I GET IT
- Member for
- 2 years 9 weeks
- View recent blog entries
|1 hour 4 min ago||There's nothing to say he's||
There's nothing to say he's not pro-UM now. UM's policy is that if you visit elsewhere, you're decommitted -- which makes sense, really. It's a literal interpretation of the word. But with that in mind, the only way Campbell can visit other campuses -- even if he's emotionally committed to UM -- is to officially decommit. And in hindsight he has little reason to commit so early when there's more perspective to be had. This move says absolutely nothing about whether or not his relationship with UM has soured.
At least he's being honest about it, which tells me we're going after the right guys.
|4 days 15 hours ago||The weak point gets attacked||
Interior, schminterior. We lose Lewan and Schofield so I daresay same time next year you'll be complaining about tackles.
There isn't any "most important" position in OL. The weak point gets attacked. Experience matters because you need to know what two guys not even in your peripheral vision are doing at a blinding fast pace. Only way to improve that is reps reps reps.
It's not that Lewan and Schofield didn't factor much because tackle is less important. Rather, DCs schemed to attack that gooey middle with A-gap blitzes because you just look at the goddamned roster and see we're playing freshmen and walk-ons. The scouting report on the offense was probably one line long: MICHIGAN'S INTERIOR O-LINE CAN BARELY LEGALLY SMOKE.
OK I'm exaggerating, but you see my point. An O-line is only as good as the worst, least talented and most inexperienced player. With that logic, Michigan's O-line should've been projected to be the worst in the FBS. . . and darn near was.
Where we agree is that young lines across the country improved whereas ours backslid from bad to awful to horror, and that's on the coaches.
|4 days 23 hours ago||More generally||
I don't think any program redshirts just for the sake of redshirting.
You play 'em when they're ready. Very, very few HS graduates are ready. Burning a redshirt almost always means playing someone who isn't ready -- it shows lack of depth. The exception here is burning redshirts on special teams, and here's where I agree it's not a good idea.
Playing freshmen isn't the luxury; redshirting them is.
|4 days 23 hours ago||It looks Photoshopped||
I can tell from the pixels, and from having seen a few 'shops in my time.
|5 days 19 hours ago||BUT||
Can he adjust to the speed of the college game?!?!
/ yes, that was snark
|5 days 23 hours ago||I dunno||
Last year the SEC was laughably overrated and got exposed. What happened is they were top-heavy and everyone else rode Alabama's coattails.
This season's weirdness is that now EVERY conference looks only two deep, at most. Most of the 2-loss teams look like they may as well be 3-4 loss teams with Stanford and Oregon being notable exceptions, because dropping one game to a vastly inferior opponent is a longstanding tradition in the Pac-12.
Of course, it's hard to tell because contenders go out of their way to avoid playing each other these days, so heck if I know what's a strong conference these days.
|6 days 36 sec ago||Victim of his own success||
Mind you I think he's overrated, but that doesn't make him any less than very good. It's the rest of the SC D-line that couldn't pull their weight.
Consider how much Gallon struggled until Funchess emerged as a threat. If you're the best player on a sub-unit by so much, teams will scheme by just running away from you. In Gallon's case, secondaries bracketed him AND shaded to his side until Funchess started burning them for it. In the case of Clowney, I hear OCs just optioned him off and SC never had an answer.
|6 days 1 hour ago||Same problem as Lewan||
Clowney hasn't gotten worse, but from what I heard, the rest of SC's D-line did (or at least was seen as less of a threat), so OCs just optioned Clowney off. The rest of the DL wasn't good enough to punish them for it.
It's basically the same as Lewan. Few teams have a WDE that can beat Lewan, and it'd be madness to plan around winning that one-on-one battle anyway. The double A-gap blitz was the go-to weapon against Michigan's O-line because it took the tackles out of the game. Why go up against the 1st-round draft pick OT when there are underclassmen along the interior to pick on? "Mismatch" is a synonym for "bullying", really.
This is kind of why I'm leery of these awards. The best players are often playmakers, but if the disparity is large enough, the role shifts from making plays to drawing so much attention that everyone else gets better. On the flip side, I have no idea how good Ohio State's kicker is this year because they never needed him.
|6 days 4 hours ago||Dr. Jekyl||
I think it's OK to be cautiously optimistic that the Dr. Jekyl version of Borges will show up. In his short tenure at Michigan, he's shown he can throw all kinds of stuff defenses aren't ready for if given time to prepare. Molk was injured during the Sugar Bowl, and I mean right before the game, which compromised the interior O-line, and we all know how bad that is by now. So, that game was the outlier. Offense didn't look good vs. Alabama but the two TDs we got were as many as any team scored on them that year. Looking at this season:
8/31 vs. CMU: Zone stretch! 59 pts.
