this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
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- #7 DT did a good job on zone stretch of keeping his helmet in front of the guard and pressing into OT to not allow OT to come off block.
- Maintained the double team, kept LBs clean, then anchored and didn't let play get to sideline. Nice play.
- Another nice job by #7 holding up to a double. [Makes another play, forcing me to look him up] Ok, Maliek Collins is turning in a good game. He's essentially being doubled every play and isn't giving ground and is keeping LBs clean.
- OH MY GOD. THEY JUST TRIED TO SINGLE TEAM COLLINS! THEY REALLY JUST TRIED THAT. COLLINS DESTROYED THE ENTIRE BACKFIELD.
|14 hours 30 min ago||Bill Belichick was also a bit of a coaching prodigy||
His dad was essentially training him to be a coach froma very, very young age; breaking down film, working on technique, all that stuff. It's one of the reasons the guy is so socially awkward: he spent his formidable years in a dark room breaking down the inconsistencies of the left DE his dad was going up against the next week.
|1 day 3 hours ago||A-Train was my guy||
Just one of my absolute favorite RBs to watch, I love the way he runs. The thing that stands out the most are his feet; it's as if they never leave the ground. He's so quick in and out of cuts, and while his top end speed was only "good", it's as if he gets to that speed as soon as he wants to. And the patience and the vision and how he sets up blocks then jump cut or a little shimmy of the shoulder and he's leaving guys in the dirt. And when finally someone catches up to him, he squares the lowered shoulders and keeps the feet moving, churning, on and on. Man, Ioved watching that guy run.
|4 days 7 hours ago||I've watched all their games||
The guy has a strong enough arm to make all the throws (not Henne strong, but a average NFL arm). He has great touch over the top of the defense. He's a good enough athlete to relieve pressure. He makes many good throws on the move. He still makes some really bad decisions (mostly, he struggles when teams are heavily multiple in coverage), that and throwing to RBs are his major weakness (his footwork gets sloppy when he gets lazy which hurts his accuracy, when he sets his feet he has really good accuracy).
I've watched him progress from a guy that they didn't trust throwing more than double slants and mesh concepts to a guy throwing triangle concepts whenever they ask him to. If you said this after 2013 I'd have no issue believing you, but they guy got significantly better and played really, really well in 2014.
He isn't without flaws, neither was Henne. But Cook is good enough now and has potential in his game to improve in the areas where he's weakest. Winston and Mariota were the top 2 picks, I said Cook will be selected in the first 3 rounds. He would have gone ahead of Grayson and Mannion last year, two guys selected in the third round that Cook was better than. I don't know what hype I'm supposed to be believing here, I'm not calling him the second coming or Tom Brady, but he's a really good college QB.
|4 days 8 hours ago||This is nice and all||
But in 2014 MSU had the 6th best passing offense (opponent adjusted) and Iowa had the 58th best. Stats lie (Rudock had the 54th best passer rating last year, Cook was 19th; Rudock's non-con wasn't murderer's row compared to MSU's). This shows that Rudock isn't some scrub of a QB and can play good games, but (and this will come across as know-it-all), the eye test is easily in Cook's favor.
People calling him a game manager are wrong, at least for 2014 (he was in 2013 until the BTT). He hits some impressive throws, makes a lot of really good throws, and makes some bad ones too. I don't think he's quite as good as Henne was, but I view him as a pick up in the first 3 rounds at least, most likely in the first two (depending on the talent around him, Henne would have gone earlier if it not been a relatively deep draft in 2008). He's in that same category, especially now that "pro-style" offenses are becoming fewer and fewer. And remember, Cook doesn't have the advantage of throwing a ton of screens. Iowa throws more screens than MSU actually. Cook's numbers aren't propped up by a lot of bubble screens and such.
Cook hasn't played very well against Michigan, and I get the feeling that most Michigan fans are basing their opinion of Cook based on that, watching him briefly in the background of other games, and bias. Cook is a good player, I think it's time for Michigan fans to stop living in denial about that and searching for excuses to why most others view him as a good QB prospect; admitting he's a good QB doesn't make you less of a fan.
|4 days 9 hours ago||Not completely disagreeing||
The problem is, by "poor man's Chris Wormley" (which I agree with), you are pointing out the major problem, that he's Chris Wormley minus the athleticism to shift outside. Maybe he can play 5-tech against power teams that consistently line up in-line TEs on standard downs, but I just find it hard to believe he'll consistently playing on the edge.
