Thursday, August 20, 2009
Michigan Football Tidbits: Early Thoughts - Part 1
Michigan Football Tidbits: Early Thoughts - Part 1
Wednesday was probably the most spirited practice this fall. Both groups (offense and defense.) really going at it.
1) Under the Coach Rod tenure (so far) it is amazing how similar the fall and spring campaigns are. Unlike practices under Coach Carr where you saw very little in spring, with Coach Rod the fall practices are just a continuation of spring practices.
So, although there have been some players who are making a move and of course you get to see the new incoming freshmen most of the stuff is still the same.
2) Pick for the surprising players.
Teric Jones. Maybe it is because Justin Turner has just started practices and did not have the value of being around Barwis all summer, but it sure is hard to tell as of now who is ahead of who.
T. Jones actually looks like a better cornerback than he did in some film on offense a year ago. Now keep in mind am not saying T. Jones plays a lot this year, but think he is an example of the type of kid Coach Rod really likes. He plays hard, does not give in to any competition and seems to adapt to anything thrown at him.
Another surprise Cameron Gordon. Now it is hard to say that Je'Ron Stokes early on has outplayed C. Gordon. In fact, C. Gordon's physical play and his willingness to go over the middle has been impressive.
Do not see any move to linebacker in the near future and depending on how things work out if C. Gordon continues to apply himself especially in the off-season he could find himself in the mix by next year. This year hope he red-shirts, but he has been doing some special teams work.
Note: Notice both of the surprise players are Detroit area kids. Have maintained for years that talent is there, it is development that is sorely lacking.
When you understand the conditions and facilities these kids have to play and endure during their high school seasons you will understand whey they are rated lower than athleticism warrants.
3) Most disappointing player, easy one for is Ricky Barnum. Not because of poor play, he just cant stay healthy. But and we have mentioned this before, R. Barnum is going to be a starter at Michigan it just may not be this year.
You can pencil him in for the next three years. There was a time when we worried about R. Barnum and him staying at Michigan mainly because we do not think we have ever seen a kid as homesick and still seems to have not adjusted completely. But now he really has no complaint he just has not been able to compete and that means David Moosman will start.
4) Strength of team (at least against our own players)the running game. There will be three or four plays when defense holds the offense then all of a sudden a 30 to 40 yard play.
Except for Troy Woolfolk speed in the secondary is a little concerning at least against our running back's. Carlos Brown and Michael Shaw especially when they get past the first wave it is a while before they are tackled.
5) My award for just staying with it Kevin Grady. Have a new found respect for K. Grady. Most kids would have given up and keep in mind he constantly hears from his dad how unfair Michigan has been over the years.
Despite all of this, K. Grady is going to play a role this year and is in the game a lot in short yardage. And nobody can say he has loafed through the Barwis workouts because he really looks quick and strong.
6) Thomas Gordon is banged up, nothing much, but once again here is a kid from Detroit very low rated, but this kid can play. He is a good athlete and very physical. He may be along with Williams are most physical safety on roster.
7) Okay am not convinced. Denard Robinson can run. Best thing to me about D. Robinson is we do not have to play against him. He is the type of player in the past who would have 300 yards himself against us.
His biggest issue is his footwork when passing the ball. His ball will sail or lose velocity because of this. He really is about the same size as Tate Forcier, but mechanics in quarterback play (something Coach Loeffler constantly preached when at Michigan) is so important and D. Robinson just needs to develop.
8) In the last three practices the Tight End's have been used.
9) Remember when Roth played at Iowa? That is Craig Roh almost identical. The guy is relentless in rushing the quarterback, really quick off the line.
Now he will really struggle defending the run, but it is going to be really interesting to watch this kid once he has a year or two under Barwis. Cannot remember a kid at Michigan for a long time who has his tenacity when it comes to rushing the quarterback.
10) Do not look now, but there was a couple plays that Brandon Smith was used at the spinner position. Not sure if that is where he stays, but they sure like his ability to defend the pass something that Brandin Hawthorne or Mike Jones struggle at times.
And Isaiah Bell is banged up so who knows? Just maybe he has found a spot. He does also play linebacker at times, but he is 5th on the depth chart right now.
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Written by MaizeMan and ErocWolverine