Mason NEEDS this, Pistons, after all you've put him through
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- That "coloring book" absolutely shredded the Ohio defense last year.
- Thanks for the locker room material.
- Is the O-Line showing signs of competency? I agree wholeheartedly with Seth on this one. It would be foolish to expect our O-Line to be blowing-up our D-Line and making monster holes, but are they at least getting their hands on defenders instead of using the matador tactics of 2013? Are they identifying the guys they need to block? Please, just don't allow free-runners into the backfield.
- What's our new playbook look like? Nuss was heavily influenced by Sarkisian at U-W and Saban at 'Bama. Are we really going to use inside zone as our base running play? Will WR screens and extended handoffs be a big part of the playbook? Will there be a lot of pulling guards? Of course, we're not going to see much of the offense, but I'm curious to see what some of our base plays will be.
- Who are the potential game-changers? On both sides of the ball, we need more guys that can make plays even when we don't have the perfect play-call. The spring game is good at showing potential. Sure, some of that potential will end-up not working out, but you can usually spot the guys that might have the ability to break a game open.
|4 days 6 hours ago||This will happen||
I guarantee we'll see plenty of extended handoffs with Nuss. He's always used it and he has the personnel to use it again. In the spring practice videos, there were several of these plays. Not sure why we didn't see it in the spring game.
|4 days 6 hours ago||Dawson was pulling||
It was the center, not Dawson, that blew that play.
|6 days 1 hour ago||Like it||
I have to assume that's Norfleet standing in front of our O-Line on the front. I appreciate the quote on the back, even if it is a bit awkward.
|6 days 3 hours ago||that's just, like, your opinion, man||
While I think GRIII would benefit from another year in college, I'm not sure that's the case. This year didn't help his draft status, and if he's ready to go, wants to go, and it's the best thing for him and his family, he should go.
I wish him the best, and, even if you agree with me that another year at U-M might benefit him, I'd feel a whole lot better if you'd admit you don't know all the circumstances and that you wish him the best, too.
|6 days 4 hours ago||Wait, what?||
It IS a family matter. You don't think getting expelled from school is a family matter? You don't think a review board finding enough evidence to expel you for a crime you claim you didn't commit is a family matter? You don't think this affects his whole family?
It's certainly not the whole truth, but it's not untrue. I don't like the wording, either, but I understand trying to shut down the line of questioning.
I also don't like the "violation of team rules" comment. I would have preferred, "He is dealing with a personal issue and will not be with the team." But people would have called that a lie too.
Perhaps, "no comment" is the best answer in terms of honesty, but it ignites a media frenzy to find out what's going on with Gibbons and creates needless distractions for the innocent memebers of the team.
This was a NO WIN situation for Hoke, and picking nits about his word choice is ridiculous. If he lied to investigators, then I hope he's fired. But an innocuous comment at a press conference? Come on. Hoke uses more egregious half-truths about depth chart, line-up, player development, scheme, and staff at almost every press conference.
|6 days 5 hours ago||National story?||
For those of you who believe this will be a national story, please note that page one of ESPN does have a Michigan headline currently:
There is a lot more to know before this becomes legitimate, national news. Here's a question, why the fuck was CSG even investigating the veracity of Hoke's statement?
|6 days 5 hours ago||Couldn't say this||
Unfortunately for Hoke, Gibbons wasn't suspended by the football team. He was expelled. This is yet another half-truth to say he's "suspended." Furthermore, since we don't know the circumstances surrounding Bullough--which may have been admitted or legally proven misconduct--you're comparing apples to oranges.
Finally, on legal grounds, Dantonio wasn't dealing with FERPA, whereas Hoke was.
|6 days 5 hours ago||Yes||
Your right as a victim or a victim's family is for justice, not for public humiliation or for the football coach to ignite a nationl media firestorm by explaining the situation to the press.
Furthermore, the assault has not been tried, and Gibbons has not been convicted. The universtiy has stated that there is enough evidence to believe that it's more likely than not that sexual misconduct occurred.
In NO way does that entitle ANYONE to a public announcement of those findings by the football coach.
|1 week 3 days ago||Inevitable||
Anytime you have a situation where someone is willing to pay for something and someone is willing to offer that good or service for money, there will inevitably be a market created. The law cannot stop this. That certainly doesn't mean it's a good thing--prostitution, drugs, and gambling have all caused some major problems--but it's a reality.
The rise in both the money and the popularity of college football made this inevitable. It isn't just that the NCAA and colleges are bringing in cash, it's that fans are so attached to their teams that they're willing to pay to make them better.
