It doesn't sound all that different from your super-secret anonymous source's take on things.
Excited for defense.
Scared to death about O-line.
It's BTN Practice Scrimmage Day
Cole and Clark impressed [Bryan Fuller]
Our annual attempt to glean useful things from the Big Ten's visit to fall camp is here. BTN analysts have a slight bias towards the positive, as Gerry DiNardo demonstrated before last season…
"When I saw them in the spring it was like a war at the line of scrimmage," BTN analyst Gerry DiNardo said. "It was what you imagine it looks like at Alabama and all the downhill teams."
…so take overall tenor with a grain of salt. As per usual, I've translated these from twitterese. This year only DiNardo and Dienhart are reporting; Howard Griffith is there but just hangin' out yo. Dienhart has an article and everything. If there's no link, it's from the article.
"Much like last year a team with more talent than most teams in the B1G. Recruiting rankings are accurate in most cases." –Dinardo
"Long hard physical practice—they got a ton of reps, often times splitting staff and team in half to get more reps." –Dinardo
Rep rep rep is good news, as when Michigan does show bits of practice the pace is often not inspiring. Anything that seems to be oriented towards making Michigan competent at speed is welcome.
"Like a lot of places offensive scheme is starting to be blend of more than one offensive philosophy." –Dinardo
As long as that's running a lot of inside zone from shotgun and under center, okay.
"Jumped out: Gardner, Norfleet, Charlton, Poggi, Speight, Cole, Ojemudia, Pipkins, Clark, Henry, Mone, Glasgow." –DiNardo
That's a pretty long list of guys to jump out at you. Speight's inclusion is a little weird since in another tweet he says that Morris and Speight are pretty even for the backup QB job. Mone is the only freshman mentioned. (Peppers had to miss this practice for class.)
[AFTER the JUMP: shortin' out and dyin', De'Veon Smith credit plea, naggers.]
Devin Gardner has had a good camp. He looked sharp today. There are few better athletes at the position in the Big Ten. He was throwing the ball with some zip. –Dienhart
All right, sounds reasonable.
With a sense of urgency in 2014, Michigan almost has to give the reins to Gardner. Could Hoke really entrust things to Morris?
Derrick Green looks like a different person physically than last pre-season, quality depth at RB with Smith/Hayes –Dinardo
"Derrick Green looks a lot better than this time last year. Running hard, too. But De'Veon Smith is No. 1." -Dienhart
I want partial credit for predicting De'Veon Smith would be the #2 tailback last year, passing Green. IGNORE ALL OL PREDICTIONS.
On the rise: RB De’Veon Smith. A 5-11, 220-pound sophomore, Smith is a strong runner who has carved a niche for himself. He may be hard to unseat from the No. 1 spot. –Dienhart
I am totally fine with this.
"Like this group of wideouts. Funchess looks primed for a big year. Lots of depth and competition." –Dienhart
Dienhart is getting hip with the times by including pictures.
Unfortunately they are screenshots of pictures on his iPhone. Nice charge though.
Under the radar: Dennis Norfleet. The diminutive Norfleet is one of—if not the—fastest wideouts on the team. He often gets overlooked amid hub-bub about Amara Darboh, Jehu Chesson, Freddy Canteen and Devin Funchess.
Harris is still laid up:
Frosh Drake Harris is worth the hype, according to program watcher, if he avoids hamstring issues that dog him. He worked on conditioning by himself.
This one is just too out there to mean much:
"The o-line has moving parts. Top line today. LT Cole (52); LG Magnuson; C Miller; RG Bosch; RT Dawson." –Dienhart
No Braden, who was just talked up by Hoke as doing very well, and no Glasgow. They're just moving guys around. I will say that Cole's continued presence at left tackle with Magnuson getting a lot of LG reps does seem meaningful: they are certain they are playing Mags and they are trying to figure out if they can play Cole at LT.
"Outstanding talent on offense—OL needs to continue to develop as a unit to match their talent individually. Five as one." –Dinardo
Is this a nice way to say the OL looks like a pack of feral cats?
Nagging question: Is the o-line better?
This is nagging Michigan like having the German army pour across your border is irritating Poland.
"Talent wise, team better than most in B1G at the LOS, especially on the DL. Best so far in East are OSU/Michigan. MSU tomorrow." –Dinardo
That would be a welcome change from last year when the DL fell apart at the end. I'm choosing to ignore the part about how Michigan is better than other Big Ten teams on the OL.
