PreSpring Football updates from Sam Webb

Submitted by AZBlue on March 23rd, 2018 at 3:46 PM

For those who don't listen regularly to WTKA or the podcasts, Sam Webb has been playing FB coach interviews in segments over the past few weeks - (I believe more is available behind the paywall.)

Lots of interesting stuff - particularly on the Defense where most of the coaches have worked with the players before.  I made list of the things I found interesting below:

D-Line -- Starters appear to (currently) be Chase, Aubrey/Brian, Dwumfor, and #98..some guy named Gary.  Sounds like backups are Paye, loser of Aubrey/Brian, Lo Marshall, and Kemp.  Others and notes - - Kemp working some a 3-tech (his request) up to 276,  Paye up to 256 from 225-230 coming in - from 2 separate comments.."He is STRONG".- D-I-Bey over 300 and looking good.  Jeter pushing 300 and coming back from the injury a bit stil.  Luigi back but stil recovering from his injury and surgery (news to me on the surgery part).  New kid (name?) can really run but is relatively new to football so this spring is all about learning for him.  Brian has been losing weight and GMat is on him to build his speed back to where it was post injury.  Paea was mentioned when Sam asked - he is up to around 280.

LBs - Don Brown sounded almost giddy when talking about this.  I believe the quote was "I am going to just sit back grinning like a Cheshire cat watching the competition.  Has never had a group like this.  Depth chart sounds like MLB - Bush, Anthony, Singleton WLB - Gil/Ross battle and Singleton.  Viper - Hudson and Glasgow with Furbush and Uche in the more traditional SAM role.  Singleton (as seen above) will get time at MLB and WLB to find him a place on the field.

CBs - Starters talked up then Watson ("last chance to show out to earn NFL looks") with Ambry and Ben St-J coming along.  Spyder Sims is Loooooong - whichwas a focus in the recruiting board based on the D they prefer to play.

D-In General -- Will add even more D-line wrinkles/play calls going into 2018.  Don wants to cut big pass plays (18-20 last year but stil very good in his words) by 7-8.  Feels biggest room for improvement is cutting explosive run plays.


Much less on Offense as WR, TE, and OL coaches haven't practiced with team yet.

OL - Not a ton but several coaches mentioned Hudson by name.

RB - Top 2 are clearly that going into Spring.  Kareem and O'Maury mentioned by both Harbaughs and sounds like they will battle for the 3rd RB spot.

QBs - JH noted that all 3 guys will be competing for the job and he likes them all.

General - Don Brown particulary noted the major use of analytics the staff is using.

Just thought I would share for those who haven't been listening in.  



March 22nd, 2018 at 3:10 PM ^

Hard to get too pumped over football right now. Partially because of basketball, partially because even here all the news is on the D, which we know will be great. QB/WR/OL/OC are the issues, and we really won't know anything until the season starts there.


March 22nd, 2018 at 3:26 PM ^

I think a big reason we're not pumped about football right now is because of how last season ended. Basketball is exciting, so we don't have to think about it at all.

But it's good to be reminded how good our defense is, because one can honestly forget with how we've blocked things out.


March 23rd, 2018 at 7:10 PM ^

You are spot on. If we are being honest, has not Michigan become a basketball school in recent years.  I really hope the football program can begin to reach the heights the MBB has reached and lets not forget the womens softball team also. Hope the upcoming year we start to see the football team turn their fortunes around.


March 27th, 2018 at 12:02 AM ^

I feel great about the changes made this offseason on the Offense:
1 - got rid of Drevno
2 - brought in an experienced 5 star QB who could likely start immediately
3 - brought in Ed Warriner who many believe to be the best O-line coach in the country
4 - hired an actual WR coach AND Roy Rountree to work with them
5 - created what appear to be more defined roles for the staff

What more could we have asked from Harbaugh? He appears to have addressed every concern we had from last season to the best of his ability. I believe we will see noticeable improvement in all areas of the Offense and the D will be incredible, as always. As shitty as last season went, it wasn’t Sparty/ND 3-9 or 4-8 shitty. We will see a better team this year and I am personally excited about it!


March 22nd, 2018 at 3:13 PM ^

"New kid (name?) can really run but is relatively new to football so this spring is all about learning for him."


I assume it's True Frosh Taylor Upshaw.  He is an EE that just started playing football last year or the year before.


March 22nd, 2018 at 3:23 PM ^

so he is in the same boat as the Offensive coaches as not having coached the players yet. 

Don Brown did note that Glasgow will now be a Viper full time and Hawkins will be playing Safety exclusively going foward - "best fit for him".

Also - Just from the banter with Sam it seems both of the new young coaches (TEs and Safeties) will be great recruiters.


Winchester Wolverine

March 22nd, 2018 at 3:39 PM ^

All weight gain is good. All weight loss is good. (Edit) Unless your name is Dylan McCaffrey. Hopefully that kid has put on weight and is maintaining it.

I'm so damn excited for football. Knowing that I'll be in South Bend for the season opener is gonna make this long wait even longer.


March 24th, 2018 at 10:30 AM ^

Wrong way, yes one pound is easy.
Right way, depends, plus you have to be able to maintain it through the season, between the heavy physical activity and the stress, it's harder than you might think. plus some people at that age have the incredibly fortunate genetics to just not put on weight, I was never one of those people but I knew a few.


March 23rd, 2018 at 4:46 PM ^

more size by fall and should be right in the competition for the starting job. I am very confident we are going to see some huge improvements in our QB play next year and think any of the three competiting will do a great job.

I kind of thought Peters would be passed over easily until I spoke with a former UM player the other day. I asked him how he thought the team would do this year and he was very optimistic and thought they should be very good. He mentioned Patterson could bring a lot, but then said he was always very impreseed with Peters. Thought he was actually our best QB and felt he should've started over Speight.  Basically said, I guess they went with Speight because he was bigger.........  Anyways was happy to hear a player say he was impressed with him and think we will see a big upgrade no matter what in QB play next year.


March 22nd, 2018 at 3:18 PM ^

"all 3 guys will be competing for the job and he likes them all."

After hearing for a couple years how good O'Korn was in practice, comments like these mean absolutely nothing.


March 22nd, 2018 at 5:38 PM ^

... or mid-April. If Shea is well ahead of the other two, as I expect him to be, then there’s really not much you can expect Peters or McCaffrey to do in 3-5 months to change that. Assuming Shea is eligible of course.


March 22nd, 2018 at 3:24 PM ^

Some coachspeak actually reveals stuff, though it's often hard to tell at the time. Not everything is obfuscation. We we given notice about Chris Evans before he emerged in 2016, for example. 

This coachspeak tells us nothing and is designed to tell us nothing. Maaaaybe we'll know more by midway through fall camp, but not likely. And we won't know about it from anything the coaches say.


March 22nd, 2018 at 3:21 PM ^

If it's true that several coaches are mentioning Hudson, that's a really good sign. But the real stuff will come out in spring and fall camp. If Hudson can be "the guy" at a tackle spot, performing to, say, an Onwenu level (promising, physically capable, some mistakes but mostly very positive) that locks down one side and means we have established players to figure out the other side.



March 22nd, 2018 at 3:38 PM ^

The back ups on D-line

"loser of Aubrey/Brian, Lo Marshall, and Kemp"

are all interior lineman now. It's nice to have some depth there. It also means a new face will have to emerge opposite Paye to play backup-snaps on the other end. It will be interesting to see who earns that opportuntiy.