Problems on D go all the way back to OSU 2006

Submitted by trueblueintexas on October 5th, 2010 at 3:55 PM

No one is happy with the state of the D.  Okay.  But this is not a recent phenomenon.  Go back to the 2006 OSU game, that D gave up 503 yards and 42 points.  The next game, USC played it conservative in the first half until they started throwing the ball at which point they completed @ 12 straight (not attempted, completed).  The following fall brought us "The Horror" which yielded 34 points to a 1AA tam.  And then came a lovely 39 point, 624 yard game to Oregon.  Later that year Wisconsin topped it off with a 37 point, 477 yard performance.  And that was all under Lloyd's watch (a Defense minded, conservative coach).  We all know the early RichRod era results. 

My point is, the D has been susceptible to passing AND running attacks since the end of the 2006 season.  There are many reasons but one key one is: Michigan has traditionally had LB's that were geared to stop the run and hopefully not hurt you in passing situations.  That doesn't cut it anymore.  Obi Ezeh (bless his run stopping heart), even in his interviews speaks to the fact that he comes off the field in passing downs now.  Jonas Mouton is the best coverage LB (remember he was a safety in high school).  If you blitz Mouton, who do you have left in the LB group to play coverage (Ezeh, Roh, Leach, Demens, Fitzgerald).  All of them are run stopping LB's. 

It's easy to argue a 4-2 would  be better, but that would assume you have 5 DB's who would count as your best 11 players.  Maybe next year or the year after. 

Sadly, I think this adds up to the coaches are doing the best with what they have.  If you want to blame the coaches for lack of recruiting, fine, but start where it all began, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009.

Hopefully, Jack Ryan, Isiah Bell, Mike Jones, and others start the trend LB's who can stop the run and cover people.  Until then, enjoy the offense.



October 5th, 2010 at 4:12 PM ^

why are people on this board such dicks? if you dont like a post dont comment on it. All these "know it alls" have mgopoints and literally every thread has a post like this. i dont see anything wrong with this post and these people just make a stupid comment about points. I almost want to stop reading mgoblog because of these lames

EDIT- and i dont give a shit about points so dont feel like a tough guy when you neg me


October 5th, 2010 at 4:32 PM ^

I'm a relative n00b (based on my point total, which is about 10% of the heavyweights here), but I'll do my best to explain.

Over the last few weeks MGoBoard has been carpeted with insubstantial "contributions" that often amount to either ME UNHAPPY!!! or ME STATE OBVIOUS.  As noted elsewhere, MLive is just fine for that type of thing.  Lots of noise, not much signal.  Also, if you're a troll there, you'll get all kinds of responses/feedings.

If you were a fan of a site where most posts were substantive, would you want to see it polluted by MLive @#$%wads?


For the record, I've seen far worse than this post.  I'd give it an 8/10 on the MLive scale.  The poster is obviously cherry picking, but he's correct that we're still at the stage where responsibility for the "D" should be shared.  RichRod didn't neglect to recruit any CBs in '06.


October 5th, 2010 at 4:38 PM ^

what happens is that people who have been reading and or posting on this blog for a while have seen the same things posted already (i assume they are referring to the Decimated Defense diaries a while back) so they get annoyed when newer people basically come to the same conclusion in a less eloquent manner.  you can't really expect new people to go through the whole history of the blog and know every single previous post inside and out.  some of us have to do that shit for class and work and such.  

its ironic because in negging people for not knowing every last detail about the blog and its history they become the "bluehairs" and the "down in fronts" that brian always rants against.  i know it sucks for those who don't spend as much time on here and do this more leisurely but some people are set in their ways.  best to remember that the vast majority of the people who read this blog now are like you and me who haven't been reading it since its inception.  i've been reading it since middle of the 2007 season and still don't understand half the inside jokes, references, etc.  


October 5th, 2010 at 4:47 PM ^

Despite my low point total I've been around these parts pretty much since the beginning.  And I don't think it's asking to much for posters to peruse the Useful Stuff tab up top and take in the Hall of Fame.  If you are starting a thread that more or less is already in there, then you are doing something wrong.

