and... i like them? I think I like them.
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|1 hour 20 min ago||Call me crazy but||
I actually like Peppers better at safety, at least as an experiment, especially if Watson is as good at man coverage as prescribed. Safeties are described as "best when boring" but that's really more like a very high floor. They're involved in every play so it's very tough to take one out of the game.
We don't know much about Watson's game other than his press coverage, which adds a lot of uncertainty, so I could be way off. But I maintain the most likely explanation given the evidence that we have is that Watson's playing safety not because he's a good safety, but precisely because he's a bad one and it's spring, and that's the best place for him to pick up the non-press parts of playing a DB.
We'll find out in August, I guess.
|1 hour 37 min ago||Yes and no||
The bad decisions come from having a containing DE in his face, so yeah.
However, I wouldn't BAN the bootleg, just get rid of the goddamn play-action where he has to take his eyes off the defense and slow down to sell the run no one is expecting. The defense has to fear the RB more than the scramble for that to work and that's not happening anytime soon.
However, you can deploy a waggle variant of QB oh noes where DG just books it to the sideline, probably out of pistol. If he sees daylight he just goes for it, but for reasons explained above, this is very unlikely. What IS likely is that the linebackers will be coached to assist in the chase. So if DG just rolls out without that stupid play-action crap to slow him down, the pursuit can result in a TE, slot or WR breaking open in the flat.
|2 hours 3 min ago||Best half a CB to ever play||
Best half a CB to ever play the game.
Few people threw at Deion because the book on him was don't fight ego with ego. Throw at him and it'll probably be intercepted; run at him and he'll practically lay down a carpet for you.
|2 hours 10 min ago||Why move a press corner to||
Why move a press corner to safety? PT would be the dumbest reason to do it.
If he's lining up at safety at all I speculate it's to refine the parts of his game that need work -- zone coverage, tackling in space, reads and run support. Coaches don't need to teach him a damn thing about press coverage by the looks of it. When you're 10 yards off the line you can't press, so it's forcing him out of his comfort zone. This is what coaches are paid to do.
Again, the purpose of practice is to get better at the stuff you're BAD at. I don't think we can glean anything about starters or schemes from spring because we'll see TEs trying to block and press corners at safety because that's what Michigan needs to rep. Granted you also practice your strengths but those are typically "maintenance" reps which take up far less time.
|7 hours 15 min ago||MGoBlog is not a fan of||
MGoBlog is not a fan of rollouts because it's a constraint for immobile QBs. The logic goes that if you have a plodding cannon back there with an established running game, the defense will allocate all 11 to stop the pass, run and play-action. This shuts down the offense and it works because no one's on the QB because he's not a running threat. . . until he rolls out on a fake handoff with no defender within twenty yards and easily slides to the ground just past the first down marker. That wakes up the D, loosens them up, because if you pull a defender away from his assignment to follow the QB, someone's open. But it all starts with the premise that the defense won't expect the QB to run.
Defenses expect DG to run. Devin Gardner's legs terrify opposing defenses, so they always have someone tracking him. So when he runs away from his protection -- as bad as it is -- as soon as he turns around he's got a guy in his face. It's not a good way to use a mobile QB.
I think using DG's legs is a good idea, but I'd be more subtle about it. Borges used a lot of play action, but they were very conventional -- no one was scared of the RB because the O-line couldn't run block. What I'd use are a mix of draw plays, options and play-action off QB runs. The idea isn't to have DG run 20 times a game. The idea is to always have that threat there, use it to option off a defender, and always leave the defense guessing where the ball's going to go. If DG runs only 5 times a game but is always a threat to run, you can do a lot of damage without actually getting him beat up.
|7 hours 31 min ago||Not hooey||
Of course the TEs were in there; even the squirrel outside my window knows they need the practice. If you're going to rep your TEs it helps to have them go up against a defense formation vs. formation.
The thing about WRs is that they generally operate in space. Man blocking and route-running can be drilled ad nauseum in a vacuum. You do want to get some timing down but they repped that as well.
