, in my opinion, will take him farther. The fourth-year junior was Michigan's second leading receiver (behind Manningham) and made the tough, non-glamorous, "keep the drive going" catches on a regular basis.

WHAT WILL HE DO: Declare for the draft. However, as mentioned in the News, if his position coach, Erik Campbell, is rehired by Rodriguez, I think the odds shift in favor of Arrington staying. I truly believe he is torn and is going to really go back and forth on what to do. Yet if Campbell doesn't come back, he's 100% gone.

WHAT SHOULD HE DO: Toss up. Arrington is never going to be a first round pick. That's not a slam, it's just the type of receiver he is. Yet such a possession receiver will always find a home on draft day. So, since he's not talking about the big money of passing up first round dollars, it comes down to how much Arrington is enjoying the college experience.


Katie said...

Nice piece Yost. I have said the same about MM. He will declare, but he really should stay, he did not show his full potential, staying another year, he could do better in the draft, IF he adjusts his attitude, and becomes a bit more cordial to the media.

Arrington, I think he should stay, give him a chance to show his talent a bit better, particularly if MM leaves.

Mallett.....this guy represents in many ways how I felt in graduate school. I was a big fish in a little pond and very successful at it, then I came to Michigan and became the small fish in big pond and it was a little bit of a struggle. Same thing for him. I hope that he sticks it out, although if Pryor does come, I would want to leave if I were him, that narrows his chances of being THE QB. If he does choose to transfer, I hope it is not to a Big Ten School, I have a feeling he will be great and that would suck to play against him, knowing he could have been ours!

MGoBlue93 said...

I wouldn't mind seeing Mallet stick it out either. Mallet will never be a VY but he could certainly succeed in a shotgun, 4 wide receiver set. He's not an option QB but he's a bit faster than the typical Michigan pocket passer.

I hope RR modifies his offense a bit. He's going to have more access to different types of talent that what he is accustomed to. He won't need to be so gimmicky at Michigan. RR can light things up with this line and a shotgun QB.

Won't mind seeing MM go... especially after seeing his attitude problems on TV this year. As someone posted this season, there's a reason why MM never got the #1 jersey.

AA kinda reminds me of Toomer as a pro.

Feelin' Blue said...

I've had enough of Mario. We chanted his name last year during the Ball State game! (Win the crowd, and you will win your freedom.) But this year he gave such a poor effort, he gave Mallett a hard time and a bad idea of what playing for Michigan is like, and he played a big role in losing the game to OSU with all those dropped passes. And, based on what my own inside sources tell me (suck on that, Brian Cook!), he's kind of an all-around bum as a person.

But that said, is he going to take good care of himself once he enters the NFL? Maybe he needs another year of guidance in college.

I want Mallett here. He's a top QB with a beautiful arm. Although Terrelle Pryor is too good to turn down, too. The splash that he has made in PA is so huge. He is an amazing athlete. If he is a smart, good kid, then I definitely want him at Michigan.

Feelin' Blue said...

Also, I don't think it's such a good idea to write on the blog that Mallett should transfer. Yost, I love your blog. It's the best out there and has a great sense of humor. I respect your right to write whatever you want. But Mallett could be reading this. And what if you aren't right? Call me paranoid, but I think that he could be influenced by what he reads, and I think that it is possible that RR can make an offense around him.

I think that Mallett is strongly considering transferring though. His father said that he will make a decision after the bowl game, so it sounds like transferring is actually being considered.

J. Lichty said...

I agree that MM should stay. He goes and he is David Terrell.

Joshua said...

It did always seem like Manningham was here for his Mrs., which is a shame given that much talent. I think you're completely dead on with the role Mario could play in
R2's ninja football offense, though. Sadly, I think we've seen the last of the kid after Jan. 1.

The prospect of Mallett out there slinging the football around is fascinating, and I hope hope hope that it happens. Didn't some receiver in his offense at Glenville state have like 1800 yards or something absolutely ridiculous? I couldn't find the stat, but I know it was enough to make me almost spray Mt. Dew all over my computer screen. I had to check and make sure it wasn't a typo whatever it was. My point being Mallett in a shotgun spread could be scary. And the NFL will find him no matter what. He's already established he has a killer arm, if he proves he can be scary accurate on this stage look out.

