MT: Where Michigan Stands Right Now

Former Michigan quarterback Michael Taylor looks back at the Wisconsin game, he discusses the problems with the Michigan offense, and he talks about Henne vs. Gutierrez.

1988-89 starting Michigan quarterback, Michael Taylor:

"Michigan is still Michigan, and I don' t think they're getting the proper respect from media and fans.

"However, this is one of those games where Michigan has to show up ... 2-3 means you go no where. This game is for the Big Ten title for Michigan, as will be every game for the rest of the season. If you lose more than , you're out of the race. Michigan has to win out to have any chance. Even now, Wisconsin has to lose two games, and they don't play MSU.

"Right now, this is not an attacking type football football team. I'm a different type player than Henne -- I played aggressive, and I was an in your face type of guy, so everyone else around me had to play aggressive.

"This team has basically given away two games now. They've got young kids filling in in spots due to injuries, and they're going to make a bad play here and there.

Looking back at he Wisconsin game:

"Chad Henne played another poor game. The loss was not all his fault, but he had guys wide open and was missing them. To me he just needs to settle down, and remember the things he's learned since he's been playing quarterback, namely the down and distance factors.

"Also, Michigan's offense didn't make adjustments, and they didn't make defensive adjustments as well ... WIsconsin kept throwing to Brian Calhoun and Michigan didn't put a guy on him. The Michigan defense didn't give up big plays, but they still lost.

"When you have a guy like John Stocco not doing well like in the first half last week, and you don't rattle him by blitzing, and you let him settle down and complete a few screens and get his confidence ... They never put him under extreme pressure.

Problems with the Michigan offense:

1. "Henne is not playing well.

2. "The offense is not showing the ability to spread the ball around, especially on 3rd down plays. They go to Jason Avant -- he had half the catches last week. They need production from the split end spots (Avant is at flanker), or it'll be long year. They have become predictable. When William Paul is in the game -- it's a run. When Tim Massaquoi is in the game -- it's a run. When Ecker is in the game - it's a pass. When Kevin Grady is in -- it'll be a run between the tackles. They are not running action passes. They are not going verticle with the tight end to get past the linebackers, and they're not going to the tight end in underneath routes either.

"At split end -- I think they'll use Mario Manningham more and more, and will give Antonio Bass more opportunities as well. Bass has the bigger body -- the question is can he run correct routes since he is new to the position. And so far his concentration level is not that good at receiver. They can work with Mario to get him a little more polished. The question with him is, is he strong enough to get off a jam. But Mario has good concentration -- he dropped one pass last week but caught a couple tough ones. It might be better to use Breaston as the 3rd receiver, to get him chance to get into flow of the game. Breaston has been tentative on kickoffs as well.

3. "The running game. Max Martin had good game going against Wisconsin in the first half ... then he fumbled and they took him out and somewhat abandoned the running game in the 2nd half. And they replaced Martin with Grady on goal line ... With Grady teams know Michigan is going up the middle. Max has shown the ability to turn corner early in game. But he fumbled, and didn't touch field. Grady kept playing versus Notre Dame after fumbling. So I think Michigan might be better off going more with Max next week, even if he fumbles once.

Henne vs Gutierrez?

"As good as Henne played last season, he still didn't beat Matt Gutierrez out in fall camp, until going into the first game when Gutierrrez came up hurt. So Gutierrez was good enough to win the starting job last year. Unfortunately he hurt his shoulder, and didn't get the opportunity.

"So the question of the day is: is Henne untouchable? My position is, no position on the field is untouchable. If I'm out there and not playing well, they need to give someone else a chance to win. I went through that with Demetrius Brown -- he and I had a competition that went back and forth.

"The loss to Wisconsin is not all Henne's fault, but if he's missing receivers.

"I don't see anything wrong with giving another guy a chance.

"But, no one knows how well Gutierrez will do.

"So, I lean toward "Henne is our quarterback," but you have to weigh it in a given situation. If he has a bad first half this Saturday and Michigan is down by quite a bit, then I say give someone else a shot ... what can it hurt."

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