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|22 hours 49 min ago||Pounds fist on table||
Indeed! Why, they got more points than we did TFLs, today! That didn't happen against Rutgers!
|23 hours 14 min ago||That's my point||
They didn't do anything new with Peppers, and Illinois did their homework.
Peppers I think had a down day overall but I don't think that's a contradiction. He pulled when he probably should've handed off but it didn't matter. My point is that if Harbaugh felt an urgent need to add to Peppers' highlight reel he could've rolled out new stuff that sprung him for 200 yards and 3 TDs. He obviously kept that stuff in the garage. . . for Sparty. Today's stuff was just for Sparty's A/V interns to feast on.
|23 hours 33 min ago||Um, big plays count||
I mean, if you take out all the big plays, the 2010 defense was awesome.
Hard to blame the team, though. They haven't played a competitive game in three weeks and pitched 7 shutout quarters in that stretch. Even Harbaugh would have trouble keeping a roster of blue-chippers focused in such a sensory deprivation tank.
|23 hours 45 min ago||Not surprised||
After the Rutgers. . . "game" I said to myself, "Harbaugh is going to spend the next two weeks fixing this."
You pretty much have to try to be a bad QB under the wing of the QB Whisperer.
|23 hours 47 min ago||Or||
I'll bet they ran Sparty bait plays. They didn't need Peppers to play offense, and damn well knew it.
|23 hours 55 min ago||8pts, 6 first downs, 172 yd||
Turrible. Unacceptable. #FireBrown #FireEverybody #sarcasm
|2 days 3 hours ago||Oy||
The demolitions are becoming so consistent and complete that I'm not sure how to process them. It's expected that Michigan would "take care of business" but you don't even see this happen that often when it's expected to happen.
I can't believe I'm saying this but I don't think the game was as close as the score. Yes, I mean that. As noted in MGoPodcast, Michigan actually wasn't trying very hard. They kind of SLUDGEFARTed around for half a quarter when it was raining and it was mostly backups from the 3rd quarter. I doubt the offense could've threatened Georgia Tech's absurd record even if they went full throttle, but at least on defense they didn't start subbing heavily with the intention of keeping Rutgers under 0 net yards.
I wonder what they put on tape in the 2nd half with OSU in mind.
|2 days 8 hours ago||I can be civil||
But I won't pretend to be something I'm not. I'm not going to shed crocodile tears over someone I neither know personally nor never had a reason to like.
But neither would now be the appropriate time for me to dig up the hatchet. If anyone's grieving, they shouldn't have to deal with that noise, so I'll leave it at that.
|2 days 9 hours ago||Last but not least||
|2 days 10 hours ago||Or||
Just pretend you're coaching Rutgers.
Wait, same thing. Carry on.
|2 days 10 hours ago||But||
you repeat yourself. . .
|2 days 11 hours ago||You forgot "Sweep the leg"||
|2 days 11 hours ago||Great in practice, timid in games||
. . . are you Brady Hoke?
|2 days 21 hours ago||OK, serious answer||
First things first, if they've never played, a lot of what you'll be fighting is immaturity like timidity, impatience and frustration. One thing I really wish didn't happen when I was a kid was coaches giving up on me when I didn't do well on my very first try. I'm serious; that was my childhood sports experience -- I'd never played before, so of course I screwed up in practice, ate bench the rest of the season. No tutoring, no tips, nothing. I wasn't worth anyone's time, so obviously I didn't try because nobody told me I could get better. So consider this a personal request -- please at least try to get the less confident kids to believe in themselves.
That in mind, kids are very intuitive, so before you start having them rep plays, here are some demonstrations (I've done similar stuff demonstrating physics concepts to middle schoolers):
Go out into a parking lot or gym, have one of them sit, in pads, on a wheeled cart. Have one of them give him a push on the shoulders, max effort. Reset, do it again except instruct them to push at the waist -- get down low and throw your weight as close to the wheels as possible. It will go MUCH farther. This is pad level. Low guy wins. Get under your man and blow him up. "High for fast, low to blast". Run upright for speed, get low if you sense a hit or are about to deliver one. Peppers is excellent at this.
