ANN ARBOR — With camp nearly over and Michigan planning an open apply this weekend, we are able to now start to show our consideration to soccer.
Sport week is nearly right here, of us. And it is about time.
Michigan opens the common season subsequent Saturday, Sept. 1, at Notre Dame, a nationally televised recreation that’s certain to obtain loads of hype.
We realized this week — shock, shock — that Shea Patterson would be the man underneath middle, a shock transfer by an in any other case secretive Jim Harbaugh. However we’re nonetheless ready to seek out out who will begin alongside the offensive line and the place, and who will exchange Mike McCray at weak-side linebacker.
Maybe a few of these solutions will come subsequent week.
Till then, you may have your personal questions — about Patterson and the scenario behind him, the significance of the Notre Dame recreation, the current glut of transfers and extra. Let’s get to it.
As at all times, in case you have a Michigan-football associated query you want answered, ask me on Twitter or e mail me with “Ask Aaron” within the topic line.
Cesar Ruiz thinks Michigan’s O-line could be a power this yr
Q: Do you assume Shea Patterson’s play fashion is extra of a assist or tough to make the most of? The O-line could also be helped by it however implementing bits of RPO in a pro-heavy offense is not any straightforward activity. Your ideas? (@Garbo824)
A: Patterson performed in a selection offense at Ole Miss, one which utilized a number of receivers and plenty of shotgun. Whereas I count on extra of that this season with Michigan (although, to be clear, we aren’t precisely certain what we’re going to get), I think it is going to be one thing extra in the midst of what Ole Miss ran and Harbaugh’s system final yr.
Now, that does not imply it will probably’t be efficient. Patterson goes to have a number of leeway in terms of play calls and resolution making on the line of scrimmage. Harbaugh has stated the employees explored RPO (run-pass choice) within the offseason, which helps performs to Patterson’s strengths. He can work simply wonderful throwing the ball within the pocket, but when a play breaks down by way of strain or receivers not getting open, it may permit him the chance to do one thing else. Michigan may have used just a few of these final yr in massive video games, like Wisconsin and Ohio State.
Make no mistake: Patterson is not any blazing runner. He is not going to get you 6 yards on name, however will be capable of do a bit greater than we noticed from Wilton Speight or Brandon Peters.
However to reply your query, I believe Patterson’s fashion could be a constructive for this Michigan offense. We noticed what it was final yr with Speight, O’Korn and Peters, and it is largely the identical group again alongside the road and at receiver. And whereas enchancment is anticipated, they wanted one thing greater than marginal features to compete for a Large Ten title. Patterson and his play can convey that.
Q: We have been listening to lots about Patterson being the entrance runner for the beginning QB job (replace: he’s), however we all know that the backup is only one play away. How is the backup QB competitors shaping up and, if wanted, would we see as steep of a drop off in QB play as we did final yr? (@KobeSandler)
Michigan QB Shea Patterson, humble and prepared for his shot
A: This query got here in final week, earlier than Jim Harbaugh revealed the quarterback depth chart on Monday, the identical day he made public Patterson can be the beginning quarterback.
And it is about the place I anticipated it to be. Brandon Peters has essentially the most expertise of the opposite three, a significant component in terms of sticking somebody in a recreation within the warmth of the second. Dylan McCaffrey apparently made main strides within the offseason, which indicators to me he is closed the hole for the backup job. Will probably be fascinating to comply with this because the season progresses and McCaffrey continues to take reps in apply.
As for Joe Milton, I think that he can be redshirted by season’s finish. There’s an excessive amount of competitors forward of him proper now, and why burn a redshirt in a yr wherein he’ll be allowed to play in as much as 4 video games? Don’t be shocked if he sees just a few snaps late in a blowout, however do not count on something significant in 2018.
Q: Now that the QB depth chart is out, can we count on another place depth charts to be launched earlier than the primary recreation? (i.e. offensive line) (@mantygolf)
A: Based mostly on Harbaugh’s historical past of not releasing depth charts, I’d wager not. Now, that does not imply we won’t guess — and I did with my post-spring place sequence.
A few of these are topic to vary, and simply would possibly — however a pre-Notre Dame depth chart just isn’t seemingly. What I do assume we’ll hear, although, is which two gamers have emerged at offensive sort out and who will begin at weak-side linebacker.
Jim Harbaugh and offensive line coach Ed Warinner are each anticipated to deal with the media subsequent week. Verify again then.
Patterson sought OK from Charles Woodson for No. 2 Michigan jersey
Q: What’s your tackle so many 2017 soccer gamers leaving the Michigan crew? Wheatley, McDoom and Irving-Bey this month alone. Most departures on offense. Does every have a novel story, or is there a sample reflecting some change contained in the crew this yr? (John G., by way of e mail)
A: With regard to the three particular gamers you talked about, I do assume every has a novel cause for leaving. Whereas one in all them responded to an interview request, the tight-end room is packed and Tyrone Wheatley by no means served greater than a pass-blocking function. With Sean McKeon and Zach Gentry again this yr, I did not see that altering.
McDoom is fascinating as a result of he may have simply been the No. 2 at slot huge receiver, a place Michigan might make the most of some extra in its new-look offense this fall. Nonetheless, his manufacturing was few and much between in 2017, a season wherein the Wolverines have been younger, inexperienced and wanted somebody to step up.
I am undecided on the explanation for Irving-Bey leaving, however he was not on my two-deep coming in after redshirting his freshman season. You will discover many gamers reassess their scenario after their first yr and resolve to go elsewhere. Offensive linemen Ja’Raymond Corridor did it again in December. Others have previously — and can proceed to take action sooner or later.
The place issues look unhealthy for Michigan is the category of 2016 receiving corps, almost all of whom have departed this system. Whether or not it was lecturers, off-the-field bother or an absence of enjoying time, almost each one in all them (Kekoa Crawford, Ahmir Mitchell, Nate Johnson) didn’t pan out. Whether or not that speaks to recruiting or teaching stays to be seen, however it’s clear this system has felt the attrition.
Q: Will the Notre Dame recreation set the tone for the season? Would a win leap frog them into the Prime 10? (@TannerWunder)
A: This can be a query I’ve thought lots about, as a result of sure it is a massive recreation and offers us our first take a look at something Michigan football-related. However I query any amplified outrage if the offense struggles Week 1. This can be a new scheme, with new gamers and coaches operating it. Michigan simply wants Patterson and the offensive line to be serviceable and I believe it is an improve over what they obtained final season.
Moreover, the sport has no bearing on the Large Ten standings. And proper now, earlier than any discuss of a nationwide title could be had, Michigan must win its division first.