#1 I just ate a bunch of mushrooms and nothing in the world is bad.
Reasons to be optimistic about OL
Seeing halos around our swiss-cheese O-linemen?
I just can't lol
You know why girls walk in groups of odd numbers? Because they can't even
In 2015 maybe. Not this year.
All I am asking is for them to be better than 2013.
They could literally immediately lie on the ground after the snap and still be better than they were at points last year.
I can't help but be optimistic. They don't need to be great...they just need to be competent, as in NOT historically awful. It's a pretty low bar, and yet I'm astounded at how many here think that things will be as bad or worse than they were last year.
Remember, "THIS IS MICHIGAN." We're build on toughness, and we grow OL on trees, and we're OL University, and blah, blah, blah...
You think they were a C in the BWWB? Wow.you must have low standards. To me, a C implies average and what I saw in that game (and the entire season) was far from that. The reason things didn't look quite so bad was that Borges finally realised they couldn't block so he came up with a game plan that pretty much revolved around short quick passes and next to no running. Dude, each individual on that lilne may have improved over the course of the year and probably as a unit the improved incrementally as well, but there is no way I would consider them average. I mean look at the stats....we were like dead last in things like run for a loss and sacks and stuff like that. I'm in shock that someone would consider what we saw last year average.
I apologize and for the record, don't hate Borges or Hoke, but I do hate the offense of 2013. You can dislike the product on the field without hating the coaches for the record...at least I can.
Now, back to the apology. I honestly have never heard the term "gentleman c" and had no idea it meant you weren't really giving them the c. C is what I would consider average and thus my statement but since that isn't what you meant I take that back.
I would also say though, that I don't really think the better play on offense in the OSU and KSU games were really down to improved line play so much as improved play calling. I thinik Borges finally admitted to himself that the line couldn't block and called plays to mitigate that conclusion.
Again, I'm not saying that individually each one of them didn't improve over the course of the year because honestly, I don't know enough about those things to make a judgement,. But from a viewers perspective, as a unit they didn't seem any better to me from the first game to the game prior to OSU. And OSU and KSU were such a shift in playcalling IMHE, it's hard to say the increase in production was because of better blockiing or better playcalling but for me, it was the latter.
Grade inflation is coming to a blog near you.
They ran for about 25 yards in the BWW Bowl, plus whatever Shane got on his crazy scramble.
I knew this was coming. 2013 was so bad that fans will accept any level of improvement no matter how incrimental and we are already looking forward to 2015.
People will be more than happy with 8-4 and it all makes me want to scream.
Next year expecting 8-4. don't mean to be pessismistic but have you seen our schedule ? It could be the perfect storm.
I give Hoke a pass on next year . If he gets that 8-4 record he will be doing very well indeed. I look at next year as a year to show some improvement in areas and then 2015 to be the good year. I hope fans give him the benefit of a doubt if things do not go well next year.
Nobody will be happy with 8-4. You're making things up and it makes me want to scream.
I wouldn't be terribly disappointed in 8-4, though happy isn't the right word, either. We could go 8-4 and still be on track, considering the roster rebuild that was required.
I find it kind of interesting that most believe the line can be terrible in 2014 and magically be good in 2015 because the schedule is easier and because there is more experience. Not saying it's wrong, just find the mindset so interesting given how awful the line was last year and looks like it will be this year.
in terms of who we play out of conference but all the games against the big guys are away ( including MSU again). Those are games where we could really use a home advantage and instead we play the lower echelon of the B1G at home.
If this scheduling "blip" continues will we have a year where all the home games are pansies followed by a year where all the top teams come to AA ?
Player / Year / Fall Camps / Spring Camps / Bowl Pracitices
Erik Magnuson RS SO 3 2 2
Kyle Bosch SO 2 1 1
Graham Glasgow RS JR 4 3 3
Kyle Kalis RS SO 3 2 2
Ben Braden RS SO 3 2 2
These guys are the most likely starters. They all had playing time last season. Most will have been through 3 summer conditionings and 3 fall camps under Funk and Hoke. Then there is the average 2 extra bowl practices and the spring practices.
If Chad Lindsay arrives - so much the better.
