“He was on the other side of the court, screaming: ‘Good shot, Kev!’” Durant said, shaking his head in delight. “I’m thinking, this guy’s an All-American type of teammate right there.”
- Member for
- 2 years 30 weeks
- View recent blog entries
- Almost everyone on the 2011 defense
- Jeremy Gallon
- Jake Ryan (even look at change from week one of this year; dude is playing a new position)
- Willie Henry
- Derrick Green
- Devin Funchess
- Jourdan Lewis
- Raymon Taylor
- Jarrod Wilson
- Joe Bolden
- Frank Clark
- Ryan Glasgow
- Brennen Beyer
- Funk - The offensive line is still young, but it is loaded with talent, lots of which has been in the program for at least two years. We still can't seem to sustain pass blocks, and the run blocking is inconsistent at best. We get pushed around by too many defensive lines that don't appear to have size/strength advantages. Which leads me to...
- Wellman - This team looks slower and weaker than the competition at a number of positions on a consistent basis. I have no way of knowing if this is true, or if we're just playing slower and weaker than our competition. I just know what I see.
- Hoke - Regardless of what Funk and/or Wellman may be doing wrong, the buck stops here. I am, however, starting to look at this differently. I love coach Hoke. I think he's a good man who loves his players, believes in character building, and would have literally crawled from Southern California to coach at Michigan. He has hired (mostly) top quality staff. But I am beginning to wonder if he has one or more of the following shortcomings: 1) He does not demand enough. Press conferences are what they are, but Hoke seems genuinely pleased with the effort level and preparation of this team. There's a problem with that. He loves his guys and may be impressed with them, but it's not good enough, and if he doesn't recognize that and DEMAND more every day, we'll never be good enough. Patience is a virtue, especially with kids. But there is a fine line between being patient with a young team and giving them too much slack. It may be time to demand more. 2) He does not coach with the precision today's game demands. Back in Bo's day, if you could block and tackle better than the other guys, chances were good you were going to win. The importance of scheming, and having players coached well enough to understand not only their own scheme but the opponent's, is a bigger part of the game than ever. Offensively, Michigan has not looked consistently coherent. Special Teams has similar challenges. While the defense has been the most consistent, tempo has created problems. I don't necessarily think our schemes our bad, but we don't seem to mind the details of the schemes as well as we could. Perhaps he believes mindset is more important than scheme. 3) He is too stubborn. I don't believe in the superiority of one scheme versus another. I believe the best scheme is one that is consistently and precisely executed. The offensive scheme du jour is definitely the spread, but Wisconsin, Alabama, and Stanford have proven that there is more than one way to skin a cat. But how much intelligence does it take to see that under center play action just isn't working? Maybe it's Devin Gardner, maybe it's the O-Line, heck, maybe it's Nuss calling the play. But the buck stops with Hoke, and he needs to say, "stop doing that." If it means more shotgun and pistol runs, then do it. You can still run power and IZ from those formations. And the punting thing...look I believe the traditional punt can work, but it obviously isn't working for us. SO CHANGE IT. I'm not asking Hoke to coach a finesse team, or to sacrifice his MANBALL philosophy. But it sure seems like some minor changes could yield big benefits.
- Devin Gardner is a world-class talent that can do things very few humans (or gods) can do. He is also sometimes inept.
- Our offensive line could not block even a little bit.
- The offensive line IS improving, though it's a long way from being a dominant group.
- The defensive scheme change is significant, and it will take some time for our players to fully adjust. Top-quality opponents will exploit our growing pains.
- Devin Gardner is a world-class talent that can do things very few humans (or gods) can do. He is also sometimes inept.
|5 days 17 hours ago||Correct me if I'm wrong||
I thought a waggle was when the QB rollout went the same direction as the handoff (as in the play above), and a bootleg was when the QB rolled the opposite way.
Michigan used to run the "naked" bootleg, meaning no blockers for the QB on his rollout away from the run action, to great effect. The TE would start to zone block with the line then peel off and was often W I D E open. That was definitely the play in '97.
|6 days 16 hours ago||Harbaugh||
This is the reason I wasn't as excited about Harbaugh when we hired Hoke: it was obvious that he wanted to coach in the NFL. He's a great coach, but if he was just going to show up on his way to the NFL, I wasn't interested.
