Follow up to the bad weather post. The secondary will be much better DESPITE the loss of Brandent and co. for the following reasons.
#1 Barwis and Co. Beyond the strength, weight, fitness, conditioning, and speed changes, the secondary will benefit most from the agility, and hip fexibilty focus of barwis. You will see much smoother movements from the secondary which will equate to better performance.
#2 Shaffer is one of the best secondary techniqque minds in the country. They will be in position to make plays, and make big plays.
#3 Pressure on the Qb. Combining the new schemes of Shafer getting after the Qb, with a great DL, means better chances for the secondary to make plays.
#4 Morgan Trent Im expecting an AA type year from him this year. Another year of learning to play corner and doing db drills (shameless plug to my blog on the recent article about improving hip flexibility) to improve his flexibility is making Morgan into more than just a straight line runner.
IMO, starting this year, and continuing with the new coaching staff, we will beging to see Michigan winning more of their bad weather/bad field type games. couple reasons why i think this is going to happen.
#1 Michigans offense will be able to play the same way regardless of playing conditions. A zone read is a zone read, short quick passes are weather resistent for the most part. Weather never effects runners like it does defenders trying to stop the runner. A runner is able to anticipate cuts, and make moves on a slick track, while defenders have to adjust and react effecting their ability to stay with an offense.
#2 Lighter better conditioned athletes are able to have lighter feet for longer periods of time. getting your cleats up and down with quick motions is the best way to play in bad weather. Lighter better conditoned athletes are in better balance, and have the abilbity to sustain that ballance for an entire game. Michigans recomitment to s and c will pay huge dividends in nasty weahter.
#3 Better fundamentals on defense, coupled with faster players means that the Michigan defense will be in positions to make plays quicker, and without waisted steps. The least amount of false steps in bad weather the better your chances of not slipping and sliding. I anticipate seeing michigan players look faster on defense becasue of the commitment of coach shafer and his staff to the starts/stants/foot progressions/read step/ fundamentals of defensive football.
Maybe its just wishfull thinking, but its been my experience in bad weather that defense is hurt the most, allong with deep throws, and that there is more premium on fundamentals.