Tuesday, March 31, 2009

2010 Michigan Recruiting: Derrick Bryant -- Defensive End

Derrick Bryant from Brookhaven high school in Columbus, Ohio.

CoachBt/ErocWolverine quick comments: Tall rangy defensive end who runs very well for a player his size. He uses his hands well and shows excellent lateral movement. Plays positional strong game, does nice job maintaining outside leverage. Has habit of playing high so must watch pad level.

Michigan Football: The David Cone rap

D.Cone Goin In For Life.

Michigan Football Tidbits: Practice Film, The Good, and The Bad.

The Good:

Offensive line movement is 100% better. In pass protection, feet were continuously moving, and did a nice job of funneling the rush to the outside. They got to the second level and even into the secondary.

Forcier is very comfortable in the pocket. He also moves well in the pocket, has very good feet.

The running backs were actually running north and south the majority of the time not looking to bounce everything, with one exception noted below.

Feagin is an outstanding ball handler. He hides it well, and rides the running back for a long time. He really keeps the defense off balance

Forcier has plenty of arm in this offense. He is also very good at ad-libbing, which could slow down the blitzing some.

There was a very good pace and rhythm to the offense, especially for a scrimmage.

The Bad:

The defense -- ouch -- nuff said. In their defense, no pun intended, it is obvious they were almost exclusively in their base defense with no blitzing and very little mixing of coverages. Something that we brought up last year: the defense was being used strictly as an exercise "tool" for the offense to get their work in.

Forcier's ball handling needs work as does his running zone option skills.

V. Smith looks good when he drops the wiggle. There was no need to be fancy, just get north and south.

Forcier has a habit of holding the ball too long. In a controlled scrimmage, that is one thing, in live action, that can get the quarterback killed, as we saw last year going from practices to games.

Linebacker play was non-existent.

Split end blocking still needs to improve. Split end blocking has not been good at Michigan in a few years now. Last good one was Arrington. Blocking by split ends is 90% desire and 10% everything else, so, yes, it can get better.

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Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

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Mailbag question: Regarding the Tennessee bowl game

Really, enjoy your blog.

You mentioned the other day on your blog about how the Michigan vs. Tennessee bowl game was a turning point in Carr's program. I also thought this was a turning point for the program, but was never able to put my finger on the problem nor figure out what was done differently after that. Would you please elaborate on what was done differently after that game?

Thank you



Thanks for the question.

The Tennessee game pointed out how Michigan had failed to change with the game. Tennessee exploited Michigan in every way possible, completely dominating every phase of the game.

Michigan did not have the packages capable of dealing with the short and intermediate passing game. It also showed how far behind our offensive schemes had fallen behind the other major college teams. As much as anything, it showed how much Michigan was lacking in talent.

Tennessee back ups could have started at Michigan. Every one talked about the speed of Tennessee and the SEC in general, but it showed how far Michigan line play had slipped.

The Michigan offensive line was completely manhandled and the defensive line completely ineffective. Regardless of speed and skilled people, football games are still, and always will be, won and lost in the trenches.

The Tennessee game was bad not only on the field, but off the field as well. Many things happened that was never released or leaked out afterwards. Several players were caught out on the town past curfew and even the night before the game, which was an early game if I remembers correctly.

There were, several trouble makers on that team and even some of the future Michigan stars got in trouble and were in the doghouse for quite awhile. There was a reason why Carr's doghouse was so large at times back then. Some fans did not really understand it because not much information was ever leaked out about what kids were getting in trouble with or what they have done. A lot of things went on during that bowl week that really hurt Michigan in that game and later on in the future.

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Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Monday, March 30, 2009

2010 Michigan Recruiting: Matt James -- Offensive Line

Matt James from St. Xavier in Cincinnati, Ohio.

CoachBt/ErocWolverine quick comments: He is a big strong physical offensive line prospect who could play either offensive tackle or offensive guard. Devastating down field blocker who also shows ability to step and cover defenders. He needs to watch pad level and improve pass protection.

Michigan Football Tidbits: Defense, defense, defense

Many fans / posters are upbeat about Michigan's recruiting, but we have been harping for two years now that we simply must upgrade our defensive depth. On Saturday, the first group did okay at best, but the second group had a rough day. The offense got the better of the defense on Saturday.

Note: For those who want to misinterpret this statement (listen closely to the coaches): they feel they are getting closer to having two guys at each position on offense, but still a ways away on defense.

