I have no idea what keys he reads and what happens in practice every week to keep him starting. David Harris must die a little bit every time he watches one of our games since it is like we only have 10 guys on the field due to the horrible MLB play. I was at the Iowa/PSU game and watched James Morris a third string, true freshman, 3* recruit step into the game due to injuries in the second quarter with a score 10-0 and execute. The guy made better reads than our 3 year starter. At this point, what harm could Demens do? Let people run past him and dive at their ankles, run himself out of the play? Hell, at least see what potential we have, if any at the position. It just feels like groundhog day at this point.
Obi at MLB is like having a red carded player
Jordan Ko-Vox agrees with this post.
As frustrating as Obi & the entire defense's play has been I think we need to keep a few things in perspective:
1. As bad as we want Michigan to win the coaches want it worse. It's their JOB for God's sake and they're smart enough to know what the stakes are this season. Nobody wants to get fired - ever.
2. They see what each player is cabable of every day in practice. Trust me they arent starting players they think aren't as good as the players backing them up.
When I coached high school ball parents would ALWAYS complain after every loss that we didn't play the right kids (usually their son) enough. And my response was always the same "why don't you come to a few practices and see if you still feel the same way about who we are starting."
I honestly think we're going to be ok. I said we needed to win two of the next three games and I still think we will. We played about as bad as we can play on both sides of the ball and a good team beat us - period. Iowa week starts now. Go blue!
to stand by my opinion that we should move Kovacs to MLB. At least he would try to be in the right spot. Put whoever you want at safety. I don't care. Ezeh was terrible against the run. The UFR will show it.
There is no way a 6'0 200 safety can be an effective MLB in the Big Ten. No way. Even if he's in the right position, he's still going to be thrown out of plays by OL 100 pounds heavier than him. I don't mean to be a dick, but I'd sooner throw someone like Will Campbell at MLB than Kovacs, at least he'd plug some running holes.
Not saying I think it's the best idea, but getting past 6'0, 200 lb. Jordan Kovacs is still a lot harder than getting past empty space. Kovacas has actually been a reasonably effective 1on1 tackler, which is more than can be said about Ezeh.
That's a fair point. And he does have much better reactionary skills than Ezeh. Still, I'd rather see Demens/Fitzgerald/Moundros/Ryan down the road, whomever, than Kovacs
Kovacs played really well today I thought! Some great 1 on 1 tackles vs TE's and just solid fundamentals all around. Behind Mike Martin he might be my favorite guy on the D!
as anyone except Martin. He doesn't overrun near as many tackles as Ezeh. Watch BG's long TD again and you'll see Kovacs is as fast as Cam, if not faster. Cam was pretty clueless today IMO, and I believe the UFR will show that too. I'd try Demens and leave Kovacs where he is. RVB had a great game today, I thought.
OT - after the game, those fuckin' Sparty fans were wearing my nerves thin with that "go green / go white" chant. Walked up to Grizzly Peak for dinner, and every time I heard "Go green" I yelled "Go HOME!!!" Fuck Sparty, seriously.
doesn't have the size nor the bulk to play MIKE. He get washed out easily by OL. No thanks.
that would take more effort the the air and simple misdirection washing him out. At leasthe would eat a blocker. Kovacs tackles and reads better than Ezeh therefor he's an improvement. The problem is, if no one else can beat Ezeh out, the future looks terrible there. I can give Gordan a pass because he is inexperienced and I can also give other young guys a pass but Ezeh gets no pass. He is just plain terrible. Mouton wasn't a whole lot better this game either.
are totally different from Kovac's position than LB position. From LB, the read has to be very quick and react quicker according to the reads. S, the reads are a bit easier when you're farther away from the LOS as opposed to 5 yards off the LOS and have to face the OL in front of you.
In addition to bulking up Kovacs to 20-25 lbs more, he has to learn the responsibilities all over again and have to read different keys. This is why I don't like Kovacs at MIKE.
which means the future at MIKE only looks bleak for seven more games this year.
