I know this is all Debbie Downer of me, but presumably the DL has been looking fantastic against the OL? Given that we've seen (admittedly younger) those guys for the most part, might that just mean DOOM is continuing?
Unverified Voracity Is In Lip Trance
Practice video. From Maize and Blue News:
Jane previews Michigan! Oh man this is just so dead on:
We long for a past that we hated while it was happening, in which Michigan would go 9-3 or 10-2 and people would complain like Michigan was a waiter who we couldn't find when we just wanted the goddamn check. If a Michigan fan tells you that they liked Tom Brady when he was playing at Michigan, they are lying because no Michigan fan ever liked whomever was starting at quarterback until Denard Robinson. We hated Elvis Grbac. We hated Brian Griese. We hated John Navarre. We hated Drew Henson. We hated - HATED - sad robot Chad Henne*.
I tended to like Michigan's quarterbacks who were not underclassman Drew Henson, and I knew the one guy who really really liked John Navarre. Like, he was super-enthused about John Navarre. And eventually correct!
More insider business. A gentleman who is probably too identifiable for his own good comes back with a very legit-seeming practice report that he's posted on a couple of different boards. The 247 version, all errors sic:
DL looked great, really great. all the hype is backed up. Pipkins looks the part, even coming off the injury. on friday he was easily the most impressive NT that they had, that by no means is discounting mone, hurst, or henry. Their depth and talent at the position although young, is very, very good. Even pallante looked good!! yes, he is small, but ive spoken to a few players who say he is as strong as a senior and one of the quickest most technically sound players there.
I imagine that if that's true we'll see at least one of those four guys (Pipkins, Mone, Hurst, Henry) at three-tech, which currently has Wormley and no one else who's gotten much hype.
That's not good. Nebraska lost three defenders for the season a couple days back, including two starters: Michael Rose and LeRoy Alexander. That'll help when Michigan… uh… we don't play them this year, or until all those guys graduate. CARRY ON.
That's not… uh… relevant. Reporting from media day!
“The job that he does and the job that he’s done since the day he got here, has been unbelievable,” Mattison said with a sweaty upper lip. “Me personally, there is no way I would have come here if it wasn’t for Brady Hoke.”
That typed itself, I bet. I bet Brendan F Quinn was mesmerized by the lip and when it came time to write the article that phrase slipped itself in there and if you ask Brendan F Quinn about that passage he will be shocked that it exists. You see, I've been there, down on ol' Lip Mesmerization Farm. It's a strange, sweaty place, but you get used to it.
No age gap now. Another article on how the offensive line is going to be better because they all like each other:
"There was an age gap last year, and it was just there," Bosch said. "It was just something that was obviously noticeable. You could tell 'these were the seniors, you were a freshmen.' That's how it was."
No chance of that this year, because there are no seniors. For the record I think the line will be better this year because they will be trying to do one thing instead of all things and not necessarily because they are more together. Or that they are Galvanized By Criticism:
Those stats and the barrage of negative press regarding Michigan’s offensive line have helped galvanize the linemen. Jack Miller, a redshirt junior who started the first four games at center last season, said they are more than aware of the doubters.
No doubt they will Shock The World and Not Listen To The Haters. I mean, Miller's following quote is twisted pretty hard to get into that narrative:
“Between last year and this offseason, you’d be hard-pressed to miss that if you pay attention to anything,” Miller said. “You run into fans who say stuff — ‘What’s going on with that offensive line?’ But that’s the way it goes with any program of this caliber. We know that. We know that’s part of the gig here, and that’s OK. Some of it is rightly so. We need to live up the expectations that people have here.”
A good rule of thumb: when someone cites chemistry as a reason for something it's because they don't know. Chalking it up to the undefinable cannot be disproved or really even argued.
Getting on the the WJC team. College Hockey News profiles Downing and Motte as they try to avoid being late cuts this time around. USA coach mark Osiecki on Downing:
“We’re still trying to identify what (Downing’s) strengths and weaknesses will be,” Osiecki said. “He has a bomb from the blue line, that’s for sure, there’s no doubt about that. His awareness from the red line back has continued to show improvement. It’s hard for a defenseman to jump into summer hockey. You haven’t done much defending at all, and he likes to get into the offense when he can, but he’s getting back to it on the defensive side of things.”
Downing says he's put on 25 pounds; hopefully he'll be more of a physical presence than he was last year, when he was more lanky than intimidating. Motte dumped in a hat trick in the USA's 9-1 thumping of Finland, playing with uber-prospect Jack Eichel.
