Thursday, July 31, 2008

Detroit News: Three QB's will get a look

U-M's Rodriguez: Three QBs will get looks in camp

Threet and Sheridan set to receive most of the repetitions, and Feagin, a freshman, is in mix, too.

Angelique S. Chengelis / The Detroit News

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez, preparing for his first season, addressed wide-ranging topics during his first Big Ten kickoff last week in Chicago. Here are some questions with him:

Q . How will you structure the quarterbacks competition in preseason camp? How will incoming freshman Justin Feagin work in there?

A . Steve (Threet) and Nick (Sheridan) will get the majority of the reps, but Justin, as much as he can handle mentally, we'll throw him in there. In the beginning of camp we rep three groups -- first group, second group and a third group.

As the camp progresses, into the second week, you're just doing a first and second group, so really they've got to make their mark, so to speak, in the first two weeks. As coaches, we have it actually almost all scripted out already, reps-wise.

Q . How much of a wild card is tailback Carlos Brown?

A . He missed so much of spring when he sliced his finger, so there's so many unknowns with us. Somebody asked me the question, 'How many guys will actually touch the ball as a quarterback?' Good question.

We'll have to figure that out in August. It could be pretty interesting, this year anyway. (A ballpark guess?) Over and under, 20. It's going to be fun. Again, we've got to be creative, more so now than maybe in the future.

Q . You've got a group that you call "Apostles" voted by the players. How long have you done that, and what are their roles?

A . Since I was at West Virginia, and I had a version of it, too, when I was at Glenville State. I've always had a group of leaders that I've let the players pick, and we have a lot of fun with it. Sometimes it's as simple as picking pregame music, that kind of thing. It's not like we're making major decisions. They're not saying, 'All right coach, we're going to run the wishbone this week.' They're making suggestions, not decisions. It's not in Biblical nature. The definition of apostle is one who leads a new way. I'm not looking for them to change the world. That's a description of it, and I thought it fit what they do. I don't want anybody to take it the wrong way.

Q . Freshman receiver Darryl Stonum enrolled early. How will that help him?

A . I think he's five months ahead of (the freshmen), because he got here five months ahead of them. A lot of guys are doing that, getting enrolled early because of that reason. Darryl Stonum's chances of playing are better now because he enrolled early, but we never force a guy or tell a guy to do that. If they choose to come out early, and we want them there, that would be a great thing.

Q . What's one question you would like answered during camp?

A . More than anything for them, from what I've seen and from what I've heard they've done this summer is to maintain that hungry attitude to prove themselves. It's a little easier for us because a lot of guys haven't played, and they have a chance and people are writing them off. That's what I'm anxious to see.

Q . Are you using an us-against-them approach?

A . We've got talented players. We've just got a lot of guys who haven't played. We lost a lot of veterans, a lot of experience. Lloyd (Carr) and his staff did a great job in recruiting. It's not like they haven't been coached or trained. This year is the most difficult year, because they're learning different terminology. There's a huge learning curve this year that won't be there in the future. As far as conceding anything, we're not going to. We like winning too much to try not to win them all right now.

Q . Will the rules change involving the 40-second clock affect your offense?

A . I think it will have a little bit of an effect. The pace of the game will move a little quicker, and that was the intent. I do think it will quicken the pace a little bit. I don't know (if it will be an advantage for Michigan). We try to be quicker paced anyway. I don't think it will affect us much differently.

Q . You have six tight ends on this roster, but you never threw to the tight end (at West Virginia).

A . Ah, not true. We threw to Owen Schmitt last year. He's listed as a fullback, but he played tight end. This is the most talented group of tight ends I've ever had as a collection in maybe my whole career. Those guys have the ability we can do some different things with them.

Q . What will you use for practice fields in light of the Michigan Stadium construction?

A . We've got a new outdoor turf field just built this summer, and then we'll have a 70-yard grass field. So we'll have a field and a half. We're going to be limited on where we can go in the stadium. I'd like to go in there maybe once a week, later in the week, but I'm not sure we can do that because of all the construction.

Michigan Football: Barwis has the Wolverines in shape

from Toledo Blade

Barwis has Wolverines in condition for Big Ten


Mike Massey has a message for the University of Michigan football program’s newest — and perhaps most unexpected — star.

Mike Barwis, you are overrated.

“Tell him I said that,” said Massey, a Wolverines senior tight end.

Sensing what Barwis, UM’s director of strength and conditioning, might have in store for Massey and his teammates if he heard or read those comments, Massey added: “Don’t take that out of context.”

Much has been made of Barwis’ unique and grueling conditioning program that he brought from West Virginia when Rich Rodriguez became UM’s new coach. Players have to be in a different kind of shape to play Rodriguez’s high energy style, and they get into that shape by working with Barwis.

Focusing on Olympic lifts, sprints and plyometrics, Barwis began to transform the Wolverines’ workouts prior to spring practice. When those 15 practices were over, a higher level of intensity was promised, and Barwis delivered.

“He was absolutely, 100 percent correct. It was an extremely rough summer,” senior cornerback Morgan Trent said. “Before our first workout, we had to do some ‘gassers,’ and we had to do like four of them for punishment and we almost died. All of us were like, ‘How are we going to do this?’ The whole time Barwis was screaming, ‘This is just a warm-up!’

“Two or three months later we laugh about it, because we do three or four gassers and it really is a warm-up.”

Voluntarily, of course, the Wolverines worked with Barwis five days a week for about four months after spring practice ended. Rodriguez’s staff is not allowed to be involved, but the coaches are constantly updated on how the players perform under Barwis’ watch.

“Our kids are pushed as hard as they can be pushed in [workouts], just the way coach Rodriguez is going to push them [at practice],” Barwis said in an interview available on the school’s Web site.

Barwis spent 14 years at West Virginia, including the last five overseeing the strength and conditioning aspects of the football and men’s basketball programs. He describes himself as “high energy” and “intense,” and the players agree.

“There’s no way you can really explain it in a couple sentences,” Massey said. “Mike Barwis and his assistants, they demand every bit of energy you have each and every workout. That’s the coolest thing about it.”

Former UM players now in the NFL — like Braylon Edwards, Victor Hobson and Larry Foote — caught wind of Barwis’ program and returned to Ann Arbor to work out with him.

When they were Wolverines, they trained under Mike Gittleson, a highly respected strength coach who had been at UM since 1978. Rodriguez has been careful to not to tarnish Gittleson’s legacy by bragging about Barwis’ program, often saying the Wolverines’ new way of training isn’t the only way.

Still, Barwis has received almost as much attention as any UM player since Rodriguez arrived in December.

“There’s no question Mike has gotten a lot of talk, probably more than any strength coach has in a long time,” Rodriguez said. “I think it’s probably because the guys are talking about it. The former players Mike was training, or the current players, and [with] Mike’s personality, he’s a special guy. But it’s not changed Mike Barwis.”

Barwis has already changed UM, however. The players talk about never being this lean, in this good of shape, or this close as a team.

They sound ready for practice, which starts in six days.

“When you’re suffering together, miserable, it definitely brings you together,” Trent said.

— Joe Vardon

Mailbag Question: Regarding Coach Rod

Have you guys watched all the interviews with Coach Rod lately? Why does it seem like he has no clue on what his kids will do for him? Seems like every time he says something he ends up saying I HOPE ... and he says that he doesn’t no how they will play against Ohio State let alone Utah?



Thanks for the question. Coach Rod and staff have not seen these guys actually play football since April.

That is lots of time for players to work with Coach Barwis, work on their S & C, and improve some of their skills. Most starting positions are not decided until fall camp.

For Coach Rod to come out and say so and so is our starting quarterback, or is going to be our starting running back would be a complete guess. Not to mention he has not seen any of the freshmen compete against college level competition except for Stonum.

In our opinion if Coach Rod came out and said who was starting, or how some one was going to perform it would be a total guess. This could actually have a negative effect on the team and overall competition. We think Coach Rod is keeping expectations low and conservative approach at this time is what is needed.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Thanks for stopping by
If you have any questions please e-mail

BTN changes channels on DirecTV

from Big Ten Network e-mail

Attention DIRECTV Subscribers:

Beginning today, the Big Ten Network will reside on channel 610 as part of a system-wide realignment that includes other sports networks. The Big Ten Network will continue to be available on DIRECTV’s CHOICE package.

