Ezeh question

Submitted by ituralde on September 22nd, 2010 at 4:51 PM

Ok, so Obi Ezeh had an especially bad week or he simply can't make complex play reads. 

What would the consequences be of sending him downhill on every play? With someone like Mike Martin there, it seems like he could cause damage on every play up the middle and cause center backfield penetration. 

If nothing else, it would quicken the pace of each play and maybe prevent offenses from having time to go deep.  Would this compromise our underneath coverage too much?

I think of Obi Ezeh as the Anthony Morelli of Linebackers - all the physical tools but never doing the right thing at the right time. 



September 22nd, 2010 at 6:07 PM ^

watch Arizona's defense under Mark Stoops.  The LB's ATTACK CONSTANTLY.  Ezeh gets lost every single time he drops into pass coverage.  Every time.  Why not just recognize this fact and have him charge the line on every play?  Most teams rush 50% of the time, so in half the cases he'd be on the right track anyway.  Hallelujah!!!


September 22nd, 2010 at 9:37 PM ^

1.  Even if the average team runs 50% of the time, only some of those rushes are up the gut.  Ezeh would be taking himself out of the play anytime they'd run wide.

2.  If he's blitzing on every down, teams will notice this and adjust their blocking accordingly.  One of the interior linemen would be assigned to him on inside run plays. 


September 22nd, 2010 at 5:12 PM ^

I don't care what he does as long as it's actually something on the field besides getting blown back after just sitting there for 8 seconds.  Seeing him hit someone close to the line of scrimmage would be amazing.


September 22nd, 2010 at 5:31 PM ^

I'm not sure how he has "all the physical tools."  He's not particularly fast or athletic.  Now Mouton is a guy with all the tools.  He's much faster than Ezeh.

If you were to send Ezeh every down, then you'd essentially need someone else to play ILB.  I guess you could bring Kovacs into the vacated area, but then you'd give up a lot of safety help in coverage.


September 22nd, 2010 at 5:40 PM ^

Your suggestion sounds overly simplistic on its face but I think it has merit.  Ron English tried exactly this approach against Tebow in the Capital One Bowl, and that game was the best Ezeh has ever looked (except for the plays when Ezeh did not rush, and tried to cover Percy Harvin on crossing routes, which accounted for all of the yards and points Florida did get that day).  He is not a read and react player.  He has to have a clear assignment and a place to run full speed from the snap.


September 22nd, 2010 at 5:42 PM ^

Ezeh gets himself lost on a regular basis within the defensive scheme.  He regularly loses contain and gets beat badly on mis-direction and play action calls.  As a LB it's very important to be decisive, you have to make your read very quickly and react.  Obi Ezeh is very slow to react and finds himself getting blocked before he makes a decision more often then not.  It's sad because he showed a lot of promise as a young player yet he continues to make fundamental mistakes.  I wish him the best during the last 10 games of his collegiate career.


September 22nd, 2010 at 6:00 PM ^

I find it to be funny that people often wait unti the UFR is released before they anoint / bag players.

Can't you tell from watching the game that our LB play was awful?  You really needed Brian to tell you that? 


(if this post was in complete coincidence to the UFR I apologize)


September 22nd, 2010 at 7:28 PM ^

Linebacker play isn't like quarterback, running back, or corner play; you can see bad coverage, bad throws, or a bad cutback decision on first viewing.  Gap responsibility is really hard to pick up at full speed, and it is hard to get a full sense of a linebacker's performance watching live.

The coincidence isn't just about the UFR scores.  It is also the first real chance some of us have had re-watch replays of given plays (though the Every Snap videos have helped this year).  As an example, there were a couple of plays that, watching live, I thought Mouton biffed on, when in reality he met his assignment and forced the play back to Ezeh's imaginary not-out-of-position twin.


September 22nd, 2010 at 8:19 PM ^

If you like football enough to devote time to mgoblog, you should know that: high ypc by div 1a team = poor lb play. And if you know football, you know that the mlb is like the qb of the defense. So, high ypc by crap team = poor lb play = falls on the mlb (typically) = ezeh is our mlb = ezeh played bad.

You could have also gone with the "well I don't remember ezeh making many plays, but before I bag him ill wait until I see the ufr!" Route.


September 22nd, 2010 at 9:06 PM ^

And I agree that it was pretty damn obvious from this particular performance that Burritohelmet* had a hell of a day. 

But Ezeh's role as defensive quarterback aside, it is hard to distribute blame between Ezeh, Mouton, Kovacs, T. Gordon, etc. without some closer examination (or, shall I say, some Further Review). I've usually drawn my conclusions by Saturday night, but I don't fault those who want to take a second look.

*See thread below...


September 22nd, 2010 at 7:02 PM ^

Move Kovacs to MLB. You don't need the size in this system. You need someone who can make the right move. He can do that. He does it most of the time. Of course, then you lose his support but for cryingout loud, Ezeh is useless a large portion of the time. I could go in there and get blocked. At this point, I don't know if you can make it worse so I think trying anything is a viable option

Webber's Pimp

September 22nd, 2010 at 8:20 PM ^

Ezeh can't get off blocks. Until we find some stability at our LB positions I'm afraid this defense will continue to be exposed for what it is: mediocre. Sadly this can only be fixed over time through recruiting and RRod may noy have enough time to bring in all the personell he needs. If there's one area I'm critical of during RRod''s tenure it's his decision not to place emphasis on recruiting the defensive side of the ball...


September 22nd, 2010 at 10:45 PM ^

Rodriguez has had two full recruiting cycles as the head coach at Michigan.  He's signed 25 defensive players and 24 offensive players (and one of those offensive players is currently our starting free safety).  Just because a few of the defensive guys had grade issues (Witty, Dorsey, Kinard, Rogers) doesn't mean the coaching staff isn't actively recruiting that side of the ball.


September 22nd, 2010 at 9:32 PM ^

Ezeh was more of a situational LB in high school.  He was used when CC needed a bigger body to stuff a hole.  LC though he found another David Harris out of the Grand Rapids area.  Ezeh was a much better RB and would have been a pretty good FB at the college level.


September 22nd, 2010 at 10:20 PM ^

while i think it's ok to criticize the coaches, it's not cool to rip ezeh.  he played with a bulging disc in his  back the entire year last year because the team needed him.  he deserves our respect and thanks for this.


September 23rd, 2010 at 7:38 AM ^

and just play jb and/or kenny. they CAN'T be worse. it's impossible. at least give them a chance. i'm sick of watching him stand there and eat block after block 8 yards downfield.


September 23rd, 2010 at 1:33 PM ^

Instead of MM reading, I guess in a weird way it could work. Nothing else has to this point. I would rather just watch Demens play the position to see what in the hell happens.