The Spring Revelations (Defense)

Submitted by MGoShoe on April 29th, 2010 at 9:44 AM provides their take on the standout defensive performers of spring practice. This article is not behind their paywall.

  • Most Improved: JT Floyd and Will Campbell
  • Breakout Starter in 2010: Greg Banks and Cam Gordon
  • Could Be Starting By Oct. 1: Kenny Demens
  • Freshmen Expected To Contribute In 2010: Cullen Christian and Josh Furman
  • MVPs: Jonas Mouton and Craig Roh

Click on the link for the full ananlysis, but here are my thoughts:

  • Their evaluation of JT Floyd is the most encouraging word I've heard about his spring performance and provides some measure of reassurance about the state of the cornerbacks.
  • Greg Banks apparently has a compelling story that they will roll out in their Football Preview. Could be another reason to get it if you don't already buy everything Michigan Football related.
  • They buy into the Kenny Demens love and the Obi Ezeh skepticism.
  • Amidst all the Dorsey obsession, their focus on Cullen Christian and particularly Josh Furman is interersting. Of course until these guys get on campus for summer conditioning and camp, who knows if they'll really be instant contributors, but the idea of "Furman [who] is a bit of a freak, boasting a 4.3 40-yard dash with the strength and power to play linebacker" competing for playing time at Spur is exciting.
  • More Roh man love and admit it, you're smitten too: "The 6-5, 249-pounder, already showing the leadership skills of a future captain, should emerge one of the Big Ten's best pass rushers and one of the league's most versatile defenders. One astute observer noted: 'I don't think we've seen any Michigan defender, as close to the line of scrimmage as he plays, like him in 20 years.'"



April 29th, 2010 at 11:07 AM ^

Its almost too much, though, when I start seeing comparisons to Crable, etc. The '08 and '09 defenses were so bad, its hard to believe they'll suddenly become the snarling beasts of '06 and even '97. Most of the analyses done by Brian, Mathlete and others pretty well dispel that notion.


April 29th, 2010 at 12:20 PM ^

Considering the 40+ ppg level has only been reached 28 times since 2004, and RR's West Virginia teams NEVER averaged 40+ ppg, I'd say that's not going to happen.  Around 35+ per game should be enough for 8-9 wins. 


The real key to a decent/good (8+ wins) season is the Big 10 schedule.  We need to average alot better than the 22.1 ppg in the Big 10 sechedule we scored last season (and '08 as well actually) to have a chance, regardless of how our defense plays.  Of course, we obviously need to improve on the 33.25 ppg allowed in the Big 10 schedule as well.

steve sharik

April 29th, 2010 at 11:51 AM ^

...I'm skeptical of half of this and 100% on board with the other half. 

MVPs: Jonas Mouton and Craig Roh

Roh is a ball player; the jury is still out on Mouton, but it's been out a long time.  If the verdict comes in soon, I don't like what bodes for Jonas.

steve sharik

April 29th, 2010 at 3:00 PM ^

...whoever argued that should go back and re-watch the tape, most especially the two plays of the 2nd offense coming out from the 3, when Hopkins trucked Kovacs twice.  Mouton is not in his gap two plays in a row, both on iso's--the most basic play in football.

Now, maybe Jonas had a good day outside of those two plays, but if you're in base defense and you can't play an iso from the ILB position, you can't play ILB.


April 29th, 2010 at 4:57 PM ^

I thought of those two plays as soon as I saw this post. I also thought he didn't drop deep enough into his zone a few times on pass coverage. His instincts seem pretty poor for a senior.

steve sharik

April 29th, 2010 at 2:56 PM ^

However, their judgment was based on their limited observations and those of "insiders."  I was also at practice in addition to the spring game, and if Mouton really is the MVP, we're in a heap of trouble.


April 29th, 2010 at 4:50 PM ^

and you're 100% on it. If you can't make the right read and fill on an ISO play than you really can't play the position. Thats LB 101, and it's one of the first things you learn as an ILB. I love watching teams that blow up the lead back, creating havok before the ball carrier even gets to the LOS. My favorite thing about being the middle linebacker was getting isolated on a back in a tunnel up the gut. That's where speed means nothing, and I'm coming to blast the shoes off of anyone who tries to pass through my gap. 


April 29th, 2010 at 1:30 PM ^

It doesn't seem to be remembered around here that often, but Mouton was injured last spring and thus didn't go through spring practice. Therefore, his first real experience with GERG's new defense was last fall. He didn't do that poorly the second half of the season.

As for Ezeh, well, no excuse - either he performs or Kenny Demens will take his jobt.


April 29th, 2010 at 8:53 PM ^

The more I think about it, Furman is a perfect fit for the spur. His abilities are pretty much exactly what your looking for at that position. If he is able to grasp the mental aspect of the game, I don't see any way we can keep him off of the field.