Monday, August 31, 2009

DirecTV: Free Preview of Choice Xtra Package


Free Preview for: Choice Xtra
Available to Subscribers of: DirecTV

Free Preview Begins: September 1, 2009 (Tuesday)
Free Preview Ends: September 7, 2009 (Monday)

DirecTV is having a free preview of their Choice Xtra Package for customers starting September 1st and ending September 7th. This includes over 50 channels! Look at the bottom of this post for the channel lineup.

Channel Lineup:

These are some of the channels included in this free preview.

208 – ESPN Classic
215 – NHL Network
217 – Tennis Channel
235 – Style
250 – Fox Reality
251 – Oxygen
257 – Chiller
258 – Fox Movie Channel
266 – Biography Channel
271 – History International
272 – Logo
274 – Ovation TV
279 – Discovery Health
285 – Investigation Discovery
286 – Discovery Home
287 – Military Channel
307 – Superstation WGN
308 – Sleuth
326 – Great American Country
330 – BET J
337 – VH1 Classic
354 – G4
602 – The Interactive Horseracing Network
605 – The Golf Channel
607 – Speed Channel
608 – Versus
612 - FUEL TV
813 – XM The Village
823 – XM On Broadway
824 – XM U-Pop
825 – XM The Heat
828 – XM Enlighten
829 – XM The Torch
830 – XM Boneyard XL
837 – XM Big Tracks
839 – XM Fred
841 – XM Liquid Metal XL
844 – XM The Groove
855 – XM Fine Tuning
870 – XM Fuego
872 – XM Caliente
879 – XM The Virus XL

BTN: Coach Rod Full Press Conference

ESPN: Video of Coach Rod Press Conference

ESPN: Video

Fox 36 (Toledo): Video

Fox17: Video

 

GBMW: Things we want to address


GBMW: Things we want to address.

Contained within is some information that the readers may wish to consider.

GBMW lately has received e-mails questioning whether or not some specific articles, most notably last Saturday’s attention-getting offensive line concerns piece, were of a negative connotation. The explicit statements or inferences, by some, were that there should be nothing “negative” written about the Michigan program

Nothing would be nicer or more enjoyable than to present material of that nature. But such an approach from an intellectual and integrity standpoint would only be suited if absolutely every aspect of the U of M football program met the criteria that could lump sum be termed “perfecto.”

It takes little introspection and observation to conclude that a team with new leadership coming off a 3 and 9 season does not reach a lofty plateau of being “untouchable.” Therefore, we respectfully state that the fluff stops here.

Never make the mistake that those who contribute to this site have any agenda towards the program. The very opposite is true, as one would be hard pressed to find contributors more loyal and supportive of a life-long love, namely, Michigan football.

Before continuing, let us visit a quote from the ultimate Michigan Man, Coach Bo. On a broadcast shortly before he died, Bo stated, “Michigan is a poor tackling team.” And, of course, he was correct. Bo would have loved to say something like, “I am very proud of the exceptional tackling Michigan has displayed.” That approach was not his way.

If knowledgeable people see concerns, they will be addressed. Concerns will be identified and discussed, as will positive observations. As the program builds, and all here believe it will, they will be fewer concerns and more positives. Yes, here we all realize that some sites are very positive and negatives are taboo. Those here try not to be blind sheep or put the head in the sand. It is the hope of this site that readers not only tolerate but also support an approach such as this. Perhaps some sites will hide concerns and try to only produce "fluff pieces" to gain viewership, post counts, access from the university, and paying customers.

Unless you are a current fan of the Florida Gators, there will be concerns for “your” team this year. Sorry, that is the way it is, especially right before the season and also from practice observation.

When most Michigan fans are predicting 6-6, 7-5 or, at best, 8-4 this year, that to means the above predictors must see concerns as well. If there are no concerns anywhere in any program facet, why not just predict 12-0 and a chance at the National Championship?

We will be doing a grading scale that follows like this:

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

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

Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine


Sunday, August 30, 2009

GBMW: Regarding what Michigan should do about Media access:


GBMW: Regarding what Michigan should do about Media access:

Program observers complained, when Lloyd was head coach, about not getting access to program internals and questioned the reason for the "fort mentality" that started with Bo, and continued with Mo and Lloyd. Also, people negatively perceived how Lloyd treated some of the media. Some of us loved it, because in most cases media members were asking monumentally dumb questions (like the sideline reporter and now classic half-time interviews) and receiving an affirmation of their less than stellar cognitive ability from Coach Carr.

Now, all of a sudden, when Coach Rod came in and gave the media a little more access (more than in the past, but not as much as other schools), people were jumping up and down because they would get "glimpses" of the program that they were never privy to.

Funny how when something bad happens, people want to jump right back to a position that they did not previously endorse.

Why blame the entire media for this? If a university suddenly adopts a “closed door policy,” this sends a perception that something wrong did indeed occur. Closed door could be partial defined as no admittance, no talking to players, no observation of practice, and no communication with the coaches.

