This started out as a focus on a great play that James Ross made en route to 8 tackles and several TFL in less than a full games snaps. Safe to say this kid might be pretty good. Anyways, it somewhat evolved into realizing that however talented and large our interior offensive line may be, they're still developing and gelling this spring. Usual caveats apply, I am not a football coach, just an educated fan and former high school player - let me know if you disagree with any assesments.
Link, thanks to mgovideo, one of the biggest free perks for Michigan fans. Play starts at 1:11
Michigan comes out in what Al Borges would probably draw on the first page of his autobiography: offset I with a tight end (the size of a small tackle) and a full back with his hand on the ground. All that's missing is Funchess lined up next to Lewan with Jake Butt in motion and this would turn into what Al Borges probably dreams about at night. The tight camera angle doesn't show the wide receiver personnel or formation, but I'd bet it's some combo of Gallon/Darboh/Jackson/Chesson based on my memory. Lewan appears to be trying to make a check of some kind, but that's just my hope based on the breakdown that happens on the interior. It was not uncommon for him to make line calls last year apparently, so it wouldn't surprise me if he's still encouraged to do so, if not moreso.
The defense, meanwhile is lined up in basically its base 4-3 under, with Beyer and Ross only slightly outside of their normal positions. Ojemudia is offsides, too. Get onsides there, terminator eyes. Your D-lineman are Ojemudia, Willie Henry (who played a lot), Pipkins and Godin (I think).
As the ball is snapped, it's apparent why James Ross was a half a yard closer to the line of scrimmage than Desmond Morgan - he was real excited about his A-gap blitz. Coach Mattison probably was too. We already see that Kalis is pulling: he's opened up his hips well and his first step is directly for the spot Devin Gardner is vacating. Everyone save Kalis and Williams will down block. Kerridge is headed for Godin. Notice that Miller has his sights set on double teaming Henry despite James Ross and his reckless abandon for the A gap. I think this is the first breakdown, and Miller ends up being a non-factor when he probably could have picked up Ross and turned this into a gain. I think he could be good, this is just a growing pain of a young center in the spring.
As Devin reverse pivots and prepares to hand off to Drake Johnson, most of the offensive lineman have done their road grating jobs. Lewan has joined Braden on Pipkins, and Peewee doesn't have a shot against the All-American and his young giant friend. AJ williams has left Ojemudia for Willie Henry and Schofield is prepared to help see him off. Miller, in hopes of sealing off the back side, has now taken himself completely out of the play as I mentioned. Desmond Morgan has read run as well, but I think he heads for the wrong gap. James Ross is already going to be in Kalis' hip-pocket shortly - that's his guard read anyways. Guard pulls, you run right through where he left straight to the ball carrier. Meanwhile, Morgan should be scraping playside as fast as possible until he sees daylight and or Drake Johnson with the ball.
Kalis has his sights for Brennan Beyer. Schofield has Henry sealed and Williams has left him to chip Ojemudia and keep ole laser eyes away from flying down the line. Ross continues his plan to arrive early for his scheduled meeting with Johnson.
Kerridge has stalemated Godin, Kalis is headed upfield ready to for either Beyer, a hypothetical Desmond Morgan or a safety. But, James Ross is not only deadly, but apparently silent. Kalis needs his head on a swivel here - I have a feeling he got a little excited for 5 yards of momentum and a one-one matchup in the open field. Then again, he thinks the backside should have been handled. Anyways, at this point it's pretty clear to Drake Johnson that things are not going to end positively. Could Braden have left Pipkins earlier and found Ross? Possibly, but I'm pretty sure his job is to donkey the guy who is head up on him until there can be no more donkeying and then find someone else.
Drake Johnson, I have a Mr. James Ross here to see you. Again we see Morgan could've taken a better angle, and if Ross were picked up, there is a lane and a freight train named Kyle Kalis headed downfield.
Two yard loss.
P.S. Devin please calm down when celebrating and wrap yourself in bubble wrap.
I made a couple wallpapers tonight. Ive been meaning to for a while now and finally threw a few together. Looking forward to football season.
Hope the resolution works.
EDIT: This is my first post and I have no idea how to do nifty full res popouts. The links go to the high res versions.
If you guys want a different resolution I can sometime tomorrow.
I didn't see any posts about this excellent event.
First, if you haven't heard about these, they are for kids in grades K-8 to interact with U-M athletes. There are a number of sports represented, with a few events yet to come. Link is here.
I really didn't know what to expect. My 2nd grade son and 6th grade daughter attended after getting a heads up from a friend back in November. The football event was yesterday, Feb. 2nd.
They had 6 stations for the kids to do different drills, 5 minutes at each station. At each station there were 4-6 football players or student managers running the drills. Then they got a water break, reset the stations to different activities, and did another rotation. Finally, they got all the players to sit behind tables with Sharpies and the kids could have one item autographed by each of the players.
Kids got to block, tackle, run, catch, throw, punt, place kick, and more. It was very well organized.
Not that you would expect anything less from Michigan players, but I was truly impressed with how positive, magnanamous, and patient the players were. It was obvious that they wanted to be there and they took time to pose for pictures and talk one-on-one with the kids.
Players of note:
- Taylor Lewan was there (in socks the whole time) floating from station to station and talking with anyone who wanted to. He was looking very trim and said he lost some weight when he had his tonsils out after the bowl game.
- Devin Gardner emceed the event with a microphone at the center of the field. He hammed it up with other players, "interviewed" the kids about what they were doing, and even lead a chorus of Happy Birthday.
- Jeremy Gallon was all smiles and took time for pictures and conversations with anyone who wanted them.
- Dennis Norfleet was a bundle of energy and motion the *entire* time. He was constantly recognizing kids for their efforts and just displayed an awesome, over-the-top personality.
- A bunch of offensive linemen were running one drill that called for the kids to jump over a couple of barriers stacked on top of each other; if a kid didn't make the leap, they'd look at each other and say, "LINEMAN!" and high-five the kid.
Here is a link to some pictures. (I ended up taking over 300, so this is just a small sample! I didn't want to post pictures where individual kids could be identified, so these are of players or large groups.)
Basketball is upcoming, but already full. I think men's and women's soccer and swimming are all coming up. I don't know exactly what those events will be like, but if they are anything like football, I can't recommend them enough.
Apparently McGary can ride a unicycle:
And a quick search here reveals that so can Erik Magnuson. We need a McGary unicycle/Lewan Twosie .gif stat.
More completely one-sided highlights.
Congrats to Taylor Lewan for being named to another All-America first team, this time AP. From mgoblue.com release:
University of Michigan football senior/junior offensive tackle Taylor Lewan (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) was named today (Tuesday, Dec. 11) to the 2012 Associated Press All-America first team.
Lewan continues to receive accolades for his play in 2012. The Big Ten Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year and an All-Big Ten first team choice by the league's coaches and media, Lewan also was named to the All-America first team by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, ESPN.com and Athlon Sports and second team by CBSSports.com.
See this AP page for the full list.