April 18th, 2017 at 9:15 AM ^

Nick has been pretty bearish our OL for the last several years. If he's seeing something, that's a positive sign, not that he's an OL expert. An improved run blocking game would be just amazing for the flow of the offense.


April 18th, 2017 at 10:02 AM ^

Yes and maybe... Frey did some great work with the, ahem, run in the mill OL that RR recruited. Joke recruited the position better, but didn't coach it for shit. Hopefully we're going to see top notch OL coaching of top notch recruits this year. Frey and Drevno coaching up the OL should equal nice results!


April 18th, 2017 at 11:43 AM ^

Frey was indeed working with a bunch of no-names in 2008. The OL wasn't great, but it wasn't as bad as it should have been. Off the top of my head, I think we started guys named John Ferrara, Tim McAvoy, Mark Ortmann, and Perry Dorrestein that year.

This is slightly irrelevant to the original comment, because Rodriguez didn't recruit those guys. But Frey did take those no-names and made them decent, particularly Dorrestein and Ortmann.

The Wolf

April 18th, 2017 at 11:29 AM ^

I have to think that one sure benefit is that the OL, as a group, now has two coaches really dedicated to teaching (I forget how they broke up the positions between Drevno and Frey).  An extra set of eyes and another coach teaching day in and day out has to be a serious benefit.

Durham Blue

April 18th, 2017 at 7:49 PM ^

Effective run blocking the past two years at critical times of the game would've netted Michigan 3 more wins -- MSU 2015, Iowa 2016 and Ohio State 2016.  It was the difference between the Orange Bowl and the playoffs this past season.

Prince Lover

April 18th, 2017 at 10:57 AM ^

I know, way too early, but hear me out.

If starting line is Cole, Bredeson, Kugler, Onewenu, Runyon.
Then 2018's line will be in terms of remaining eligibility, 4yrs (assuming it's the big frosh coming in, starts with an "F"), 2 yrs, 4yrs (assuming this is Ruiz), 2yrs, and 2yrs.

Things are getting exciting around here.....

Sorry for the bad spelling of names. Didn't even want to try the freshman's....


April 18th, 2017 at 9:37 AM ^

It's funny. I have watched an insane amount of football over the years, but I readily admit that Nick could be making this all up and I wouldn't know any better. I hope he's not


April 18th, 2017 at 9:50 AM ^

Optimism is the right word. They showed they had the ability for the most part, but were discombobulated when things didn't go according to plan a lot too. The right side in pass pro was pretty rough too. Hopefully either Runyan can take a big step over summer, or one of the injured guys would be an upgrade.


April 18th, 2017 at 10:25 AM ^

Has to be getting better right?  I grew up with Michigan O Line dominance a given.  It's been painful watching a poor line during the Hoke era.  I trust that our coaching and recruiting is going to get us back where we need to be.



April 18th, 2017 at 11:47 AM ^

I think the oline has been getting better under Harbaugh.  The catch is they aren't at the 'elite' level yet.  They did a pretty good job mashing the weaker teams on the schedule last year, something that the oline struggled to do in the Hoke era.  However, last year they struggled against the better teams.


April 18th, 2017 at 10:41 AM ^

The play he diagrams is blocked pretty well, but Watson should have been there to cave that near the line of scrimmage.  For some reason he bites on a WR crossing the formation instead of filling that hole. 

But I thought Kugler looked really good, which in itself is very reassuring.  He seems to have a good innate sense of who to help in pass pro when someone's not lined up over him.  People complained about Onwenu, but I liked his feet as well and he's as strong as advertised: he won the initial punch battle with Mone at least a couple of times.  He naturally fires low and uses his weight well.  He has to work on staying engaged, and he could be quicker off the ball.  But he can pulverize people in a way our OL last year could not.  In the play cited, I give most of Mone's movement to Onwenu based on the rest of the game.  Cole looked outstanding at LT.  Bredeson lost more than he won against Mone and Hurst, but was OK.  Don't agree with Baumgardner on Runyan - I thought he was pretty poor and handled easily for the most part.  That's OK he still has plenty of time.  

Wheatley Jr. had some really good blocks, including one where he and Cole mashed Gary into the middle of the line (though this was probably a combo and Wheatley should have moved on to the LB).  Was not a fan of McKeon in this one. 


April 18th, 2017 at 11:11 AM ^

I think I read on Magnus that there only 6 yards of TFL on running plays and 5 of those came on one Walker run.  So that's a bonus esp in light of the 2013 year.  The pass blocking however looked pretty frightful.  I'm not counting on any freshman who shows up in June to help this so hopefully JBB is improved out there at RT and Onwenu gets significantly better in the next 4 months.

Most likely we are going to roll a lot out to the left for our passing plays!


April 18th, 2017 at 11:28 AM ^

I think they'll be fine. I think there is enough there to find 5 quality starters, young or veteran. I believe in the younger players. 

I wish we had more of a cupcake first game, but I still think it's winnable. And it's time to start beating OSU. I'm sick of waiting for "next season". I've been waiting for many years for "next season".

SF Wolverine

April 18th, 2017 at 11:38 AM ^

but I think pass blocking is still going to be rough.  Whomever is back there is going to have to frequently make plays with his feet.  I think we forget that but for WS being surprisingly mobile, we might have had a great many sacks, and lost a couple more games.


April 18th, 2017 at 11:49 AM ^

This year they should be able to move people better than we've seen in years.

There will at least be a bit of a step back in pass pro at the tackle spots (especially RT) but the staff will help scheme around that a bit, too.

If Runyan, JBB or a freshman to be named later can give solid RT pass pro play then a lot more becomes available out of the 5 wide package.

Perkis-Size Me

April 18th, 2017 at 12:03 PM ^

We'll know pretty quick how good the OL is. Florida's offense may be a mess, but their defense is pretty darn good. I expect their DL to be an enormous challenge. 

Luckily Harbaugh and Co. have several months to prepare. 


April 18th, 2017 at 12:11 PM ^

Nick's right, I think, and I noticed that too on Saturday - basically, the one play they should be able to block in Harbaugh's offense is one they blocked pretty much perfectly and it was fun to watch them do it. That's one of the things that has me confident that this OL is definitely climbing back to the offensive lines of the past that we talk about often around here.