Michigan Wolverine Football: OL/DL Observations


GBMWolverine Michigan Football TidbitsPosted at 4:00pm — 4/8/2015

Michigan Wolverine Football: OL/DL Observations

Kudos to Jim Harbaugh for organizing a great spring game.

It takes guts to split up your offensive line like that and trust them to play a full game on TV. Contrary to what Marcus Ray said, there was a healthy dose of blitzing to boot. Complete opposite approach to what they did last year, where the first team offense was together and lined up against a lot of third teamers running vanilla defense (and still struggled!). So take heart; this game was really tough on the quarterback’s and offensive line by design.

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Just some opinions based on the game.

The run game did not work for either squad largely because so many back-ups were mixed into each team. The White team could not run because Blake Bars and Chase Winovich where getting regularly abused, and to a lesser extent because Patrick Kugler could not control Ryan Glasgow.

They actually had Winovich block down on Chris Wormley a couple times and you can imagine the results. The Blue team could not run because no one could remotely block Maurice Hurst. He had Ben Braden, Logan Tuley-Tillman, and occasionally David Dawson on skates pretty much every play. Most of the blockers who had obvious struggles will be back-ups anyway, so I would not let that get you down.

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  • Definitely some positives (IMO). Graham Glasgow is a bruiser, and he will be your starting center. No rust from his suspension. He controlled Bryan Mone with ease and looked good getting out on linebacker’s too. Was never sure the center would be an ideal fit for him, but he looks the part now and will be an all conference player if Michigan has any success on offense. Kugler is improved and he is approaching competence, but he looks like more of a “top back-up” to me from a talent standpoint.

    Mason Cole is the real deal and he is sticking at left tackle. He had some really impressive cut-off blocks against Henry that displayed his quickness – blocks that I am not sure anyone else on the team could have made. Despite the optimistic spring rumors, I see a significant drop off with Tuley-Tillman – he has trouble mirroring rushers in pass protection and he is not a particularly powerful run blocker either.

    I thought Juwann Bushell-Beatty looked the part. Seems like a strong dude. I noticed that once he engaged the defensive linemen on the back-side, they often gave up on the play. Compares favorably to Logan Tuley-Tillman and Kyle Bosch. Previously assumed he was a token scholarship to lure his buddy Jabrill Peppers to Michigan, but that is definitely not the case.

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    Not sure what the pecking order at right tackle is right now. Braden played left guard the whole game (and mostly struggled). Erik Magnuson can fill in there, but he is not an ideal right tackle in a power running system. I’d keep an eye on Juwann Bushell-Beatty as the season progresses. Coach Tim Drevno has shown in the past that he has no trouble playing young offensive linemen if he thinks they are more talented.

    Kyle Kalis looks like Kalis. His lateral quickness may be improving a bit. Dawson looks pretty competent and more comfortable to me. Would not be surprised if he is the eventual starter at left guard.

    Defensive Line will definitely be a strength. Wormley looks like he is ready to make the next step, as does Hurst. Willie Henry is super talented but takes some plays off. Glasgow is very solid and still well ahead of Mone. I think Lawrence Marshall earns a starting role early this season – looks very quick. Suspect that he is already a better pass rusher than Taco Charlton and Mario Ojemudia. I think we will see a true freshman earn a lot of time at defensive end this year too. Royce Jenkins-Stone is not a legit option there.

    Anyway, just some thoughts. I decided early on in the game to focus on line play because it became clear there would not be a lot of action from the ball-handlers.

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    Written by GBMWolverine Reader/Poster — Painter Smurf

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