For his part, JT Compher is not so much fighting to make the team as fighting to be named king:
While a few players have stepped up, it's obvious Compher has emerged as the frontrunner to be captain of the team.
"He's done a really nice job," Osiecki said. "There's a group of those kids that are similar, but you talk to any of the support staff, the trainers, the equipment personnel, and they say he's very vocal and takes charge of the group. We have to start that now and develop that relationship between him and the coaching staff."
I am looking forward to the Copp/Compher axis truly owning the team this year. Jack Eichel:
"He does everything on the ice so well," Eichel, a teammate on the USNTDP U-18 team in 2012-13. "He's a guy that you can just try to model your game after. He just so good wherever he is, in the faceoff circle, in the [defensive] zone, he's great killing penalties, great on the power play. He's a role model to me and I really look up to him. He's a great kid and a great leader. He works so hard everywhere. Everyone else tries to match him. A guy like that on your team, it's really good. Everyone tries to work as hard as him, and if everyone works as hard as J.T., you know you have a good team."
How do two stars get drafted? By adding half a person.
Ra'Shede Hageman, No. 35 overall, gained 60 pounds
Hageman was a well-regarded but raw tight end recruit who grew from a listed 6'6, 250 to 310 pounds while at Minnesota, moving to defensive tackle. He's expected to make an instant impact for the Atlanta Falcons.
Jimmy Staten, No. 172 overall, gained 86
Staten was a 6'3, 217-pound two-star defensive end in high school when he signed with Middle Tennessee State. The Seahawks drafted him at 6'4, 303.
At least nine other drafted two-stars increased their body weight by 20 percent between high school and the Combine.
You really shouldn't criticize recruiting services for missing on guys like Staten or Buffalo first-rounder Khalil Mack—everyone else did. There are always going to be guys who blow up in college.
Etc.: In news that you take for granted these days, all of Michigan's freshmen are enrolled and full go. A look at what Loeffler wants to do at VT. Autonomy details. Annual Michigan drill thingy. Gasaway on the O'Bannon ruling.
Maybe our OL doesn't look that great because our DL is phenomenal.
Also, I'd think great a D-line would help elevate the O-line. Remember how crappy Spartys offensive line was a couple years ago?
It's not just optimistic, it's relativistic. It's always important to think relativistically with these reports.
It seems pretty safe to think that our DL is better than our OL (DL>OL) at this point in time. In other words, relative to the DL, the OL is worse. But to move away from the relativistic differences to an "objective" non-relativistic evaluation is a major leap. It all depends on how good or bad the DL is.
If the DL is All Big Ten quality, then our OL might not be too terrible (which would at least be better than last year).
If the DL is just average, then our OL would likely be below average.
And this also applies to game results. Teams and players are always performing relative to their opponents. We don't really have a great understanding until we have multiple relativistic observations before the interpretations can get more accurate.
And a sad reality for MIchigan fans is that our schedule tends to be back-loaded, and so we often develop unreasonable expectations of our teams early in the season because they tend to play the toughest games at the end of the season.
Here's the thing: we know our OL sucked last year, and I don't remember anyone raving abot the DL in comparison. Now, even if the OL hasn't improved, the DL looks badass. That's a good sign.
Remember the Frank Clark, destroyer of worlds hype last fall? Which was, in retrospect, a sign? This is what I'm thinking.
I remember some of Frank's teammates (and opponents) talking about his freak athletic ability. And then he went out and had an all-conference season, despite having virtually no other playmakers on the DL. With much more talent and depth on the DL, I expect him to do even better this year.
People seem to love crapping on Clark for not living up to the hype but he had a pretty damn good season. His sack numbers aren't great, but you see him around the QB all the time. His stats were victimized by the rest of the line not getting any push so the QB could step up and avoid his rush, and by the soft zones which let the QB get rid of the ball early.
Being "around the QB"?
No, the bar is getting yourself in n position to make a play. It is still a team sport, and just like a RB not getting yards is partly OL and QB and TE and WR responsibility, Clark not getting sacks is part the rest of the DL, the DB playing soft, etc., which is exactly what was said.
he's only been sacked twice in practice, that sounds like a great sign. Of course they might have been at full contact, full speed for four plays, I don't know...
he's actually learned to throw the damn ball away instead of taking a 25 yard sack after running backwards and in circles for half a minute looking for someone to throw the ball to. That article WAS NOT about how good the OL has been, but has been more about learning to avoid the negative play.
