The Only Way Is Up: the Five Steps Towards A Wolverine Incline in '09
1. Solving the Quarterback fiasco
Michigan had a wide array of quarterbacks this season. From opening the season with Nick Sheridan, and then using Steven Threet, and at one point, even taking off Justin Feagan's red shirt to backup in case of injury. You could not say that any of the three had decent success to Michigan's standards.
Luckily, we had landed dual-threat QB Shavodrick Beaver. He was going to be a perfect fit for Rich's spread-O. But Beaver later decomitted from Michigan and committed with Tulsa. Thankfully, we had another top commit, Tate Forcier, out of San Diego, who can fit into the spread offense and will likely compete for a starting job at QB.
Forcier has the ability to make plays when the pocket breaks down and has the speed to take the ball himself and gain the first down. He will likely share time at QB with Threet and eventually take over at the starting spot.
2. That old running back position
After all the talk about Sam McGuffie, and the famous hurdle, McGuffie is no longer a Wolverine. McGuffie transferred to Rice University, leaving doubt as to who can pull the load at running back.
Brandon Minor would seem to be the answer. Minor was limited to 13 carries for 86 yards over the first six games of the season. Minor broke out late season rushing for 117 yards at Penn State, and 155 yards and 3 TD's against Purdue.
If not Minor, then incoming RB Fitzgerald Toussaint can get in on the action, as the Nation's No. 28 overall prep running back.
3. The Defense
After having a subpar year at defense, the Wolverines need a solution. They are losing top DT Terrence Taylor to the draft. To fill this gap, we have Craig Roh out of Arizona, the No. 4 DE in the nation.
Roh has great speed off the snap and great pass rushing abilities. Roh will definitely help out a struggling Michigan defense, by applying constant pressure to the opposing QB.
Also, coming out of New Jersey Anthony LaLota, the No. 13 DE in the nation, can provide some more great pass rush and QB pressure.
4. The Offensive Line
Clearly since loosing Jake Long to the NFL, Michigan has missed his pass protect abilities. Michigan had trouble giving their QB's time to throw the ball therefore allowing their Quarterbacks to get sacked way to much.
Taylor Lewan, teammate of Craig Roh in Arizona, will provide the protection that Michigan is looking for. At 6'6", 270lbs, Lewan can block for the run, and the pass, while sticking with his assignments. He will use his athleticism to stay with the oncoming pass rush.
Another major addition to the Michigan O-line is William Campbell. Listed at 6'5", 317lbs, Campbell uses his size and wingspan to protect the QB from the oncoming pass rush.
5. Living up to the Michigan Football Tradition.
After the most embarrassing season in Michigan history, all the coaches, players, and staff will come out this season with a new sense of pride and passion. They will work hard to earn the right to take the field at the Big House on Saturday afternoons.
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