Not the WRs.
Who impressed you today? (spring game over reactions)
The WRs definitely did not find a lot of open space downfield, and even if they did, I'm not sure the QBs would have been able to get it to them. That said, our coverage was very solid. The problem with a game against yourself is that you don't know whether this is a positive for the DBs or a negative for the WRs. Probably a mix of both.
I found this to be a big problem last season that didn't get much play on the board for some reason. I think route running is one of the biggest problems that needs to be addressed in the offseason. Hopefully knowing the actual routes better will help with this, but I'd love to see some quicker receivers come our way in this recruiting class. I'm lookin at you Devon Allen.
Tough to tell from spring scrimmage because the offense is vanilla and the defense knows it.
That said I think the defense has the potential to be better than last year's overall. Loss of Martin cannot be overcome, but I think Van Bergen can at least be adequately replaced (though he was damn good last year). The back seven appears to be much faster and more aggressive. By the end of 2013 Mattison will have himself one hellaciously good defense. The improvement is almost warp-speed. Unbelievable coaching.
I'm concerned about the offense because I realize that it is almost a necessity these days to have a strong-armed accurate QB who can gun the 15 yard out or the 25 yard curl-in. We do not have that guy (and we will not have that guy until Morris gets in), nor do we have the speed at WR to make defenses back up. The result will be what we saw against better defenses last year--they will crowd the line of scrimmage, go hell bent to stop the run and Denard's scrambling, and dare us to beat them with the pass. I guarantee Alabama already has this as their game-plan. To be a complete offense you need a big QB who can go over the top on you, and WRs who scare you with size and speed. This looks still a couple years off.
How did the WRs fare?
Rawls and Fitz ran well with determination. The line needs to come together a lot between now and September. Bama would be salivating.
Center..Some big mistakes..
I already miss Molk.
Is to link to another person's contribution https://twitter.com/#!/DGDestroys
I believe he's the #2 at RT and he looked like a sieve in pass protection.
Well he is a walk on. Will probably be a candidate to be passed up by whatever freshman lineman shows up most inshape - Kalis or Magnuson?
Was pretty impressive on the run today. In the passing game he was incredibly disappointing, which is not to discredit a secondary that looks confident and capable. But Bellomy seemed to have more poise, and he made better decisions overall.
Bellomy played very well, but I am worried that he has limited arm strength. HIs out to Robinson early in the game was low and took too long to get there, and he never really zoomed a ball downfield. Instead, he focused on the rbs and intermediate passes.
I'm extremely biased, but I liked what Russell did today. Made good choices and only one bad throw (really bad one out to the flats.) His arm strength is something he continues to put a lot of work in.
I agree on bellomy's arm strength.. Even on that pass he threw on the run that was behind the receiver.. He looked like he was struggling to power a throw while moving. Def needs to gain about 10 lbs of good muscle
Arm strength isn't really too much of an issue in the west coast offense. I mean as long as he can spin it a little bit he will be fine if he is accurate.
since he's been here--HUGE caveat of course since he hasn't played much In games. And I'm NOT saying he's not a good player or that he won't do well when Denard leaves. But in three spring games now and limited real game action, there has not IMO been much at all that he has shown in the passing game.
extremely fast today. Like he had a shot of dilithium in his legs. Although his accuracy was not the best, he did show good arm strength on a couple throws
Cam Gordon was around the ball all day and the LBers in general looked good..Marvin Robinson can be a huge piece for this team.
Bellomy seemed like he is on the right path as a RS Fresh..Jerald Robinson looked like a kid i can see fighting for the ball and is on the right path as well.
Fitz Toussaint looks to be very confident in himself and i can see him really doing things this year and adding a little to the passing game for us.
Thomas Rawls, Brandin Hawthorne, Cam Gordon, and Russell Bellomy impressed me the most today.
agree with you.
Big Will: certain All-American or waste of a scholarship? Discuss.
Yeah because it's one or the other...
I would never say someone is a waste of scholarship. I say he is a serviceable player. He is a big enough body that he demands attention including the occasional double team but he's no War Daddy and probably won't be given his propensity to stand up when the ball is snapped.
