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Date Title Body
06/19/2018 - 1:04pm Featuring a duo of safeties…

Featuring a duo of safeties named Jordan.

06/19/2018 - 1:00pm As long as we're meandering…

As long as we're meandering through offseason this way there'd better be an All-Walk-on squad in the pipeline.

06/19/2018 - 12:54pm The underlying point I saw…

The underlying point I saw was that the 3-stars are thin on playmakers beyond the best 2-3.  The honorable mentions were still very productive college players with some standout games, but not the sort of terrifying hell-beasts you'd to scheme to avoid.  If Seth filled out 2-deeps and we had the 3-stars face the 5-stars, whoever's coaching the former would be sweating the risk of injury.  Case in point, I don't like Roy Roundtree's chances vs. Charles Woodson but Tom Brady might at least look that way now and then and not have it be a complete waste of time.  If both went down or took breathers then the first(?) guys off the benches are Tae Odoms vs. David effin' Long.  Good luck with that, 3-stars.

Some while back some folks on the Internet made an all-UDFA NFL team (active players only), and they found legit starters at every position.  That's as far as they went, though, and my suspicion is that filling out a full roster that way would've been iffy at best.

BTW, Seth, maybe you could assign coaches (HC, OC and DC) to these squads, including retroactively?  Not to compare (so not necessarily "the best") but you seem to have some ideas formed around a quasi-cohesive squad presumably for someone to coach instead of just compiling a who's who grab bag, so it'd be insightful to know which brains you're channeling.

06/19/2018 - 12:10pm The year Woodson won the…

The year Woodson won the Heisman he had 7 picks; Marcus Ray had five and Weathers two.  The #1 pass defense in the country and IIRC it wasn't close.  Not that running on Michigan was a chocolate fondue party but offenses overall had somewhat more success there (kind of like the difference between getting hit by a dump truck vs. getting hit by a train but still), and the offense wasn't really putting teams away to force opponents into desperation mode. . . but opponents kept throwing.  They weren't merely good at stopping the pass; they were darn good at baiting QBs and DCs into thinking there was a chance.

06/19/2018 - 9:21am (No subject)

Image removed.

06/14/2018 - 6:22am BS, those killings are…

BS, those killings are necessary to establish an imminent danger in the narrative while keeping the core cast intact.

06/13/2018 - 7:27am Wrote a song about it.  Goes…

Wrote a song about it.  Goes like

Spider!
(He is our hero)
Spider!
(Get rid of)
Spider!
(Step on Spider!)
Spider
(We love you Spider!)

(Apologies to They Might Be Giants)

06/13/2018 - 7:23am (No subject)

Image removed.

06/13/2018 - 7:20am I'm sure the coaches looked…

I'm sure the coaches looked into that.  After all, every QB at Michigan has to beat the WDE.

06/08/2018 - 1:43pm I knew there was a high…

I knew there was a high social cost to Brian not UFR-ing our recent losses to OSU.

06/08/2018 - 1:38pm Is hurling a thing?  I've…

Is hurling a thing?  I've never done it, only seen it once ever, but then again when I know I'm going to run I like to have my stomach empty.  I'm a wuss so beyond the 2 mile mark any excess weight feels like I'm dragging a tire, whether it's keys in my pocket or food in my stomach.  When I get nauseous it's invariably due to heatstroke.

I'll definitely get the shakes, though, if I push my kick past the sensation of exhaustion.

06/07/2018 - 10:39am I don't assume anyone who…

I don't assume anyone who can't do something to the point of giving up on it entirely is "otherwise smart".

06/06/2018 - 1:06pm LFFFFFGGGGG!!!!!!


Cat-like…

LFFFFFGGGGG!!!!!!

Cat-like typing detected?

06/06/2018 - 11:55am Prestigious?  No.  Not that…

Prestigious?  No.  Not that NBA athletes are better or worse on average than any other league, but there are fewer of them, so the ones you're stuck with have a disproportionate amount of leverage.  If your boss is a stupid owner who threw a ton of money and draft picks at overrated, aging high-volume guys or some such, congrats, it's now your job to make someone else's mess work.  In college you can bench a player; in the NBA a player can fire you.

And in that context, we're talking about the Pistons.  The thought, to me at least, is as appealing as middle management at Amazon.

06/06/2018 - 6:33am Can't browse diaries. . . is…

Can't browse diaries. . . is there a link somewhere that I can't find, or are only seven left in existence?

Also can't check my own content.  I hope that's not gone; I liked checking back for LTTP replies.

I also can't see hamsterdance anymore.  I don't care about this though.  Just thought I should mention it.

06/01/2018 - 1:31pm My my

"It’s not that (the running back is) not blocking as much. It’s just we simplified our bag of tools with Coach Drevno being gone. A lot of O-linemen couldn’t catch on to the stuff that we were doing. It’s a lot more simplified stuff."

