"It's a lot easier being a drug dealer than an AAU coach" - this guy. Tell me something I don't know. I mean, don't think but have never tried either.
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|15 hours 17 min ago||I don't think it's the NC||
I think it's all the players out of Michigan getting drafted in the NBA. College basketball is big, but not as big relative to the NBA as college football (a phenomenon unto itself) is to the NFL. And there are fewer players to boot. It's not the players we're getting; it's the players we're losing and how we're losing them.
Any HS kid looking to go pro isn't planning on playing in college for more than a couple years. The NCAA tournament is nice but they have their sights set on the NBA, and Beilein is turning Michigan into a gottdamn pro factory. I don't know how basketball recruiting works, but kids aren't tough to figure out. I'm somewhat surprised the last draft hasn't had an immediate effect.
That said Beilein über alles, so at this point he could recruit a 5'3" guy from Pawkatukacutt and I'd consider the burden of proof on everyone else to convince me why it's a bad idea.
|16 hours 23 min ago||It's not so much about getting it right||
It's about keeping everyone's field of vision as narrow as possible. An RB can't reliably read three players, especially when two are on opposite sides of the box. Human peripheral vision is quite crappy, and having an angry 300-pound mountain of meat in front of you doesn't help. The above example is deliberate in that it showcases how the QB and RB have to account for three different defenders if not for the MIKE call. (Imagine the first frame with the "MIKE" call removed. With none of the three linebackers accounted for, the QB and center might have completely different ideas on where the pressure's going to come from. That's bad.)
In this case who the "real" MIKE is. . . well, it's plenty important, but the main thing is communication. I think Seth prefers the QB behind a shaky O-line knows where the free hitter (not the MIKE) is going to come from, and I'm inclined to agree. The "MIKE" is a potential free hitter that's ID-ed and then taken out of the play by the O-line's (re-)assignment. When the WLB is ID-ed, it's one less thing for the backfield to worry about and they can focus more on whether the MLB is blocked. The WLB is the O-line's headache -- if he drops back the LG can just sustain his double on the DT, but either way, everyone's role is simplified.
Defenses can mess with the MIKE call, but the advantage is that at least the QB, RB and O-line are on the same page. If the center is in charge of the call on a double A-gap blitz, the backfield might not get the message, the LG and RB both wind up blocking the WLB while the MLB rips through untouched for a sack. In this case everyone got the call "right" but it didn't matter because the assignments weren't communicated. Sound familiar?
So what if DG gets it "wrong" and IDs the MLB as the MIKE? The center or LG blocks the MLB while the RB reads the WLB. When the WLB blitzes, the RB moves up to block and that's the block the QB is most concerned with. It's "wrong" but you still have blockers on every defender and everyone's eyes looking in the right directions, even if the assignments weren't ideal.
Getting everyone on the same page is more important than getting it right, is the moral of today's story.
|17 hours 2 min ago||As SpaceCoyote mentioned in another thread||
With Denard it looks like the RB would also point to (or at least ack) the MIKE, because Vincent Smith went all finger guns before. . .
. . . dropping the Mike.
|17 hours 53 min ago||Indeed||
I haven't seen "Old School", managed to find the quote by Googling "trust tree". I'm guessing it's no "Animal House".
|18 hours 32 min ago||Where||
Behind the milk? I always wondered what's behind there. But the one in the back has an expiration date of 3/13/74 so I'm scared to touch it.
|18 hours 34 min ago||Yeah||
He's got to work on that. I'm pleased with the effort so it'll probably get better over time. He just needs reps reps reps. :)
|18 hours 43 min ago||Well||
We need our coaches to step forward and take on a leadership role. We still have a long way to go, but I'm impressed by the effort they've put in, and the competitiveness. Obviously we want more "well", and there are no excuses given the expectations we have, and we will fix it. It starts with the coaches, of course, but everyone throughout the organization. Sorry, what was your question again?
|18 hours 53 min ago||FFS it's one line||
One line in an entire presser transcript. Please clarify exactly what content was replaced, or how thoughtful analysis has now completely vanished from the site due to a one-line add-on.
I'm mildly amused by it, but even if I thought it was the devil's tax return I'd have a hard time getting worked up over a tack-on that doesn't even change my scrolling habits.
|18 hours 56 min ago||what you mean by "basic"?||
Uh, what's a "basic" Big Ten lockdown cornerback? Lockdown corners are "basic" in the sense that they make the DC's job much easier, but it's not like you pluck these guys off the shelf at your local Qwik-E-Mart.
|19 hours 9 min ago||It's confusing||
If he was a Woodson clone it's actually discouraging because not even Woodson was Woodson his freshman year. He was a perfectly serviceable corner, but not the monster plucking throwaways out of the air against MSU. If our starters are getting pushed by a "serviceable" true freshman, that raises my eyebrow.
