|11/15/2018 - 7:15am||Poole has tremendous…||
Poole has tremendous physical gifts: size, speed, athleticism, and strong individual skills, but he was a gunner last year, pure and simple. He's being asked to use his gifts and skills within the flow of the offensive system (no routine 23 footers, no wild drives, solid passing--not just spectacular assists), and he's not able to do it--yet. So he's hesitant and lacks confidence. These are growing pains
In contrast Brooks is smaller and lacks some of Poole's individual gifts and skills, but he has learned better how to play within the offensive and defensive system. Therefore, he not only looks better on the floor, he is playing better than Poole at the moment.
The great thing is that both players are getting better as sophomores and can compliment each other as they grow together. Go Blue!
|11/13/2018 - 8:32pm||Imo, this was your strongest…||
Imo, this was your strongest article yet about crime and cover up at major football schools. It was almost all factual, and, therefore, didn't need name-calling. They came to the mind spontaneously. Thank you!
As far as MSU sports, it's been broke for a long time. Having too big of a chip on your shoulder just makes you stoop lower. Sad, and tragic for the young people's (mainly women) whose lives have been forever changed for the worse.
|11/12/2018 - 5:07pm||This article is a little…||
This article is a little late to the press. We've already seen that Teske is a defensive liability against certain types of lineups (it's not his fault, it's that he's big and there's a 3 point line) and that Isaiah Livers is the 2nd-3rd option. The real chemistry between Matthews, Z, and Teske has also not been seen yet. This is against two teams that were physically out matched in every way. I'm not saying that Teske doesn't have an important role or that things won't change, just that this article was better two weeks ago than today.
|11/09/2018 - 12:17pm||Bryan, you've finally…||
Bryan, you've finally convinced me. Patterson is singlehandedly holding this offense (you're generous when you rate it at B to B+). I'm hoping that being named a semifinalist for being the best CFB QB will go to his head and cause him to the NFL next year, maybe even sit out the bowl games in order avoid injury.
|11/06/2018 - 6:05pm||I watched several games from…||
I watched several games from 97. God love and bless him and his family, but his offensive scheme and play calling was painful to watch. It worked because of an excellent O-Line, Chris Perry and Anthony Thomas, and a good, usually careful, QB, but it would not work today with all the blitzing and emphasis on speed. Too many of the runs would be stopped cold or thrown for losses and blitzes would come hot and heavy on the resulting passing downs. But then he had a great D just like H did.
Even calling 80% runs, that was not the offense run by Harbaugh vs. PSU. What will happen when they go up against Clemson and Alabama is anybody's guess because it's clear that Shea is improving and Harbaugh has many more plays in the playbook that he'll use only if and when needed.
|11/06/2018 - 5:53pm||Ahh, the season is far from…||
Ahh, the season is far from over. If Shea continues to steadily improve and especially if he plays an important part in M winning the national championship, then he might find himself in the first or second round. Of course, he's welcome to leave in the latter case with many thank you's.
I'm told that one knock is that he's really closer to 6 foot than 6 foot 2 inches. That's legitimate to a point, but Drew Brees and Russell Wilson (?) prove that paying too close attention to such statistics only proves you don't know as much football as you think you do. If he were 6 foot 5 inches, I bet there would be some team willing to take a chance on him in the firs round. So often qbs with great measurables and a big arm get picked in the top 10, only to bust.
|11/06/2018 - 5:35pm||People have sold Matthews…||
People have sold Matthews short before, but he was not successful in Spain as a creator. He's an efficient scorer if put in the right places, but being a creator will take some development. He also has a good looking 3 that never seems to go in quite as often as it should. I would expect Iggy to be the second creator this year or maybe Brooks. The team desperately needs 3 point shooting, but they have a coach he can teach that skill to almost anybody! Teske has even hit a few.
|11/06/2018 - 5:32pm||I believe that, at the…||
I believe that, at the moment, not all of Nunez's weight it good weight whereas all of Johns is. Once that changes, N's athleticism should increase greatly I would think. In any event he's tall and can shoot the 3.
|10/31/2018 - 2:57pm||Brian, I don't think you…||
Brian, I don't think you hate Shea Patterson, and I think you are right that there are many areas that Shea can improve on. It can be frustrating when, for example, he didn't pull the ball on the third down and go for the score in the 1st Q. He has missed open receivers, He bails too early sometimes. O no, he still makes a bad throw once or twice a game!
