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|15 min 7 sec ago||yes and no||
Word is, he reps high and plays slow.
It's always easier to take a high pace and slow it down than speed up a slow pace. As a result Michigan's two-minute drills were a disaster under Borges, and the defense couldn't prep for high tempo. I predict this season's in-game offense will be a "measured" tempo that lines up with plenty of time to adjust without going Indiana's breakneck pace. But that extra gear will be there when they need it -- or as a changeup if Nuss catches the defense in a lull for an easy five yards.
|14 hours 17 min ago||Subjective is subjective||
I would've given Freddy Footwork the nod over Norfleet. Norfleet makes flashy cuts but as often as not his movement is more chaotic than havoc, which is why I feel he has yet to return a punt for a TD. More flash than bang, albeit plenty of both.
Freddy's footwork is actually somewhat less flashy, but it's sick. I've seen little of course, but from what I've seen he's not just quick; he's juggling his feet like Freddy Flintstone but hardly making a false step. If that projects to games, that guy is going to make defenders miss like crazy.
|20 hours 57 min ago||WHAT??||
The Game isn't always close. 31-3? 28-0? 22-6? 42-7? You're seriously claiming every single one of these games was tough? The Game IS often up for grabs; one team could be undefeated while the other is under .500 and it can still come down to the wire. Case in point: That literally happened last season. That's one reason no one should ever bet on the Game. There isn't even a pattern of "the underdog wins" or "in X conditions it's close". Anything can happen. But that "anything" includes absolutely embarrassing cakewalks that leaves one side depressed until the next chance comes around. No one relaxes BEFORE the game, but there are plenty of times in hindsight when the clock hits 00:00 and you wipe the blood off the grass and think, "Well, that really wasn't much of a fight, was it?"
|1 day 20 min ago||The Great Hype||
Exactly, and "you can't teach talent", which is why Ryan Leaf was drafted #2, Tom Brady fell to the 6th round, and NFL scouts are complete idiots.
It is actually much, much tougher to add a brain to a cannon arm than build arm strength in a QB prodigy, but scouts continue to get it completely backwards.
|1 day 15 hours ago||Hoke's football program is||
Hoke's football program is not part of the legal process. They don't need to know everything. They are not obligated to wait. A few things are self-evident just from the video: York was not in any immediate danger, the victim was not being physically aggressive (though we don't know what he said) and York looked like a goddamned fool. With the football scholarship, Hoke & Co. are bestowing a privilege with the expectation of self-restraint. Even in the event York had a legit gripe against the guy he punched, that was not an appropriate way to handle it. He could be acquitted but you don't need to be guilty of a crime to be unworthy of wearing the winged helmet. The football scholarship is given with discretion; it's not an entitlement or a right.
Overall I think he handled things about right. Given Gibbons' investigation was re-opened due to a policy change, it made sense to wait for the findings and in the meantime (in the then-likely event Gibbons came through clean, since that's what happened the first time) keep the press off his back. I didn't like Lewan's on-field antics but when they saw it the refs threw the flag; what else are you gonna do? In this case the transgression was obvious so there's no need to wait for the legal system, but I'm not a fan of instant mob justice either. Not sure what changed between the video release and now, but if I was in charge I wouldn't make a snap decision either.
|1 day 19 hours ago||Doesn't matter||
Opposing defenses will do the same thing -- they won't respect play action unless there's something to respect. This is something the O-line has to contend with until defenses are punished for overplaying the run. You might as well practice that, and the defense has no reason to do something instead that defies common sense.
|1 day 21 hours ago||OL problems redux||
I see your point but if DG was going to become Vince Young that would've happened last year. Problem with vertical passing attacks is that it takes time for the receivers to go downfield. That's time this OL won't be able to give, which is why I expect a lot of horizontal routes. You can rep IZ all you want, and we will because we'll need it, but in the meantime the offense will need to rely heavily on screens, timed routes, hot reads and constraint plays to keep the chains moving. I'd like to see a vertical passing game with DG -- that would be phenomenal -- but he'll be gone before the OL gets good enough.
