October 30, 2012

Borton's Blog: Not an option

One of the biggest questions (at least for some) coming out of the Nebraska loss involved not seeing junior wide receiver Devin Gardner move back to quarterback after senior Denard Robinson left via injury and sophomore Russell Bellomy struggled.

For head coach Brady Hoke and offensive coordinator Al Borges, it wasn't a question at all.

"He hasn't taken a rep at quarterback in a long time," Borges shrugged. "That would not be a smart move."

But why not, implore the seers who knew Robinson was going disappear in a crucial game for more than a half after not missing significant time through seven others.

Another shrug. Gardner is a wide receiver, albeit now - with Robinson's somewhat more uncertain status and Bellomy's struggles against Nebraska - the junior will prep some at quarterback this week. That will renew Gardner's behind-center operations for the first time, in earnest, since early in fall camp.

Didn't Michigan gamble too much by moving Gardner away from quarterback? Could it not have prepped him for both jobs?

Doesn't work that way, Borges assured.

"No, because how can you?" he said. "It can't be done. I'd do it in a minute if I thought you could do it. You can't do it. You can't rep three quarterbacks and prepare him to play wide receiver, too. There are not enough plays in practice.

"You've got to make a decision where he's going to help your team the most, and then go from there."

Post-injury, the approach changes, but not because that's what Michigan necessarily wants to do.

"We wanted him to play wide receiver," Borges insisted. "We look at the reps and see where we can fit him. We see how the health of our quarterbacks holds up.

"He's got to [play quarterback] now, because you don't know what's going to happen. Denard is going to be okay, but who knows what's going to happen the next snap? You have to find a way to balance it, whether you like it or not.

"I would prefer to keep it the way it is, but we're just not afforded that luxury right now."

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