Arrington? Simply solid. Having MM go and him stay could be the best thing for the team. Then again I'm just some early 30's white guy sitting in an office on a gray Michigan day who may or may not have an unhealthy obsession with Michigan football so wtf do i know?

Brad said...

How can Arrington come back? According to MGoBlue.com he has on field statistics for the past 4 years. Isn't his eligibility used up???

Lysa said...

I think MM should stay, he needs to develop more in his craft, and to adjust his attitude towards other players. Hes smiply not ready to move up yet.

Mallett should stay, Michigan and RR really could use him and Pryor both kind of like Tebow and Leak at Flordia. That would so rock.

Arrington should stay also, I agree with Katie, it would give him a chance to show his talent more.

Lysa said...


Feelin' Blue said...

Arrington got a Medical Redshirt in 2005.

Joshua said...

"But Mallett could be reading this. And what if you aren't right? Call me paranoid, but I think that he could be influenced by what he reads..."

Lloyd said "What I advised Ryan to do when Coach Rodriguez was named was to sit down and talk with him and don't listen to all the things that are out there."

Clearly a veiled reference to his Yostness. And hey Yost, did you know we had a coach named after you way back when. What are the chances of that happening?

whetstonebuck said...

Good points all. However, human nature being what it is, I would think the example of Henne, Hart and Long sticking around would enter into the decision process for your receivers. Expectations didn't pan out. A bummer for them. Is it really worth tempting the injury gods and for what?

Joshua said...

"Is it really worth tempting the injury gods and for what?"

And for what? Well for my amusement of course. Isn't that why all of you are here as well?

Damn you Whets! Why you gotta go and be all logical and stuff.

Feelin' Blue said...

I was looking at some old posts, particularly the one about the worst fans in college football, and I found further proof that Yost is the Nostradamus of the blogosphere. MSU made #2 for worst fans. Here's how Yost described them:

"Michigan State - That Annoying Little Brother in the Backseat During a Looong Car Ride"

Inspiration for Mike Hart's comments? Or prophecy?

What also stands out is this description of Illinois, which is true.

"3. Illinois - But Only During the Mike White Years of the '80s

For a brief, fleeting moment, Illinois reached for the upper echelon of college football in the '80s. As such, like the ugly chick who becomes suddenly hot in some college football fairy tale, their fans took out their years of frustration on Michigan fans during those few heated contests in the 80s...before the team returned to its usually mediocrity."

Admittedly, I only went once and, since I was just a kid, my memory of specifics is about as hazy as writer James Frey's on the Oprah Winfrey Show, but I just remember their fans being off the deep end the year I went and nobody wanting to travel down there again.

Feelin' Blue said...

That last paragraph ("Admittedly, I only went once...") is also from that post, not me. Didn't mean to go all Cowherd on yo asses.

lane said...

if mallett leaves one of the premier QB producing programs in the country he is a fool -- he's no fool.

(has anyone mentioned anything about having to take a year off with the transfer? this has to play into his decision as well i'd imagine - again, he's no fool).

let's take this to the next level. if anyone out there thinks, even with Pryor, that Rodrigues comes into UM and smoothly (in a single off season/season) transitions the wolverines into a 'spread'/'read-option' machine, destroying everything in its path -- you're a MORON. there's some tough times ahead for this team, that's for sure. there will be glimpses of what is to come, but it's not going to happen over night. thus, RR runs with Pryor and UM struggles then Mallett 'should've stayed'. If Mallett does stay and he tries to adjust to whatever scheme RR figures him into, struggles than pryor is either not being utilized or was scared away. there's all sorts of scenarios....and none of them are 'sweet', as my brother would say.

i predict, whatever happens, UM pisses away a quality QB -- and that's too bad.

oh - and forget about everything i just pecked out on my keyboard, cause pryor's coming to the bucks anyway!


Feelin' Blue said...

UM isn't WVU. The talent that RR will be coaching at UM in his first year is far better than the talent that he had in his first year at WVU. That's partly why they went 3-8 his first year. I don't see that type of thing happening at Michigan. I'm not predicting a Natl Championship either though, let alone a Big 10 championship.

