Michigan Football Tidbits: Position Group — Slot Receivers and offensive scheme

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Slot Receivers:

Odoms: While most could argue that, a year ago, he was one of best players on offense, it must be pointed out that Odoms was a product of our system and benefited from what our quarterback’s a year ago could actually execute.

He, by far, received most of the passes — mostly simple swing passes — but really struggled down the stretch last year. He hit the freshmen wall and had a hard time adjusting to the cold weather, a nagging groin injury did not help matters. The coaches love the way Odoms competes. He is a tough kid and will again be a big part of the offense this coming year. We hope that this year he gets some help.

T-Robinson: He expects to be ready for spring practice. He is doing the running drills as instructed, which is less than at 100%. He would substantially upgrade our speed on offense. Where Odoms is a tougher runner, T-Robinson is much more elusive. The big question is: did he lose any of his quickness with his injury?

Incoming freshmen:

1) Stokes: The thing the coaches really like about Stokes is his ability to play both split end and slot receiver. They like the idea of having a bigger slot who can be a game-breaking type of player. We think Stokes plays this year and may give Odoms and T-Robinson a run for their money.

2) Gallon: When coaches talk about Gallon, they just say he is a football player who is not the fastest kid in the world, but nobody seems to be able to tackle him one-on-one. We think Gallon plays this coming year and will be in two-deep at slot receiver. Let’s just hope he can get into school and that the rumors he’s not qualified yet are just that. Not getting in this year would hurt him.

Teric Jones: He has been told he will start out at slot receiver. Probably the fastest of the slot receivers, but he has never really played this position. Look for a possible redshirt or special team’s asignment in 2009.

Other Team Tidbits:

Michigan and Oklahoma have been talking to each other. Oklahoma learning more about Coach Rod’s offense and Coach Rod learning how Oklahoma has incorporated a lot of what Coach Rod does, but has used the spread in tweaking their successful passing game.

Oklahoma’s passing game uses more tight ends and bigger wide receivers in the slot positions, which interests Coach Rod. With Threet and Forcier (and now Denard Robinson), many of the things Oklahoma does will fit into Michigan’s plans well.

We think Coach Rod really wants to upgrade the passing game going into 2009, and we are anxious to see how some of these new concepts are incorporated in spring. We were told this last year as well, so we will see, but we are excited tat the idea of these changes and hope they stick this year.

Keep in mind that during spring practices many programs will tweak their systems by exploring concepts that have proven successful at other schools. Florida, for example, will be using more pro-style sets next year to help Tebow adjust to, and prepare for, the professional game. But just because they experiment a bit does not necessarily mean they will eventually decide to use the new methods in the fall. We were told the same thing last year: the coaches had been talking to Missouri to learn how they incorporated their tight end into the spread passing game.

We remember how Coach Carr always had big plans on using different approaches, but as soon as he ran into some roadblocks, he always reverted to what he knew best. Coach Rod will be running into those same challenges, but in the end, we think it is a big plus if Michigan can tweak the spread and utilize an effective passing game. It sure would help in recruiting, especially at positions like quarterback and wide receiver where we’re vulnerable to negative recruiting. To stop this negative recruiting, Michigan needs to show these positive changes on the field and not just talk about it.

>>> (Tomorrow we will be talking about Position Group — Running Backs.)

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Written by MaizeMan, CoachBt and ErocWolverine