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01/08/2019 - 11:09am Yes--those two would have…

Yes--those two would have been great additions.  Fantastic players.


We also just missed with Najee Harris.



01/06/2019 - 9:02pm Spot on!  He was just…

Spot on!  He was just dominant!

01/04/2019 - 4:12pm Great news!  I will never…

Great news!  I will never forget his game vs Minnesota a couple years back.  I have rarely seen a defensive player take over a game like that!

01/04/2019 - 3:35pm I think you are mistaking…

I think you are mistaking his public persona for his real personality.


JH does not trust or even like the media.  So his press conferences are mostly him not directly answering questions and getting annoyed.


I don't blame him one bit.  Were I in his shoes, I would be the same way.


You don't get a big job like his without being able to connect with people.  I am sure his players, coaches and staff love him.

01/04/2019 - 3:19pm I think Harbaugh is one of…

I think Harbaugh is one of the best 10 coaches in the Nation (I think he is around number 10).  He has forgotten more about football than the collective Football IQ of MGoBlog.  He is hard working, innovative, and a good teacher of fundamentals.  NFL teams covet him because he can almost instantly make a team competitive.


And despite what many fools believe, we are also not at all likely to get someone better.


The problem is that the gap between the top 2 or 3 coaches and numbers 4 to 10 is big.


I think Harbaugh could be even better were he not so stubborn in some areas.  I cannot understand seeing so many TEs in games when you have Black, DPJ, and Collins on the sideline, for example.  Running the ball into stacked boxes.  Being his own OC. 


I also think his "classiness" hurts us.  Drevno stayed around too long.  Pep is still here.  In Life, the Tough Choice is usually the best/correct one.

01/03/2019 - 11:03am Yes--I am guessing that the…

Yes--I am guessing that the wife was also pretty crazy.  So people discounted what she said even (unfortunately) when she was telling the truth.

01/03/2019 - 10:59am A few thoughts:


1)  Ohio…

A few thoughts:


1)  Ohio is a very good high school football state.  On par with many Southern states.  OSU can just about fill its roster with 4 star guys from Ohio. 


2)  Related to number 1......OSU does NOT have to share in state recruits with another big Ohio school.  Michigan has MSU.  Hell, Florida, Texas and California are jam packed full of schools.  Number 1 and 2 together put OSU in a unique position.


3)  Years of winning have given OSU a better national brand.  Young people today do not really know a Michigan as a power.


4)  Higher admission standards hurt us.  Rumors say that Van Jefferson could not get into UM with Shea.  That dude torched us in the Florida game.


5)  OSU got a once in a generation coach in Meyer.  And Meyer knew how to recruit the South and Florida in particular.


6)  It is only my uninformed opinion, but OSU seems to take the rivalry more seriously than we do.  We seem to want to tone it down and they seem to want to ramp it up.  Probably has to do with their winning.


7)  My uninformed opinion again.  I like their offensive and defensive philosophies better.   

01/03/2019 - 12:18am I don't think most people…

I don't think most people are saying this.  I would LOVE to run the ball down people's throats.  But the best offenses can take what the defense gives them.  Give a good offense an unbalanced look and you will pay.


We try to establish the run at all costs even in the face of run blitzes and linebackers playing downhill.  I think that Shea was very, very good at converting on 3rd down to keep drives alive.  Look at all the times that he was 3rd and 7 or more yards this year and converted.  But we have to stop putting him in this situation.

01/02/2019 - 10:38pm It is a philosophical choice…

It is a philosophical choice that Harbaugh makes.  He can put a TE in the box and block a Linebacker / Safety in the box or he can just put a WR outside the box and drag the guy covering him outside the box with him.


I do get JH's thinking.  If your TEs are good blockers, then you can try to create extra gaps that the defense must account for in the run game.  They can also chip or double team Defensive Ends that your Tackles might have a hard time blocking.  By creating more gaps, you also reduce the depth of the defense and increase the chances for a big play.  You get more and better angles for your blockers.  You also increase the chance that the defense will keep linebackers in the game instead of going to a nickel or a dime defense.  Theoretically, this helps your passing game.


But it is all predicated on the TEs being good blockers.  Our TE's are not good blockers. 


There is also the thinking that big TEs can overmatch smaller linebackers / safeties in pass coverage.  Catch high balls and box out defenders with their bigger bodies.


