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11/08/2012 - 4:29pm Great work, Brian. I wonder

Great work, Brian. I wonder what the chances are that the 2013 OL, with probably four new starters (all younger and with more prep hype) will actually improve in interior run blocking? We should definitely see an improvement in size, but I'm wondering how low or high we should be setting the expectations for next year's line. Clearly it seems that Hoke and staff wanted to RS the entire freshman OL class regardless of what happened this year, and so far it's worked, but I can't help but think about some of the good things we've been hearing about guys like Braden and Bars (in addition to the massive hype of Magnuson and Kalis). This is also taking into account Miller and Burzynski who I'm assuming are legit contenders for starting spots and not just placeholders for this year.

10/30/2012 - 1:21pm Unfortunately, Seth, this

Unfortunately, Seth, this isn't NCAA Football 2013 and you can't just pause the game and slide in WR #12 at QB and run around all day. I'm betting Devin has probably gotten very few (if any) snaps at QB since the beginning of the season. Was Bellomy bad? Yes, but so would most redshirt freshmen with not a lot of prep billing playing in Lincoln at night. 

I think you should stop ripping on these players for their perceived talent level when you have no idea what you're talking about when it comes down to it,

09/25/2012 - 1:17pm stop crapping your pants

I've been a reader for a long time (since 2007) and I have to admit that hearing Brian pin the blame on seemingly one person in every crisis (this time Borges) gets extremely tiring. Denard is a singular talent, yes, but he's never been a threat to beat anyone with his arm and when we play any above-average defense he struggles mightily since we have no one else to help carry the load on a consistent basis. Maybe it's not that someone seems to undermine Denard in every loss. Maybe it's that defenses for the past three years haven't had to guess how to stop Michigan--contain Denard on the edges and force him into obvious passing situations where they can then tee off on him. 

The biggest tragedy of Denard's career isn't the coaches, it's been the lack of balance and the absence of a secondary threat (Fitz hasn't gotten there yet IMO)

06/09/2011 - 12:54pm Tom, what are the fullback

Tom, what are the fullback prospects saying about how they will be used in the offense? Also, how many fullbacks do you think the coaches want on the roster?

06/07/2011 - 12:00am I love how Hoke and Co. have

I love how Hoke and Co. have such a clear vision for this class. If we get Wilson, we will have a full secondary just in this class (Richardson, Standifer at CB and Gant at SS). This should definitely help balance things out on the depth chart.

06/06/2011 - 11:48pm This commitment seems to fit

This commitment seems to fit what MSU has been doing at the QB position--they recruit guys with the measurables and then develop them into junior or senior starters. Dantonio has made it clear they're going to win games on the ground, anyway. This is a good pickup for them. 

11/21/2010 - 12:16pm So does losing to App St. and

So does losing to App St. and getting pwned by Oregon at home sit well with you? I mean, if you want to flaunt your MGoPoints in my face to tell me that I'm wrong then go ahead. Sadly, having a lot of points here does not mean that you're a smarter or better Michigan fan. It just means that you like to think you are.

11/21/2010 - 12:01pm Based off of comments I've

Based off of comments I've interpreted from Brandon, there's no doubt in my mind that RR will be back next year. There seem to be too many extenuating circumstances surrounding this team to make it a real "judgment year". Don't worry, I think next year's team will be the real judgment on RR.

Experienced offense coming back with just enough pieces on defense to field an adequate unit. Frankly, if we don't win our division I'll be disappointed.

11/21/2010 - 11:57am 2007

Well let's not pretend like 2007 was somehow acceptable. It wasn't.

11/06/2010 - 5:19pm If Brandon is going to keep

If Brandon is going to keep RR, he better be willing to break the piggy bank for a top-notch DC. Knowing that, the prospect of allowing a DC complete control can be pretty enticing.

11/06/2010 - 5:09pm What can I say?

I'll admit, I was really down on RR after last week and didn't think this game would be even close.

