MLIVE per ESPN: Derrick Green "Future Star"

Submitted by The Geek on June 19th, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Link: here (MLIVE article: link to ESPN Insider article paywalled)

Tom Lugenbill:


"If ever there was an identity-defining running back for an offensive philosophy, it's Green"



"Michigan wants nothing more than to get back to power football via a controlled passing game based off play-action, and Green is the right back to execute it. Not only do we expect him to get significant playing time as a true freshman, but we expect him to be a bell-cow back, in similar fashion to Montee Ball at Wisconsin (only Green is bigger and more physical and might be faster)."



Shop Smart Sho…

June 19th, 2013 at 3:43 PM ^

I read that article and was amused at how it was claiming essentially the opposite of what Ron Utah has discovered through his 4 part series in the diaries.  According to Utah, Borges isn't going for a "controlled passing game", but one that allows for attacking defenses deep down the field.


Yet more proof that ESPN writers just throw shit against the wall.

Shop Smart Sho…

June 19th, 2013 at 4:02 PM ^

Yes, but from reading "Who is Al Borges", that doesn't seem to be the gameplan that Borges has preferred his entire career.  He wants to pick up yards passing, and then pass some more to set up more passing.  He'll run the ball because he wants a balanced offense, but his best years came when passing was picking up the majority of the yards.

Space Coyote

June 19th, 2013 at 4:05 PM ^

If balance is based on percentage of plays run, is going to pick up signifcantly more yards per play passing than running. I don't think he wants " to pick up yards passing, and then pass some more to set up more passing" and only "run the ball because he wants a balanced offense". I think he wants to successfully pick up yards and maximize efficiency and production, and his methodology for doing this is to have a balanced attack, whether that be by setting up the pass with the run, or setting up the run with the pass is yet to be seen. But he definately isn't passing to set up more passing.


June 19th, 2013 at 4:12 PM ^

Is "controlled" some kind of sports code for "short" or "mid-range" passing? Can't an offense that features downfield passing also be considered "controlled?"

Also, don't most passing plays go for more yards than most running plays? I feel like saying that he gains more yards through the air even though he has balanced play calling doesn't actually mean a whole lot.

I don't know that the "Who is Al Borges" series really gives a definitive answer to whether Borges likes to throw for everything or run for everything. At times he had a high powered passing attack when he had a good QB, and at times he had a killer run game when he had good RBs (or, more accurately, a good run blocking OL).


June 19th, 2013 at 4:04 PM ^

As much as I dislike ESPN's brand of journalism, I don't think that that particular quotation contradicts Utah's conclusions. By "controlled passing game," I think he's implying that the coaches hope to move from the spread offense style of passing on-the-run (which we can all agree is somewhat frenetic and uncontrolled) to a more traditional, 3 step drop pro-style. I don't think the phrase "controlled passing game" necessarily rules out deep attacks. I will agree, however, that ESPN is often guilty of "throwing shit against the wall."

Shop Smart Sho…

June 19th, 2013 at 4:16 PM ^

That particular quotation misses the rest of the pertinent details from the article.  It goes on to state that they wouldn't be surprised if the gameplan called for Green to be the primary receiver as well.  My apologies for not noticing that the OP didn't include that in the quote.  I am basing my argument for that article beign worthless more on that.  

In no way do I think anyone rational expects Borges to craft an offense that is simply the Derrick Green show.  Which is what I took the "controlled passing game" to imply when taken in conjunction with "offensive coordinator Al Borges might use Green as he did Ronnie Brown at Auburn in terms of passing nearly exclusively to the running back."

Maybe I'm wrong, but I really hope that isn't what he is going to try and do.

Ron Utah

June 20th, 2013 at 8:38 PM ^

First, and most importantly, Army of Darkness is one of the most underrated movies of all time.  LOVE IT.

Second, you are 100% right.  Borges has never designed an offense around one player, and, in fact, Brown only got 187 touches is 2004.  Cadillac had 260.  Brown was second on the team in receptions at 34--much less than the 55 rec one of his RBs (Ricky Whittle) got--but six other players had 19 or more.

Borges has NEVER had an offense that was designed around one player.  

Nick Sparks

June 20th, 2013 at 2:22 AM ^

Interesting that the Ron Utah series came to mind for me while reading as well, although for me it kind of reinforced the theme that caught my attention: that Borges' offense will be about as good as his o-line. If they're good, these weapons could do some serious damage. If not, well, we'll have some growing pains which will hopefully be worked out by Ohio.

I'm really hoping that HTTV gives me some peace of mind in regards to our young interior. In the meantime, are there any diaries I missed showing past red shirt freshmen/sophmore linemen of similar recruiting ranking in their first years playing - possibly showing progression throughout the season and looking for how much difference the coaching staff makes?

I'd make it myself if it doesn't yet exist but I barely got a C- in STATS 100 and my knowledge of Excel is limited to reading spreadsheets.

Ron Utah

June 20th, 2013 at 8:28 PM ^

I think Borges is going for a controlled passing game.  He'll use lots of short passes to set-up his deep attack, where he'll look to take at least 3-5 shots each game.

Everyone throws deep.  Borges does it less than, say, Steve Spurrier.  But his gameplan is designed around getting chunks of yards through plays set-up through the running and short passing game.

Space Coyote

June 19th, 2013 at 4:02 PM ^

Is anything really being said in this article that hasn't been said already? Besides the Fred Jackson hyperbole, this is really just regurgitated fluff based on speculation from watching his high school tape. I was kind of hoping maybe they were getting something from inside the summer work outs or something, but I guess not.


June 19th, 2013 at 4:09 PM ^

as a richmonder and seeing him in person expect the a-train with better hands for passing. his speed is deceptive. thank god he doesn't hesitate hitting the hole, I see a lot of deep set hand offs once the oline settles. he is a lighter Earl Campbell from seeing him in person. I was one of the few to be excited that they offered and got Wilton Speight also, he's friends with Russell Wilson and his family here, nothing but good things to say about Speight and Green. best of all I friended Derrick on fb after seeing him a few games in HS and he sent me a congrats private message a week before commiting to Michigan when my son was born. told him my boys would wear a #27 Michigan jersey for him if he ended up there. anyways, yeah I'm new on here, sorry about the no caps I'm typing on a phone fast.


June 19th, 2013 at 4:39 PM ^

Can we get a fullback by the name of White so those morans up in EL are yelling "Go Green, Go White" as our running game pummels their defense the next two years.