9/7 vs. ND: Gallon! 41 pts.
9/14-9/21: We're on to you Al. . . 28pts, 24pts.
10/5 vs. Minn: Bye week! Tackle over! 42pts.
10/12 vs. PSU: Funchess! 34 pts in regulation. . . run game shut down tho
10/19 vs. Indiana: STACK OVERFLOW
. . . at which point Borges is out of tricks until OSU when he empties the bag.
It's an oversimplification that may cause Space Coyote to crawl out of my monitor Samara-style to snuff out my life, but to me, it seems like bad things happen on road games during consecutive game weeks where the opposing defense has had time to look at tape and Borges hasn't had time to add more wrinkles. A bowl game gives Borges plenty of time to flip the opposing team's prep on its head.
The other concern here is that all this tinkering is bad for player development, especially along the O-line, but the bowl game should be interesting at least.
|6 days 5 hours ago||Yep||
Ideal community behavior: Someone says something incredibly cruel just to rile folks up, a few dozen people each spend a point to send the post to oblivion to preserve the site's integrity.
Non-ideal behavior: A few dozen zealots go through threads and systematically neg every post they find disagreeable or, worse, neg every single post by a particular user. That can ONLY be done if neg votes are free.
I've been targeted in forums just because someone didn't like my opinions. It's incredibly annoying to have someone follow you from thread to thread, spewing hate the whole time. That's not any better than trolling. At least this way, that sort of vendetta will burn through a busybody's karma in short order.
|1 week 1 day ago||I think Tecmo should sponsor||
I think Tecmo should sponsor a bowl game.
|1 week 1 day ago||Tampa 2? We're naming bowl||
Tampa 2? We're naming bowl games after defenses now?
And how many of these Military/ArmedForces/SALUTE Orwellian bowls actually have a gnat's ejaculation worth of relation to our men & women in uniform?
/ this post brought to you by Carl's, Jr.
|1 week 1 day ago||6'7" 300||
Is this guy projected at guard or tackle?
OK that he's not aware of his weaknesses; he's not going to be exposed much at that size against HS competition. Dunno how much bigger he wants to be than 300 tho.
|1 week 2 days ago||The main value in this game||
The main value in this game will be the additional practice & experience. I can't imagine the seniors would be thrilled since they all remember the Sugar Bowl two years ago.
This is something they couldn't possibly get away with, but it makes more sense to retire the seniors early (at least where there's any depth at all) and just field returning starters at the bowl game. The coaches might try to sneak in more heavy rotation if they were clever, but they're not clever, so expect Lewan, Toussaint and Gallon to play every down in a close game.
|1 week 2 days ago||Welcome to the 21st century||
It's a global economy with "just in time" logistics so a lot of people are working odd shifts these days, even during holiday season.
|1 week 5 days ago||Some of us check MGoBlog at||
Some of us check MGoBlog at work, is the main problem. Next time plz post a link and tag it NSFW ("not safe for work").
Actually, if you could do that right now, that would be muchly appreciated, because I missed whatever wowed everyone.
|1 week 5 days ago||To add to that||
Teams loaded up with double A-gap blitz not just because they knew the interior line was young; they also knew nothing was getting past the tackles unless the guards busted, so defenses drew up schemes to deliberately confuse the O-line. Well, they do in general, but my point is that defenses focused on taking the tackles out of the game. Tackle over was meant to counter that.
A lot of Lewan's and Schofield's experience was left on the shelf. Toward the end of the season they were doing slide protections because that was all the interior line could handle. What's the benefit of having Taylor Lewan execute an NFL-style combo block if he can't pass off his guy to the LG? None, but if you're asking Lewan to just donkey his assignment to dumb things down for the LG, all you've got is an above-average LT. It's not like a "skill" (heh, as if blocking isn't a skill) position where Gallon terrifying the secondary frees up Funchess; on the O-line, the weak link brings the whole unit down. At times Lewan was blocking air and fans threw up their hands saying even he's broken. Uh, guys? That was the point. Defenses were running away from the first-round NFL pick and flooding the interior because hey, what would YOU do if you were a DC? I don't buy the 18-vs.-23 argument; the boys weren't getting blown back. The problem is the vast difference between brute strength and focused strength. 300 pounds doesn't amount to a couple cashews and a stale macadamia nut if the inside linebacker literally runs past the lineman.