DIRECTV will continue to offer additional football games on "overflow" channels. The primary "overflow" channels will be 609 and 612. Additional games may also reside on channels 608, 611, 615, 617 and 623 when necessary. When produced in HD, DIRECTV will carry each "overflow" game in HD as well. Check your on-screen channel guide or for specific game assignments throughout the season. For a complete listing of DIRECTV’s system-wide realignment of sports networks, click here.

Each night at 10 PM ET during the season, Big Ten Tonight is your home for the most Big Ten highlights, analysis and interviews anywhere. At 9:30 PM ET on Tuesday nights this fall, the network presents Illinois Football: The Journey, the all-access show that takes fans behind-the-scenes with the head coach Ron Zook and the Illini. Big Ten Friday Night Tailgate, airing at 8:30 PM ET on Fridays, is the network’s irreverent program that showcases activities taking place on campus before a football Saturday.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

DirecTV: The start of transfer to MPEG 4 starts soon and XM/Sirius merger

This Thursday morning at approximately 6:00am EST there will be some changes in HD in format they are delivered.

The following channels will go from MPEG 2 to MPEG 4.

209 ESPN2 HD
245 TNT HD
281 HD Theatre
501 HBO HD
543 Showtime HD
259 Universal HD

Some folks believe these channel locations were already broadcast in MPEG4, but they were not. They required the MPEG4 receiver but were still broadcast in the MPEG2 codec. (I'm not an engineer so forgive me if I'm stating that incorrectly).

This should not effect any customer that is already seeing the above channels in those channel ranges as they already have a KaKu dish and MPEG4 equipment. The only difference is that those channels will be in MPEG4 now instead of MPEG2.

Customers that do not have the correct equipment will still be able to see those channels in MPEG2 in the 70-99 range for the time being.

In addition, the following channels will get their MPEG 4 channel location on July 31st. These will be in Ka (again, need the KaKu dish)

306 HDNet
552 HD Net Movies
390 NY CBS
392 NY NBC
396 NY ABC
398 NY FOX


Sirius And XM Complete Merger

July 29, 2008 (7:47 am) Tyler Savery

The merger between Sirius and XM is no longer “proposed”. It is reality. As anticipated, Sirius and XM consummated their deal prior to the market opening today, and the company has a new name… Sirius XM Radio Inc.

Among the announcements this morning were:

Combined Company Has Over 18.5 Million Subscribers, Annualized Second Quarter Revenue Exceeding $2.4 Billion
Company to Offer Consumers Best of Both Services, While Maximizing Significant Efficiencies
SIRIUS XM Reiterates Financial Guidance; Expects 2009 Synergies of $400 million and 2009 Adjusted EBITDA of over $300 Million
Full press release after the jump…

SIRIUS Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI - News) and XM Satellite Radio today announced that they have completed their merger, resulting in the nation’s premier radio company. The new company plans to change its corporate name to SIRIUS XM Radio Inc. The combined company’s stock will continue to be traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “SIRI.”

SIRIUS XM Radio begins day one with over 18.5 million subscribers, making it the second-largest radio company, based upon revenue, in the country; and, based upon subscribers, the second largest subscription media business in the U.S. With under 10% penetration of the home and car market, the opportunity for continued growth is significant.

“I am delighted to announce the completion of this exciting merger between SIRIUS and XM,” said Mel Karmazin, CEO of SIRIUS XM Radio. “We have worked diligently to close this transaction and we look forward to integrating our best-in-class management teams and operations so we can begin delivering on our promise of more choices and lower prices for subscribers.”

“Every one of our constituencies is a winner. Combined, SIRIUS XM Radio will deliver superior value to our shareholders. By offering more compelling packages and the best content in audio entertainment, we are well positioned for increased subscriber growth. Our laser focus on subscribers will continue and listeners can be assured that there will be no disruption in service. We also believe that the completion of the merger will eliminate any confusion that has been lingering in the marketplace,” added Karmazin.

XM shareholders will receive 4.6 shares of SIRIUS common stock for each share of XM.

Competitive New Options for Consumers

SIRIUS XM Radio broadcasts more than 300 channels of programming, including exclusive radio offerings from Howard Stern, Oprah, Opie & Anthony and Martha Stewart, among others. SIRIUS XM Radio will offer these expanded options to consumers through arrangements with the world’s leading automakers and its relationships with nationwide retailers.

As a result of the merger, SIRIUS XM Radio will also be able to offer consumers new packages in audio entertainment, including the first-ever a la carte programming option in subscription media. In addition to two a la carte options, the new packages will include: “Best of Both,” giving subscribers the option to access certain programming from the other network; discounted Family Friendly packages; and tailored packages including “Mostly Music” and “News, Talk and Sports.” The first of the new packages will be available in the early Fall.

“One of the most exciting benefits of this transaction is the ability to offer subscribers the option of expanding their subscriptions to include the Best of Both services. Given the respective popularity of exclusive programming on both SIRIUS and XM, we expect many subscribers will upgrade their current subscription,” said Karmazin.

“The upside potential for both consumers and shareholders is huge. Consumers have the ease of adding premier programming without purchasing a new device. For shareholders, this kind of organic growth is a key part of the company’s future and the success we expect to see,” said Karmazin.

As promised when the merger was first announced, existing radios will continue to work and every subscriber has the option of maintaining their current service package.

Benefits for Shareholders Begin Immediately, Integration Already Under Way

SIRIUS XM Radio expects to begin realizing the synergies expected from this transaction immediately.

“In addition to realizing significant potential revenue growth, the management team will move quickly to capitalize on the synergies that many analysts have predicted for this combination. We expect to begin achieving those synergies without sacrificing any of the world-class programming and marketing we are known for,” said Karmazin.

The company today also reiterated guidance for the combined SIRIUS XM Radio. Based upon a preliminary analysis, the combined company expects to realize total synergies, net of the costs to achieve such synergies, of approximately $400 million in 2009; to post adjusted EBITDA exceeding $300 million in 2009; and to achieve positive free cash flow, before satellite capital expenditures, for the full year 2009. The company also expects that both synergies and adjusted EBITDA will continue growing beyond 2009.

“We have all the tools necessary to begin executing as a combined company with high aspirations for subscriber growth and greater financial performance in part from the significant synergies that we begin realizing literally today — on Day One. We are moving quickly to integrate the operations,” said Karmazin.

The corporate headquarters will be located in New York, NY and XM Satellite Radio, the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, will remain headquartered in Washington, DC.

Effective after the close of the market yesterday, trading in XMSR common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market ceased.

Mailbag Question: Freshmen adapting


How do you see the new freshmen adapting to the new Michigan and how will they be effective this year? Do you see more playing this year or not?

Will Coach Rod play more this year because he doesn't know or have the kids he wants for his system?

How about the OL group of freshman? How do you like them and also how will they fit? Will there be some that might see time this year and how about a timeline for some of those to possible see playing time 1, 2, 3, never?



Thanks for the question. How freshmen adapt is twofold. How they adapt to football, but how they adapt to being away from home and college life is equally important. Homesickness has hurt the development of more than one prospect. How effective is tough to say.

We would be very surprised if some of the freshmen do not see meaningful playing time. At the very least, more freshmen will find there way onto the two deep depth charts, and this includes the offensive linemen.

The freshmen are going to be very important for providing depth. The lack of depth gives many freshmen a chance where in past they might of red-shirted. New positions as slot receiver will also be factor in freshmen getting an opportunity to contribute.

Another area we expect freshmen to help with is special teams. There are three to four who have excellent return skills and several can help with coverage.

