Blue in Seattle
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|1 week 2 days ago||Amen Brother||
I had a discussion with my brother about mid season. My position being that Hoke was frustrated with performance of the "experienced" players and pushed all his coaches to start giving younger guys (guys recruited by Hoke) a chance to play. My brother responded with, "you can't just try to get time to play young guys to give them experience, you have to play to win and put the best people out there". My response was, "the scary thing is, I think that's what he is doing."
I'm expecting that 2014 sees a dramatic reduction of burned redshirts.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Jake Ryan will be fine||
Much has been made over this change not fitting Jake Ryan. I agree that he has to learn new keys, since he is in the middle instead of on the edge. But the difference between him and Beyer, as far as Hoke and Mattison would comment, was that Jake was onorthodox, but could correct for it with his athletic ability. I think that ability was to be able to correct for over aggressiveness. It is similar to the advantage Woodson had as a corner. Woodson would bait the QB into a throw b not maintaining proper coverage, and then closing the apparent gap in time to make the interception. I saw the same ability with Jake in that he would over pursue to cut off the outside run lane for the running back, yet when the running back juked inside, Jake could twitch back into a collision course. Go back and watch the Sugar bowl where the running back starts to run backwards to try and get away from Jake, and fails.
Add to that the A gap blitzing when the correct slant is called by the DTs, and I think we will soon be back to listening to the lamentation of the women.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Hmmmm||
Guess that's why it is such an amazing accomplishment when a horse does win all three in the same season.
|5 weeks 18 hours ago||I agree this is more permanent||
Mattison has commented many times that he wants the defense to be symetrical and to not have the D line flop around in response to motion changing the weak and strong sides. Add in the increase of up tempo preventing substitution and time to align, and having the base defense be an Over responds to that.
|10 weeks 4 days ago||read this Space Coyote article||
posted at MaizenBrew 4-3 Over
The interesting thing to me is that the SDE moves out and takes the 4-3 Under SAM responsibility of contain. The SAM comes off the line and takes the gap inside the SDE. This does make the DL more symetrical than the 4-3 under, and I think that is what Mattison has been recruiting in DT's and DE's. So now Taco and Frank are both in the first team DL, and most importantly there shouldn't be any more flip flop of the DL on the first motion of the offense, just minor adjustment left or right in reaction to the change in strength of the motion man. Brian's repeated concern has been the loss of Jake Ryan's slashing ability, but I think Mattison wants to use that for blitzing up the middle, and in the Spring Game there was a classic example of Jake Ryan overpursuit when he got into the backfield "too fast", and missed the running back, although the disruption caused resulted in a stop at the LOS. And you can't have the confidence to do that if the corners can't cover the quick routes.
|11 weeks 2 days ago||Hard to appreciate||
when it's not that funny.
|13 weeks 17 hours ago||His Family said it's the system||
in the next few paragraphs the quotes from Horford talk about it being a good system IF the Big player gets a lot of minutes. Then following that he states he wasn't given sufficient minutes to get the experience to apply what he was learning in a game experience. So either he is just skewing the truth a bit so that it doesn't label Beilien's system as "bad for big men", or in reality he is upset about not getting playing time up to now, and doesn't think it will change in the future despite the fact that he has the most experience.
I think that he's not confident he would be given the majority of minutes, whatever the situation is with Mitch and the other recruited 5's and 4's, and with his degree complete, this is the perfect time to make a change. To me the biggest factor is that he has his degree and can go anywhere without waiting out a year.
It does make me wonder what happened with Beilein's attempt at putting in to "bigs" at the same time. Did the coach just not think it would work? That seems to have been something they were trying to do to make Glenn happy, so Glenn could go to the 3.
I don't really expect a clear answer, I wouldn't give one either. This is a good message of "I learned great things at Michigan, thus I'm as good as anybody on that team, but I want the prime minutes for my last year. Everyone wishes me well." doesn't leave Michigan in a bad way, and puts it out there for what he's looking for and what he could do for a school looking for his talent.
|23 weeks 2 days ago||Frank Clark as a comparison?||
I know that I don't have the time, but if you really wanted to determine whether Hoke was consistent or not in managing his players who have off field issues you could compare timelines of Frank Clark and Darryl Stonum. I did a google search on Stonum to find an article with two timeline points;
Stonum was arrested for DUI on May 6. He pleaded guilty June 3rd, and the article dated Aug 7 states that Hoke has decided he is suspended for the season and will use his redshirt to return to the team if Stonum fulfils his punishment obligations given by the court.
