Big Blue(Michigan) Team Preview


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What you need to know ... [SIZE=-1]The offense was a major disappointment last year finishing ninth in the league in total offense with inconsistency on the line and banged up running back Mike Hart the main reasons for the problems. New offensive coordinator Mike DeBord isn't going to change things up too much, but the call has gone out that everyone has to be in better shape. The line has trimmed down and should be more athletic, and the backs appear to be the most fit they've been. The passing game needs Steve Breaston to finally play like a number one receiver, while Mario Manningham should emerge as more of a star with quarterback Chad Henne getting better and better. If Henne goes down, watch out. There's no quarterback depth whatsoever.[/SIZE][FONT=verdana, arial, sans serif][SIZE=-1]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]Returning Leaders[/FONT]

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[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]Passing: Chad Henne[/FONT]​

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223-382, 2,536 yds, 23 TD, 8 INT
Rushing: Mike Hart
150 carries, 662 yds, 4 TD​


[FONT=Arial, Helvetica][SIZE=-1]M[/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica][SIZE=-1]ario Manningham[/SIZE][/FONT]​

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27 catches, 433 yds, 6 TD​

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Star of the offense: Junior RB Mike Hart

Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior WR Steve Breaston
Unsung star on the rise: Freshman RB Carlos Brown
Best pro prospect: Junior OT Jake Long
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Hart, 2) Long, 3) QB Chad Henne
Strength of the offense: Running back​

Weakness of the offense:

[SIZE=-1]Quarterback depth[/SIZE]

[SIZE=-1]Chad Henne has started for two years and now appears on the verge of becoming the type of All-Big Ten passer who makes big things happen on a consistent basis. His durability will mean everything with no one, absolutely no one, ready to step in and take over if an injury strikes. Jason Forcier is a great runner who needs time to become a better passer, and true freshman David Cone needs time to learn how to be a Big Ten passer.The key to the unit: Henne's health. The season is over if he misses any appreciable time.
Quarterback Rating: 7.5
Projected Starter
- Chad Henne, Jr. - 223-382, 2,526 yds, 58%, 23 TD, 8 INT, 54 carries, 25 yds, 1 TD
Henne was thrown to the wolves as a freshman and turned into a more polished, more confident passer last season throwing only five interceptions outside of a three-pick performance against Northwestern. He has more mobility than he gets credit for and a good enough arm to make all the throws, but he was mostly just a cog in the machine over the last two seasons. Now he appears ready to be a true leader who'll be a main playmaker for the offense and make everyone around him better.

Top Backups
- Jason Forcier, RFr.
While he's not huge at 6-2 and 206 pounds, his game is speed. He's fast with the feet and quickness to not only buy himself time, but to also take off and come up with yards in chunks. However, he's far from a polished Big Ten passer and he'll need plenty of time before he's ready for prime time.

- David Cone, Fr.
He's a big 6-6, 205-pound passer, but he needs a lot of work. He'll get it in practices with the team in desperate need of a number three quarterback. While he has the tools, he played in a pure running offense in high school. If he sees the field in meaningful time, fire off the panic siren.

Running Backs
There undeniable talent to make this one of the Big Ten's best backfields if everyone is healthy. Mike Hart, when 100%, is among the nation's most productive backs, but he couldn't stay on the field last year. While he's a special runner, the coaching staff will be using Kevin Grady more and more to keep the Hart fresh. True freshman Carlos Brown is so good that he could end up seeing equal time as the number two man.[FONT=verdana, arial, sans serif][SIZE=-1][SIZE=-1]The key to the unit: Mike Hart's health. With Grady and Brown in the mix, there's no reason Hart should get more than 20 carries unless absolutely needed.
Running Back Rating: 8.5
Projected Starters
- Mike Hart, Jr. - 150 carries, 662 yds, 4.4 ypc, 4 TD, 16 catches, 154 yds, 9.6 ypc, 1 TD
When healthy, Hart is one of the nation's best running backs and a threat for All-America honors. He was a bit overused as a freshman getting 274 carries over the final ten games of the season, got dinged up early on against Notre Dame, got healthy enough to run for 435 yards over a three game span, and then got hurt again and was never right the rest of the way. He's a quick 5-9 and 198 pounds with great hands and a combination of quickness and power. He tore off a 64-yard run last year, but he's not a home-run hitter.