Not a ringing endorsement of Will or the D-line.
Or perhaps a motivational tool.
He was not pleased at all. Calling guys soft now days is one of the worst insults to kids. And from what I watched, I didn't see a lot from the middle of the line.
Although I agree that it seems like interior DL seems to be the biggest weakness, some of it seemed to be related to formation. In a couple of those big gains up the middle, there was a ton of space between DLmen, and on one of the plays, a LB dropped out of the middle of the DL on a fake blitz, and there must have been 6 yards between DLmen that Fitz promptly ran right through. It's one thing to force the OL to make holes for the RB, it's another thing to give them gaping holes on a silver platter.
I do not think he emant soft in that way. It seems like he said it more like they were weak, or easy to gain yardage on in the middle, not soft as in wimpy.
I actually liked Gardner today. His passing was not spectacular, but most of the times, the WRs were simply covered well but he displayed that great arm and his running skills took a HUGE leap forward this year, as he appeared to be more reactionary and hence, quicker in his cuts.
No sure if you and I went to the same Spring game, because Devin looked absolutely terrible...
I didn't say he lit the world on fire with his passing, but he played alot with the 2s and the passing attacks usually look raw in the spring games. His int to Countess looked like a good read, but just needed to put that a foot farther in front. Jackson, IMO, should have attacked the ball there instead of start moving downfield, which allowed Countess to cut inside for the pick.
But what he showed that I liked was his ability to scramble within the pocket while keeping his eyes down the field, which is new. He also seemed to take off with authority when he did. Last year, he seemed slower and less athletic when he ran. Both are huge improvements.
Think Gardner looked bad. I discount the running because it's easy to run with authority when you can't be tackled. it's also hard on the defense to pull up and "tag" someone down.
I basically think Gardner is Pryor-lite (minus the off field issues). This can be both a good thing (long strider, good in the open field), and a bad one (odd throwing motion, questionable decisions).
Except Pryor was actually pretty darn good his last season.
True. Like I said, it's not totally a bad thing. Unfortunately, I don't think Gardner is as good, and he's not getting the number of reps that Pryor did at Ohio. He's also not throwing to Posey and Sanzen..whatever. Yet.
Gardner challenged the holes, recognized (generally) when he should take off and run, and displayed the ability to move the sticks with his feet. Just because the defense couldn't hit him doesn't mean that he didn't impress with his ability to run. Gardner makes the decisions to tuck it and run that Denard refuses to take at times. This is what Borges, Brian, and an infinite number of people wish he would do more. A scrambling QB is very dangerous when he has the defense spread out in coverage and Gardner exploited that with his feet today. His passing left something to be desired, but it is still spring.
But wait. According to many posters here, Gardner is being converted to receiver!
so our backup qb struggled with his passing but looked great running with the ball and made awesome cuts.........MOVE HIM TO WR IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well next year our BACKUP QB most likely will not be our BACKUP QB. So yes, the fact that this is his third spring game and he hasn't shown flashes of a passing ability, is something to be concerned about.
im willing to bet that a good number of backup qbs end up backing up multiple starters during their college careers. sure, most probably dont have the upside at multiple positions gardner does, but its not like its the end of the world if gardner is the backup qb in 2013 if it means bellomy is good and morris can redshirt.
Yea, he doesn't even look as comfortable as bellomy.
showed great arm strength but wasn't very accurate. What the hell good is great arm strength if you can't hit the receiver?
and I liked the look of the O-Line, except for some of the center snaps. Roh also impressed, looked like a man hungry for domination and moar food.
I heard he put down a family size order of Chilli Cheese dogs on the sidelines
That was just his first quarter order. You should have seen what he put away in the second.
funny considering Denard played for one drive and made a few nice plays..
Bama will have to replace a lot of guys on D, and in the first game i doubt they will be shutdown corners..
Have you seen Devin split wide yet?
Well of course not at "this point". We aren't playing them at "this point" of time. Relax, it was the spring game, Denard played very little and Darboh and Chesson haven't even stepped on campus.