I suspect that you would find Hoke to be very consistent in that until the player is proven guilty by the appropriate Non-Football judicial system, the player remains on the team. Once that player is found guilty and punished by the Non-Football judicial system, then Hoke makes his own judgement on how the player will be involved with the Football team. Gibbons clearly cannot be on the team because he is no longer a student. Stonum could have returned to the team if he had completed his punishment from Washtenaw Courts. He did not complete his punishment and was subsequently kicked off the team.
As I said, I don't really have the time to go further, but I expect that despite the reason given for Gibbons not playing, Hoke did suspend him during the time the judgment was given to the school, but in reality the final expelling not delivered. Potentially Gibbens was appealing the decision. To have stated what was going on off the field for Gibbons until the final decision was delivered would have been inconsistent with how Hoke handled the other issues.
|25 weeks 4 days ago||Are you saying||
that you do not believe that Hoke initiated the hiring when he saw that Nussmeier did not get the HC job at Washington? That Hoke didn't decide to fire his close colleague of five years because it was necessary for success AND there was an excellent opportunity for an OC who was looking for more independence in his job? I can understand the point of view that Hoke is a figurehead. I just can't believe it knowing how complex organizations work and what is required of leadership. Primarily making difficult decisions on limited information.
I think the only contribution Brandon provided Hoke was the assurance that whatever Hoke needed to succeed, Brandon would pay for it. I see this as the same situation as when Hoke wanted Mattison.
|26 weeks 16 hours ago||Moeller||
Went elsewhere to be a head coach for awhile and then Bo brought him back as OC just before Bo retired as HC. Its all part of building a coaching tree.
|26 weeks 17 hours ago||Doubt it||
He didn't hire anyone when Saban brought him to Alabama. Same with Scot Shafer hire and Gerg as DC. They all equally work for the headcoach. Hoke would have replaced Funk if that was the problem.
|26 weeks 1 day ago||I agree||
Brian does a great summation of his viewpoint on Borges and analysis of the offense under Borges' control. Year 1 the team did have luck, but I think that was just the turnover karma swinging back to the positive after it hung out on the downside for Rodriguez. If you tally up the number of point scoring drives in 2011 and 2010 they come out nearly the same. The biggest change was the defense actually defended things.
Year 2 I would summarize as "Denard is still the only running attack". Or basically, Borges just couldn't put Denard on a shelf while trying to run the pro-style plays he knew the rest of the offense needed to practice so that they would be proficient in 2013, or at least serviceable. Of course Hoke only had one half of his massive OL haul in recruits, so how much would it have helped putting Denard on a shelf? Hard to say if we gained anything from adding the complicated passing schemes when our best recievers were Gallon and Gardner.
Year 3 is where I think Borges just couldn't admit it was going to suck no matter what. Not only was the OL massively young, but Borges couldn't make the decision to just pick one thing and stick with it. I think the improvement of MSU's offense this entire year is all about practicing the same base plays all year and adding the counters once the base is perfected. Every coach that comments on this site repeated this comment that Michigan has no base. It was reflected in the opposing teams gloating about, "we knew what was coming".
The point I lost faith was during reading Brian's diagnoses of the play where Funchess is in the slot but had to be on the line AND covered up by the WR. How is that NOT a Running play? That play is flawed on the drawing board. High school players would not have covered Funchess and instead joyously streaked into the backfield looking for the TFL!
Prior to that, I was really putting it on the pressure that Michigan must win year in and year out despite having incredibly young players. While I think Borges made a mistake expecting too much from young players, the part that couldn't be fixed was his apparent lack of understanding in how the opposing team uses video to scout you. I ignored the signs when he brought out that insane OL formation against PSU that he had "surprised" Minnesota with. I mean, in reality I couldn't tell if that was his brain child or Hokes. But designing a play where you are blatantly telling the defense "it's a run" is just inconceivable.
I do think the game has passed him by, and despite his knowledge and eloquence, this is the right thing to happen. And is the best for the team.
|26 weeks 1 day ago||Great info||
Not really diary material though. You did a good job shadow boxing the quotes from the press release , but I expected more author content for a diary.
|26 weeks 1 day ago||I think the mistake||
everyone makes with this line of thinking is that the coaching staff structure has many levels instead of being flat. All the coaches are hired and fired by Hoke, evaluated by Hoke, assigned to their position by Hoke. Just like Rich Rodriguez hiring and firing his DC. No staff changes beyond the coordinator.
I agree with Don, we would have heard of something from Michigan if it's going to happen, because Hoke would have decided it all at the same time. If he wanted a package deal from Alabama that would have been arranged in the dark secret place where Brandon does all his negotiating.