If anything, UM might want to consider the complete opposite and invite ESPN, Big Ten Network, CBSC and any other sport network groups in and let them do College Football Live, Big Ten Tonight, College Gameday type of shows from inside the Michigan practice facility. Necessary discussion would follow from Coach Rod, Bill Martin and the people who are in charge at Michigan to confirm that rules are and have been followed.

This is not a time to circle the wagons, as they say. The media would simply look at this as a sign that the program is trying to hide something. This is the time to address and deal with the stated “accusations.” It is a bad time to be sure and the timing of this outbreak must be called into question.

Some have reacted by suggesting as a remedy cutting off the Detroit Free Press’ access. Well, other media people would take that as a sign of the university playing "bully" and wonder if the university is indeed trying to hide something.

Although I am certainly not in a position to determine a course of action, let us return to an original concept, that of the individual reporter versus the collective mass of media. So perhaps a single reporter should be banned from the university. It is not far fetched to say an anti-Coach Rod, somewhat frenzied and compulsive, agenda drives some reporters. Coach Rod has stated the program follows the NCAA guidelines. This is where things stand.

This is a time to let Coach Rod, the athletic department and everybody at Michigan gather information and present documentation to the public. The final impression must be there is nothing to hide.

Keep in mind we have stated several times, ever since Coach Rod took over, this program is different and more demanding, compared to the past, for Michigan players to go through. This does not mean we are attacking Coach Rod, but we know that the players have worked very hard in the off-season. Also, we have reported from both spring Michigan clinics (2008-2009) we attended that both Coach Rod and Coach Barwis stated that the off-season workouts were voluntary. Coach Rod’s comment was something like this: "Off-season workouts are voluntary just like your playing time." Coach Barwis’ comment was something similar to: "Off-season workouts are voluntary, but so is breathing, and I do not see you stopping breathing".

There are a lot of programs around the country in college and high school that will be closely observing what happens with this “voluntary participation” issue. Why so much attention? Frankly almost every program has “voluntary” programs that are voluntary only by moniker. If you want to play football at any level - college or high school, voluntary is really mandatory. This sounds a little Yogi Berra like but this is the reality. Excellence has a price and it never entails sitting on the backside for an entire three months. The emphasis of athletics is a topic that has been bantered back and forth for decades. For better or worse, purist philosophy about college football at major universities is at low tide. For better or worse, the arena of 1950’s and 1960’s college football yields few if any similarities with twenty-first century norms . Change has wedged the two eras (purist versus competitive) apart to the point where the past will likely never return.

Do all of you remember the result of Coach Carr’s last voluntary summer program? Key players did little during the summer, showed up out of shape and ill-prepared, and got kicked by Appy State and Oregon. Someone could get plenty of frequent flyer miles trying to locate a major college program where all the players do not voluntarily show up and work out extensively the entire summer.

Even in high school football, coaches tell players, in an indirect way, to show up with their teammates to work-out, run routes, condition themselves, so that when practice really does start the players can hit the ground running, instead of starting from scratch. The coaches are not there, but the seniors are. Nowadays practice time seems to continue to be cut down and less and less time is allotted before the first game, compared to the past. One reason for the tighter restrictions mandated by governing bodies is that officials are clearly aware of the off-season workout programs being used at virtually all schools.

The agenda, integrity, and methods of the reporters and paper connected to this mess will comprise a separate discussion, one that certainly will follow. As you can imagine, there are obviously hundreds of sports reporters from local papers spending their entire summer monitoring practice time, interrogating players, attempting, by any means, to discredit college football programs.

In adding to the discussion on practice time and compliance, here are five points of interest for the team and the coaching staff from CoachBt:

1) This is indeed the last thing in the entire world Coach Rod and the staff need or want at this time. Yes, it probably provides some short term motivation, but you would 100% prefer your players to be focused on the season and not deal with this type of crap! Luckily, Coach Rod and the staff are not rookies and will know how to deal with this nonsense.

2) Michigan needs to get in front of this issue and not behind. Another way of saying this is be proactive and not reactive. And in our opinion the response needs to come from the administration or athletic dept. Coach Rod and staff have bigger, more important things to do at this time than deal with this distraction/accusation. But the issue cannot go unanswered and left to fester. The last thing Coach Rod and staff now need is more negative recruiting material. The program needs some very strong support from the bosses.

3) To the accusations, do Michigan/Coach Rod and staff push the line on NCAA regulations? Probably, but I will say we would be disappointed if they did not push the line in this matter. It is what is necessary to compete with the other elite programs. I know a player from LSU's National Championship season, and I have worked out with him. I have multiple friends on Ohio State's roster, and know players on Alabama and Iowa. I can go on and on, but you get the point. All these programs equally push the line. It is how the game is played today.

4) In our opinion this episode is going to come down to how one "defines" voluntary. In our opinion there is nothing wrong with explaining to kids what will happen if they do not participate in off- season workouts. As long as coaches do not coerce by threatening to take away their scholarship, they are in bounds.

5) Nobody wants the NCCA snooping around, period. Just the taint of an investigation can be a killer. Sometimes the limbo period is worse than what is actually found. I am hoping, but not expecting, for the NCAA to get this done and over with.

