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Date Title Body
05/31/2018 - 3:20pm The size recommendations on

The size recommendations on the back of the box are generally a decent place to start. Then, I suggest you have your son hold the ball in one hand, gripping it as for a pass. Have him hold the ball out in front of him like a glass of water, and shake his hand up and down and around. If he can hold onto the ball, it's small enough for him. If he can't, he'll struggle to throw it correctly. Your older son might be able to handle a slightly bigger ball, but he won't be hurt by playing with a smaller one.

Also, I highly recommend a composite ball. As others have said, they're not too expensive. They'll handle water a scuffs a bit better, and unless you're always in a large grass field, scuffs are fairly inevitable.

But, hey, if the boys want something that's neon and rubber, so long as it's small enough for the youngest to throw, they'll be fine.

04/29/2018 - 12:03pm Kind of a side note, but I

Kind of a side note, but I was bummed to see him take jersey 2, but not because of anything to do with Woodson. I simply love non-traditional QB numbers, and was hoping Patterson would stick with #20, which was available on offense last time I looked. Oh well. I still dream of a 6-2, 240-lb. fullback of a quarterback who wears #37.

04/12/2018 - 8:18am In all fairness to Sheridan,

In all fairness to Sheridan, I've always understood from the people I know who were and are close to the program that Sheridan walked on to learn how to coach. He never had the right constitution to play in front of 100,000 people. Which is particularly disappointing, I understand, because he was pretty decent in practice. Oh well.

But regardless of his success on the field, I bet he learned a bunch that is helping him in his coaching career. So jokes aside, what this player said could be fairly rational.

12/28/2017 - 2:33pm I don't think the national

I don't think the national media is covering the Nassar situation as closely as it should be. But in fairness, googling "Washington Post Larry Nassar" generates a lot of hits. This was the most recent I saw on the first page of my Google search results.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2017/11/29/former-usa-gym…

11/30/2017 - 2:50pm That's a fairly quick and

That's a fairly quick and compact release he's got there.

10/24/2017 - 10:46am I haven't read the NYTimes

I haven't read the NYTimes article, but probably will because it sounds interesting.

I do subscribe to The Athletic for about $4 per month. So far, I'm pleased. While it offers the sorts of gamers I can often find elsewhere, there has been some high-quality content that is different from but comparable in quality to what I love about MGoBlog.

For example, there have a been a few articles about Michigan's passing game. The writer has started with some general discussion about the good and the bad he has seen, followed by a series of video clip examples and discussions. There was a particularly good one about Speight's difficulties passing in the red zone against Air Force. I'm happy to pay $4 per month for stuff like that. So if it keeps up the quality, I'll keep subscribing.

That said, I'm someone who likes pay sites. In my experience, you get what you pay for, and I'd rather pay for good content with a dollar a week than pay for it by being bombarded by ads. Now that's me; The Athletic will be a decent test to see how many of me are out there.

10/09/2017 - 5:40pm Well, we know that, whatever

Well, we know that, whatever we have in McCaffery, we need about 40 more pounds of it. (I'm pumped about his potential, but damn does he look skinny. Park him under the soft-serve machine and let's get some weight on the boy.)

10/09/2017 - 11:34am I agree that a few handoffs

I agree that a few handoffs hardly count as real reps. They might be nice if you want to show a truly green player what it feels like to be on the field in front of 100,000 people, but after that, you need real game situations, throws, adjustments, etc.

10/09/2017 - 11:21am I think that who you play now

I think that who you play now depends, to some extent, on Speight's prognosis.

We know that Speight is not coming back this year. The question is: What about next year? If he doesn't come back, and O'Korn plays the rest of the way, then Michigan goes into 2018 with no quarterbacks with meaningful game experience. That is pretty darned uncomfortable.

If you expect Speight to come back, then Michigan goes into 2018 with a veteran plus at least three talented QBs to compete against him. That is a far more comfortable situation. In this scenario, I think there is no reason to rush a QB that isn't ready (Peters) into a game behind a shaky line.

So I think that if Michigan believes that Speight's career is over, they need to, at the very least, find a way to get Peters some meaningful snaps, if not a few starts. Otherwise, let's see if O'Korn can return to his Purdue form while we pray for no further monsoons.

