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Posted on Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 6:15 p.m.

Michigan football could be worse on defense next year

By Dave Birkett

LIVONIA - Coming off its two worst statistical seasons in history, it’s hard to see the Michigan football team's defense being any better next year.

The Wolverines lose their best player, defensive end Brandon Graham, who leads the nation with 26 tackles for loss. They lose their most consistent linebacker, senior Stevie Brown. And it appears top cornerback Donovan Warren (4 interceptions in 2009) will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft, too.

Eight starters return, but without an established defensive playmaker there’s a good chance opponents will top the 300-point mark on Michigan’s defense for the third straight year (and third time in school history).


If Donovan Warren leaves for the NFL, Troy Woolfolk, above, would be the only returning starter in the defensive backfield next year.

Melanie R. Maxwell |

Brown was asked Thursday before Michigan’s annual football bust what the defense would look like next year.

“It’s going look a little bit of the same,” he said. “I’m sure they’re going to improve and everything. They’re going to be recruiting the right guys and there’s guys behind us that are going to step up and fill in the spots.”

A handful of true freshmen - guys like cornerback Cullen Christian, safety Marvin Robinson and an as-of-now uncommitted prospect or two - will have a chance to play early, but several first-year players were supposed to contribute and didn’t this year, too.

Most likely, Michigan’s defense will be young and thin again. Troy Woolfolk is the only returning starter guaranteed a job in the secondary, and he split time between cornerback and safety this year. Safeties Mike Williams (9 starts) and Jordan Kovacs (7) were only consistent in that they regularly gave up big plays, and if Woolfolk stays at safety Michigan’s top 2 corners entering camp will be J.T. Floyd and J.T. Turner.

Outside linebacker Criag Roh has a bright future as a pass rusher, but Brown’s other cohorts, Obi Ezeh and Jonas Mouton, were benched late in the year.

“I know they both were not really completely pleased with how they played this year, so I know they’re going to come back with a vengeance and play even harder,” Brown said.

The defensive line is in good shape with Mike Martin and Ryan Van Bergen returning, but even Graham couldn’t say who’d replace his production next fall.

“That’s what I can’t wait to see,” Graham said.

Van Bergen is a candidate to start at rush end if Will Campbell or Greg Banks wins a job at defensive tackle, but Michigan’s best hope for defensive improvement may lie with an offense that looked potent at times this year.

Then again, with Vincent Smith and David Molk coming off ACL injuries and youth still an issue at quarterback, there are plenty of questions on that side of the ball, too.

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.


Sean T.

Mon, Dec 7, 2009 : 6:11 p.m.

Portage, I'm going to hold you to that! (Bowl Prediction and Program Recovery) Oregon's pretty good.


Mon, Dec 7, 2009 : 10:19 a.m.

Ol blue is on the road to recovery thanks to rr and i for one am thankful. I was so tired,yawn,yawn and more yawns with the predictable big 10 butt whippings lose one or two big ten games go to a bowl and lose again come home to Mich. have really great recruiting and do the SAME thing all over again in fact you could sense the boredom in the Mich crowds at the game. How else can you explain the quiet, mostly subdued game crowds. Once rr starts this thing rolling in another 2-3 yrs. I think it will light a fire under the butts of Mich. fans at these hauntingly quiet games. I know it's hard boys and girls and even painful at times but boy oh boy is it going to be fun watching blue scratch and claw back to the top and it will happen S.T. whether you guys want it to or not. I've heard the excuses as to why rr won't turn this thing around but you know what they say about excuses their like -------- and everybody's got one. You people with all the excuses need to watch the Rose Bowl game and watch what a spread does to the great ohio state bucs. ohio state is not going to know what hit them but hey after they get run over they can always go back to the big 10 and beat up on those teams and call it a great year.

Sean T.

Mon, Dec 7, 2009 : 9:34 a.m.

