Chris Bryant To Enter Lineup

Submitted by Brian on October 2nd, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Chris-Bryant-thumb-646x429-120388[1]

I may have accidentally typed "Christ Bryant" when attempting to tag this post.

Per all of everyone on twitter but here's Tim because we go back:

Brady Hoke confirms Chris Bryant and Graham Glasgow are the LG and C, respectively.

That was couched in "as of today"-type rhetoric, but you can stop with the rumblings and bumblings now. It's all but official that Michigan's going to debut Chris Bryant on Saturday. Heiko mentions that Hoke also brought up Kyle Bosch and Joey Burzynski as guys "in the mix," along with Miller.

FWIW, I'd heard that Michigan was going to start Bryant against UConn but for a shoulder injury that week in practice. Parsing out how much confidence this gives you about Bryant's ability versus how much terror it gives you about Bryant's ability to remain on the field is left as an exercise to the reader.

BONUS. HEY YOU I REMEMBER YOU

Hoke said Jake Ryan has been doing some full contact work "but we're smart with it," in term of letting him do too much.

No return date set, so not this week. Indiana still seems reasonable.

Comments

ScruffyTheJanitor

October 2nd, 2013 at 12:22 PM ^

Here's to hopeing that this will raise the line's play to "average", and that plus rest of the parts on the offense can mean good. I am sticking with my anecdotal thesis (read: "Random Conjecture based off of... something") that part of Devin's problem is the mosh-pit he sees in front of him every game, which results in his freaking out every now and then. 

sneaker1freak

October 2nd, 2013 at 12:54 PM ^

Should be a normal Big House crowd... lets not forget that we went through the entire Carr Era winning games this way... i know i have been to quite a few of them... bottom line is 4-0... shoot, OSU went 12-0 like this last season and so did ND... its funny how spoiled we are as Michigan fans where winning isnt enough.

dragonchild

October 2nd, 2013 at 12:58 PM ^

I don't think it gets any more uncomfortable than the interior line imploding as soon as the ball in snapped.  I remember too many plays where Gardner started out in pistol and still had to backpedal almost immediately.  The only way we could possibly have worse pass protection is by benching the tackles.

Baldbill

October 2nd, 2013 at 12:31 PM ^

I am hoping that we don't have any center/QB exchange issues and that Bryant holds up. It doesn't seem to be his skill that is in question, just his ability to be in the game and not get injured.

dragonchild

October 2nd, 2013 at 1:05 PM ^

First off I remember Glasgow practicing at center before the season so it won't be total trial by fire.  We might have a bad snap or two per game, but I'll take 'em because we're getting negative yards on a lot of run plays anyway.  It's pretty darn hard for the defense to jump on a bad snap (most common result is the QB dives on the ball), and 3rd and 13 because of a botched run isn't much different than 3rd and 13 because of a bad snap.  And with this move we might even have a short-yardage 3rd downs now and then, so that offsets the risk an awful lot.

As for Bryant remaining on the field, I wonder if skill factors into it.  The defense says he "brings the pain", but I wonder if he's the sort of guy with unusually dead nerves so he tends to injure himself as often as the guy he's blocking.  Coaches and drill instructors love guys who feel no pain but there is such a thing as going too hard; ideally you hurt before you break.

jabberwock

October 2nd, 2013 at 1:32 PM ^

but if those bad snaps do lead to turnovers, deep in our own territory, or at inopportune times that swing momentum, It will be interesting to see how fast this fickle fan base of ours decides maybe the center-QB exchange IS more important than drive blocking.

I absolutely agree that this change needs to be tried, but I hope everyone isn't thinking it's a quick fix to our struggles.  Remember everybody, the center hikes the ball on every single offensive play . . . that's a lot of dice rolls.  KITTYSWEATERPOWER!

dragonchild

October 2nd, 2013 at 1:59 PM ^

It's a fair question.  The fickle fans will probably scream for change yet again, but hopefully they'll remember that interior line implosions led to both of Gardner's pick-sixes.  Those weren't edge rushes; the pocket caved in.  Yeah Gardner could've made better decisions but as far as I'm concerned the interior line is ALREADY causing turnovers deep in our territory.  Oh yeah, and we also can't run the ball.

So assuming Glasgow is an upgrade over Miller and Bryant isn't a drop-off at guard, we get rid of the regularly scheduled pick-six and replace it with a fumble in Michigan territory.  Well, if we get a side of drive blocking to go with that, I'll happily buy the combo meal.

Now, if Glasgow turns out to be an atrocious center or Bryant can't elevate the OL play then all bets are off, but frankly the fundamental issues we're concerned about are exactly the sort of thing that would get sniffed out in practice.  I really doubt they'd make this move if Glasgow can't snap.  What you really can't tell until the game is how they deal with opposing defenses and in that sense it's hard for an FBS lineman to do worse than Miller.  MGoBlog highlighted a zone stretch play where Miller had the NT lined up directly over him and after snapping he ran to his left and that's all she wrote.  I know it was a zone stretch going that way but come ON man!