Check the recruit responses to the firing. They are pretty consistent with "I haven't heard from Coahc Borges for a couple of weeks". That's pretty close to how long Lane Kiffin has been "consulting" with Alabama.
|26 weeks 1 day ago||They are two slightly different metrics||
FEI is a drive based analysis, so having at least one play in a drive as "explosive" will label that drive explosive. When I read the Mathletes description my understanding is that he is rating each first down achieved by how many yards beyond the goal of a first down were achieved. In other words how many explosive first downs does a team achive, rather than explosive drives.
As a quantitative analysis I think this shows that Nussmeier achieves improvement that is independent of the state of the program. Granted it is only two cases on opposite ends of the spectrum, but how much data does any single coach generate? The fact is, in his last two jobs he created improvement on these metrics, with first unproven or limited talent, and then again with proven talent.
The question I ask myself is "why did Saban tire of him in two short years?" I assume Saban knows more than what we can analyze, and there is the fact that he hired him from Washington and must have done so expecting improvement, which he got. So why the change? My conclusion is that as soon as the master recruiter, Lane Kiffin, became available room was going to be made for him, and OC was the only position that wouldn't be an insult.
|33 weeks 2 days ago||Can't be just talent||
The freshman would have been on the field at the beginning of the season if the abilities they are showing now were the same two months ago. Where were the freshman for Akron and UConn? Now I am not saying they are less talented. I believe the star ratings in general. But you have to know a lot to apply whatever talent level you have properly. That knowledge only comes from time in practice.
For example, if Green can learn to pick his feet up and stay choppy until he is out of traffic, he will double his yardage output. He is good at hitting shoulder pads, but for some reason, possibly practice, he still gets tackled at the ankles and legs. He is not Mike Hart, he is tall, so he has got to pick his feet up whe the safety dives down to chop him.
|34 weeks 2 days ago||Arguing too far apart||
From everything I read, both Brian and Space Coyote indicate that coaching is the issue. What I see in the discussion is that they are both missing the point the other one is trying to make. The "can Kerridge block" discussion is a good example. Space Coyote is explaining how the play is designed and that it is a good playcall in that situation. Specificaally, it mimics a comment Borges made in response to a lack of "bubble screen". Borges stated he would prefer to have a running back filling the space the slot LB has abandoned, because he sees it as a mismatch in the offenses favor even if the slot LB stays home to cover the back. The wrinklr Brian is trying to point out is that since the fullback has been added the slot receiver must be on the line along with the outside WR, and that makes the slot ineligible and thus no need to cover him. Brian's point is that the alignment of the "good playcall" makes it a bad play call because it telegraps run and now the defense has the advantage such that an easy block for Kerridge becomes a difficult block, and the design of the play makes that block critical! In short a play call that is difficult to execute is a bad play call and not the fault of execution.
Brian argues this position, because he has watched the RR offense at WVU. In the design of RR's plays, the slot is still eligible, and if the slot cover blitzes down to stop the run the the QB is coached to pick the bubble screen option, or pop pass, or whatever you want to call it. It is the constraint play that keeps the defense honest and maintains the offensive advantage on blockers. If you make your slot ineligible to catch a pass, you have removed the fear of constraint from the defense and they will punish you. Even the talent gap between Michigan and UConn couldn't make these kinds of plays succeed.
|37 weeks 3 days ago||good point on the checks||
I'm sure that Michigan prepared for uptempo, but seeing it in the game was a different story. They did get better as the game progressed though. Especially the secondary getting themselves lined up. And once that started happening faster, then Indiana could see that things were set, and then waited for the coaches to indicate whether or not to check to a different play.
For me, it is like every other scheme. If your team can't execute it efficiently in the bread and butter plays, then you can never get to the counters. And despite having scout teams, you'll never have a coach say, "yeah we practiced up temp, and it was clear that despite practicing it for 1 and a half days this week, we never really got our team to line up quickly, and of course our scout team has only practiced it for a couple of days, and Indiana has been doing it for a season and a half now."
This year many facets of the Michigan team are nice lumps of iron being shaped in a forge, they aren't pretty yet, or ready for tempering, but at least they are starting to look like a pointy weapon.
