Question for MGoCoaches: Why doesn't the offense run more 11 personnel?

Submitted by Sauce Castillo on December 31st, 2018 at 11:05 AM

After reflecting on Saturday's game, and the season as a whole, I got to thinking of next year and how would this offense use it's best players to get them on the field more. My immediate thought was how to keep DPJ, Nico, and Tarik on the field as much as possible. Seems like 11 personnel would solve that. 

Looking at the numbers from 2017, 11 personnel was used on average 58% of the time in the NFL, an increase of 20% over the past 10 years. The Rams were highest at 80%. 

Glancing at the UFR's and giving the eyeball test, it seems Michigan used 11 personnel roughly 30-40% of the time, and that's a safe assumption on the high end. 

I'm wondering if any MGoCoaches out there have opinions of why the offense doesn't use this personnel grouping as much or if they think it would help or hurt the offense moving forward.


Sten Carlson

December 31st, 2018 at 11:58 AM ^

This is the worst, most entitled attitude I've ever seen.  Iverson was a punk, who never won anything.  He had all the talent in the world but he ego deemed him above the mundane hard work that is what separates the greats from the big talkers.  While Bird, Magic, Kareem, Jordan, worked harder than anyone in practice, Iverson balked at it.

Practice matters because hard work matters.  Yes, results in the game matter as well, and you're right, the TE made some horribly untimely drops.  Every great coach in any sport has always emphasized the importance of hard work in practice.

Whirled Peas

December 31st, 2018 at 1:00 PM ^

Not a fan of the "Iverson-didn't'-work-hard" trope.  Iverson made a comment about practice not being more important than his friend dying the day before and suddenly he's never worked for anything in his life?  Garbage.  Dude was better than most because he worked as hard if not harder than most.


December 31st, 2018 at 1:17 PM ^

In the Iverson documentary he talks about how his practice rant is completely taken out of context. As you mentioned, his friend was murdered the day before and all the press wanted to talk about was practice. He was grieving and pissed. Dude gave his all for Philly. Absolutely one of my all time favorite players. 


December 31st, 2018 at 1:53 PM ^

Anyone who thinks that Iverson didn't practice his ass off--and for most of his basketball life--is ridiculously naive. The fact that some of the very best players, who toil so hard in games, are allowed to sit out some practices just INCENSES a certain kind of fan. It's pretty much the same kind of fan (undoubtedly brilliant at what they do, fit as hell, undoubtedly at the very top of their own professions) who sits here and calls our players p*ssies by the hour and questions, in the most reductive terms, the strategies and play-calling of coaches who have spent their lives mounting the enormously competitive heap to reach the top of their professions. 

The motivation? Might be jealousy.


December 31st, 2018 at 2:38 PM ^

I said NEXT YEAR. 

Muhammad was a top 5 TE coming out of high school. The highest rated TE recruited by Harbaugh so far. 

He should be replacing Mckeon with ease when healthy based on sheer talent alone. 

Eubanks is an athletic freak and should be getting way more touches even if he and Gentry both suck at blocking. 

Ask Charles Woodson who mentioned Eubanks and DPJ being underutilized. 


December 31st, 2018 at 12:13 PM ^

I've refrained from sharing my observations of Nov. 24 for.....obvious reasons. But one observation I made that day is that (in addition to knowing Black is a really good receiver, and DPJ is a threat everytime he touches the ball) I was really impressed with Nico Collins. I remember thinking to myself multiple times regarding Nico: "That's a good receiver!"

Thought the same thing threatening could the offense be with all 3 of them on the field instead of those blocky/catchy types that often have trouble either blocking and/or catching.


December 31st, 2018 at 3:13 PM ^

Well, seems he already gave you his opinion of the offense.

If his opinion of the defense was anything other than "why do they keep running the same thing and trusting Watson to stick with these guys?" or "I'm surprised Gary, Winovich and Co. aren't getting more pressure" than yes, I too would be interested to hear anything further.


January 1st, 2019 at 4:39 PM ^

Thanks, Xtra...

My 2 primary observations of Michigan's defense were:

1. Why do they keep trying to use Watson to cover the crossing routes?

2. I'm surprised Gary, Winovich & Co. aren't getting more pressure.

Seriously, I was very surprised Don Brown didn't have more. I had offered some ideas on this board about how OSU can try to slow down that evil wizard by giving him more to think about, not thinking that OSU's standard offense would be able to do anything consistently. Turns out OSU came out of the film room licking their chops at what they could do against M's defense. Even when OSU scored to make 21 points, I expected halftime adjustments from M's defense and envisioned OSU getting no more than 1 or 2 field goals in the second half. It was jaw dropping that Michigan never shut it down.

Brian Griese

December 31st, 2018 at 12:43 PM ^

Ding ding. After black was in the lineup, I don’t recall a 4 wide formation of DPJ-Evans, perry or Martin-Black-Collins once spreading out the field. To me that should be used once every 3 to 4 plays at minimum if not as our base set.  But no, let’s put a FB on the field which will never pop a big play and use in-line tight ends that can’t block. Genius. 


December 31st, 2018 at 1:23 PM ^

Asking ourselves?  This has been the number one asked question on this board for a couple years running re: the offense.  At least, this has been what many of us have been harping on for years.

Harbaugh has a massive problem with his offensive recruiting and philosophy, and that's why this offense has ranged from mediocre at best to TERRIBLE at worst.

I keep bringing up these numbers:

In the three recruiting classes since 2016 (Harbaugh's three full classes): M has recruited 5 (!!) TEs and 3 fullbacks (counting Kingston Davis) for a total of 8 (!!) blocky catchy types and only 10 (!!) TOTAL OL.  They did not convert a single one of those TEs to OL.

When you need 5 OL on the field at any given time, and really you should only have an average of 1 TE on the field at any given time, you should be giving scholarships at a 5:1 ratio or at worst 4:1.

That's not even to mention the FBs which are on the field for about 10 plays a game and all due respect to Ben Mason, FB is absolutely not a position that makes a difference enough to even waste a scholarship on.  Get a walk-on footbawwww player to take those 5-10 snaps and you lose nothing.

When Michigan, with a "good" FB and The Big Big Boys in the interior line, couldn't pick up a first down on 3rd and short up the middle and then 4th and short up the middle, that was the sequence that should have finally, mercifully killed this crap hybrid of an offense.

Then the TEs are dropping catchable balls all over the place (like they have all year).

Meanwhile, Florida is picking up 4th and short with QB sneaks (a very high percentage play that doesn't require a wasted scholarship a FB - just f'ing do that) and jet sweeps that not only pick up the first down but spring for big plays - hey, look what happens when you do something the defense doesn't know you're going to do!

Hell, I watched Alabama run shotgun spread from third and fourth and short later in the day.

Harbaugh needs to swallow his pride, hire a good OC to run a modern spread offense and let go of the wheel.  Should have done it two years ago.