Unverified Voracity Is In Lip Trance Comment Count

Brian August 12th, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Hype video.

Practice video. From Maize and Blue News:

Jane previews Michigan! Oh man this is just so dead on:

We long for a past that we hated while it was happening, in which Michigan would go 9-3 or 10-2 and people would complain like Michigan was a waiter who we couldn't find when we just wanted the goddamn check. If a Michigan fan tells you that they liked Tom Brady when he was playing at Michigan, they are lying because no Michigan fan ever liked whomever was starting at quarterback until Denard Robinson. We hated Elvis Grbac. We hated Brian Griese. We hated John Navarre. We hated Drew Henson. We hated - HATED - sad robot Chad Henne*.

I tended to like Michigan's quarterbacks who were not underclassman Drew Henson, and I knew the one guy who really really liked John Navarre. Like, he was super-enthused about John Navarre. And eventually correct!

More insider business. A gentleman who is probably too identifiable for his own good comes back with a very legit-seeming practice report that he's posted on a couple of different boards. The 247 version, all errors sic:

DL looked great, really great. all the hype is backed up. Pipkins looks the part, even coming off the injury. on friday he was easily the most impressive NT that they had, that by no means is discounting mone, hurst, or henry. Their depth and talent at the position although young, is very, very good. Even pallante looked good!! yes, he is small, but ive spoken to a few players who say he is as strong as a senior and one of the quickest most technically sound players there.

I imagine that if that's true we'll see at least one of those four guys (Pipkins, Mone, Hurst, Henry) at three-tech, which currently has Wormley and no one else who's gotten much hype.

That's not good. Nebraska lost three defenders for the season a couple days back, including two starters: Michael Rose and LeRoy Alexander. That'll help when Michigan… uh… we don't play them this year, or until all those guys graduate. CARRY ON.

That's not… uh… relevant. Reporting from media day!

“The job that he does and the job that he’s done since the day he got here, has been unbelievable,” Mattison said with a sweaty upper lip. “Me personally, there is no way I would have come here if it wasn’t for Brady Hoke.”

That typed itself, I bet. I bet Brendan F Quinn was mesmerized by the lip and when it came time to write the article that phrase slipped itself in there and if you ask Brendan F Quinn about that passage he will be shocked that it exists. You see, I've been there, down on ol' Lip Mesmerization Farm. It's a strange, sweaty place, but you get used to it.

No age gap now. Another article on how the offensive line is going to be better because they all like each other:

"There was an age gap last year, and it was just there," Bosch said. "It was just something that was obviously noticeable. You could tell 'these were the seniors, you were a freshmen.' That's how it was."

No chance of that this year, because there are no seniors. For the record I think the line will be better this year because they will be trying to do one thing instead of all things and not necessarily because they are more together. Or that they are Galvanized By Criticism:

Those stats and the barrage of negative press regarding Michigan’s offensive line have helped galvanize the linemen. Jack Miller, a redshirt junior who started the first four games at center last season, said they are more than aware of the doubters.

No doubt they will Shock The World and Not Listen To The Haters. I mean, Miller's following quote is twisted pretty hard to get into that narrative:

“Between last year and this offseason, you’d be hard-pressed to miss that if you pay attention to anything,” Miller said. “You run into fans who say stuff — ‘What’s going on with that offensive line?’ But that’s the way it goes with any program of this caliber. We know that. We know that’s part of the gig here, and that’s OK. Some of it is rightly so. We need to live up the expectations that people have here.”

A good rule of thumb: when someone cites chemistry as a reason for something it's because they don't know. Chalking it up to the undefinable cannot be disproved or really even argued.

Getting on the the WJC team. College Hockey News profiles Downing and Motte as they try to avoid being late cuts this time around. USA coach mark Osiecki on Downing:

“We’re still trying to identify what (Downing’s) strengths and weaknesses will be,” Osiecki said. “He has a bomb from the blue line, that’s for sure, there’s no doubt about that. His awareness from the red line back has continued to show improvement. It’s hard for a defenseman to jump into summer hockey. You haven’t done much defending at all, and he likes to get into the offense when he can, but he’s getting back to it on the defensive side of things.”

Downing says he's put on 25 pounds; hopefully he'll be more of a physical presence than he was last year, when he was more lanky than intimidating. Motte dumped in a hat trick in the USA's 9-1 thumping of Finland, playing with uber-prospect Jack Eichel.

For his part, JT Compher is not so much fighting to make the team as fighting to be named king:

While a few players have stepped up, it's obvious Compher has emerged as the frontrunner to be captain of the team.

"He's done a really nice job," Osiecki said. "There's a group of those kids that are similar, but you talk to any of the support staff, the trainers, the equipment personnel, and they say he's very vocal and takes charge of the group. We have to start that now and develop that relationship between him and the coaching staff."

