Hello-ish: Wayne Lyons

Submitted by alum96 on March 26th, 2015 at 7:54 PM

Not official offical but official (wink wink) per Zordich via Mlive.  (not sure if we have done a hello on front page for him already - I don't recall one but if so if so kill the topic mods)

I did a diary on Lyons if you are unfamiliar with his background; I would basically classify him as a taller Ray Taylor.  Playing in the Big 10 should be a lot easier on the fella when you compare and contrast the level of QBs in the 2 leagues.

Also Zordich says Countess, Lewis and Stribling are the current top 3 corners.  No surprises.

One of the worst-kept secrets around Michigan's football program for months now has been the eventual addition of Stanford graduate transfer corner Wayne Lyons.

On Thursday, new Michigan defensive backs/cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich basically confirmed the move, explaining that Lyons was on campus over the weekend, and the team's excited to bring him in during fall camp.

"Wayne was here over the weekend, we spent some time with him and I've watched a lot of film on him," Zordich said. "I think he's the right kind of body, a bigger body, he's a lot like Channing (Stribling). A lot of length.

"Our (cornerbacks room) has been told that there is going to be three (new) guys coming into the secondary," Zordich says. "We've got a transfer from Stanford coming in, a true freshman (in Keith Washington) and a (freshman) safety who likes to play corner in Tyree Kinnel.




March 26th, 2015 at 8:00 PM ^

I don't see Lyons switching positions to displace a 2 year starter.   Lyons is a corner.

It would be some form of Lyons Countess Lewis as your 3 corners unless Stribling makes a move here.   With Peppers and Wilson your safeties.  Gives us more depth and experience. 

I think in a perfect world Lyons wins the outside corner job and Countess is your nickel.

Well in a REAL perfect world Dymonte Thomas finds himself and is a ball busting physical nickelback and Countess and Lyons can fight for the starting corner.

Mr. Yost

March 26th, 2015 at 8:25 PM ^

I'd also like to see Countess push Wilson for the starting S spot if Lyons does indeed beat him out.

Should be a fun fall camp, it'll be nice because the guys will know much of the system, they'll know the coaches, the tempo, a lot of the growing pains should be out the way.

My guess is spring practice is pretty ugly.

I'd pay good money to watch fall camp this year. In fact, I'd probably rather watch fall camp for this year over going to a game versus some of the teams we play.

Should be extremely interesting. I just pray and knock on wood that everyone is healthy!

Mr. Yost

March 26th, 2015 at 11:00 PM ^

Because he was trying it out last year before Peppers got hurt. It was looking like Taylor, Lewis and Peppers and Countess did practice some at FS.

Besides, I said just said experiment. Try it out...no one said it would stick or he'd be better than a returning off/on 2-year starter.

And Courtney Avery played FS...he was tiny.


March 26th, 2015 at 8:29 PM ^

Let him help the guys deep, blitz, or simply read and roam the field from the FS spot while growing comfortable with one position. Man coverage with CBs and Peppers back in zone at FS would be a nightmare to pass against. I'd merely flip flop him to the slot side while in Nickle but have him still play FS positionally to counter the pass on passing downs where they try to line up two WR away from him.


March 26th, 2015 at 9:18 PM ^

I'm not the coach and trust whatever they choose to do. I just don't see Countess as a Safety. The drop off from Countess to Safety seems much greater than having him stay at Nickle with Jabrill at Safety since we "know" Jabrill can play both spots for sure.

This way you keep both on the field and if Countess isn't holding it down put Stribs, Dawson, Watson, etc. at Nickle, depending on who is playing best amongst those guys.

Now maybe TK at FS or putting Wilson at FS and Clark at SS with Peppers at Nickle on third makes sense. But I just can't picture Blake at safety for some reason.



March 26th, 2015 at 9:26 PM ^

I agree with you on Countess to safety.  Not a good idea - and I dont like his physicality there at all.  We tried that 2 (3?) years ago when we moved a sr "extra" corner to safety and the results were not positive.