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

Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine


Michigan Volleyball: Great way to start the season


Congratulations to the Michigan Volleyball program on beating Nebraska who was 3rd in the nation in the rankings in their own tournament in Omaha, Nebraska and then beating Kansas State who was ranked 22nd.

The victory marks the first win by the Michigan program over a top-five ranked team.

Both games were on the CBSC network and replays will be on their network in case you missed it.

GBMW: Friday Night Lights -- Derrick Bryant 2010 Recruit


GBMW - Friday Night Lights -- Derrick Bryant

IT STARTS HERE- ON FRIDAY NIGHTS

Welcome to a new highlight of Go Blue Michigan Wolverine: ventures by the writers into the bravura world of Friday high school football. There are few, if any, elements of traditional America that capture the spirit and enthusiasm of the populace more so than high school football. While college football attracts monster crowds and generates television revenues of astronomical proportion, every fan in America must be appreciative of the effort and pride placed on display weekly by the local high school football programs. College programs are not discussed in terms of purity anymore, but not so with the kids and coaches that populate the high school ranks. The benefits to a local community can be substantial. Long may this endure.


It is our hope that the readers enjoy this year’s series of player reviews.

Week one of the season in Ohio brought forth the expected; renewed enthusiasm, high-level football, and a hope that hard work pays instant dividends.

This week’s selected game pitted Columbus City League powers Brookhaven and Marion Franklin. Brookhaven is a perennial Central Ohio power that has attracted some attention, since Division 1 recruit Derrick Bryant resides as a formidable defensive end. Those who follow Michigan recruiting are aware that young Mr. Bryant has been mentioned in recruiting circles.

As mentioned, Brookhaven is an excellent program, one that has sent players on to high destinations. This Brookhaven team is young, but talented. There will be more recruiting buzz surrounding Brookhaven players in future years.

The author came armed with many questions from the maize and blue followers (as well as other followers of college recruiting). Now, on to what happened at the game


The scene was nice, the game kicked off; the competition was back and forth; the score was 7-7 and then the enemy of every sports program administrator showed up. Lightning!! The field was cleared, the stands were cleared and it was obvious the game was in for a long delay or suspension.

But there was time to gain some insights regarding young Mr. Bryant. When talking about an athlete, it is respectful and appropriate to first address the nature of the person being discussed. There is much to like about young Mr. Bryant. He is a student in good standing, well liked, and spoken of highly by a knowledgeable person within the school setting. Derrick’s mother is a teacher at Brookhaven, the rest of the dots are easy to connect.




Next for discussion are the measurables that consume many recruitniks. Derrick is a true 6’4” and is 235, as advertised on the recruiting sites. I was informed upon request that Derrick benches almost three hundred pounds. His speed has been listed as between 4.55 and 4.6. After showing one burst to the outside, this quote is believable. Derrick has a slim lower body and good topside, ala Crable. It would not surprise me to see young Derrick fill out to be a 265 defensive end. I suppose linebacker is not out of the question, but that is not where my bet would go.

So what can be determined, in less than one-half of football, regarding playing ability? It would be unwise to generalize tonight to an entire career. Having said this, there certainly was nothing negative to carry away from tonight’s condensed version of Friday Night Football.

Derrick stuffed the first play aimed at him. That was that for a while. Later on, Derrick got caught inside on a counter action and showed some excellent speed taking a pretty good angle to the outside and tripping up the runner after a pretty good gain. In short, he lost contain a little against a pretty speedy back. Derrick played a few plays as a wing and went in motion to block. Clearly, his niche on the team is as an end in a primarily 4-3 defense.




What caught my attention? I liked Derrick’s stance and his focus. He did not seem to play many games with the o-linemen, instead taking a normal angle into the backfield. Derrick had some opportunities to rush the passer and applied pressure. Once in a while, the o-lineman locked him up in the chest, but he was not pushed backwards. He is tall and is playing against guys a little shorter. Like about every other recruit in the nation leverage and pad level are likely discussed on occasion: not bad.

What about the rush end aspect? On certain plays Derrick seemed to make sure before he came off the ball. He did not jump around and make wild anticipations as to the snap. In short, he did not give up any foolish penalty yards that some rush ends frequently do.


Now, on to the questions many Michigan followers want to know. The insight below was not provided directly by Derrick Bryant. However, conversation with a knowledgeable, exceptionally perceptive, student athlete advocate well within the circle of trust brought about some pretty clear probabilities (remember things change). Derrick is blessed to have an advocate such as described above in his corner.

Can Derrick play at a Division 1 level? Clearly, move on to the next question.

What would be his most likely destination in the U of M scheme? My guess is Quick.

Is Derrick similar to other current commits? Somewhat, he is bigger than Kinard, and more similar to Wilkins.

Has the phone been ringing off the wall from Ann Arbor? No. Has the phone been ringing? No.

Does anyone know why? No.

Is this puzzling to some within the Brookhaven circle? Maybe.

Are there some soon to be developments in Derrick’s recruiting? Possibly, look west young man?

What is Derrick’s most likely asset that will attract him to recruiters? Likely his athleticism

Is there upside? Very likely.