I am looking forward to the Copp/Compher axis truly owning the team this year. Jack Eichel:

"He does everything on the ice so well," Eichel, a teammate on the USNTDP U-18 team in 2012-13. "He's a guy that you can just try to model your game after. He just so good wherever he is, in the faceoff circle, in the [defensive] zone, he's great killing penalties, great on the power play. He's a role model to me and I really look up to him. He's a great kid and a great leader. He works so hard everywhere. Everyone else tries to match him. A guy like that on your team, it's really good. Everyone tries to work as hard as him, and if everyone works as hard as J.T., you know you have a good team."

Let's goooo.

How do two stars get drafted? By adding half a person.

Ra'Shede Hageman, No. 35 overall, gained 60 pounds

Hageman was a well-regarded but raw tight end recruit who grew from a listed 6'6, 250 to 310 pounds while at Minnesota, moving to defensive tackle. He's expected to make an instant impact for the Atlanta Falcons.

Jimmy Staten, No. 172 overall, gained 86

Staten was a 6'3, 217-pound two-star defensive end in high school when he signed with Middle Tennessee State. The Seahawks drafted him at 6'4, 303.

At least nine other drafted two-stars increased their body weight by 20 percent between high school and the Combine.

You really shouldn't criticize recruiting services for missing on guys like Staten or Buffalo first-rounder Khalil Mack—everyone else did. There are always going to be guys who blow up in college.

Etc.: In news that you take for granted these days, all of Michigan's freshmen are enrolled and full go. A look at what Loeffler wants to do at VT. Autonomy details. Annual Michigan drill thingy. Gasaway on the O'Bannon ruling.




August 12th, 2014 at 1:25 PM ^

I know this is all Debbie Downer of me, but presumably the DL has been looking fantastic against the OL?  Given that we've seen (admittedly younger) those guys for the most part, might that just mean DOOM is continuing?


August 12th, 2014 at 2:13 PM ^

It's not just optimistic, it's relativistic.  It's always important to think relativistically with these reports.

It seems pretty safe to think that our DL is better than our OL (DL>OL) at this point in time.  In other words, relative to the DL, the OL is worse.  But to move away from the relativistic differences to an "objective" non-relativistic evaluation is a major leap.  It all depends on how good or bad the DL is.  

If the DL is All Big Ten quality, then our OL might not be too terrible (which would at least be better than last year).

If the DL is just average, then our OL would likely be below average.

And this also applies to game results.  Teams and players are always performing relative to their opponents.  We don't really have a great understanding until we have multiple relativistic observations before the interpretations can get more accurate.

And a sad reality for MIchigan fans is that our schedule tends to be back-loaded, and so we often develop unreasonable expectations of our teams early in the season because they tend to play the toughest games at the end of the season.


August 12th, 2014 at 2:49 PM ^

I remember some of Frank's teammates (and opponents) talking about his freak athletic ability.  And then he went out and had an all-conference season, despite having virtually no other playmakers on the DL.  With much more talent and depth on the DL, I expect him to do even better this year. 


August 12th, 2014 at 3:25 PM ^

People seem to love crapping on Clark for not living up to the hype but he had a pretty damn good season. His sack numbers aren't great, but you see him around the QB all the time. His stats were victimized by the rest of the line not getting any push so the QB could step up and avoid his rush, and by the soft zones which let the QB get rid of the ball early.

Bronco Joe

August 13th, 2014 at 4:43 PM ^

No, the bar is getting yourself in n position to make a play. It is still a team sport, and just like a RB not getting yards is partly OL and QB and TE and WR responsibility, Clark not getting sacks is part the rest of the DL, the DB playing soft, etc., which is exactly what was said.


August 12th, 2014 at 5:13 PM ^

he's actually learned to throw the damn ball away instead of taking a 25 yard sack after running backwards and in circles for half a minute looking for someone to throw the ball to. That article WAS NOT about how good the OL has been, but has been more about learning to avoid the negative play.



August 12th, 2014 at 2:35 PM ^

I actually always liked Navarre. For some reason everyone else in the stadium hated him. He could throw a beautiful TD, but if he had one batted pass on the next drive, it was off with his head.

Everyone Murders

August 12th, 2014 at 3:20 PM ^

I really liked Grbac, and pulled for both Henson and Brady hoping one would separate himself from the other (but feeling both were very talented).  Never really hated a Michigan QB, although I was not a Dreisbach fan beyond him being UofM's QB. 

For all of that, Jane's article is pretty good, though - well-written from the all-too-familiar perspective of a ton of fans I know, including myself.  I think the typical Michigan fan would see the Publisher's Clearinghouse van show up with a monster check, and think "crap, where am I going to cash that thing?".  Now that Michigan fan would understand that you don't really cash the giant poster board check, instead worrying about the ability of the UM Credit Union or whatnot to cash the actual cashier's check, which gives us a leg up on some other fanbases.


August 12th, 2014 at 2:10 PM ^

I was going to say just this.  Yeah, there have always been people who did some griping about each QB after a losing effort, but Grbac was easily as trusted and well-liked as Denard.  And so was Brady in his senior year.  Henson -- I don't remember a bad word being said about him once he started.  Some guys took a lot of shit, specifically during their sophomore campaigns (Navarre, Henne, and Griese) but quite frankly, the criticisms fit their performance during those times.  Those guys put up some extreme stinkers when they were at their worst. 