Dan TrueBlue

October 5th, 2010 at 6:26 PM ^

I'm sorry but that's just not a good policy if you want to keep the board growing with new faces.  

I'm a new member here.  I like to think I'm reasonably intelligent (a couple PhDs, for whatever that's worth), and could make some valuable contributions here.  However, I'm afraid to post anything without breaking any rules or saying anything that might once have been said in the whole history of the board.  Because any misstep seems to be taken as a terrible infraction around here.

I know about the HallOfFame.  I've tried to grok it several times.  It has 115 links (I just counted).  It would take me nearly 30 hours to read everything.  And I would have to read nearly everything, because if I want to make a post about the history of recruiting on defense, I don't know if that might appear under "Empire of the Fallen" or "Of the Decade: Michigan's Defense" or "Decimated Defense" (parts 1-3), or the Diary of MGoWords, or even the link that says "Don't Click Here."

Meanwhile, as a new user, I'm trying to figure out if this is a community I want to become a part of or not.  I don't really want to devote 30 hours of reading to something that I'm not sure I'll stick around for.  You're right: I can exist and even post here without making new threads if I haven't read the HoF.  But I'll be honest with you, I'm a busy person with a life, and I will probably never read all of that.

I'm a reasonable person.  I've read the ethics guidelines, and other introductory materials. I'm only going to make what I believe to be reasonable posts.  I respect that everyone here want an "idiot/rant-free" community.  But the OP was not one of those posts.  All he's guilty of is repeating something that was apparently posted a year ago, and doing a little cherry-picking, while taking the time to write several paragraphs to share with other people who share his love for the team.

If you don't want new blood, then that's another matter entirely.  But if you do, then neg-banging any instance of repetition or logical fallacy (I'm not saying you did that), while pointing newbies to the Hall of Fame (which you did), is not a viable policy.

I recognize that I'm a new guy in an established community, and so I'm not entitled to demand change.  On the other hand, if I see something that could improve the Michigan fanbase community, I'll point it out, because I love this team, this state, and these fans.  So if posting this means I'll be negged, go for it.  I guess all I'm saying here is, once in a while, new guys really do have the best ideas!  


October 5th, 2010 at 6:35 PM ^

Very insightful and welcome.  I am fairly new myself, and I love this board.  At times it can get rough, I always say to myself before I post, respect others because this is not an ordinary message board.  I wouldn't worry about negging because people neg for whatever reason. 


October 5th, 2010 at 4:55 PM ^

I see both sides, but I agree, the Site Search, Spell Check, Typo gestapo is really getting old.  Sometimes people just make mistakes, you guys sound like soccer fans looking down their noses at non-soccer fanatics when we cheer on the US during the World Cup.

Mustachioed Ge…

October 5th, 2010 at 5:24 PM ^

Thats like saying "if you don't like the government just put your head down and ignore it!". I'm tired of this argument being leveled at people who criticize a thread because said argument does not hold up to scrutiny. Without policing, without negative feedback, this board would dissolve into mlive and none of us want that.

Dan TrueBlue

October 5th, 2010 at 7:29 PM ^

I'd say it's completely okay to criticize threads that don't hold up to scrutiny, that are logically wrong.  That makes for good debate and better threads.

What's a little less okay is criticizing a new member for posting something that was apparently posted a year ago.  But if that's the policy, fair enough.

What's not okay is filling a thread with posts that all say the equivalent of "this thread sux."  I wasn't here when mgopoints started, but I imagine part of the motivation was so that you didn't have 20 posts all basically saying "I agree."  Instead, you could just give props to the first person who said it.  Why then is it okay to have 20 different posts that all say "I don't agree"?  If someone has a new criticism to make, fine.  But if they're filling up the page with the same complaint as everyone above them is making -- especially if the complaint is just that it's a repeat, or that the point-count should be higher, or (my favorite for irony) that such crappy threads take up too much board space -- then I think that's what people are opposed to.


October 5th, 2010 at 5:28 PM ^

People that read this regularly (every day) get annoyed when there is more than 2 topics about bad defense or something of that sort.  I've read this board for a long time just don't post often so coming from a person that doesn't post often, it gets very annoying seeing topics over and over.


