Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wolverine Wednesday: Likes These Answers

As you know, I'm really not a fan of press conferences.  The only information you really get out of the head coach is maybe an injury report. 

Greg Mattison seems to be a bit different and will give you some nice nuggets from time to time.

Here are some highlighted Q&A from his presser yesterday: 

Willie Henry had a pretty good game again. Can you talk about his development?
Willie had a good game. But the guy who had a really good game, and why our linebackers were able to run to the ball so well, was Quinton Washington. There were times there were two guys on there and he was holding the line of scrimmage. Our linebackers were scraping downhill and then scraping back down to where the ball cut back to. That kind of goes unnoticed. A lot of people don’t see that, but when your defensive line demands a double team and doesn’t get knocked back into the backers, those backers now have a chance to go to the run and come back, and that’s what they did. That’s why the backers played very well for the most part also.”

BHB:  I'm really happy for Q. Washington.  I don't know if you remember his story.  He surprised most recruiting insiders when he committed to Michigan a couple days before signing day.  At that time he hadn't even made it to Ann Arbor for a visit yet.  He came to Michigan as an offensive lineman and did a position switch with Big Will when he was struggling on the defensive line.  Big Will moved back when Hoke took over and Q stayed on the defensive line as well.  Q doesn't get much press for sacks or tackles but it's great that he is playing well.

Thoughts on Taco Charlton?
“He’s improved every week. He’s really understanding the defense now. He gives you a lot of athleticism. This kid can really run, and he’s gotten a lot more physical. He’s really kind of gotten out of the freshman thing now. I’m really excited about his progress. I tell you, it’s interesting because a guy like Frank [Clark], that’s how Frank was as a freshman. And Frank has done a really good job of, while I’m screaming at him, he’s talking to him. [Frank] was the same guy – do something good and then he’s lined up completely wrong. I see Taco improving a great deal. The other guy that really maybe had one of his best games was Mario [Ojemudia]. Mario came in and did some really good things. You don’t see – he’s close to some sacks, he’s flushing the quarterback, he’s running to the ball and making good hits.”

BHB:  It's really time to see the Michigan's DE's grow up and become a real threat on defense.   Frank Clark is playing better of late but he has had an up and down season.   Mario and Taco have been getting more playing time of late and I'm really looking forward to seeing those guys improve.   The future is bright for all 3 if they continue to improve and work hard.

You mentioned Iowa’s tight ends. In past games you guys have struggled defending tight ends down the seam. Which players will you be relying on this week to shore that up?
Well it’s eye discipline. Whenever that happens, it usually happens because they’re running the football and all of a sudden the guy that’s supposed to be covering them starts looking to try is trying to help out on the run, and all of a sudden they have a guy right down the seam on you. That’s a huge challenge for us this game. There’s no question about it. We have to be able to stop the run and play the run and don’t cheat. On the back end, being really disciplined on your visual keys is so big. As soon as a guy gets tired or as soon as a guy thinks he needs to help or something like that and he takes his eye off his man, that’s when problems happen, and we’ve got to really work hard on that all week.”

BHB:  Michigan seems to get killed by the TE in every Iowa game.  I hope they continue to guard these guys even when it looks like they are staying home to block.   My answer is more time from Cam Gordon.  He has the athleticism to guard the TE's in coverage


Silver Lining?

If your a Michigan fan at any level, you can't be happy with the season to date.  Michigan has a decent chance to beat Iowa if the Wolverine offense can score points and Brady Hoke solves his road game challenges.    There is of course another way to salvage the year but nobody wants to go on record with that type of prediction, when Michigan's offense is limited to field goals. 

The Silver Lining to this year is 15 practices before the Bowl Game.  At this point, Michigan's upside is probably the Gator Bowl and down side some Bowl Game in Texas.    Since it's not the Rose Bowl and the Big Ten Championship, it really doesn't matter does it?    The thing that is going to help this program move forward is those 15 practices. 

This team needs a ton of coaching all over the place.  We all know the offensive line has 4 and 5 star players, which we assume just need more time being coached up.   The talent is there the experience and execution isn't.  

Same with the DE's we mentioned above and plenty of other positions as well.   I really want to see both running backs Green and Smith after those 15 practices.

Michigan still can finish this season strong but the future of this team really starts in about 11 days.

1 comment:

RankTank said...

Those 15 practices will be important. I'm still skeptical of seeing a ton of offensive improvement. There seems to be a clear pattern of regression for our QBs under Borges. Denard got worse, Devin looks worse than last year, and Bellomy was wholly unprepared to play college football the one chance he had. That, along with the playcalling, makes me skeptical of potential improvement as long as Borges is in command.