"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
- Member for
- 7 years 20 weeks
|3 years 20 weeks ago||Your're limited to 85 schollies||
So to say you recruit to a system is forgetting that there is not an abundance of guys in HS who are projected to play a true NT position in a 2 gap scheme; there just is not that many guys projecting to NT in HS, if you bust on one you've got issues.
To me, it's riskier to run a system that is athlete specific in so many areas when you have the unknown variable of the talent you can acquire consistently. Not that 40 front defenders are less talented, but there are more guys who can play a 3 technique and out, then there is that can play a true NT. Mike Marting played NT but in a one gap scheme; very very different.
|3 years 21 weeks ago||Another reason the 3-4||
Another reason the 3-4 is tough to run in college is that, unlike the NFL, you don't get to pick your players, they pick you in college. That being said, a prototypical NT in a 3-4 is a very specific type of player and those type guys are not very abundant coming out of HS. It is much more feasible to pick up a prototypical 3 technique DT and develop him based on his body type and HS film than a NT. Unless you oversign players and continually cut the guys who don't pan out as a NT, like Alabama does, it is very difficult to man that position adequately and consistently. There is no more important position in a 30 front (3 DL) than the NT who is responsible for the A gaps. The term used in coaching defense in a 30 front is the "Power Triangle", which is your NT, Two ILBs, and your safeties. If you're weak in the power triangle, the defense will not be affective no matter who is flanking them.
Also, the other positions in a 3-4 take specialized athletes and to continually find and develop guys for that system would be taxing on a staff. Not that it can't happen, but you have to have the right mix of players on your two deep to be successful. Again, if your talent pool exceeds the 85 schollies and you cut players to keep the cream of the crop, it is less of an issue.
Two years ago, UGA went to a 3-4 from a 4-3 base and they got destroyed because they had no NT to play the two gaps over the center. Proof of this was evident when they played South Carolina and Steve Spurrier ran the ball 50 times in that game because they couldn't stop the run. When you make Spurrier run the ball, you're doing something very very wrong.
The 4-3 Under is actually pretty versatile with regards to the blitz because of the overhang defenders, so the blitz looks you can get out of it are also pretty diverse. I don't think blitz packages are an issue with our defense. Our blitz failures came when guys couldn't get home on the blitz because they couldn't defeat blockers consistently. You take a huge risk bringing a LB or DB on a blitz when they can't get home on the blitz because you're conceding numbers in the secondary.
|3 years 29 weeks ago||I think we need to jam||
the tune "Beastly" from Vulfpeck at the Stadium. They're obviously Michigan guys with all the UM swag they're wearing in this video. It's a cool jam.
|3 years 30 weeks ago||All great leaders are flexible in their opinions||
and I think he's talking about two different things; a large format playoff system and a plus-one concept on the current system. You'd paint him as an old curmudgeon if he had one single, unwavering opinion on the subject.
Until they level the playing field with regards to academics, admissions standards, and recruiting class sizes, the call for a playoff is a moot point. One September 1st, we'll see one college football team and one semi-pro football team compete against each other under the veil of amatuerism and tradition.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||So you're asserting that at the snap, Hawthorne should||
immediately flow against the direction of the slant? Basically, this play is a counter. It is not a play that just develops and the RB cuts back. It looks real time like a little delay counter action. Get the D Line flowing with the OL and then counter action pits the RB against LBs who are each targeted for blocks by FBs and pulling OL. This is the part of the game you refer to as rock paper scissors insomuch as they out executed us on the play.
It is plausible that during film study EMU saw that our LBs were slow to diagnose run direction and late to flow to the ball; some refer to this as a false step, which is all it can take sometimes to trun right into a block versus beating it to a spot. With experience, this becomes less and less of a problem.
You're not wrong in isolating this play, but you've got to keep in mind that these 3 guys are relatively young with regards to experience and that is a major factor in this. It is not that we've somehow recruited LBs who all cannot act like 5th senior robots or are incapable of performing like other LBs on other teams. When I listen to Hoke and Mattison talk about the defense, they allude to a lof of these issues when they speak of consistency. They want guys to take a read step and go, not step, think, go, stop, go, eat a block, etc.
I think this play highlights a couple failures all around and one of poor execution. I would like to see one DL get some penetration and disrupt that pull action or create traffic in the backfield, but it seems to me that they are content in just slanting without reacting to the OL's moves. If I'm in the 3 tech and my guard of center pulls out, I am going upfield in a hurry.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||My point was that||
you don't know what the LBs keys were and MM is there and his job is not to just destroy the center. Demens and Hawthorne do need to close those gaps down,
It's hard to take one play and dissect it to the point that you can make a determination about players...the comparison to MSU is like comparing apples to oranges in that MSU's linebackers were pretty much on autopilot as far as read steps in that they were either coming downhill at the A gaps or were not.
