This goes out to all the worry warts who thought we offered too many WR's early last year and RB's and WR's this year. Michigan needs more offensive players!
Start with the defense:
If you take all of the defensive sets that a team normally runs, 4-3-4, 3-3-5, 4-2-5, you might conclude that a defense needs 12 nominal first string defensive players. Even though only 11 can be fielded at once, I would argue that a fifth DB should be considered so important that his position should have a "starter"
Think of all the offensive sets a team uses, whether it is a spread team or a pro-style offense. You have a two-back set, with or without a fullback. You have a three wide, a four wide set, you need a tight end to replace a slot receiver, etc. In all I would argue that our style of offense requires 15 first string players:
2 Slot receivers
3 Outside receivers
to accomplish what RR wants to do in all combinations of offensive sets, even though he can field only 11 at a time.
So, if you are trying to build a roster that has a three-deep at each position requiring a first string player, you would carry 36 scholarship players on defense and 45 on offense. This would leave you with 4 spots for special teams players. Sounds about right, right?
Take a look at Michigan's roster for 2009. I count about 33 defensive players and 44 offensive players, a few specialists and a few guys who could end up playing either D or O (Ferrara, Gordon, Watson, etc). In my opinion that is right where he probably wants it.
Worried that RR is offering ten 2010 wideouts? Stop worrying. We need at least two, and maybe three new guys going into 2010. Worried that he is offering too many RB's? Don't! Our roster should have six. After 09, we will have three, so we will need to sign at least two for 2010. He might even take another slot guy. Don't freak out! We need one. Now, bringing in four receivers and two running backs will need a lot of offers, which are now being handed out. Its totally normal.