This was the best possible thing that could have happened--an exciting win to get to a bowl. I had doubts about RR's big-time coaching ability, but this game answered a lot of those questions given the fact that we never blinked and kept fighting. 

My skepticism is not totally answered (Wiscy and OSU coming up), but I'll swallow my words from last week if it results in a Michigan win.

Go Blue!

11/04/2010 - 6:16pm Is anyone shocked? Auburn has

Is anyone shocked? Auburn has gotten a lot of flack for its elaborate recruiting practices under Chizik, I don't doubt that they would have REALLY rolled out the red carpet for a player like Cam Newton.

11/04/2010 - 6:13pm The second comment is what

The second comment is what really bothers me. Since when is it unreasonable to demand that we not finish near the bottom of the conference? Being delusional means expecting a national championship every year, not expecting 7-8 wins at a program like this. 

And yes, plenty of coaches come into much worse situations and do well. Marrone at Syracuse. Pelini at Nebraska. Harbaugh at Stanford.

Is it too much to ask for a good coach? 

11/04/2010 - 6:06pm Thank you. People seem to

Thank you. People seem to think that one's resume is the end-all be-all. Sorry, that's not how the real world works.

11/04/2010 - 6:03pm So what you're saying is that

So what you're saying is that 4-5 years of mediocrity is worth it to POSSIBLY be a good team. 

Are we Michigan or MSU?

11/04/2010 - 6:01pm Judging by how things have

Judging by how things have gone so far, improvement on offense is pretty certain but so is the continuing mismanagement of the defense. Who is to say that RR won't meddle with next year's DC? Hell, we might have to put up 60.

11/04/2010 - 5:55pm The problem here is that

The problem here is that fixing a defense is not like flipping a switch. I know from experience that improving a defense is just as much about changing an attitude as much as it is about scheme. Yeah, getting a new DC could be the answer but until there is a new attitude implemented then nothing will change. 

11/03/2010 - 4:42pm This post sucks

Seriously, how much of what you just wrote is based on wishful thinking and not actual evidence?

Yes, we are putting up numbers, but against piss-poor teams. We have not beaten a single good team since RR has been here. That's the truth.

What makes you think that we will even finish 6-6 let alone win the bowl game? We just gave up 41 to a team with a walk-on QB! Purdue will beat us, not to mention the slaughter that will come by the hands of Illinois, Wisc, and OSU

Look at the numbers, guys. We don't put points on the board against good teams, unless it's near the end of the game to make it look close. Yeah, the defense sucks, and these personnel issues could happen with any team, but what makes you think that underneath all these issues lies a good coach? In my mind, a good coach would rise above that and maybe steal a game here and there. But no, all we've beaten are INDIANA and MINNESOTA and NOTRE DAME.

TO BE PERFECTLY HONEST, I'm not sure another year is worth it to see if this offense can becme the world-beaters that we all claim it to be. Yeah, we can break records and yeah, we put up highlights on sportscenter, but that doesn't win football games. If RR were our coach 10 years ago, then yes, we would be blowing Big Ten teams out. But the truth is that this spread offense has not evolved AT ALL from when RR was at Clemson. Look at the tape. Go read Chris Brown at SmartFootball. The passing game is extremely simple and the reads are exactly the same as they were ten years ago when the idea of even running this system was revolutionary. Call it whatever, but I call it RR's stubbornness to change his system and to change with the times. Defenses know how to defend a simple zone-read nowadays. Ask Dantonio.

08/23/2010 - 2:37pm Depth

On offense, we have plenty of depth and quality players to suggest that we should average around thirty points a game. There should be a high standard for the offense this fall.

For the defense, I honestly think we have probably three or four guys who can really play and a bunch of question marks. Yeah, we have athletes that we can plug in and compete with, but I wouldn't say we have quality depth. 

I feel like we have a more well-rounded defensive line, an extremely experienced linebacking corps, and a questionable secondary that just has to challenge receivers. I'm already excited about Marvin Robinson and Cam Gordon--they could both be four-year starters.

