...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
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So I'm not a doctor, I'm just going off of personal experience and the picture that Kenny tweeted.
Based on the above picture (Thumb in a cast, other fingers free) and the fact that he'll be out 4-6 weeks I'm guessing Kenny has either a chip fracture at the base of his thumb or an Ulnar Collateral Ligament Tear. An x-ray would show which one it is. I have had 2 partial tears of my UCL and they hurt. (There is an Ulnar Cruciate Ligament, that's in the elbow and baseball players mess it up a lot). This injury is often referred to as skier's thumb because the method of injury happens a lot to skiers. It happens a lot to football players too. My first injury was when I tackled someone. Look at the back of your hand and pull your thumb down and towards you - that's the motion that the UCL prevents and how you can damage it. If Kenny slightly missed on a tackle - his thumb connecting with a shoulder or something but the rest of his hand didnt - and his thumb got bent back, that would lead to a UCL tear (my guess).
Depending on severity and if he needs surgery 4-6 weeks is a typical recovery. It's a joint that is easily taped and depending on his repair/recovery he should have no lasting effects. I had partial tears (no surgery or repair) and wasn't diagnosed for about 8 weeks after the first injury. My only medical restriction is that I'm not allowed to put my thumb in a bowling ball - all other sports and stuff are fine. Kenny's at Michigan, was diagnosed on sight and has some of the best medical care in the world. I'm sure he'll be fine come the fall. Here's wishing him the best during his recovery.
The team awards were handed out tonight and I know you're all probably shocked but Denard won the Bo Schembechler Most Valuable Player of the Year Award for the second year in a row.
Dr. Arthur D. Robinson Scholarship Award (Leading Senior Scholar): Will Heininger
Hugh R. Rader Memorial Award (Top Offensive Lineman): David Molk
Roger Zakoff Award (Best LB): Kenny Demens
Robert P. Ufer Bequest (Senior who has demonstrated the most enthusiasm and love for Michigan): Split between Ryan Van Bergen and Kevin Koger
Richard Katcher Award (Best DL): Mike Martin
I just want to give another shout out to the Senior class who dealt with so much and fought through it all. This team wouldn't be where it is today if it wasn't for those guys. They're true Michigan Men.
Tackling Technique: 2011 vs. 2010
Greg Mattison vs. GERG. Cage Match.
It has been the opinion of many that the defensive woes were a perfect storm of inexperience, tweener athletes and GERG.. with the resulting picture of our defense against a B10 offense resembling something like this.
The underlying problem last year was that we couldn’t tackle for shit.
While scheme was a huge factor, even when we did end up in the right spots we had severe issues bringing down the ball carrier. Enter Greg Mattison.
This off-season there was interview after interview that stressed fundamentals and technique, and nothing is more fundamental or technical on defense than tackling. It is the quintessential ability that a defense is trying to incorporate, ending up in the right spot and smashing the ball carrier to pieces.
Good Tackles look like this:
<iframe width="560" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/KsG5qZsORLM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
And Bad Tackles with poor form look like this:
<iframe width="560" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/jallAF8hjO0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
The basic analysis follows these formul
- Tackling Efficiency = (Made tackles – Missed Tackles) / (Bad Form Tackles + 1)
- Bad form tackles account for terrible form (bad angles, too high, getting shook etc)
Tackling % = Made tackles / Made + Missed
Tackling Efficiency - 2010:Blue WMU: Maize ND: Green
Tackling Percentage - 2010:Blue WMU: Maize ND: Green
Tackling Percentage is up for almost every player from last year through the first 2 games this year. That indicates to me that they are being taught better technique. There is the factor that some of these guys had a year in the weight room, but that alone is not the only indicator of success (See Barwis Wolves)
While this is a limited data set, this seems to suggest that we are getting better at tackling AS A TEAM. Decreases in Tackling Efficiency by some of the bigger names are accountable by there being a relative spreading around of tackling.
- This is not to suggest that our defense is not essentially anchored by Kovacs in the secondary, Demens in the backers and RVB/MM up front. We are.
- Kovacs is a manchild werebeast. He is easily the most accountable player on the field, always in the right spot to make a play. If he had the athleticism of Marvin Robinson he might be one of the best safeties I have ever seen wear the uniform at this point in his career.
- Demens is a sure tackler, but it seems he is lacking in making tackles for loss. Don’t take this as criticism, as his role is to stop the ball carrier after 1-2 yds consistently between the OTs, not make occasional TFL’s.
- Craig Roh. I think people are being too harsh here. He showed some flashes on plays, and I am going to assume that the decreased production is due to illness. It also seems that Roh is best suited to be at the SDE slot, as trying to keep contain all by himself on the WDE side is testing both his play-reading ability and athleticism. When he is allowed to pin his ears back is when he is best.
- Jake Ryan is your Freshman breakout contributor. No real shocker here, but this kid is everywhere. Cannot wait to see his development in the future.
- Certain diaries have suggested switching Roh to TE, that is ridiculous. Brink and Heininger make very little contribution to the position.
- Morgan makes decent reads but is not physically ready to play at this level yet.
- I am not as excited about Hawthorne as some, however he does seem to blitz with absolutely no regard for blockers or his well-being. Think non-heat seeking missle. If he learns to blitz this way and then get under control once past blockers he will be a special player. Also, he is solid in coverage.
- Jibreel Black is a playmaker, and it seems that more and more he resembles the 55 of yesteryear.
- While I cannot praise the pass coverage ability of Marvin Robinson, I am pleasantly surprised by his change in technique. He has abandoned his “DESTROY” technique, and instead looks for big hits when he can but more often than not wraps up.
