United a team stands.
Divided a team can fall.
The good news for the Michigan team is the outside noise about Michigan’s quarterback competition isn’t receiving attention or credence from those in the locker room.
Michigan happens to have a quarterback in Cade McNamara who was part of a 2021 Big Ten Championship winning team. They also happen to have a young quarterback in J.J. McCarthy who has been surging of late. McCarthy’s play was impressive enough in his first career start for him to claim the starting quarterback job.
Most teams would like to have one good quarterback, Michigan happens to have two. Head coach Jim Harbaugh has previously said that he makes no apologies for that, and the message has been the same ever since.
“The main thing is it’s a big edge for our team to have two really good quarterbacks, and we as a team embrace that,” Harbaugh explained. “So outside of that, it would be irrelevant.”
Michigan players have expressed their confidence in both quarterbacks. There’s not a collective Team Cade or Team J.J. within the Michigan locker room. Both McCarthy and McNamara, a team captain, are major leaders on the team who have earned the trust and respect of their teammates.
“I do, the coaches do, our players do, they embrace the fact that we have two really good quarterbacks,” Harbaugh said. “You’d love for your fan base to be able to do that.”
Harbaugh shared on the Rich Eisen Show on Tuesday that everything has been status quo from McNamara. The competition doesn’t stop just because a new starter was named. Harbaugh still feels it’s a competitive, not combative approach McNamara and McCarthy bring to the quarterback room.
“We were back on the practice field yesterday and there was no difference in Cade’s demeanor,” Harbaugh said. He’s an incredible leader and quarterback and he’s preparing like I want him to prepare and the whole team wants him to prepare — like he’s the starter and it’s football. And he’s going to play again and we’re very confident that he will play his level of football, playing his game. Cade’s confident in J.J. and we want both of them to have at it and keep developing and keep improving.”
McCarthy shared last week that he feels the competition with McNamara has been a positive for both of them, with each pushing the other in their efforts to improve their craft.
“It’s been awesome,” McCarthy said last week. “What better way to have a guy that’s that intelligent, that motivated, that driven, and just be able to observe him every single day and replicate some parts of his game that I can improve in mine. It’s just been an honest blessing for both of us to be in this position that we’ve been in and just growing from each other.”
Harbaugh says he looks at having two quarterbacks who he believes can win Michigan a championship as nothing but a positive. Harbaugh’s right. Look around half of the Big Ten, look around most college football teams, and look at the Dallas Cowboys with the injury of Dak Prescott, they’d love to have one good quarterback let alone two.
“I don’t know if any other team in the country has that kind of edge that we do,” Harbaugh said.