Brady Hoke still quiet on Denard Robinson, explains Devin Gardner's position switch
ANN ARBOR -- Brady Hoke still isn't flinching on whether or not Denard Robinson will play Saturday.
Asked again Thursday on the "Stoney and Bill Show" about the availability of his senior quarterback, the Michigan football coach stayed quiet.
"I don't know, if I knew, I'd tell you," Hoke said. "The plan is to go out and win a football game."
If the injured Robinson can't go again this week against Northwestern (12 p.m., ESPN), Michigan will again turn to junior Devin Gardner -- a backup quarterback who has also moonlighted as a wide receiver this season.
Gardner filled in masterfully for Robinson last week against Minnesota, but what about a week earlier at Nebraska? Michigan opted to insert Russell Bellomy into the game, a move that yielded poor results in a 23-9 loss that bumped Michigan from the driver's seat in the Big Ten Legends Division.
Hoke defended the move to go with Bellomy over Gardner on Thursday, saying it wouldn't have been fair otherwise.
“People, in general, don’t really know," Hoke said. "They think you just line up and run down the field. It’s like the buttonhook here, or you run down to the mailbox and take a left. There’s a lot to be said for the position and how you play the position and getting yourself ready to play the position.
“He’s always taken a few snaps during practice, but Russell was taking most of the reps; we liked his progress, and it would have been unfair to Devin to put him in a situation that he hadn’t played the position as much and gotten those game reps.”
Hoke also reiterated that next season, Gardner will compete for the starting quarterback job -- whether it be with Bellomy or incoming freshman Shane Morris.
“It will be a competition," Hoke said. "When Devin came in to talk to me about how he could help the team at wide receiver -- and when we lost Darryl Stonum, it was something that we needed another body, we felt.
"He wanted to do it. There was an understanding that once we get through the year, he would go back to (quarterback) and compete for the position.”