I'm incredibly disappointed in RJS lack of development. He seemed to have it all. Nose for the ball, frame to add bulk, athleticism but he was passed by Bolden, which I can understand cause he was an EE but then Ross as well which was interesting. He's the all-rounder type I think the WTKA guys are talking about but he's not developing.
How good are our linebackers?
I think his "nose for the ball" isn't as good as Ross's or Bolden's. I'm not sure what gave you that impression, but Jenkins-Stone was known for his aggressive nature and athleticism in high school, not his instincts.
If he's not know for instincts, and is known for aggressiveness and tenacity, maybe we should give him a shot at DE. It's not like our pass rush could get much worse.
M's pass rush is average to slightly above average. It could get a lot worse.
We were 66th in sacks in the regular season, so that's middle of the pack.
And I don't think a 6'2", 225 lb. defensive end would do much good.
Ross' instincts are the best of all the LB's Michigan currently possess and maybe it was the aggressiveness combined with the quickness that made me think 'instincts' but still I'd rather have RJS being aggressive than Bolden, who strikes me as not passive but not 'forward', I guess, like Ross or Morgan are.
playing furman and avery. We could never get more than 7 in the box, often only had 6. We can to cover up the spread guys which left us very short on bodies near the ball.
It's been a nice run for Avery but I'll be glad when he is gone. Barring some kind of miracle we'll be better off if we can keep him on special teams next year.
After he's graduated? Weird.........
I think the bigger issue was Josh Furman. Michigan basically played 10-on-11 when he was in the ballgame. Wilson will be back next season, obviously, but Furman is going to have to be relied on again unless an underclassman steps up.
This worries me slightly.
Do these guys realize that we were playing mostly 2nd and 3rd stringers Saturday? And our best LB is only like 8 months out from an ACL tear?
I don't know if our LBs are all-world, but the Ohio game is hardly representative of them.
I think that's a hell of a point.
I believe the linebackers are going to be pretty damn good next year. Ryan, Morgan, Ross, etc. healthy. Yes please.
I always thought they were too small
They'll be alright. Mattison knows what he needs in order for his defense to compete at a high level.
Our weak D-Line is the reason for this.
1. How ridiculous is it to dog on the linebackers when the leading tackler is out for the game and replaced by a true freshman that had only seen limited time, and the LB who happens to be the best player on the team is 8 months removed from an ACL tear?
2. If the linebackers are getting swallowed up by the OL (which is four pretty good seniors and Tyler Decker), wouldn't that be an indictment of the DL, which was scrambling so bad due to lack of depth and size in the middle that Richard Ash saw his first meaningful snaps ever?
I suppose these guys generally know what they are talking about, but this is just plain BS.
Damn it Borges!
Hard to fault our LBs when Dl, without Pipkins, and safety play, sans Kovacs and sometime sans Gordon, SUCKED.
I have faith in GREG that he'll figure out the D-line issue and develop competent DL players.
Hopefully, Ross is our next David Harris
I don't think our LB are bad. In fact, I think Jake Ryan is amongst the best we've ever had, particularly at engaging and shedding potential blockers and making a play on the ball carrier.
That said, I think Morgan, Ross, Bolden, and Gedeon, while being good players, are benefitting from our memories 2008-2010 defenses. We have forgotten what great linebackers look like. They look like David Harris, Shawn Crable, Lamarr Woodley, Vic Hobson, Larry Foote, Sam Sword, Dhani Jones, Ian Gold.
We had a steady stream of great backers, All American types. The guys we have now aren't of that cloth. I think that's what Mignery and Ray were talking about. I don't disagree. But I like our guys.
We had All-Big Ten caliber D-lineman in that era too, which helped create the dominance those linebackers displayed. I think our struggles are more reflective of throwing Ryan Glasgow and Richard Ash out there than it is the backers. Also we've had atrocious corner play for much of the season as well.
We had all Big 10 type players at all 3 levels in the past... they all helped each other.
Again, I'm not knocking our guys. And the defensive line is certainly not keeping them clean. But Desmond Morgan is no David Harris. James Ross is no Larry Foote.
I will disagree on our corner play, though. I think we've been pretty good. Although, again, corner play was the worst thing under Coach Rod, so maybe I'm forgetting what consistently good corner play looks like.
Larry Foote's sophomore year: 4 starts, 29 tackles (11th on team), 7 TFL's, 3 sacks, 1 interception
James Ross's sophomore year: 8 starts, 81 tackles (1st on team), 5 TFL's, 1.5 sacks
Considering Foote was playing behind Rob Renes, Josh Williams, Eric Wilson, James Hall - none of whom were superstars but are probably better than what we have on the DL now - I don't think you have a lot of proof for your conclusion.
Yeah, I'm no football coach and Foote has had a long NFL career, but my impression of him is a tough motor guy that plays above his ability. Plus he's 6'1". While Ross isn't as tall, if I'm just watching the two play Ross passes the eye test. He appears the faster and more athletic of the two. I like my chances with Ross as he gets older assuming he stays healthy.
