So Shaw is fast but gets knocked over easily...and you based that on his two carries in the Notre Dame game? One of which, IIRC, when he had zero blocking, bounced it outside around 3 defenders and eventually ran out of bounds?
Grading Offense: (Michigan vs. Notre Dame)
Okay, so I’ve watched the Michigan/Notre Dame game 4 times now (3 times too many on offense). I will admit that the first two were for enjoyment…obviously; the last two were to really get a feel for what exactly happen. Also, I wanted to try to figure out where we go from here. So here it goes…
QB: C-/B+ (obviously it was a tale of two games for Denard, so he's got to have two grades. Now, before you rip them apart, I'll just say that I don't think he was so "hot/cold" or opposite ends of the spectrum as many think...OR like the stats show (those 4th quarter numbers are silly). Denard didn't fail the first 3 quarters, the playcalling failed him. Even with that said, he didn't always make the best reads, he forced some throws...and he missed on a few more. He should've completed his first two passes of the 2nd quarter.
His 4th quarter wasn't Tom Brady MNF amazing either; it was a lot of soft defense or blown coverage. The best thing he did was use his legs more to buy time, but he wasn't reading coverage and slicing and dicing the defense by any means (his best read/react/throw may have been one that got called back deep in Michigan territory in the 4th quarter). He was just chucking the ball up half the time. It was more freshman Henne/Braylon vs. MSU than anything else. Denard's passes could've easily been knocked away, dropped or picked...luckily most of the time, they weren't.
With that said, wasn't as bad or as good as people thought. We have to get him out of the pocket more and we have to throw quick passes more.
As for running the ball, I thought he ran the ball very well.)
RB: D+ (Shaw is soft, but fast, but has no balance and gets knocked over easily. Hopkins is tough, but slow and has no vision or ball security. Smith is tougher, has amazing vision, but isn't fast.
We NEED Fitz to stay healthy, he has the power to run the ball with force and enough vision and balance to stay on his feet and hit the right hole. Speed is good enough.
Smith might be my short yardage back, no joke. He's runs so hard and he has awesome vision and ball security. He's like Mike Hart at 70%, which isn't bad, but isn't going to take over or win a ton of games by himself.
Shaw needs to be a spread back only. I watched every play, Shaw can't run in the I-formation, he can't run power type plays unless it’s out of the shotgun. He's fast though; I'd use him like Reggie Bush and split him out wide more or throw him some screen plays.
Hopkins is just Hopkins. What you see is what you get. For better, or sometimes for worse.
All in all, after watching every snap over again, Fitz is the starter, Shaw should get playing time in the spread (assuming he's not supposed to have a key block, because he can't block for shit), Smith in short yardage situations or when you need a blocking RB...such a smart football player.)
FB: B+ (McColgan's catch and run was very impressive. He looks like a FB for sure. Blocking was average to above average.)
WR: A- (Denard has to get more accurate, even some of the drops we had weren't the WRs fault. However as a whole they had one hell of a game! Great catches all over. They get a minus because of the blocking. It was "meh" at times.
Hemingway's body control is ridiculous...why did we throw a fade to Gallon and not him? He's got tremendous strength too. If he was fast he'd be a definite NFL player. As of now, he's 75-80% Marquise Walker/Jason Avant. If that second fade to Gallon that got picked off was at Hemingway, I think he comes down with it.
Gallon CAN catch?! Wow, he used to drop everything, good to see him hold onto the ball. He's not as fast as I thought though, however he's tougher AND has better hops and body control than I thought (and that's not just referring to one play).
Grady is faster than I thought, but he can't block.
Roundtree, like Hemingway is just "slow." (I put quotes because both of them would dust 99.9% of this board if not all of us). But Roundtree didn't get much faster after his Illinois mishap a couple years ago. In fact Te'o outran him to force Gallon out of bounds and he didn't really have the angle over Roundtree. I said Shaw should be used like Reggie Bush...well, Roundtree to me should be used like Wes Welker/Steve Breaston, but that's just me. Put him in the slot, get him the ball, let him pick up the first down for you. Send him on slants on 3rd and medium.
Where are Jackson and J-Rob? We need outside WRs with some height! We also need better blocking!)
TE: A- (Koger is, wow. You can tell he just wants it. He had an edge to him when he blocks. He focuses and makes the hard catch. IMO he'll have the 2nd longest NFL career of anyone on offense. #1? Taylor Lewan (notes on him in a few). Koger is a very modest type player that every team needs. Above average pass blocker and receiver. He can also lead block very well. Koger had a very solid game; he and Kovacs may be the two smartest guys on the team when it comes to “football smarts.”
The other TE's are just "meh." Moore did have a couple good blocks.)
OL: B- (This could've been a B, but I'm a tough grader and nitpicky when it comes to the lines because a lot of what they're graded on has to do with the opposing OL/DL...for example, if you pancake a LB, so what? He's a LB...otherwise Omameh is all world in 2010 after what he did to Te'o, or if an OT misses a block and you get a sack, that doesn't tell me much other than the other guy f’d up.
