Unverified Voracity Was Mistaken For Devin Gardner Comment Count

Brian July 24th, 2013 at 12:49 PM


Sponsor note! If you're coming into town with a big group for, say, the Notre Dame game, your options are limited. You can drive a while, you can pay out the nose, or you can rent a whole dang house for about what it would cost for four to six hotel rooms at Gameday Housing. Hotel rooms don't come with yards to tailgate in and aren't within walking distance of the stadium, and they're all booked anyway.

Roy Manning is with it. Vine is the greatest.

Connolly on M. SBN's resident numbers-massager Bill Connolly has dropped ten items about Michigan's upcoming season. A Connolly post is always worth your time; he's very good at explaining what his numbers mean and is happy to deviate from them if he feels they're not capturing something. Michigan's not looking too good right now because of recent program history and that ugly recruiting gap that's coming home to roost right about now, but Connolly's like "eh":

That the Wolverines held steady at 20th overall last year is a positive sign, and I do think that there is some addition-by-subtraction going on in substituting a little explosiveness for a lot of efficiency on offense. They are still a few ifs away from a truly elite season, but I like their chances of getting to 10 wins overall, much more than the numbers do, anyway.

An interesting bit on the receivers:

Roy Roundtree and the receiver Devin Gardner combined for a rather awful 49 percent catch rate. Roundtree was all-or-nothing for his entire career, and Gardner was far too raw to make a significantly positive impact, and while the big-play ability could be missed (the two combined to average 18.0 yards per catch last year), the explosiveness-for-efficiency tradeoff could be welcome. Big plays are still a grave necessity, but Michigan still has Jeremy Gallon (16.9 yards per catch, 62 percent catch rate) and Drew Dileo (16.6, 67 percent) for that. To be sure, there will be bombs. They're built into the system. But Roundtree's and Gardner's catch rates were just too low; that Michigan ranked 21st in overall Success Rate+ despite the low completion rates is an incredibly encouraging sign of what may be to come.

Throw it to Dileo. Whole thing recommended.

(Not our) Kickstarter update. Pahokee and Michigan alums Martavious Odoms and Vincent Smith are featured in the Palm Beach Post:

Odoms met with Roger Horne, the director of food security initiatives at nonprofit Urban GreenWorks, and studied GreenWorks’ five urban gardens in Miami. Urban GreenWorks sells some of its urban-garden products to local vendors, something H.O.P.E. would like to do, too.

They’re hoping to build the garden just off 4th Street in Pahokee, between Barfield Highway and Lake Avenue.

“We want it to be in a place where people can see it,” Smith said.

(The article is a little old but I hadn't seen it yet.)

(Not our) walk-on down. Michigan State loses wide receiver AJ Troup for the season. While Troup didn't play last year, he was getting some hype as a potentially useful piece in State's Burbridge-and-the-handsless receiving corps after a 46-yard touchdown in the spring game.

Nope not getting excited. Nope. Okay a little. Jerry Meyer on WI PF Kevon Looney:

"Some pretty reliable local word in Milwaukee is Duke or Michigan for Kevon Looney,"247sports.com's Jerry Meyer tweeted last week. "Just what I'm hearing."

If Glenn Robinson blows up like he says he will that'll help quite a bit, as the guy wants to be in the NBA and likely will be sooner rather than later.

In other basketball recruiting news that I'll probably repeat in a week or two when there's enough stuff in the slow-moving barge to assemble into a post, California wing Kameron Chatman says he will "probably" return to Ann Arbor for an official visit.

Six more years. John Beilein says he wants to be around for a while longer:

"My plan was to at least coach six more years," he said. "So that the 2015 class, that's the class we're recruiting now -- along with the 2014s -- I wanted to coach all those guys.

"That was sort of the plan we put in mind. Obviously you had to dot some 'I's' and cross some 'T's' and there was no rush, but I was really pleased we were able to work it out."

He'll be 66 when his new contract extension expires, FWIW, and will evaluate his status then. If Alexander and/or Jordan are still around then I'd expect an internal transition.

Saban talks actual football on ESPN. Nick Saban breaks down a few plays from the title game blowout for ESPN, and Smart Football translates. Instructive for Michigan fans since Michigan is moving to an Alabama-style offense.

This in particular reminded me of something Michigan got caught in:

S: “We picked up on the fact that they weren’t real sound in coverage here. Their inside linebacker has to flow over and take the tight-end but he actually has a run/pass conflict when we fake the ball at him.” Translation: Notre Dame has eight defenders lined up with their hand in the ground on the goal line, with only three players at the second level, including Manti Te’o, the “inside linebacker” Saban refers to. At its simplest, the purpose of the play was to pull Te’o up with a run fake and then throw behind him. Saban makes clear that it was the coverage scheme that was an issue as much with Te’o's play here — it’s just a tough assignment — and he says that when they face play-action teams they try not to put their linebackers in positions like this. He then gets a little more specific about specifically how they attacked Te’o.

