Interesting comments from Chris Spielman on Columbus radio. Very interesting because Spielman is a guy who really does know what the hell he's seeing out there, and he does not like it. Sure, he's a Buckeye, but you get the feeling in reading this that Chris has tremendous respect for the tradition of Michigan football and would genuinely like to see us rebuild a defense worthy of the rivalry.
Chris Spielman on Denard Robinson (good!) and Michigan's defense (uh, not good)
He ought to be careful what he wishes for...
Let's Go Blue!
I agree that Spielman knows what he's talking about, but he always goes a little too far and says things that don't make sense. Like this:
They're all great kids. I had a chance to meet with a bunch of them. They practice hard, they play hard, and they're tough, but it comes down to one thing when you're talking about playing at a high level like Michigan is used to playing at, and that's talent. And they have zero on defense. One kid, the Martin kid. Other than that, a lot of guys would be nice little subs at Indiana.
I mean that last part is just ridiculous.
That jumped out to me as well. It's one thing to say Mike Martin is the only player on the defense who would start at OSU (pretty reasonable claim, IMO), but to say the others wouldn't even start at Indiana?? Not so much.
It's amazing to me how this board claims to be the "logical, well informed" segment of the Michigan fans, and then gets mad when a guy who knows ten times more about football than any of his says that our defensive players, on the worst defense in Michigan football history, who can't tackle, can't contain, can't keep up, can't make one stop, wouldn't start at Indiana.
I'm gonna go out on a limb. Martin would start at OSU or Indiana. Not one other player on our defense would start at Indiana today. Seriously how could you even question that?
Van Bergen, Roh, Mouton, Demens and Kovacs would all start at Indiana. But other than that maybe could start at Central. Would kill for Nick Bellore though.
Just to be sure...we're talking about the same Indiana defense that gave up 83 points to Wisconsin, right? Maybe there is some Indiana I'm not aware of.
Craig Roh and Kenny Demens say wut up.
Just punched you in the mouth for leaving him out.
- D-bag. Isn't there a Tea Party meeting you should be attending somewhere?
- Speilman was a heck of a football player. That does not necessarily mean he knows more about this team than the bulk of this board does. There is no way he's put in 1% of the time and effort this board has put into when it comes to analyzing what's wrong with our D.
- It's fair to say that none of our freshmen starters would be starting at Indiana. Because freshmen shouldn't be starting at any D-1 program unless they are Charles Woodson. By the time they are juniors and seniors, this answer is likely to be quite different. This is not a talent issue, this is an age issue brought on by a depth issue. That doesn't mean we couldn't use more defensive talent.
- Roh would start at 1/2 of the Big Ten schools this year. There's a good chance he'd be a starter at every Big Ten school by next year. When he's a true junior.
- Mouton would start at the majority of Big Ten schools. Not tOSU. Definitely at Indiana.
- RVB would start for 75% of the Big Ten schools. Definitely at Indiana.
I'll stop at 6 since I'm pretty sure if I go any higher with the numbers you'll get confused.
This board in general does not put it's head in the sand and claim that we don't have defensive issues. We have huge defensive issues. Speilman's (and your) hyperbole lack any depth and real analysis. That is in contrast to the mounds of analysis that point to the real myriad of issues we have on our D.
So go away. Thanks, bye.
There is no need for #1. Keep politics off the board.
Anyway, while Spielman's comment was a little over-the-top, his general point is taken. We aren't very talented on defense. Honestly, I'm not sure why Van Bergen and Roh are held in such high esteem here. They've been largely invisible this season. Mouton's a guy who I do think would have benefitted from better coaching.
Apologies if it offended you. M-16 got me riled up. He's a troll. And should go away.
Anyway, can you explain why you think Van Bergen would be good enough to start for 75% of the teams in the conference when he's hardly been a factor for us? In 11 games, he has three sacks and 5.5 TFLs. Personally, I think he and Roh (who has 0.5 sacks) have been major disappointments this season.
I'm going by the UFRs and what I've seen with my eyes. I'm no Magnus, so huge grain of salt.
But he seems to do his job most of the time. In a 3-3-5 I doubt you'd see his position putting up sacks or TFLs on a regular basis. 3 sacks seems high to me actually given the way the defensive philosophy we're going with this year (passive and ineffectual).