I think many negatives will be assigned to the LB corp for this game. Yes the secondary got burned early, but later on they were in position, and just didn't have the technique to make at least two more picks or PBUs
|39 weeks 10 hours ago||What are you basing that on?||
I see very few JB stars that stayed to senior year except the ones who didn't have NBA potential.
|39 weeks 2 days ago||I hope it stays with Dileo||
The attitude you need to be a punt returner is different than kickoff return. On kickoff return you never get hit before you catch it. Catching a punt is like looking up while running around in traffic. Norfleet is a jitterbug, but Dileo's got the attitude of, "you're not hitting me I'm hitting you." You need that for the first five steps of a punt return. After that, if you are still running, then it's a foot race, and Norfleet doesn't seem to have that all out sprint speed Breaston, Carter, Woodson, Howard, etc. had.
|40 weeks 3 days ago||Soooo...||
The answer is "No".
|41 weeks 2 days ago||is this the same play for TD?||
Is this the same play as the TD after Michigan's interception? That play looked like everyone sealed their man inside. How did the defense respond on that play?
I think the picture pages are great for analyzing one play in isolation. And if the goal of this analysis is to say, "hey the OL did a pretty good job blocking, but the defense was ready for it, and Fitz should have slammed up into a LB for 1-3 yards forward instead of dancing for a -2.
Now the conclusions that are made in the article go beyond what I think the single play can provide. Primarily the unstated assumption is that this is as best as Michigan can block it. But every now and then a play loses on RPS. How did this play and this team execute when RPS even? That's why I'm asking if this was the same play that also got a TD at a very critical moment?
To extend this into other analysis I've seen on the board, or in comments to other front page analysis, there was a comment that the speed pitch is great, but Borges better not call it for MSU because they weill surely have an answer. The problem I see with that is the speed option has only been called as an audible by Gardner. The first time he made a bad decision to keep AND failed to secure the ball. The second time he made a great decision to pitch, maybe even helped by UConn studying film and saying, "Gardner never pitches to Fitz, annihilate Gardner", which ends up as a TD.
Basically, if we are going to try and analyze the game plan, we need to sort through all the different play calls (hard to do without a playbook) and then compare results on the same play call against the variations of defense put up against it.
Or we could limit our conclusions to only what the single play against a specific defense tells us. On this one I see us almost win on a play call that was defensed perfectly.
|41 weeks 3 days ago||Who are the maulers?||
To me there is Taylor, and then an inexperienced Kalis. Miller is small but non-Molkian, Glasgow is an inexperienced walkon, and Schofield is the serviceable Generic RT. compared to last year we've only added Kalis as the true Hoke prodigy. Why are we running outside zone? Maybe, just maybe it leverages our most experienced OL?!? And it is in response to last years weak interior line issues?
What I see is that all teams have a much greater ability to prepare than in years past. Hell recruiting stats don't even go back ten years. So now you have poor talent teams able to review everything a team did in the last game. It takes a lot more experience than Michigan has now on offense to continually add new things when last weeks new things were execution failures. I think what we have seen is a team that ignored CMU and took two weeks to prepare for ND. Then all the emphasis on being unorthodox to defeat talent hit a panic button in the team and inexperience melted down and Senior playmakers stopped trusting and took high risk paths to try and mitigate.
At the end of UConn, it looked to me that Fitz was finally trusting the holes would be there and stopped immediately looking for the cutbacks and alternates. By doing that he is going to give the OL confidence they are doing it correct immediately, instead of waiting for the film on Sunday.
This team lacks confidence, and it starts with Gardner. He was playing to not screw up at UConn.
Or Dr. Evil stole his MoJo.
|41 weeks 4 days ago||Games played is important||
Just attending practice only gets you so far. Then experience is everything. Playing against your own team in practice can never be as intense as a real game, especially for something as physically exhausting as football. Then there is the quantity of inexperienced players that can start to have an exponential effect. A team can have a successful play if one person makes a mistake. But two or three mistakes? And then that blown play limits the options for the next play in the series. This is why the coaching types more frequently defend the coaches against the execution. In video games it sounds like players just have physical talents that vary but 100% execution is assumed, thus failure is only caused by "the scheme".
So count up all the games started by the listed startersand backups, compare that to other teams, and then tell me Michigan is not "young".
|42 weeks 2 days ago||It's the RB?||
I agree with the analysis on Toussaint, and I am thinking that maybe the coach we should be raising an eyebrow at is one Fred Jackson, and not Funk. But I also remember Gorgeous Al emphasizing that you don't rely on freshman running backs because that is how you get your QB killed.
Overall I think this game was on Gardner and his lack of experience. Going forward every defense is going to target Gallon as the threat, until Gardner makes them aware of Dileo,TE's and most importantly Jehu!
