Spring Football Day 1 Update Thread

Submitted by chunkums on March 19th, 2011 at 2:03 PM

I like basketball, but I know there are others like me who are really stoked about football starting today.  Please post any updates here; I'll start.


Tweet from Stonum:

First day of spring ball was good. I love our offense!! ;ack to the routes @OfficialBraylon and @SBreaston15 used to run.



March 19th, 2011 at 2:05 PM ^

TomVH RT @Michwolverine7 Man practice was great today.........really loving my defensive brothers
<br>6 minutes ago in reply to Michwolverine7
<br>I don't know who Michwolverine7 is but I'm guessing B. Hawthorne?


March 19th, 2011 at 2:21 PM ^

A beloved offensive player is loving the new offense, and beloved TVH loving what he sees in the defense. 

Gosh.  Football.  Is that why the sun is out?


March 19th, 2011 at 2:46 PM ^

Insightful first tweet from Koger:


"Make em say ughhh ughhh na na na na!"


Clearly this means Hoke is using Master-P as inspiration for getting tougher.


March 19th, 2011 at 3:46 PM ^

this main ingredient, also to mention that there is talent with the experience, is why i believe that our offense will be excellent.  there will be growing pains and some struggles but not enough to derail EXPERIENCE + Talent! 

Go Blue stay healthy this spring!


March 19th, 2011 at 5:54 PM ^

From @Micah_J_D: How much better can Michigan's defense be with a new coach, but the same players?

I expect them to be considerably better than they were in 2010 under Greg Robinson. Of course, they can't possibly get much worse. Last fall, they were atrocious in almost every way. They ranked 108th in scoring defense, 110th in total defense, 112th against the pass, 95th against the run, 98th in sacks and 108th in turnover margin. Whether or not Rich Rodriguez returned, a change on defense needed to be made.

The issues were many: The 3-3-5 scheme they ran didn't seem to fit well against Big Ten personnel, and the Wolverines were also very thin on defense and took major injury hits in some key spots. Worst of all, they simply didn't have many playmakers or guys with the type of ability you expect to see at Michigan.

Near midseason, I spent about eight hours watching film of the Wolverines' D with a longtime former NFL guy. It was fascinating, because later that night Rodriguez popped into the room and watched along with us, answering some questions about what we were seeing.

There was only one player on the whole defense who really jumped out on the tape: nose tackle Mike Martin. He is a powerhouse with good feet, and a true difference-maker. The rest were, at best, just average guys, except for two other younger players who "flashed" some talent: then-sophomore linebacker Craig Roh (who seemed to be playing out of position) and freshman defensive end Jibreel Black. The NFL guy winced as he watched upperclassmen playing tentatively, taking bad angles and missing tackles.

The Wolverines' defense was just a bad mix. Some of the younger players who were forced into action were harder to get a read on, because developing players doesn't happen overnight and there were more growing pains than usual because the defense was so porous. The message being directed toward the players was obviously muddled, too.

I believe that all of this is going to change now. In new Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, you have a coach who knows exactly what it takes to shut people down in the Big Ten. He did it 15 years ago when he coached in Ann Arbor, and he did it when he was working with the Florida Gators' defense when the Gators thumped the Ohio State Buckeyes in the BCS title game. Mattison is committed to making run defense his No. 1 priority. He's going back to a four-man front.

It'll be interesting to see if he can develop some of the younger guys who quite frankly aren't all that young anymore, like former blue-chip defensive tackle William Campbell, who has been flipped back from offense to DT, and converted safety Cam Gordon, who is now a linebacker.

Another reason for optimism: They'll get experienced cornerback Troy Woolfolk back after the senior missed the entire season with a broken leg. Junior cornerback J.T. Floyd is also back after missing the last four games of the 2010 season with an ankle injury. That bodes well.

Also, the schedule breaks well for the Wolverines. They open with five consecutive home games, with the toughest test being Week 2 against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. At worst, Michigan should open 4-1 before going to play the Northwestern Wildcats. As colleague Chris Sprow points out, their schedule looks a lot like the Michigan State Spartans' did in 2010. The Wolverines do have to play both Michigan State and the Iowa Hawkeyes on the road before closing at home against the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Ohio State, but this is a team that very realistically could win nine games. 





March 19th, 2011 at 6:31 PM ^

That was a fun read, but this sounded stupid:

"... 3-3-5 scheme they ran didn't seem to fit well against Big Ten personnel ..."

There we go again.  Not everyone has bothered to consider that Michigan had obvious personnel and administrative issues last year.  The 3-3-5 would work fine with better players.


March 19th, 2011 at 8:12 PM ^

To be fair, the author did say the "3-3-5 scheme they ran."  Since the 3-3-5 we ran was not really the way the 3-3-5 was designed to be run, he may not be saying that the 3-3-5 cannot work, but rather than what we ran it poorly, young personnel notwithstanding.  I may, however, be giving the author too much credit.


March 19th, 2011 at 7:30 PM ^

This reminds me of a time on the east side of Detroit. I was riding down a side street, when I saw a very short and fat guy dressed as a ninja in black. This was hilarious enough for me to pull over, but what made it better was the fact that he was standing there kicking a tree. I only wish this was in the modern cell phone era!!!