A lot of attention will be on Funchess, but I think one guy who'll get a lot of targets this season is Freddy Footwork. I've only seen a little of him in a winged helmet but his feet are wicked. He's not only a route technician; he's downright shifty. He'll be tough to press, and will make a few linebackers miss in space. The wideouts (probably Funchess and Darboh) will get their post/fly routes but the main benefit won't be long TDs so much as pulling the safeties off the LoS because they may be impossible to single-cover. Point is, the pressure will be on the receivers to burn single coverage until the back seven is forced to play a passive to avoid YAC, and that will hopefully open up the run game. The good news is, I think they're up to the task.
|1 day 23 hours ago||No real surprises here||
We knew the OL would be a work in progress. Expect a "four horizontals" offense to start the season. Important thing is reps, reps, reps -- this isn't just an identity; it's an investment for the future. I'm just wondering what's going to push the DL in the meantime if the starters can't even give the twos a challenge.
I'm mildly surprised at Peppers playing corner; I figured they'd get him reps at nickel since he has the size to not merely be a project there. Either way we'll probably need 3-4 good corners so I don't think the position is too crowded.
The WR-CB competition has me giggling with excitement. Blake Countess is getting pushed for playing time, Darboh and Freddy Footwork are sleeping monsters and the units are only going to be pushing each other in practice all season. When the season starts there won't be a challenge they aren't ready to face. DG may only have like 2 seconds to get rid of the ball out of shotgun, but it sure helps when you have four legit targets. There aren't enough DBs to go around.
Assuming it's not Borges redux and we compensate for bad blocking by smashing our heads against a wall even harder, the 2014 Wolverines will most likely be a WCO. Maybe not even a half bad one. But we'll contine to rep 2TE IZ with the occasional "throw over Funchess' head and watch him jump 12' into the air with a CB hanging on for dear life" just to keep it fresh.
|2 days 14 min ago||Not really||
It can HELP a young line, but not necessarily by covering weaknesses. Reducing the plays and formations the D can run without incurring serious risk of penalty or a miscommunication is an advantage, but it has nothing to do with experience. Besides, if you have a gooey-soft O-line then up-tempo can mean you're just kicked off the field faster because the D's "base" play for the game might just repeatedly attack your biggest weakness (e.g., double A-gap blitz). Up-tempo doesn't turn a bad offense into a good one; it makes a good offense more difficult to deal with. Indiana's offense wasn't good because it was fast; it was fast because it was good.
The main benefit of an up-tempo offense for an inexperienced line is more reps. If they play up-tempo then they practice up-tempo.
|2 days 17 min ago||That only makes me wonder||
Who the hell is calling the shots? My guess is that the leashes are short in Columbus because the school was already under scrutiny due to Tatgate (which mind you ranks about a 1.5/10 on my outrage-o-meter but whatever). He probably had his doubters among the higher ups & alumni and this is his way of making them happy, even though he walked into a dysfunctional mess he had nothing to do with. I don't trust the guy, but he is very smart and good at his job, including the political side of it (RichRod, you might want to pay attention here). You really don't want to see more arrests when a school is under a bowl ban. I don't think he could've possibly handled his transition better.
Thing is, if I'm right you'll have to stay vigilant, since what I'm saying here -- based on my assessment of how he ran Gainesville, the situation at OSU he walked into and how well he navigated the minefield -- is that he's running a tight ship for PR purposes and could regress as soon as the prying eyes set their sights elsewhere. I don't see much evidence he's doing this out of some newfound sense of integrity, just what's imposed on him and he's smart enough to exceed expectations.
|2 days 1 hour ago||I wouldn't call it a waste||
TEs have more to gain from full-contact game simulations. While it's not ideal, everything a slot receiver does can be drilled in pieces since they're not involved in the linemen's brawl. You can run routes on an empty field FFS. IZ can only be repped as a group.
If you've full squad reps to give, get your TEs involved. Especially if they need the practice, which all available evidence indicates they do.
|3 days 2 hours ago||Eh||
It's practice. You practice what you're BAD at, and it never looks good. Have you ever heard musicians rehearse? It's like hearing a broken record as they keep repping the tough parts.