What I disagree with you has all do with context. Not simply as an improvement over the miserable play we've had at QB for years (with some exceptions), but primarily his context. He played three games as a freshman, 8 games as a sophomore before he got injured at a school that played a very different offense (I believe) and had a miserable OL. He committed a lot of turnovers there against good teams.
Now he comes to a different school with a different, complex offensive system as a junior. He's still young both in age and football experience. He being asked to do new things on the ground and through the air. His coaching at the former school was not very good, and it is now. He has to unlearn bad habits. He has to learn good habits that he was never taught. When to extend the play by bailing the pocket and when to throw it away. When to stay in it. When to pull the ball, when not.
Most of all, he's probably being asked not to lose games by turning the ball over too often. Harbaugh always mentions how little he forces the ball in the post game. In other words, he's learning how to not be a gunslinger and over-correcting at times and not correcting at others.
I believe he is playing good enough to take M to the playoffs given our defense. Will M beat Alabama or Clemson? That will be tough no matter how Shea plays, but I believe it is possible if Shea continues to improve--as Harbaugh repeats--for you get better by playing football.
As a result, I feel that you emphasize the negative too much (as you did today) and don't offer enough positive for improvements (I'm not saying that you were terrible in either this blog or any other). I will feel less so if Patterson continues to make some of the same mistakes next year (let's hope he stays!). My thoughts, fwiw.
|10/23/2018 - 6:02pm||Darth Dantonio couldn't…||
Darth Dantonio couldn't conjure up a victory this week, and a major reason was Patterson's play in both the passing and running game. So, yes, he wasn't perfect, but, no, he didn't have an up-and-down game. He had a very good game where he did what he was asked to do: not lose the game through turnovers. In the passing game, he got lucky on a couple of deflections and should have thrown the ball away once or twice, but he was very good otherwise considering how wet and cold it was. Good compared to most college QBs and his QB rating stacks up against all the other QBs except for Haskins whose in another world. He's great, especially for a frosh, but it's also stratospheric because--imagine this--OSU can't run and he has great receivers.
In the run game, the only mistake I saw him make was on the first drive when he didn't pull the ball from Higdon on the 3rd down. Harbaugh pointed this out too. Imagine a run-pass QB this effective in most Michigan offenses of yester years. National championships!
|10/23/2018 - 6:48am||I think the program is still…||
I think the program is still trying to keep Hudson. As Harbaugh said (or I think he said), even he almost wanted to leave the program once. Let's hope it does for his sake as well as the program's.
|10/19/2018 - 6:24pm||The protection part at least…||
The protection part at least. Patterson played a different type of offense behind a terrible OL. It will take time. Thankfully, he is a big part of why M wins games instead of being the main (sole) cause of them losing ones.
|10/19/2018 - 6:21pm||There all leaving OSU to…||
There all leaving OSU to prepare for the draft!
|10/18/2018 - 8:02am||Ah, to be a QB in Ann Arbor…||
Ah, to be a QB in Ann Arbor is almost as bad as being a QB in New York! :-)
|10/17/2018 - 8:59am||Nice article in general, and…||
Nice article in general, and I know from your view you were defending Patterson. But, even so, you are too harsh. He did not have several throws according to Harbaugh. He had "one forced throw." From my perspective maybe he left the pocket early a couple of times in 1st half. The fumble wasn't great, but he protects the ball well when he is sacked. I only remember once that he dropped the snap. Yes, he missed a few receivers, but not many and even the best QBs miss receivers, albeit not very often.
More importantly, have we forgotten all those QBs before him. Not just the previous two years, but exactly how many great QBs have we had? None. Brady was really good in college but he wasn't great until he reached the NFL. Dennard was a great runner when he wasn't injured, but his passing was poor after teams figured out how to defend the three passes he could complete on a consistent basis and especially when he was injured (see running). Who else? I don't remember any that were great. Bob Griese & Dennis Franklin & Harbaugh & Henne & Ruddock (last 6 games)? Again good, but none of them were great every game--an impossible standard.
