Mike Martin's superior talent and production are not lost on Michigan's coaches, nor is it on opposing offenses. As such, Martin has faced constant double teams to avoid his potential impact. Michigan coaches know that Martin is integral to the defense's success and have deployed a few different methods in the last two weeks to try and get him free. Against Indiana, Greg Robinson moved Martin to the defensive end spot in four-man fronts and put Ryan Van Bergen at the defensive tackle spot. It had middling results. Against MSU, Robinson showed a wonderful blitz/stunt combination that got Martin a free release at Kirk Cousins.
This play obviously won't work this well every time, but it's clear that getting Martin free of double teams is a priority for the coaches. I've been down on Greg Robinson in the last two weeks, but plays like this and his move toward more man coverage make me think he's not hopeless. This is a really well designed play. Martin is far and away the most talented player on Michigan's defense, playing a position that typically sees the bare minimum of stat-sheet production. Getting him free rushes like this more often is another way the defense will be able be more effective.