GBW 2002 Season Roundtable

Tom, Matt and Sam have been spending a lot of time in together in the Deep South lately. They've been talking back and forth about this past 10-3 Wolverine football season.

Here are GBW's 'awards' for various catagories for the 2002/03 season. What are yours?

Most Valuable Player -- Offense.
Matt: John Navarre. "The strength of the offense was the passing game. Navarre's touchdown to interception ratio was very good at 20 to 7. He improved his confidence, his leadership, and was the most instrumental player in close wins over PSU and Florida."
Sam: John Navarre. "Because of his progression from last year to this, and his ability to learn the new offense and shake his bad habits - avoid the rush and keep plays alive with his feet."
Tom: John Navarre. "Nuff said."

MVP -- Defense.
Staff consensus: Victor Hobson
Matt: "He was the most solid and consistant player on the defense; by far the best tackler on the team.

Most Improved Player -- Defense.
Sam: Jeremy LeSueur: "Starting with the PSU game with Zia Combs getting hurt, he finally showed the ability that he had previously only flashed at times. From that poing on he demonstrated improved ball skills, batting away passes, and was a demon in run support as well. He was actually the best corner on the team the last part of the season."
Matt: Carl Diggs: "Starting with the Iowa game, Diggs showed great improvement in his ability to read the plays and stuff the run. Michigan's run defense impreved greatly after that point."
Tom : Jeremy LeSueur.

Most improved Player -- Offense.
Matt: Bennie Joppru. "The most startling transformation of the year. Joppru went from an average tight end to one of the nation's elite players."
Sam: John Navarre. "Aided by a new quarterback coach, he game Michigan the type of play that will make Michigan a contender for nation al honors next year. He showed the ability to keep plays alive using his feet, and to find 2nd and 3rd receivers.
Tom : Joppru. "From the outhouse to the penthouse."

Unsung Player -- Offense.
Sam: BJ Askew. "He demonstrated the selflessness we've come to expect from seniors. He becamse an outstanding blocker and receiver out of the backfield."
Matt: John Navarre. "Despite doing everything possible to silence his critics, he still failed to receive the recognition he deserved."
Tom: Adam Finley. "His punting was out best defense at times this year."

Unsung Player -- Defense.
Matt: Larry Stevens. "The quality of a defense lineman isn't always measured in sacks. Stevens was great in run suport, taking on blockers, and led all DL's in tackles."
Sam: Grant Bowman. "Not a flashy player, not a real physical presence, but gets the job done. Clogs the middile like Rob Renes did, but rushes the passer better."
Tom: Scott McClintock. "Stepped in when the linebcaker corps was decimated, and played and tackled well."

Backup Ready to Shine -- Offense.
Sam: Tim Massaquoi. "Tim got his ears wet leaning the offense this year. He learned the skills of blocking, and his WR skills should be something that will give Big Ten Linebackers fits next year. While he can't be expected to fully accomplish what Joppru did this year, the falloff will not be as big as may be expected."
Matt: Shawn Sanderson. "While he won't provide the running skills of an Askew, the running game as a whole will improve with his devastating blocks. Sanderson will be able to wear down any defense."
Tom: Jason Avant (as long as his knee is okay).

Backup Ready to Shine -- Defense.
Matt: Jon Shaw. "Shaw wasn't the tallest, the fastest or the biggest of the safeties this year, but his ability to follow his assignments and make a play on the ball made him at times the best of the group. With the departure of the three seniors opens the opportunity for Shaw to be a major contributor next year."
Sam: Ernest Shazor. "We got glimpses of the ability that made him the top rated safety out of high school. His height alone will give fits to teams that try to throw over the top on Michigan. He will also bring the kind of tackling ability that Michigan hasn't seen recently."
Tom: Shazor/Shaw. "Can't beat the choices above."

Biggest Disappointment.
Sam: "The Notre Dame Game."
Matt: "The kicking game in the first half of the year."
Tom: "Four lost fumbles against a not-that-good Notre Dame."

Play of the Year.
Matt: "Chris Perry's overtime touchdown against PSU."
Sam: "Phil Brabb's game-ending field goal against Washington."
Tom: "Finley's field goal against Florida, putting the Gators into panic mode."

Predicting the Captains for 2003.
Sam: Navarre and Shantee Orr
Matt: Tony Pape, John Navarre, Roy Manning, Marlin Jackson

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