Mattison has us transitioning to a 4-3 defense. This strikes me as a good decision, in the abstract. But I'm curious as to what everyone thinks about this. How will it fit our personnel? What will it allow us to do on defense? What, specifically, will it help us improve upon from our 2010 defensive nadir? Are there any drawbacks to using scheme in the Big 10 or FBS that we should be aware of?
The move to 4-3
Until we can tackle or cover somebody, our alignment won't matter much.
If Van Bergen does in fact move to DT, I feel very nervous about our DE depth. It's scary thin.
Why are you not watching the Super Bowl?
Mendenhall's fumble was ball game.
Not really. The Packers were only up by 6 with 2 minutes and 1 Steelers TO left. A TD would have put the Steelers on top with virtually no time for the Packers, but the failure to convert the 4th down sealed the game.
The fumble was ball game.
you don't have a NT? you have 2 DT and 2DE?
and assuming you can have Hulk and Thor as your DT, doesn't that mean you have Roh and RVB as the DE? Or maybe Black displaces RVB?
I think moving to the 4-3 is the best for the talent we have.
The thing that has to change is having someone who knows how to train Linebackers to do their job consistently. Hopefully the guy who coached Ray Lewis, and the 95, and 96 Michigan defenses knows a little something about how to do that.
Penn State destroyed us by running, not passing. Same for Wisconsin. If you can't stop the run game, arguing about poor secondary coverage, lack of blitzing, etc. are all moot.
A 4-3 will usually be imbalanced one way or another, so that you have a 1-tech DT who is more or less a noseguard. He blocks things up, takes up two blockers, and lets the 3-tech penetrate and wreak havoc. As was said above, it would reall help if one of the big guys like Will or Quinton would step up and be the 1-tech guy.
I'd think. If he can work out well enough, we're in okay shape.
We've got depth issues at LB too.
X X X X X X
Wind Thunder Lightning
X X X
The nadir is the direction pointing directly below a particular location; that is, it is one of two vertical directions at a specified location, orthogonal to a horizontal flat surface there. Since the concept of being below is itself somewhat vague, scientists define the nadir in more rigorous terms. Specifically, in astronomy, geophysics and related sciences (e.g., meteorology), the nadir at a given point is the local vertical direction pointing in the direction of the force of gravity at that location. The direction opposite of the nadir is the zenith.
I hope I've helped.
So, you think Demens will be a beast next year as well.
I call Dragon!
and you're still thinking about Michigan. Very nice. I think Hoke said in his first day that you can run a any defence, even mentioned a 6-2 as long as the guys know what they're supposed to do.
I'm with the coaches in that whatever they run, they need to be tough.
That is my motto.
Seriously, though...I totally agree that scheme is secondary to execution.
But scheme does matter, and can affect execution. So I'm still wondering if people have any specific aspects of our defensive performance they expect to improve through the implementation of a 4-3 scheme? If so, what? What about reservations about implementing this scheme, vs. say, a 3-4 or something else? I'm curious about both reservations in the abstract and ones contingent on our specific roster and its strengths/weaknesses.
My own personal feeling is it's good for us, because it puts more bodies on the DL, where we are relatively strong, compared to LB, where we are relatively weak (aside from Demens, who I think will have a monster year in 2011). But I'm no expert on defensive schemes, so I'm asking people who have more knowledge for their opinions...
I think the hope is that with a 4-3 we can hold up more at the point of attack and establish a toughness in the trenches. This hopefully will result in a better run defense. Whether we have the personal to do this remains to be seen. I'm not sure who our 2-deep is at DT.
The secondary should be better based solely on the the experienced gained by the freshman this past season.
The 4-3 we ran in the waning Carr years did not match up well against the spread, so that may be a concern going forward. Then again the 3-3-5 was supposed to be the great equalizer when it came to defending the spread and we all know how well that worked out.
I honestly wouldn't mind having a D like Iowa. They throw rock every play and everyone knows that it is coming, yet they out execute you and shut you down.