Granted Nuss could probably look a lot better by opening his bag of tricks, but what would be the point? Nuss isn't trying to beat the defense in the spring; he needs to get his TEs beaten by it while no one's keeping score.
|5 days 21 hours ago||TEACH THE CONTROVERSY||
I don't need your stinkin' facts!
|6 days 8 hours ago||Competition!||
After a disappointing article, MGoblog has a lot of questions to answer. One big question is whether Brian will frontpage the next BiSB.
BiSB started 12 articles last year, but doubts linger as to whether he’s the best fit for the website Brian wants to run. BiSB, who was recruited to run color commentary-ish analysis for Brian's anti-MANBALL attacks, struggled at times last year. He threw key interviews in near-calamities that were Akron and UConn, and the stories he led stalled in losses to Iowa and Nebraska. The Wolverines also lost, once again, to rivals Michigan State and Ohio State. Both arch-enemies up in BCS bowl games, while Michigan ended up in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Brian is under serious pressure, and he has to be looking for a change.
RYG was just a random Guy on the Internet, probably not out of high school, and sat most of his freshman year on his ass reading MGoBlog. RYG posted in the latest BiSB thread and showed flashes of the kind of prejudice and poise that make him a threat to take the reins for MGoBlog. He nearly published a diary and completed over 63% of his latest article (higher than BiSB's 60.3% completion rate). If Brian wants to return to the days of the big-mouthed bloggers, ReadYourGuard looks like his guy.
Brian insists this is an open competition, saying instead that it’s “unknown” who will start.
"BiSB"? Sound more like "I B BS" to me! (nervous chuckle) Back to you, Frank.
|6 days 9 hours ago||I put on my robe and pundit hat||
"The next six months will tell us a lot."
|1 week 8 hours ago||Good to get 'em beat up now||
Not only is the defense ahead of the offense, we knew going in the offense was basically starting over. The defense isn't pulling punches and they shouldn't. Every time the defense wins, the offense learns something. The defense's job (aside from improving themselves) is to give the O-line all the looks they're likely to face over the course of a season. The positive here is that presumably Nuss is repping a small number of schemes ad nauseum, so there'll be better retention than Borges' Cheesecake Factory menu.
Let 'em get beat. It's spring ball. You don't learn if you don't lose.
I'm actually more worried about the D-line. The problem with two straight years of gooey-soft O-line is that there isn't anyone for our DTs to spar with. There's no excuse for our edge rush last year considering they had Lewan and Schofield to practice against, but this season, who's going to push the D-line?
|1 week 1 day ago||calm down||
The obvious downside is that O-line is young AND thin. Thin, because we have like a small army of O-linemen and darn near none of them are ready. Having said that, this team has two key differences over last year:
1) The defense is more experienced. It's basically the same guys as last year with much less of the rawness that necessitated soft coverages.
2) The O-line scheme is simplified. This will make the offense raw AND predictable at first, but more likely to incrementally improve over the season compared to Borges' recipe of switching menus every time the meat was undercooked. By midseason they should be reacting to defenses with, "Yeah, we've seen this before."
The most experienced position last year was WR and we're stocked there. We can't replace Gallon or Dileo, but you never actually replace a player. What you do is restructure your offense to the guys you have, and in that context WR is fine.
I honestly don't get why Brian is so paranoid about JMFR's move to MLB; yes it's a change but he's the team's playmaker and at SLB he's too easy to option off. It also is pessimistic of JMFR's ability to learn a new position (other guys who moved around seemed to do OK) and also kind of assumes they're making no other changes.