Point is, we are losing two NFL tackles but I don't think the overall O-line drop-off will be as bad partly because my brain short-circuited trying to imagine worse, but also because the interior line being SO bad almost completely neutralized the relevance of having two good tackles to begin with.
|1 week 6 days ago||If Hoke doesn't use the words||
If Hoke doesn't use the words "made a mistake" (has he?) then for all we know it could've been a family emergency. Some things are more important than football, and fans have no business knowing a great many of them.
|1 week 6 days ago||Safety is a concern -- just that||
I wouldn't call it a BIG concern. The logical breakdown is that Mattison will do the same thing next year with different talent. That won't happen; Mattison adjusts the scheme to the defense's strength. 2011 had a good D-line so he moved Mike Martin around to make plays and take pressure off his outgunned back 7. In 2012 he had two excellent safeties in Kovacs and Gordon so he called games like nothing was going to go for more than 10 yards (and that damn near worked the whole season). This season the linebackers were the strength, so while they rushed four the scheme played out more like a 3-4 where the linebackers were expected to make plays. We got in trouble when the D-line let a blocker in RJ3's face.
Next season it's hard to predict what Mattison will do because it depends on the off-season progress of an almost laughably young team, but I think we'll feature the talented cornerbacks. If Peppers can hold his own at nickel against run plays and screens with Wilson cleaning up his rookie mistakes, JMFR can focus less on contain and attack the QB instead. The safeties will be vulnerable to busts, but if the corners can handle their assignments it'll be more like an aggressive quarters in spirit if not actual scheme.
Mattison is not going to march a raw safety out there to be burned down after down. He'll focus on getting them ready, but if he can't find a reliable second safety after Wilson, he'll simplify the assignment. We may go with a conventional one-deep look where the SS aggressively attacks the run while the FS brackets the deep threat. I predict Wilson will be the FS as his decision-making will be tested with various routes. The other guy can act as a hybrid fourth linebacker (read the play like a safety but when in doubt attack the ball so you at least have a hope of making a play if you're confused) while getting up to speed. It's a risky strategy but one that would make the most of a defense featuring talented corners.
|2 weeks 14 hours ago||Uh. . . about that||
"After all, the bubble screen is an 'easy' play. Its just a pitch and catch. Anyone can do that. But it isn't. Nothing is."
I'm sorry but I'm going to have to draw a line here.
I won't speak for or defend the derpheads who trivialize everything, but I have never, EVER heard "it's hard" accepted as an excuse for anything that has been executed with regularity. You can argue it's acceptable, but in reality it's never accepted. I mean, can you give me an example of anyone out of HS who gets away with that? My profs sure didn't buy it; in hindsight I have to admit they were right. The excuse didn't work; I had to grow up instead.
Of course it's hard. No shit. That's why it's guys like DG and Gallon up there instead of a balding pencil-necked geek like me, doing these things on scholarships worth more than what I make. But you know what? The crap I do isn't easy either. It took six months of daily training before I was ready for OJT; throw Peyton effin' Manning into the seat of my job and he'll crash & burn in half an hour. Of course he would! Who can possibly do anything that takes months of practice in a day?? But I don't expect him to do my job. Everyone I work with expects ME to. They don't care if I'm ready or not; if I'm not, my boss gets the heat. That can get rough at times but it also limits my sympathy for Borges' plight. That guy makes money I could only dream of.
I mean, point taken, I'm not one to believe ANY play can be installed in a day. It takes reps until the body can do what the brain wants it to. But lack of preparation is on the OC. That changes the argument a bit -- it's "why couldn't he get the players ready" instead of "why doesn't he call a play they haven't even repped" but the responsibility is the same. I contrast with Mattison, who also had a ridiculously young squad to work with but implemented a scheme that was, while maddening to watch at times, something they could execute well enough to hold their own.
Football is hard? Really! Whether it's college football or a desk job, if what you take pride in can be mastered by anyone in a day, you're not ready to be a grown-up.
|2 weeks 17 hours ago||I can follow X's and O's||
They'd help, actually. What I can't follow is jargon, like this:
"Run action is away, blitz comes up the middle, a tunnel is formed between the WR blocking inside-out on the CB lined up over #1 and Lewan leads in the alley and picks off the next guy."
I got parts of that, but football is a formation sport so positioning is key. If I can't see where the X's and O's are, I can't follow this stuff.
|2 weeks 17 hours ago||Why run them then?||
"I'm not saying that it isn't something that should have been prepared to the point of bringing out against Iowa, but they may just not have been ready."
I get that if they're not ready because a bad post-snap read on bubble action and you're hoping for a PBU because at least that's not a pick-six or a TFL. But shouldn't these plays ideally be installed as a set? If you're a constraint short, you don't have a sustainable offense.
