So we've got ourselves a new offensive coordinator. I guess there's no use hiding that I'm on the more ambivalent end of the spectrum of Michigan fans, but I'm a spread zealot, and I admit another gorram transition is just too painful a prospect right this moment. At the very least it was the kind of PR coup that resets the countdown clock on Hoke's tenure. These days you only get to play the "it was my offensive coordinator's fault" card once per Rose Bowl trip, but this was the right time to do so. I'm probably just a cynic who's been sold a bill of Mariucci over Mornhinwheg to believe in any apparent upgrade. Let's see if the readers can convince me otherwise.
Eye of the TIger tried. He found some quotes by an ex-Bama player on how Inside Zone is repped to insanity, which can be taken as evidence of philosophical thinking, or taken as the zone version of Hoke's "Power" philosophy which admittedly never materialized under Borges anyway.
|The thing about Barrett Jones is you don't have to make tough decisions about what your OL can and can't do.|
Tiger pointed out that Alabama's riches in offensive lineman size allowed them to depart from the typical suite of complementary plays and players that limits you to. It's supposed to be this:
Inside Zone has another advantage--flexibility:
The majority of the time in a zone blocking scheme the tailback will follow the design of the play, but occasionally the tailback will perform a cutback and change direction during the run. A cutback is when the tailback changes direction and runs away from where the linebackers are flowing (the tailback can only do this once and must not hesitate). This cutback made by the tailback is what makes zone blocking so dangerous because of how easily a cutback can lead to a big play. The cutback exaggerates the advantages of the zone-blocking scheme.
Watch this video highlighting Texas’ use of Inside Zone to see this point illustrated nicely, not only for cutbacks, but for alternate read options.
Major advantages: You can run an offense with less experienced OL and opens up a bigger growth curve for RBs, who become more effective the more comfortable they get at reading the holes and cutback lanes.
Major disadvantage: It's way harder to run play-action from a zone running look. Reason is nothing gets defenders thinking run like a good running MANBALL (or inverted veer) team pulling a guard. Second reason is the small, cut-rate scatbacks that zone lets you get away with don't typically make very good pass blockers. I probably don't have to tell this to 2013 Michigan fans.
At Alabama they overcame the disadvantage by having massive/quick OL who are naturally difficult obstacles to a pass rusher, and with 5-star running backs who can cut, block, slam, juke, and jet, all for three easy payments of $3,995.95, plus shipping and handler's fee (order now and we'll throw in a free safety). At Michigan, well, actually, we've got just those kinds of guys on campus now. Maybe?
Also there's this:
@michiganinsider I think people don't realize how handcuff Nuss was at Bama, he called the plays, but Nick was in control, handcuffs are off
— Theus DeShon Sears (@Theist313) January 10, 2014
And here I am a quarter way through UFRing an Alabama game. Anyone got Washington tapes?
P.S. I purposely stayed vague on the Song of Ice and Fire references; you're not off the hook from a season recap.
[After the jump: the board goes Borges for Nuss]
Best of the Board
NUSS BORGES BORGES NUSS BROGES NUST NUSS BORGES
Gee board, did anything happen this week? Cherrypicking reacts:
Thanks Borges. This currently stands at 142 upvotes to 3 down. His offense sucked, sure, but I don't think it's palpy to acknowledge he was a good guy
Did Brandon force this on Hoke? Maybe? Source check all came back "this was Hoke's doing":
Dave Brandon said moments ago that brady hoke made this decision and that he is in favor of his coaches making these decisions
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) January 10, 2014
If it was Dave's call, well, that's the kind of macro decision for the program he's supposed to be making. If it was Hoke's then good for him. It's irrelevant since if Nuss needs to be fired in three years you have to guess Brady doesn't survive either.
Nussmeier recruit shopping list, i.e. recruits he was lead on for Bama. Also irrelevant since I expect the recruits signed knowing that Nuss was leaving, and Michigan and Bama have very different approaches to recruiting.
Does this help the OL and RBs? The offensive line definitely. They're a young group and Nussmeier's zone preference and history both suggest competence at getting sophomore OL to functionality pretty quickly. His specialty is really quarterbacks—Shane Morris expectations might have gone up a notch. I think it hurts the current RBs, honestly, since they're going to have to learn zone running. Green was brought in to be a MANBALL hammer; Brandon Minor went through this and turned out alright. DeVeon Smith's adaptation will probably remind you of Hart in 2007 (look at him cut!) versus Hart in 2006 (look at him churn!), except Hart was injured so much of 2007 it's hard to get a handle on that except that there's an early season transition cost.
Actually it probably helps Justice Hayes and…wait do you think he might use Norfleet?
|Dee Hart Rushing|
|Dennis Norfleet Rushing|
WILL THE WINNER PLEASE SHARE WITH ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS?
|If somebody has this and can put it on YouTube you would be a hero.|
Yo_Blue snuck this onto the board last weekend:
I have a hundred or so Michigan Football and basketball VHS tapes that my dad made beginning in 1985 or so. I can no longer house them (according to my wife). Against her wishes, I would like to donate them to someone who may enjoy seeing "the good ol' days" once more. She would like them donated to the landfill just west of town. I feel like that would be a travesty.
…before I could leap in with YES YES A THOUSAND TIMES PLEASE! Which probably would have created the same situation for me that he's in. Alas a victor was chosen and now we can just hope he will share a la Wolverine Historian.
I should mention that Bentley has a collection of games going back to the '50s that they're talking about putting online for public viewing.
|The preferred donation to add Petoskey Stone Polishing to your wood bling is $300. You ARE a real Michiganian are you not?|
DAVE BRANDON NOW RUNNING MICHIGANIA
By which I mean they're demanding spouses all join the Alumni Association as well or be left at home. I don't think they understand that some of us have Spartan wives who are very sensitive to being treated like second class citizens and have no wish to associate themselves with Michigan.
So that killed that.
ONE LAST TIME: 2013 WAS SAD NOT BAD
I am probably more frustrated with people who keep misunderstanding the "2013 must die" meme than is reasonable. I should probably drop it and just exile the board posts that continue to flub its meaning. Like this one:
I will start this off by saying I am a little perplexed with why 2013 is looked at as such a failure. I have read all the reasons, but personally I feel there was a lot of good, a lot of heartbreak, and a lot of bad; nothing worse than other years as a whole except many people lost faith in Michigan's main sport that we thought was turning around.
I am susceptible to coming off like a dick when responding to things like this. I know that. It's like getting mad at my brother that he doesn't agree that Shrek saying to donkey "You're going the right way for a smart bottom" is a Shakespeare joke.
Just drop it, Seth.
But maybe they'll all understand if I just…
Okay. But can I make an analogy?
Is making an analogy akin to dropping it?
All I'm saying is that 2013 is like the Ohio State game, which wasn't at all a waste of time, but also turned out to be a setup for the most Borges playcall ever and a broken foot for Gardner. So it was worth the price of admission, but also depressing and I'm glad it's over. That is all I'm saying.
That is all you're saying.
Wanna see something that'll take away all of that cynicism?
It's just a basketball commit making a 3-pointer.
That is going to take away my cynicism?
Your Moment of Zen:
Bonus: Austin's teammate executing a Bartelstein leap in front of the camera right as ball's going to him.