Found November 12, 2012 on Fox Sports Detroit:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Denard Robinson has become the elephant in Brady Hoke's room. There have been times in Hoke's two seasons at Michigan where he couldn't stop talking about his multi-talented quarterback, but that has changed ever since Robinson left the Nebraska game with a nerve problem in his throwing elbow. The Wolverines lost that game as backup Russell Bellomy -- another forgotten man -- struggled badly, but have rallied to win two in a row with Devin Gardner at quarterback. All the while, Hoke has barely acknowledged that his star quarterback still exists. "He's day-to-day," Hoke said Monday, not when asked about Robinson's injury status, but when asked about Saturday being Senior Day. The same cliche was pulled out, with minor variations, every time Hoke was asked a question about Robinson. Things got so strange at one point that, when he was asked about Robinson's impact on the program, Hoke almost immediately started talking about Will Campbell's career. It isn't that Robinson is in the doghouse -- when pressed, Hoke did say that he's been working hard with Devin Gardner and cheering on his teammates. It's simply a case of Hoke's pathological aversion to talking about injuries. He wants Iowa and Ohio State to have to build their game plan around stopping Robinson's world-class speed, so Hoke's not about to admit that the injury might keep him out for the rest of the season. This isn't limited to Robinson, of course. At one point during Monday's press conference, Hoke simultaneously broke several rules of the English language and invented a new verb when he said that Dennis Norfleet was returning punts because Jeremy Gallon "had boo-booed himself." Things just get more extreme with Robinson because his special set of skills are a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators. With him at the helm, Michigan runs a spread read-option offense, which means he could run on almost every play and in almost every direction. When Gardner is at quarterback, he tends to be under center and either handing off or rolling out to pass, presenting an entirely different set of problems for the defense. If Hoke won't talk about Robinson's playing status, defenses have to prepare for two different quarterbacks running two different offenses. Hoke knows that's a huge advantage for the Wolverines, so he's not going to slip up, even when the question seems perfectly safe. Michigan has emphasized the highly classified nature of Robinson's elbow by not making him available to the media this week, even though he and his fellow seniors are preparing for their last game at Michigan Stadium. Robinson's teammates, though, dropped a couple inadvertant hints that they don't expect him to be in uniform Saturday against Iowa. "When you come to Michigan, I think you always have the dream of having the big ending at The Big House," guard Patrick Omameh said. "Sometimes, though, you don't get that -- you just have to go with the cards you are dealt." Every player that spoke Monday, though, raved about the way that Robinson has handled himself, both in his four-year career and during his injury. "Denard is a guy that has thrust himself into the conversation with the greatest players in Michigan history, but you would never know that from talking to him," defensive end Craig Roh said. "He is always positive, and he brings that to practice every day. There are times it gets annoying -- I don't think I've ever seen the guy in a bad mood -- but he's been great for this program. That hasn't changed at all in the last two weeks. "I know it has to be really tough to be injured at the end of your senior year, but he hasn't seem fazed at all." Reading between the lines, it doesn't seem likely that Robinson is going to play against the Hawkeyes, and his availability at Ohio State seems questionable. Would he be available for a bowl game? Or did one of the most spectacular careers in Michigan history come to a quiet, sad end on a seemingly innocent play in Lincoln, Nebraska? The question will be raised many, many times during the next several weeks. Just don't expect Hoke to give you an answer.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Michigan Football recruiting rounding out 2013

Laquon Treadwell – espn photo Michigan Football Recruiting Update Michigan recently picked up commitment #23 when Da’Mario Jones (Westland, Michigan) pledged. He is a 3-star receiver with good size (6-2, 185) and speed (4.4). He is the third receiver to join the 2013 class (Jaron Dukes, Csont’e York). Michigan continues to recruit 4-star WR Laquon Treadwell. Cornerback Gareon...

Michigan Football photos Roy Roundtree’s amazing catch

With 27 fateful seconds left on the clock and Michigan Football trailing Northwestern 31-28, Devin Gardner took a snap from the Michigan 38 yard line. He dropped back and heaved a long pass to Roy Roundtree, who made a circus catch at the Northwestern 9 yard line to set up a game-tying field goal. Michigan of course went on to win the game in overtime by a final score of 38-31 Click...

D struggles, finishes strong (w/ Hoke video)

Giving up 31 points in one game isn’t something that pleases Brady Hoke and the Michigan coaching staff. Northwestern was able to attack the Wolverines on the perimeter. But a great defensive call late solidified the 38-31 overtime win.

Cleveland State to have hands full against Michigan

So far, Trey Burke and Michigan are putting on stunning shooting displays, especially from beyond the arc. That means Cleveland State's defensive success could be coming to an abrupt end. Burke looks to capitalize on another seemingly overmatched opponent as the No. 5 Wolverines meet the Vikings for the first time in 15 years Tuesday night in the NIT Season Tip-Off. Burke has...

Video & Quotes: John Beilein recaps win over Cleveland State

John Beilein met with the media after his team’s 77-47 win over Cleveland State to advance to the NIT Season Tip Off semifinals next week. You can watch the full press conference in the embedded media player below or read the notes and quotes after the jump. Opening Statement: ”Really unusual situation to have your guys going back-to-back, going to classes, trying to play...

Cleveland St.-Michigan Preview

So far, Trey Burke and Michigan are putting on stunning shooting displays, especially from beyond the arc. That means Cleveland State's defensive success could be coming to an abrupt end. Burke looks to capitalize on another seemingly overmatched opponent as the No. 5 Wolverines meet the Vikings for the first time in 15 years Tuesday night in the NIT Season Tip-Off. Burke...

Burke utilizing his weapons (w/Beilein video)

On a birthday to remember for Michigan point guard Trey Burke, the sophomore poured in his ‘usual’ 22 points—but it’s what hes doing outside of the scoring column that’s impressive early on.

Video: Nik Stauskas, Mitch McGary and Trey Burke after beating Cleveland State

Nik Stauskas, Mitch McGary and Trey Burke all met with the media after Michigan’s 30 point win over Cleveland State. Watch the interviews in the embedded media players below. McGary and Burke after the jump. 

Local Big Ten Review: After Pushing Michigan to Limit, Northwestern Now Heads to Michigan State

It’s not often the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans play the same team back to back weeks, both at home. The interesting occurrence will take place this weekend, though, when the Northwestern WIldcats invade Spartan Stadium. Hopefully, the Spartans … Continue reading →

Iowa-Michigan Preview

Devin Gardner has proved a capable replacement for star quarterback Denard Robinson, helping keep Michigan's Big Ten title hopes alive. With Robinson's status unclear, the 23rd-ranked Wolverines try to stay in the race by avoiding another upset to Iowa on Saturday in Ann Arbor. Robinson has missed the past two games with nerve damage in his elbow, and coach Brady Hoke would...

The Quarterback Situation

The topic of Michigan's quarterback situation is a catch-22 for sportswriters and bloggers. If you don't call it a "quarterback controversy", which it isn't, then what do you call it? We desperately want to label things. If you label it as anything else, like a "situation" or an "issue", does that make it less interesting? Because I find...

Michigan sent the game into overtime with the craziest catch possible

The Michigan Wolverines took on the Northwestern Wildcats today and regulation ended in a very strange way. Michigan's new quarterback threw up a pass that was tipped by a Northwestern defensive back to Michigan wide receiver Roundtree. He made an amazing cause which allowed their field goal kicker, Gibbons to tie up the game. I bet Michigan is really missing Denard Robinson...
Wolverines News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.