Don't hit the panick button just yet. Look what RR has been able to do this year with such a short period of time coming to Michigan. I was also going to point out the great LBs that are coming in this year.
I think that actually will help RR to focus more on the defensive line with his LB corp already together. He will be able to use big Will as a good recruiting tool and tell players how they will dominate if they come here and are down fighting in the trenches with him.
The thing about RR doing so good without the great 4 or 5 star recruits is also getting old to me quick, because in the next sentence (not you chitownblue, just an example) its just as easy to say oh we need to have big guys in the trenches this is the Big Ten. I do agree that Barwis is able to get the most out of the players, why else would he be my avatar?
Let's break this post down. "Are the days of the terrorizing Michigan defenses over?" I'm assuming you're referring to the 2006 squad that stopped all but the spread and the 1997 squad that stopped everyone; as opposed to the other (much more common) versions of the defense that gave up 34 points to a 1-AA team, or 50+ to Northwestern. In that case, I'd wager that we'll have an awesome defense at least every 10 years under RichRod as well.
"It certainly appears so on the recruiting trail for linebacker and DE, where Michigan has had much success in the past." Completely ignoring the fact we had FOUR 4* linebackers in the 2008 class, the fact that we haven't landed a 5* DE in 2 years means our defense will never be good again. If only the NCAA would change the rules that required 6 players rated as DEs by Rivals and 5 players rated as LBs by Scout.
"Is anybody else concerned that the heart of our defense for 2009+ is a little 3 star guy?" Seeing as the HART of the offense for the last 4 years had been a little 3 star guy, no, I'm not concerned.
"And that there's a noticeable dearth of ANY defensive end recruits? We can have 4 star defensive backs all we like, but if we can't generate any semblance of a pass rush or anchor our defense against heavy running games (see annual foes such as Wisconsin or Ohio State), we're going to be toast." Because the problems Michigan has had the last 5-10 years has been power running teams, not spread teams that exploit, ohh, say Johnny Sears or having to put Chris Graham on a wide receiver. Clearly Michigan shouldn't play five 4* DBs on every play just because they are 4*, and the Dline guys are only 3*. As everyone that plays NCAA 2008 knows, if the guy isn't 5*, he sucks balls. Also, we do not play Wisconsin every year.
"RR's defenses at WVU were actually quite good (#15 Rush defense, #14 Pass defense, #7 total defense all for 2007, all ranked above M... in the Big East take that for what you will)." His defenses with 2* and 3* players, including the teams that beat Oklaholma and Georgia in bowl games, were quite good. But that's in the Big East, where they don't actually play football, but play catch and tag for points. Sometimes they play two hand touch if they can't find the flags for the belts.
"I don't know what this Shafer guy is cooking up with his newfangled blitz-happy defense (*gulp*), but if this is the personnel he's satisfied to recruit, I think we're in trouble. Any comments on the future of the Michigan defense?" I have no idea what he defense will look like, but it's different from what I'm used to (side note, the 1997 defense was a ZONE BLITZING SCHEME) so I need to go hyperventilate for a bit. Clearly, after being on the job for 6 months, he's totally satisfied NOT recruiting 4 or 5 stars. Fuck the players he feels fit his scheme and will help him win - if Rivals or Scout doesn't give them 4 or 5 stars, they must suck. I'm really glad you pointed that out for us.
I think I'm going to have to just stop reading this blog, or at least the comments. Either that or I can just practice my FJM style comedy. Looks like there will be no shortage of material.
I believe the OP was referring to the '69-'07 defense-first mentality (except maybe the Mo years) rather than the defenses of the last 10 years or so. But since you can't seem to remember anything before '97, one thing the defense that year and the '06 defense had in common was DeBord at OC. Under Carr/DeBord, there were two offenses, the primary one was the ball control "offense" which was supposed to protect the defense when we had any sort of lead (a field goal in the first quarter sufficed). Then there was the scoring offense which was like an actual offense that went into effect when we were losing or when Tiller pissed Lloyd off or when it was Lloyd's last game or a similar occasion. While this strategy probably wasn't the best as far as scoring points and stuff, it did seem to help the defenses.
