JuniorCooper posted this link in another thread and I thought it was realy good and hadn't known about it before. I didn't want it to get lost at the bottom of that thread, as I think it's good for others to know too.
Apparently there is a "Back-to-school fund" that helps former student-athletes finish up their degrees that left before they finished. This year, Greg Mathews, Shawn Crable, and former UM Women's Basketball player LaTara Jones are all earning their degrees as well. Good article and great support from former alumni. I love how James Hall is an instrumental part of this and understands how great it is for these former players to earn their degrees and complete goals that they maybe didn't realize were so vital to their future (and their kids' futures) at the time.
Thanks Juniorcooper for posting. And congrats to these former athletes as well.
Havent seen many updates in the last few days about many of the Michigan Rookies trying to make it in the NFL (other than the fact that BG is going to destroy people).
Jeff Dickerson posts :Catch of the day came courtesy of undrafted rookie free-agent receiver Greg Mathews, who fully extended to haul in a diving grab down the seam during 11-on-11.
at the bottom of this article about the Bears day at training camp yesterday: http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bears/post/_/id/4665413/versatile-clark-tops-depth-chart-at-h-back
No mention of Minor, and both of them are NOT locks to make the 53 man roster... but it's early, we'll see.
Anybody else hearing anything on some of the other rookies?
We had the #1 play on their Top 10. This morning. Funny how a few wins here and there can change things. About 2 weeks ago ESPN was singing a different tune...
We've seen QB completion percentages rise and rise. Thirty years ago, 45% might have won you the heisman, now it means you're third string. The point is, that just catching balls is not really enough if you're catching all of them behind the line of scrimmage. It's pretty amazing if you pull down a one handed stab ala Koger, but in the modern offense, we need better measuring sticks.
So I'm going to track my new stat categories for this season and beyond, and maybe some smart reporter (is that an oxymoron?) or someone else will pick up on how useful these stats are.
After only one game, they won't be very telling. But as the weeks go by, we'll be able to see which WR are performing relatively better from week to week. We also need some historical context. I said I would go back and review tapes from previous years, but I haven't had the time YET. I still plan on doing it, but it might not happen till after the season. Feel free to do this on your own if you've got lots of time on your hands.
Anyway let's get to it. First up is the raw data, the notes I made while watching the video. Then I'll give the stats, and finally I'll toss in some comments about the week for good measure.
Passing Down Notes:
- 5 yards to hemingway no yac on 1st down
Swing to odoms behind the line gain of 7 but penalty odoms in motion early
2nd 11 pass to carlos for 5 plus 8 yac
2nd and 10 on 28 yardline TD to Hemmingway 17 plus 11 yac
2nd and 12 incomplete to grady on a screen
3rd and 12 incomplete to webb
2nd and 5 4 yards to grady plus 4 yac
1st and 10 incomplete to Hemmingway didn’t look
- 2nd and 5 koger 4 plus 1 yac
2nd and goal from the 8, TD koger redzone
1st and 10 incomplete to matthews broke off route or wrong route
2nd and 10 (robinson) to savoy behind the line for -1 plus 12 yac
2nd and 15 (tate) to shaw for 6 on a comeback, no ruled incomplete
(matthews shaken up)
3rd and 9 screen hemingway for -2 plus 17 yac
1st and 10 incomplete to stonum broke off deep route
3rd and 7 TD hemingway same route as stonum, 36 plus 8 yac
- 2nd and 7 odoms -4 plus 9 yac
1st and 10 hemmingway 8 plus 4 yac limps off the field
2nd and 4 mathews for 0 plus 9 yac
2nd and 3 incomplete to savoy, pressure1st and 20 incomplete to matthews, broke off route Mathews looks really frustrated
- 3rd and 16 INTerception,
mathews was jogging on the goal line, DB undercut Sheridan is chewing out savoy who was wide
1st and 10 grady for -3 plus 9 yac
3rd and 2 incomplete to grady
- 3rd and 15 nearly intercepted
incomplete to matthews
2nd and 9 scramble should have passed
1st and 10 KOGER great 1 handed catch for 20
3rd and goal from the 10 redzone busted play incomplete flag
4th and goal from the 10 redzone incomplete to cox
As always, small sample sizes screw around with efficiency stats. But as the numbers accumulate, these will be more telling. So please have patience.
