Spring Practice Report

From the mouth of Rod:

  • 1st full scrimmage will probably take place on Saturday.
  • One of the reasons Rich wants to have a big spring game (in terms of fan attendance) is to help young guys get used to playing in front of an audience, so they aren’t as nervous when they see crowds of 100K+ in the fall.
  • Brandin Hawthorne, though he sometimes has been practicing with the safeties, is going to play outside linebacker.
  • Steve Watson’s move to defensive end has gone well. He is competing well enough that he will get some real playing time if he keeps it up. The depth at TE (Koger, Moore, Webb all doing well) allows him to play there. If they need tight ends, he’s a smart enough player that he could move back.
  • Will Campbell will be a big help for the team, because the depth at DT is pretty thin. He still has lots of learning to do.
  • Steve Schilling is at guard for now, and he’ll probably stay there for the time being. He looks good at the guard position, and shows good leadership on the field.

Observations and E-pinions:

  • Starting defense appeared to be a 3-4 set with the following personnel: DL – Van Bergen, Martin, Graham. LB – S. Brown, Evans, Ezeh, Fitzgerald. S – Williams, B. Smith. CB – Warren, Cissoko.
  • 1st team backfield featured Nick Sheridan, and often had 2 RBs (Minor at FB, C. Brown at RB) in. Moundros was the starting true fullback, in front of Grady and with Forcier as the QB.
  • The starting offensive line looked to be (L to R): Ortmann, Schilling, Molk, Moosman, Omameh. 2nd team: ? (green jersey), Barnum, Khoury, Ferrara, Dorrestein. In individual drills for the offensive linemen, either Barnum or Omameh (the only 2 black O-linemen having 56 and 65, respectively, was confusing) appeared to be by far the quickest on the team. I think it was Omameh.
  • Practicing taking direct snaps at QB with rollout runs: Feagin, T. Robinson, C. Brown.
  • An observation from the Oklahoma Drill (or the “Wolverine Drill” or whatever they call it here): Brandon Minor looked like a man among boys. He trucked a couple defenders, was able to spin off a couple more, and run by one or two (not easy in a 5-yard-wide playing area). We should have video of at least one of the impressive runs. Vincent Smith is super shifty, as can be expected of most tiny backs.
  • GERG Robinson has amazing silver hair, which he partnered up with a gray sweatsuit. Lookin’ fly.

Random (and not so random) people spotted:

  • Skyler Schofner, William Gholston, Teric Jones, Rick Leach (more of “heard.” He also sat behind us at Friday’s baseball game), Michael Taylor, Johnny Thompson, recently fired EMU coach Jeff Genyk.
  • I didn’t notice Toney Clemons in attendance, but I may have just missed him.

MGoBlue report on the entire first week of practice can be found here.


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14 Comments so far

  1. Chrisgocomment says...


  2. Greg says...

    Tim- Did you see Helmuth getting any reps on defense?

  3. Tim says...

    Um, not that I noticed. I did happen to notice that he looks TINY for a DT though.

  4. Griffin Fraley says...

    Good to hear about Steve Watson. One of the ways to become a “Michigan man” according to Bo is by changing positions for the better of the team and taking the change, working hard, and not complaining. If this is the case, then Watson is what I’d call a Michigan man. Here’s hoping he develops into a nice rotational player.

  5. Ann Arbor 1879 says...

    Has it ever occured to you that Gerg just wants to look like Sinbad? Quit hatin’

  6. Duncan says...

    Having Graham play the DE position in the supposed 3-4 is the biggest waste of talent. God, I hope that’s not true.

  7. Tim says...

    I wouldn’t read tooo much into that for several reasons:
    1) It’s the first week of spring camp for a team that’s expecting to start a freshman (Campbell – and note he wasn’t in that personnel grouping) on the DL. Forcier also wasn’t the 1st-team QB, does that mean we should all start running around screaming about an impending apocalypse at the hands of Nick Sheridan?
    2) Greg Robinson has said many times that his defense is going to be multiple front. He has shown this at many levels (Texas and the NFL among them). He has also said that he will tailor his schemes to highlight the best personnel, not make them fit in with a “team concept” necessarily.
    3) If we were moving to a true 3-4, don’t you think Graham would have been playing OLB? He’s certainly a prototypical 3-4 OLB to the NFL, and I think if the scheme was permanent and the base, Robinson would know how to work in the personnel.

  8. caveman.lawyer says...

    Do you think that Stevie Brown is likely to stick at linebacker or is that just a spring experiment? And who in that group that you named will be sitting when Mouton is healthy again? My first thought is that Evans would sit, but I thought I read some speculation that Evans was working at the LB/DE “spinner” position.

  9. Petey Ballgame says...

    Word on the street is that T. Clem is transferring. Thoughts? I guess he was just absent from ONE practice, but recently these rumors seem to be coming true – (See, e.g. Threet, McGuffie)

  10. Tim says...

    The Clemons rumors are pretty persistent, and I tend to believe them (hence my keeping an eye out for him Saturday), but I wouldn’t confirm or deny anything on the basis of what I saw at one practice.

  11. FrankMurphy says...
  12. 6p says...

    What’s that red sweatshirt doing in the final drill?

    Red sweatshirt = mostly Darth Tressel undercover.

  13. JlbockUM says...

    Will Campbell – “He still has lots of learning to do”

    From what I hear, his technique/fundamentals are almost non-existent. The kid is a physical beast, but it sounds like he has a lot of work ahead of him. Not to mention, the LBS he’s got to drop…

  14. Tim says...

    I would worry more about the technique than the weight. He’s reportedly lost upwards of 25 pounds, and he looked pretty good (of course “looking good” and “being in shape” don’t always have a perfect correlation, but it’s better than nothing).

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