Again, we need defensive recruits -- top-rated defensive recruits. Talent wins, especially on defense.

Forcier: let's start out this statement by reminding fans / posters (HE IS ONLY A HIGH SCHOOL KID), but having shouted that, Forcier turned it on in the scrimmage on Saturday. He simply has the quickest release of any quarterback we have had at Michigan for quite some time, and even better, he may be the first quarterback we can remember that is actually more effective when he is moving. He handled pressure brilliantly in scrimmage and delivered some nice passes when on the move. He made mistakes, but the offense looked quick, especially when he was at quarterback.

Feagin: He is not bad and had some good moments, especially running the ball.

Grady: His fifth and final year. He's had a really rough time at Michigan. You have to admire the fact he is still battling. We thought he had a very productive scrimmage, especially running between the tackles. He found the end zone a couple of times and carried some defenders with him. With Brown's injury situation and our lack of experience at running back, Grady could see some added snaps this year. We think, finally, he seems to be having fun. Whatever happens is positive.

Odoms: Had a very good practice.

One thing we noticed in the passing game, we did use tight end, but also used the running backs a lot. Minor caught numerous passes as did V. Smith.

The defense was good at times, but we still need a ton of improvement, especially in the area of our old problem of defending the pass over the middle. The coaches were not happy that when we had the quarterback pressured, he escaped and completed some big plays.

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Written by MaizeMan and ErocWolverine

Michigan Stadium picture

You can see in the picture the construction crew setting up the hydro mobile scaffolding and another crew getting ready to finish covering the DensGlass exterior sheathing (The yellow material you see is DensGlass exterior sheathing. The product features a moisture-resistant core and enhanced fiberglass mats, instead of paper facings, to resist the effects of moisture exposure during and after construction.) With a rubberized material that is sprayed on and will help, so moisture does not make contact to the DenseGlass material and will make it waterproof behind the brick.

One thing to point out in the picture where they just finished the brickwork you can see a difference between the cleaned section and the parts that have not been cleaned yet (the two small sections that only went up one floor and stopped at the top of the first arches.)

As long as decent weather prevails (warm weather and not much rain) it looks to me like they want to get this section done before the Michigan Spring game so they can have the tunnel entrance completed and not have to worry about fans in this area.

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Written by ErocWolverine

Mailbag question: Marvin Robinson

Hi Dude,

Just wondering what the scoop is with M. Robinson. Have not been hearing much about him lately and it is worrying me a little. He was thought to be a wolverine lock and now he seems to be wavering a bit.



Thanks for the question.

First off, I'm not sure any kid is a lock until the fax of his letter of intent is sent in, especially one that has not even publically committed to a school at this time.

We have heard good things about Marvin Robinson in the past, that is for sure. One thing about him, both coaching staffs (Carr's and Coach Rod's) should be given a lot of credit for his recruiting since he was offered a long time ago when he attended Carr's summer camp. He has had Michigan near the top ever since then and always has positive things to say about Michigan whenever he is interviewed.

Now has Michigan slipped lately? Naw, I do not believe so, but he is going to visit other programs and anytime a recruit does that you just never know what will happen.

When he came up for a game in the fall, all indications at that time were VERY POSITIVE towards Michigan. Things looked great since then because a lot of Florida kids have jumped onboard with others taking a good look at Michigan as well. Some of these kids are close friends of Robinson, or have become friends, so that is always a good sign.

Some kids know where they want to go, but want to take free visits to other college programs to see what they have to offer. Did I mention FREE trip?

Right now, I am not worried about Marvin Robinson, and as of right now I look for him to be in this 2010 Michigan class.

Quick recruiting note: Fans get caught up on a kid, especially one that they have been following a long time. I think it is best if fans would not get so emotionally attached to recruits until a kid actually commits. Recruiting is getting earlier and earlier so names will keep coming out all the time. Just because a name comes up first does not mean he is the best choice, or best fit, for a program.

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Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Sunday, March 29, 2009

2010 Michigan Recruiting: Andrew Donnal -- Offensive Line

Andrew Donnal from Anthony Wayne high school in Whitehouse, Ohio.

CoachBt/ErocWolverine quick comments: He is a tall two way lineman who has frame to weigh 300 plus in college. He has very quick feet and pulls, traps and leads very well. Has a strong point of attack and gets off ball quickly. He needs to watch his pad level and get out of his stance lower.

