- Member for
- 6 years 35 weeks
|1 year 13 weeks ago||Tribute||
I first met Al in 1985 both through Michigan football and his involvement with the Michigamua organization. He taught me how to play squash and we had a regular weekly game for about 3 months, during which he never lost and rarely moved off of the T. Clearly a 60-year old gracefully aging hockey coach vs. a 20 year old athlete was an unfair advantage (in his favor). You simply could not meet a nicer person than Al Renfrew. May he rest in peace.
|2 years 13 weeks ago||That's True on Kerridge||
but b/c of the ineligble slot, the slot LB can scream downhill at warp speed with absolutely zero regard for a pass (i.e., constraint play) - the result is we are magnifying the degree of difficulty for Kerridge's block to the point where it is very likely he'll miss the assignment. As a result, a technically unsound defense is actually the right one given pre-snap alignment.
While these are subtle points, they are the sort of things that good coaching can do to put players in a position where they are likely to succeed vs. likely to fail. Like all MGoBloggers, I have been following the long debate over Borges. I think he is near impossible to defend given the mounting objective evidence that his schemes and play structures are too easy for defenses to diagnose and too hard for athletes to execute. M can do better at OC - the talent level is not perfect, but it is certainly good enough to be a middle of the B1G offense.
|3 years 12 weeks ago||Receiver Play||
on the opening drive, the Robinson drop illustrates something a number of our receivers have been doing all year - they fail to come back to the ball while in the air - on the play, Robinson leans upfield, away from the LOS as the ball arrives - this enables the DB to make a play on the ball - instead, especially w/ man coverage, he should come back to the ball and use his body to shield the defender - if he does that, it is an easy catch and first down. The downside is that YAC are harder w/ that movement, but situationally, all he should care about is moving the chains on 3rd and long
|4 years 9 weeks ago||Auburn's other starting running backs||
were Lionel James and Tommy Agee - together w/ Bo Jackson, was an incredible backfield - M was the only team to hold them w/o a TD that year.
One other tidbit - Auburn's use of the wishbone inspired Bo to install the package as M's short yardage / goal line package - with Bob Perryman, Dan Rice, Gerald White and Jamie Morris all available for that set, it was very effective.
|4 years 34 weeks ago||Sugar Bowl||
doesn't that Sugar Bowl incident work against OSU here? If I were the NCAA officials that approved the agreement to permit players to participate in the bowl game, I might be a bit unhappy that Tressel flat out lied to us while negotiating the deal - makes the NCAA look very bad in hindsight - hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.
|4 years 49 weeks ago||Well Spoken Kid||
One of the interesting things so far in the Hoke era is that he appears to be selling the academic reputation of Michigan a lot harder than had been the case with RR and, frankly, with much of the Carr era. He is going after some very smart kids that value the Michigan educational excellence, in addition to being great football players. Camren Williams comes across as very sharp in the interview. You can't make up the whole team of 4.0 kids, but it is an important part of the puzzle IMO.
BTW, if you go back and look at the # of academic all-americans historically at Michigan, almost all of them played for Bo - it really dropped off under Mo/Lloyd/RR. Smart kids not only gravitate toward Michigan vs. some of its competitors, but in theory should make fewer mistakes, learn faster and be more coachable. I think Bo understood that and benefitted from it - good to see that Hoke seems to recognize it as well.
|5 years 12 weeks ago||thanks for posting||
for us older MGoBloggers, '85 was a special year, particularly coming off the 6-6 1984 season where some thought the game had passed Bo by.
|5 years 12 weeks ago||and very few 4/5 star recruits||
not that the star system existed back in the dark ages - beyond probably Brad Cochran, Mark Messner and possibly Garland Rivers, the '85 defense was not made up of a bunch of nationally touted HS recruits. In fact, in the 1983 class, the Media meme was George Perles at MSU eating Bo's lunch as far as recruiting in state went - players like Pat Shurmur, Mark Nichols and Dean Altobelli to State while Michigan had to settle for 2nd best. The more things change, the more they stay the same...
|5 years 14 weeks ago||rush 4 or 5 consistently||
not all out blitz, but given that our LB zone drops are consistently bad, just send 1 of them routinely in passing situations - still leaves 6 in coverage, allowing 2- or 3-deep will reasonable underneath coverage. I'd rather have Roh, Demens or Mouton blitizing than the extra guy in coverage
|5 years 14 weeks ago||BWS captures the problem in one simple page||
is there any doubt this team was not prepared by its coaches? Youth on D has masked the problem - this defensive staff cannot and should not survive
|5 years 14 weeks ago||Illinois precedent||
When Zook cleaned house after last season, he hired new DC / Secondary coach and gave him the authority to pick his own staff - hired new OLB coach but kept the incumbents at D-line and ILB. Result has been immediate improvement year 1.
Could be a model for U-M: hire new DC and let the DC make decisions on his staff and scheme - maybe he keeps Tall, Gibson and/or Braithwaite and maybe not. But to get the right DC, RR needs to give him autonomy on staff and scheme.
