From Portage Northern.
Nice article in the NYTimes about Stevie Brown's comeback. No major news, but he's on schedule, presumabely in time for the start of the season.
Will Cameron Gordon bring balance to the force? Will Vlad the Impaler ever transition from psych to sang? Is Marvin the Marvelous Marvel just an empty OMG shirtless? Do 40-times matter at all? Will Misopogon exhaust his annual allotment of rhetorical questions before this deck is even finished? I dunno, but I was seriously freaking about about free safety, man, so I dipped into UFRs of yore and found….hope?
Question for you Cam: What has two thumbs, and is responsible for stopping the big play?
Tthere are things that concern me very much about 2010. Chief among these, and that which I would like to now give the full Misopogonal logorrhea treatment in an attempt to allay those fears in my own head (and SLEEP dammit), is the position of Free Safety.
Or Deep Safety.
Or Deathbacking D-Back of Defensive Doom.
You know what I'm talking about: the middle safety who is supposed to play Cover 1, or center Cover 3, or clean up anything that runs by Obi Ezeh and whichever lineman Obi has affixed himself to for the duration of that play.
The position which, at least in our current defensive terminology, I believe is officially called the…
* Good news is none of those links are RickRolls. Bad news is they are all much, much worse.
To really grasp what kind of play to expect this season from the quarterback of the defense, and what kind of player tends to succeed in that position I felt it necessary to go over the kind of deep safety play that Michigan has had since, oh, 2005.
…[Misopogon spends two full evenings in old UFRs]
Omigod guys, there's some seriously bad safety play in there. But I learned some things today… Fortify your stomach, then click to continue.
I haven't seen anything posted and haven't been able to find much online. From what I found Graham didn't run again, Warren did despite saying he wasn't going to and clocked a 4.55 forty which is a good improvement. Also, Steve Brown clocked his forty in the mid-4.4 second area and had a good three-cone and pretty good bench too. I'm glad for Brown and I hope he can find a way to get drafted late (though I don't think he will). Also, Matthews ran 4.55-4.61.
I couldn't find on Carlos Brown or anyone else, so if anyone has anything let me know. Link to the info I just said below
EDIT: mgoblog search engine works really well but its not idiot proof. I guess I'm an idiot right now. Probably something I should have done before but all the info I posted is already on another board topic. My bad. Anyway, if you like the info give a +1 to ME. Now this is just getting awkward. Not me actually, but the user name ME on the previous thread, he gave the same info.
In light of recent research, etc., it seems what Michigan could use more than anything right now is a solid safety.
Like a senior, highly rated, responsible, football smart, playmaking safety.
Like, let's just say, the No. 6 defensive back of 2006.
Some guy named Brown.
Like this guy (after ad):
Now, this has no bearing whatsoever on the current team, because it is way too late to make this change.
But what if Carlos Brown had, at some point in his career, converted back to safety?
Safety Carlos Brown?
I believe the reason for Brown's surprising Michigan commitment was that Lloyd promised him he could play tailback. Someone else may confirm that for me -- that's memory's service, and I have proven to have a bad memory.
Now, a promise is a promise, say they, unless it's a promise to a player about the position he will ultimately end up at.
Subject to the will of the service.
Could it Have Happened?
The depth problems at safety have been known about for a long time. They were a certainty, at the latest, by Spring 2007, when Jonas Mouton's move to linebacker meant Lloyd's staff had to know that its post-Englemon/Adams future was essentially Stevie Brown ('06) and Michael Williams ('07) [meeting their respective expectations] or bust.*
At that point S.Brown was a hypey sophomore, and Williams a not-yet-enrolled freshman headed for a redshirt. That was it for depth.
Meanwhile, in Spring 2007, the post-Hart tailback outlook was Brandon Minor (already heir apparent after some long runs as a freshman), Kevin Grady (whose future on the team was by that point in some doubt), Carlos Brown, and Avery Horn (Mister Simpson was already transferring). Sam McGuffie and Mike Cox [sic] already had happy teeth.**
I mean, gee, what if at some point in Spring 2007 Carr pulled Carlos Brown aside and said something...something...something
Hey, guys, I wonder what it was like back in Spring 2007...Spring 2007...Spring 2007
Wouldn't it be great, guys, if we could go back to 2007 and see what that conversation would be like?...would be like?...would be like?
[in Carr voice]
"Carlos, hey Carlos, come in and talk. Listen, I know that I made a promise to you that if you came here you'd be a running back, and that our pact would stand in the way, or let's say 'occlude' your moving to another position. That will be your word today, Carlos, 'occlude.' You and your teammates will all learn 'occlude' today.
Now listen, Carlos. I have Hart and he is tremendous. And I have Minor, and he is also tremendous. So I have two tremendous backs this year. And I also have Grady, if he can ever get that cranial occlusion out of his rectum. So my depth at your position is pretty good right now. Not tremendous, but pretty good.
But Carlos, I am looking toward the future here, and I have already noticed, as you probably have, that the guys I have that are your age at safety have a similar rectal occlusion of the crania, particularly your namesake, that wirey kid who made me change Grady's number.
Carlos, you played safety in high school. You were a tremendous safety, if I remember. And we can still redshirt you.
We can go into this year with Hart and Minor, and if anything happens to those guys, you and I are right back where we started. But if you hang off the field this season, you can work with the safeties again. And then by next year, Carlos, you'll still be a sophomore, and we will have some depth at defensive back. I think you could easily be our starter in 2008, Carlos, especially given the aforementioned crania-in-rectum situation of the other Brown kid.
I think we have a chance to do some great things with this team in this environment, Carlos.
