First off, these reports are how we feel and see the Michigan program. Not saying they are from coaches or other people from the University of Michigan.
This is the time of year where we start getting a little pessimistic when hearing reports on how practice is going. When you hear a report about a running back or whatever doing so well we look at it .... as why? Why was the person doing so well is it because of the poor defense or the offensive line doing so well? Another point regarding the defense are they doing this well this fall because they are going against our offense? A lot of questions that will not be answered until games get started.
Everybody keeps making fun about Notre Dame, but yet again like almost every year, we will not know how to judge this Michigan team in particular this new team until after that game.
We believe that Coach Rod and the team just need to play a game now. He has said the team is not ready, but it is time to see what he has and what the team needs to work on. This team has worked extremely hard since the bowl game. The third week in January they started working out with Coach Barwis and then moved into spring ball. They only have had a few weeks off since the season was over against Florida.
This debate with the quarterback will continue and the coaches have to decide what they really want and what they need this year.
Sheridan is being reported as playing better than Threet and possible the starter for the upcoming season. Is this a good thing in regards to Michigan football this year?
Sheirdan will he be the safer pick then Threet? Probably. Does the defense be put on a short leash for the offense to be good or is the defense allowed to go all out and really put pressure on the offense.
Sheirdan is a coach’s kid and knows what he needs to do along with what it takes to get the job down. Does he have the athletic ability to do it all year long even against the teams we really need a strong quarterback to play well like against Ohio State/Wisconsin/Bowl Game.
Will Sheridan be a quarterback that will be able to bring the football team back if you are down ten points with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter?
If Sheridan is the starter look for other teams to continue telling recruits that Michigan will not use your abilities and talent. Remember when Stonum was having second thoughts when several other college coaches were calling him when the new coaching staff took over saying that Michigan would not use the outside wide receiver. In addition, when Stonum telling Coach Rod that he was way to talented to just block. We have seen negative recruiting already this year and has been effective, but this could be just another thing the other college coaches can use against Michigan.
One thing that Threet seems to be lacking is confidence along with possible doing to much or trying to do too much. He also seems to have a different arm motion then he did in the spring. Really seems to make himself smaller because of it so Threet and Sheridan are the same height if you go off their throwing motion. That is not a good thing we believe and this could mean more batted balls along with problems with his throwing motion, which it seems he has been having this fall.
One of the skills that separate elite quarterbacks from the rest of the pack is ability to throw back across their body. That is the ability for right-handed Quarterbacks to throw to their left. On the other hand, the ability to see what is happening to their left.
This is as much about Quarterback moving their feet as anything. To throw back across their bodies Quarterbacks need to open up their front shoulder. If they open up without adjusting the feet, it is very difficult to not only see what is happening, but to throw a pass with any strength or accuracy.
If you watch a truly great Quarterback, they are constantly moving their feet in the pocket to allow them to make this throw across their body. Most Quarterback coaches have their Quarterbacks work on moving their feet without a ball. They simply have them drop into pocket, and move their feet throughout the entire pass progression. Quarterbacks, who never pick up the knack of moving feet in the pocket, generally end up being Quarterbacks who throw more to one side of the field than another does. In addition, can really limit an offense.
One of the tell-tale signs of inexperienced Quarterback, or one who does not have confidence in their arm is they check down to secondary Wide Receivers too early. The throw to Split Ends takes not only a strong arm, but a confident Quarterback also. This can really limit an offense.
If defenses pick up that Quarterback is not going to use Split Ends in vertical, or other longer passes they can play more press and move the safeties up to help against the run and short passing game. This eliminates the space that spread offenses need to be effective. If an offense is not challenging a defense outside the hashes in a passing game, the Outside Linebackers and safeties do not need to help the Cornerbacks and can make passes to slots and running game tougher to execute. So we will see how these situation continues throughout the year and this is more important then anything because this offense is so Quarterback oriented offense and counts so much on them.
The freshman running backs of Shaw and McGuffie will there be a battle for playing time. Seems like both will see snaps this year and be counted on in game situations.
Shaw for some people will really surprise some fans because of what he can do. One thing is Michigan fans should be happy that we would not have to play against Shaw that is for sure. He is very good and a great pick-up who will be a very good player at Michigan.
Right now, there are people that think Shaw is the better running back then McGuffie. That is not a slam against McGuffie because there are also those same people that believe that McGuffie is the better all around back between the two freshmen.
Horn is and has been the odd person out and do not really see him getting a lot of playing time at running back. We have said this even during the spring, but many fans saw a couple of highlights from the spring game with several highlights of Horn looking good against the second team defense. As we noted as well there is a big drop off from first team to second team defense.
Regarding Chambers playing this weekend, it seems that Coach Shafer and Defensive staff have put in a dime package off the nickel look.
This type of scheme is excellent against teams who use empty/ five Wide Receiver sets, when teams are using backs out of backfield in downfield passing game, or against screens. What Michigan is doing is substituting another Defensive Back/Safety into the game to help with multiple Wide Receivers.
In this type of package, the defense can still bring five on blitz and have six cover guys to blanket the secondary. The additional safety playing for Weak side Linebacker is better skilled to take away quick vertical game of slots and Running Backs out of backfield. They are also quicker which allows them to reroute inside Wide Receivers and make plays in space. Having additional safety makes allows defense to blitz nickel and still have five Defensive Backs in coverage. Bottom line in our opinion is this package is a nice addition and gives Coach Shafer additional flexibility against both spread and multiple Wide Receivers pro style offenses.
Also remember they might be trying to find a spot for Chambers since it seem Witherspoon will not be used along with some other Linebackers are not looking as good as well. Also how many safeties will Michigan really use this year because you have S. Brown, Harrison, Stewart, Williams ahead of him already. The coaching staff really seems to like B. Smith as well and they might want to see how the freshman does this year and give him some experience.
Certain players to watch out for this season and off-season:
Several things to look at with the new coaching staff will they ask kids to leave or will they tell them to stay in school. This could be a situation where a coach could tell a kid that if he wants to continue to play college football that he might want to do it elsewhere. There might be other players taking his spot or will the coaches use the old regime philosophy of where they wanted kids to stay in school and get their education at Michigan.
Sometimes the writing is on the wall and be interesting to see how the kids react to it.
Herron: Will he stay around or be told to go elsewhere? The coaches have not talked about how he is playing at all this fall and even have mentioned a walk-on over Herron at this time. Especially watch this one if Weatherspoon makes it into Michigan this fall and uses this time to get things in order and be able to get “Barwised”.
Babb: Still surprised that he stuck it out over the off-season. Another kid to keep an eye on in the off-season. Rogers has been ahead of Babb so far and this is coming from a kid that just switched over in the middle of spring ball from defense to offense.