Tuesday, October 21, 2008

No Fake, It's a Bruised Elbow

Injury Telegraph

Remember the days when Lloyd Carr was asked about the condition of an athlete and the reply went something like this:

"Chad is a little knicked up. I'm not telling you whether it's a hair follicle or a torn acl, but it will be a game time decision"

Those days are gone. The oddsmakers and our opponents probably appreciate knowing which arm they should go after when Threet drops back in the pocket. Prime example from Mlive:

University of Michigan quarterback Steven Threet pointed to a spot on his right arm just above the elbow Monday.

"Basically from about here down, my whole hand tingles," he said, describing the sensation he felt in two recent games. "It's not necessarily pain, because you can play through pain, but I can't grip a ball."

And, Freep:

"It's more just a matter of not being able to move it," Threet said. "It's weird to describe because you think it's a bruise on the back of your elbow, but it just stops (the arm from stretching). I can't use my right hand to touch my right shoulder at points during the game."

A little misdirection wouldn't hurt, would it? The article also goes on to quote Threet as having taken shots during each of the last 2 games. To help reduce swelling against Toledo, and for pain relief at half vs. They Are.

In fact, we even know how and when the injury occurred:
The tingling sensation, which first occurred when Threet was tackled out of bounds and landed on his elbow during the second quarter of an Oct. 11 loss to Toledo, caused him to miss the second half of that game. It also forced him from last Saturday's Penn State loss in the third quarter.
Running Threet.

Clearly Rod isn't going to adapt his offense. He had the opportunity early when it looked like Michigan's personnel simply wasn't going to be up to the task of running the qb zone read as the predominant play in this offense. There are spreads that utilize short passes, yes? Yes, there are.

This isn't necessarily a complaint. I obviously think flexibility would have been productive for this team. This team did not have to be 2-5. On the other hand, I assume Rod saw some light flashes in practice that gave him hope. I can live with that decision (unlike poor clock management or ridiculous in game strategy).

But now it is painfully obvious that Michigan cannot win if they have to rely on Nick Sheridan. No offense to Nick is meant here. He is a walk-on, though, and it really shouldn't surprise anyone that our offense stalls when a short, relatively slow, walkon quarterback with a poor arm plays quarterback. He does what he can, but he just doesn't have enough sockets in the ol' toolbox.

Knowing this, wouldn't you do what you could to preserve and protect Mr. Threet? Sure, running off tackles and zone reads with the quarterback was semi-productive, but only in a perverted sort of way. Kind of like taking a short cut out of the parking garage over those spikey backward tire hole puncher things. Multiply that by two if you don't have a spare tire.