There is a nice blog on ESPN about defensive strategies and a portion of it is on MSU. I found this part rather interesting:
There is a nice blog on ESPN about defensive strategies and a portion of it is on MSU. I found this part rather interesting:
They have also mastered the play to the echo of the whistle, get your money's worth, intentionally over aggressive, steroid induced rage style of the Seattle Seahawks d.
More importantly, Btw.
"Narduzzi" spellchecks as "Mar fuzzy" and "Bar fuzzy"...not so scary then are they?
I think they have gotten alot out of the underdog / us against the world / little brother mentality and have used that aggressively these past years. I don't know how long they can play that card.
about one point. Narduzzi gets more out of 3 star players than most, if not all, DC. Once Narduzzi leaves for a HC position, Danni will take msu back to where they belong.
Find lesser ranked players that play ... lets just say "rough" and can get away with stuff that others can't ... then call it development.
And until it doesn't, I'll just call is successful.
It's amazing the crap they get away with on D.
Also, they had a great D when the league is down. When the Big10 is back up to par, I'll give them credit for having a great defense. Until then, it's easy to beat up on crappy teams and call it "great defense"
Agreed... Max Bullough's knee to the back of Devin Gardner's kneck and head "rumored concussion" was clearly after the whistle blew. The way I remember it, Devin was almost in a position to get himself up of the ground...and in comes steroid taking, Adderal and Norco popping Bullough with cheapshot.
They don't seem to be lacking in the strength department either. They were tossing our O-linemen around last year like rag dolls.
In the diary about the women's football academy, maizemama made this somewhat cryptic comment:
"Nussmeier did have some changes he wanted to see out of the weight training and they have incorporated those changes (we didn’t get specifics on that)."
It might not be a significant thing, but I'd like to know what Nuss was referring to anyhow.
I'd be very curious what Nuss wanted changed. As a former strength coach I've seen more than a few football coaches trying to tell the strength staff how they should program for their athletes. I've yet to hear one suggestion that had any base of evidence. Not saying what they want doesn't have value, but how to get what they want rarely does in my experience.
Everyone tossed around our OLine.
"When you look at the Big Ten as a whole, there is not a lot of speed," he said. "Now that's not the case with Ohio State or Michigan."
Still, when asked what he noticed about Michigan's defense, he replied: size.
"They tend to get bigger guys," he said. "I don't know if that's the way they recruit. But when you look at their linebackers and linemen, there is about an average of two inches and 20 pounds compared to our guys."
Size, he said, is not something USC covets. "We go for speed," he said. "That's just our philosophy."
— Lane Kiffin, USC offensive coordinator, December 2006
I'm sure Don you will say both but do you think that speed or size would be better in the Big Ten. There is a weather factor that should negate speed to some degree. It maybe why Big Ten powerhouses haven't historically recruited that way
If it's just speed vs. size, I'll take speed. If it's speed vs. strength, that's different.
It's not like our OL was tiny last year in terms of weight—they undoubtedly outweighed the vast majority of the DLs they faced—but it sure appeared as though they could get pushed around real easily at the LOS. I've gotta believe that's at least partially a strength issue.
strength and technique I would imagine from our younger lineman
Takes me back to high school physics, and the definition of kinetic energy:
KE = 1/2mv^2
where m = mass of object
v = speed of object
So not only does speed help you get in a position to make plays, it helps you hit harder when you get there. Speed kills (like Chuck Norris).
And there are plenty of folks here willing and able to tell me if I'm wrong on the physics piece. It's that kind of board.
University of Nebraska book on physics of football and he breaks down lots of elements of football very well with actual physics philosophy, research and theory. Collisions of football players don't happen at top end speed very frequently so it'd be hard to argue that a faster lineman that is smaller will exert more force because he's faster. Acceleration and strength and mass are more significant at that level. Safeties and corners speed is crucial for changing the path needed to prevent a breakaway run using the sideline.
Most of the physics though is not really needed to be known beyond typical phrasing. For example, you can be told to follow through with a pass, but you don't need to know that the purpose is to reduce the torque on your arm by reducing the angular acceleration after the release to prevent injury. Most people never worry about it and just do what they're told or what they had been told in the past. Exception maybe punters/kickers.
Choose size. Speed. And strength?
