Apr 13, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke talks to defensive tackle Willie Henry (69) defensive end Mario Ojemudia (53) and defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins (56) during the Spring Game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Football: Tidbits from MaizeMan -- Spring Practice Recap -- Ongoing Comments About Spring Practices

Posted at 7:00am — 5/5/2013

Michigan Football: Tidbits from MaizeMan — Spring Practice Recap — Ongoing Comments About Spring Practices

1) With the recent NFL draft and some discussions about the talent level at Michigan over the years, I think, (because we are all Michigan fans) we have a natural tendency to overvalue the players at Michigan. We just think they are more talented than they really are.

My change in the evaluation of overall talent started when I was able to attend regular practices at Alabama and had a program to compare.

Now during the RR regime it was tough because you had to take into consideration the style of play (but as I have maintained for a long time) defense is defense and although there are many variations of offense in college football defense relies solely on talent.

Michigan simply has not had talent, we have had OK talent and some very good kids and that talent was somewhat competitive when compared to other talent in the Big 10, but it was not even close to be considered elite talent or even up to what we all consider Michigan standards.

I have some say the problem with Michigan was not talent, that it was a matter of defensive coaching as if our offensive talent was elite, when I hear that I simply ask the question or ask people to check out Michigan’s offensive production when we faced tough defenses.

January 1,2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke talks with defensive coordinator Greg Mattison against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the first half of the 2013 Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

4) The biggest area of improvement on the Michigan defense in 2013 (OPINION ALERT) if going to be our ability to rush the passer from our interior lineman, our DT’s and the one player I think is going to have a huge season is Black. I have been up and down with Black in terms of my evaluations there were times in his career I thought he was starting to really “get it” and then he disappears. But this spring, both Black and Pipkins showed signs of getting great pressure up the middle on QB’s and Q-Wash and Henry was not that far behind. Mattison and Hoke spent a good deal of time working with our big boys in pass rush and I think we see an improvement this fall.

We are so young and most of our quality depth is young, so numbers wise, something is going to have to give, but like most competitive situations things have a way of working itself out. Some kids just get too caught up in the “social aspects” of college life or start getting other “adult interests”, in the past especially in Coach Carr’s late years and all during RR tenure our lack of talented depth allowed kids to basically play despite lack of “desperation” when it came to production.

That is gone and if a player now wants to play regularly at Michigan he had better have his priorities straight or it will catch up to him. Players who get in trouble in off-season or decide they can go through the motions are going to find themselves looking up at more dedicated players.

Michigan (IMO) still has just a few of what I call “elite” talented players. I think more are coming, but they have an abundance of players who most other BCS programs would love to have.

The best news about Michigan is talent alone wont get it done anymore. There is a reason why players like Beyer and Morgan despite the “athletic numbers” continues to be starters.

Going into the summer and fall of 2013, I actually feel more optimistic and even better, more confident that Michigan is going to be among the top programs and it is only going to improve from here. I think this year is the year we finally see the makings of a dominant defense.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — MaizeMan

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