“I’m way more comfortable,” Gardner said. “Last year was my first year starting, and it was rough, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of adversity. A lot of adversity I fought through, and I feel like I did a really good job of never giving up, never giving up on myself and my teammates. I feel my teammates recognized that, and my coaches recognized that, and I feel like that will help me.”
Brian mentioned this in his spring recap but here again is the play Michael Scarn picture-paged:
He points out several things that happened here. One is James Ross moving so fast toward the hole he actually cuts off Desmond Morgan. Another is the wholesale disaster that was the interior blocking, as Miller got nobody, Braden didn't peel off to intercept the Will, and Kalis ran right by James Ross. Here's your money shot:
Morgan was the playside LB but Ross is already past him and gunning toward the hole. Miller is looking the wrong way. Kalis is pulling and looking outside Lewan's and Braden's block. If you ever wondered what coaches mean by "head on a swivel" this is the opposite: his head is facing where his body is, and because of that he doesn't see the MLBs racing in. Braden too needs to recognize that his combo block on the playside DT has done its job; the Hutchinson thing to do here would be to find Ross and Morgan charging into the same hole, and using a block on the first to wall off the second.
These are things learned by experience, and are reasons you usually don't expect linemen to be very good until they're upperclassmen.
As for Ross, that millisecond diagnosis was so incredible people are arguing if it was actually a blitz (that stunts the MLBs? Coach-types, thoughts?). Michael Scarn, obvious Diarist of the Week, submitted a supplement on this diary covering Ross and how he compares to onetime-Cane, now-Steeler Sean Spence. I stand by my comparison to another safety-sized Steeler who made a career out of avoiding blocks by simply getting to the ball-carrier first, Larry Foote. Either way, here's betting when Brian sends us the roundtable questions for HTTV the annual 'breakout player?' wording starts with "Other than…"
Spring Practice is over and it's a long few months of coach-less physical training before fall stuff. To give you an idea of the things our players will be working on from now until then, here's a letter from Fritz Crisler circa 1941 dug up by Messenger Puppet.
Apparently the Michigan Method includes:
Sleeping from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., 10:30 to 6:30 if you absolutely have to.
Rolling on the ground
Cut out stimulants such as alcohol and nicotine in order to do better justice to yourself in a football way.
10 to 15 minutes of "setting up exercises," followed by a cold bath.
Eating plenty of ruffage to keep your digestive system normal at all times.
For the tiny subsection of the fanbase for whom heuristics on the interior DL three-deep is news, little shreds of such news have trickled out that could be read as Godin and Heitzman are awesome but probably mean Strobel is still far from playing time (and is a redshirt freshman GAWD U GUYz!)
This sparked a thread led off by Blazefire on Tom Strobel's (below: Fuller) move to 3-tech, apparently because of an injury to somebody in that group. Which injury? Could be Ryan Glasgow, or it could have to do with Wormley being unavailable for most contact this spring. Don't know, guessing Glasgow.
Tom's coming in for a little bit "oh no not LaLota" fear since of that ridiculous interior d-line class he's the highest rated to not yet push for serious playing time: Wormley was mentioned as a potential competition for Roh's job last year before his injury, Pipkins played, and Godin and Henry were 3-stars and your 2nd string 5-tech and 3-tech respectively in the Spring Game.
From Mattison's quote it sounds like it's mostly a convenience thing. They need depth at three, and at the five—which is pretty interchangeable—there's a pecking order emerging of Heitzman the starter, Godin the backup, and Wormley the nominal third string with a lot of upward mobility. Speculation centers on why Strobel was moved and not Godin, who's 10 pounds heavier.
On one hand GAWD U GUYz he's a redshirt freshman who always needed to put on weight and for whom "on track" would mean pushing to play by 2014. On the other Godin is now almost certainly ahead of him and the Godin hype hasn't hit anything like Jake Ryan levels where you figure we just found a diamond. Waaaaaaaaay too early for this: absolutely. Irrational fan voice squeaking this anyway: yeah. Impact if true: small. They can't ALL become next-RVBs (4-star DE are about 25% to become NFL draft picks).