Michigan put itself in the same situation against Air Force by using Jordan Kovacs as a single high safety who both had to cover one of AF's wing backs out of the backfield and clean up the pitch man on the option.


very ag-re-essive

As soon as Kovacs started getting aggressive enough to beat the wingback to the outside and clean up before the play picked up ten yards, Air Force burned him over the top and would have had a 62-yard touchdown except the receiver fell down after about 30. Option football is mean, and Michigan probably shouldn't sign up to play an option team right after Alabama again, not that they'll play Alabama on purpose any time in the near future.

Paging Tom Rinaldi. Kid who named his tumor "Michigan" 1) needs a snappier name and 2) will be going to the Michigan-OSU game thanks to Brady Hoke, who hopes to make him miserable at it. Uncomfortable thought about that South Park episode in which Stan coaches a youth hockey team happening… now. Okay, now it's over.

Tweaking Ohio. Dropping the "State" from "Ohio State" makes a move to Florida:

Then, after Muschamp referred to Ohio State as “Ohio,” Muschamp deadpanned: “I’ve always been a Brady Hoke fan.”

If "Ohio" becomes, like, a nationwide thing people use to tweak The Ohio State University I think we need a parade for Hoke.

The worst scouting report ever. I don't know who Aaron Schatz is talking about here, but it's not Mike Martin:

Martin, a third-round pick in the 2012 draft, led all Titans defensive tackles last year with 8.5 hurries. That's surprising considering he's more of a classic nose tackle rather than a penetrating three-technique. Scouts considered Martin a blue-collar grinder whose best strength was his solid base. But in his first year in Tennessee, he was faster than advertised and showed a variety of pass-rush moves. Martin was considered a possible first-round pick until he really struggled during his senior year at Michigan. That was partly due to a scheme change, although oddly, the new scheme he struggled in was actually more similar to what he's playing now in Tennessee. He should be in line for a jump in playing time despite the signing of Sammie Lee Hill.

All of those bolded things are the opposite of true. The third bolded thing may be accurate if you only look at stats… for a nose tackle, which… who does that? And wait a minute right here.

Wait a minute.

This is a NOSE TACKLE who finished fourth on his team in tackles with 64. That is an incredible stat. He did this on a defense that had no high draft picks and completed an insane one-year turnaround. Nothing about this makes sense.

no tackles for this

This is the worst paragraph ever written. Not this one. That one. In the block quote. That one that asserts Mike Martin is a blue-collar guy whose main strength is holding up offensive linemen and that he was not an all-crushing force of nature as a senior who was hurt in the NFL draft by the fact that Michigan played him out of position out of necessity. "Really struggled." Okay guy.

Etc.: NCAA is trying to prevent for-profit schools from joining it, which makes my irony meters tingle all over. Wetzel on Buckeye arrest blitz. Bob Stoops encourages Oklahoma fans to tweet recruits. DO NOT TWEET RECRUITS. Shouldn't it be "Division Zero"?



July 24th, 2013 at 12:57 PM ^

Because it was three new posts in 40 minutes for awhile there.

66 is still pretty young in basketball coaching years. Here's hoping he wants to do a few more after that.  And who knows who will be the next coach? We'll see if we have the same AD at that point. I'm just glad it's something we don't have to worry about for a nice long time.

It was torn apart in a thread, but the only thing that really hurt Martin in the draft (even a little) other than the things he wasn't going to change, like not being the size of a tank, was getting banged up in the Sugar Bowl and not benig able to work out to his full ability. I sometimes wonder why we can't all be analysts with the screening process that is obviously nonexistent. 

And I like Muschamp more and more every day.


July 24th, 2013 at 1:09 PM ^

I don't think that Brandon would go for a straight internal transition for basketball (if he's still the AD then which is by no means a slam dunk). He really favors candidates with previous head coaching experience. From what I understand that's possibly one of the reasons Pearson left for Michigan Tech. 


July 24th, 2013 at 3:06 PM ^

The focus Michigan fans have on in-house promotions is nothing short of bizarre. There was actually an insider segment that wanted Mike DeBord or Ron English to get the job after Carr retired, which is simply mind-boggling.

Michigan basketball is now a plum job and, unlike football, does not have to kow-tow to the "Gotta be a Michigan Man" maniacs in the old guard. Might as well take full advantage of that down the road when the job is open. I'd love Jordan or Alexander, but only if they have found success as a head coach somewhere else.




July 24th, 2013 at 1:23 PM ^

People have the idea that we can't succeed with Dileo and Gallon alone and I strongly disagree, especially with Funchess at TE.  Yes, it would be great if Darboh or Chesson could step up, but we don't need it.

