The past few years have not been kind to Michigan Football. In fact, you could say the past three years have felt like a life sentence for Michigan fans.
First, the Michigan Man of Michigan Men passed away. Second, there was the aberration against Appalachian State. Third came the horror that is 3-9 and two years without bowl appearances. Last came the first NCAA Major Violations in school history. Well, Buckeye fans, all good things have to come to an end. These are the warriors on the Michigan Defense who aim to right the Wolverine path once again.
First up, the lead villain: Craig Roh.
Photo courtesy of the AP, All Rights Reserved.
The highlight of the Michigan Defensive unit for 2010, Craig Roh begins a new reign of terror on the offensive lines of the Big Ten, picking up where Brandon Graham left off.
One of the few bright spots in a shaky defense from last year, Roh has had time to bulk up in the off-season. With his added experience, as well as increased strength and conditioning, Roh is sure to draw double-teams in an attempt to contain his pass rush. This should open up opportunities for other defenders to get open shots at the offensive backfield.
I still expect Roh to get into the backfield often. I look for Roh to record 45-plus tackles and 6-plus sacks, even with the inevitable double-teams.
Perhaps one of the most underrated pieces of the Michigan Defense, DE Ryan VanBergen aims to be a leader in the 2010 squad.
Along with fellow junior Mike Martin, VanBergen will be one of the beneficiaries of linemen committing resources to stopping Roh. Look for VanBergen to register 8-plus sacks and 60-plus tackles in a breakout season.
For the 2010 season, Will Campbell will be asked to play a bigger role in the Wolverine defense.
Weighing in after the spring at 324 and officially listed now as 333, Campbell will be the anvil in the middle of the defensive line, pressing to assist Roh or Van Bergen hammer helpless backs. His presence should be another boon to a defense that is looking better as the season approaches.
Photo Courtesy of GoBlueWolverine
What can you say about the man that is not apparent from first look? Mike Martin is a man among boys. The junior has been on the verge of a breakout season. What better time than 2010? Expect 55-plus tackles and 4-plus sacks to round out the "Four Horsemen" on the Michigan defense.
The bottom line is this: Michigan's defense should be improved this year. The defensive line will be stout, even with the loss of Brandon Graham to NFL First-Round Glory. The secondary will be okay because we've added some good speed, and I think the combination of Troy Woolfork, JT Floyd, and Cullen Christian will be something special.
The time has come for Michigan to take back their pride. I hope the Big Ten enjoyed their vacation, the Wolverines are coming back...and they are not happy.