- Fullback Brian Thompson, Sr. - 6 catches, 41 yds, 6.8 ypc, 2 TD
While not the most athletic fullback option, Thompson is a decent receiver and a good special teamer. He's a former linebacker who brings that toughness as a blocker, but he's not going to see many, if any, carries.

Top Backups
- Kevin Grady, Soph. - 121 carries, 483 yds, 4 ypc, 5 TD, 14 catches, 113 yds, 8.1 ypc
The star recruit of last year turned into a decent number two back, but he rarely showed off the flash that made him so heralded. He became a factor over the second half of the year highlighted by a 94-yard, two touchdown day against Indiana; he scored four touchdowns in the final three regular season games. He's a good receiver with a fantastic combination of strength and speed in a compact, and much better conditioned 5-9, 216-pound frame.
- Carlos Brown, Fr.
The 6-0, 195-pound true freshman got to spring ball early and was fantastic. He's lightning fast with the dash to instantly provide more of a pop to the running game. While he's not going to power over anyone right away, he'll be too good to keep out of the mix.
- Fullback Obi Oluigbo, Sr.
The 230-pound senior hasn't done much outside of the special teams so far, but he came on this spring and appears to be a viable option to see several touches. The former linebacker is a great athlete who and should be utilized more now that he's in better shape.

ReceiversAs always, there's speed, size, and skill in the Michigan receiving corps, but there's also big bust potential if everyone doesn't play up to their talent level. The loss of Jason Avant takes away a number one target who caught 82 balls last year. The number two man, Mario Manningham, caught 27. Manningham and Steve Breaston each have All-America potential, but it's a big jump going from a complementary player to an all-star. The tight ends are strong with Tyler Ecker and Mike Massey a talented 1-2 receiving punch.The key to the unit: Steve Breaston has to finally show that he's more than a superstar kick returner.
Receiver Rating: 8
Projected Starters
[SIZE=-1]- Mario Manningham, Soph. - 27 catches, 433 yds, 16 ypc, 6 TD
For only making 27 catches, Manningham sure made a lot of noise. He started in three games as a true freshman and made the game-winning grab in the classic win over Penn State and made four grabs for 103 yards and a score against Wisconsin. He's not the biggest receiver around at 6-0 and 187 pounds and he'll get pushed around a little bit, but he has sub-4.4 speed and should be the team's top deep threat and go-to receiver.

[/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=-1]Steve Breaston, Sr. - 26 catches, 291 yds, 11.2 ypd, 2 TD
Will he ever be a productive wide receiver? He's one of the nation's most electrifying kick returners and is always a home run threat when he has the ball in his hands, but he hasn't been able to stay healthy over the last two seasons and for all the attention, he hasn't been all that splashy on offense. He appears to be driven to come up with a big senior season. He has the talent to be an All-American if the light finally goes on.[/SIZE]
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- Tight end Tyler Ecker, Sr. - 21 catches, 285 yds, 13.6 ypc, 2 TD
A great all-around tight end with good size, great blocking skills, and tremendous hands, Ecker appears to be ready for another All-Big Ten caliber season. He became a steady target over the second half of last year, but he might be forever known for his role in the final wild play in the lost to the Huskers when he was tackled just short of the goal line.

Top Backups- LaTerryan Savoy, RFr.
Savoy has the size at 6-2 and 203 pounds and has great speed, and now he'll have to grow into a key role playing behind Mario Manningham. Along with being a top high school receiver at Mamou High in Louisiana, he was a star safety picking off 13 passes his senior year. He showed great hands this spring with the ability to adjust to the ball; he's a keeper.
- Adrian Arrington, Soph.
A tall, thin target behind Steve Breaston, the 6-3, 187-pound sophomore has 4.46 speed and the talent to grow into another typical great Michigan receiver. He's back after missing the end of last year on a kickoff against Northwestern. He'll be used as a deep threat.
- Tight end Mike Massey, Soph. - 8 catches, 51 yds, 6.4 ypc, 2 TD
While not as big as Tyler Ecker and not as good a blocker, he's a good receiver who saw a little bit of starting time last year. He's solid on special teams should be more of a part of the passing game. [/SIZE]