Patterson has given us good QBing so far. There's more to see, of course, but Patterson is playing well and, if we had had a QB play this well last year, it was a 10 win season at least.
|10/07/2018 - 3:03pm||I guess you're serious, but…||
I guess you're serious, but I disagree. The most obvious reason is arm strength. Ruddock had none. Patterson has a ton. The second most obvious reason is that you either have forgotten about John Elway, Steve Young, Fran Tarkenton, and Russel Wilson or never saw them play. Roll outs and escapability are important and can take a player into the elite level. Now, I'm not disagreeing that, at the moment, Patterson could use some more work in the pro offense, but to suggest that he wouldn't go in the 1st round (or second at the lowest) if he continues to play at this level is wishful thinking. Most draft analyses think so too.
|10/04/2018 - 7:45pm||I believe that Harbaugh, et…||
I believe that Harbaugh, et al, are directing Patterson to give the ball off in order to save hits on him but, other than that, I think the problem is both play calling and execution. I think the coaches are still calling vanilla plays if they can. It wouldn't be the first time that I saw such a philosophy by a head coach, including once or twice on teams that won the national championship after beating second class teams by 3 points. You save your best plays for the big games if at all possible.
Second, the wide receivers are still lackluster. All of them have talent, but, as pointed out by many, make some poor choices. Collins stands out because he misunderstands how he should be going after first downs with his body (he must have heard go straight up field a thousand times), but the others too have their own issues. Except for Grant Perry, however, they are all second year receivers.
|09/30/2018 - 7:46am||Also forget the McKeon drop…||
Also forget the McKeon drop and the 2 inches short on 4th down. Neither ensures a TD, but both were momentum changers.
|09/30/2018 - 7:36am||To be fair, McKeon dropped a…||
To be fair, McKeon dropped a great pass, which shows that Patterson was okay in the first half. Far more questionable was the play calling in retrospect. The game plan seemed designed to stretch the field and protect the Ts, but Michigan was able to run it up the middle when they tried.
|09/24/2018 - 8:37am||It's politically incorrect…||
It's politically incorrect to state this, but, while I didn't like last week, I thought this week was targeting (although not malicious). As Harbaugh said, don't lead with the head. Don't put it in the chest-neck area. It could accidentally pop up and cause permanent damage to the QB.
If you watched the NFL yesterday, I saw that exact situation three times. Each time, the defender put his head to the side of the QB's shoulder. Still tackled the QB hard.
|09/20/2018 - 7:41am||Thanks for the great…||
Thanks for the great analysis. I thought this game was a great learning opportunity/experience for the offensive line and the coaches approached the game that way. They faced a team that played hard and played blitzball but who were physically outmanned. They were only average but they weren't as bad as last year. Tru emerged as a legitimate player for his ability to protect the QB and more. Patterson struggled at first and then righted the ship. All with a vanilla offense and without Patterson risking an injury by running too much. There is much more to prove, but I think it's a step forward and am happy.
The coaches should be relatively happy, I would think, at least as happy as coaches ever are during a season.
|09/16/2018 - 10:02am||You probably heard. …||
You probably heard. Harbaugh agreed. Bad decision, but the receiver needs to prevent interception.
|09/16/2018 - 10:01am||Me too. And I can't email…||
Me too. And I can't email you either because (I guess) you have an automatic email linked to Gmail on Google. So, here's hoping: MacBookPro Early 2013. Safari. Latest OS. I don't comment much, but I would like to follow those that do.
|09/10/2018 - 4:57pm||I don't believe in booing…||
I don't believe in booing amateur athletes, but it's a bit rich to have the blogger condemn people for the game plan and then do the same himself.
|09/09/2018 - 6:26pm||I agree about the QBs. As…||
I agree about the QBs. As far as the WM defense being bad? How can someone disagree with that? But it's worth saying that Shea was accurate and that would have translated against other teams if he had the same throws to make and that he did it early to help several drives. As far as the OL, yeah, the jury is out. They looked more organized than last year and (understandably imo) at ND, but they have a lot to prove and they can do it only against better teams.
|09/08/2018 - 7:04pm||
ND isn't looking very…
ND isn't looking very good against Ball State, but the broadcasters were right today that they offensive line had a lot of issues because it was first game and on the road, which puts a premium on experience for the tackles who have to make calls as the defense shifts because the center has ducked his head to make the snap. I'm not saying the tackles are even average, but I'm holding the door open for the possibility. As for as Quarterback, Shea is more of the real deal in game 2 than any QB since Ruddock at the end of his year.
|08/31/2018 - 11:20am||Love it!||
|08/28/2018 - 10:51am||Respectfully Brian, you need…||
Respectfully Brian, you need to get into some serious meditation or something. It's just football. I know it was an important part of your life and that you write about it, but that's all it is. Football.