I hope Peppers and Wilson are out there for 90% of the snaps at safety this year.  Clark and Thomas did not impress last year and neither did Hill although Hill was constantly injured so I am giving him a pass.

If Dymonte Thomas had developed as planned we'd have a lot of speed and physicality back there now as he is (on paper) a very intriguing nickel.  I just prefer the rangy more physical CBs on the outside one on one.  Blake is more shifty and can deal with the slot guys inside.

Mr. Yost

March 26th, 2015 at 11:02 PM ^

But if he's the deep safety, he's 15-20 yards off the ball. No one is comparing him to Ronnie Lott. No one should be comparing any player on our team to Lott.

He wouldn't be jamming anyone and there really wouldn't be a need to be overly physical either if he's just playing center field.

If you're asking him to play in the box...that's just a dumb idea, whether you're a coach or not a coach.

steve sharik

March 26th, 2015 at 9:03 PM ^

Peppers and Wilson are best suited at Strong and Free safety, respectively.  Nickel is just a 5th DB; doesn't necessarily put him over a slot.  Peppers can roll down over the slot and Countess/Wilson can play deep half coverage.

This also puts a better run defender in/near the box, a better blitzer in position to do so, and--as a strong safety--keeps Pep at one position and on the field at all times.  Wilson has played Free his entire career and he's been pretty decent at it, especially for a younger player.  Let him to continue to develop there.

Mr. Yost

March 26th, 2015 at 11:13 PM ^

...he did for Mattison and now he still is for Durkin. I'm going to trust those two guys that he's the best option in that role.

And nickel isn't "just" a 5th DB...on a lot of teams it's your BEST DB. In fact Mattison routinely moved our best DB to nickel when we were in that package. So that statement isn't true.

Me, I prefer a nickel to be more of a smaller, slot type with quick hips. However, both Mattison and Durkin seem to prefer the CB/S hybrid who can play man but also blitz and get to the QB from that inside position.

It's not a new concept, Brandon Harrison was a CB/S and he played 10 years ago.

When Countess was considered our best CB, he moved to nickel. Last year Peppers was moving into a starting outside CB role, but he was still the #1 nickel.

A bunch of our DBs have moved around so keeping Pep at one position ain't gonna happen my man. They even changed everyone on the roster to DB rather than CB or S except Ross Douglass (CB), Wilson (S) and a walk-on.

If you think Peppers is only going to play one safety spot, or only going to play, LCB, RCB, Field CB or Boundary CB...for the entire season, that's not going to happen.


steve sharik

March 27th, 2015 at 12:03 AM ^

That's the definition--fact, not opinion.  4-2-5 Nickel package, e.g.

Just b/c guys moved around in the past doesn't make it the way it was preferred, much less supposed to be done.  We've had a lot of injury and/or youth in the secondary for years.  And as for Durkin and this staff, guys have been hurt, at class, etc., and we're thin at corner, and this is a new staff learning what players can do, as well as what schemes to fit them in.

Simpler is always better, not to mention that if guys are playing safety in normal downs and then nickel in passing situations, it tends to tip your hand.  I'm not, nor did I, state that's the way it would be, just that it's ideal.  If you can gain the same matchups, flanks, schemes, etc. w/o changing personell and/or positions, why would you be unwise not to do that?


March 26th, 2015 at 8:25 PM ^

That's his best spot. Lewis and Lyon outside with Stribs spelling whomever whenever needed. Stribs will end up playing a lot by end of season.

Peppers/Clark at FS and Wilson/Thomas/Next best DB at SS, possibly Tyree K. TK could also play a LB/SS Hybrid type blitzing and run stopping.

Dawson, Watson, Washington and T-Rich all could get some minutes as well but hopefully the Frosh can redshirt.

We go pretty deep at DB for once - should be able to play pretty aggressively and rotate fresh legs in there consistently.