The disappointment of Michigan's run defense has created a chicken little mentality that we won't be able to stop the Big Ten's power run offenses because of our lack of bulk and that we need to recruit big guys in the middle because we won't be able to stop the run. We are building a defense built on speed, we are not going to have 330lb monoliths in the middle. You can stop the run with quicker guys. Ask USC they seem to do ok. Check with Oklahoma who had their 350lb Olineman humiliated by a bunch of runts when they played WV in the Fiesta Bowl. The answer is not putting Will Campbell in the lineup either. The reason he's not playng is that he is not good enough to play right now. The problem with our run defense is that we have played the scheme for 2 whole games, we were overplaying ND's pass game, and our linebackers are playing terrible. Let's give it some time, we may end up having a terrible run defense, but it won't be because we're too small it will be because we're not good enough either from youth or talent. Give up on your dreams of fat asses clogging the middle.
Debunking the Fat Guy Needs
You do have to wonder about Brian's point, that Hopson may have to go. The linebackers seem to get worse each year, and he seems to be contributing little to none to recruiting.
Hopson leaving is a definite possibility. I thought I read somewhere that Jay wanted out anyways because his wife/himself do not like the north and the cold very much.
Does it fall to Rodriguez to find a replacement for Hopson, or does GERG have that responsibility?
Without any insight into the organizational structure, I think it would probably be something to the effect of Robinson looks at candidates, preps some dossiers on them, and then has a sit down with Coach Rodriguez as they would prepare to hire the guy. Coach Rod may have some ideas of what he is looking for and they would probably interview together with the final interview likely falling to the head coach.
That said, I could be utterly over analyzing this.
It's tough to tell whether Hopson really has been doing a poor job coaching or whether it is more of a reflection of the talent at the position. I agree Ezeh has been terrible, but he's one of the few true linebackers on the team. Most of the other guys are converted safeties who I would imagine take significantly longer to develop and are a bigger challenge to coach.
Either way, I also remember hearing the rumors about Hopson wanting to leave last year, so I wouldn't be surprised in the least if he departed at the end of this season.
Just watch the tape from that bowl game last year, fast utah guys running past the man boobs from Alabama. We just need more experience and improved LB play.
I agree that size isn't the answer and skill is. We really need our LB's to step up and start performing the way a Junior starting LB should, especially Ezeh who is in his third year as a starter.
I thought this was going to be a debunking of recent reports that Charlie Weis does not need to eat less.
That's exactly what I thought too.
I went on to mgoblue.com to see how the LBs played statwise.
Mouton - 4 solo tackles, 1 assisted
Ezeh - 2 solo tackles, 5 assisted
Stevie Brown - 3 solo, 3 assisted
These are the 3 that had significant contributions to the ND game.
For comparison, here are a few other players:
Graham - 3 solo, 0 assisted
Woolfolk - 5 solo, 3 assisted
Warren - 3 solo, 3 assisted
Death Roh - 2 solo, 0 assisted
Booboo - 4 solo, 1 assisted
Martin - 1 solo, 2 assisted
statwise, they didn't play too bad compared to everyone else.