The NCAA has put in the time these last few years to establish itself as the most incompetent group of people since they invented Comcast customer service, and as a consequence opened themselves to ALL THE zing.
"You're wrong there. The NCAA is sick and tired of being looked at as an impotent and largely powerless organization incapable of meting out justice to offenders.
"This time they are mad. This time they mean business. I predict that the NCAA is SO upset at what Oregon's been doing that South Florida's going to get their scholly's cut again." –mGrowOld
When reports surfaced that Ohio State's bow-tied president was trotted out to recruit Drake Harris, the thread began wondering if that's, you know, crossing some sort of line and ZING!
"When presidents are involved in recruiting, it's usually dead ones like Grant, Jackson, et al. See Auburn, University of." –Victor Hale II
People in the thread have a bunch of stories of how beloved Gee is on campus because he goes to bars (!) and sometimes remembers people had crutches (!). He's also the former lawyer who instigated Ohio State's lawyerly defense of itself for Tressel's tenure, thereby undermining the NCAA's self-regulatory compliance system and exposing the organization's true impotence. I don't really have a problem with a school president meeting a recruit; I do have a problem with this president who sees his job as head of Buckeye Phi, until such time as Jim Tressel decides to fire him.
People who agree: Brown University calls its spring game port-a-potties the "E. Gordon Gee Lavatory Complex" in honor of his short and generally disastrous tenure there. There's a reason this guy and Emmert are best buddies.
Hey, surprise, the school that couldn't find honor if you put it around a Clemson player's neck doesn't do contrition very well. On the last ring they posted the Game's score from last year, calling us "TUN" beneath a horseshoe so detailed you can see them carrying Tressel off on their shoulders. Mr. Yost suggested they should just wear asterisks. ZING!
IS GRIII A THREE OR A FOUR?
CaliUMfan pulled some tweets from people who spoke to Beilein after the "they're back" presser that suggest Michigan plans to move Glenn Robinson to small forward and play McGary at the four, creating a crunch at the two/three of GRIII, Stauskas, LeVert and Irvin. This can be taken in many ways, most of which come back to "yeah you tell Morgan he's the expected starter again."
The guy who played the cynic on the Imperial board of directors in the original Star Wars has passed away; for this site, this absolutely constitutes a board thread. If you can't appreciate Richard LeParmentier's acting ability, I suggest you imagine how you'd do if George Lucas handed you a script that read:
"Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerer's ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the Rebels' hidden fort—[NOW PRETEND LIKE HE'S CHOKING YOU!]"
And yes I claim the Star Wars geeks as mine. When Brian can go three references in a row without flubbing a quote or acknowledging the prequels exist he can have you back. Also when he learns to moderate the board like this:
It's not uncommon for the inside linebackers to run a stunt on a blitz and switch gaps. The reason Ross looked so freakishly quick is that Morgan has to delay for a split second so that Ross can pass in front of him. These blitzes can confuse offensive linemen. They are looking for number 48, as he is their biggest threat, and number 15 runs screaming past them into the hole.
And, I don't think they had the same gap. They probably both were blitzing the A gaps, but with the movement of the offensive line, the A gaps became one.
EDIT: Upon further review, I think the demise of this play is on the shoulders of Miller and Kalis. They are running power. Miller's job is probably to protect the weakside A gap. He gets a little confused when no one shows right away, and decides to block god knows who. Kalis is supposed to pull around and get the playside backer. Once he pulls, he should have eyes on his man. It doesn't look like he ever finds him. If he saw him, he would have seen the blitz coming and probably walled it off. Instead, he looks to help clean up the playside defensive lineman, which didn't require help.
I was watching the play again with my brother this afternoon and I disagree with Kalis and Miller being responsible.
Miller looks the worst since he blocks nobody but his man was the backside tackle who moved way outside and was blocked out of the play by the TE (AJ Williams). He ended up blocking nobody because his guy blocked himself.