That's a bad habit I see around here -- everyone assumes the coaches always change ONE THING and that makes everything fall apart. They didn't move JMFR and switch to an over defense in two different reality bubbles. The two changes work in concert, and this isn't to say that they aren't going to try to use his best qualities anyway. Some teams coach their linebackers to be aggressive; it can get them burned over the middle but just because Mattison's 4-3 under called for read-and-react from the MLB doesn't mean the plan is to make JMFR passive. Look at how ND utilized T'eo.
|1 week 1 day ago||Weird thing is||
how unbalanced our recruiting is. The coaches stress the importance of line play and we're striking out on linemen yet loaded at RB, CB and WR even though we haven't had someone drafted from one of those positions since. . . gosh, I can't remember.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||With all these lockdown||
With all these lockdown corners coming in we could see a shift in strategy from a "bend don't break" defense (which was largely implemented because our D was so ludicrously young last season) to a more downhill, attacking D. We're pretty thin on D-line but if guys like Peppers and Taylor can hold their own without safety help Mattison can dial up some aggressive swarming blitzes.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||In other news||
We could yet wind up with 3 B1G teams in the Final Four. I actually think that's unlikely and I don't want it to happen (we've seen these teams beat each other up enough), but dang our conference WAS brutal.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||So how'd I do?||
"the 3-shooters move around as decoys to free up JorFord; GR3 tests their inside athleticism and attacks the bigs."
I don't think you call 20 three-point attempts "decoys" and I honestly thought they'd use Horford more, but I'd say I was dead-on about Morgan and GR3.
"If it works, Michigan gets some easy buckets, the bigs foul out and Stauskas may have 6 assists by halftime."
Michigan was up 11 at the half, Maymon finished with 4 fouls (I meant "foul out" rhetorically anyway) and while Stauskas got all of 2 assists, Michigan's guards collectively finished with 12.
"If Tennessee's forced out of their gameplan expect Beeline to blow the game open with Death From Above."
And he would've gotten away with it if not for those meddling turnovers.
"If Tennessee leans on their experience, avoids contact and refuses to crack, expect a grinding, frustrating game to the wire."
I'd say Michigan helped them back into the game, but you gotta give 'em credit -- they did just this.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||I think it's a difference in expectations||
The outdated mantra on shooting 3s is that it's a low-percentage shot to punish defenses from collapsing into the paint when you're going for that easy 2. 3-shooters were so notoriously streaky that it was the scoffed recourse of a desperate team lacking a good frontcourt; the saying goes, "Live by the 3, die by the 3." Why? Because shooting is hard; shooting 3s even harder. Few can do it consistently, let alone a team. There were (hell, are to this day) guys in the NBA who can't hit an 8-foot jumper and everyone ARRRGGHHs at "I grew up watching Michael Jordan" idiots who finish a game 4/15 on jump shots. Long story short, most coaches expect shooting limitations, and try to teach their players shot creation and selection. For example, if you can't shoot from 12', then don't shoot from 12' -- find the open man, shake your defender or at the very least plow into him when he's backpedaling and get to the damned line. There isn't a lick of difference between a guy who can shoot from 10' and one who can shoot from 15'. They're both worth 2 points a bucket! Recruit the better athlete that can create shots so you can shoot from 5' instead. Shooting is overrated when you're talking about making 45% of 2-point jumpers. With me so far?
Eff all that.
Beeline realized that shooting has improved that you can design an offense around the 3-pointer; that it's not the weapon of the desperate if your shooters are just that good. So he found a bunch of guys who can shoot 5' beyond the 3-point arc. And when your shooters are that good, you're not in "shot selection" territory but "let's run the offense until one of our long-range guns breaks open or the defense is spread so thin we get an easy dunk". Shooting is not overrated when you're hitting 40% of 3-pointers.
|3 weeks 1 hour ago||Abridging my post from the dead thread||
They're an experienced team, which is bad for Michigan, but that implies they're not outrageously talented (or those players would be in the NBA), which is good for Michigan.
They avoid fouls, don't force turnovers and hammer the boards. They have plenty of length but don't use it aggressively. This is the sign of a team that focuses more on giving their opponent bad looks and cleaning up than breaking up plays. It's the best way to utilize scrappy, experienced defenders with a bad offense and no frontcourt depth.
I think the takeaway here isn't that teams beat Tennessee by beating them at their own game, like that's the only option. I think the key is that if you stick to your strengths, odds are you'll just beat them. The above were narrow victories because that's what they did. I'm with MGoLogan on this one; Michigan has weapons the above teams don't have, and odds are Tennessee hasn't faced. They can, should and will try other things than out-big and out-slow Tennessee. You try that and you're not one of the above teams, odds are you'll get annihilated because they are good at what they do.