But also keep in mind that there are probably some players already at UM who played in a spread offense in HS. Mallett played in a different kind, but it was a spread no less.

I think that RR should focus on either retaining Ron English or getting another quality DC, e.g. Tenuta, although there is speculation that he'll go to LSU, plus he's from Columbus so he probably doesn't like Michigan. With Gittleson's outdated S&C program gone and replaced with Barwis or someone else with a modern S&C program, the D will be in much better shape.

The point is that RR should try to maintain the defense. If enough D players remain at UM and Ron English or some other (good) defensive assistant is retained, then UM can hope for at least an almost seamless transition on defense and quite possibly a much better D since they'll be in shape.

Katie said...

Whets, what about the example of Hart, Henne, Long staying as just being loyal and team players? That speaks volumes as well. (Yeah, I know, I am naive, but it sure does feel good to be that way sometimes :o)

Feeling Blue, I mentioned this on MGoBlog, I really would like to see us retain English and marry the old with the new. Our defense has been one of our strong suits over the years and although it was not spectacular this year, it was predicted to be worse and I think English made some good adjustments. That said, maybe English won't play nice with R2 and that is a deciding factor in any rehire that he may or may not make.

Katie said...

Ok, this is pure speculation, but with reports of double digit players looking to leave the team (and that is rumor, so don't go there) could the fired coaching staff be encouraging them to leave? Gosh, I hate to even suggest that, but it is a curious thought.

I do agree that Mallett is waiting to hear what Pryor is going to do before he decides, but sitting out a year if you transfer, seems like a gamble when in all probability if you stay at Michigan, you see playing time, not matter who comes. Again, naive here, but as a player with eligibility left, I would be excited to be a part of this history that R2 is going to create here, it may not be a huge year in 2008, but certainly the kinks should be worked out for the 2009 season and beyond.

I also agree that R2 is flexible with his offensive genius and can adapt it as needed. He has changed his offensive play book every single year. He is a true innovator and does not risk becoming stale.

Can you tell that I am just a bit excited to see what he can do here at Michigan? It may take some time, but I am willing to be patient! :o)

whetstonebuck said...


No offense toward the Three Amigos, but I think they stayed more for "unfinished business" rather than loyalty. Not that they aren't loyal team mates, but you can be loyal and still take the millions and move on with your life. I felt they stayed to achieve some personal goals that had eluded them. Being with their team mates was just frosting.

Obviously, I don't know what they were really thinking; I'm just going off what they said to the media. If you listen long enough everyone eventually reveals themselves.

Joshua said...

Hey Lane,
Nice to see some intelligent commentary, even if it is from a dirty buckeye. Ask Whets, he's generally treated ok, I tend to only insult him one or two times per day. Anyway, well rounded arguments are always welcome.

That having been said, I think with our talent (and the same could be said for your school) the drop off will not be nearly as profound. There will be a learning curve, but that's what spring ball and summer are for. The idea that the two Qbs are mutually exclusive entities on our team is a very large assumption. As for Pryor coming there, he has publicly stated that they haven't run a pure spread in the past and that makes him a bit skeptical. AND he has a cousin in A2. Which leads me to think we'll have a new signal caller for our Wacko Ninja Offense come January 5th.

Btw, my cousin, who played on the
'97 team, said he'd bet any amount of money we'll be playing for a NC within five years, so i think it's safe to say he likes the hire.

I would find it hard to believe that many guys will leave, it's just not feasible. And as for the coaches they've known for awhile they'd probably be looking for employment, their level of integrity would have to be far lower than I'd ever expect for them to push kids to leave. Oh, and as for San Diego Girl being properly vetted, well, I hope to establish that for myself sometime very soon. :P

Katie said...

Whets, agreed that it was more than pure loyalty, but I do think that was part of it, I am sure they at least speculated that this would be Carr's last season. I having nothing to substantiate that of course!

Joshua, and I don't provide intelligent commentary? Geeshh! You be sure and check San Diego girl out well, I have high standards for you! :P

Joshua said...

