I remember hearing in the presser a couple of days ago that the team would scrimmage today. Any peeps with inside info have any idea how it went? Anybody new standout?
Mike Lantry, 1972
Some guy on Scout said the offense did better than the defense and that there were a few fumbles that the coaches were not happy with. No sugarcoat.
2 more weeks...
I was there. Here is how it went:
1. The defense got 2 safeties on the offense in a goal line situation.
2. Denard broke off a couple long runs.
3. Tate is at his best when he makes quick passes and does not try to do too much. When he does he gets sacked or gets himself in trouble.
4. Teric Jones looks great on D. Had a nice interception on Sheridan for a pick 6.
5. Mike Cox was one of the most impressive running backs along with Carlos Brown.
6. Minor didn't practice as far as I saw.
7. The 1st team defense is significantly better than the 2nd team. There are a few guys on the 2nd team (Fitzgerald and B. Smith) that stood out.
8. I saw T. Robinson, Odoms, Matthews, Gallon (only for a few) returning punts. Robinson and Odoms had a couple of very long returns on punts and kick-offs.
9. Gerg is a very positive and informative D Coordinator. Quote "That was some damn fine football being played out there. You forced a fumble, but you all were not going to the ball fast enough. Thats why the offense got the ball before you and returned it for a TD". What happened was a receiver fumbled the ball after a 10 yd catch and hit, the defense went after it, but Carlos Brown scooped and scored.
10. The field goal unit looked okay. Gibbons looks promising.
11. The indoor facility is HUGE. Looks way bigger standing inside it than it does driving passed it.
12. Rich Rod does not like refs (who does). Had a funny quote when the PAT unit had a delay of game, but still kicked it and converted. "We would have taken the damn penalty, kicked it again, and scored again. Lets move on."
13. The QB race, IMO, is definitely between Forcier and Robinson. I am torn on who I would like to see out there. Robinson definitely gives the offense that extra edge in the run game. He's not a bad passer either, although Tate has a little more zip and accuracy. This race looks close. I'd expect 60% Tate, 40% Robinson. That being said, Sheridan is much improved over last year. He had some good velocity on his passes, made quick decisions, and opened up the scrimmage with an 80 yd TD drive.
14. I'm sure I could type more about the scrimmage, but we look much more polished than last year, we have opened up way more of the playbook than I remember seeing last year (mind you that this was a scrimmage open families and suite holders), and there looks to be a lot of good competition for many spots on both sides of the ball.
I'm excited for this season to start!
That was very informative and fuels the fire with 2 weeks to go.
Thanks for the info. Is Denard playing against the first string defense at all? All of the clips I've seen on Mgoblue.com show him against the second and third string defense. I'm encouraged by all of the positive reviews and big plays but it wouldn't be a level playing field if he's not going against the first unit since there is a big drop off. How does Tate look running the ball?
I like how on the official web site they note Teric's pick but don't say who the QB was.
And thats the thing. Denard, for the most part, was going against the 2nd and 3rd string defense. He did go against the 1st string defense a couple of times, and was obviously much less effective.
Tate looked good running the ball, just not as powerful and fast of a runner Denard is (Denard actually trucked a D back for a touchdown). There was one play where Tate broke into the secondary, but got a whistle from the refs because they thought he was going to be hit hard. I don't think the whistle should have blown and Tate was pissed off as well (he would have had 50+ yard run).
First off, thanks for the info, it's greatly appreciated.
Since I myself haven't seen any practice live, most of this will be my opinion with some questions.
For Denard vs. Tate, I feel that Tate is going to start because even if Denard has an okay arm, I'd bet that most defenses still aren't going to respect it until they're forced to. And based on the little that I have seen and read, Denard much prefers to tuck and run rather than scramble and look for someone to pass to. Please correct me if I'm wrong there but from what I've seen in situations that Tate would scramble and then throw on the run, Denard just runs and doesn't look to throw at all.
If that's true, that'll really hurt our entire offense. Without the threat of the pass, running the ball (whether it be Minor, another RB, or Denard) would be very hard.
My guess is that if Western saw Denard starting, they would just assume that we found Pat White but respect the throw even less. They might also be betting that they can "break" Denard more easily than they could break Pat White so they might just to their best to hit him hard at any cost. If Tate starts though, I feel like they'll be forced to respect the pass at least at the beginning of the game (whether that changes will depend on how well he actually performs in game).