I'm doubting he'd play at tOSU ever really. But he's the kind of player Wiscy and Iowa have made great D's out of in the past.
I could agree with that about RVB being the kind of great player Wisc., and Iowa make great Defenses but what does that say about our defensive coaching staff not being able to get that kind of great production out of them, and if its not his talent and its our scheme thats holding him back then once again what is that saying about our coaching staff if there scheme is with holding players from there full potential. I also read in another post a little above about Mouton if coached better....that again is not a good thing. By the way the last part not directed towards you just frustration sorry
is more than enough to know more about our level of talent than every single person on this board--period. In fact he attended a couple practices in person. that is enough to decide on talent level. It's way more than enough to be smarter than both you and I put together. I agree with every single sentence in his quotes. And I'll trust his word more than people on this board who have studied it.
Every great player who has ever played the game is also a great talent evaluator? Interesting perspective.
There is a difference between talent and skill. Our players are too young (and probably poorly coached) to have the necessary size and skill to be competitive in the Big Ten.
That doesn't mean they're not talented. Rivals, Scout, and ESPN would all agree that our D is more "talented" than all of the Big Ten outside of tOSU and PSU. We clearly need more talent infused into this team, but that's not the reason we're 112th in total D.
It's a ridiculous statement he made comparing our D to Indiana's bench.
If you think that ex-players know more talent than anyone else (at least on this board), how do you then explain Matt Millen?
would do any better than Millen.
His major point, which I agree with, is we have too many starters on D who should not be starters in the Big Ten. Other than Martin, Van Bergen, Mouton and Kovacs, we don't have kids who are physically ready to compete in the Big Ten.
I agree with you that they are not physically ready to compete. But I disagree with your interpretation of his claim. He claims that our players are not talented enough to be on a Big Ten defense. As if to say we should be recruiting different kids entirely, not that these kids need to grow. I guess that's really not something we can make a determination on right now, which is why I'm surprised that he goes so far with his critique.
Relative to OSU, we have no speed at LB, all of our freshman DB's would have redshirted this season, our D-line is woefully undersized, hell if we wanted to play a 4-3, who would we play on the DL? There is nobody ready to play, nobody.
We don't play a 4-3, why would you even bring that up? It's like saying, gosh, if we ran a pro-style offense, who would we even play? Completely irrelevant.
I swear, some of the comments this week are making my head hurt (more than normal).
Spielman's overall point is accurate, though. He's using this thing called hyperbole to get his point across. Apparently no one here is familiar.
The point is we just don't have depth on the d-line. Pro-style vs. spread is way different than 4-3 vs. 3-4/3-3-5 or whatever you want to call it. Would you feel better if he said "take Mike Martin out of the lineup and there's no one to fill the void?" It's pretty much the same point.
We've played a lot of 4-3 this year.
They may suck, but no reason to call them douchebags, freshmen or not.
Last year the board was full of posts about how Kovacs is too small, too slow, too...you get the picture. Turns out he's the only non-lineman that can actually be depended on to make a tackle.
We have a total of four decent players on defense...
Jordan Kovacs, I am sorry, is not one of them.
Are you aware that Kovacs has more sacks and TFLs than Roh? And he's doing that from the bandit position.
The only reason I omitted Roh, is because he is still somewhat undersized. In an ideal world Roh would be a redshirt freshaman getting spot duty in passing situations, biding his time before taking over as a starter in his 3rd season.
and the future of what will be: I think Roh, Demens, and Cam Gordon have a lot of talent. Ideally Roh wouldn't have had to play last year, and he'd be pretty damn good for a RS freshman. Kenny and Cam could have used another year as b/ups. Add back Woolfolk and Heininger and I think you have a couple more.
Next year, with a sound scheme, I believe they'll be much better.
Courtney Avery and Carvin Johnson have shown flashes of this mysterious "defensive talent" that you speak of. Definitely potential at a lot of spots, but it's got to actually come to fruition, and who knows if that will happen, especially with a 3rd D coordinator in 4 years.
I think Jibreel Black will be a stellar D lineman in the years to come as well.
I was just thinking the same thing. Black has the potential to become a great DE in the next couple years, IME.