08/20/2010 - 10:46am I'll bite

I'll bite. I think our offense has a more-than-solid year behind an experienced and possibly dominant offensive line. Of course, a lot of that hinges on Lewan having a breakout year. I wouldn't bet against it after a lot of the noise he's been making this offseason. But with Molk, Schilling, Omameh, Dorrestein, and Lewan, that's possibly two or three all-B10 first-teamers with Schilling and Molk being the most solid of the group. Remember how good we were on offense with Molk at center? Imagine that with even better quarterback play and a whole year of V. Smith and Roundtree. 

The defense is of course a concern. I'll hold off judgment until further on in fall camp. An optimist would say that Troy's injury at least gives the younger guys a chance to get even more reps and to be prepared since his injury happened fairly early. My hope is that a simpler defense in the 3-3-5 stack will give guys like Mouton and Roh a chance to use their athleticism in the versatility that the scheme provides. Can Floyd be adequate in the secondary? I think so. I'm looking for a younger guy, whether it be Marvin Robinson, Cam Gordon, or Josh Furman to step up and seize a role at one of the safety positions and give us something to look forward to on the back end. 

At the very least, we have athletes to plug in. You couldn't say that in 2008 or 2009. 

06/10/2010 - 10:33pm It would be exciting to see a

It would be exciting to see a guy like Sean come to Michigan. As an ex-Bomber, I can assure you that players coming from that program will never be out of position and will always be the most intelligent people on the field. Luke Kuechly, the stud LB at Boston College, is epitome of what St. X produces--guys with not quite the physical tools you look for in elite prospects but the willingness to work hard and have an endless motor. 

Tom--has Michigan been talking to his teammate Steven Daniels? I know I may seem like a bit of a homer here but I thought Daniels was more impressive on film. He plays the "adjuster" position in X's 3-3-5 which is reserved year-in and year-out for the most talented defender on the team. I bet he'll be a solid contributor wherever he goes to college.

05/10/2010 - 1:48am This is an awesome post. I

This is an awesome post. I was hoping for a better conclusion, but I guess I'll settle for "watchable" at this point.

But to get 7-8 wins, we don't need the '06 defense. I think just from looking at the talent we have on the roster (albeit raw as can be) we won't have to worry about a Darius Willis turning the corner on us. 

I'd be interested to see how the multiple looks on defense will help us out. For example, moving around Roh and putting Kovacs in good situations will hopefully get the most out of what we have. 

04/23/2010 - 2:36pm I thought they actually got

I thought they actually got it right these past few years with a pretty bland design. Knowing Sparty though, they'll probably show up in something similar to 2002:…

It's times like these when I am glad that I can be confident to see the same winged helmets and uniforms roll out onto the field every year.

04/21/2010 - 4:06pm I'd be interested to see if

I'd be interested to see if he gets time in the slot. The guy has too much ability to leave out there as an outside receiver.

04/19/2010 - 5:27pm You also have to remember

You also have to remember that Oregon got to the Rose Bowl this past year with what I think was the 98th ranked passing offense in a scheme that is pretty comparable to ours. Masoli was basically a glorified running back in that offense and they did very well for themselves. Granted, they didn't beat Ohio State but anyone who watched the game could tell you that they were certainly in it and could have done it if it weren't for a few big plays.

I think RR has a good feel for the passing game, but don't think that we'll ever have an NFL-esque passing attack. This offense starts and ends with the running game and whether or not the QB can make the right reads there.

04/02/2010 - 11:19pm I was a teammate

I played with Matt James at St. Xavier in Cincinnati, OH. I have a special connection with him specifically since he and I played the same position of Right Tackle when I was a senior and he was a sophomore. We split time playing and over the season we grew to develop a special bond. He truly was a special player for his size and athleticism, but it was his attitude and quiet confidence that enabled him to achieve so much. I am proud of the fact that I got to play with him and share a position on the field with him.

My thoughts definitely go out to the James family. Knowing Matt and his brother Romey personally, they are a first-class family in the Cincinnati community. I cannot even imagine the pain that the James family is going through at this point.