Does the writer believe Derrick is underrated, correctly rated, or overrated by the services? Correctly rated.

Question for further study? Is this Marcus Rush – Part 2?

In conclusion, Derrick Bryant is a fine football player with the skills and academics to succeed within Division 1 football. I wish to thank the officials from Marion Franklin and Brookhaven for their courtesy and insights given to me in this abbreviated game. I wish the two teams and Derrick the very best this year.

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

Written by Doc4blu


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mailbag question: Kelvin Grady question


Mailbag question: Kelvin Grady question

How far down on the depth chart do you see Kelvin Grady when the season starts and how much playing time do you see him getting? I've heard that he's impressed the coaches by picking up the offense so fast and being explosive. There is even talk that at the end of practice he will be awarded a scholarship. Thanks for your insight GO BLUE!!

Evan Varilone

------------------------------------

Thanks for the question.

We posit that Kelvin will be with the second group of slot receivers. As with all positions in Coach Rod's regime, playing time will be dependent on his performance.

We expect Martavious Odoms and Roy Roundtree to start the season as the first line group of slot receivers. We expect Kelvin Grady, Terrance Robinson, and possibly Jeremy Gallon, to compete for the “left-over” playing time at slot receiver.

We were informed early on that Kelvin Grady had to demonstrate playing ability during the summer and probably would get a one-year scholarship, if the venture succeeded. Well, we believe with how he practiced and worked-out that he is now already on full scholarship, but we do not know this for certain.

Kelvin Grady has impressed according to the reports we have been getting during fall practice. He has really surprised not only us, but it seems, the coaches as well. They, like us, thought it would take Kelvin more time to get back into the swing of football and learning how Coach Rod's system works.

Kelvin seems, in practice, to have some great hands, so look for him to get some playing time. Right now it might be determined by how the other players ahead of him do, but also what happens once he gets his chance on game day.

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

Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine


Michigan Volleyball: Michigan vs. Kansas State


Aug. 29, 2009
Saturday

Michigan Volleyball

Michigan vs. Kansas State
7:00pm EDT. - 9:00pm EDT.
DirecTV Channel 613
CBSC




***Can also follow other TV programming in the "GBMW TV Programming" guide to the right just a little ways down from the top.

Links of Interest for Michigan


B10 and Team News:
Letters from camp
QB Cody Marks UM Interest?
MI QBs to watch
Upgrades shaping up
The suitest
Suite commits --- 70% sold
Fan cans objection
Off-site home games
RR not worried about 3 QB play --- and
Buckeye review
Renovation honors past while looking forward
Countdown to kick-off: Coach Smith
Countdown to kick-off : QBs
Rivalry non-relevant
Turnovers key
Everyone has a price
Cell phone overload at the big house
Can UM bounce back
Bold predictions
RR doesn’t feel QB position needs decided
More tour stuff
Brent and Herbie B10 preview
Resvine best of the B10 tour
Mesko Allstate award candidate
Fans worried Nick sees the field
Arrington looking good
RR interview audio
Continued hotel stays
Six battles to watch
B10 stats
Starters may not be named for awhile
Humor masks UM resolve
Lloyd hits the campaign trail
Walk-on may see action at safety
B10 predictions
Closing arguments
Fired up over beer cans
2009 schedule analysis
RR doesn’t care if you like his plan
Installing the spread /
Five things to watch
Woodley attracts notice from peers
B10 superlatives
Don’t expect UM to be that much better
B10 preview
OSU the B10 flagship
QB play could lift the B10
B10 rankem
B10 Image
Lemming’s top 25 @ each position 2010 recruiting

Football Recruiting:
QB:
Devin Gardner: UM Commit – In the spotlight --- simple sparty staff ranking --- Highest rated
Munchie Legaux: Being recruited by UM --- Blue creds

RB:
Lache Seastrunk: Among nation’s top recruits
Dietrich Riley: Last years play stats
Tiger Powell: Super 11 LBs
James White: national stage --- will be a force
Anthony Barr: Stand-out RB

Slot:
B.J. Chitty: Playing QB

WR:
Ricardo Miller: UM Commit – Top of the list --- Facing off in opener
Jeremy Jackson: UM Commit – area tops
Ace Sanders: UM Offer??? --- 4 year starter --- top target

OL:
Christian Pace: UM Commit – plenty of punch
Skyler Schofner: Big name recruits
Torrian Wilson: Suffered minor injury
Jake Kaufman: Huge OL

DT:
Jeffrey Whitaker: Leadership Role
Richard Ash: Looking at the Gophers

DE:
Jordan Paskorz: UM Commit – top returner
Derrick Bryant: Big name recruit
Gabe King: Did a great job at DE
Corey Lemonier: Respects the Vols
Jadaveon Clowney: He is like Godzilla
Clarence Murphy: School Board Honors
Walker Ashburn: Stout

LB:
Ken Wilkins: UM Commit – Four consecutive appearances
Sam Bergen: Impact player
Josh Furman: Speedy threat
Aramide Olaniyan: weighing options
Mike Huff: 188 yards