(By the way, I have no knowledge about Speight's prognosis. I've simply heard rumors that his career might be over—an awful outcome if so—and it got me thinking about what it meant for Michigan's quarterback situation. That is all.)

08/28/2017 - 3:14pm My only consolation is that

My only consolation is that they are in place of the whites (since we're visitors, technically) and not the home blues. Don't touch my home blues.

08/25/2017 - 9:41am I read the post to say that

I read the post to say that Peters is QB3. He would be QB4 but for McCaffery's redshirt. But McCaffery is redshirting, so Peters is QB3. 

08/25/2017 - 8:45am Most of the ordering here

Most of the ordering here doesn't concern me. I have some concerns about Speight, but it's ideal if our best QB is also the one with the most experience in ths system. Perhaps he's even solved the issues that concern me. And if a senior won the backup job, sweet.

What concerns me is the word "fading" about Peters. If taken literally, it doesn't mean that the older QBs are just pulling away (which is plausible even if Peters is doing quite well). Instead, it suggests he's regressing. Note that nothing is said about McCaffery ("He's so good already that he would play over Peters!"), but only mentioned as a reference to how far Peters has fallen.

I hope Peters shakes off whatever's up and works through it. I've been more excited about his potential than that of any Michigan QB since Gardner.

08/23/2017 - 5:04pm Thanks for this. I'd actually

Thanks for this. I'd actually forgotten the detail of his physical and the probing of his stomach until you mentioned this. This extra context makes the story even more heart-wrenching. Because you're right: I can't see what anyone could have done differently here.

08/23/2017 - 2:26pm All very, very true.

All very, very true.

08/23/2017 - 1:39pm All that you say is fair, and

All that you say is fair, and if what I wrote contradicts that, I didn't mean it to. As I understand the article, he was sick, which caused his spleen to be enlarged and vulnerable. Likely, one of those hits in the game ruptured it. That could have happened in baseball or basketball or hockey or goofing around with friends, but it did happen on the football field, and but for that rupture, he'd still be here.

Maybe what I should have said was that this isn't the sort of thing I should rationally fear if my boys play football. The odds of them having an enlarged and vulnerable spleen due to mono and playing in a football game are pretty low. I only meant that I have enough other fears about football now that I'll probably still be like Evan's mom, pacing throughout the game, regardless of whether that's rational.

08/23/2017 - 1:10pm What a gutting read. I can't

What a gutting read. I can't even imagine.

I'm afraid that I'll be like Evan's mother here if I let any of my boys play, pacing somewhere in fear until the game is over. That's not even directly related to this story—it's hard to blame football for Evan's death, which was a simple, horrible tragedy—or even necessarily that rational, but simply because that specter hangs out there, and that's my boy out there, dammit. And I love this game passionately, and miss playing terribly, and got so much from it. 

I probably won't be able to stop thinking about this story for days.

04/18/2017 - 9:00am Heck, I'm just grateful you

Heck, I'm just grateful you read the actual words in the post (which wasn't "Which QB should start?"). 

You raise a fair point. But in my experience, serious fans of the game have more information to impart than I could find through a bit of internet research. Sure, I can find cases where a younger player was started over a veteran who'd started the year before, or where that didn't happen. But the details—Who was this young kid? How had the veteran really played the previous year?—are far harder to suss out without hours of reading. I figured a few people here who really watch this sort of thing might write in with an anecdote they'd watched more closely.

Twenty years ago, I probably could have done this myself off the top of my head. I watched hours and hours of college football every week, often taping games to watch mid-week that I dind't have time for on Saturday. But these days, I have far less time to watch football. This board, though, is full of people who do now what I did twenty years ago. So I thought it was worth trying to tap that wealth of knowledge. So far, I think I might have been wrong.

04/17/2017 - 7:01pm I don't know enough about the

I don't know enough about the Cook/Maxwell situation to comment. But the Tate/Denard comparisons ring hollow. I bet that RichRod was interested to see what Denard could do, but Tate had been plenty promising (and frustrating). But Tate had a lot of off-the-field issues that contributed to Denard's increased opportunities. Speight seems to have none of that; from what I've read, he's a very hard worker and solid leader.

04/17/2017 - 6:58pm I'd forgotten this situation.

I'd forgotten this situation. Yes, thank you.