Dileo and Gallon are both good WIDE RECEIVERS.  Call him a 'slot' if you like, but that's repeating the mistake many made with Gallon.  Being short doesn't mean you can't line up outside.


July 24th, 2013 at 1:45 PM ^

The problem is that a lot of Dileo and Gallon's success comes from successful use of the cloaking device.  When you face competent secondaries that don't fall for that, you need someone beyond your TE who can has a shot at physically outplaying the guy covering him.


July 24th, 2013 at 2:05 PM ^

You don't need a cloaking device or "physically outplaying" anyone (assume by that you mean shoving aside or leaping over a guy).  You can just run or cut faster than the CB to get seperation.  Beyond that, use timing (instincts) and body control to put yourself in superior position.  Hands seem to matter too.

Obviously it's better to be 6'7 and super fast if all else is equal, but it isn't.  Having a 7' point guard is nice too.

Being a WR is much more than height/speed.  I'll avoid invoking that Patroit-now-Bronco WR, but instead provide some Michigan examples.

  • Desmond Howard > David Terrell
  • Mario Manningham > Daryl Stonum
  • Martevious Odoms > Je'Ron Stokes
  • Roy Roundtree > Ricardo Miller
  • Drew Dileo > Jerald Robinson

Scientific proof.


July 24th, 2013 at 2:52 PM ^

You really underestimate the issue of the fact the area where the WR has advantage over the DB is controlled by the WR's size.  When you have an elite 6' DB vs Braylon, odds are you can still except Braylon to have some success with a jump ball (at the very least he'll bat it away and prevent the INT).  Whereas with a shorter WR, that whole option is just off the table.  The height of the WR is narrowing your window.  The classic example is if you face a short WR, on defense is stick one guy underneath to force the QB to throw it higher (so as to avoid the LB tipping or picking the ball), this makes the catch that much harder.  Odds are a 5' 7" will now be reaching upwards for the ball and that gives the 6'+ DB an advantage.  This is why short guys work the best when you have other big targets drawing the attention away from them, instead of drawing the double coverage.

Also when you have someone like Calvin Johnson, he has the wingspan to grab anything an area roughly the size of a two car garage door.  So if the DB is even a bit behind that opens up a large window for the QB.  With a shorter guy, the wingspan opens up a smaller window, which in turn is easier for the DB to slam shut.  

End of the day we need a talented big guy who can work against boundary corners and make them pay for even minor mistakes.  I am extremely skeptical of Dileo and Gallon's ability to make large and talented DBs pay for minor mistakes.

Space Coyote

July 24th, 2013 at 3:16 PM ^

Dileo falls into a catagory where he doesn't have the height to use that to his advantage but doesn't have the athletic ability to make great use of that.

Gallon, on the other hand, runs very good routes. He's crisp and quick out of his breaks, and his agile and strong enough at the point of attack to get past pressing corners. In essense, he's athletically (or physically) gifted enough to win in the situations you're saying, despite his height. While it would be great for him to be taller for some of the reasons you state, he is very good at high pointing the ball and covers a lot of ground, especially on double moves. He's also very capable of presenting a clean target because of his route running abilities, which is just as big as the things you're pointing to.

Yes, having big receivers is beneficial, it makes up for a lot of things, but WRs like Gallon can help spread the field and also take up focus because they can attack the defense in a variaty of ways.

Now, I do agree that I'd like a taller guy at least opposite to take advantage of some of the other things, but just by having a taller guy along with Gallon and Funchess and potentially Dileo in the slot (Dileo's strength is finding windows in zone coverage more than anything else) than you are capable of attacking the defense in many ways through the air, and what you bring up isn't a huge issue.


July 24th, 2013 at 4:45 PM ^

You're right that height is one way to create mismatches but there are many others.

Gallon is effective at jump balls (he was targeted for them even when Hemingway was around) but jump balls are a very small part of offense.  Usually, you're not just throwing the ball up for any guy to catch. It's not something to design personnel around.  Too many other things matter more.

If jump balls were as important as you assert, CBs would be just as tall as WRs and/or WRs would commonly be 6'9.   Typically what differentiates WR and CB is a) hands, b)tackling, c)reaction-response (WRs know where they're going), not height.  There's a reason your typical WR is 6'2 rather than 6'5 and your typical CB is 5'11 instead of 6'3.

I'd also add that comparing to the greatest jump-ball catching WR in UM history (Braylon) and perhaps NFL history (CJ) isn't particularly informative.  Of course, you want guys like that. Magic Johnson can't always be your PG.  It's nice to be able to post up your defender on the inside block, that is very valuable and causes havoc on defensive matchups - but you also have to be able to shoot, dribble, etc. Those things are more important.  Being tall is a luxury, a perk, a nice thing to have/makes life easier, but not necessary for success.