CB:
Courtney Avery: UM Commit – Going to UM
Cullen Christian: Team talent --- puzzling rankings
Dior Mathis: Don’t be surprised if it’s UM
Rashad Knight: Well documented

S:
Marvin Robinson: UM Commit – Boasting talent
Last of the big names
Best in school history
Demar Dorsey: Talented DB
Tony Grimes: Visits

P/K:
Will Hagerup: weighing options

Basketball:
Beilein engineering the most remarkable turn-around
Basketball secretary passes
C: Marshall Plumlee --- Duke offer

Other Sports:
Women’s Golf: Cheryl Stacy era

Coaches Corner: Offensive Line Concerns-


Coaches Corner: Offensive Line Concerns-

Please keep in mind that when discussing football and the assessment of football ability, there is always a chance of disagreement, error, or change of opinion. While it is logical to term such assessments as opinion, keep in mind that articles such as below are based on trained observation or expert opinion. There is always an error bar in judgments, even if minute. Assessments can change day-to-day among a football staff since performance levels can be so fluid. Consistency is the hallmark of champions.

This group of offensive linemen has improved more, and is now better, than we ever thought possible, especially after watching only seven of them during the spring practices of 2008. What this group has accomplished since last spring is remarkable. It is also a testament to their, and Coach Frey’s, hard work and dedication to improve. A train-wreck has turned into a somewhat successful venture.

Last spring, we did not believe this group would ever approach what they have accomplished (at least in practice). The worry, consternation, anxiety continued into the first few games of the season. But after the Toledo game, the offensive line really showed a remarkable improvement, again more so than we thought likely.

One concern remains: just how much room does this group have remaining for future improvement? Yes, you have a player like Schilling, who most agree will become very good. Then there is Ortmann, who has an opportunity to end his career as a very good lineman. But others, due to their limited physical ability, may be passed up by the younger players, once they get some experience. With the infusion of better athletes, maybe this offensive line will go from being okay/good to good/great. A side note: this group may be better at pass blocking than run blocking.

After watching the offensive linemen this spring and summer, we have concerns about this unit; here is why.

1) Most members (NOT ALL) of this group have topped out regarding room left for significant improvement. Regressing to the above point, this group is improved from last year and will be better than last year. But for UM to advance up the ladder, this unit needs to move forward even further, and this will come about by a change to the younger, more athletic players. This begs the question, when will the transformation occur?

2) The athletic ability of the o-line (or lack of) is going to be an issue against better defenses. Again, those who are athletic enough to compete against high-level defensive players are waiting in the wings.

3) For this unit to continue growing, the young guns (Barnum, Omameh, Washington), with their superior athletic ability, are going to need to play. This may hurt the biggest strength of the offensive line unit, namely the cohesion of all five o-line guys working in unison as a tight-knit group.

4) Teams with explosive defensive edge rushers will give the current o-line problems. Practice observation demonstrated a problem: that of our own defensive linemen such as Brandon Graham, dominating against the offensive line. Yes, we know a lot of teams do not have a Brandon Graham on their team, but they have players close to this ability level and similarly can create problems for the UM offensive line.

5) Teams with defensive tackles using a 1 or 3-technique will be tough for this group to handle.

6) Teams that use zone blitz packages, that correlate them with stunts, especially inside, will be tough on this unit.

7) Teams that angle, and blitz off the angle, will be tough on this unit.

Below is some perspective based on the UM offensive line play over the last 1 1/2 years and the possible scenarios into the future.

For this team to be successful, the offensive line has to be better than okay, and probably better than good. As of today, we are not sure the five starters can be better than okay or good. This observation gives cause to pause.

We have yet to see anyone get close to blocking B. Graham. We realize he is very good, but we will see some defensive ends close to his ability. M. Martin has been almost unblockable a times. Yes he is good, but we will see others as good as he is.

Some more things to ponder: yes, B. Graham and M. Martin can flat out play, but so can Gibson and Heywood at Ohio State, for example. Ethan Horton from Notre Dame is also a good 1-tech player. Martez Wilson’s blitzing can be very disruptive. The bottom line is Michigan is going to see good players and needs to get better not only this year, but continue to recruit and get more athletic offensive linemen.

Mobile quarterbacks are always important in this spread version of offense. But in our opinion, a primary source of help to an offensive line is the quarterback throwing the ball on time. That is what makes Brady so damn good. He does not hold onto the ball too long.

Again, the intent is not to be negative, this article intends to provide insights so that Michigan fans can keep expectations in line. We get a sense there is starting to be a movement by fans who think this team is going to be 10-3. Which is very possible, for sure. But it would take an awful lot of stars to line up perfectly for that to happen. Let us not set these guys up to fail with expectations that will be very difficult to meet.

In regards to expectations and reaching a max or ceiling, there is a difference between experience and talent. An example: Nick Sheridan has experience, which is valuable, and even though he is experienced his talent level is not near the ceiling available for D. Robinson or T. Forcier. Talent-wise Nick has probably maxed his ceiling, With all his positives, the truth is N. Sheridan cannot get the team to where it needs to be, that is, in line with traditional UM expectations.

