March 18th, 2013 at 7:47 AM ^

It looks like Lewan, Braden, Miller, Burzynski, and Schofield as the first group across the OL.

It's always interesting to see who the new "spokespeople" are for the team each year.  Thomas Gordon is an obvious choice for defense (he's the only senior returning starter except Quinton Washington, who's shy and has had stuttering problems) and Taylor Lewan is an obvious choice for offense, because he's a team leader, a good speaker, and perhaps the team's best player.


March 18th, 2013 at 8:57 AM ^

It is good to see OL competition. Kalis is not just being handed a spot . . . he will have to earn it, and right now, it appears that he hasn't. With Bryant getting healthy, and Kalis perhaps having a fire lit under him, it looks like we will have at least a little bit of depth on the OL.


March 18th, 2013 at 9:14 AM ^

2006 offensive line:

Jake Long - 313 lbs.
Adam Kraus - 297 lbs.
Mark Bihl - 299 lbs.
Alex Mitchell - 317 lbs.
Rueben Riley - 305 lbs.
AVERAGE: 306.2 lbs.

2013 first group offensive line right now:

Taylor Lewan - 308 lbs.
Ben Braden - 314 lbs.
Jack Miller - 291 lbs.
Joey Burzynski - 295 lbs.
MIchael Schofield - 303 lbs.
AVERAGE: 302.2 lbs.

On average, there's a four pound difference between the 2013 offensive line and the national championship-caliber 2006 offensive line.  And much of that difference is accounted for by notorious fatty Alex Mitchell, who quit football before his eligibility expired because he was fat - supposedly about 340 lbs. - and lazy.  These guys look lean because they're not wearing pads.  Too many people are worried about size.  A guy who's four pounds lighter but has good athleticism/technique is going to win the battle.


March 18th, 2013 at 12:02 PM ^

Those are two separate issues.

The 2012 team's inability to run power may have had more to do with the talent and skill set of those three interior guys.

The 2013 team's ability/inability to run power may not improve, but it could very well have to do with poor technique and less experience.  These guys could stay the same weight, add a couple pounds each, or whatever, and they might be better in 2013 or 2014 than the 2012 team.

The 2012 team's inability to run power has nothing to do with the leanness of the 2013 team OL, and vice versa.


March 18th, 2013 at 10:02 AM ^

I think we need to temper our expectations for Magnuson.  I think people are expecting a lot from him because of his recruiting rating, but he was not college-ready coming out of high school in any way, shape, or form - size, strength, athleticism, or technique.  He also has two seniors starting ahead of him and two upperclassmen with some playing experience (Gunderson, Mateus) backing up the tackles.


March 18th, 2013 at 12:30 PM ^

Nobody knows for sure if the scouts messed up or not, but those ratings are always projections for years down the road.  High school linemen just aren't ready (for the most part) to play immediately, especially at big-time programs like Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama, USC, etc.


March 18th, 2013 at 2:35 PM ^

Who CAN start at tackle?  Just about anyone - Braden, Kalis, Magnuson, Bosch, etc.  But some of those guys were recruited to play guard and/or will play guard.  I think Bryant is more of a guard, but they'll probably want to get the best five linemen on the field, regardless of a strictly defined position.

Mr. Yost

March 18th, 2013 at 1:37 PM ^

He was on the two deep LAST year and was mentioned as a possible replacement if one of our tackles went down with a long term injury.

Luckily he was able to redshirt (along with the others).

I think the biggest issue is people making a huge deal out of practice videos in March. No one is moving up and down depth charts this soon. Everyone is getting run with the first team. Especially at a position like RB (where the #1 is out and he's experience anyway) or OL (where you want to get your younger guys individual reps with the 1st team rather than playing them all together)

Also experienced players don't practice much in the spring. So there are going to be a ton of lineups and interesting notes we see from the 10-15 plays in these videos.


Let's not forget, last year we didn't get much of an idea that Gardner was going to be our #1 WR coming out of fall camp. We knew he'd moved, but not starting and #1. We also didn't know about the Barnum/Mealer switch.


March 18th, 2013 at 2:33 PM ^

Yes. He was on the two-deep last year.  That means very little.  These coaches are not very forthcoming when it comes to depth, injuries, etc.  After you say he was on the two-deep, you go on to point out the myriad ways in which they have lied to us recently.

The practice buzz about Magnuson has not been particularly positive.  I'm not saying it has been extremely negative, either, but there are some aspects of his game he needs to shore up and he's not very big right now.  Four other tackles have him beaten in size and experience.

The Wolf

March 18th, 2013 at 12:58 PM ^

I am continually amazed at the maturity and growth Lewan seems to show when speaking to the camera. I think back to his first year or two on campus and the stark difference is pretty shocking. Kudos to him for the growth and maturity. What an excellent representative of the team and university.


March 18th, 2013 at 11:02 AM ^

I don't know that I ever said he wouldn't be a QB because he ran on the track team.  Feel free to share that info if you have some other evidence besides your memory.

I was wrong about Denard's chances of playing QB, but he was bad at it much of the time.  After all, he has thrown more interceptions than anyone in Michigan history, despite about 620+ fewer passing attempts and 3,000+ fewer yards than Henne or Navarre.

I underestimated the impact Denard could have running the ball because he was a different breed of QB than Michigan had seen.  But he was a terrible passing QB.  There's no getting around it.

This isn't a thread about Denard, and I don't feel like getting into a drawn-out argument, so I don't really have anything further to say.


March 18th, 2013 at 8:48 AM ^

Looks like the first and second OL that we can see in that video is around 301+ average in weight.  Let's hope there is some strenght to go with all that beef.  We need bigger holes.


March 18th, 2013 at 8:57 AM ^

inching our way to a time where mostly Redshirt Juniors and Seniors are starting every Saturday.  I am the most excited about the added beef to both sides of our lines. We all know that the whole game is won or lost with the big dudes up front, and it looks like we've upgraded mass and strength in that area. Some of them will be green, but with a few vets showing the ropes, along with a ton of competition (especially at OL) this should be fun to watch. How is Toussaint? Will he be ready for this year? Will Rawls beat him out? How will his skill set match up with this pro-style offense? Can't wait to find out. Go Blue!!