Three Questions Surrounding Shea Patterson's Fifth-Year Comments
Shea Patterson had some ups and downs during his two years at Michigan. He finished his career ranked No. 1 in passing yards per game with 217.7 yards per game, No. 7 in passing yards with 5,661 and No. 6 in touchdown passes with 45, but completed just 60% of his passes overall. He also seemed to fall just short of what U-M needed to compete against its best opponents. Still, Patterson went 19-7 as a starter at Michigan and did have some shining moments.
He's now preparing for the next potential chapter of his football life in Indianapolis at the NFL Combine. Earlier this week, Patterson said that he wished he had one more year at Michigan, which surprised some people and got a lot folks thinking — what if?
1. Why would Patterson want another year at Michigan?
It was just outlined above. Patterson had some success at U-M but also kept Michigan fans wanting just a bit more. He received a lot of criticism over this past year at times in first-year offensive coordinator Josh Gattis' new system. However, the idea of giving it a go for another year seemed to appeal to Patterson.
“I wasn’t ready to leave,” Patterson said. “I loved playing at Michigan. I would have loved to be sure about another year, to play with those guys and my teammates and that coaching staff.
“I thought that would have been awesome to come back for another year and grow. If I had an extra year — more than one year in an offense — it would have been really nice in college.”
Patterson did play through a lot of shake ups during his two years at Ole Miss and two years at Michigan. He might've taken things to another level in year three at U-M, but we'll never know.
2. Did the Michigan coaches want another year with Patterson?
Obviously we'll never get a direct answer about this, and it may not even be worth asking with Patterson gone and a quarterback battle brewing, but it's an interesting question. I actually don't think the coaches wanted a third year with Patterson or else wheels would've actually been put in motion to try to make it happen.
Josh Gattis started to get things rolling during the second half of the year but one would think that Dylan McCaffrey and/or Joe Milton might be even better suited for the offense than Patterson was. Gattis seemed to indicate that Patterson didn't put in the necessary work over the summer, citing the quarterback's time spent on the golf course versus in the film room and throwing with receivers. That's not the best endorsement from a new offensive coordinator looking to get off to a fast start with a veteran QB and talented wide receiver room.
I'd be willing to bet that Gattis is ready to get rolling with McCaffrey or Milton and isn't thinking, "What if I had Shea back for another year?"
3. Would Michigan fans want Patterson back?
This is the least important question of the three, since what the fans want often isn't close to what's best for the team, but it still gives some insight as to what's going on out on the field.
Michael Spath asked his Twitter following if they'd be in favor of Patterson returning for a fifth year, and the results were pretty one-sided.
That's not uncommon. Fanbases are often enamored by the backup quarterback, but there are some reasons to be excited about McCaffrey and Milton. McCaffrey has shown the ability to be a massive threat as a running quarterback and Milton might have the strongest arm in the country. Patterson simply can't match either of them in those areas, which automatically gives the offense a higher ceiling under the two new potential starters.
On the flip side, we saw the two-year floor under Patterson and it was nine wins. Could it be lower than that with a brand new offensive line and a first-time starter at quarterback? Absolutely. But there's enough potential in both McCaffrey and Milton that fans are ready to see the next man up in Gattis' second year at the helm of the offense.
Would you welcome Patterson back for a fifth year? Do you think the offense has more potential under McCaffrey and/or Milton? Comment below!!!