What I expect is an exchange of jabs to start, where Beeline shows some new looks to punish Tennessee's tendencies. E.g., the 3-shooters move around as decoys to free up JorFord; GR3 tests their inside athleticism and attacks the bigs. If it works, Michigan gets some easy buckets, the bigs foul out and Stauskas may have 6 assists by halftime. If Tennessee's forced out of their gameplan expect Beeline to blow the game open with Death From Above. If Tennessee leans on their experience, avoids contact and refuses to crack, expect a grinding, frustrating game to the wire. Tennesse hasn't been blown out all season so that's likely, but it's also possible Michigan's athleticism overwhelms them, in which case this'll be VCU redux.
|3 weeks 6 hours ago||Not too concerned||
"preventing 3's" can have several meanings besides a lockdown backcourt D. In the interests of disclosure I didn't pick apart their wins and losses, much less watch them, but consider that they lost 12 games. Also, their style -- they avoid fouls, don't force turnovers and hammer the boards. They have plenty of length but don't use it aggressively. This is the sign of a team that focuses more on giving their opponent bad looks and cleaning up than breaking up plays (and terrified of their own frontcourt depth). My guess is that they show the opponent some tempting looks, then use their experience to contest shots (then rebound them) without fouling. I.e., they're not out to steal the ball or block your shots, but they'll get a hand in your face every time and force bad decisions. This makes them a nightmare for certain teams, but I don't think we're looking at this unpredictable two-headed monster. I think we're looking at a specialized, disciplined team that is very good at some things and terrible at others.
That downside is that I scanned their schedule expecting a bad-shooting, passive team to win the low-scoring games, but it turns out the lower the score, the more likely they lost. In their 12 losses, the opposing team scored more than 70 points only three times and no one reached 80. It is weird indeed. That sounds like a bad match for Michigan, but an experienced squad also implies they're short on freak athletes (or they'd be in the NBA already). A disciplined, positioning-based D is the best way to make use of slow upperclassmen, but it has its limits.
What I expect is an exchange of jabs to start, where Beeline (with a few days to prep) will throw out some new looks to punish Tennessee's defensive tendencies. The 3-shooters (especially Stauskas) will move around as decoys to free up JorFord; GR3 will be called upon to test their inside athleticism. If it works, Michigan will get some easy buckets and Stauskas may have 6 assists by halftime. If Tennessee's forced out of their gameplan expect Beeline to blow the game open with Death From Above. If Tennessee leans on their experience and refuses to crack, expect a grinding, frustrating game to the wire. Tennesse hasn't been blown out all season so expect the latter unless Michigan's athleticism overwhelms them.
P.S. There are four teams per seed; if you're an 11-seed that DOES NOT mean you're the 11th best in the country; it means you're 41st at best.
|3 weeks 6 hours ago||There's an ideal 1-3-1 and||
There's an ideal 1-3-1 and then there's 1-3-1 with the players you have. Michigan doesn't have the personnel to run an ideal 1-3-1, so the next best plan is to load up front to cover up the baseline defender's deficiencies. The alternative is to have a superstar there with the quickness to cover the baseline and elevation to contest inside shots and rebound. The job is so demanding I really don't think there's such a thing as a perfect 1-3-1 baseline defender.
At the other extreme, I don't think Michigan expects much from the baseline defender at all. They want disruption up top and no easy passing lanes; if a pass gets through the last guy's basically there to reduce the shot difficulty from automatic to easy.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||Was that||
Was that the strategy of our football offense last season? We can't go forward, so we can't win, so we go negative, and if we get enough negative yards then the loss will turn into a negative loss and flips right around to a net win?
One other thing about the comparison you made: The 86-year-old cuts you off in traffic, damn near kills everyone, has no awareness of the rules but never gets punished because he moves so slowly.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||16-2, 13-5||
"There isn’t a single interesting thing about Wisconsin, and there isn’t a single amusing thing about Wisconsin."