1) Our DL is probably decent; our OL's ceiling this year is below average. There's no way the OL was going to look good.
2) Defenses are typically ahead of offenses before the season. So even if the OL was on par with the more experience defense (it's not), they were going to be outplayed.
3) Once again they used a lot of TE sets they probably aren't going to rely on in games. The reason for this is obvious; the TEs need the reps. The screens they'll probably be running constantly at the start of the season can be repped in pieces (route-running, blocking in space, passing drills, etc.). It's not ideal, but scrimmages are far more valuable to linemen.
So I was expecting our OL to look like a trainwreck. That's the point. If the defense doesn't give both barrels every play, the OL will never get good. So they'll continue to look like shit until they get it together.
The real question is are they good enough. All they've been doing is hitting each other so is the crappy OL holding back the DL, or is the DL above-average and pushing the OL to decent? Hard to tell until they start playing games. But there was no question going in that the DL was going to make the OL look bad.
|5 days 23 min ago||Eh||
I don't recall Borges saying that. He talked more about "not wanting to take away a player's talents" in part of his game-planning, meaning the play came first, and it showed. He'd have Denard run, for example. . . but completely defeat the purpose of the option (and Denard's speed) by pulling a lead blocker. He'd send Funchess downfield. . . but also try to get him to block as a TE. He believed in his plays, so if it didn't work out it's because the players didn't execute. When he was pressured to take responsibility for his play-calling he always spoke reluctantly and in platitudes.
Yeah, we'll have to see how Nuss pans out, but I don't need him to light up the scoreboard. Sanity would be a nice first step.
|5 days 35 min ago||"Between one and THREE years||
"Between one and THREE years before we can feel good about taking on MSU and OSU? Man, a lot can change in three years. Hell, a lot can change in one year."
Hence why I said between one and three years. Learn to reading comprehension.
|5 days 16 hours ago||I doubt it||
This team isn't useless without an O-line. A lot of the problems we had last year stemmed from Borges pretending those problems weren't there.
You can win without a decent O-line. It's hard, and especially hard against tough competition, so I still think we're anywhere between one and three years away from feeling good about taking on MSU or OSU. Having said that, 8-4 is likely and 9-3 not much of a stretch if Nuss has the Sun Tzu in him.
First, it's nice to have a good defense. The 1997 team had a shaky O-line and was good for only 20 points a game, but that was enough. This defense won't be THAT good, but they'll give the offense a chance.
Second, having a mobile QB helps. Borges really only used DG's legs as a scripted changeup but as a checkdown it can be devastating because there aren't enough linebackers to hold the edges, fill the gaps AND cover the zones. We're also loaded at receiver with Darboh, Canteen, Norfleet, Funchess, Chesson et. al. so they can really spread the field. Funchess at least will demand a double-team -- send him vertical on every play so the safety to his side can't help against the run game. Freddy Footwork out of the slot will be tough to single-cover with a linebacker. DG will probably have no run game (again) and maybe 2-3 seconds to get rid of the ball, but if they can successfully set up a West Coast type offense then they can force the linebackers to backpedal on every play. If they overplay the draw, that leaves only 3-4 guys on the line to defend the run. Even a crappy OL can handle that; just have them block IZ.
Point is, you can compensate for a shaky O-line by spreading the field, and for at least the first few games this team won't have a choice. The downside is that if the O-line is THAT bad, teams like OSU will be able to 2-gap on runs and bring pass rush with just their front four (since every play at least one of the OL is going to screw up a block) and that pretty much stops everything. So yeah, they'll probably murder this OL, but they're the outlier and I'll note MSU's vaunted "four horizontals" offense improved as last season progressed.
|5 days 17 hours ago||Depends on the injury||
My wife tweaked her back and she recovered within a few months. Then again, she rehabbed it like it was a new religion. It's well after the pain's gone, she's down with a fever right now but last night still insisted on doing her back rehab yesterday. So, yeah, um, my point is that it depends on the extent of the injury, necessary treatment, rehab prospects and the diligence of the patient.
