By H. Jose Bosch
Someone needs to tell Tate Forcier that his name isn’t synonymous with “badass mofo.” If Bill Simmons were writing about this team, he’d say that Forcier has “I’m Keith Hernandez!” syndrome. In other words, Forcier has bought into his own hype so much, he’ll try just about anything just because he’s Tate Forcier.
OK, I can’t get inside the head of Forcier, but how else could you explain his performance at Iowa? Some of his passes were erratic, he ran around waaay too much and near the end of the game he acted like a petulant child when questioned by Rich Rodriguez. If you had just caught a glimpse of him sulking on the bench, you would’ve probably thought someone just sent this kid to timeout.
Forcier looked like he wanted to make every single play with his feet before he even thought to pass. He had happy feet only a Lions quarterback would admire. And because he isn’t Usain Bolt, a lot of his scrambles did nothing more than delay the inevitable nine-yard loss or incomplete pass or an interception.
And as frustrated as I was, imagine how pissed Rodriguez must’ve been. He was willing to lose the game to make his point. Granted, following the game we found out that Forcier had a mild concussion in the fourth quarter, which probably made him more irritable under the bright lights than he normally would’ve been. So benching him turned out to be the right move, even if Rodriguez was doing it for another reason. But RichRod didn’t know about the concussion until after the fact, so he understood the risks he was taking.
The symbolism of the benching was clear: play within the offense or don’t play at all. While Tim Tebow is the Savior of our sins, he plays within his system. He might add a flourish or two but for the most part he just executes well. Forcier needs to learn how to do that or else he will have more games like Iowa rather than Notre Dame.
He’s proven that he can play within the system, scramble only when he has to and make smart passes. He just can’t start believing he can make EVERY pass or outrun any defender.
If he can’t learn this lesson, he’s going to play like a freshman for years to come.
Bum shoulder: Even before Forcier can lick his wounds and go back out onto the field of play, he must prove to his coaches and fans alike that his injured should isn’t as bad as the Michigan Daily reported.
In the story is brother was quoted as saying:
“His shoulder is more injured than I think the public realizes,” Jason said. “It’s the same thing (Oklahoma quarterback) Sam Bradford did. Maybe not as severe, but an AC joint is an AC joint. Once you injure it, it’s hurt for the rest of the year.”
During a teleconference, Rodriguez denied anything was seriously injured. This from the Free Press:
“I don’t think it’s very limiting at all,” Rodriguez said during today’s Big Ten teleconference. “He said it wasn’t an issue at all in the ballgame. When I saw him yesterday — he didn’t practice yesterday because of the concussion — I didn’t see him complaining at all about the shoulder, and it’s not been much of an issue with the trainers.
“It’s been a few weeks, so hopefully, that will be a little bit better. The biggest issue with him Saturday is simply that concussion, and I think he had a little bit of a whiplash or something because he took a good shot, and he’s going to be day-to-day. I have not seen him yet today, so I don’t know how much better he’s feeling, but I’m sure the doctors will test him daily and see how it goes.”
The latest news came from Wednesday’s Free Press. Rodriguez announced that Forcier was ready to resume practicing but that he isn’t medically cleared to pay on Saturday. Rodriguez wouldn’t venture a guess at who was going to start against Delaware State.
My money is on Robinson because this is really the last team Rodriguez can experiment against.