There’s a crowd marching toward Michigan Stadium, and it has the proverbial pitchforks and torches ready to go. And the crowd is screaming one thing: “Get rid of Wilton Speight!”
Memo to all the Speight naysayers: calm down.
It’s two games into the season and critics are only seeing what is wrong with Speight. His feet aren’t quick enough. He overthrows his wide receivers (many of whom aren’t experienced and don’t have the last names Darboh, Chesson or Butt).
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh thinks Speight is doing “just fine,” but many will point the finger at Speight because, on the field he, is the immediate face of the program. Nobody’s pointing the finger at Harbaugh, God forbid, even though it was his decision to make Speight the starter for the second consecutive season.
Speight has exhibited confidence — the most important thing a quarterback can do.
Harbaugh is sticking with his quarterback, because he has little choice. Because a quarterback thinks like a quarterback.
Harbaugh isn’t going to lose faith in a quarterback this quickly. Harbaugh is going to tell his quarterback something like this:
“Figure it out. Work through it. I’m sticking with you. You stick with me.”
He did it with Jake Rudock in 2015 at Utah.
Rudock, if you recall, was intercepted twice in his debut as a graduate transfer. More people focused on that than Rudock’s 275 passing yards and 2 touchdown passes, or Michigan’s comeback against the Utes, which fell short.
Rudock did OK under the tutelage of Harbaugh and former passing game coordinator Jedd Fisch. Rudock now plays for the NFL’s Detroit Lions.
Harbaugh will put the same faith in Speight, in spite of what the critics say. Even if many of those critics are coming from Michigan’s fan base.
Harbaugh isn’t listening to them.
Neither is Speight.