Offensive Linemen[SIZE=-1]Forget about the good old days of behemoth Michigan linemen who lined up and simply outbeefed everyone else.[/SIZE][/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=-1] The call has gone out since the end of last year that the coaching staff wants a lean, mean, fighting machine up front, and most of the top players have slimmed down. Now the question becomes where to put everyone on a line that has experience, but was too inconsistent last season and was always dinged up. Jake Long is a starter at left tackle and Mark Bihl is likely set at center, beyond that, everything will likely change before the opener.[/SIZE][FONT=verdana, arial, sans serif][SIZE=-1]The key to the unit: A starting five needs to be set and it needs to jell. If there are the constant position changes that happened last year, it could be another mediocre season for the line.
Offensive Line Rating: 8
[FONT=verdana, arial, sans serif][SIZE=-1]Projected Starters
- OT Jake Long, Jr.
An All-America candidate and the one sure-thing on the line, Long got in better shape this off-season and is now down to a tight 316 pounds. At 6-7, he's a long player with good arms for pass protection. At his new size, he should be quicker and better in pass protection.
- OG Adam Kraus, Jr.
The former tight end is an athletic guard and has starting time at center. Despite being banged up late last year, he's a tough run blocker who's great on the move.
- C Mark Bihl, Sr.
With all the movement that's still likely to go on with the starting lineup, the 297-pound senior appears a near-lock to start in the middle. He's in the best shape of his career and has more than enough experience to be a solid starter after getting the nod seven times over the last two season.
- OG Reuben Riley, Sr.
Able to play tackle of guard, the versatile Riley has even seen time at center. The 303-pound senior will be penciled in at right guard, where he'll bring athleticism and a ton of experience to the inside, but it's hardly set in stone.
- OT Mike Kolodziej, Sr.
Kolodziej should be faster after shedding nearly 20 pounds this off-season. He got one start at right tackle last year and appears to be the front runner this season despite having problems this spring with the team's speedier pass rushers.

Top Backups
- OT Cory Zirbel, RFr.
While he has a world of talent with excellent athleticism, the 6-5, 297-pound Zirbel, predictably, will need time before he's consistent. He'll start out seeing time at right tackle but could move to the other side if needed.
- OG Alex Mitchell, Soph.
Mitchell has to be in better shape to be part of the starting mix. At the very least, the 311-pound sophomore will be a key reserve at both guard spots and will see time on special teams, but the coaching staff wants him to be quicker and trimmer to push for the job on the right side.


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What you need to know ... [SIZE=-1]New defensive coordinator Ron English will be the man under the microscope as he attempts to unwrap the athleticism and talent that have been hiding behind the just-safe-enough-to-get-beat D. There won't be wild blitz schemes or anything crazy, but there'll be a bit more aggressiveness in an attempt to come up with more big plays. The potential is there to be great with a fast back seven with too many good safeties to get on the field at once. The line should be better with the likely emergence of Alan Branch as a star tackle and LaMarr Woodley about to blow up as a pass rushing terror on the outside. [/SIZE][FONT=verdana, arial, sans serif][SIZE=-1]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]Returning Leaders[/FONT]

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[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]Tackles: David Harris, 88[/FONT]​

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Sacks: LaMarr Woodley, 7​

Interceptions: Leon Hall, 4

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Star of the defense: Senior DE LaMarr Woodley

Player that has to step up and become a star: Sophomore CBs Morgan Trent and/or Charles Stewart

Unsung star on the rise: Junior LB Shawn Crable
Best pro prospect: Woodley
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Woodley, 2) CB Leon Hall, 3) DT Alan Branch
Strength of the defense: Safety, overall speed and athleticism​

Weakness of the defense:

[SIZE=-1]Proven big plays from the linebacker, proven second corner[/SIZE]

Defensive Line
[FONT=verdana, arial, sans serif][SIZE=-1][SIZE=-1]While there aren't any household names on the line, there are rumblings that this should be among the best Michigan lines in over a decade. LaMarr Woodley should be one of the Big Ten's leading pass rushers, and Tim Jamison appears on the verge of stardom with a little more time. The tackles should be fantastic with Alan Branch and Terrance Taylor each appearing ready to be All-Big Ten performers. Expect plenty of big plays in the backfield from all four spots. [/SIZE]The key to the unit: Rondell Biggs needs to be a steady pass rusher on the other side of Woodley, and Branch and Taylor have to be every bit as good as they were this spring.
Defensive Line Rating: 8
Projected Starters
- DE Rondell Biggs, Sr. - 8 tackles, 1 sack, 1.5 TFL
A spot starter last year, the big, talented 275-pound senior appears ready to shine in a full-time role. He wasn't able to stay healthy last year and only ended up playing in eight games, but he came out roaring this spring with too much speed for the Wolverine line to handle.

