With a new defensive mindset coming from the coaching staff and looking at the roster for next season's team, I'm seeing no reason why this defense can't be at the level of previous Michigan D's before Rich Rod came in.
Possible lineup with a 4-3 defense could look like this..
- DE- Craig Roh JR 6-5 251
- Backup: Ken Wilkins rFR 6-3 270
- DT- Mike Martin SR 6-2 299
- Backup: Richard Ash rFR 6-3 320
- DT- Ryan Van Bergen SR 6-6 287
- Backup: Quinton Washington SO 6-4 315
- DE- Jibreel Black SO 6-2 265
- Backup: Terry Talbott rFR 6-3 260
- OLB- JB Fitzgerald SR 6-3 244
- Backup: Mike Jones SO 6-2 208
- MLB- Kenny Demens JR 6-1 246
- Backup: Isaiah Bell SO 6-1 245
- OLB- Cameron Gordon SO 6-3 207
- Backup: Brandon Herron SR 6-2 220
- CB- Troy Woolfolk SR 6-0 195
- Backup: Cullen Christian SO 6-0 188
- SS- Jordan Kovacs JR 6-0 195
- Backup: Thomas Gordon SO 5-11 205
- FS- Marvin Robinson SO 6-2 203
- Backup: Ray Vinopal SO 5-10 197
- CB- JT Floyd JR 6-0 183
- Backup: Courtney Avery SO 5-11 174
This team has some up and coming talent and the potential to be a very solid defense next year. The appropriate changes need to be made scheme-wise in order to compete with the big offensive lines in the Big Ten, but that can be done. The weight of these players will inevitably continue to grow from this point to the beginning of the season and these guys will be ready to play some hard nosed defense that we are accustomed to seeing at Michigan.
Do you love tabasco on YOUR pizza?
That is all.
Illinois OL Chris Bryant (4 Star, 6'5", 320 lbs) is on his way home from a recent trip out to Pitt and Michigan. His visit to Michigan lasted longer than expected, and his family ended up staying the night in Ann Arbor. Here's some film on Chris (it says he's 2012, but he's not), and what he told me about his visit to Pitt and his first meeting with Brady Hoke.
TOM: How did the Pitt visit come about, what made you decide to go out there?
CHRIS: The offensive coordinator from Michigan (Calvin Magee) got the job at Pitt, and we had a good relationship before. He wanted me to check it out and come see what they have to offer. The coaching staff was great there, and it was a nice place.
TOM: And after that you and your parents swung by Michigan to meet with Brady Hoke and (Offensive line coach) Darrell Funk. How did that go?
CHRIS: It was good. We sat down with both coaches individually and were just building a new relationship. They told me they knew me as a player, but not as a person so we were just having regular conversation trying to get to know each other. I talked with them and coach Singletary, too.
TOM: What were each of them saying as far as their offense and how you'd fit in?
CHRIS: Coach Hoke was telling me about the new pro style offense, a lot of schools run that and Michigan used to run it. Coach Funk was telling me how I would fit in their with it. I don't mind either the spread or the pro style. I don't prefer one over the other. We mixed it up in high school so that's not a problem. They were basically just telling me Michigan is still Michigan. I knew how the school is run and how academics go, so it was just building a relationship with them.
TOM: Did you and your parents come away comfortable with the coaches after the meeting?
CHRIS: My parents are both comfortable, and so am I. They asked their questions and said it was a great conversation overall. I feel comfortable with him too. He was a funny guy, he's a player's coach. He's someone that you would want to coach you.
TOM: Feeling comfortable with the coaching staff now, do you still feel the same way about Michigan overall?
CHRIS: I had a good relationship with the coaches there before, but coaching is a business. It's just an adjustment and you need to go on with it. Michigan is Michigan, and they're not going to just bring anyone in. I still really like Michigan.
TOM: When you make your announcement on the 28th what hats will you have on the table?
CHRIS: I'm not sure yet, but I might do three hats, I might do four and go with Michigan, Arizona, Pitt, and Illinois. I'm not sure yet.
I guess I was a bit surprised that Frey was replaced by Funk on the staff. I always thought Frey was a pretty good position coach and clearly has been in contact with our current recruits (which right now seems pretty critical). I don't know much re: Funk as a position coach, maybe he is an upgrade. Alternatively, it is possible Frey was looking for a change and did not consider staying with the new staff. Does anyone have any insight on this move? Maybe someone on the board tracked him at Ball State. Thanks.
Hat tip to SB Nation Detroit for the original pull
SI.com: Matt Millen was assigned to the Big Ten this season and did a number of Michigan games. As someone who lived in Ann Arbor in 2009 and has contact with a ton of Michigan alums, there are a huge majority of people in the state who do not like hearing him on those games, rightly or wrongly. Social media backs such sentiment up given Millen is obliterated on Twitter during games he calls. Why would you assign a guy to call games in an area when he is so intensely disliked?
ESPN.com's Norby Williamson: You are making the leap that Michigan fans don't want Matt Millen there and maybe it's not much of a leap. I will tell you that Matt Millen with Kirk Herbstreit and Todd Blackledge, with no disrespect to any of our other college football analysts, they are on our top three teams at the moment. I don't know the breakdown of how many Big Ten games Matt did but he and Sean McDonough work that 3:30 p.m. window on ABC. I'm not sitting here saying "Wow, we have a Michigan game so let's stick it to Michigan fans." That's not what we want to do. We want everyone to enjoy their team and to be passionate about it.
At the same point, we are doing a regional and sometimes national telecast and I have to put the best people on the best games to get the best dissection of analysis and perspective on those games. That's my job. My job is not to aggravate any fan bases. Ultimately, you have to look at the bigger decision. You put the best people in the best opportunity to succeed. I don't really get [the] Michigan football connection with Matt. I get the Lions. But I get that it's clearly an issue among some fans in that area. The extent of the issue is the question.
Right, because there's no possible way that Michigan fans, some of whom live in the state of Michigan, might also have an interest in their local professional football franchise as well. Right...