"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
Woolfolk To Safety
Obviously, Kovacs. Not even a question. Dude has been a rock for this defense.
Offtopic, how? Answering a direct question from the OP?
Anyways, to elaborate. Kovacs has been the heart and soul of the D. Obviously the injury is enough to keep him out of Iowa, as well, but Kovacs should be the clear starter if healthy. He has made so many big plays and is very reliable.
The OP asked if Woolfolk or Gordon would start when Kovacs returned. Kovacs' dominance is so obvious that there is no question whether he will start or not.
Ahh, perhaps I should spend more time at the Derek Zoolander School for Children Who Can't Read Good. Touche, my mistake. That is a much better question.
Hard to bench Gordon, he's been playing pretty damn well.
how'd you fit inside the building? are you an ant?
If Woolfolk can get healthy, I like him over Gordon because of his speed. We haven't really seen him at his best so far since he's always been banged up.
Perhaps it was because he was actually asking who would be the 2nd safety when Kovacs comes back.
I think it got negged because I had already assumed Kovacs would return to the starting lineup...the question was Woolfolk or Gordon at FS. We know Kovacs is the strong safety.
I'll unneg you because I'm a nice guy...but whatever happens after that, sorry dude.
There are only a couple of possibilities here.
1) Gordon was underperforming, so Woolfolk was moved to help out there.
2) Woolfolk was underperforming at corner, and the current starters are better.
I'm thinking 2 is the most likely scenario. Our safeties hadn't given up the big one until today, hardly something to complain about. This may also be a depth issue, so the timing was pretty fortunate.
Is it just me making the connection that our safeties hadn't given up the big one until Woolfolk was playing safety? I think he will be a decent backup, but I thought Gordon and Kovacs were playing incredibly well together for the first 7 games and should still be the starters.
I like the idea of using Woolfolk like Michael Schofield on the offensive line.
Have Woolfolk backup both CBs and both safetys.
He's a 5th year senior...he knows all of the positions, he's not going to get that much better.
He's a 5th year senior...it's not going to "stunt" his growth or progress as a player.
He's the most versatile DB we have...
We have a backup at every position without having a major dropoff.
He'd still get a TON of playing time.
It's not just you. Thinking about this a bit, Woolfolk could have been moved to help the depth at safety, not necessarily to contribute immediately. It's really easy to make a simple mistake on a single play. The fact that our defense had not given up the big one thus far is simply amazing, especially considering how anything thrown over 30 yards was nearly automatic for the opposition previously.
It could be both.
I would assume the starting safeties would be Wolf and Kovacs then.
I don't think so. Thomas Gordon has been playing at least decently. I think it is more likely that Woolfolk was underperforming at corner, and the other safety backups were also disappointing. Carvin in particular has made too many mistakes. Moving Woolfolk to backup safety only improves the team if the corners were better/his impact was less there. I think Gordon will still start when Kovacs returns.
I like the idea. There seems to be enough talent now at CB that this might actually be a better fit for Woolfolk.
IMO it puts another player with ball skill in the secondary. I think having Countess and Floyd at the corner positions let's Woolfolk play "ballhawk" while Kovacs is in run support. Yes he needs to be more physical (i.e. Ed Reed) and become a player who both can go and get a bad pass but also lay the wood on a WR coming across the middle.
Perhaps Gordon will start at Nickle when Kovacs comes back/ be the super sub.
I am hoping more for Safety to Woolfolk
I agree completely. I think Woolfolk, Gordon and Kovacs will all play a lot in different situations. More Woolfolk in passing situations than in running situations. Hoke stated he liked Woolfolk having more catch-up speed than the other guys. He also said it was to get the best 11-12-13 players on the field. Clearly he thinks Woolfolk and Countess meet this criteria.
I see the biggest advantage putting Woolfolk at FS when they go Nickel and it lets Gordon play Nickel.
I like this move. I think this will come up huge for the team in the next handful of games.
In my opinion he needs to be a lot more physical. I saw a couple times today where he lowered his shoulder and that was about it. Didn't pop anyone, didn't wrap up, didn't really feel like a presence in that spot. He was also, IME, behind both the starting corners too though, and maybe they are happy with Avery's improvement moreso than the backup safties.
