Monday, August 24, 2009
Michigan Football Tidbits: Scrimmage Thoughts.
Michigan Football Tidbits: Scrimmage Thoughts.
There have been numerous reports on the scrimmages, so am going in a different direction.
1) What the team basically does in scrimmage is play the first group vs. the second group. The offense starts a series at their own thirty, then at their own one-yard line, next, at the fifty, continuing in the red zone, and finishing with an overtime situation. In addition, there is some very specific situational play, such as fourth down at about the six where the offense has to score on one play.
2) Am not sure if Coach Rod was sending a message, but when he says you earn playing time daily, in this case it (the message) seemed to be directed mainly at the wide receiver group.
Darryl Stonum, who basically stunk in the first week of practice but has shown great progress lately, was in the starting line-up next to Junior Hemingway.
Greg Matthews was delegated initially to the third team. The wide receiver group continues to be the most competitive group in camp, mainly because no one has really separated himself, although J. Hemingway, as of now, looks to be at least one sure starter.
3) The offensive line groups remain basically the same.
Mark Ortmann, Steve Schilling, David Molk, David Moosman, Mark Huyge.
Perry Dorrestein, John Ferrara, Rocko Khoury, Elliott Mealer, Pat Omameh.
Tim McAvoy, Quinton Washington, Michael Schofield, Taylor Lewan.
They mixed some kids up at times, but not much.
4) Mike Jones played ahead of Brandin Hawthorne, which is a change.
5) J.T. Turner and Teric Jones played cornerback with the second group.
6) J.T. Floyd started and Boubacar Cissoko was out (no verification as to why).
7) Mike Cox had a nice run and showed he has some explosiveness.
8) Denard Robinson had the best day at quarterback, but they kept things very simple for him. Rarely did he throw a ball more than ten yards, but his release is much quicker than people think.
Note: It is obvious (at least to us) that Coach Magee seems to lean toward D. Robinson. It has been predicted for the last six months by us that this would probably happen. We stated back then that Coach Rod preferred a quarterback like Tate Forcier and Coach Magee a quarterback more like D. Robinson.
9) Many families were there and although it was a full scrimmage Coach Rod seemed more subdued than normal. My overall impression is although there were some good moments, this team is really hard to judge.
On the one hand, one could come away excited about the overall improvement, and at times team speed, while at the same time many of the same issues that have persisted for years remained evident.
One of those issues is the ability of the defense to tackle one-on-one. Too many times the offensive player took a hit and kept on his feet, or shed a tackle, and got substantially more yardage, known as the dreaded yards after contact.
10) UM’s defense is not only young, although it is experienced at linebacker, but also small, very small.
11) We thought Ryan Van Bergen had a productive practice. And dare we say it the best defensive player on Saturday was Stevie Brown.
It is less than two weeks to go before the first game. Besides the quarterback position, and some competition at wide receiver, we think everything else is pretty much set.
Again, repeating, we are really excited about seeing this group play somebody else and think we completely understand what Coach Rod means when he says "This team will be better this year, and the next, and the next".
Interpretation from what we have seen is: UM is much improved, but the team is not close to where the coaches want to be.
The players are working hard. They have done everything expected of them and the attitude is positive. But, there is a difference between practice and when it counts (game time). And you just do not know how some of these kids are going to react on game day.
Remember, a year ago Coach Rod and coaches were surprised by how the players seemed to get better during the week and then stink it up on Saturday.
Michigan needs to get itself in a position where the program does not have to rely on kids like M. Jones, T. Jones, or maybe even Vlad. This will only happen with continued successful recruiting, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Quality and quantity must both count in building the future defense.
Offensively we conclude the coaches like what they see (depending on how the quarterback's perform on Saturdays), but look for the coaches to really try and recruit kids defensively who are bigger. UM must get bigger on defense.
So with less than two weeks to go, how well does Michigan do this year? This is tough to say because this team could really surprise people, or a couple of injuries could turn this season into a disaster.
But we are in the camp that considers the program to be on the right track. UM needs more high-level players and needs to continue to develop those players. So in final analysis, we consider ourselves "REALISTIC" today, but "OPTIMISTIC" about the future of the program.
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Written by MaizeMan and ErocWolverine