Our TEs actually CAN do this.  But do they do it significantly better than the WRs who are also generally big bodied and are faster with better hands?


With all of this......I would rather run 10 personnel and keep the 4 wide receivers wider so that they drag people out of the box.  The RB can certainly help in pass protection (just like a TE) if that is an issue.  If pass pro is really bad, we can go to 11 personnel.  I don't think most college QBs can even see 5 all receivers in a pattern so I like 10 and 11 packages where one or both guys protect the QB. 

We can certainly play with TEs in many instances (both run and pass) for all the reasons that I mention above.  But I am arguing against such a heavy use of TEs when our TEs are not good blockers.  Seeing us run so many 12 or 22 packages is just creating a mass of humanity in the middle of the field and some of those humans don't block well.


3 or 4 good WRs playing outside the box will drag defenders outside the box opening the run game.  That in combination with a good pass catching running back (Chris Evans) will cause defenses to play Nickel and Dime and ironically open the run game even more for us.  If Chris Evans could become a good pass blocker it would add another dimension and we could have a very solid offense.

01/02/2019 - 6:40pm I think you mean that…

I think you mean that Michigan should run more 10 personnel.  1 Running Back and 0 TEs.  No?


I think the strength of our offense is the QB and WRs.  Gentry was a bit of a match up problem, but DPJ, Black and Collins are also tall and faster / more athletic with better hands.


I think moving away from TEs would unload the box too.  TEs lining up in the box bring a defender into that box.  A defender who can shed blocks better than our TEs can block.

01/02/2019 - 6:26pm Thank you and good luck,…

Thank you and good luck, young man!

01/02/2019 - 5:50pm Please.


We have our TEs…



We have our TEs out there most of the time.  The combo of Collins, DPJ and Black presents a serious problem to any defensive coordinator.  Mix in Oliver Martin when you want to give one of those guys a rest.  Using them, we might be able to get down to merely 7 or 8 guys in the box.


Instead of designing the scheme around the strength of the offense (the WR position), we throw balls to TEs.  Because we WANT the strength of the team to be the TE position.  This also makes it easier for teams to stack the box.  And our TEs are not amazing run blockers.


Having said that......yes Shea does have happy feet, is cautious (to his credit in many cases), does not step up, and still struggles to go through progressions.



01/02/2019 - 5:38pm I agree.  One of the things…

I agree.  One of the things that I LOVED about Shea was that he was careful with the ball.  One of the things I HATED about Shea was that he was careful with the ball.  ;-)


It is an incredibly fine line to walk.  All things considered, I would error on the side of caution which is where Shea was.


Having said that, there are lots of safe/quick hitting passes that could be made.  Quick outs.  Slants right into the space that run blitzers just vacated.


I think Harbaugh loves the position and craft of Quarterbacking and calls too many plays that involve pre- and post-snap reads and going through a progression. 

01/02/2019 - 5:22pm One of the best linebackers…

One of the best linebackers I have ever seen period.  So many times I would say "Oh God, the RB just got the edge."


Then Bush would just run him down.

01/02/2019 - 5:19pm One thing that I did not…

One thing that I did not write down in my OP.  I have noticed that Don Brown will try to smother inferior competition and try to hold them to no score and almost no yards.  Starters will stay in the game when we are up by 30 points.  Man to man coverage will continue.  Blitzes will still come fast and furious.


I sometimes wonder if a better approach might be to use the opportunity that a big lead gives you to PRACTICE the zone or brackets coverage that you will need against the OSUs or bowl opponents later in the season.


Our attempts to run zone and brackets coverage vs OSU and Florida were horrifying.  So many breakdowns.  Some in-game experience earlier in the year might help even if we give up more points and more yards.  We might also lose our coveted Number 1 Defense in America title......but it would be worth it if it gave us some tools in the toolkit for later in the year.


01/02/2019 - 5:11pm You hit the nail on the head…

You hit the nail on the head.


If you were a top 10 WR or QB.....would you go to Michigan?


By not fully utilizing the very high quality guys that we have now, we jeapordize our ability to get players like this in the future.

01/02/2019 - 4:29pm To me one of the highest…

To me one of the highest compliments you can pay an offense is that it capable of taking what the defense gives you.  The offense is good enough and balanced enough that they will hurt the defense badly if they play unbalanced.


