Bad Mouton showed up for Iowa

Submitted by caup on October 18th, 2010 at 1:48 AM

I re-watched the game today and it is clear that Mouton had a terrible day.

You know how Bill Belichek is always saying "DO YOUR JOB!"

Well, Jonas didn't do his job. Repeatedly.

He vacated his gap on the killer 3 and 15 run by Adam Robinson.  If he just does his job there and makes the tackle it is a 2 yard gain.

And on numerous cutbacks he got caught overpursuing, including the Adam Robinson touchdown run in the second half.

My coaches would make my life a living hell if/when I fucked up like that.  

All in all, I think Demens was actually our best LB versus Iowa.

Oh, and one more thing...

STOP PLAYING ROH AT LB!!  He is a bad LB but a pretty good DE. 


West Texas Blue

October 18th, 2010 at 2:03 AM ^

Our only strength on D is the DL, but Rod is such a smart guy, so he says "hey, let's switch to a 3-3-5 and negate our only strength on D." And hence Roh's tremendous talents are being wasted. For all the promise that Roh showed last year, it's all for naught due to the new scheme. I feel badly for Roh for the staff putting him in this position; he's playing his heart out but the staff isn't putting him in a situation to succeed.


October 18th, 2010 at 6:50 AM ^

Mouton and Ezeh don't stay in their lanes/ play their assignments because the rest of the D is young/ is playing out of place? Maybe they feel like they need to make a play and go above and beyond? I don't know. Mouton at least seems to make tackles.


October 18th, 2010 at 8:16 AM ^

Perhaps he was.  But unwisely vacating gaps and over-pursuing aren't "playing hurt" mistakes--they're "playing stupid" mistakes.  (No offense to Mouton here; he's a tremendous athelete, and typically a very smart player, but there seem to be days when it doesn't click for him.)


October 18th, 2010 at 10:27 AM ^

He went down twice in the game. Once was on a PA pass to the TE that got Iowa a first down, but was called back for illegal formation. He was down for a couple minutes. The next play they ran the same thing, he read it, and he made the stop for a small gain. So, he was definitely playing hurt for at least part of the game. For all I know it was just cramps though.


October 18th, 2010 at 7:14 AM ^

I still haven't watched much of the game, so I'll wait to judge Mouton's Iowa outing.

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But, think about this >>> By the judgment of a few scouting types, he is Michigan's *best* pro prospect this year.  Schilling is the only other guy mentioned (usually with "second day").

Brady Hoke will get a lot of returning starters next year!


October 18th, 2010 at 7:17 AM ^

I think it is coaching that is the reason Mouton/Ezeh have failed to produce. This might not mean anything, but to back my statement up, wasn't Ezeh a freshman all-american? He has gotten worse since, I have a hard time thinking someone could be getting that much worse on his own. Unless the talent around him when he was a freshman was making him look much better.


October 18th, 2010 at 9:44 AM ^

Should I even bother responding to this?  Why not?

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He may have been a freshman All-American, but I doubt it.  Here's how he was sized up prior to '08 (his second season):

"Sophomore middle linebacker Obi Ezeh was the Steve Schilling of the defense in 2007: a redshirt freshman pressed into the starting lineup before his time, he was unprepared and often bad."

Source?  None other than MGoBlog:

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That doesn't sound like "freshman All-American" to me.

You know, I feel sorry for Rodriguez sometimes.  He's had a dark cloud over his head from day one (in addition to all the self-inflicted pain).


October 18th, 2010 at 10:24 AM ^

I think the amount of criticism and venom that gets spewed on RR was an eye opener for him.  He wasn't prepared for this level of negativity and he isn't happy.

If I was him the only thing keeping me around would be my sense of obligation to the kids whom he recruited.


October 18th, 2010 at 12:55 PM ^

I honestly don't think our fanbase has been that harsh.  By and large, people have been patient.  We're coming off our first two losing seasons in 40+ years and still fill our 109,000-seat stadium every week.  There are a number of other schools for which I don't think that'd be the case.  I think he recognizes that. 