04/17/2017 - 6:56pm This is what I don't

This is what I don't understand. Yes, time will tell. Yes, the coaches know more than we do. Yes, this was one spring "game" among lots and lots of hours of work. Yes, the games will be played and the things will happen. Do the same people who express those opinions want MGoBlog to be nothing more than a post of the final score of each game? Where's the fun in that?

04/17/2017 - 4:43pm I'm disappointed I didn't

I'm disappointed I didn't think of that! Yes, that's exactly the sort of comparable situation I was trying to think of.

04/17/2017 - 4:41pm The fact that there is no

The fact that there is no science to it is one of the things that is so interesting to me. That's why I'm curious about comparable situations, but of course realize that they aren't scientific data points, either. For example, we know how Navarre did in 2003 and were pretty happy with it. But might we have done better with Gutierrez? There's no way to know. Comparable situations are informative but not determinative.

04/17/2017 - 4:23pm Oh, I do. I'm not getting

Oh, I do. I'm not getting worked up about it. I just enjoy thinking about football, and with the season far away, this is what I do. It's all in fun.

04/17/2017 - 4:20pm I haven't really followed

I haven't really followed Trubisky's career. Was he expected to turn into what he became, or did he blossom once he took over the starting job? Was he much of a threat to transfer while he sat the bench?

03/21/2017 - 4:21pm Renting planes is quite

Renting planes is quite common. It's what most flying clubs do. I'd bet that most private pilots rent. 

03/21/2017 - 4:18pm It would be unusual for a

It would be unusual for a pilot in a plane like this to have a parachute in case of emergency, so the emergency-bail-out scenario is unlikely. If he had a parachute and used it, either he is very unusual, or planned on using it all along.

02/15/2017 - 8:37am Well, crap. I need to make a

Well, crap. I need to make a correction here. I was discussing this with my wife last night, and apparently a lot of the research that suggested that victims were more likely to become perpetrators has been challenged recently. Part of the problem is that a lot of these studies were based on self-reporting, and there were incentives in place for a perpetrator to claim that they were also a victim. But that self-reporting might not be credible or accurate.

I'm sure that there is much more nuance here than I understand, so I won't muddy the waters more in an attempt to clear them up. But please disregard my "yes" answer above.

02/13/2017 - 3:45pm That is an excellent

That is an excellent clarification. And yes, you understood me correctly. Among those who abuse children, a disproportionately higher percentage were abused themselves compared to the general population. How much higher? I'd have to ask mamabear. Also, I have no idea whether the accused here was abused.

As someone said below, this could be an example of how this evil can perpetuate itself down through generations, harming hundreds or thousands of kids. (Sadly, that's not hyperbole.) This is why reporting this stuff is so important; if you can break the chain, you can save so many kids.

02/13/2017 - 3:10pm This is my wife's line of

This is my wife's line of work. Although I'm not qualified to answer a lot of questions about it, this one I know: Yes.

02/06/2017 - 11:33am The wallets don't do a lot

The wallets don't do a lot for me, but the cuff links are all pretty cool. That's more than I can see myself paying, but can see it given that you could have them your entire life. (And I wear a suit often, so they'd get use.)

12/19/2016 - 8:27am Only one thing disappointed

Only one thing disappointed me in all of this.

The letterhead is fantastic in its simplicity. The letter to a group of very deserving people is genuine and thoughtful. Taking the time to sign it himself is special. Even the pin is cool.

But in the last sentence, he omitted the Oxford comma. There's no miscue, so no error, but I'm a little bummed Coach isn't an Oxford-comma man.

In all seriousness, what a wonderful thing for Coach to do. Go Blue!

12/15/2016 - 3:49pm Aw, hell. May he rest in

Aw, hell. May he rest in peace.

12/08/2016 - 1:00pm No, not a good sign. There

No, not a good sign. There could have been a lot of reasons for the pause—perhaps he understands that this could be a dangerous subject for him, and therefore wanted to be cautious—but regardless, it only makes sense for him to go. If my son were able to leave school early with an engineering or law job lined up, I'd tell him to do it. I don't know why my advice would be any different simply because his chosen career is football. That said, I'd sure be selfishly happy if he stayed!

11/29/2016 - 4:55pm I think that Peters has a

I think that Peters has a bigger window to win the QB1 job than the post suggests. I think that there are some fundamental limitations in Speight's game that limit how much he can improve.

