Film Study: “Defense the Michigan Way” - Decoding Don Brown's Defensive Philosophy

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beserkr29's picture

Don Brown is a fantastic coach, who fits what Harbaugh 2.0 wants to do in college. It's a poor man's attempt at being Bama, with suffocating D and a run game that pounds out the W.

With even half the defensive ability of Brown and his assistants, the Buckeyes would be squarely in the playoff hunt. I hate Brown. He's too good and coaches a team I loathe. Hopefully he goes somewhere to be HC soon. Or Gene ponies up 2 mill a year to steal him away.

HS
script-ohio's picture

If he's poachable, it's worth the money to poach him.  It would not be good news for us if he's one of those assistants that just never gets picked up for a head coaching position and stays at UM for years and years.  Like Bud Foster at VT.

HS
dschuetz11's picture

If OSU paid him two million a year, do you think he’d go

Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining!

~Judge Judy~

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OnPoint's picture

Brown is a heck of a coach. He saved Harbaugh's job. 

Nut on top

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dschuetz11's picture

He’s very good!

Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining!

~Judge Judy~

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FortMeyer's picture

Their defensive backs hold more than anyone I have ever witnessed. They have as long as Brown's been there. The Indiana game was an example. The IU receivers had their jerseys pulled off their pads throughout the game. It will happen Saturday too. If they do it every play and it is only called 3 or 4 times a game it is worth it. That is one secret to their great defense.

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JohnnyKozmo's picture

Great point...and Haskins is the 1st QB they’ve played that can make them pay for it, either through penalty or completions.  

You're too stupid to have a good time. -Dalton

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script-ohio's picture

Yeah, if our OL holds up and that's far from a given even if Winovich is out.  Gary is a beast and they've got other capable pass rushers and good rushing LBs

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dschuetz11's picture

Winovich, Gary, Solomon all nursing injury

Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining!

~Judge Judy~

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G.'s picture

Yeah this has always driven me crazy. I mean they're talented enough to do it and get away with it... But there is plenty of blatantly obvious holding/PI that just isn't called against them. I am hoping we throw some serious misdirection at them and that our receivers run the crispiest routes ever.

G.

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JohnnyKozmo's picture

Can’t lineup all day in 1st down and run the ball.  Day/Wilson must find 15-20 plays that are safe and they have confidence in running to get ahead of the sticks on 1st down. They’ve got to know that...this D is based off of winning first and 2nd downs.  Also...please do something else off of that jet sweep motion for Parris besides giving it to him.  They’ve run nothing to counter that yet...Saturday would be a great time. 

You're too stupid to have a good time. -Dalton

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script-ohio's picture

I want to see us keeping their D off balance.  Run some on 1st down.  Throw screens, slants, crosses, just don't be predictable.  I feel like we get into mindsets on offense and run the same stuff in bunches.  Please don't run Haskins that is a disaster waiting to happen either with wasted plays that go nowhere, fumbles, or an injury.  I'm really afraid that after his "success" on the ground against Maryland that Urban, who just loves the QB run, is going to get that more into the game plan and it's going to be laughably inept and hamstring the offense.

I want to see more diversity out of the passing game (like, throw some damn slants for one thing), enough running to keep them honest at least, a good performance out of the OL, and Haskins only running when there's wide open spaces in front of him and that's it. 

And more than anything I'd like to see our defense play with a little discipline and each individual player do their damn job and not miss any tackles.  It's ok to get beat sometimes but it's not ok to get caught up in traffic running up into the line when you're supposed to be contain and letting someone get the corner and take it 60 yards.

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KENTACOHUT's picture

Agreed Haskins is not an elusive runner please do not create a QB run game  a couple of clutch runs for 1st downs but his talent is certainly his arm. 

"Vitalum Vitalis "

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dschuetz11's picture

Urban will run slants and bubblescreens out the wazoo!

Haskins will be playing, Tate Martell, too, and running the read-option out the wazoo!

These things go in cycles!

Jim Tressel made a guarantee at a basketball game!

Do you remember OSU’s record in Ann Arbor at the time?

Fourteen straight losses in Ann Arbor!

Bo Schembechler on the eve of the game during the Jim Tressel-era said, “These things go in cycles!”

Michigan pulled back their offense and defense versus Rutgers and Indiana!