I don't know about you, man, but this is night and day different than anything under RR the last two years and I'm loving it, even when they are not at their best, it's still more fundamentally sound.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||You're wrong on Martin,||
Touch the Banner is more correct; you're not exactly wrong. MM is guilty of playing with bad technique as he lets the blocker get too much into his body and is unable to shed and tackle.
I doubt you're afraid to criticize anyone, but I think it's a matter of having intimate knowledge of DL play. The LBs keys might be different than what you think they should be and using the MSU strategy of blitzing the A gaps with reckless abandon. Our LBs have to be aware of the PA pass and keep their depth a little longer; MSU doesn't respect our passing game and there is not PA to speak of, so they are attacking the mesh point and causing denard to get happy feet.
My guess is that Narduzzi and company wanted to attack the mesh point between Denard and the RB with a combination of edge pressure and the double barrel blitz on the A gaps. The wind was a factor in the pass game, so the thinking is to keep denard uncomfortable and make him make decisions in a compressed timeframe which leads to rushed throws and poor mechanics. At least that is what the film had shown on us thus far into the season.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||You're right and you're wrong||
First of all, you don't know what their keys were, so you're assuming that all MLBs should react the same way. You show the MSU still picture as a contrast to what our guys are doing, but that's not correct. MSU probably does a lot more play action than UM, so there keys were not to blirz up the A gaps upon the snap. It two very different types of offenses.
Secondly, the real problem is the two DL not disengaging from their blocks and making the plays in the backfield. That gets compounded by the LBs holding in the middle and then taking bad angles to close the holes. I agree they should be closing in to close down the holes, but the DL needs to play with better technique and not let those blockers get into their bodies so much they cannot disengage and tackle in the backfield.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||Bielema||
Bielema could rescue baby seals from a raging inferno and it would not lessen my disdain for him, but I will say that I hope he beats the snot out of MSU this weekend...between the whistles.
That probably speaks more to my shortcomings than to his.
|4 years 6 weeks ago||Run the football||
I too screamed run the football, but it was much earlier in the game. However, after the initial shock and disappoint wore off, I rewatched the game and I can't say that Borges was totally wrong in his approach even in 30MPH swirling winds.
MSU routinely had 9 in the box and was bringing a mix of edge pressure and blitzing the A gap(s) the entire game. Our offensive line was getting no push at the LOS and MSU was basically conceding the pass because they knew the wind was a factor and that Denard's kryptonite can be his passing/accuracy/footwork. As a defensive coach, I would attack UM with edge pressure and attack the mesh point of the read option plays to put denard on the defensive. Our WRs don't scare me, the OL does not scare me, and the RBs don't scare me, so I would focus totally on Denard and make him beat me with his arm in bad wind conditions with underneath throws. That is what MSU's game plan was and they executed. I think Borges was forced to go after what the defense was allowing and that was the pass more often than not.
I think the anxiety came from not seeing our OL knock them off the ball like they did to us when they had the ball. We're stuck in this limbo between spread and shred and Manball.
It was a disappointing day, but one that very quickly became apparent that it was going to take some fortunate bounces to go our way to win. When the other team wins the battle in the trenches, then you need some intangibles to go your way. We got two turnovers and a boatload of "derp" from MSU, but it wasn't enough to overcome their dominance at the LOS on both sides of the ball.
|4 years 10 weeks ago||Say what you will about BWC||
But in the very limited time I've watched his snaps, he has held up well against doubles and made some plays. Even though interior DL don't have tell-tale stats, BWC has played low and has gotten some push up the middle, which allows LBs to read and react to their gaps as opposed to dealing with blockers.
