Wait, haven't we heard this story before?
Michigan fans went all bonkers earlier this week with the rumor that three Michigan QBs would ALL be in the rotation for the Wolverines in their season opener against Western Michigan. However, the Doc intervened and swiftly tossed away this myth:
On that note, beware the extreeeeemely misleading headline hitting all the wires Sunday that suggests Rich Rodriguez may rotate three quarterbacks in the Wolverines' opener against Western Michigan. That header is based on a teasing throwaway line -- "Maybe we’ll have three starting quarterbacks," Rodriguez said. "That would be neat." -- from the bottom of an obligatory media day story whose first 23 paragraphs focus exclusively on freshman's Denard Robinson's totally quirky habit of playing with his shoelaces untied.
But wait, there's another Big 10 team out there that isn't shying away from ACTUALLY rotating quarterbacks.
The Culprit: The Wisconsin Badgers.
This is what Badger HC Brett Bielema had to say after practice today:
Madison – No matter who is named Wisconsin’s No. 1 quarterback – junior Scott Tolzien or redshirt freshman Curt Phillips – UW fans should expect to see both play in the Sept. 5 opener against visiting Northern Illinois.
"I really believe we’ll see multiple quarterbacks," coach Bret Bielema said after practice Wednesday. "I like the way our guys are playing."
Tolzien worked with the No. 1 offense ahead of Phillips on Monday and Tuesday. UW held an extended scrimmage Wednesday, which was closed to the media.
There's no beating around the bush with this statement.
What does this mean for NIU?
I don't think it means much actually. Coach Kill's boys need to focus on their own play against Wisconsin. They need to focus on stopping the run game, which looks to be their strength this season.
Curt Phillips is a mobile QB, something you don't see (ever?) in Wisconsin. Keep in mind that our defense has to play against two mobile quarterbacks in Chandler Harnish and DeMarcus Grady every single day in camp. Tolzien is more of the pocket guy. Hey, we still have Ryan Morris to play that part on the scout team. More Coach Speak on the situation:
"Scott Tolzien has got more maturity than Curt, so he has a better understanding of the entire playbook," Bielema said. "The thing Curt brings, he is a guy that can turn something that’s not very good into a positive because of his athleticism."
Bielema didn’t sound like a coach who wants to lock himself into a full-time, two-quarterback system. Rather, it appears the offensive staff wants to utilize the talents of both players.
"It’s not like we’ve got a situation where we don’t know who we are putting in there," Bielema said. "We’re trying to find the best fit…
"I’m comfortable with what helps us win. Asked last spring if I’d ever play a two-headed monster at quarterback I said no. That pretty much would be my preference.
"But when you have (multiple) players playing well – and I’m not saying we’re at that point – but if that is what it is, then that’s what it is and you move forward."
I just don't see how this can be a positive for Wisconsin. First of all, this is going to cripple their offensive play-calling. Won't it be painfully obvious that Phillips is going to try and make plays with his feet when he enters the game? Secondly, rotating two quarterbacks is no good if you want any sort of a consistent offensive flow. This technique for QBs hardly ever works outside of something like a Chris Leak/Tim Tebow combination.
What does this say about the coaching decisions of Bielema lately? He's been talking about starting RB Zach Brown in front of man-beast John Clay and suspended a duo safeties that are threatening to sue him.
All of these Wisconsin O-Linemen are day-to-day with their respective injuries:
Center John Moffitt (pectoral muscle), Bill Nagy (heel) and tackle Gabe Carimi (knee) did not practice Monday. However, Carimi showed improved mobility while working with the training staff on the sideline. Carimi insists he will return in time for the Sept. 5 season opener.
Wisconsin is set to release their official depth chart today (Thursday)