Friday, April 30, 2010

Mailbag question: The offense looks better

Posted at 8:00am -- 4/30/2010

Mailbag question: The offense looks better


As always thanks for the great site.

I have been looking at the '09 OSU game again and in looking at the snippets of spring practice that we have been getting, I feel that the offense looks so much better than in the past. I know it is spring ball and it is not the Big 10 schedule but every thing looks so much smoother. Players look like they are reacting not thinking. The line is blocking, receivers are running good routes, and backs seem to be making good cuts. QB's seem to be using their good athletic abilities. What do you guys think about this?



Thanks for the question.

We are on record as saying the offense is indeed looking quicker and is more athletic than in the previous years of spring practice sessions that we have seen in person.

There is definitely more depth on the offensive line and at quarterback. We also think the slot position with Odoms, Gallon, and Roundtree is the best trio of talent and performance since Coach Rod has arrived. Those three will be in the rotation, hopefully along with T. Robinson, who still struggles with catching and holding on to the ball.

There are still some concerns. We are somewhat concerned about offensive tackles, although we think Lewan has fantastic potential he is still a bit light for his frame but he could easily put on another twenty pounds. His experience level is low having played little football at an offensive tackle position. But Taylor has a monster upside if everything falls into place.

None of the running backs have stepped up and put a clear stranglehold on the position. One practice will see a running back break out and looks impressive and then the next practice he regresses and looks very average at best. There is no Mike Hart on board.

The split ends are still a work in progress and hard to judge off scrimmage type work, since they are not used as much as we would like to see. We actually saw more passing to the split ends in the "Spring Game" then we did in almost all the practices we attended this spring.

Bottom line, the offense has the potential to be improved, but with all things football, there are no guarantees. As we saw last year Michigan lost to teams with less talent by not playing well, making turnovers, a huge concern the last couple of years, and just continuing to make mental mistakes that can drive a coaching staff crazy.

Written by GBMW Staff

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Anonymous said...

Just my e-pinion: I much prefer to have a stable of running backs that are versatile and bring different things to the table. Mike Hart was incredibly productive and a fine player, but we knew who was getting the ball 35times a game. I prefer the unpredictability of finding out whether Cox, Shaw, Toussaint, Smith (if playing) and Hopkins will assume the lead each week.

Really - the RB situation perfectly embodies the differences between Carr and Rodriguez. Carr was predictable, obvious, successful, yet ultimately limited. Rodriguez is daring, unpredictable, varied, so far unproven, but with an unlimited potential.

Anonymous said...

I e-gree with your e-pinion. I like the running back by committee approach. Fresh legs are always a benefit. Mike Hart was beat down by the latter half of his career at Michigan

Anonymous said...

No offense, but, I don't know how you can say with a straight face that Rich Rod is "unpredictable" and "daring." There has been absolutely NOTHING daring or unpredicatble about this offense. In fact, that has been and will continue to be a major criticism of RR's version of the spread offense. The passing game is extremely simplistic and predictable. Unless the zone read play is producing big yardage, this offense will continue to struggle until RR decides to implement a more complex passing attack. Truthfully, 90% of the routes the WRs run in this offense are either comebacks or curls. That's not gonna cut it anymore, imho. The defenses are starting to catch on to the spread-option.

GBMW Blog said...

The problem with running back by committee ... it usually means you have nobody that stepped up and took over the job.

Like Mike Hart did his freshman year or Chris Perry his junior year.

Coach Rod had Slaton by himself and then when Devine came in they split time, but Slaton still got the most carries.

To me it means they don't have a great running back -- just a couple of decent to good ones.

Anonymous said...

Exactly right, GBMW. There are no Mike Harts, Chris Perrys or A-Trains on this roster and the coaching staff knows it. That's why they're pushing so hard to secure a commitment from Dee Hart.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm '97 National Champions.
Chris Howard, Clarence Williams, Chris Floyd, & A-Train.

Yeah, running backs by committee sucks!

GBMW BLOG said...

So you would rather have Howard and crew over Barry Sanders? And the 97 team was hardly an offensive juggernaut, but a team built around fantastic defense and diference maker CB.

Anonymous said...

What? Did Barry Sanders play for Michigan? TOTAL strawman argument!

Furthermore, the discussion centered around running back by committee vs utilizing one back (Mike Hart) and pounding him into the dirt. You conveniently shifted the argument to defense.

Also, Boles/Hoard and the '97 rb committee all had meaningful carries in huge games which resulted in Big Ten Championships.

I'll take that kind of juggernaut any day of the week!

GBMW Blog said...

So I guess there is no reason to recruit a excellent elite level recruit from now on.

We will just get average running backs and throw in 4-5 of them a game and not have one great one.

If Coach Rod really wanted running back by committee then he would of had it at west virginia as well, but he didn't.

He had Slaton and then he had Slaton and Devine, but Slaton still got 75% of the carries.

It is funny these people that say they want running back by committee will be the same fans that will complain about no running back making plays, getting major yards or being the featured running back.

Love how people don't want a Mike Hart, Chris Perry, Jamie Morris, type of running backs when they are gone -- where were you when these players were here because never saw anything from people saying we need 4-5 running backs in there and get those guys out of here.

I guess most would disagree with Coach Rod as well since he even said he wanted some of the running backs to step up, but nobody grabbed it during the spring.

Also having a great defense made the 1997 team a great team -- not that the offense was great. Just like the OSU 2002 team was a great defense and special teams with a crappy offense that won the NC.

One more thing we arent going to have a great defense to help out the offense this year so you better have players on offense that can make plays, make big plays.

Running backs by committee is okay if they are all great, but as we saw this spring some of them had good days while they also had bad days. One practice one would get 75% of the carries and then the next practice he would hardly see the field because he fumbled, missed assignments, didn't catch the ball, etc...

So what it comes down to people would be happy with running back by committee just like we was with quarterback 2 years ago with Sheridan and Threet -- how did that work out -- quarterback by committee.

GBWB Blog said...

Any time some one drops the strawman card it is proof they are losing the argument in our opinion. Point was that RB by committtee is better than a true star. We 100% disagree. Having a Barry Sanders, Reggie Bush, or Adrian Peterson in the backfield makes defenses do things differently and opens up the field in ways a commitee of Howard and Williams etc cannot.

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