STOP MARGINALIZING HIM, BRIAN
WTKA Roundtable 4/20/2017: Forza Spring
- Baseball is really good. Now up to #13 in the country.
- Spring takes: It was fun. Brandon Peters looked gooooood. Speight had a bad day, but that doesn’t undo a season’s worth of seeing him start, play on the road, play injured, lead a team, etc. But man, that throw to Schoenle. But Speight was under way more pressure. But Craig was a few sheets to the wind when charting it.
- The spreading: Are they getting the RBs good receiver matchups? A zone read package to bleed Peters? Making pass protection easier? All of the above, probably.
- Like the backs. Like the receivers. The secondary looks like it reloaded.
- Craig and Brian don’t agree on their favorite walk-on OL. Frey is good—smart to have multiple coaches for a position that, including TE, is over half of your offense.
- Bush can run through some guys—you can see why they like Robo but Bush is going to be hard to keep from the field.
- Khaleke Hudson is the Peters of the defense: seeing the things translate to college ball that made him such an exciting prospect out of high school.
- Can you imagine telling Don Brown he’s not allowed to blitz?
- That bonkers field goal. The other kickers looked good too. Will Hart can punt it long but takes a long time to get it off.
- Toughest game on the schedule? Brian thinks Sam is giving Penn State too much credit. Their offense in the good part of the year was too based on bombing it downfield but that’s not going to last without Chirs Godwin.
- Hurst: we’re gonna have to get used to playing more snaps. Really wish we had a Matt Godin on this roster.
You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Audioboom.
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/ try the veal
keep Bush from the field?
Forza 6 is a great game.
There's been a lot of legitimate optimism flowing from the Spring Game. MaizenBrew did an excellent wrap up on the subject: http://www.maizenbrew.com/2017/4/21/15370120/michigan-football-roundtable-recapping-a-thrilling-spring-game
However, we are Michigan fans, which means every silver lining comes with a dark cloud. Permit me to be the devil's advocate here. Every unit that did well in the spring game could be really good, or their teammates could be really bad, or some combination. Here are my top concerns in that regard:
- 2nd string defensive front seven against the run. We all appreciated how quick and elusive most of the RBs looked. We downright marveled at OL who are walk-ons (or so far buried in the depth chart they are not expected to play much) dominated the second string DL. Given this team's recent history in OL run blocking, that should be a bright red flag that perhaps the DL opposing them are not good, or at least, not as good as we thought they were and perhaps our DL depth and rotation will be substantially less than last season's historically good line. Mitigating factors: none really.
- CBs: almost all the WRs, again including the guys not expected to see many offensive snaps, looked sharp. That does not even include some of the stud recruits we expect to see in the fall for the first time. The ability of the secondary to cover should be a concern. Mitigating factor: the two presumed starting CB barely played, so perhaps it is less problematic than it appears.
- Pass protection: we have ground our teeth the last few seasons at the OL's inability to create push in the running game. Somewhat overlooked is the fact that pass protection has been much better than expected (in Coach Hoke's last season) to downright excellent more recently. Most of the OL and a historically outstanding pass blocking RB have graduated. In the spring game, last year's starting QB was running for his life on most plays, and we are citing that as a reason not to worry about his lack luster performance. The past few season's pass protection has spoiled us; we should be concerned. Mitigating factor: many have stated that it's hard to come up with two complete OL units for a no kidding competitive spring game. Again, it may not be as bad as it seems when all five starters and one or two best rotation guys take all the snaps.
This is nit-picking. Overall, I'm comfortable where the team is right now. This is a list of places where I'm expecting some sort of struggle. How much struggle will probably make the difference between merely a winning record and a playoff contender.
I was optimistic because I thought overall the team looked more cohesive than it has in previous spring games. It wasn't a dis-jointed mess as 2nd and 3rd team guys rotated in and out.
I think once we see the actual full 1st team defense and offense going hard in a game setting, it'll look pretty good.
my brain instantly said "oh look . . . . Rashan is in the backfield . . . . again."
One thing I like about Penn St.'s deep passing game is how it complimented their running game. If opposing defenses used their safeties too much to help defend against Saquon Barkley, it made them vulnerable to the deep pass. If they stayed honest, Barkley could wreak that much more havoc.
Unfortunately, our deep passing game misfired most of last year and opposing defenses sometimes seemed to cheat their safeties up. I don't care who our QB ends up being, but I hope he can complete the deep passes that ought to be there with our WRs. OL needs to do its part too, but Speight missed so many deep passes last year that it undermined opposing teams' respect for that threat and hurt our running game.