Embed from Getty Images The last two football games of the 2018 season were ugly. Michigan Wolverines defense gave up 103 points and 1,035 total yards in blowout losses to Ohio State and Florida. Wolverines defensive coordinator Don Brown called it, “The most disappointing experience I’ve ever been through in my entire life.”
Jim Harbaugh’s fourth year defensive coordinator, Brown said he does not believe it was schematic issues that lead to the meltdown. Don Brown said “It’s not the concept, I’ve gotta do a bit of a better job.” That is the starting point.
Entering the 2019 season that will be a little more tricky. Replacements are needed for several defensive players from last year’s group. Linebacker Devin Bush, defensive lineman Rashan Gary and cornerback David Long all entered the NFL draft as juniors , while defensive lineman Chase Winovich and safety Tyree Kinnel, have graduated. Leaving a big void that needs filled.
Michigan lost 47% of the teams total tackles from last season, also 41% of the teams sacks. Lost in these gaudy numbers is the fact above the numbers the Michigan defense lost the ever important intangible leadership. From Devin Bush and Chase Winovich. That is a lot to replace.
“It’s always next man up no matter what happens,” said junior safety Josh Metellus. Now Michigan and Don Brown have had all winter to get ready. Ready for what comes next. New players need to pick up the system quickly this spring. Players need to focus on growing into their roles.
As for Don Brown he fired this off “We’re going to do some things a little differently.” What exactly that is, is unknown and is likely to remain that way until August 8, when the Wolverines kickoff the 2019 season.
That is Don Brown and the players focus of spring practice. To get players acclimated and up to speed of the defensive system. Michigan can not afford to have another season ending meltdown in 2019.