With Ortmann and Schilling having two and three years of eligibility left playing time at offensive tackle will tough to get, but would not be surprised to see O'Neill at least in mix next spring. At offensive guard or offensive center, would be surprised if in two years or so some of our incoming freshmen are not pushing for serious playing time.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Thanks for stopping by
If you have any questions please e-mail

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

DirecTV: 130 HD Channels by mid-August also PPV movies in 1080p

from DirecTV

DIRECTV Remains Clear HD Leader With 130 HD channels on Tap For Mid-August
DIRECTV Adding More Than 30 New HD Channels and is First To Offer All HD Programming in MPEG-4 AVC and Dolby Digital; Will offer HD Movies in 1080p Later This Year

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., July 28, 2007 - DIRECTV, the nation's leading satellite television service provider, continues to dominate the HD landscape by delivering significantly more quality national HD channels than any other television provider in the nation via the most advanced technology. Beginning August 14, DIRECTV will launch more than 30 additional HD channels, bringing the total HD channel lineup to 130.

DIRECTV will also transmit all of its HD programming in the MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding standard, by the end of this month - the first to do so in the industry. All HD programming will also be available in the Dolby Digital audio format, and later this year, DIRECTV will begin offering movies in 1080p, the highest resolution format available for HD video enthusiasts and the same format used by Blu-Ray HD DVDs.

Among the new HD channels that DIRECTV will launch next month are Showtime Extreme HD, Showtime Showcase HD, Planet Green HD, ABC Family HD, additional DIRECTV HD pay per view channels and an additional 23 Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) in HD 24 hours a day.

"Despite all the sound and fury of confusing HD claims from our competitors, our customers understand that DIRECTV is the destination for the most compelling and complete lineup of HD content," said Derek Chang, executive vice president, Content Strategy and Development, DIRECTV, Inc. "Our message is clear - DIRECTV is the content leader, and our delivery of the best quality HD via the most advanced technology is one way we continue to dominate this category and offer our more than 17 million customers nationwide an unparalleled entertainment experience."

In addition to its full lineup of linear HD channels, DIRECTV continues to lead the industry with the most sports HD programming available, by broadcasting exclusive, interactive sports packages like NFL SUNDAY TICKET™, NCAA® MEGA MARCH MADNESS™ and NASCAR HOTPASS™ all in crystal-clear HD. DIRECTV will also continue to add HD content to its newly launched DIRECTV on Demand platform.

The full DIRECTV HD programming lineup, including the new channels, and details on receiving equipment needed for the new DIRECTV HD services, are available by calling 1-800-DIRECTV or visiting

With the DIRECTV 11 satellite now part of the fleet and the launch of the DIRECTV 12 satellite next year, DIRECTV will have the capacity to deliver 200 national HD channels and 1,500 local HD and digital channels in addition to new advanced programming services for customers nationwide.


About DIRECTV, Inc.
DIRECTV, Inc. (NASDAQ:DTV - News), the nation's leading satellite television service provider, presents the finest television experience available to more than 17 million customers in the United States and is leading the HD revolution with 95 national HD channels - more quality HD channels than any other television provider. Each day, DIRECTV subscribers enjoy access to over 265 channels of 100% digital picture and sound, exclusive programming, industry-leading customer satisfaction (which has surpassed all national cable companies for eight years running) and superior technologies that include advanced DVR and HD-DVR services and the most state-of-the-art interactive sports packages available anywhere.

DirecTV: 121 HD locals by end of the year

from DirecTV

DIRECTV to Offer HD Local Channels In 121 Markets by Year-End
With Launch of 44 New HD Markets More Than 88 Percent of U.S. Television Homes Will have Access to Local HD Channels from DIRECTV

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., July 28, 2008 - DIRECTV, Inc., the nation's leading satellite television service provider, continues to strengthen its HD presence with the addition of 44 new HD local channel markets. By the end of 2008, DIRECTV will provide local HD broadcast channels in 121 cities, representing more than 88 percent of U.S. TV households. DIRECTV will begin the roll-out of the new HD local markets in August and continue through the end of the year. The new markets include:

Augusta, Ga.
Harrisonburg, Va.

Bangor, Maine
La Crosse-Eau Claire, Wis.

Baton Rouge, La.
Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Ark.

Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas
Lincoln-Hastings, Neb.

Boise, Idaho
Macon, Ga.

Burlington Vt.-Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Mobile AL-Pensacola, Fla.

Butte-Bozeman, Mont.
Myrtle Beach-Florence, S.C.

Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, Ill.
Norfolk-Newport News, Va.

Charleston, S.C.
Palm prings, Calif.

Chattanooga, Tenn.
Peoria-Bloomington, Ill.

Colorado Springs-Pueblo, Colo.
Richmond-Petersburg, Va.

Columbia-Jefferson City, Mo.
Rockford, Ill.

Davenport, Iowa-Rock Island, Ill.
Rochester, N.Y.

Dayton, Ohio
Savannah, Ga.

Des Moines-Ames, Iowa
Sioux Falls, S.D.

Dothan, Ala.
South Bend-Elkhart, Ind.

El Paso, Texas
Springfield-Holyoke, Mass.

Evansville, Ind.
Syracuse, N.Y.

Fort Smith, Ark.
Tallahassee, Fla.

Fort Wayne, Ind.
Toledo, Ohio

Greenville-New Bern-Washington, N.C.
Traverse City-Cadillac, Mich.

Harlingen-Brownsville, Texas
Youngstown, Ohio

"With the rollout of 44 new HD local markets, DIRECTV continues to strengthen its position as the leading provider of quality HD programming among cable and satellite competitors nationwide," said Derek Chang, executive vice president, Content Strategy and Development, DIRECTV, Inc. "Our DIRECTV 11 satellite has recently begun operations and significantly expands our capacity for more national and local HD channels. And as we have with the SuperFan® service for MLB EXTRA INNINGS® and NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ and our multi-screen coverage of US Open golf, we will continue to use HD to enhance our unique interactive services to provide our customers with more of what they want and expect from us - the best television experience available."

DIRECTV will deliver HD programming from the primary broadcast networks - ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC - where available and authorized, to customers who subscribe to any CHOICE® programming package that offers local channels. DIRECTV HD customers will continue to pay only a $9.99 access fee, allowing them to receive DIRECTV's premier HD technology and all channels broadcast in HD that are tied to their particular base programming package.

Customers should visit to learn more about the full complement of DIRECTV's HD programming lineup including existing channels, new channels, details on equipment required for the new DIRECTV HD services and updates on when the new markets will launch.

With the DIRECTV 11 satellite just introduced to the fleet and the launch of the DIRECTV 12 satellite next year, DIRECTV will have the capacity to deliver 200 national HD channels and 1,500 local HD and digital channels in addition to new advanced programming services for customers nationwide.


About DIRECTV, Inc.
DIRECTV, Inc. (NASDAQ:DTV - News), the nation's leading satellite television service provider, presents the finest television experience available to more than 17 million customers in the United States and is leading the HD revolution with 95 national HD channels - more quality HD channels than any other television provider. Each day, DIRECTV subscribers enjoy access to over 265 channels of 100% digital picture and sound, exclusive programming, industry-leading customer satisfaction (which has surpassed all national cable companies for eight years running) and superior technologies that include advanced DVR and HD-DVR services and the most state-of-the-art interactive sports packages available anywhere.

Mailbag Question: Recruiting rankings

Hey Guys,

Why does it seem like some posters do not think it is a huge deal to get top talent (5 star kids)? Is it because we are not getting them or what?

Also I have seen on message boards where posters say they don't care how Michigan recruits as long as they win at the college level? Don't great players want to play with other great players (like Pryor has been able to do)?

Other point posters seem to think they do not care if the Michigan players make it to the NFL and only win in college, but don't they go hand in hand because if they win and are good players they will make it to the NFL and then come back to Michigan. We have seen over the summer with NFL players coming back to workout with Barwis and the impact that could have with recruiting. High School elite talent look at where the college program send kids and all the kids want to go to the next level.
Is it a deal, where posters just want to make themselves feel better that they are not getting the 5 star kids and then they say they don't care what happens to these kids afterwards.

Thanks for taking my question and cannot wait to hear what you guys think.



Thanks for the question. Many factors involved here. Number #1 being that recruiting is inexact science. There are no guarantees. For every five star recruit who makes it big there is a Braylon Edwards or David Harris who is lower ranked and makes it big.