It's hard for me to understand what you're saying in fine detail without some diagrams, but at the end of the day, what I want to see is when the offense aligns a certain way, the defense can't deviate much from their base alignment. You might see a safety shuffle or a linebacker show blitz, but the idea of constraint theory, at the most basic level, is to eliminate pre-snap reads and force the defense to react -- or, if they insist on going SPARTAAA on your Rock, burn 'em for 20 yards with Paper. If they've got Rock and Paper covered, the OC had darn well better have a third play from the same look ready to justify his salary because RPS has been around forever. I won't pretend I understand football well enough to know what a safety's read is on a play just by watching them move, but I can see how they move. When defenders tear turf at the snap for the ball even before it gets there, something's wrong. I guess that's where I share everyone's frustration.
This has jack to do with pro set vs. spread; as you said, all functional offenses utilize constraint theory. But I don't see an acceptable explanation for the accusation that Borges ran these plays for two games with no answer for the inevitable defensive adjustment if the players weren't ready. If he doesn't know, well, he shouldn't be an OC. But if he knew they were short on weapons and had them go over the top anyway, how's that any better? That does beg the question what the hell else would he run considering just about nothing was working, but the answer to that question still falls on the OC to prepare a scheme the players can execute, constraints included.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Well, the point was that we||
Well, the point was that we are not redshirting Peppers out of desperation for playmakers. In all likelihood we're not redshirting him at all, but desperation is not the reason. We're actually doing pretty well at CB.
"Healthy Jake Ryan can shed blocks, redirect, and make plays in space. Who else has really shown that type of ability on our defense?"
Our MLB/WLB have shown the ability to make some heads-up plays in space that have on occasion bailed out the offense. They're not shedding blocks because Mattison likes to rush four (for better or worse) vs. the pass and use his DTs to keep the linebackers clean on run plays, so generally a blocker there means a breakdown. QWash has shown playmaking ability at DT; he commands double-teams and often holds his ground and that's all you ask for in a DT. Black isn't a walking highlight reel but he's a troublemaker. Our CBs are playmakers in the making. They were in position for plenty of PBUs and INTs that they simply lacked the strength to finish; that'll change over the offseason. We're a bit thin at safety but not every class is going to have a Jordan Kovacs.
No, they're not superstars but I think a lot of the heat they get is because Mattison's assignment-based "bend don't break" approach this season was frustrating to watch. For much of the season, they were plenty good at keeping teams out of the end zone and that's all that matters. Getting off the field faster so they're not quite so gassed in the 4th quarter is something to improve on, but with another year of conditioning they can probably cut another half-yard to yard off each play, which will make a huge difference over the course of a game.
I guess I just don't equate highlight plays with a great defense. We don't have a top-5 NFL pick on defense but we have no glaring weaknesses either. If everyone can execute their assignments the offense has to pick their poison, and Mattison is pretty darn good at making offenses work for their points.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Actually that's exactly what I'm saying||
Well, that's a weird spot to reading comprehension fail. The ONLY reason to redshirt Peppers is injury. I mean, what else is there?
But that's not saying we're so desperate for playmakers that we'd field him if in some hypothetical situation he's better off redshirting.
Benching Peppers for a year just because is a stupid idea. But I'm not going to entertain the notion that our defense is in horrible shape. They got torched by OSU but that offense murdered everybody this year.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Playmakers||
I think you're selling the defense way, WAY short. There weren't "playmakers" because they were so ridiculously raw that it was all Mattison could do to get them to execute basic assignments. Not even JMFR was a barbarian out of the box.
There's a LOT of young talent on that team. They weren't "playmakers" because Fr/So "playmakers" are usually guys that are OK on 3 plays out of five, OMFG on one, and way out of position on the fifth. The key is to get to 3 OK vs. 2 OMFG or even 4 OK vs. 1 OMFG, but the OMFG isn't worth it if it comes with equal measures of AARRGGH. Mattison hates AARRGGH so we didn't get to see a lot of OMFG this season. WTF is the use of blowing through the gap for a sen-SAY-shunal!!! -5 yard TFL and then completely leaving a guy uncovered for 30 yards on the very next play? I've seen enough of that in my time to never care to see it again.
If Peppers doesn't redshirt it'll be because he's a five-star recruit and CB is a position where it's easier to work them into the 2-deep early. We are not desperate for playmakers on defense; the playmakers we have are still on short leashes for incredibly obvious reasons.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Well that shouldn't be a problem||
The 2013 defense was a B+ defense; it didn't shut teams down but it kept us in games. And it was ridiculously young. Mattison implemented a "bend don't break" scheme not because he was trying to be clever, but because he knew his players could barely handle basic assignments at FBS speed. Almost the entire defense will be back, with another year to gain strength, learn and mature.
