June 20th, 2017 at 12:20 PM ^

I thought it was pretty fair throughout. It's OK to wonder about the staff's ability to develop WRs, if only because we don't have a full class to completion to compare anything to. Thanks for sharing!


June 20th, 2017 at 12:38 PM ^

Lots of talent and a lot of NFL expertise on the staff. The added assistant will likely be a WR coach from the NFL. By the way, Collins is the last of the bunch to be cleared for summer conditioning/practice, but he is on campus and ready to go.


June 20th, 2017 at 1:43 PM ^

1) You must be enrolled at the university
2) You must have enrolled in a minimum 6 week class
3) The athlete can only participate in 8 hours per week of conditioning, weight training, film review etc.
4) 7 on 7 is considered to be conditioning
5) Up to 5 strength and conditioning coaches can monitor an athletes weight training and conditioning for safety purposes
6) A player not enrolled in summer school must have a signed LOI and the financial aid must have been deposited in response to the offer.
7) You must pass a physical by a Physician to participate
8) You must be approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse now called the NCAA Eligibility Center

Keep in mind, everything over and above the 8 hours is voluntary. At the end of spring football the coaches have given each player a dietary and conditioning regimen to follow on their own. 7-on-7's are tricky. Countable if a S&C coach is there. Otherwise it is a voluntary "activity."


June 20th, 2017 at 12:35 PM ^

I thought it was a little odd to question the staff's ability to develop receivers at Michigan in the same sentence that they acknowledged our recent 3rd and 4th round draft picks that ate up the vast majority of our catches for the last two years (they called out Darboh's success specifically, as well). Those were the staff's developments so far. They weren't 3rd and 4th round picks when Harbaugh got here.


It's fair to wonder who the staff will best develop from a true freshman to departure, but it's pretty clear already that this staff can take receivers on their roster and make them coveted NFL draftees.


June 20th, 2017 at 2:14 PM ^

"Weak spot" is being generous. Funchess was recruited as a TE, and aside from Drake Harris I don't recall any of Hoke's recruits to arrive on campus carrying any real excitement. Darboh and Chesson both showed some promise before Harbaugh came, but Harbaugh managed to turn them into a mostly-solid passing offense. 

Darboh and particularly Chesson had some nagging weaknesses that they never fixed, but they weren't exactly expected to be NFL draft picks when they came to school, either. I think the staff got absolutely everything it could out of them.

Longballs Dong…

June 20th, 2017 at 12:47 PM ^

I think it's a fair question. Chesson regressed this year based on most expectations. Darboh was already the top receiver (other than Funchess) before Harbaugh arrived. I wouldn't declare the staff developers of WRs just yet. I have complete faith but it's a fair question, particularly since we will rely on some freshman.


June 20th, 2017 at 12:25 PM ^

So, we have the Frisbee-Catching-Dog in DPJ, the Human Hypotenuse (Tarik Black), the Supervillain (Nico collins), and Slippery Martin. In any case, it's one of the best classes ever to come in as a WR group. I for one am very excited to see these guys take the field this fall.


June 20th, 2017 at 2:17 PM ^

We have so much potential at WR right now. It's all young, but it's easily better than any point since the Carr era, in my opinion. There will be flashes of brilliance this year, and (as we keep saying) 2018 could be something to behold. 


June 20th, 2017 at 12:46 PM ^

Specifically that the offense will only go "as far as the Freshman wideouts can take it." I would say that the weakness is the offensive line. Even if Speight proves to be elusive like last season, the hits add up. If the line can be an average Michigan offensive line, that is a win. Bunting and Wheatley and (maybe) Gentry should be a plus in the pass game from the TE spot, and RB is DEEP. They will have WRs out there who can compete and win, Freshman or not.

Perkis-Size Me

June 20th, 2017 at 1:16 PM ^

Nice to see an objective approach from the enemy. That being said, I do not think the offense this season hinges on the ability of the freshman wideouts. They can certainly make things better, but they're not the make or break. 

Rather it will depend on the progression of the OL. If they can't give Speight time to throw and survey the field (esp. against better defenses), and if they can't open lanes for the run game, then it won't matter. 

All starts up front. On both sides of the ball. An elite OL can make the rest of the offense look like worldbeaters. 


June 20th, 2017 at 1:22 PM ^

Not disagreeing with you too much, but the OL can be great, and Evans can be Tim Biakabutuka 2.0, but without the realistic threat of downfield passing because we have 4 untested WRs that aren't producing, and we're screwed. We'll be seeing more stacked boxes than a "3 Men and a Truck" crew... 