So I agree with what you're saying, and I think you're agreeing that most likely he'll end up inside except maybe situationally.
|4 days 10 hours ago||The thing is that||
Bama is still a legit option. So is Auburn and Georgia (I think). 49% is probably optimistic for Gary at this point, quite honestly. So I think it's fine to say it without qualifying it.
|4 days 10 hours ago||Weaver will almost certainly be a DT||
I have a hard time believing he sticks at DE. Then you have guys like Onwenu or Hamilton or Davis that could end up at NT as well. That would be two incoming players to replace two scholarship guys (Glasgow was a walk-on), even without Gary. Then you take 2 or 3 next year and you're in fine shape with essentially 4-5 DTs over two years and it starts to work itself out.
Also, as far as we know they are still looking at lower ranked DTs, they just aren't pulling the trigger yet. If those guys aren't highly sought after, they don't need to be contacting them all the time. They can probably contact Jovan Swann (IN), Amir Watts (IL), Jake Saunders (OH), Rashad Wheeler (PA), Ulises De Los Santos (NJ), and Tyler Oliver (PA) and at least get serious interest out of a few of them. And those are all still top 100 DTs from the midwest.
|4 days 10 hours ago||Spurrier is old||
And he isn't what he was at Florida, but he still may be the most successful South Carolina coach of all time. Better than Holtz, better than Joe Morrison. South Carolina has won 2 conference titles in their entire history, one in the "Southern Conference" in 1933, the other in the ACC in 1969.
South Carolina losing Spurrier would be a huge loss for them.
|4 days 13 hours ago||I don't think that's really fair||
First, People don't remember just how bad Texas was when Mack took over. The storied program wen 4-7 the year prior to him being there (1997), and the five years prior to him arriving saw them average 5 losses a year. They weren't awful, but for that program, they might as well have been.
Brown took over and immediately went 9-3. But the Big 12 had a couple other power houses too in Nebraska (early) and Oklahoma (throughout). Brown won the South his 2nd year, and would go on to win his division 6 times in his 16 seasons, and at one point won 6 or 12 seasons. Of course he had a conference title game that he only won twice, but still.
He won at least 9 games his first 12 seasons at Texas, after winning 10 games in back-to-back years at UNC. He won at least 10 games in 9 straight seasons, that's almost a full decade with 10+ wins every year. He only lost more than 2 conference games once in his first 12 seasons. He won a national title and was a Colt McCoy injury away from probably winning a second against Alabama.
Brown was a good recruiter (he was at Texas, that part isn't the difficult part), but he was also a good game day coach. He switched offenses drastically from early in his career with Ricky Williams, to the one that Vince Young ran, to the one that Colt McCoy ran.
Brown's issues were probably somewhat similar to Hoke's, in that the atmosphere around the program started to degrade. But then Brown had the opposite problem as Hoke, he basically had a whirlwind of coaches coming and going, absolutely no consistency, the schemes constantly changing. This lead to (similar to Hoke) a lack of player development, and the downfall of his program.
|4 days 14 hours ago||Not to mention||
If these guys stepped down every time the goings got tough, they wouldn't be where they are today. All of these coaches are extremely confident. They think they can turn it around. Hell, if you won a National Title and went to another one and had one of the most successful runs in college football within the last decade, why wouldn't you think you could turn it around again?
I don't blame Mack for hanging around. It was the wrong decision, because things got bad at Texas, particularly for the talent they had; but I personally don't think you can expect someone that still wants to coach and has been extremely successful coaching fairly recently to just hang it up because he was trending downwards.
|5 days 1 hour ago||H-back is their slot position||
AKA the Percy Harvin Role. That's H in Urban's offense
|5 days 15 hours ago||He looked more like a 2-down MIKE to me||
His film did anyway, supposedly he's really worked hard over the summer and improved his speed and footwork, but that's always easier said and done in camps than it is on gameday.
Either way, I think he's a solid piece of the class. I like him more as a FB, but as an in-state kid that has potential to turn into a good LB on top of that, I think he's a good take and am glad he looks like he'll be headed to Michigan.
|6 days 11 hours ago||Agree with what you said||
I think the offense as a whole was struggling, and in turn, that forced Caris to think he had to do even more and put the offense more on his shoulders, and that lead to the offense struggling even more and Caris trying to do more than he's actually comfortable doing.
