Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Case for Nick Sheridan

As a current law student, my colleagues and I are being taught that everyone is entitled to a vigorous defense...even the most heinous offenders. Enter Nick Sheridan.

Nick Sheridan, Michigan (3rd string?) quarterback is currently on trial in the court of public opinion for crimes against the Wolverines; specifically, it is alleged that he is just terrible. I stand prepared to advocate in favor of Sheridan, not with regards to him being Michigan's best quarterback (I think Forcier obviously took that crown on Saturday), but just with regards to Sheridan not being the worst option we've ever had.

The defense recognizes that Sheridan, on multiple occasions, has given Michigan fans reason to groan whenever he enters a game. This is because, in the course of the three snaps he gets every game, 1 is an incomplete pass, 1 is a sack, and the final throw is the inevitable interception (see Sheridan's current 2009 QB rating of -100...yes, that's possible). The defense, however, contends that it is for the very reason that Sheridan gets so few snaps that he is so consistently terrible.

Defense Exhibit A: Whenever Sheridan plays less than a quarter, he inevitably qualifies as a horrible quarterback (as defined by overall QB rating).

Defense Exhibit B: When given the chance to get into a rhythm, Sheridan often (not always) does. We bring your attention to November 8th, 2008: Michigan vs. Minnesota. This served as one of Michigan's only 3 wins of the season with Sheridan leading the charge with 18-of-30 passes for a career-best 203 yards and one TD. Rich-Rod (perhaps by virtue of having no other options) gave Sheridan the chance to actually get into the game and he didn't disappoint.

Defense Exhibit C: Sheridan has shown maturity, even if the talent is in question. One thing I recall specifically when watching Sheridan was his ability to make mature decisions in 2008. Look back at all those sacks he took. Considering the relative weakness of our front line when compared to past years and a general inability of our wideouts to get open, Sheridan actually made some great decisions in the sacks he took, especially in his first real season (he saw all of 4 snaps in 2007).

So, to conclude your honor(s), this argument sets forth to show that, perhaps, Mr. Sheridan has not gotten his due shake. Certainly he would not and should not start over Forcier. Maybe he shouldn't even see as much time as Robinson. But, in the end, he should not be marginalized and removed from the team as so many fans seem to advocate. He led the Wolverines to one win last season while the "best" quarterback from last season can only lay claim to two wins. In short, he's not great (or even that good), but he need not burn at the stake just yet.


MK said...

First of all, how are you posting freely on this blog?

Second of all, I will also stand up and defend Nick Sheridan.

In 2008 circumstance shoved Sheridan into the spotlight. It is certainly not a position he probably ever expected to be in but through everything he carried himself exceptionally well. He appeared to be the leader on an otherwise rudderless ship. He never whined or moaned to the media about the crappy team around him (essentially a new offensive line, a freshman running back - McGuffie - and his primary target much of the year - Martavious Odoms - was also a freshman).

Steven Threet never appeared to be a leader but Sheridan never shied from taking that role on. He played with confidence even when his ability lagged far behind.

There are no moral victories in athletics, people are judged on real wins and losses. But you've got to feel for a kid who stepped up everytime he was called upon, who always looked like he wanted the ball.

I applauded Rich Rod when he put Sheridan in against WMU during a 4th and 1. You can't insert a freshmen there or someone whom you don't feel confident about. I thought that substitution spoke volumes about the respect the coaching staff had for Sheridan's nerves.

I thought Sheridan deserved the start against WMU even if it was just a courtesy to start the senior. That obviously did not happen and probably will not happen the entire year.

I think real Michigan fans can look at Sheridan and be proud of a guy who never gives up and always gives his all for the TEAM.

GregGoBlue said...

the TEAM, the TEAM, the TEAM!

Heaven forbid something happens to Tate, I would actually be comfortable having Denard split time with Sheridan. He looked much improved against WMU. If not for that holding penalty, he would have scored too. Instead he threw an ill advised pass, and is apparently the goat again in the eyes of the casual football fan. What he DID do is convert a fourth down, rush for a TD, completely fool a defensive end with a stellar ballfake, and ran the offense deftly. Bravo nick sheridan, bravo.