July 24th, 2013 at 1:23 PM ^

Gameday Housing is a great option for large groups, but if you have a smaller group and are looking for tickets and housing, we have hotel rooms at the Fairfield Inn in Ann Arbor.

Also a private Michigan Stadium tour with club, suite and field access on Friday night before ND.

Check us out and contact us through the site with any questions: http://www.sportspowerweekends.com/michigan-football-sports-power-weeke…


July 24th, 2013 at 1:36 PM ^

He doesn't know what in hell he's writing about when he "covers" sports, so he should just go with his strength and write bullshit marketing drivel for some PR firm.

Space Coyote

July 24th, 2013 at 1:54 PM ^

Alabama saw something from limited film that tipped them off on this. Air Force has an OC that knows every nuance that defenses will try to throw at him and he knows how to take advantage. Good offensive coaching staffs will see these things and take advantage of them regardless, and Michigan's staff is no different.

This was in my preview post when Tremendous still existed, so I can't post it. But needless to say, ND ran an empty formation with a TE against Purdue a few times, and Purdue's coverage was unsound. ND ran a basic run play I believe the first time for a decent gain and surely saw the unsound coverage from the press box. ND then took advantage with a tunnel screen to the short side of the field (that consisted of a WR and a TE) that I believe went for either a TD or a huge gain.

When Michigan played Purdue, they ran the same exact formation based off of limited footage. They took advantage by running two QB sweeps to the same side of the field resulting in 4 and 8 yard gains on first down. The first time they ran the formation they ran the sweep as a way to still take advantage of Purdue's formation and gain good yards, but also to check if Purdue had made any adjustments. Borges saw something in the defense where he liked the sweep enough to take advantage of it a second time.

Below is the clip from the first run. Note that it's the safety that's matched up with the TE in coverage; the SAM's first step is inside at the snap before bugging out once he saw outside movement. The tunnel screen may still have worked, but that bugging out is likely why Borges stuck with the sweep instead of going to the screen; it was likely drilled into the outside LB that any outside release needed to be met with the OLB gaining outside leverage. So what you get is an offense that uses that movement and the back end coverage to its benefit: takes the SAM to the outside with his momentum, and seal off the inside. The result is Denard is one on one with the safety in the hole. If the double from Mealer and Omameh is properly executed, then Denard has scored a TD off his cut back (they don't seal the backside nose completely so he can scrape over and constrict the cutback lane).


In conclusion, Alabama's coaching staff is still awesome, but these are things that all good offensive coaching staffs should be doing, and Michigan's is no exception.

Space Coyote

July 24th, 2013 at 2:09 PM ^

Here is a clip from the first time they went empty. A 4 vert concept that I anticipate they ran to take advantage of Purdue often going into cover 3.

They came back a few plays later on the same drive with this.

ND also saw something with the wheel route in this game, and took advantage of the RB wheeling underneath the TE and doing some concepts based off that.


July 24th, 2013 at 2:19 PM ^

I remember seeing Chris Martin and some other tool on BTN last year saying the same thing, that Mike Martin "struggled in his senior year." And these guys only have twelve freaking teams to cover!!!(!). It makes you wonder whether they actually watched any of our games that year.


July 24th, 2013 at 3:30 PM ^

A Michigan Man respects the education at Vanderbilt, as well as when they invited us to inaugurate Dudley Field back in 1922

In 1922, Vanderbilt hosted the University of Michigan to inaugurate Dudley Field. The game ended in a 0–0 tie and figures prominently in the program's history. VU football historian Bill Traughber chronicles the event:

The game between Vanderbilt and Michigan had a carnival-like atmosphere.
Dignitaries and politicians were invited to participate at Dudley Field, the largest football-only stadium in the South at that time. The guest of honor for the dedication game was Cornelius Vanderbilt, the great-great grandson of the university's namesake.
Accompanied by his wife, Vanderbilt arrived at Nashville's Union Station on the morning of the game, his first trip to the city. The day's first event was a luncheon for the young Vanderbilt couple, which was held at the Hermitage Hotel and hosted by Vanderbilt University Board of Trust.
Thousands of Vanderbilt students and alumni met downtown for a parade with Tennessee Governor Alf Taylor riding in the lead automobile. Decorated in orange and black, their automobile began the parade at Twelfth and Broadway, weaving through the side streets to a reviewing stand at the foot of the Capitol Building.[6]


July 25th, 2013 at 7:13 AM ^

Am I the only one that noticed Roy Manning is actually driving while making that vine video?  Dude - pull over and make that shit, then get back on the road.  


Mr. Yost

July 25th, 2013 at 1:10 PM ^

...so he was coming out of Target, but why did he get a steak for Devin Gardner? Does Target sell steaks? Are they even any good? Isn't this a recruiting violation? Can I have some?