Beilein's Bomb + 2017 O-Line: Michigan Sports News 1/6/2017

Coach Beilein Tries The Truth, Calls Out Michigan's Toughness

1/6/2017 - I give Coach Beilein a ton of credit for reflexivity (not normal for a coach of over 30 years). He realized that, for whatever reason, he wasn't getting good defensive play from his team so he brought in a defensive coaching specialist. He realized that, for whatever reason, his small ball tendencies were hurting Michigan on the boards so he started to deploy two bigs on a regular basis. Despite these huge admissions and sacrifices, Michigan still doesn't play very good defense and still regularly gets pounded on the boards. I sense his frustration, and I share it. 

Today Coach decided to speak the truth. In particular, he said that Michigan hasn't "proven we’re a tough team." Truth Bomb. As Mark Snyder suggested they are a finesse team and toughness might not be in their DNA. Nick Baumgardner suggested that maybe toughness for Michigan will be part of a process.

I guess that we will have to wait and see, but I suspect it is about as much about desire and "want to" throughout the whole game as much as it is about toughness (How, for instance, is Mark Donnell averaging only 3.2 rebounds a game?).

A Good 2017 "Nuts and Bolts" Offensive Line Breakdown

1/6/2017 - I know talking about Offensive Line doesn't move the needle of sports news but it should. Nothing is more important to the outlook for Michigan than how quickly OC Tim Drevno can reconstitute and hopefully improve on the 2016 line (did you notice that we could not run the ball virtually at all - often even for one yard when needed - in the second half of the 2016 season?). Anyway, this is a really good nuts and bolts breakdown by Nick Bodanyi at Maize and Brew on who is returning, who is leaving, how they could play, and where they might fit in 2017.

I said it before, and I will say it again if you want to know how we will look in 2017...Look to the Offensive and Defensive lines.

Nick Baumgardner Nice Enough to Answer my Question In His Mailbag

1/6/2017 - I said yesterday that Nick Baumgardner's article on Michigan's O-Line was the most important article I had seen about Michigan football in a long-time. I tried, a bit unsuccessfully, to work a quick question about run-blocking in 2017 for his mailbag today, and Mr. Baumgardner was nice enough to answer my question. In particular, he mentioned the following:

"And speaking of recruiting, while most people seem to be completely fixated on Najee Harris (and for good reason, he's the best recruit in the country), four-star offensive tackle Chuck Filiaga (who will announce Saturday) seems like an absolute must-get for Michigan right now."

Scroll down and you will see me saying the exact same thing about the potential addition of Chuck Filiaga several days ago.