I love Kovacs and his story, but he is not "physically ready to play in the Big 10". He has linebacker speed in a safety's body.
Demens is a legit Big 10 player though.
...hyperbolic, but he's trying to be objectively honest and analytical. Plus, I think the guy knows a thing or two about defense, and defensive talent (or lack thereof) when he sees it.
He wants the rivalry back. He wants what we want: A high-level game with high-level players with an uncertain outcome.
Now we have what is very close to yet another foregone conclusion. (Another OSU win.)
We'll need a miracle of Biblical proportion to pull this one off.
ha i was just gonna quote that...well i mean thats someones opinion...I just think that GERG and this scheme just dont work good together.
but how can ESPN allow him to do Michigan games? Stateing your opinion is one thing, but to blatantly disrespect the defense and make yourself look like an ass in the process is another
Hope the D makes him eats his words Saturday
Spielman has called several Michigan games over the years. He's generally been very fair in his analysis. He would not insult our D just for the heck of it.
it does not give him the green light to go on talk radio to bash the defense. As a commentator for college football, Spielman should keep his extreme opinions to himself during the games and after the games.
I'm prepared to agree with that.
has made a lot of valid points especially at the end of the article in which he said that LC left the cupboard bare.
I love Spielman even if he did play at OSU. He actually wanted to go to Michigan, but his dad wouldn't let him. Still remember him doing the rugby dive into the endzone as a Lion. Can we hire him as our DC?
LB coach...pretty please with sugar on top!
just because of his dad, there are a book or three that are going to need a re-write.
but he basically said, "Michigan needs a better defense." Yeah...thanks.
I believe it was an HBO documentary narrated by Liev Schreiber in which Spielman said that he told his dad he wanted to go to Michigan and his dad said no son, you're going to Ohio State. I love those Buckeye fans who unselfishly want what's best for their children and not themselves.
To be fair, it worked out pretty well for Spielman...
Yes. And I'm sure he would have sucked had he gone to Michigan. Not that I care a whole lot, it is just annoying to hear when parents do things like that. I would be (slightly less than) equally annoyed if I heard a similar story about a Michigan fan being steered towards Michigan for the exact same reason.
I agree with what he says. We will continue to be bad on defense until the talent level rises. How that will be solved is IMO player development of kids on the roster. Talent is there, but not ready for the big stage yet.
Definitely brutally honest and harsh on some of these kids (Indiana Subs). But the scary part is, he's mostly right with everything he's saying. I enver thought about this in the way he put it "They're all coming back next year. They're the worst defense in football, are you that excited?" That made me think for a second and got me depressed...Tear
If this doesn't get the defense up for this game, it's a lost cause.
... what he is saying is that kids don't learn? I would like to believe that we do have talent and simply the coaches on defense have not put these kids in a better position to at least be ranked 80th in the nation. Is being ranked 112th just a result of poor talent? I don't think so...
There's no way it can get worse with these kids getting more experience, stronger, etc. But [email protected], he layed it to us pretty good about the lack of talent!
I would like to examine the lack of cultivating talent that osu does, for someone who recruits so well they aren't that high powered in any phase of the game.
I wouldn't even remember the defense when we Win Saturday...GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
then yes I'm that excited.
"Spielman on Michigan's defense, ranked 112th nationally giving up an average 445.2 points"
...but I didn't think we were that bad. Almost 450 points per game, damn. Good thing we have such an explosive offense.
Are we going to have walk-ons from outside of Toledo be our starting safety (Jordan Kovacs) or are we going to get kids who can play?
Ouch. He's obviously selling Kovacs short, but I get where he's going with this. Our depth at Defense is hurting.
Fuck Spielman. Seriously. He keeps saying we have no talent. We have plenty of talent. We out-recruit, or at least recruit on par with Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan State on the defensive side of the ball. They all have pretty solid defenses. I can't stand when commentators (especially Buckeyes) talk shit about the talent level of our players. I love our players, and am excited to see what they can do when they have some more beef, and possibly better coaching on that side of the ball.
Sure, we've recruited talent on par with those schools, but we've also lost that talent: attrition and injury. The talent on our roster is less than those schools in my opinion, not just more youthful. It would be different if we could have kept those bodies committed, accepted, enrolled, and intact.