I don't think scheme is a big deal for next year. 4-3, 3-4, 3-3-5, 4-2-5. Whatever they run, they should be better with losing basically no one important. The big thing to turn this D into "decent" or better is finding someone to eat space and double teams in the middle so Mike Martin can attack more and not be forced to play nose tackle. That happens and a lot will change for the good for Michigan's D.
I still think Mouton could have been a lights out player for us. He had all the tools but the defensive coaching was horrid. If he had someone develop him and coach him to be in the right spots he could have been a beast.
Tell me again how you're beyond ceratain that the only factor in him not being "lights out" was the coaching?
I'm thinking it has something to do with the fact that his sofa is pointed right at his TV, so he has a really good view of the games. So, he like totally knows more than the Michigan coaches.
Congratulations on being a smartass, but one without logic or reason. I don't share his opinion, but an argument to authority to the coach whose defense was among the worst possible is a ridiculous argument. Good job.
Guilty on the smartass charge, but sometimes the shoe fits. Are you suggesting that, despite the colossal suck of the defense, Random Internet Man is in a better position to understand Mouton's underachievement than the coaches? Please enlighten me on how that is possible.
Here's an alternative explanation: Mouton was as good as he was going to get.
I'm not saying the alternative is true, but we have no way of knowing for sure. Hence, the smartass remark about sofas and TVs.
I don't see how you think I think I know more then the coaches. I have made no remarks to say that in the least. I expressed that Mouton underachieved while here in my opinion. Some of which was not his fault and some of it may have been. Who knows maybe he filled or exceeded his potential and may not do anything for the rest of his career. I hope he does have a great career just like I hope everyone that wheres the Michigan jersey will also.
I don't see how you think I think I know more then the coaches. I have made no remarks to say that in the least.
Um... you said
If he had someone develop him and coach him to be in the right spots he could have been a beast.
Developing and coaching are things coaches do, right?
My point is that I felt he had all the physical tools to be great. Size speed. I think he could have been great with a better d staff. But we will never know. I wish him the best in his future.
Also I'm not sure how you got beyond certain out of that. I never said it was a sure thing. He may have not been any better then he was. I just felt he could have been much better along with the rest of the D.
The guy made nearly 10 tackles a game and earned second team all-conference honors from the media. He did it with very little help in front of him, behind him, or next to him for big chunks of the season.
Unless he ends up tearing it up in the NFL it would be hard to say he underachieved here at Michigan.
This is kind of my point, he did great with a bad situation. He could have done amazing with a better one.
Although the ten tackles a game can be a little high just because the defense was on the field so much.
and got much, much better under Rich Rod.
Stevie Brown was also a Carr recruit who got a ton better under Rich Rod with a position move.
Blaming the staff for guys like Mouton because they didn't get as good as YOU wanted is rather immature.
How is it immature. Im basically saying that I feel Mouton can be great. I'm giving him a lot of props. I hope the best for him.
Mouton got so much better that as a three-year starter he never whiffed All-Big Ten status and he is now unlikely to be drafted.
I'm amazed that anyone would be sticking up for our defensive coaching under the previous regime.
The assembled media members who named him 2nd team all Big Ten disagree with your assessment.
I don't think we have the size to run that or the talent level at LB position, but the Packers were running the 2-4-5 a good number of times today. It was interesting how they used that formation and zone blitzing to get free rushers at the QB.
Yes we may have some depth issues but that is reliant on the redshirts playing to their potential. I don't see a mediocre 4-3 allowing the 2nd half of the Wisconsin game, I just don't.
And 'nadir'? C'mon man. Don't use words that you dont have to.
Is going to make Mike Martin see a lot of single blocks!!!
From your keyboard to God's ears...
i know this... if Michigan had a pass rush thats 1/4 as intimidating as the Steelers D then we win 9 games next year without question.
i just hope we bring in some elite talent under this coaching staff.
With more blitzing + 4 down linemen we win 9 games. I'm calling bowl game loss though.
Let's hope Mattison starts to blitz, that was a big gripe from people in Baltimore the last two years.
When Mattison was DC at Michigan his schemes were pretty blitz-heavy.
