ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Though the football program hasn’t officially confirmed it, the general consensus says that Michigan will be without starting defensive lineman Bryan Mone for a significant amount of time.
The news is a big loss for first-year defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin.
Someone who knows a thing or two about Michigan defenses, Marcus Ray, spoke to Sam Webb and Ira Weintraub on WTKA during his regularly scheduled “Rays of Light” segments on Wednesday.
Ray discussed the Mone injury at length.
“I think it hurts because he was going to be a starter and he’s a plugger,” Ray said on WTKA on Wednesday. “A run-stopper, a big body in the middle, a wide body. He recreates the line of scrimmage. He’s not going to get very many sacks because you don’t see nose tackles getting very many sacks in that type of penetration and they usually get double-teamed by the center and a guard or some type of combination.”
If there is one position that U-M could, unfortunately, afford to lose someone to injury with, it would be on the defensive line. Despite having reinforcements on roster, losing Mone for a lengthy amount of time will have an impact according to Ray.
Now it might mean the coaching staff might have to play someone out of their comfort zone.
“That’s going to hurt Michigan as far their depth is concerned,” Ray said. “I think they were going to have different packages for different guys. So, lets say if it were first down, Mone would’ve been out there, or like a short yardage situation. Now when its third-and-one, your best nose tackle or your best run stopper is not in there, now you have to go to a guy who’s more of a pass rusher like Godin or Glasgow. I mean, they’re big bodies, too. But I think Mone was a step better than them.”
If the U-M coaching staff had plans for the defensive line going into fall camp, Mone’s loss might change things a little bit. It doesn’t ruin the season or devastate the defense completely but Ray thinks that Durkin will have to switch some things up.
Whether that means doubling up player responsibilities or shuffle players on the line, there’s still plenty of depth for them to absorb the loss going forward.
“Now what’s going to happen,” Ray added. “They’re going to have to rearrange some guys up front. I can see on third-and-long they can have four defensive ends in the game. Guys who can rush the passer. The big’s gotta come out, they’re your run guys. Some guys will be called to do double-duty and some of those packages may change for Michigan and D.J. Durkin. I don’t know exactly what he’s going to do against everybody but I’m sure that altered his plans. Michigan’s defensive line is deep enough to survive Mone’s loss.
"But it does hurt them and some other guys are going to have to step up, wear a couple different hats.”