Coaches Corner: Eleven questions — Part 2 of 2

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Coaches Corner: Eleven questions…

Concerning the DEFENSE…

7) Can the defense prevent Big Plays?

There were so many reasons for the defense giving up big plays, the list would almost fill a book. Take your pick: safety play, terrible angles, collapsed containment, missed tackles, all and more played into this.

Coach Bo used to say, you would never be successful if you give up big plays on defense and turnover the ball on offense. Guess what? Michigan did both. I don’t care where you line them up, it all comes down to execution — last year execution was horrible.

8) Will Michigan improve on fundamentals?

See above, Michigan’s fundamentals have been slipping for years. This has to reverse or Michigan will never be a good, let alone elite, defense.

Again, it does not matter where you line them up, or who is running the defense. If you do not tackle, pursue to the ball, take the proper angles, etc, your defense will not dominate.

This is another area we will focus on this spring. If they do not improve, Michigan is in for long season. I’m not sure the offense will be able to score enough to cover up this defense if the fundamentals aren’t there. This will not be super-talented defense, but you can still be solid if you are fundamentally sound.

9) Can Michigan develop a consistent pass rush?

The best way to compensate for weak safety, or generally weak secondary, play is to get to the opposing quarterback. Do not allow him to get comfortable in the pocket. Make him get rid of the ball early. Sacks are great, but you can be very effective just by pressuring the quarterback out of his comfort zone.

10) Will Michigan be better against mobile quarterbacks?

Michigan actually played fairly well against most quarterbacks who did not have that escape ability. It was guys like Juice who gave us nightmares. In addition, this is once again not a new problem, and it isn’t just a Michigan problem, but Michigan has to figure out way to keep these guys in the pocket and not let them break our defense down.

11) ATTITUDE!

Yes, the all-caps is intential — am SCREAMING it!

This team has not had a true take-no-prisoners defensive attitude for much too long! As opponents, we are just too damn nice and laid back. You want to keep the quarterback in the pocket, TEAR HIS DAMN HEAD OFF when he leaves.

You want to slow down those stupid short passes that seem to kill us. START BRUISING THE RIBS of the wide receivers who catch them: wide receivers who are play with a head-on-a-swivel trying to keep tabs on the crazy wide-eyed SOBs in the secondary are less likely to make plays.

If Michigan defense can do just two things, improve fundamentals, and play with this type of intensity and ferocity, we will be much improved.

We want Michigan to be a physically intimidating team again, bad-ass, not nice, guys. I have fond memories of teams literally fearing coming into the Big House, because they knew it was going to be one tough game. It’s time the Maize & Blue gave out souvenirs of maize and blue bruises to opposing teams.

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If you have any questions please e-mail erocwolverine@gmail.com

Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine