i refuse to even consider this a possibility
Mattison on the Defense
I hope we find a lot of ball carriers under the Michigan defense.
We need an edge rusher to be a game changer, we were spoiled for 7 years with Woodley and Graham and now we are still searching for that guy to put pressure on the QB. I think getting someone to be that guy will help the rest of the defense tremendously!
I believe you'll see a step forward this year from the pass rush. Frank Clark played well in the second half of last season, and the Over defense should lend itself to a little more blitzing. I also think putting two edge rushers on the field (Clark/Ojemudia and Beyer/Charlton) will help the pass rush more than the Under defense where the SDE is practically a defensive tackle.
Magnus, do foresee the transition being a permanent one, or just until Mattison and Hoke have more personnel that better fit the 4-3 Under?
I think they'll wait to see how this year goes. Michigan could very well have the personnel to run the 4-3 Over again next year with Ojemudia and Charlton as the defensive ends.
Edge rushing doesn't exist in a vacuum. You need interior guys to get push so the QB can't simply step up in the pocket while the OTs kick the edge guys upfield. You need defensive backs that can disrupt routes and hold coverage so the QB can't just dump off the ball if he feels pressure.
I think we'll get a step up in both depts, and with the shift to Over, I think we'll have some better sack numbers this year.
I thought our DL was a bit soft last season. We seem to let some teams dominate the LOS. If the defense was playing better we would have won against PSU, NE and Iowa. That's a 10 win season! I know our OL was a real tire fire and I think this caused our defense to stay on the field too long last season.
While technically true of those 3 games, only the Penn State game was a disaster for the defense. At least they showed up in the other 2.
The non-existent offense did us in against Iowa. And one of the (many) low points in the season for me was seeing our weak ass offense make Nebraska's 116th ranked defense look like world beaters.
The defense was painfully bad against Akron, Penn State, Indiana, OSU and Kansas State. Many times almost Gerg like with giving up big play after big play through shocking futility. I think we were so busy pulling our hair out over the offensive line that we overlooked how often the defense could not get the job done. We beat OSU and don't even have to settle for the 2 point conversion attempt if they just play a D+ to C- game. And giving up over 500 yards to Indiana is just wrong, wrong, wrong.
I had a discussion with my brother about mid season. My position being that Hoke was frustrated with performance of the "experienced" players and pushed all his coaches to start giving younger guys (guys recruited by Hoke) a chance to play. My brother responded with, "you can't just try to get time to play young guys to give them experience, you have to play to win and put the best people out there". My response was, "the scary thing is, I think that's what he is doing."
I'm expecting that 2014 sees a dramatic reduction of burned redshirts.
NE was Borges' worst game as a coach and if I were AD I would have been extremely tempted to fire him in the locker room, that was just utter stupidity that lost that game, D was fine. At Iowa, the D was the only reason we were even in the game and we might have gotten shut out if it wasn't for the 4 turnovers they forced including Beyer's pick 6. If the offense puts together ONE touchdown drive not handed to them on a silver platter by the defense we win that game. As for Penn State, Devin's first half turnovers were the only reason they were even in the game in the first place and the aumont of luck that went into the final drive they put together, I can't even fault out D for that. Offense was the problem in those games not D. The D did get their butts surgically removed and served back to them against Ohio and KSU though do they weren't exactly perfect.
Take a look at the second half drive chart for PSU. After the first two possessions in the second half where the UM defense created two turnovers, they fell apart. Every possession PSU had after that was a 50+ yd drive. They scored on all but one - a missed FG.
Expectations are starting to rise with every article I read. That usually lets me know football is right around the corner. I'm now in transition from pessimism based off last season to optimism based on the potential of what could be.
First time in years we'll actually not only have the depth but also talent in the two-deep. Some of the d-line has been in the program 2-3 years now and still young. Starting to get excited about the possibilities.
They're, their, it'll all be okay
Get out of here!
The last 5 or so years have made me numb to preseason hype. We've heard every year that guy X is going to make a jump or X unit looks so sweet and then we end up just 'eh'. I'm not going to let myself get excited till I actually see the results on the field. I suspect many in our fanbase feel the same way
On paper, this is the best defense since 2006. They won't be at that level, but they may be at the level the 2011 defense was at the end of the season. If that happens, we're probably looking at 10 wins.
Based on recruiting stars? Is there a single guy on defense whose record on the field honestly makes you think, "oh man, we're all set there--no problemo?" Ryan at MLB . . . and?
Countess in my opinion. I'd even put him above Ryan.
