Wednesday Presser 9-20-17: Don Brown

Wednesday Presser 9-20-17: Don Brown

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 20th, 2017 at 6:00 PM

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[Fuller]

You’ve got to be pretty pleased through three games with the way your guys are playing.

“Three really unique challenges. Obviously Florida with their ability, and despite them having two top-notch players out they still have a lot of firepower and I thought we did a good job going into that environment for our first trip on the road. That was kind of the piece that I was most concerned about was young guys on the road for the first time, how were we gonna respond? Obviously things didn’t quite go our way in the beginning but stayed really even-keeled. Just kind of kept playing the game, stayed in the moment, and kept executing at what I thought was a very, very high level. We really kept the pressure on the quarterback, so that was week one.

“Cincinnati really did a good job with their rub routes. I don’t know if that’s the legal term but I think that’s what the offensive guys call it, rub routes. They did a good job with the screen game. I was unhappy with a couple of the blocks but the reality is those tunnel screens are tough and I gotta do a better job in making sure we’re ready to play those.

“And then flip your hat, and I really tip my hat to my guys: Tuesday and Wednesday we took 230 snaps of option football. The gameplan was called on the line of scrimmage because they’re a team that has certain formations where they’re going to run the triple and other formations where they’re not gonna run option football, so everything’s all on the line of scrimmage getting called and I think we had one error. That was pretty good.

“But three different, unique challenges. The piece that’s really stuck out to me through the first three games is we can run, now. We’re pretty fast, and we get off blocks and run to the football as well as any group I’ve been around. That’s kind of a good thing. Forget the scheme and all that nonsense. It’s when guys can get off blocks, run to the football, and one of the things that doesn’t go unnoticed, at least from my perspective, is I think we’ve tackled really, really well. Sometimes early in the year that’s not always the case, but it has been the case for us for the first three weeks.”

[There’s so much good stuff after THE JUMP, just click already]

MGoRadio 3.2: Asterisks & Obelisks

MGoRadio 3.2: Asterisks & Obelisks

Submitted by Seth on September 15th, 2017 at 7:34 PM

1 hour, 28 minutes

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Brian successfully dodged my cell phone camera

MGoRadio is recorded before a live retail audience audience at the Bo Store on Fridays before home games (and Thursdays nights at various locations before away games).

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The Sponsors

We can do this because people support us. You should support them too so they’ll want to do it again next year! The show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan we’d be talking to ourselves.

Our other sponsors are also key to all of this: Peak Wealth Management, Homesure Lending, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Michigan Law Grad,, Human Element, DEO Bookkeeping, and Lantana Hummus

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After UFR: The Offense

starts at 1:00

Okay fine let's talk about Wilton Speight. We are getting sick of talking about Speight. He only had four incompletes in the charting, but they were again bad incompletes of the kind that sail into bad things territory. The OL is beefy on the right side and still learning; love that Cole doesn’t chase bad blocks. Zentry! has some route chops.

After UFR: The Defense

starts at 27:29

Okay fine let's talk about Mike McCray. He doesn’t seem to zone much and was not getting depth—that’s weird out of a 5th year guy. The secondary only busted a couple of times and should have been saved by the DL. Hayden Moore made a perfect throw while under duress on one of these. Brandon Watson was getting straight-up tackled so Michigan went to zone. Kinnel’s heroic tackle was amazing, his one miss was not so necessary.

Hoops & Hockey Recruiting

starts at 50:45

Michigan will get an official visit from the top overall player in the country, RJ Barrett, but that’s not going to happen. Ignas Brazdeikis we feel good about. Beilein looking to take a just-a-shooter in this class. Missed a couple of elite wings so Iggy is a big deal. Hockey: Mel is recruiting at prime Red level. Is more good news on the way?

Air Force Preview

starts at 1:09:21

They will cut you and cut you and run run run run until the pass comes and it goes for long. Their main wingback Tim “Unfortunately Named” McVey and their quarterback are back and excellent; they turned over everybody else except the middle linebacker. Michigan hopefully won’t play with a single high safety again. Are they really gonna man up Donovan Peoples-Jones? This feels like a big game for Grant Perry.

 

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MUSIC:

YouTube changed up their policies so we're trying to stay away from copyrighted music on live broadcasts. If you or a friend made some good tunes and don't have a label out scrubbing for them we'd be happy to feature you.

This week it's Greenland, who've been defunct for so long they probably barely remember they were in this band. The songs were “The Way It Is”, “Rip Van Winkle” and “Captain Jack”. Also: “Across 110th Street”

Bring a coat.

