2017 Season Countdown: #52 Sean McKeon

2017 Season Countdown: #52 Sean McKeon


July 11, 2017

Sean McKeon (image via GBMWolverine)

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Name: Sean McKeon
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 240 lbs.
High school: Dudley (MA) Shepherd Hill
Position: Tight end
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #84
Last year: I ranked McKeon #71 and said he would be a backup tight end. He played in four games, making 2 catches for 10 yards.
TTB Rating: 77

McKeon didn’t contribute a ton to the team in 2016, so nobody would have batted an eyelash if he had redshirted. On the other hand, he earned some quietly rave reviews for his overall play. People within the program are excited for his future, even if he’s not a freak athlete. There seems to be a belief within Schembechler Hall that he will be a solid, old-school tight end by the time he’s done in Ann Arbor.

Michigan isn’t in strong need of contributions from McKeon this year, but he could be the Wolverines’ third tight end behind Ian Bunting and Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. Both of those players figure to play quite a bit in double tight end sets, and McKeon would likely be the next guy in due to injury or perhaps heavy packages. He’s a nice piece to have, since he has the skill set to play in-line tight end, play an H-back role, or split out. I look for his role to increase each year for the next couple seasons before settling in as a starting tight end.

Prediction: Backup tight end

21 comments

  1. Comments: 816
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Jul 11, 2017 at 8:14 AM

    Blocking and tackling are about desire and technique … in that order. From the tiny bit we saw of McKeon we saw last year, I came away thinking that at least he wanted to block somebody. I didn’t always hold that view of Butt.

    I never really watched Bunting for his blocking.

    I think Mckeon’s best chance for playing time will be a result of ramped up Harbaugh formation madness. Which I believe to be a distinct possibility. If not likelihood. If it were my team, this receiving corps would be dead fit from just running on and off the field.

    • Comments: 2532
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jul 11, 2017 at 10:29 AM

      Maybe someone can enlighten me. Why not run every play out of the train formation? — minimize the time the d can get set and make adjustments.

      • Comments: 5
        Joined: 1/10/2017
        Julio
        Jul 11, 2017 at 12:01 PM

        I’ve had the same thought. Maybe not every play, and maybe not always from the exact (train) formation, but often enough to cause the defense to spend at least a little extra time thinking …..

      • Comments: 1951
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Jul 11, 2017 at 12:22 PM

        It’s just a different huddle. If “Train” is your huddle, then it’s easy to prepare for. You could achieve almost the same effect by lining up in your regular huddle, sprinting to the line, and snapping the ball quickly.

        • Comments: 816
          Joined: 8/13/2015
          Roanman
          Jul 11, 2017 at 12:34 PM

          You could maybe create some additional confusion by lining up your train randomly, after the center. That would make it more difficult to find a specific skill guy, especially a taller skill guy. McDoom or Evans would be pretty easy to pick up and track, I’d think.

        • Comments: 2532
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Jul 11, 2017 at 12:39 PM

          So why don’t teams sprint to the line on every play?

          It seems like offenses are making it too easy on defenses with the casual stroll to the line of scrimmage. While clearly reads are happening on both sides of the ball, I find the defensive adjustments much more notable in college. (Perhaps not so in the NFL.)

          • Comments: 1951
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Jul 11, 2017 at 2:02 PM

            There’s no need to sprint to the line when the other option is to run no-huddle. Generally, pro-style coaches like Harbaugh want the QB (or OL) to set the protection, read the defense, etc. before running the play. If you run to the line every time, you don’t have time to read the defense, and snap the ball, you run the risk of making mistakes, too.

    • Painter Smurf
      Comments: 191
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      Painter Smurf
      Jul 11, 2017 at 7:29 PM

      Bunting is a pretty good blocker IMO. Gets after it much better than Butt. Webb has mentioned a couple times that the staff was expecting a breakout year from Bunting last season, but he ran into injury problems.