On the field, have one kid at one corner of a goal line, another on the 5-yard line, 10 yards inside. Send them both running, the one on the corner straight down the sideline, the other runs straight AT the sideline. He'll get passed. This is pursuit angle. If someone's running by you at full speed, you can't just run straight at him. If you're trying to run by someone, angle away -- make them change direction. If they're inside go outside, if they're outside go inside.
Have them play sessions of one-on-one tag, matched by position -- OL vs. DL, WR vs. DB, RB vs. LB, etc. D-linemen and receivers are trying to shake their man, O-linemen and back-7 defenders are trying to catch them. After a while, gather the "chasers" and tell them to imagine there's a 5' string connecting their belly buttons. Have them watch the waist and mirror that. It sounds silly, but it gets them to stop looking at head fakes; one's center of gravity can't feint. The others should try to get their chasers to shift their weight, then cut the other way.
Last lesson: Have two kids in pads line up, both with knees bent but one with knees & ankles together, the other with legs way far apart. Give both a quick solid nudge from the side; the first one should topple easily. Reset, but this time have them race 5 yards forward. The one with legs together should win. This is footwork. There is no quick way to teach this, but you can get them to see the trade-off between balance and power. There is no perfect standstill stance so don't fight your feet; fight WITH your feet.
Pad level, pursuit angle, center of gravity, footwork. These are not difficult concepts to grasp when seen in action. From there, encourage them to watch YouTube clips (this is a good one) with these in mind, and just get better every day.
|2 days 22 hours ago||What else||
ENTHUSIASM UNKNOWN TO MANKIND
|3 days 6 hours ago||It inverted to a surprising extent||
Just compare the numbers you put together yourself -- 21-12 vs. 22-15. The Game aside, our toughest games may be in the rear-view mirror.
Before the season we thought our schedule was heavily backloaded, but it turns out Iowa and Michigan State aren't very good. We also thought UCF and PSU were dead and Colorado meh. It's turning out that UCF and PSU at least have pulse, and Colorado is pretty dang good. Wisconsin looks better than we thought they'd be.
Which bodes well, because in the blowouts we figured that was at least half UCF and PSU being bad at football, and that we underperformed against Colorado. Can't get excited about steamrolling turrible teams and beating meh ones. But if we're destroying meh teams and comfortably beating legit ones, then a lot of what we're doing isn't a fluke.
|3 days 7 hours ago||And now the punchline: That SDE. . .||
That's not Chris Wormley.
|3 days 7 hours ago||Nah||
If you're in the NC game you shouldn't be afraid. Nervous, maybe, but if Michigan makes it that far it will be because they legitimately belong there; this is no flukey ND team.
The Game is scary because there's still plenty to lose beyond the game itself, and OSU looked terrifying. Got taken down a notch when Wisconsin gave us a "the Russian is cut!" moment.
|3 days 7 hours ago||What comments?||
|3 days 8 hours ago||"SOON" picture||
I would've gone with this. Combines ominous and evil with cute, which kind of fits the Michigan-Illinois uber-rivalry.
|3 days 21 hours ago||Re: Pass Interference||
FFS these days a defensive back needs to be a goddamn paralegal to avoid getting penalized. Sherman and other DBs have found various angles they can actually lay a hand on a receiver without getting punished for it. It's extremely crafty but that's all they can do to actually defend a pass. Linemen are smashing into each other like barbarians every damn down, linebackers and running backs fly at each other with regularity, QBs take blindside hits from mangry 290-pound DEs but wide receivers basically get red carpets as long as they're not holding the ball. FFS if the wide receiver runs you over you're the one called for pass interference.