THE USUAL LINKS

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THIS PLAYER IS NEW AND CONFUSING

We have moved our podcasts off our server to Podbean. If you're using an app, that feed should update automatically and you will have to do nothing. If you like to listen on the page, here's the new player:

 

Upon Further Review 2017: Special Teams vs Cincinnati

Upon Further Review 2017: Special Teams vs Cincinnati

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 15th, 2017 at 4:00 PM

cincy punt lol

imagine the ferocity of James Franklin’s fist pump at this exact moment

Hello. Welcome to the inaugural 2017 Special Teams UFR. You like analyzing blocks on a kickoff return, seeing who got push on a PAT, and making fun of a decision James Franklin made in 2014? Great, we’ll get along just fine.

There are a couple of things worth noting before we dig in. First, special teams all-22 footage isn’t happening. It’s hard to find good footage; directors seem to use punts as their art house. That makes grading the blocking of each player on each unit impossible, so instead we’ll look at obvious gains and losses in terms of yardage. This is very much a work in progress, the point of which is to gain a better understanding of what’s going on in the third of the game that leads to Australians traveling thousands of miles from home to go full Superman on a prolate spheroid. Feedback? Hit the comments.

SUBSTITUTION/FORMATION NOTES: Peoples-Jones got five chances to field punts, did a nice job with two of them, then found himself on the bench in favor of Grant Perry. More on that later.

Kick returners were Crawford and Hawkins, with the ball never going anywhere close to Hawkins. He found himself forming a wedge with Mason every time.

Michigan’s PAT defense team is going to block one soon; with Metellus coming off the edge, Hurst teleporting through seemingly shoulder-to-shoulder linemen, and Rashan freaking Gary out there, it’s just a matter of time.

Cincinnati doubled Cesar Ruiz on every PAT and got knocked back the first time, then held his own. Not bad for a true freshman.

[After THE JUMP: Charts! Then Bolded Alter Ego (NTBAE)! Then more charts!]

Upon Further Review 2017: Defense vs Cincinnati

Upon Further Review 2017: Defense vs Cincinnati

Submitted by Brian on September 14th, 2017 at 3:33 PM

2017 logoo_thumb

SPONSOR NOTE: I would like to focus on that Larry Culpepper thing. Again. I mean, you've got HomeSure Lending. He's Pitbull here. He has parties. Sometimes underneath overpasses, and he just wants you to have a real good time. He's a Michigan fan, and he loves sharing the Michigan with you.

Other companies, when not putting kittens into their hummus, are running around blaring about rockets or how they invented mortgages and are very annoying and aren't offering you free food or #content. This is not a hard decision, especially when Matt gets you lightning fast quotes.

FORMATION NOTES: More four man fronts in this one. Excluding the final backup-laden drive, I had Michigan down for

  • 45 3-3-5 snaps,
  • 1 3-2-6 dime snap,
  • 11 4-2-5 snaps, and
  • 11 4-3-4 snaps.

They did this weird thing some, which I called "3-3 line slide":

vlcsnap-2017-09-11-15h55m52s961

Winovich is your "nose tackle" and the other DL are to his left.

They'd also do this thing where they had a huge split between "NT" Hurst and Gary:

vlcsnap-2017-09-11-20h28m18s765

These were both pass rush exotics.

Here is a good old 4-3 even. Funny old thing.

vlcsnap-2017-09-11-20h36m58s969

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: It was always Mone as the fourth DL, so Mone got 22 snaps, about a third of the total. Other starting DL went almost the whole way. Winovich/Hurst/Gary each briefly gave way to Jones/Marshall/Kemp but their snaps were probably under 5 each.

Linebackers were McCray, Bush, and Furbush throughout save the last half of the first UC touchdown drive, when Bush was sidelined with a minor injury and Wroblewski came in. Wroblewski will henceforth be called Robo. Furbush of course missed out on the 4-2-5 snaps.

In the secondary, Kinnel and Metellus were omnipresent; Hill, Watson, and Long rotated through the corner snaps with a scattered few claimed by Ambry Thomas. Glasgow did get one snap on which he defended a slant like a vengeful Kenny G. I think it was just one—he rather sticks out.

Depth chart mavens might be interested in the final drive, which saw Kemp-Dwumfour-Solomon-Paye across the front and a linebacker corps of Uche-Robo-Gil; secondary remained the same.

[After THE JUMP: the killers!]

Wednesday Presser 9-13-17: Tim Drevno

Wednesday Presser 9-13-17: Tim Drevno

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 14th, 2017 at 8:28 AM

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[Barron]

Some of the defensive players were saying that Joe Hewlett was really helping out with the scout team in emulating Air Force’s offense. Have you seen that as well?