I expect to see Jehu on Kick Off returns and replacing the reynolds/jackson sightings.
|42 weeks 3 days ago||Reminded of 1998||
During one of Hoke's coaching clinic tours, he kept bringing up his preparation mistake with the 1998 team, and the result against Syracuse. Basically the point was, everyone needs to practice the fundamentals. Mattison seems to be repeating that in his press conference. The players seemed so eager to learn that he accelerated the installment of technique to the detriment of fundamental importance. Now I don't know what it takes to install more LB blitzes, but when the offense is only putting three guys out to catch covering them with five players and sending both LB's seems to be something that needs doing.
It also makes me think that if you can trust your front seven to be gap sound on every play there really is no reason not to hop them up on goofballs.
That said, I have faith that progress will be made this season. And the bye weeks come up early this year, so I am ready to just think about U Conn from this point forward.
|42 weeks 3 days ago||The coaches comments on youth||
These comments are the ones I pay attention to the most. I think everyone is forgetting the CMU game results entirely by some of these grasping at straws reasons. It is similar to comments like, "Hoke's strategy is execution over scheme". That statement makes no sense. Schemes never work if they aren't executed. Coaches call a play on first down with the widest range of choice. When the execution causes failure, the next choice is greatly resticted. Borges, like many coaches seems to have few choices on third and long. Oregon has fewer choices on third and long, once you are in third and long the defense has the advantage, and their acces to scheme expands!
Go watch the post game press conferences again everyone, the most dodged question was the one about, "didn't you notice in practice that players were not preparing as they had the previous weeks?
Everyone thought this game was in the bag except Akron. It is as simple as that. Well, and Devin panicked multiple times. Hopefully Captain Red Zone got it all out of his system and can go back to his super hero results. I'll give him the deflection in traffic, but the non-pitch to Fitz was ego or mental freeze, the pass to double covered Gallon instead of wide open Funchess was playground mentality football, and the pick six was the scramble panic flub that he did in the ND game. The one everyone said "He knows to not do that again"
|42 weeks 5 days ago||He tried at least once||
Going over the top requires pass protection. Gallon wasn't targeted because he was always double covered and one interception was a bad decision to target Gallon. This should have been a coming out party for Chesson as the second threat after Gallon. Funchess was wide open across the middle on the interception targeted at Gallon. When the QB starts making bad decisions and Oline can't block, you don't start dialing up the long ball every play. With the crappy execution the OC becomes severely tactically limited.
Anyone watch the ND game and their slow start against Purdue? Then 21 points in the fourth to win?
Mistakes all over, but this week was the off week, not last week.
|42 weeks 5 days ago||Yes, they focused on Gallon||
And so did Devin. He threw into double coverage to Gallon on one interception. The pick six was another blind desparate throw with protection breaking down. If he just pitches it to Fitz he doesn't fumble. Those plays were a minimum of 7 points of differential max of 21 points.
Hoke expects a lot out of the Dline because the secondary is young. They don't trust the safeties enough to play press man on the corners, snd really the linebackers don't seem to have coverage down yet either. Three step passes are hard to get a sack on. But that last drive did have a play where all but one of the Dline got piled on an the QB scrambled forever.
The offense though is on the line and Devin. Devin needs to look at someone other than Gallon. On the interception Funchess was leading his covering LB by more than a yard. Devin misses that and throws to double coverage.
|43 weeks 1 day ago||In Kelly's head? yes||
Herbstreit brought up the fact that Kelly was calling the offense for just over half the game many times and that the game started with the OC calling the plays.
The first pass completed in front of Countess I was thinking, "what is up with Countess? why isn't our stud corner contesting those short passes?" But then I watched both corners and they were doing the same thing and I concluded it had to be the plan so that it helped out the safeties keep the long pass routes double covered.
The Heavy use of Nickel didn't start until the first half was coming to a close with michigan up by a TD 20-13. It only took two plays on that drive to get the interception, and one that Countess reads Rees's eyes or just bets that he should cover the deeper receiver and get's in the way of Rees's pass. Then Gardner takes that gift and Hoke goes all in on a pair of Kings in his pocket. Up two scores, Mattison Finishes the next drive entirely in Nickel, knowing that with Kelly behind in the chip count Michigan just needs to lean on them.
The first ND drive of the second half opens in the 4-3 buts ends in Nickel, and then it's mostly Nickel the rest of the way as Kelly has taken over OC duties because he can't believe that Gardner is a Throw God on the run, and is also being called Denard because the running backs are just blocking now, despite wearing the Ol 98 jersey.
So I think the DL did well and I'm willing to bet if you measured the average time Rees held onto the ball it would be half the time Gardner held onto the ball. Rees never had time to progress past the second read. Sure there was only 1 sack, but the short passes weren't getting YAC and the defense couldn't stop "6.5 points in the Red Zone" Gardner.
Conclusion, do not play poker against Hoke with your own money.