Borges Talks Spring Objectives (with Video)

Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges on Denard Robinson's progress, experimenting with Devin Gardner, replacing Junior Hemingway, and much much more.

Borges' presser notes (paraphrased)

  • They have enough guys to compete on the offensive line.  There’s a couple of kids, Barnum, Miller who will be good centers.

  • They’re doing what they did a year ago with Devin Gardner -- "Devin is a back up quarterback", will do what they can to put the best 11 guys on the field.

  • On if they're experimenting with Devin at WR: “There’s a reason practice is closed.”.

  • They’re not doing too much creative early, they will try to get back into it and then bring out some of what that they did from last season to move guys around or do different things.

  • Once a kid's played center they understand things a little better.

  • They have to practice physical and they won’t stop that even with the offensive line depth.

  • Denard Robinson has made a marked improvement because he understands the offense better. As he goes on and understands better he’ll be fine. He will know the offense better and his footwork is improving but needs to be consistent. He’ll know when he screws up before Borges says anything. He has great instincts, and now that he’s got a year in the system, some of those instincts will show up and that’s scary (for opposing defenses).

  • Denard is a great runner and he’s taken on a leadership role, which is exciting to the coaching staff -- and they can do more now that he understands.

  • They worked with Ricky during the winter on center, QB exchange.

  • It's not going to be easy to replace Junior Hemingway at WR. Roy is moving to flanker (Junior's old spot) -- he was a split end last year -- and because they split time with he and Gallon, Roy’s numbers fell.  A healthy Roy Roundtree, he could really have a great season. He’s running very well right now and is improving with a great attitude. There are more balls thrown your way at flanker. No doubt he’s going to have a heck of a year -- he has excellent speed, he gets the ball ... and so could Gallon.

  • Jerald Robinson in two days has been very impressive. He's big and physical like Junior, excellent hands. He ran on the scout team quite a bit last year not because he wasn’t good enough to play just had other good players ahead of him. Jerald is going to get a great look this year and will contribute from what they’ve seen.

  • Fitz has good hands but he would like him to be equal to what Vince did so they don’t have to take him out all of the time. Backs need to block and that can always get better. Refining little things about his game. The more he plays the faster he learns.

  • Justice Hayes is another one that is going to get a good look. They don’t have to overuse Fitz in the spring based on what they’ve seen. Can use Justice -- give him a chance to run the ball, plus he has some great receiving skills ... and this is a big spring for him.

  • Because they are under center some and the center quarterbacks the offensive line, that position is critical that they get productivity. Need a smart, athletic guy. Not an easy position to play.

  • They’re still basically a shotgun team because they have a QB that can run and the best way to exploit that is out of the shotgun. The last few games of the year is what they want to be, not total shotgun but they know it’ll be prevalent.

  • Barnum is getting some Mattison defenses thrown at him that he has to adjust to. More he sees it the better he’ll understand it. Not concerned about him, he’s a smart kid.

  • Tight ends aren’t doing bad. Brandon Moore has been consistent and Miller understands the offense, and he's very athletic. Miller has speed and receiving skills. They have freshmen coming in and if they show up they’ll have a shot to contribute as well.

  • Devin is an incredible athlete, so many dimensions to him, he’s smart and picks stuff up fast. Every time you put together a plan you’ve got to find a way to factor him into it somehow. They're always looking for opportunities to get him into the game in some way without breaking the rhythm of the quarterback. Might use him more this year, maybe, we’ll see. Devin was recruited as the number one dual threat quarterback in the country, not a prototypical drop back type.

  • Rusell Bellomy is another athlete, he can run the ball. Accurate passer ... his arm is improving strength wise ... and tell him once and he’s got it. He can get himself out of messes when things break down, and he can run designed quarterback runs. Trying to get him some time -- with him it's similar to what they’ve seen out of Denard because they know what they have with him -- they want to give Russell some more chances.

  • Alabama is on the mind a little, the kids are watching Alabama right now, coming in on their own. It’s about developing this football team though, getting every guy a little bit better everyday. As you get closer to the game you become more focused on it, but this offense needs to become a fundamentally better offense this spring.

  • Michael Schofield should do fine at RT because it’s more natural for him as opposed to LG. He was a hurdler in high school, and he's more of a tackle body type anyway.

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