Why playing LB is not more Ezeh

Submitted by iawolve on September 9th, 2009 at 9:35 PM

That title is terrible so don't even bother to mention it.

Before I start, I like Obi Ezeh. The guy seems to be a terrific athlete who has going on his third DC which has to be difficult. New schemes, new responsibilities, you name it. Maybe he should still be a big back in some offense, like he was in HS. However, the guy has tons of potential to be a great LB, what is not clicking? His biggest issue seems being able to read/react faster to get upfield.

I would like some thoughts from other board gurus on the following:

*Have his reads changed that drastically from coach to coach?
*Is the ability to read/react something some kids just don't get?
*How do you help the guy play "faster"? What techniques are used?

Comments

ohiowolverine21

September 9th, 2009 at 9:57 PM ^

my honest opinion after watching the game on t.v. was that Ezeh lets the blockers come to him first. He doesn't hit the hole and make a move. He lets the blocker come to him, catches him, then tries to push him around and it doesn't work. and did anyone else notice his little spin move he tries to do? what is that?

formerlyanonymous

September 9th, 2009 at 11:02 PM ^

I think he's gotten a lot of praise over the last few years, even when he hasn't been all that amazing. I think many assume, just because he's the longest tenured LB at Michigan, and the middle linebacker at that, that he must be that good. In reality, he was a meh 3* recruit in a lack of depth that has performed a bit higher than those expectations, but in no means to the level of greatness of Michigan LBs past. Looking at UFRs past, you'd probably see Ezeh be slightly minus just due to some wildly inconsistent streaks of heavy minuses.

Just my e-pinion.

bdubya

September 9th, 2009 at 11:06 PM ^

I think that getting alot of tackles leads people to think that he is better than he really is. Great example that was discussed was the second play of the game-I believe-where Obi had an open lane and could have busted up a run in the backfield, but instead let the RB come to him and gain three yards. He made the tackle, but could have made a much better play if he was more decisive.

Tacopants

September 9th, 2009 at 11:55 PM ^

Uh huh. He reacted all of 0.3 seconds slower than he should have. In those 0.3 seconds longer than most people would have liked he had to consider whether or not WMU was trying to exploit him in the short to intermediate passing game by running a play action to suck him in.

As it was the 2nd play from scrimmage, he was probably more concerned about giving up the 8-10 yard pass over the middle than a 2-3 yard rush. With Mike Williams blitzing on the play, you can bet that Obi had some sort of pass responsibility over the middle of the field.

I'm not saying he doesn't have his problems, but if he's drastically improved his pass defense game, I'd gladly take that and call him a decent to good college MLB.

farside286

September 10th, 2009 at 12:42 AM ^

From what i've heard personally over the last year (this info is about a year old), Obi has the most "football" knowledge or reading ability of plays out of all of the linebackers or the people in Hopkins' film sessions. Apparently whenever any of the other players do not know whatever question Coach Hopkins asked them, they all just look to Obi until he responds as he always knows. I haven't asked about what sorts of questions are being asked but this was film of last season's games or other team's games.

Why this does not translate into on field dominance, I don't know. We'll see how this season progresses.

Note: This does not include the current freshman.