Ross is listed at 6'1", 220 lbs. Foote was listed at 6'1", 211 lbs. as a sophomore.
I'm aware he's listed there, but I think general consensus is that he's more like 5'11", no? I know D-Rob was listed at 6'0", but measured 5'10" at the combine for example. I see Ross more in the mold of a Denicos Allen. From seeing the two on TV (R0ss and Foote) Ross looks more muscular, but shorter, but that's just me.
Interesting point. And I agree the standard has been lowered (at quite a few positions) that people forget what Carr was doing. God bless Dileo but on a team from 15 years ago he wouldnt be seeing the field...now he was our #2 option at WR until Funchess was moved. Same at a lot of other positions - the lack of NFL talent is pretty damning across the board. I think on a typical UM defense you used to get 5-6 starters drafted with 2 in the top 3 rounds in any year, and another 2-3 would get a sniff as a UDFA. On this defense other than JMFR I dont see another upperclassmen who will get drafted. Maybe Taylor or Clark will get a sniff or Gordon at safety but those are late round picks if at all.
Bottom line the NFL type talent level now is not the same as even late Carr era...
I dont know if that's true about UM defensive players and the draft. In the 13 drafts from 1996-2008, Michigan had 19 defenders chosen and in nine of those drafts it was just 1 or 0 UM players on D being picked. In 13 years, there were 8 guys picked in either Round 1 or Round 2. That's pretty good, but it's hardly spaced out. Half of those guys were selected in the 2007 draft off that killer 2006 D. Only 4 of those 13 drafts involved a UM defender being picked higher than the 3rd Round, with three of those just being 1 player. If you include drafts with a UM player picked higher than the 4rth Round, you only add one more draft. Michigan had a TON of players picked during this stretch, but a vast majority were on offense. Other than the 2000 draft (Gold, Williams, Dhani, Renes) and the 2007 draft (Hall, Branch, Woodley, Harris and Prescott) most draft days went by without much say from the UM Defense
...yet. Aside from JMFR, they are all young and undersized, take poor angles, and often can not shed blocks. I re-watched some of the OSU game, and Bolden got held so many times on critical plays, right in front of the umpire. I couldn't believe he didn't call holding. I honestly started to think B1G conspiracy theory, wanting Ohio to play in the MNCG. I know that's silly, but the ref was looking right at Buckeye linemen holding play after play, and not calling anything.
Taking my tin-foil hat off for a minute, I think our linebackers are too small, some are not all that athletic (Morgan), and often times Bolden and Ross take poor angles, leading to them getting caught up in the scrum while flowing backside pursuit. Part of the problem is our lack of big, space eating D-linemen. If we had some real big nasty D-linemen that required double teams, that would prevent the opposing teams O-Line from getting to the second level and blocking our linebackers.
One last thing- I was actually pleasantly surprised with how well Ben Gedeon played last Saturday.
That's what you get for listening to talking heads on the radio.
Better in the next 2 years as our experience and depth is built back. The linebacker recruiting under RR was horrible.
I think the LBs have been very poor in coverage all year. (How many times was a guy open in the seam because the LB didn't ride his man through the zone?)
I think the LBs played very poorly in the Iowa game (Yes, the second string).
I think the DL was horrible in the Ohio game and the LBs had no chance.
Other than that I think they are a very solid unit, very rarely making a mistake in the running game. But they also very rarely made a game-changing play. It was a group that desperately needed last years world destroying Jake Ryan.
JMFR and Ross are the 2 playmakers. JMFR was not JMFR - he showed some flashes early at Iowa and OSU but at those games went by he faded. Understandable. Ross was hurt for OSU and is probably 10-15 lbs underweight. He has the speed... he lacks the size....that said Denicos Allen is smaller than Ross and a terror so Ross can do it. He is 2 years younger than Allen...we forget he is still a sophomore.
That is all we have in terms of big time LBs IMO from what I can see right now. Gedeon showed some nice flashes vs OSU and is our 2nd biggest LB from the eye test as a freshman so he could be something special.
Bolden is meh to me, and Morgan is a nice player - a 7 out of 10 MLB. His wisdom will increase even more next year as the QB of the defense but athletic wise he is not SEC level IMO.
Cam and Beyer are nice rotational players. Beyer sparked against opponents UM was better than on paper, which is expected but was moved around a lot and is again a nice rotational player. Whe facing players of his strength size in Big 10 Beyer began to have less impact. Cam I always thought was about to break out but never seemed to.
The relatively porous DL also hurts the LBs who have to deal with guys who MSU and Iowa for example keep off their LBs to make plays.