"Most impressive player: DE Frank Clark. So quick, strong and explosive off the edge. Expect big things." –Dienhart
I kind of do, actually.
"Top specimen: DE Taco Charlton. No. 33 is a looming presence at 6-6, 275. If he ever puts it all together, he could be a force." –Dienhart
Ever puts it together? He's a true sophomore. Give a man a chance, man.
Nothing you don't already know.
Some confirmation of the SS position battle:
Jeremy Clark and Brandon Watson are in the mix. Delano Hill was limited to conditioning work as he recovers from a broken jaw. –Dienhart
People will say that the two spots are close to interchangeable, and that was the case the last couple years. This year they will be less so, as Michigan is probably going to play a lot of man free that will require the SS to be an aggressive run defender while Wilson plays more centerfield.
It doesn't sound all that different from your super-secret anonymous source's take on things.
Super secret source: DiNardo.
Classy pic of your wife.
Is Dymonte Thomas man?
He's right next to Kyle Kalis on the list of guys that Michigan fans dream up as starters in April and whine about being absent in August. I want them in there, too, but only if they are good enough.
At present, it appears these two are underperforming. It's too early to proclaim their recruiting profiles as overrated or their college days as under-developed, but it's likewise too late to just now find ourselves willing to even wonder if "hmm, there's more than a 1% chance these guys aren't going to be all-stars."
Having said that, I still have high hopes for their careers. I'm beginning to expect their impact in 2014 will be minimal, however.
He's been in zero practice highlights so far. The Michigan Drill video from a couple days ago had 30 matchups in it, including a bunch of walk-ons, and zero Kalis. Every OL except him showed up in that video. The dude's probably hurt.
I'm starting to suspect the same thing too. He was solid in Spring, looked to be one of if not the best linemen we had during the spring game and spent the entire time with the 1s. Then, BAM, just disappears. Hoke and Co have been pretty forthcoming with injuries thus far, but maybe with the sensitivity of the OL situation are choosing to keep this one quiet, especially if he's just limited and not out altogether.
Hmm good catch
I think he's transferring to OSU with a recommendation letter from Lloyd Carr.
Prolly chillin in the "5 Star" lounge with Kali's & Green. For some reason out 5 star recruits seem to struggle to get on the field.
The only news I heard about him was a brief Hoke mention in the media days transcript. It was something very generic--he's doing good, but he needs to get better.
This is sad for me, mostly because of Brian's general pump-upedness about the kid.
to continue to happen with our "big time" recruits. One day a kid looks awesome and appears to have all the physical tools to be a really good player and then little by little you hear less about the until they just don't play and were all left to be like "well that sucked." I just hope that the Michigan-highly-rated-doesn't-end-up-playing-except-for-special-teams-against-Eastern-Michigan affliction that has plagued us for years does not affect Peppers.
the mental aspect of the game cannot be overstated enough, especially re young players like thomas who flipped positions a bit and never really played S until last bowl practice. if hes still thinking at all and not simply recognizing and reacting and playing fast, its pretty easy for athletic kids like thomas to get passed by others who never take false steps or beat themselves
Dinardo's statements about the O line from last year may not have necessarily been as far off as we think. I feel like the O line lost a lot of its abilities as things got changed up more and mroe throughout the year. Much like on defense, the less you have to think, the better you play.
Dinardo in '13 was just excited to see UM growing big OL again. And they had a bunch of "off the bus" players who look like beasts (i.e., Kalis and Braden). Attending one practice, all they really pick up on is how big guys are and how well they are moving in drills.
If not, I'm surprised. I'm also wondering if they were politely asked to keep his super powers a secret.
It's stated parenthetically right before the jump; he was not in practice so he could go to class.
He missed most of practice with summer classes.
He was working at the Daily Planet today.
His IU teams won 3 conference games in the three years he was coach. The Hoosiers generally had some solid skills position players, but they did not have much talent and no depth along the lines.
He's just not going to say anything negative here.
Whatever happened to Indiana being offensive lineman U?
Even if Cole isn't going to start he is still the first OT off the bench correct? Could he also be the first lineman off the bench, with Magnuson moving over to whichever other spot is vacated?
"Norfleet is one of—if not the—fastest wideouts on the team"
He... he is?
Turns out he can be used on offense
You know, the more and more I think about our wide recievers, the more excited I get about them. I know that a lot of pieces are unproven, but man, they have just about everything as far as just raw tools are concerned. Such a versatile group when you look at all of their individual talents.