Kalis's job is to pull into the hole and be the lead blocker. That SAM about to fill the hole is his and the difference between a 2-yard run and daylight. But the puller has some responsibility for preventing disaster. He should have peeled off and dealt with the problem. On the other hand you don't really want your linemen always looking for where the other guys screwed up because that's how you get, well, last year's line.
This one's on Braden. His initial block was good but unless their job was to double the frontside DT and push him into the linebackers he was supposed to peel off once Lewan had leverage and he was in the best position to make the blitz/Ross's quick read work against the defense by walling off the crease. Instead he stayed focused on his block as two tacklers ran by him.
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Talked to a local coach here that played QB for borges and he said that this play was the QBs fault. This is an audible by gardner that shouldn't have happened. The play is a freeze play and when no one jumps the qb is given 2 runs on his wristband. A weak side run, in this case weak side power, and a strong side run. The qb has rules that force him to check weak side runs strong side if there are 4 weak defenders or in the case of weak side power 4 weak or an overhang player which is defined by the tackle being covered and a man outside. When gardner makes the call, watch Lewan...he tries to tell Devin that there is no TE and this play won't work!
It is indeed a stunt/blitz. The 1 tech is in an out stunt and the backers are X-ing into the inside gaps. This is a stunt we used a lot at a prior school I coached at. We used it a lot against teams that ran a lot of power and traps to keep the linemen on their toes. If the stunt keeps the linemen from reaching the backers on a trap, we win. On power, if it makes the down blocks and pulling guard whiff on their blocks, we win again. We had some success with it, but it hurt us on toss and good buck sweep/waggle teams.
Agreed. A gap blitzes kill teams that trap/pull alot. But, it's feast or famine for the defense. Those linebackers better disrupt and help make a play, or bad things can happen, as they will be behind the play.
On the power play, I wouldn't even care if the inside backers blitz. If we block it right, it shouldn't matter, as it is a play that hits outside. The blitz SHOULD take them out of the play.
I wouldn't say that power is an outside play, as it is an off-tackle play. Tosses, sweeps would be what I consider outside. I come from a Wing-T background, so that may skew my view of power, but that's how I look at it. We pull our guard with his eyes looking to pull upfield on the down-blocking tackle's outside hip (C gap). I consider outside plays to be anything outside the C gap (D gap or "get to the numbers").
On the blitz, the 1 tech doing an out stunt will make that pulling have to make a decision to cut his pull upfield or take it outside, which can really mess up a team's timing who are not excellent at running the power play, if that makes sense.
You are right about power not really being an outside play. I just meant that it's not hitting in the A gap, and because of power being a gap scheme, the blitzes shouldn't affect it if it is executed properly.
I am a high school D-coordinator, and I do not think that this is a certain blitz. Linebacker reads are meant to be made coming down hill, as in they are supposed to be thinking run at the snap while taking their read step (towards the LOS). A linebacker that makes a good run read should look like a blitz every time on a run play, because as they take their read step if they read run they should continue seamlessly downhill to their run fit.
I agree that it's possible it's not be a blitz, but some evidence suggests otherwise. Look at Ross' read step in comparison to Morgan's. Morgan looks like he's reading, Ross looks like he's coming with reckless abandon, and Ross' read (Kalis) has JUST began to turn his head and take his first step.
If this turns out to be play action, Ross will be in the backfield by the time he realizes, meaning his only option will be to pursue Gardner rather than get to his drop.
Also, if you look at Pipkins (1 tech), he is attacking the B gap (not his gap in base defense). Usually a stunt like that is to switch gaps with a linebacker. This is not always true because D line can have different gap assignments on any given play, but this might explain the linebackers acting so fast. Most likely, IMO, it was a designed gap blitz.
Another explanation, ignoring the Pipkins stunt, could be a scrape (or gap) exchange by the linebackers. They exchange gaps or scrape paths with each other, where Morgan scrapes to the backside and Ross scrapes to the playside. I think the lack of a guard read by Morgan rules this out, though. If a linebacker isn't reading it's either a gap blitz or he was looking at something else.