Darboh's Extra…

August 9th, 2018 at 10:15 PM ^

I constantly hear about Clemson and their DL but ours is just as good or slightly below them. Our difference is great LBs and 2 All America type CBs. Solid safety play will determine if we are a Top 5 defense or #1.

Wolverine 73

August 10th, 2018 at 8:12 AM ^

Aren’t you forgetting Hudson?  Viper and all that, but he is more or less a linebacker, unless you want to say we only play two.  But even then, with all the talent recruited at the position the last couple of years, there is almost no chance we do not have someone good replacing McCray.


August 10th, 2018 at 6:27 AM ^

I'd agree with this except for the schedule. Michigan will face at least five top 25 opponents this year, and probably 6 if Northwestern does what it's capable of doing. That's a whole bunch of crap to overcome--even if Michigan is better. It's a whole bunch of unlucky bounces, a whole bunch of potential injuries, etc. Playoffs are possible, but it's still very unlikely.  


August 10th, 2018 at 7:58 AM ^

I don't think it's that simple.  Average will suffice if it's a low variance average -- guys that are physically limited but know what they're doing.  As said here before, five Eric Magnusons instead of the boom-or-bust play we got from our '16 interior line and we might've had our first NC by now.  Magnuson was a physically unremarkable lineman, but in his final season he very consistently got in front of his man, even if just for half a second.  My point is, he was nothing close to great but he always gave our plays a puncher's chance.  That's what we need.  That's all we need.  We have guys who can do crazy things in space.

Unfortunately what we have is not that.  Let's hope Warriner is the legendary OL whisperer of his reputation, because if they finish the season "average" it'll be from mauling some cupcakes and then getting caved by elite defenses en route to the Outback Bowl.


August 10th, 2018 at 8:16 AM ^

This is an interesting and well-made point. Is there some literature that examines OL protection variance, and offensive production?

I'm wondering if there are ways to mitigate high variance by calling more explosive plays, for example, that also don't accumulate negative yards. 


August 10th, 2018 at 10:32 AM ^

UFR, for the most part.  Magnuson was "low variance average" in that he'd rack up half points or fight his man to a draw.  Kalis could get a +1 or +2 by destroying someone and then get a -2 on the next play by derfing right past an unblocked linebacker or whatnot.  The latter is worse in big games because it kills drives, and elite defenses will actively target any weaknesses they find.


August 10th, 2018 at 10:38 AM ^

Speight's shoulder was a casualty of a high-variance average OL.  We could steamroll Rutgers and Maryland but we really needed guys not running by their assignments against an inspired Iowa defense.  I'd rather we beat Rutgers by 2 TDs and not leave DTs unblocked, and then there'd have been no what-ifs about Speight's health.

Anyway, my point is that our O-line is probably going to wreck some teams, but I'm skeptical that they'll have it all together in time to avoid catastrophic busts.  So I project them to average but a high variance average, which means we might need our 3rd string QB again.

San Diego Mick

August 9th, 2018 at 11:19 PM ^

I know we lost by 4 TD's in that game eventually, but even with our putrid offense last year we were down 14-13 at one point. If we had a decent QB last year that game could have been tight but we all know how bad JOK was.

Decent QB play kept us from going at least 11-1 last year and that would have put us in the B1G CG, our D was good enough but had no chance with that shit QB play we had.


August 10th, 2018 at 12:38 AM ^

JOK was decent against PSU.  His only turnover came at the worst time, down 28-13 in the 4th quarter, but he was sacked 7 times and constantly under pressure.  He didn't get much help from his running game either.

I hope all the hype around the OL is legit.  If we want to beat good teams, our OL has to be a strength.




August 10th, 2018 at 8:48 AM ^

sure bud, name one time an exceptional defense tied to an average to good offense at Michigan won us a national championship while playing one of the toughest schedules in college. 

Good luck finding a Michigan team that fits that description perfectly.  Double points if you can find that team within the last 21 years. /s


August 9th, 2018 at 11:07 PM ^

Between this and that coaching article saying UM could be “scary good,” my impatience for football season has officially kicked in! This year could be special!

Mike Damone

August 9th, 2018 at 11:18 PM ^

Notre Dame does not score an offensive touchdown on 9/1.  Our defense is going to cram it right up their ass.  As Bob Ufer would say - "The Irish are not going to make enough ground to bury themselves in".

You heard it here first.

To hell with Notre Dame, their mediocre team, their weak ass fans, and their overrated school. 

Go Blue!

Human Torpedo

August 9th, 2018 at 11:21 PM ^

Front seven is definitely a caliber of the Ohio State's, the Clemson's, the Bama's of the world. Shoring up the safety positions is the main focus for Don Brown as far as I'm concerned


August 9th, 2018 at 11:47 PM ^

Why wouldn’t we just have the best cover guys in the defensive backfield regardless of position?  With the front 7 we have no one is going to run on us.  The only issue has been in coverage on slots, and RB wheel routes.  Metellus and Kinnel are great tacklers and run defenders, but do we need that at Safety?  Or could CB types like Hughes, Thomas or Sims make more sense?


August 10th, 2018 at 3:20 AM ^

Brad Hawkins is the interesting prospect because he's definitely got the speed to be that ball hawking safety. I also like the idea of Myles Sims playing safety, I'm usually not a huge fan of corners that are over 6'2 they usually have tight hip rotation because they're bigger and have a hard time with the twitchy WR's. If Michigan could land Daxton Hill he's immediately replace Kinnels spot 


August 10th, 2018 at 8:23 AM ^

In very limited cases, maybe, but I doubt Brown would make special personnel packages just for those exceptions.  As we've learned from DCs before Brown got here, you need to defend modern spread-to-run games 11-on-11.  So sure, CBs are involved in run defense but they're usually tasked with keeping races to the sideline inside, when the ball carrier is likely to be the QB or a slot bug.  If you've got 190-pound CBs running around everywhere and filling gaps, even an OC like DeBord will pick up on it and run the ball at them.  You need guys 20 pounds heavier to reliably stop the run at the second level or you get the "De'veon Smith vs. the fishing village" scenario.

I mean, the modern HSP evolved from that mismatch.  Early spread offenses would force defenses into nickel formations with alignment and then run the ball at the backup CB for easy yards.  Just because a guy's there on paper, won't mean much if the lead blocker outweighs him by 40 pounds.