UMINKS..... I appreciate your patience but while we wait every year to gain a single win each year, we'll lose recruiting battles and confidence in the program. If this was MSU, INDY, or PURDUE I'd second you on your faith but I haven't seen anything RR has done as a confidence booster. Last season's QB tandem was better than ours this year. I'm not talking about the skill-set, I'm talking about the turnovers and determination. The QB's we had last year were not fit for the system but made progression's as the season went on and neither had starting experience either. Even the Defense seemed a bit better than this years and all we accomplished was 2 more wins with a far easier schedule. Our lone Big Ten win this year was freaking INDIANA and we were secured that win by the refs. This why "OSU be better" mocks us and can you blame him? Go Blue for a 8 win season or kick RR's a$$ back to West Virginia!!!!!!


Mon, Dec 7, 2009 : 3:09 a.m.

Yes, you need to give RR through 2011 if not through 2012. No, the defense will not be that great next season...but hopefully we will see some young players on the field who will improve. And Tate will also improve, he showed why he is a freshman and the offense suffered. When you don't have a top notch defense you cannot turn the ball over 4 to 5 times a game. I think we will see an overall improvement on both offense and defense next season. Will they be good, probably not but I'm hoping for 6 wins next season. Then you should see 8 wins in 2011 and 10 in 2012. I know it is hard to be patient but if we are, good things will happen!


Sun, Dec 6, 2009 : 11:56 p.m.

Sean ".....If we don't get much better in 2010 do we give him another year to get it right?....." Yes definately! Give RR at least Ten more years. and if theres no improvment after Ten Years, Give him Ten More. We Buckeye fans are Horified by the thought of RR getting "His Players". Youll sure show us. Teach us a lesson with tiny little backers, undersize linemen, and a HIgh School Gimick Offense. We patently await your return to greatness.

Sean T.

Sun, Dec 6, 2009 : 9:34 p.m.

I'm actually disgusted now, after all the statistics the RR supporters have unleashed about Lloyd Carr, They've only strengthened the facts that RR's opposers have been saying for months now. Every bowl-game lost by Carr, Michigan fell victim to great QB's and tough defenses, none of them were mediocre teams at all and 8 of them were on track at the NT game with at least 3 games left in the regular season. I forgave Carr for the APP ST loss because they were really good and had explosive athletes in all of their skill positions. I'm a little less forgiving for not splitting wins with OSU but now we're losing to MSU and the Suckeyes are worlds away from them. We would've even lost to Indiana had we not got a "gift" from the refs since we couldn't stop them from scoring either! EMU played us tough for 3 quarters but they really suck so what kind of team are we? There are about ten teams in the nation with as many freshmen and soph's as us and they at least won 6 games! If we don't get much better in 2010 do we give him another year to get it right? When is it too much time to improve? If we win 6 games to be bowl eligible will that be enough for a 4th year? In my opinion...I DON'T THINK SO! I'm not trying to attack our Proud Blue Nation, I'm trying to ask you to really think about what's going on here and ask yourself truthfully, is he really what we want here in AA? Has he shown you any promise or inspired any confidence that what he is doing is going to produce wins to at least equal Carr? Do any of you really think that we are now better and will be better off with Rich as our coach? I'll stand behind letting him stay for year 3 but if we don't win 8 games with 4 coming inside the Big Ten I'm done with him!


Sun, Dec 6, 2009 : 5:11 p.m.

Dont worry Tom, the Boren's and Mallat's of the world never go on to do any good at their new schools. Funny thing about Borren is that hes nothing more than your above average lineman, But Tress really struck oil by signing his little brother Zach (Who would have surely ended up standing on the sideline at michigan due to his size).


Sun, Dec 6, 2009 : 3:24 p.m.

New report is that Brandon Smith, 4 star recruit and highly rated kid, recruited by Carr... is now going to transfer. Rich Rod and his band of slappies on defense (Tony Gibson and Hopson) totally misused this kid, and didnt give him the coaching to develop. And now he is gone. Dont worry though UM fans: Rich Rod has a 2 star and more walk ons to replace Brandon with. You know...the guys that he can coach. right


Sun, Dec 6, 2009 : 12:44 p.m.