Anyway, I mentioned Lewan. The kid is a beast. He completely screwed up (twice) on the V. Smith screen for a TD, but other than that, he pretty much had a lights out game. I'll take him 1v1 against anyone in the country. ANYONE. Now when you send two, or blitz on his side, or stunt/twist...then he can improve. But man on man? Lewan is going to own you. It was boring watching him, he seriously wouldn't let DEs by him in pass pro and he just ran them over a lot of the time when he was run blocking. He’s gotten better because he’s gotten consistent.
Interior line struggles in the power situations. They're definitely a spread interior line, they need space to operate, they can't line up and knock DTs off the ball and back 3 yards to save their lives. (And THIS is why I see the problem with our run game...we have no interior OL push, it's just a stalemate and LBs fill any holes and we rush for 1-2 yards. It happened over and over…and over).
Huyge is Huyge --- a typical Lloyd Carr 5th year senior type OL. Not going to really help or hurt you. Won't get drafted. The kinda guy that you'll see on the Lions roster as a practice squad player for like 5 years or something. After that, he’ll be playing in the flag football game as a TE before the spring game. I’m calling it now, watch.)
Offense: B- (you can't be mad at 35 points...however you can be at 90 yards and 7 points in the first half. You can be mad at your WRs having to make crazy catches to move the ball. You can be mad that the other team's DBs tried to play the entire game with their backs to the ball. So despite the 28 points and gaudy 4th quarter numbers, I wasn't that impressed. We had no flow.
Also we couldn't re-establish the line of scrimmage. Our QB had to buy time by running around (which he's actually good at --- no sarcasm, his pocket presence is better than people give him credit for).
The run game was horrible from the RBs and the interior line couldn't open up a hole all game. The black line for the line of scrimmage was like a magnet, the lines would smash into each other and then the RBs would slam into the lines, it was stupid to watch.
Lastly, we HAVE to get Denard out of the pocket. Yes, sprint outs shrink the field in half, but he can actually see. We need to do it more, sprint him out and throw a quick out or hitch. Or stop and throw it back for the screen like we did. Maybe send a WR on a reverse? The first TD play ND scored with, why can't we run that with Denard?
Also, where was the quick pass? The snap the ball and fire it out to the WR and let him run? Borges did a TERRIBLE job of getting Denard in rhythm. We need to nickel and dime and dink and dunk more. MUCH more. Then again our WRs have to be bigger than 5'2 and they gotta block better. This is why we need more Jackson and J-Rob, or split Koger and/or Moore out. So they can block for a quick snap'n'fire play to Roundtree or Shaw outside. This takes away the inability of the interior line, but brings up the safeties as if you were running the ball.)
Three years ago you were talking about Shaw looking like he could potentially be the GOAT after the Miami game when he had a career total of four carries.
I honestly have no idea what you're talking about.
What do you mean by GOAT?
I stopped reading the analysis after that point. If you are going to ignore what Shaw has shown in the past in favor of two carries in one game to make the claim he is soft and has no balance, I am not going to read your analysis.
He has shown the ability to take on tacklers, break tackles and drag tacklers on his back for yards. I don't agree with your analysis.
I'm going to grade your analysis an F.
...the game was jsut further proof to what we should already know.
Shaw is really soft, and I have thought that ever since he started getting playing time. Every time he gets the ball I litterally cringe(except for the run against Western).
Its no wonder that such a speedster with decent size doesnt get more PT, and got beat out by Fitz this year.
I don't know about getting knocked over easily... Shaw is my favorite RB for the past 2~3 years. His demise in terms of playing time comes from his negative runs. He tries too hard to make something out of nothing and goes sideways and loses yards. He's done this 2~3 time every year for the past 3 years and used to piss off RR. Shaw did this negative run against ND, Hoke looked visibly upset, and there goes his playing time...
No question that Shaw is fast. The problem is that he either has poor vision or tries too hard to do too much. Watch ND's Cierre Wood - he ran with conviction. He picked a spot and hit the hole hard and fast. That's what a runner needs to do (its what Tyrone Wheatley did, Biakabatuka did, the A-Train did, etc. Borges cannot have an RB that dances around back there. He needs someone more reliable and Shaw is not that back.
I'm really confused by the Shaw is soft meme. Like... it's killing me every time I read it. Sometimes I think people are convinced that Carlos Brown never graduated and changed his name to Michael Shaw.
You cannot give the offensive line a B+ and the RB's a D ... unless you saw plays where the OL had opened a hole, but the RB simply missed it. There were no "holes" created for the running backs. It is a very simple equation ... No holes = no yards.
Maybe the OL deserves two grades. One for pass protection and the other for controlling the line of scrimmage ... which never happened. And then there are times when you simply have to give credit to the other team.
We didn't try to run inside every time...also I thought our pass block was VERY solid. So that helps the OL. I thought Lewan was 1 or 2 plays from an A+, that helps the OL. Denard ran for 100+ yards...so the OLine had a 100 yard rusher, it just wasn't from the RBs.