If Gedeon makes it into the 4th spot of the rotation next year I am actually quite high on that starting 3 + 1 next year. Ross will be a junior and I hope his body can find the ability to take o 10 lbs of mass - he did not grow at all from fr to soph so maybe he just doesnt have the frame. JMFR will be healthy. Morgan wiser. And hopefully Gedeon takes that big step. After that it's a bit of unknown and/or Bolden.
I do think we need better athletes throughout the defense.
I think we HAVE better athletes on the defense, they're just young and undeveloped. Also, from what I understand about LB play, much of their performance is tied to the play of the DL. If the DL is able to tie up the opposing OL and keep them off the LB's, the LB's a much more productive. Against teams with good OL's, like OSU, the LB's get "swallowed up" (as Ray said) by a very experienced OL.
I think our LB corp is good, I just think that we don't have a guy on the DL that commands a double team and can keep his guy(s) off the LB's.
Linebackers can't lineback (LOL) if they're swallowing the backs of the DL.
Why do we put more value on what these guys say? Because they are former players? That really doesnt qualify as expertise. Dont forget former player Jalen Rose likes to say UM Hoops is back because our recruiting is now focused on Detroit. This just smacks of not needed player assassination
Ben Gedeon was right up there with Delano Hill as two of my favorite recruits last year. But Gedeon did not play well against OSU. He was a huge problem out there defensively.
As far as the LBing unit goes, any one who thinks this unit was decent doesn't know what good LB play looks like. They were a sub par unit all year.
DE and CB were the best units on this squad defensively this year. S, DT, and LB were the weak spots.
We basically had one good defensive end, and that was Frank Clark. Heitzman didn't do anything, Beyer was only a part-time DE (and not a very productive one). I don't really know why you would point to that position as a strength and then say the linebackers weren't.
Simple, a position that only has two bodies on the field at a time one of them was solid. That is 50%.
When Michigan had 3 LB's on the field this year not one of them was solid, and that includes Jake Ryan who really lacked his lateral, and quick twitch explosiveness coming back from the injury. The LB's weren't a position of strength this year what so much ever.
Interesting. Does that account for the first couple games and Ohio State when Clark did nothing? Or the Akron, Penn State, and Northwestern games, when Ross had 33 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 pass brekaup, and 1 fumble forced?
Hmmm, a guy that coaches football who is a stat's watcher. Not good...
As opposed to someone who doesn't coach football using the eye test to tell us that 50% of our DE's who were on the field were solid this year while completely ignoring Magnus' point about Clark doing nothing in certain games?
I feel like you would be a good spokesman for Sex Panther. It's got real bits of panther in it.
So are you trying to tell me that our LB's, heck one of them out of the 5 that played this year was better than Frank Clark this year? I almost want to be a dick to you, but I won't.
It doesn't take much to be bettter then what that unit brought this year, but Frank Clark by him self was far and away much better. Heitlzmen and the likes played right on par with the LB unit. And then when you factor in Clark's play it wasn't close.
And yes Magnus if he is indeed a football coach, which I believe to be true should never be using stats as an indicator of O or Dline play. Shame on him... Truth be told I don't think you'll understand what I'm getting at though.
Oh man, I got so lucky you wanted to be a dick to me but ended up not being a dick to me. I'm relieved.
You know, for someone who didn't want to be a dick, you sure come across as a prick. The condescending attitude is what does you in.
Truth be told, I don't usually understand people who talk out of their ass, so you're right, I don't understand what you're getting at. First off, I am guessing Magnus doesn't give a shit if you believe he is a coach. Second, I'm not sure why him being a coach is a reason he should never use stats as to how well a unit played. Third, I would like to know what amazing barometer you are using to let us know how stupid everyone is and how smart you are regarding how good the DEs were this year. I'm guessin it isn't as good as, you know, statistics, but please enlighten us as to how you came to your conclusion. If it starts out with "I just watched the games and I got a feeling," then you lose. At everything. Fourth, unless you rewatched every game and and broke down plays for both the DEs and the LBs, you really have no business spouting off about how good the DEs were and how lousy the LBs were. I don't really care whether you are correct or not, but I think it fucking ridiculous that you are telling someone with quite a bit of football knowledge that their stats aren't valid because Frank Clark himself was "far and away much better" than all the LBers and Heitlzmen was on par with the entire LB unit, you know, just because you said so. Actually, it looks like your overall point was that Frank Clark was better than the LBers, which wasn't even the original argument. But please, tell us how your eye test is better than stats Mr joined the site 2 weeks ago.
"And yes Magnus if he is indeed a football coach, which I believe to be true should never be using stats as an indicator of O or Dline play."
Never? Like...never? So Michael Strahan's 22 sacks weren't indicative of anything? Taylor Lewan only allowing 1 sack last year didn't mean anything?
EDIT: By the way, Keith Heitzman made 8 tackles and .5 tackles for loss this year. I'm going to go ahead and use those statistics to conclude that maybe he's not as good of a player as James Ross or Jake Ryan or Desmond Morgan. Sorry.