In Kalis' case, he stopped being mentioned long before this back thing came out, and while Hoke has always been very guarded about details, he won't hesitate to say someone has a "boo-boo". So I'm thinking prior to this news (even if true) Kalis hasn't been held back by injury, but there's probably something he's not getting. Maybe he's slacking off, or struggles with consistency. . . and mind you, Hoke has been known to lie to protect his players when he feels telling the truth might do more harm than good. For example, if Kalis is homesick, I've been there -- it can get as bad as acute depression. But good luck telling that to the media. There would be trolls telling him to kill himself within seconds.
Mind you that's purely speculative on my part, but what I'm saying is, there are a gajillion reasons to A) doubt what Hoke's saying that he's injured yet B) not be too worried about Kalis, either. He's human, and thus it's perfectly possible -- likely, even -- he has problems outside football that is none of our business. Or he could be injured. I just consider any non-specific news on Kalis at this potint to be non-information.
Anyway, not everyone progresses at the same rate, so it's way too early to say he's a bust.
|5 days 23 hours ago||Well, we'll see||
It's one thing to make adjustments; they have to work. But he is saying all the right things, to me at least. Borges' bromance with Heiko was entertaining but otherwise his pressers were exercises in frustration for me because they seemed so one-sided. As in, he talked like he had it all figured out and what was left was simply "execute" like football is a Rube Goldberg machine; he never had a satisfactory answer if the opposing DC outmaneuvered him. I don't doubt he knows the intricacies of football far better than all of us combined, but one thing he seemed to have forgotten over the years is that he doesn't control what the other side does. Sometimes his complicated gameplans worked to perfection, like against ND. Other times he's stuffed by a pedestrian defense because every single one of his 8,462 plays are tipped in stupidly obvious ways. "But I stretched the defense with a post route!" "Yeah, but you had Norfleet out there. Gallon could've run a pretzel route and the defense wouldn't have noticed; they weren't even looking at him."
Mattison indicated in his presser that Nuss will make adjustments, but only specified day-to-day. There's only so much that can be said for in-game adjustments; personally I think they're overrated. Coaches don't just pull unrepped plays out their asses; I've never coached but it seems to be they identify what the defense is overcompensating on and RPS it. However, Nuss sounds more willing to shape the offense toward the players' strengths instead of trying to ignore their weaknesses and that makes the defense's job tougher, in-game adjustments or no.
|6 days 1 hour ago||Nuss' Identity||
"Offensively, Doug Nussmeier brings a simplified pro-style offense (at least compared to Al Borges’s schemes), but besides 1 good year of Keith Price at Washington and not screwing up A.J. McCarron and the Alabama 5-stars, I’m not sure if we have a great read on what his optimal offense is."
Actually, he was pretty clear during his presser -- "You shape the offense around the players." To which I screamed in my head, THANK YOU!! Yes you can try to recruit players to suit an offense, but once you got 'em you have to evaluate their growth and at some point stop asking them to do things they can't or won't do. When drawing up a gameplan, you get into problems when you try to factor in elements that exist only in your mind. Funchess' ability to block a DE, for example.
Nuss is going to run a base offense, but what it winds up being will depend on the how the players perform in practice. It'll probably be IZ/OZ/Power-O but the playcalling may at first resemble a West Coast offense with screens and horizontal passes to our loaded receivers corps to take pressure off the O-line. I predict a lot of 3- and 4-receiver sets because that's where the weapons are. I doubt he'll use DG in the same way as McCarron. Borges seemed to use DG's legs as a scripted changeup, but I expect Nuss to give him a read/checkdown, e.g., "X is a decoy on this play; he's running a post route on a 5-step-drop. Check Z, check Y and if they're both covered then just go." Force the defense to account for DG's mobility, even if he only has like 5 scripted runs a game. A changeup isn't intended to work in a vacuum; it's there to complement the go-to pitch. Similarly, if Funchess draws double coverage and Freddy Footwork can shred the zones while the defense has to keep a spy on DG, well, eventually you run out of defenders behind the DL and that IZ just might be easier to run. What kind of offense do you call that? I don't care, as long as it works.
|6 days 4 hours ago||I'm honestly surprised||
I'm happy for Demens but damn, he's exceeded my expectations. I figured he was a very good college player but not nearly good enough in any area to succeed in the NFL.