I don't see youth as an excuse in this mix anymore. Last year, yes. This year, they either become effective linemen (with a few stars) or they are under performing their potential for some reason other than youth.
Really? Youth isn't a factor now? We have one upperclassmen starting and he's a walk on. Kind of funny to me how much we've changed as fans since Carr. In 2007, nobody would be saying this OL isn't extremely young.
The one upperclassman argument is a bit flawed considering that several would be if they didn't redshirt. Yes, offensive linemen are supposed to redshirt, just pointing out that the specific argument isn't necessarily the best one.
who really never played.
My point is, in 2014 we will have guys that have been here for 3 fall camps and have played a whole season. They don't have two NFL tackles to lean on. It's all on them. They went through the fire that was last year, and should have enough to prove that their summer is focused and dedicated.
It's misleading to say year 3 for a redshirt sophomore, for example. It implies they've been here for three years, when in fact it's two.
Because a coach had to learn how to do his job, players haven't learned the system, and everyone is hurt...I'm supposed to think we're going to be good?
"Hey, hey, ay-e-ay!"
It took me 15-20 seconds to get this. Not sure if it's a sign of maturity or a sign of idiocy...
I feel like those are all reasons why the o-line WON'T be good.
Those are all the reasons why we sucked...and once the end or get better, we won't suck anymore.
I`m glad I`m not alone in thinking this. It may explain the lackluster performance but it is not a reason for me to get excited about this OL.
I take it as saying that the line is what it is currently (i.e. sub-par), not because a lack of talent, but rather due to a lack of reps in the system. This might mean that the off-season and in-season improvement will be far greater than during the average year. We are not being limited by the ceiling for our players but rather their experience in the system. Frequent repping of a more simplified offense might help them make a major leap sooner rather than later.
To put it another way, Borges wanted them be able to execute the entire complex playbook, which resulted in about a 40% success rate, while Nuss wants them to be able to execute far fewer plays at a 90% success rate before adding in more plays. With the talent that we have in the passing game, the run game just needs to not put the offense in a hole on first and second downs.
Injuries heal. The new rules allow coaches to work with individual players 2 hours a week, which should help a young team.
I was under the impresson that Funk conducts 3 hr presentations on intricacies of zone blocking, so if he in fact has to watch tapes of Alabama's OL to grasp that concept, it is becoming apparent to me why our OL was crap for the last 2 years and counting.
You said it a lot more diplomatically than me. All I had was WTF.
"First, it appears that Funk himself had to learn a lot of new stuff (he watched tapes from Alabama)."
i would bet a thousand fake internet points hes watching tape to see the plays alabama runs to try and get a feel for nuss's offense. hes not watching to learn about zone blocking techniques
No college coach is watching game tape to learn the fundamentals of something because:
1) They have the fundamantals down
2) That's an awful way of learning the fundamentals of something
Sure, you can get a big picture view of what is going on (plays, tendencies, offense as a whole) and you then infer some of the important intricacies of the offense (and go over those intricacies with the OC). You can then use that information to better teach your players as you have an understanding of the whole system. Funk knows the fundamentals of zone blocking (foundation), he's getting the big picture of what the offense actually is and teaching the players the finer points of the offense by watching and seeing how it's run. That allows him to better coach his players on the many finer points of blocking.
But Funk isn't watching Alabama tape to learn how an OL should move his feet when uncovered on an inside zone run. He's not looking at all-22 footage to get a feel for proper hand placement when scooping a NT. But these coaches could do just about anything and people could find ways to twist it and turn it into a cause for concern and panic.
That's just where I'm at with this football program right now. Spare me the lip service and prognostications. Just show up and ball out.
Obtuse and shortsighted, yet manly.
Best we can do is hope for progress and health, I doubt we can become a Championship line in 1 year, but servicable with a mobile QB and some weapons on the outside and a screen game, maybe........All we can do is wait and see at this point, lots of work to be done between now and Appalachian State!
For me personally, the thing that probably gives me the most optimism is simply the fact that the offensive line has been given a scheme and direction and a set of base plays to work from. They are young, but the fact that they've mentioned in interviews that they are picking up Nussmeier's scheme relatively quickly does give me a lot of hope that this unit will, given time, gel quite nicely. I don't know if I would expect a complete turnaround this year necessarily, but if it is true that they are learning as quickly as they have mentioned, then it may at least be better than we think now relatively speaking.
