Player with Most Pressure in 2010?

Submitted by hausoian on March 2nd, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Which player, in your opinion, has the most pressure on his shoulders in 2010?

"Pressure" could be anything from production expected, leadership exhibited, or most "playmaking" expected.

I have two answers: Ryan Van Bergen and Craig Roh. RVB because of his experience and leadership expected, and Roh because of his playmaking and production. Not to put too much on the kid, but if he could make a similar leap from FR to SO year like Brian Cushing (a guy I would compare him to) he'll undoubtedly be a star on our defense.

I am a huge believer in the notion that elite teams have elite defensive lines above all else. If these two can improve even moderately, I think our DL can be enough to get to 8 wins easily.



March 2nd, 2010 at 12:16 PM ^

(1) Tate Forcier - if he isn't goodt, he'll lose his job to Devin and never get it back. Plus, Tate took over the leadership role after the OSU loss. He wants it - he'll get it.

(2) Justin Turner - if he isn't good, our defensive backfield will have some growing pains.

(3) Will Hagerup - he following up a pretty decent punter, and as a true freshman he'll be expected to turn field position when needed.

(4) The new LT - has to be better than Ortmann, and has to let those stretch plays get to the outside to exploit the speed of Denard, Shaw, Toussaint, Gallon, etc.


March 2nd, 2010 at 12:36 PM ^

(3) Will Hagerup - he following up a pretty decent punter, and as a true freshman he'll be expected to turn field position when needed.

"Pretty decent"? You can't be serious....{picks up Sarcasm Meter and bangs it on the desk a few times}...oh, OK, false alarm. Sorry about that.


March 2nd, 2010 at 12:16 PM ^

Gotta be Tate, right?

Freshman starter that had some struggles later in the season but is still expected to be the second coming. He has two competitors at his heels, but is still the prohibitive favorite to start.

Wins will be credited to "the system finally starting to succeed" but losses will be blamed on him.


March 2nd, 2010 at 12:24 PM ^

A lot of the fan base (or a vocal minority of it) already wants to sit Tate for another true freshman. For those people, the way he played in the Notre Dame game is a very distant memory.


March 2nd, 2010 at 2:12 PM ^

I would definitely argue against Tate. While Tate will have some pressure to keep his starting job, I think that will be the majority of the pressure that is on him this year. He played ok last year. Not that great, but ok. And despite his lackluster play, Michigan was still the highest scoring offense in the Big Ten. Whether or not Michigan wins is in no way resting on the shoulders of Tate Forcier. We lost because of our defensive play. Plain and simple. And any defensive player that is aware of this fact knows that the future of the program rests on THEIR shoulders. I would that the pressure of the future of an entire program is far greater than just keeping one's starting job.


March 2nd, 2010 at 12:17 PM ^

I would have to say Justin Turner (whether he ends up at CB or Safety). I think his ability to lock down half of the field and be a play maker will go along way in helping our defense. With that said I also think Obi needs to step up. Obviously, he is a senior so his leadership is expected, but this is his second year in this system. He really needs to step it up and become ATLEAST an average line backer.


March 2nd, 2010 at 12:26 PM ^

When I saw this question, there was no other answer. Ezeh got benched toward the end of a horrible year - for him and for the team - for a walk-on. This is his last chance to get it right. And if the inside linebackers don't play well, teams are going to run all over us.

Tate Schmate. The job is his unless he gets hurt. The same goes for Justin Turner and almost everybody else mentioned here.


March 2nd, 2010 at 12:45 PM ^

Naion-wide the most pressure will be on Tate. Ezeh and others may play the more important roles, but this will be glossed over because INTs and fumbles are way easier to show on College Football Final. If Tate throws 2 picks and we lose by 3, that comes across as the reason more obviously than a linebacker who hesitated, got blocked, and allowed a third and six to be converted on a pivotal 3rd quarter drive.

I'm not saying that Tate is most responsible for our success or failure; I just think that the preponderance of pressure that fans and networks place will land on Tate because his successes and failures are the easiest to see. And lots of us are lazy.