But besides that, I think he knows the rebuilding job is nearing the end.  Next year's team will have the personnel and schedule to be a contender. 


October 18th, 2010 at 2:13 PM ^

I agree with both of your points. His point has been a concern of mine. I think it is only a vocal minority that are really criticizing him, but at the same time, he has been getting ripped at every turn since he got here. Things like the buyout, not a Michigan Man (and all the smaller arguments that come with it), Freep causing PracticeGate, Demar Dorsey, etc. are all going to wear on him. I don't think he would be looking for a job, but if the right opportunity came up, I wouldn't blame him for bolting. Kind of like what happened with him when he left WVU for Michigan.


October 18th, 2010 at 7:38 AM ^

All anyone can do on Ezeh is just speculate. The same goes with Mouton. Mouton has been too aggressive and Ezeh has not been aggressive enough. Both players have been benched in the past which tells me the coaches have not been pleased with their performances.

Both are seniors and depite Ezeh going from fullback to linebacker, it's hard to imagine that you forget how to play your position and what you are supposed to be doing. 

I've scratched my head so many times that I've worn a bald spot in the side of my melon.


October 18th, 2010 at 9:07 AM ^

last night and Mouton was pretty over agressive.   Mouton and Kovacs seem to be not on the same page alot, as it appears every time Kovacs is agressive and gets in the backfield, Mouton is the guy responsible for keeping contain behind him and fails miserably by getting caught inside.


Mouton was a 4 star DB out of high school, Ezeh a 3 star FB.  Both were moved to LB because every LB the previous staff recruited either was moved somewhere else (Graham to DE) or didn't pan out and transferred (the rest of them).  Ezeh may have played some LB in HS, Mouton certainly did not.  Neither has LB instincts or LB schooling, and its pretty obvious watching them play.


While at UM they are on Defensive Coordinator #3 and position coach #3.  Their position coach the last two years just plain sucked and there really can't be any disputing that.  They may be Seniors, but developmentally they are Sophomores and you can probably knock a star or two off their rating for the position switches.


Another position switch player, James Rogers was out of position a number of times.  I really hope one of the Freshmen steps up and takes over that spot because as more and more game film gets out there, it becomes more and more obvious that Rogers is a major liability.


October 18th, 2010 at 12:42 PM ^

It also didn't help that JT was got toasted twice when he was man-to-man.  It was the same move and same inside slant.

I was singing his praises and I still believe that he is a good zone coverage corner but he can't get beat to the inside when he is one-on-one like that; he needs to force the WR to the outside so that the QB has to throw over the top. 

The interesting this is that GERG did exactly what this board wanted; we generally rushed 4 and we started playing some more aggresive man-to-man defense.  We still gave up a lot of points.  It doesn't look like the 4 man line is any better at stopping the run; our cover-1 defense really didn't make a difference.  I hope GERG can figure something out; those 8 man coverages just became less frustrating after watching the last two games.


October 18th, 2010 at 1:15 PM ^

Nobody expected the four-man line to be better at stopping the run.  We wanted it to be better at rushing the quarterback.  Unfortunately, perhaps our best pass rusher (Mike Martin) missed nearly the entire game.  So we converted to a better defense against the pass . . . but lost our best weapon in that four-man front.  There was practically zero push up the middle, which gave Ricky Stanzi all kinds of time to throw - and he completed 71% of his passes.  Mike Martin would have tossed the Ferentz kid around like a rag doll.


October 18th, 2010 at 1:03 PM ^

Plenty of HS safeties move to LB in college..  Larry Foote did it, for instance.  Given that Mouton is now a fifth-year senior, I don't think that excuse holds much water.  If he wants to stick in the NFL, that's his position.

Ezeh's situation is a little more understandable.   He may just have not had the mentality to be a defensive player.


