At this time a year ago there was plenty of talk and hype surrounding Shea Patterson. Heck I even said he could became the next Baker Mayfield. A lot of that stemmed from his lofty recruiting rankings, flashes of success at Ole Miss and the fact that Patterson would be working in a pro style offense under Jim Harbaugh. I mean Harbaugh did get Jake Rudock drafted, what could he do with a talent like Patterson?
Patterson was suppose to be missing piece for the Wolverines. Outside of quarterback play, Michigan was loaded and now they had the best quarterback since Harbaugh has been there. Instead the offense continued to stall and Patterson looked more like a game manager than this playmaker we saw at Ole Miss.
But can we put all the blame on Patterson? Michigan’s offense was pretty basic and predictable while the offensive line struggled and his best receiver missed most of the season. But in an effort to jump start the offense, Michigan brought in Josh Gattis to run the offense. Gattis was the receivers coach with Alabama last year and was with Joe Morehead at Penn State prior to that. Bringing in a more spread look should not only help out this stagnant offense, but also cater to Patterson’s strengths.
Late in the season the Wolverines showed a little more spread looks and incorporated some run/pass option plays and Patterson was able to shine making plays and some tough throws. Now that Gattis is running the show it should allow the receivers to have more space and for Patterson to be able to drive the ball downfield. The run/pass options can utilize Patterson’s athletic ability and his accuracy on the run.
Overall Patterson needs to continue to develop and improve on some core areas if he wants to become a draftable quarterback at this point. Accuracy was a big issue at times, but you have to think a lack of confidence didn’t do much to help him out. Josh Gattis has his work cut out for him and will need Jim Harbaugh to trust him and allow him to do what he wants. If Gattis is successful designing the offense and Patterson is able to improve then he could really have a big year leading the Wolverines to the Big 10 Title Game. This also should go a long way in allowing Patterson to establish himself within this quarterback class and give him a shot to be drafted somewhere on day three. But that talk of him in the first round has done and gone.