WOW. He ripped into us. And I can't even be mad, he's either mostly right, or absolutely right, about everything.
Also, from the years '85-'88 we went 3-1 against OSU, which I believe was when Spielman played there (not sure if he stayed 4 years). So he can go fuck himself.
Michigan to smack the ever loving $#it out of Ohio State as much as I want it this year since David Boston called out Woodson.
I think Spielman was deliberately trying to give the Michigan players some bulletin board material.
He knew what he was doing when he talked smack like this. He's clearly trying to stoke the flames of a smoldering rivalry.
Doubt it. I think he was just providing an honest assessment of the D. Very accurate assessment as well.
is that our defense is bad, but denard is good. thanks spielman!
so regardless of how you feel about Spielman, this week, fuck him and fuck osu.
Frick em all.
I agree with him. It will be interesting to see what rich rod does this offseason as far as scheme, coach and philosophy.
a "fake" buckeye. I suppose it depends on if he gets somebody to read the comments to him.
We can't tackle. I made this point on the 3 man line thread. We can play whatever scheme we like but we do not know how to tackle. Arm tackles at the backs shoulders when a good shoulder to the chest and arms around the middle will suffice.
I hope they teach tackling during the 15 bowl practices. JHC.
from what RR says they won't practice tackling in practice because they are afraid of injuries. While I understand the concern, you can't expect to get better at something if you're not going to practice it.
3-time all big ten, 2-time all american, lombardi award winner, 4-time pro-bowler...
he's forgotten more about football than I know. the Indiana subs bit is questionable but the rest of it is pretty agonizingly accurate.
I knew our defense was bad, but can anyone confirm this number:
Spielman on Michigan's defense, ranked 112th nationally giving up an average 445.2 points.
I guess it has been worse than I though.
will do that to you.
I think he meant an average of 445.2 yards per game, not 445.2 points per game.
However, with our D and a game left against Ohio State, he may yet be right about the 445.2 points.
Chris Spielman and Kirk Gibson get my official Buckeye and Spartan exemptions. They are both awesome. As mentioned above the two-handed spike from Spielman against the Bears is my favorite Lions memory.
Forget about where our defensive players (outside of martin) would be on osu's depth chart. Name one defensive player, whose name is not mike martin, who would even get offered by osu. While I have serious issues with scheme and coaching, the problem has to start there.
Who is this Spielman character?
Is that the emaciated dude I saw on TV this weekend? To hell with him and his Columbutt brethren.
Go Blue. Beat Ohio State.
If only...it were that simple
Suck on that, Spielman!
Spielman is one of the best color guys working today.
Sev. things stood out.
- Cupboard left bare. I agree, and think this has set us way back.
- Talent deficiency. Partly agree. Partly, think it is age, size, strength, seasoning, which doesn't happen overnight.
- Scheme. Disagree. Think the combination of lack of high end talent and lack of experience make it impossible to fully evaluate the scheme.
- Coaching. He didn't focus on this. Either he doesn't want to publicly bash Gerg, or he doesn't see a huge problem with the coaching. I personally believe that the jury is out, and that you can't evaluate this adequately with our current lack of talent and experience.
we all see different reasons for the suck, well Gerg just sees a teddy bear.
You're a lifesaver!
And I kind of agree with him. We've been getting some impact players on the O but the D has been embarrassing this year. Recruiting on the D has to focus on guys with size and speed. 4-5 star recruits who go out there and know how to tackle, get off the line fast and low and pursuit at the right angle.
another idiotic post about how we lack size and only go after undersized players. Do me a favor and go look at our roster on mgoblue and get back to me.
Our defense is comically bad. But I do think we have some good young talent to build on.
Looking positively from here, you see young talent that isn't physically big enough or strong enough to compete... yet.
Looking negatively from here, you question the talent of the recruits we have landed and wonder if size and strength will actually make a difference at any point.
To be honest, I'm still stuck at the fork. I can see down both paths a very short way and I'm not sure which one looks more like the path of what will happen and what will not.