I think RR should stay but it can't be business as usual on the defensive side - I understand the no talent meme and do not discount that, but there is not much to point to support the current defensive staff - our defensive talent, such as it is, is not getting better as the season progresses. The same could be said last season - coaching problem needs to be addressed.
|5 years 17 weeks ago||Herron not on list||
Anyone else surprised he did not see the field vs MSU? Thought he was effective prior to his injury
|5 years 17 weeks ago||tackling fundamentals||
M obviously missed a ton of tackles Saturday - it looked like our guys were tackling high - led to a couple of face mask penalties but mostly backs / receivers just ran through the tackle - it was consistent enough that even my wife was complaining - when I played (light years ago) we were taught to drive through the mid-section - for those that are more current in the coaching world, has conventional wisdom changed on tackling technique?
|5 years 17 weeks ago||that is the debate||
and I might agree if the lack of execution was intermittent - but we've had consistent lack of execution - well coached teams execute well and poorly coached teams do not. The harder question is what do you do about it? Replacing GERG probably doesn't fix the problem and I can't see Rodriguez cutting loose the defensive coaches he brought over from WV. I think he'd rather have the continuity at this stage (including in recruiting) than make that kind of change, at least while he feels he needs to solidify his own job standing.
|5 years 17 weeks ago||Execution = coaching||
- how much more evidence do we need to conclude we hae a big defensive coaching issue? Compare the first DE pursuit picture pages - MSU Defense executed and M did not - MSU arguably had 3 defenders in a position to make a play - Greg Jones (who whiffed), the backside DE (who did not) and the filling safety who may also have been in a position to hold it down to a 10 or 15 yard gain vs. TD - and that is with dilithium running the ball and a resulting very narrow window to make a play. I understand this is an ongoing debate that people are tired of and both experience and coaching are contributing here, but this will not get fixed w/o better defensive coaching.
|5 years 17 weeks ago||Seat access||
Maybe they will improve the access from the concourse to the seats - always a huge line through the tunnel to actually get to your seats. On second thought, would be good just to get there!
|5 years 20 weeks ago||post ND let down||
The underappreciated factor is that the team had a mental let down after a big road win - a bunch of 18-21 year old kids showed up flat mentally - and that is really hard to turn around once the game starts - yes, our D is not very good, but they're better than Saturday's performance and with any luck, good enough to win 8 games.
|5 years 23 weeks ago||bad snap||
give our kicker a break - XP was a bad snap (was behind the holder) and holder never got it down - wouldn't read much into that other than snapping needs some extra work (had a similar poor snap earlier but holder did a great job to get it down anyway
|5 years 23 weeks ago||Reading the defense||
spring game footage is very interesting to look back on - Denard more comfortable with the offense and a ton of improvement - he's not throwing into a crowd, for example, and generally accurate - potentially exciting. Not to temper the excitement too much, but watch his helmet - he still appears to be locking onto his primary receiver at the expense of missing better, more open alternatives - for example, around 2:18 mark , he turns it up to run instead of hitting wide open slot (Roundtree) flaring out into the flat for a big gain. Also, on one of his TD passes to left side, he had Stonum dragging across the middle of the field for much easier TD toss / catch - would have required a slightly back across the field throw but was a better read - I guess hard to complain too much given that he stuck it in for a TD. Baseline for Denard this year is to show major improvements in decision making, good ball security and (hopefully) be able to competently run the zone read. Enough to have a pretty good offense - but he won't be an elite QB until he shows he can come off his primary receiver to find a more open 2nd or 3rd option in the pattern.
|6 years 13 weeks ago||How does this compare to past M defenses?||
It would be interesting to take a sampling of past M defenses and compare the experience level - I wonder if M has had decent defenses in the past w/ comparable experience levels, or if we are truly dealing w/ an outlier (in terms of experience) this year.
No doubt experience level is a very important factor this year, but it does not explain why players like Ezeh and Mouton have performed worse this year - shouldn't we expect an uptick based on experience? Shouldn't we expect that a great coaching staff could get someone ready to play at a reasonable level at one of the safety slots?
|6 years 13 weeks ago||Stats are only part of the story||
The stats are helpful, but only tell part of the story - it's hard to boil football down to simple math. Overall, the picture feels pretty mixed on offense, and a step backward on defense.
The offense is clearly better this year based on the stats - M has a decent, but not yet fully effective offense. The running game has been fairly effective, especially w/ Minor, who is our one back that can break a tackle. And, we are no longer leading the free world in negative yardage plays as we did in 2008. As a result, we've been able to sustain some drives. We are still too inconsistent and mistake prone - much of that is driven by having a frosh QB - the fumbles, failure to throw away the ball vs. taking a sack, interceptions and general mis-reads, poor ball fakes, etc. That will get a lot better next year. The other issue has been poor pass protection, which magnifies the freshman-ness of our QBs, and makes it hard to do anything vertical. Some of this is injury driven, but the O line needs significant improvement in pass blocking - there is a nasty streak that is missing IMO - the line too often gets pushed around. Overall, the offense feels good enough to win 8 games and should be further improved next year (assuming our returning RBs step up their game).
