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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Free Press:

Michigan coach Lloyd Carr announced today that three players — tight end Carson Butler, cornerback Chris Richards and defensive end Eugene Germany — are no longer part of the program.
Brief impact breakdown...

Richards. Someone else has to join the kick coverage team.

Germany. Flashed considerable talent at defensive end a year ago and may have been a contributor. Probably not a huge impact, as I chalk Carr's bizarre claim that Adam Patterson and Brandon Graham were likely to "move inside" to excessive grumpiness. Was likely to be Tim Jamison to Jamison's Rondell Biggs this year. Hurts depth but with a couple guys with good potential behind the projected starters it shouldn't be a huge deal.

Butler. At least we know now why he couldn't get a snap count right last year: he's miraculously dumb. Two days after the contentious spring kickoff press conference in which he was one of the guys Carr said was "possible... maybe not probable" to return, he gets hammered on St. Patrick's Day and beats the hell out of some student. From the Daily:
One resident said that before the incident, he heard the victim ask someone in the hall if he could use an iron. The resident then didn't see the victim for less than seven minutes.

When the victim returned, blood covered the side of his face and he was having difficulty talking, the resident said.
Why did this happen? Because Chris Richards thought the student was a different guy who was "talking crap" in class:
The student, Walter Myers, told The News on Wednesday that he went to a friend's room to borrow an iron when another person in the room - whom he later identified as Richards - accused him of "talking crap'' in a class.

"I don't know who you are,'' Myers said he told Richards. "I don't know why you're bothering me.''

Richards then punched him, Myers said, before another person in the room joined the beating.

(I'll further note here that the Ann Arbor News had the most comprehensive and interesting article on the galaxy-spanning stupidity going on here, which makes them 2/2 in major UM stories over the past couple weeks after they blew up everyone except Rosenberg about the basketball coaching situation.)

So, yeah, you're gone, and for such a good reason. You don't come into the WQ lookin' for no iron! I'm about to get in an elevator, wait for five minutes when I could have easily taken the stairs, and then furiously swipe my MCard in the door for another five minutes to get into that stuff!

Ah. Anyway. Butler's loss is a definite blow as opposed to Richards (who?) and Germany (possible blow). Though Mike Massey was nominally #1 on the depth chart in the absence of Tyler Ecker -- what is with Michigan and remarkably dumb tight ends? PITCH IT TO BREASTON aaaaargh -- it was Butler who looked a future star. Last year Michigan's new zone running game featured a ton of two-tight end sets that seem infeasible now that the choices past Massey are Chris McLaurin, a guy who moved to tight end because a shoulder injury made OLB unfeasible, Andre Criswell*, a last-second two-star recruit who was a fullback until this spring, and two freshmen, one of whom is currently a 215 pound wide receiver. Will we see more fullback sets? Michigan has one fullback on the roster with the early departure of Will Paul and the move of Criswell, and that's true freshman Vince Helmuth. Michigan's critically short of guys for jumbo sets.

I will note that Ohio State's offense managed to scrape by this year with something called a Rory Nichol at tight end after they lost their own dunderheaded TE, Marcel Frost. With a plethora of receiving targets available -- come on, Arrington, let's get it together -- the actual negative effect on the offense is yet to be seen. I am leery about the possibility that our third-and-short conversions get even worse next year.

*(It's deeply ironic that Michigan picked up Criswell mostly because they had an extra scholarship slot available and gave it to a program guy with impeccable work ethic and character who they had discovered because he was a high school teammate of Butler. The irony reaches mindblowing levels if Criswell takes Butler's job because of it; should he end up an All-American, thousands of reformed Gen-X slackers will have their heads retroactively explode in 1992.)

What about Adrian Arrington?

Still hanging on. Apparently attended this week's press conference. Not in the habit of kicking the shit out of random civilians.

Ripple effect?

I wonder if this will result in an offensive lineman moving out to TE. A few classes ago Michigan brought in two tight ends with the intention of moving them to the offensive line. Mark Ortmann has established himself as a contender for the right tackle spot and is likely to valuable to move, but Tim MacAvoy seems buried in the interior. If we need a guy to come in on third and one to plow someone he might be our best option, though he's likely to be too clunky for regular deployment.