“Yeah, I’ve been busy with the offense. I really haven’t paid much attention to the defense, but I know that Joe Hewlett’s in there.”

Have you ever run a triple option at any stop in your career?

“Uh…no. I’ve kind of messed with it here and there.”

What does that mean?

“I’ve put in some different plays but never saturate yourself into it, so I don’t know the ins and outs of it. You try to maybe put a play in here or there in the form of a triple option but not live in it, no.”

What have you seen from Air Force’s defense?

“Great question. Very fast, well disciplined. They play an odd scheme. They love the pressure. They’re very good tacklers in the back end. Play extremely hard. Just technically sound. They know how to get off blocks, know how to pass rush. Secondary’s very good at reading route concepts, know how to break on the ball. They’re very well coached. They do a great job at Air Force.”

Do you think Jon Runyan’s a better fit at guard? He was in the mix at tackle and then seems like he’s coming in a little bit—

“Yeah, Jon’s a very athletic guy. He could play all five positions. It’s just right now he could be a guard, he could be a tackle, but he does a good job just initial quickness off the ball, with his hand placement, really athletic, feet move well,  when something moves he can cover it up. Jon’s doing a nice job and progressing well.”

[After THE JUMP: correcting little mistakes, O-line development, and Grant Newsome as coach/president. Oh, and what it means to be human]

Wednesday Presser 9-13-17: Mike Zordich

Wednesday Presser 9-13-17: Mike Zordich

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 13th, 2017 at 6:05 PM

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[Fuller]

How far has your group come since you told us that you were a little concerned?

“You know what, I gotta give credit where credit is due. They’ve definitely stepped up and been playing… playing okay. Yep.”

Okay but not great?

“It’s the third game of the season. We’ve got a long way to go. They know it, I know it, I think our whole team knows it. Each week we’ve got to just keep getting better, so nobody’s arrived for sure.”

Your rotation hasn’t been very deep. For the most part you’ve been going with three; maybe Ambry [Thomas] is getting a little bit of playing time at corner.

“Exactly.”

Is that part of you just waiting for other guys to show that they can get on the field?

“Same deal, yeah. Competition’s wide open. It’s really been those four: Vert and then Ambry’s been in the mix and then Brandon Watson and David Long. Those are the four that are kind of getting into all of the action now. But, you know, the door’s always open and the competition has been open.”

What unique challenges doe the Air Force offense pose for the secondary?

“Well, for us, certainly all the misdirection on almost a down basis. The offenses that we play, the misdirection isn’t—it’s here and there. Now you have to be ready for it on just about every down, and the fact that they’re gonna run the ball, we think, the majority of the time, so the run game comes into play for our guys big time, too. Those two things are the areas that we’ve got to concentrate on this week.”

[After THE JUMP: Lavert’s UFR grade, where the corners need to improve, and Don Brown’s lessening angst]

Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs Cincinnati

Upon Further Review 2017: Offense vs Cincinnati

Submitted by Brian on September 13th, 2017 at 4:19 PM

2017 logoo_thumbSPONSOR NOTE: Boy Skyline chili is bad, amirite? Almost as bad as hummus made of kittens or large mortgage companies that offer less personal service than a small company and have ad budgets much larger and less efficient than HomeSure Lending's laser-focused MGoBlog sponsorship. Also Matt makes me do things sometimes; other loan companies just hang out with Larry Culpepper trying to look cool.

Don't hang out with Larry Culpepper. Go to HomeSure Lending.

FORMATION NOTES: Michigan didn't do anything weird except for a fake-out Emory And Henry on the first snap they never returned to.

Cincinnati mostly played a 4-3 under, sometimes with a standup end.

vlcsnap-2017-09-11-23h14m25s859

Line slid away from the strength of the formation, WDE stands up, SAM type substance. They played a lot like a 3-4, with three big DL and the linebacker type guy, even if they didn't have a guy lining up head up on the C:

vlcsnap-2017-09-12-02h06m42s730

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: OL and QB remained the same. No Runyan run-out this week. Cesar Ruiz got one snap as a super jumbo TE. Isaac was the primary back with Evans and Higdon getting maybe a quarter of the snaps each.

Crawford and Perry were the top receivers in snaps garnered with Black and DPJ splitting the other outside WR snaps. McDoom had some limited time; Nate Schoenle got maybe ten snaps, none of which he was targeted on. TE remained a blender, with McKeon, Wheatley, and Gentry most prominent.