October 5th, 2010 at 5:51 PM ^

But a lot of folks literally live on here. So they see everything all the time & generally assume you should too. I get it when someone posts a really really stupid thread. But most aren't that bad. more or less they are just a little redundant. But unless you spend 24-7 on here as so many of these complainers do you just can't "keep up". Also many want to complain that they have already discussed the posted topic etc. etc. yet don't do the simple thing that was mentioned above and just simply not comment on the thread.


 Commenting gets you points. Points make you cool! So post meaningless comments on a threads you are complaining are meaningless. Makes a lot of sense huh?  They think that every newbie understands what has or hasn't been discussed in length on here.  Its not as bad as some other sights but the whining is just a bit past frustrating sometimes. If I don't like a thread I just simply move on. If its absolutely horrible I "might" neg it. Very seldom.


I have been on here since 2006-7 & had an account since 2008 & in that time I have realized that commenting on here or writing anything is open for this constant bitching & whining so its best to just ignore it. I hardly comment because meaningful discussion on here only happens once in awhile. Don't sweat it bro. We all know MGO-POINTS don't mean shit. Its just Brian's genius way to keep these people on here 24-7-365. Which works very very well. Outside of all that the blog itself is hands down the best UM Sports site out there. 


October 5th, 2010 at 4:10 PM ^

If we had the 2006 defense (or 2007 or even 2008!) we'd be monstrous.

Carr recruited well on defense, obviously. It's insane to think our current problems "all began" in 2003.


October 5th, 2010 at 4:17 PM ^

But carr never recruited lbs or safeties (or even DES that well).
<br>Typically in carrs classes they would go safeties--->linebackers->>>> defensive ends
<br>In example:
<br>Graham---> d end
<br>Woodley ---> d end
<br>He recruited stud corners (but whiffed extremely bad his last few years) and dts/nts


October 5th, 2010 at 4:54 PM ^

I do not mean to be rude, but I think there are several men currently playing linebacker in the NFL who would disagree with you on that point, namely (in alphabetical order):  Prescott Burgess, Stevie Brown, Shawn Crable, Larry Foote, David Harris, Dhani Jones, and LaMarr Woodley.  And that list doesn't even include all of the above-average linebackers that played under Carr.


October 6th, 2010 at 7:53 AM ^

Neither Burgess nor Crable were safety at Michigan. Both played DE. And both were clearly hybrid DEs that could have played LB if needed. But Michigan was always stacked at LB so there was no need.

His Dudeness

October 5th, 2010 at 4:10 PM ^

I guess the OP doesn't remember how we buckled down and beat the piss out of people after the Oregon game in 2007... Unfortunately for his/her theory all those games actually did take place.

Raise it to 1,000.


October 5th, 2010 at 4:43 PM ^

ND sucked that year, so that's not a huge statement win.  The same could be said for Penn State as well (14-9 win).  We got super lucky in a comeback against MSU.  Just look back at the teams we beat and the other games we lost that year.

It was a very average year but not surprising in retrospect, considering all the injuries we had. 


October 5th, 2010 at 4:43 PM ^

While that is kinda sorta true, a major point to consider is that 2007 was, at the time, the worst defensive season since before Bo's arrival. So I think the point is, it isn't like our defense was effing sweet and then suddenly RR came in and just screwed it all from behind and made it go bye-bye. It was already going bye-bye when he got here.

MI Expat NY

October 5th, 2010 at 6:30 PM ^

I don't think he's saying the 2006 defense wasn't great, it was.  What he's saying is that the style of the 2006 defense was going to start to run into trouble with potent spread based offenses (see. the first four games he listed).  The modern game left our defensive recruiting behind and when you combine that with the defensive recruiting busts of the last few years, you get where we are now. 


October 5th, 2010 at 10:33 PM ^

I subscribe to the notion that the D's problems were begun (on the recruiting front) back then.

But I'd give a lot to have that defense back the next couple years. They were freakin sick against the run, and up until Wisky and OSU, they were just plain lights out all around. I could watch Woodley and Harris hit fools all day long. I miss defense.


