Mason NEEDS this, Pistons, after all you've put him through
I like to keep tabs on my fellow Wolverines who have gone on to play in the NFL. So, while checking up on their stats and forecasting the upcoming season, I decided to jot down my notes and thoughts for everybody. If people like what they see then I can keep going with more players down the road. Let me know if you disagree with any projections or if you notice any errors.
I forgot to mention Tyler Ecker in my look back at the 2007 class. Here’s what he’s been up to (or not up to):
Tyler Ecker (TE, Washington)
- 2007 Stats: DNP
- 2007 Season Review: Ecker was drafted in the 7th round (216th overall) by Washington. He did not play at all in the 2007 season. Apparently he hurt his groin in training camp and was on the IR all season.
- 2008 Season Projection: Is he still even on the team? I don’t know, but even if he is there is no way he sees the field barring several injuries. The Skins have Chris Cooley (arguable their best receiver) with backups Todd Yoder (veteran, blocking-type) and rookie Fred Davis (rookie, athletic-type). Good luck, Tyler.
Gabe Watson (DT, Arizona)
- 2007 Stats: 16 games, 34 tackles (25 solo), 2 pass deflections
- 2007 Season Review: Watson was the highest drafted Wolverine in 2006 (barely), going in the 4th round (107th overall) to Arizona. In 2007 Watson started all 16 games for the Cardinals, racking up 34 tackles. He put together a nice season, but 2007 still looked to be a building year towards 2008...
- 2008 Season Projection: ... until he slipped on a treadmill and broke his kneecap. That’s correct. He had surgery to repair the damage and he missed all of the off-season workouts. Last I heard he was questionable to participate in training camp, but the team is optimistic that he’ll be ready come the start of the season. I think he’ll rebound and be contributing at a high level by the end of the season, but when you miss workouts and camp it’s going to take some time to get back in game shape. Look for Alan Branch (Go Blue!) to pick up Watson’s lost playing time.
Jason Avant (WR, Philadelphia)
- 2007 Stats: 15 games, 23 rec, 267 yds, 2 TD
- 2007 Season Review: Avant was also drafted in the 4th round (109th overall) by Philadelphia. He was relatively effective as a slot receiver for Philadelphia but he also played on special teams, recording 13 special teams tackles (good for 4th on the team).
- 2008 Season Projection: Avant seems to have found his niche as a #3 or #4 receiver. The Eagles essentially return the same receivers as last year, with Avant appearing to have the #3 slot locked up. As Avant continues to develop, I expect to see slightly better numbers than 2007. Wikipedia also notes that Jason is an “avid Scrabble player”, so there you go.
Tim Massaquoi (TE, Buffalo)
- 2007 Stats: DNP
- 2007 Season Review: The next (and last) Wolverine drafted in 2006 was Tim Massaquoi, going in the 7th round (244th overall, just 11 spots away from Mr. Irrelevent) to the Tampa Bay Bucs. After being released by Tampa following training camp in 2006, Miami signed Massaquoi for the 2006 season. Despite being on the active roster for 6 games, he did not have any catches. He was released by Miami prior to the 2007 season and was later signed by Buffalo. He was on the active roster for 4 games in 2007 but again did not have any catches.
- 2008 Season Projection: Not good. Buffalo drafted TE Derek Fine (Kansas) in the 4th round in the draft earlier this summer. I’d be surprised if Massaquoi is still on the roster after training camp.
Pierre Woods (OLB, New England)
- 2007 Stats: 16 games, 21 tackles (14 solo), led team in special teams tackles
- 2007 Season Review: Woods went undrafted in 2006, eventually signing a free agent contract with the New England Patriots. He saw mostly special teams action in 2007, though he did play some backup linebacker as well. He impressed his coaches by leading the team in special teams tackles, which should help him earn more playing time moving forward.
- 2008 Season Projection: The LB corps is heavy with former Wolverines. Victor Hobson starts at ILB, Shawn Crable is expected to see some action as a backup his rookie season, and Woods’ role should expand from just primarily special teams. However, the New England LB corps is also heavy in veterans (Mike Vrabel and Adalius Thomas at OLB, Teddy Brusci and Hobson at ILB). The Patriots also drafted Jerod Mayo with the 10th overall pick this past draft, but he is likely to play ILB in the Patriot’s 3-4 defense which shouldn’t steal time from Woods. I expect Woods to still be a regular on special teams while receiving more playing time on defense in a backup role.
Marques was the first recruit I actually remembered the name of and knew a little about. I was still in HS and I knew nothing of Michigan on the other than a unhealthy love for the football team and being able to watch them on TV. Being from Montana, I often had to defend being a fan, and prove that I knew something. Slocum was my defense. I could drop his name and his story and I grew to becoming one of his bigger supporters, because he had unknowingly provided me the credentials to prove my "fanhood". I remember feeling bad for Marques when the "Fuck Lion" thing came out, because I knew that the internet and UM rivals would eat him up for it. I wathched as UM fans defended him and said that it was just "him being him". Yet we defended him because he was ours. We justified his journey and eventual admittance as a success story, while others just labeled him the Jarrell Powe of the North.