So, whattaya say, Carlos? You know as everyone else kind of knows that I won't be around here much longer. I want to know that I left Michigan in the kind of shape to continue having the kind of success we've had here. I want to be sure that I'm not leaving a vital position on our defense -- you know how I love good defense Carlos -- to the off-chance that someone can get production out of that guy whose got such a cranial occlusion of the rectum he's seeing the name on the back of his jersey. Are you up for it? Do you wanna be a safety again?
So whaddayathink? Do you wonder if Lloyd would have gone for it? Do you wonder if Carlos would have accepted? Do you wonder if it would have worked? Do you wonder how many games Michigan might have won in 2008 through 2010 if it had worked? Do you wonder if Russell Crowe was in the room when this conversation was taking place?
I guess it's implausible now (both C.Brown at safety and Russell Crowe being in whatever room you're in at the moment). If it was plausible, I would have made this a diary, and included cha..
But a man can dream sequence, can't he?
* "Bust" at that point meant "Artis Chambers"
Warning! I am not a coach and I haven't played football since eighth grade. However, I have taken an interest in offensive and defensive schemes lately. Most of what I have learned has come from reading Smart Football, Three and Out, Trojan Football Analysis, and of course Brian; especially his piece in HTTV 2009.
I think one of the biggest reasons why the hybrid positions are getting so confused is the fact that coaches all have different names for the same hybrid position. To Pete Carroll the “Spinner” is called the “Elephant” and others call it the “Quick.” All this position really is, is the WDE. Now in the 4-3 under (at least the one we are using) he is moved way outside the tackle. The reason I believe we do this is so that we can use a smaller player and that is able to speed rush the passer, hold weak side contain, and fall back into coverage for a zone blitz. With the player being so far outside they don't need to be as refined in their technique and can use their athleticism in space. This is the position that is being battled for by Evans, Herron, and Watson.
Brandon Graham is going to be the SDE this year. This of course could limit his effectiveness as a pass rusher. However, he has the most refined technique of all the defensive ends and will probably draw many double teams. These double teams will most likely lead to one-on-one battles for at least two defensive linemen (which I am considering the “Deathbacker/Spinner/Quick/Elephant” to be).
The other hybrid position in our defensive is the one occupied by Steve Brown. But just like the “Spinner” is just a WDE but with a fancy name, Mr. Brown's position is just the SLB but not the John Thompson version. Obviously, spread offenses are everywhere and to combat this defensive coordinators made the SLB more like a safety. But they also want someone who can handle a tight end in man coverage and in run situations so this may be why the coordinators just didn't use a normal nickel package. In the 4-3 under the SLB is in an inside-foot to outside-foot alignment on the tight end also called a 9-tech. If there isn't a tight end then I believe he will play nickelback to the strong side – however GERG determines which side is the strong side.
coaches use different conventions for which side is the strong side.
Some call the strong side the side with the tight end. Others call
the strong side the side to the quarterback's front (non-blind) side. I am not
sure but I think that we will be using the first convention.
Note that Steve Brown and Brandon Graham are going to be on the same side. And both will be lined up on the line of scrimmage.
According to Pete Carrol the WLB is protected in this scheme, so they don't have to be “thick necked jokers” either, they need to run sideline to sideline and make plays. This is Jonas Mouton's position.
It looks to me like a guard might have a free release on Obi in this formation, but I would like to defer this question to someone who knows more about football than I.
Earlier someone posed the question as to why we don't use Brandon at the WDE position (they called it the 'Shembackler' which I like but for clarity's sake I'm sticking with WDE). This was actually why I started writing this in the first place. It seems to me that what is most important for the WDE position in this scheme is the ability to rush the passer and the ability to play in space. Brandon can most certainly rush the passer and given that he played linebacker in HS he could probably play in space – not to mention his freakish athleticism! So why don't we move him there? I think the answer is because we don't have a DE as polished as Brandon to play the SDE, especially since Ryan Van Bergen could be starting at the 3-tech DT! We have athletes, and this is the number one criteria to playing the WDE spot in our 4-3 under; as far as I can tell anyway. Hopefully they can at least speed rush the passer; playing well in space would also be helpful.
On to other musings! If our starting D-line is going to look like BG, Martin, Van Bergen, someone at WDE then I would think we should be pretty good at penetrating the O-line (clean thoughts people!). Does this mean we will be susceptible to counters and traps? Can someone weigh in on what the advantages of having a small line like ours might be? Plus, I think we can all envision what the disadvantages are so I was wondering what the bright side could be.
If you are craving more info I would recommend reading this Trojan Analysis link keeping in mind that Steve Brown is the SLB in the diagrams and BG is the DE on his side. Then delve as much as you wish! Chris Brown and gsimmons85 have so much football knowledge packed into their sites you can read on for days and – like Brian – forget what the sun looks like!
I'm not one to get defensive so feel free to tear this apart! In fact I welcome any criticism since I will most likely learn something or get a laugh.
One last thing. If you frequent mgoblog and you don't buy HTTV 2009 then you are a fool! In fact you will be known as a fool all your life and when you die all people will say about you is: 'The fool is dead.' So don't be a fool and buy HTTV 2009 today!
The subject of which Michigan players are true NFL prospects has been posted a few times on this board over the last six months. Wes Bunting at National Football Post has been evaluating every FCS team for potential prospects for the 2010 NFL draft. (For those that aren't familiar with NFP, it's a site created by a group of former and current NFL execs, agents and players.) Today, he finally hit Michigan. [Note: these guys are just draft eligible, so some juniors who are just not coming out early are mentioned.] Some points of interest:
-- He doesn't love Brandon Minor as much as we do, although the review is based on last season, obviously, and not on the fact that his offensive line was young and inexperienced and will not be so much this season.
-- He evaluates Schilling as a potential "solid all-around" left tackle in the NFL, which is interesting considering I don't think he's ever played left tackle here.
-- The last line is the understatement of the millennium.