When it comes to the Michigan football team, there are always questions fans want answered. It’s time for another edition of TBHR Twitter Mailbag!
How does one participate? Simple! All it requires is a question and a single tweet. It’s that simple. I will choose the best questions and feature them on this post as well as answering your questions.
Let’s get started.
@JoshuaHenschke Fitz seems to be more overconfident by saying he’s certain he will start. What’s his relationship with Green? Not a mentor?
— brad elders (@bradelders) August 6, 2013
In terms of last years production and injury, yes I would say that Fitz is overconfident that his starting spot is safe this season. But, I commend him for it. You never want to see any player say that he’s not the best – even if he’s truly not – or he’s not good enough to start. I admire that Fitz wants to come back strong and put together a solid summer camp and come out prepared to face Central Michigan week one. I’m even happier he wants to put last seasons dreadful performance away and start fresh.
As far as his relationship goes with Green, I’m not really sure. That’s never really been reported on. But, one would have to assume that Green and DeVeon Smith were welcomed to the team with open arms. As far as Fitz being a mentor, I think it comes with the territory. He’s the senior leadership in the position group and Hoke stresses how important senior leadership is to Michigan football. If Fitz doesn’t show that, then something greater is wrong here. I feel confident in saying that even though someone like Green is gunning for his starting spot, it doesn’t mean Fitz isn’t a team player and won’t help Green become a better in the system. No man is more important than the team.
@JoshuaHenschke How is Hoke and co. Going to apply pressure to the opposing quarterback without an experienced DL?
— Sean S⛳ (@Sean_Sooch18) August 6, 2013
This is a good question. We are well aware that Michigan doesn’t exactly have a dominating line yet, but if Mattison and Hoke have anything to do with it, that will surely change soon. As far as applying pressure, I think the easiest answer is that they’re just going to have to do it and hope it works. As silly as that sounds, there’s really no remedy for it. Of course, it helps when you have linebackers such as Ryan (when he’s back), Ross, Morgan, Bolden, etc. who can apply pressure during blitz plays which could then allow a defensive lineman or end to slip through for the sack. On top of that, you have an emerging star in Frank Clark who will need a ton of attention from the opposing offensive line and in turn someone will capitalize from it.
It’s easy to throw out sames such as Thomas Gordon, Blake Countess, and Raymon Taylor that could also help apply pressure, but there is really only one way to get it done. Apply the pressure. I don’t think Mattison will completely avoid it if it doesn’t work, but I think it will allow him to get creative with the blitz packages until he finds something that works. The line SHOULD get better as the season goes along. So, hopefully there isn’t any lingering issues.
@TBHReport any way Patrick Kugler gets a look at center? Looks like he came in at a good weight.
— Zach Puetz (@ZatchPootz) August 6, 2013
If the season started right now, I would say no. I think that position is Jack Miller’s to lose. It’s very difficult to get away starting a true freshman on the offensive line, especially in the center position, because the speed of the game is just so drastically different from high school. Now, if something were to happen to Miller this season, it’s very possible Hoke may be forced to start someone else like Kugler. But, I feel he should be redshirted this season to allow him some time to grow in the system.
As far as his weight goes, this is a good thing. The bigger they are now, the faster they can be ready for in-game action. I do see Kugler getting some time on the line in the coming seasons, soon rather than later. I think Hoke really found a gem offensive line class that will be crucial to the future success the Wolverines will see.
@TBHReport Will team 134 have a weapon on offense that other D’s will be forced to defend and if so who?
— Scott Flores (@Protoman20xx) August 6, 2013
I think there is one person that comes to mind who made a switch to the slot receiver this summer, his name is Dennis Norfleet. More than just a kick returner, I truly feel that Norfleet will excel at the slot receiver position and I feel defensive coordinators should be put on notice. You’ve seen what he can do returning kicks – albeit he hasn’t ran one back yet, that’s coming soon – imagine him out there with an open field on a slant route? See ya!
I don’t think it will be immediate, but eventually teams will gameplan around Norfleet’s speed. You have Norfleet and Dileo out there who could be an excellent short yardage tandem, and combine that Funchess and Gallon’s deep threat abilities, that’s a dangerous receiving corps if everything falls into place.
@TBHReport Any chance of hayes seeing tie in the slot?
— Nathan Pung (@nathan_a27) August 6, 2013
That’s tough to say. Personally, I feel that Justice Hayes is a much better running back than potential slot receiver, but who knows. I think once Norfleet switched to the slot, that pretty much sealed Hayes’ fate with the running backs. Though with his speed, I’m sure he could be used as a wide receiver in special packages if the need was there.
@TBHReport Who wins #2 spot at CB, Courtney Avery or Raymon Taylor? I know Taylor played more last yr but Avery was saddled with injuries.
— Mike (@AmazinBlueFan) August 6, 2013
I really feel Taylor earned a shot for a second year as a starting cornerback. I understand that Avery was at an unfair advantage due to injuries last season, but Taylor did a fantastic job immediately stepping in with Countess’ out with injury. A Countess-Taylor tandem will be excellent. Considering both are still young – Countess a RS SO and Taylor a Junior – we could see them another year as well if everything works out.
I believe that Avery could thrive as a nickleback. We’ve seen him do it in the past and there is no doubt he could do it again. Of course he will be challenged from guys like Hollowell and possibly Dymonte Thomas, but I feel Avery will see extended time at the nickle spot.
@JoshuaHenschke what will be Michigan record if they lose who will it be by?
— Adzzzzzzzzzz (@adam_garnets) August 6, 2013
I think 10 wins for the Michigan football team isn’t asking for too much. With a weak non-conference schedule, I feel like Michigan has set themselves up for a nice year record wise. Obviously, teams like Notre Dame, Michigan State, and Ohio State are going to be tough fought games. But, a team a lot of people are overlooking is Northwestern. I truly feel that they will make noise this season. Northwestern lost no one to the draft this year and have a talented squad. Michigan almost lost to them – and should’ve lost, without a Roundtree miracle – and I have no doubts that Michigan COULD lose to them this year.
I still feel that the game against Michigan State could go either way, as well as Ohio State. So, if I were to list potential losses, they would go as follows: Notre Dame, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State. The reason I don’t list Nebraska as a potential loss is because I’m not enamored with them. If it weren’t for Denard going down with injury, I’m certain that game would’ve been won with ease.