CLOSING

Michigan head football coach Jim Harbow spoke to the media on Monday, October 28, 2019, in Ann Arber.
Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press

A visitor to Schembechler Hall earlier this month hoped to come across an old acquaintance.

But he was told that Jim Harbaugh was unavailable; Michigan's football coach had a meeting that dealt with team misconduct.

This was not a surprising revelation, especially to those in the program. The former defender is still involved in the sector of the team he knows best, drops out on position meetings to give tips and watch a movie with players.

"I'd say it's very handy," receiver Mike Sainristil said with a laugh.

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Almost 10 months after Harbaugh hired co-ordinator Josh Gathis to tackle crime in a new era with space speed The Michigan head coach's fingerprints remain throughout the book. The Wolverines continue to be a first-by-second operation that incorporates many of the same concepts in Harbaugh's coaching – from reading reading options to blocking pull-and-pull blocking schemes.

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After Michigan bulldozed its way through Notre Dame at 45-14 in the morning on October 26, Ed Offensive Line Coach Ed Warrior admitted that the crime "changed some, but not drastically. "

" Some people said, 'Oh man, those were great plays,' "he added. "We performed these plays earlier in the year. We performed these plays last year. "

After arriving in Ann Arbor, Alabama, Gatis plans to introduce a distribution system with a simple, stylish foundation and some fabulous ideas attached to it. Predisposing jet movements were repeatedly seen in the opening game against Middle Tennessee, with a formation that consisted of two offsets at the same time and a steady diet of vertical passing games.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Josh Gathis, right, during a 52-0 victory over Rutgers on Saturday, September 28, 2019, at Michigan Stadium. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)

During that win, Shia Patterson allowed eight throws, passing at least 20 yards – the second most he had tried in a Michigan game so far. . It's also the most he's had in a game since. In its entirety, Gatis's plan was both ambitious and divisive.

[ Michigan Soccer vs. Maryland: Scouting Report, Forecast] [19659005] "This play looks good on the board. Love this play. But oh, our people will be good at that? "This will take care of our forces? It's always a must-understand for insult, how to combine your talent and strengths with what you schematically like about a defense attack system."

As the season progressed, the Werewolves worked to this end, optimizing their playbook and introducing elements of years past that were essential.

September 28, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines' Shea Patterson (2) warms up with head coach Jim Harbaugh before the Knights match Scarlett Rieters at Michigan Stadium Photo Credit: Raj Mehta – USA TODAY Sports (Photo: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)

Cosmetically, there is no dispute that crime is different in 2019. fast. The hills are gone. And in his first seven games, Michigan was in three receivers 55 percent of the time, while arranging 12 "tight ends" for 36 percent of his shots, according to SportSource Analytics.

Last season, the Werewolves dominated with a group of 12 and performed just over one-third of their plays with one running back, one tight end and three receivers.

"It really just opens the crime and keeps us balanced – not knowing if we can run or pass," Jalen Mayfield said. "In order to be successful, we will have to change our staff."

Earlier this week, when asked about the transition during which he suffered the crime, Harbaugh said, "This is a process. Changes the amount I change. You would want your opponent to think that all options are possible. ”

This way of thinking is evident in how Michigan used a four-receiver package simultaneously on the field, something the Wolverines never used in 2018 At first glance, the assumption with this alignment is that Michigan would be prone to throwing the ball. But before their game against Notre Dame, The Werewolves scored nearly 54% of the time in the 13 plays performed by this formation.

Old habits die hard and Harbaugh continues to use his ideology. [19659005] Although the crime may seem superficial, the philosophical approach is similar to that which governed the way the Werewolves have operated over the past five seasons.

After the loss of Wisconsin on Sept. 21, when Patterson tried nine passes during the Wolverines' first 12 games, they adjusted how they were training, changing their strategy and launching a ground attack again.

They now run the ball 58 percent of the time – marginally less than last season.

"We've changed our minds about a lot of things," Warner says. "And I think all of this is bearing fruit … I think we're taking a step."

The last comment could have come straight from Harbaugh's mouth and has been common in recent weeks. In the end, the Michigan coach's influence remains as strong as ever in a program where the offense is still under his thumb.

Contact Rainer Sabin at rsabin@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @RainerSabin . Read more about the Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans and sign up for our Big Ten newsletter.