Hmm, interesting- an Oprah reference. Maybe Yost is really Oprah.

And is anyone else starting to wonder if T9 got run over by Santa's sleigh?

Joshua said...

I meant additional intelligent commentary. Idiots who, well, I'll refrain from naming a few who come to mind, but anyone who can contribute is always welcome in my opinion, the more the merrier. Though as self-appointed Director of Making Stupid Cry, the dummies make for some fun, too.

Katie said...

I am very curious where T9 is! I have a feeling she was putting in some hours over the holiday, hopefully she will return soon!

Katie said...

Don't look now, T9 is back! Welcome back T9!! You were missed!! MUAH!!

TitleIX said...

Thanks for the shout out folks. katie, you are right...this girl has been working WAAAAYYYY too much since Sunday....

Here's my two cents:
Ryan: should stay, with his height and his gun, he should be able to make a difference as the offense transitions
MM: buh-bye with the attitude and alligator arms
AA: should definitely stay as he is not afraid to go across the middle or run a slant. Perfect ninja material.

w/r/t the coaches and their advice? my guess is that they are more focused on their own jobs than what the kids should do. After all, the majority of the kids are their for school.
That being said, it is interesting to note that the recruiting lounge in Schembechler is covered with pictures of former MI players currently in the NFL....

and, a heart felt C-YA to our antiquated S&R coach. I've been clamoring for his departure for years.

gonna watch me some football tonight, as I officially turn into vacation girl after work tomorrow at noon.


Jim said...

Has Mallet actually given any indication of his intentions or is this all based on what we're assuming R2's offense will look like? Seems to me Mallet could thrive in a Patriots-style modified spread. Why wouldn't R2 adapt to the personnel available? If he can't, he's not much of a hire. I wouldn't count that Pryor chick until he's hatched.

TitleIX said...

Pryor's a chick?????

You mean I COULD have played football as a girl????


Joshua said...

I just realized T9 has no idea i was in Menudo.

TitleIX said...

you say that like it's a bad thing... ;-)

just cuz I couldn't post, doesn't mean I wasn't lurking!

Katie said...

Joshua, if I were you, I would keep that fact to myself (what with the gay implications and all :P

Katie said...

Go Texas! Hook 'em!

TitleIX said...

F Texas

Katie said...

Tell us how you really feel T9, LOL!!

Katie said...

What the hell did that poor guy do? I was putting laundry in (LOL) and I missed it!

Katie said...

I got the replay. The poor guy! He will be forever embarrassed! It will be on You Tube forever! Hopefully Texas doesn't lose by 7!

TitleIX said...

I L O V E that that doofus is Mack Brown's step-son, Chris.
How perfect is that???

Only thing missing is the kid's red hair!


Katie said...

Ohhh, I didn't hear that! I feel so bad for him! He must want to crawl under a rock and never come out. No wonder daddyO didn't rip his head off and puke down his throat...momma would not be happy, and we all know what you don't get when momma isn't happy...LOL.

Feelin' Blue said...

I don't love Urban Meyer. I won't forget last year. But he is saying something nice about UM.

“I admire them because they do it the right way,” Meyer said. “I admire programs that don’t cheat, have good kids and they’re a high end academic school.”

A lot of cfb fans out there hate Michigan. Fine, we're the winningest program in the country with 1 NC in the past 60 years (To all you haters, so?), and we think we're hot shit and blah blah blah. The Pope is being fair here. This is why people shouldn't hate UM. This is one thing about the program that I'm proud of.

Plus, I know that RR had an ugly divorce with WVU, but I like how he is with his players. I haven't heard of any incidents with his players, and from what I understand he demands that they do well in school and behave, unlike, say, Dennis Erickson.

Well done (this time), Urban.

MGoBlue93 said...

Katie... daddyO was sooooo protecting the misguided lad during the post game interviews. Poor kid could barely get a word out of his won mouth. Makes me think that Mack could go into PR when he retires from football... I bet he could even make popwreck Britney Spears look good.

Katie said...

That is what I am talking about....true loyalty, that was nice to watch! I am certain that DaddyO will get a little bonus for that ;o)