But he does have the football instincts to get to the ball. It's been stated by many people on this site that Kovacs doesn't have the kind of speed to play safety in the B10 - so OK - put him on Barwis Extreme and have him put on 10-20 lbs of muscle and move him to LB.
Brian has suggested it on this site and if LB is that glaring of a weakness - why not?
Obviously the coaches who watch practice, and film all day long every day feel different.
When was the last time you saw our middle linebacker make an outstanding play? He would be much better off to just stand in one spot and not move. At least he would not run himself out of the play. He never fights the pressure and goes with the flow! Maybe some of the non-starters don't show much in practice but they can't be any worse in the game. The guy is just not a mlb.
He made a good tackle four yards into the endzone after Sparty's last score. He wrapped up, kept his feet and drove through him, big on big. I know it was a TD, but at our house, we all applauded perhaps his best 'technique' tackle of the day.
what is sad about that play though? Gordon hit the guy 3 yards in front of Obi...
Why is a safety hitting the RB 3 yards in front of the MLB that close to the goaline?
Most times he was the 2nd or 3rd guy in on a tackle that should have been his primary responsibility.
Sorry for the literal response
out all the "out coaching" that took place. It is easy to make blanket claims. If this "out coaching" that went on was so obvious then surely you can give numerous examples that we can respond to.
Michigan was not out-coached. They dropped passes ; missed open recievers etc. That's just not playing well.
Played a little bit in high school, watch a lot of football on the weekends, but my football knowledge is nowhere near someone like Steve Sharik or Magnus. It is incredibly frustrating though to watch this team and see (what seems to me) the same mistakes made again and again by our LB's. Mouton seems to be playing a bit better, but man whether it's Ezeh, Mouton, or anybody else I can not for the life of me figure out how we can't have SOMEONE step up at LB and play even average. Kovacs is a great example. He rarely seems to miss a tackle, and yet Ezeh who is basically a 4 year starter constantly seems to be in position to tackle a guy at the LOS or even for a loss and ends up either missing it or getting blown back and letting them pick up 4-5 yards. No idea if this is coaching/talent/scheme whatever, but by far the most frustrating part of watching this team is the LB play and tackling.
have the natural instincts to play LB. Both never played LB before enrolling at Michigan(I think Ezeh played a few snaps in high school but was mostly a RB). RR's recruits, Jake Ryan and Kellen Jones are true LB who have the instincts to play LB.
I agree, our LBs instincts appear to well.... not excist. Why not throw Jake Ryan out there in Obi's spot and see what he does.... What could happen: not make tackles, stand still and get blocked. I cant imagine things being worst with him in per say. I know some will say that he is still to small, to take on O-lineman. I argue it doesnt matter, Obi doesnt get off those blocks anyway.
I agree that I look forward to Ryan and Jones as linebackers, but I hope they are not the answer for a couple years. I don't think parading a set of new freshman out there every year is the answer. Hopefully Demens (and maybe Isaiah Bell, where is he?) can be the MLB that we so desperately need over the next couple years. Then we can turn to Ryan and Jones.
...but Ezeh might be the worst MLB in the history of M football.
...and advised you to get off Obi Ezeh's ass.
We support the home team.
obi's starting, so wouldn't his backups be the worst?
Obi is the best this team has, and that reality falls more on RR than Obi. He can only play as well as possible - he didn't make any promises about being better. RR needs to recruit more LBs and put some real depth in the lineup so that a clearly-overmatched kid is not going out there and missing tackles. That might be a little negative, but this is how Obi has played since he arrived at UM, and expecting any real maturation is just not reasonable.
but this is as much about LC who should have left some upperclass LBs. His DB and LB recruiting toward the end wasn't very good despite the glaring weaknesses. RR closed strong last year on the D and will need to do so again.
Remember that this team consist of primarily freshman and sophomores when it comes to eligibility. The team left 17 points on the field with two picks in the end zone and the blocked FG and that was the difference in the game.
(We settled for a FG that drive.)
