Desmond Howard joined Sports Talk 1050 WTKA back in January of 2020 to talk Michigan football and to discuss his perspective on what's held Michigan back from competing with the college football elite. Though there are a number of issues Howard highlighted, all of the issues he mentioned were on the offensive side of the ball.
“That’s a real long conversation because it’s not just one thing,” Howard replied. “You could start with the quarterback, you could start with the impactful players, (and) you can start with the things that have happened on defense. It’s not just one thing.”
“You look at the quarterback situation, and I just don’t think Michigan thus far has been able to hit on that quarterback who’s a difference-maker. They’ve had some good quarterbacks. They’ve had guys that can go out and win games for you, but you haven’t seen a guy who you would put in the same stratosphere as a Trevor Lawrence, or a Joe Burrow, or a Tua (Tagovailoa), or any of those guys. So, they haven’t hit on the quarterbacks. You can start there.”
“Impactful players who are just gamebreakers like a Jonathan Taylor at Wisconsin… I don’t think we’ve seen one of those in Ann Arbor just yet. I don’t know if they have one on the roster coming into the 2020 season, but have you seen anybody that is an impactful player like that? Or a guy like a Jerry Jeudy the wide receiver at Alabama. You haven’t seen a wide receiver who can go out there and who’s going to be a gamebreaker that can blow the lid off a defense. (A receiver) that will really cause a defensive coordinator to stay up late at night figuring out how we’re going to stop this one guy.”
“So, when you start talking about these teams like an Alabama or Clemson, they have two receivers who are guys like that. You look at LSU. Obviously, you had Joe Burrow who won the Heisman, but he had receivers too like JaMarr Chase who won the Biletnikoff Award. This guy can go get it. He’s a difference maker. He’s a game changer. He had Justin Jefferson, another receiver who can go get it, who is also a difference maker and a game changer. So, we haven’t seen those players. If they’re there, they haven’t hit their potential yet, where they’re on that level. So, that to me is probably the biggest gap when you start to talk about the offense, and you start talking about positions."