Michigan avg. 22 pts per game in Big Ten play... that is a huge reason why the team finished in last place for the first time since Kennedy was in offense. Yeah the defense is bad too, but Rich Rod's offense simply does not work in the Big Ten. Not even with an entirely returning OL, RBs, WRs and TE...


Sun, Dec 6, 2009 : 12:24 p.m.

Here is the difference between the 2010 defense and the 2008 and 2009 defense. The same D coordinator. Don't underestimate how difficult it can be for kids that have consistently changed coaches to get any sort of consistency. Most of our defensive woes came from players being lost on the field, almost exclusively from lack of experience. Everyone but a freshman will finally have 2 years under a D coordinator. I actually plan to see improvement on the D next year.


Sun, Dec 6, 2009 : 11:36 a.m.

RR is here to stay by his choice and the UM. You boys and girls are getting your panties in a bunch for nothing the coach is here to stay. Two years ago Barry Switzer said it best," when you think of the big 10 who do you think of, not the wolverines you think of the ohio state bucs." Barry was referring to the big 10's reputation over many years. It is a blast to win all those big 10 games I'll be the first to admit in fact I started to get bored going and knowing the outcome to big 10 competition. Living since 1975 in Calif I've attended many Rose Bowl games with the same enthusiasm and I've been shocked to see how Mich. is handled after attending all those Mich. games in earlier years at Mich. It's been kind of a disappointing experience over the years and since Tressell came into the picture now it's not just losing bowl games, now there's some other darn good coaches in the 10. I have faith in rr and within 4-5 years you all will take it to the bank. If your satisfied with winning the usual games in the big 10 and then probably losing at least 2 big ten games or more then you go with a LC and you'll quite likely go to and lose a bowl game like it or not that's how it's been. We have to take a chance on this guy but we've got to give him 4-5 years and then we see dividends. Also don't forget with the style players he's going after it opens up better recruiting for Mich becuase a lot of these kids don't fit the typical pro style but they do fit rr's program should be a plus for the blue down the road 3-5 yrs. It won't do us one bit of good to whine the coach is here to stay.


Sun, Dec 6, 2009 : 10:34 a.m.

I notice OSU you only referred to the "Tressel years" and didn't go further back in your history. Okay here's some things I like about Tressel: I like his contribution to the 0-9 record against the SEC. I liked the loss at home against the now 6th place team in the Pac-10. I like the coaching, errr coddling of TP and no discipline after the erroneous comment, "I mean evryone kills people...." I liked OSU's step backwards losing to Purdue. I liked listening to OSU fans and hosts on 97.1 screaming how Tressel should be fired and TP benched in the middle of the season. I like watching our b10 champion coach get exposed (where's the adjustmens?) each year against top 10 competition. Should I go on, alright one more, I like OSU fan commenting on a rivalry in which UM still owns OSU in the all-time record.......not just on a decade run---where's the love for John Cooper OSU? Next time, read my whole post before commenting. You can nitpick anyone's body of work. And imo, Tressel and Carr are/were great coaches. I'm also confused with the RR Hater Club? I thought I was fair in my assessment that RR will be judged accordingly over his career at UM. I guess some cannot get out of the way of their own biased comments....


Sun, Dec 6, 2009 : 5:55 a.m.

WTH is a OSU fan commenting shit have a life. And u happy bout Pryor? dude if i was an osu fan i would be disappointed he was the top-prospect in his class and he's not an impact player. yeah osu took him away from UM and to me i would think Pryor would have done better wit UM and the spread offense. But hell thats me and hes wit osu and hes doin ok not great wat he is expected to be. We have forcier who has a lot of potential and robinson who jus needs to work on throwing then would be a real threat. And for those who say the offense is shit, wtf a true freshmen starting is a huge deal and he did great although he went downhill due to injury. it was alot better than last year. the defense just needs to be fixed then UM and RichRod wont take any heat. We got the offense down they are really improving, just defense needs to improve especially replacing graham. Also good news all those redshirts that RichRod will be ready for next year which is a plus for defense and especially offense. AND U OSU FANS SEEM REALLY COCKY RIGHT NOW CUZ THAT WIN THIS SEASON BUT WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR, THERE IS ALWAYS A NEXT YEAR. U HAVE 1 YEAR TO GLOAT OSU SO MAKE IT LAST.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Dec 6, 2009 : 4:03 a.m.

