Brady Hoke says Denard Robinson's final Michigan game could feature him as kick returner
TAMPA, Dec 29, 2012 (Detroit Free Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Denard Robinson's final game may feature a first.
Aside from one decoy role on a kickoff, Robinson has not been involved in the return game during his career.
That may change in Tuesday's Outback Bowl against South Carolina.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke said this morning that Robinson is working as a returner "a little bit" and that "we might" use him in the game.
Considering Robinson doesn't have much, if any, college experience there, it would be an interesting adjustment.
"There's certain things guys do really well," Hoke said at a press conference at the Tampa Wyndham Westshore Hotel. "Denard has pretty good instincts of running with the football. So I think it's different."
The catching part would seem to be the biggest challenge, but Hoke said that hasn't been a major obstacle.
"He was a centerfielder in high school, seeing the ball off the bats and those things," Hoke said. "You look at the punt game or the kickoff game, he's got that skill level to field balls."
Considering kickoff and punt returns will likely be part of Robinson's professional future, this would be his first real chance to show that to NFL scouts.
Overall, Hoke said Robinson's is making passing game progress with his injured right arm, saying he looks "good" throwing the ball.
"He could do about everything," Hoke said. "He doesn't punt real well, but he can do a lot of things."
On Clowney: Asked if anyone can block South Carolina star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney one-on-one, Hoke explained what most see as the U-M's biggest challenge.
"Anybody can be blocked one-on-one," Hoke said. "How long you block him is what the key is. I think the guys plays with a really good motor, or he wouldn't be the player he is. You can have all the talent in the world and the range and it's what the guy plays with motor-wise. I think he does a nice job playing with that. Whether it's doubling him, chipping him, single blocking him or play action and cutting him or whatever you want to do, you've got to execute it and there's got to be a timing presence to all your pass game."
Notebook: Hoke confirmed that right guard Patrick Omameh has an arm injury but it won't keep Omameh from playing in the game. "Just a boo-boo of some sort," Hoke said... Hoke refused to name a starting tailback, saying it depends on a number of factors.
Contact Mark Snyder: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mark__snyder.
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