Improvement on the defense alone will at least hold this year's record. I think MGoBlog is really underestimating the defense due to "lack of playmakers" because Mattison kept the silly-young unit on a short leash (which ironically translates to soft coverage). It will at least be very good. The offense can't possibly be worse next season, because it can't possibly get any younger. Borges doing his best to snatch defeat from the jaws of easy victories aside, the 2012 problem was O-line depth and the 2013 problem was O-line youth. 2014 won't be a complete turnaround but the O-line has absolutely nowhere left to go but up.
So it kind of depends on what "do or die" means. If you mean a B1G championship, I don't think anyone expects that yet. I think the expectation is to at least split the rivalry games, road games or no.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Yellow pants||
I see this complaint on EVERY SINGLE THREAD here these days. We're not winning because we care about being Michigan and not willing to compromise that to be successful, as if the two are mutually exclusive.
I have a serious question. . . if identity means that little to you, why bother rooting for Michigan at all? If you are willing to cast aside everything that makes Michigan what it is, all in the name of seeing one number always be greater than another number on a scoreboard, then what "Michigan" means to you is just the arbitrary color of laundry. With that in mind. . .
Why not just root for Alabama?
Why are you here at all? You obviously don't care about Michigan's tradition, or ways, or history, or values, or identity, or anything. You want guys in yellow pants to do better than guys in some other color of pants. If that's the case it really does seem like it'd be easier for you to change your preference than throw an entire program overboard just you get the numbers you want. Just become an Alabama fan! Throw out all that old blue and yellow swag -- obviously we haven't been elite for a while and that's all that fucking matters to you -- so just don some red and yell "roll Tide"! Voi la! Your favorite team is now an annual National Championship contender! You even get Hand to boot! And to put a cherry on top, you can GTFO so we don't have to put up with each other anymore!
I want to see Michigan succeed, but that only means something if we're Michigan. Hypothetically speaking, we can probably get better results than we have now if we drove a dump truck full of cash up to Urban Meyer's door, bought out his entire staff and overhauled our academic standards and recruiting such that we're basically a clone of what Ohio State is today. We'd probably be undefeated if we did that 4-5 years ago. But then we wouldn't be Michigan; we'd be Ohio State wearing yellow pants. I guess I'm the only goddamn dinosaur here who wouldn't see just how much of an appalling farce that would be?
It's one thing to look at Ohio State's smart use of constraint plays and emulate that. That's just adaptation, and something we should've done a long time ago. But saying "to hell with mantra" basically undermines your credibility as a fan because there's absolute nothing stopping you from leaving.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||If you look at the scores,||
If you look at the scores, Mattison is a big reason why Borges still has a job.
But for me, it's doubly frustrating. Not only does Mattison keep bailing out Borges (yes it sometimes goes the other way but not nearly as often), the difference between the two amplifies Borges' weaknesses. Mattison takes a bunch of middling prospects and gives them a scheme they can execute with good results. He doesn't have an elite defense yet but he gets the absolute most out of the talent he has. This is something Borges flat-out can't do.
Frankly I don't give a rat's ass what Borges can do with elite talent. Michigan hasn't had elite offensive talent for a while, and there's no guarantee the future talent will be elite either. Mattison's working wonders with a blue-collar crew, but this is the same guy who was a very respected DC in the NFL so it's not like a high ceiling limits his creativity either. Jabrill Peppers could result in 1997 redux -- a historically good defense carrying a mediocre offense into elite status.
Hoke running recruiting, RichRod coming back to coach offense and Mattison running defense would be a dream team, but as long as we're going to go all Chrono Trigger I'd rather hook up with Lucca than Marle.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||I think so too Brain, but where are||
I think so too Brain, but where are we going to find a rubber suit at this time of the day?
|3 weeks 6 days ago||Context||
PA from 3rd and 11 isn't completely insane, but it does have to be unexpected AND underplayed. Take an offense like Minnesota that gets most of its yards on the ground, consistently run in all situations good or bad, then call PA on 3rd and long when the defense least expects it because it's something you haven't done all season. . . then you might catch the defense unprepared. But Borges called PA on 2nd and 15 against MSU when the RBs were going backwards so who did he think he was fooling this time? Northwestern isn't a school you ride to in a short bus.
This guy is just so bad at poker. I want to share a table with him; I'm the world's worst bluffer but I feel confident I could clean him out.