Actually, third in the Big Ten, including non-conference games. And ninth in the Big Ten just including the conference games. Not a good offense by any stretch of the imagination. But they sure did whip those Hornets of Delaware State, a bottom-rung team in another division. Just for grins, the top point outputs among Big Ten teams this season: 63 - Michigan vs Delaware State (FCS), 10/17 52 - Illinois vs Fresno State (lost!), yesterday 52 - Purdue vs Toledo, 9/5 52 - Penn State vs Eastern Illinois (FCS), 10/10 51 - Wisconsin at Hawai'i, a few hours ago 49 - Michigan State vs Western Michigan, 11/7 47 - Northwestern vs Towson (FCS), 9/5 45 - Michigan vs Eastern Michigan, 9/19 45 - Ohio State vs New Mexico State, 10/31 45 - Illinois vs Illinois State (FCS), 9/12 45 - Wisconsin vs Michigan (highest score against any in-conference opponent), 11/14 44 - Wisconsin vs Wofford (FCS), 9/19 44 - Michigan State vs Montana State (FCS), 9/5 You'll notice from this list that six of these games were against I-AA (FCS) teams. Only nine games were played against the FCS by the entire conference. Only one game (against Michigan) was a Big Ten game. Yes, RichRod has developed an offense that can humiliate a terrible FCS team and one of only two winless FBS teams (EMU). Saying this was a remotely potent offense in 2009 is tilting at windmills. It was a terrible offense that accomplished almost nothing.


Sun, Dec 6, 2009 : 2:29 a.m.

@ Leather Couch ".....the highest scoring offense in the big 10 in year 2 of rich rod....." Are you really going to count the almost 70 points against the second best team in the state of Delaware as an improvement, or something to be proud of? You do know that michigan finished 1-7 in the big ten, Tied for dead last right? @ raddes ".....ask OSU fan how that's working out for them....." Lets see, Beat Michigan, A NC 6 years ago, Beat Michigan, conf titles, Beat Michigan, BCS Bowls, Beat Michigan, Yep ill call that a pretty great run :) Who cares if we win the bowl games, thats something i learned from watching Glen Shembechler. My favorite part of the Tressel era has been the "No Vote" after the 1 vs 2 Ohio michigan game, the vote that kept michigan out of a rematch game for the NC, That was Hilarious. My second fav was the signing of Pryor. Forced RR into playing Threet and sheridan and Forcier and Robinson and whoever shows up next year, HaHaHa. But seriously, I think RR and michigan are a great pair. I think you should really give this guy all sorts of time and recruits to show us Buckeye fans what a great coach he is. I got 10 bucks right now toward a RR contract extension, Maybe you should give him the Lifetime contract?


Sun, Dec 6, 2009 : 2:02 a.m.

O YEAH Mark Mangino and Charlie Weis didnt try to convert Notre Dame and Kansas from one offense type to a completely different offense. They were also coaching at those schools for more than 5 years. They Didnt Do so hot. Cmon RichRod is changing UM and it will be worth it and you guys want to get rid of him after 2 year? ANd how are they goin backward when they had more wins than 2008 season and he has an offense goin now too. the biggest concern is defense and he will improve the defense just watch. When RIchRod starts winning wit UM u guys better kiss his ass and find another team. If u are a UM fan then support RichRod or dont talk crap because our voices doesnt count for shit. We dont run the the UM athletic program. FIND SOMETHING BETTER TO DO THAN TALKING CRAP ABOUT PEOPLE. ITS NOT LIKE YOU GET PAID TO TALK CRAP ABOUT PEOPLE. UM FAN FOREVER HAIL TO THE VICTORS!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sun, Dec 6, 2009 : 12:48 a.m.