October 5th, 2010 at 4:51 PM ^

If there really an it's Carr's fault meme going around it seems more in response to the fact that after last year the fault was seemingly being placed squarely on RichRod who obvs inherited a bunch of problems.  Not all of those problems were due to Coach Carr but still the state of the program at the start of the '08 season wasn't good.  This seems to have as much to do with really bad luck (the '05 recruiting class looked good in '05) than with Carr or RR being poor coaches

Space Coyote

October 5th, 2010 at 7:04 PM ^

But there is definitely a "Everything's Carr's fault" meme around these parts because in the media there was a "Everything is RR's fault."  The problem as I see it is that a lot of people feel they have to choose a side, like the coaches are vampires from Twilight or something.  

There shouldn't be a Team RR that throws Carr under the bus, a lot of times for things that are completely inaccurate ("Carr didn't recruit at all in his final years and the Defense was automatically going to suck because Carr no longer cared..."), and there shouldn't be a Team Carr that throws RR under the bus ("The spread can't work in the Big Ten.  This guy is a joke thinking he can destroy our tradition...")  

The problem is that, in many cases, it is taking people a while to realize that there aren't teams for each coach, there is just Team Michigan, and you can support both coaches, along with Michigan, and everything will be good.  So as tired as everyone around here was of the Team Carr people, I'm equally tired of the Team RR people that throw everything on Carr.

Braylon 5 Hour…

October 5th, 2010 at 4:34 PM ^


Our defense in 2006 played 2 bad games after running off 11 wins against 2 very good offenses, including the Troy Smith led Buckeyes, who we never could stop.  The amount of defensive talent on that team (and on the '07 team) was astronomically higher than the current squad.  We were flawed, but I think most Michigan fans would give up a kidney to see a defense of that quality again soon. 


October 5th, 2010 at 4:36 PM ^

I was at that OSU game in 2006 and the Rose Bowl that followed against USC.  If my memory serves me right, we had one of the best rushing D's in all of college football.  Both OSU and USC had very good teams and even better offenses. Troy Smith won the Heisman and  USC had WR's with blazing speed and tremendous all around talent. It would have taken someone with NFL potential to cover the wideouts that USC threw against us.

OSU and USC that year were two of the top teams in the country.  Up until OSU played Michigan, I don't think anyone ran up the kind of yardage we did against them either.

Let's put it this way.  If we had that same lousy D today that Michigan had in 2006, we would be looked at as one of the teams likely to play for the national championship.


October 5th, 2010 at 4:39 PM ^

...if you remember he spread his formation and opened it up, which we somehow were unprepared for.  If Tressel used the same game plan from any other year, we probably win that game.

And if you want to really go back in time, we started getting exposed with our defending in open spaces against Donovan McNabb and Syracuse in 1999.


October 5th, 2010 at 5:02 PM ^

I don't have a big problem with the OP - everyone is entitled to their opinion.  Problem is the 2006 defense had a lot of talent - and the 2007 team had a fair amount - remember the Florida game.  Unfortunately there wasn't much in the pipeline behind them.


October 5th, 2010 at 5:05 PM ^

I'm no fan of the excuses-excuses stuff; you're comparing apples to circus peanuts.  OSU, Oregon and USC are solid teams (aka apples).  UMass and Indiana are, in essence, circus peanuts, a candy so gross that no one wants anything to do with it.  And, if you happen to be a strange child excited to eat circus peanuts on Halloween, your parents will throw them out since they aren't wrapped.  Nothing good about circus peanuts, UMass or IU.

The line about the problem beginning in, circus peanuts.


October 5th, 2010 at 5:28 PM ^

I understand what you're saying with the last 2 games of the 2006 season, but that UM defense dominated everybody else.  I'd take that 2006 defense in a heartbeat today.

I'd say a couple issues have been with us for a while:

1) Poor safety play.  It's been a long time since UM has had 1, let alone 2, quality safeties who were solid in both passing and rushing defense.

2) Depth at LB.  I think it was a wake up call for a lot of people when Carr recruited a juco LB towards the end of his career.  Unfortunately, in the years since we haven't been able to restock the cupboard at this position.