I hate all this blame it on Carr talk that is all too frequent on here. Lets look at some of Carr's final recruits:
2008 class that committed to Carr b/f RR took over: CB Cissoko (4/5*), LB Fitzgerald (4*), LB Demens (3/4*) - you could also argue that S Smith (4*) was heavily a LC recruit
2007 class: DB Rogers (3/4*), CB Warren (5*), CB Woolfolk (3*), LB Herron (3/4*), S Williams (4*), LB Panter (4*, granted he was a JC transfer)
2006 class: LB Graham (5*, yes he was projected at LB coming out of HS), S Mouton (5/4*), DB Brown (4*)
I see 4 guys rated 5* by at least 1 recruiting service with a bunch more guys rated around a 4*. A number of these guys played in the Army AA game.
I realize stars are not always indicative of how a player performs in college, but a player's actual performance in college is based a lot on how well he is coached, so I used stars as a pre-coaching estimate of a players potential.
I don't think we should be blaming Carr for our performance. A number of these guys didn't work out or had to change positions (I didn't even list Ezeh since he came out of HS listed at RB).
Having a different coordinator for each of the 2007-2009 seasons and then having a new scheme this year as well as losing players early (DB's - Cissoko, Witty, Dorsey, Warren,Turner, B. Smith, Emilien as well as injuries this year to Woolfolk and Williams; losses at LB - Wilson (decommit to UNC), Witherspoon, Mixon, Graham moved to DL although that worked out pretty well for the DL) are to blame for our current defensive problems at DB and LB.
I realize not all these guys worked out as we would have liked, but that is a lot of potential lost that is not Lloyd Carr's fault.
At least we are running the same offense for the 3rd year in a row and look how that is working out. Now RR is an offensive minded coach, so the D may never be as dominant as the O, but I have to imagine with a little more consistency of defensive scheme and retention of players our D will be drastically improved.
The fact that RR is an offensive-minded coach does not necessarily mean that he can't field strong defenses. Kirk Ferentz and Jim Tressel are offensive guys, but they've found excellent DCs to handle that side of the ball. I hope GERG is that guy, but I'm not sure.
On recruiting, I agree that you can't really blame Lloyd in the sense that the classes he signed were highly-touted . . . but I think we can safely conclude (even given the fact that we've gone through a few DCs) that those classes were seriously overrated. There is no way that some of those guys listed above have that kind of talent. They must have been guys who physically matured early and fell behind when everyone else bulked up in college.
"I used stars as a pre-coaching estimate of a players potential."
I'm of the opinion that starts go by the wayside when August practices start. How'd all those stars work out for Kevin Grady?
Yes, I'd take a class of 4-stars over a class of 3-stars. That doesn't mean the coaches can get lazy with their talent evaluation.
The coaches see his terrible performances week after week and they don't feel that they have any better options.
The essential Obi Ezeh play was on Caper's nine yard TD run. He lines up at the 4 yard line, ball is snapped, he jumps in place, accepts the blocker, gets blocked a yard deep into the end zone, then tries to act like a big man in the end zone.
I can't imagine a worse play honestly.
On sparty's 40 yard td run, Obi basically sprinted to the sideline, opening up that huge gap. On the replay, you can see the sparty lineman lift Obi up by the back of the jersey and escort him out of bounds. It was blatant holding, but Obi was so far out of the play that the officials really couldn't call it. What I want to see from him is to stand up a ballcarrier and drive them back. It seems he's always getting dragged for another couple yards.
In the postgame comments, RR or RVB said they missed some assignments on the big plays. The Obi play came to mind when I read that. But Cam's got to come over and cover up for Obi on that. I'm trying to remain optimistic about the defense, but it's hard. J.T. Floyd had 13 tackles today. It's not a good sign when your CB is leading you in tackles. What I can't figure out is why Floyd had 13 tackles and Rogers only had 2. Are they avoiding Rogers and picking on Floyd? or is Rogers just never near the action?
