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January 3, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive back Blake Countess (18) breaks up a pass in the endzone intended for Virginia Tech Hokies wide receiver Marcus Davis (7) during the fourth quarter of the Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Michigan defeated Virginia 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Michigan Football: Coach's Corner -- Wolverine Renovation -- Linebackers, Defensive Backs, and Special Teams-- Part V

Posted at 5:00am — 8/20/2012

Michigan Football: Coach’s Corner — Wolverine Renovation — Linebackers, Defensive Backs, and Special Teams– Part V

The linebacker corps is solid. Jake Ryan, Kenny Demens, and Desmond Morgan are experienced but not the best in pass coverage. Brandin Hawthorne, Mike Jones, and Cam Gordon can lay the wood. Michigan has some options for different packages. Freshman Joe Bolden can play and will play this year. Kaleb Ringer is better than many envisioned. As a result of this depth Ross and Jenkins-Stone have a chance to lay back and learn the trade.

The defensive back situation is certainly not as vast a concern as in previous years. The biggest concern is players such as Marvin Robinson and josh Furman have not hit the level Michigan needs to have a strong safety corps. Jordan Kovacs is the coach on the field and he needs to stay healthy. His ability to line up the troops and understand what is happening on the field is critical to Michigan’s defensive execution. Thomas Gordon has been up and down but his experience and a good summer of work may put him over the hump.

Blake Countess will probably be Michigan’s anchor in the defensive backfield and Courtney Avery has become a valuable nickel. The concern is whether or not the other side will be picked on. J. T. Floyd had a good but not great 2011. He can be beat by good wideouts. Michigan now has some potential at cornerback backups and more help is on the way. This group’s success will be linked to the pass rush the front seven can muster. Finally, special teams will be discussed.

The kicking game and special teams made great progress last year and as the talent level of the younger players increases, so too should special team play. The kickoff coverage is still very average and efforts need to continue to improve this area. The punting and placekicking showed major improvements and Michigan hopes last year’s success continues.

So, there are concerns, there always are. But the light at the end of a shorter tunnel is promising, very promising.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu

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