Now, if he ever does come home, it will be because he wants to finish his career at U-M. I doubt it will happen, but if it does, I'd be grateful to have him.
|6 days 16 hours ago||Part of the Problem||
The press just doesn't get it. There was exactly one good question in the entire session, about how to counteract Minnesota's strong run defense.
The MGoQuestion was good, but needs to be directed at Nuss.
If you're in that room, stop trying to find a backdoor to getting Hoke to talk about the QB situation. It's not going to happen. There are other interesting things to talk about, and I have to say the media is performing no better than the U-M offense at this point.
|1 week 20 hours ago||This might be my favorite||
This might be my favorite post ever.
|1 week 1 day ago||Hope||
Is our only remaining strategy.
|1 week 1 day ago||Cowherd||
Is an idiot. This guy said he would stake his reputation on Lane Kiffin being a great coach. I guess his reputation is fired.
I listen to him sometimes, but he just tries to stir-up controversy to get listenership.
As for the "scout"/whomever quote, here is my rebuttal:
Every player on that list has made not just incremental improvement, but quantum leaps since Hoke's arrival. Yes, it's defense-heavy. Yes, there are no offensive linemen. Believe me, I'm not calling Hoke a developmental genius. But to say there is no development? That's a stupid quote from a stupid "scout" that will never be named because he has no credibility OR just saw what he wanted to see.
I guarantee you several guys off the above list make an impact in the NFL.
|1 week 1 day ago||Thanks||
Thanks, I am glad you enjoy the content.
Hope is all I have. Nussmeier is an accomplished coach and he has some talent to work with. Next week we shouldn't have to score too many points to win. But if we don't improve quite a bit before Rutgers, it could get pretty ugly.
I think MSU's defense is considered (or was the last few years) to be nationally elite. But I agree--our crappy conference skews the truth. All the more reason our offense should be able to move the ball...hope is all I have.
|1 week 1 day ago||I think everyone agrees if||
I think everyone agrees if this ship gets turned around we'd be happy. Yes, Nuss has only been here for a few months, but he's had immediate turnaround results (to some degree) everywhere he's been.
It has to get better, and it has to get better fast.
|1 week 2 days ago||"Pre-Season" is over||
I am a Michigan fan and I will root for a turnaround as hard as anyone. I love this team. I love our players. I think Mattison and Nussmeier are great coaches. Winning a B1G championship, even in a down year for the conference, would be amazing.
We're running out of variables. We have talented players coveted by the top programs int he country. We have top coordinators that have had success at every level of football. Yes, we're still young. Yes, the cupboard was pretty bare when Hoke arrived, especially along the lines. But at this point, there are very few potential goats:
I get it. We have a new offensive system, and a very different defensive system. These are tough things to adapt to, although the defense looks pretty damn good. I understand that Hoke was only left with a few usable pieces (we only have 11 seniors on a roster of 115). But in year four, even if you're not a dominant team, you should be consistently executing your vision.
This team doesn't look a year way from being great. They look like they'll never be great. I hope I'm wrong, but even if you aren't yet dominant, you should be consistently competent.
Again, I hope this team turns the corner. I hope we're B1G champs. I hope we demonstrate competence the rest of the way. But these problems don't look like they can be fixed in three practices per week. These issues look like they are built into the program right now. I'm rooting for Hoke, but I'm Brandon, I'm also ready with a back-up plan.
|1 week 4 days ago||My favorite diary||
And I think we may see some 4-3 under, as you suggest. Utah hasn't seen much 12, 21, or 22 personnel, but they will tomorrow (I think).
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Missed the point||
I think you missed the point. Of course football is hard. The field is a classroom, and life is hard.
Michigan seems to lack the precision and cohesiveness that lead to the appearance of ease on the field. I played through college, then coached at the high school and collegiate levels. I know the game is hard.
My point is that we seem to make it harder than it has to be. That we are missing whatever ingredient takes you from very good to great. The frustrating thing is that we seem to have great players and great coaches (or at least coordinators) and we still look far short of our potential.
Teams like Baylor, A&M, OSU, FSU, Alabama, Auburn...they can make it look so easy, even against good opponents. We make it look harder than that against bad teams.
I've played and coached with great teams; there were games and even stretches of games where it seemed like all we could do was win. When was the last time you felt that way about Michigan football?
I want that feeling.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Add||
The dropped fourth down pass, all the yards they lost on silly penalties, and the wide open deep ball.
The score of this game accurately told the story of the play on the field, unfortunately. The blueprint for beating our defense is obvious.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Concerns||
This defense, IMO, doesn't have many problems, but they are big problems and they are in the secondary.
