Friday, February 27, 2009
Michigan Football Tidbits: About the Team
Michigan Tidbits: About the Team
He is looking forward to taking some snaps at offensive guard this spring. If not at offensive guard, then it looks like he might take snaps at left guard, but Coach Frey has said that he was going to look at many options early in spring. He could play offensive guard or move back to right tackle. Our interpretation is that Schilling's position will not be determined by where he plays best, but who steps up and grabs a starting position at one of the other offensive line positions.
Ferrara is still working with the offensive line group, but that, of course, could change.
Besides the offensive line, the wide receivers are going to be the most competitive position group on the team. Like the offensive line, there could be some big surprises on who ends up playing.
The good news is that Matthews has finally bought in and is healthy. He is putting in some extra work with the quarterbacks, but his ability, in terms of speed and as a deep-threat, is limited. After Mathews, the wide receiver position is a huge question mark (or many little ones):
Can Hemingway stay healthy? Can Stonum gain the necessary maturity? Is Clemons a split end? What will be his role this year if he sticks around? What about Roundtree? At least we know he can catch the ball (in practices). Will his speed get Rogers some playing time? Coach Rod and Coach Dews decide Stokes is just too good?
Sometimes you wonder why Michigan is recruiting so many wide receivers. Maybe it is because they are just not sold on the ones who are here, at least not now, or they are not sure what recruits will make it in. Will the 2010 commits actually sign their name on the line for Michigan next February?
Of course, an improved quarterback situation may increase our wide receivers' confidence that they will actually get the ball, but based on last year, the ones who decide to run routes properly and block may be the ones who get the most snaps.
Rumored injury (don’t usually talk about injuries to much, but don’t consider this a real injury) is a nagging groin. He is working out, but not running. Coaches expect Shaw to practice in spring. That is some very good news.
We have not talked about linebacker’s much, but they're going to be fun to watch in spring practice.
Ezeh is telling people he fully expects to play inside linebacker, but he also thinks he will be tried on the outside. With Mouton being out this spring and Demens really making a statement (Barwis likes his development) our depth at inside linebacker may be better than people think. If they play the best players, someone will have to move outside.
There is some talk that Evans may be gettin some snaps on the inside since his biggest challenge is speed, but he is a smart player.
Fitzgerald is, of course, someone to watch and it is not inconceivable that Fitzgerald and Demens are get significant playing time, together, time next year. (Demens is really a great kid and, we think, a future captain at Michigan, possibly when he is a senior.)
Jones has mostly been playing with the linebacker group.
He starts up where he left off a year ago in terms of having a good off-season. We think RVB becomes our run-stopping defensive end this year and could maybe even be a strong side defensive end in a 3-4 set at times.
Remember RVB is still only a sophomore and hopefully, if opposing teams have to game plan for Graham and others, it could free up RVB to go one-on-one against the opponents' offensive line.
Do not forget that Banks is still at Michigan, and along with Patterson, could see some snaps at defensive tackle in spring. Remember Banks has had more snaps than either Sagesse or Patterson.
Just an opinion, but we think if Barwis was asked he'd say the off-season is going very well. The players had almost six weeks off (workouts during that time were not official) and they seem to have come back from break with renewed enthusiasm. Again, all the stuff that happened last year is now behind Michigan.
We're xcited about the athletic potential of this defense. We're not overly excited about the depth, but if we can get one of our linebackers to learn how to defend the run, and if we can finally get a big safety (like Smith) who can tackle, things will be looking up.
We have enough first-team talent to be good this year. Of course, we all ASSume our offense will be much-improved (or at least hope it will). We're hoping our defense will be able to force our opponents into playing one-dimensionally, some games.
There is not a lot going on for the kids right now. It is the most boring part of the off-season. They have been at it for a while now and have until March 14th to go before they get to have a real practices.
The excitement for the incoming freshmen will start to wear off and they are getting used to college life. Sometimes we forget just how young some of these kids are, though most are the same age, maturity levels will vary.
Hawthorne is a kid who really seems to have his head on straight. He just seems to have that extra maturity level you do not normally see in freshman.
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Written by MaizeMan, CoachBt and ErocWolverine