The best athletes rarely outperform their peers in speed or strength measures like a max bench press, squat, or a 40-yard sprint. The distinguishing quality of top athletes is motor control. The ability to exert strength quickly, deactivitate muscle quickly, and optimally project forces throughout the body linkage is characteristic of this skill. In addition, the best athletes are experts at reading situations quickly, seeing and reading scenarios quickly, and being able to respond quickly to unpredictable environments. This is a major difference between game speed, which is an open skills where anything can happen, and speed or strength in a closed environment such as those at the NFL combine tests. This is why the combine is a poor indicator of future NFL success. What makes good athletes is being able to play the game and not neccessarily speed or strenght, but the ability to utilize the speed and strength they have effeciently. This is why a Jake Ryan wasn't a highly rated high school recruit and probably doesn't test well in max strength or speed, but is a fantastic football player. He does all those things I mentioned very well.
I do find the NFL's (and the fans) fascination with the combine quite amazing. I agree with your points - there are guys who just make plays for 2-3-4 years and then they test below par and fall and the Patriots or Packers or Steelers pick them up most years and they become quality players. Other guys do little but test crazy and move up from a 4th rounder to a 2nd.
If anything the whole combine should be in pads to at least somewhat replicate reality. And maybe with 2 guys chasing them and hitting them in half the drills ;)
Other than straight line speed for the WR's and DBs, I don't see how almost any of the rest matters. If a guy can do a shuttle in a dome with no one breathing down his neck, or impeding him - that's fine and dandy but has little to do with change of direction while trying to diagnose a play, while a guy who is 250 lbs is smashing you in the shoulder or stomach.
It's funny to read that and think back to when Moeller was HC, that seemed to be the exactly philosophy he used when he was looking at guys like Hendricks, Jones, Gold etc....
To this day that was my one complaint about Lloyd he seemed to revert back into big slow footed guys until around 2003/2004 then a little more speed was brought in.
I like actually like that right now while getting some size our LB's coming in seemed to run a whole lot better then past classes and our DL still has enough size hopefully to keep the LB's clean.
Hendricks, Jones and Gold were all Carr recruits (all were in the 1996 class).
Yes they were...yet not doing that in the pros. A team of skill, speed and strength should be a factory producing NFL talent (see Alabama). They aren't and the program has been together for seven years. In the last seven years name an NFL defensive starter that played at MSU.
Is it a system that doesn't translate to the NFL? If they are handling even smash mouth teams how are they not just constantly getting guys drafted who are producing at very high professional levels. Virginia tech has a specific style if defensive play and they put regular starters in the NFL. Worthy, Gholston, jones ....
It's honestly really confusing....
The NFL is about measurables. MSU until the past 2 years didnt get a ton of say "4 star" type talent out of HS, which are usually guys who physically dominate at that level and if developed go to the NFL. Instead they get guys ranked say 30 in the state of Ohio, RS almost every single one of them, start them as rotation players as RS SO and let them loose as RS JR and RS SRs, with 4-5 years in their strength program. So a lot of times they have 22 and 21 year olds playing 19-20 year olds. (*Wisconsin does the exact same thing - look at their starters, both teams are loaded with RS SRs and RS JRs) OSU and UM have a lot higher type recruits of which maybe 30-40% don't redshirt.
Great example of NFL prospect versus very productive NCAA player is their outside linebacker Denicos Allen. He is a beast. But he is 5'11. Aside from a few exceptions the NFL wants LBs 6'1-6'2. They have a guy now named Taiwan Jones who is a beast physically and an NFL prospect. But Denicos Allen outproduced him by a country mile. Allen I think was a UDFA and some team next draft will go and and take Taiwan Jones in the 3rd or 4th round based on his measurables even though his production is nowhere near Allen thus far. Who has done more for MSU? Allen.
The exception for them are their corners where they have taken tall speedy athletes who are raw like Trae Waynes and Dennard and develop them. Both were 2 stars but they are athletes and they have a chance to have corners taken back to back in the 1st round.
They are now doing the same with their DEs - Calhoun will be a 1st round draft choice as a 3 star - he has the NFL build and the speed. They have another guy who they are super high on named Cooper who is a RS SO I believe who they think is the next Calhoun. Same profile - speed, height and he has already put on 50 lbs at MSU in 18 months.
To add to that they are now getting the higher end recruits - some more higher ranked kids - Montae Nicholson which I still have no idea why he walked away from, Malik, Reschke, etc. Their DL haul this year would only trail what OSU put out - grabbed a big kid Evans who was headed to Wisconisn, grabbed McDowell, and 2 others that would be similar profiles to say a Wormley type. Other than McDowell, they will RS them all, rinse, wash, repeat.