I dont know why u guys hate RichRod so much, he made west virginia a power house team that beat Georgia in the sugar bowl, and oklahoma in the fiesta bowl, with a team not as talented as wat Michigan will be that is kickass, imagine wat michigan would be if everything goes RichRods way, T?HINK ABOUT IT. I believe Lloyd Carr is a Legendary coach like Bo but RichRods spread offense is dynamic, and it takes a while for a team that is known for pro-style to a spread offense is going 2 take a while. I think RichRod is bringing something new which could compete with elite programs in the near future. The Defense is young and was inexperienced especially the secondary. They will Come around and UM will be restored to its glory days. GO BLUE!!! P.S. Many recruits who are committed to a team usually de-commits and goes to another team, theres a good chance that some top defensive prospects would come to UM.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Dec 6, 2009 : 12:06 a.m.

But we already had a program that was far better than average. We had the best damned football program in the history of organized football. Why not "spew" some statistics; they bear repeating. Forty. FORTY. FORTY! straight seasons with a winning record in Big Ten play. That is an excellent program - one with a chance of winning the national championship every single season. One that's never out of the game before the game even starts. Over those 40 seasons of excellence: 260-56-5 in the Big Ten. Since RichRod dismantled the program: 3-13. RichRod isn't building anything but a culture of failure.


Sat, Dec 5, 2009 : 10:31 p.m.

spent way too much money for this coach. maybe it time to cut and run.


Sat, Dec 5, 2009 : 10:20 p.m.

you really have to wonder if R.R. was the right man for this job. yea he did great at W. virginia but really do they really play anybody worth looking at. In this conf. you got to win to keep your job. so i say so long R.R. you are not worth the money.


Sat, Dec 5, 2009 : 3:36 p.m.

This coming from the guy (Tom) who wrote on another post that RR should be removed from his duties "regardless" of what happens next year. Regardless of what happens?? Wow, isn't that a biased comment? What happens if they start improving and winning? (interject hater comment--"Oh, they won't"---how do you know?) Fire a winning coach? That doesn't make much sense. I told you--I already know the records and statistics. So then answer me why LC won only 5 conference titles in 13 years with all THAT TALENT? Or, why did LC have to use a gimmicky offense to beat UF? Do you see how you can nitpick anything if you want to? And then to drop the "shame" card---dude, I wouldn't even be calling myself a UM fan after reading the various comments you've made on AA articles. Remember haters, you're on the wrong side of the argument. I believe RR will win at UM---and I also believe that, in time, if he doesn't, just like any other coach, he will lose his job. All your repeated rants and comments solely based on "likability" change nothing.....


Sat, Dec 5, 2009 : 3:09 p.m.

Tom, the problem with your logic, or lack thereof, is that prior to coming to michigan he has yet to see a good coach or program so how is he to determine the difference? he has john l. syndrome and you cant deny it. were you blind during the Lloyd Carr days? I dont mean to take anything away from Lloyd because he was a GREAT coach. But clean program? The media just didnt jump all over all of his faults like they have RichRod. The workout thing was CLEARLY an agenda thing from Rosenberg? did you notice how a lot of major colleges went out and got new people to oversee football practices after this blow up? He has yet to write a good article about RichRod and where is he now? not continuing is slobber peice because it had no standing. He started it and disappeard from it. As far as players go Carr had is fair share of bad apples as well. they just werent crucified in public like RR's are. Nobody wanted to undercut carr because he was a "michigan man" recruiting class - pending we get a couple of the 4 star athletes that have mihcigan high on thier list. we will be top 10. even still the difference between top 10 and top 15 is very very little. maybe 1 great player. I understand that it is hard to swallow. but enough with this "gimmick" offense crap. you can do all you want to take away from it but the stats spoke for themselves. the highest scoring offense in the big 10 in year 2 of rich rod. the offense was not and will not being the problem going forward. that horse is dead. quit beating it. go ahead and jump on the defense. its deserving of it. but when you do, dont be blind to the fact that 89 of the players on this years roster were soph or fresh. they will (naturally) improve as indivduals and as a unit with practice and with being in the system 1 more year.