I think that the exciting things as you stated are simplified scheme and just as important having a coach in Nuss that keeps being mentioned as motivating, instense and high energy, all which seem to have been very lacking with Borges and those charateristics simply play a very big role in the college game.
The only reason I am still optimistic, is because the hoards are so pessimistic. It just seems when everyone is so convinced of something in sports, it goes a different way.
That is what I have been reduced to.
That works really well in the stock market. Not so sure in sports ... i.e. the Detroit Pistons board has been extremely down for years.... and proven accurate.
bring in Jerry Hanlon as a consultant. Please.
Agreed. And whoever followed him in the 90s. I think DeBord was the OL coach for 5 years or so. Gosh who wouldda thunk we'd be pining for Mike DeBord.
Damn - we used to be Wisconsin before Wisconsin was Wisconsin on the OL. OL was our bread and butter along with WRs for 15-20 years. It is amazing what has happened here.
I am not one to recycle old players just because they are "Michigan Men" but Backus Hutchinson Jansen et al ...please...
I am talking about his reign as a position coach (OL) in the early to mid 90s. I take no responsibility for DeBord after that ;)
Debord's lines were still a huge step back from Jerry Hanlon's though. The '96 line was pretty crummy despite having three senior starters.
What should Funk say? He knows his job is on the line and he hasn't done anything with the talent that has been brought in. He is going to blow as much hype onto us as possible. However, when we only average 2.1 YPC against APP St. the story will be different.
1. We don't have to start 3 guys that have never played a snap before. Ben Braden is the least experienced of the likely starting 5, and at least he played in goal line situations in several games last year. Everyone else started multiple games. I
2. The TEs might be able to block. I'm as skeptical as the next guy on AJ Williams, but in the spring game he looked like a guy who can block. He also looked ok running some short routes, but I don't care if he catches a single ball as long as he can block the guy in front of him. If Williams can't block, I believe Heitzman can. He's huge and for a blocking TE is pretty athletic. Two blocking TEs instead of zero is a big step up.
3. RBs coached to cut back when the hole isn't there. One (admittedly of many) of the reasons the running game was poor last year was that the RBs never cut back instead they bounced even further in the direction the play was going. From the spring game, it was clear the RBs are being drilled to look for the cut back if there isn't a hole where the play was designed.
Unless you have 2-3 guys next to each other that blow the DL down the field, I think the OL success or lack thereof is driven by the weakest link. If one guy misses a block or goes the wrong way the play is doomed even if one or two guys had a really good block. If all of our OL and TEs are consistently adequate the OL will take a big leap forward. All of the starters (except Braden) have played a good deal, and I would argue by the end of the year Glasgow, Magnuson and Kalis were playing consistently adequate. It doesn't seem like too much of a stretch with a simplified offense that Bosch and Braden will be there by the fall. I thought both of them looked ok in the spring game.
As a guy who played college football, spring ball doesn't mean shit. Terminology was introduced so that does mean something but missed reps by those injured doesn't hurt. There is a ton of time between now and the end of August.
Funk will be this year's Borges ... he better be prepared to have the hatred of Michigan's entire fan base aimed at him. Unless of course the O-line somehow improves. I'm guessing there will be a convoy of "Fire Funk" posts after a dismal ground attack against App.St..
Personally, I feel there's a better chance they skip right over Funk and go after Hoke.
It is going to be a very interesting first 6 games. Miami (OH) might be one of the 5 worst teams in CFB and App State is a shell of the team that came in here 6 years ago or whatever it was.
Utah and Minnesota will determine the fate of this year and people will say "WHAT" when I say that. Utah is not a good team but did find a way to beat Stanford at home. They are better than Akron or UConn I imagine. If they waltz into Michigan Stadium versus a 2-1 UM (assumption is we lose to ND with this crazy young offense) and beat us, we are 2-2 with an improved Minnesota coming in. Those 2 games essentially mark the season because all these calls for 8-4 assume the 3 rival losses and then 1 game you let slip away somewhere else. It does not assume losses to Utah or Minn at home. So we'll know how hot Hoke's seat gets very early.