Countess gave-up another easy slant (on fourth down) and got lucky with the Miami player dropping the ball. TV called it "great coverage," but giving up the inside is unacceptable.
Lewis was beaten on a deep post and we were saved by a bad throw and an even worse adjustment to the pass.
Right now, our coverage is just not very good. Peppers and Lewis look capable, but not great. No one else can seem to play man. The safety help has been average, at best.
I'm afraid Utah is going to tear us up.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Press coverage and coaching||
Dude who played college football that says our CBs are coached poorly has NO idea how our CBs are being coached.
The truth is that almost anytime you get beat on a play in football it looks like your technique was poor. Watching the film, it looks like Countess is trying to play with proper technique, but Will Fuller is quick and fast and stuff and doesn't make it easy to jam him at the LOS.
What does seem clear is that Countess is not built for press man. But you're being either ignorant or malicious if you're claiming that Manning doesn't understand the basics of press coverage, even if he wasn't a CB coach before this season. Even if you make the assumption that Manning has no idea what he's doing, Mallory is still there, Mattison is still there, and those guys aren't going to let Manning coach the CBs into futility.
Honestly, I put more of the blame on Mattison for sticking with what wasn't working for too long; it was clear early on that Countess and Hollowell simply couldn't execute against the ND players. But believe me, the U-M coaches all understand the basics of press coverage.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Hilarious||
I love you, BiSB. Wait, did I type that out loud?
Another great write-up that had me LOLing at my desk. I needed that. Thanks.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Amen||
|2 weeks 4 days ago||There is a good team in there...||
In last year's ND game, Jeremy Gallon was the difference. He accounted for 3 of the 4 receiving TDs (other was Dileo) and 184 of the 294 receiving yards. He got open almost every play, and he got open quickly.
Of course, the '13 ND game also had Good DG show-up, and this year's version was...not Good DG. Even though he had more time to throw (although the pocket wasn't always clean) he looked more rushed and was far less accurate. To be fair, he probably looked better than Denard did in South Bend two years ago.
Let's remember that only six of last year's ND completions are still on this roster. The DG to Gallon connection was a big deal, and Funchess, while the more talented player, isn't the same route ninja and doesn't have the same telepathic relationhsip with DG. We need a quick little bugger or a TE to step up as DG's safety valve this year; that just isn't what Funchess does.
There are lots of negative things to say about Al Borges, but he did know how to get WRs open. Unfortunately, he didn't know how to draw-up a play that gave DG enough time to find those WRs. I'm ceratinly NOT implying that Nuss isn't good at this, but this year's receiving corps is going to take a little time to develop chemistry with DG and the new system.
The blocking, on the whole, was far better this year. Other than Gallon, the biggest difference in the two ND games was that DG went from Superman in '13 to Lois Lane in '14. He needed help this time around, and Gallon wasn't there to give it.
On the whole, I'm much more concerned about the CBs inability to cover anyone than I am about the offense. It will come around.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Rule #18 of gambling||
Since gambling means you'll eventually have to bend over, better follow rule 18 too:
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Revealing||
With Hoke, you have to really search the quotes to find something, but this was interesting:
This question and answer was pretty good, IMO. Hoke identified two things we did poorly against ND: tight man coverage (Countess and Hollowell) and a failure to limit Golson's throwing lanes. Now, I'm not sure how much more the DL could actually have done while still trying to pressure Golson, but we sure did blow a bunch of chances to get off the field by giving up slant routes.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||CBs, Mattison failed in a big way||
Reading the UFR and watching again, it's clear just how much of this game was decided by one-on-one matchups where UM simply could not hang with ND's athletes.
Countess cannot play press man against an elite WR; Will Fuller is an elite receiver. Hollowell is another smallish guy who just could not compete with ND's athletes.
Golson's throws were on target and his WRs were getting separation. What's disturbing is that almost all of the damage was pre-snap reads to the first option...that means your pass rush has no chance of getting home. He was picking out Countess and Hollowell and ate them alive.
I have to agree with Greg Mattison here: he waited WAY too long to adjust the scheme. Countess was obviously out-matched (as was Hollowell) and we needed to throw more curveballs at Golson to at least make him think. Most of this damage is on one or three step drops from shotgun where Golson only ever looks at one target. It was just pitch and catch.
