Apr 5, 2014; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Devin Gardner (98) before the Spring Game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Wolverine Football: Observations -- Part II

Posted at 12:00pm — 8/13/2014

Michigan Wolverine Football: Observations — Part II

4) Again, let me say I tend to be optimistic this time of year so I am also like many posters waiting to see how the team performs in fall. But, this group is bigger, faster, and the schemes are much more aggressive than I have seen in the past 6-8 years. Kids are having fun, they love the aggressive approach, they don’t seem to be over-thinking and worrying about making mistakes.

Apr 13, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Drake Johnson (29) runs the ball during the Spring Game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

5) The news you hear about Drake Johnson is legit. Remember, before he was injured (ODOG and myself) at spring practice a year ago both thought he was the best running back on the team and it was not close. He is a strong kid who has very good speed and is just one of those kids who seems to “get it”. I am really rooting for him.

6) Okay, here is what I am worried about. Ability to defend the pass over the middle of the field. With our inexperience at safety, Jake Ryan being new at inside linebacker, a true freshman at nickel, it is essential that we get a consistent pass rush especially early in the year. It is not we don’t have talent at those positions, it is because Michigan is so young. I worry less about our cornerback situation with two veteran cornerback’s and Jourdan Lewis maybe being one of the better football players on the team (Blake Countess now completely healthy) I think we will be much better at cornerback.

7) Another worry, which I am more optimistic is the defense ability to stop the running game. So far, the defense is way ahead of the offense in practice, but that is usually the case early in camp and offense has added pressure on them in that defense is throwing everything at them, not just playing basic defenses. Another area worth watching is special teams, both return teams, and our ability to defend kick-off returns.

Jul 28, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke addresses the media during the Big Ten football media day at Hilton Chicago. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

8) Here is another reason I think this version of Michigan is going to be more like Coach Hoke’s first year. If you recall, during Coach Hoke’s first year, we struggled at times offensively especially against good teams, but our defense consistently put our offense in great field position. Although we gave up some points, it was less rare for teams to drive the ball against Michigan on a consistent basis. This years version of Michigan defense to me is even much better than that version, so I expect our offense to be helped by not only field position, but turnover’s.

9) Devin Gardner has been pretty good so far. When he throws in rhythm he is pretty good. So far, he has been very good in practice and if there is only area on the team I think is vastly underrated it is our wide receiver core.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — MaizeMan

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Tags: Blake Countess Coach Brady Hoke Drake Johnson Football Jake Ryan Jourdan Lewis Michigan Football Michigan Wolverines

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