...has to go along w/personnel. Any scheme will work in any league and at any level, as long as the scheme is sound and the personnel fit the scheme.
That said, coaches should coach what they know and know what they coach. Since Hoke and Mattison are 4-3 guys, it is imperative we are a 4-3 team. Our personnel is more suited to a 3-3-5 or 3-4, but that's really only two recruiting classes, so it shouldn't be too long before we get the personnel adjusted.
However, I do agree w/Jon Chait in an article he just wrote for The Wolverine, wherein he states how crucial the next recruiting class is. He argued that our last three recruiting classes were 16, 20, and 21. That is not BCS level personnel, and we need to finish no lower than 10th (and I would say no lower than 5th in avg. star rating per player) in the next recruiting class if we are to return to prominence sooner rather than later.
until we have equal talent, we cannot expect to beat teams like osu.
Unless you think Will Campbell can't succeed as the other DT with Mike Martin. I do agree the scheme must fit the personnel, the scheme is the strategy, and strategy dictates resources (or vice versa depending on what time allows you to affect)
Do you think Mike Martin really had the mass to be a dominating NT in a 3 man line?
That said, I think the weakest link were the line backers. Either they couldn't learn or weren't taught correctly, or just really don't have the talent, as the ranking of the recruiting classes suggest. Although I still can't place a lot of faith in talent ranking that can vary so much between three ranking services, but in going by Rivals, which I think is the one you are referencing, it is scary that even though Michigan is 3rd in the Big Ten, they are far behind Nebraska at 15 and OSU at 11. And that there are 4 SEC schools ranked higher than OSU, the best of the Big Ten.
I just hope we win enough next season to get close to OSU's recruiting level. I know everyone says the coaching controversy caused the problems with recruiting, but I think losing the last three games also contributed quite a bit.
so yes, here's to hoping Nebraska can lost two conference games, but if we can get out of the cellar of the Big Ten, it would just help so much toward getting a top ten recruiting class.
Honestly, it wont another 2 years till we have an honest shot at beating the buckeyes, depressing...the d needs to be completely rebuilt and Hoke and Mattison are the men to do it. We have to be patient it takes time. As for the offense some works needs to be done...more RB production and Denard needs to build muscle mass and work on his accuracy but the guy is a madly underrated passer, watch for him to scramble more often...less designed runs. Excited for next year my full faith for Coach HOKE. Go Blue, from Windsor!
It's a shifted 4-3 which gives it a little diversity being able to show a base defense from several different fronts. I'm interested to see how much a year, a competent staff all pulling in the same direction, and some much needed depth at positions of need what the product will look like before late august. I'm also curious as to the immediate results of the strength training under the new staff.
is the LB's. I think they played worse in some games than the secondary did. While it can't get much worse next year with this group, it could very well stay the same. Not a lot of experience returning for a unit that played poorly. At least the secondary will be basically the same guys with another year of experience.
Even if some of the recruits like Jones can contribute right away I am not sure they will have the size/strength to compete as true freshman. Here's hoping for a miracle.
at the beginning of the year, and played pretty well until they both got hurt.
Demens should have a monster year but the OLB chart is alarming indeed. Having four on the line should help take a little of that pressure off when it comes to stuffing the straight ahead run game, but I worry about when good running teams take it outside on us.
Still, I think--given returning starters and a better coached scheme--our D makes the jump from "beyond horrid" to "middling" next year. That should be enough for 8+ wins, a couple of which are over good teams.
One of the big benefits of going to the 4-3 is that it is easier to be gap-solid than the 3-3-5. You still have to have guys who go the right way and make tackles, but you start out with one more guy lined up in a gap. It would be really nice to see a gap-solid Michigan defense next year.
One thing I think gets overlooked is that playing a 4-3 doesn't mean you have to find four linemen, but rather seven or eight healthy bodies. You can't run the same four guys out there all day and expect them to hold up. Last year, the young guys (Ash/Campbell/Washington) weren't ready to play (according to the prior staff). This to me is a big reason we saw the team switch to a three man line. You basically had Martin, Patterson, and Sagesse as the only real tackles on the roster. Right off the bat you are playing a tight rotation if you use two of them and if somebody gets hurt (as Martin did) you have no depth and are left either switching your defense around, playing an undersized guy like RVB or Banks inside, or sticking a guy who isn't ready yet into the lineup at the expense of all other options.
