this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Michigan Monday is up at O-Zone at http://www.the-ozone.net/football/2010/Illinois/michiganmonday.html. Positive write up, and he focused on Vinopal, Demens, and Avery, saying:
The final thing I should mention was the tremendous interception by true freshman safety Ray Vinopal. He was at deep safety late in the game, and broke on a pass in the seam, sneaking in front of the receiver despite coming from behind him, and then avoided the pass interference entirely. Sure, he fumbled the interception back on the return, but it was just nice to see an instinctive move from a Wolverine playing deep down the field. It's been a while.
Overall, this game really told us nothing other than Kenny Demens should see more snaps, and Courtney Avery will probably be starting before the season is over.
One other thing: apparently someone on staff over at O-Zone needed significant surgery, and doesn't have insurance. They're raising funds at their front page. Consider giving . . . it would be a nice touch for mgoblogerati to help out.
p.s. With the new editor, how do I do block quotes? The same way as before, or is there an easier way?
edit: I didn't see a "blockquote" button between italics and numbered list, but I did use the plain text editor and it worked.
It's not even 9 AM. I'll make this quick:
I'm at the tail end of a great week. My wife is pregnant with our first child and I'm on vacation visiting business schools. Obviously, Michigan's Ross is my first choice. It's a great school, the new building is fantastic (check it out if you haven't been), and its got a unique program that matches perfectly with my desired career path. I just hit "send" on the application and feel great about my chances.
Unfortunately, that's the problem. Despite every piece of positive news, I've got a very specific, overwhelming concern--will Obi Ezeh and Jonas Mouton be serviceable Big 10 linebacker this season? Add to that concerns about running backs, Mike Martin going pro after the season, and the shocking lack of depth in the secondary, and I'm legitimately worried. I spend my days concocting reasons why UMass's success shouldn't be a concern and why our defense can succeed in the Big 10.
Let's add another layer. I don't know a person dedicated or knowledgeable enough with which to watch a game. Everyone knows Denard Robinson is awesome at this point, but how many can appreciate Omameh destroying Te'o on the long touchdown against Notre Dame? This isn't an insult to others, but an indictment of my personality.
Brian had the long-standing email asking why he was a fan and why football was important. I'm starting to ask myself the same question. Last Saturday, I sat in my house screaming at the TV while the defense struggled. As my wife aptly points out, I don't take the same joy in watching the offense perform in a way I may never see again as a Michigan fan.
I always wanted someone like Donovan McNabb to wear the Maize and Blue. Now that a better player with better coaching (I really believe this) is running around making defenses look stupid, I take little joy in their successes. I almost broke my laptop when Rudolph scored his touchdown. When Michigan took the lead and eventually sealed the victory on Crist's throw out of the end zone, I was mildly satisfied.
My question to you, the fan, follows: why is football important to you? Why do you love Michigan football to the point of losing your temper, screaming at the TV, and investing your emotional happiness in 20-somethings you'll likely never meet?
I can't answer my question right now. I love Michigan football simply because I love Michigan football. "Why" is completely absent from the equation. I've got a love of my home state that somehow overrides enormous parts of my logical person and manifests itself in an intense desire to see the Wolverine's football team succeed. Is it guilt at leaving while the state struggles? Why do I care? Why do you? I think this exercise may help those of us that are struggling as the program completes (hopefully) its growing pains and become the ninja football machine we hope for late at night.
There's the link but I'll give a brief summary of what was said:
- Rich Rod wants to spend 15-20 mins a day with the defense to get a fix
- Hard to figure out a 18-19 year olds mindset going into an FCS game following an emotional win versus Notre Dame
- Tried to stress contain during practice and during the game last week, things just didn't get fixed (ARGH!) Will work on it more during practice this week.
- Kickers kick well in practice, need to perform in game. Had a kid ask him about trying out and he may end up on the team.
- Working out to burn off stress avoid having what happened to Dantonio happen to him
- Lewan may start this week.
- Impressed with BG skill positions, especially running back. They run a spread.
- Ash definitely redshirting barring injuries to guys ahead of him.
- Carvin still questionable, Marvin will be back
- Would have played Tate and Devin had Gordon not dropped the pick.
- Stonum has greatly matured.
It's no secret that most of the nation is telling us we've got to be concerned about Denard's durability. "QB's just can't take that number of carries and the hits that come along with them and stay healthy", is the usual line we've been hearing. While I agree that QB durability is a concern, to me, it's no more of a concern than for a team whose QB stands in the pocket all day long.
Here's where I have to disagree with all the people who see his carries numbers each week and fire off some rambling echoing comment about inevitable injuries.
DRob is not your average QB. No, I'm not talking about his got-here-before-I-got-here speed, or his super nova bright smile, or his unbelievable humility. I'm talking about how his carries are obtained, and how his hits are taken.
Your average stationary QB will take most of his hits in the pocket and a few of them while running for his life. Of the hits taken in the pocket, most of them will be taken without any warning and usually with at least a moderately forceful tackle. This is why QB durability is even a topic in today's football conversations. Then, we look at carries and hits. The higher the carries and the more the hits a QB in this conversation takes, the more likely he is to come down with some kind of season affecting injury. So people see his carries, and the number of hits he's taking and they automatically put him in the "high risk" bracket for getting sidelined at some point.
Here's what they aren't accounting for:
1) If we want to count the hits a QB takes in the pocket, DRob is already at an advantage to the stand there and shoot QB. If a play is busted, and he's taking a hit, someone actually caught him- and we all know that's been rare. And even those hits are usually someone trying to slide him to the ground before he breaks loose and gains 50 yards.
2) If we want to count the hits a QB takes when he rushes, DRob is clearly at an advantage because of his speed, his cutting ability, his running vision, and his mentality as a runner (looks like a HB). If a defender is hitting him and actually brining him down, they're hanging on to his leg or his waist (Manti Te'o in Heisman-like photo). This is because they can't commit to a huge hitting tackle the way they can against a target that moves slowly enough to zero in on. How many times has a defender given him a hit that everyone gasped at? None. And this trend is likely to continue based on the abilities listed above.
3) The hits he actually does take when he's rushing are taken just like a RB would take them. He's never a dear in the headlights or a car that couldn't stop soon enough to not get hit by that semi.
4) The kid is tough. Period.
So if he's taking any more hits than a typical QB would take, it can't be that much more. He takes less hits in the pocket, his hits downfield are never huge hits, the hits he does take downfield are braced for and slippery like most RB's/HB's, and the kid is tough as nails.
We don't hear the media fretting each week about the durability of every star RB in the nation.
So why do we hear it about DRob every five seconds?
Is it because they just need something to say/write about other than, "Denard Robinson is fast!!!"?
Is there a faction of people out there who want to be right more than they want to see a humble kid tear it up all year?
Mathlete (or someone else with numbers skills and access to some stats)- I’d love to see some numbers behind this…general categories like hits taken in the pocket, hits taken rushing, big hits, unexpected hits, etc.