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|1 day 18 hours ago||not bloody likely||
MSU loses more starters but their system is more mature overall.
Mattison's defense was decent despite being ridiculously young, and as a result he played a "bend don't break" defense that sometimes, unfortunately, broke. It was inconsistent, but sheesh, look at the 2013 roster and marvel and the senior:freshman ratio. I'm amazed that unit kept us in games at all.
Mattison is geeked this year because his starters all come in with significant playing time. While MSU operates with the luxury of having a loaded system where some players might not see significant playing time until their 3rd year due to depth, Mattison's players were tested with trial by fire so they're due for a HUGE leap.
I still give MSU the edge because they just have too much going for them -- the faces will change but their coaches have had that D running on all cylinders for several years now, but you shouldn't have to compare us to MSU to be excited about this group.
|1 day 23 hours ago||Realistically||
A lot of these sound like wishful thinking. We want the OL and DL to do well because they sucked last year. That's understandable, but neither strike me as realistic possibilities for a breakout year. The offense hasn't had enough time (I expect them to go from horrible to tolerable and that's still a rather lofty expectation) and the DL has consistently failed to live up to its hype. I get the love for the linebackers but "breakout" seems disingenuous to me because they were solid last year and project to be solid this year. I'll be happy with them but not easy to surprise. Peppers is a fan favorite but he's yet to play a down, and in fact I think he won't be turning heads for no other reason than he won't be in a position to -- they won't put him on an island until they're sure he's ready.
So I really think the "breakout" will be from the rest of the cornerbacks. They showed off plenty of promise last season along with inexperience. Mattison had them play soft coverages against anyone with Dangerman factor and they were maddeningly inconsistent at times, getting up in a receiver's grill and then losing the jump ball battle. They were also ridiculously young as a unit. This year I expect Mattison to take off the leashes, and now we gon' see what these dogs can do. And we got a lot of guys who can play.
As Space Coyote said, aggressive defenses aren't good; good defenses are aggressive. Last year the secondary was passive because Mattison knew they weren't ready. This year I think we won't recognize them.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Sour grapes||
Eh, we don't want a Little OT anyway.
. . . this is one of those ironic last names, isn't it?
|3 weeks 23 hours ago||HAIL THE MESSIAH||
|3 weeks 1 day ago||Brian Brian||
even if Isaac was eligible this year there probably isn't going to be an enormous amount of difference between his production and that of Smith and Green, because all of them are in the same vein: they're north-south guys who can break some tackles if you get them a head of steam. A guy like Hart who could go WOOP in the backfield and turn a TFL into four yards would be very welcome at the moment. Isaac, for all his hype, is not that.
What Isaac does provide is another bullet in the chamber. Recruits are lottery tickets and Michigan now has three excellent ones from the 2013 recruiting class. If someone gets injured, they're probably fine; if someone turns out to be not particularly good, they're probably fine.
Recruiting impact is this: where Michigan was looking at taking two backs in 2015 now they're definitely going to be fine with one. I don't think Isaac's presence is going to knock Michigan out of the box for anyone they're pursuing at the moment, as tailback is a place with a lot of platooning and it's not like a Damien Harris or Michael Weber is going to end up at a place without highly touted guys vying for carries next to him.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||damn it's cold||
Ace: Don't say that word.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||WRITING THIS WAS A CRIME||
. . . it was also your punishment.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||That's gonna be great|
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Beg to differ||
"Jones is a totally weird player, his best quality may be his unpredictability, which is a weird quality to have as a defensive mid."
That's actually what I'd look for in a defensive mid, personally. Conventionally I expect the back four to hold their ground, in which case you can use a defensive mid to create havoc. If you use your defenders conservatively, your midfielders can focus on more "attacking" defense, and some of them are very good at it. If the midfielders are confident at taking risks because of a disciplined defense you can create more opportunities on the counterattack, which is especially valuable if you're not a possession team.
I know some teams these days like to attack with their defenders but while it improves the chances of scoring I don't see how it improves the chances of winning. If you don't have a defensive mid covering you're badly exposed and if you hedge you don't have a numbers advantage so while I've seen it work on occasion it just seems a bad use of personnel for a little extra offensive unpredictability. I don't think there's anything you can do with your front six that's greatly improved by mixing them with your back four.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Kinda sorta kinda||
OSU has the talent that should (and recently did) annually contend for the national title, but I don't think they "waste" it. More like they draw in the talent by any means necessary and live with the mixed results. It usually works but consistency is an issue; eventually some freelancer who jumped the depth chart due to raw talent is going to get exposed.
