You might have already seen this footage a few times before, but I find it fun to watch in this summer of relative inactivity.
I was at this game, and if you compare how Tate performed in the spring game with either of the two Qb's we trotted out there last year it's night and day. In the previous spring game there were a combination of 8 INT's, horrible completion percentage, and no down the field success. This kid hits recievers in stride, has great touch down field, and has some good wiggle moves in the open field. I also liked hearing about how RR noticed that Roy Roundtree was squinting often. He went to help him get his eyes checked, and it made all the difference. This year it seems like Roundtree could be the deep threat, Mathews is the possesion reciever, and who knows if Tay will win the slot battle.
My biggest concern for this season is still the special teams. It confuses me that we don't have a special teams coach, and if they weren't so awful at it last year I would say they have it under control. Obviously our punter is really good, but the roll out rugby style doesn't fit what Zoltan is best doing. None of our returners last year could catch a punt/kickoff. I hope they are working on that every day this summer. Odoms even dropped a punt in the spring game! Get that guy out of there! I know he returned one to the house last year, but if you fumble it half the time it's not worth it. By the end of the year last year I was screaming, "...just let it roll, and we'll take the ball where it stops.." This strategy would have won the ND game for us if you think about it.
Getting back to the topic at hand, Tate seems like a perfect fit for this offense. That side of the ball might end up being more of a passing attack this year because of his accuracy and decision making. However, our strength will be the offensive line & our senior running backs. In the beginning of the season IMO they should pound the ball and give Tate some easy reads/throws to build confidence and releive some of the pressure for him. At least his first four games are at home! Minor should have a great season, and only injuries stand in the way of 1,000 yards for him. Go Blue!!!
The Demo for NCAA 2010 dropped this morning on Xbox Live. Early review is that this looks a lot more like 09.5 then a clean new version, but hopefully the final copy will have more additions that make it worth the money. Two new features for this year that are already online are Team Builder and Season Showdown.
Team Builder is much like the standard build a school feature in past games, but the nice thing is you can build your teams online right now and then just move them to your PS3 or 360 when the game comes out. This also allows you to get real decals offline such as your high school graphics and utilize them to create a realistic field and helmet. It will be interesting to see if other ea games add this feature going forward, for example allowing you to customize your fighter online for the new Fight Night 4 coming out this month.
Season Showdown is about proving that our school (Michigan if you are reading this blog) is better than the rest. Essentially, you select one college to play in single-player Play Now, Dynasty, and online modes. You're then rewarded with credits in several different categories depending on your performance on and off the field. Already this mode is available online asking Trivia questions about college football to earn your favorite school credits.
Just a quick summary, to notify you the demo is available and some improvements available. Season Showdown appears like a cool new feature, but remains convoluted until we get to see the whole thing working together. For more info see the link below. July 14th can't get here soon enough so we can introduce electronic Tate to the world of College Sports.
Now that the NBA finals are over and sports enters the dark period know as baseball season, I am trying to get back in the swing of Michigan football. There has been a lot of grumbling recently about our recruiting of non-blue-chip recruits. The 3-9 season with losses in the top-flight rivalry games, loss of actual or expected impact players via transfers, and (to a much lesser extent) the aspersions on Rodriguez's character (see, e.g., snake oil, lack of family values) have also caused some heartache for Michigan fans.
So here's my question, if you wound the clock back and could choose between Les Miles and Rodriguez (I'm not saying this was the situation we actually found ourselves in), who would you choose?
Personally, I am drinking the Rodriguez Kool-Ade. I am sold on the spread as an offensive system and think that it will pay dividends once we get the right personnel installed. I was a fan from the beginning of Barwis and the long-overdue revolution in the weight room. Rodriguez’s track record is obviously stellar even though he isn’t a Michigan Man in the traditional sense. I am confident that greatness will ensue in the next year or three.
I was also, however, intrigued by Les's 4th down gumption and success at LSU. I have no clue if the transition with Coach Miles would have been smoother. Would we have performed better last year and maybe lost fewer players to transfers if we weren’t installing the spread on the fly? Would we be recruiting four and five star players in droves right now? I don’t know. If it was your pick, who would you have at the helm of the leaders and best?
Brian should just immediately bump this to the front page (permanently) and post his stuff below this.
This is in response to "the return of McFarlin" which caused a bloodbath in the boards yesterday (Kudos to WolvinLA, Magnus and the others for fighting the good fight!).
To be fair, I am going to assume that the new posters who come to this board and bitch about our 3 star commits are genuinely worried about the program and not congenitally retarded ( think McFarlin).