Mailbag question: Recruiting rankings

Regarding the recruiting rankings provided by Scout on Bleacher Report, why are schools ranked by total points? Ohio State has the most points with 4,799 - but they needed 25 commits to get those points and averaged 192 points per recruit. However, Georgia only needed 20 commits to get 4,121 points - averaging 206 points per recruit. Do you think the schools should be ranked by average points per commit instead of team total?

Go Blue,



Thanks for the question.

People all have their own opinions -- plain and simple. Each site has different people in different areas, so whoever pushes their area higher gets players ranked higher. There are a lot more ranking outlets than just Scout and Rivals. You have Tom Lemming, Scout, Rivals, Scout Inc, Emfinger, and so many other groups. (Back in the old days, Rivals used to take Tom Lemming's top 100 lists and usually switched about five names on the list around.)

There are also regional differences: Lemming, for instance, knows the Midwest and Big Ten area very well. Emfinger specializes in Texas and the Southwest. They also have hometown schools they tend to tilt towards. One thing's for certain, with all these new all-star games coming out you will see rankings only get farther away from each other, rather than closer, because people are going to push their kids as being the better prospects. Each site is pushing their rankings to be the better one, but nobody really knows until 4-5 years down the road which team ended up with the best recruits and which ranking was the most accurate (but what fun would that be to wait that long to say who is the best?)

We're not rating-type guys at all. We don't believe in them. They are for message board fans to discuss and kill time until the season comes around.

Our best advice is to be skeptical of all these rating systems. Wait two or three years and then judge by performance on the field. All these ranking systems will get some kids right, some kids wrong, and totally miss some others. There are no guarantees. What we look for are difference-maker athletes. We think that quality should always trump quantity.

One stud quarterback is more valuable to us than three average or good quarterbacks. These types of athletes make every one around them better. Therefore, we would agree that average points per commit would be a better system. What I look for is how many elite, highly ranked kids you have compared to the other programs: take your top ten recruits and put them up against every other team's top ten prospects and see who ends up looking better.

The problem is, in most years, probably only about half of your recruiting class will make a big difference for your team throughout their playing time. You can always find special team type players and, if you are at a bigger program such as Michigan, you should always be bringing in top talent to compete. That is why we believe the quality of your recruits matter more than how many you get. Another point about rankings is that some of these are based on how many recruits a team has: many times a team that had 25 recruits is higher ranked than a team with 17, even though the eight recruits on the bigger team might never see the field, but they generate more "points" to rank their teams higher. This indicates quantity more than quality.

The best thing to do is not get all excited if your team drops a few spots or is higher in a few spots. Take them all, throw them together, and then rank them yourself. The thing is as fans they always want their recruits to be the elite kids and if they are those elite (5 star kids), they will beat on their chest and say how great the recruiting services got them right. If their team gets a bunch of (3 star kids) they will say the recruiting services got them wrong and will be big-time sleepers and that the recruiting services do not know what they are doing. In some ways that is what makes it fun, but it also makes it tiring to follow when their is so much difference in the rankings and how some of the fans react to the rankings.

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If you have any questions please e-mail erocwolverine@gmail.com

Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Mailbag question: Football scheduling


I have read a few of your articles here and in The Bleacher Report, so I thought I would ask you a question that I have asked a few others previously:

Many major universities seem to have a great deal of thought put into their scheduling. Some go weak to build themselves up. Others schedule cross sectionals to highlight or promote a national prominence. But Michigan, since athletic Director Bill Martin has been around, seems to always be scrambling to just fill in slot at the last minute.

I realize, considering last year, it is not the best time to be addressing upgrading our competition, but we are Michigan and we should, in regards to our football competition, present ourselves as we do when we talk about our university. Outside of the long term contract with the that school from Indiana (Notre Dame), AD Martin seems to be only concerned to play MAC schools or pick up a I-AA school at the last minute.

Other schools have high profile games planned out for more than a decade prior, yet we just stay local. Some will point to the home, and away, with Oregon, but that has been the exception rather than the rule.

Is there any indication we will once again compete with other contenders? Is there any chance AD Martin might remember that to be the best, you must play the best?




Thanks for the question.

We doubt Michigan will start to schedule tougher games.