- DT Terrance Taylor, Soph. - 1 tackle
Back after spending last year as a true freshman reserve. He's a strong 305 pounds who dominated at times during spring ball showing the quickness to grow into a steady pass rusher to go along with his tremendous strength.

- DT Alan Branch, Jr. - 31 tackles, 5 sacks, 7 TFL
Branch is the big run stuffer on the inside at 6-6 and 330 pounds. While he's big, he's in good shape with the quickness to play end if needed. He's great at getting into the backfield and is active at shedding blockers and getting to the ball-carrier. It'll be a shock if he's not up for All-Big Ten honors.

- DE LaMarr Woodley, Sr. - 48 tackles, 7 sacks, 14 TFL
Part linebacker, part defensive end, the 268-pound All-Big Ten star has 11 tackles and 30 tackles for loss over the last two seasons. While he's active against the run making 70 stops in 2004, he's better used on the line when he gets to fly into the backfield. While he didn't see too much time this spring, he appears on the verge of making a jump to All-America status.

Top Backups
- DE Tim Jamison, Jr. - 10 tackles, 3 sacks, 3.5 TFL
Part linebacker and part end, Jamison came in this spring stronger and even faster than ever. A pass-rushing specialist so far, the 249-pound junior was all but unblockable at times in spring ball now appears ready to make a big impact behind Rondell Biggs. He'll also be a big hitter on special teams.
- DT Marques Walton, Soph.
Walton saw action in one game and didn't do much. He has the potential to grow into a factor after becoming a leaner, stronger 291 pounds. He'll start out behind Terrance Taylor but could play either tackle spot.

LinebackersExpect the linebackers to be more aggressive and use their speed and athleticism more after struggling last year[/SIZE][/FONT][SIZE=-1] to come up with enough big plays. Dave Harris, Prescott Burgess and Chris Graham are veterans who'll be productive, but now that they're in better shape and have a year of starting experience together, they have the potential to downright dominant. There's decent depth, but true freshmen Brandon Graham and Cobrani Mixon will have to play key roles right away. [/SIZE][FONT=verdana, arial, sans serif][SIZE=-1]The key to the unit: Be more disruptive. There's too much talent to not be one of the Big Ten's better linebacking corps.
Linebacker Rating: 8
Projected Starters
- Chris Graham, Jr. - 42 tackles, 3 TFL
Graham stepped in and became a spot starter on the outside. He hasn't been consistent and while he put up decent numbers, he's still an X factor. He's an active player with excellent speed, but he has to start using all his talents to be more of a disruptive force.

- Dave Harris, Sr. - 88 tackles, 1 sack, 6 TFL, 3 broken up passes, 2 forced fumbles
Harris went from being a promising reserve to the team's leading tackler. While he cranked out the stats and was usually solid against the run, he was way too inconsistent. He made 18 tackles against Minnesota, but was nowhere to be found at times against Ohio State. After the off-season conditioning program, he became a more cut 242 pounds and showed off more range.

- Prescott Burgess, Sr. - 81 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception, 4 TFL, 6 broken up passes
Burgess was supposed to come up with a big season after moving over from free safety. He didn't disappoint finishing third on the team in tackles and looking like a natural at times on the outside. However, he didn't come up with as many big plays as expected and didn't use his great range to become a steady pass rusher.

Top Backups
- Shawn Crable, Jr. - 14 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 broken up passes
Crable has been a good backup and now should push hard for time on the strongside behind Prescott Burgess. While he's not going to take over the starting job, he'll push. He's great against the pass and will see plenty of time when the Wolverines go to a 3-4.
- John Thompson, Soph. - 19 tackles, 3 TFL
Thompson is a decent reserve on the inside behind Dave Harris and will be a key special teamer. He'll have to perform well all fall with true freshman nipping at his heels for time/. With 4.5 speed and good strength, he has the tools to see more playing time if he can be more consistent.

