Michigan Football: 4-3 Under Defense and Personnel

GBMWolverine Coach's Corner2Posted at 8:30am — 2/1/2014

Michigan Football: 4-3 Under Defense and Personnel

Lets Review the 4-3 under defense and then try to match Michigan personnel to the defense. Give us an idea where Michigan needs to focus recruiting. I did not include anyone not on the 2013 roster. I don’t like to project players who have never seen a college field.

Front 7:
This a 1-gap defense. This allows the defender to be very aggressive in defending the gap. It also makes the defense vulnerable to big plays. If the defender misses there is little back up. #1 rules is they cannot get hooked. The outside arm/shoulder must remain free.

Sep 7, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive end Frank Clark (57) hits Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Tommy Rees (11) in the backfield after throwing a pass during the second quarter at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Rush Defensive End:
This generally must be the best defender. Must be able to generate pass rush, but also maintain leverage and squeeze against the run. Does not have to be a large player. Movement skills are primary focus.

Candidates:
Frank Clark, Taco Charlton, Mario Ojemudia — This position needs a huge upgrade. Only Mario has the fast twitch skills to play here. Taco is okay. Think Clark is better fit at 3-tech.

Nose Tackle/1-tech:
This is the bad dude of the defense. He loves to mix it up and is one tough SOB. He will get a lot of doubles, Hopefully!

Candidates:
Ondre Pipkins, Ryan Glasgow, Willie Henry, Matthew Godin — Depth is an issue. We have included some players who are not ideal, but what choice is there. Unless you think one of the two 2014 recruits plays, someone needs to step up.

3-tech:
The Star of the Defense. Does not have to be huge. He will see very few doubles. His ability to penetrate is a must. If offensive guard blocks away must squeeze but maintain B-gap.

Oct 12, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive tackle Willie Henry (69) during the second quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Michigan 43-40 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O

Candidates:
Willie Henry, Chris Wormley, Henry Poggi, Maurice Hurst Jr. — There is enough talent here. Might be must talented position on the defense. More production is needed.

Strong-side Defensive End:
Best run defender. Must be a Bear in the C-Gap. Does not need have to be a great pass rusher. Must be able to squeeze if offensive tackle blocks away and still maintain C-gap integrity. Not an easy task

Candidates:
Brennen Beyer, Matthew Godin, Tom Strobel, Keith Heitzman, Chris Wormley — If Michigan’s run defense is going to improve it must start here. One of the young guns needs to grow up and be the man.

(Mike) Classic Middle linebacker:
Brains as important as brawn. Has to make all the calls and checks. He is the strong side B-gap player and must be able to handle lead blockers.

Candidates:
Desmond Morgan, Joe Bolden, Ben Gedeon, Mike McCray — If 3-tech is not our strongest position, this is.

(Sam) Linebacker:
This is the toughest position on the defense to play. Must be stout enough to maintain leverage, but also strong in coverage. Also a prime pass rusher. Some actually include Sam in the front and call it a front-5.

Oct 12, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Michigan Wolverines linebacker Jake Ryan (47) prior to the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O

Candidates:
Jake Ryan, Allen Gant, Mike McCray, Royce Jenkins-Stone. Hopefully everyone gets how important it is Jake Ryan stays healthy!

(Will) Linebacker:
Should be one of the top tacklers. He is very protected and can flow and chase the ball. Should be the fastest linebacker and can be a bit smaller. He usually has second back in pass coverage.

Candidates:
James Ross III, Ben Gedeon, Desmond Morgan — Michigan has to get more production here. Ross in our opinion is the key. He has the skill-set necessary to succeed here.

Nov 30, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive back Blake Countess (18) intercepts a pass during the second quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Cornerbacks:
Prime pass defenders. I checked notes from 5 different clinics on this defense and all say same thing. Defense will not work unless corners can handle bump and run coverage. Must help against run, but primary function is coverage.

Candidates:
Raymon Taylor, Blake Countess, Jourdan Lewis, Channing Stribling, Ross Douglas, Delonte Hollowell — We all were upset by soft coverage. Still think that said more about safeties than corners.

Free Safety:
This is the box safety, think Jordan Kovacs. He must play off the rush defensive end and fill the alleys he creates maintaining or losing leverage. He also plays #2 in man coverage and has the flat in 3-deep zone.

Oct 12, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Michigan Wolverines safety Jarrod Wilson (22) during the fourth quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Michigan 43-40 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O

Candidates:
Delano Hill, Dymonte Thomas, Jarrod Wilson, Reon Dawson — Personally like Thomas and Hill best here.

Strong Safety:
Same as Free Safety to closed end of the formation. In zone he has deep middle with Sam taking the flat. In Man coverage he has #2 to closed side/Tight End side of the formation.

Candidates:
Delano Hill, Dymonte Thomas, Jarrod Wilson, Reon Dawson.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — CoachBT

Go Blue — Wear Maize!

Topics: #GoBlue, Coach Brady Hoke, Coach Greg Mattison, Football, Go Blue, Michigan Football, Michigan Wolverines

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