Overall they are very aggressive and take risks. They are the opposite of bend don't break. They have a simple philosophy of you wont run on them and you have to beat their corners on the outside of the field with a nice QB. That's the weakness. Most Big 10 teams dont have a nice QB in this day and age - look at how few NFL prospecs there are - no Chuck Longs, Brees, Jeff Georges at the middle level teams. For us Devin and Denard were not Henne or Navarre types who would do well against that strategy. The one team that could throw effectively in the middle of the pack (Indiana) actually scored on them. Hackenberg in a year or two should do well...but who else? Their philosophy would work less in the SEC, Pac 12, or Big 12 where there are more top end QBs.... in the Big 10 its quite good. To that end I think Mattison acts as if Big 10 QBs are NFL type guys and has been too conservative with far too much respect for what they can do.
A good OC should be able to exploit.
Good comment! Only thing I would disagree about is Calhoun being a first round pick. I know mock drafts have him going there (just like Gholston a couple years back) but outside of dominating Fitz Toussaint, he really didn't do too much. Randy Gregory from Nebraska, on the other hand, is going to be a stud.
A little off topic but Gregory played on the same high school basketball team as Zak Irvin and Gary Harris (Hamilton Southeastern). Gregory was a senior when Irvin was a sophomore (Harris a junior), but man that team was fun to watch. The phrase is way overused but Gregory is an absolute freak athlete. He is going to have a huge year.
Video of Gregory at HSE -
I think Gregory is a better player and Bosa will be, if he already is not. But Calhoun is being mocked top 10 some places - but if he is a 1st or 2nd rounder it's besides the point. People say their defense last year didnt have NFL talent yet it will have 4 guys who will be drafted in the 1st 2 rounds ... (Drummond,Calhoun, Waynes, Dennard). I have no idea the last time we had 4 guys on defense who were playing on the same team, who went in the first 2 rounds. Around those 4 core NFL type guys they had guys like 6th year DT Tyler Hoover, SR Max Bullough, SR Denicos Allen, SR Isaih Lewis, Taiwan Jones... and Marcus Rush who was a JR will probably get a sniff in the 4th roundish (their other DE). It was a loaded defense with the younger players NFL type talent and the older guys very good NCAA players.
p.s. Calhoun was a RS SO last year....people piss on him for tailing off as the season went by, well he was a 3rd year player - that happens. If he doesnt leave after this year (he'd be dumb not to if he has a first round grade) he has 2 more years of eligiility. As does Trae Waynes. So they have 2 RS JRs on defense projecting into the 1st round right now - that's impressive for a non SEC team.
Bottom line: their defensive development and identification of talent is very similar to what Beilein is doing in basketball. Unfortunately for us, it happens in a sport for them where those players are around for 4-5 years whereas our strong coaching staff is in a sport where players leave after 2 years. So they get to benefit from a lot longer tail.
It seems a little bit lucky though too. I mean Taco Charlton has better measurables and a higher recruiting profile as Shalique Calhoun. Maybe Charlton will still be better than Calhoun (he's 2 years younger), but so far I think it will hard to catch him. Compare a guy like Denicos Allen to Joe Bolden or James Ross. Compare Kurtis Drummond to Jarrod Wilson. You could do this with a number of players on both squads who have similar measurables (height and weight) where the MSU guys have produced more than the UM guys, at least on the defensive side of the ball. But, MSU still tried to recruit most of these guys that UM signed. To some degree I think there has to be some luck involved. Ultimately, I beleive that recruiting rankings are reliable the majority of the time and if UM continues to out-recruit MSU these numbers will work themselves out. They did before RR and once UM gets past the RR era of players (2015) I think the W/L records will bear this out. D'antonio and Narduzzi had the luck of getting settled just when RR starting messing everything up.
Way to keep it classy Asshat
Do you think that's an ability the MSU coaches have or more of a neccessity because traditionally they haven't been able to sign the bigger midwest recruits that often go to UM, OSU, PSU, or ND? I mean they offered RJS, Kalis, Pipkins, Wormley, Funchess, Ross, Wilson, Ojemudia, Braden, Strobel, Darboh, AJ Williams, Norfleet, and Godin and that's just the 2012 class. In fact, there are only a few guys in UM's 2012 class that MSU didn't offer. My point is they don't have this amazing ability to select a guy that fits their system. They are going after the exact same guys. They just don't get as large of a share of top 300 type kids that UM does. But, they're targeting the exact same players and just not as successful at signing them.