Most top schools demand home-and-home series. Michigan already has one power team with a home-and-home series with Notre Dame on the schedule, so it is less likely to schedule another tough road game.

The economic reality is that Michigan, with its 110,000 seats, needs as many home games as possible to help fund the entire athletic program.

We would love to see Michigan schedule some home-and-home series with Texas or other top 10 programs, buy the reality is that it's not happening any time soon.

Most teams in a tough conference usually never add more than one tough out-of-conference team on the schedule.

In this day and age of the BCS, it does not make any sense to have a tough schedule. It makes more sense to have a decent schedule, especially if you are one of the BCS schools and get the wins. Right now, the way rankings are determined, wins count more than the level of competition. As long as you have a decent schedule (top 40 or higher) you will not have a problem and Michigan has been near or in the top ten the last decade on strength of schedule.

Coach Rod also stated that he believed several of the following years' non-conference schedules would be wrapped up soon.

Many people have gotten on Bill Martin for how he handles the athletic department, but people need to give him credit as well. He took over the program when it was losing money and having to borrow from the university to pay for things. The athletics department and the university are two separate enitities. The athletic department has to pay its own bills without any university help.

Martin has gotten the athletic program making money, with a surplus, in addition to upgrading all the sports facilities without going back into debt. On many of the projects, he's managed this by getting donors to step up and get the ball rolling to keep the Michigan athletic campus competitive with the rest of the country.

Michigan had many facilities in disrepair, many of them not being upgraded in thirty to forty years. Since taking over, Martin has delivered a new baseball/softball complex -- with indoor practice hitting/pitching buildings for both -- along with new stadiums for both programs and upgraded locker rooms.

The football team is benefiting from the upgrades of Michigan Stadium, previous locker room upgrades, new turf inside the old fieldhouse, a new fieldhouse, new turf for the outdoor practice field, along with a new grass practice field, plus the new S&C equipment with an expanded staff, totaling over a million dollars.

The basketball program has added bench seating for the students, locker room upgrades, S&C upgrades, new lights, new speakers, floor refurbishing -- a couple of times, new baskets, and plans to upgrade Crisler Arena and also adding a new practice facility soon.

The hockey program has added suites, improved the locker rooms and the inside of Yost ice arena.

Martin has gotten money for a new soccer stadium and practice fields near the Tennis center. The wrestling team will also be getting a new practice facility near that location. Women’s gymnastics have their new training center there as well.

There are probably several other projects we haven't mentioned, but those are the major ones at this point. The guy deserves some slack!

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Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Saturday, March 28, 2009

2010 Michigan Recruiting: Marcus Rush -- Defensive End

Marcus Rush from Moeller high school in Cincinnati, Ohio.

CoachBt/ErocWolverine quick comments: He is an aggressive high school defensive end with ability to play outside linebacker in college. He is a very aggressive high-energy player who is always around the football. Does need to watch his pad level and keep his feet moving on contact.

Michigan Football Tidbits: Stock up, down, or even

Stock up:

RVB: Going with him as the most improved player so far on the team. Not only has he become a fixture in the starting line-up (keep in mind kids compete daily for starting positions, so this could change), but with his work ethic and gained confidence he is also becoming more and more of a leader. Playing defensive end in most cases, but at times he has been seen to move inside.

Woolfolk: Surprisingly, he has played a majority of snaps at cornerback. If spring ended today, he would be our most effective cornerback (at least in practice). Not that there has been a ton of opportunities ( with scrimmages limited), but he has not been beat in scrimmage.

Martin: Plays defensive tackle in 4-3, but also nose guard as you call it a 3-4 (hard to say exactly what they run at times).

Evans: Another good spring for Evans. New scheme seems to fit him better.

Watson: Give hime the award for surprise player of spring. Is he legit or just a onw-spring-wonder? Time will tell, but he fits the new "spinner" position almost perfectly, seems to have a good motor, and is a very smart player. Torn on whether this is great positive news or an indication that Michigan is just not very deep on defense. Either way, he is climbing the charts.

Omameh: We're in the camp that wish Omameh had another year to develop. And this could happen with Dorrenstein and Ortmann playing offensive tackle or they could always move Schilling back (which it looks as if they do not want to do) or Barnum could play offensive tackle, but injuries are issues. Athletically and in drills, Omameh has progressed nicely, but he still needs to prove his worth in scrimmages.