I'm not nearly as familiar with WC but Germany more strikes me as overrated. I mean they're legit, but they're too often considered a "top 3" team (for want of a better term) when they're more like a "top 10" -- OK one of the best in the world and that's nothing to sneeze at, but within the realm of upper-echelon parity. I.e., they're respected but not feared. At least, they never seem to blow me away with talent that has me wondering, "How do you stop these guys?" Well, if they're consistently getting stopped and there's nothing odd going on, more likely the preseason poll was inaccurate.
|6 weeks 2 days ago||Ew||
You let Meyer near your ding-dang?
|7 weeks 1 day ago||I don't think it was an||
I don't think it was an oversight so much as where do you put him on a one-dimensional scale for pocket passers? As a pocket passer he was terrible; he made horrible reads, threw too many jump balls and didn't know when to scramble. But he was a perfect fit for a spread option because the extra guys you needed in the box to contain him meant someone was often open by a good five yards. As a player he was indispensable, but he's nowhere near Malzone in playing style so it just makes sense to leave him off.
|7 weeks 2 days ago||Oh, great||
Northwestern's Joneses were pretty productive, and could be more so in a Trevor Siemian offense.
Michigan has fallen so far we're now struggling to keep up with the Joneses.
|7 weeks 3 days ago||The way I see it||
If you're loaded at DT you can look at other positions first, but you never, NEVER say no to a quality DT within reach. There are only so many guys in the world who can move well at 300+ pounds and many of them are frequently injured. So in a sense you're never really stocked.
|7 weeks 3 days ago||Yeah||
He showed blitz almost four months before the season starts. Kid's got a long way to go.
|7 weeks 4 days ago||Hedley_Lamarr.jpg||
You said Mississippi tw. . . aw, for cryin' out loud!
|7 weeks 4 days ago||Not holding my breath yet||
On-visit commits seem to be the most precarious. Not that I feel these coaches did anything to deceive, but everyone's emotional and fickle at that age. Other coaches (like THAT guy from THAT place) don't know when to quit and will only push harder. Sometimes they're successful.
If this kid's decided then great! Not only does the team get a good player, he's picked a good school. But I never feel these sorts of post-visit decisions are final until Signing Day. Nothing personal but they don't seem to carry the weight of "I've decided, I'm done, now leave me the hell alone" announcements made on one's own time.
|7 weeks 4 days ago||You said Ben Gedeon twice.||
|8 weeks 5 days ago||More mutual than Gallon's getting credit for||
Gallon probably dropped this far because the Patriots were confident he'd be available. He's their kind of guy, but not the sort that can fit into any team. Gallon makes the most of his ability but his size is definitely a limitation; he's a small target. Tom Brady, however, is a QB who can thread the needle in traffic. Conversely, a hunted QB like Tom Brady needs a quick, "hot" read like Troy Brown, Wes Welker and now Jeremy Gallon. Devin Gardner used Gallon for pretty much everything, but the play that stands out are those "hot" reads where the QB knows the cavalry's coming and needs to throw the ball to a guy who only needs a tenth of a second, can't be covered by a linebacker and has super glue on his hands.
My obvious bias for the guy aside, pretty smart pick by the Pats.
|9 weeks 2 days ago||kinda true||
Not that I have any data to back this up, just watching games, but the real benefit to the spread n' shred was NOT that it was inherently superior to other offenses, but rather the novelty of the concept, and the level at which that novelty operated.
Consider an adjustment to a pro-style scheme. Pro-style is a mature concept, thoroughly scouted, so any "adjustment" is typically incremental. It could be as simple as how the receivers run their routes. I'd call this a "high level" change as it's still built off a number of existing layers in the core concept. As a surprise it's not guaranteed to work for more than a half against a decent DC, and the fix can be as simple as moving one guy a few yards and/or changing his read. At some point you just have to out-coach or out-talent your opponent, because you can't consistently rely on deception.