So, back to one of the earlier premises, that the offensive line may be a year or two away. The young offensive linemen of Khoury, Washington, Lewan, Omameh, Barnum, and Schofield have higher ceilings than the current offensive linemen, in our opinion. They are better overall athletes. All have super quick feet and better overall movement skills. All of them already show on film the ability to bend their knees and play with better leverage than today's starters. They also show the long arms and quick hands that are important in zoning schemes.

The current offensive line group has improved tremendously and we believe the future is looking brighter, especially with Coach Frey’s mentoring. Greatness, the goal of all offensive lines, will be determined by athletic ability and hard work. Better feet and better athletes make for a better future.

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

Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine


Friday, August 28, 2009

Mailbag question: What is Coach Dews talking about when he says the wide receivers know the offense better?


Mailbag question: What is Coach Dews talking about when he says the wide receivers know the offense better?

Do they read plays like the quarterback? Does the quarterback signal them at the line? Do they read plays from the sideline that might be tough to decipher? I can understand saying they are better receivers (for whatever reason).

When you guys get a minute could you ask Magee, RR or Dews how they would characterize the route running/sophistication of plays in this offense. Seems like the guys primary route is a dig with the occasional dig and go.

Post-patterns, Post-flags, Pick-plays, Clear outs and underneath?

Just asking.

Thanks
Dotman

------------------------------------

Thanks for the question.

The coaches upstairs, in the booth, read the defense and then send the play downstairs to Coach Rod, who then gives the play to the quarterbacks standing next to him. The sideline qb’s then signal to the on-field quarterback, who checks his wristband and makes the call to the split ends. They will then know the packages Michigan wants to be in.

Out of the selected package, there are a number of options that both the quarterback and split ends need to read properly. That is what we think Coach Dews means by knowing the offense: making the proper reads and knowing (the receivers) what routes go with each package.

Coach Dews told us the two most important things split ends do is (1) releases, to beat press coverage, and (2) being good at the top of the route. That is, accelerating to break point and learning to drop and accelerate out of break point.

Michigan uses a passing tree that is similar to what is used by most other programs.

In our opinion, a primary difference between UM and other programs is how other teams combine the routes. Michigan is just starting to do this with passing schemes like the new “Trojan” quick passing scheme.

Passing games are far more sophisticated than even just 10 years ago.

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

Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine


Michigan Volleyball: Michigan at Nebraska


Aug. 28, 2009
Friday

Michigan Volleyball

Michigan vs. Nebraska
9:30pm EDT. - 11:30pm EDT.
DirecTV Channel 613
CBSC




***Can also follow other TV programming in the "GBMW TV Programming" guide to the right just a little ways down from the top.

BTN: Inside Michigan Football



Michigan Football
Inside Michigan Football w/Coach Rod
9:00pm EDT. - 9:30pm EDT.
DirecTV Channel 610




Mailbag question: Any other receiver to move position?


Mailbag question: Any other receiver to move position?

I would like to start by saying this is the first thing I check every morning. It is fun but challenging to get exciting for Michigan football in the heart of ND land. Keep up the good work. I have two questions:

First a football question: There has been a lot of talk that one position where depth (number of bodies) may not be an issue is at the receiver spot. T. Jones appears to have made the transition from offense to defense fairly easily. Are there any other receivers that could/should make this move to improve defensive depth? It appears that recruiting WR’s is easier for Michigan than S/CB’s. Obviously with how Kelvin has performed, that is not a move you would want to make, but why didn’t Coach Rod push for that at the beginning of camp?

Second question is a general Michigan question: Which 2009-10 Michigan sports team will be considered the best of the year? Also which team will surprise the most people?

I guess my two questions grew into four.

Thanks for your research, opinions, answers, and hard work!

Darin
South Bend, IN

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Thanks for the question and comments.

Michigan does have a good numbers situation at split end, but we think running back has the best depth of any position.

Michigan needs to have adequate numbers at split end because Michigan uses multiple wide receiver sets a large majority of the time.

So, moving another split end is not as easy as it might appear. If any further receivers were moved, Cam Gordon to safety would currently make the most sense, at least in our opinion. That is why every year it is important to recruit team needs as much as good players. There is a need to balance out every other class and compliment each class back to back.

As far as the other Michigan sports, wow, this might be a tougher question that demands more than just providing a shallow, surface-scratching type of answer. That is one of the neat things about following the University of Michigan. It is not just football and basketball that demonstrate excellence. Most Michigan teams are very successful.

The answer requires an analysis of the usual Michigan teams that have demonstrated consistent quality, such as Softball, Hockey, Volleyball, Women’s/Men’s Gymnastics, Men’s Swimming and Diving, Water Polo, and Wrestling.

Softball should be loaded again this year, losing only two players on the roster and returning starting pitchers Nikki Nemitz and Jordan Taylor. They should make another run for the Women’s College World Series under Coach Carol Hutchins. And maybe this year the ladies will repeat what they did in 2005.

The Women’s Gymnastics team missed the NCAA Championships for the first time in the last sixteen years. That snapped the nation's fourth-longest streak of consecutive NCAA Championship appearances. They should be very good again under Coach Beverly Plocki.