Matt James deserved everything he earned. I know people typically hype up people once they are gone, but in this case Matt James really was special Sports aside, it hurts just to see a young man with his vast potential get cut short in his prime. I am still waiting to hear that this is just a bad joke.

I am student at UofM but I will hopefully be making the trek back to Cincy to pay my respects. Hopefully a few teammates from the 2007 team will organize something. Otherwise I am at a loss for words.

03/20/2010 - 1:26pm We certainly have raw talent

We certainly have raw talent and lots of competition. Combining those two, we should be able to turn out a halfway decent defense this year with the potential to be really good in 2011.

03/10/2010 - 5:11pm I am terrified of this

I am terrified of this matchup. UConn will run the ball relentlessly, so our defensive line and linebackers will have to come together quickly. Campbell, Martin, Roh, and RVB will have the spotlight on them throughout fall camp as they'll be tested very early. My fear, though, is more about play action getting over the top of of the linebackers much like it did during the Wisconsin game.

In my opinion, though, there is a difference in physicality between Big Ten and Big East teams. I have hope in our defensive line and linebackers since we return a lot of experience in the front seven. If we aren't dominating the trenches by the second half I would be worried.

03/10/2010 - 1:58am I find it hard to see ND

I find it hard to see ND joining any conference in the near future simply because they pride themselves on being a national brand. If they were to join a conference, they would most likely limit themselves to being a regional plebeian (psh). As it is, they make more than enough money being an independent and being the "anomaly" of college football.

03/08/2010 - 11:26pm If you live just south of

If you live just south of campus you can't go wrong with Bell's, although no Michigan experience is complete without stumbling drunkenly to Backroom at 3:30am and standing in a loooooong line in the middle of November in order to get two slices of okay, but not great, cheese pizza.

Anyway, that's probably the best part about living in UTowers. That and Panchero's.

03/07/2010 - 8:26pm I don't think ragging on your

I don't think ragging on your coach is necessarily "caring" about the program. It's more just showing how small and insecure you are that you have to utilize FACEBOOK of all things to complain about your former coach. If he truly cared about the program he would just leave the situation alone instead of focusing it on himself. Evans should know which battles deserve to be fought and which don't.

And everyone here just wants one thing--to win again. I'm sure if you've actually been paying attention the past couple of years, PLENTY has been RR's fault, but that still doesn't take away the fact that many of us (including myself) think RR is our best bet to get back to the top. If we're wrong, then so be it.

03/07/2010 - 8:12pm Two things:
Just look at all

Two things:

Just look at all the games this year that were so close. Off the top of my head there were maybe 7 or 8 games that could have gone either way--if at least half of those go in our direction we're not talking about this.

We have an EXTREMELY young team. Yeah we might have been overhyped to start the year but we bring a lot back and gained valuable experience.

03/06/2010 - 3:48pm It's unbelievable how

It's unbelievable how unproductive this class was. At the time, we were coming off a Rose Bowl season in which we came thisclose to playing for the National Championship. Ryan Mallett transferring was unfortunate, but necessary to the progress of RichRod's offense.

Still, you would think that we would have at least gotten a little more out of this class just by raw talent alone.

03/06/2010 - 2:09pm I would agree with Hart and

I would agree with Hart and Depriest. Hart could see some immediate playing time even with all the depth we have and Depriest would be a starter from day one, no questions asked.

I also think any NT we recruit is extremely important, provided that he is good enough to contribute early.

Can't count out Beyer either--you can't ever have enough good DEs.

03/03/2010 - 12:40pm I think what people are

I think what people are saying is that Ezeh would do better at DE since there is less reading and less thinking involved.

I think moving him to Quick would be a good idea, especially if Roh bulks up enough to become a true DE. Then, you have a guy in Ezeh will legitimate LB experience as well as the pass rushing instincts that he's definitely shown so far. If Ezeh can get up to about 260ish I see no problem in giving it a try.

03/02/2010 - 11:35pm I didn't know Luke Fickell

I didn't know Luke Fickell trolled on MGoBlog. Who woulda thunk.