Positively, we get Woolfolk and Floyd back at corner along with Avery, Roh and Martin back on the D-line, and Johnson, Demens, and Gordon back who have showed ability with little experience. Overwhelmingly, defenses get better with age and experience, something they've all managed this season. But will it be enough? That's where I just don't know. Is Woolfolk really a lockdown corner? I think Avery could be, but how long will it take? Gordon has been streaky with play at times. Demens looked great when he was utilizing his strengths but got crushed this week through no fault of his own (at least I think it wasn't his fault). Martin will be man-beast again next season but will injuries linger and will anyone be able to spell him for a break occasionally? Roh needs to put on a little weight to be a more effective pass rusher, but has he capped out? So many questions and so few answers. ARGH!
I'm very concerned about our interior line next year sans Martin. We have some guys waiting in the wings (Talbott, Ash, Q and Wilkins) but will they actually be an upgrade over the players who are departing?
I will try to phrase this as delicately as possible: Is Floyd coming back that good of a thing? I have NEVER seen worse coverage meltdowns than I have from him. I guess part of it is that I follow Michigan football that closely, but I watch a lot of non-Michigan football as well, and I have yet to witness or recall any coverage breakdowns as awful as those by Floyd. I really want the kid to mature and develop into a great piece of the D, but I just don't know. Their should be improvements from game to game, and I am not seeing it.
I think you would find Spielman knows what he is talking about vs. a majority of people who think they know by studying a board. Also, he was very close to wearing the Maize n Blue out of HS, Bo almost convinced him to come to Ann Arbor.....his father did not support that choice which is how he ended up a Buckeye.
Most people I think regardless of side want to see two of the best teams play in this game and really go head to head for the B10 championship and possible NC. If it is truly competitive with two great teams and one is on a streak of wins it is one thing.....being dominated for years at a time is another.
that Bo lied when he told the story for "Bo's Lasting Lessons"? Perhaps it is safe to say you didn't read the book, and don't know much about that either?
unintelligent and idiotic. By this logic, talent can be identified and conclusively determined by the time a player is a freshman. Just about all All-Conference type of players are either on the bench the first couple years or playing and not wrecking people. It's a rare player that is dominant as a freshman. Likewise, if he's watching our young players and can't see flashes of talent that will likely grow into great players in the future, he is simply blind.
I'm willing to bet that if you took a great defense like Iowa and sent a top junior to the draft early, knocked out the top 2 players with injuries and transformed another 8-10 on the 2-deep into freshman they would suck horribly. That doesn't mean Iowa can't recruit talent.
Spielman needs to wait until these young players are juniors and seniors. If they still can't hang with anybody in the B10, then you can talk about how the defense lacks talent.
I don't care if this quote comes from Drew Sharp or a defensive genius, the point stands.
Everyone assumes the entire defense is young. The dline is mainly upperclassmen with the exception of Roh and the reserves. Mounton is a senior, Ezeh's senior, Fitzgerald's a jr. I understand the secondary is extremely young but there's upperclassmen on the front 7, which got manhandled by Wisky. It's like Speilman says - other than Martin they aren't that good.
Name me the starters in the front 6 or 7 who haven't been in the program for at least 3 years.
Wow, we're so young up front.
I'm not saying everyone on D is good or everyone is young. Clearly that is not the case. Each player and position deserves a case-by-case analysis and Spielman failed to do that. It was lazy and stupid.
A good chunk of our "seniority" on D are career backups that have been forced into action due to our young talent on D not being ready or injuries. Rogers would not be on the field if not for Woolfolk/Floyd injuries. Fitz would not be on the field if Mike Jones wasn't injured or Bell/Furman was ready. Banks/Sagesse are career backup types that were forced into action because Will/QWash aren't ready. We have the talent; it's either not ready or injured.
It's a lot like the OL last year and in 2008. We were forced into playing some experienced guys that weren't great. Result? Mediocrity. Everyone at the time recognized that the guys waiting in the wings were the future and were better than the starters....when they were physically ready. Today? Line is great and getting better.
Are you seriously telling me that guys like RVB, Roh, Demens, and Woolfolk aren't good? Are you also telling me that guys like Furman, MRob, Mike Jones, Cam, Avery, Ash, QWash, etc. etc. have very low talent and no cance of being capable B10 players? I happen to disagree.
