Thoughts On The 2011 DL

Submitted by bonobojones on December 9th, 2010 at 7:31 PM

I've been avoiding the board topics of late, concerned my lead body suit will not hold up to that jhackney dude going WOPR on every post.  So instead I've been staring at the 2-deep, depth chart and official roster weights for a couple of weeks.  One thing that has been jumping out at me is that the 2011 DL could look almost exaclty like the 2009 DL. 

     While Jibreel may not have been BG reincarnate this season, he certainly did not embarass himself as a true freshman DE in the Big Ten.  I would consider that as pretty much a win and good news for his future.  If he emerges over spring as a stronger pass rusher and more diciplined, is it at all likely that VanBergen returns to the 3-tech?  If so, I think I'm really liking the DL next year.  Roh will be a much bigger, stronger, experienced version of his 2009 self.  Martin should contiune being Martin, demanding double teams which means single blocking everywhere else.  And overall, I feel VanBergen was actually more effective in 2009.  Anyone else have and opinion on where he played better?  And Jibreel showed some quicks and explosion, and he's #55, so yeah, could work out. 

     Also, is it crazy to think the reason we ran so much 3 DL sets this years was due to there not really being 4 DL's worth starting and coaches wanted to maximize athletes on the field.  Well, any way, stare at the depth chart and think positively, and an actual defense in 2011 is not really that far fetched of an idea.



December 12th, 2010 at 10:45 AM ^


...assuming we don't have a massive amount of transfers (* = returning starter):


QB: *Robinson(Jr.), Forcier(Jr.), Gardner(Fr.)
SR: *Roundtree(Jr.), Grady(Sr.), Gallon(So.)...Hayes(Fr./R.S.)
SR: *Odoms(Sr.), Robinson(Jr.), Dileo(So.)
WR: *Stonum(Sr.), Stokes(Jr.), Miller(Fr.), Williamson(Fr.)
WR: *Hemingway(Sr.), Jackson(So.), Robinson(Fr.)
RB: Hart(Fr.), *Smith(Jr.), Shaw(Sr.), Hopkins(So.), Toussaint(So.), Cox(Jr.), Jones(Jr.)
FB: *McColgan(Sr.)
TE: *Koger(Sr.), Webb(Jr.)
C: *Molk(Sr.), Khoury(Jr.), Pace(Fr.)...Miller(Fr./R.S.)
LG: Barnum(Jr.), Campbell(Jr.)
RG: *Omameh(Jr.), Mealer(Jr.)
LT: *Lewan(So.)...Fisher(Fr./R.S.)
RT: *Huyge(Sr.), Schofield(So.)...Posada(Fr./R.S.)


NT: *Martin(Sr.), Washington(So.), Ash(Fr.)
DT/DE: *VanBergen(Sr.), Talbott(Fr.), Heininger(Sr.)
DE: Black(So.), Wilkins(Fr.), Watson(Sr.)...Rock(Fr./R.S.)
DE/OLB: *Roh(Jr.), Paskorz(Fr.), Ryan(Fr.), Herron(Sr.)...Beyer(Fr./R.S.)
MLB: *Demens(Jr.), Bell(So.), Leach(Sr.)...Jones(Fr./R.S.)
SLB: *Fitzgerald(Sr.), Jones(So.), Furman(Fr.)
WLB: *C. Gordon(So.), Robinson(So.), Hawthorne(So.)
SS: *Kovacs(Jr.), Johnson(So.), T. Gordon(So.), Simmons(Jr.)
FS: *Woolfolk(Sr.), Vinopal(So.), VanSlyke(Sr.), Williams(Sr.)
CB: *Floyd(Jr.), Christian(So.)...Crawford(Fr./R.S.), Brown(Fr./R.S.)
CB: *Avery(So.), Talbott(So.)...Hollowell(Fr./R.S.)


K: *Gibbons(So.), Broekhuizen(So.)
P: *Hagerup(So.), Broekhuizen(So.)
KR: Hart(Fr.), *Gallon(So.)
PR: Hart(Fr.), *Gallon(So.)


December 10th, 2010 at 11:31 AM ^

He loves Michigan, wants to get his degree, and will be the co-captain next year. He has a legit shot to win the Outland Trophy next year if he remains healthy. He won't make the same mistake Donovan Warren made in leaving early although I suspect that he would get drafted if he did. I just think he wants to have one final shot a big ten championship next year...


December 9th, 2010 at 7:42 PM ^

Good post, but I would try and format it a little because people will bitch about your giant block of text.

I'm really thinking that Quinton Washington will make huge strides in the offseason... he already has the physical assets, he just needs to learn the defensive technique. From the practice rumors it seemed that he was picking up on the defensive side of the ball quickly. Bowl practice plus the entire offseason should pay off... hopefully.


December 9th, 2010 at 7:57 PM ^

Thanks, tried to clean it up.  As you can see by the barely legal point total, this is my first ever board posting.  So tips are appreciated.

  I concur about Washington, I've always been really bullish on him.  If he can become a true 300+ lb NT, I'm really really liking the DL next year


December 9th, 2010 at 7:44 PM ^

Also, is it crazy to think the reason we ran so much 3 DL sets this years was due to there not really being 4 DL's worth starting and coaches wanted to maximize athletes on the field

I think this was more of the fact that we really want to run a 3-3-5 more than anything else, not necessarily a personnel thing. Our defensive depth in general is scary.