1st Stat Category: Yards per thrown at
This stat is better than yards per catch because it includes a penalty for players who drop the ball or loaf it on a play and don't get open. Yes they are penalized for having a bad QB but that would affect all the numbers across the board.
C. Brown 13
Stonum, Webb, Cox, Shaw, 0
2nd Stat Category: TD's per Redzone thrown at
This is a stat built for the big men, the goto guys who can get in the endzone. Amazingly, we only attempted 3 redzone passes all day. 1 was a TD to koger, 1 was a busted play, and 1 was the final offensive play from coner
3rd Stat Category: Conversion Efficiency (receiving yards minus (half the yards to go)) multiplied by the down number per thrown at
This is the most complicated stat. This one tells how good a receiver is at continuing a drive. Possesion receivers score high on this metric. Guys that only run fly routes and catch the ball one out of 5 times get killed by this measure.
C. Brown 15
Grady (19) -0.75
(Hmmm.... no one likes negative numbers so I might tweek the formula and make it 1/4 of the yards to go. what do you guys think?)
4th Stat Category: Snag and Go (Total receiving yards/(yards BEFORE the catch)) multiplied by (receptions per thrown at)
I just realized the possibility of having an infinite score here if you have all your catches at the line of scrimmage. The point here was to measure YAC in a meaningful way for guys who catch the ball short, but then have to turn and make something out of it. So I'm going to rethink this category and come up with something better to make the negatives and infinities make sense.
For right now I'll just calculate YAC per thrown at
C. Brown 8
Grady (19) 3.25
Cox, Shaw, Webb 0.0
So what's it all mean? Well obviously Hemingway had an awesome day. Not only did he get the big catches for touchdowns, but his other touches went for conversions, and he even showed a lot of YAC ability. Koger was also excellent, although he has almost no YAC which is what you expect from a larger player, but has a shiny 1.00 for Redzone TD's efficiency.
Most of the other players didn't get enough looks for their numbers to be meaningful. But there was one notable exception. Mathews had a pretty rough day. He only gained positive yardage on two plays and often looked as if he wasn't fully engaged in the play. He did an excellent job on punt returns by simply HOLDING ON TO THE GODDAMN BALL. But he had the demeanor of a guy who is very frustrated. He didn't look happy or excited on the sidelines. Maybe I'm just reading too much into it. On the two catches he made, he got good YAC and converted, but the number of incompletes in his direction brought that stat into negative territory. This is somewhat disappointing as he's our most experienced WR and seemed to have a talent for crossing patterns and deep in's or deep outs. I hope things get turned around for him quickly.
- Will someone tell Mike Patrick to use the term "SOLD OUT" crowd. Not "sell-out" crowd. I feel like he's insulting the stadium.
- That Cheesney song fr(*&)(*^& sucks! I like a lot of different kinds of music, but if it weren't for the mute button I'd probably have to shoot myself before the end of the season.
- After Tate threw the long TD, it looked like Sheridan was unhappy, and explaining something to him, and Tate was like "wut?"
- Boise should be ranked above BYU. BYU beat a team on the road, but minus their best player. Boise absolutely stomped oregon. But they kept bogging down in the redzone
- USC will kill tOSU
- Watching Floyd and Woolfolk bite on the play action was pretty sickening on an otherwise awesome day
- TP is not a smart fellow. If we had him last year we might have gotten 6 or 7 wins and made a bowl but I kind of feel like we dodged a bullet and I'm quite happy with the 2 Frosh we got and Devin Gardner coming in.
- Nice to see the crowd in support of RR
- The Big 10 went 10-1 and is well on its way to having 8 bowl eligible teams but ohio state is still making the conference look bad.
- Florida didn't beat the spread. Wow, that Urban Meyer is a terrible coach. (joking)
- USC's barkley stealing the spotlight from forcier reminds me of adrian peterson doing the same to mike hart.