WOW! I wonder if coach will make an exception and use this to fire up our "special teams players" for saturday. I respect spielman for giving his honest opinion and we have definitely been bad on D, but we have talent they just aren't developed. Good motivation for our 'indiana" defense.
Uh, yeah, Chris you're right, a lot of the players wouldn't start for many teams because they are freshman. That is kind of the whole point. They are freshman. Name me a successful, hell even average defense in any conference who has half the freshman in the two deeps as we do. I won't even mention the lack of experience all over the place. Let's just stop at freshmen.
I just don't like that he is claiming that there isn't any talent. On defense, experience matters a lot. You can be a great RB or WR without experience because it is so much talent based, but on defense experience is king.
... but I love Chris Spielman. He was a great player for the Lions, he respects the hell out of the rivalry, he speaks his mind, and from a couple personal interactions with him when I was younger and he was playing for the Lions he was just a great guy.
He says nothing in this article I would take offense to -- knowing he is a Buckeye and talking on a buckeye radio talk show.
There, I said it.
but I didn't know they were giving up an average of 445.2 points! Where have I been. Better question: where have they been?
The following is, regrettably, entirely accurate:
"Everybody is saying, 'Well, they're all young, they're all coming back.' Well, yeah, they're all coming back. It's on the worst defense in the NCAA they're all coming back. Is that so exciting for you? It's bad. (Nose tackle Mike) Martin is the only guy that could start at Ohio State -- the only guy that could start. He would roll in there. He's a good player. But other than that, these guys would be excellent special teams guys."
He wrote a lot of the stuff pretty respectfully; you can tell he knows what Michigan - Ohio State really means. Don't think he was out to bash anyone with a harmful purpose; he's just giving his true evaluation of what he sees. TBH, it was pretty refreshing to read that then a lot of the shit that is posted between mindless Michigan and OSU fans.
... and I mean that with utmost sincerity, because he is everything you could ask of in a teammate, be it in football or in life... ... ... so I was going to put the cynical "but" comment here, but I won't. God bless James Rogers. THe kid is just great, and I'm glad he's on our team.
I hated him because he was so good and he was sooo intense (like Barwis intense) and he played for the buckeyes. BUT I have come to love him as an analyst. He is always fair, and isn't afraid to tell it like he sees it. Some of you guys who are taking offense at his comments need to calm down and realize that (a) he really does know a lot more about football than 99% of the people on this board and (b) he is being somewhat hyperbolic. His comments during the game were along the same lines, but he stressed that the lack of talent he saw was more a reflection of a lack of likely future NFL players on our defense, which he pointed out we traditionally had several at any time, rather than a lack of guys who could start at Indiana. I don't think we can argue that the talent level on our current defense is not up to our historical norm, but to be fair most of our supposedly 5* talent level defensive recruits either didn't pan out or left the team.
He also kindly pointed out our lack of experience and commented that some of our younger players are going to be really good in a couple of years.
On the broadcast he also carped about our scheme, saying he "wasn't sure" that the 3-3-5 would work in the Big 10 (i.e. he thinks it sucks, leaves "bubbles" etc.) I don't know if he is right about that but I am sure that a great majority of people who know something about football will agree that, facing an offense like Wisconsin, all other things being equal, a 3 man line is at a relative disadvantage.
Finally he repeatedly, and with growing disgust as the game progressed, critisized our players for poor tackling, arm tackling, taking bad angles, and generally poor technique. Anybody want to disagree with that?
I think Speilman was a very heady football player, and the best color comentator out there. Even if he is a bit stiff at times, he is always fair. I wish he would leave TV and go into coaching (as in our defense!). I always thought of Pat Fitzgerald as the poor man's Chris Spielman when he was playing, now look at him.
And if you want to take offence at the commentary on Saturday, it was one of the other guys who said at one point in the second half. "Since we got here everyones been telling us how horrible their defense is, but you really can't believe until you see it!"
I think that the 3-part entry "Decimated Defese" in 2009 was a great analysis of our defense through the years. It allowed us to compare recruiting classes between years and also after people left early. It helps to compare classes under Lloyd vs. RR... I'd like to see it updated after the 2011 recruiting class is finished and see if there's hope for the future of the defense.