Apr 13, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive line gets set during the Spring Game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Football: Wolverine Offensive Line -- Part II


Posted at 12:00pm — 4/17/2014

Michigan Football: Wolverine Offensive Line — Part II

First off, every organization initially examines the internal parts of the problem for reevaluation. This includes mostly coaches and players. Mantras such as too young or there is no excuse remain mere words and serve little use. The phrase being on the same page is most appropriate for line play. The coaches and players are really one unit where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Mathematical and mechanistic data scavengers would label this phrase as impossible. But those with a synergistic worldview accept that the coordination and energy generated from the parts working precisely far surpass mere parts that have no true relationship within a machine.

As CoachBT states and will always state, the offensive line is a unit that must function in a togetherness mode that yields total coordination. Each part is a treasure and each part can prevent a mess. A true mess on the offensive line is when the parts actually contraindicate each other, Mo does not know what Curly is doing (and may not care), mistakes are made where the entire unit looks bad, even with only one mistake, whether it be mental or physical, and the reality of failure brings about a reduction of the synergy necessary to achieve what every offensive line must do: control!

Decisions were made on the coaches. The reasons, explicit and implicit are well documented, perhaps too well documented, but the decisions ended up with the hiring of an impressive offensive coordinator, Coach Nussmeier, with a clear record of success. Granted this success came with some talented players, still, the implications are positive. Coach Funk was by decision of higher-ups retained. His record of past achievement is notable, but certainly not exemplary. What creates exemplary line coaches is exemplary linemen. There is that chance at Michigan.

Doug Nussmeier 2So, we are back to coordination, and this element seems to be springing from the actions and rhetoric of Coach Nussmeier, who has taken over the role of head syneregist. Goal number one has been stated as eliminating negative plays. Both Funk and Nussmeier recognize that pure and experienced talent and strength were certainly not the only conditions rendering near chaos in the trenches. The implicit hope and strategy is that through the coordinated teaching of both coaches, and simplification, and intensive work, the line accomplishes goal number one. Then goal number two can be addressed.

Goal number two is to dominate. Again, supreme coordination is needed to dominate with either zone or power blocking schemes. Dominating lines usually have an exceptional ability to work together. Sometimes it appears that collective strength is lacking, but coordinated technique may be the culprit. Both qualities are pure gold for success.

Sep 1, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive line coach Darrell Funk on the sidelines against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The coaches have chosen teaching and experimentation this spring. With zone blocking, less time may be needed to demonstrate clear progress, but count out guarantees. The bottom line is there is minimal time to make maximum progress, and that is problematic regardless of the primary players and the staff and vision.

Now, how about the spring game? What was expected? The plays were limited, the schemes were simple, the coordination time was also minimal, and it is getting exceedingly tough to run the ball play after play for most teams. Never mind the defense showed clear improvement and had faced the base plays countless times.

Patience and support will be needed. But hear this, Nussmeier is a man with a patience tolerance, a limit, after that point look out. This group is going to have to get it in gear, as will the running backs, a group that showed at least some promise. Things are what they are and Nuss and Funk have a tall task at hand, not monumental, but far past routine. As always the factor of time will tell the ending. But bridge jumping at this point is premature.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu

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