March 2nd, 2010 at 3:40 PM ^

Sorry, I think you meant to say 3rd and 16. Tate does appear to be the FACE of Michigan football and he played well enough for us to be .500 .It was allowing 8 yards on first down and giving up 3rd and 16's that hurt us the most in my opinion. Our mlb has to improve. The leadership on the defense has to be better.


March 2nd, 2010 at 8:21 PM ^

I stand corrected. Wasn't it amazing when we started to dread third and very long defensive plays, because we knew they'd get converted and we'd wail and scream and gnash our teeth?

Other posts mention Obi's strong freshman year. He was surrounded by a decent cast at that point; I think it's much easier to be an exciting freshman who makes a couple standout plays a game (and whose mistakes are erased by others) than a leader on a very young d that spends tons of time on the field, especially when that field is frequently a rather short field.


March 2nd, 2010 at 1:18 PM ^

Ezeh and Mouton were the first names that came to mind. Pressure to master the system, as well as catching the eye of NFL scouts.

To a certain extent, team success relies on whether they are able to improve this year. Good LB play will be a necessity in games against Iowa, Wisconsin, and OSU.

Blue in Yarmouth

March 3rd, 2010 at 8:43 AM ^

When I think of "pressure" being on someone I don't think of outsiders or fans expectations influencing that pressure very much.

What influences the pressure a player puts on himself or "feels" is the expectations placed on him by the coaching staff. Also, the players development behind them on the depth chart add to that pressure.

No players on this team IME have as much pressure on them to perform than Obi and Jonas. The coaching staff has already given them notice that they need to improve or they won't play and that is what puts pressure on a player.

Tate, Turner, VB, Roh.....these guys don't have all that much pressure on them because they know they will be playing. It isn't the same for Obi and Jonas, and that is why they are under the most pressure.


March 3rd, 2010 at 9:30 AM ^

I was so frustrated last year. The ILBs almost never had their names associated with tackles, and the opposing RBs should never have gotten as far as our smart, but not so speedy walk on safety friend. At the time I spotted Obi and Jonas first year in a yet another new system (the ILB position is key and there is a lot to learn).

Kiper says positive things about Obi in his future draft reviews. Add to that, there really isn't anyone to step in behind them. So the pressure is on this year to show in year two of GERG ball, and they get it.

We need Jonas and Obi to step up! (I'm hoping they really do.)


March 2nd, 2010 at 12:26 PM ^

Forcier - no question. Not only does he have to vastly improve over his peak play last year (and this is post- injury), but he's got Vince Young V.2.0 breathing down his neck if he falters down the stretch. And he's smart enough to know that he's probably got RichRod's fate in his hands.


March 2nd, 2010 at 12:27 PM ^

This is a can't be Tate people he doesn't feel pressure.

The offense will be fine, pressure is on the D.

1. Turner
2. Ezeh
3. Woolfolk


March 2nd, 2010 at 12:36 PM ^

You're right, and since Tate can't feel I might throw this out there...Will Campbell. It looks like they're counting on him to be a big (literally) part of the rotation and he wasn't much last year. I'd say he's under immense pressure this year.


March 2nd, 2010 at 1:28 PM ^

I recall, Dude was actually a really big time prospect (for a Canadian). The biggest knock against him was that he had never faced serious competion, and was very under coached. Mind you, those franco's do love their 3 down ball.


March 2nd, 2010 at 2:16 PM ^

He's actually played pretty well, especially for a backup. I think he could start on a lot of Big Ten teams. Unfortunately for him, he's been behind some solid players (Martin, Taylor, Johnson, Van Bergen).


March 2nd, 2010 at 2:12 PM ^

That depends on your definition of "bust."

He reminds me a lot of Gabe Watson. I think he'll have a bit of a better motor than Watson, and really, at 315 lbs. you can't go FULL SPEED every play...

...but I don't expect him to be the next Gerald McCoy or Ndamukong Suh, someone who's a top 5 pick.

