Logan wasn't able to make it into Ann Arbor last night, but let me know this morning that he's there now and that he will be at the hockey game against Miami tonight.
Over at Grantland Chris Brown of Smart Football has a great article on Vince Wilfork and the Patriots D.
The main focus on the article is how Belicheck makes his Hybrid 3-4/4-3 work. The biggest part of this article for Michigan fans is the part where Chris Brown explains the history of the formations and how we arrive at Michigan's 4-3 Under front. Especially since so many people think we're recruiting for a 3-4 (Guess what, we're NOT! http://mgoblog.com/content/mailbag-3-4-switch-again-kenpom-basketball-leaders-more-you-know, http://mgoblog.com/category/tags/last-time-we-are-not-switching-3-4)
this is good stuff. He explains the main differences between the techniques required in the 3-4 vs the 4-3. I tackle the (lack of) personnel differences between a 4-3 Under and a 3-4 here:
But here are the juciest bits from Chris Brown (the whole article is definitely worth a read):
These 4-3 and 3-4 teams typically differ in a key respect: which "technique" their defensive linemen use. Usually, teams must commit to one technique or the other, as each choice has all sorts of other implications for the defense.
And the first question for a defensive lineman is always, Am I playing a 2-gap technique or a 1-gap technique?
"Gap" refers to the area between offensive linemen. A 1-gap technique is just what it sounds like: The defensive lineman lines up in front of the gap he is responsible for and his job is to attack and control it. If nothing else, a defender must not allow a runner to go through his gap. While defensive linemen attack their gaps, the linebackers behind them are responsible for their own gaps. These are the defense's "run fits," meaning how they fit into an offense's blocking scheme to take away running space.
Pretty much we're going to run the 1-Gap 4-3 Under because it's a lot simpler to teach. 2-gap systems like the 3-4 are a lot harder to run. Just go read the article, it's great.
There has been much talk recently on the board and in the media in general about the whole negative recruiting issue. Many of the kids we actively recruited said that Hoke did not engage in this tactic while many of those same players reported that other coaches they met with did. Lets face it - recruiting at its core is simply sales. The salesman (Head Coach) trying to "sell" the recruit on the virtues of signing on the line that is dotted (I'm looking at you Alec Baldwin) so they will attend your school and play in your program for the next 4-5 years. And having spent the better part of the last 30 years of my career in sales and sales management I can definitely tell you there are two schools of thought regarding negative selling.
School #1 states you NEVER mention your competition during your sales pitch. That the merits of your offering should be enough to sway the buyer and besides, why waste your valuable time with the client talking about the other guy. This would seem to be the current Hoke approach.
School #2 believes if you can clearly identify your opponent you go for the throat and use whatever means necessary to discredit their value in the eyes of the buyer. Turn on the TV or radio during an election and you'll see first hand this approach in all its negative glory. Coaches negative recruiting against us in the past used Carr's health (allegedly) and RR's potential termination as means of negative recruiting against Michigan's potential players.
But what about today? What could you say if your were head up against Michigan and were going negative? About the only thing I could think you could use was our poor NFL draft showing recently. Auburn, for example, if going negative in the battle for Diamond, could point to a very strong NFL presence in the last few drafts while we have no one since Brandon Graham drafted very high. And the reasons don't really matter nor does the number of players we used to place high in the draft under Carr. We have done poorly recently in grooming players for the NFL and I wonder if that isn't a big underlying reason why we are losing out on some of these last big name recruits.
What do you think?
Both UofM and Ohio reeled in great classes this year. Several blue chip recruits on both sides of the ball.
What this means is that we'll have great position battles throughout the ranks in the years to come.
After hearing Ondre talk about Schutt, I was wondering how all the battles would pan out.
Here is a breadown: (10 point scale - 10 meaning absolute domination, 1 meaning nearly even)
Michigan OL v/s Ohio DL
Mags versus Adolphus - Ohio by 5
Kalis versus Schutt - Michigan by 6
Bars versus Spence - Ohio by 6
Braden versus Pittman - Michigan by 2
AJ Williams versus Marcus - Michigan by 4
Overall Michigan has a much stronger OL compared to Ohio's incoming DL
Michigan DL v/s Ohio OL
Pipkins versus Decker - Pipkins by 6
Ojemudia versus Dodson - Ojemudia by 3
Strobel versus O'Connor - Strobel by 5
Wormley versus Boren - Wormley by 7
Godin versus Elfein - ?? (Haven't seen Elfein in action)
Overall, I think Michigan has put together a better class in the lines compared to Ohio. While Ohio has some blue-chips in Spence and Washington, they seem to be lacking depth which Michigan brings in. This is more evident on the defensive side of the ball, where Michigan's incoming DL should absolutely demolish Ohio's incoming OL man for man.
The offensive line coming in, is probably slightly weaker compared to Ohio's DL (if we had Diamond or Garnett, we would be even or slightly better) but should hold its own with the superior coaching and more reinforcements next year.
Next up - Comparing the backfields with the skill positions
Not new info that it happened, but cool to see video of it.
so says the coach at the school up the road: http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/02/03/mark-dantonio-clarif...