Speaking strictly for myself, this is complete unadulterated 100% pure pesticide-and GMO-free hydroponically-grown bullshit.
I loved Henne. Navarre was the ONLY one of those QBs that I did not like.
Didn't stop a "We Want Mallet" chant from breaking out at the Big House multiple times
I actually always liked Navarre. For some reason everyone else in the stadium hated him. He could throw a beautiful TD, but if he had one batted pass on the next drive, it was off with his head.
...person that "liked" Navarre. But I see them on this board.
That fucking interception against UCLA and 8 for 28 passing, at that hot ass Rose Bowl!
Yeah, I liked Henne, Tate, Denard, etc from the last 7 seasons alone. Hate it when one person tries to speak for a fanbase.
I really liked Grbac, and pulled for both Henson and Brady hoping one would separate himself from the other (but feeling both were very talented). Never really hated a Michigan QB, although I was not a Dreisbach fan beyond him being UofM's QB.
For all of that, Jane's article is pretty good, though - well-written from the all-too-familiar perspective of a ton of fans I know, including myself. I think the typical Michigan fan would see the Publisher's Clearinghouse van show up with a monster check, and think "crap, where am I going to cash that thing?". Now that Michigan fan would understand that you don't really cash the giant poster board check, instead worrying about the ability of the UM Credit Union or whatnot to cash the actual cashier's check, which gives us a leg up on some other fanbases.
I was going to say just this. Yeah, there have always been people who did some griping about each QB after a losing effort, but Grbac was easily as trusted and well-liked as Denard. And so was Brady in his senior year. Henson -- I don't remember a bad word being said about him once he started. Some guys took a lot of shit, specifically during their sophomore campaigns (Navarre, Henne, and Griese) but quite frankly, the criticisms fit their performance during those times. Those guys put up some extreme stinkers when they were at their worst.
Tate isn't as fast as Denard
Denard can't read a defense and is a running back, we should see what Devin can do
Gardner didn't look as good as Morris in that Bowl Game, start Shane!
- the backup QB is almost ALWAYS the most popular guy in Ann Arbor.
That's probably why I liked Brady so much. (Not rewriting history here. Honest.) Those were the days when I started watching the games far from home on TV. Hadn't paid much attention, didn't know a thing about recruiting, didn't know Henson was the #1 QB recruit and Brady only the #7 nationally (or something like that), so I didn't understand why they kept putting that freshman in. Why can't he wait his turn like Brady did? Henson didn't look any better than Tom. (To an admittedly less educated fan.) Brady threw an interception, so you pull him and the teenager throws an interception in response? Give the poor guy a chance!
Of course I also didn't know a thing about baseball lurking in the background until I saw a puff piece with Steinbrenner leading an OSU pep rally. Then it all started making sense.
I was behind every quarterback that article mentioned, and everyone that was not mentioned for that matter. How can you be a 'Michigan Man' and yet hate the quarterback? The Team, The Team, The Team! This ain't the pros...
It's not all fans, or even most, but a sizeable and vocal minority definitely fits this description. For them, there's always some option on the bench that hasn't been tarnished by real game action, and the mistakes that come with it, that will always be better than the guy actually playing. See Devin Gardner when Denard was playing, and now Morris. There's already some chatter about Speight being the real stud on the team.
Since it should be whoever, not whomever -- it's the subject in the subordinate clause and so should be "whoever was starting." It would be whomever if it were the object in the subordinate clause, as in "whomever the coach at the time started at QB."
#18 is a small human being.
That's awesome news about Pipkins. I don't think I can temper my excitement for this defense anymore.
"A good rule of thumb: when someone cites chemistry as a reason for something it's because they don't know."
NOBODY liked Navarre. NO-BOD-EE liked that dude. I assumed he went door to door in A2 pissing in everyones corn flakes the second he signed his LOI.
Henne was loved, So was Henson till he signed with the Yankees. Griese just never did anything at all till Senior year.
Brady- I don't even want to get into that discussion again
Didn't Henson sign with the Yankees out of high school?
I believe he was Reds property, then traded to the Yankees sometime around his junior year? That prompted his departure from football.
Pretty sure Navarre started the Illinois game in 2000. However, Henson finished it.