I think Gordon starts with Kovacs in the future (though with the health of Kovacs and Wolf it's nice to have an extra body). I think, depending on the offense they are facing and the type of nickel that Michigan wants to run (ie, does the offense run out of the spread more or to they spread to throw) they will either bring in Wolf and move Gordon to nickel (if it's a run base spread) or bring in Avery and keep the safeties the same (pass base spread)
Is safety a natural fit for Woolfolk? “Oh I don’t know. I think with the emergence with how Blake’s been playing -- I always believe you put your best players on the field. Troy’s probably in the top 11, 12, 13 guys on defense.”
Pretty clear that Countess took the job, Floyd has locked down the other, and they still want to get Woolfolk on the field
Gordon will be the nickel. The backfield goes:
CB Floyd , Avery
CB Countess, Taylor??
NB Gordon, Taylor
FS Gordon, Johnson
SS Kovacs, Woolfolk
I never thought Troy would be passed up. I wonder if this is health related, or if both Floyd and Countess are better when all three are at full health?
Still, as is said above, having Countess, Floyd, Avery, Gordon, Woolfolk, and Kovacs gives depth where there isn't a huge dropoff, where you can give someone a breather as needed, and where you can use personnel to maximize a player's strengths for a particular defensive play. What a wonderful thing to have.
I don't even think it's close.
Woolkolk over Gordon? no. Woolfolk over Avery as the 5th db? Maybe.
is a bitch. Yea he got burned at NW for a big play but that is expected. I hope to see him for 3 more years at CB and maybe in the slot.
Is this a good bitch or a bad bitch?
I've heard someone being described as bad as in good, or as "the shit" rather than shit. But I don't think I've ever heard someone called a bitch in a good way (unless I'm watching the AKC dog show) but the explanation doesn't make sense with a bitch being a bad thing.
(Probably just getting older)
got autocorrected to bitch...
T-Wolf has not been all that impressive this year (injuries, caveats, etc) so I am sure this was done to "protect" him a little bit while still a veteran on the field.
gordon when kovacks comes back
would be fine. My guess is that yes, he is being moved because lost time due to various injuries which have kept him from being in true playing shape for more than a year. He will be a good and serviceable backup at safety, but time has not been kind. Chalk him up as another player victim of the coaching kerfuffle because I can pretty much assure you he would be more than serviceable at this position if he had only stayed a safety, or am I the only one who remembers that?
to see a Freshmen beat out Sr. who was supposed to be the best player on the D. Not that I dislike Woolfolk but it just kind of shows how the better talent is already starting to filter into the program.
Both safety positions require hitters. I don't see TWolf replacing a healthy Kovacs or Gordan. Unfortunately, he is not one of the top 3 corners either. He will be a valued backup.
Should be in cause at some point were going to be taking on Illinois, Nebraska, and Ohio State. All duel threat no pass (other than Scheelhause at ILL) and T Gordon can sneak up and provide speed and big hitter ability at OLB type position to negate some yards from those QBs cause at some point adjusments to duel threats have to be made. I mean all three are nasty and Hoke is right, T Wolf has the most speed at FS. When it comes to dealing with duel threats we need to match speed with speed and have our front four filling gaps like MSU did to us. Im even questioning myself on TG moving up but the kid can lay the boom in free space.
Agree with this post. Hoke said in his presser that Woolfolk brings some speed to the position. While there's no denying that nobody on the team reads a play and reacts like Kovacs, he's also not the fastest guy on the team. Woolfolk could bring in a new wrinkle with his speed, either for chasing people down in the backfield when we bring pressure, or as noted by Mich1993 above, for passing situations.
Love the fact that someone remembers that T wolf was a safety when he started.
Woolfolk played FS in high school, but he played CB as a true freshman back in 2007. The argument could be made that he "started out" at both positions.
In his college career, Woolfolk has been a cornerback for 4.5 out of 5 seasons. The only year he played safety was 2009, and that was only for half a year.
Seems to me one of the most important things about getting woolfolk on the field is not his physical ability, but his ability to make checks/calls. Hoke even addressed this;
"They tried to tempo us a little bit, so he did a good job of getting us in and out of what we needed to be looking like back there."
With Kovacs out there this isnt as important, but I think its one of the reasons they have tried to keep troy out there even when its obvious countess is outplaying him (no offense to woolfolk, again hoke addressed this, countess is just that good)
T-Wolf has clearly lost his starting position and the coaches want to give him respect as a leader on the team by attempting to keep him on the field. Fact of the matter is, he's probably a better coach and mentor at this point than player.
Woolfolk's performance has been very disappointing this year, but it seems like many of his troubles have been caused by one injury or another. I don't think he's as fast as he was a couple years ago, and that was one of his biggest strengths. It's too bad he had such a devastating injury last year.