Usually, this time of year brings one pretty common question to college football programs around the country. Who is going to be the starting quarterback? While Michigan is indeed looking to have an answer to that down the line, the Wolverines are also trying to figure out just who exactly will be in charge of calling the offensive plays from the sideline.
As Michigan got their spring practices underway the other day, head coach Jim Harbaugh says that is a decision that has not been made amid a handful of coaching staff changes this offseason.
“Well, I haven’t decided,” Harbaugh said Friday, according to MLive.com. “It really comes down to who the play caller is going to be and how we’re going to call plays. If that’s what you’re asking, I haven’t really decided yet.”
Michigan recently put the finishing touches on a new contract for Ed Wariner and also added former Florida head coach Jim McElwain to the staff this offseason. Passing-game coordinator Pep Hamilton is another candidate for the play-calling responsibilities too after already being on the staff. Tim Drevno stepped down as offensive coordinator in February.
The importance of revitalizing the Michigan offense cannot be overstated. Michigan ranked 105th in the nation in total offense in 2017, averaging 348.9 yards per game. Only Illinois and Rutgers averaged fewer yards per game among Big Ten programs last fall. The Wolverines had issues at the quarterback position all season long too, resulting in the nation’s 111th-ranked passing offense with just nine touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. Maryland, Minnesota, and Rutgers were the only passing offenses in the Big Ten to average fewer passing yards per game.
Meanwhile, Michigan is still holding out hope to have Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson ruled eligible to play this season. A hold-up in the NCAA transfer process is keeping Patterson among those in limbo right now.