The message conforms to what everyone else is saying, but that's a surprisingly raw choice of words that made it out of Ft. Schembechler.

06/01/2018 - 6:49am I wish I could agree

I really do.  It's nice to have a nasty streak, but we've been burned so many times that it's painfully clear it's way down the list of priorities.

The linemen we've done well with, for the most part, are those with smarts, motor, and lateral mobility.  Molk, Lewan, Schofield, Cole, Magnuson. . . these guys were good at seeing what's in front of them and staying in front of it.  Yeah you had to be big enough and strong enough as well, but S&C is an assembly line at this point.  You gotta be able to move at that size, otherwise "nasty" won't matter.  And I've seen way too many "nasty" linemen go 4-5 years here and out without getting that far.

I understand that most HS recruits suck at pass pro so I'm not worried about the pickup per se, but (more an aside here, not a response) I get very annoyed by evaluations saying, "Oh, he can just learn pass pro."  How are you so sure?  I would happily sum up a really good O-lineman as a 300-pound ballet dancer, and I sincerely express that as a compliment.  The guys who amazed me the most were light on their feet for their size, with good short-area burst and refined footwork, and the potential for that is not easy to see in a 300-pound HS kid that's mauling people.  You can set up a decent run game with five "finesse" linemen, but you can't protect the QB with a bunch of knuckle-headed "road-graders" that can't pick up a damn stunt.  Often times it's coaching, but sometimes it's the brain or feet that can't keep up.

05/30/2018 - 12:20pm This content is offseasony

as any offseason content can possibly get.  You can't get any more offseasony.  If you were to ask, how can someone make content any more offseasony than this, the answer is. . . you can't.

05/30/2018 - 6:49am Not many calls

As we've seen, the refs basically give our opponents carte blanche to bearhug our DL and rip their jerseys off.  Makes single blocking more effective when you're given permission to cheat.

Brown's blitzes are designed to get a free hitter through the line so it won't work all the time, but it does annoy me.

05/25/2018 - 7:09pm From the man himself

Sorry, can't find the cite, but I think it was the Colorado gameplan where Don Brown went on record postgame as saying he got burned because he overcompensated for getting burned by the run the prior week.  Extenuating circumstances, he was still in the process of implementing his defense.

It's NOT a big flaw, mind you, but I've noticed other things he's done (can't remember off the top of my head), and I think he's comfortable admitting as much.  I wouldn't trade him for any other DC, but I think it's a little disconcerting that I get a reaction simply for stating that a man isn't perfect.  You can do a LOT worse; gosh, I wish my biggest flaw was "sometimes I take a step back from being literally the best in the country at what I do beause I overreact a bit" at MY job.

05/25/2018 - 1:36pm I think they wanted to

When it was apparent the QBs weren't staying upright long enough, a bunch of positions got their job descriptions re-written.

05/25/2018 - 7:51am Fine I'll be "that guy"

Let's get this out of the way: Don Brown is the best college DC in the country.

That said, he's not perfect, and one flaw I've noted at times is that when he gets burned, he tends to overcompensate to the point of detriment.  I don't know how many Jeremy Clark clones we'll get out of this mission to recruit every 6'2" 3-star CB in the country, but chances that it'll be all of them are pretty low, and they all take up roster spots until they transfer.

The slot fade isn't the easiest play to get yards with, and if some plays seem to work more than others against Don Brown it's often because he's shut down everything else.  I would've expected him to do something about it, and this isn't an individual knock on Faustin, but grabbing so many DBs because of slot fades strikes me as using C-4 to take care of a molehill.  Maybe he's got other plans (in fact I'm sure of it) but did we really need this many DBs?

05/24/2018 - 1:49pm "I don't know" isn't all bad news

QB was a problem, Harbs did something about it.  WR was a problem, Harbs did something about it.  O-line was a problem. . . you get the idea.

It's almost certain at least one of these position groups has improved, and quite probable all of them did, but how efficient the '18 offense is going to be, and how it's going to look, is going to depend in large part on degrees.  The O-line will be improved but by how much?  QB will be improved but by how much? WR will be improved but by how much?  Gosh, I don't know.  We can comment on Ole Miss with the benefit of hindsight but aside from a huge amount of potential the '18 offense is almost top-to-bottom an unknown.  Not strictly a bad unknown, but I do think any prediction made now can only be right in the way a broken clock can be.

05/24/2018 - 12:02pm Flip a coin

Last season's offense needed major fixing.  Harbaugh made major changes.  Did it work?  Only time will tell.  On a scale of one to ten, I rate next year's offense as mauve.

The arrival of Patterson certainly upgrades our QB depth, but as we saw in his game vs. Alabama, solid QB play isn't even going to prevent a blowout if you can't protect the QB, and the O-line is a huge question mark.