[After THE JUMP: absolutely no discussion of the QB situation, sorry]

One-Play One-on-One: Zach Gentry

One-Play One-on-One: Zach Gentry

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 12th, 2017 at 4:01 PM

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[Upchurch]

The broadcast angle kind of cut out what happened at the top of your route. Did the linebacker get his feet tangled or did you break at the right time, or what happened there to the guy with inside leverage? Did he go to jam you and fall?

“Yeah, exactly. I think if I remember correctly what happened was I pushed upfield and made an inside move and kind of broke him off a little bit and took it underneath.”

For you, what’s different about going against a linebacker in space versus a defensive back?

“Those guys are usually nontraditional cover guys. They’re on their toes more; they’re looking to come downhill, so they’re obviously not as fast. They’re a little more physical but their hips aren’t as loose so it’s a little easier definitely in man coverage.”

Once you make the break, at what point do you know the ball’s coming your way?

“Well, we’re taught as soon as you make the break, get your eyes around. So it came right at me and I kind of had a feeling that I was open so I got my head turned around right away and it was just right there. It was already in the air and it was a perfectly-timed ball by Wilton.”

What led to the decision to keep running toward the sideline instead of turning upfield? Could you feel that bunch of DBs that were back there or were you just going?

“Yeah. When I caught it and turned my head upfield I could see some white jerseys in my peripheral and I knew that they were just going to try to edge me out to the boundary, so I just kept going upfield and Ty got a nice block that I was able to get around and take it to the sidelines.”

Is Ty being there and knowing that you have him on the outside influencing your decision to run that direction, knowing that he can block for you and give you some space?

“Yeah, definitely once I saw his leverage on the defender and saw that his back was to the sideline, I knew he was going to keep him out and I just took it right off his butt.”

Once you get near the sideline and those guys all start to bear down on you, can you see them in your peripheral and feel that or are you just going up the sideline and whatever happens happens?

“You can definitely feel those guys, and there were a bunch of them on that play, too.” [laughs] “I could definitely see that and knew they were closing in pretty fast.”

What helps you most being a former quarterback as a tight end?

“I’d say just being familiar with identifying defenses and the coverages and things of that nature and understanding matchups; like we talked about, tight ends and linebackers and things like that.”

As a tight end, where do you think you’ve made the biggest strides purely in receiving?

“I’d say overall just route running, getting in and out of breaks and my routes. Catching the ball was something that always came a little naturally to me but just working at that.”

One Frame At A Time: Cincinnati

One Frame At A Time: Cincinnati

Submitted by Ace on September 12th, 2017 at 3:00 PM

I JUST CAN'T LOOK / IT'S KILLING MEEEEEEE

AND TAAAAAKING CONNNNNTROOOOOOLLLLLL

JEALOUSY / TURNING SAINTS INTO THE SEA

SWIMMING THROUGH SICK LULLABIES

CHOKING ON YOUR AALLLLIBIS

BUT IT'S JUST THE PRIIIIIIICE I PAY

DESTINY IS CAAAAALLING ME

OPEN UP MY EEEEAAAAAAGER EYESSSSSSSSSS

I'M MR. BRIIIIIIIIIGHTSIDE

[Hit THE JUMP for much more from Mr. Winovich and the rest of the Cincinnati game in GIFs.]

Monday Presser 9-11-17: Players

Monday Presser 9-11-17: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 12th, 2017 at 8:05 AM

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[Upchurch]

They didn’t have players take the podium today, so I took a little bit of audio from the different scrums around the Towsley Museum and transcribed it. If you’re wondering why other sites might have certain quotes not seen here or vice versa, keep in mind that I have one recorder and one me to gather audio.

Maurice Hurst

Will you guys be required to wear knee braces this week?

“I don’t know. That’s a great question. I’m not sure. That’s probably a better question for coach Harbaugh.”

He doesn’t like our questions.

“He’s dead inside.”

Burnt wood.

“Burnt wood.”

------------

In Rome Chase [Winovich] said you guys had already been practicing so much for Air Force you know their offense better than they do. Do you feel confident at this stage?

“I wouldn’t say all that, but—”

That was Chase.

“Yeah, I know. I’ve talked about a Chase ban from media. Yeah, I think we have prepared a lot in spring and we used some of those practices to get ready for what we’re going to face this week so it’s not a complete shock to us, and I think we’ll have our scout team ready to give us the look that we need that they’ve been practicing and have done before, so I think that’s all kind of what helps you understand the offense better.”

[More Hurst plus Khalid Hill and Patrick Kugler after THE JUMP]