Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Part 1- Michigan Football Tidbits: Practice Notes

Part 1- Michigan Football Tidbits: Practice Notes

For those who are looking for a completely optimistic report, you may want to stop reading right now.

Remember this is all based on opinion!

1) The biggest reason Michigan needs to increase their defensive recruiting is essentially the overall numbers on defense. Many of us have stated the number is clearly insufficient. This is no secret. Knowing this is a problem does not solve it.

It is hard to practice, or at least run all the drills coaches want to run in practice, when the depth is so thin like it is right now. Even though the team was in full pads and did some very controlled scrimmaging, the lack of numbers has forced the coaches to tone down the amount of time they are hitting. This will change in the upcoming seasons when defensive numbers increase.

2) Quarterback's are rotating in and out like one would expect. We know Coach Rod does not like depth charts, but at this time the qb derby is not … close that is. Tate Forcier will start the first game and Nick Sheridan will be the back-up. If Tate gets hurt, Denard Robinson may get more snaps early on in special situations. Again, a reminder that Coach Rod told us in the spring coaches clinic that even if he knows who starts he will not let the media know about it, because he believes the kids will not work as hard if they know they have a spot sewn up and do not have to compete on a daily basis.

Quarterback play has been okay, but very up and down. But a mark of a very good quarterback is the ability to score in the red zone and the offense simply could not do that in a recent controlled scrimmage. Now it must be noted that the team was running basic plays, but the execution was not very good at times.

3) Michigan needs to recruit a SUPER wide receiver that can play the split end position in next year’s class. This group currently is serviceable, but nothing special. And we are starting to believe that Stonum just may not make it. At least, he may not live up to all of our expectations. If the season started today, the starters could actually be Mathews and Savoy: yes, we said Savoy, or Hemingway.

4) Roundtree has played predominately at slot receiver, while Odoms still takes most of the snaps with the first group. It is becoming hard for us to understand why Roundtree is not our main receiver. He simply does everything right, more importantly, when Roundtree is in the game all the quarterback's seem to throw his way. That in itself should tell you something.

5) Finally, after every spring practice and the first fall practice, chalk one up for the defense. Now do not go nuts, there were times when the offense did whatever they wanted, but when they had to, the D kept the offense out of the end zone.

While this may not seem like a big deal, since this was only a practice, it was a major step forward, it has been years since our defense showed any tendency to keep an offense out of the end zone.

6) So far, so good for the Herron experiment. In fact, Herron has been one of the most impressive kids in practice. Again, it is way early, so we will see what happens throughout the remainder of fall practice and into the games. If the season started today, Watson could see some serious action. He is the number one back-up right now.

7) Running backs: we really like our running back group. Minor and C. Brown are both good players and we think the combination and competition between Shaw, Cox, and Smith is exciting to watch and any of these guys could contribute this year. And we like the fact that, unlike in years past, there is not an emphasis on one back. If Minor screws up, he is taken out.

Having said that, we still need a super back that is not present at the current time. Shaw is as close as we have in terms of overall explosiveness and Smith may be one of those players who simply just produces. Good players, but we do not see anyone out of this group that will be a top two round player in the NFL.

Thanks for stopping by Go Blue Michigan Wolverine
If you have any questions please E-Mail

Written by MaizeMan and ErocWolverine


Anonymous said...

You mentioned 5 running backs, but did not mention Kevin Grady. As a 5th year senior with some size and reasonable speed, I was hoping he'd have a decent year. Do you think he will see any meaningful carries this year?

jblaze1 said...

What do you guys think of Stokes as the star WR or Ricardo Miller coming next year as the star WR?

If Stonum can't pull it out, those 2 in particular seem to be strong candidates.

Anonymous said...

One intangible an optimist like myself holds on to: some players are able to ramp up their play on game day -- showing that bit of extra they -- subconsciously(?) -- hold back during practice.

Last year the coaches said the team practiced well, but on game day....well, we all remember.

Hopefully this group will be the opposite and show the personality that "brings the stuff" on Saturdays. I see this as a real possibility, especially for the running backs.

Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Gerry DiNardo was spot on...

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