Marques's situation is a microcosm of what is wrong with the NCAA. We as fans, glamorize his preseverence, yet others view it as another jock getting a free pass into school. I know it's been rehashed over and over, but I have yet to "hash" it so just read on. Does the product of the NCAA (that in which we all would kill for) justify the process? I look at Marques and see a kid who had so much sunshine blown up his ass growing up that he never realized it could end. What 18 year old would? Then he doesn't qualify, and no one is there to coddle him. Unlike most kids in his situation, Marques guts it out, on his own, to pursue a dream. Most just quit because its too hard, but Marques continues. As UM fans this is admirable to us, but maybe to others it's still just another kid who will eventually be admitted because he can break through a double team to get to the QB. Either opinion is viable and they aren't really the point. The point is, what does Marques do now? Maybe he realized CFB wasn't what he thought it would be, maybe school is too hard, maybe he's tired. I don't know and won't speculate as too what possible reasoning is behind this. My point to all of this, is that there is none. There is no point, because there is no solution. This will never really change, because it can't. It's not the NCAA's fault, it's not the University's fault, it's not really anyone's unless you want to throw out the generic "society is to blame" rationale because it seems easier to do that then to try to make changes. In the end, Marques is the discharge from a faulty process that produces a near perfect product. If you alter the earlier, it will affect the latter. So enjoy the games, root for the players (both on and off the field) and hope that Marques can land on his feet. He's shown everyone that he can work hard to qualify, but hopefully he's shown himself that he can do things off the field...if he wants to. Thank you Marques and good luck.
Interesting Sam Webb article from DetNews on Michigan's recruiting progress in Mississippi.
Here's a couple quotes from the article,
- " Hopson's efforts paid off last week when Thames flew up for the Tigers' six-game homestand. On Tuesday he and his uncle made their way to Ann Arbor for a visit and came away extremely impressed.
"It was like a dream come true," Thames said of his time at Michigan. "Everything I'm looking for in a college, Michigan had it. Education-wise, everything up there is professional. They know what they're doing. If football doesn't work, they make sure you get your education." "
- " Based on what Thames witnessed in the weight room, he believes the Wolverines know what they're doing when it comes to training, as well.
"Mike Barwis -- that's an awesome dude," he said about Michigan's new strength and conditioning coordinator. "I'd say about 25 pro football players were there. He was helping them work out. It was awesome. He took me through some drills showing me how they do it up there." "
To link this to BlueSeoul's diary entry "Should we believe the hype?" I can say that I've heard of NFL players helping other players work out. Walter Payton and Jerry Rice had noted workout regimes that were publicised and sought after by other NFL players.
But I've never heard of a College S & C guy collecting NFL players before. Hell I don't think I've ever read an article about an S & C coach before Barwis.
Like i illustarted on my blog a couple of months ago. I have been employing shaffers coverages for few years. i listened to him speak years ago when he was a secondary coach at illinois. and when he was at western michigan iirc. i have about 4 tapes from him as well. i was always impressed with his secondary technique kowledge. Almost every thing i have drawn up over on three and out, came from shafer. He likes press coverage, its a little different press coverage then what you are use to though. You wont see a lot of straight jam technique, rather the press is an inside shade, outside foot back, inviting the fade (michigan corners will know how to play the fade better than any other corners int he country) then on the snap of the ball, they execute what is called a shadow technique. Shafer describes it as imagining that the sun is setting behind the offensive player, and the defender gives ground, with short shuffle steps, and tries to stay in the shadow as long as possible. Forcing the offensive player to make the first move, makes it harder to get a corner off balance with a missed jam. After the offensive plaeyr has declared whether they are trying to release out or in, the defender will then cross over step, and jam with the opposite arm and foot. then ride the offensive player.
This shadow technique is what you will see michigan running when playing man, but also when playing a lot of their zones (i broke down some of his main zones as well)
the other press you will see will be an outside shade, bump see squeeze technique, where defender is on an outside shade, forcing an nside release. they have about 2 seconds to press the reciever, then they open their hips to the qb and aqueeze their deep zone... you will see this a lot when michigan runs their zone blitzes and any time that corners are pressig yet have deep zones.
the other thing with shafer, is that since he has a rep for blitzing, his okie package is so good agaisnt the pass, because he has 10 of the 11 players sugaring up to the los showing blitz. once again, check out some of the stuff i have here www.gsimmons85.blogspot.com
I have a couple of other tapes of shafer, that im getting out of mothballs, about safety play that ill pass along too you.