Webb: We've been a critic of his approach, but put him in the stock up group because he is having a better spring than expected.

Khoury: Not a starter yet, but cannot help feeling he will be eventually.

S. Brown: Another spring, another good performance, but now, hopefully, he has found a spot in which he can thrive. He is the so-called "hybrid" LB / SS (Hawthorne also plays this position) which explains why they both go with the defensive back's in position groups. S. Brown really adds much needed speed to the middle of the field. Will he be able to tackle? Again, time will tell, but at least 1/3 of way through spring he is a big part of the defense.

B. Smith: He hasn't been challenged much, but he has answered every question at least up to now. Just an impressive looking athlete.

Side Note: Notice many of these players are defensive players. I think it is fair to say, at least early on, that the defense once again is dominating the offense. What you have to worry about in practices is that our passing game just is not that sophisticated and it is hard to judge whether the pass defense is just improving or our offensive passing game is just that far behind. Based on last year, I have to admit thinking it's our passing game making the defense look good.

Stock even:

All Offensive line: Competition continues and, if not mentioned in stock up or stock down, they are doing fine. Nobody has separated themselves to become a sure starter. Schilling may be the only one, but that is solely based on history.

B. Graham: Nothing bad, but nothing great either. He has to be that impact player. Granted he has not had a ton of opportunities, but would like to see him step it up more.

All Wide Receivers: Nothing great to report, but again this may be because of our passing game. Hemingway may be our # 1 WR based on performance (caught a touchdown pass). No wide receiver has had opportunity or has made enough plays to be considered a stock up candidate.

Note: Majority of plays in scrimmage were running plays.

Stock Down

Ezeh: Not unusual for Ezeh to struggle early in spring. But he has to tackle better. They've been moving him around inside and outside. We're anxious to see where he eventually ends up. Biggest reason he's a stock down is simply because he is a veteran and expectations are higher for him than for the others.

Warren: Same reason as for Ezeh. There might be a slight injury we're not aware of, but he is not playing every down.

Freshmen report:

Jones and Vlad: Green shirts.

V. Smith: Could be in stock up.

LaLota: Playing defensive end and sometimes spinner. Impressed with his aggressiveness.

Big Will: Impressive, but yet needs a ton of fundamentals work. Good news he is very coachable and is improving daily.

Forcier: Of all the players, let us hope he becomes stock up. Michigan has very little choice now. He had better be ready.

Hawthorne: Other than V. Smith, we think this freshmen is having the best spring.

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Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Mailbag question: A lot of offers out there

Hey fellas,

I really enjoyed the post about the current state of the Michigan program. However, it brought up one question that I raised in the comments of a previous post. That question is about getting out a ton of offers early. It appears that we are sending out early offers to many, many prospects both highly regarded and not highly regarded. The commitment from Kinard was especially troublesome to me because, from his video, he seems like a major project without great technique or speed, and a middle 3-star type. Wouldn't this be the type of kid we offer later in the process?

In addition, we are filling up at receiver rather quickly with, again, not-so-highly regarded guys like DJ Williamson. Won't this deter better prospects at receiver from committing if they see that we have four receivers committed already? Is it customary to offer guys early from feeder schools to which we have loyalty? Why is the coaching staff doing this and why do you guys like the fact that we've offered so many kids?




Thanks for the question and comments.

We will never base our opinions on star ratings, they mean little to us. We go completely off what we see in person, on film, or based on opinions of individuals we trust and respect.

The split end recruiting has been very interesting. Michigan has taken some lesser knowns early which could very well hurt with some of the supers who commit late.

The thing is none of us know how Michigan has these guys rated on their board, nor necessarily why the staff has ranked them that way. Since the beginning, we've liked Florida's split end Shaw a ton, but if Michigan taking four early split ends hurts his recruitment that would raise concerns.

As for Kinard, he is indicative to how Coach Rod and staff are recruiting defensively. They are focusing on very good athletes who can run and have a defensive mentality. This type of recruiting carries some extra risk, but it also carries the potential for very high reward.

We agree that it can take longer for this type of recruiting to show progress. Teaching players new positions can take longer. One thing to remember is that this time last year we were complaining big-time about the defensive recruiting. Thus far, they have recruited more defensive ends and made more offers to those positions than they did all of last year. We're pleased that defensive recruiting is picking up.

