Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mailbag question: Five questions

Posted at 8:00am -- 2/11/2010

Mailbag question: Five questions

Hey Guys,

As always, great work! You ever get caught in a Michigan Football daydream of "what if?" Well, I do all the time, so I've compiled a little list and I wanted to know your thoughts and if you think the coaches would OR have actually tried these ideas.

#1. The classic, Obi Ezeh to weakside DE idea. Leave Mouton, Leach and Fitz at LB (along with the young bunch), have Roh and Ezeh play the weak side, Martin and Campbell in the middle (Sagasse backup), RVB (Banks backup) on the strong side. Heninger would also provide depth on the edge.

#2. A 4-3 until 2012 (Campbell's senior year, assuming he stays). With Campbell improving & Martin a mainstay, it seems clear they both need to play. More importantly, it will give the guys recruited to play in the hybrid 3-4 system we ran last year time to grow and mature! Stop putting square pieces in round holes. Lastly, we had NO size last year.

#3. Floyd to safety and Williams to spinner. Floyd just seems too slow to play CB and Williams looks like Stevie Brown did every year but last year.

#4. Denard Robinson as the #2 QB (assuming DG doesn't beat him out and he doesn't beat out TF), WR, RB, KR, PR, hell, maybe even CB! Gardner and Sheridan both will be at least decent. So why is there a need to worry about an injury to Robinson at other positions? Why can't our #2 QB return kicks, play WR, RB, etc? Now if he's the #1, then of course not.

#5. Why don't we run more RB screens, draws and misdirection plays (counters, traps, etc)? Are these even in our playbook? At times it seems like we have 5 running plays, blast right, blast left, sweep right, sweep left, QB read option.



Thanks for the many questions.

1) If Michigan decides to play a true 4-3 what you described would be a good way to do it. Our only concern would be will Obi Ezeh learn to shed blocks and handle bigger bodies at the line of scrimmage. He has had some problems handling linemen from the linebacker position.

2) We agree that Michigan needs to get bigger and stronger at the line of scrimmage. Using Mike Martin and Will Campbell at the same time is one way to do that.

3) From an athletic standpoint this move makes sense.

Two issues however:

The first issue is the overall depth at cornerback: does UM play Troy Woolfolk at safety or cornerback, and are any of the young cornerbacks ready to step in and play.

If they are not, JT Floyd is the only cornerback with any experience, moving him would make an already thin position even thinner.

The second issue centers on how does JT Floyd do playing in the box against bigger and stronger players. To play strong side linebackers (Stevie Brown’s position) a defender must be able to handle pulling linemen, lead fullbacks h-backs, and tight Ends.

4) If Devin Gardner or Nick Sheridan is capable of leading the team to victories we have no problem moving Denard Robinson.

If they are not, and Denard Robinson is the definite back-up, using him as you describe could be problematic.

If Tate Forcier gets hurt, going to the true third quarterback is a dangerous proposition. We agree that Denard Robinson is too good to sit and watch, and Michigan needs to find a way to get him involved.

Hopefully Devin Gardner with a full spring practices becomes Michigan 's backup, allowing Denard Robinson to do other things.

5) Michigan 's offenses purposely is limited.

It is Michigan's theory that this allows the offense to execute better and play fast.

This is not our opinion, but is what was told to us by three offensive coaches, Coach Rod, Coach Frey and Coach Magee.

The offense does have a trap and counter, which is called dart, included in the overall package. These plays are filed under the to use only if needed category.

Most of the screens are of the slot receiver and split end variety, we did see a tight end screen used multiple times during the spring practices we attended.

Michigan also uses the running back in a wheel and swing routes out of the backfield. You may remember McGuffie running this play in the past.

Written by GBMW Staff

Go Blue -- Wear Maize!

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