Sat, Dec 5, 2009 : 2:20 p.m.

You Rich Rod Koolaid gulpers will pull anything out of your butts to try and cover him with excuses. Lloyd Carr went 121-40 at Michigan with 5 Big Ten Titles and 1 National Title. He also ran a clean program with dignity to uphold the Michigan Football tradition. To compare him to Rich Rod and degrade Lloyd's legend is disgusting really. You guys should be ashamed of yourself. Rich Rod's "performance" at Michigan speaks for itself.


Sat, Dec 5, 2009 : 1:20 p.m.

I wanna know how L.C with all his talent hes had over the years how he dident win more?


Sat, Dec 5, 2009 : 12:25 p.m.

Let's see if I got this right so far: Our recruiting experts (Tom/Macabre) hate RR so much that the young men he is recruiting must suck also without even playing a single down at UM. Awesome.. RM250 has finally figured out this program has been taking steps backwards---YOU DON'T LOSE TO APPY ST!!! EVER!! If that doesn't scream inconsistency (yeah, but we beat Florida and that makes it all better--thanks for making my point), I don't know what does... And finally, johnnya would like to give Henne, Hart, etc. the compliment of how they developed over their playing careers but deem Tate F. a loser after 1 complete season. And then, would like to go back to the "average" days of UM football where we only win b10 games and get waxed (even by Nebraska) in bowl games. Oh yeah, but at least we can say we got there, right? Hey johnny--ask OSU fan how that's working out for them.... Once again, very hypocritical comments gentleman! And please, do not spew LC statistics at me or stats from these past 2 seasons. I know them! Any sensible UM fan understands that RR MAY NOT be the answer---but geez, don't be like OSU fans! 2nd recruiting class, baby steps forward with young players, and time to build a program that's better than average. Change and looking at the bigger picture can be difficult for some....


Sat, Dec 5, 2009 : 11:26 a.m.

Hman, I know you are probably one of those who was barking about the first 4 games of the season this year too. No matter how you cut it, and with the level of players Michigan has, they should not get destroyed by Purdue, and Illinois. They won ONE game in the Big Ten and that was a miraculous come from behind victory over that juggernaut that went 4-8 this season. Out of every win this season which was most impressive? The Notre Dame win (6-6)? The 4 and 6 Delaware State win? Maybe you were impressed by beating the 5-7 Broncos from WMU? No, I am sure you are happy richrod had the boys ready to play against the team from Ypsi that couldn't win a single game this year. I will take Lloyd Carr and 8-10 wins every year over 5 wins against WEAK opponents. For those who say the cupboard was bare should look back at the starting offense that llyod ended up with that produced Chad Henne, Mike Hart AND Jake Long. All freshman starters who developed and improved their first year, while Tate under the so-called offensive genius can't hang on to a football in the end zone before he even got hit. If you want proof of Rich Rods inability, lets look at the chance he had to go to a National Championship game, and his offense scored 7 points against Pitt. PATHETIC

H Man

Sat, Dec 5, 2009 : 10:36 a.m.

All you Rich Rod bashers STAY off the band wagon when Michigan turns it around next year! The defense will be better because they have consistency at coaching. Again Stay off the band wagon please.


Sat, Dec 5, 2009 : 10:23 a.m.

Seriously Dave Birkett? This is what you are choosing to focus on for a Michigan football article? How about this topic..."Young players have opportunity to improve Michigan Defense next year" Your constant negativity is very disturbing. I know you graduated from MSU, so we know where you allegiances are, but at least act like a professional while you are covering Michigan football for Ann If anyone at Ann is seeing this then please strongly consider giving this job to someone that actually has an interest in covering a few positive angles with the Michigan football program instead of constant negativity 24/7


Sat, Dec 5, 2009 : 9:25 a.m.

