Harbaugh on Tackles in Spring Preview

Submitted by Ziff72 on March 14th, 2018 at 10:52 AM

Sam started his spring preview today with Jim and it sounded like to me we have clarity on the tackle positions heading into camp.   You may have interpreted things differently but it sounded to me that if the season started today JBB and Runyan would be your starters. 

JBB- Sounds like the light has gone on and he made great strides in conditioning this winter.


On the other hand you could clearly hear a spark in his voice when he mentioned Filiaga and Hudson and the pressure they are going to put on the veterans.  It sounded pretty clear to me that he expects these guys to take those jobs if the veterans don't keep making great strides.




March 14th, 2018 at 12:32 PM ^

There's been occasional chatter about Hudson. Is this a poster who knows things, or just a guy guessing based on rumors we heard in the fall?

EDIT: Listening to the interview, I disagree with the OP's characterization of Harbaugh's remarks re: the starters. He starts discussing the tackles with the veterans; he isn't suggesting who is starting. And he suggests that they were very close to burning the redshirts for Hudson and Filiaga. They wanted to see what they could do. They were close last year.


March 14th, 2018 at 1:04 PM ^

I said if things started today they would be starters.   They obviously don't start today and I agree with you I think Hudson is starting in South Bend.

I will say I was pretty happy with JBB at the end of the year.   If he really got serious about his body in the offseason I think he hangs on to a starting spot.   Long way to go, I was just happy to hear who the names were in the mix because up to 10 guys have been thrown out over the last 2 months.   We have a lot of young guys that I like and rumors good and bad about many of them.   Hearing the names Hudson and Filiaga as the leading contenders and that they may have pulled their redshirts last year is good news.


March 14th, 2018 at 4:07 PM ^

with how JBB progressed last year. Some of his issues probably are related to his body and if he's worked hard this off season and improves his technique on pass blocking a little bit he could turn into a very serviceable tackle next year for us.  Maybe one of the young guys really steps up and can play LT and a high level this year.

If so our OL should make improvements next season espeically with our new OL coach.


March 14th, 2018 at 3:01 PM ^

Coach interviews like this, and particularly Harbaugh interviews, are never going to get into nitty-gritty on that. A big part of these interviews is literally just name-dropping--you are asked about a position group and the coach just cycles through with something nice to say about everyone. 

In this case, he started with the veterans who have real playing experience, and then emphasized how close Hudson and Filiaga were to seeing the field last year. The key info was that he sounds like it was a tough decision to keep them off, and he spoke about them enough that you sense some enthusiasm. So we can infer that they are very promising. But that's basically all we'll hear.

He's not going to telegraph a position change that hasn't happened yet or discuss finer details of their player development, though. It's all quite deliberately vague. The news on a potential position switch for Filiaga is that as of right now one hasn't happened.

Mr Miggle

March 14th, 2018 at 1:07 PM ^

Harbaugh had something positive to say about everyone, but he sounded the most enthuiastic about JBB, Filiaga and Hudson. He discussed them in order of seniority, with Runyan ahead of Ulizio and Filiaga/Hudson ahead of Steuber/Honigford.


March 14th, 2018 at 10:56 AM ^

Harbaugh will ALWAYS sound excited and confidant about football.

Personally, I'll believe we have competency at OL, and especially OT, when I see it.


March 14th, 2018 at 11:22 AM ^

Obviously they haven't played yet and he said conditioning.   I know it's not the ideal but many players need time to mature and who knows the reason but as they see their career coming to an end they step it up.

Brandon Graham is a good example.  Did you see yourself worrying about Winovich turning pro 3 years ago? 


March 14th, 2018 at 11:58 AM ^

I should clarify, my statement is more directed at Harbaugh's vagueness in his statement than it is JBB's ability to step up in his final season. I'm a big fan of the freshmen redshirt for that very reason, especially for offensive linemen. I'm rooting for anyone, including JBB, to lock down that LT spot and keep Winovich relatively quiet for the entire spring game. That would be a great thing to see regardless of who's last name is on the jersey.


March 14th, 2018 at 1:10 PM ^

How anybody can offer a take other than this.  I've heard good news on our O-Line every year since I was a child.  This is the ultimate proof is in the pudding scenario.  Hope it comes to fruition.....