Another part in our opinion is the defense of Coach Rod. Many Michigan fans who used to scream when Coach Carr and staff took lower rated players are now saying trust the coaches and stars do not matter. This is not unusual, most new coaches enjoy at least a short honeymoon period where they can do little wrong.

Now the tough one, importance of putting players in NFL. In our opinion both sides of legitimate arguments here. Many very good players look at schools history of producing NFL talent at their position. In addition, this is major part of their decision-making. However, playing for successful winning program that is in National Championship hunt is also factor in many athletes decision.

Bottom line to us is get kids who fit the system you want to run, win as much as possible, and help put kids in the NFL

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Thanks for stopping by
If you have any questions please e-mail

Monday, July 28, 2008

Michigan Football: More Adidas Jersey pictures

Has the Big Ten Championships listed on the shoulders. Obviously the jerseys aren't maized out because they are inside out ... to show what the players will see and nobody else.
Has the MGoBlue stitched in.
Bo's saying "Those who stay will be Champions!"

The "Maize" stripe on the away jersey.

Michigan Football: Apostles are the leaders for the team

from Toledo Blade

'Apostles' to spread faith in Michigan
Rodriguez uses special term for leaders


CHICAGO - Tim Jamison reads at least one Bible verse when he wakes each day.

Morgan Trent says gospel music dominates his iPod, and Mike Massey was reared Catholic.

Now, these three Wolverines are among 20 "apostles" on the University of Michigan's football team. But this is no faith-based initiative.

The Wolverines' apostles are a group of players - seniors through freshmen - selected by their teammates as leaders. They met with UM coach Rich Rodriguez at his house Wednesday night and will serve as communicators between players and coaches.

"It's not in a biblical nature," Rodriguez said yesterday at the second of the Big Ten's two media days at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Rodriguez is breaking from tradition at UM by not having any permanent team captains before the start of this season. He said the players will pick their captains at the end of the year, and different game captains will be selected each week.

In the meantime, the Wolverines have apostles.

"You can call us whatever you want," said Massey, a senior tight end. "It's basically just labeling some guys who can keep each class focused."

And this is a good idea?

"It's a great thing," Massey said. "Whether they're labeled 'captains' or 'apostles,' every team knows who its leaders are. All this is doing is letting guys know they have an opportunity to lead this team."

Trent, a senior cornerback, said he wasn't too sure about the apostle concept at first, but now sees its merits.

"We can go to him with anything that we feel or any concerns that we have," Trent said. "I like it.

"I like the fact that we can all come together and talk about something we think needs to change or something we just want to talk about.

"I like that we can all come together instead of two people making the decision."

Rodriguez said he had apostles as a head coach at West Virginia and a variation of the concept at Glenville State. He said anywhere from eight to 20 players - again, selected by their peers - make up these apostolic councils.

"We have a lot of fun with it," Rodriguez said. "Sometimes it's as simple as picking the pre-game music.

"It's not like we're making major decisions. It's not like, 'coach, we're going to run the wishbone this week.'•"

While trying to downplay the importance of being an apostle, Rodriguez also said those players are held to higher standards.

"I told the guys, 'You are going to be held to a higher standard on and off the field, so if you're not willing to accept that you've got to let me know,'•" Rodriguez said.

"It's not like they're going to be scrutinized anymore. It's kind of like a sounding board for the players, for me. More than anything else, I want the communication to be open."

Rodriguez didn't disclose who the "apostles" are this year, but Trent, Jamison, and Massey are in that group. So too, apparently, are senior defensive tackle Will Johnson, senior safety Brandon Harrison, and sophomore quarterback Steven Threet.

SERIOUS ISSUE: Rodriguez said he hopes all his players learn from the suspension of junior running back Kevin Grady, who was arrested this month for drunken driving.

"I think certainly Kevin has, at least that's my hope," Rodriguez said. "I heard somebody say I should just kick him off the team and make an example of him. If a guy is a bad guy or has gotten in trouble a couple times, yeah, you do that. If you can teach a lesson off of it and he learns a lesson from it, you can turn it into a positive."

Grady, who missed all of last season with a knee injury but was in the mix to be a starter this year, has to meet certain criteria to be reinstated with the Wolverines. Rodriguez said he is rooting for Grady.

"Kevin's a good guy that made a bad mistake and he's paying a price for it."

NO SUPRISE: Trent said he "knew it was coming" in reference to Justin Boren's departure from UM.

"I say that because the way we're working out, the way we run, the way we train, if you don't love football you won't last," Trent said.

"That's the great thing about it. If you don't want to be there, with your whole heart, you won't be there long."

Boren, a starting offensive lineman last year, left UM during spring practice and said the family values in Rodriguez's program had eroded. He transferred to Ohio State.

Michigan: Media Day transcript

Media Day transcript: Michigan's Rich Rodriguez

Rich Rodriguez - Media Day 2008:

COACH RODRIGUEZ: Thank you. We're excited to be here for my first Big Ten media conference, and I hope to get a chance to meet some of y'all for the first time and maybe get a chance to answer some questions that maybe you've had. There has been a little bit of drama going on for the last seven months, so I'm looking forward to maybe clearing up some of that.

More than anything, I'm excited to talk about this year's team and the transition and how that's been going and how excited I am and our staff is to be in the Big Ten Conference. Obviously I've been in the profession for a few years and looking from another conference in have a great respect for not only the players and the coaches but also the league itself.

And I'll tell you, as that guy coming from the outside in, the Big Ten Conference has as much respect overall as a league as any conference in the country. I'm obviously excited to be here.

I know I missed some of my colleagues, the Joe Tiller roast, and I'm going to have some fun with him. Only thing, I can't wait to see Joe, because I've been looking all summer on my new snake oil concoction that I want to give Joe. I can't wait to see him tonight. We've been friends for a long time. I have such respect for the coaches in our league. Outstanding coach and a lot of fun to be around.

Regarding our team, really proud of our guys, our staff and players have been there all summer working extremely hard, getting in shape for the upcoming season. I think the transition from a football standpoint has gone probably as well as I could have expected. A lot of times there's things, guys that maybe don't make it through the transition, but generally it's probably been as positive and seamless a transition as I could have expected, and I think for two reasons; one, because we have a lot of young, hungry players that are getting a chance for the first time to get significant playing time because of who has graduated, because I think lastly because of the nice mix on our staff.

I'm tremendously pleased with the way staff came together. I was able to bring a handful of guys that were with me at West Virginia, a lot of guys that were on the staff, either support staff, coaching staff, re-hired -- I don't call them retained but re-hired, and also a few guys that I think are some of the best in the business. Transition and seamlessness with the coaching staff has helped.

The players' attitude has been tremendous as far as working hard and buying into it, and also I think from the standpoint of all the questions about a so-called outside guy come in, I've not heard that at all from my fans. Maybe they've said it behind closed doors, whatever, but the places I've been to and talked to Michigan fans, they've been terrific, and I'm really excited about that.

We're going to be very young on offense. I'm not a pessimist or an optimist, I'm more of a realist, and I prefer to tell it like it is. We've lost some of the best players that probably have ever played at the University of Michigan on offense. We're talking about the first pick in the draft, a second-round pick at quarterback and was a four-year starter and one of the all-time leading rushers in Mike Hart and two wide receivers. We lost a lot of talent offensively up front. We have one starter returning but that's it, and again, some of these young guys, when you're young, you haven't played a lot, you're hungry. A hungry player to me is a guy who is pretty exciting to watch.

Defensively we have a few more guys coming back, a little more veterans and we're probably going to be deeper on defense than on offense I like what Coach Shafer and our defensive staff are doing. I think our players are excited on that side of the ball. I think we lost a few key players but I don't think there's a lot of high expectations for our team beyond what the normal expectations are always like or to be in Michigan but I think the players are embracing the challenges that they have and I'm looking forward to our camp opening up.