Usually, when you see a young but talented QB play, they are strong deep-ball throwers who, when throwing from a clean pocket to a receiver with a few steps on the defense, regularly connects. That is because that throw is most like playing catch, or throwing routes in shorts. It is a fundamental skill that, at a certain point, QBs have or do not. At the same time, these young QBs often have accuracy problems on short and intermediate routes because they lack the familiarity and anticipation necessary to see those holes that open and close so quickly. This is often an area where you see dramatic improvement throughout a QB's career, because that familiarity and anticipation are the skills that often develop at this age, particularly with good coaching.

I'm afraid that Speight is demonstrating good familiarity and anticipation already, which is part of the reason his short and intermediate accuracy is so good. He's a student of the game who is working hard with excellent coaching. So that will continue to imrpove, but frankly, there isn't that much room for improvement. He hits most of those throws that he should.

But he also leaves a lot of points on the board with his inability to throw from a clean pocket to hit open deep routes. Those are costly, costly misses. And because they are such fundamental throws, I worry that he is less likely to suddenly improve on that skill so far into his career.

Maybe I'm wrong, and that would make me happy. I'd love to see Speight come out with the same level of toughness we saw this year, the same or slightly better anticipation, and the ability to hit the deep ball consistently. That's a tough QB to beat out. But absent that, an athletic QB who studies well and gives up a little on the short and intermediate routes but doesn't leave the same deep-ball points on the field will have an opportunity.

This year, leaving those points on the field didn't cost us too much, because we kept winning. But we all expect to take at least a small step back next year. So when the coaches dial something up that sees a receiver running free, we'll need to connect. 

11/28/2016 - 1:06pm I've got a few minutes. I

I've got a few minutes. I might as well explore my NFL options, too.

09/19/2016 - 12:34pm One thing I haven't seen

One thing I haven't seen anyone mention yet: This was a staple of Bo's offense at one time. I remember watching some old Michigan tape and seeing a lot of of power-I off-guard and off-tackle runs where the QB would pitch it instead of handing off, and then be one of the blockers going through the hole. I seem to remember my coach telling me that the QB was responsible for the cutback lane on those plays. 

08/26/2016 - 10:44am I played quarterback and

I played quarterback and defensive end in middle school and high school. starting both of my varisty years at QB. We ran the wishbone most of that time, but switched to the I my senior year. I was the slowest option quarterback you've ever seen, but I could throw it a bit.

The only coaching I've done was during the summers before my first two years of college, when I helped coach the QBs at my high school. It was nothing formal. I would love to coach in the future, and might coach a little flag in the coming years as my kids get older.

08/15/2016 - 3:53pm If you are really concerned

If you are really concerned about getting the name exactly right, could you maybe team up with someone to get this done? One person orders a PEPPERS 88 jersey, the other a BUTT 5 jersey, and then find a good tailor who can switch the name plates? (If they are, in fact, name plates. My eyes are poor but I know a lot of jerseys seem to be done this way.)

08/01/2016 - 8:13pm I have the the coaches hat in

I have the the coaches hat in both fitted and stretch headed my way, set to arrive tomorrow. I ahve a huge melon so figuring out which will fit and look best on me is a bit of a trick.

02/19/2016 - 9:29am He taught me one class, as

He taught me one class, as well, during my aero days. I enjoyed him and thought he was a good professor. But what I remember the most is a time I went to office hours for a quick question and we ended up talking guitar for about an hour. He plays a sweet Gibson SG, if I recall correctly.

10/28/2015 - 8:47am I have a very short list of

I have a very short list of college coaches I'd want my boys to play for. It just got shorter. Best of luck and health, Coach.

10/14/2015 - 9:17am Same here, also from a former

Same here, also from a former player from the '60s. Maybe it was a Bump thing?

09/21/2015 - 1:44pm Yips

Toddler me would appreciate a trigger warning on the Yips in the future, please. I'll be hiding behind my dad's recliner until then.

03/13/2015 - 9:25am Ah, I didn't remember that

Ah, I didn't remember that about Speight. 

03/13/2015 - 9:24am Amen. I feel for the kid. 

Amen. I feel for the kid. 