03/02/2010 - 8:19pm Thanks for pointing that out.

Thanks for pointing that out. I hadn't really thought about that considering I had played with Kuechly in high school. Kuechly's pure football instincts were amazing and, just like he does in college now, he was very good at avoiding and shedding blocks. They played the same position in the 3-3-5 stack (OLB) although Kuechly switched to a more S/LB role his senior year. Also Ryan looks a bit bigger in his film than Kuechly ever did in high school.

Bottom line, if we have a player in Ryan that could even approach Kuechly's freshman year than we will have a significantly upgraded defense.

03/02/2010 - 5:31pm Thanks for this reply. It's

Thanks for this reply. It's always nice to hear from an actual football coach.

That's my main concern, the fact that the 30 stack is built for the OLBs and they are meant to pile up stats. Further, the blocking angles for the offensive line aren't nearly as convenient as they are in a 40 front. That is what makes it so great at the high school level in my opinion.

But I agree, a redshirt year would be pretty helpful considering we've got plenty of experience in front of him.

03/02/2010 - 12:36pm Tate may seem like the

Tate may seem like the obvious answer, but I think we can get away with the Tate we saw at the end of the year sans the turnovers, of course. On the other hand, if we have the same RVB, Roh, or Ezeh we saw last year we'll struggle.

Remember, all we need is 7-8 wins. I haven't lowered my expectations, I'm just stating what is needed to keep us on track.

03/02/2010 - 11:52am I completely forgot about

I completely forgot about RVB. His experience is going to be so valuable this year. I don't think he has enough speed to even compare to BG, but his motor is unbelievable and he'll be extremely valuable on this year's DL. Thankfully we have him until 2011.

Not to mention the presence of Sagesse and Banks on the DL. Those two seniors should get a lot more time this year and it will be so valuable for guys like Ash and Talbott who can now afford to RS.

03/02/2010 - 2:38am I didn't mean for my post to

I didn't mean for my post to come out so critically of Woolfolk. In my honest opinion, Woolfolk is a great role player on a defense without many "sure-thing" guys. Looking at last year, I would be more than happy to have a defense full of role players who simply got the job done. Woolfolk certainly did his job last year and I hope for the best from him, but Leon Hall or Donovan Warren he is not.

03/02/2010 - 2:31am I think we can afford to take

I think we can afford to take Hollowell as a depth player but I agree, I don't see him being anything more than a nickelback by the time he is a junior or senior.

I think he's a good fit though because he is a Cass Tech guy and we can't afford to lose that pipeline. One day there is going to be a five star, blue-chip guy (like a Will Campbell) come from that school again and we'll all be glad that we kept that pipeline coming along.

03/02/2010 - 2:25am Although South Bend isn't

Although South Bend isn't nearly the most exciting locale to spend four years of your life it doesn't take away that ND is a great school overall.

ND is certainly a different experience. Anyone who has gone there or who has a sibling or friend (like I do) understands how it is quite a sheltered and isolated place.

To put it bluntly: great school, never in a million years would I want to go there.

03/02/2010 - 2:17am I see Molk and Woolfolk being

I see Molk and Woolfolk being huge leaders.

The center position on the OL is always a prime spot for leadership, and especially with his effectiveness last year I think there should be a lot expected from him. With him I think we average about 10 more points per game honestly.

And then obviously Woolfolk since there will be a lot of inexperience and youth in the secondary. Does anyone else feel like this guy should be something like a redshirt sophomore instead of a true senior? Even though on any other Michigan team of the past 10 years he would have been a nickelback, in 2010 he'll be our "rock" of the secondary. Pretty sad but true.

03/02/2010 - 2:05am Don't kid yourself. South

Don't kid yourself. South Bend is basically Ypsilanti but even smaller.

03/02/2010 - 2:02am My older brother graduated

My older brother graduated from ND and I can confirm that it is a very sheltered college experience. I am an undergrad at UM and my stories that constitute my everyday life would be considered "wild" at ND.