If you really want to, you can go all zen about everything, but you don't have to. Just go zen (or whatever) about football. Once you realize that this too shall pass, then everything becomes clearer.
Michigan football isn't perfect, but it can be a lot of fun. Iowa's fabulous. You can seek to change the corruption that plagues college football without bitterness and weather Urban Meyer and Joe Paterno, etc. with aplomb. You can write about the joy of football again. My two cents fwiw. Don't worry, nobody listens to me , not even my dog. ;-)
|08/23/2018 - 9:00pm||The NCAA is not the primary…||
The NCAA is not the primary cause of these behaviors. It's members--colleges--are, and the primary purpose of the NCAA is to ensure that the colleges make a lot of money off of student-athletes. They do so by organizing championships and by allowing colleges to assert that they are not running professional basketball and football programs that exploit their workers. Michigan is good. It graduates its athletes at a very high rate. It takes care of them well physically and helps them get into the pros, etc., but let's not forget that if the players were represented by a union, they would make a lot more or that RR was known to go around the state and say that he would sell his wife (I'm being polite) for a 6 foot 5 inch QB who could run and pass.
|08/23/2018 - 8:49pm||Add to it that the main…||
Add to it that the main source of profit--good players--have no representation and don't receive a share in the profits. That's a recipe for hypocrisy and disaster. And I haven't even mentioned race.
|08/08/2018 - 5:54pm||Not to dis anyone, but if we…||
Not to dis anyone, but if we have to rely on a high school guy saying that he liked Milton (70 yard arm) as a deep thrower than Patterson then we're not going to survive 3 more weeks. Time to send in the covert action teams to plant bugs and cameras.
|08/07/2018 - 2:09pm||I agree with the thesis that…||
I agree with the thesis that Meyer should have known, but, after that, this is classic yellow journalism (in a bad way) by someone with obvious biases. The writer loses all credibility with me when he accuses the State Bar of Ohio of acting unethically based on a report in a newspaper story that the OSU bar was examining a claim that the attorney who reported the tattoo story had violated attorney-client privilege. That's the bar's job. Did the bar find that the attorney had violated attorney-client privilege? No. Did the attorney complain about the bar investigating? No. He knows it was the bar's job.
We don't know the full Meyer story yet, but he admits he knew and claimed that he reported it. At the moment, we have two (two too many imho) claims of wife abuse. Meyer and his wife counseled the abuser, who denies the second incident at lest. I don't believe denials in these types of situations without extraordinary proof, so I imagine the the full story will be very ugly. But we don't know yet.
Nor do we know MSU. That was a sex criminal doctor with a sex criminal boss in women's gymnastics. It involves people believing a doctor, but what does that have to do with big money football? At the moment, nothing, although that may change.
When a story makes one feel self-righteous and attacks people that you dislike for any reason, it's time to put on the critical thinking glasses to make sure that there's something there.
Again, I'm sorry. I agree with the thesis. I believe the wife. But this blog post would not, imo, receive a good grade in a journalism class.
|08/04/2018 - 10:00am||I agree that it was Urban…||
I agree that it was Urban Meyer's duty to know and also note that he has now admitted he did know, I further note that this is a fan blog, and, therefore, different standards apply. But this is a serious subject, and different standards apply to it than to the normal topics of a fan blog.
This particular blog did not meet them. It was a self-righteous tirade that discussed PSU and MSU first and as much or more than OSU. It ignored obvious differences between PSU and MSU and the situation at OSU (at least as we currently understand them; the facts are developing). It jumped to conclusions about what OSU will do.
It also indulged in conspiracy theory: does the author really believe that Ohio bar is controlled by unthinking OSU fanatics? There was a complaint filed by the owner of the tattoo shop. It was the LEGAL DUTY of the Ohio bar to investigate it.