OSU’s coaches know this!

But, Don Brown knows Ryan Day very well!

They have a long relationship and a deep friendship, like Woody and Bo!

You know the “Script Ohio” was created by the Michigan band as a gift to Ohio?

The OSU band director is a UM grad!

Ed Warriner knows Urban Meyer and the OSU defense and offense very well!

There will be no surprises!

You have the nation’s 25th-ranked offense versus the 25th-ranked defense!

You also have the nation’s 2nd-ranked offense against the nation’s 1st-ranked defense!

If Michigan possesses the ball on offense, and scores touchdowns, that will be their modus operandi!

OSU wants to score quickly and often!

That’s my take!

It’s a one-game season!

Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining!

~Judge Judy~

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Zimmy07's picture

I would think a 5 yd TE curl would hurt the defense as diagramed.  After 2 of those run a TE stop & go & then cut inside after a few steps so the safety can’t get there in time.

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JohnnyKozmo's picture

Great call.  TE all day long on 1st until they stop it.  That target is an afterthought for this offense and reports have to say the same.  

You're too stupid to have a good time. -Dalton

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actionstanleyjackson's picture

Attack vertically. The side to side stuff is a waste of a down 

Stay golden, Ponyboy.

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Knarcisi's picture

Except for the underneath crossing routes.

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Coach Harry's picture

Yep he is good but he will have to stop our passing offense ... Stopping our passing game will be very tough ... And we can also run with Weber and Dobbins ... Happy we don t rely on JT Barrett tomorrow ... We would be done before kickoff !!!

Go Buckeyes beat Blue !!!

MACTE VIRTUTE !!! In Tress I will always trust !!!

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Buckfrombirth's picture

Brown's philosophy looks and sounds a lot like what the best NFL defenses do, especially when it comes to packages. He's a great coach, and I hate his guts. Day and Wilson have got to do something to stay out of obvious long-yardage passing downs, or, well, you know...

I survived Cooper, and I hate Tai Streets.

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Crumb's picture

So apparently we'll have to throw it deep and over the middle, two things we've hardly even tried to do for most of the season. Great...

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Knarcisi's picture

Too bad we're not a good play action team.  We MUST make these safeties pay for coming downhill.  

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Zimmy07's picture

On that first gif the safety wasn’t even reading for pass - he was jumping the run before the RB even got the ball.  A slant or a go route off a fake handoff may have been a big gainer.

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Cptnvideo's picture

It seems to me that if Brown commits so much on stopping the run on 1st and 2nd downs, that the play action pass should be very successful.

My favorite team? Whoever is playing TTUN.

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napbuck's picture

Quick slants and take a few deep shots and run right at them not to the sideline, that’s how Indiana acted them with some success and Indiana don’t have the type of athletes we do.

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Knarcisi's picture

The short crossing routes were there for IU, too.

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dschuetz11's picture

Michigan played vanilla defense on purpose

Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining!

~Judge Judy~

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Takemysnare79's picture

Hey, Coach Harbaugh-have you heard of Brent Venables?  

Get ready Coach Brown.  Here come the Buckeyes!  I trust we will be better offensively than 4 of the other teams your group has stopped: Western Michigan, SMU, Northwestern & Wisconsin. 

Go Bucks!  Beat TTUN!

JI row end 78

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napbuck's picture

I also think we need to play with some tempo, I haven’t watched them play to much and not sure if they have played against it much but we seem to play better on offense when we use some tempo . I know we need a couple positive plays to go our way before we can use tempo but I’m hoping we use some.

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gutterwaste's picture

I didnt watch the whole IU game, but they were going pretty quick at the end. Michigan's D looked gassed and was doing some pretty obvious flopping to slow IU down. No one was winning any Oscars for their acting jobs

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SilverHaven's picture

Slants!  If the LBs and safeties are crashing downhill, there will be plenty of space.
Crosses too.
TEs and RBs too.
Forget about the horrible horizontal passes behind the line, their D will be up there.
A West Coast offense would have a hay day with mid-field passing against their run-first D.
Have fun Haskins!

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

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Major H's picture

Ruckert streaking down a seam, please!

I'd rather be an hour early than a minute late.

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dschuetz11's picture

Love your motto!

Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining!

