Smith Says QB Play "Not Very Good"

Michigan quarterback coach Rod Smith assesses the performance of his signal callers in the 45-17 victory over Eastern Michigan. Both freshmen talents had their positive moments, but both still have a great deal of room for improvement.

Question:  Assess your quarterback play today?

Rod Smith:  "Not very good, I didn't think.  We missed some reads.  Shoelace (Denard Robinson) made some plays with his legs.  He had one good throw that was bobbled and got called back overturned.  We made some not very good decisions in the passing game at times.  Sometimes we tucked, when we shouldn't have.  We got to make a play.  We can't take any sacks.  I wasn't very pleased with that.  We ran the ball extremely well and we thought we could.  We knew that we were better than them up front.  We basically just hammered them.  I thought Shoelace did a very good job when he got in there and got into rhythm.  He's a fast kid obviously."

Question:  On his interceptions, can you take me through those plays; were the reads correct or were they just underthrown overthrown; what happened on those plays?

Rod Smith:  "We're trying to get him involved.  We're trying to do more things with him and keep getting his feet wet.  He's growing right now trying to understand what we're doing.  One was a misread and the other one wasn't.  At the same time, that's how you cut your teeth and he's going to be fine.  We'll keep working him and get him ready."

Question:  What's he like on the sidelines after a play like that?

Rod Smith:  "I don't know.  I'm up in the pressbox.  He's pretty calm.  He's a hype kid when he plays.  So he gets ultra-hyper.  I'm not talking about that in a bad way.  He's just an excitable young man and I love him to death.  He's going to be a great player I think when it's all said and done."

Question:  You guys got an opportunity to get some more backs in there, Michael Shaw look like he got in there and got some good runs today.

Rod Smith:  "Yeah it was good.  We wanted to get as many guys as we could, get their feet wet and get them some playing time.  It's important because we think we got a great stable of tailbacks and we're deep.  You can't play them all but at the same time, it is fun when you get a chance to get them in the game and rotate them some."

Question:  Did you guys come in today wanting to focus on the run game or was that just how the game played out? 

Rod Smith:  "We came in wanting to win the game.  We come in and do what we have to do.  Our offensive line took control of it up front and the rest was history.  I don't think we played as well from our skill position; I'm talking about the quarterback.  At the same, we handled it up front and that's where the game is won."

Question:  Is there a natural letdown for your quarterbacks after last week's performance?

Rod Smith:  "I hope not.  Obviously you're on an emotional high.  We try to keep them even keel.  Sometimes I think those guys are too young to know when they're high, when they're low.  At the same time, we got to get better than what were today."

Question:  You guys are up 24-10 when you put Denard in there, abd you were kind of backed up.  Any regrets in doing that?

Rod Smith:  "No.  There are certain times when we want Tate (Forcier) in there and there are times when we want Denard.  We have no hesitation of doing it.  He's got to play.  We got to get him some snaps and this was a game that we thought we could get him some good snaps as far as running our system and getting your feet wet a little bit further and do a little bit more with him.  Obviously, we didn't throw as well as we want to.  He made one good throw in the corner route, we bobbled it, but we got to make some better decisions in some of the other stuff that we do."

Question:  Speaking of that play, what did you see from Denard on that?

Rod Smith:  "Great read.  He did a good job.  He did exactly what he was supposed to do.  He recognized man coverage, threw the corner route, just got to catch it clean.  Tay (Martavious Odoms) normally does.  I couldn't tell.  I could tell he bobbled it a little bit, but it was a good ball."

Question:  How concerned where you when you saw Tate crumpled up there on the field?

Rod Smith:  "I'm not.  He's a tough kid.  He just got the air knocked out of him."

Question:  Could you tell that?

Rod Smith:  "I figured it was.  The way he went down.  The way he got hit, I didn't think it was too serious.  The way he was squirming, I knew he was probably trying to catch his breath.   He's a tough kid.  He's fine."

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