It's clear that the system is broken and needs some serious fixing. It's clear that in places like the SEC there are frequent and flagrant violations of the rules. And it also seems clear that, for now, the NCAA isn't too interested in a fix.
This issue needs to be addressed. It certainly doesn't make sense that schools like Michigan should be punished for playing by the rules, or even for playing by the rules more than the other guys do. Fix the system.
As for amateurism, I fully support it. If these kids really want to get paid instead of "playing school," then there should be a minor league. If we're going to pay players, let's bring it out in the open and make it transparent. The problem with paying players now isn't that it's wrong for poor kids and their families to get money, it's that it's wrong for it to have such a big impact on the competitive landscape of sports.
I may be old fashioned (or just old), but I firmly believe in the character and life values sports teach. And I believe there is value in playing sports for that reason, instead of to get paid. But I'm not naive enough to believe that some kids do it for the money, or even judge those kids "wrong" for doing it. I just want it be as fair and transparent as possible, because fairness and transparency are values worth teaching--whether players are getting paid or not.
|1 week 3 days ago||double post||
|1 week 3 days ago||I wish Horford the best||
All the best to you, JH.
Of course, this is how I feel:
|1 week 4 days ago||Tough to do||
Eliminating pulling, trapping, countering, etc. sounds good, but it's very tough to do.
For one thing, your running game now consists of just a few plays and is predictable. This means you need to be able to execute those few plays nearly flawlessly. This seems unlikely for this group.
For another, you are taking deception out of passing game in a big way. All of those blocking techniques set-up LBs for play action passes in a way that zone runs simply don't.
Stanford, Wisconsin, and even Alabama use pulling. I would like to see Michigan go to the "square shoulders" method of pulling, and I'd like to keep the playbook limited, but pulling should not be eliminated.
|1 week 4 days ago||THIS||
This is the key. If the OL is really as bad as it looks right now, 9 wins is probably spot on. But how we get those wins is very important. We need to show improvement and look like we're on our way to being a B1G contender, even if we don't get there this year.
We need to beat MSU and/or Ohio, and if we do that and get eight other wins while looking like an improved team, I'll be happy.
|1 week 4 days ago||Hitch = Hot||
For Nuss, you'll see him use the five yard hitch as a hot route A LOT. He loves to have this plugged-in for a WR that is alone on one half of the field. It was very successful for Alabama, and it's an easy read-and-throw for the QB. With an athlete like Funchess, it has the potential to be a huge play for us this year.
As for "How Borges is this?" I think the answer is "medium." Houma is sent on a route instead of blocking, creating mismatches for the cover three on that side of the field. But we have two OL blocking no one, and that feels an awful lot like 2013.
|1 week 5 days ago||Picking Nits||
Great stuff, Brian.
I have a few differences of opinion. You have all three starting LBs in the top group; while I tend to agree--it is our deepest and strongest position group (although WR and CB is pretty dang good, too)--I think the starters may be a bit more fungible with Bolden, Gedon, and RJS right on the heels of the three you've named. Bolden was a "fourth starter" last year, and his athleticism is something Morgan will never have.
Willie Henry is immensely talented and almost as inconsistent. While Lloyd almost always played talent, I think Hoke really will put a guy on the field who is more consistent--even if he's not as good. If Henry doesn't take himself seriously, he's in danger of losing that job.
I love Dennis Norfleet. He's entertaining, tiny, and seems to have potential. But that's the problem--it's only potential. He has never demonstrated proof of his talent, and I don't think his spot as the slot is at all assured. I think he'll play more, but the emergence of Canteen coupled with the return of Darboh may mean there are four WRs ahead of him.
At CB, the wealth of options makes the waters murkier. That said, I don't think Lewis is a nickel at all. IF, and that's a big IF, Countess and Taylor beat him out as outside starters, I think he'll play on the outside nickel situations, with Countess tucking into the slot...perhaps that's what you meant. But hype and the spring practice/game thingy sure make it look like he deserves to start, with one of his elders coming off the bench in the nickel.
Dude. Chad Lindsay isn't even on the roster, and is visiting other schools. I'd replace him with either Kalis or Miller, and move that slot to the bottom of the list. I love the wishful thinking, and Lindsay would be a HUGE get, but it's far from a done deal.
Hurst is obviously only a tenous starter given his spot on the list, but the omission of Godin is glaring. That spot is wide open, and it could be Wormley, Hurst, or Godin, IMO. Henry may very well find himself back at the DT.
I believe Heitzman/AJ Williams is a toss-up.