[FONT=verdana, arial, sans serif]D[/FONT]efensive Backs
This could be a fantastic group if the coaching staff figures out where to put everyone. Leon Hall will start at one corner spot, and then everything is up for grabs with too many good safeties to find spots for now that Ryan Mundy is back and healthy after a shoulder problem. Brandent Englemon, Willie Barringer, Jamar Adams and Brandon Harrison will all see starting time this year at one or both of the safety spots. Charles Stewart appears to be the answer on the other side of Hall, but Morgan Trent will also be in the hunt.The key to the unit: More interceptions. Leon Hall picked off four passes. The rest of the Wolverines took away eight.
Secondary Rating: 8
Projected Starters
- CB Leon Hall, Sr. - 61 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 TFL, 4 interceptions, 9 broken up passes
Hall always had the potential to be a star, but he didn't put it all together until last year when he was one of the Big Ten's best all-around defensive backs. While he's not huge at 5-11 and 193 pounds, he has decent size to go along with his 4.42 speed. He led the team in interceptions and turned into a safety-like tackler finishing fourth on the team. He'll be the team's number one cover corner and in the hunt for the Thorpe Award if he has another season like last year.

- SS/FS Ryan Mundy, Jr.
Mundy almost saw his career end last year with a major shoulder problem, but he's back and will be in the hunt for a starting safety job. But where will it be? All his speed and athleticism is back, as well as a big-hitting attitude. At the very least he'll see time in nickel situations.

- FS Brandent Englemon, Jr. - 42 tackles, 3 TFL
Out this spring hurt, he'll have to shine this fall to make sure he gets his job back. He's not the team's biggest defender at 5-11 and 205 pounds, but he's a good hitter who'll be physical as a free safety. He could move to strong safety and bring his speed to the spot.

- CB Charles Stewart, Soph. - 4 tackles, 1 broken up pass
Stewart will either take over one of the starting jobs or be a top backup behind Leon Hall. He has great size at 6-1 and 196 pounds and showed off good quickness and cutting ability against the faster Michigan receivers this spring.

Top Backups
- SS Willie Barringer, Sr. - 43 tackles, 2 interceptions, 3 broken up passes
It'll be Barringer and Ryan Mundy for playing time in a neck-and-neck battle for a starting gig. Barringer has good size and enough experience to potentially be a leader of the secondary, but he's not Mundy. However, if Mundy plays free safety, Barringer will likely be the main man at strong safety; at least for a little while.
- FS Jamar Adams, Jr. - 27 tackles, 2 broken up passes
Will he get lost in the shuffle with Ryan Mundy back? The 6-2, 215-pound Adams hasn't stood out and will have to fight for a starting spot. He has the size and good enough range to be a top playmaker, but he has to be more physical and has to do something special to grab the job.
- CB Morgan Trent, Soph. - 22 tackles, 1 interception, 5 broken up passes
He's fast and experienced, now the 6-1, 192-pound Trent has to build on a good freshman season and challenge for a starting job. While he came out of spring ball looking like a key reserve, the coaching staff is high on him thinking he can grow into a dangerous coverman.
- SS Brandon Harrison, Soph. - 24 tackles, 2 interception, 4 broken up passes
The coaching staff will have to find a spot for him. He's more of a corner than a safety with 4.25 speed, but his range will be too much to keep off the field for long in nickel and dime packages.
Special Teams[/SIZE][/FONT]The kicking game is more than serviceable, but it could use a little more range from PK Garrett Rivas and a few more blasts from punter Ross Ryan. There's no concerns about the return game with All-America Steve Breaston back after averaging 12.3 yards per punt return and 28.1 yards per kickoff return.The key to the unit: A slightly better year from the kickers would mean this will be among the nation's best special teams.
Special Teams Rating: 8.5
Projected Starters
- PK Garrett Rivas, Sr. - 19-26 FGs, 33-35 extra points
He's not going to hit any bombs, but he's a steady kicker from inside 40 yards. Four of his misses came from beyond 39, but he also missed some key short kicks in games against Nebraska and Michigan State. Even so, he should be in the mix for All-Big Ten honors if he can connect on a 50 yarder or two.
- P Ross Ryan, Sr. - 52 kicks, 1,992 yds, 38.3 yards per kick, 16 inside the 20
Don't let the 38.3 yards per kick fool you; Ryan was great at preventing the big return with 21 fair catches and 16 shots inside the 20. Even so, he'll have to fight off a challenge from Zoltan Mesko all fall.