Thus, I expect Tate to start simply because it'll allow our offense to begin against a more conventional defense rather than a "stop the QB from handing off or running" defense.
As for GERG being a good DC and teacher, I'm very glad to hear it. I was watching the Wisky practice on the BTN today and Bielema didn't seem to ever say anything of relevance. The offense would get a good run and he'd just say "good job". If the defense got a good stop then he'd just stay "focus". He just kept saying cliches. Now, it could be because he was on TV but I'm not 100% sure of that. In my mind, all the coaches should always be correcting any mistakes made by players and showing them how to improve, they have very limited amounts of time to do that so they need to take advantage of their few opportunities.
That also jives very well with this.
Sorry for the long opinion filled post and thanks again for the info.
I would not be surprised if the QB who does the best job of protecting the ball and managing the game ends up with the majority of the snaps.
'even if Denard has an okay arm, I'd bet that most defenses still aren't going to respect it until they're forced to'
Wouldn't this be a good thing? You are basically saying Denard will have an easier time passing bacause he will likely see more people in the box and less in coverage. If he has a decent arm, and he does from most reports, wouldn't we want to take advantage of this?
The other way of looking at it, and the way I feel, is that given the choice between Minor Rage running or EITHER freshman QB passing, would you not expect most defences to be in the box until both Forcier and Robinson force them too?
I think we need to remember that Tate is a freshman as well and frankly I don't think ANY defences are going to 'respect' ANY freshman QB until he is proven his game at the college level for an extended length of time.
That's kindof a chicken/egg thing... If Denard is a great passer, that means they'll respect it, which means it will be harder for him to pass. If he's not a great passer, they won't respect it, making it easier for him to pass. The same is true for Tate's running game. If they don't respect it, it will be easier for him to run.
WVU did just fine running the ball. They ran over 70% of the time under RR yet they couldn't slow down the rushing attack.
Who looked the best in the slot, in your opinion?
Well, thats tough to say because it looked like they all had different 'styles'. If you had to make me pick a player I'd pick Odoms.
That being said, Kelvin Grady looked good and Roy Roundtree made some nice plays out there as well.
than the 2nd team defense brings up a reality check.
Tate became a campus hero in the spring against essentially the 2nd team defense. That performance led to some expectations that he would easliy be the #1 QB going into the fall.
He may be a mere mortal against the 1st team defense. It may answer the question as to why we are not hearing runblings out of practice that he is head and shoulders above everyone else.
It may not just be coach-speak that the QB competition is still wide open.
U of M is the best school anywhere and if you don't know it you ain't been there.
How does Tate do on the run? I haven't heard much about his running. Does RR use him solely as a passer?
Was the practice open to the public? Or do you have supersecret inside access?
I guess you could say it was open to the public. It was open to family of the players and coaches and suite holders.
about the family atmosphere among player families and alumni players and coaches that RR is overseeing? And when is the multi-issue documentary by Jim Carty in Ann Arbor.com about the public relations efforts by RR going to appear? Do you think we can expect these journalistic efforts in the next week or so?
Here's a recap of just the last two weeks, courtesy of MGoBlue:
• 400 family members of the players attended the team’s first full scale scrimmage of the preseason. The families took a group photo and had a picnic following practice.
• Former players Ron Bellamy, Courtney Morgan, Rudy Smith, P.J. Cwayna, Michael Taylor and Harlan Huckleby attended practice. Former U-M assistant Jerry Hanlon was also in attendance for the scrimmage.
• Over 250 youth football players from all 24 organizations in Think Detroit PAL (Police Athletic League), a non-profit organization that builds character in young people, attended practice today. They had the opportunity to watch practice and meet the Wolverines.
• Actor Jeff Daniels watched practice and talked with U-M head coach Rich Rodriguez.
• Former U-M head coach Gary Moeller attended practice today as well as Athletic Director Bill Martin.
• Former Wolverines Jim Betts and Drew Henson attended practice.
• Former U-M offensive tackle Mike Kenn attended practice along with Bill Dufek, Don Dufek and Rick Leach.
• Rochester Hills native and U-M football fan Brad Keselowski, a race car driver, attended practice with a crew from ESPN that chronicled his visit for a Nascar Now Show. Brad Keselowski won the CARFAX 250 Nationwide series race Saturday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway.
• During his press briefing today, Rich Rodriguez mentioned that he would be holding a student body walk-on tryout after the start of classes on Wednesday, Sept. 16.