I believe De'Veon Smith will start on first down against App. State. He has gotten stronger and quicker, and the new system is perfect for him. His ability to break tackles and move the pile will, I believe, make him the nominal starter. I do think Hayes is the #2 RB right now, even on first and second down, and I even think that Green will have to battle Drake Johnson for #3. All that said, I think Hoke is right: these are good problems to have, as any of these guys will be an upgrade over what we had last year. I expect RB to be a strength for this team, and it has good depth.
Clark doesn't look any better than Hill; in fact, I like Hill better. But experience often wins out at safety, so he may be the nominal starter. I'd expect rotation there, perhaps even a frustrating amount of rotation.
I think Houma is ahead of Kerridge.
That's my 2 cents.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Good sleuthing! That's their||
Good sleuthing! That's their one time since '97.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Obvious||
But they haven't been to Pasadena much, which was the joke.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Or Ohio?||
While they've obviously had more success than we have lately, OSU has only been to one Rose Bowl since 1997; we've been to four.
The great thing about buckeyes is they aren't even good at insults.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Just rivalry stuff||
I'm glad he said it for two reasons:
I do think it's a bit classless, but that's part of what makes this rivalry so great: OSU fans are often the opposite of our well-groomed faithful.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||What I'm looking for||
In no particular order:
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Great picture||
Good to see Jake visited.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||Welcome to the family||
Looks like another great addition to the '15 class.
Welcome to the family Mr. Taylor. GO BLUE!
|6 weeks 1 day ago||FALSE||
That is absolutely Magnum P.I.
|6 weeks 2 days ago||Not that simple||
While I agree that Hoke could have stepped-in and said something, it's not like Borges had a history of failure while working with Brady. Sure, 2012 was disappointing, but Denard got injured and, if we're being honest, the offense looked pretty damn good (other than 2nd half Ohio) for the rest of the season with DG at the helm.
Brady gave Borges a season to fully implement his scheme, and it failed. I don't think giving an OC one year to try to have his way is being too patient. Don't get me wrong--I'm glad Borges is gone and Nuss' is in--but I'm not sure Hoke could have foreseen how bad things would be last season. No one else did.
|6 weeks 3 days ago||THIS||
Borges is a smart guy that understands constraints and football theory. But it appears he is not as adept at being able to coach his players to execute his multiple schemes, especially when the players are younger.
His concepts have always been sound, and when his teams have been smart/skilled enough to execute, he's had great success. But when his teams can't master his sorcery, they fall flat on their faces.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Billboard #1 "Top Hit"||
Walk Like an Egyptian.
Great song. Great year.
|6 weeks 5 days ago||Yes, please||
Compiling a list of recruits and targets with their scores would be AWESOME. Worthy of a sticky, IMO.
BTW, great work. Your content keeps me hooked to the football site, even during this long lull.
|7 weeks 2 days ago||Confidence?||
Nice work as always, Seth.
Not sure where you got confidence from my Hail Mary piece; I'm sure I said I was nervous more than once.
Excited? Yes. Confident? Hell no. It's 50-50 whether these changes work, IMO.
|7 weeks 3 days ago||Thank you||
It's people like Jon that make Michigan special and keep Michigan special. I wish him the best.
|7 weeks 3 days ago||Apology accepted||
IMO, the 4-3 Under and 4-3 Over are very, very different. The 4-3 Under is actually pretty similar to a 3-4: your SAM and your WDE are your most interchangeable positions, and either of those guys needs to be prepared to eat a TE or OT. You use a NT much like a 3-4, and your 3-tech and SDE (5-tech) are pretty similar positions. The biggest difference is that you will see two-gapping much less in an Under than in a standard 3-4, but 3-4 defenses (even in the NFL) are one-gapping a lot more now.
The 4-3 Over essentially replaces your SAM with a 9-tech (your SDE will line-up near the TE, usually outside, sometimes covering, and rarely inside) and leaves your new SAM uncovered. This is creating a new position in the defense: a uncovered LB that must be able to make plays in space. The NT must be able to consistently two-gap and the 3-tech must either get consistent penetration or two-gap. There is a lot more responsibility for the 3-tech in this defense, and I think they'll leave Henry there instead of moving him to nose. This defense further emphasizes the MLB, who must now be able to stop runs in the A, B, and C gaps. The WLB must also be able to take on more blocks in this defense and needs to be ready for B and C gap runs.
So, other than the LB positions being drastically different, adding a new position to the D-Line (which suits Taco and Beyer MUCH better than the Under SDE), and strategically changing the way you blitz, contain, and control gaps, it's pretty much the same.