Michigan Wolverines: Rebuilding the Offense — Tight Ends
The Tight Ends
Dan Ferrigno coaches Michigan’s tight ends. He has over three decades of coaching experience, mostly on the West Coast.
Assuming that Funchess will be used at numerous receiving positions, his role as a potential tight end will not be discussed.
Just like the discussion with wide receiver blocking in the previous article, the tight end and h-backs must learn zone blocking and execute very well. If the edge is not secured by the typical h-back and tight end double, then the offense will be greatly limited and opposing defenses will gain scheme advantages. The running backs will be taught to look at the inside hip or knee of the tight end for a hole on the stretch play. Repeating, good blocking from this group is a must.Tight end is another position that UM has not exactly been talent or depth rich in the last few years. The group took a big hit when up and coming Jake Butt tore his ACL in winter workouts. He was growing into a talented multi-purpose receiver, but must now follow the recovery track, as did Jake Ryan. Again, the tight ends and h-backs will be critical to Michigan’s success instead of a mere discussion of their possible use.
The tight end and h-backs will be asked to do multiple tasks. This starts with blocking and blocking some more. If a suitable combination of a tight end and h-back cannot be developed, the Michigan offense will not reach full potential. Blocking the edge has been a Michigan weakness; this is obvious to any observer, let alone skilled offensive coaches. Once Butt gets back, the pressure may ease somewhat. Until then A. J. Williams and Khalid Hill absolutely must be worked, worked and worked some more until they have the strength and technique to man the edge on zone blocking plays. The team tried all last year to hit the edge with stretch plays and an occasional jet sweep. Even with two high level tackles, the mission was unachieved.
So, who will step into the h-back role? Most observers conclude Wyatt Shallman, who is simply more athletic than Joe Kerridge, holds the edge. But any of the tight ends may be used as an h-back. The h-back can be used with the tight end to flood one side of the field with four receivers. The tight end and h-back will be called upon to block blitzes and run basic read routes that attempt to get one of the four wide open, usually in the flat or on an out pattern. But more than anything else, it is stated again, this group must block.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu
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