I don't know about Countess. He looked promising more than good in his freshman campaign, so that got everyone excited. Last year, he looked completely average to me. There's scuttlebutt that he isn't even going to start at CB in the fall, giving way to Taylor and Lewis.
That might be overstated depending on how much he was impacted by the core injury for which he had surgery recently(ish). Hoke also have him the number 2 jersey which tends to indicate confidence that he will be a big contributor. The 2 jersey doesn't have the same expectation as the 1 jersey, but it is positive Hoke has confidence in him. As for his on field play last season, he appeared good but not great. Will be interesting to see how he develops this season, especially now that he has had an offseason not filled with knee rehab.
and was a first team All B1G corner (media; 2nd on coaches) as a SOPHOMORE!!!!! Yeah he got it handed to him by Lockett but so did every other corner he played against (he put up 200+ on OK and TX). That was his second year as a starter, I think he's pretty good if you ask me.
Above Ryan? Did you miss the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl?
Blake Countess and to a certain extent Clark, Beyer, Taylor, and Ross.
I know the talent is there but it was in 2008 too. Brandon Graham, Terrence Taylor, Mike Martin, Tim Jamison, RVB, Donovan Warren, Morgan Trent and Stevie Brown were all pretty talented players.
The offense needs to chew up some clock and put some points on the board. Easier said than done I suppose.
Never forget who was responsible for that defense. The same guy who oversaw the worst defenses in Michigan memory. At least in my memory and I started watching Michigan in the late 1960's.
Have a drink and shut up. The defense would have been good last year if the offense didn't suck ass. When you're on the field 3/4 of the game it's impossible to play your best.
Relative to the 2011 defense, which was the best one since 2006? Yes, we are better on paper. Going into 2011, we were thinking Mike Martin would be good, Demens would be ok, and I think that's it.
Going into this year, Jake Ryan and Blake Countess are all-Big 10 types. We've got really nice depth at linebacker. Our defensive ends are nice players. Whoever plays opposite Countess should be a nice player. The big concern for me is the interior of the defensive line. If they can find 3 guys who can consistently rotate in and be servicable, this defense is really good. On paper, it's a top 3rd of the Big 10 defense. If things go well, we can challenge for #2 behind MSU.
We should be stronger at all eleven positions on Defense this year. That should add up to a big jump in production. Throw in a few game changing plays from J-Pep and that should give you good cause. There is depth and talent all over the field. I'm sure Mattison is licking his chops and coming in under the radar. I agree we need a Frank to step up on the Rush. Now I need to go pee.
Agreed. Defense tends to be a weakest link situation and a little improvement in a few areas of weakness can really make a big difference as guys that were doing their jobs last year but not seeing great production will start making plays because teams can't just go away from them anymore. I'm cautiously optimistic that the defense will be good enough to steal a couple games for us if the offense is just competent. The coaches on the defensive side showed they can put together a great product if they have the right pieces in 2011, and they finally getting close to having the right pieces again.
Not to snark too much, but who are the "right pieces" on the DL this year? Have any of them really done anything? There's no Mike Martin as far as I can tell, and probably no Van Bergen either.
Yeah, that's the "close to" part. I think guys like Pipkins and Henry have the ability and potential to be the guys, they just need to show it.
These guys have huge upside. They have been playing young and now have he experience. If they can give "Mike Martin" effort you should be very happy by the end of he season. Any thoughts on Wormly? When you see him on the field at a game he is just Huge! Also if you look at the depth there is great opportunity to run fresh legs all game.
This seemed to be a major problem last year as it seemed the backups were in a lot when big drives were happening. I'd much rather have my starters better conditioned and be able to play a little more. This changing every 3 or 4 plays is for the birds unless your backups are as good as the starters or the team is just plain out of shape.
I know you need to get the young guys experience, but I would prefer it not be in the fourth quarter of a tight game. (PSU flashback)
I think this is the key to the defense. The back 7 has a good amount of experience. Part of the problem last year imo (and really the last couple of years) with the db's was the lack of pressure from the dline and/or 3 man rushes. Any decent QB, if given the time, is going to find an open receiver. To often it seemed the opposing QB all the time in the world and eventually find an open receiver.
Yes. The DL has been the biggest weakness. Things will fall into place with a strong DL this year.
I'm looking for good things from the D this year. The secondary, I believe, will be a lot more athletic. The LBs are solid and have lots of depth. Like someone mentioned above, if a guy can emerge on the D line as a consistent sack threat, then things will fall into place for the D.