If you have come to this the premier Michigan blog to find an answer for our seemingly poor recruiting performance, here it is (you dont need to start a new thread and rehash this every two days):
1. You are going to have to get used to the fact that Michigan under RR is simply not going to have Top 5 classes, ever. There are three main reasons for this:
A. Recent history has bumped up the prestige of schools like LSU, USC, UTexas and Florida way above Michigan's and it is a really uphill battle for us to beat them out for the creme de la creme.
B. The above mentioned states have a built-in geographical advantage. When freaks like DG or the Otter happen to be from Michigan, we benefit from it. But for the most part such freaks live in other states.
C. System, System, System: There are some positions in our system which necessitate a body/skill type that is not looked upon favorably by Scout or Rivals.
2. You should pay attention to recruiting so that you have something to do during offseason, but NOT consider it to be a sure fire indicator of future success. If you disagree with this, there is a beached whale in South Bend who can fill you in on what happens when you focus only on recruiting and don't bother developing the raw talent that you bring in.
3. Ultimately you have to tell yourself, that we would ( or at least I hope SHOULD) all enjoy it more if Michigan makes it to the Top 5 in the coaches poll/ AP poll / BCS poll MORE than if/when we make it to the Top 5 in Rivals/Scout ranking. If RR feels he needs to bring in no star nano particles with dreadlocks to get us there, then so be it. He is the head coach and it is his prerogative to decide who is on HIS team.
4. no sugarcoat
(I cant end an important post like without saying that! )
In the abyss that is the offseason, I am bored. I'm curious what people's opinions of the top 3 offensive and defensive players are. Smart money says the offensive MVP will be Brandon Minor, and the Defensive MVP will be Brandon Graham, so that's a boring topic. Instead, who are the other people you see making a run at it only to finish 2nd? My picks are as follows (in order):
Greg Mathews - Sure hands, upper classman. Also, I just really like the way he plays the game. The obvious #1 target for a seasoned qb. The fact that we have a frosh instead of a seasoned qb probably means he'll get a few less looks as Forcier will drop it off to slots and RBs more
Martavious Odoms - Was pretty much a stud last year, minus the 250 fumbles punts. For whatever reason, he's not getting much disucssion this offseason and I've even read some people have the opinion that someone else would replace him. That opinion is not mine, as I think he's in for a good season. Also, to Mr. Odoms: Hold onto the ball.
Kevin Koger* (!!) if only because tight ends can be a huge safety net for frosh QBs. To be honest though, we probably won't use a TE set enough for this to be realistic
*Steve Schilling would take his place if not for the fact that offesnive linemen never, ever are considered for this award. Also, I have resisted the urge to put Forcier here because he hasn't played a down yet. God, pls let him be good enough to be in this discussion kthx
Donovan Warren - I love the way he plays the game. I really think he would be a serious threat to challenge Graham for MVP, except for the fact I think opposing QBs will avoid his side fo the field entirely, not allowing him to build the necessary stats.
Obi Ezeh - Will he turn the corner? The athleticism is there, if he can react and read things quicker he could be dominant. What will probably keep him from the win is his ability to disappear in the passing game, often leaving a nice, wide open curl/dig zone in the middle of the field.
Mike Martin - Probably won't really be considered for MVP, but if he plays well he will be the reason Graham does win it, so I included him here. Preventing constant double teams on Graham will be his main duty.
So, what thinks you, MGoNation?
Has anyone noticed that we are still waiting on a confirmation that has not come? Days ago we were treated to what all proclaimed as a great signing of OLB Holmes Onwukaife (a recruit with actual credible D1 offers). Unfortunately we are now hearing that not only was this premature, but that Coach Rich Rodriguez counter offered an ILB position, and was turned down. Holmes will now, not be coming to Michigan à la Travis Williams our DB commit errr, not commit from earlier this season.
As much fun as it is to spend the summer months planning to match shirts on game day, or predicting how many points we'll beat Eastern Michigan by, I think we need to continue to discuss this recruiting strategy that shotguns out 100+ offers making an offer from Michigan meaningless to a recruit and diminishing the name of Michigan football. No need to review the argument about the quality of recruits coming in these days, but what about the quality of our name across the country?
Coach Rich Rodriguez makes Michigan normal when he gives every 3 star recruit an offer, and then he further diminishes OUR name when someone says yep, I’ll shake on that offer and he says, “Whoops didn’t know you were going to take us seriously. Can’t do it right now. We’ll have to get back with you.” As a Michigan man and a business man I live by the motto of my Yes will be Yes and my No will be No. College football should be a young man’s introduction into good business practices and character, not their first experience learning the dark realities of cold-blooded business.
I know many of you Michigan Men must feel the same, and we need the University to know we believe in Passion, we believe in Victory, but above all we believe in Character beyond reproach.