I'm hoping with all the new guys now more comfortable with the offense, and Irvin understanding his role and being a little more dynamic, that Caris doesn't feel the need to carry the load quite as much. The offense works best when it's constantly moving and everyone is doing their job, when guys have to or feel they have to do more, it tends to stagnate and break down, which is what it felt like last year even before a lot of the injuries.
|6 days 12 hours ago||Agree||
I feel like in the top 10 you're looking for a guy that has the potential to be a team's #1 scorer (emphasis on potential) or has a really elite skill (like shooting). I don't really see that in Caris at the NBA level. To me, he seems like he has the potential to be an all around player, a guy that has a lot of skills but no elite one, and a guy that you want being maybe the #2 scorer, maybe the #3 scorer, but not consistently running the offense. I think he's probably end of lottery or a little later if he comes back strong this year.
|6 days 12 hours ago||A little surprised Hammons is so low||
I know he hasn't exactly been lights out. But a legit 7'0", long arms, and weights in the 260s has averaged over 10 ppg every year at Purdue. On defense he's had over 6 RPG every year (maxing out at 7.4) and has averaged over 2 BPG every year (maxing out at 3.1).
Hammons issues have always seemed to be foul trouble and conditioning more than anything. But he has some talent that isn't necessarily common, even among the NBA ranks. I just don't see someone with the numbers he's put up and his size going that late. Maybe though, I guess I don't really follow NBA too much.
|6 days 12 hours ago||Here's what happened||
5th year SRs aren't promised. But you lost almos the entire coaching staff, how is the new coaching staff going to pick which 5th year gets renewed and which doesn't? Well, they are going to see them play and then make a decision.
I've got nothing against Heitzman, but this is par for the course. They were looking at the 5th year guys and deciding who they wanted to ask back and who they didn't. It's phrased in a way to make it sound worse than it is; he wasn't cutting players left and right, just determining who to ask back for a 5th year.
I felt uncomfortable (and still do) about the Pipkins thing. But this thing here is a non-issue.
|1 week 11 hours ago||Collins||
Collins was one of, if not the, favorite defensive player to watch last year in the B1G. Here's where I first noticed him, against Miami in the non-conf:
Collins is legit. I'd take him over any DT not named Zettel (who I'd take over Washington, who I think needs to be more consistent). Collins is a great joy to watch. The reference to Mike Martin is legit. Guy just plays and destroys, and it's football at its finest.
Also, Elliott is really good, Clement may be better. That's how good he is. Explosive, great balance, can catch out of the backfield, can break tackles. While the passing game won't clear the box as much as OSU, he's bound to get more carries because for once there isn't a great backup. Gordon was as explosive as any RB in college football last year... and Clement may be as good as any RB Wisconsin has had, which is insanely not even hyperbole.
|1 week 13 hours ago||The coaching staff has made a clear choice||
Every year, they will pick a position to enter the recruiting cycle, and recruit exactly 82 players at that position in hopes of getting about a dozen or so commits. With this strategy, the schemes will change drastically year-to-year, and constantly be completely innovative and surprising.
Personnel numbering will no longer apply. 50 personnel? Nope, not 5 OL, 5 RBs, and a QB, because it could also be with 5 RBs, 4 QBs, and 2 OL. How will defenses adjust when a pulling RB takes the jet sweep only to toss it back to the left QB who throws the wheel route to the right wing back as he rolls back the other direction? You can't even conceptualize what I just said, that's how difficult it'll be to stop.
|1 week 1 day ago||FWIW||
I like him as a prospect more than Moorman, who I was never very high on. I think Ulizio has a lower floor but a higher ceiling than Madden as well, who is a classic Wisconsin RT that has a lot of work left on how well he moves, technique, getting his weight low enough, etc.
I'm in general agreement with Brian, I'm a bit higher on Ulizio than the scouting services, but he's probably not going to be a star either. I jus think he can be a really solid interior player for Michigan though if he can work out some of the technical issues.
|1 week 6 days ago||I disagree with how physical it is||
It certainly has some physical elements, they run some inside zone and such, but the whole philosophy is not physical, it just isn't.
The base run concept is outside zone, and more than pro-style teams, the goal is actually to bounce the run; from an OL perspective that means reaching the block and cutting off the defense - horizontal spacing - not driving people off the ball and getting vertical displacement. WRs block well (so did Carr's for the most part) to help spring runs, but that's more about effort than being physical; bubble screens and options are about playing in space and using athleticism and playing away from the defense, rather than moving the defense and dictating what the defense does. The offense adjusts to what the defense does, attacks where it isn't, runs away from it with options and reads. Those aren't bad things, but they aren't physical. I don't believe there should be a negative connotation to the base offense not being physical, as long as you can be physical when it demands it.