03/12/2015 - 12:17pm It's just one video and a few

It's just one video and a few choice reps, but yes, it looked crisp.

There remains something I just don't like about the way Morris throws. I once saw a video of Joe Montana throwing with his two sons, talking about the finer points of delivery, and emphasizing the idea of driving the football straight at your target as opposed to bringing the ball around and just letting go at the right moment. It was very hard to describe in words, and it was a very subtle thing to see. But I went out an experimented, and I think I could feel what Joe was talking about. And it's something my uncle, a former Central Michigan QB in the '70s, used to try to explain to me, too.

Well, it looks like Morris brings the ball around more, if that makes sense. The results were fine here, but under pressure or when things break down, that can lead to some inaccuracy. So it worries me.

In contrast, I continue to love Speight's delivery. Tight, compact, and no wasted movement. It's not quite as pretty as Forcier's was—that thing was a work of art—but it's close. I like it.

Malzone's is somewhere in the middle, but very classic.

03/11/2015 - 2:47pm I don't think it will play

I don't think it will play out that way, either, but I think you are right that it would be one of the better chains of events, at least long-term.

But let's not write off Morris yet (and I'm not saying that you were). The "light coming on," as you describe it, requires reps, and it looks as if he's finally going to get a whole bunch of them. A change of coaching staff can also be helpful, as a kid with a rough start can shake it off, start fresh, and clear his mind a bit. Finally, being the senior QB on the team should also help, as leadership fuels confidence. So this is about as good a situation as Morris could ask for. 

That said, and while I certainly want the best QB to play, I find myself pulling for Malzone. From what I've seen of him in high school, he's likely to be my favorite kind of QB to watch—smart, accurate, and good in a tight spot. That's just a hunch. We'll have to see how it plays out.

03/11/2015 - 11:07am There are a few elements to a

There are a few elements to a quarterback's accuracy, and they develop differently.

First, there's the mechanical aspect of just being able to hit a bull's eye. This is the aspect that is most like a jump shot, and it can be improved with repetitions, plain and simple. When I was a high-school kid, I threw through a tire for hours. This is how you work on that. In a game, you need the ball to go where you intend it.

This mechanical aspect of accuracy is really important unless you are typically throwing to wide-open receivers (who can then adjust and still make the catch). But alone, it is not sufficent to have what is typically described as an accurate QB.

The second aspect is knowing where the bull's eye is, or identifying the right target. I don't mean identifying the right receiver, but instead identifying the exact spot where the ball should get to the receiver. At his belt? In his numbers? At his knees? In stride? A little behind him (i.e., between zones)?

This is much harder to develop, as it requires a lot of study so that the QB knows what to expect, as well as a lot of reps with a full passing offense and defense so that the QB can practice adjusting from expectations. 

Finally, there's a timing or feel aspect that is very much related to the second aspect. Imagine Brian Griese running the classic TE waggle play. As Griese turns back after the fake to face the D, he's giong to have a number of ways to get the ball to the TE. Does he need to fire a rope between a couple of 'backers? Does he have a soft hole to lob the ball into? And this is complicated by his own options. Can he step up all the way and throw as hard as he is able? Is there a charging DE in his face that limits his forward step or forces him to throw on the run? All of these things affect the number and location of the bull's eyes Griese can hit. 

These last two aspects are much harder to improve than the first. But any improvement on the last two is almost irrelevant if the first aspect—the ability to hit a target—isn't mostly there.

So the question really comes down to: What is Morris's problem? That really can't be answered by looking at film, because when we see him miss a target, we don't know why he missed. Did the ball not go where he wanted? Did he pick a bad place for the ball to go? Did his receiver run a terrible route? Coach Fisch is probably assessing this better in drills right now.

If Morris's—or any QB's—problem is with the first aspect, that's a big problem. That needs to be fixed before much work can be done on the others. If the problem is with the other aspects, well, those are more advanced problems, and those are the sorts of skills Harbaugh & co. seem very good at helping a QB develop.

01/29/2015 - 1:20pm I believe that number was

I believe that number was split over his sophomore and junior seasons. So at least part of the story here is that before his senior year, he was good but not world-beating against poor competition. And I'm not sure how much he camped until last summer.

01/20/2015 - 10:37am He seems a shoe-in for the #1

He seems a shoe-in for the #1 jersey, no?