I dont see how you have 947 MGopoints
Devin Gardner actually willing to cut up field. I realize that he was a no-contact player, but it was nice to see him actually try and do something when he ran with it. Made an excellent case for getting him some time out at receiver. They need help.
Not much to see in the game as most players with any relevance left early. Countess looked good only because when we saw him he was making a pick. Everything else looked bad to meh.
Oh, and I guess Toussaint. So, Countess and Toussaint impressed me.
COuntess did not look good only when we saw him making a pick. He was in the right place all day. Floyd had some nice moves, too.
We knew our WR's were gonna be light this year, but the O-line should be pretty darn good and the RB's seem to be in great shape. If we're a running team, so be it. We can be a darn good one.
I like the first team offensive line and (I can't believe this given the last four years) the secondary. The running back situation looks really nice too.
Denard is obviously the key, but I'm less confident about him going down than I was last season. Gardner just isn't quite there. He has really nice flashes, but isn't consistent at all.
Finally, I'm still concerned about the defensive line. They'll be okay, but we're not beating Alabama unless there's some serious improvement there.
I still dont feel like we have depth anywhere other than CB....
Former walk-on QB, Wilson (#4) was running with the 1's and 2's at WR....
And anytime Jeremy Jackson is on the field, I dont feel good about our WR corps
I liked seeing a walk-on, Burzynski, starting on the OL
Glad Gorges Al is saving the Bubble Screen for poor old Alabama
I think seeing Burzynski get the nod over Mealer at the start of the game all but assures that Kyle Kalis will be starting at LG at some point this season...
Cam Gordon looked scary to me
Brandin Hawthorne looked really good... but that may have just been a reflection of the depth at LB as he was going against a mix of strings including some walk-ons.
I thought Barnum's blocking was impressive... seemed to be able to take BWC alone without much problem. Obviously he and Denard need to work on their exchange.
Overall, OL, QB, RB, defensive backfield all looked pretty good. WRs were hard to judge... didn't get open as much as I would have wanted. And DL looks like a big liability.
I should add, that as sketchy as the DL looked, Black seemed to stand out.
Rawls is beast, hawthorne is beast, bellomy is good, Gardner needs to step into his throws, still looks like a run first qb.
looks like a player!
Bellomy was a bit of a pleasant surprise. He didn't come in with a lot of recruiting hype, but he looks pretty athletic. He shows a lot of promise as a passer, though I agree that he needs to work on his arm strength. He probably needs to bulk up a bit in general. The good news is that can be addressed through S&C.
Starting now on ESPN3
I'm not sure I understand why North Carolina's spring game is on ESPN over 'Bama. Also, 'Bama's game is clearly a "game" rather than a glorified scrimmage.
i think rawls did great, clearly and countess. hayes and carter looked good. I was impressed with jack kennedy he looked good. sadly he is leaving after next year and probably wont play. it was interesting to see all the position changes out there.
The loss of Junior Hemingway is painfully scary right now....
I thought most of the scrimmage was ok...I saw Tamani Carter's # a lot...I thought Marvin Robinson, Raymon Taylor,Lewan, Rawls, Toussaint, Hawthorne, Black, and Roh look good to me...Also Ryan was around the ball a lot.....Bolden look solid...
I thought Hawthorne looked really good. Bellomy impressed me, too. Hope to see him get his share of snaps next year.
Gardner still worries me a little bit. Looks like the talk about WR for him won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
Caveat all this with the fact that I think we learned virtually nothing today, and I thought after watching last year's spring game we were a 7-8 win team... but my eyes told me:
- Gardner still not ready
- Toussaint is going to be very good
- Linebackers will be good, esp middle linebacker
- Unimpressed by BWC and Black... maybe I'm missing something other posters saw but it looked like they were getting taken out of the play regularly
- Roh looked pretty good, but hard to tell given both starting tackles looked really good (didn't see too much pressure from edge rushing on either side)
- Hard to say without re-watching but got the feeling that either 1) guys weren't getting open or 2) Devin wasn't making the right reads because he barely threw the ball
- We still can't run out of the 'I' and I hope we don't try in any critical situations early next year
But honestly who the hell knows at this point...
russel bellomy he can play made good decisions reminds me of john navarre thomas rawls he looks like a solid tailback physical and not to slow. fitz he was running well today as allways. the o-line great blocking up front and now terible snaps. but the recivers looked horifying i mean i've seen MAC recivers get better seperation then those guys could mean we have good corners though but I hope the freshmen are ready to play at that position or the passing game might die completly.