I thought last year that the D line would be really good because they would be able to go 2-3 deep at every position and wear out teams. That never really transpired, but I feel better about that aspect this season.
unforunately 2-3 deep at certain positions means very little when those 2-3 guys all hover around average and do not consistently win 1v1's. hopefully guys like ojemudia and godin and wormley and charlton etc really develop as they gain another year in program bc they def need impact plays from guys in hokes first few classes. clark and beyer are what they are, average...theyll likely be in right spots and maintain scheme integrity etc but never really dominate 1v1's. the D can be very solid with everyone doing their 1/11th and i think theyll be closer this year, its just much harder without those legit pro prospects making opponents pay more often than not. lets hope some guys really start to develop from those first few classes on OL and DL and distance themselves from competition
We can have the best back 7 in the conference and it won't matter I we can't pressure the QB. It's a fact that if a QB has enough time, someone will break free.
You just named 2 RS FR, a Soph and a FR as weak links last year and I expect them to be better this year because of that experience. Also Idk how being a 2nd team All B1G DE (Clark) is average but ok and Beyer will be better with the position switch. Those guys are both Seniors, they will produce.
We need to have a big year on defense to have a good season overall. I believe for a medical redshiirt is playing less than 20% of your teams games
Ugh. I really didn't want to be optimistic going into this season. I really just wanted to watch the season play out with open eyes. But the scent of football is floating on the air, and my heart beats a little faster. I get anxious and excited, my hopes and expectations start to build. If the defense puts things together like they have the potential to, then this could be an exciting season. If the Offense can help the Defense by putting together long, scoring, drives; then I'll be a happy camper this fall.
But I really didn't want to hope this much... I just don't think I can help myself.
seem to be showing optimism based on depth, like they think they have the piece parts to make a solid run. I know "competition" and "no entitlement" are coach speak, but 2007 was the last time I remember confidence in depth coming from Ft. Schembechler.
Other than the God Awful prevent defense which Lloyd Carr like to run and I saw peak out every now and then this last year I'm not as concerned with our defense. We don't go "bend don't break' when up by 7 and we should be fine defensively. There really isn't a team that I feel will absolutely burn our defense other than poptentially OSU.
He didn't promise we'd be more aggressive.
He is being sneaky.
Did he happen to mention how Nuss is 'simplying the offense'? If neither was mentioned, I am very concerned for this season
We're laying in the weeds?
I think that the more I read, the more the switch to the 4-3 Over makes sense to me, so when Don above made a remark about Mattison not saying they would be more aggressive, it reminded me that they are sort of saying that very thing with this switch if I am interpreting things correctly. I could be wrong, but I think the switch to the Over mitigates the spacing issues that I think existed a bit last year and the flip of LBs actually resolves some matchup problems potentially. I am just thinking of theoretical alignments right now as we will not know much for another 5-6 weeks, but the scheme adjustment is perhaps speaking louder than the coaches in some respects.
Full interview was posted a couple of days ago within Inside Michigan Football Summer Edition II. Mattison comes on at the 8 minute mark, but the whole thing is worth a watch. Link.
What has happened with Dymonte Thomas? His first spring he was all set to be the nickel back ninja. And now we haven't heard a word of him playing safety or any other position.
If he can't beat out Jeremy Clark that will not be a good sign.
reading your post twice just to make sure I understood what you were saying, I realized just how many don't understand this simple premise. As one who coached this wonderful game for a number of years I can attest to the truth of your statement. Many fans, and on a percentage basis, probably more parents, feel that a highly gifted player will win matchups against lesser skilled players based on that one fact alone. But the truth is as you state. Thankfully most that choose to play the game do so because they simply love the game. I've also had some fantastic athletes that were persuaded to try the game and after realizing initial success could become almost routine developed that same desire for the game. And one being too many, for a coach anyway, I've also experienced watching some of the most gifted athletes I had ever seen completely void of those intangibles you mention that with even a modicum of interest in using their truly rare gifts could have become exceptional players but chose, for reasons that most cannot comprehend, to merely get by on talent. No manner of coaching, as you suggested, even making them aware of the benefits they could realize that the majority of their teammates would only ever be able to dream of could not motivate them. Sadly at the h.s. level, more often at the smaller schools their talent and willingness to show up for practice, go through drills,etc., would earn them a starting job over someone possessing all the intangibles but about half the athletic ability. When you begin talking the highler levels of the game, it's just as you state. That talent alone might get them a spot on special teams. We read too often during the recruiting process how work ethic is a question, even for those offered by major programs. In the majority of these cases, that question rarely is answered other than the way you would imagine.
our defense has a lot of promise this year with players who have flashed their potential. We supposedly have great defensive coaches in Mattison and Hoke coaching the DL himself.
