Nothing ushers in spring like football. I was really excited to get my first dose of Michigan football under new Coach Rich Rodriguez on Saturday. The Michigan Football Spring Scrimmage was held at Saline High School. (The Big House is in disrepair due to the renovations.)
The weather was perfect for a mid-November game - windy, 43-degrees and periodic down pours. It was an offense vs. defense format – rather than a split squad scrimmage. Throughout the day, the ball was spotted at various locations on the field with different game scenarios. For example: ball on the 25, overtime, defense up by 8 and the offense takes over.
Here are some of my observations:
- Overall things were a bit sloppy. Dropped passes and penalties. There was only one or two series that I could recall that the offense looking kind of sharp. Threet may be better than Sheridan in terms of overall skills, but I think Sheridan was more comfortable in the offensive scheme. I like the way Sheridan handles the ball. He is a more mobile than Threet, but his arm strength is weaker.
- The running backs looked very solid. Brandon Minor hit the line quickly, made some nice cuts and looked chiseled. Kevin Grady had a strong comeback following a season-ending knee injury last year. One name that you will hear plenty of in the future, Avery Horn. Can you say roadrunner fast?
- The O-Line still needs plenty of work and the receiving corps – being lead by Greg Matthews - is in need of a few more good men.
- The defensive front was messing with the O-Line for a majority of the day. Terrance Taylor looked larger than ever. I liked the way the defense moved to the ball, it appeared as if they picked up a step or two. Troy Wolfolk contributed to the defensive effort with a nifty INT run for a pick-6.
The entire scrimmage was run with a very fast pace, which is the way Coach RichRod likes to run his offense. There will be plenty of surprises in Ann Arbor this fall – some good and some not so good, as these guys learn a new scheme and system. One thing that will not be so surprising –seeing the best-conditioned team in modern day Michigan football.