But that could be unwarranted concern. Hoke seems to be saying they'll start Peppers at nickel anyway, but they're already starting the transition to boundary corner because he's able to handle the extra pressure. That gives them more control over his timetable. I actually believe our corners are good, so this is more like an opulent luxury -- we're starting Peppers at nickel because we can, but it also makes sense to give him boundary corner snaps as soon as possible if he's going to wind up there. I really don't see him taking snaps at boundary corner being forced by any sort of need.
However, this damages my prediction that Peppers eventually winds up at FS. How will I cope?
|19 hours 17 min ago||Lead by D||
"Greg doesn't make it easy for them. I mean, they're not just sitting there in a 4–3."
Yep. We've stressed this to the doom-and-gloomers all through fall camp. The coaches aren't out ot make the O-line look bad; they're out there to push them as hard as possible and that just invariably looks bad.
That's not to say the O-line is going to be even close to decent by the start of the season, but the fastest way for them to learn is to take their lumps.
|21 hours 2 min ago||Meh||
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT
Tommy makes South America look small, leaving opposing coaches wondering what to do, let alone how the kid fits in a stadium. Since there's no tape or scouting reports on Tommy you're left to draw your own conclusions, but all available evidence indicates he tends to stand up at the snap. Combined with his obscene height this allows opposing linemen to get under him and gain leverage, albeit not much else. However, the fact that he doesn't hold any offers is a cause for concern.
|1 day 15 hours ago||To be fair||
Either the DB's coverage was terrible or, more likely, he was greatly exaggerating the reaction to demonstrate the desired result. When he fell down it struck me more as a dramatic performance -- that was on a single move FFS.
I did see Canteen make a few moves during the Spring Scrimmage highlights and it was like watching a Michael Jackson music video -- I had to rewatch several times just to figure out where the hell his feet went.
|1 day 15 hours ago||Canteen vs. Norfleet||
Count me on the Freddy Footwork train, obviously. Norfleet's the nominal starter, I guess, but he might be passed by Canteen by B1G play.
Like I said in the "exciting players" thread, Norfleet is fun to watch, but I think he's a tad chaotic. He'll make isolated defenders look silly but at times also seems to run right into traffic or easily lose his balance, which I believe explains why he's yet to return a punt for a TD. Basically his quickness is unparalleled but his motion isn't terribly efficient. As critical as I've been of Borges, I think he used Norfleet only on jet sweeps for a reason. I think using one guy for only one type of play is phenomenally stupid (way to do the DC's job for him, Al), but I suspect it has more to do with why Norfleet hasn't seen the field in other plays -- his vision & balance are poor for an RB, and his bad footwork compromises his quickness in getting separation. At least with sweeps and punt returns he's just being asked to make the most of his happy feet.
Freddy Footwork lacks Norfleet's pure quickness and I have no idea about his vision (I for one don't think he'll be a returner), but as a receiver I think he more than makes up for it with fewer wasted steps. His footwork is on par with a professional dancer's. I predict what quickness he does have -- and he has plenty of it -- will translate more effectively into the defenders tripping over their own feet and tackling the air that we'd hoped to see from Norfleet, whose penchant for getting brought down by the shoelaces looks less and less like bad luck to me with each passing year.
If Canteen doesn't play in the first few games, it'll be because of freshman mistakes, but if he does, it'll be because he has the ability to get separation when the other receivers struggle. So Norfleet will probably start against the OOC slate but I predict Michigan will go with Funchess, Darboh, Butt and Canteen for the MSU game. For all the blocking they'll need in the run game (hence Butt), what'll really decide the game is an ability to punish their super-aggressive defense. Three receivers who are extremely dangerous against press man coverage will force a dilemma -- if MSU has to abandon their coverage scheme because their corners can't stop the receivers, anything can happen. If Michigan goes with Norfleet they will probably try to pancake him at the line.
And if anyone's going to say Canteen's not gonna see the field because of his size. . . hey now, you're really making the case that the #3 receiver is Chesson, not Norfleet.
|1 day 17 hours 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.
|2 days 7 hours 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.
|2 days 13 hours 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?"
|2 days 17 hours 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.
|3 days 8 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.
|3 days 11 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.
|3 days 14 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.
|3 days 16 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.
|3 days 17 hours 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.
|3 days 17 hours 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.
|3 days 18 hours 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.
|4 days 19 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.
|6 days 17 hours 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.
|6 days 17 hours 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.
|1 week 9 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.
|1 week 9 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.