September 30th, 2010 at 3:42 PM ^

but it's also very true, Football tactics come and go in fads. The QB Iso run that denard does so well out of the shotgun is no different than the wild and crazy "Wildcat" which is the single wing, from the 1950s or so. 

The chess-matches between coaches are very interesting, but at the end of the day, Players make Plays, not decided schematic advantages (miss you a little, if only for the Fat jokes, xoxo)


September 30th, 2010 at 3:51 PM ^

I've kind of noticed this. Michigan anticipates a hard time running against Power defense teams in the Big10. What do they do? They add a 2nd TE/H-back and pull a guard. Where have I seen 2 tight ends, pulling guards, and lead blockers before? Oh yea...Michigan of the last 40 years.


September 30th, 2010 at 3:55 PM ^

I'm not sure that Chris Brown's conclusion that "the 2010 decade looks to be the the age of tinkerer, where subtle tweaks instead of wholesale changes will decide games" (which I think is probably correct) is substantiated by (or is really connected to) his analysis of Cam Newton and DR.  Basically, his analysis would seem to point to the fact that DR carries much more of the load than Pat White did, but I would argue that this is simply a function of the fact that (a) DR is faster than Pat White (who ran a 4.5 at the combine), (b) DR is a better passer, at least based on what we've seen, and (c) our RBs are not Slaton.  (DR is also a much better passer than Dantzler, whose passing production seemed predicated on throwing it to Rod Gardner (a 1st round draft pick).)  So RR is using what he's got; if we had Slaton surely DR's touches would go down.  What does any of this have to do with tinkering?


September 30th, 2010 at 4:18 PM ^

I'm not seeing where his analysis is disconnected from his conclusion. You tinker your offense for two things: the players you have, and the opposing defense. When he has one threat, he has a game strategy that emphasizes that player. When he has two threats, he has a game strategy that allows the defense to pick its poison. When the defense stops the run, he tinkers and we throw. When they back off into man coverage, we start running again. RR's offense is all about tinkering and that's why it has worked so well everywhere he has gone.


September 30th, 2010 at 5:08 PM ^

his analysis would seem to point to the fact that DR carries much more of the load than Pat White did, but I would argue that this is simply a function of the fact that (a) DR is faster than Pat White (who ran a 4.5 at the combine), (b) DR is a better passer, at least based on what we've seen, and (c) our RBs are not Slaton. 

I think you're seriously misinterpreting the point of his article.


September 30th, 2010 at 5:49 PM ^

I'm not being sarcastic here; if I don't get it, and apparently I don't, then I want to (especially since I really respect Chris Brown's knowledge and analytical skills).

EDIT: I see, Chris Brown initially sent the wrong draft to Dr. Saturday, and that's what I read.  That would explain why it didn't make sense to me.  The final version makes a lot of sense.


September 30th, 2010 at 4:05 PM ^

Like Indiana coach Bill Lynch recently said in his press conference every team we have played this season has given a different look to try and stop Denard and none of them hae worked.  You can't prepare for a game breaking athlete that is simply better then the rest of the athletes on the field. 

Braylon 5 Hour…

September 30th, 2010 at 4:11 PM ^

The way I see it is we're like a basketball team with a big time superstar (insert one you actually like here, not comparing Denard to Lebron or Kobe).  You can theoretically contain Denard, but that's going to require freeing up big plays in the passing game, and running lanes for the running backs.  You can try to let him beat you by taking everyone else out of the equation, but then he does what he did against Notre Dame.  

Will this hold up against elite defenses? I hope so, but we're not going to see one of those for a while anyway...


September 30th, 2010 at 4:47 PM ^

Not sure if this has anything to do with it, but from reading the twitters, it appears that Chris sent in the wrong draft to DocSat and that was posted. It has since (very recently) been updated with the correct version. 

Yahoo! can take a bit to refresh, but make sure the link begins with "Sometimes, in college football..." The other was incomplete. Sorry.


September 30th, 2010 at 5:04 PM ^

Rodriguez has actually made the one-man show an art form by going back, earlier than the great option teams, to the pure single-wing attacks. (Apologies to Brian Cook who I once disagreed with for saying the spread evolved from the single-wing; it really didn't, but Rodriguez is trying to prove me wrong.) But he's done it within the scope of his system, which remains truly simple: inside zone, outside zone, some quick passes, play-action, screens, and some counters, but the primary play – the one he really wants to run – is the outside zone. And who better to run it with than Denard Robinson?


September 30th, 2010 at 6:25 PM ^

If teams are consistently running a scrape exchange against our zone read, might it not make sense to run the inverted veer?  Formation-wise, there is no difference, so far as I can tell. The LB lined up opposite the RB, if he's anticipating a zone read, will run himself out of the play, potentially allowing the center to double-team the play-side tackle.


September 30th, 2010 at 6:38 PM ^

Umm, so perhaps Coach Rodriguez is a Michigan man, if his offense is being carried to Fielding Yost...hard to go farther back in the blood lines than that...


September 30th, 2010 at 8:43 PM ^

What I take from this piece is how the guy deprecates offensive development of late and also how he implies that Rodriguez does well because he lands certain personnel as if by accident.

I'm no "expert" like some here, but the system that Michigan is running seems pretty damned complicated when looked at in its totality, especially for the linemen. Moreoever, it requires a ton of athletism and conditioning. If there is any trick to it (beyond, yes, looking for the right kinds of players and then working with their talents - ref. Denard, Tate, Devin, Cam, Terelle, Pat, Woody, etc etc etc), it is about evolving it on an ongoing basis - and that is where coaching makes all the difference. Give it up to Coach Rod and his staff - don't suggest to us that they have taken football backwards.

Second - why o why is there absolutely no reference to the defense here? If we are talking about evolution of football then to me the story of the next ten years or whatever is not as much how things are going to get tweaked on the offensive side of the ball, but rather how defensive strategy will emphasize increasing size along WITH speed in order to contain such offenses - which yes, will have any number of exceptional players that will yes be put to good use. It is the evolution of the defense that will in turn drive future offensive changes. Oregon's difficulty in this against OSU's defense last January was telltale, and my personal game of the week Saturday (after Michigan-IU, of course!) will be the Oregon-Stanford matchup. I believe that what is going to take the Big 10 back to the top of college football will be precisely the continuing development of defenses that can better contain the bigger spread offenses that have been taking shape in the Big 10 for a while now.