Coach Berenson's hockey program is usually at the top of the CCHA and making it to the Frozen Four is almost a mainstay for his program. This will likely be a tougher road this year, but the Wolverines have many young talented players.

We also predict the wrestling team under Coach Joe McFarland will surprise many people, despite losing Steve Luke.

The surprise team, in our opinion, might be the Field Hockey program, which has struggled the last couple of years. But under Marcia Pankratz the program once again will try to bring that magic back and make it into the NCAA championships.

Michigan has many great athletic programs and we apologize for not mentioning them all. This question reinforces the saying “It’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine.”

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

Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mailbag question: Defensive tackle recruiting?


Mailbag question: Defensive tackle recruiting?

Hello,

I recently read a post that made a less than favorable comment on the coaching ability of secondary coach Gibson. Would you either confirm or deny if the secondary coaching is up to par. Just curious.

Why is UM struggling to get DT depth in this system? Michigan did get Lalota and Campbell and Talbott and Paskorz could be moved to DT down the line. You had mentioned previously that the defensive line coach didn't recruit as hard as you would prefer.

How many more DT's would you like in this class? Would one more top DT put your mind at ease for this year even though that may not be ideal?

Cordially,
John W.

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Thanks for the question.

Coach Gibson is probably the best recruiter on the coaching staff.

We can also tell you Ryan Mundy speaks very highly of Coach Gibson. Coach Gibson had the difficult task of replacing a very popular and experienced defensive back coach who is now with the Florida Gators, a team that won two of the last three BCS National Championships. Not an easy task.

We are taking a wait and see approach on Coach Gibson. We want to see how he does when Michigan gets the type of athletes that coach likes to play in the Michigan defensive backfield.

Concerning defensive tackles: this is generally the toughest position to recruit. Finding big bodies that can run and are aggressive is not easy.

That is why we believe defensive linemen need to be a priority every recruiting year, because there is no certainty concerning how they will react to the college level and when asked to gain weight how each will handle it. Sometimes dt’s are so hard to project at the next level until they arrive on campus and see how they do and grow while on campus.

Anthony LaLota was playing "quick" the entire spring, so counting him at defensive tackle at this time is difficult.

William Campbell, if he improves his fundamentals and pad level, has the talent to be very good.

Terry Talbott, we think, was a very good pick up.

Jordan Paskorz, plays a two-point defensive end in high school, so he is a huge project who in our opinion will take longer to get a true read on.

This is why we have been concerned with the defensive recruiting for some time now. Yes, there are some bodies there, but we need quality depth that will not only help on Saturday's, but will cause all to perform better in practices. Having the first group go against a bunch of walk-ons and kids that just arrived in January did not really help anyone in spring practice.

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

Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine


Western Michigan: Coach talking Michigan

Western Michigan: There take on the 3 Quarterbacks

Michigan Football Practice: Fall camp video

Links of Interest for Michigan


Chow:
Marcus Coker Commits Hawkeye - PSU Scout

B10 and Team News:
Letters from camp - MGoBlue
Countdown to kick off: Receivers - MGoBlue
Pivotal year for B10 rep
The hammer and the nail - Dispatch
Herbie says ND better beat UM
BTN has your football fix
Millen & Co. salutes RR’s QB approach
Trap games
Western Odds
3s a crowd
Hart coming back from injury
Defending the spread
LB Hybrids
Top in-coming Frosh
Experts predict big UM improvement
5 things to change
Best stadium (Homer article)
Michigan men
Big Ten nees its mojo back
Zirbel will coach
B10 needs
Woolfolk enjoying the change
The real key
BooBoo’s court case
UM Best Case/Worst Case
Sorry Sparty you are Lil Bro
UM aims to rebound
Year 2 forecast
OSU shouldn’t overlook last game
Pivotal time for Arrington
High on Tate
Peering into the future
3 all year --- and
All 3 listed as 1st on depth chart
The view from inside --- and a tour --- and
Practice video
Talkin' About Practice
Dissecting the QB Battle
Facebook buddies
Inside UM football debuts Thursday
RR press conference audio
Suites 85K a year
McAvoy’s Little twin Bro’s
QB decisions
Did RR jump once to many times
QB rotation right for now

Football Recruiting:
QB:
Devin Gardner: UM Commit- Circle this date --- Game of the week --- UM Commits face-off in opener

RB:
Andre' Dawson: Football is his life

Slot:
Greg Hayes: Top players returning (and Deanthony Arnett)

WR:
Ricardo Miller: MI Elite 11 --- D1 Player
Jeremy Jackson: UM Commit – Opener vs Chelsea
Jerald Robinson: UM Commit – Notable returner
Baquer Sayed: Notable weapon

WR/TE:
Calvin Hall: starting corner - Salisbury Post

OL:
Christian Pace: UM Commit – Will anchor the line
Maurice Goodman: Keep an eye on
Seantrel Henderson: Everybody’s #1
Skyler Schofner: Teams Defensive tradition
Damien Robinson: A Dandy