Everybody wants to have the questions, Coach, what are you going to be like, and the honest answer is I really don't know. I'm not just telling you, giving you coach-speak because I have not been at two-day camp with our guys yet. I've not been in the middle of a game and when you're struggling or down in the third quarter or fourth quarter things aren't going well. I'll have a better feel for it through camp, first few weeks of camp. I'll have a better idea how to respond, but I really don't know and any coach is going to tell you he doesn't really know until a guy is playing the game.

We have so many guys being first-year starters in key positions. I think they're going to be okay, but until we get them in there, get the nerves out and get some experience, there'll be some nervous moments. I do think that our guys are buying into what we do. I know they are and I think we'll be fun to watch these guys.

Q. As you alluded to, there's been seven months. How have you kind of coped with that, and was there one comment made by a coach or just general criticism that really ruffled you?

COACH RODRIGUEZ: Oh, probably if I paid a whole lot of attention to a lot of stuff that was written, it would have probably been a little bit tougher, but after a while it was just stand in line and throw some darts my way. There's so many things out there that happens and it's really nobody's fault; it's just the day and age that we are in today, the rumor mill and how they spread so many things out there that weren't even true, so many things I wasn't aware about. Maybe I'm being ignorant, but the only one that really worried me was a question about our family values and how we approached the young men on our team. That was the one that really upset me most because that's the one we take the most pride in.

Any player that's ever played for us in 15 years as head coach will tell you it's just the opposite, not only on our team but also amongst our staff, and anybody that has touched our program, that's the one that upset me the most. Nobody has a closer family-tied union than our football program. That one upset me the most probably.

There's a lot of stuff, obviously the drama with the West Virginia situation, but I tended to compartmentalize things and tried to stay focused on the future the whole time. Unfortunately my wife and my family, at times it was a little frustrating and disappointing in how that played out, but the folks at the University of Michigan have been terrific. The fans have been terrific. The players, none of them asked about it and doesn't seem like it's been an issue at all in my current job, and that's the way I want it.

Q. Coach, looking back at the outcome to the lawsuit with West Virginia, do you have any regrets there?

COACH RODRIGUEZ: Well, I appreciate it's a fair question and I'll address it now so we won't have to address it the next 13, 14 years. But you know, there's a lot of things I would like to talk about but I want to move on. I think that's one of the biggest reasons that everything is in the past. And am I disappointed in certain things, sure I am. I was disappointed in that maybe not all of the things that I thought were truthful had an opportunity to come out, maybe setting the record straight to certain situations, didn't have an opportunity to come out. And that was probably the most disappointing to me in the end.

But I have great memories there, I'm in a great place and I'm trying to stay focused on the future. Hopefully now that everything is in the past we can talk about the future, and I don't want or players or anybody else when we have games to be asked about it, and that's what I want to deal with.

It was difficult because there were situations that maybe I wanted to get cleared up, but I think in the best interest certainly of moving on for us at the University of Michigan, it's time to get it settled and move on.

Q. It's been said that the matter was embarrassing for the University of Michigan. What do you say about that, and is it embarrassing for you?

COACH RODRIGUEZ: I don't think so. To what regard, I don't know how it would be. To me University of Michigan has every right from the first day forward, and I don't feel that I was on the defensive a whole lot unnecessarily at times, but again, that's in the past, and again, I don't think there's anybody that should be embarrassed on any end. It became so public, that's the problem.

It became so public. I was afraid to open up a paper anywhere and see what's next and what do I have to refute and all that, so there were some tough lessons learned, but I really unfortunately --because I always tell the coaches, you give your life and soul to the place your working at, and I thought we did that. And it didn't -- quite certainly didn't end the way we wanted it to. But again, there's a lot of great people there, a lot of great young men on that football team, a lot of great fans in the state of West Virginia, and I know they're going to have great success in the future.

Q. Coach, talk about how you completely changed your program. Can you just talk about that a little bit, why it was necessary and what changes you've seen so far?

COACH RODRIGUEZ: There has been a little talk about that so I want to make this clear, too. Anytime I had the players over, a bunch of players over to the house last night eating hamburgers and hot dogs and we talked about that little bit. Any time there's a transition or change everybody wants to compare it, fans, the media and other coaches and teams and all that, want to compare the differences. And sometimes it's a little unfair, but that's natural human nature. There's no one perfect way or right way to do things. Our guys in the past have trained very hard, did a great job, just the way our guys train now is a little bit different. We had to get some different equipment. Mike Byers I think is one of the best in the country, but of course I'm biased because I've been working with him for six or seven years. He knows how to train the guys, he's got all the modern methods and we got new equipment, and I think our guys have seen the results of it.

I think it helps when some of the pro players that played at Michigan that didn't even know Mike now train with him and they're definitely some of his biggest advocates. But our players have seen the difference in their bodies and have bought into it. And if you're a young, hungry player, you're going to do whatever it takes to get yourself ready from what Mike has told me and what I've seen from their physical make up they've bought into our training methods, and Mike and his staff have done a great job. He's spent more time with them than I have in three months in the spring the results so far and I think it will translate onto the field as well.

Q. Coach Rodriguez, there's some perception either rightly or wrongly that you put a lot of your recruiting eggs in the basket of Terrelle Pryor. How much of a jolt, because he seemed a perfect fit for the offense that you ran at West Virginia. How much of a jolt was it when he decided not to go to Michigan and also with the transfer of Ryan Millet, how unsettled is your quarterback position?

COACH RODRIGUEZ: I only talk about the players that play for Michigan. That is my standard response on that. Obviously I was pleased when our recruiting class came out. When you lose Chad Henne you obviously lose a great player and quarterback, and you have to address that in recruiting.

I think we're going to be all right. Steve Threet I think has a lot of talent. Nick Sheridan did a great job. Justin Feagin, good guys for the system in this year's class. Any time you don't get recruits that you want, any coach will tell you it's disappointing. It's not the impact that you're losing the game, it's disappointing time invested in a young man.

I'm very excited about the recruiting class we've got. I think that our system has to be flexible enough that we can suit it or fit it around the abilities of our current quarterbacks, which is what we've been doing in spring practice and again in August, and I think we'll be fine. I'm excited to see what Steve and Nick and those guys can do and will we have to be creative at times as coaches?

This year and next year, sure, well, but even if we have a current quarterback coming back, we'd have to do that. The biggest difference I said several times when you're playing inexperienced players it's two-fold; you have to teach them some of the fundamentals and you have to teach them the system. That's kind of what we're in right now. It's not giving an excuse or anything like that; that's the way it is. When you have an experienced player, our experienced players have been coached. They've been coached very well by Coach Carr and his staff so now we're just teaching them a new system. It's the inexperienced guys that we're teaching two-fold, and they have to buy into it and they have to be quick learners and so far, again, it's just 15 days in the spring they've showed that.

Q. Coming from outside the conference, what do you think about the bad rap the Big Ten sometimes gets when it comes to speed and athleticism?

COACH RODRIGUEZ: It's funny, talking about the reputaion, the conference, ability-wise I was talking to some of the players about that. Again I've seen some of the Big Ten teams on film. We've not played with a lot of them in the past, but when you exchange film you get a chance to watch them against common opponents, I think the perception is just that, perception. There's obviously some great speed in some other leagues, but there's some great speed in our league as well. There's some very -- just look at who's getting drafted and who's playing in the NFL. There's a lot of players in the Big Ten playing in the NFL. I don't know what the numbers are, but we stack up pretty high in that regard. That's just a perception for years and years and years that we were more of a pound-it-out, smash mouth big tough football team. We still have that, but the perception that all of a sudden Michigan is coming in with a new spread offense, well shoot, seven or eight teams in our league have been running the spread or a version of the spread all the time or several years now.

So it's nothing new that we're bringing into our league, and Michigan even at times used the spread, so there are athletes and past athletes everywhere throughout the Big Ten Conference and some of them come from Midwest high schools and some of them come from down south. I think our league is just that perception, and sometimes perceptions become reality in people's minds, but it's not.

Q. Coach, you have experience in the rivalry games, Pittsburgh and these kind of things, and you know how to approach a rivalry game. If you could talk about what you can do going into Michigan, accentuating the rivalry with Ohio State turning the results around back in Michigan's favor after what's happened the last several years.