At this point in the season, I still say that our best combination, even though it almost never on the field at the same time, is WDE of Roh/Black, MM, BWC, and then using RVB at the SDE. Yes, RVB packed on some #'s, but I think he's got the body of a DE not a DT.
|4 years 22 weeks ago||Look at who's offering their opinions||
Not to be negative myself, but on the occassion I got to watch a Michigan game with Tim, I realized he doesn't know how to scout players or assess football; he's not a coach and never has been, so I don't take any of his write-ups as anything more than a regurgitation of a bunch of these scout profiles, other's opinions, etc. One of the reasons a kid might be under the radar is that they don't hit the camp circuit heavily and are relying on their HS staff to get the word out, which has varying effectiveness. It's obvious that the kid is a project, but that the coaches say something there that they liked and thought could turn into a performer. It's akin to a kid getting all the hype, a 5-star rating, and all of the accolades of a future star while in HS, but they had already hit there ceiling in the 12th grade and they go to college and are mediocre players because they had no more room to develop. A kid that grew 4 inches last year has still not filled out his frame.
|4 years 27 weeks ago||If the spring game taught us anything||
It's that Mattison runs a lot of different looking defenses out of his base 4-3 Under look. There was some 30 front packages, some basic 4-3 alignments, over and under shifts, some 50 fronts, and some zone blitz plays that had the NT dropping into the middle. Even though the Big Ten Channel coverage is hard to see the alignment, there was a lot going on there, but it all started out of the base look.
One of Bo's 8 Commandments of Defense was to be able to do everything out of your base defense. It seems like Mattison gets that philosophy in that it's best to do one thing really well then to do 5 things in mediocracy.
|4 years 27 weeks ago||There is no flag on the roof of Jalen's General Lee||
which is probably a good thing, and the General was 01 not 05...that is a Jalen Lee or General Rose or something...
|4 years 28 weeks ago||At what point||
At what point do we have to admit that the "process" actually worked? There is definitely a benefit to having a guy like Hoke in charge. He's made all the routine plays you expect the HC at Michigan to make and he's also pulled out a few surprises.
Some will temper their enthusiasm until we play some games, but I think it can be said that there is a confidence that Hoke has instilled since he's been here.
|4 years 31 weeks ago||I don't know Craig Ross, but I disagree||
with his conclusion that we're looking at another 2008. The offense in 2008 was devoid of experienced starters, running a system none of them had ever run. All of these kids run a form of these plays from Midget to College. The personnel in 2008 was never going to be able to execute the spread at the one key position, QB.
The difference between 2011 and 2008 is that Denard can do one thing exceptionally well. In 2008, none of the QBs could complete a 10 yard hitch without at least one hop on most tries. There was not a stable of running backs with plenty of game experience, and the OL was not a rag tag group with little experince playing as a unit. I understand the palpatations after watching the spring game, but these coaches have proven there not going to force square pegs into round holes. Denard has a lot of work to do, but the problems I saw were mechanical, not some lack of ability. If they can get him to calm down, be methodical in his drops and throw the ball on time, then you'll see his efficiency rise.
I've rewatched the game broadcast (it's a poor source) and it was very apparent that they were going very vanilla and playing things out for the fans versus working on their normal reps. We saw one pass towards a TE all game despite hearing all about TEs in this offense; their WR's routes we drawn up in the dirt, and they kept things pretty stale. The only one that showed us anything was Mattison with his 30 front defenses and some edge blitzes.
I understand there is a lot of work to do before September, but I think our offense can be productive and efficient with the players we have. Our situation today is night and day different than 2008 when our scholarship QB was a transfer student who had never seen game action in college football backed up by a guy who was a walk-on coach's son. Don't worry, it won't be as prolific as 2010, but it will be a more complete team than any we've had in the last 3 years.
|4 years 32 weeks ago||Thats right.||
the only thing RR could have done differently is win more and win sooner. He couldn't survive the slings and arrows stacked against him from the outset without winning big early, which wasnt going to happen in 2008 or 2009. Part of the blame goes to those who brought the guy here and assumed he could work his "magic" here as he did in Morgantown.
|4 years 35 weeks ago||I didn't mention RR||
I didn't mention RR and to be fair, I loved watching his offense last year. RR's offenses broke almost all of the single game records for receiving and QB rushing, points per game, etc. Nor did I say he didn't make progress here when it is undeniable his offense did. I would have been more than fine with RR if he was still the coach, but you cannot pretend that the defense regressed every single year and also broke records on par with the ones broken by the offense. You can't applaud the offense in a vaccuum and not take the defense with it.
I have watched all of the games from last year a dozen times or more and I think you're either overly confident or forgetful of our success in short yardage situations. One of the most ciritcal aspect of short yardage is coming off the ball and getting push up front to reestablish the LOS beyond the marker. We were not good at doing that, especially in league play.