Sorry, but please do better in the future.
|07/05/2018 - 2:10pm||Darius Morris was much…||
Darius Morris was much taller and a better passer (at the moment) than Z and not nearly as good defensively, but the main thing to remember is that Morris and Morgan were part of an average team (21-14). We expect & hope for more now.
I thought this article was going to be something different, but, imho, for Z to improve the team he needs to develop a reliable catch and shoot jumper. Preferably from 3 pt. land.
The other thing that he can improve is his offensive PG play. He improved tremendously over the year, but he faces new challenges this year without Wagner and Rakhman to help him and lots of freshmen-rarely used players to integrate into the offense.
I'm figuring that this latter (PG skills) might be the easier of the two opportunities for him to capitalize on, but I would never count him out on either one as he is a tremendously hard worker.
|06/25/2018 - 4:58pm||Yes, I wonder too. There…||
Yes, I wonder too. There are two relatively objective ways to test whether the recruiting services are doing a good job. One is to see how star ratings correlate to being drafted by the pros. The second is to see how their college teams do. By both standards, every recruit from Alabama should get at least 4 stars, and, lo and behold, they almost always do once they sign with Alabama. I would say do away with star ratings because they don't mean very much and are often misleading, but I know some people love to compare star ratings. No harm there. But it's not for me. This site has the best reviews of prospects, but if even it can't get good data. . . .
|06/25/2018 - 4:56pm||Yes, I wonder too. There…||
Yes, I wonder too. There are two, relatively objective ways to test whether the recruiting services are doing a good job. One is to see how star ratings correlate to being drafted by the pros. The second is to see how their college teams are do. By both standards, every recruit from Alabama should get at least 4 stars, and, lo and behold, they almost always do once they sign with Alabama. I would say do away with star ratings because they don't mean very much and are often misleading, but I know some people love to compare star ratings. No harm there. But it's not for me. This site has the best reviews of prospects, but if even it can't get good data. . . .
|05/30/2018 - 7:20am||Close||
Matthews form has improved greatly, but he doesn't stay square to the basket too often. He kinda of floats, usually to the left. This is correctable, although I don't know whether he will ever be a great shooter.
If he has solid assurances, however, that he will be drafted, then it makes all the sense in the world. I have read that there is often guarantied money for early second round choices now. If he doesn't have, then I think it's a more problematic decsion. While he can concentrate on basketball as a pro (and get paid!), there are a lot of pressures-distractions that can make development difficult even if he isn't studying. He is also unlikely to get the careful development that Beilein and the coaches give, I would guess based solely on the fact that undrafted players rarely make it to the NBA.
Whatever decision he makes, I hope it works out for him. He seems a hardworking, decent, intelligent young man who deserves the best.
|05/24/2018 - 2:43pm||Excellent write up||
Thanks for the excellent write up. I take away something slightly different: no one in the press knows for sure how he will perform at the college level because he didn't stand out at the H.S. level. Can he? Apparently Brown thinks he has a chance, and, as you note, he's found his share of winning football players in prospects that the press think are meh. Welcome Mr. Faustin! May all your dreams come true
|05/07/2018 - 8:15pm||Your point?||
Of course they're going to be filled with hyperbole. This is a fan site after all, but Patterson looks better than any QB in the last 2 years except for glimpses from Speight. Reason for optimism!
|05/07/2018 - 12:53pm||This is a recurring issue||
The lack of African-Americans, other minorities, and women in many movies about historical events is a recurring issue because the oppression of the time place these people in less visible roles as a rule. Hollywood or any author then faces the question of how to deal with this? Do you have color blind castig, that is, cast characters without regard to race? Sometimest that works well as with Shakespeare. Sometimes though, it minimizes the racism that African-Americans faced and might distract an audience that knows about segregation. I'm not sure that would have been the case in SPR, but it might have been on Spielberg's mind.
Another choice is for the writers to work harder and find ways to integrate the cast in a way that was historically accurate. If I were the writer, I beleive it would have been compelling for them to contrast Nazism's racism with the racism that African-Americans faced, and I'm also sure that they're were Afrcian-American heroes on the beach. SPR was narrowly focused on the experiences of a small unit, but I believe it could and should have been done.