Grammar and punctuation are not one of your strong points are they?
I would have left out "one of" and put a comma after "points."
Get a life grammar Nazis
That would be "Get a life, grammar Nazis."
I have a fun little mental game I like to play, so I was wondering if you could answer a question for me: How old are you?
and grammar, and you won't find yourself having to use Nazi as often. You might even find it to be an uplifting, if not empowering experience.
Yeah, it should say, "Grammar and punctuation is not your strong point, is it?"
russel bellomy he can play made good decisions reminds me of john navarre thomas rawls he looks like a solid tailback physical and not to slow.
*Gasp* Whooo! That's a helluva sentence. *pant pant*
...for a certain definition of "sentence."
big will decleated gryant at one point. he had his moments
Honestly, I'm struck by how little I learned today. It felt like every single guy played within the one-game margin of error of what I expected from him beforehand.
does anyone else notice how when crashing the line, Roh and Black seem to get "folded" up by the linemen (for lack of a better term).... they seem to always get their bodies turned....
Ive noticed it throughout both of their careers, and it scares me that they do not look very strong out there
I don't know which game you were watching, but both Roh and Black were impressive today.
They get their bodies turned because they get past their blocker, who is forced to hold one of their shoulders. That's football.
None of us watched a game today... we watched a practice in which not much happened on the lines...
I am just very concerned with Roh and Black's lack of strength, and i think it has been apparent in past games when they seem to get folded up along the line
Edit: Im not trying to argue... just Roh and Black need to be big playmakers this season, and neither of them appear to have the strength needed to handle the linemen in front of them
By far I was most impressed with Fitz. The guy looks on another level compared to other running backs. He runs with an anger and has the best vision of the backs by far.
In the few plays that we got to see Fitz run the ball, I thought he really separated himself from the other RB's. He seems to be on a different level than the other RB's now, and much better runner now than he was this time last year.
Fitz looked good and Rawls is a strong runner. Marvin Robinson was making quite a bit of plays and so was Hawthorne. Black looks bigger and I think he will be a decent 3-tech but Campbell looked inconsistent to me. Some plays he looked good and others he didn't. I would have to say that our coverage was tremendous since there weren't many passes other than little slants or dump passes but sometimes it was hard to see the secondary on Big Ten Network. I'm taking everything with a grain of salt but the defense was obviously more impressive than the offense, but that's not saying much.
The only things that really stood out to me were
- Brandin Hawthorne
- Gardner running
- Russell Bellomy
Denard and Devin look like runners. The contrast is striking.
Something which a lot of people were missing was that Campbell was not the one getting destroyed at the nose a lot of the time. In fact, when he was single blocked, he often dominated his man, which is a good thing. All that we need from Campbell is that he requires double teams.
The key things to realize are:
- Runs down the middle were blown up
- Long runs were mainly the result of missed tackles by filling LBs in space
- The secondary played lights out. There was a blanket on every receiver.
- Gardner ran as soon as his primary and secondary checks were covered. If he had stayed in the pocket he would have been sacked on a lot of the pass plays
- Gallon and Roundtree have improved considerably in the crispness of their routes
- Black and Clark have lost speed since putting on weight. Clark in particular looks a lot slower than he did last year. We won't be seeing as much speed-in-space as we had expected
- Morgan was ineffective and injured
- Jarrod Wilson has to work on tackling
- Defensive line was playing contain against gardner - when the ends rushed too far upfield he started to run
- Demens played terribly
I thought I saw Cambell making some good plays but I didn't often see 73 out there when a run near the middle got anywhere.