AFWolverine

October 2nd, 2013 at 12:36 PM ^

Finally a significant change I can hope will bring noticeable results. I'm very much looking forward to seeing them debut in this set on Saturday. JMFR reports also have me happy happy happy. We may just hit stride at the right time.

Saturday's matchup between NW and OSU will be telling for both teams and give us a better outlook for upcoming games. Ah, it's like the season started all over again! I hate bye weeks even when they're much needed!

bronxblue

October 2nd, 2013 at 12:43 PM ^

Hopefully he can stay healthy, because for better or for worse this looks like the best line possible going forward.

I do think Miller could still be an option going forward, but his technique and size issues really do work against him.

alum96

October 2nd, 2013 at 3:48 PM ^

I disagree with you slightly but I am just going off reading between the lines... I could be very wrong.  But the fact Hoke is throwing in Bosch first and now Joey Burzynski means to me, he sees center as the main issue (Glasgow has graded out quite well a few games in a relative sense) and if Bryant doesnt work out for injury reasons or otherwise, I think Bosch or Burzynski get the next crack at it, rather than returning to the line of the first 4 games.  Again, my sense of that is only from the fact these names are suddenly being thrown in the ring. 

As for Glasgow - as others have said, it is not like he has been training to be a center for 3 weeks.  I dont expect disaster or anything there.

sneaker1freak

October 2nd, 2013 at 12:45 PM ^

I like this as far as changing things up... the scary part is that none of us know how well glasgow can communicate targeting assignments... or even shotgun snap for that matter... im not too concerned about under center.... but lets just remember the inability to snap is what pushed ricky barnum to guard last season

KBuck

October 2nd, 2013 at 12:45 PM ^

this will help the rest of the offense. If DG gets a few more seconds and doesn't feel like happy feet are necessary then he could make better decisions. However this does depend on if this actually makes any kind of difference...... Please football gods please.

Ron Utah

October 2nd, 2013 at 12:59 PM ^

I really don't believe this is going to solve our O-line problems, but I am happy we're trying.  While we know Bryant has a reputation as a punishing run-blocker, we also know he doesn't have much experience.  While I am certainly excited and glad to see the staff is trying to improve things, the following remains unknown:

  • How well can Glasgow snap, specifically in the shotgun?
  • Can Bryant be an effective pass-blocker?
  • Can Bryant stay in tune with his fellow linemen?  Will there be growing pains?
  • Is Glasgow a good center?  He's pretty tall, and that's not usually a good thing for centers.  Will he maintain good pad level and make the right calls?

We are far from out of the woods, but I'm glad we're not just "staying the course," since that course was headed for shipwreck.  That said, we're in uncharted waters now, and there may be new obstacles to navigate.

Maaly

October 2nd, 2013 at 12:48 PM ^

I'd like to thank everyone @ MGoBlog. We collectively managed to turn any thread made in the past three weeks into an offensive line rant. Here's to hoping that the ranting pays off. Hopefully Bryant manages to stay healthy and we see some better production out of these two.

reshp1

October 2nd, 2013 at 12:53 PM ^

I know that picture is probably old, but holy cow is there a size difference between Bryant and Miller. Everything else being equal, that seems like a big step in the right direction.

PeterKlima

October 2nd, 2013 at 1:11 PM ^

As you know, Brian's issue with the offensive play calling has been that they run the stretch zone too much for some odd reason this year, despite losing the best OL for it last year.

We also know The staff has been trying to find a LG (Bryant, Braden) and playing Glasgow at center for a while.

We even believe the staff would have take this Bryant at LG and Glasgow at C long ago,if available.

So, i think the staff knows what it is doing, but isn't going to blame it on personnel. They want to run power. They have had to play Miller. While Miller may struggle a lot at the stretch zone, he is likely worse in power sets due to his size. Just look at Miller getting run over in one none pass pro situations. So, they ran stretch because they thought the line would be able to block it relatively better. Maybe they did in practice, but opposing schemes and changes under pressure made it look worse.

Now, they may be rushing Bryant back, but I expect them to run much more power with him in the line up. Borgess wants that anyway and was only doing so many stretch plays because he believed that was he strength of his interior line.

If Bryant is healthy and stays healthy, this could seriously affect our run game. As long as Glagow can handle the snapping, I don't think he will have to worry about stretch decisions too much.

PurpleStuff

October 2nd, 2013 at 3:43 PM ^

This seems less like a change or a shake-up than it is an injured starter getting healthy and coming back into the lineup (we just haven't gotten the chance to actually see him in the lineup before).  Glasgow has been our best interior lineman so far and now you surround him with blue-chip, big-body guys at both guard spots. 

Despite the handwringing, this offense is still putting up 38 ppg.  If this improves things even a little the team should be very strong going forward.