There were African-American units that served with valor and disticntion (I know of none that didn't). Tuskegee Airmen, of course, but also the Black Panthers tank unit that Patton reluctantly used in the Battle of the Bulge.
|05/07/2018 - 12:39pm||Yes||
Yes, and it wasn't just the segregated areas, although it was worse there. Becoming a "boy" again after risking your life and limb for your county was galling and infuriating. It took courage, self-discipline, and faith not to fight back violently. America owes African-American soldiers a great debt for what they accomplished both overseas and at home.
|05/07/2018 - 12:31pm||Exactly||
Exactly right! Softball is pitching and defense and Michigan has both thanks to the amazing frosh Beaubien!. It has a chance to make Oklahoma City. Go Blue!
|04/18/2018 - 1:53pm||I enjoy||
Thanks! I enjoy these write-ups becasue they give something to read in the dead season and are intelligent. As acknowledged, this evaluation is based on the flimsiest of flimsiest of evidence. At 6 foot 5 inches at age 16--if I understand correctly--he may not be done growing in height, weight, etc. I'd be interested in his arm lengths when it becomes available. Both physical and football skills, including quickness and footspeed, can be improved greatly through hard work, discipline, and good coaching in unbelievable ways, especially if you are "coming from nowhere." The fact that Yale offered him a scholarship gives some hope that he as these latter characteristics. Welcome young man!
|04/18/2018 - 1:24pm||unlikely||
So, he needed a chance and he's got one. Odds are is that he'll leave, but I don't think it has anything to do with gettting an inside look at the program. Not that he'll shut his eyes and mouth.
|04/13/2018 - 7:54am||Wagner returning||
Wagner returning would seem to depend on other factors than the NBA draft, I am guessing. He's not going to make a splash in the NBA draft from all that I read. He could go to Europe and make a lot of money though so he might enter this draft and see what happens before heading to Europe. Or he just might stay and finish his degree if he hasn't already. Seems like his family if full of professional non-basketball players who would value a degree highly. Just speculating.
|04/11/2018 - 3:33pm||Pay Players||
The answer to some of these problems is to openly pay players so that they have a reasonable choice entering schools and whether to stay of leave. The other is not allowing high schoolers to enter the draft, and, if they don't sign a pro or agent contract, enter school. For obvious reasons, both are needed. Maybe that would work, but there are no easy answers.
It can be argued that the Duke and Kentucky players knew what they were getting into. It can also be argued that Truval could have stayed and gotten an education. Both are fair points in a way, but these are high school players who have had only one dream: play in the NBA and very little reality-testing.
I'm hoping that Truval considers transferring somewhere or learns how to shoot the lights out this spring or in his first year. The predictions for where he will be drafted range from late first to the second, with the second round being from more credible sources.
|04/04/2018 - 5:09pm||The Problem||
I love Z. He took his game to new, unexpected levels by playing awesome on-ball defense and being a decent offensive point guard. He should start next year until someone can sit him down--very unlikely.
But the problem with the offensive statistics you quote from HS is that they're absolutely meaningless now. We've seen how he shoots. He shoots below 33% on stationnary, set-shot, wide-open, 3 point shoots. Worse on the FT line. He has inconsistent form on both. Some of this may be from exhaustion, but some of it is him not being a good shooter at the moment.
Can he overcome it this summer> I'll be rooting for him to do so. He'll certainly work his you-know-what-off, but projecting next year based on HS statistics is not justifiable.
It's more likely that Matthews becomes a little more consistent on 3 pts and at the FT line. I't's much more likely that Poole takes a big leap. Who knows about Brooks? Remmeber, he was a freshmen, and a decent backup would help Z too. Without Wagner, they'll need more offensive threats.
|03/25/2018 - 7:51pm||Boren was right||
It's RR who deserves the blame. Boren leaving Michigan because your coach is a potty-mouth and lacks some Michigan values (academics and see recent news) appears to be pretty smart in retrospect to me. RR wasn't all bad, but he wasn't all that good on or off the field.
|03/25/2018 - 7:50pm||Boren was right||
It's RR who deserves the blame. Boren leaving Michigan because your coach is a potty-mouth and lacks some Michigan values (academics and see recent news) appears to be pretty smart in retrospect to me. RR wasn't all bad, but he wasn't all that good on or off the field.
|03/14/2018 - 5:32pm||Pick-and-Role||
Sure, although the pick-and-role with Teske didn't show up until recently and has more to do with him learning to take the ball to the basket with authority than anything else. NOT detracting from Z.