Canukbuck's picture


Member since 04 January 2013 | Blog

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  • SPORTS MOMENT: 2003 National Championship game with OSU beating Miami

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Comment 12 Mar 2014

Well, I see it a bit differently ..... Both Ash and Fickell will be sitting down prior to speaking with their assistants on defense and run the systems by Meyer (you can bank on it).  I think Ash will have more to say about the back end of the defense, while Luke will be responsible for anything close to the LOS.  This will not be a case of Ash bringing in a new system, but rather Luke and Ash mutually committing to a defensive scheme that the defensive staff and personnel can execute at a higher speed than the past couple of seasons. 

Don't believe for a minute that Withers didn't have input into the secondary system played these past two years.  Luke would always be comfortable with handling the front 7, but the secondary is not his area of expertise, so I have no doubt that Withers leaving was not an unhappy issue for Meyer.  Moving Coomb's responsibilities towards the Special Teams should also give you an idea of why Meyer didn't move Luke out of his position. 

Bottom line - defense improves, then credit should go to the entire defensive staff, including both Coordinators.



Comment 12 Mar 2014

Don't confuse the "safe" choice with the "smart" choice.  One thing you didn't mention was the problem with playing freshmen too soon and risking the self-confidence of a player if he makes too many mistakes.  When a defensive tackle makes a mistake, there are people behind him to help.  When a linebacker screws up, especially in the middle, it affords a running back or TE the opportunity to run amok in the secondary (never good).

Also, in a position like MLB, defense is much more than stepping across the LOS and throwing a fit.  As the article states, there are calls to be made and keys to be read, which a senior can generally do much better and quicker because he's done it in previous games.  I don't believe that a Meyer's coached team doesn't do anything but play the best players regardless of status.  Von Bell is a perfect example.  While he did make a big play by picking off the ball against MSU, he also was beaten badly on a few plays.  No one on this board knows what he looked like during practice (which is generally where you are given an opportunity to prove your worth).  I like Bell and think he'll be a great player, but I'll yield to the coach's decision as to who plays and who sits.

Comment 12 Mar 2014

So, based on what some of you are saying about Ash calling the plays on defense, will that now place the blame for any lack of progress on defense squarely on Ash's shoulders ??  Since everyone was so quick to crucify Luke, despite him sharing the DC title with Withers, this can be the only conclusion, right ???

I firmly believe that there was not a happy relationship between Withers and Fickell, which translated into the game planning and onto the field.  Add to that Kerry Coombs limited skills as the corner's coach (which is why he's been relegated to running special teams this year) and you had a recipe for problems.  Let's throw in some untimely injuries to key personnel .....

I think both Fickell and Ash will be a little more in sync with regards to scheme and as a result, you'll see a significant improvement on defense.  But, if that should happen, it will be the result of BOTH Fickell and Ash working together, unlike the unit did the past two seasons, so both should be given the proverbial pat on the back .....



Comment 07 Mar 2014

Maybe the film that Braxton should be watching during Spring drills is this kid's film.  Very quick and accurate release.  Nice touch on the deep fade and can certainly throw into tight windows.  Probably has Guiton wheels, but with our improving receiving corps, we need someone who can hit the receiver on the break, not once he's open.  As for his height of 6' 1" - well, it didn't seem to hurt Tom Brady or a certain short QB from Purdue ......

Comment 18 Feb 2014

Slip of the keyboard, Einstein - up here we can use both spellings (i.e. Staples Centre or offensive center) .... but nice to know that you're dwelling on the most important things in life, Crimson ....  Just to set the record straight - I'm from Canada, which is neither America (as in United States of America) or England (as in the United Kingdom), but I guess my handle of CANUKbuck wasn't obvious enough for you ....

Comment 16 Feb 2014

Offensive centre is the most difficult ..... responsible for making most of the O-Line calls prior to the snap in most offenses, having to focus on making a clean snap and then taking on a defender immediately on the snap of the ball, having to reach out to second level on some run blocking schemes and usually taking on the biggest defender (NT).   Sports Illustrated once did a survey to find out, among college teams, which positions had the brightest students.  QB was number one, but the second brightest group was found on the offensive line.  It might answer the question as to why certain players can learn the position quickly (simply, they are brighter student athletes).   It's also been said that the defensive line was little more than, "stepping across the LOS and throwing a fit" (not sure I agree with that, since gap integrity has become so crucial these days) ....  Anyway, my vote is for the Center position.

Comment 05 Feb 2014

It seems pretty obvious that MM is not coming here, which opens the door (and scholie for Slade) .... Would love to have MM's talent and athletic ability, but I have a bad feeling that his work ethic (both in the class and on the field) is no where near five star status.  I think we dodge a bullet with this miss .... Good luck to him at MSU (and good luck to MSU dealing with him) ....

Comment 05 Jan 2014

Not completely on board with your evaluation of responsibilities:

  1. Personnel - agreed.  Recruitment is the key.
  2. Player Development - incorrect.  Players are developed by their position coaches, not coordinators.  The weakest part of our defense has been the secondary, which falls on Coombs and Whithers, not Luke.  The LB's have been patchwork, due to injury, for most of the season.
  3. System - Developed by the Coordinators (Luke and Whithers), installed by the Position Coaches and Coordinators.  Both Whithers and Fickell are responsible for the game plan, not just Luke.  Game adjustments are in the same category.

Luke Fickell is dealing with a defensive coaching staff that was handed to him by the Head Coach, so in essence, the ultimate responsibility falls on Urban to make the decisions on his staff, not Luke.   Luke played an aggressive type of defense when he was a player and was brought up coaching with the Silver Bullet mentality, so I find it interesting that everyone thinks he would willingly give up that aggressive nature once Urban showed up. 

Going to be an interesting off-season .....

Comment 08 Dec 2013

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink ..... A perfect summary of our defense.  The coaches put the players in situations to succeed, but if they are not going to follow through on their responsibilities, it's on them.  Plain and simple.

Dump on the coaches all you want, but it still boils down to the players executing and tonight, we had far too many players not putting in the effort or making simple mental mistakes (those PI calls in the first quarter were flat out bone head plays by Shazier and Grant (try and pin that on the coaching staff) ....

Comment 28 Oct 2013

Still amazed to see ESPN holding the Michigan recruiting class ahead of Ohio State's current group.  They are the only recruiting service to have Michigan ranked that high .... I guess "The Cheese" does stand alone .....  Very telling (regarding the ESPN attitude towards the Buckeyes ....

Comment 18 Oct 2013

If I was a TE and Braxton Miller was under center, I'd be looking elsewhere to ply my trade.  Our TE's are becoming afterthoughts.  At least Kenny G utilized them a bit more while he was in, but for some reason, Miller hasn't been throwing them a bone very often.

If we're not going to use the TE, then just add more speed with another slot receiver.

Comment 18 Oct 2013

Very happy that KK decided to play up north, since there's no way he would have cracked our starting line.  Frankly speaking, the big boy was all show and no go .....