As a defensive guy, I really don't care what offense we run as long as it is efficient and has the ability to sustain drives and chew the clock, not just score points. The reason is that the more snaps my defense sees, the more I have to engage in games of rock, paper, scissors, and no defense can stop everything. By keeping those snaps at a lower number, the better my odds are to play to convention.
|4 years 35 weeks ago||To be fair, that was low hanging fruit, but there is||
some validity to his question. To excuse that validity is just as narrow-minded. Not having played or coached football at all or very little would lead some to believe that Brian's opinions are based on second hand knowledge or theory. Theoretical knowledge clings to it's charts, graphs, and other statistical information while practical or applied knowledge leans on it's experience. Since no one has seen this offense in action and how it will feature Denard, then Brian's opinions are speculative. It is not ridiculous to question the extent of the Author's practical knowledge, IMO.
|4 years 35 weeks ago||WOW, just WOW||
I think there is a legitimate concern that a pro style offense would handcuff your best playmaker, but no matter how many times the staff talks about how they intend to use Denard's abilities to the fullest extent, Brian seems to think that MANBALL quotes from Hoke trump all other comments. The truth is that when Michigan needed a tough yard in the last 3 years, it was very difficult for them to get it in league play. Maybe there is or isn't a beloved chart or graph for that, but ask yourself how long you held your own breathe on 3rd and 1 inside the 30 yard line of the opponent knowing we couldn't kick a field goal.
Another misconception on the message boards is that while we are going to single blocking that we've thrown out the zone blocking. All teams use both single blocking and zone schemes these days. The difference is that we'll feature single blocking and mix in zone versus the inverse we've had the last of the LC years and all of RR. Both have their strengths and weaknesses and one is not superior to the other if used in the right context.
Many have already reported that the QB power is part of the package, bootlegs, zone reads, and other Denard friendly plays are in the offense as practice reports have trickled out. I think round pegs are going into round holes on both sides of the ball, which is a nice change to what we've seen as a defense for the last 2 years.
To a football coach, it is always better when the QB has other players take some of the load and what the charts tell me is that we need to get Denard some help. Another point Brian didn't mention for whatever reason is that teams cannot scheme a pro style offense with Denard like they did the spread offense. Against inferior talent, Denard was unstoppable. Against the upper echelon of Big Ten teams he was mortal. Teams attacked off the edge to force Denard to make decisions rapidly in the read game. They can't do that as easily in a pro style offense insomuch as the offense is not 100% QB-centric. If Denard's passing and the RBs prove that defenses have to respect all 11 guys out there, then he'll have moments to exploit that within the framework of the offense. I'm sure the stats will go down, but at the same time, if the offense can be efficient and chew some clock and the defense proves to be competent, then the wins will come. I would trade a throttled down offense for a competent defense anyday because the last two years have been brutual to watch and there was never a Saturday that I thought we couldn't lose except Delaware State. How explosive was that offense against UMASS? As a defensive coach, I would fear Denard more in the pro style offense if he can beat you with his arm because I would have to account for him which leaves me short on the backend. Playing man free or cover 1 against a pro style is very high risk. Playing cover 2, cover 3, or quads leaves to much room for him and the RBs. If I had to defend him in the spread, I would use edge pressure and hope my guys could get him on the ground consistently. By pressuring him, I can play those zones because I am cutting down his time to read and throw with my pressure(hopefully).
|4 years 44 weeks ago||Draper and Colonel Akbar have something in common||
I read an article over the weekend about Draper's "resignation" and it said that Draper was thought to be the source of the leaks that came out on that fateful Tuesday saying RR had been fired by the local TV News. It was said that Dave Brandon set a trap to see who was the source of the leaks in the department and Draper was caught in the net. It said that Dave Brandon has done this a couple times to expose people leaking information. "It's a trap" T-shirts would be very appropriate if this is all true. This was a legitimate newspaper reporter on an official looking website for whatever that's worth these days.
|5 years 4 weeks ago||I think we||
should put a spy on Brian.
I think run blitzing Denard has been more effective than any kind of spying. Make him read and decide faster than he wants to by sending run blitzers. With Denard, it's pick your poison.
|5 years 5 weeks ago||Kovacs into the backfield is||
Kovacs into the backfield is a good play if he's under control and makes the RB and/or FB hesitate or adjust his angle. It's akin to your little brother rushing at you with that wild-eye look like he's going to kick your ass and you just hap-hazardly brush him aside using his own momentum; you don't even break stride as he goes flying into the closet.
I know I'm splitting hairs and using the post as a soap box for more adversion to 30 fronts, but I would feel much better with DE on that tackle and LBs free to flow to the ball.
|5 years 5 weeks ago||I think we send Kovacs an||
I think we send Kovacs an awful lot when we align this way. In fact, we did it a couple times earlier in the game. Iowa was going off tendencies on this play call and it worked. The goal for an offense is to exploit mismatches when they can and this must have been a mismatch in their eyes with their LT on one of our LBs and their fullback on Kovacs.
