Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring game thoughts

Take it from an obviously huge Rich Rodriguez supporter: There's no way RichRod is the Michigan football coach in 2011. This football team is fucking atrocious.

OK, so this was a spring game and there were a lot of players missing and etc etc, but I don't think there's any way that today could have been any less encouraging about the development and ability of this football team than what was shown today. That said, thoughts:
  • Denard Robinson is your starting quarterback. And it's not close. At all. Tate is clearly not in rhythm with the second team offense, that much is clear. His scrambles looked aimless and less than functional. It's clear why the offense stalled late in the season last year: You contain Forcier and he is utterly useless. He has no patience in the pocket, wasn't hitting players in rhythm, accuracy was off, he fumbled (again), and basically looked worse than he did last year. Denard, on the other hand, was hitting players in stride, throwing with authority, and generally R-sticking his way through the field leaving a path of battered and embarrassed defenders in his wake.
  • Devin Gardner got a huge round of applause when he first stepped onto the field. He fumbled the exchange between he and Stephen Hopkins on his first snap, only to punch the ball out of bounds before the defense grabbed it. Gardner is clearly the most gifted quarterback of the three on the team. He's also in over his head right now. He's patient in the pocket, has shown some touch (but only when stationary; his moving throws were absolutely horrendous), and has the kind of juking, sliding ability that we've been dreaming of since he was a high school junior. Gardner is very clearly The Future.
  • The defense. Well. Troy Woolfolk was injured and didn't play. I hope this is the problem. I spent a lot of time watching the defense and what I saw wasn't super encouraging. They tackled well, but there wasn't once all day that there was a legitimately good defensive play made. There were some nice tackles 10 yards from the line of scrimmage, but no one was jumping routes, there were no sacks, no one was really "defending". The formation is similar to last season's defense, and there are some really clear areas where they can confuse quarterbacks pre-snap (I sat thinking, I can't believe they're obviously showing their look, only to be fooled by a blitz from the weakside). Otherwise, we're in for a long year again.
  • Cameron Gordon: Had one or two good hits but was otherwise unremarkable. No picks, no passes defended. He looked like a linebacker playing at safety depth. He also wasn't tested very much.
  • Jordan Kovacs is still Jordan Kovacs and should not, under any circumstance, be on the field. His one remarkable moment? Getting absolutely trucked by Stephen Hopkins. Until Kovacs is off the field, this defense is going to be terrible.
  • Craig Roh looked good. A few times on the zone read, he contested the QB pull but stayed home and forced the QB to throw the ball. He was clearly a little slow in coverage, and any time an opposing offense goes to a 5-wide set, Michigan is hardcore playing zone which could prove to be a problem. Otherwise, it was encouraging.
  • Will Campbell is an animal. He was breaking through the offensive line frequently and nearly batted down a few passes. He is the future of the defensive line.
  • Special teams: An utter black hole. Tate Forcier is the best punter on the roster right now (not a joke). The placekickers were spotty at best. The first returnable punt was fumbled.
I reiterate: RichRod will not be your coach a year from now. That is unless there is massive and unforeseen improvement. recalibrate your expectations: 7-5 is your new ceiling until further notice.


Anonymous said...

I'm really struggling to reconcile your certainty that the apocalypse is upon us with the recognition not only that this is a spring scrimmage, but that lots of potential contributors were hurt, some were injured and not playing, and some are still in high school. I can understand being frustrated by the way the team looked today, but statements like "[u]ntil Kovacs is off the field, this defense is going to be terrible" are just silly. Also, Craig Roh got back nicely into coverage and broke up a pass at least once that I saw, which I'd count as a "good defensive play." So that's at least one, and if you saw no others then you weren't watching closely enough. Maybe a few hours of post-game cool down were in order before you hit "publish."

Anonymous said...

Agreed with the above, I think the 'sky is falling' mentality is a bit on the pessimistic side. I watched and have read numerous accounts from other people that were there and I would also say that there was nothing on display that would inspire unbridled optimism either.

There will always be areas of concern with such a young team and nobody whose opinion I respect would indicate otherwise. They are not going to win a MNC and they are not going to win the league. Taking a sober, objective view of last year's results and simply adding a 1 year of additional experience factor will get you to 5 or 6 Ws. The real question is, how much beyond that is realistic to expect? I would say somewhere around 1-2 more games will fall in our direction.

I don't agree that RR's tenure is over if he gets 6 Ws, I just don't see David Brandon as the type to look at a situation where the program is 3-4 years into a complete rebuild and to start the program over again at point zero. It would be extremely irrational to go that route. If the program goes backwards this year in a significant manner, perhaps, but I really don't think that will happen.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

How can there be sacks when you aren't allowed to touch the quarterback?

Anonymous said...


there were no sacks

gs85 said...

this is stupid, how did i get here?

Anonymous said...

"They tackled well, but there wasn't once all day that there was a legitimately good defensive play made."

LOL - Devin's INT to Ezeh occurred because Craig Roh destroyed McColgan and another RB.

That's but one pock-mark in your chicken-pox infested disaster of a post.

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