Next year, those three young guys I mentioned earlier are going to be the key. That second DT position (and the depth at both spots) is a huge variable and will go a long way in determining how the defense performs. If none of them can step up and become solid contributors, you'll see some improvement as the rest of the defense matures but things will still be a struggle on that side of the ball. If they can just take some attention away from Martin and not screw things up, they open up opportunities for the rest of the defense to make plays and become a more aggressive unit (having blitzers or guys like Black and Roh getting favorable matchups would be very nice). If one of those guys emerges as a star player and the others provide adequate depth, they'll probably build a statue of Greg Mattison outside the stadium.
The variables are pretty big. None of the guys have seen any significant playing time (though with their youth this is understandable) and DT's are always enigmatic when it comes to projecting future performance (measurables don't always translate into good play). On the other hand, all three guys seem to have the size, agility, and recruiting pedigree to suggest they can do big things as they gain experience. It will be interesting to watch and should be the one position battle that has a direct, significant impact on how many games the team can win next year.
This is exactly the kind of detailed, informed reply I was looking for. Good stuff.
I think we set up well for a 4-3 and there is certainly no down side to it. It's the ideal defense in the big 10. A 3-4 would be nice, but it's tough to implement without the right players. We have too many 4-3 OLB types on the team and Roh and Martin are minimalized to some degree. Martin as a run plugger, Roh in space.
The key to it this year is obviously the NT spot, or whatever you want to call the spot next to Martin. I'm confident Washington can at least be solid in short yardage situations, but can he be a full time DT for us? Ash was supposedly impressive in bowl practices and will go through his second year of offseason training with us. I think we really need him to be a factor. All 4 of our DTs need to be at least rotation worthy really. Ash or Campbell can rotate with Q at the one spot and whoever loses that battle needs to at least be able to rest Martin. I suppose RVB can be the 4th DT if Ash or BWC is a bust. Ideally he mostly plays DE though. If that is the case, our DE rotation is pretty strong with him,Roh and Black, plus hopefully Wilkins and/or Beyer is ready to contribute. Beyer is a freak athlete and will likely play at about 240, not the 220-5 he's listed at. I think he could be effective spelling the starters occasionally as a pass rush specialist. He's more capable of dropping into coverage than Roh too IMO, so MAttison will probably want to use that. I'd feel better if we had gotten Cooper
If we manage to solidify that NT spot, I don't see LB as an issue. We'll mostly keep blockers off them and Demmens is a rock in the middle. Gordon,Ryan,Furman,Fitzgerald,M.Jones and maybe even Herron,Carvin or one of the freshmen are solid options to take hold of the 2 OLB slots. None are proven, but Cam looked pretty good as a LB and we've all heard the Ryan mythyology by now. Fitzgerald is a good talent who will be a senior,Jones has flashed potential and Furman is a hell of an athlete who needed time to bulk up to LB size. Carvin was one of our best tacklers as a true freshman and may not have the coverage skills for S, especially FS if Kovacs and/or Marvin Robinson are manning SS. I think we are about to see a return to the type of LBs we are used to seeing at Michigan, flying around the field and hitting people.
The secondary is key, but that's true regardless of scheme. We'll be better with a year of experience, a freshman class that at worst is better than last year's seniors(basically Rogers since Troy W was hurt) and Woolfolk back. A WR could be moved here to even out the depth charts. Someone like Grady or Stokes who sees their opportunities shrinking by the day at WR makes sense. Grady has been talked about before, not sure if Stokes could do it. If a young talent like Christian or Countess can beat out Floyd for the 3rd CB job, we'll be in much better shape. Floyd is probably not a top 3 CB in the big 10. Also Christian or Floyd will likely be the FS on passing downs. Christian could take the every job down even if he impresses.