August 12th, 2014 at 9:50 PM ^

That's probably why I liked Brady so much.  (Not rewriting history here.  Honest.)  Those were the days when I started watching the games far from home on TV.  Hadn't paid much attention, didn't know a thing about recruiting, didn't know Henson was the #1 QB recruit and Brady only the #7 nationally (or something like that), so I didn't understand why they kept putting that freshman in.  Why can't he wait his turn like Brady did?  Henson didn't look any better than Tom.  (To an admittedly less educated fan.)  Brady threw an interception, so you pull him and the teenager throws an interception in response?  Give the poor guy a chance! 

Of course I also didn't know a thing about baseball lurking in the background until I saw a puff piece with Steinbrenner leading an OSU pep rally.  Then it all started making sense. 



August 12th, 2014 at 3:29 PM ^

It's not all fans, or even most, but a sizeable and vocal minority definitely fits this description. For them, there's always some option on the bench that hasn't been tarnished by real game action, and the mistakes that come with it, that will always be better than the guy actually playing. See Devin Gardner when Denard was playing, and now Morris. There's already some chatter about Speight being the real stud on the team.

Michigan Arrogance

August 12th, 2014 at 1:55 PM ^

NOBODY liked Navarre. NO-BOD-EE liked that dude. I assumed he went door to door in A2 pissing in everyones corn flakes the second he signed his LOI.


Henne was loved, So was Henson till he signed with the Yankees. Griese just never did anything at all till Senior year.


Brady- I don't even want to get into that discussion again


August 12th, 2014 at 2:16 PM ^

for the first two games of the 2000 season.  Didn't hate him when the team went west to UCLA and lost, Michigan always loses on the west coast, but were glad to see Henson return for the Illinois game.  

Greise did quite a bit as a walk on before the '97 season.  He of course relieved the oft injured Dreisbach in both '95 and '96, and he did something that has only been accomplished twice in the last 23 years, and not at all in the last 15, he beat OSU in Columbus (the other win coming at the hands of the dastardly Henson).  Still I agree, he didn't light the world on fire but he didn't stomp out any fires and he took care of the ball.

Henne was loved until.....and then he was loved once again in Orlando.

Writer could have gone back to Grbak.  I recall him struggling a bit and the calls rang out for Collins, and then it was Collins the fans couldn't wait to see leave.


August 12th, 2014 at 1:58 PM ^

Back in 1992 I recruited for Michigan here in Northern Ohio and came VERY close to committing a recruiting violation (unknowingly) because Scott Loeffler's mom's car broke down.  Scott was scheduled to come up for a visit during a home game and on the day of the game he didn't have a ride cause of car troubles at home.  He called me and asked could he ride up with me and Marty Bodner (we shared season tickets those years before he got the job in the ticket office) and I said sure and headed over to Marty's to get him and then over to Scott's house

When I got to Marty's he said he had just gotten a call from Bob Chmiel instructing him under NO circumstances could we, two boosters with ties to the athletic department, give Scott a ride to the game.  Bob said that would be considered an NCAA violation due to our ability to potentially find a way to funnel money to Scott during the ride and would count against his official vists.  So we had to leave Scott and not bring him with us that day.


August 12th, 2014 at 2:00 PM ^

and doesn't want to go to the link for Jane's preview, the * explains "The chant "We Want Mallett" actually happened." But, you should go to the link. It's worthwhile.


August 12th, 2014 at 2:10 PM ^

I liked every QB from Elvis Grbac until Henne. Navarre was the only gripe I ever head and he turned into a darn good senior QB. Haven't been a fan of one QB since 07.

And let me add Denard is arguably one of the best runners in Michigan history but he was not a QB.

Monocle Smile

August 12th, 2014 at 2:21 PM ^

You're like a million years old and you hate Denard and Gardner. You also hated Gallon and pretty much every other productive receiver since Manningham left.

Have fun looking stupid this season.


August 12th, 2014 at 2:54 PM ^

I guess they should classify Felix Jones and McFadden as QBs at Arkansas

Denard was a RB playing The QB position. I really like Denard but the kid wasn't a good QB. He couldn't read a defense, forced balls where he shouldn't, and he was TO prone. Heck he couldn't even run the zone read right at Michigan. RR literally ran him into the ground his soph year.


August 12th, 2014 at 2:18 PM ^

The only Michigan QB i didnt like was John "Locked-on" Navarre.  I could tell where the ball was going as they broke the huddle.

My favorite QBs were:

1. Ricky Leach

2. Dennis Franklin

3. Michael Taylor


August 12th, 2014 at 2:39 PM ^

I gave Navarre a pass his first year and blamed George Steinbrenner for seducing Henson.  His Junior and Senior years Navarre played quite well I thought and spent many an argument in his defense.  I also argued on behalf of Llyod who many contended squandered talent but in hindsight he was at the disadvantage of not being able to pay players and allow them to skip academics.  Big Ten Championships and BCS bowls without hanging the program out to dry with recruting violations would never get me to complain about the check.