I enjoy Rittenberg's writing and I read nearly all of them. Today's piece was ranking the Big Ten Offensive Lines, and he gave Michigan a respectable 4th in the league.
But I enjoyed this part: "The line did an excellent job of protecting Denard Robinson in 2010, allowing a league-low 11 sacks."
While they did do a fine job, and while I certainly mean no disrespect towards our O-line, I just chuckle at the notion that it had less to do with Denard's dilithium feet than the achievements of our relatively young line. If we had a statue like Kirk Cousins under center, there likely would have been more sacks.
That is all - enjoy your Fridays.
This Ryan Autullo article in the Toledo Blade rovides insight into the tone set by the new coaching staff for offseason workouts and the role for player accountability.
"If you're not doing what you're supposed to do, you can get called out by anybody, freshman through senior," said offensive tackle Taylor Lewan. "If you're doing the right thing, you're able to call somebody out. I think that's the way things should be done."
The consensus among the players is summer workouts are being conducted differently under new coach Brady Hoke, with an emphasis placed on accountability and ownership.
"It's definitely different from what we're used to, and I think that's good," said Elliott Mealer, a Wauseon graduate. "Not that the old way was necessarily bad, but we've really been stressing on accountability to each other, and competitiveness. I think that's what coach Hoke wants out of us -- to make us hate losing.""The craziest thing about this is a lot more people are being accountable," Lewan said. "New coaches set a whole different tone for everybody else, so people are really starting to work hard. These coaches are giving us an opportunity to be our own leaders. They're not just saying, 'Oh, we're the coaches, this is how it's going to happen, this is how we're doing it.' They're doing it, in their words, the Michigan way."
Encouraging stuff, I'd say.
Also encouraging: Lewan says his elbow is fully healed.
This Ryan Autullo article in the Toledo Blade tells the story of the second annual David Mealer Memorial Golf Classic held this weekend. Thirty-two Wolverine football players participated in the event which honors the late David Mealer, father of Brock and Elliott. Proceeds support two organizations that have assisted Brock, in his effort to walk again -- Project Walk and Fulton County Health Center in Wauseon, OH.
Original Picture Pages is at http://mgoblog.com/content/picture-pages-more-throwing-rock. As always, text and analysis courtesy of Brian.
This is actually an instance of 'N+2 in the box' (where N is the number of available Michigan blockers) executed by Purdue, holding Vincent Smith to a six-yard gain despite all the linemen getting good blocks. By walking down both safeties, Purdue creates an 8-to-6 overmatch in the box.
Wha'hoppon: Michigan has the ball on their own 43 to start their final drive of the first half. They run a zone stretch left. Kerrigan at left DE rushes straight upfield and is blocked by Huyge. It looks like Denard may have a keeper option to the right, but he reads the safety staying down low and hands off to Smith. Omameh blows the backside DT off the ball, Molk gets a good reach block on the playside DT, Schilling helps Molk get that reach block and then releases to go after an LB. Lewan kicks the playside DE out, and Koger takes out the other playside LB. HOWEVA, because Huyge stayed in to block Kerrigan, LB Will Lucas is free to flow down the line and tackle Smith after a gain of six yards.
(original PP is at http://mgoblog.com/content/picture-pages-throwing-rock-against-slant. As always, text and analysis courtesy of Brian)
In this edition, Purdue recognizes that 8-in-the-box is like 9-in-the-box when the opposing offense is in 3-wide. But they're an enjuneerin' skool, so dey're smart like dat.
Wha'hoppon: Michigan has first and 10 on the 20 to open their third drive of the second half. They run a zone stretch left to Smith. Purdue slants the line against the stretch instead of flowing with it, which doesn't initially seem to do much except give Molk an easier reach block on the DT (one of several he had on the day, exactly as Brian predicted on MGoPodcast before the game). However, by slanting inside instead of maintaining outside contain, the playside DE forces Smith farther outside, where the MLB - the extra body Michigan can't quite block on this play - is headed at full speed. Purdue's paper, our rock, and Smith is stopped for no gain.
'Glass half-full' types will note that it required Purdue guessing right three different ways to stop this: 1) committing against the run with the 'extra' man, 2) slanting the DE inside instead of using him in contain, and 3) committing the MLB to the outside from the snap (although it could be argued that 2 and 3 are a combo meal). And the play was still just one ankle tackle away from being a big gain.