Our safeties are not going to be good this year. Also, why the 7 on special teams. We return Mesko, which is great for the punting game, but both the kicking and return game were absolutely awful last year and there is no guarantee that they'll be any good this year either.
2009 CFN Michigan Preview
There is a pretty in depth breakdown of the UM team by position by Pete Fiutak on CFN. http://cfn.scout.com/2/872378.html
For whatever reason he seems to have tremendous confidence in our safeties, as he deems them the strength of our defense. he speaks of vlad emilien like hes already an all-american and brandon smith like he is about 27 minutes from becoming one. he also completely forgets about justin turner, and claims that there is zero depth behind booboo and warren.
other than those huge errors, the remainder of his analysis is relatively decent, and overall pretty positive. A lot of it is stuff we already know (Tate Forcier is the "player to watch" in 2009.) But he also makes an interesting point that Mark Ortmann is the key to Michigans success in 2009. and while that is a bit of an exageration, it is somewhat true. ortmann, or dorrestein depending on who wins the position at LT, could be either the achilles heal or the finishing piece to an otherwise solid o-line.
in case you dont actually feel like going through the article (it is somewhat long), here is the rating (1-10) that he assigns each position group:
qb - 6.5
rb - 8
wr - 7
OL - 7.5
DL - 6.5
LB - 7
DB - 7
Special Teams - 7
I personally think he was a bit generous with the QBs. I want to say that hes underrating our LBs and DBs, but... our DBs did really underperform last yr (Warren in particular) and there are a lot of question marks, in my mind, at safety. and as for our LBs, i think stevie brown will be pretty solid, but who knows for sure. and ezeh could revert back to his freshman yr glory, or he could continue down his road to bust. i think everyone is expecting good things from mouton though
Why the 7 on special teams?
The Space Emperor demands no less.
But wide left against Toledo humbles the Emperor and lowers his rating.
And, yes, I do know he was not a place kicker.
Not having a return man who can run upfield and get hit without fumbling must have brought down the ratings.
I think the secondary will be the weakest part of our defense depending on what we get from boob and warren. And I agree with most people about our safeties. Unless some freshmen surprise us all with an ABT like performance in a couple of game I will have little faith in our secondary.
...we out-returned our opponents in both punt returns and kickoff returns, we only missed two extra points (same as our opponents - 27 of 29 vs. 39 of 41), and we kicked off for 4 touchbacks (vs. 5 for our opponents). it's not unreasonable to think that the fumbles on returns will be reduced.
i'm not saying special teams are a strength - hell, i'm not saying it won't be a weakness - but there are and were some positives. i'd rate us at least a 5.
Fiutak's an idiot. Nothing new here, and people consistently marvel over how much of a joke CFN is.
Ten Best UM Players
1. DE Brandon Graham, Sr.
2. LB Obi Ezeh, Jr. <-
3. RB Brandon Minor, Sr.
4. LB Jonas Mouton, Jr.
5. S Stevie Brown, Sr. <-
6. CB Donovan Warren, Jr.
7. P Zoltan Mesko, Sr.
8. QB Tate Forcier, Fr. <-
9. WR Martavious Odoms, Soph.
10. WR Greg Mathews, Sr. .
Hm... Do I really need to say anything?
And for anyone who's gonna argue about Tate Forcier, he might be a big improvement at QB (or not) but he sure hasn't shown enough to be in the top 10. It's almost as bad as the people who think Denard Robinson has a great chance to be the starter at quarterback, when his high school completion percentage is lower than Juice Williams. Juice Williams, I'd remind you, completed about 41% of his passes his freshman year.
Denard could become useful after a season or two (see: Juice Williams), but he isn't going to add much this year.
I am confused because Donovan Warren is sixth. Is he one of M's best pro prospects? I don't know mush about Stevie Brown but having him as #5 as a safety must make him a lockdown cover guy. I had read that Warren is better than Brown but whatever.
That is such a crappy list.
i dont think you can put th punter in the top ten
where did th full back go? (moundros)
This is the basic recipe for success.... not only for teams looking to crawl it's way back from the Gates of Hell, but for championship teams.....
Even if our offense runs the ball 80% of the time.... if we minimize our Turnovers (especially key ones that kill a scoring drive or give points/field position to the other guys)and our defense decides to play (witness Heismann trophy performance by Toledos QB and WR last year)...
We win 4 more games. Book it... Danno.
wide left humbled all of us...
I like the way it looks, at least order-wise, with rbs, then ol... etc. I think the LB and DB ratings are accurate too. We're using 2 LB's who have little starting experience (at the position) and one who is up and down on a game to game basis (ezeh). I think we have talent in the DB area but no real depth and some questions at safety. I think this is a reasonably well done rating.
The left tackle is generally important because he is responsible for covering the blind side of right handed QB's, which over 90% are. However, Tate has height issues and it is believed that we will roll the pocket more this year than we have in the past. Allowing Tate to see the field without having to rely on passing lanes. It should also be noted that this takes some pressure off of the LT because on many plays the QB will be running away from the LT's assignment; right handed QB's throw better running to the right. In my opinion they are placing too much importance on the LT.
while i tend to agree that the LT is somewhat less important to the passing game in this system than in traditional pocket passing systems, LT will still have an extremely significant impact on the run game. And being that LT is the most glaring questionmark on the line, i do think that Ortmann's play will be very important to the success of the UM offense
Based on last year and reports this spring, the top 10 players are (in not exact order):
6. C. Brown
7. Boo Boo