August 23rd, 2009 at 1:00 PM ^

Yup. I told you that yesterday.

It wasn't a terribly thrown ball though. From my angle it looked like it went through the receivers hands, but I wasn't on a very good angle so take that for what its worth.


August 23rd, 2009 at 9:53 AM ^

It's hard to see what is going on when you are only seeing highlights and dont know how Vanilla the D might still be.

With that being said I'm still convinced that Tate is the starter for WMU. I thought he clearly throws the best ball on any QB on this team and I dont think it is close. Denard should be the back up and I do think at some point this season we will need Sheridan to possibly win a game or hold a lead that we might be giving away.

Defensively It's hard to say what your really seeing out there. From first look it seemed that we didn't tackle well at all. Didn't seem to get much pressure on the QB either.

Anyways that was cool to watch.

I had to giggle a little bit when "Death" threw the INT though and Tate took a hit and got up so we can all breath easy!


August 23rd, 2009 at 1:07 PM ^

Gerg kept saying "whiskey" and "knife" as defensive formations, but that was about all I heard. It seemed pretty vanilla on both sides of the ball.

Its tough to really get anything from the scrimmage because the offense wasn't trying to set-up plays or stretch the field much with the down field passing game. I think they were just trying to get some game like situations and see how the kids reacted. It was fun to watch.

Regarding tackling it appeared at times we tackled very well and at other times it was suspect. Most of the good tackling was done by our 1st team defense and most of the poor tackling was done by the 2nd and 3rd string defense, so I wouldn't be too concerned.


August 23rd, 2009 at 3:10 PM ^

the positions the LBs and secondary were in? By that, I mean were they in the good positions to make plays or guessing and getting lucky if the ball came their way.

After last year and watching Trent and Brown and some LBs being in the wrong place and missing so many tackles, I hoping to build some confidence that the players that take the field on Sept 5 can read a play, get into position and actually hit and wrap a guy up.

Anything else you can add would be great. Thanks.


August 23rd, 2009 at 6:42 PM ^

I was more or less focusing most of my attention on the offense and the QB's, but when I was watching the defense practice and in the scrimmage it appeared that our corners were playing a lot of press coverage, our safeties looked to be where they were supposed to be (they were helping out the corners instead of cleaning up after them), and the LB's made some great plays on blitzes and stopping the run.

That being said, when they were out of position the coaches got on them ASAP and corrected the mistake. It happened with Brandon Smith one time and Hopson ran out on the field yelling. Needless to say, he was in the right spot next time.

I'm not an expert, but it did look like a more athletic, fast, and cohesive unit on both sides of the ball. Take it for what its worth.


August 23rd, 2009 at 10:03 AM ^

Our defense looks brutal, I'm not convinced Mike Barwis's strength program is good for the D-line yet, I want fat guys that plug up holes, not fast guys because you don't want your lineman to have chase the running back down the field. But we'll see, maybe our offense is that "good".


August 23rd, 2009 at 11:18 AM ^

It's amazing how when the offensive lineman can power clean 400+ pounds, you want linemen who are a little heavier at the expense of their penetration, ability to shed blocks and lateral mobility. The field isn't as wide as your defensive linemen, they need to be able to play football. What linemen demolished Ohio State in the championship games? Agile ones? What linemen do we need to combat the spread? Agile ones? What kind of linemen destroyed Oklahoma's 350-average mauling O-line with a 3-man front in the fiesta bowl? Agile ones?

Let's accept the reality that we need this, and preaching weaknesses as strengths is not the way back to the top.


August 23rd, 2009 at 1:16 PM ^

The D-linemen may lose a little weight, but they're mostly dropping fat and gaining muscle. According to earlier Eeeeeeee reports, strength numbers are up even though weight is down. Barwisization might make it easier for a forklift to lift Will Campbell, but I don't think it'll make it easier for opposing O-linemen to move him.

Besides, they looked pretty strong on the back-to-back safeties.


August 23rd, 2009 at 10:20 AM ^

It looks like Denard was playing against the 1st team - I saw Ezeh, Brown, and Martin on the field when he was playing. He also had Ortmann and Huyge out there at tackle, so it seems like he's getting some first team reps.

Denard for starter, people. Embrace it.