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good stuff BAR...

two people I am keeping my eye on that I think will have huge seasons...

Adrian Arrington at WR

Shawn Crable OLB

I think the new defensive coordinator, Ron English, will make this defense much better...I am so glad jim hermann is gone, he never adjusted during the game and English will do that..Carr is givng him free reign as well.

Carlos Brown might be something special on Offense..he will be what antonio bass was last year...look for end arounds with him and HB direct snaps...

I can't wait.
Hunt...I couldnt agree more about Carlos Brown...heres an article

Carlos Brown just wants to fit in.
He and University of Michigan teammate Justin Boren skipped the second semester of their senior years of high school to enroll early in Ann Arbor.
When the rest of their freshman class rolls in during the next few weeks, this pair will already have a spring practice and a summer of conditioning under their belts.
"It was a pretty good advantage because I learned a lot," said Brown, who was rated the nation's No. 5 running back in this class by "I got in a whole lot better shape and got accustomed to this small area we live in, Ann Arbor. I've met a lot of people."
Brown explained his situation while standing in Michigan Stadium on a spectacular June day, far from the chill he faced arriving in January.
"I didn't know a lot of people," he said of his arrival. "The weather wasn't that bad -- not as bad as I thought it would be. The biggest thing is the freedom and you make all your own decisions, basically. It's not that bad, you just have to make priorities."
It also didn't take him long to figure out his hometown of Franklin, Ga., was a bit different than Ann Arbor.
"The biggest transition?" Brown said. "It seems like everything happens fast up here. Everything's faster."
Part of being so highly rated are the expectations. Brown already generated buzz in spring practice, where coach Lloyd Carr and other players were impressed with his speed. But, as of that June day, he had not taken on U-M's resident speed demon, Morgan Trent, in a footrace.
Why? "I don't know, ask him," Trent said, smiling.
Brown is already getting some hype on the Internet. Some message boards are saying he's the sprinter threat that could change the U-M backfield. It's an experience he calls "a little weird."
By enrolling early, he probably improved his chance to play this fall. When other freshmen are adjusting this fall, he'll have a feel for the coaches and his teammates.
"No doubt because he's been through and knows the conditioning he went through prior to spring ball," Carr said. "Certainly, the heat he's used to. But when they run seven-on-seven (summer drills), he's going to know what the formations are and going to know what the plays are. He's far ahead of where he would be if he just walked in here."

This guy is gonna bring an unreal dimension IMO. The key is not to overwork Hart. 15-20 carries a game and then mix in Brown and Grady. They each have their own special attributes and Browns will be that breakaway threat and little gadget things like Hunt mentioned
Michigan fans should be thankful DC Jim Hermann is gone. The guy was one of the worst DC I've ever seen when facing QBs that can run VY and Troy Smith come to mine recently but this dates all the way back to the Tony Rice.
Pretty big production loss at WRs (almost 70%), but from what you've posted, I guess they have some talent ready to step up there.

Rest of the team should be fairly solid, Big Al.

No doubt Horn..

its good to see Herman gone. I know there is more emphasis on getting more athletic lines and faster skill postion players but that will take some time overall.

playwithme, loss of Avant is big but Manningham is a star in the making. Only 27 cathes last year but most of them were big and he became more prominent over the year. If Breaston can be 100% that would be awesome. His last 2 bolw games have been unreal. Granted he held the Rose Bowl record for all-purpose yardage for only one year(thank you Mr Bush) but even Horn will say he was great that game. We just need him full speed from the get go.
Breaston was an absolute nightmare returning kicks in that game. It was after that game Mack started putting in his starters on special teams. Huff made TD saving tackle vs Bush last year in the Rose Bowl. Thank god he was on special teams.
PlayWithMe said:
Pretty big production loss at WRs (almost 70%), but from what you've posted, I guess they have some talent ready to step up there.