I can understand why some people are concerned that Rich Rod's offense-first mentality will mean that he will try to outscore opponents with a very young and inexperienced offense made up of Lloyd-recruited talent which doesn't really fit with what he would ideally like to do. That may lead to the defense, which looks on paper to be a solid unit and certainly the strength of the team, getting worn down (I'm pretty sure other teams have access to chocolate milk too). Add to that Shafer's high risk/reward blitz happy scheme and I can see how this year's defense might live up to the preseason hype about as well as last year's offense did. With all of the unresolved questions going into this season and even Rich Rod himself probably not knowing what kind of a team he has yet, the one thing I feel like you can take to the bank is that Shafer will replace Debord as Joe six pack Michigan fan's whipping boy. On the bright side, we may be surprised to suddenly have a productive, hurry-up, (short) pass happy spread similar to what we saw in the bowl game except with Threet instead of Henne and a bunch of tiny fast guys instead of MM and AA.
"Rich Rod's offense-first mentality will mean that he will try to outscore opponents"
Ignoring the fact that his mentality is to win football games (coincidently that's why he makes $2.4M a year, because he's good at winning football games), how else would you propose he win football games if not by outscoring opponents?
Dude, finish the sentence. I said he might "try to outscore opponents with a very young and inexperienced offense made up of Lloyd-recruited talent which doesn't really fit with what he would ideally like to do."
When I said outscore, I was thinking of WVU/Louisville shootouts rather than just having more points on the scoreboard at the end of the game.
yes, I was referring to the defenses of the Bo era and his "Defense wins championships philosophy." I was merely concerned when none of the linebackers in the 2008 class were recruited by RR (with the possible exception of Taylor Hill, who flip flopped on his oral to Oklahoma), and that in 2009 there seems to be an apparent lack of focus on acquiring a good (or any, for that matter) DE or LB. I'm sure RR and SS are aware of this fact, though, so we'll see what they decide to do.
All that aside, I'm very excited to see the mettle that the defense is made of in the coming years. Our 2008 class is very strong defensively (a trademark of the "defensive specialist" Lloyd), and should provide good tools for Shafer to work with. If we can beef up our defense to rival the talent of our offense under RR, we should be a very impressive team.
I hope someone gets some face time with Schaffer and RR to explain this whole "de-fense" thing before the season starts, or we will be in trouble.
"Since when has our defense been "terrorizing?""
Two years ago? 11-0. Best rush defense ever in the history of college football ring a bell? I mean they looked pretty good right up until http://frankthetank.files.wordpress.com/2006/11/antonio-pittman-ohio-state-michigan.jpg
That was kind of my point. We feasted on the garbage that was (and currently is) the Big Ten and then got waxed by the only real competition we had that year in Ohio St. and USC. Face it. We padded our stats on garbage football teams those first 11 games in '06.
Yeah, I can't wait until we start winning MNCs every year like Texas Tech and Hawaii.
Yeah, the only options here are reclaiming the paper tiger of a defense we had in 2006 or trying to score 90 a game.
<i>Yeah, I can't wait until we start winning MNCs every year like Texas Tech and Hawaii.</I>
What the hell is this supposed to mean?
<i>The paper tiger of a defense we had in 2006</i>
The running paper tiger chases its own tail
"What the hell is this supposed to mean? "
Now I could be wrong, but I believe he's referring to an old, wooden ship.
Exactly, we will sneak into Columbus in a wooden ship and sink the HMS Tressel!
It's all fun and games until someone pokes Bo's eye out. Then it's fisticuffs for me and the vapid twit with no sense of history. If it weren't for Bo, Brian would probably be an well-paid engineer right now.
You're probably a straight single guy in which case cat ownership would not be appropriate unless you've got a Dr. Evil thing going on. I think married guys get a pass on this though.
Isn't Zombie Bo's hypothetical 6-6 about what most impartial observers are predicting this year for Comrade Rodriguez? I wasn't actually arguing that we should hire the dead coach. I think maybe the problem is too many young UM fans only know Bo vis-a-vis Lloyd.
Yes, the difference being hypothetical zombie Bo would not improve and Comrade Rodriguez will.
Nobody is saying Bo sucked or they hate Bo or anything, dude. Just saying it's time to move on a little bit and stop comparing everything in Michigan football to Bo. It's not healthy, and times change. Bo was great for his era. You can't tell me that Bo would be good today if he used the same methods.
This didn't tip you off?
"I think I'm going to have to just stop reading this blog, or at least the comments. Either that or I can just practice my FJM style comedy. Looks like there will be no shortage of material."
We almost need a private forum for the 10 of us that aren't batshit insane/retarded.