DT:
Jeffrey Whitaker: Did not make first team - AJC

DE:
Lyden Trail: Defense wins championships mantra - Miami Herald http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/recruiting/football/columns/story?columnist=shurburtt_jc&id=4423194 --- emerging as one of the top in the country

LB:
Zac Rosenbauer: Punishing tackler - Lima Ohio
Aramide Olaniyan: Taking his visits - Go Up State

CB:
Courtney Avery: UM Commit – Makes Lexington go - OH HS Sports
Dior Mathis: State of MI top CB - Det. News
Brandon Ifill: Not banking on being w/ Buck - Post Gazette
Tyler Blandin: High expectations - The Ledger
Brendon Felder: Splitting carries - Pittsburgh Live

S:
Latwan Anderson: phenomenal - Cleveland
Demar Dorsey: No longer on gator board - Gator Sports
Bobby Swigert: Tons of talent OH HS Sports
Tony Grimes: Ready to be a vocal leader - Miami Herald

Basketball:
UM Hoops could be better than you think - Free Press
SG Trey Zeigler: Sparty on him - M Live
SF Quincy Miller: Duke visit - Bleacher Report
C Marshall Plumlee: Duke Offer could make history - Citizen Times --- and - Citizen Times --- offer buzz - Bleacher Report

Other sports:
Women’s hoops schedule released - Free Press

Written by Steve

Michigan Stadium: Video

Coach Rod: Video

Michigan Stadium: Video

Mailbag question: Giving up big plays -- Good offense or bad defense?


Mailbag question: Giving up big plays -- Good offense or bad defense?

There seems to be some concern about all the BIG OFFENSIVE PLAYS this week in practice, although I'm happy to see the explosiveness, I do worry that it may be a result of the Defense being out of position.

Also, I'm wondering if the big plays are the results of the QB's being off limits to the defense or because the plays are occurring against the second string defense.

I look forward to your response and I enjoy your blog, and as always " GO BLUE "

Thanks Don

----------------------------

Thanks for the question and comments.

Our biggest concern is that at this point defense should be light years in front of the defense.

During summer camp and early in the season defense generally has an advantage. Fact that the offense is lighting things up at this point definitely makes us nervous.

One of the things that needed improved from last season was stop giving up big plays. Coach Bo always said you will not win games if the offense turns the ball over, or the defense gives up big plays.

We still believe in that philosophy.

One of the biggest things that has hurt the last several years has been the different philosophy and having three different defensive coordinators in three years. Along with good quality depth on defense and going to have to count on true freshman is never a good thing especially at positions that you normally red-shirt kids at or hope to get them a year of development and under strength and condition coach.

During the spring practices we were mostly on the defensive sideline when the team was scrimmaging in practice and almost every time they came off the field you could tell a lot of kids were confused of their assignments.

Can our offense be that good and maybe that is making the defense give up big plays? Well we really will not know until the first game and even then we might not know until we play Notre Dame.

This offense has some weapons and speed on the team, but the defense is still lacking speed, athleticism at many key positions and the depth at those positions this year is going to cause Michigan to play a lot more younger players including a lot more true freshman than most teams would want to play and count on during the season.

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

Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mailbag question: A freshman quarterback can be successful?


Mailbag question: A freshman quarterback can be successful?

Do you recall what Tim Tebow's "star-rating" was in high school? What were the scouting sites saying about him out of high school? What about Pat White?

I'm curious because Tebow seemed to do very well as a freshman. And there are countless other examples of freshmen who instantly make their mark. (Of course, I realize there are many, many more who don't.)

Nevertheless, I think people are being too guarded when it comes to Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson. I'm not succumbing to the "Fear of Freshmen" until I see them in an actual game. The great players are born ready. Sure, experience can only help them get better, but some players -- even when young and inexperienced -- have the chops and can somehow manage to raise their level of play to fit the situation.

Optimistically Blue,

-- Q

------------------------------

Thanks for the question.

Tim Tebow was a five-star high school All-American his senior year. He also was not the starting quarterback his freshmen year. Chris Leak took a large majority of the snaps for the Florida Gators’ National Championship team. T. Tebow was used as a situational running quarterback the majority of the time, just to get him on the field and to change things up for the Gators.

Pat White did not even play as a true freshmen, he red-shirted his first year at West Virginia. P. White then split time with Adam Bednarik the first half of his red-shirt freshmen year.

P. White was not as highly rated as Tebow, but he was third in Mr. Alabama Football, passed for 1,500 yards, and rushed for another 1,900 yards. He also accounted for 36 touchdowns that year.

Can true freshmen be successful? Sure. Terrelle Pryor looked good at times last season. The key to his success and other true freshmen quarterbacks revolves around what are they asked to do. In Pryor's case, having a Beanie Wells to hand the ball off to sure made it a ton easier for him to be successful.

Also, you can look back to Michigan's own situation several years ago where Chad Henne had a very good freshman year. But it was a guy by the name of Braylon Edwards who helped Henne’s situation out as well. Whenever C. Henne got into trouble, he just threw the ball up and knew in most cases that B. Edwards would go after the ball or out jump the defender.

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

Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine


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