December 9th, 2010 at 7:45 PM ^

depend heavily on whether we use a 4 man dline or not. I won't get into whether a 3-3-5 is a good idea or not..but from strictly a defensive line standpoint, It is much easier for d-lineman to make plays when you have 4 beef eaters with their hands down. Honestly though, as much as I hate to admit it I dont know how we can run a 4-3 base with almost no depth for 2011 at DT


December 9th, 2010 at 7:52 PM ^

Has Martin said anything about his intentions to stay or leave? I haven't read anything, just wondering if the coaching situation will have an effect on his decision. If Martin leaves because of a coaching change, our defense would be in a bad, bad situation... regardless of who we hire.

Fat Mike

December 9th, 2010 at 7:49 PM ^

Not worried about the starters. As long as they stay healthy they'll be fine. I'm more interested in the depth. Will Ash be in playing shape to take some snaps? How will Washington progress? How about Wilkins, and paskorz and talbott? How will they look as redshirt freashmen?


December 9th, 2010 at 7:47 PM ^

If GERG, or whoever takes over for DC, goes to a 4-3 our line should be much improved. With the addition of JB to a line with RVB, Roh, and Martin it will be that much harder to contain any one of them.
<br>I also look forward to seeing Ash step in and get a couple snaps, prove his worth.
<br>I think a good scheme, bowl practices, and the offseason watching tape and listening to barwis should pay dividends


December 9th, 2010 at 9:21 PM ^

I'm really looking forward to Roh growing into his potential by putting on another 15lbs. He has the skill set for a DE, but is still the size of an OLB. I hope he has a breakout year next year.


December 9th, 2010 at 9:27 PM ^

I think the DL will be good to excellent as long as either Q Washington or J Black are a decent starter. 

Assuming a 4-3 (at least against OSU, Iowa and MSU), RVB could play inside or outside depending whether Q Washington or J Black is better.  Hopefully a couple of the redshirt freshman can provide the depth we need.  


December 9th, 2010 at 9:48 PM ^

I'm almost emarassed mentioning it.  At the end of the OSU game when the evil ones were near the goal line, I watched Q blow what had to be the 2nd team center 2 yards into the backfield.  There's a debate about having an active/quick NT (Martin) versus someone who can be a man-crushing double-team demander.  I've also heard Sam Webb say that Ash has looked good in practice.  There's reason to be optimistic. 


December 9th, 2010 at 10:05 PM ^

I think he could also be a dominant 3 Tech if we use Q as a 1 Tech/Nose. 

Typically in a 4 man line there are 2 DEs who can be many things - BG to Julius Peppers, pass rushers, freak athletes, etc. 

For the DTs in a 4 man line you typically have a Nose/1 Tech who's job is to eat up double teams (usually a center and guard) and then you have the 3-Tech DT whos job is penetration and domination. Warren Sapp was a 3 Tech DT. It's what Suh plays now. The best examples of these two positions in recent Michigan history is Gabe Watson was a space eater - 1 tech/nose. Alan Branch was a  3 Tech - blow up plays.

Some of the actual football coaches on here feel free to correct me/add to it...

Pea-Tear Gryphon

December 9th, 2010 at 10:25 PM ^

Ideally this is how I see the DL shaping up. I think MM would be a beast at the 3-tech, but the problem has always been finding someone to play nose/1-tech without being put on roller skates. RVB is best suited for strong DE and Roh for weak DE. If someone (Ash, QWash, anyone) can fill that 1-tech spot, we could have a very good to great DL. My hope is we go back to a 4-3 or a 4-2-5 set most of the time, but we need the bodies on the DL to get there.

Pea-Tear Gryphon

December 10th, 2010 at 9:46 AM ^

Do you think Ash can keep the weight more to the "good" and fill that role. I don't think we need a difference maker at that position, but someone to eat up some doubles and hold ground. The thought of a penetrating Martin at 3-tech with single blocking would make this DL a force. Is QWash destined for that role too or more of a 3-tech? finding that NT or 1-tech DT is the key to this line.


December 10th, 2010 at 10:36 AM ^

I have not heard positive things about Ash.  I think he can do whatever he wants, so if that means putting on good weight, he can do it.  But it's hard for me to say because I haven't seen him play since he was in high school.

Washington looks like a NT through and through, more so than Campbell.  I don't think he's really a 3-tech guy.  I did hear from a player's father who e-mailed me and said Washington was the strongest OL on the team, so blowing through double teams should be something at which he can excel.


December 9th, 2010 at 9:50 PM ^

......sorry, but I think we are going to have issues once again inside. We lose Sagesse, Patterson, and Banks...Talbott and Ash are going to be redshirt freshman. Talbott needs to add weight. We have to hope that Washington picks up things really quick. I just dont see how we are going to be any better. We also need two stud DT's this class or we are in a world of hurt for '12 when Martin is gone......

Webber's Pimp

December 9th, 2010 at 9:52 PM ^

You are assuming Martin will be back. I hope to God you are right about that. As I've been saying for months we are very thin on the DL and so imho a DT in THIS recruiting class is a must get.


December 9th, 2010 at 10:16 PM ^

Is still lacking those big DT and punishing lb and it's starting to worry me I'm accustomed to the David harris's crables and woodlys I hope we can just get someone like drew in this class that were not supposed to get like we did with Denard 2 years ago when everyone said he's going to Florida


December 9th, 2010 at 10:17 PM ^

If Q turns out to be a space eating NT, is there any way we could line up with Van Bergen and Q inside and Martin and Black/Roh on the ends to switch things up sometimes?

I am not saying stick with this all the time, but I think it could work b/c Martin is quick enough to play end.  It would be interesting to see.

Any thoughts?