“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.”
This one's not going to be a revelation. It's just more of the same from nickelback Courtney Avery, who you may remember from "aargh crippling third down conversion" and "I play man coverage always." But I'm grabbing it to show just how damaging it is to have these guys who should be redshirting running around on the field.
It's third and ten from the Michigan 14 on Iowa's third drive; Michigan has an excellent chance to boot Iowa off the field here. They come out in a three-wide set. Michigan responds with its 4-2-5 nickel package:
Courtney Avery is the nickelback and the key guy. Michigan's going to rush four and play three deep, leaving four guys in underneath zones. Avery is on the hashmarks to the top of the picture on the slot receiver:
Iowa's underneath receivers run crossing routes past each other—a mesh route. the two receivers to the top of the screen are going vertical, with Rogers on the outside guy and Avery on the inside one:
Avery is dropping deep to cut off space but turns his back to the QB. Has anyone else turned his back to the QB? No:
Here you can see two things: 1) Avery actually did a good job of rerouting the slot. Iowa's receivers are running paired posts and they are a yard away from each other. Cam Gordon should be in position to make a play on a throw here; it's unlikely Stanzi will force it if the drag isn't breathtakingly open. 2) Avery is completely out of his zone moving inside with his back turned to the QB:
Stanzi sees it and throws just as Roh lights him up:
Avery is nowhere. He can't change direction fast enough to get back out to his zone. No one could:
Courtney Avery should be redshirting. He looks like a quarterback who played a little man coverage in high school, because that's what he is.
Courtney Avery is not redshirting. Never Forget.
Rerouting receivers is an important part of zone coverage. Avery changes the WR's route here and forces it deeper, into an area in which Cam Gordon is a threat.
…but you have to pass the guy off way faster than this. I can't imagine you're ever supposed to chase the guy this far inside, or totally turn your body away from the QB.
Demens is fine here, I think. Mesh is tough on LBs in zone. Here he lets the receiver outside of him but he has to expect Avery will be there. He also knocks down the other guy running a drag, which is a bonus.
This is four free points from a freshman DB after the rest of the team got a stop. Maybe if Avery pulls off the slot receiver Stanzi has a shot at him on the post but that's a tougher throw than the little drag route here and with the reroute and the pressure chances are Stanzi either throws the drag anyway and picks up five or eats a sack.
I would abandon the nickel. Thomas Gordon is almost exactly Avery—a high school quarterback switching to nickel-type DB in college—except he's got a redshirt year behind him. I can understand the desire to get another DB on the field in passing situations but Avery's been a huge liability so far; Gordon has not made similar mistakes.
So there's this and there's 404 Tackle Not Found—two huge swing plays that went against Michigan's freshman nickelback. Missing Troy Woolfolk is an enormous deal.
The defense obviously won't be fixed this year and I agree with you that blame doesn't need to be put on the coaches, but the point I was trying to make is simple: most people don't really pay attention or read things like Misgopigan's(referencing Michigan4Life's spelling, sorry if it's wrong :) post, so they'll want to blame someone.
Like iv'e said before, the definite bright side is we could have the MOST experienced secondary in a few years.
It may be true, as you say, that most Michigan fans don't pay attention to these details, and just want to apportion blame. That doesn't mean most Michigan fans are right to do so. Indeed, one of the main goals of the community centered on this blog is to cultivate a more educated, more rational fan base -- the kind that understands why our defense is playing so poorly, and doesn't just spout off ignorant comments about who should have been fired yesterday because UNACCEPTABLE durr durr. From your comments, it sounds like you are more thoughtful than most, but are wondering how this will play to the unwashed masses. I think the answer most people who read this site would give you is, don't justify the ignorance of our less-informed fans. If "they" want to know who to blame, send them here to get a clue, or at least try to pass on to them a more rational perspective.
Football allows the intellectual part of my brain to evolve, but it allows the emotional part to remain unchanged. And this is all I want from everything, all the time, always. --Chuck Klosterman
that I don't know crap. I was yelling at the TV on this play blaming Demens for getting drawn out of position and hitting the receiver, when I should have been yelling at Avery for getting out of his zone.
The good news is both will get better and overall Demens seemed to have a good game with an actual upside.
Drink a pint of tequila, 12 beers and start one post about Justin Boren in bad taste and end up with - 590 points.
When is Brian going to start picture paging things Michigan does right? I can't take any more of these detailed analyses on why Michigan can't stop anything ... I need something positive once in a while.
The corner to the boundary is rolled up and is the C/F (Curl/Flat) player. The boundary safety (Bandit) has deep outside 1/3, the free safety has middle 1/3, and the field corner has outside 1/3. Avery is the SCF (Seam/Curl/Flat, pronounced "skiff") player.
Avery does do a good job re-routing #2. He should:
Catch and control #2.
Open hips, get eyes on #1, and carry #2 vertical for 3 strides/10 yards from LOS. (Some guys coach strides; some, yards.)
Get even with and 1 yard inside the curl route by #1.
If #1 continues past curl, eyes inside looking for crossers, checkdowns, and swing passes.
If #1 sits in flat, wait until ball is thrown, then jump it. Make tackle at 4 yards and run off field for punt return or FG block team.
The main failure here was that Avery carried #2 way too long, far, and inside. He then opened the wrong direction. At that point, it's 1st and goal, but Rodgers fails on tackling technique, mainly by not realizing where his help is.
actually, initially i liked the fact that a DB hit a receiver, at least attempting to knock him off his route. we rarely see that this year. but to then let him get inside is just plain dumb. i know he's a frosh but c'mon. this ain't rocket science. instinct alone should tell you to follow a guy through your zone until you see another guy approach your zone.
in being extremely frustrated with this young secondary, but man I hope they can develop and use this early game experience to become elite players when they are upperclassmen. If Michigan gives RichRod time and the young players on our D become veterans, we have got to be an above average defense. We all know where an above average defense will get us when we have Dilithium on our team.
demens did a good job putting is TE in the ground during crossing to throw the timing off. if BIG SR. MOUTON would've done the same thing that play is null and void. maybe mouton should watch what demens does on the field instead of vice versa
Is there a chance of getting Justin Turner back? Saw a thread were he is at Notre Dame College of Ohio. It would nice to see him back, but they said he was having a problem with is grades at West Virginia. Would be nice to have him weari