Thursday, November 20, 2014

MLive: Isaac, Speight play in bye week scrimmage

Two guys I'm very interested to see in spring ball are Ty Isaac (who I think is the best running back on the roster) and Wilton Speight (who will be battling for the starting job at quarterback next year) (LINK).

Hit the jump for a picture/gif of Sophie Reade and a couple other random girls.

Sophie Reade

Sophie Reade


  1. I am excited by Wil Speight as well, particularly so because a certain lefty has shown nothing in two Years

  2. Hey thunder, quick question about O-Line development vs. why other teams have successful freshman/sophomores.

    Do you think it could be because our lack of senior leadership along the line going back to 2011/2012? And of course our, poor luck recruiting.

    After 2011, the veteran leaders of the line were Lewan and Schofield. Both pretty darn good players, but neither of whom people id consider people to really take a younger player under their wing and help them along, or be a positive vocal standout.

    2013 comes, and both return, Schofield to get drafted higher possibly? Not really sure, honestly. And Lewan, as I suppose a favor in his eyes. Either way, both return now and still no positive senior leadership role, no upperclassmen to help make you look better if you miss a block or assignment. We had a couple good players playing for essentially themselves.

    Meanwhile we now have young players struggling to find their spot, and struggling to mesh with these two. There has been no identity passed down through the classes, no lineman legacy anymore. This being the stem of the development issue. No legacy, no identity. We have a bunch of young players, yes still young for linemen, fighting to build a new identity for what a Michigan lineman is. Not having that mauling mentality bred through the line(think Wisconsin) via players/coaching before them.

    Coaching might not have helped, changing systems, recruiting, etc..all might not have helped the issue. But I do think what I mentioned above has had more impact than people realize. And I know I'll hear the old, well other teams have successful freshman playing, why can't we? Well, re-read what I wrote, and think about it. If not, here is this.

    Remember Alex Kozan, lineman that spurned M for Auburn after that whole vision quest thing. Same lineman that people were siting him as an example of why young linemen can be good, why not ours? Well after a redshirt year Kozan played next to a 6-5 320lb junior Greg Robinson and a 6-3 almost 300lb senior center Reese Dismukes. That's a #2 draft pick, and an all SEC lineman. Now, can you see how he was able to be an all SEC freshman? I'm sure coaching helps, but having quality senior leadership that has your back helps players grow just as fast, if not faster!

    1. Blog (3:07 A.M.) wrote: "We had a couple good players playing for essentially themselves."

      Those sound like fightin' words to me, Blog. I believe the burden of proof is on you. (Honestly, your whole post reads a little too much like feelingsball for my taste.)

      It doesn't seem that Lewan is a great guy, but I've never heard anyone say that Schofield is selfish or that he was inattentive to his younger teammates.

    2. Well to each their own my friend, most posts are just bitching about Hoke, development, heck even when we win people complain, so to me, that's "feelingsball"! I just choose to use a positive feeling or an attempt to looking deeper into something instead of being negative all the time.

      I'm not trying to point a finger at any players or coaches honestly, but we all know Lewan wasn't the greatest teammate. And Schofield was a good player for us, but I really don't think he was a natural, or vocal leader. I've never heard anything to suggest he was more than a lead by example type of guy, his career was very very quiet, again not saying he was bad, selfish, because he was pretty darn good. But he seemed to get the job done, and that was all.

      But honestly if that's what you've pulled out of this post, you've missed the point.

      Imagine starting what is basically a brand new football team. You get 5 guys to play on the line, the first five Linemen you've ever had. Now throw them out there on the field. Do you expect to see a meshing unit? Or are you going to see 5 new and inexperienced linemen struggle to create an identity?

      Jump ahead let's say 3-4 years.
      Those 5 guys finally start creating an identity, in practice and games you start seeing it, they are building what will become a lineman legacy, that will be passed down. The younger players have a bunch if guys to look up to, who know the expectations and will hold their teammates to them. No longer are their 5 players out there trying to create an identity, it's already there, all you need to do it bust your ass to meet that expectation.

      Again, there are so many x-factors to it in, coaching, recruiting, system changes. But, really let this idea sink in. I've personally experienced this with teams I've coached(ice hockey), but this is why I asked thunders opinion, I'm not terribly familiar with the psychology of football players.

  3. I'm not real enthused about the part where Speight gets mashed, got up, gets mashed, got up. Getting quarterbacks mashed is right at the top of my list of problem areas around here.