COACH RODRIGUEZ: Obviously you don't coach or live in Michigan without understanding the rivalry games, and we're a little unique from the standpoint that Big Ten rivalries to our fans obviously are Ohio State, Michigan State and Notre Dame. You hear about them all the time. I still have on my desk from the first day I got the job a "Beat Ohio State" button, so not like I needed to be reminded about that.

But I do think it's fun. I'm not a coach that has a countdown to a particular game other than the game that's next, but there's nothing wrong with that. I think some folks think it's a great motivator.

I've been focused on what's the next day and what's the day after that so I try not to get too far ahead, especially now I think everybody understands we have so much work to do and change in the systems, and the transition, if you look too far ahead, you'll stumble your way early getting the right stuff. It's a process we're in.

I want to enjoy the process and our players understand the process. Do I understand the rivalry? You have to be deaf not to hear about it every day, and our players hear about it every day. I think it's funny. It's obvious we've got some work to do, Ohio State has had tremendous success in the last several years, and Jim has done and the staff has done a great job and they're a top five. They've been in the top five for several years now, but those are easy games as coaches when you're getting ready to play that week that's an easy game to it use for a team motivator because they hear about it all the time. I hear fans say well, Coach, if you just win one game, it's the Ohio State game, we'll be happy.

I don't believe that; I'm not going to be happy. I'll be happy with that one but not the other ones, so we talk about it, but nothing in particular significant for just one team all the time. Our guys hear about it.

Q. What's Kevin Grady's status having to deal with a situation like it is and how did you learn about it?

COACH RODRIGUEZ: Actually Kevin's father called me and told me about it and then he was home over the weekend when it happened and so he's been suspended from the team, he's no longer working out with the guys. He's working out on his own, still attending classes, and it's kind of a week-by-week basis on him getting back. He has to do certain things in the program to get back on the team, and then once he does that, there will be some playing time, penalties as well, and then he's on a strict kind of a watch from there. He has to earn his way back to the team and we'll take it from there.

Mailbag Question: Regarding your recent article

Hey Guys,

Here is the paragraph that spurs my question:

10) Can staff generate competition despite lack of depth:
Nothing makes people better than competition. Complacency is death to a team. That was what helped kill last years team, especially early. Not enough competition. I was so pleased at how Coach Rod and staff changed depth charts day to day. Playing time was earned every single day. Ezeh was starting middle linebacker at practice on Friday. He was average and Thompson started scrimmage next day. However, there were few key positions where drop off was so much that competition really did not exist. Hoping that freshmen or other player step up game to push key players.

I was curious as to what are the positions in your opinion where the drop off is the biggest? Any insight you could give that would perhaps be surprising to those of us who have not had access to practices and such would be especially interesting. And I guess along those same lines, what players are most critical to Michigan's success; not looking for the best players, but rather the players we REALLY need to have healthy and on the field because the drop to 2nd string is a long one.



Thanks for the question. Thinnest areas of the team in our opinion were defensive ends, offensive line, cornerback, and linebackers. With the lose of Slocum, defensive tackle also gets a bit thinner than we would like.

At defensive ends Michigan had three who were ready to contribute, Jamison, Graham, and RVB. Banks, Criswell, and Patterson were also competing, but as of spring not ready yet.

Linebackers were a bit thin do to injury this spring. The drop off at outside linebacker was very noticeable to us.

Cornerback was interesting position. Trent and Warren are going o be solid and Woolfolk showed some marked improvement, but after top three the drop off was very noticeable.

Biggest problem area depth wise in our opinion was offensive line. There were seven competent linemen. When group two came out the quality of play noticeably fell off.

As for defensive tackle, it went five deep this spring with top four playing very well. Slocum was probably third on depth chart and quite possibly the most talented. His loss puts the position a gray area depth wise. It is not as thin as others are, but not as deep as we would like.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Thanks for stopping by
If you have any questions please e-mail

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Stoney and Wojo talk Michigan with several people (Audio only)

from WDFN

Larry Foote

Lloyd Carr

Jalen Rose

Angelique Chengelis

Some changes on the E-Blog

Well first off thanks for visiting.
Been upgrading a few things that people might have noticed.

1) A new Google search engine (please use for all your searches on the web).

2) A brand new GoBlueMichiganWolverine Search engine (so whenever you want to look back at a article/blog) you can type in a name/phrase/etc. such as Coach Shafer and then it will show all the articles from most recent to the oldest on GoBlueMichiganWolverine.

3) Have started adding TV Programming again with new programming coming soon and also getting closer to football season.
Have any comments please feel free to e-mail:

Michigan Basketball: Meyer joins hoops staff


Jeff Meyer Joins Staff as Administrative Specialist

July 25, 2008

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan men's basketball coach John Beilein announced the hiring of Jeff Meyer as an administrative specialist for the Wolverine program Friday (July 25). Meyer will replace Tracy Hamner, who is returning to James River High in Midlothian, Va., to teach English and coach the varsity basketball program.

"Jeff and I have been great friends for over a decade," said Beilein. "He brings so much valuable experience to our basketball program. Without question, Jeff is one of the finest assistants in the country, so we are fortunate to be able to add him to our staff. Jeff and I will work closely to continue to rebuild the Michigan basketball program. Any concerns of Jeff's ties to the NCAA issues at Indiana have been addressed by the NCAA and our compliance staff. He has been cleared and the matter is behind him."

"We are confident we are hiring a coach with integrity and someone who has a strong background with the NCAA rules and guidelines," said U-M Senior Women's Administrator and Compliance Director Judy Van Horn. "The NCAA reviewed and issued a statement clearing coach Meyer of any involvement in association with the Indiana University major infraction case. We feel very confident about his hiring and look forward to his presence with our current basketball staff."

Meyer has been a proven winner at every level throughout his career. His squads have registered a 530-339 (.609) overall record and have earned eight NCAA Tournament (one Final Four and one Sweet 16) and four National Invitation Tournament (NIT) appearances.

Meyer spent last season as an assistant coach at Indiana University and the two seasons prior to that at the University of Missouri. Before heading to Missouri, Meyer spent three seasons at Butler University where he guided the Bulldogs to Horizon League Championships in both 2002 and 2003, advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2003. Butler registered a 69-26 mark during his three seasons with 12 of the program's 13 student-athletes that exhausted their eligibility at Butler going on to earn degrees. Meyer spearheaded the recruiting efforts and played a vital role in the Bulldogs' player-skill development program, game preparation and strategy.

Prior to his time at Butler, Meyer served as associate head coach at Winthrop, helping the Eagles win three straight Big South championships (1999-2001) and make three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. He also helped foster an outstanding commitment to academics with eight out of nine student-athletes that matriculated through the program earning a degree.

Meyer also has experience as a head coach. In 16 years at Liberty University, the Flames' all-time winningest coach registered a 259-206 mark and led the the team to the 1994 Big South Tournament championship and a bid to the NCAA Tournament. He was also instrumental in helping Liberty make the transition from NAIA to NCAA Division I. In addition to his outstanding efforts as a head coach, Meyer's program also produced successful individuals in the classroom, earning a 90-percent graduation rate (45 of 50 student-athletes) from 1981 to 1997.

Meyer began his career as an assistant to Lee Rose at Purdue University from 1978-80, where he earned his master's degree. During his time in West Lafayette, Ind., he helped the Boilermakers reach the 1980 NCAA Final Four following a Big Ten regular-season co-championship and earn a 1979 NIT final appearance. Meyer then joined Rose at the University of South Florida during the 1980-81 season, helping the Bulls to an appearance in the NIT.

Meyer, a 1976 graduate of Taylor University, and his wife Karen are the parents of two daughters, Holli Torrie and Sarah, and a son, Josh.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Michigan Football: Coach Rod talks to ESPN

Coaches Corner: Top Ten things to look for in Michigan

Every year after summer camp and seven on seven scrimmages, we sit down as staff and make list of ten things that need to happen for us to be successful.

We got the idea from the University of Toledo. They recommended only ten because it is difficult in the short amount of time available to have more than ten.

