Posted at 6:00am -- 11/25/2007 Michigan Football: Coach's Corner -- Wh..."/> Posted at 6:00am -- 11/25/2007 Michigan Football: Coach's Corner -- Wh..."/>

Michigan Football: Coach’s Corner — What would be nice to see from a Wolverine Defense


Posted at 6:00am — 11/25/2007

Michigan Football: Coach’s Corner — What would be nice to see from a Wolverine Defense

When it comes to Michigan defense we are less concerned about schemes or packages (4-3 or 3-4) etc. and more concerned about philosophy and fundamentals.

What type of defense do you want to play? Are you going to be an aggressive/attack defense, bend but do not break, or combination like Tamps 2. You can be successful with any of these schemes and packages if you have the philosophy and personnel to fit it.

Michigan has bounced around so much, changing philosophy, a person can get confused just thinking about it. Can only imagine just how unsure our players are. This has caused some of our positional and assignment problems we will go over later. Once you have the philosophy in place, picking your schemes and packages gets easier it also makes recruiting much easier. You recruit players who fit your schemes and getting players to commit also becomes easier. When a player can see how he fits into schemes and packages they are more likely to see themselves playing at your school.

That has been one of Ohio State biggest advantages. Coach Tressell hired Mark Dantonio to install 4-3 zone blitz scheme. They have continued to use this scheme through four DC’s and Co-DC’s. This is one reason, possibly the biggest, Ohio State can graduate nine starters, some absolute studs, and still put very good defense on the field the next year. From scheme stand point I would like to see Michigan play some sort of zone blitz. Do not care if it is 4-3, 3-4 , or a variation of either. Both schemes have peopled who play them very successfully. Alabama, OSU, Oklahoma, and USC are examples of teams who use 4-3 zone scheme. Steelers, Patriots, and West Virginia all prefer 3-4 zone blitz or similar scheme.

Things I would like to see Michigan improve at on defense is mostly the fundamentals. Michigan needs to tackle better, be positional sound, stay in rush lanes/be sound in their gaps, maintain contain, and take better pursuit angles. You will never have a great defense regardless of schemes and packages until you can successfully preform these fundamentals. Michigan also needs to get back to aggressively pursuing to the football. Part of that goes back to changing philosophies and schemes so much that players are not confident enough to play at 100%. Too many times one missed tackle leads to a huge play. Check the four games UM lost and then count the big plays, that must stop. You cannot give up that many big plays and beat good teams.

Specific areas that need upgrading most are safeties and Lbers. Big plays usually are result of missed/blown assignment or safeties either missing tackles or taking terrible pursuit angle. If possible re watch Ohio State Wells long TD run. Adams takes terrible angle, Englemon misses tackle. What that leads to was 68 yard TD run. And Lber play was just as responsible. Play side Lber took play on with wrong shoulder, this allowed Wells to get to the perimeter. You must as Lber take on lead blocker, FB or pulling linemen with inside shoulder at the line of scrimmage. You must keep football between the hashes, if it gets outside the defense is at huge disadvantage.

Another example of this is DE’s. How many times did our DE’s take easy way, rushing to OT’s inside instead of maintaining outside leverage and forcing QB to stay in pocket. It also happened way too many times in running game. DE’s and LBers must stay home, maintain outside leverage and funnel everything back to the center/keep offense between the hashes. These type of positional fundamental plays have to improve.

If not Michigan will continues to get beat by good teams.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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