I didn't think they played badly today, to be honest. Floyd had a few nice plays. The play where he came up on the short check down to Bell to make a tackle for no gain stands out. As does Rogers' PBU on one of Cousins many MARTIN PANIC throws that he miraculously got away with every time today.
Cam took some bad angles on the long runs and is generally slow.
Obi shies away from blocks like a normal person would shift their shoulders so they wouldn't run into someone while walking on the street. It was mind boggling watching Obi on that long TD run. Obi sprints outside for some reason instead of flowing with the play, then shies away from the block with his left shoulder so that his back is now to the runner and he's completely out of the play. What the hell was he doing?
It's gotten to the point where I just watch Obi most of the time just to see what strange thing he'll do next.
near the action.
needs to take obi and cam aside and teach them how to tackle. for a little guy, he's not afraid to get his nose in their and hit somebody.
I am officially in favor of his being replaced. It's hard to imagine that one of Demens, Fitzgerald or Bell couldn't give us more at that position. Our problems in the secondary would be easier to scheme away if we didn't also have a big hole in the middle of our defense.
There are ways to get your point across without sounding like a douchebag.
Look at the name.
Obi out, Demens in. Or move Mouton to MLB and let Demens play his position. Something needs to give. I would rather see someone developing in that position who will be around the next couple of years, then let this poor LB play go on. I think the coaches are being "too nice" and giving the starting nod to Obi, because he is a senior. Nice kid, hard worker, but does not have the necessary "natural" LB instincts, to be effective. If he doesn't have them now, he is not going to find them under his pillow before the Iowa game. Time to give another guy a shot....
Why not Mouton at MLB? Dude is certainly big enough. I know his quickness helps on the edge, but he fills holes. He had a few crushing stops against the run today for little to no gain.
"You're killing your father, Obi!"
Kellen Jones was probably on the sideline today thinking "this is not a tough act to follow."
had their best game of the year, in my opinion. There was consistent pressure, and Cousins got very lucky to get away with a handful of panicked throws (one, in particular, was a blatant intentional grounding in the second half when he was sacked and tossed it to the sideline while between the tackles; another was a seam pass in the first half that a reasonably quick and experienced free safety would have jumped and picked off--Cam was a step late and, in deciding whether to go for the pick or lay the wood, failed to do either).
Obi, in the few instances I remember seeing him, was awful. He egregiously overran the play on their big gainers and while that may only be a -2 in the UFR, those are gamebreakers in reality.
Most guys on D had good, if not their best games.
That might not be a bad idea, but I think the time to do that would have been in the spring. At this point, I'd just play one of the other guys who's been practicing at MLB all season.
Huh? What about UConn? Adjusting for the level of the opponent is nice and all but... come on.
is always a step late. and he missed drilling that WR when he was set up on a tee. hell, play vinopal. he's show better instincts in the few plays he's been in there. size doesn't always matter. ya, i said it.
Well you won't have to worry about it after this year. Until that time *channeling Lovie Smith* "Obi Ezeh is our MLB."
If they haven't taken him out of the starting lineup by now then we probably don't have anyone better.
He bites so freaking hard on the fake EVERY freaking time. Just once I want to see him make the correct read, explode through the gap, and make the play. Instead he is off looking at butterflies, while the play is going the other way.
DENARD TO PUNTER
HAGERUP TO CORNER
ROGERS TO RB
SHAW TO D-LINE
MIKE MARTIN TO QB
You restrained yourself nicely there for awhile. I like the emotion.
Now that is a hell of an idea! I'd like to see some poor sap try to sack him. Or even slow him down. Good luck.
I have a friend who's a UM fan that thinks he's our best player on D and he has a thick skull. I have no idea what to do except smh and laugh. He thinks he's gonna get drafted even! lol
I made it a point to watch Ezeh today. Forget about misreading plays and being out of position, he actually helps the offense with some of his decisions. I'm sure he is trying hard but the mistakes he is making as a senior are inexcusable.
The coaches know more than we do. Well I hope they do anyway. This makes it pretty scary that he is still the MLB. Because that means the other options are worse.
