Michigan gets another QB to add to battle, Verlander heads to the DL and Ravens are tampering on twitter
Rudock to Michigan
Michigan’s quarterback race is adding yet one more member. Former Iowa QB Jake Rudock, in his fifth year, was granted permission to transfer to Michigan yesterday and will be available to play immediately. It was a sticky situation for Rudock. He wanted to come to Michigan, but Big Ten transfer rules dictate that players cannot transfer to other Big Ten schools. That rule only applies to undergraduates though, and not the fifth year transfers. With no set rule for the 5th year guys, the case went to the Big Ten and the conference granted permission for Rudock to go to the Wolverines. Rudock comes to Ann Arbor after two years of leading the Hawkeyes offense. In those two years he threw for 4800 yards and 34 TDs and last year competed 61% of his passes with just five interceptions. He brings actual game experience to a competition that includes very little right now.
I really have no idea who will win this job but Rudock might has as good a chance as anyone. It seems like there’s about 10 guys competing now and I can’t keep it straight who is who. There is junior Shane Morris, redshirt freshman Wilton Speight, and freshman Alex Malzone. Now they add Rudock and come next year they also add Zach Gentry. Prior to Rudock’s transfer the only guy with game experience was Shane Morris and that was a complete disaster. So figuring out who wins the spot is impossible and that announcement might not be made until the week leading up to the Utah game. The guy who wins this spot may very well be the guy who is the smartest and best game manager. That is the exact description of Rudock who played in a pro-style system at Iowa and could be the best fit to lead this offense for a year. While he might not be great, he’s the one guy who does have real game experience in the Big Ten. There’s some talented young players in this race who may not be ready for the big time spot light. This could be a type of year where a guy is holding the spot for someone else.
It seems doubtful that the QB position will be a big strength for Michigan. With that being said I do think Harbaugh will have a big impact on the position. Much more than Hoke or any coordinator had the past four years. Harbaugh has a history of coaching up QBs that no one thought much of. At Stanford he took a QB no one knew about and went into USC to steal a win. In San Francisco no one thought Alex Smith was worth anything, but he ended up leading the 49ers to the NFC Championship game. Oh and don’t forget about that Colin Kaepernick guy who took the world by storm. Kaepernick was certainly talented but no one thought he would be leading a team to the Super Bowl. The fact is that Harbaugh knows QBs and he’s going to find someone who can lead this team in an effective way.
Verlander to the DL
The Tigers have been hammered by injuries this spring and the bad news keeps coming. They announced today that Justin Verlander will be starting the season on the disabled list. Verlander left a start early on March 27, but it was believed at that time that the injury was just minor. This will amazingly mark the first time that Verlander has gone on the DL in his entire major league career. How long he’s out remains to be seen. Ausmus claims he’s optimistic that Verlander will be able to make his first start on April 12. Then again he’s also insisted this entire time that the injury to Verlander wasn’t that bad. The Tigers don’t need to get an extra starting pitcher for the start of the season though. The schedule works out that they can ride with four starters until Verlander is ready to go. Until that time the Tigers will likely carry eight relievers instead up until Verlander comes off the DL. That is, if he is truly ready to go by that point.
Ravens Tampering on Twitter
The Baltimore Ravens Twitter account has been much discussed in the past year because of the interesting statements they tweet from time to time. They might have just added another gaff and this one could cost their owner. While speaking to season ticket holders Baltimore Owner Steve Biscotti mentioned that he still hoped to re-sign Haloti Ngata next offseason. Ngata, who was traded to Detroit last month, could be a free agent after this season and so far there are no indications that the two sides have engaged in any long term talks. Biscotti said he spoke to Ngata after the trade and indicated that he wanted him back. There’s actually nothing wrong with what he said. What is wrong was when the twitter account tweeted out his words. That is grounds for tampering, something the league takes pretty serious.
This is not a first for the Ravens. The tweets sent out last year were probably grounds for firing the person who was running the account. One of the gaffs last year was live tweeting the Ray Rice apology press conference. During the press conference they tweeted Rice’s wife Janay “deeply regretted” her role in the incident. More recently they tweeted out a victory tweet when the NFL changed the rules about ineligible players in formations. It went back to a play that New England ran against Baltimore in the playoffs that the Ravens felt was illegal (even though it wasn’t at the time). After the rule change the twitter account read “NFL owners have passed the rule proposal banning the use of ineligable receivers like the Patriots did in the AFC divisional playoffs” (and yes they did in fact sell the word ineligible wrong). Someone should tell the Ravens the play was still legal in that game and that is not any type of victory for them. So perhaps it shouldn’t be any surprise that the Ravens are in trouble again. This time it might cost them more a public relations battle though.
On Tap for Tonight:
Red Wings vs. Boston