So many times this season I saw 8 or 9 guys in the box facing Michigan on 1st down.  And it wasn't just a look that the D backed out of on the snap.  The linebackers indicated that they were coming on a run blitz and then they did.


We would run right into this.


I understand that there are great, time tested reasons that you want to establish the run.  But one way to establish the run is to establish the pass and then go back to the run.  We seem so stubborn in trying to just impose our will on our opponents.

01/02/2019 - 3:02pm Fair enough.  I was not…

Fair enough.  I was not clear enough that I was talking about the offensive system.  Lots of good players on the D, although I don't think either Peppers or Gary fully lived up to their hype (statistically, neither was amazing). 


Bush and Hurst were special talents. Loved those two.

01/02/2019 - 2:26pm Fair enough.  I did find it…

Fair enough.  I did find it therapeudic though.

01/02/2019 - 2:22pm Agree.  Game planning can be…

Agree.  Game planning can be collaborative.  Play calling cannot.

10/02/2018 - 5:57pm You must be joking?  Our…

You must be joking?  Our offense could be harder to stop than OSUs?


OSU has a terrific offense.  They statistically crush us.  We are literally years away from their level of effectiveness.


Their offense is not simple.  Every play has a counter.  Lots of misdirection.  Most importantly, it is all quick hitting. 


Our plays take too long to develop and require lots of things to go right.  Multiple people must make the same read.  Blocks must be held too long.


There is a reason even the NFL has moved away from 1990s era offenses.  The world figured out how to stop them.


I am not saying I want us to go spread, but we need an offense (and play callers) that can take what the defense gives us.  All those NW run blitzes, for example, were just begging for us to throw slants at them.  Instead, we kept running into the run blitzers.

09/13/2018 - 2:11pm I trust the coaches to put…

I trust the coaches to put the right players in the game.  They have forgotten more about football than this Board ever knew.


I was just reflecting on what got us here.  I remember when we were recruiting Alex Leatherwood who was the best OT in his class and who decided to go to Alabama.


When Michigan looked like it was going to land him......did that scare off other potential OT recruits?


Then we struck out with the OT grad transfer from Houston.


The same can be said for RB.  We almost landed Najee Harris who went to Alabama at the last minute.  Did his recruitment scare off other good RBs?


I feel like our recruiting is like the Home Run hitter.  We swing for the fences, but more often than not we strike out.



09/02/2018 - 2:19pm I thought Shea played very…

I thought Shea played very well considering he had little blocking and no run game.  The offensive game plan was generally weak too.


I am more concerned about what is going through his head.  He was clearly mad at the guys on offense with him.


That anger could be really good or really bad.

09/02/2018 - 10:21am He got close to Leatherwood…

He got close to Leatherwood who is a can't miss tackle.  The guy went to Alabama.


At the running back spot, Harbaugh was close on Najee Harris.  Another Tide commit.


I wonder if we are going "all in" on these big name recruits and telling them that we are not recruiting anyone else at their position.    When they bail on us, we are left with a giant hole.


Or maybe solid 4 stars are looking at this and saying, "Michigan is recruiting Leatherwood.  If Leatherwood goes there, I am not going to beat him out, so I will go elsewhere."


This is pure speculation on my part.  It feels like we are perennially "just missing" the 5 star sure thing and then getting the 3 star.


09/02/2018 - 12:26am Trying to be more positive…

Trying to be more positive......The Good


1)  Patterson is an upgrade.  I liked what I saw in McCaffrey.


2)  Thomas on kick returns.....dude runs HARD.  


3)  Defense strong in second half.  Good coaching adjustment.


4)  Great edge rush from Winovich and Gary.  Just crushing the ND tackles.  Sadly, Wimbush would just step up and then run around out DTs.


5)  Offense looked simpler.


The Bad


1)  Still no offensive identity.  Moving from Shotgun and zone blocking to 22 Package Power and back.  I hate this.


2)  We REALLY miss Mo Hurst.  Our ends would push the QB forward in the pocket and then he would run for 20 yards.  The DTs could not hold their lanes.  With the loss of Hurst, this defense may not be as good as last year.


3)  The offensive line is still our weakest unit.  Too many pressures / sacks and an inability to generate 4 yards a carry.  This forces us into throwing a bunch of 3 to 5 yard passes which will get us nowhere.  


