Michigan football’s QB coach says JJ McCarthy is going to be really good

There seems to have been a quarterback battle in Ann Arbor for a long time, and the start of the 2022 season has been no different.

But why wouldn’t there be?

The Wolverines were led by Cade McNamara last season and the outgoing starter led Michigan to a 12-2 season. Corn and Blue defeated Ohio State, stomped Iowa in the Big Ten Championship game, and made it to the college football playoffs before losing to Georgia. But on the other hand, Michigan has former five-star JJ McCarthy on the roster who helped the Wolverines win games last year with his next-level playing ability.

On Sunday afternoon, quarterback coach and offensive co-coordinator Matt Weiss met with the media. Being the main guy to work with quarterbacks, he was asked a lot of questions about the position and the ever-important battle of quarterbacks.

Weiss says Michigan is lucky to have two quarterbacks on its roster who could start in a multitude of places. He says both quarterbacks have worked to improve and the Wolverines are in a good place with both on the team.

“JJ is definitely going back,” Weiss said. “I think we’re lucky to have two guys who would start in most places. And we have two very good quarterbacks and the best player will play. And I would say they both really improved.

“Last fall Cade got better physically, just like any player gets better mentally with experience, and he’s playing at a very high level,” Weiss said of the outgoing starter. “And then JJ did the same thing. So we’re in a great position with these two guys.

Since McCarthy had to miss time in the spring due to injury, it’s important to watch his reps during fall camp. But Matt Weiss said the coaching staff is monitoring everyone’s reps through the fall. They don’t want anyone getting more reps than their body can handle, but most importantly, JJ McCarthy is on the same level as everyone else.

“We watch all of our guys in terms of the number of pitches that happen in practice — even Cade,” Weiss said. “We put a lot of effort into it, not only counting the reps, but also making sure whatever they take out, they put it back in with drills and – putting it under pressure on the arm, just does it. to throw the ball. It’s a weighted object, it’s an unweighted deceleration, so we’re doing everything we can to make sure they put everything back in their arms and take care of their bodies. And JJ is exactly on the same plane as everyone else.

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As a quarterbacks coach, Weiss was asked what he thought were the main characteristics of a successful starting quarterback. The co-offensive coordinator said there are two things you can’t really teach as a coach: mobility and how far you can throw a ball. Then Weiss went on to explain what he looked like for accuracy, decision making and timing. He noted that he believed Cade McNamara had all of these traits.

“So the way I see it is – so, first of all, you have two things that you can’t really do much about; we can certainly improve them but it’s hard to really move the needle, that is to say: mobility and arms strength,” Weiss explained. “You can throw a soccer ball 70 yards or you can’t. You can either run at a certain speed and be able to cut, or you can’t. So you’re still watching this knowing that these things aren’t going to change.

“And then we also look at accuracy, timing, decision making, and those are things that you can potentially improve more, but that’s how you look at the skill set,” Weiss continued. “So mobility and arm strength, knowing that those things are a little more fixed, precision, timing, and decision-making, knowing that you can kind of shape them a little more. And then, of course, the intangibles: good leadership, what type of guy do I see, is that a winner? All the things you want your quarterback to be.

“Really all we have with our guys, right? Cade, you could definitely say all those things about him. He’s a winner. He’s the kind of guy who has all these intangibles. And that’s what you’re looking for.

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With McCarthy being such an important rookie and having an explosive skill set, it was important for the coaching staff to get their feet wet last year. Weiss was asked if he wished Michigan could have a defined starter and backup. The quarterback coach went on to say that he thought it was important to have the starter and backup. The starter is only one injury away from the backup becoming a necessity, and it wouldn’t be a good idea not to allow the backup to get comfortable at the start of the season. Weiss later added that McCarthy did a lot of good things for Michigan last year and even helped the Wolverines win games. Weiss said he doesn’t see McCarthy being anything other than really good, and that he will play for Michigan, but the question remains, when.

“So we were able to develop our backup,” Weiss said. “But at the same time he was able to do athletic things that helped us – he helped us win games. And to his credit, he won the opportunity to go out there and do it. And he helped us, he helped us win winning matches, and he was really effective. And he’s a very good player, and he’s going to be really good. So we are excited about him in his future. And I mean, it’s hard to see him being anything other than really, really good at the University of Michigan, whenever his time comes, so we’re going to keep developing them. And he will play for us at some point, it’s just a matter of when.

It’s going to be a big fight all fall, but the technical staff keep saying that the best player will start. Our best guess will be that both quarterbacks will play, but the bigger question will be who will trotted out for the first snap on Sept. 3 against Colorado State.

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