Ten is number that you can reasonable keep track of and work on. After we finished I did same thing for Michigan. These ten things will determine how good Michigan will be this year. This is different from what I wrote earlier about things to watch.

1) Staying Healthy:
This is universal. No team in college football can withstand injuries at key positions. This heightened over the years with eighty-five scholarship limit and players leaving early. USC, with all its depth and talent and suffered loses at least partially do to injuries. Michigan being very thin has an even thinner margin for error. Michigan’s starting twenty-two can compete with any one.

2) How fast do freshmen assimilate:
More than any other year in the forty plus years of being Michigan fan freshmen are going to need to play key role. By either providing depth, a key skill set for schemes, competition, or playing on special teams. Some or quite possibly many freshmen will need to contribute.

3) How do young guys, who are not freshmen assimilate:
As key as freshmen will be, sophomores and juniors will be just as important. These people were not recruited to play in this system. Can they adapt and overcome, and learn new techniques so that can be successful in new schemes. From what I saw this spring, I am encouraged in this matter.

4) Who provides key leadership:
There seems to be not a huge problem on defense. We have Trent, Jamison, Taylor, and Johnson, etc. who have been through the wars and know the drill. Offense is different matter. Michigan may not have one senior starting on the offense and only three starters from last year’s squad returning. This can actually help in some ways, but when it is third and three with game on line whom do they look to in the huddle. Who steps up and says give me the DAMN BALL. There are plenty of candidates, but still no one who has done it on major college level.

5) Will special teams be better:
And I mean all phases, returning, covering, kicking, field goals. Especially early in year when offense is getting their seas legs, superior special teams can be huge help.

6) Does Michigan have the people to play Coach Shafer's style of defense:
Does Michigan have the safeties and outside linebackers to create the turnovers Coach Shafer desires! Being aggressive has hundred advantages over being conservative, but if you do not have the safeties and outside linebackers to create those turnovers this defense needs, things can get ugly. For record, I am confident our safeties will be just fine. We are four to five deep, at outside linebacker, not as sure. Good news is MaizeMan’s update that Mouton looks ready!

7) Does the team come together:
I was so impressed this spring at the focus and tightness/cohesion, this team showed. I was interested to see if there were any malcontents. There were definitely a few, but the positive people drowned out those who were not 100% onboard. Question is will it continue throughout the season. Will this be team #1 group as it appeared? That was the problem with Michigan last year. There were a quite a few players who were more interested in own self-interest over teams. Coach Rod and staff know what they are doing and will make huge difference. In the locker room without coaches present, who knows?

8) Coach Barwis factor:
Will Coach Barwis demanding players maintain and build strength into the season pay dividend, especially with freshmen who have not had the entire spring and only part of summer in program. How fast these young players get physically ready to play will be something I am watching very closely. In theory, it should be a big help.

9) How fast does staff assimilate to different style of play:
At West Virginia Coach Rod and staff were masters at getting opponents to play at their pace. Then controlling the tempo of the game. That is what they did to Oklahoma in the bowl game and crushed them. Can they force Big Ten teams to play their tempo, or will Coach Tressell and others slow pace and control tempo. This will be biggest test for Coach Rod because if he succeeds, he can beat teams that are even more talented. We all saw what happened to Ohio State when they tried to play Florida's tempo, and what happened when Coach Carr and staff the next year turned the tables. I like Michigan/Coach Rod’s chances here. Everything I saw this spring, practice and scrimmages were training Michigan to be to play at and control tempo. It was very impressive.

10) Can staff generate competition despite lack of depth:
Nothing makes people better than competition. Complacency is death to a team. That was what helped kill last years team, especially early. Not enough competition. I was so pleased at how Coach Rod and staff changed depth charts day to day. Playing time was earned every single day. Ezeh was starting middle linebacker at practice on Friday. He was average and Thompson started scrimmage next day. However, there were few key positions where drop off was so much that competition really did not exist. Hoping that freshmen or other player step up game to push key players.

That is our list. Interested to here some others ideas. Please feel to comment.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Thanks for stopping by

If you have any questions please e-mail

Friday, July 25, 2008

Michigan Football: Roster released


Wolverines Announce 2008 Roster

July 23, 2008

The University of Michigan football program released today (July 23) its 2008 preseason camp roster. The 129th team in school history opens training camp on Monday, Aug. 4, from Schembechler Hall. The Wolverines will hold 29 practice sessions prior to the Aug. 30 season opener against Utah at Michigan Stadium (3:30 p.m. EDT on ABC).

The roster includes 23 freshmen that will be donning the maize and blue and the coveted winged helmet for the first time. It does not include incoming freshman walk-on players that will be included in the 105 student-athletes for fall camp.

U-M returns 45 of 68 lettermen from last season's team, including seven defensive starters, three offensive starters and its entire starting lineup on special teams.

Following are the scholarship freshmen numbers:
Ricky Barnum #56
Boubacar Cissoko #33
Michael Cox #15
Kenny Demens #25
Justin Feagin #5
J.B. Fitzgerald #42
J.T. Floyd #12
Taylor Hill #36
Rocko Khoury #63
Kevin Koger #86
Mike Martin #68
Sam McGuffie #2
Elliott Mealer #57
Brandon Moore #88
Martavious Odoms #9
Patrick Omameh #65
Dann O'Neill #78
Terrance Robinson #7
Roy Roundtree #16
Michael Shaw #20
Brandon Smith #28
Kurt Wermers #64
Marcus Witherspoon #4

Coaches Corner: Blitz packages

Michigan Defense Blitz Packages

We have been getting a lot of e-mails regarding the blitz packages Coach Shafer and Michigan will be using this year.

Coach Shafer did not specifically discuss his blitz packages, but we can talk about those we saw this spring. Michigan did very little blitzing out of the 4-3 base. They did use a middle linebacker strong side blitz and weak side linebacker off the edge blitz out of base.

We are certain Michigan has other blitzes available in base to include safeties and strong side linebacker blitzes, but just did not show them during spring ball. Most of the blitzing Michigan did this spring was out nickel package. Let us start by saying that Michigan never used any sort of cornerback blitz in any of the packages, base, or nickel.

In press coverage, it is very difficult to bring the cornerbacks. They are at a terrible angle to blitz and even at times angled away from the quarterback. What we saw out of nickel was weak side linebacker and middle linebacker lined up in B gaps in two-point stance and either blitzed B Gaps or twisted in stunts with defensive line.

Another blitz was line up weak side linebacker and middle linebacker in B Gaps and at snap drop into coverage with either nickel or strong side linebacker coming off the edge. Michigan also showed a safety blitz, strong safety blitzing the B gap.

During practice, we watched Michigan work on a few very base blitzes. Little angle blitz with nose tackle angling one direction say left, and middle linebacker than blitzing A gap to the right. As season unfolds, we will get a better idea of exactly where Coach Shafer is taking the defense, and what he wants to accomplish.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Thanks for stopping by
If you have any questions please e-mail

BTN: Coach Rod speaks at Big Ten Media Day

Coach Rod talks Michigan Football for the Big Ten Media Day!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Michigan Football: DeQuinta Jones commits

Good athlete who is bit of a tweener. Could play 3 tech DT, Strong side DE, or DT/DE in 3-4/3-3 defense. Good get for Coach Rod and staff.

Very Quick off the ball and plays with a nice motor. Good closing speed and shows excellent hustle. Keeps pads low and plays with leverag most of the time. Shows a nice bull rush and gets defenders off balance.

Needs Work:
Allows blockers into his body when does get high. Also over penetrates and gets to deep to line of scrimmage. Could use time some time with Coach Barwis to improve his overall strength and conditioning.


Big Ten Network: Media Day 7/24

from the BTN

Watch Thursday's Big Ten Media Day on the Web


The Big Ten Network will offer more than four hours of live coverage on Thursday, July 24, including the full press conferences for all 11 head coaches and Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. Mike Hall and Chris Martin will anchor the network's coverage from the Big Ten Network studios beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET.

All 12 press conferences will also be available online right here. Come back Thursday for the link.