I commend the HC; he looked at his mistakes and did what needed to be done.  There aren't that many people who'd even have the humility to do that.  But the results are ultimately beyond his control.  If something's going wrong he can't feasibly make any more major changes without causing as much damage as he's trying to mitigate.

I was going to write a diary on what I expect next season's offense to look like (tactically), then I realized I have no idea.  The offense is going to be built around what works, but between what didn't work last year and all the changes they made, hell if I know what's gonna work.

05/18/2018 - 2:22pm hmm

05/17/2018 - 6:22am O-line rehash

The discussion itself is a metaphor for last season's QBs.  Which is to say. . .

05/15/2018 - 12:16pm Single point of failure controls

More and more crap are moving to touch controls but the tech doesn't yet have the reliability of manual controls, and there's no backup.  So for example (and this kind of stuff actually happens), when they move the HVAC controls to touch screen and the interface craps out, it could be 100 degrees in the car and the compressor is fine, the ducts are fine, the vents are fine, yet you don't have air conditioning because there's no way to access the controls.  That's just a single example, but the problem is that the more crap they move to the touch panel, the more it becomes a single point of failure for everything.  Looking forward to when some dumbass in marketing forces the engineers to move the power windows to the touchscreen.

05/11/2018 - 9:15am Moral of the story

If your O-line sucks, you can have a good QB and still get blown out.  He'll chart better but it won't matter.

Well, that's good to know.

05/10/2018 - 11:58am Leave the players alone

It feels strange to have to say this as I'm not inherently for paying players (we can have that conversation, just not in this thread), but as long as they're not being paid a wage, which is the status quo as of today, they don't owe the public anything, either.

The players are free to start their own stuff, like Winovich's fundraising, or respond to invites.  You don't drag students into public events unless they have a say.

05/10/2018 - 11:46am Not many can move well at that size

Onwenu is the exception, not the rule, and he's trying to get his weight down to improve his endurance.  Also, 6'7" at 14 means a good chance he'll be too tall by 18.

More to football than being big, is the reality.

05/09/2018 - 11:19am All height gain is good gain

All height loss is good loss.

These roster updates are getting weird.

05/08/2018 - 1:30pm We don't need a miracle

I can't speak for Minnesota; if he had a problem to fix or if he was limited by the talent.  As I said elsewhere, Warinner's not reinventing the wheel here.  We just need the O-line to stop being a revolving door.  Winovich's quote about having to work for sacks is encouraging.  The guy's an elite college pass rusher so that he gets sacks against our O-line is not the end of the world.  The problem is that linemen would just fly through the O-line untouched and Winovich said that wasn't happening anymore.

I think our problems on offense are way too numerous to fix before the start of the season.  But if last year's buttfense was due to youth and coaching, time took care of the former and Harbaugh acted on the latter.  As far from perfection they'll be, drives will be much more successful if the offense isn't shooting itself in the foot as often.

05/08/2018 - 12:59pm I'm baffled about how they dropped concept

It's clear from past seasons that Harbaugh is aware of the benefit of teaching concepts over procedure.  He has receivers running option routes and the QB picking the play at the line based on alignment.  His offense is based on the players being students of the art.

I can only assume he trusted Drevno and Frey to work things out but it seems in hindsight neither of them were making sure the linemen understood what they were doing.  No wonder both are gone.  Warinner isn't doing anything revolutionary; the OL coaching situation was practically addition by subraction before his track record is taken into account.

05/08/2018 - 12:52pm Rashan Gary

"A big man with CORNERBACK-like movement skills"

There, fixed it for ya, NFL guy.  As in, Gary literally outperformed our CBs in ability drills.

Gary is an intriguing talent not so much because he'll probably be great -- that's almost a given -- but because his physical talent is bona fide generational.  He is literally faster than NFL linebackers as an SDE, yet powerful enough to play inside at the college level.  He's what Str 20, Dex 20 looks like.

From a career achievement standpoint it's obviously way too early to tell, but based strictly on his measurables -- which I usually think are overrated, but in this case an exception is warranted because of what Gary's doing -- he has the potential to be in the "greatest athlete ever" conversation.  Now, to temper that, pure athleticism does not always result in accomplishments that get someone that conversation.  I'm just saying, sheesh. . . I honestly have not seen such a combination of power and speed for as long as I've been following sports.

05/08/2018 - 6:50am No idea what you're talking about

Don't be ridiculous.  There's no reason to be rushin' to conclusions.

05/07/2018 - 1:56pm "Penn State minus Saquon Barkley"

Aside from that, Mr. McCray, how was the Penn State offense?

05/04/2018 - 8:33am In other words, lots of sexual assault

. . . but the good news is, the NCAA was OK with it!

Lessons from Penn State, I guess. . .

05/04/2018 - 7:19am Of course not!