But Rich Rod's offense was not physical in the same way other Michigan offenses were designed to be. It was the scheme and the philosophy of him as a coach, and that's fine. And yes, the offense has evolved, but it's still the same at heart. Rich Rod's offensive scheme is very little like Meyer's, despite both being "spread". That's just the reality of it. Different philosophies.
|1 week 6 days ago||Absolutely agree||
I don't think Carr did everything perfectly, but people rarely do. Carr was doing what he thought was right, IMO.
|1 week 6 days ago||This is pretty powerful stuff||
And completely flies in the face of the Carr haters that have posited that he selfishly sabotaged the program because Michigan didn't hire his guy.
Like you said, sometimes people want simple explanations, but those don't really exist. People wanted to paint Carr in a bad light as a reason for Rich Rod's struggles, even though Carr was one of the early people to recommend Rich Rod for the position, and other stories (such as yours) to the contrary.
Carr was tacit in his point of view because he didn't want the program to be about him any longer. He wasn't the coach any longer and didn't want to be the old coach shadowing over the program; that wasn't his personality nor was it something he desired. People took that for tacit disaproval or worse, but it never added up in any way. They took the "I'll sign your transfer papers" and turned it into him telling people to leave, when the reality is he said "if you really want to leave, I'll help you out in any way I can, but only after we talk about it and make sure it's the right thing to do".
Anyway, just thought that was a very interesting and insightful piece of information that in many places would be overlooked. I, too, wanted Rich Rod to succeed, and only started not believe following PSU his final season, and only really completely gave up on him during the bowl game. Like you said, there aren't simple explanations, not everyone is on one side or the other, which makes it much more difficult for people because it can't simply be wrapped up with a bow.
|1 week 6 days ago||I bet you converted to Catholicism||
Just so you could tell that joke.
|1 week 6 days ago||I just piggy-backed off of what you already said||
You did the major legwork, I just added to it from the information that I had. But I really appreciate the compliment; thank you for that.
|1 week 6 days ago||Michigan's offense mostly followed what the pros did||
Starting late in Bo's career, Michigan basically followed what the pros were doing. Moeller brought a heavy emphasis on a pro passing game. Carr essentially used what was the hot offense at the time in the NFL, even when he eventually switched to zone blocking schemes.
Rich Rod's offense had some similarities to Bo's, but while it was similar in some ways, it would be disingenuous to indicate that Rich Rod's offense wasn't very different in other ways. Rich Rod disliked TEs until Oklahoma showed you could used them in a spread offense. Rich Rod used RBs and QBs to attack the edge similar to Bo, and FBs as interior run threats, but he didn't really believe in Iso, and his philosophy was completely different (Rich Rod would take a few plays for losses if it meant a 20+ yard run on the third try; Bo would kill someone if they didn't get positive yards 10 plays in a row).
I know people hate when critics bring up finesse with Rich Rod's offense, and talk about basketball on grass, but it is more of a finesse offense; it's fine to admit that. It requires a better athlete on the OL because it's more about getting to a spot than it is about dictating the opponent and dominating them with power and execution. That's where they differed greatly from Bo, and Mo, and Lloyd. Those guys put a huge emphasis on owning the LOS, not just doing enough to let athletes make plays. It's a difference in philosophy that each have their strengths and weaknesses, but it is certain a very different philosophy and is a bit disingenuous to say otherwise.
|1 week 6 days ago||Just to clarify||
By "solid", I in no way meant "good". I think the 2008 offense could have been alright, enough to win them some games (like Toledo). Threet showed he could play well enough when he went to ASU. The skill positions were pretty good, especially with Brown and Minor at RB, then Clemens, Mathews, Stonum, and Hemingway at WR. TE had a FR Koger and SO Webb, both pretty good TEs, and Butler, who was an above average TE until they made him a DE for some reason.
The OL was the major issue, but they had enough there to have a solid (though not good) unit if they stuck with what they knew. Orrmann (JR), McaVoy (JR), Moosman (JR), Zirbel (JR), and Schilling (SO) were each individually solid players. No stars (not with Schilling that young), but enough to be solid (fairly high floor, low ceiling), especially with the RBs behind them (depth was a huge concern, as the guys behind them were all really young).
|1 week 6 days ago||Eh, I don't think there's a perfect answer here||
Hoke's offense was good in year 1 and pretty strong in year 2 as well. Even at the end of year 2, when he started installing his offense with DG under center, it looked like it had a clear idea where it was going. It really wasn't until year 3, and the disaster at OL, where things fell off the rails.
