Thank god there weren't any offensive lineman. Knock on wood.
Injuries, Redshirts, Press Conferences
Awesome. This is exactly what the team needed:
Michigan sustained injuries to wide receivers Greg Mathews (ankle) and Junior Hemingway (shoulder). Safety Brandon Harrison didn't play the second half because of a groin injury. Running back Carlos Brown was limited with a shoulder injury. Defensive tackle Terrance Taylor hurt his foot and was in a walking boot after the game.
Thankfully, none of these injuries is supposed to be severe. Though Rodriguez downplayed the importance of the depth chart, Mathews is still listed atop one receiver position, although it’s an “or” with Stonum, and Harrison is listed as a starting safety. Hemingway is not present. He wasn’t present last week, either, and still played. Carlos Brown has disappeared from the RB position but Rodriguez said “we think he’ll be available.”
Mathews and Van Bergen (ankle) were “day to day”; Hemingway was “a little nicked” but his absence was “precautionary.” Harrison’s injury was actually a leg, injury, not a groin and he “should be fine.”
Other notes from the first in-season press conference:
- Feagin “isn’t ready to play” and will be redshirted.
- Threet had a “few more positive things” and “took the edge a little bit.” Still sounds like both will play. Before the opener Sheridan was getting most of the reps with the top unit; in practice this week they’ll split them evenly. I expect Threet to get the first shot at Miami.
- Defense was “awful in the first half”; Michigan “not good enough to play bad and win.”
- Grady is “practicing with the team” and is a maybe to play against Miami.
- Will Johnson and Obi Ezeh were the best players on defense.
- Mouton “got in there and provided a spark.” Sounds like they’ll be shuffling the linebackers some.
- There is “little separation” between Minor, McGuffie, and Shaw. “All three” are in rotation with the first group—no Brown.
- Redshirts are still somewhat up in the air, but Koger and Roundtree were called out as guys who will probably get in at some point.
- You can hear the longing in this quote on Miami, can’t you?
I know they've got nine returning starters on defense, and watching a little film on Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt's biggest plays were when the quarterback took off running. He as a really good athlete and got a lot of big runs, and that was the difference in the ball game.
The rest of it was the usual.
The status of the freshmen in re: redshirts:
- PLAYED: Shaw, McGuffie, Odoms, Stonum, Fitzgerald, Cissoko, Martin
- WILL PROBABLY PLAY: Koger, Roundtree, Robinson
- MIGHT PLAY: Khoury, Barnum, Floyd, Smith, Demens
- REDSHIRTS: Moore, Feagin, Hill, Cox, Mealer, O'Neill, Omameh, Wermers
Notably, only Fitzgerald saw action solely on special teams. This is a significant change from the Carr days, when many would burn their redshirts covering kicks and punts and the like, and a departure from Rodriguez’s professed philosophy on the redshirt—he, like Carr, prefers to get kids on the field as freshmen for whatever reason. I wonder if the new staff is giving the vast majority of the reps to people they feel can help now and thus the guys who might normally play in an average year are even more unprepared than they otherwise might be.
The OL is the biggest position of need right now. I really hope we can get a couple more good linemen for 2009.
To Foricer, Beaver, and McNeal, go out and recruit!
he's now playing for the Akron Zips.
There seemed to be a lot of walk-ons and backups on special teams, like Michael Williams, Zach Johnson, Kevin Leach, Troy Woolfolk, etc. This is a pretty young team, so there's really no reason to "get the freshman ready for next year" because most of the starters will be back next season.
We'll lose most of our defensive line, but those guys don't do much on special teams anyway. As far as running backs, wide receivers, linebackers, corners, etc., they're mostly returning. There's no need to waste a redshirt on guys like Hill or Demens.
Seiously, coaching at Michigan is right up there as far as tough leadership roles go. From a managerial standpoint, to me, its a 4/5 on the difficulty level. 5/5 being like ceo of gm or the president of the usa. I think the players and coaches, for the first time this year, are realizing that Michigan Football ends up owning you WAY more than you could ever own it. It's that horse you think you'll tame but somehow it always tames you. The reason why I say all of this is because of Rich's demeanor throughout the press conference. I'd expect to see an angrier Michigan this saturday.