The most impressive thing about shafer is his focus on details, from the correct position your elbow should be in when striking a blow (low elbow is a strong elbow, high elbow is a wet noodle) to the aiming point of your claw hand on a reciever when running in stage.
Its actually very ironic that he got the michigan dc job. I really had no idea of his conection to RR, and thus never felt he was interested in michigan, or that he had the "pedigree" to be considerd. The passion he coaches with is as simular to mine of any of the big name guys i know. The first thing i thought about when i saw him running into the end zone to congradulate a defender for the pic 6 in the spring game, was last year during our first 7 on 7 of the spring in helments, when my olb got a pic 6 and i ran him down in the endzone, head butted him, and knocked him down.... didnt realize i was bleeding so bad till i started getting light headed.... cant wait till august, the only thing better then finally getting to watch a well coached michigan defense, is the excitment i feel when the lights go on friday night.
Im not a writer like brian or my friends over on the WLA, but i love to teach the game of football, and im thankfull for brian giving me a little bit of a forum to help teach the game to fellow wolverine fans. Thats something i never thought i would have the opportunity to do.
Is anyone else depressed over NCAA Football 2009 like me? I've been playing online and came to several conclusions.
1) Its nearly-impossible to play run defense... A run up the middle will get you at least 3-4 yards provided you make it to the line of scrimmage.
2) Its nearly-impossible to play pass defense... You can consistently roll to the left and throw right(to receivers not even on the screen) succesfully.
3)Every game comes down to a fumble or interception (usually one team will make a bad throw and it won't be intercepted but the other team will make a bad throw for a pick 6... all other drives will result in touchdowns).
4) The computer AI is terrible. The only defensive player that runs toward the ball is the one you are controlling.
5) It is absolutely impossible to cover the rb as a receiver out of the backfield. I've tried putting safeties, linebackers, and using zones to stop it but its a guaranteed 6-7 yds and probably more if the offense employs a hb screen.
Has anyone else who bought this game had the same problems? Its really frustrating because scoring is actually easier this year than ever before, and its always been easy.
This is the final installment of the Kevin Grady story, and also the final time this feature will be posted in the MGoBlog diary section - beginning with the next edition you will be able to find this (with pretty pictures and more profanity!) at http://wolverineliberationarmy.blogspot.com, the vanguard of the Rodriguez Revolution.
MyFairGrady: coach, what do I have to do to get back on the team?
WizardOfRod: I just don't know Kevin. If I let you back, and believe me, I want to, then I'll be ravaged by the press!
MyFairGrady: thats bullshit coach mcguff threw up on me
WizardofRod: I'm not sure I can take that type of chance. I'm new!
MyFairGrady: a chance?
***The Michigan Dance Team has entered the room***
MyFairGrady: if u change ur mind
im the first in line
im still free
DanceTeam: take a chance take a chance
MyFairGrady: if you need me, let me know
If you got no place to go when you're
If you're all alone when the pretty birds have flown
Honey I'm still free
Take a chance on me
Gonna do my very best and it ain't no
If you put me to the test, if you let me try
WizardofRod: I do enjoy musicals.
MyFairGrady: fuck yea u do
WizardofRod: Well Kevin, this is a tough decision
WizardofRod: I’ve been cheated by you
since I don’t know when
So I made up my mind, it must come to an end
Look at me now, will I ever learn?
I don’t know how but I suddenly lose
There’s a fire within my soul
Just one look and I can hear a bell
One more look and I forget everything,
Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist you?
Mamma mia, does it show again?
My my, just how much I’ve missed you
Yes, I’ve been brokenhearted
Blue since the day we parted
Why, why did I ever let you go?
Mamma mia, now I really know,
My my, I could never let you go.
***TheBarwisAidMan has broken through the office wall***
TheBarwisAidMan: WHAT IN THE FUCK IS THIS PUSSY SHIT
MyFairGrady: hey coach whats up
/puts down feather boa
TheBarwisAidMan: WHATINTHEFUCKWHATINTHEFUCK – PUNCH EACH OTHER IN THE BALLS RIGHT NOW
***MyFairGrady has punched WizardofRodin the nuts***
***WizardofRod has punched MyFairGrady in the nuts***
TheBarwisAidMan: GRADY, YOU GO DEADLIFT THE CRANE THAT FELL OVER IN THE STADIUM PARKING LOT WHEN I PUNCHED IT AND KEEP DOING IT TILL I SAY STOP
TheBarwisAidMan: RODRIGUEZ, GET YOUR JIGGLY ASS DOWN TO THE WEIGHT ROOM AND GIVE ME 100 BURPEES TILL THE GAY IS OUT OF YOU
***TheBarwisAidMan is staring wistfully out the hole in the wall to the lonely Ann Arbor sky***
THERE WAS SOMETHING IN THE AIR THAT NIGHT
THE STARS WERE BRIGHT FERNANDO
THEY WERE SHINING THERE FOR YOU AND ME