The improvements in offense cause me to view the sideways statistical move on defense into a more negative light. Our defense was under massive pressure in 2008 due to DEATH / Threet at QB and general yakety sax. This year, that hasn't been the case - in theory, the stats should improve.
Beyond the stats, this is a defense that is simply bad - bad unlike any we've seen at Michigan. The D cannot cover at all, and has had drastic underperformance at the LB spot - much of the problem is repeated mental mistakes, missed assignments, lack of assignment discipline - much of this feels correctable, but we haven't seen it this year - they've gotten worse as teh season has progressed. I don't care if we have 5 stars or walk ons playing, the disclipline and mental readiness aspect of good defense should be there. Impossible to tell if this is on Greg Robinson or the assistants, but it seems clear there are coaching issues on that side of the ball. We don't have talent to be a championship caliber defense, but we should be middle of the road.
It will be interesting to see what changes RichRod and GERG make this off season - be encouraged if there are 1-2 new hires on the defensive staff.
|6 years 14 weeks ago||Brown waltzed into the end zone in first half||
Hard to 2nd guess using Brown on first or second down given the results to tha point in the game - we'd been running the ball very effectively, including in the red zone up to that point. But after being stuffed twice, probably should have changed the approach - whether Minor in the game, QB sneak or a bootleg.
As to going for the FG, our defense allowed less than 100 yards in the first half - probably a reasonable assumption that we'd stop the Illini and get the ball back in decent field position.
It's easy to 2nd guess when you know the result.
The disturbing thing for me is not the play calling or game decision making - rather, it is the lack of mental toughness M shows - I understand lack of depth, holes at a number of positions and frosh QB, but there is a tenacity and toughness that is just not there.
This doesn't show up in 40 times and recruiting rankings. It is a direct result of coaching - creating the team culture. For whatever reason, M is really struggling to develop a team personality. Like most M fans I'm hopeful it emerges (and soon).
|6 years 16 weeks ago||Any internal candidates||
Brian - any noise from campus about internal candidates? What about Joe Parker for example? Has not been an AD but has experience with a number of strong schools, including Oklahoma prior to coming to Michigan. He's an M grad (swam at Michigan in the mid-80's)and is reputed to have done a great job building M's fundraising capabilities (and bringing them into the modern era).
|6 years 17 weeks ago||assignment discipline||
I don't see our defensive issues as lack of talent issues - it is mental not physical - it comes down to knowing the situation and your assignment, and sticking w/ your assignment - the first Moleaki TD is the perfect example - if you are man to man on the TE, you simply cannot abandon the TE, even if the TE starts to block.
I'd like to believe that a majority of the Defense's mistakes are a function of the discontinuity on the D-coordinator side, and that they disappear over time. But I'm having a hard time convincing myself that's the case - it is simply inexplicable how a deep safety lets a receiver run by him on 3rd and 24 - why do you need top college coaching to avoid this type of mistake?
|6 years 18 weeks ago||Soup is a class act||
One of the nicer guys you'll ever meet - glad to see him doing well - sorry not to see him on the M staff
|6 years 18 weeks ago||The Bulldog||
try the Bulldog in NE Mpls - great burgers, great beer drinking spot - good people watching. From there, it is a straight shot down University to TCF Stadium.
Edit: misread the msg - 10 minute cab ride at most to the Dome but on other side of the river
|6 years 18 weeks ago||the blitz did come from that||
the blitz did come from that side, and Brown failed to read it (this was the big mistake on the play) - you're right that it wasn't a bad read by Forcie, but the better read would've been Odoms - maybe Brian links the video on his UFR - need to see how open the middle of the field was. A successful throw to Brown would not have picked up a first down.
|6 years 18 weeks ago||Carlos in the Flat was the wrong read||
On the first M drive, look instead at Odoms releasing down field in the seam - instead of throwing into the blitz to Brown, Tate should have popped it to Odoms for easy TD - not that the throw to Brown was a terrible read, but a more seasoned QB probably makes a different read.
|6 years 21 weeks ago||The last hit of heroin is the best||
ND - we needed it badly... and it felt soooooo good.
|6 years 21 weeks ago||LB Help Needed||
We need a lot of help at LB - on the inside, both Ezeh and Mouton are struggling - Ezeh in particular has struggled with basic reads and reaction. They may get better but I think a stud frosh could break in to the LB rotation - I don't see M close to signing that person at the moment, but there is opportunity there (and we have a long way until February). DBs as well given athleticism can more easily make up for lack of college-added strength at either corner or safety.
In either case, I think only an early enrollee that can get enough time in the system would be likely to compete for PT.