Michigan fans used to complain about schools that would offer everybody, but it looks like Michigan is getting more involved in that same recruiting trend. It could pay off for them if those higher rated kids actually take notice, but the one problem is if the kids lower on your recruiting board commit to your program early it might take a spot that a higher ranked recruit could have filled later in the year. Football recruiting is getting earlier and earlier and starting to resemble basketball recruiting.

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Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Friday, March 27, 2009

2010 Michigan Recruiting: Marcus Lattimore -- Running Back

Marcus Lattimore from Byrnes high school in Duncan, South Carolina.

CoachBt/ErocWolverine quick comments: He is a perfect fit for Michigan's zone schemes. One cut and go, just what you want from running back in zone schemes. Big strong physical runner who shows excellent acceleration and nice hands. He needs to impove his balance.

DirecTV Subscribers: West Coast version of a Channel added

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Michigan Football Tidbits: Practice Report

Everyone who has witnessed practices has to be impressed with the intensity. While it is my opinion that Coach Rod was not overly excited about practice on Saturda,y the amount of "flare ups" or "rants" by Coach Rod, or anybody on coaching staff, has been limited if not non-existent. It just seems like the coaches are much more confident and comfortable this year.

Linebacker switch: Fitzgerald played more outside linebacker and Ezeh more inside on Saturday.

Feagin was somewhat effective at quarterback, but he did not throw any passes.

It looks as though Michigan's meetings with Oklahoma over the off-season has caused at least some adjustments in practices. Gone is the willingness or tendency of the quarterback's to throw the famous swing passes. The quarterbacks, especially Forcier, are being hounded to throw the ball to the tight end or wide receivers even when, at times, it seemed like they were forcing the ball. This is good news.

If the season started today, we think its either Matthews or T-rob for punt returner. Odoms is still a possiblility, but he seems to not be the first choice.

When the defensive line played a four-man front Patterson was with the first team at defensive tackle, then he also backed up at defensive end. Maybe this is the year.

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Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

DirecTV Subscribers: NFL and DirecTV extend Sunday Ticket

from DirecTV

NFL Network Carriage Agreement Extended

NFL and DIRECTV Extend NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ Agreement through 2014 Season
NEW YORK and EL SEGUNDO, Calif., March 23, 2009 — The National Football League announced today an agreement to extend DIRECTV's rights to carry NFL SUNDAY TICKET™. DIRECTV will continue to have exclusive television rights to air the package of Sunday afternoon games through the 2014 NFL season.

The agreement also significantly broadens the reach of NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ by enabling NFL fans who cannot receive DIRECTV satellite service to get NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ via broadband. This service will begin no later than 2012.

In addition, the NFL will offer fans (also no later than 2012) a new "Red Zone Channel" that shows crucial live action cut-ins of all Sunday afternoon games starting at 1 p.m. ET and continuing through the conclusion of the 4 p.m. ET games. The "Red Zone Channel" will be available to cable, telco and satellite systems, wireless devices, and the Internet.

"We are pleased to extend a partnership with DIRECTV that has complemented and supported our broadcast television packages for 15 years," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "We are looking forward to having the Red Zone channel on cable and other media platforms as well as showing NFL Sunday Ticket via broadband to the homes that cannot get satellite. This new content enhances our tradition of being the most pro-consumer, widely available sport on television."

"The NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ service has been a part of DIRECTV since our first year of operation and is one of the defining characteristics of our best-in-class positioning," said Chase Carey, president and CEO of DIRECTV Group. "This latest extension allows us to retain and broaden our most popular sports subscription service. Through our wireless offering to NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ customers and the new broadband service to non-customers, we're now able to expand the reach to even more NFL fans everywhere."

Among the new features for fans are:

Red Zone Channel: subscribers who do not have DIRECTV will have access to the "Red Zone" channel through local cable systems or telco and Internet providers. This special channel has been part of NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ on DIRECTV the past four seasons and will continue for those subscribers. It provides live look-ins and real-time highlights from every Sunday afternoon game starting at 1 P.M. (ET) through the late afternoon games. The channel switches from game to game and airs live action when a team is in the Red Zone (inside the 20-yard line) and poised to score. A host also provides real-time scoring and fantasy updates.
NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ on Broadband: Fans who live in areas where DIRECTV's service is not available, such as apartment buildings or in residences with poor sightlines to a satellite signal, will be able to purchase a new NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ broadband package.
DIRECTV customers who purchase NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ and the SuperFan™ package receive all Sunday afternoon games in HD; a Game Mix channel with up to eight games on one screen; the Red Zone Channel; the SUPERCAST™ service that streams every live NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ broadcast to laptop computers; and the NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ Mobile service that delivers up-to-the-minute highlights, and soon full-length games, to cell phones, pda's and other wireless devices.