At MLB we are playing for next year. Anybody else please
Unfortunately, opposing coaches by now know Obi very well........
He is so easily duped out of position that it isn't funny.
Furthermore, he cannot fight off any block and make a play.
He has to be the most ineffective Mike in the history of football.
He has single-handedly made this defense look terrible for 3 years, and he has cost Schafer and Hopson their coaching jobs. He may yet cost RichRod his coaching job.
I cannot believe they still play this guy.
I don't think there's much of a doubt that "The Hair" is a good linebackers coach. With that being said, I can only conclude that Obi's biggest problems are those which cannot be taught- Instincts and Ability.
For anyone who has ever played linebacker, you know that there are some intangibles that make for a good linebacker. Obi has none of them.
1) Controlled Aggression: By all accounts, Obi is a nice guy and that's fine. But, when you watch him play you can tell that he doesn't play with a passion/mean streak(maybe passion isn't the best of ways to put it) and seems tentative. Even when he overruns a play it doesn't look like he's trying to destroy someone. It's more like he's running to a spot.
2) Suddenness: This is where athleticism and playing with a mean streak comes together. Ray Lewis/Brian Urlacher are perfect examples of this. When they hit someone their momentum completely neutralizes or reverses the direction of the ball carrier. This takes athletic coordination (bringing the hips at the right moment) and "want to". You have to aggresively attack the ball carrier and pop him. I honestly cannot remember, or could count on one hand, a time when Obi hit someone and it seemed like a linebacker hit. There's no pop in his hits.
3)Instinct: Sometimes when playing linebacker you just end up in the right spot. It's called flow, its called not getting caught in the wash, its called feel. Good athletes, whether by design or by accident, find themselves in the right place at the right time. Some people call that luck...but most of the time it's an innate ability that gets them there.
4) Habit: Im not sure if I can make this one tenable, because a lot of folks think you can uncoach a bad habit. For the most part you can, but this one is the hardest for me to blame on GERG. OBI WILL NOT STOP LOOKING IN THE BACKFIELD. There is absolutely no other explanation for being repeatedly out of position and stepping away from or out of holes. He's biting on even the slightest of RB misdirection and this takes him away from the play, easy to block and a huge liability.
5) Being Coachable: See above. At this point, I have to believe that Obi either doesn't have the ability to or just doesnt care to be coached up. I think he has all the tools to be atleast an average linebacker if he just does what he's supposed to do. Just fill a hole. That's it. Step in and atleast make a running back think.
These are 5 areas that in my estimation Obi is lacking. I don't even want to get into technique, but that's kind of my point. If you are lacking in these areas, it's pretty obvious that technique isn't going to do much to mitigate the damage.
Wow. Sorry so long.
especially point #1. i actually think he may be afraid to hit someone. i told a buddy after the game that obi needs someone to slap him silly before the game to get him angy. kind of like in that bad movie "north dallas 40". mike martin, you up for the task?
Its having no depth on the dline, with one of those positions almost a complete non-contributer.
Its having young inexperienced safeties who the coaches are not willing to take risks with, because doom happens.
Its having young inexperienced corners who the coaches are not willing to take risks with, because doom happens.
Its having a total defense patched together with so many players who weren't recruited to those positions that I have lost count.
the bottom line is this guy is a horrendous linebacker. One of the worst I've ever seen. It's almost as if he's running around blindfolded. I feel like his football instincts are non-existent. But it's not just him...I've never seen so many bad pursuit angles taken in one game. It's mind boggling. Hopefully the young guys keep learning and improving. It starts with the fundamentals. Someone better teach them and quickly.
A lot of this Ezeh talk is GerG's doing.
I mean you know that someone is not cut out for B10 play after playing 3 seasons and still make rookie mistakes.
Rather than stick with Ezeh - we would be better off with freshmen who would atleast have some chance of improving in the future - rather than Eazeh who will graduate anyways and we'll start over with redshirt frosh at LB