- It seems that BWC seemed to improve as the game went on against ND. I hope that this trend transitions into the proverbial light turning on, as he made some good stands against double teams on short yardage runs. However, he is still a liability on pass rush.
- I would like to see Blake Countess get some PT opposite Avery in the coming 2 weeks, because JT Floyd is not a reliable answer for us on fast and physical WRs. He cannot press on the line, and this hurts him immensely.
- Mattison: All in all, I am more impressed this year with our defense. While there are definitely things to correct, we are not missing 2 or 3 tackles on the same play like last year. I think this is the greatest effect on coaching change that is easily apparent. Secondly, players are FLYING to the ball. Gone are the one on ones that result in a shook player and then a 5 yard gain. Finally, while sacks have been hard to come by, there is no question the opposing QB is feeling more pressure.
Table of contents:
I. Basics of scraping/link to Brian’s thoughts
III. Demens’ Pass D.
IV. Demens scraping
V. Final thoughts
For the second one notice how Kovaks tells Floyd to get up to the LOS and Floyd says “Yeah, I’m gonna F*#K this play up.” He does, because he takes the outside shoulder of the lead blocker. However, that is not enough; Demens also scrapes to the play. In the first play Mouton doesn’t contain (even though Demens scrapes) and it gets a…TD. [For a more full discussion see the links above. Many much smarter people than I have well thought out ideas there.]
My belief is that a large amount of us here think Mouton might have issues playing with Demens because he had to play to tackle instead of play his assignment when Obi was in. Well, playing to tackle instead of your assignment sure sounds like someone who will lose contain. Also, see this. So, here's that nice little chart:
|Loss of Contain||Mouton||2:25||Picture paged|
This is only one half, but it should become clear that Mouton has had trouble holding contain. I’m sure someone could do a much better analysis on this, and I would applaud any such investigation. However, with the data at hand, we’ve shown that Mouton is not that good at holding contain. The small # of bad contain plays wouldn’t be an issue, except that Iowa got 35 yards on them! [after looking back, that’s not outstanding, but it is a first down each time.
This failure to contain is not a “who is around me” problem. It is a fundamentals problem. It doesn’t matter who is around you, you still need to know your fundamentals. If Ray Lewis were playing Mouton would still need to tackle. This is no different. Contain is just something you need to do, regardless of who is around you.
- There might be other issues about him playing with Demens instead of Obi, but I just can’t see any. What most people have been saying is that Mouton plays to make the tackle instead of doing his job. That sounds a lot like missing your contain assignment to me.
III. Demens Pass D:
+1 for pass break-up. (4th play)
+.5 (12th play)
(no +/- but on this picture paged play Brian gives Demens credit)
+.5 (18th play)
+.5 (25th play)
-1 (38th play)
-1 (35th play)
+1 (37th play)
Total: +1.5 Not terrible. Was this the thing that was holding him back?
My Iowa UFR:
+1 (4th play. Blasts the receiver after the catch to break up the pass.)
+1 (The touchdown play at 3:05. Knocks the TE down as Avery derps up.)
+1 (starts at 3:20. Demens comes up on the bootleg. Notices the RB blocking and gets on his horse. Brian gave a +.5 but I believe that because Demens came in so fast, he knew exactly what his assignment was and played it fully.)
-1 (at 4:10). Demens leaves his TE open, even tho the pass goes over his head.
-1 (at 6:39) Missed the RB/drop-down read coming out of the backfield late.
-1 (9:00) Bit on the PA. He did this again on the next play, which was the same play-call. I’m not sure if he’s just biting a lot or if it’s his job to do that? Is this some new Defensive thing?
+1 (on that play where Avery missed the 3&8 tackle, which effectively ended the game) Demens was all over his guy when the pass happened.
Noticed that they put in Roh on a few downs at MLB. I’m assuming this is to get more speed on the field against the pass.
+1 total. Well, I'm more negative than Brian. Told you.
Overall: nothing really bad here. I don't believe this was what held him back. He should be at least acceptable in pass D. Dispell all rumors.
IV. DEMENS SCRAPING:
Based again, off of the multiple UFR from Iowa and previous games.
Iowa: +3 on scraping, although I’m a negative guy.
Penn State: +2 on scraping.
When I find a better way to format, I’ll add in the plays too. Still, this is at least decent, which is better than Obi was playing. More analysis at bottom.
V. SCRAPE/CONTAIN FINAL THOUGHTS:
Demens is a good scraper. Obi obviously wasn’t. An upgrade in playing ability and potential for next year, when we will return a decent starter, instead of a player who would have had no experience.
Contain is a huge issue. When Mouton lost contain he gave up a first down every time. This is a momentum killer for a few, rather obvious reasons.
- 1.) It allows a first down on a third and ten draw.
- 2.) it destroys team fatigue.
- 3.) It just sucks. Nuff said.
Can we fix this? How long will GERG coach this and how long until it’s fixed? I don’t know, but I’m sure the debate will continue. Mouton and Obi were in the system for 3 years and they didn’t scrape/contain this year. However, Demens is a RS Soph (3 years) and learned how to do it. Contrary evidence=I don’t know.
What does this mean for next year? I don’t know. Really. It depends on the aforementioned “Can we fix this.” I think we’ll be better because we’ll have Demens instead of Obi, but if Mouton outplayed the other guys, doesn’t that mean we regress in that department. I’ll assume that Cam Gordon (who might take Mouton’s old spot?) is faster than Mouton which might help, but I really just don’t know. Debate away.
The other thing that I’d notice about Demens is that he bites a lot. Those PA are going to kill him. Just wait, OSU and Wiscy are going to have fun with this. Let’s hope he gets better by that time.