Thursday, September 03, 2009

Mailbag question: In regards to the offensive line article:

Mailbag question: In regards to the offensive line article:

I can't speak for others, but all I can say is that I was disappointed to hear that in your opinion the O-line is not as strong as we had all hoped.

I appreciate your reality-based opinions. It is a bummer to hear the truth about the O-line because many of us were clinging to the hope that one of the most improved and well-coached position groups on the team would be able to lead our surge toward respectability and a bowl game. I don't think we can be successful with the O-line you described. Is it just me, or did you downgrade your opinion?

John C. From Mason, Ohio


Thanks for the question.

First off, we agree that the offensive line is very well coached and that it is also one of the most improved position groups on the team. Take this a step further; the o-line is very likely the most improved of all groups. We currently hold the opinion this is a good line, just not a great line. To get back to the upper echelon of major college football, UM must eventually have the highest caliber of line play. An A grade if you will.

What the real point within this discussion eventually filters down to is the assessment, based on available athletic talent, that the five starters are getting very close to having maxed out their ability/performance. This, further, is almost certainly true regarding the fifth year seniors Ortmann and Moosman. Again, these guys have reached a point where any further improvement will be minimal and such improvement will need an undertaking of monumental proportions. Here is an analogy; a golfer starts off with an average of 89. With significant practice, the average drops to 82 in three months later. Six months later, with even more significant practice time, the golfer averages 80. Two years later, the golfer is averaging 80, but has practiced even more. There simply is a point of diminishing returns. The effect is called plateauing.

After watching the offensive line last spring, and comparing the proficiency to the first five games of last season, we are thrilled and proud of what these guys have accomplished. They have improved as much as any group we have seen in our thirty years of attending practices and clinics. That is a good thing.

We expect the offensive line to show/play very well against many of our opponents. But a clear unknown remains regarding how these warriors will hold up against some of the more athletic defenses Michigan will play.

We also strongly believe the future is very bright for Michigan 's offensive line. Young players like Lewan, Washington, Barnum, Omameh, Schofield and some red-shirt freshmen, combine very good to excellent athletic ability with a nasty edge to their game.

Remember spread 101 has as a guiding principle the precept that the offensive line must be very athletic. Good as an evaluation equates to a grade of B. Note: this scale is not based on modern grade inflation.

Here is the complete scale simplified down to the simplest of general terms:

A = Great.
B = Good.
C = Average/Okay.
D = Poor/Needs Help.
F = Hope and Pray for a great recruiting class at that position.

So for you astute followers out there who ever improved a quarter grade from a D to a B, you know how hard these guys worked.

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

Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine


BlueTommy said...

Hey guyz, for once I have serious question/concerns. There have been lot of news on Rivals about ushers getting fired for leaking scrimmage tidbit. Do you fear the same thing? Will it effect E-Blog now that it hit stride? Will Maizerman lose job?

West Texas Blue said...

Michigan averaged 3.9 yards per carry last year, which factors in sacks. As terrible as our OL was, to average more yards per carry than Michigan's 2006 and 2007 teams says alot. This OL may not be a world beater, but they'll be very good.

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