Michigan OC Speaks About The State Of QBs

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Michigan is coming off a tough season, but that’s ancient history. Instead, the Wolverines are focused on next season as spring practice comes to a conclusion this week.

All eyes are now on the quarterback position, and offensive coordinator Josh Gattis offered an update on how things are going.

“I think for us it’s about trying to create as many game-like scenarios to put the quarterbacks in. Real, contested scenarios,” Gattis said on the In the Trenches podcast. “Because that’s the hardest thing about quarterback. You really never know about the quarterback until you put them in a game scenario. Obviously, Cade (McNamara) is experienced. The players believe in him as far as leadership, he has a tremendous understanding of the offense. He’s a leader. He moves the ball for the team, he moves the ball for the offense and he takes control on command. But he’s still only played in one, two, three games. He hasn’t played a ton of football. So he’s still the returning starter, but he hasn’t played a ton of football. So there’s a still lot left to be desired as far as game scenarios that he needs to take.”

J.J. McCarthy and Dan Villari are the other Wolverines QBs of note.

“J.J.’s come in, he’s done a really good job of learning the offense, just grasping everything. He’s had his freshman moments, but he’s also had big-time moments that displayed his five-star ability and his skill set,” Gattis said. “He’s a kid with tremendous talent, but it’s about getting him caught up and understanding every day is a new day, because you don’t have the banked reps or repeated opportunity to be able to grasp from other practice scenarios. And obviously, when a defensive install goes in, the picture changes as well.”

Gattis also spoke highly of Villari.

“Dan, who was a redshirt freshman last year, this spring has been totally new for him. Because what people don’t understand is when you’re a redshirt freshman, you’re the scout team quarterback, you’re not going through your offense — you’re going through the opposing team’s offense,” Gattis said. “You’re running plays on cards. We really have two freshmen right there with Dan Villari and J.J. McCarthy that are battling it out with Cade.

“The biggest thing is making sure we’re not putting too much on their plate, making sure we’re allowing those guys to be confident, but also putting them into as many game-like scenarios where they have to make quick decisions. And, most importantly, protect the football and move the offense forward.”

The Wolverines finished 2-4 last season under coach Jim Harbaugh.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.

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