4)  Coaching.  Notre Dame's  coaches did a great job of exploiting all of the weaknesses of our defense.  Great play calling.


5)  Still no playmakers on offense.  


6)  Shea looked very annoyed with guys on the offense.  This could be a really good thing or a really bad thing.


7)  CBs had a hard time covering tall wide receivers and tight ends.  Some of ND's biggest plays were jump balls that could have been INTs.

08/05/2018 - 12:49pm It is not luck.  Ohio is a…

It is not luck.  Ohio is a great high school football state.  And all the kids in Ohio want to play for OSU.  Compare that to Florida which has Florida, FSU and Miami.  Look at Texas.  Being in a great high school football state and not having to compete for talent is a huge advantage for OSU.


Has little to do with coaching.  But other coaches will see this advantage and love the tradition.  So they will get a great coach.


But this is all for naught.  He will be staying.  If they have to manufacture a memo that shows Urban reported it, he will be staying.

07/13/2018 - 8:06pm I am not sure about the…

I am not sure about the Attorney General.  But in my 47 years on this planet, I have submitted 2 complaints to the Postmaster General and 2 to my Congressman.


The Postmaster General never even replied.  Both times.


My Congressman was sympathetic, but I went 0 for 2 there too.


I put little faith in government agencies unless you are friends with someone on this inside or are someone "important."

07/13/2018 - 7:50pm I am getting a kick out of…

I am getting a kick out of some of these comments.


Michigan has had a SO SO rushing attack for quite some time.  I am not at all sure why you guys think a Five Star RB Recruit would make a "mistake" in not coming here.  Anyone remember a a 5 star named Derrick Green who came to Michigan and amounted to nothing?  A cautionary tale.


If I were a highly touted DEFENSIVE player from California, I would certainly consider Michigan.  As an OFFENSIVE player......I would look elsewhere.  Like Alabama or Ohio State and the elite offensive lines that those places have and we lack.

06/04/2018 - 9:26am Taylor Lewan

Surprised Taylor Lewan is not in there.  I am guessing that he was underrated playing HS football down in AZ.

05/02/2018 - 7:13pm Drevno out after 2016?

Not sure that I agree with you here.  I see little reason for Drevno to have been fired after the 2016 season.

05/02/2018 - 5:08pm My observation....

.....the complexity of Michigan's offense fooled opponents in 2016 with Jed Fisch and a bunch of seniors.


I loved that year.  A few times a game we would see a receiver just running totally wide open and free.


In 2017 with Pep Hamilton and bunch of freshmen.......this was not the case.


I'd still prefer a more predictable/less fancy attack with a smaller playbook that is executed so well (with players who play fast) that you cannot stop it.  As much as I hate to admit it......Urban Meyer has created this at OSU.  

04/26/2018 - 7:08pm Yes!

Cannot wait until September

04/10/2018 - 9:45pm Does the psychology of losing enter into it?

Blue90----I wonder if practicing against one of the best defenses in the country is a good thing for our offense?


Getting your ass kicked daily (in the article, Seth mentions the offense winning 1 rep out of 10 against the defense) can do horrible things to your psyche.


You come to expect an ass kicking and are not surprised when it happens.


Strong competition is a very good thing.  A total ass stomping is demoralizing and counterproductive.

01/03/2018 - 8:19pm You are right WW......

.....a kid a couple years out of high school will struggle to make the right reads.  Even if we had an 19 year old Tom Brady......he would struggle. 

Running a complex offense, you are matching a 50 year old defensive coordinator's wits against a 20 year old kid.  I will bet on the middle aged DC.

This is one reason we have clock issues.  You can see the QB analysing things and the OLine making their calls even as the clock ticks lower. 


All the while, the defense is just shifting and getting inside the head of our guys.


01/03/2018 - 3:13pm Wow!

This is awesome news!


Love this guy.  So intense and such a motor!

01/03/2018 - 2:27pm I would also add......

....that Enos presided over the 94th best offensive team (by total offense) this year while Michigan was 105.  Is this a step up or a lateral move?

01/03/2018 - 2:25pm Please no co-offensive coordinator garbage......

.....we need one guy in charge.  Not a committee.