Mind you, I love it when this sort of thing happens.
|6 days 4 hours ago||YMRMFSPA Troy Brown||
I have one specific reason to believe Gallon won't be cut. It's a guess, but bear with me here. Brown is a former Patriot, drafted in the 8th round, cut once, re-signed and didn't see the field as a receiver for two years, didn't start until his 7th season. Eventually played 15 seasons.
I think after last season, Belichick sees another Troy Brown here. Gallon's quickness is a tad on the overrated side; he struggles to get separation without some other threat allowing him to engage his cloaking device. I mean, he's quick for a college receiver, but not NFL quick. NFL DBs will be in his back pocket. But Troy Brown wasn't a monster either, yet if the 2001 offense stalled and they needed someone reliable who won't kill a precious drive with a goddamned drop or half-assed route, the ball went to Brown -- not first-round pick Terry Glenn, who was benched that season.
I doubt Belichick was impressed by Gallon's numbers given Michigan's lack of options at receiver last year; rather, Belichick had to have seen Devin Gardner constantly use Gallon as a hot read. Offenses knew the ball was going to Gallon because there was literally nowhere else it could go yet the only real question was whether the pass would get there in time. Gallon thrived in a system where almost nothing else worked, but to translate that to college, the Pats would need a surgically precise QB with a masterful sense of timing.
. . . oh. Y-yeah, that'll work, I guess.
I really can't see Gallon thriving anywhere else. Gallon needs a QB like Brady, and after last season, Belichick sees Brady needs a receiver like Gallon. He's also a good blocker (for a receiver) and is tough to press (and mind you press coverage is all the rage these days). His NFL role sorta projects to Drew Dileo's at Michigan -- not a great athlete, not a playmaker, but an insurance blanket in slug-it-out games if the more talented guys keep killing drives. Edelman, Vereen, Thompkins and Dobson combined for 29 drops last season. Playing for one of the best QBs in history, that's atrocious. Belichick is the sort who won't hesitate to bench one of his star receivers and play an underdog with something to prove like a trump card to show 'em how it's done, even with the game on the line. Actually, he will especially if the game's on the line. He's results-oriented beyond the point of sociopathic and I'm convinced he drafted Gallon -- former Wolverine with glue on his hands and a great work ethic -- not to cut him but to scare the hell out of his butter-fingered receiving corps. He may not see the field, but he'll be kept around if only to push the guys in front of him.
|6 days 22 hours ago||Eh||
When the reporters finally stopped fishing for gotcha quotes he seemed quite willing to dish out meaningful information.
As for the reporters that were trying to get Nuss to embarrass himself, they got the non-answers they deserved.
|6 days 22 hours ago||Yeah||
As we saw last year, if a certain player is a run tip he's functionally useless. It won't matter how good Green is if the moment he steps on the field the safeties start walking toward the LoS.
I don't mean to prognosticate anything by this, but Green may even be superior to the other guys in his ability to carry the football. He may be even or slightly worse, I dunno. Point is, Nuss will play a guy with lesser running ability whose pass blocking forces the defenses to stay honest over a guy with superior running ability the defense can key on.
I miss Vincent Smith's finger-guns on 3rd down. The D predicted a pass, showed blitz, got a hitter past the LoS and it didn't matter anyway. His kamikaze cut blocks were displays of ugly, violent beauty worthy of an episode of Hannibal.
|1 week 35 min ago||Yeah yeah||
It's not reporting; it's "infotainment". I'm half-kidding in my rant, but in the process I won't hesitate to call out inanity in all forms.
|1 week 41 min ago||Tall guys can be fast||
Usain Bolt is 6'5". He seemed to do OK. Tall people do not lack in top-end speed. The problem with tall people is that they tend to lack quickness, as their muscles need to create more torque for the same angle of movement -- when he extends his hands, for example, it's like moving skillets attached to the end of long sticks. So they move like they have a lot of inertia (hence also why top-end speed isn't an issue and injuries are). I don't believe he's a CB for a moment either, though at some point we may see an increase in taller CBs as FBS and NFL load up on giants. Being in someone's back pocket only gets you so far when you're half a foot shorter. I digress.