DIRECTV also has extended its carriage agreement with NFL Network which airs seven days a week, 24 hours a day on a year-round basis and is the only network fully dedicated to the NFL and the sport of football. NFL Network will continue to be offered in DIRECTV's CHOICE package.

To order or for more information on NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ please visit directv.com/nfl.

Mailbag question: About the quarterbacks

Question about the quarterbacks:

How does a quarterback get hurt, where he has a broken leg, in spring practice? Then on top of that, we find out that two quarterbacks are hurt Sheridan (with a broke foot) and Cone (with a broken hand).

I never heard of quarterbacks getting hurt like this by their own team. What is going on or do they let them go at it during the spring.

Do they not wear a maize or red jersey to say, "Don’t hit the quarterback"?



Thanks for the question.

Injuries are big part of the game of football. They happen in practice, in the weight room, and during games. It is tough for us to comment on specific injuries because we are not sure how they happened. I have seen players have serious injuries running conditioning or agility drills. Scott Dreisbach broke his hand on teammate’s helmet doing non-contact drill. Freak injuries happen in.

As for hitting in practice. it is one of the great debate topics: How much and how often do you hit? And is Full Go or not. In Michigan’s offense, it is almost impossible to properly time up if the quarterback is not live at least part of the time. Same as was true when teams were running option and veer offenses. Quarterbacks needs to learn to hold onto the ball as long as possible and deliver it while taking a hit so they're ready for real games.

You can do certain things to help protect your quarterback like popping him without taking him to the ground. Eventually your quarterback has to take some shots in practice or the offense will not be as effective.

If the defensive end / outside linebacker holds up because the quarterback is not live, then the quarterback never gets a feel for how fast he needs to make the decision. He will also not appreciate the importance of ball security if he is just playing two-handed touch and nobody is trying to strip him of the ball.

In certain drills and scrimmages Michigan has had quarterbacks in red jerseys who were not live. In others, quarterbacks were live and took some shots. Bottom line for us is that injuries happen and they are a big part of the game. Without knowing specifics, we tend to give staff benefit of doubt here. The staff is doing what they think is best to improve the football team.

Going back to last year, a couple of us told the story about the defense and Coach Rod during spring practice.

Coach Rod called out the defense for "hitting like pillows" and was laying into them for a couple of minutes (in not such nice language). Then five minutes later, he was chewing out the defense for hitting too hard because two quarterbacks got hurt in those five minutes.

PLEASE NOTE: NOW NOT SAYING THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED HERE, but it does show how tinuries can a happen. Remember that MaizeMan said that he thought the coaches were not happy with how practices were going the last couple of times. Maybe they ramped it up a little bit (though, again, we're not sure what happened).

Let's hope they put some body armor on Tate and refrain from even "touch football" or even "flag football" type of contact on him. Realistically, he needs to learn how to run the offense and what to expect in game conditions. There's always a risk, but we need him healthy and need him to learn the offense as quick as possible.

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If you have any questions please e-mail erocwolverine@gmail.com

Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tony Drake: 2010 Michigan Wolverine Commit

Tony Drake

Height: 5'8"
Weight: 160 lbs.
High School: Dallas Skyline High School (Texas)
High School Coach: Reginald Samples
Position: Running back / Slot receiver
Class: 2010 Recruiting Class (Verbal Commit)

Tony Drake

Overview: He is a smallish, very good athlete with outstanding movement skills. Could play slot receiver or running back, and even help in the return game.

Strengths: Super quick athlete with outstanding feet. Accelerates very well out of his cuts and has that extra gear to run away from defenders. He has nice hands and is fearless in the return game.

Needs Work: Size could be an issue. He appears very small on film. He could use some serious strength training, since he goes down fairly easily. Needs to keep his shoulders parallel and not cross contains face.

Tony Drake Video Highlights:





Thanks for stopping by http://gobluemichiganwolverine.blogspot.com/
If you have any questions please e-mail erocwolverine@gmail.com

Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

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