Sam Webb - Rome Update

Submitted by Blue in Paradise on May 2nd, 2017 at 2:05 PM

Sam Webb gave a summary of his opinions on the Rome practices today on the Michigan Insider podcasts.

  1. Mason Cole looks great at LT - like he hasn't missed a step
  2. Patrick Kugler has stepped up at Center and is currently leading over Caesar (too bad this didn't happen last year Kugler at C, Cole at LT may have been good enough to get us to the playoffs)
  3. Peters and O'Korn looked great at practice and Wilton was inconsistent (sprinkled some great plays with some not-so-good types).  He still expects Speight to start the season at #1 but the gap is shrinking by the week.


I don't bring up #3 to stir up a Peters vs. Speight debate (the coaches will pick the guy who gives the team the best chance to win - full stop).  However, these notes directly contridict the post from Maizenbrew yesterday. 

How can two observers watch the same practice sessions and come out with completely opposite view points?  Between the two, Sam has the track record and, to my knowledge, doesn't have any biases in this conversation - so I will go with his viewpoint.



May 2nd, 2017 at 2:57 PM ^

See, I kind of do think you have to be a scout to determine whether someone was good, decent, or terrible. Most people - definitely including me - can only judge good vs. bad based on result. We can't always see the context.

For instance, for all we know, the coaching staff was actively trying to confuse Speight but holding back on Peters and O'Korn. Or maybe Peters and O'Korn were facing one type of coverage and Speight was facing another.

In other words, we don't know whether Speight is struggling at a 500 level class while Peters and O'Korn destroy a 300 level class. A scout would be able to tell.

Sorry for the essay. I'm not Team Speight, but I am Team Harbaugh Probably Knows What He's Doing And Maybe We Should Trust Him.


May 2nd, 2017 at 3:16 PM ^

I like your class analogy. I assume Speight was with the 1s and Peters/Okorn the backups. This might seem better for Peters, but was Speight going against the starting DLine and Peters the 2nd string? We're they 7 on 7 drills? All these things make a huge difference and can result in different opinions. I thought I read that Peters was awesome in 7 on 7, but not so good with pressure.

Heck even Michael Spath was raving about how Harbaugh was saying Ruiz was going to be "the best center ever". Now Sam Webb, who also works for WTKA, says it's clearly Kugler.

It's hard to not get sucked into Spring Ball because there's nothing else, but the reports don't mean anything.

Blue in Paradise

May 2nd, 2017 at 3:28 PM ^

You are making my question too complicated. I never said I thought one QB was better than the other, I am questioning how two seemingly sane people can see two completely different things at the same practices.

Neither analyst got into an advanced discussion of relative performance. One guy said Peters barely got any reps, the other one said he got his fair share of reps. One said his throws were terrible and the other said he was dropping dimes.

So we are simply comparing results, not analyzing technique, knowledge of the offense, ability to improvise, etc... if that was the discussion, you would be correct. This is simply a question of (1) did Peters get a comprobable number of snaps and (2) were most of his throws on or off the mark? These two simple questions were given completely opposite answers which is weird to me.


May 2nd, 2017 at 5:13 PM ^

the Maizenbrew story I had a hard time believing it. Peters and Speight played opposite each other in the Spring game for a reason. Coaches will seperate their top 2 QB's and pit them agaiinst each other to see how they look in a pressure situation. Peters was the better QB that day, so I have a hard time believing 3 practices later he's the scout team QB and a walk on is now getting more snaps them him.

I think the gap is closing and these two will work hard all summer and fall and the best one will start in September.


May 2nd, 2017 at 2:50 PM ^

He's a reporter in the player evaluation industry that has been around the game for a very long time, talks to our coaches almost every day, talks to football coaches all over the country and has watched a ton of football. Few people know better what to look for in a player than Sam.


May 2nd, 2017 at 3:14 PM ^

Speaking to experts on a topic every day for ~15 years(?) generally makes someone an expert. It'd be like if Sam earned a 15-year degree in football. No, he isn't teaching the classes, but he's been listening to the professors for decades. I'm not saying he could be a coach or even an NFL scout, but in the world of people who have not played football, Sam's credibility is in the 99th percentile.


May 2nd, 2017 at 4:14 PM ^

Yeah in Flint, but usually when you are talking about whether a media figure or coach played you are talking about college or pro ball. 70% of men with high school diplomas played high school ball. I'm not knocking Sam on that one, I'm the one sticking up for him here, it's just that HS ball is not usually used as evidence of knowledge.


May 2nd, 2017 at 2:18 PM ^

As to your "how" question for #3 - there's only two possible answers: motive or ability. Either the MaizenBrew writer is biased towards Speight or is trying to go against the current to make a name for theirself, OR they watched the practice and sincerely came away with a different take because their ability to judge football is bad. Either way it's pretty obvious between Sam and MnB who people should listen to.


May 2nd, 2017 at 2:20 PM ^

so it sounds like the left side looks decent


LT - Cole

LG - Bredeson

C - Kugler


what about the other 2 spots?  lots of chatter about Onwenu's weight

beef supreme

May 2nd, 2017 at 2:32 PM ^

Does Sam's connection to the staff generally have as much to do with his practice evaluations as it seems to with his recruiting updates? Wonder how much of this is staff opinion.


May 2nd, 2017 at 2:53 PM ^

So he sees what he wants to see.

Any impartial observer can see that Speight just hasn't progressed enough despite his full season of play last year.

He will likely start against Florida but will be passed sometime during  the season.



May 2nd, 2017 at 7:08 PM ^

and wrong on the 2nd half.

I don't think anyone denies Speight has a ceiling that's lower than Peters, but Peters remains a RS Freshman who is probably going to be prone to throwing truly laughable interceptions when he's under pressure in a game situation. I don't think it's unreasonable to think Speight is Speight and starts the whole year because Peters (again, a RS Fr) just isn't there yet

I don't think anyone is going to suggest JOK is going to usurp Speight after IU last year


May 2nd, 2017 at 4:20 PM ^

Some of the coaches are back. I think Zordich was quoted saying him and his wife might take a couple days to visit family in Czech. There was some reports of coach Partridge being back on the road already in Georgia this past weekend.