I took the Gardner/Morris bit to mean they have no choice but to take the kid gloves off Gardner and let him go make plays. Do they have the confidence in Morris to do the same?
They never really say anything negative which leads to fluff and I tend to take what they say with a grain of salt because of it. However, it still is nice to read more about football. The season is near!
I remember them coming off pretty negatively in 2010 and I thought they were just hating on Michigan. Turned out that they were right.
Did they say anything about Bolden?
I think Speight and Morris being even for the back up job would count as Speight "jumping out."
Or Speight jumping out means he's physically huge. Which he is.
Man, if the O-line can be at least decent this team could be special......
I like Hoke. I am excited with what Nuss might do with this offense. That said...
I had high hopes for last year when we had Scofield, Lewan, and a bunch of highly touted underclassmen; only to be horrified with how the team could be soft from time to time.
So while I'm hopeful, I'm guarding myself against being overly optimistic.
Wish we could hear more about Peppers, but unfortunately he has to play school.
"Nagging question: Is the o-line better?
This is nagging Michigan like having the German army pour across your border is irritating Poland."
I spit on my screen when I read this. Love this site. Go Blue!
Agreed. Brian really "jumped out" with this one.
QB (Gardner), 3rd string QB (Speight),
DL: Charlton, Poggi, Ojemudia, Pipkins, Clark, Henry, Mone,
OL: Cole, Glasgow
Welp... 7 defensive linemen; OL sounds just great.
There's a 50-50 chance that "Glasgow" refers to a DL...
Good point. A bunch of D lineman and a WR probably running screens "jumped out." Hopefully not an indication of where the OL is, but this is likely evidence the OL may still be struggling. As noted above, Glasgow could also be included in the DL category depending on which Glasgow he is talking about.
I miss the guy screaming WHORE WHORE WHORE he was entertaining
man-free (don't know what that means) with Wilson as a center-fielder, SS run defender? That sounds perfect, Wilson should be ready now to take up that role and still make a few plays.
Maybe Kalis is running with the "1a"s
Always good to hear and try to get a feel for what's going on.
Some things I'm ready to assume (and most we've always assumed, but I'll list them anyway).
- Devin is the #1 QB
- Smith is the #1 RB
- Funchess/Darboh/Chesson on the outside...Canteen and Norfleet at the slot. Those are your primary reps.
- OL is still very unsettled, with Mags as the only sure starter somewhere on the left side
- Clark, Beyer and Taco are your DEs
- Pipkins and Mone are battling it out at NG
- CBs seem set with Countess/Taylor/Lewis and Peppers at the NB. Wilson at FS and a battle for the SS spot.
No real shockers for me...just need that OL to come together by the end of the week.
Just got done watching the 6pm airing of BTN Live
1. Mone looks like a beast. He donkeys Bars and then Glasgow with a nasty bull rush in the two reps of him they showed.
2. The OL are definitely focusing on their combo blocks, half te clips were the two guys getting push on one DL before one of them releases to another defender downfield.
3. Dinardo is emphatic we have a clear talent edge against 9 of the teams on the schedule, talent isn't going to be the problem (obviously)
4. All snaps to QBs in throwing drills were Miller or Kugler. Add another piece to the Glasgow to another position on the line puzzle.
5. Hoke says there's a sense of urgency with this year's team that last year's team didn't (they were more "laid back")
6. A couple of clips of coaches and players jogging to and from drills. Looks like the talk about practice temp is legit.
7. Nuss emphasizing securing the LOS first (regarding OL)
8. OL in 11 on 11 still pretty damn rough in the few shots they showed Lots of instant penetration and guys looking behind them at guys they let by (ugh). Highlightes were about Devin so maybe they just picked ones where he was running for his life. One run play with a decent hole for RB.
9. Norfleet makes a catch on a screen(?) and an underneath hitch route. Brian is cackling somewhere with glee
10. 93% of online responses say OL is most critical to success of season (duh)
11. DG says he's only been sacked twice since start of camp
12. Mattison says coverage was too soft, leading to having to make 1v1 tackles in space, which led to big plays when tackles were missed.
Miller/Kulger also have to take some reps because one of them has to be center for the app state game since glasgow is suspended. if one of them happens to be the best center on the team even better though imo because glasgow can take a guard spot
I keep hoping this is his Heininger principle year. He's the only one who has been all 4 years in a center role, was tutored (head butted) by Molk, and ought to be the best at the mental and leadership aspect of the position (which is exactly a place where the oline was lacking last year).