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Wisconsin football: uncertainty surrounds the quarterback position ahead of Michigan game

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Joe Rudolph and Jim Leonhard met with the media on Wednesday morning to discuss the upcoming Michigan game

NCAA Football: Kent State at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday morning, Wisconsin Badgers offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph and defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard met with the media to discuss this weekend’s game against the Michigan Wolverines.

Rudolph was up first and he talked a little about how the time off was key for the Badgers to stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout the team. The team got back to practice at the end of last week. “Friday and Saturday ended up turning into days of individual practice and I think that helped us.” He said he didn’t know how well it would’ve gone just jumping back in to regular practice.

Rudolph did note that the team was frustrated about the cancellations, but they understood why. “There was great disappointment when we weren’t able to go on and play. We have a smart group of guys...they didn’t question the decision.”

Rudolph was then asked about the quarterback situation. He reiterates that the depth chart at QB is the same as we’ve always known: Graham Mertz, Chase Wolf, Danny Vanden Boom, but he doesn’t know who will be under center Saturday night. When asked specifically if everyone has practiced he said “No, that would be our depth chart if they were all healthy.”

“The question mark is Graham (Mertz). He’s in the protocol. See how this week progresses with him. Does he get to practice? If we get Graham to the point where he’s practicing will he get enough in that we feel confident with him.”

Rudolph does say that he “Feel(s) good about the guys who are rolling. The guys who have practiced are ready to go.”

Here are some other notes from Rudolph:

  • His overall view on the depth chart: “The way things are right, you don’t really know. Gotta get twos and threes ready, You always gotta have a plan for personnel.”
  • Rudolph says the running game is a bit of a mixed bag after the Illinois game
  • He notes that the team is confident in Vanden Boom if he’s the one under center.
  • Michigan is doing a nice job of mixing coverages this year, according to Rudolph. WRs are going to have to be ready for press man and zone. Rudolph praises WR coach Alvis Whitted for working on releases with wideouts, and says they “have a toolbox” they can utilize.

Jim Leonhard was up next and he started off with some praise for Michigan Wolverines QB Joe Milton.

Leonhard also mentioned that while he’s unsure of how exactly the depth chart will look, he’ll try his best to get 11 players out there on the field every play.

After having so much time off, he explained that the Badgers defense had to get back to basics a bit in practice.

Lastly, it’s good to hear that Leonhard rethought his original idea for freshman OLB Nick Herbig.