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Cade McNamara

What Does Future Hold For Cade McNamara?

  • Crissy Froyd
  • January 5, 2022
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Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara has largely been characterized as a game-manager who has had some flashes. Can he be more than that? McNamara—and the entire Wolverines football team for that matter—did not have their best night against the Georgia Bulldogs in the Orange Bowl last week, falling 34-11 in a largely dismal showing on both sides of the ball. McNamara finished the game 11-of-19 for 106 yards with zero touchdowns and two interceptions with a negative rushing total of -1 rushing yards on seven carries. He felt the heat taking snaps all night, dealing with a great amount of pressure from a heralded Georgia defense that has rightfully received a lot of praise this past year and was eager to redeem itself after a somewhat disappointing showing against Alabama in the SEC Championship game, considering the standards they’re held to. While this was a bad interception above, there’s a lot to like about this deep ball and the placement on it. McNamara finished the 2021 season not terribly but not overly impressive either with a completion percentage of 64.2% with 2,576 passing yards, 15 touchdowns, and six interceptions. It’s a bit of an interesting comparison, though, considering that McNamara is a junior and that when legendary quarterback Tom Brady was a senior at Michigan, he completed 61% of his passes for 2,217 yards with 16 touchdowns and six interceptions. Obviously, there are some differences and at least in what we’ve seen from the tape, Brady had a higher ceiling coming out as a late-round pick than McNamara seems to have. In fact, there’s expected to be some quarterback controversy next season between McNamara and J.J. McCarthy, who he was replaced by against Georgia, ahead of the 2022 season. McCarthy wasn’t exactly a hero in relief, completing 7-of-17 passes for 131 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions. As rough of an outing as it was for Michigan, the fact McCarthy helped the Wolverines score their only touchdown of the night and didn’t turn the ball over was a positive. “We know we have two great quarterbacks; we make no apologies for that,” head coach Jim Harbaugh said. “I felt we just weren’t—the protection just wasn’t as good as it needed to be. J.J. gave us more of a chance to escape it, avoid it and run. “That was the reason we made the switch.” This will be a quarterback situation to watch moving forward into the next college football season. It’s also worth watching to see if McNamara decides to enter the transfer portal if he loses his job.

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Crissy Froyd