If we exit Sept 3-2, with two of those wins versus Hapless State and Hapless (OH), it doesn't look promising. We go on the road vs a bad Rutgers team right after that but ...UConn.
where this mentality the ND is an automatic loss.. when did they become unbeatable? I agree that if we lose to Utah and ND Hoke's seat is on fire at that point.. but I think the chances of that are slim. We have a super talented 5th year senior qb, and a D that should be borderline elite, If we go 8-4 I will be pissed.
As for this nonsense about Funk, The fact that he has to watch Alabama film to learn that scheme makes me sad. Still I beleive that Nuss knows what it takes to be a winner and he will impose his will on the position coaches. The man is a couple good seasons from a quality head coaching gig, I don't think he's gonna let that slip through his hands here, he will turn this around...please god help him turn this around.
Why are people freaked out that Funk watched Alabama tape? I'd be freaked out if he didn't.
Because it's very basic and something with which any high school coach should be familiar.
You can't be serious. The offensive coordinator for Alabama is now the offensive coordinator for Michigan. Where better to see the specifics (not the basics) of what Nuss wants his offense to do? Do you really see no value in sitting down with your offensive linemen and making points to them from film of what is likely to be the closest thing you'll find to what they will be doing next yesr? If so, doesn't it make sense to watch that film yourself first to pick out the examples that are best for teaching?
It boggles my mind that with all of the legitimate reasons to be concerned about the o-line, this has somehow become one.
I know the Oline development is huge and will take time. We will definitely need to hang our hats on the D until the OL develops. So my question is...How do you all feel about that!?
Yep, Funk's not going to be a big enough fish to satisfy the ravening crowds if things go sour, and by sour I mean anything less than 4-1 in September. They'll go straight after Hoke, and to be honest, I probably will too.
talk in something like sentences.
Well, gotta run.
They were overmatched, but nobody was lost like last year. Nobody standing there blocking nobody.
At least they're not blocking each other like Florida's oline so there's that.
At least they're not blocking each other like Florida's oline so there's that.
2013 Rushing YPA:
Florida - #99, 3.6YPA
Michigan - #113, 3.3YPA
2013 Tackles for loss allowed:
Florida - #110, 7.17 per game
Michigan - #121, 8.77 per game
It's incredible how close so many games were last year, even with the terrible OL. It's amazing how far a solid defense can take you, and I think the UM defense will be better this year. I don't think the OL will be good... at best they'll be average by season's end. But that's all the team needs to have a pretty damn good season.
Not to mention a weak schedule.
we were to losing to Akron and UConn too.
I do not disagree. An average OL will be an immediate upgrade and improvement. An average OL should be good enough for 9-10 win, at least in my opinion.
They do not have to be great, just reduce the number of sack/hits on QB and negative plays. That's it. Those two things will produce a noticable improvement.
A year after being epically awful, we lost two NFL tackles and per Hoke himself they have no clue who the starting 5 is.
There are years in the not so recent past that not one of the five projected starters for this year would be a starter for Michigan. Until shown otherwise, I'm convinced this year they will be as bad or worse. Yes, worse.
No set starting Oline after 15 spring practices and a ton of sophomores/freshmen competing? WOW IM SHOCKED LETS PANIC.
obviously there are years when nobody who would start this year would start, but i bet those years have an all american or two or some upperclassmen who would be starting instead.
Reason for optimism? Let's try the fact that it almost can't be any worse than it was last year. It was a half step above Gardner hiking the ball to himself every snap.
can't be any worse than it was last year
Sadly we all said that before last year too.
Unless we were dead last in every offensive category then it actually can be worse. Soooo I'm really hoping we don't have to see what that looks like. Need some mean mugs on the oline
Sorry. No optimism. I see no physicality on the online. No road grader types. I see skid marks in underwear when I see the online.
I'm optimistic because of Borges's track record as an offensive coordinator. He has a pretty good track record of helming putrid rushing offenses the year before he leaves a job. Essentially, it seems like he schemes for a couple years, then the player development becomes an issue. Hopefully Borges was the problem, and we will develop our young linemen this year. And if Borges was not the problem, we are going to be sad pandas.