The spread n' shred combines of a bunch of ideas that were already in practice for a long time; the stroke of genius was combining these elements into something completely different as a whole. It preyed on some pretty low-level concepts defenses took for granted. This is not the sort of thing a DC can fix just by moving a guy or two around; it makes a mockery of entire seasons of coaching and preparation. The reason why it was so effective in David-vs.-Goliath matchups is that you didn't need all-world talent with this sort of advantage. If the defense has never seen QB Oh Noes, what does it matter if it's a five-star safety going up against a 2-star RS freshman if the safety's run himself twenty yards out of the play because the DC coached him the wrong read?
It's the exact same reason Michigan struggled against Air Force's triple option. Not only is that a very old concept, it's one that was abandoned because it's basically out of tricks. But Air Force gets a lot of mileage out of it because it's rare. It takes a certain kind of defense to stop the triple option and it's very difficult to re-mold today's units into a triple option killer in the span of a week. Except the spread was an all-new look so it took years for DCs just to figure out what it was doing. It's not like RichRod was calling DCs up and telling them he's optioning off the DE; they had to figure it out.
I guess to concede a bit, the spread WAS an inherently superior offense, but not for reasons it's credited for. Its inherent superiority was the way it forced defenses to learn it; all the while it was scoring TDs and upsetting favorites by the truckload. Even after they figured it out, it took an entirely different set of personnel (skilled edge defenders, bigger nickelbacks et. al.) to defend it effectively. But we've reached a point where there's enough knowledge floating out there about its strengths & weaknesses that no DC has an excuse to not know how to stop it. Efforts to recruit and develop athletes suited to stopping it are mature operations. The first guys tasked with defending this offense have long since departed the college level. So now it's just another concept, and as a concept it's shown to be perfectly viable but not inherently superior. Life goes on.
|9 weeks 3 days ago||Japan is actually a nice place to visit||
Having been to both, I'd rather visit Tokyo than Indianapolis.
Yeah, I know, I know. . . I get the point. Just sayin'.
|9 weeks 3 days ago||I'd want to double-check that||
Is there an extra zero or two added? If not, the NCAA needs to be marched out into the town square in chains.
$600 million to preserve their status quo?? No cause is that noble, because no noble cause would have that sort of money to spend on lawyers, because you only spend that money on a legal fund if you A) expect well-deserved trouble and B) stand to lose more if you, well, lose.
|9 weeks 3 days ago||Every college team graduates players||
That's what colleges do.
Gallon was good, but honestly my feeling for him is more of a "he gave it all on the field" sense of gratitude than putting his play on a pedestal. He broke records because DG needed a go-to receiver because of terrible line play. Gallon carried us through games and was hella fun to watch and thus he's a lock for the Hall of Dragonchild's Favorite Wolverines, but not as some sort of supertalent that Michigan can't replace in some way. He's a mighty mite with obvious physical limitations that gets the absolute most of his ability by working his butt off. I honestly believe he'll have an NFL career, maybe with a ceiling like Troy Brown's, but the guys we got now aren't slouches either.
As for Lewan and Schofield, I actually don't expect much of a drop-off. There really isn't any way for a great offensive lineman to compensate for an overwhelmed teammate; line play is always about the weakest link. If your interior line is bad the defense will blitz the A-gaps all day; adding a TE on the outside isn't really going to help (even though that's exactly what Borges did). The same works in reverse. If a D-lineman can't beat a single block, the offense is going to single-block him and use the double on a dangerman.
My point is that the line play really can't get any worse because our NFL-caliber tackles were completely neutralized by midseason. Not that it was their fault, but if it makes zero difference whether they're there or not there, then why are we freaking out because they're not there?
|9 weeks 3 days ago||Who said I was OK with it?||
I'm just a grown-up who knows what to expect when a line of freshmen take on a line of elite veterans. If you expect the passion of a rivalry to overcome fundamental disparities in experience, development and technique, you might want to follow a different sport because this one is going to age you quickly.
That said, at least we now know that by the absolutist's definition, there's no such thing as a rivalry that isn't inherently disingenuous, because the sort of annual parity assumed here exists nowhere in reality for more than a decade at a time.
|9 weeks 3 days ago||THANK YOU||
I get sick of hearing Internet Tough Guy crap about how we're happy with mediocrity just because we're not pushing for Michigan to beat our rivals.
No, I'll be happy with 9-3 including losses to our rivals for two reasons:
1) It'll be progress, and at this point I'll take progress. If there is no progress then let's fire Hoke before he can say "toughness" in the next press conference, but only a blithering moron would fire a coach showing progress. You know, like The Process?