They probably thought that even if Mouton takes the outside shoulder, kovacs stands up the fullback, and Michigan fills the gaps that they could get the 3 yards for the first down because of the push they would be able to get...otherwise, why call it?
|5 years 5 weeks ago||Mouton should||
Mouton should have the outside shoulder of the tackle here. What I don't get is the blitzing of Kovacs off the corner. Blitzing the weak side is what gives Iowa the numbers stalemate as Kovacs is toast anytime he's challenged by a blocker of any sort. The weak side blitz works when they actually run to the strong size as Kovacs is in unblocked and makes one of those diving ankle grabbers on the TB.
Even more concerning to me is the fact that not one single DL is a factor here. A LB on a tackle is a mismatch, yet there is no one to even delay the tacke into getting out on the second level. In our running game, how good would we feel if the tackles got a free release into the secondary??? If we're in a 4 man front, it give the LBs a second to read the direction of the run and stuff the gaps. This 4-4 is really a 30 front with ROH(LB) with his hand down on the backside of the play. Iowa looks at this alignment, calls for the weak side run because the mismatches are on that side of the play. Kovacs vs fullback, Mouton versus unblocked Tackle, and DL inability to chuck their blockers even the slightest.
Blame Mouton for the bad/incorrect technique, but blame GERG and RR for repeatedly grabbing the handle of the hot pot on the stove week after week after week. If there is one prevelant thought I have watching our defense this year, its that we just make it damn easy for the opposition. We make these guys look like world beaters because of style of play. Could we really do any worse if pressured the offense more? Wait, I forget about our bump and run technique of just freezing at the snap and watching the recieve just run by before we can lay a hand on them, so yes, I guess it could make it worse.
If makes anyone feel better, I watched Alabama/Tennessee over the weekend and I saw Tennessee's DL/LB jump into the same gap several times.
|5 years 5 weeks ago||I think that's a pretty harsh example to picture page||
but playing DB in college is hard enough if you've spent 4 years working on it in HS, let alone being a converted player to a new position. Wouldn't it just be safer to play man with two deep safeties?
|5 years 8 weeks ago||I loved it||
I loved it. We need 5 more like him. This is football and it has to be played with passion and fire. His teammates got in there and RR got in there and handled it. I'm not saying we should fight on the field, but I do love his tenacity.
|5 years 8 weeks ago||I think he brings a lot||
to the table in terms of a feigned pass rush and as an actual rusher. It appears to me that other teams are very aware of where he is and send RBs out to chip him. I might be wrong but I don't think we've shown too much so far and he might ge some good pass rush opportunities as the coaches tweak these new nuckel and dime packages. If I had to guess, I would venture that tomorrow will be the type of day where you want to cut him loose a little more on the pass rush and forego zone drops etc.
|5 years 13 weeks ago||I think BWC is a gamer...||
He looked disinterested in the drills on the Big Ten replay, but several times last year in game action he looked really good and got some penetration and disrupted things in the middle.
I think it's important to note that tall NT have a hard time keeping their pads down in general. Guys like Renes and Zorich were guys who would excel in this defense because they were agile and were short enough to always have their pads underneath the OL. It's tough for guy's with certain types of bodies to play on the interior DL. If he's top heavy, then there is no way he can play effectively inside, but he looks to have his weight pretty evenly distributed on his frame. I think there is much conjecture from people who don't know about interior line play. If BWC stands straight up and eats up the center and one of the guards...who cares where his hands are.
The guy has obviously worked hard at times or he wouldn't come into camp having lost weight, but the type of conditioning they are talking about is tough on big guys to do and there has to be some line of demarcation from 323 DL and 265LB DEs in the conditioning tests, but apparently there is not. I would have loved to see him practice with more passion than I have in the past, but some guys are just gamers and I think he's a gamer.
|5 years 14 weeks ago||We'd have to look at how defenses have evolved to counter the||
read option. In it's infantile stages, the one read option was just killing defenses because of teh inherent mis match between 270 LB DE and quick and nimble QBs on one side and the numbers advantage with blockers when the ball goes to the RB. Somewhere along that timeline there has been a shift in a defenses ability to counter the read option. I guess to compare the success of the zone read option in 2008 and 2009 as compared to the early 2000's would offer some glimpse of how much is attributable to the players and how much is attributable to the system and it's effectiveness.
Interesting post. We'll find out in 18 days.