Committees give you compromise, watered-down nonsense and a means to deflect blame.


And if things get rough....those big egos will clash.

01/02/2018 - 8:19pm Better not be a "Co-Offensive Coordinator" thing

This had better not be a "Co-Offensive Coordinator" thing!  I am sure a lot of our issues are from too many cooks in the kitchen.


With Frey leaving, it is time to let go of PH, TD, and coaches son.  Then bring in a new OC along with an O Line Coach, an RB coach and a Wide Receivers Coach.  An epic opportunity to install an offense that is better suited to 18 to 21 year olds. 


And no more "Passing Game Coordinators" please.  The OC calls the plays and runs the offense.


The offense has been an absolute disaster.  Just the same mistakes repeatedly. 


If Harbaugh continues to bring in multiple guys and does not make the tough decisions.....we are sunk.

01/02/2018 - 2:48pm The answer is all of the above....

.....and that these things are all related to one another.


The scheme is too complex and makes guys play slow..  Slow players REACT to the defense insteading of IMPOSING THEIR WILL on the defense.  Slow players cannot be playmakers.


I actually think the OLine does well on a play to play basis, but when it breaks down, it breaks down CATASTROPHICALLY.  Again, our offense is too damn complex.  If someone does not hear a call or if two players do not make the same read.....disaster. 


Watching OSU's offense, one can literally see the defense buckling.  The defense is being stretched and attacked.  There is misdirection.  Plays are quick hitting and simple.  You get the sense that it is only a matter of time before the defense breaks.  And then it does.  I get the sense of a rickety dam filling with water.


Watching our offense, any success is plodding.  It is the opposite.  Success feels improbable.  So many things have to go right.  The offense is not quick hitting.  Plays develop slowly and many things have to go right to move the ball.  You get the sense you are watching a clunky machine with many steps in the process.  At each step is a probability of failure.

01/02/2018 - 11:50am After the MSU loss.....

....Mark Dantonio "complimented" UM saying the team was "well coached" because it fielded 30 different formations in the first half of the game.


Obviously, this was not a compliment.  It was a thinly veiled insult.


Our complexity is garbage.  We fool no one but ourselves.  If our complexity resulted in receivers running wide open, mismatches in man to man coverage, or linebackers being sucked out of position, I could live with it.  But instead, these things never materialize and our guys just look lost.


I feel so bad for our defense.  To play so well all year and lose because the offense is effectively as good as a MAC offense.

01/02/2018 - 11:48am YES!

PH and TD should go.  And to add to that, I have always been uncomfortable with the Jay Harbaugh thing too.  Nepotism is not a good thing.

01/02/2018 - 11:21am Patterson can play...... a logical offensive system.


Our offense is too complex.  And it is run by a committee of coaches (PH, JH, and TD).


Ruddock, Speight, OKorn, and Peters have all struggled with this offense.  At some point you have to ask, "is it the kids or the scheme?"


Shane Morris just had a banner year at Central Michigan, btw.  So the scheme is the issue.


Shea Patterson is an attacker.  A gunslinger.  Our offense will force him to slow down and think. 


Time to replace the offensive staff and the scheme.  And ONE person needs to run the offense.  This just is not working.



01/02/2018 - 10:31am Crazy

You are crazy if you think we will get a better coach than JH.


I agree that JH runs an outdated scheme that he does not have the personnel for.  The scheme is also just way too complex.  Our guys are just not ATTACKING on offense.  They are struggling with the complexity of the scheme and playing slow.


I am trying to figure out if Drevno or Harbaugh is calling the plays.  The play calling this year has been terrible. 

01/01/2018 - 5:06pm I love JH too.....

.....and look forward to next year.  But the offense is just broken.  Very complex, yet does not fool anyone.



01/01/2018 - 4:56pm Peters is probably OK.....

.....the scheme is overly complex.  I put it on Drevno and Hamilton.


We have watched Ruddock, Speight, OKorn and Peters struggle with this offense.


It ain't the kids, it is the expectation that they can go from high school schemes to pro schemes with nothing in between.  Instead of confusing opposing defenses, we are confusing our own players.  You can see dozens of examples of this.


BTW--did you know that Shane Morris went to CMU and had a banner year?  The same Shane Morris we gave up on.