Rest of the team should be fairly solid, Big Al.


bar's right with the wr depth. have to be a local to know this and follow the recruiting really well. semcon info at its

michigan may just take the big ten this yr.
and i am lookin for prescott burgess to let loose this season. big time talent here that hasnt been playing fully to his potential. if the real burgess stands up this defense will be hell to deal with. solid from inside out to me.
KALIND....this is one year I wish we played OSU early in year but that game at end isn't as open and shut as some will think it is. This is gonna be a much better UM defense. Its exciting and the offense is gonna be damn good to.
B.A.R. said:
KALIND....this is one year I wish we played OSU early in year but that game at end isn't as open and shut as some will think it is. This is gonna be a much better UM defense. Its exciting and the offense is gonna be damn good to.

much better defense bar. i just hate watching carr bumble the game away. talent is there and depth on the offensive side other than qb is solid, so henne must stay healthy. the defense is solid and will be ready for ginn and co.
more stuff...

Looking ahead to the 2006 season, one of the questions everyone wants to know is which true freshmen will see the field, and how large of an impact will they make. In this series, the whole staff chips in with their thoughts on each freshman's opportunity to see action as a rookie, beginning today with running backs Carlos Brown and Brandon Minor.

Carlos Brown: 6-foot-0 206 pounds

Why He Will Play: Brown enrolled at Michigan in January, in time for the winter term and spring football. In doing so, Brown has already made the transition to college student and football player, two potential obstacles for each and every freshman athlete. Brown's abilities are also unique. A former option quarterback, Brown has great speed and elusiveness, traits other U-M backs are lacking. He could turn a simple off-tackle run into a 60-yard touchdown sprint with the right opportunity.

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Carlos Brown's arrival in January may be the biggest reason he plays this fall. Brown is also a versatile weapon. He can catch the ball out of the backfield and if need be, in a trick-play situation Brown can throw the ball too. He has the skills to be the all-around offensive menace Antonio Bass would have been this fall if not for a season-ending knee injury. Simply put, Brown might be too good with too much to offer to keep off the field.

Why He Might Not Play: It's not like the Wolverines are desperate for a running back. Junior Mike Hart and sophomore Kevin Grady are 1-2 in the pecking order, and as Michigan has proven year after year, there is usually very little opportunity for any back not listed as the starter or backup. And even if a third or fourth back gets carries, Brown will have to beat out a trio of competitors with more experience – seniors Alijah Bradley and Jerome Jackson, and redshirt freshman Mister Simpson.

The transition Brown is making from high school quarterback to college tailback should not be overlooked either. Any drastic position change can take time, even if a player has an extra spring to practice. In this manner, classmate Brandon Minor, who has played tailback his entire prep career – has the edge over Brown and could earn the playing time instead.

Brandon Minor: 6-foot-0, 210 pounds:

Why He Will Play: Minor has the ideal size, and good enough speed to be the every-down back Michigan used to employ with regularity before the emergence of Mike Hart. In other words, Minor is Anthony Thomas, is B.J. Askew, is Chris Perry. Or at least has the frame and speed of those three. And sooner or later the thought is Michigan will return to its roots, choosing to utilize a ball carrier with Minor's physical attributes.

Whether that happens this year, probably not, but if the coaches are looking to play one of their two rookie ball carriers, Minor does have far more experience playing tailback than Brown. Minor has also said, repeatedly, that he desires playing time this year and will do whatever it takes to get it. The way he speaks, it's almost as if he was promised he wouldn't redshirt. He wasn't, but he was promised the chance to impress and win a few carries.

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More physically imposing than Brown, Brandon Minor is determined to make an impact. Why He Might Not Play: There's no reason to burn through a possible redshirt season for a player who might only receive a handful of carries all season long. Certainly, if all goes according to plan Minor won't see significant game action this year, and if he has to, due to injuries, that's the appropriate time to yank the redshirt off of him.
here's all you need to know about Michigan...unless they are a small fav. or dog, don't trust them with your money...Lloyd Carr sucks...
That ML will be nice..and the points should be golden.

The dog role is always nice as well. Could be a spot or two(like ND) to hit them this year.