You are American types!

05/01/2018 - 1:09pm Not odd at all

This is odd to me since Michigan's cornerback duo was probably the best in the country, at least in terms of passer rating allowed. You'd think one of the two would be a consideration for the end of the first round.

Nope.  Mistake is looking at passer rating.  Far too often I've seen NFL CB scouting comes down to one thing -- interceptions.  You could shut down every receiver you've covered, collectively hold them to zero receptions, but if you finish your career with two picks you must be doing something wrong.

Michigan prefers their CBs shut down receivers first than play the bait-and-pick game that some guys like Blake Countess are so good at, to the point of nearly destroying Blake Countess.  It's not a career killer but it hurts their draft stock somewhat because people are stupid.

Athlon's top CB pick is Andraez Williams, who led the SEC with six pics last year as a freshman.  I strongly suspect the logic here begins and ends with "led the SEC in interceptions".

05/01/2018 - 6:04am 28 Tickets isn't about ability

It's about how much a player has locked up a job.  That's as much a depth thing as it is an ability thing.  We're thin at safety, so while they're not terrible by any means, they're "starters by default" because the yutes aren't ready.

04/30/2018 - 1:56pm Do we even need kaiju?

Black, DPJ, Martin, Perry, Collins, Gentry*. . . we only need three good WRs to have a killer 3-wide offense and we do.  Black, Perry, and Gentry are money, and there's strong evidence Martin and DPJ will be right up there with them.  With Evans out there we could turn defense into an unfair game of Missile Command.

Kaiju was fun when we had Asiasi; this team's got a different sort of potential.

*Yes Gentry is a TE but he can easily split out wide

04/30/2018 - 9:27am He wouldn't prove anyone wrong

The O'Korn who left Michigan was a terrible QB by any objective measure.

If he hangs around the league it'd be because he became a completely different QB, which is something any of us should hope for, but that wouldn't invalidate any assessments of his college play, because those assessments say he would have to do nothing short of. . . becoming a completely different QB to make it in the NFL.  His odds aren't zero, but they're rather grim.

04/27/2018 - 1:44pm [laugh track]

[laugh track]

04/27/2018 - 1:43pm Hurst is also "undersized"

Everyone's looking at his weight and wringing their hands about how he'll hold up against double teams, as if teams hadn't tried to double him only to watch him land in the QB's lap anyway.

The NFL draft isn't an assessment; it's more like a wildly speculative market, completely unregulated, where bets are really about the wildest upsides.  For that matter, I think NFL teams are publicly selling Hurst short in the hopes of sniping him with a relatively cheap pick.  It's more a political move than any statement about his ability.

04/27/2018 - 10:37am Yeah, why I said "a few games"

Rudock basically took half the season to get in synch; I think it's reasonable to expect Patterson to be up to speed by conference play, assuming he starts.

And I mean, if he hits the ground running against ND, I ain't gonna complain about that.

04/27/2018 - 9:34am Wow, folks goin crazy

More realistic assessment: Jake Rudock 2.0.  He doesn't have the whole playbook down yet, and QB-WR chemistry takes time to develop, so it's more likely he'll need at least a few games to get comfortable.  UM-ND could be this year's Utah game minus freshman Grant Perry.

Actual worst case is that he doesn't even beat out Peters, but to channel my inner Brian, if the WORST we have is that Peters does better than Patterson, that's because Peters took a leap forward ahead of the SEC's #3 QB and that's NOT a problem.

Either way, Peters/Patterson/McCaffery is a clear upgrade from Speight/O'Korn/Peters or Peters/McCaffrey/Milton.

Now we just need a couple of offensive tackles. . .

04/26/2018 - 12:13pm He's a player without a position

He's the spirit of an RB trapped in the body of a WR.  I have no evidence with which to question his want-to but when your best plays as a WR involve your blocking, you're not staying on the field.

04/26/2018 - 12:06pm Quite simple, you moron

The expectation is for the team to win.

In April.

Somehow.

Winless in April; #FIREHARBAUGH

04/26/2018 - 11:18am I don't see any need to be unreasonably excited

I think the OL is still a long-term coach-created liability that's going to take time to fix, and I'll believe we have a competent QB when we see it.  Not that I think either can't be improved, just that I'm done predicting improvement and am now waiting for it.  But if that's one thing, we got people here saying the program is "on the verge of collapse", which. . . LOL.

For all the people yearning for the days of Bo Schembechler, if they had the same attitude then as today and their will be done, Bo would've been fired after the 1975 season, and that wasn't even his worst stretch.  Even if cooler heads prevailed, '79 would've been "the year of infinite pain", and the whole '79-'84 seasons would've been insufferable for the rest of us with near-daily whining about how Bo is a terrible coach, a stupid person and has completely destroyed the football program.

04/25/2018 - 9:06am Don't Flintstone