You can't say we lack talent.
It all hinges on the word "promise." A lot of our players have promise.
MSU has became what they have became because of development.
Hoke now has his guys with a lot of guys, albeit young, getting a lot of experience last year. Now they have to develop.
I am very interested to see our development. I feel like we haven't seen it as much as we would like. if we don't see the development in the players, especially the DL and linebackers, that is strictly on Hoke and Mattison.
This season will tell you if they are the men to lead this team.
Most teams have some youth. The UM defense is going to have a lot of experience this year. Guys who will be seeing significant action for the 3rd year in a row - Taylor, Ryan, Bolden, Morgan, Countess (not in a row but has started 2 years), Beyer and Clark.
Guys who are going to be in their 3rd year in the program and have seen a good amount of playing time already - Glasgow, Wilson, Ross, Henry, Pipkins, Ojemudia, and Wormley
If you go back and watch the 1997 Defensive line, you see guys that were not all pro players, but who really got after it and hustled on every play to get to the quarterback, players like William Carr, Josh Williams, Glen Steele, and James Hall, who was a solid pro for many years. You could see the passion they played with and did not have to worry about giving the Q.B. too much time because you knew they were going to get to the quarterback, they melted an O-line like heat melts butter. It has been a long time since I have seen a Michigan team work that hard, and be that good at getting to the Q.B. same coaches - different results
This years line needs to play with the same sense of urgency that the 97 line played with, and the coaches need to be as tough and coach these kids with the same fire and agression they used with R.R.'s kids when they came in. Then you will see a great defense again.
William Carr was not on the '97 team; he graduated after the '96 season.
Josh Williams played six seasons with the Colts from 2000-2005, when they went a cumulative 64-32 and made the playoffs every season except '01.
Glen Steele was an All-American in '97, and played six seasons with the Bengals, and retired due to back problems.
Rob Renes was NT in '97, and he was All-American in '99.
As you mentioned, James Hall had a long NFL career, playing 12 seasons for the Lions and the St. Louis Rams.
Charles Woodson justifiably was the star of that '97 defense, but the fact is that the defensive line was tremendously talented in its own right, and any DB who's being honest will tell you that a standout DL makes his job significantly easier.
While the spotlight in 2014 is going to be on our offense, I think the key to our season will be our defense, and the key to our defense will be the DL. If we can put consistent pressure on QBs up the middle in key situations, it will be a huge help to our DEs and our back seven, including a certain heralded freshman from New Jersey.
We've got some real space eaters in there and Jake has always had the ability to slip blockers. He should be even more effective on the inside, a position I think that was made for him. He just has a knack for dissecting a play almost immediately and finding the path of least resistance to the ball. When he was on the outside, his lack of tremendous speed limited him somewhat when he wasn't simply moving forward and he was known to miss some tackles in space. This should not be a problem for him in the middle with help from both sides and, according to Mattison, a big leap forward from our starting DL. I liked Greg his first time here and I believe his many stops, including the pros, of course, has only made him better. He's one of the few coaches I believe that stays away from what the fans want to hear and gives a clear picture of where he truly he believes we are. However an improvement of our defense, a very good thing going forward clearly is not an indication of how we stack up against the conference's best and where we are in regard to stopping high powered offenses, or as was the case last season, some down right shitty ones. I will say though that normally when Greg fields a defense with this much depth along with the unknowns of one very good freshman, Mone, and one outstanding one, number 5, I'm confident that if the offense can do their job we should be fairly happy.
I agree with this. I've always thought Ryan projected more as a MIKE linebacker, although I think he can be solid in a number of places - MIKE, SAM, WDE, etc. Some of his most exciting plays have been when the coaches bumped him inside and sent him on blitzes. It would be nice to clone him and have him play all three linebacker spots (or at least two of them), but that's not legal.
Rather than W Carr.
Dhani Jones was a LB'er not a DL.
I think Mone is going to play this year. The only other guy like him on the roster is Ondre Pipkins, who is coming off an ACL tear and probably won't be 100%.
during which Mattison apparently stated to Sam that secondary coverage is going to be much tighter, even if it results in more interference penalties. (Yes, I guess there is also the assertion that the overall defensive approach will be more aggressive. Now drink...)
The interview is behind the Scout.com paywall.
Slow LB's in todays game will kill your defense.