That's exactly how Jimmy Johnson won 3 Super Bowls in 4 years with Dallas in the 90's. SPEED and agressiveness on defense. The majority of their defensive players were smaller (weight wise) compared to the average NFL defense. Jimmy Johnson recruited for speed while at Miami (YTM) and drafted for speed while at Dallas. If you notice his roster while at Dallas alot of players came from Florida as well playing for him at Miami.
EDIT: Forgot Barry Switzer won the 3rd Super Bowl.
I wonder the same thing. I was expecting Lewis or Allen to get drafted higher, but people said they were too small for the NFL. Those guys sure seemed to do just fine punishing the smash mouth teams to me. I'm expecting a few more of their guys to start making an impact in the NFL but I just haven't seen it yet. Unfortunately I think it could just be the system more than the players that makes them good.
Lewis I'm not sure - he seemed tall and talented. He was disciplined and good in their system, no doubt. I thought he would go early last year, then was surprised to see him go undrafted this. Bullough confused me as well - I thought he was a beast.
Allen, as tough a little bastard as he was, just doesn't have the size. He'd get swallowed up too much in the NFL.
"clutch and grab receivers because they'll only call PI a couple times a game" strategy.
It's a great strategy honestly...the Seahawks parlayed that into a Super Bowl title this year.
Is it aggressive, sure. Does it seem dirty at times, sure. However, you rag doll WR's all day long and late in the game they aren't going to be coming off the line so quickly and suddenly your DL is getting to the QB more.
Honestly, I love the way Narduzzi coaches his D, it's all about intimidation and they have that going for them. 1 or 2 15 yd pass interference penalties don't mean much in the grand scheme of a game especially when it gets to clutch time and the WR's are all of a sudden a lot more timid.
Yeah, was going to mention the same thing. They are very well coached and their corners have been solid, but it is telling that the one game they lost last year also featured the most PI calls.
And there's an additional official on the field this year, an 8th guy. In the Women's Football Academy diary maizemama mentions it, and they were told it was so they could watch the defense. I hadn't heard of that before, so I looked for a few articles, found several which verified an 8th official in the B1G next year (though at least one of them said it was to watch for offensive fouls).
If it's true that there will now be 3 officials watching the defense instead of 2, it's going to hurt that defense. I'm not saying it will render them harmless, guy who's about to reply to me saying "THEY BEAT US 5 of 6 YOUR HOMER EEEE", but it will hurt them. The M coaches (and others in the B1G) have to work the officials before the game, though. Say, "look, if it's pass interference, it's a penalty, right? Doesn't matter if they do it every single down, it's still a penalty, right? So you gotta call it every single down." You can bet Kelly did this pregame last year.
The talent gap between our coaches/players and theirs isn't as big as most assume. This year we will start showing what we've been building!!
Pure player talent? Maybe not. Coaching? Uhh, until I see otherwise, I give MSU an edge.
A rather big edge.
UM needs to get stronger and more aggressive. I think we'll see more of a step in that direction this season.
State's defense never seemed fast to my naked eye. Agressive, well-drilled and effecitve, yes. But guys that have plus-speed? Not sure about that. Or if it matters.
Its not like you see 4.3 burners out there for them
you dont have to be denard-level fast if you are in the right place at the right time, which is part of the well-drilled style you mentioned
"I don't think there's a team in the country that does what we do," Narduzzi said. "We're more cutting edge [with] zone pressure. We're cutting edge with how we play our quarters [Cover 4] coverage. It's adapted to if you play Stanford, a two-back, two-tight end team, or an empty team. We do a lot of things people don't do and to be honest, people are trying to copycat it all over the country.
As I understand it, MSU borrows a little from the old Jimmy Johnson 4-3 Over concepts, but the quarters coverage in Narduzzi's world essentially seems like it starts with redefining the vertical game for the offense to a shade less than ten yards, leaving the safeties in man coverage to get receivers on deeper passes (which aren't deep compared to other schemes). The LBs have the leverage, making anything short in nature - run or pass - something that basically has to go right into the center of the defense. Everyone is basically close enough that assignments can be traded almost at will, so if you go, say, three wide, somebody has you regardless.
I had not idea what he was talking about.
The speed I see on their defense is the speed with which they read and react. Also, they are strong but I really think their technique is superior. Their front 7 gets off blocks and change direction very well.