Perkis-Size Me

June 20th, 2017 at 3:10 PM ^

OSU won 12 games a few years back (2013) without any semblance of a passing game. That entire offense went through Hyde and Miller, and they were running over opponents every Saturday. Much of that could be attributed to their OL that season, which could open any running lane that was needed. Everyone knew what their gameplan was, and no one could stop them. 

You're correct in that the success of an offense does not depend on just one position. But if I had to pick only one position group on offense that was truly elite, I'd pick the OL every day of the week. They give an average QB the time he needs to survey the field, make his reads, and make the throw. They give an average RB a running lane the size of a semi truck that he can run through. They keep the chains moving, and they just beat down the opposing DL. 


June 20th, 2017 at 3:43 PM ^

I think you're talking about the 2013 OSU team, right? That is the team that had two future NFLers starting at WR in Corey Brown and Devin Smith (a senior and a junior at the time), and a future NFL starting TE in Jeff Heuerman (a junior at the time), right? They may not have been a pass-first team (they finished in the 80s in passing yards per game), but the threat was still there, and they were a far cry from a couple sophomores and four freshmen, I'd say. 

Perkis-Size Me

June 20th, 2017 at 4:11 PM ^

Either way, doesn't change much on my assertion that much of their success that year was due to their OL. They ran people over every week, and gave Miller as much time as he needed in the pocket to make things happen. Doesn't matter if a passing threat was there or not. Those guys never needed to throw the ball. Everyone knew 9 times out of 10, either Miller or Hyde were taking off with the ball. And they could get away with that because their OL was just that much better than its competition. Of course Hyde and Miller were good in their own right, but they're nowhere near as successful without the line in front of them. 

I personally would rather not have an elite QB who spends the entire game running for his life because his OL can't protect him. Of course its great to have elite of both, but if I can only pick one, it's the OL. Just like I'd pick an elite DL and then I could live with only so-so LBs and DBs. The game of football starts up front on both sides of the ball. 


June 20th, 2017 at 4:37 PM ^

Well, now you're just going full hyperbole...they did not rush the ball on 90% of offensive snaps. In fact, they passed on 37% of offensive snaps. Surely, a run first team, no doubt. But Corey Brown had 771 received yards and Devin Smith had 660. Throw in Heuerman with another 466 and Wilson with 210, and they were hardly playing Georgia Tech's offense or something. That was good enough for Braxton Miller to have 8.2 YPA, which would have put him in the top 25 or so among last year's QBs. 

My point is and was simple...we need to get some production from the wide receivers to be an effective run first team. So again, we can have a great OL and RB, but unless we get at least 2 (preferably 3) real threats at WR, we could have a tough year. 


June 20th, 2017 at 6:06 PM ^

Crawford, McDoom, Johnson, Perry, Wheatley, Bunting, Gentry, Eubanks, Schoenle (sp?), McKeon, etc., plus  Evans or Isaac out to the slot once in a while (not to mention screen game), I'm pretty confident we'll see some good things in the passing game. And in 2018 it will be really be "pick your poison" for opposing Ds. 

True, Speight will need protection, and we will probably see inexperience derail a drive from time to time, but I'm supremely confident in this staff's ability to get the passing game to decent level out of the shoot, and potentially have it humming by year end. Too much talent. 


June 20th, 2017 at 2:15 PM ^

Not sure I disagree with the question about developing WRs, but I'm not worried about it whatsoever.  And I do largely think any offensive success will hinge on the WRs.  I believe the OL will be steady.  Maybe not good, but certainly steady.  And that will give Harbaugh a chance to set up pass plays to keep things open.  If the WRs (and Speight) can deliver, the defense will never be able to stuff the box.  And we've been hearing rumors about a more spread out, and diverse, passing attack with all of these outside weapons.  Maybe that doesn't necessarily happen this year, but I think we'll see some of it.

If these wide out's consistently get open at all three levels...  Well, lets just say the scorebaord operator will be busy.


June 20th, 2017 at 4:13 PM ^

Need to choose the 1st teamers relatively quickly in camp (first two weeks) and then get the reps going. How this season starts will be how that chemistry is developed early in camp and then repetition. Less about competition, more about 1st team development as an offensive unit integrated into both the run and passing game. Feels like Crawford and Black are ahead at the two wideouts and Perry at slot if he returns. McDoom is your change of pace guy and DPJ gets reps as primary back-up at wideout and maybe even some slot. Collins and Martin will be too far behind on the playbook to get much traction early in camp, unless we see injuries to the 1st teamers their reps will come as the season unfolds into Cincinnati, Air Force, Purdue, MSU and IU.

The article kind of missed that angle and failed to mention we need seasoned WRs to block downfield. The run game this year is going to be damn good and a guy like Crawford is gold in that regard, with Perry who can also take on a safety and move his ass. Not sure our frosh are that integrated into the scheme yet or have developed the chops to take on B1G safeties and corners.