August 23rd, 2009 at 12:07 PM ^

He could do it. He really impressed me today and I would be slightly pissed off if he doesn't get some solid playing time this season. He was scrambling for some big gains, but also throwing the ball pretty well. Tate obviously had better passing skills (28 yard over Mathews' shoulder TD), but I like Denard, too.


August 23rd, 2009 at 2:11 PM ^

You are both wrong and missing the point:

1. Sheridan actually started the scrimmage, Karsch notes that his touchdown drive came "on the first drive".

2. I doesn't matter who "started" against the 1st team. People were saying that Robinson's big plays were coming against the 2nd or 3rd teams. That clearly wasn't happening yesterday - they were on the 1st team.


August 23rd, 2009 at 1:40 PM ^

And what is wrong with that? I had never seen Denard play against college football players so I obviously didn't want to make the assumption that he would start. I saw Tate and he looked sharp in the spring so until I watched Denard, I assumed he would. But based on what I read and watched from the recent practices, I think Denard really has a shot to start now. Don't really see what's wrong with that...


August 23rd, 2009 at 11:19 PM ^

Just teasing you a little, that's all. I like Threet, too. He worked hard and did the best he could when he was here and I respect him for it. I hope he does well at ASU.

All these guys are working their asses off and it will be awesome to watch them grow. I hope all three QB's play, and play well. Having to game plan for three different guys would be a nightmare for a d-coordinator, and the defensive players always having to worry about which guy is in the game can only benefit the offense - that is, if they can all execute and the offense comes together around them. There's no doubt that Denard has some special tools, and I think Tate is special too.


August 23rd, 2009 at 1:11 PM ^

Tate, Denard, and Nick all had reps with the 1st and 2nd team offenses. They also went against the 1st and 2nd team defenses at times too.

I really liked Denard yesterday though, the guy brings an aspect to this offense that I don't think you can account for on every play. He would run around and make a pass or break off a long run. It was funny watching people chase him all over the field.


August 23rd, 2009 at 9:34 PM ^

I will have to see it to believe it, chitown. What I see watching the video out of Central Propaganda is that Tate has the best touch of the three.

[as an asside, I would think that wobble ball bubble screen that Sheridan threw should tell you all you need to know about his chances to start]

Note also that none of the videos show the QB's running. And the text portion of the scrimmage report noted that the defence evened up the score in the second half of the scrimmage. We all have to remember that these videos are showing us exactly what they want us to see. Tate will be No. 1 even if Robinson is in for some plays.


August 23rd, 2009 at 10:21 AM ^

Denard looks pretty good in practice, but it's pretty hard to tell what with seeing only the highlights. Still, I thought his release/spiral would look a lot worse from what I was hearing.


August 23rd, 2009 at 11:16 AM ^

I wish the whole thing was out there for us to watch, because it's hard to tell how well the offense and defense are doing when you just see highlights.

There were probably three or four passes in that video alone though that would never have been completed (or completed for a gain) last year, and that's encouraging. Cannot wait to see how we put defenses on their heels when we've got Minor in the backfield with a serious deep threat at QB.


August 23rd, 2009 at 11:30 AM ^

I recall reading a quote from Rodriguez that when it was time to scrimmage they would allow full hitting on the QB's, with the rationale that especially with the freshman, full contact was the only way to see how they react under pressure before the season starts. Hard to tell from the video, but it didn't seem they were hitting the QB's, though there was that one safety when Tate was in. Anyone know more about that? Were they allowing partial contact? I would be very nervous having a freshman QB line up for the first couple of games having not been exposed to full contact.


August 23rd, 2009 at 1:15 PM ^

They were getting hit, but it was a cautious hit. If you get what I mean. You could tell the players let up when they were going after the QB. JB Fitzgerald just slapped Tate on the back for a sack, B. Graham did the same thing, a DB let up a little on Denard and got trucked for a Denard TD. So, they were getting hit and some contact, but it wasn't game situation type contact.

Durham Blue

August 23rd, 2009 at 12:10 PM ^

I think he is going to be a great runner for Michigan in the years to come. The guy looks strong and fast. Granted, all I've seen was one 45-yard run during a scrimmage but damn, that was a nice looking 45-yard run.