Calvin Magee Looks For Big Year

The Michigan offense looks to take another step in the right direction with a strong 2010 campaign. At Media Day last weekend offensive coordinator Calvin Magee sat down with GBW to give the latest on the offense and how he sees the 2010 season playing out once the team opens against UConn next weekend.

In the Wolverines firs t season under Rich Rodriguez the Maize and Blue suffered through just a three win season. With Nick Sheridan and Steven Threet sharing the quarterbacking duties, plus youth and inexperience surrounding them, the team struggled scoring points and put up an average of just 20.2 while netting 290.8 in total offense.

A year later, while improving to a 5-7 record, the offense made significant strides with more experience and a pair of quarterbacks, Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson, better suited to the Rodriguez offense. As a result the team gained 384.5 yards per game while racking up a much more respectable 29.5 per contest.

Back for a third year, and still with associate head coach Calvin Magee calling the plays, the offense looks to make another step in the right direction in 2010. Bigger, stronger and a year wiser, both Denard Robinson and Tate Forcier look to show improvement from the 2009 season.

"He's grown up. It's maturity," Magee said of Tate's progress since fall camp opened. "You start to be around and understand what we want from all of them. You're starting to see that as he's a year older, been in the system a year longer. He's starting to mature quite a bit."

Pushing him, and possibly passing him, on the depth chart was Denard Robinson. A talented runner with improved passing ability, Robinson provides a different kind of threat to opposing defenses. Add in Devin Gardner and Michigan is as deep at quarterback as it's been in years.

"They all have been doing really well. Right now it's as close as it could possibly be. To pinpoint just one guy as standing out is really unfair to the other guys."

At running back Coach Magee has a plethora of options to choose from. Vincent Smith and Michael Shaw return as the most experienced of the running backs. Smith, coming off an ACL injury, made significant strides before being lost in the Ohio State game. Shaw has academic issues pending, but should the Ohio native suit up in the fall, he just may be the most dangerous in space.

"It's the same situation. Vince is coming off the injury, but he's back and he's getting strong. Hopkins is coming back from a strong spring session. He's showing some promise. Then you've got Toussaint (Fitzgerald). It's really three or four guys in the mix. There's Shaw (Michael) who's got the most experience. We've got a few things we're looking at."

On the outside the team appears just as deep as in the backfield. Darryl Stonum looks to have made major strides in the fall, and Roy Roundtree and Martavious Odoms both have a plethora of experience on Saturday's. Adding depth are youngsters Jeremy Gallon, Terrance Robinson and even freshmen Jeremy Jackson and Ricardo Miller.

"We've got options. It's a long list of names, not only just outside to single that out, but we've got some slot receivers that are in the mix too. We're trying to find the best combination to be strong two-deep. It's every day that they're competing for it."

The Wolverines open the season in just one week when the UConn Huskies invade Michigan Stadium for a 3:30 pm kick-off.

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