- The next game is the biggest game of the season! (so far) ND looks like a decent team this year. If we win we could be looking at 8+ wins. If we lose, we're going to struggle to get 6. I hope we win by a small enough amount that Weis doesn't get fired.
- Actually I take that back. I hope we win by 38-0 AGAIN.
So here is my attempt to be more analytical about the 2009 season. I am, like everyone else here, very excited to see what this year will bring for the Wolverines. I am fully behind Rich Rod and his staff and believe that they will turn the ship around. Looking at the roster gives me hope as well. It seems to me that most positions will see an upgrade through better players, more experience, and fewer nagging injuries. To really have a breakthrough season though, we will need to see several players step their game up.
Here are the top five players I expect to have a season shaping impact:
- Brandon Graham - An obvious choice when considering impact players, Graham has already reached this level of play. He is probably the only bonafied star on the team (not counting Space Emperors) and will be the player opposing offenses must account for. He plays a position that can cover for our biggest apparent weakness (safeties) by putting consistent pressure on the quarterback, allowing less time for pass plays to develop. The team will feed off of his drive-killing sacks and forced turnovers. His impact alone possibly accounts for an extra win or two.
- Tate Forcier - Again, this is an obvious choice. (Really, I'm not trying to bore you.) Watching the quarterback play last year was mostly depressing, but I really enjoyed the moments where Threet managed to get free for a surprising run. With Tate we can reasonably expect this to occur much more often which will have a huge positive impact on our offensive efficiency. I am not really expecting much more than natural talent shining through here, at least at first, but that should be enough to keep defenses guessing a whole lot more then last year. The fact that he understands the offense from High School and the spring will certainly help speed his development. So even taking into account freshman jitters, Tate should make a huge impact and account for another one or two game improvement in the win column.
- Jonas Mouton - I have been stoked about this guy's potential since his recruitment, and especially since he move to linebacker. These days, with spread offenses of all sorts getting fast little buggers the ball with enough space to run around fools, every defense needs quick linebackers that can cover someone. My memories of the last decade of Michigan Football are littered with big plays for opponents that stem from the short passing game. As a superior athlete and a converted safety, Mouton may be just the defensive answer we have been missing.
- Brandon Minor - So the fumbles and injuries are in the past right? After the way Minor finished the 2008 season, I believe so and that he may have more of an impact than any other single player on the roster. Minor should punish defenders with his hard hitting running style, while grinding out the tough first downs. He might be most effective with carries focused towards the middle of the line, maybe even lining up at fullback. Opposing defenses would be forced to pick their poison, either bringing extra defenders into the box or allowing Minor to gut them up the middle. With all of the hype about "Spread n' Shred," Minor could be the perfect counter. Not to mention this is his last go-round to impress pro scouts.
- Zoltan Mesko - Really? A Punter? Arguably no other player has the chance to impact each and every game as much as Our Venerable Space Emperor (of Space). Without his ability to put footballs into orbit, last year could have been much uglier for the Maize and Blue. Heck, if half of the turnovers on our end were instead booming Zoltan bombs, our defense would have appeared light years better and we probably would have won at least another game or two. I expect that he will average career highs across all punting statistics (except number kicked, hopefully) and suprise many when he fakes several for first downs (and at least one touchdown, you heard it here first!)
Five others I considered:
- Greg Mathews: Probably the most important player for Tate's development, Mathews has already established his ability to run crisp routes and catch tough passes. Will he be the steady target a freshman QB needs?
- Donovan Warren: I still believe that Warren has the tools to be a shutdown corner at this level. Maybe not a Woodson, but possibly a Ty Law sort.
- Martavious Odoms: We all saw how rediculously open Odoms got last year. Now he has someone that can actually hit him, even while scrambling.
- Mike Martin: Can be the disruptive force in the middle to take some of the focus away from Graham. Can have a large impact by consistently blowing up the opponents backfield.
- Steve Shilling: After a second year with Barwis and a third starting on the O-line, Shilling is ready to shine. The move to the interior of the line could help Brandon Minor by allowing him to truck some safeties instead of linebackers.