Yes, I'm talking about man vs. zone coverage again. But this time there's pictures.
After watching Courtney Avery play (see the best pass break up of the season above against Bowling Green), you can tell that he was bred to be a cover corner. He may be undersized and a true freshman, but I wouldn't be surprised if Avery ended the season as the starting cornerback across from J.T. Floyd. He brings athleticism and coverage skills that James Rogers doesn't have, but the biggest thing that he's missing is an understanding of zone drops and discipline.
Below is a play against Indiana in which Michigan was using their nickel package and Avery was in the game. It's 3rd and 16, and a stop on this play could've really swung the game in Michigan's favor. Avery vacates his zone in an effort to play man coverage on one of the slot receivers, creating an easy pitch and catch for Chappell. But watching Avery on the play and throughout the year, it's clear that he was bred to play man coverage.
Despite this being an obviously negative play by Avery, I find it kind of encouraging. Avery is a true freshman and needs to be taught not to do too much--this is what coaches talk about when they say "doing too much". He tried carrying the slot receiver to make sure he didn't get open, but in doing so, he opened up the outside hitch route. Avery is clearly used to playing man coverage and actually does a really good job on the slot receiver in this play, but you can see him making this same mistake a few times during the game: he stays with receivers too long and vacates his zone. If he can start settling in his zone better, he could become a more consistent contributor because, as with the pass break up above, Avery sticks to receivers. I expected Cullen Christian or Talbott to see the field before Avery this year, but at this point, I wouldn't be surprised to see Avery starting alongside Floyd.