Monday, October 19, 2009

GBMW: Coach's Corner Grading Positions

Coach's Corner: Grading Positions

The grades cited below are based off of the combined achievements of the first six games. Delaware State was not included within the context of these grades.

The attempt going forward within this examination is to grade each position group at the mid season, in short the mid-term course grade. Remember, I am a very tough grader, nothing personal, just business.

Team: B-

This has been a fun team to follow this year. Yes this team is capable of ulcer production and blood pressure swings, but this version of UM usually plays hard and with passion and fire, excepting the Michigan State game in my opinion. This team is only six points from being 6-0, but also eight points from being 2-4. So, look for more close games going down the stretch.

In my opinion Michigan is still two years removed from being a national player. So, what is holding this team back? There are simply too many turnovers, too many big plays given up by the defense, and a poor return game, that is in decline, continues to keep this grade from being higher.

Offense: B-

This unit has done a nice job overall, but there remains time periods where the offense disappears. Also, there are too many turnovers and holding penalties. This team is very good at running the football. The passing game needs continued improvement in the second half of the season in my opinion.

Quarterbacks: B-

This group is just about what I expected, Tate Forcier is outstanding one series and ordinary the next. He still makes too many misreads and forces too many passes to be graded higher. But Tate has the swagger and gunslinger mentality that I love in quarterbacks. Denard Robinson is going to be fun to watch, regardless of where he ends up playing. And if you look up Michigan Man in Dictionary you should find a picture of Nick Sheridan.

Running Backs: B+

I warned I was a tough grader. As stated above the Wolverines had done a very good job of rushing the ball, but Michigan has put the ball on the ground fourteen times and lost five of them, this is too many for me. I also think this group could block better. Not bad, just not good enough for an A right now.

Split Ends: C+

There are simply too many dropped passes for a grade to be higher. But I have been pleased with their improved blocking. But only Stonum provides any type of deep, or big play, threat at this time.

Tight ends: B

This is the most talented group of athletes on the team in my opinion. Martell Webb would be starting for two-thirds of the teams in the country in my opinion. The tight Ends need to be more consistent catching the ball. I am hoping Coach Rod and staff find more ways to get Kevin Koger and the guys even more involved. If this happens then the related outcome would give the offense a huge boost.

Offensive linemen: B- with Molk -- C without him

Poor snaps became a problem that really holds the grade down without Molk. There continues to be too many holding penalties to grade this group higher. The O-line has played just about like I expected, a solid workman like job. Forcier has been forced to scramble more than I like, and as Coach Magee talked about, the overhangs, strong safeties and outside linebackers have caused some problems. Still, I like how this group has picked up blitzes and blocked at the first level.

Defense: C+

The collective defensive unit has not been dominating and has given up too many third down conversions. But in the old bend but not break scenario the defense has also come up big in sudden change situations. Going against the bigger, very physical, teams in the second half of the Big Ten schedule, this unit must improve the run defense.

Defensive linemen: B-

This group has played better than I expected. Michigan has actually gotten a lot out of this undersized group. The major drawbacks have been lack of consistent pressure and getting washed down when angling.

Inside linebackers: C-

They have played okay, just not consistently. It is obvious the inside backers also have been lost in coverage. I have watched Coach Hopson drill this unit on shedding and defeating blocks, but they still have the same problems. I will give them credit; they filled much better at Iowa.

Outside linebackers: B

This group contains the best performers on the defense in my opinion. Stevie Brown found his natural position and Craig Roh is showing his talent to be very good. Herron is not a great fit here in my opinion. Still, he has done a competent job.

Cornerbacks: C+

This grade could go much higher if Woolfolk stays at cornerback and continues to play solid there. D. Warren 's individual grade would be much higher, but those playing opposite really hold this grade down. Too many wide receivers have gotten behind our cornerbacks to be higher. The inability to get off of blocks has also hurt.

Safeties: C-

There have been way too many big plays yielded to be awarded a higher grade, and it was borderline for awarding a D+. The safeties have indeed helped against the run. But to win games down the stretch, Michigan must stop yielding those big plays in the second half of the season.

Special teams: B

Punting and kicking have both been good, Mesko is a freaking weapon and Jason Olesnavage is solid in field goals and extra points.

The coverage's have been improved, but still they could be much better.

The return game has hurt, especially on punt returns.

Coaches Overall: B+

Head Coach: A-

Any coach who has to deal with all these distractions and still exceeds expectation deserves a high grade. The Michigan team coming out flat for Michigan State results in a midterm downgrade.

Offense Staff: B+

I am impressed by how much the offensive coaches have gotten out of their players. With a freshmen quarterback, limited split ends, and the unit’s best player hurt, they have done well. Everyone would still like to see a better vertical game and use tight ends more.

Defensive Staff: B

A solid Job, the coaches seemed a bit slow to adjust in the Indiana and Notre Dame games, but have done an excellent job of teaching and improving fundamentals.

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Written by CoachBt

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