The ticky-tack nature of PI is getting out of hand, and people around here know me as a strong advocate for player safety. The play SBNation is all huffy about is some hand-fighting. Hand-fighting! I don't want to see wide receivers getting killed out there, but when you can't even nudge a guy without getting severely penalized, STFU and give Sherman a break already. Sure he plays all sneaky-like but you can't make his job any tougher.
|3 days 22 hours ago||I refuse to believe||
|4 days 1 hour ago||I get the feeling he's right though||
NOT relative to others, but relative to what he can do (which is Dunning-Kruger so this is agreeing with you -- the competent tend to evaluate themselves harshly by only considering their peers, and Peppers doesn't have many peers). I think that's what he's trying to convey. He's certainly doing a lot already, but Brown's defense does so many things, I flip back and forth between marveling and openly wondering if Peppers has truly unleashed his final form. Also, he might feel a bit underutilized if only because the DL keeps sniping his kills.
|4 days 1 hour ago||Second||
On one hand, the entire front is NOT diluted. Lewis, Stribling, Peppers and at least six and probably seven players on the D-line are all MURDERDEATHKILL on their assignments.
Gedeon and Hill are playing well, but it's tough to evaluate their value when the D-line makes things so easy for the rest of the defense. Gedeon in particular is grading exceptionally well, but Brown's defensive schemes have really gotten him free on blitzes. The safety position grade was "check back next week" for almost the entire season so far. Now Hill gets a star? Based on what? Not to dispute the assessment on its face, but did I miss something? I don't recall him standing out on UFR.
|4 days 1 hour ago||I'm seeing stars!||
|4 days 6 hours ago||Clarification||
My point is that Harbaugh didn't go back to Smith as soon as he recovered. It's the exact same thing he did with Ostrander and Pritchard.
Again, it's hysteresis. He'll put the starter on a VERY long leash to the point that injury is the most common reason for demotion, but it's not like he's going, "How dare you get injured, I don't care if you're feeling better, eat bench." He'd prefer his QB figure things out on the field, but neither is he a loyalist if the replacement outplays the starter.
I think he's capable of yanking a QB if he plays badly enough, but having been a QB himself, I think he's very slow to pull that trigger.
|4 days 9 hours ago||He's not "adamant"||
I think he clearly prefers to have one guy, but neither is he anywhere near as inflexible as he's reputed to be. When T. C. Ostrander went down in his first year at Stanford, he played Tavita Pritchard and stuck with him until Pritchard himself got injured. But in that game, IIRC, Pritchard was OK to go back in but he stuck with Ostrander. He seems to follow more of a hysteresis pattern, where the QB has to reach a point where he can't recover on his own to get the hook. Granted some of this was driven by the deplorable shape of Stanford's roster, but he also benched Smith for Kaepernick when Smith himself did quite well under Harbaugh's tutelage.
In both cases where Harbaugh's "adamant" one-QB policy was in play (Luck and Rudock), the starter really had no peer. Speight is the first guy in quite a while who's supposedly had serious competition, but neither has he given Harbaugh any clear reasons for benching him.
|4 days 12 hours ago||FYI||
The role of every offense is moving forward.
|4 days 23 hours ago||Uh, no||
No soul-eating; the magic just ran out for them. That was the first time in a LONG time they actually got the result they deserved for where they were at. Everyone who was paying attention saw it coming a mile away. Actually more like we saw it coming for miles and miles and miles and it just wouldn't happen between the refs handing them the Michigan game, Ohio State going all SLUDGEFART because weird wet stuff falling from the sky, Iowa going through their own Cinderella season (finally exposed by Stanford) to play in the B1G championship. . . just a whole mess of lucky breaks.
It was EXTREMELY annoying that it took so long. They were legit before, which was annoying in its own way but when they obliterated Borges I couldn't argue with the result. But to see them coast for well over half of last season on reputation and extraordinary luck all while sauntering around like they earned it all, eeugh. The Play That Shall Not Be Named was by far the worst part of it.
They've been a hollow shell for pretty much all last season. Probably by far the worst team that will ever qualify for the CFP.
|5 days 5 hours ago||That's kind of a big deal||
We need two things that don't grow on trees.