October 5th, 2010 at 5:48 PM ^

and much, much earlier than that.

Appy State and Oregon employed fast, quick QBs who could throw and run, and remember Troy Smith's performance in 2005 or 2004 when he put up some monster numbers as well?

Unfortunately, they were only the latest---go back to 1998 when Donovan McNabb singlehandedly destroyed the hopes that Michigan might compete for another NC. We couldn't tackle him even when he lost his shoe. Mobile QBs have given us fits for over two decades, and if you combine those abilities with a true spread offense, it's painful to watch.

Complain about soft cushions in pass coverage? Go back to 1983 when even former QB Tom Slade, doing color commentary on WUOM at the time, was bitching live on-air about the deep, deep drops our LBs and secondary were taking against Tom Ramsey of UCLA; we had a lead late in the game, but went into a charmin-soft prevent defense and Ramsey picked us apart throwing underneath and sideline routes, and UCLA eventually won the game. Ramsey, while no McNabb or Denard, was mobile and quick-footed, and easily evaded the three-man pass rush. The mantra of "keep everything in front of you and don't get beat deep" is time-honored, and will help you win most of your games. The problem is, against teams with as much talent as you have, that approach can be death. Those who refuse to gamble regardless of the circumstance frequently die anyhow.


October 5th, 2010 at 7:15 PM ^

Very well stated.  It is a has style/coaching issue for a long time.  The depleted talent only became an issue the last few years, and that is temporary.  Our defense now sees speed every day in practice and will be ready for it.  The one who knows this better than anyone is Tressel and you can bet he is worried about it.  To his credit he has not been an RR basher.


October 5th, 2010 at 5:56 PM ^

Who, anymore, has a D that doesn't get torched now and then? The diversity of offensive schemes, the increase in dual-threat QBs, the deployment of more fast athletes in spread formations, the more rapid cross-pollination of different ideas and schemes, all have made it much harder to play great D every week. Just ask Stanford, who thought they had a great D until Oregon ran up 52 on them Saturday.

The '06 D was light years ahead of '10. Branch, Woodley, Harris, Crable, Burgess, Hall, and Adams were all upperclass starters and future NFL players. Most of the '10 defense wouldn't have seen the field in '06, and Martin is the only guy who clearly ranks with the seven I mentioned above. The most fundamental issue with the '10 defense - lack of talent - wasn't a problem in '06, and therefore I'd be hard pressed to say the problem started there.


October 5th, 2010 at 6:03 PM ^

I know some topics can get repetitive but we shouldn't be too hard on the OP.  At least it is not a troll topic.  I am surprised that no one made a Hunt for Red October reference yet.

Blue in Seattle

October 5th, 2010 at 6:32 PM ^

is lack of originality.  Interesting that after this fact was pointed out, so many MgoBloggers in the 500+ club joined in for a rehasing of it all.  Now don't get me wrong, I don't really mind repeated discussions on the board, since it seems so easy to ignore it.  But the theme of "our problems started long ago" is a well worn road, and nothing new has come to light here.

It would be nicer if this fact was pointed out in a more constructive way, with specific links to where you think there was a good previous discussion.  That would certainly help the newer members out more than, "you suck cause you didn't read the FAQ".

For myself, my interest in the defense this season is how quickly it improves.  On other threads I've already commented that the formations shown in the last two games have been dramatically more exciting (if not always successful) and clearly contain more of the newer players on the team.  But at this point I think we won't really have any new information to discuss until the Defensive UFR comes out and we get the breakdown of what worked and what didn't.



October 5th, 2010 at 6:53 PM ^

I've been around since 2007 season I think (went to RoseBowl, was disgusted). I don't post that much and used to have a different login that I forgot.  For all you know it alls out there who like to pile on newbies...get a (athletic) life. I started playing men's full contact flag at 48, 5 seasons of softball, and this is my 2nd season with Nevada Rugby. I'm 145lb and I try like hell to keep up with the youngsters. Anyway, I hate reading opinions of any kind from people who don't actually play team sports... Which is most of you big pointers too. Neg away, mostly I just read anyway. The guy's right and some new people may not have seen it.