There is a famous Saturday Night Live moment where the great Father Guido Sarducci has Paul McCartney as a guest and apologizes to the former Beatle for having to ask the obvious question. But instead of asking him the obvious question – will the Beatles ever get back together – he asks him “Paul, if you could be any animal what would it be?”
When Pep Hamilton, Michigan’s passing game coordinator/quarterback coach, met the media on Wednesday inside Schembechler Hall he wasn’t exactly “pep-ered” with tons of questions. But he was asked the obvious question – and no it wasn’t what animal he would want to be (Wolverine would be the answer to that).
The Wolverines are still trying to figure out their quarterback situation with three very capable candidates competing for the top job in returning starter Wilton Speight, redshirt freshman Brandon Peters and fifth-year senior John O’Korn.
So the obvious question: who is your quarterback?
“We have several,” Hamilton said, drawing some giggles from the media. “We have potentially several.”
But he did offer up some answers on what he’s seen from the quarterbacks as a group.
“They have more ownership of the offense,” he said. “They are doing a better job of recognizing different defenses and there are just marked improvements in the overall passing game.”
Hamilton also is trying to figure out who the TBD quarterback will be throwing the ball to when the season kicks off Aug. 2 against Florida. The group of wide recievers includes some young and exciting players but also are TBD at this point of camp.
“They’re working hard,” he said of his young receiving group. “It’s a very talented group and they have intensified the level of competition among the wide receiver group. And to say they have made progress would be an understatement.”
Getting all of that talent on the field and to see who fits best where is still being figured out. While the clock is ticking, there is time to make sure the right guys are in the right spots.
“We still have 25 games to go before we play a game,” Hamilton said. “We hope some guys will separate themselves and give themselves a chance to play. All of our receivers have to work hard and it’s very competitive at this point.”
Hamilton, in his first season with the Wolverines, has worked with and developed some excellent college and professional quarterbacks including Andrew Luck, Kevin Hogan, Alex Smith, Jay Cutler and Michigan alum Brian Griese. He noted during the press conference that the passing games goes beyond having a talented receiving group.
“I don’t know that you can just say the receiver position has a lot of good talent,” he said. “The tight ends have a lot of talent; we have a very talented running back group top to bottom. The challenge will be more so finding ways to be multiple, as we’ve always been in this offense. But it’s ultimately to get the playmakers the ball.
“There’s always room for not just improvement, but finding different ways to accomplish that one goal – and that’s to score the ball.”
And Michigan scored the ball quite a bit last year. Michigan’s offense produced the fifth-highest single-season point total in program history (524 points) and led the Big Ten Conference in scoring offense, red-zone offense, turnovers lost, interceptions and fourth-down conversions.
They have the talent to score the ball this season. They just need to figure out who best fits where with 25 days left on the clock.