October 18th, 2010 at 1:24 PM ^

and I agree.  Mouton over pursued quite often or he just read the wrong hole and impailed himself into the scrum pile of linemen, allow the Iowa RBs to run through open holes.  Also Re: Roh, on one of those 3rd and long plays, Roh was playing a middle LB position, took a bad angle on a RB counter play.  RB cut it back across the line for 15+ yards and made a 1st down.  These kinds of plays are really demoralizing to a team / defense.  You have a chance to stop them, and let them make a big play on you.  They scored a couple plays after that on a goal line run where Carvin Johnson was playing in the middle of the field and absolutely got pancaked on by a Iowa FB or TE.  I mean buried!!!  Having a 195 Fr LB in the game playing in the middle of the field during a short yardage situation against a power running team, is probably not the best coaching move on our part. 

Someone pointed this out in a thread yesterday and after watching the game, I am in total agreement with.  Our LB's are playing way to close to the line of scrimmage.  At times, they are lining up 2 to 3 yards off the LOS in their normal setup (ie. not blitzing or showing a blitz).  This lack of depth appears to cause several issues.  1) LB's getting tied up in linemen scrum piles so they cannot get to RB's or running lanes to make plays.  2) If they play deeper, they can read the blocking going on better in front of them and sidestep any DL getting pushed back by any OL double teams.  They should be able to see the lanes developing and hit the holes running down hill to meet the blockers/RB's with some leverage (for an example of the opposite of this, see Obi getting pancaked on the 2nd series of the game)  3) On pass plays, if the LBs set up little deeper (4 to 5 yrds off the LOS) it helps them get back into pass coverage and have better depth/angles to see TE releasing, RBs coming out of the backfield or WRs running underneath drag routes.


October 18th, 2010 at 11:26 AM ^

Agree with BlueinLansing.  The lack of coaching consistency is difficult enough without playing a position you did not play in high school and that you are continually trying to learn.  Mouton has done well most games and should be given a break.

I would argue that Avery which I know is a true freshman was more of a liability than Rogers when he was in the game.  Again, not his fault.  These freshmen should not be put in this position but unfortunately it is all we have right now.

I was confused when I noticed JT Floyd was not on the field at times during the second half.  Anyone know why?


October 18th, 2010 at 12:05 PM ^

M's D-line had its worst game.  Iowa's O-line controlled the line of scrimmage.  There was no pressure on Stanzi, and Iowa's backs had holes to run through.  This put tremendous pressure on the linebacking corps and secondary.  Unless M's D-line can penetrate and get off of blocks, the defense is going to continue to struggle.   


October 18th, 2010 at 12:49 PM ^

And on numerous cutbacks he got caught overpursuing, including the Adam Robinson touchdown run in the second half.

Is the backside defensive end absolved of responsibility here? When they realize they're backside of the play, should they be trying to release and pursue, or release and contain?

Or is it play-specific? E.G., if the LB is in coverage (hitch zone or some such), does containment become the DE's responsibility?


October 19th, 2010 at 1:43 AM ^

Mouton had a rough day.  Looked like Iowa wanted to screw with him all day.  Plenty of designed cutbacks that he just couldn't figure out.  Demens looked solid.  Much better in pursuit than Obi and seemed to be more patient than Mouton.  All in all though, I didn't hate the job the run D did.  Mouton wasn't great, but the safeties filled well enough.  Robinson isn't nearly as good as Edwin Baker though.  Mathlete had Iowa as an average run team and that sounds about right.  Still, the pass was what broke the defense.  And that despite Stanzi throwing a good three passes that could have gone for picks.

By my count the first passing TD was on Avery who didn't get to the flat so he wasn't there to stop the shallow cross.  The second was Rogers getting fooled by the post-corner from two bunched receivers.  The third was JT getting burnt crispy after allowing his guy inside on an all out blitz.  Also before one of the rushing TDs JT made a play on a crossing route where he seemed to think we were in man when everyone else was playing fire zone.  It left an RB swing completely open that Stanzi missed.  Really ugly day for the pass defense.