The Michigan football pass rush sounds like it could be improved in 2023 according to J.J. McCarthy and other Wolverines.
One thing that has made Michigan football such an effective defense over the years has been the pass rush.
Aidan Hutchinson is the most well-known but there is no doubt that Michigan football is EDGE U. However, there’s no doubt that the pass rush took a slight step back in 2022.
The overall sack numbers weren’t really different. But the pressure wasn’t as rampant at times. Jesse Minter also had to bring more pressure.
Any defensive coordinator will tell you that getting pressure without having to bring more than four guys is the ideal scenario. A great pass rush also compliments a great secondary and with guys like Will Johnson, Mike Sainristil, Rod Moore, Makari Pagie, and others on the back end, the defense could be even better in 2023.
J.J. McCarthy talks about Michigan football pass rush
However, Jim Harbaugh and others have said positive things about newcomer Josaiah Stewart. The Coastal Carolina transfer is expected to be a pass-rush presence but Michigan football also has returners such as Braiden McGregor, Derrick Moore, and Jaylen Harrell.
The starters in the base defense might be different than pass-rush situations but all four of those guys are going to have an impact and are all starting-caliber players in my view.
Michigan football should also have a stellar interior pass rush too with Mason Graham, Kenneth Grant, and Rayshaun Benny, as well as Cam Goode, who is often forgotten about.
Just thinking about the defensive tackles/EDGE and that’s eight talented football players who are all experienced and have produced before, at least a little.
So far, the defensive line might be exceeding expectations. J.J. McCarthy made it seem like the rush was getting to him even faster than before and here’s what he said Monday via the Wolverine:
"“The D-line is moving. They are going to be great this year. I give them props every single day so far … they’re just getting to me really quick. It’s just great to see … it helps our offensive line tremendously. A couple of those boys up front — Josaiah Stewart, he’s going to be great this year. Braiden (McGregor) is doing great things. Derrick Moore and Jaylen Harrell, obviously.”"
Those are all great tidbits. Michigan football fans have to like hearing those things about the pass rush and if it’s as good as McCarthy says, opposing offenses better watch out.