BWC with his shirt up - I think that was a testament to the effort he has been putting in to his game. I hope he continues it, and really shows us something in the fall.
I'm surprised and dismayed how little it seems Devin has progressed as a QB. I will say though, his running ability has improved. And with the decent play of Bellomy, maybe he actually would be well suited for WR. At either position, I really want this kid's career to begin take off bcuz he's an amazing athlete and already a junior.
He is big for a free safety. He played quite a bit today. I think he is gonna be a stud for sure!
- Kyle Kalis will start the first game of the season... I think his technique, size, off-season workout regimine with LeCharles Bentley (former NFL'er) will prepare him to start...He will easily beat out Joey B/Mealer for Guard
-Desmond Morgan has a huge season, but James Ross finds his way into some playing time
- Ondre Pipkins may not start, but our DL will feature a large rotation without defined 'starter's and 'backups'... Clark, Campbell, Beyer, Roh, Black, Pipkins, Heitzman, Ash, Washington, and another Freshman will all contribute
-Devin Funchess will be utilized at Wideout, this season...
-Chesson will also play
-Dennis Norfleet will be used more than anyone expects
Please remember that only a handful of our incoming class was on display today. Those that enrolled early were able to participate. We are making evaluations on an incomplete team do keep that in mind. Guys like Pipkins, Darboh, Jenkins Stone, Norfleet, Richardson, Magnuson, and others have a chance to step up and become starters or provide the depth that many of us saw as lacking today. I was most impressed by how unhappy Hoke seemed with the team in general after the practice. The coaches are not satisfied, as they shouldn't be at this point, and the Michigan standards are still extremely high. To me this is a good sign considering this is year 2 of Hoke's program and culture change. I'm guessing the standards were a bit lower in year one with the understanding that the entire team didn't know what to expect last year. I think we will be just fine and our defense will be better than last year.
Consider the following:
There are four types of comments in this thread.
1. The WR's don't look good.
2. We didn't see much Denard.
3. Gardner just doesn't look good.
4. Bellomy lacks arm strength.
So... you're concerned about our WR's because our best QB didn't play, our 2nd stringer wasn't very good and our 3rd stringer wasn't strong enough. I don't think your concerns should be on the WR's.
Posted this in the other spring game forum, but I think Hawthorne looked good there near the end. Big hit, one handed interception, goaline tackle. Looked solid even with one arm wrapped up. RBs look good. Wile made a medium length field goal, but what can you really say with so few attempts?
I thought our front 7 on D didn't play so well early on, but it got a little better as the game progressed. We need better snap exchanges; two on the ground today is bad. We didn't get to see much of the WRs. Gibbons push that one field goal wide, again just one play, doesn't mean this is necessarily a problem.
seemed to be making some plays
Bellomy and Rawls looked legit. The O-line looked better than expected.
than last year. I love the way he is getting to the second level so fast. Bolden and Wilson impressed me and look to be pretty good in the coming years. Ringer looked like a MAN.
He looked too comfortable pulling the ball down and running. He's a great runner and all but it's a spring scrimmage. I just want to see him take a few more shots downfield because teams will play close to the line of scrimmage and he needs to be ready for that.
I think the defensive backs played excellent today, given the fact that Denard wasn't in. This is a good sign, given that not every QB will have the game changing-speed of Denard.
Rawls looks to have a nice future, maybe not this year, but he's got potential.
Wile kicked a nice FG, 40-some yarder IIRC?
I like the fact that Shane signed my son's helmet and introduced me to his father. He's a great kid! My son will remember that forever.
Reminded me (as soon as I saw your picture) of a picture I have of my son when he was that age sitting on the shoulders of James Hall after the spring game of (I thnk) 1998. Another great Michigan Memory was created today for you and your son!
Morris kind of looks like Zack Novak.
Just keep that in mind.
Trying to evaluate the WRs in the spring game with the 2nd+3rd string QBs is like...Wkell, trying to evaluate the WRs in the spring game with the 2nd+3rd string QBs
I think it means good things that the the D Line dominated because almost all the OL started last year. Denard looked impressive. Gardner didn't do that well passing. Overall I think we played better than last year's spring game.