Hopkins wasn't quick enough to get outside, Shaw just fell down, Smith wiggled his way here and there but wasn't anything special. He was a C, the other two were F's.
So I COMPLETELY get your point, how do you give the RBs a D and the OL a B...but take some of the other stuff into consideration too.
Blocking a LB well is very difficult for most linemen. I wouldn't undervalue the block just because the LB is a smaller person. Most times the OL have to anticipate where the contact with the LB will be made(since LBs flow depending on their reads) and then make the blocks in space where the smaller and quicker athletes hold the advantage.
is not easy to do. I don't know what makes you think that it's not a big deal.
This kind of hero worship is getting a little ridiculous. I love Denard to death, and he's a once-in-a-lifetime player, but he has made and will continue to make some really bad plays mixed in with those breathtaking ones. All his teammates talk about how he can get too excited and speed things up too much, yet a lot of people here are following Brian's lead and just chalking every failure up to MANBALL.
To choose the most obvious examples, when you throw a screen five yards over someone's head, you fucked up. Your coaches did not fuck that play up for you. You just fucked up. Some of the other throws and decisions were poor also, and you can't pin that entirely on the coaches.
I unlike most do not comment on Denard's smile or every press conference or whatever. Ew. He's human.
However, I DO think that THIS game the play calling failed him. And if you saw, I said why. There were no dink and dunk playcalls to get him in rhythm.
I remember John Navarre's first game, I believe it was against BGSU. And it was the one where he threw for 4 TDs. The first 15-20 plays of that game were scripted BEAUTIFULLY. It was all screens, draws, quick outs, etc. It was get the ball in the hands of the playmakers and let them go to work.
I think Denard should've been given that kind of treatment, so in fact, I'm doing the exact OPPOSITE off drooling over him. I'm saying treat him like a freshman QB to some extent. Give me some hitch routes where Roundtree has to break a tackle or make someone miss. Give me an Anthony Thomas screen pass to Michael Shaw where he can use that speed. Snap the ball and fire it straight out to Gallon or Grady and let them wiggle their way for 6-7 yards. Give me some run/pass option type plays. Or how about some combination routes?
That's where I say the playcalling failed him. But then I ALSO talked about him missing throws...I also said he should've completed BOTH of his first 2 throws of the 2nd quarter. So don't act like I'm slurping Denard based off of one line of what turned out to be a novel.
I'll admit I was particularly galled by the "Denard did not fail line," so fair enough.
It is, in my defense, a really stupid line.
and he threw an INT. Poor example of failed playcalling. You want the screen pass, you got it as your example of a good play call, but then you say that's where the play calling failed? I'm not understanding people today.
For every play you can find to disprove my statement. I'll find twice as many to prove what I'm saying.
Ready. Set. Go.
to a 5'5" RB over the middle including several 6'6" defenders is always failed playcalling. Doesn't mean you won't get lucky and it will occasionally work; still failed playcalling.
The INT was thrown over the middle...the TD screen was not.
Yet and still, the INT was ONE screen called. It's still my opinion, that we should've given Denard a lot of confidence throws. Not only for him, but simply to move the chains and manage the clock.
The defense was in a position to stop all those easy throws you talk about other than the screen, which Denard didn't not succeed at either. Denard's arm and the receiver's routes failed him in the first half.
The RBs weren't great, but most of that was on the O-line who failed to get any push or open any holes for him, let alone failed by allowing penetration into the back field.
This analysis looks like it's by someone who casually watched the game as a fan, rewatched no game film, and then looked at the stats after the game. What actually happened is far different than your analysis and grades indicate.
Also, you upped your own diary.
Agreed. I didn't find this useful at all.
If you didn't find it useful, don't read it...or share your opinion and maybe you'll change mine. But your post did exactly nothing.
If you look at the first comment in the entire discussion, you'll find one of my many qualms with your post.
1 out of 6 posts? That's trolling.
And I responded to your 1st post with: "That comment wasn't based off one game...the game was (just) further proof to what we should already know. "
You didn't refute my statement or comment after that, your post was responded to with no trolling or sarcasm, just an honest answer. You proceed to make a couple more posts about absolutely nothing.
Like I said before: "If you didn't find it useful, don't read it...or share your opinion and maybe you'll change mine. But your post (the most recent one to that point, not the original post) did exactly nothing."
A couple of people have done just that. Shared opinions and provided constructive thoughts that shed light on one thing or another.
Oh...you mean when you didn't actually respond to my post, but just in a random place in the thread? Good job.
You're right. I'm a troll. You caught me.
is generous for the RB's, they almost were a complete non-factor in the game except for blocking for Denard and Smith's catch on the screen for a TD. The running game without Denard being Denard was hideous.
He picked up a few blitzes in addition to his screen pass TD.
Thanks for posting this. Seems fair, and helpful for those of us who cannot find time to re-watch it and analyze each position (if we knew what to look for). Much appreciated.
I think most people agree that Shaw has great speed and potential. But the coaches are right. He's too often an east-west runner in a north-south body.