Happy Tuesday folks, and welcome to Morning Brews. We’re going to be doing things a little differently today. The University put out brief conversations with Don Brown and Tim Drevno discussing what they expect from their units and what they hope to accomplish during fall camp. Rather than the traditional format of my take on something in college sports followed by a couple links, I’m just going to break down both of these videos this morning.
Let’s get right to it:
“No one rises to low expectations,” says Defensive Coordinator Don Brown. Contrary to the prevailing logic among non-Michigan sports writers, Brown says the coaches aren’t adjusting their expectations downward due to the surplus of youth on the defensive side of the ball. Like writers at MnB, Don Brown points to a core group of young - but experienced - players who will be stepping into starting roles as one reason why Michigan’s defense will be successful this year. “There’s a group of guys, whether they were starters, or on the second team, or partial time players that can provide leadership for the new guys. I wouldn’t say younger guys, because we have a lot of young guys, but there’s a group of guys who know what we’re doing.”
Most of those with playing experience will be up front. Guys like Bryan Mone, Rashan Gary, and Chase Winovich. Add in some inexperienced talent like Aubrey Solomon (that looks like Ben Bredeson he beats there, by the way), and the defensive line should be just fine. The question is whether Mike McCray and Devin Bush can anchor the LBs and whether the (almost) entirely new secondary can get up to speed quickly. There will be a lot of youth in the secondary, and it could be a weakness for the Wolverines.
“The team is real hungry, you know, wants to learn our concepts, wants to go out and compete,” says Offensive Coordinator Tim Drevno - and at this stage that’s key. The offense has to replace a number of starters, though the rebuilding project won’t be quite as extensive as what will take place on the defensive side of the ball. Key position groups to watch include QB and OLine. Both feature returning starters, but the positions are being challenged for by last year’s backups.
Regarding the youth, Drevno says, “Concept wise, plays and things, sometimes they might struggle, because they’re just getting here. But their athletic ability will flash, and you can see the recoverability or the speed on the edge, or catching the ball . . . and you’re like hey we’ve got something here. We’ve got a difference maker.” Drevno and staff have four weeks to take that raw athletic ability and turn it into a polished football team. Can they do it? We’ll find out starting September 2nd.
Which position group will be the strongest this year?
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