Yea that never happen to lloyd but with all that talent he recurited after his nat. Champ. He did alot with 1-6 vs tressel 1 bowl win aginst florida with the spread.nj LC on having top guys and never winning anything Macber you should be proud of him not winning anything but 9-10 games and a bowl beat down..LC had better players better talent and still did nothing..

Macabre Sunset

Sat, Dec 5, 2009 : 2:25 a.m.

So far, Michigan is generally well outside top-ten recruiting rankings, something that never happened when Lloyd Carr was here. I'm afraid the generally pessimistic tone of this article is true. RichRod couldn't find a way to use the talented players he inherited, and he can't recruit the same caliber of player himself. The one positive on offense - I think Devin Gardner is a better fit for the gimmicky offense than Tate Forcier. Wouldn't be surprised to see him starting by mid-season. No point red-shirting a guy with his athletic skills. Shoelace needs to convert to corner, which is where the other majors interested in offering him wanted him.


Sat, Dec 5, 2009 : 1:28 a.m.

or possibly "leathercouch" Dave has just seen enough terrible coaching and programs to call it like it IS.


Sat, Dec 5, 2009 : 1:24 a.m.

Dave Birkett covers Michigan football for He's been a sports reporter for a decade, making stops at the Northern Virginia Daily and The Oakland Press, and writing a monthly column for Basketball Times. His work also has appeared in ESPN The Magazine, the Houston Chronicle and countless other publications, as well as two books. Birkett has won two prestigious APSE awards for sports enterprise writing and breaking news, and was honored for best investigative reporting by Suburban Newspapers of America. He spent 2 1/2 seasons covering the Detroit Lions, four seasons covering Michigan State, and is an active member of the Football and United States Basketball writers associations. Obviously He doesnt think they will get better look at his track record. he has never covered a team that actually IMPROVED in the off season in his entire 10 year career. He wouldnt know what it looked like if it hit him in the face. Northern Virginia, Oakland, Lions(must have got his investigative reporting awards there), and MSU. He has a serious case of John L. Syndrome from his 4 years at State. Just a thought.


Sat, Dec 5, 2009 : 1:14 a.m.

I understand the reason for concern on defense next season.. but do we really have to start it already? And focus on it until next fall? What did we do in the past when our vets/best players left and graduated? We replaced them with kids who wanted to step up and take the position.. we didn't sit here and ***** and moan about it and just act like its impossible for a young kid to get his chance and shine. NEWS FLASH- every college team has to replace players. Michigan recruits talent- I'm excited to see new faces on defense- its not like it can hurt.


Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 9:36 p.m.

Yeah right. Dream on. Maybe hire new reporters. Negative news is all you come up with. You contribute to trolls and RR bashers. You are just hurting the program like minor and Carlos. Weed out the week and recruit the strong. I will support UM always, not bash them. I am a Michigan wolverine. Richagain 2010.


Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 9:29 p.m.

DEFENSE! Wins Championships! GO BLUE!


Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 9:06 p.m.

These players need to step up they came here to play top football and none of them showed it much i dont care who the coach is MOST of these kids dident play at a top level or isent capeable of it. On both sides of the ball the coaches need to focus on 60 mins man they play a good quarter maybe a half its time for this school this coach these players to step up.


Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 9:01 p.m.

No worries! Rich Rod just picked up a 2 Star MAC-Level 5.10 Safety from Ohio! Help is on the way! (tomhagan just vomited at this thought) Go Rich Rod! Tear down UM Recruiting too! The guy has no idea what type of player should be wearing the Winged Helmet. The days of 5 star recruits like Brandon Graham committing to Michigan may be over.


Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 8:26 p.m.

Birkett: I can't believe this finally came to you. 2010 year 3 for Richrod and the team is still going backward. You should have watched the Jim Rome show on ESPN today. They were talking about your buddy Richrod and what a poor pick he was for UM. They said 2010 would be his last year. Now, thats National exposure at its best.