D Line dominated? I must have watched a different game.
Roh also looked good.
DL will have trouble vs. run. Expect to see Kovacs in the box most of the day vs. UA. Maybe this secondary can handle it.
Jarrod Wilson is tall.
QWash and Ash still do not impress
Don't understand the "Bellomy so athletic" comments. After 3 years of Denard and 2 of Devin, it should be obvious that he's not even in their class. He can be good, but he's not nearly the athlete being argued in this post.
Long fg. Love it.
I'm thinking Gibbons from close and Wile from 40 plus.
It's just a spring game it don't mean shit why in da he'll is everyone freakn out?? Since when has the spring game ever been a good predictor on the season
The play of the "game" was Rawls blitz pickup on the Blues first scoring drive. Also liked seeing some of the fullback out of the backfield catching passes.
It's easy for me to answer what was the most impressive...the RBs. Does anyone else remember how bad that position looked at this time last year? Fitz and Shaw were battling for the job, and neither seemed to want it. There was talk of Rawls starting. Smith looked good, but only as a situational player. It was a mess.
Now? What a difference a year makes. Fitz looks decisive, intelligent, and fast. I have said before and will say it again: don't count on having him around in 2013. He may be headed to the league as a 2nd round pick. Rawls has improved his vision, and shows a very impressive first cut for a guy with his power. He is a great change-of-pace back and I would feel comfortable with him starting if Fitz has an issue. Hayes, Smith, and even Kerridge looked impressive today.
Fitz has the goal of the being the best RB in the country...while I'm not sure that's attainable, I do believe he could be a top five college back by the end of this season.
- The secondary is playing with a lot more confidence and speed. I was impressed with that group as a whole. The tackling needs to improve, though.
- If Russell Bellomy can develop some arm strength, he will push Devin for the job next year. He's a smart passer with decent accuracy. Also, his play action looked real good.
- The O-Line has no depth. None. It's worse than last year. At least two freshmen will push for time, and one could easily start. We might only RS one or two scholarship guys.
- The D-Line needs help. If BWC can't get it together, expect 'Bama to run up the gut all day against us. Demens and Morgan will have a tough time handling the blocks of the 'Bama linemen at the second level. Could be a long day in that department.
- Hello, Brandin Hawthorne. Keep doing that.
- Blake Countess...another early departure if he stays focused. 2013 will be his last season in Blue if continues to improve this quickly, and I see him as a late first-round prospect.
- All of the RB big gains came up the middle. Yes, this is redundant, because it scares the crap out of me how soft the middle of the D looks sometimes. I don't want a defense that either stops you for short/no gain or gives you chunk plays. I want consistency.
- Cam Gordon and Jake Ryan? The SLB position looks great.
- I hear a lot of talk about how great our LBs are. I wasn't that impressed with the MIKE or WILL. But Morgan was out and Demens was limited. I think we'll be fine, but I'm not ready to crown them our best position group.
- Wonderful (and also scary) thought: the secondary was the best position group on the defense today.
- Dear Ondre Pipkins: please work your butt off this summer. You may be a four-year starter at the nose for us.
- Dear Kalis and Magnuson: welcome to Big Ten football. You'll be playing this year.
My last comment is about the summer. One thing this staff does is improve players; I expect that BWC, Black, and the rest of the D-Line will meet their summer goals. The same goes for the O-Line, which I still find to be scary in the middle (C and LG). If we use the summer well and improve, we could win the B1G. As for 'Bama? Well, let's just say that if we win that game, we're well ahead of where I think we are. This program is still washing the Rich Rod out and becoming one with the Hoke, and we're still two years away from that process being over. The O-Line and D-Line prove it.
Now, can we get some "hello" going?
They looked wayyyy.... WAYYYY stronger than I have seen since?????? I can't remember. Cudos strength and conditioning and I have been fanatic since 79'. I guess Woodley would have to be the closest I can remember. I would love to see before and after pics from F to Sr on anyone of them.
I should have said been a Proud Wall Mart Wolverine since well before we knew what Wall Mart was.