I dunno, having only two total losses despite five conference losses is pretty interesting. And amusing.
|6 weeks 3 hours ago||Waiting?||
MCLordOfTheRings was released first, unless you're referring to the books, in which case both have been available for decades.
Besides, MCHobbit stole his riff from Rick Sackville-James.
/ oh I'm so going to get neg-banged for this one
// I regret nothing
|6 weeks 2 days ago||Beeline||
Dude can flat-out coach. I be like dang.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||This||
Beating either STAEE or Ohio next year will be a major upset. Both programs are much further along so those are unhealthy expectations. Every time people INSIST Hoke beat those teams I grind my teeth -- should we? Yes, in principle because ThisIsMichiganFergadsakes, but last season the team was in no way ready and I don't see how anyone could possibly not see that unless they're flat-out delusional.
HOWEVA, even for all the team's rawness some expectations weren't met: Squeaking by Akron and Connecticut, getting RPS-PWND by depleted Penn State, not merely losing to STAEE but getting curb-stomped, back-to-back negative rushing yardage games, embarrassing turnovers on offense, embarrassing implosions on defense, not showing up for the bowl game (not that I don't empathize).
That's a lot to reverse even without thinking of actually taking down our arch-rivals. I mean, yeesh, let's learn to stop tying our own shoelaces together before we talk of taking down the Rose Bowl Champs. Beat the cupcakes by 2-3 TDs, controlled victory over PSU, not going backwards, top it off with that soul-crushing 1-point loss to OSU and a close loss to K-State and even at 8-5 people would be singing a different tune. The problem was that the team started out bad and only seemed to get worse.
So even if we're looking at another 8-5 season, it's HOW that 8-5 looks that matters. If it's because the QB can't complete a long pass over STAEE because of a trash tornado, that's one thing. If it's because App State controlled the line of scrimmage, Hoke might not even last the season.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Argh||
Despite this excellent perspective it otherwise seems people's perceptions are still flipping back and forth between tinkering and panic, as if there's no middle ground. The coaches are making changes. Of course they are. After 2013 I'd panic if they weren't making changes. And these changes are rather significant. Of course they are. Who the hell wants insignficant changes??
This just looks to me like good ol' professional problem-solving.
1) Diagnosis: Your OC is out of control, changing schemes on the fly. Solution: Get a new OC that excels at installing a base scheme.
2) Your DT-dependent 4-3 under isn't getting pressure, your linebackers are eating blocks, and the soft middle is being exploited. Solution: Change the scheme and move your best playmaker to emphasize interior linebacker play.
Will these work? Who knows? But it's not like Hoke is chasing ghosts by converting to a wide-open spread because "that's what everyone else is doing" or doubling down on I-form. If I was coach I'd recognize that 2013 called for a thorough review and it looks like they're doing a good job addressing the weaknesses with what they have.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||I'd say cold & calculating||
The D was going to key on Stauskas. They didn't double-team him (they know this team LOVES to go to the open man for the easy basket), but GR3 was able to sneak away along the baseline. When the pass was launched he was quickly double-teamed, but from there it's about GR3's athleticism. He has the elevation to get to the arm-punt, one dribble to get in position, then elevation again to go above his defender. The baseline jumper off the backboard is a relatively easy shot and difficult to block if you can go above your defender.
This wasn't a Hail Mary; it was a sniper shot Purdue didn't see coming. Coach Beeline knew exactly what he wanted.
The downside is, like the play the football team wasted on Akron, this is a play that probably only works once, so using it here means they can't save it for the tournament. Oh well. . . time for the offensive whiz to draw up something else simple & brilliant.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||No time||
The shot barely made it in. One pass was all the time they had for.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||I'm OK with this.||
I'm OK with this.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||What is this?! A defensive||
What is this?! A defensive line for ants?!?
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Question, I don't speak zebra||
On the broadcast view, what's the referee at the bottom of the screen motioning for, and what exactly is he calling? On the video clip in the prior thread I even hear whistles.