Michigan Football Mailbag Question: What Does "Extra Gear" Mean?

ErocWolverineSenior Writer IMarch 18, 2009

In many of your recruiting posts, you mention that a particular wide receiver lacks that "extra gear." I am a little curious about how much that affects a player's football career.

Can you point to players on our team who do and do not have that extra gear and how that is hurting/helping them? Are you worried about a lack of recruits with that extra gear or do you think we are in OK shape?




Thanks for the question.

What we mean by an "extra gear" is the ability to literally run away from defenders even when defenders have an angle.

It is what separates the elite level split ends from the good ones. Daryl Stonum and James Rogers have it while Greg Mathews does not. You can be a very good split end without the extra gear, but that little extra speed allows you to stretch a defense a bit more and give the offense better chance of creating big plays.

Since he got here, head coach Rich Rodriguez has been saying that he wants the team to be faster and have more speed—not only on offense, but on defense as well.

It will be interesting to see how this team reacts to Tate Forcier at quarterback compared to what we saw last year. Yes, we are assuming Tate ends up winning the quarterback job.

The big question is, can he learn it all quickly enough and run it how Rodriguez wants it to be run?

Until we can get the ball into the wide receivers and slot receivers hands—on the run—we will struggle. We need to hit these talented receivers in stride so they can show that burst of speed to outrun the defense and turn a 5-10 yard play into a bigger gain.

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