Monday, October 5, 2009


Mailbag-like substance, from a comment on this.

Is this really good offense, though? A play with no real options other than the bomb to a doubled Koger? I wish we could check the coverage on the other receivers, but a play like this just screams for a dump off to Minor or Brown. Minor does have to make a block, but it's super late. Have him stay home for a few seconds, then spit him out wide for a nice 10-15 yard dump off. With the LBs spying Force, that will take a man off Forcier, or at least cause confusion.

I get frustrated with giving Tate good options, but no dump-off man. It's part of the reason he has trouble with hard pressure. We see how well he makes screen passes (cake), but he flips out when a pocket starts to collapse. Give him an easy option that goes for 3-4 yards, and we'd avoid catching his white boy dance moves in the backfield.

On your other post about the offense, Tate does get more options with the wideouts, and they can act as dumpoff guys. Again, he functions a lot better in these situations, and I don't feel as bad when he takes off, has a ton of room, and has exhausted all his decent options.

Rod needs to make life easier for the poor guy. Gets ugly when we want him to complete plays that are tough for even a seasoned and poised QB. Plus, I'm starting to get scared about Tate's poise in the pocket as is. He is super comfortable throwing the ball when rolling out, and is usually a baller doing so, but, man, I have a hard time recalling many passes where he stands in for a few seconds, and throws a pass across the middle. Maybe I'm mistaken, but I'd like to see him stand in and run if needed. Not run first, pass second.


There are some good points here and some things that I take exception to. First, yes it's bad offense. That's why I'm complaining about it. Even though it went for a lot of yards--and maybe I didn't make this clear in my first post--this is patently ineffective. A 40-yard prayer to a double-covered TE is never really what you want, especially playing from your goal line.

The solution he presents is an interesting one: a block and release from the RBs (or at least one of them). The problem here is, once again, the linebackers sitting back and spying the backfield. I probably didn't make it as explicit, but the linebackers were not just watching Tate. Rather, they were watching all three men in the backfield using a "banjo" technique"--explained by the venerable Chris Brown as, "two defenders are responsible for two offensive players, and they will take whichever one heads to their side, rather than chase them in either direction." If one of them releases, the linebacker follows. I suppose this is what you want (one-on-one RB vs. LB), but it's a risky play this close to your goal line. You need something downfield. That dump off is essentially a delayed screen pass, and since MSU is only bringing four men and leaving three close to the line of scrimmage in a banjo technique, this will likely be ineffective.

I suppose the real contention is this: Michigan's offense doesn't need a safety valve/dump-off man when they're spread out. The advantage to having a mobile quarterback is that he's mobile (duh). Collapsing pockets are not the Certain Doom that they were in the Carr era. But a collapsing pocket with only one or two downfield options (neatly covered by one or two men) is trouble when you come up against competent linebackers; MSU. Though it's not ideal, you can have Forcier scramble out of the pocket and direct traffic or keep the ball rather than have him dump the ball of short to a player that will likely be hit at or near the line of scrimmage. This is largely mitigated when you spread the field and only have to worry about one, instead of three, linebackers.


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