This has been a source of confusion. Consensus was that most of our problems were due to Borges. He's gone and his spot has been filled by Nussmeier of Alabama. So why are people still so down?
I think the line will be improved. The scheme might help. But the fact that we could have 0-1 new starters is a huge factor that no one seems to consider. Losing Lewan and Schofield could be mitigated by having 5 guys that have all started. Fewer missed assignments. Fewer disasters. If we had cleaned some of that up last season, we win 2-3 more games.
I wonder if it's possible that last season, besides struggling to find a solid starting 5, that the coaches purposely wanted to get alot of different guys playing time in an attempt to be more prepared for this season?
That's doubtful. They didn't give Kalis playing time the year before when it was obvious they would desparately need him to be part of the foundation of the 2013 OL.
They can't get any worse?
I have no optimism. Not until I see the product on the field this fall. No Kool-Aid for me thanks.
All the cool kids are doing it...
Needs to give us an advantage period. Urban gives a offensive advantage and Dantonio gives a defensive advantage and until we (UM) have a game changer on the sidelines it'll be much of the same. Damn!
That's the true 'third' side of the ball.
All smart ass jokes aside we need to establish a dominate defense. When we have a truly stellar D we will really begin to notice The change in the only column that counts... Wins.
Kickoff. The only reason to be optomistic about the OL is so I don't jump off the Stadium st. viaduct before then...
My summer project is going to be building a bunker in the back yard. I will go in the night before the first Michigan game and have someone get me out in time for the NFL playoffs in January 2015. That is the only way I will survive this season.
is grasping at straws.
I have some ocean front property in Arizona I'd like to talk to you about...
So what you're saying is that you're optimistic despite the fact that the OL coach lacks experience in the system, the players have to learn the new system from said OL coach, and some of those key players have dealt with injuries during this crucial learning period which has prevented them from practicing together, not to mention they were brutal last year and lost their two best players. I sure hope they improve by the big ten season, but how good can they really be this year? One thing I've learned from many years of being overly optimistic is that you can't put too much faith in young inexperienced players based on their potential. I don't want to sound pessimistic, but it's what I've become in regards to this team.
I'm hoping for a date with Kate Upton, except that I'm married, old enough to be her father, more than a little too flabby, make much less money than her current boyfriend, and she has no idea I even exist. Other than that, I'm saying there's a chance.
The O.P. got close to constructing a coherent argument but couldn't finish.
His anecdotes are certainly not evidence that the OL will be good...but they bring further good reason to believe it is too soon to judge the badness we've seen. And that it is *certainly* too soon to say data from 2013 and the spring game conspire to predict with certainty a poor 2014. Which is just another way of saying "maybe." Which is fair.
So yes: This is what it's come to: Cop outs, technicalities, and "optimism" that--depending on your shade of glasses--is painted in such broad strokes as to be concurrently pessimistic.
The 2013 spring game told me about as much as the 2014 spring game.