~Judge Judy~

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Buckeye2011's picture

Last year when Haskins entered the game I remember the crossing routes having a tremendous effect on their defense especially with KJ Hill not to mention with Campbell at H-back tomorrow.  I also expect a lot more screen passes against this defense.  This is a very good defense but they have not seen anyone like Haskins this year.  It is not our offense that I am worried about its our defense who is the biggest factor tomorrow.  

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Eph97's picture

He's going to be a UM lifer unless Harbaugh leaves for an NFL job. He's stated he does not want to be hc again. Browns hiring Harbaugh improves the Browns and weakens UM. I would love that.

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dschuetz11's picture

The BEARS would do anything they could to get Harbaugh!

Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining!

~Judge Judy~

HS
My Dad Is A Wolverine But I'm A Buckeye's picture

Here's the thing about Michigan: they're pretty darn good. However, the extent of their greatness has yet to be seen. They crushed a Penn State that has lost all of its offensive output in Saquon and their offensive coordinator in the offseason. UM did not have to play PSU in white out conditions. So, I'm suspect. Wisconsin has a one dimensional offense that is easy to stop. Still suspect. Indiana gave them fits and so did Northwestern. I don't think that these ideas have been discussed much and I think that OSU will actually have an easier time than others think taking it to That Team Up North. I may be wrong, who knows?

Number 1 rule in life: always beat That Team Up North. 

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OnPoint's picture

The forecast has changed to 100% chance of rain throughout the game. I say run the ball on two out three downs and take a shot on the third.

Nut on top

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dschuetz11's picture

Looks like the elements will be a factor!

Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining!

~Judge Judy~

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nickel beer's picture

Just to mention that Dobbins has looked good pass blocking.  He's making me double take because he's reminded me of Zeke.  I swear he's looking beefier than the start of the season.

half machine

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dschuetz11's picture

Pass-pro is a huge part of a runningback’s arsenal!

Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining!

~Judge Judy~

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RUNTOWIN's picture

What the hell is going on around here?!?  Now is  NOT the time for praise, recognition, or any other positive sentiments about TTUN.  Don’t be soft. Knock off the niceties. Save that shit for...never. 

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Buckibry's picture

Whatever, obsessed weirdo!

I'll work for helmet stickers!

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dschuetz11's picture

Woody and Bo!

Respect for an opponent does not diminish one’s competitiveness!

Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining!

~Judge Judy~

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Buck 1961's picture

What’s to worry about, they haven’t beaten the Buckeyes with the “Don Brown defense”.

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countrybuckeye's picture

the defense the Bucks will face is no nonsense. Day should be prepared for it and execute what worked for the Nerds and the Hoosiers better than they ever could, especially with a better QB and receiving corps

“Save yourself and relax during every game. I recommend a fine bourbon.”

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dschuetz11's picture

Day and Brown have a long history . . . 

Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining!

~Judge Judy~

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bucksandsurfing's picture

We need to fire the guy running our defense, and hire someone this good.   

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dschuetz11's picture

It’s all about the running game—establishing it—and defending it!

Michigan fans complain about it—they don’t like it—want the game more open—these people were listened to when Rich-Rod and Hoke were hired!

Ohio State fans don’t want the quarterback running—air it out—but the running game—Offensive Line—is critical!

Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining!

~Judge Judy~

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tsblue's picture

More outstanding work. thanks for sharing!

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CowCat's picture

Great article. We need to get the short passing game going.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

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dschuetz11's picture

GREAT article!

Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining!

~Judge Judy~

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KENTACOHUT's picture

I’m not ready to hire this guy we don’t have the athletes for his defense , hell we don’t have the athletes for our current defense. Screw Blue ! 

"Vitalum Vitalis "

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ISURVIVEDCOOPER's picture

We beat that defense twice already and Day has had to call plays against him last year so whateverburger. They may have more seasoned players to make the most of Don's calls and schemet this year, but I think the key will be whether or not we score early to put pressure on their offense

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

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dschuetz11's picture

You’re right!

Brown’s defense is really good, now, with an offense that can possess the ball!

Early and often is OSU’s plan!

Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining!

~Judge Judy~

HS
LawClub's picture

Good breakdown Kyle but wish you'd have given some insight into how to attack this D.

HS