Also, wonder if Harbaugh has said that about JBB and Runyan to push Filiaga, Hudson, etc....


March 14th, 2018 at 3:05 PM ^

Not really...I mean in general he's excited about FOOTBALL but I don't recall a pattern of talking up players who fall on their faces. So, if he's excited about these guys then why shouldnt we be too?

Plus, Its more fun to be a fan from a half full perspective than a half-empty one. 


March 14th, 2018 at 10:57 AM ^

Sounds like Filiaga is getting a look at RT before they decide if they're moving him inside or not. Did they say anything about how his conditioning is going? 345lbs is going to be a tough weight to play at at tackle.


March 14th, 2018 at 11:32 AM ^

Run blocking took a huge step forward last year and we were one of the better units nationally, in that regard. That's plenty of reason to be optimistic after hiring a great coach - you've seen one facet of their game improve tremendously, no reason to think Warinner can't improve their pass pro some as well.


March 14th, 2018 at 12:21 PM ^

it has started to seep in: we had a good running attack last year that is only likely to get better. We have not only (apparently) some real strength at OT but the possibility of back-up strength. It's not OTs, by themselves, that we're lacking, but reliable pass protection. Looks like there's cause for quiet optimism. 


March 14th, 2018 at 12:50 PM ^

I don't think the Pass Pro was that bad by Ohio State and South Carolina either.

There is only so much a line can do with a PA pass call on 3rd and 15, or Peters standing around for 8 seconds looking downfield.

I'm also not as down on Drevno as most either. I thought he was a good O Line coach. Terrible OC apparently, but the line was coming around.


March 14th, 2018 at 1:31 PM ^

I pretty much agree. JOK had plenty of time to throw against OSU, a team loaded with NFL pass rushers, and Lord knows we had open receivers. Shea would have hung 42 on that OSU D. I think there's cause for (possibly cautious) optimism around the OL heading into the fall.


March 14th, 2018 at 2:32 PM ^

People who argue that a change in Quarterback won't make an o-line look that much better just baffle me. So say Michigan added Tom Brady or Rodgers the o-line would look just as bad and take as many sacks. Ya right. Make the read and get rid of the ball.

Shea Patterson will make the Michigan offense. The rest of the pieces are there. News flash....our Quarterbacks flat out sucked. News flash....if your Quarteback sucks so will your offense. Ya are running game looked competent at times. I wonder if this is because the QB is not part of the play. Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Oh ya with a QB who actually puts pressure on the defense and can deliver the ball that may open the run game up that much more. Shea Patterson will have the best o-line he has ever had this coming year. LT-Hudson   LG-Bredeson  C-Ruiz  RG-Onwenu  RT-JBB. That o-line is more than competent to give the QB time for a five step drop and get rid of the ball. Shit Michigan could just run bubble screens to DPJ and Black and kill them up the middle to our TE's, which is what Patterson is known for. Dink and Dunk. QB runs. Dink and Donk. Seam route touchdown.

Our receivers won't even know what to do with a fade routes thrown in bounds. Once they learn how to run them. Black was good until injury. Shea Patterson's eligibility is all I am worried about. Patterson in....Michigan offense one of the tops in the country. Do wish we had a big back like the one we lost to B.C. while going after a player commited to a team who pay's recruits.


March 14th, 2018 at 11:13 AM ^

If the light has come on for JBB already after Warinner/Herbert have only been around him for like a week then that's a hell of an indictment on Drevno/Tolbert.

With that said, hearing how JH's voice lit up when he was talking about Filiaga, I think he's going to be the starting LT. Filiaga-Bredeson-Ruiz-Onwenu-JBB is my bet.

4th phase

March 14th, 2018 at 10:11 PM ^

That was what I got from the interview. Hudson and Filiaga had passed JBB towards the end of the season to the point they wanted to burn their redshirts. After JBB missed the bowl game he was in danger of not getting a 5th year. And has since decided not to blow his shot and has fully dedicated himself to being a starter and senior leader on the OL.

At least that's one optimistic way to read way too much into Harbaugh's comments.