Thankfully, when trying to make a mismatch on offense you don't need a 6'7" guy keep up with Jeremy Gallon; if he can block and pluck high passes out of the air there's little the defense can do to slow him down. He only needs to be quick for his size and it sounds like he is. Let's just see if he can fill out without losing that.
|1 week 5 hours ago||"I like my pepper black"||
Ace, the peppering of Peppers questions better not have been you.
Now reporters, PLEASE STFU about Peppers. You ain't got crap. You're obviously asking dumb questions to fill out your pre-written article on JP's hype for choice quotes with absolutely no actual interest in the game itself. To which I say, GTFO, take up selling flea market bargains on the Internet and let people who actually have a goddamn passion for the sport report to fans who are interested in things other than what Peppers likes in his coffee. For that matter why the hell are you reporting on Michigan football if you're just a glorified celebrity junkie? FFS it's like TMZ was running the interview. OK, not quite, but if I see another "What do you think of Peppers' talent" question I'm going to puke. For keeping his composure, GMatt's a better man than I.
|1 week 17 hours ago||Just to be clear||
I upvoted you not because I agree with you. I disagree. Strongly, in fact. But you're entitled to an opinion, and this looks like an honest -- if badly misguided -- one.
I think you're wrong, but I don't think that should be downvoted into oblivion.
|1 week 19 hours ago||Yeah||
I've made stupid mistakes, really stupid mistakes and "holy crap I can't believe any sane human would do such a thing" mistakes. I'm in my 30s now and still not entirely cured. But there's a difference between stupidity and malice, the main one being that the former generally doesn't manifest in the form of sucker punches to the face.
Barring some extreme circumstances like this guy tortured Csont'e's dog to death or something, this wasn't a dumb kid doing a dumb thing. This was an attack. Not that you don't still hope Csont'e can change for the better, but there have to be consequences. You don't chalk up this sort of thing to "youthful indiscretions".
|1 week 19 hours ago||"They are 1) trying to beat||
"They are 1) trying to beat the defense to the edge or 2) get them flowing so aggresively to the edge and then cut up field."
There's also option (3) - the O-line and RB are also moving downfield as they run to the sideline, albeit at a shallow angle from the LoS. I've seen plays where the RB never actually makes a cut and just runs out-of-bounds. I also scream "make cut! make a cut!" but then the screen shows. . . 2nd and 7. Not ideal, but as an outcome where the defense strung the play all the way off the field I'll take it.
It's not ideal and "MANBAAALLRRAAAUGGHH" proponents hate it, but positive yards are positive yards. And in some cases if your O-line is physically or technically overmatched it's easier to start a footrace than sustain a bunch of blocks since it keeps the defenders' feet shuffling. The 3 yards you get from running 20 yards sideways beats trying to run into a meat wall and getting stuffed for -2.
|1 week 1 day ago||I refreshed||
Does that count as later?
|1 week 1 day ago||Yes, I am||
"You are comparing football practice to 12 hour climbs in the Afghanistan mountains they prepare for."
I am indeed, because there are mutually exclusive medical differences in the development to do either. I don't recall casting any doubt on this guy's determination.
"Most guys in my basic training that tried out for any special forces washed out in 24 hours and they were usually athletes."
Probably because there's a hell of a lot more to special forces than mere athleticism, much of which doesn't apply here. As a DE this guy isn't going to be called upon to undergo malnutrition and sleep deprivation until he starts hallucinating and his fingernails fall out. That kind of insane mental toughness is certainly a plus, but what they really need for him to do as a DE is consistently beat an OT's block. And for that, the slow-twitch muscle he's built up to handle "12 hour climbs in the Afghanistan mountains" is a liability. The scientific difference between fast-twitch and slow-twitch isn't new; it's well-known among S&C coaches and most definitely something this guy has discussed and is prepared to deal with.
Again, this guy will probably think nothing of undergoing the grueling workouts that'll be needed to transform from an endurance machine into a high-performance athlete. The tougher part is predicting what his physical ceiling is because once the games start that's all that's going to matter.