So I don't think he'll be a true "bust" (i.e. ride the bench for four years), but he will probably disappoint some of those fans who expected him to turn the Big Ten on its head.

Jon Benke

March 2nd, 2010 at 11:22 PM ^

Besides being a five star recruit, Turner has yet to play. I can't see how you can put too much pressure on a red-shirt freshmen, no matter how hyped he is/was. There's a collective unit that's going to fill the voids left by Graham and Warren, not just one player. With the LBs, there's only them, and for them to step up. And if we can get good LB play, the wins will come.


March 2nd, 2010 at 12:32 PM ^

1. Rich Rod- Make us proud like we were after beating notre dame
2. Tate Forcier- QB=leader on the field
3. Denard Robinson- We have seen the speed, now show us it again, maybe in a different position
4. Will Hangerup- field position is such a big role
5. Db's- LAST YEAR, nuff said
6. Kevin Koger- He has proved that he can be a great TE, keep up the good work, and he will be used more next year me thinks
7. 2009, 2010 recruiting class- Time to become MEN
8. Michigan fans- Show your support, be loud, don't sell your tickets to the other teams fans


March 2nd, 2010 at 12:36 PM ^

Tate may seem like the obvious answer, but I think we can get away with the Tate we saw at the end of the year sans the turnovers, of course. On the other hand, if we have the same RVB, Roh, or Ezeh we saw last year we'll struggle.

Remember, all we need is 7-8 wins. I haven't lowered my expectations, I'm just stating what is needed to keep us on track.


March 2nd, 2010 at 2:05 PM ^

lump RVB and Roh with Ezeh! Its not even close! Roh tailed off as the year progressed but I was incredibly impressed with his play as a true freshman.

Also, I think some people are confusing the question asked by the OP (who is under the most pressure?) with the question of who do we need to play well to win.

In my mind, without a doubt Tate has the most pressure along with Ezeh. Saying the most pressure is on freshman Turner or Dorsey seems a little irresponsible.


March 2nd, 2010 at 12:42 PM ^

Take anybody on the defense not named "Mike Martin" and you have a legitimate choice. The positive side of this is that if the defense can just improve from god-awful to competent, we should easily get to 8 wins.


March 2nd, 2010 at 12:45 PM ^

I think a guy that obviously doesn't have the most pressure on the team but nobody's mentioned yet is Stonum. He showed some flashes last year (Notre Dame, Michigan State) but disappeared down the stretch. If our offense is going to be elite this year we need somebody to become that Manningham/Braylon type playmaker and I think Stonum is the best bet for that. Plus of course if he can't do it there's about 20 freshman wide receivers ready to try and take his place....


March 2nd, 2010 at 1:15 PM ^

Stonum made the single biggest play all season (return against ND) and arguably the second biggest (MSU TD). Like you said, he has shown Heismanesque flashes. If he can put some consistency with that, look out...

I'd also like to bring Hemingway into the discussion. He had a couple real nasty plays against Western but then faded big-time. I'd like to see him make a reunion tour.


March 2nd, 2010 at 12:52 PM ^

I'd counter from a pressure-on-himself standpoint that Mike Shaw has got to be feeling it. After getting passed on the depth chart by Smith and with Fitz looking to show why he was so highly-regarded I think Shaw is going to feel it's put up or shut up time for him to find a role on this team.

But yeah, from the entire CFB universe it's got to be Tate. I shudder to think what happens if RR is fired at the end of the season with regards to attrition (I attended both Indiana and Michigan and am a large IU bball fan and I can tell you it ain't pretty when an embattled coach leaves.) It really falls on Tate's shoulders to make a few of those plays like he did against ND and MSU each game to turn the tide.

Poster Nutbag

March 2nd, 2010 at 1:23 PM ^

What about Shaw, Smith and the rest of the backs in the stable, not to mention the O line. The O line needs to be able to protect tate/devin/denard and create holes for the backs otherwise how is the offense going to be able to keep up with the defense's points allowed?