01/01/2018 - 4:32pm An offense that is overly complex

In the post game presser after UM lost to MSU, Mark Dantonio paid UM a "compliment" by saying that UM was "well coached" because (I am relying on my shoddy memory) "they fielded 30 different formations in the first half alone."


I put much of the blame for this loss on Drevno and Hamilton.  The offense is overly complex, yet never seems to fool the opposing defense.  There are no wide open receivers running in space.  No defenders way out of position.


What I do see is:


1)  Very hesitant QB play.  Instead of making plays, they are trying to avoid making mistakes.  Then the frustration level builds and they just heave it out there.  The worst of both worlds.


2)  Lot of plays that require a long time to develop and require a lot of things to go right.


3)  Our wanting to play power football while really lacking the personnel to accomplish this against SERIOUS competition.


4)  Receivers who cannot get separation.


5)  The play clock getting down to 1 or 2 seconds constantly because our guys are just confused.


I cannot imagine what our defense must feel like now.  To play so well and watch the offense continually botch things.

12/22/2017 - 12:32pm A few thoughts on recruiting








Folks seemed surprised by this class.  I was frankly more surprised by how good the class was last year.  That was magical.  Unless we win 10 or 11 games a year.......I think this class is more the norm.


None of these recruits grew up with Michigan as a Football Powerhouse.  We do not have the National pull that we had in the 1970s-80s.


The State of Michigan itself is a decent football state.  Not a great one.  And we compete with MSU.  So we have to go further afield with the previously mentioned brand issues.


Our facilities used to be a differentiator and still are very good.  But a lot of other programs are now at parity or have exceeded us.


I think our defense looks great to a young defensive recruit.  I am not sure how offensive players think of us.  We run an NFL system, so perhaps that helps with those aspiring to the NFL.


I also consider Shea Patterson to be a 5 star recruit in this class.  He did not have to come here, so even if he (as a transfer) is not considering in our official 2018 recruiting class, he really is a product of the 2018 recruiting effort.  The coaches only have so much "recruiting effort" to give and I bet alot of time was spent landing this big fish.


I still trust in Harbaugh and think 2018 and 2019 will be really good years.  If our offense can finally patch together a decent running game and a decent passing game at the same time, we will be a strong team.

Michigan itself is a decent football state.  Not a great one.  And we compete with MSU.

11/18/2017 - 6:19pm You are right A2toGVU.....

You are absolutely right A2toGVU.....our players do seem focused on doing their jobs and it is rare that someone really MAKES A PLAY.  This is a great observation and it is very concerning.


When we do score, it is a pushing, grinding affair.  Almost never a playmaker torching the opposing defense.  Our offense is so incredibly clunky.  I feel like our typical scoring drive looks like this:


1)  we find ourselves in 3rd down situations alot


2)  we get downfield by barely getting first downs,


3)  our scoring drives often have some penalty yardage in them, 

4)  we are currently running a high percentage pass offense that runs short timing routes.  Only we cannot get the high percentages.


5)  There is often a pass that looks like it could have been picked.


6)  When we finally get to the goal line, we will get stuffed twice before scoring on third down.


We lack the playmakers who make it look easy.  Everything for this offense is HARD.


Wisconsin had a few guys make big catches in spite of tight coverage today.  Those catches allowed them to convert 3rd downs and ultimately score on drives.  In the same situations, Michigan had guys drop balls.


11/18/2017 - 5:56pm Put it in perspective.....


1)  Harbaugh is the best coach we are going to get.  I am not sure about some of his supporting cast, however.


2)  Our team is very young and our scheme is very complex.  These things do not mix well.


3)  Our defense is very, very good, but prone to spectacular breakdowns.  Probably because we have young players.  Nontheless, they only gave up 17 vs Wisconsin.


4)  Injuries are badly affecting this team.  In addition to the people we have out, Rashan Gary, Karan Higdon, and a host of others are playing hurt.  Brandon Peters may now join this list.


These are statements of the obvious and some of you may write all of this off as excuses, but all of this is true.


Next week may be horrific.  Our defense will play well, but will give up at least 21 points to a strong OSU rushing and deep ball attack.  At the same time, our offense will have diffculty denting OSU's defense even if it fires on all cylinders.




11/02/2017 - 7:02pm Just a terrific write up

Love reading "Upon Further Review."  Better than what I see in the sporting media by a longshot.