Back in 1992 I recruited for Michigan here in Northern Ohio and came VERY close to committing a recruiting violation (unknowingly) because Scott Loeffler's mom's car broke down. Scott was scheduled to come up for a visit during a home game and on the day of the game he didn't have a ride cause of car troubles at home. He called me and asked could he ride up with me and Marty Bodner (we shared season tickets those years before he got the job in the ticket office) and I said sure and headed over to Marty's to get him and then over to Scott's house
When I got to Marty's he said he had just gotten a call from Bob Chmiel instructing him under NO circumstances could we, two boosters with ties to the athletic department, give Scott a ride to the game. Bob said that would be considered an NCAA violation due to our ability to potentially find a way to funnel money to Scott during the ride and would count against his official vists. So we had to leave Scott and not bring him with us that day.
What a good thing to wake up to... seeing your video on the front page of MGoBlog. Awesome.
Nicely done. Gave me the feels. Where is that VO from and is that track by Explosions in the Sky?
Yep, First Breath After Coma is the song. The speech is from an old VS commercial.
and doesn't want to go to the link for Jane's preview, the * explains "The chant "We Want Mallett" actually happened." But, you should go to the link. It's worthwhile.
He was an excellent system QB.
You're like a million years old and you hate Denard and Gardner. You also hated Gallon and pretty much every other productive receiver since Manningham left.
Have fun looking stupid this season.
Because I believe it means one who takes snaps, which is exactly what Denard did...
You must have never seen him smile.
90% of the footage in the hype video isn't from last year, but years prior to that.
Been mourning my fandom and hating non senior QB's since the '80's
Been mourning my fandom and hating non senior QB's since the '80's
The only Michigan QB i didnt like was John "Locked-on" Navarre. I could tell where the ball was going as they broke the huddle.
My favorite QBs were:
1. Ricky Leach
2. Dennis Franklin
3. Michael Taylor
Comments look like something on these parts.
I respectfully disagree with Brian's point on the impact of "chemistry." I know it can't be defined or measured, and that it is not something that is tangible, but anyone who has played a team sport at a fairly high level (or even a not so high level) would likely disagree with Brian's dismissal of the chemistry problems from last season and the potential hugely positive impact removing those problems can have on the OL or on the team, generally.
I certainly never played D1, but I played ice hockey at a very competitive level on long island growing up. I was on some teams with great chemistry and on some teams on which the players hated each other. While I can't quantify the effect, it made a difference on the performance of the team as a whole, and on the players individually. I also have a bunch of friends who played team sports (hockey, football) at various D1 and D1AA schools, and uniformly, they all disagree with Brian's view on the impact of team chemistry.
Definitely not hating on Brian - I usually tend to agree with his views - but on this one, I think that his lack of having played a team sport at a high level may be causing him and many others around here to underestimate the effect of bad team chemistry.
I think the 04 pistons are a great example of the positive effect of a good team chemistry.
Totally agree on every point. I generally agree with Brian, but on chemistry and the impact of the mental and emotional state of players, I strongly disagree. Chemistry is huge. It can't make up for lack of talent, but it can make it impossible for talent to reach its potential. Similarly emotional impacts, mental states, morale - I think this blog would be better served to treat them with something more than lolcat pictures.
/cue the lolcat replies
I don't care who plays what position, but I figure that our 4 best interior DLinemen are Henry, Hurst, Pipkins and Wormley (in alpha order). Three of them at one position, strikes me as not optimal, especially as I'd be surprised to learn that Henry and Hurst can't play the 3 tech. If Glasgow, Godin or Strobel push guys out, fine. But I guess I don't get it.
1. I'm so beyond ready for college football
2. The hype for the DL is warranted, it's a talented bunch, in fact, except for safety, we've got the best defense we've had in many, many, MANY years*
*I discount the fluke year (Hoke's first year) because no defense can ever rely on that many turnovers...even those Kovacs 3rd and 4th down stops were legit.
3. We had every right to hate those QBs. Hensen would've been loved if he had returned...everyone else should've been hated. Mallett would've been loved had he had 4 years with Henne's offenses. Why? Because either they didn't play up to their ability or Carr didn't allow them too. If we ever get a 4 year starter with a coach that truly trusts the QB, doesn't have the most bland and conservative OCs ever, they will DESTROY every passing record EVER at Michigan. If Henne would've got the offense that he ran in his last game vs. UF for 4 years, he'd be considered the best UM QB of all-time. Instead we ran the ball until we got down 14 points and then chucked it up to Braylon over and over.