Press Conference Schedule (All times ET)
11:30 a.m. – Ron Zook (Illinois)
11:45 a.m. – Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern)
Noon – Bret Bielema (Wisconsin)
12:15 p.m. – Joe Tiller (Purdue)
12:30 p.m. – Jim Tressel (Ohio State)
12:45 p.m. – Bill Lynch (Indiana)
1:30 p.m. – Mark Dantonio (Michigan State)
1:45 p.m. – Tim Brewster (Minnesota)
2 p.m. – Joe Paterno (Penn State)
2:15 p.m. – Kirk Ferentz (Iowa)
2:30 p.m. – Rich Rodriguez (Michigan)
3 p.m. – James E. Delany (Big Ten)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mailbag Question: About a commit

Hey Guys,

I am a little confused. How does a kid commit, but not commit. Is the two paid sites fighting about a kid committed or not? When is a kid committed? When his parents on one site say he did not talk with anybody and that he isn't committed while the other site has quotes from the kid himself saying he is committed?

How can this be?

Who normally "Okays" the kid? A recruiting coordinator, an asst. coach, a head coach who ... how does this get cleared up or is this just a timing issue?



Thanks for the question. At most, programs official scholarship offers can only come from the head coach. Assts will tell players they really like them and would love to have them, but until the head coach offers it is all speculation. Many programs even go step further and official offer does not have force until either in writing or in person from heas coach.

The confusion can have multiple causes. One site trying to break information 1st jumps the gun. One site listens to a family member or family friend who is not privy to finial decision. A Kid could change their mind. Someone might ignore family’s wishes to not announce until a certain date. On the other hand, something as simple as miscommunication.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Thanks for stopping by
If you have any questions please e-mail

Michigan Football: Tickets on sale


Football Tickets Available for Four 2008 Home Games

July 15, 2008

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan Athletic Ticket Office has announced that single-game football tickets for home games against Utah (Aug. 30), Miami of Ohio (Sept. 6), Toledo (Oct. 11) and Northwestern (Nov. 15) and for the road games at Penn State (Oct. 18) and Minnesota (Nov. 8) will be available to the general public starting Wednesday, July 23, at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Single-game tickets are priced at $50 for Utah, Miami of Ohio and Toledo, $55 for Northwestern, $61 at Penn State and $45 at Minnesota.

The ticket office reserves the right to limit the number of tickets purchased and all orders will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. To order tickets, please call the Michigan Athletic Ticket Office at (866) 296-MTIX or (734) 764-0247, purchase online at or visit the U-M Ticket Office located in the Hartwig Building at 1100 S. State Street. The U-M Ticket Office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Single-game football tickets to the Wisconsin (Sept. 27), Illinois (Oct. 4) and Michigan State (Oct. 25) games will be available online to Victors Club members with over 300 priority points (limit of 4) until July 31, 2008. The ticket office has mailed a letter to these members giving them instructions on how to order tickets. Any remaining tickets to the Big Ten Conference games, with the exception of Michigan State, will be available to the general public beginning Wednesday, August 13, at 8:30 a.m.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

LLP gets Silver with Athletes in Action


Lucas-Perry Helps AIA to Silver at Jones Cup

July 19, 2008

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Guard Laval Lucas-Perry (Flint, Mich./Flint Powers Catholic HS) of the University of Michigan men's basketball team recently concluded his nine-day overseas trip (July 10-18) with Athletes In Action, helping the squad to a silver medal at the 2008 Jones Cup. AIA finished with a 7-2 overall record.

After AIA dropped their only game of round-robin play to Jordan, the two squared off in the championship game with identical 7-1 records. In one of the tournaments best games, AIA took Jordan (July 18) into overtime, but fell just shy in a 93-91 loss.

After a see-saw first half, AIA led by as many as 18 in the third quarter before Jordan rallied to tie the score at 79-79 with 11.7 seconds to go in regulation. Zaid Alkhas was then fouled on a three-point attempt and made two of three free-throws to put Jordan up 81-79. AIA's Brett Winkelman was also fouled on a three-point shot but missed two of the foul shots. Ben Woodside was fouled when he went for a rebound on Winkelman’s last miss and split the free-throws to tie the score at 81, sending the game into overtime. Experience and poise proved to be key down the stretch, however, as Jordan edged AIA in overtime to win its second straight Jones Cup title. Lucas-Perry had three points, three rebounds and an assist in the championship game.

Throughout his Jones Cup, Lucas-Perry saw action in all nine games and averaged 9.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 23.3 minutes per contest. He scored in double figures in four games, including a tour-best 22 points against Chinese-Taipei (July 16). He also had 34 total rebounds (12 offensive and 22 defensive), including a tour-best nine boards against Australia (July 12).

After meeting for a four-day training camp in Xenia, Ohio, the AIA squad left for Taiwan and opened up their Jones Cup play with a hard-fought 67-63 loss against Jordan (July 10). In a back-and-forth game, Jordan capitalized on AIA's cold shooting to pull out a four-point win, 67-63. Lucas-Perry opened his tournament play with nine points and five rebounds.

After their opening game loss to Jordan, the AIA team rattled off six straight wins, outscoring their opponents by an average of 16.2 points. Lucas-Perry posted three straight games scoring in double figures as he had 14 points, three rebounds and two steals in the 85-65 win over Qatar (July 11), 13 points and a tournament-best nine rebounds in the 98-71 win against Australia (July 12) and 10 points and two rebounds in the 103-85 win against Korea (July 13), helping AIA improve to 3-1.

Lucas-Perry helped guide AIA to two additional wins with an 86-69 victory over Kazakhstan (July 14) and a 93-76 win against Egypt (July 15), boosting the squad's record to 5-1. In the final round-robin game against Chinese Taipei (July 16), Lucas-Perry helped AIA win their sixth straight, 102-86, as he exploded for a tournament-best 22 points, going 8-for-13 from the field while adding two rebounds and two steals.

In the semifinal, AIA and Lucas-Perry held off a late charge from Qatar (July 17) in a 97-90 win to advance to the championship game and rematch against Jordan. Lucas-Perry closed with four points, four rebounds, two steals and a block in the win. In the championship, Lucas-Perry and the rest of his AIA squad fought to the end, but fell 93-91 in overtime.

Lucas-Perry transferred from the University of Arizona to Michigan following the 2007 fall semester. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he was able to practice with the Wolverines in the 2008 winter semester. He will be eligible to play for U-M after the conclusion of the 2008 fall semester.

Mailbag Question: In the future

Assuming we succeed...

OK, it is the year 2011. Under Coach Rod Michigan has improved each year and is now widely considered a top five program. OSU is sweating, as Michigan is now their equal and poised to overtake the nuts. Programs from everywhere want to know the secret to the maize and blue success. Sure, everyone knows about Coach Rod's spread and shred. Everyone knows about Barwis S&C program.
My question is this: Do Coach Rod and Barwis continue to put on clinics for other college coaches. Maybe I am being petty here but do they really want to give away the nuisances of OUR success? Does anyone know what information is actually shared in these clinics? In the highly competitive and cutthroat world of major college football, why do coaches want to put on clinics for their competitors to benefit from?



Thanks for the question. Stopping to build relationships with high school coaches is worse mistake any staff can make. High school coaches are some of the best sources of information about players you can have of their own players and those of their opponents. Getting film from high school staffs can be huge help getting information and film on players.

Clinics are also great opportunity to sell your program and facilities. Coaches accompany many players on visits. Many players also have all in season recruiting go through head coach. Having contact and relationships with high school staffs is probably one of the top goals any staff has.

In addition, remember there are no secrets in football. Major colleges do such a fantastic job breaking down film they know almost as much about schemes as those who "invented" them. In fact, many times coaches learn as much about a scheme of package from those who defend it as those who run it.

Want to learn more about what happens at Coaches Clinics go back in the archives in April from Go Blue Michigan Wolverine and see for yourself what the Michigan coaches were teaching coaches that attended the Michigan coaches clinic.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Thanks for stopping by
If you have any questions please e-mail

GBMWolverine Counter

Total Pageviews