Embed from Getty Images The Michigan Wolverines fan base is growing tired of asking Is this the year? It’s been 14 seasons since Michigan’s football team won a Big Ten title the longest drought in program history. Despite improvements made by Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff the team still stumbled down the stretch.
March 17, is kickoff for Michigan’s spring practice. One of the top questions for the Wolverines is can the offense play with better balance and consistency? Another can they come up with defensive depth?
Wide receivers Donovan Peoples-Jones, Nico Collins and Tarik Black, (if he can stay healthy and on the field), headline a deep group of pass-catchers for the Wolverines. New offensive coordinator Josh Gattis has banged the “speed in space” drum since arriving in Ann Arbor.
The Wolverines have more than enough quality depth at running back even with the loss of Chris Evans who was dismissed by Harbaugh for undisclosed reasons. That should help starting quarterback Shea Patterson who has one full season under his belt.
The defensive front that has played a big role in Michigan’s success for most of the 2018 season has some players to replace. Electric pass-rusher Josh Uche, end Kwity Paye and defensive tackle Michael Dwumfour, who took a big step forward last season.That is the good news. The bad news is there is real concern at the lack of depth.
Michigan also has to replace all-everything linebacker Devin Smith. That will not be easy to do. His production will be very difficult to reproduce.
This is a big year for Harbaugh who was brought to Michigan to win championships. Fans are growing weary waiting for it to happen. Losing his first four shots at Ohio State makes Jim Harbaugh the first Michigan coach to do that is doing him no favors. He needs to solve Ohio State.
When Ohio State and Michigan meet November 30 Harbaugh will have yet another shot. Will it be his last? That is a good question as spring practice opens soon.
After what should have been a better season, Michigan now has to reload in some important positions. Young players must step in and step up. This is where coaches make their money.