The Energy Cade McNamara Gives Off 'Translates To Everybody,' Per Erick All
Michigan Wolverines football sophomore tight end Erick All has been one of the most talked about players on U-M’s offense so far this season, but unfortunately not for the right reasons.
It’s due to the fact he’s already dropped four passes (according to Pro Football Focus), including one that undoubtedly would have gone for a touchdown against Minnesota in the season opener.
He has seemingly figured things out as of late, however, hauling in six receptions over Michigan’s last two games, and perhaps more importantly not dropping any passes during that span.
“It was irritating dropping the ball,” All admitted to the media this afternoon. “I don’t know why I was dropping it. I knew how good of hands I had and needed to trust myself.
"I felt confidence and felt like a new person at Rutgers with a different energy once I found that confidence. After I dropped that first ball in Minnesota, it was in my head. Thank God it’s out.
"[Tight ends] Coach [Sherrone] Moore tells me to look the ball in. He told me I trust my hands too much and that’s why I need to look it in. I get 100 jug catches in after every Thursday practice.”
Reports out of practice leading up this season were that All was catching everything thrown his way, which made the drops all the more surprising. All’s drops and Michigan’s three-game losing streak that lasted from Oct. 31 through Nov. 14 seemed to both stem from a mental standpoint, with the mistakes and mishaps clearly festering in the players’ heads.
“There are a lot of kids on the team who know what’s at stake for themselves, because everyone wants to go to the league,” All explained when asked about the team’s recent losing stretch.
“My mental mistakes were thinking too much about what I had to do to make a play perfect. People were thinking too much. We got it together and we’re straight; we got our confidence and our swagger back.”
Whether that’s actually the case or not will further be revealed on Saturday against Penn State, but there’s no question redshirt freshman quarterback Cade McNamara helped provide much of that swagger and confidence when he was inserted into this past weekend’s game at Rutgers.
The entire offense ran more efficiently when he was in the game, and the energy and enthusiasm he brought to the team seemed to carry over into other aspects of the club as well.
“He’s always been trying to be a leader and be cool with everybody on the team,” All explained. “Cade is affectionate with the game. He’ll make a bad throw sometimes in practice and you’ll see how passionate he is.
“You can see it after every throw and after every practice. The energy he gives off is how everyone knows how serious he takes it. It translates to everybody.”
McNamara helped turn the game on a dime this past weekend, with the Wolverines trailing 17-0 when he entered late in the second quarter. A 46-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Cornelius Johnson just before halftime helped light the spark and provide Michigan with the confidence it needed.
“When we got that first touchdown, we realized what we needed to do,” All exclaimed. “[Sophomore wideout] Giles [Jackson] then took that kick to the house and we just kept going.
All compared the two aforementioned plays to redshirt junior defensive tackle Donovan Jeter’s fumble return for a touchdown in the season opener at Minnesota, and how it provided enough momentum for things to have a “snowball effect” for U-M.
“We just kept fighting,” All said of Saturday night’s performance. “That’s pretty much all you can do. Nobody got down on themselves, nobody was thinking about themselves and everyone was about the team.
“Everyone wanted to work hard and make plays for the team, and we finally clicked. We didn’t have anything going against Wisconsin [last week] or anything to feed off of, so there was no energy to feed from.
“Everything was going well against Rutgers, so the energy built up for us throughout the game.”
Michigan will next host a Penn State team who is off to its worst start in program history, coming to Ann Arbor on Saturday with an 0-5 record. Hopes of a Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff appearance are both long gone for Michigan and Penn State, but the Wolverines are still looking to salvage everything that can be salvaged in this 2020 campaign from here on out.
“To go 1-0,” All confirmed when asked what the team’s goals are heading into the PSU showdown. “That’s it. I expect us to go out there and work hard and put our bodies on the line to do whatever it takes to get this win.
“We’re standing behind this 1-0 thing each week and will hopefully win out.”
• Redshirt sophomore quarterback Joe Milton's time as U-M’s starting quarterback could be over for the rest of this season if McNamara continues to perform at a high level the way he did Saturday at Rutgers.
“Joe is a big team player,” All explained, when asked how Milton handled his benching. “He’s one of my best friends on the team and was happy for the guys and that we won. He’s been positive.”
• Talk about this article inside The Fort
• Watch our videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel
• Listen and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes
• Learn more about our print and digital publication, The Wolverine
• Sign up for our daily newsletter and breaking news alerts
• Like us on Facebook