And that was probably the correct move for Hoke. The offense was already good. He just needed to smooth out the edges to get it to finish drives and not turn the ball over. Slowly building in your own offense was the correct approach, and by the end of 2012 it looked like the transistion was smooth and effective. On the counter side, he blew up the defense immediately, went to a 4-3 Under with a different philosophy than even GERG had when he ran the Under, and that worked.
For Rich Rod, I don't think the offense was quite the disaster many make it out to be going into 2008, but his approach was best for making it better than solid down the road (as soon as 2009). So with that in mind, he went with what he knew best immediately and what he was brought there to do and changed immediately. But he delayed completely overhauling the defense, which was good early on.
I think both coaches did basically what they were asked to do when they came in and what they needed to do to try to implement their philosophy. Rich Rod came in to overhaul the offense and bring Michigan forward; he did. Hoke came in to instill some toughness and defense; he did. Neither tried to fix what wasn't broken, they just tried to do what they knew within what worked.
I don't think either coach's ultimate failure was because of transitioning early or later; the issues were elsewhere, mostly with player development, especially on one side of the ball. I know I've beat the drum that the schemes were sound, but I still believe it. It was when the players weren't good enough (development) that the scheme went off the rails in an effort to "out-scheme" or gain an advantage elsewhere (sometimes to the detriment of eventual success). Rich Rod knew how to implement a 3-3-5 defense (even if GERG didn't exactly, he still knew how to install a defense), he'd done it before; it was when things started falling apart that it all snowballed. Borges knew how to implement his offense, he had done it before; it was when the OL fell apart that he began freaking out and trying any and everything to gain an edge.
|1 week 6 days ago||Think the description about Bo Xs and Os is generally correct||
Though the offense, from my recollection, went through some minor changes in backfield formations and what-not.
The defense was a 3-4, though he called it a 5-2.
Bo was first and foremost was all about line play. He played OT, and took after Woody's minimalist approach to offense (run few things, execute them perfectly); in contrast with his first coach at Miami, Sid Gilman (a man often credited with creating the West Coast Offense). But he also loved DL play, and loved talking about pad level.
This is why he liked "grubbers" (the small NG described above) to play inside and just cause havoc. As an offensive player, you couldn't get lower than them, you couldn't move them. If they got doubled they fell to their knees and created a pile. It was 3-yards and a cloud of dust because the LOS was just a pile of bodies. Have a gap (angle or slant), fire low and hard and be as disruptive as possible. Occupy the OL, let the LBs flow forward and add to the pile of bodies, and no one has anywhere to go. The DEs (OLBs in todays 3-4) force everything to stay inside and typically had pitch responsibility agains the option.
You had fun positions names like Nose Guard (played over the center). Tackles (played inside the tackles; Fox tackle and Chase tackle) on the DL. You had Fox (OLB away from Wolf), and Rover (OLB to Wolf), and Zip (ILB to Wolf), and Wolf (Safety to passing strength), and Chase (opposite safety).
It was heavy on slants/angles and different run blitzes. It's because of that it was heavy on Cover 0 and Cover 1. But they pretty much had every coverage in their playbook toward the end of his career. They had a Cover 3 ("Solid Coverage") and Cover 2 ("Tough Coverage"); they played some inverted Cover 2 (CBs play deep half) and some Man Under ("Jump Coverage"). They even ran some Cover 6 which they called "Screw". They did have a 5 coverage (3 deep, 2 under) that they used behind their blitz in passing situations. But those were all secondary to the focus of the defense, which again, was run blitzes from a variety of defensive alignments from the same front with Cover 0 or Cover 1 behind it. Zone was soft, and Bo didn't like soft.
|2 weeks 6 hours ago||I don't think||
I don't think guys volunteer to work 100+ hour weeks when they no longer need to because they don't give a fuck.
|2 weeks 8 hours ago||I'm not in the Jackson as a whipping boy group||
I think Jackson still knew what he was doing, I don't think coaches forget that stuff. But he certainly didn't connect with Rawls in the way he needed. The thing about coaching is that it constantly changes over time; the players change, the way you do things change, the coaches change in personality and passion, etc.
I don't think Jackson was held onto just to hold on to someone. But he certainly was a part of not getting the most out of Rawls. There are several factors in play, and his position coaching was certainly part of it for whatever reason.