As the old adage goes, the most popular player on the team is the backup quarterback.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Brandon Peters acquitted himself nicely during Michigan's spring game on Saturday, certainly making an argument that he should become the number two quarterback on the depth chart. On the other end, Wilton Speight, the de facto starter at quarterback, did not have his best day which, of course, has others clamoring to have the younger Peters in as quarterback.
Speight understands that no job is ever guaranteed, let alone safe, in the U-M program these days. He realizes that there is constant competition and that he should always look over his shoulder because there's always someone looking to take his job.
"I saw a quote from Tom Brady very recently, after this Super Bowl, that said 'I have to come in every day because I don't know who is going to come in and take my job,'" Speight said. "Obviously, not comparing the two of us, but you have to have the mindset of, wow, a lifelong competition of a quarterback battle or whatever it is, you have to be on your toes at all times."
Speight was clearly frustrated with his performance after the spring game. He noted that the defensive pressure he saw put him off his game and forced him to run. Fortunately, the 20 pounds he says he has lost this season has put him in a position to be more mobile in the pocket. However, with mobility sometimes comes consequences, like trying to do too much with the football.
"I had a good spring," Speight said. "Coach Pep and I have continued to figure out the mesh that we need to have in terms of offensive coordinator and QB. Obviously, there's two mistakes I made out there today. I saw a little window that probably isn't doable and I still trust my arm enough to fit it in there. I definitely need to eliminate those today and I had really been all spring. With the scoreboard, I was trying to go out there and make a play for the team and probably should've eaten the ball and threw it away. That's something I'm learning from and moving on."