2) In case anyone hadn't noticed, our rivals are pretty darn good. Michigan State is coming off a Rose Bowl win, Ohio State went almost two years without a loss, Notre Dame went all the way to the national title game (even if they got the same curb-stomping as Michigan). Our performance in these games hasn't been too shabby, all things considered.
It'd be another story if these teams were struggling with mediocrity themselves. But the outrage over our ineptitude against our rivals is ignoring the Kraken in the mud puddle -- that our rivals happen to not only be the best they've been in years, but some of the best teams in the country.
Really? We're complaining our disaster of a 7-6 team can't beat the Rose Bowl champions? If anything, I'm shocked that we haven't gotten results like last season's Michigan State more often. These programs are at or near the tops of their respective games and we're struggling to beat Akron. I hate losing to our rivals (hell I hate losing peroid) but yes, THIS IS WHERE WE ARE AT. This expectation that a 7-6 team should be beating conference title contenders is stupid on top of retarded on top of a stinky diarrhea heap of dumb. Let's out-rush Purdue before we start talking about taking down the best teams in the country.
Some day we will be one of the best teams in the country, and our rivals will be looking up at us. But the only way we're going to get there is by making progress. No matter how incremental. And that starts with mediocrity because that's where we are.
|9 weeks 4 days ago||Yeah, I know||
I kind of regret it.
|9 weeks 4 days ago||Does this mean||
Our recruiting efforts have died of dysenterest?
|9 weeks 4 days ago||thing is||
I'm really not sure who the hell he's pandering to. I have disposable income, uncommitted Saturday afternoons and a love of Michigan football. Who am I if not the guy whose wallet DB is stalking like some creepy song by The Police? I don't make near enough to afford one of those fancy suites but I could easily manage a club seat, if I felt it was good value. . . which I do NOT. I can't even think of someone I know who'd bite at DB's offers. I feel like it's some strange hypothetical person who pays to go to football games but doesn't really want to watch football. Who'd do that? To whom is he selling our program? It's like he turned Michigan Stadium into a 110,000-capacity prostitute then shrouded the whole thing in a giant burka. It's an abysmal failure just from the marketing standpoint, and he's offering terrible value on top of that.
He still seems to be running the AD like he's terrified of stockholders. Except alumni aren't stockholders. For starters, we don't get shit just because he makes some financial statements look good in the short term. Yeah he brought in record revenue but any idiot could manage that with the good ol' fashioned "burn tomorrow's dollar for a nickel today" approach. . . case in point, after record-setting attendance, now we're struggling to sell tickets. Are MGoBloggers still making the case he's a great AD because he brings in so much money, taking for the sake of argument that's the only criteria that matters?
|9 weeks 4 days ago||Because gosh darn it you love||
Because gosh darn it you love us that much?
|10 weeks 20 hours ago||Doubtful for RB||
RB? No thanks. An every-down player on defense shouldn't be taking that punishment. Smith/Green will be splitting carries as it is because the job's so brutal.
WR, depends on how our crop pans out. The 1997 team used Woodson as WR -- and no, not as a decoy -- because they lacked playmakers on offense. 2014-15 is a very different story. Odds are whoever gets out of the logjam that is Canteen, Chesson, Darboh, Funchess, Harris, Jones, Norfleet & York are going to be pretty darn good.
PR/KR - again, we have candidates, starting with Norfleet. I'd also give Canteen a try; I wanna see what his happy feet can do against a coverage squad. Peppers can do it all but the nice thing is that he doesn't need to do it all.
We shouldn't need more playmakers on offense; what we need is an O-line and Peppers can't help with that. Frankly, I doubt he'll even end up at corner full-time if Watson pans out. On the other hand he's the perfect answer to "who plays opposite Wilson" by his sophomore season.
I really see him as a CB/NB/LB/FS hybrid where he'll roam all over the field, taking away the offense's dangerman, much like Kovacs . If it's a fast QB he'll play closer to the line. If it's spread-to-run he'll line up at nickel in case they try to run or throw playside. If they have a go-to shifty receiver a la Gallon he might be expected to shut him down in man coverage. But god forbid the stupidest thing to do would be to keep him at one position week to week just because. I don't expect Mattison to say, "Yeah I know Ohio State gashed our front seven for 6.8ypc but Peppers is the boundary corner."
We won't see him in one fixed position if he's got the athleticism to move to where the ball's gonna go.