  2. Comments: 2532
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jul 11, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Nice post. I’m surprised you have Gentry above McKeon (unless I missed it).

    • Comments: 1951
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jul 11, 2017 at 12:20 PM

      They play different positions, really. Gentry is strictly a flex guy, whereas McKeon is the third in-line guy.

      • Comments: 816
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Roanman
        Jul 11, 2017 at 12:37 PM

        I’d really like to be hearing stories about a 258 lbs Gentry starting to find and hit linebackers in a couple weeks.

      • Comments: 544
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Jul 11, 2017 at 12:41 PM

        Well, since neither of these guys has played many prime time snaps, I’m not sure I’d call either of them “strictly” anything at this point. I think they’ll end up being used wherever they can do the most good.

        • Comments: 1951
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jul 11, 2017 at 1:58 PM

          Gentry’s a flex guy. If he takes any snaps as an in-line guy, it’s only as a tendency breaker. He’s not a capable blocker.

      • Comments: 2532
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jul 11, 2017 at 12:42 PM

        I don’t get this. Was Butt the “flex” last year or was he just versatile enough to handle both flex and in-line? If it wasn’t Butt who was the “flex” last year? Isn’t Bunting replacing Butt and Doesn’t that make him a “flex”. Is Gentry that far behind Butt as a blocker?

        • Comments: 1951
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jul 11, 2017 at 1:58 PM

          Butt was able to play both.

          We talked about Bunting the other day when we discussed Eubanks. To reiterate: Butt could do everything, whereas they might rely on multiple people to fill those roles this year.

          Gentry is a terrible blocker.

      • Comments: 2532
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jul 11, 2017 at 12:48 PM

        Does the Michigan offense really have different personnel for the flex?

        I have to say I’m pretty skeptical of this distinction. I get that Eubanks and Gentry are probably not good blockers right now and that limits their roles to “flex”, but they’re still TEs in 2TE packages. Those 2TE packages can be filled by 2 “in-line” guys (i.e., those that are capable blockers) or 1. Indeed, one would exect that most of our 2TE sets will have Wheatley and Bunting in them.

        • Comments: 816
          Joined: 8/13/2015
          Roanman
          Jul 11, 2017 at 1:14 PM

          You will usually want your more mobile or less powerful guys flex for you for a number of small reasons. Because they’re a yard removed from the line of scrimmage, a quicker or longer first steps helps get them into their route a touch more quickly. Having them in space helps some blocking in that they can step in order to establish an angle to increase some leverage, rather than having some beast immediately into their grill. A more mobile guy will get into and out of motion more smoothly. Flex guys will motion more than in line guys, although in line tight ends do motion some for us. Small stuff, but helpful.

          The inability to effectively take on an on DE or over big linebacker straight up is likely the biggest reason in line and flex guys aren’t perfectly interchangeable. Butt never impressed me as a blocker, but he got thrown in there when there weren’t nearly as many options as a young player and was better than our young alternatives when he was older.

          • Comments: 2532
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Jul 12, 2017 at 10:38 AM

            Good explanation.

        • Comments: 1951
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jul 11, 2017 at 1:56 PM

          Your personnel is whatever you want it to be. If you want to play Patrick Kugler as a flex tight end, you can do it.

          Teams flex different guys than they play on the line. Just like they put different guys on the line than they put in motion as H-back types.

          • Comments: 2532
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Jul 12, 2017 at 10:42 AM

            When Butt went last year it was Bunting who came in for him. I don’t know why it would be different this year. I don’t see them playing different positions.

  3. Painter Smurf
    Comments: 191
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Painter Smurf
    Jul 11, 2017 at 7:37 PM

    Looks to me like McKeon is on a nice developmental path. He is putting on good weight gradually, and appears to be keeping his agility. As mentioned, looked like a willing blocker in the spring game. Solid backup who should start earning real snaps this season. Will become important in a hurry if there are any injuries.

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