It has been proven many times that star ratings do, indeed, mean a great deal. Therefore, we know we are playing with very talented linemen going from year one to year two. We also know that the greatest improvement in any sport is normally year one to year two. Funk, who to date has not proven he is at the level of Fry did express what most predicted: We would keep things far simpler, making sure these kids were drilled over and over for a undetermined, but definitely smaller number of plays until they had proven they were as good as possible at this unspecified number until they were asked to move on to not necessarily more advanced technniques but to learning assignments to our complimentary package. This is a proven method to success and has been used by all great rushing teams throughout the nation. Barry did his thing at WI, removing them from cellar dwellers and Ferentz was able to simply replace injured RBs, all with the same results, simply by drilling the hell out of their OL and keeping the playbook very small until their level of athletes increased. It is no different than how Bo returned MI to the elite of cfb and is certainly the reason for AL's string of 1,000 yard rushers. Only Bama, among those listed above, has recruited better than UM on the OL since Hoke's arrival. I stated year one to year two generally produces the greatest amount of improvement, but that doesn't mean they learned nothing during their RS years. ^As I stated Nuss will keep it simple, and evidence does exist that then ball can be moved efficiently in this manner. In fact, when the OL does actually execute a play to perfection our highly touted RBs will, of course, have their chances to make them look even better. They will also be led by a qb who will be playing in his fifth season in the league, albeit w/extremely limited PT in his first season. Inasmuch as he's perhaps the most intelligent qb in the league will give Nuss another weapon when it comes to check downs, etc. These are all reasons to be optimistic, and I won't chicken out by saying they could lay on the ground and look better. I will temper the optimism though with reiteration of subject line. We must be realistic, and if we're not actually pancaking those DLs that we should be, then someone is not doing their job and it might not be the players. Of course we won't be knocking over those squads with talent equal or greater than ours because of experience. However, we should be able to extend our T.O.P. against this type of team merely by keeping the playbook as small as is comfortable by displaying our "newfound" ability, even if rush avg is 3.5 yds a play. This, of course, is not great but is about 3 times greater than last season and although it certainly contains a level of optimism, it is guarded-we won't be leading the league, let alone the nation in rushing- but we won't have to either. This small improvement is predicated not only on increased experience, but also adding to this expected incremental improvement should be a much more polished qb, a much quicker TB-any OL needs this- and a coach with a far better understanding of how to bring your OL together. He has done it year after year at Bama, admittedly with players who were able to gain far more experience because their NFL type OL had the game won by half-time, but history says he has done it.
Between massblue's disaster threads and your inability to use paragraph breaks or anything remotely close to concise diction, the board is quickly becoming a clown show.
our only sliver of optimism may come as a result the OL can not be worse than last year. Though, what if they're worse. At least our two senior tackles gave DG a bit of time to throw. Now he may have no time to throw and we may not lose as many yards per play but if we only gain 6 yards in 3 downs, the team will be punting a lot.
I'm optimistic when I say this team may go 8-4. I'm very worried that the team may finish 6-6 or 7-5. The truth be told I'm so worried I dread the start of the season. This has never happened. Even in '09, I knew we would finish higher then 3-8 so it was somewhat exciting with a new coach for the '09 team. Now every season we have gotten worse. I hope Hoke can turn things around. I need to see improvement in the team this season. There must be player development this season!
You dread the start of the season? That's a little much.
You know, you are totally right. We open with Appalachian State. Great opening tomato can. What could possibly go wrong?
A new, simple system...a young coach who has lots of energy and a proven track record...
Holy balls, people, you're not looking hard enough if you can't find reasons for optimism. Yes, the OL is still young...yes, they will struggle. But y'all are acting like nothing changes, ever. Same thing will happen always and forever. And I get why our fan brains might think that way, but use your real brains once in awhile.
so they don't get up.
There is a nice size sink hole on State Street this morning. Reminded me of the line...
We will be better this year than last year because the coaches didn't know what they were coaching in the spring? I'm going to put that over with "GRIII is going pro b/c he doesn't want to come off the bench."
That's not entirely fair. If the O-line was trying to do the same things as last year and were equally bad, then that would be cause for greater concern. The fact that they struggled in their attempts to do brand new things means that the upside may be greater, even if it takes a little time to get there.
"Putting all together, I have this guarded optimism that by the start of the BIG, the OL will be holding its own."
I would hope that by the start of the Big Ten season our OL would at least be holding the opposing team, if they're holding members of our own team we're doomed.
Then we would be Florida--mercifully that play of two Florida players blocking each other has possibly supplanted the unblocked Clowney hit on Vincent Smith as the ESPN favorite clip to endlessly play(tm)
I will expect the worst from the o-line and hope for the best. They need to at least be better than they were last season. If they can manage that, while also being decent at all other positions, then the team will have a chance to be good this coming season
Watching Gardner get sacked a thousand times last year destroyed my a soul a little bit.
I could say the bright side is it couldn't get any worse. But I ended up saying that about the defense after RichRod's second season. So I'm not going to make that mistake again.
I'm just going to stick to praying for the best but not expecting any miracles. It's easier on the heart.
lolwut? they still looked like they don't know what they're doing, but this time they really don't know so... WOOOO IMPROVEMENT!!?!