Lots of Rawls. Thomas Rawls is the tailback in most of these sets; Hayes does not appear and Toussaint only gets buried on a flare screen. Rawls mostly gets buried himself. Maybe he's just an excellent vehicle via which to express defensive competence.
Morgan is all over the place. He goes sideline to sideline to thump Rawls on one moderately successful run and generally looks like Michigan's best linebacker. Again, it's one thing to go sideline to sideline against Rawls and another on Toussaint or Smith. Morgan still brings the wood.
Line bits. You can see Chris Bryant acting as the RG on a play where Miller is snapping to Gardner: second unit. Hypothesis: Michigan thinks Mealer can really hack it all of a sudden and is placing the usual pressure on Omameh's job. Either that or they're just getting Bryant some snaps at both guard spots so he's comfortable at either one in case of an injury. There has been a little buzz about Graham Glasgow, the second-team left guard, as well—unrelated to a tandem bike, even.
Also, your second string NT is currently Richard Ash. Not much of a surprise, sure.
Edge defenders. On the play where Gardner escapes Frank Clark pressure to bomb a pass to Jeremy Jackson in the back of the endzone it's the second team OTs—walk-ons—getting smoked. The player coming in from the bottom is redshirt freshman Antonio Poole, which strikes me as odd. He's presumed to be playing WLB, so if he's coming at the left tackle he's either engaged on a seriously long journey from blitz to the quarterback or he's practicing at MLB. (Or SLB, I guess, but I doubt it.)
Adding to the oddness of that play: it really looks like the guy trying to recover on Jackson is #35… Joe Bolden. I am confused about that defense.
Slant. Dime? Denard throws a slant to Gallon immediately in front of Terrence Talbott, who's on the field with Kovacs, Avery, and Countess. People have been talking Talbott up in the recent insidery posts across the web, and that is first-team run he's getting. Michigan seems to have enough depth at corner to consider some dime packages in third and long.
BUBBLE?!?! IS THIS A BUBBLE SCREEN TO DILEO?
AL BORGES IS CAPTURED AND HIDDEN SOMEWHERE IN THE MOUNTAINS OF AFGHANISTAN. WE LAUNCH OUR RESCUE AT 0600 SATURDAY.
Black appearance. Looks like Morgan and Black blow up the next play, one of those spring counters Michigan busted out against Minnesota for an unknown reason. Omameh gets beat, which I'd look at as a good sign since we know Omameh is a pretty good Big Ten player, one who has more trouble with strength than quickness. Black's being talked up as a quick penetrator.
Vincent Smith iso from the I. Zero yards. #sameasever. We get a glimpse of Cam Gordon rotating in with the ones on this play, which is good to see after he vanished last year. Smith does dance into the endzone a couple plays later on a power from the gun with #99 blocking—yeah, Michigan's rotating in a fullback wearing 99 now. Meet Paul Gyarmati.
On that play the second team is in. Poole gets on the wrong side of a pulling Barnum, which prevents Bolden from making a tackle. Then a safety I can't identify whiffs as he tries to fill. Bryant doesn't actually end up blocking anyone. Bolden's reaction time was impressive there: if Poole knows what he's doing that's going to be a thump for Bolden at or near the LOS.
Mmmm Denard. Next play is a QB power on which Barnum pulls. The TV always tells me that's a rare thing that can be of great utility to an offense. Barnum gets well downfield and crushes Morgan to the inside, opening up a lane Denard hits for six. Not Morgan's fault. I wish we'd see Demens doing some of the stuff Morgan is in these clips.
…and Morgan gets beat easily on the next play for a Vincent Smith dumpoff TD.
For a guy who had been on campus for a month or two and clearly needed some college S&C, Desmond Morgan still looked solid last year. Guys typically make big leaps from year one to year two on college, because he'll actually have a full year of coaching, growing working out under his belt. There's a really good shot he's a quite good to very good LB this fall. if someone beats him out, it means that guy is really good.
Moral of the story - the chance of us having three good-or-better linebackers this fall is very high, which hasn't happened since probably 2006.
Hasn't lost his WDE instincts when the play goes away from him. That will be a real asset at SDE, and probably unexpected by opposing offensive lineman.
If he can hold up to double teams consistently, this could be something. But that's a huge if. Probably no. He's going to have to split them almost every time, and that's very difficult. Really going to need to use his quicks and movement skills.
Morgan is literally everywhere on the field. He is looking pretty good so far. That bomb from Gardner is pretty impressive, but I still want to see what he can do at wide receiver so we can get him on the field as much as possible.
“What the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve and those who stay will be champions.” - Bo
Eddie Lacy is a stout back for sure, but he's not John Clay. He weighs 220lb. Considering Morgan was listed at 6'1" 225 a year ago, I'm not sure how much bigger a WLB needs to be to not get trucked. Were you expecting him to be 260?
That was not a bubble screen. Denard was careless with the ball and simply fumbled it though the air towards the sideline. Luckily, Dileo was there to recover it because we are good that that type of thing.
For the strength of the pack is the Wolv, and the strength of the Wolv is the pack.
Stop making assumptions about guys entire spring/improvemnt off of a HIGHLIGHT video.
You can't truly figure out what one guy truly can/can't do off of this except assumptions like "Gardner can throw a nice deep ball" or "Gardner can allude the rush"...but even then, it was one play, in practice, vs. the 2nd/3rd team defense.
“True loyalty is that quality of service that grows under adversity and expands in defeat. Any street urchin can shout applause in victory, but it takes character to stand fast in defeat. One is noise — the other, loyalty.”
Also, I want to point out on the long DG touchdown pass, Poole is playing WLB and is attacking the RT, not the LT as Brian seemed to think. And I believe the safety that whiffed on the tackle was Josh Furman. At least he was #6 last year, although the guy in the video did not have dreads. Maybe Furman is trying to be more aerodynamic?