“The player development is the main thing I like (about Michigan),” Williams said. “You can see that they develop their players. They get them in the gym and they work them hard. And their hard work pays off.”
Note: video from last year is lightboxed; previous years will take you off the page.
Overall rating: 4.
|Zoltan Mesko||Sr.*||Jason Olesnavage||Sr.*||Martavious Odoms||So.||Boubacar Cissoko||So.|
|Bryan Wright||Jr.*||Brendan Gibbons||Fr.||Greg Mathews||Sr.||Martavious Odoms||So.|
|--||-||Bryan Wright||Jr.*||Terrance Robinson||Fr.*||Carlos Brown||Sr.|
One of my slides when I went out to New York to talk to the alumni club there was titled "I Love Rugby Punting And So Do You," and this command now extends to the entire readership. Michigan's punt game in 2007 and 2008:
|Awesome Highstepping Fakes||0||2|
Michigan increased the average distance of their punts and still managed to reduce returns by 40%. Across the 83 (ugh) punts Michigan launched last year, the increase in average was worth 282 yards. That's a huge source of hidden yards. And also awesome highstepping fakes.
And though the average doesn't actually show it, I'm of the opinion that the rugby punting significantly reduced the chances of an opponent breaking a big return. The delay allowed by the rollout coupled with the spread formation allows players to get free releases once the punt is off instead of worrying about blocking a guy and then releasing. Guys get downfield quicker, and there more of them.
All this resulted in Michigan's punt game finishing #5 nationally. Zoltan returns and should at least replicate last year's feats, perhaps with a side of curing cancer. If he does, this blog is going to try to get him a Heisman vote. Just one.
Projecting kickers you've never seen before is a rube's game, so this will be brief. But I have some disquiet for these reasons:
- Olesnavage couldn't beat out the walk-ons who preceded him; Kickin' Competency Lopata was pretty erratic last year.
- Olesnavage was the guy in the spring game; the kicking demonstration early was sort of a fiasco.
- I'd rather see the touted freshman win the job because I assume he's got higher upside than the fifth-year walkon.
Jason Olesnavage is the first one out of the gate right now. He has kicked pretty well, pretty consistent. Some days have been better than others. Brendan Gibbons, Bryan Wright and Kris Pauloski are the other three in camp and they’ve all had their moments. That’s an area that again none of them have kicked in a game quality kicks yet. We are going to try and put them under pressure the next few days and see if there is anybody else emerges or who kind of takes control of it.”
I'm slightly mollified by the idea that if Olesnavage is about equal with Gibbons, you might as well redshirt your freshman.
I don't know what happens here; I'll be happy with consistency from 40 and in.
HOLD ON TO THE GODDAMN BALL
End preview section.
No, not really. Okay. Okay, so if you ignore the 800-pound gorilla in the room, Michigan's returns last year were okay. Both units finished in the middle of the pack nationally and Martavious Odoms ripped off a punt return touchdown. Both primary returners—Cissoko took control of the kick returns by midseason—were freshmen and return, so you'd expect some improvement there, primarily in their effort to
HOLD ON TO THE GODDAMN BALL
One concern: Michigan's operating considerably shorthanded this year, which might cause the special teams to get filled out with walk-ons and whatnot instead of backup scholarship players. This might be a slight drag on Michigan's ability to block dudes.
Another note: Michigan's a lot deeper in little dodgy guys this year and so if Odoms can't
HOLD ON TO THE GODDAMN BALL
he'll get a quick hook, at which point it sounds like you might see Terrance Robinson:
On punt returns, Donovan Warren, Terrence Robinson, Martavious Odoms and Greg Mathews all worked on returns. In semi-live punt returning, Robinson made a couple of tough reads and catches. Granted, it's a small, small subset of what really goes on, but he seems to be separating himself a little bit.
I'd like to avoid whatever small possibility there is that Donovan Warren gets pwned on a return. It would be one thing if he'd shown any ability to actually return a punt; he hasn't. Throwing an average returner out there who happens to be one of your most critical players on a thin, thin defense doesn't make much sense.
I do assume that the fumbles will come down to a reasonable level; Michigan projects to be average here.
note: all email addresses below are intended to be fake, but I didn't test them or anything. suggest you don't use them.
Extremely sane and not at all prone to crying on the bench after tragic loss Buckeye quarterback Terrelle Pryor told extremely impartial and totally tough-as-nails interviewer Kirk Herbstreit something obviously true yesterday:
Pryor: "I really want to be like a great quarterback. People tell me I can't throw and this and that, and I'm not that good and I'm overrated and all that."
Pryor: "A bunch of people. Michigan players e-mail me and stuff."
Herbstreit: "Come on, are you serious?"
Pryor: "Yeah man."
Video if you want it. This is obviously true. But who is the culprit? MGoBlog's three primary suspects:
Motive: Michigan's lone player in the business school is marketing a TOTALLY LEGITIMATE scheme which isn't even a scheme at all, really, but just a sure 100% foolproof ways to make the moneys.
Subject: "l@@k! 1mpr0ve yr threwing motion no foolsies"
I am Mr. Boltan Tesko, Accounts Manager, of Abbey National PLC Bromley Rd Branch. I have an important business proposition for you.
On December 12th, 2008, a contractor with the National Fotoball Legue, United States, Bill Parcells, made a limited time (Fixed) offer for twelve calendar months, valued at US$ 17,350,000.00 (Seventeen Million Three Hundred Hundred and fifty Thousand Dollars only) in contracts for any quarteback to throw
Upon maturity,I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply. After a month, we sent a reminder and finally we discovered from his contract employers, that there is no throw. TO throw we teach you throw for sum of US$ 3,500,000.00 which is leave you profit of US$14,000,000.00.
There is no risk at all as all the paperwork for this transaction will be done by the attorney and with my position as the Manager with my bank will guarantees the successful execution of this transaction.
Awaiting your urgent reply.
Thanks and regards.
Motive: Exploring a transfer.
Subject: So I hear you can't throw.
Body: Here's the deal: as soon as I completed my paperwork to transfer to Arizona State, Dennis Erickson drove into a volcano.
They've replaced him with Tom Osborne and moved me to fullback. I hear you can't throw and have emotional problems. Is this true? If so, do you want to be roommates?
PS: Please don't say yes and then throw Tressel into the sun.
Subject: prepare to get dropped
yo yo yo yo, check it:
pryor you ain't nothing
you at a place where there's no one to compete
i shake steve brown like he was concrete
bauserman, boeckman, guiton who dat
you get hurt they put in the wildcat
me? stuck behind sheridan, yeah, you lucky
otherwise mich gets rid of the monkey
white like mcguffie but with mad skillz
one more concussion i give him frog pills
my head's fine, clear like cristal
five yard ropes when i get the ball
THAT'S FEBREZE PEOPLE
Henceforth, this site will refer to Zoltan Mesko as "Zoltan the Inconcievable, " or ZTI for short.
That is all.