Bad game for the CBs, and bad game for the DC.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||No phrases||
It's not phrases that will help him, it's game experience in the system and Nuss' coaching afterward.
Until players see their mistakes on film and recognize what they missed, they often repeat mistakes. If DG is capable of improving, I'm confident Nuss will find a way to make it happen.
Utah will be a good test for us before the B1G season starts.
|3 weeks 15 min ago||Notre Dame and Predictions||
While it's unpopular in today's society (and certainly in the blog world) to do anything other than overreact, I think Brian's guarded optimism is probably the closest thing to true here.
Last year's ND game proved a couple of things:
Retrospectively, DG's performance might have been the game of his life (Ohio being the only competitor for that title) and he could not replicate it with opponents having recognized that #2 was indeed very true and DG can't repeat his superhuman feats if he's on his butt.
Of course, we all believed #2 would improve, and that the rest of the team could carry the water until that happened. We were wrong.
This year's game revealed, I thought, some very different (and some not so different) things:
The good news about this year is that the O-line alread looks better than the '13 iteration, and that #2 and #3 are very fixable. Why is #3 more fixable than last year? Because Doug Nussmeier is a QB whisperer and has worked wonders with every player he has coaced at that position. As for #2, game situations are the best teachers, and playing press man against a live opponent will help us learn.
Last year's coverage was hung out to dry by a pretty pathetic pass rush; this year's pass rush needs a little help from the coverage to defeat the three-step drop (or one step drop from shotgun) plays that make a sack darn near impossible.
What I'm saying is that I still see a team with the potential to be very good, though not great. 9-3 remains very achievable, and 10-2 is not out of the question, nor is an appearance in Indy.
All that said, if MSU and OSU smoke us like ND did, I will be looking for some significant off-season change.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||We will know soon||
Is this a clueless coaching staff? We will know soon.
This game was a game-changer. Losing to ND in a hard-fought contest would have been palatable, and even acceptable. But getting hammered in that fashion indicates deep, troubling problems.
That said, we are still in the first year of a new offense and defense. If these guys can coach, we'll be much better at playing pressure defense and the IZ/spread hybrid offense by the time we travel to MSU and OSU. We must show well in both games; we need to win one.
Nussmeier and Mattison are accomplished coaches. Hoke can recruit, his players love him, and seems to be a genuinely good man that is teaching his players life lessons. With two good coordinators and some good talent, even a few boneheaded decisions by the head coach shouldn't be able to tank the team.
I really don't know what's going on. Maybe Notre Dame is really good. Maybe we are on our way to being really good in the new schemes. Maybe Mattison, Nuss, and Hoke are all overrated.
Whatever the truth is, it will be clear by this season's end. Like it or not, Brandon will have a big decision to make if things don't go well.
I am and have been a Hoke supporter, but I am also a believer in accountability. If this boat doesn't get turned around to the tune of competing for the B1G championship game, it's time to consider a replacement.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Big Lebowski||
Great movie, and a great line.
But you used it inappropriately...I think that's where the negging comes from.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Congratulations!||
Also, great post.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||AWESOME||
I loved the background on Nussmeier, as well as the IZ breakdown and the over/under comparison.
I did not like the elaborate SCOTUS opening. It was fine for a paragraph or two, but then it was just too long for a football preview.
Despite that niggling flaw, this is an amazing piece of free content for which I am very grateful. +1 to you, sir.
|5 weeks 5 days ago||Agree, but...||
The important thing is that the QB, RBs, and the O-line know where the potential pressure is coming from (ie, who the O-Line isn't going to block).
Having a system in place where all of those parties understand that is essential. It doesn't much matter who makes the call, IMO.
FWIW, I don't think the QB IDs the MIKE in RR's offenses, and they do just fine.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||Asked and Answered||
Someone asked if Glasgow would replace Miller, Hoke that was one possibility.
I think Glasgow is the leader at RG right now. Not sure if that slides Kalis (whom Hoke confirmed is working at both OG spots) to LG and Magnuson to LT, or if that means Kalis, Bosch, and Joey are on the outside looking in.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||Quick release?||
He does NOT have a quick release. If you mean that he makes decisions quickly, there is some truth to that, but he has a long, almost Tebow-like throwing motion.
He has good zip on short throws, but looks a little shakier on the longer stuff. He's a decent runner.
This guy is a good player in a great system. He's not great, and won't be even by season's end. In time, Meyer will turn him into a star, but he doesn't have elite tools...then again, neither did Tebow.