2011 Countdown: #51 Jeremy Gallon

2011 Countdown: #51 Jeremy Gallon


July 11, 2011
This was all too common a sight in 2010 – Jeremy Gallon fumbling
the football.

Name: Jeremy Gallon
Height: 5’8″
Weight: 180 lbs.
High school: Apopka High School in Apopka, FL
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #10
Last year: I ranked Gallon #59 and said he would be a part-time returner.  He caught 4 passes for 49 yards and 1 touchdown; returned 10 punts for 43 yards; and returned 27 kickoffs for 589 yards.

Gallon was one of 2010’s most frustrating players, eliciting countless groans from Michigan fans who got tired of muffed punts and fumbled returns back in, oh, 2008.  I’m not even exaggerating when I say my high school team has had more sure-handed punt returners in recent years than Michigan’s squads; our varsity’s last muffed punt return was in 2008.  Unfortunately, special teams were a consistent problem for Michigan, and Gallon was no exception.  The muffs contributed to his paltry 4.3 average on punt returns, although his 21.8 yards per kick return isn’t embarrassing.

Moving into 2011 Gallon’s chances to contribute on the offensive side of the ball are somewhat diminished with the new offense being implemented.  Gallon is elusively and pretty powerfully built for being so short, but he doesn’t make for much of a target from the pocket for a 6’0″ quarterback.  He’ll have to try to get on the field by shoring up his fumbling problems, and he’ll have to battle with various young players for return duties, including the sure-handed Drew Dileo, who seems like Michigan’s punt returner of the future.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver; backup returner

11 comments

  1. Comments: 21395
    Nick.
    Jul 11, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    I am not sure I place the blame directly on Gallon, but it would be nice to have a punt returner who can actually hold onto the ball without fumbling it. Special Teams play has been horrible at best and the who playbook scrapped and burned. I hope that bringing in an actual coach to "coach" special teams will mean that we see some improvement in both the fundamentals and the actual play.

  2. Comments: 21395
    Jul 11, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    Nick,

    Let me get this straight. You are going to blame Rodriguez for Gallon fumbling, but not blame Gallon for Gallon fumbling? Interesting…

  3. Comments: 21395
    Anonymous
    Jul 12, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    What's interesting about it? Gallon was a) recruited by Rodriguez b) put on the field by Rodriguez & co c) taught to field punts by Rodriguez & co d) far from the only player who seemed to have difficulty learning how to field a punt under the old staff. In fact, the last staff had so much trouble fielding adequate returners they decided to spend a scholarship on someone whose distinguishing attribute was his ability to field a punt and not fall over.

  4. Comments: 21395
    Nick.
    Jul 12, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    @ bada bing…

    You can have great hands and still fumble the ball of the coverage is not there and you have not been taught how to field/ return a punt or kick off. I am not placing the blame on just Gallon or RR, but on both of them. It was very obvious during the 3 years RR was there that Special Teams was not a priority and the coaching was pretty much non-existent. While Gallon directly fumbled the ball, it does not help that RR and the coaches failed to teach him proper technique, give him instruction, failed to teach the return team as a whole (it takes more than the guy catching the ball to field a punt or a return). You cannot just throw kids back there and expect them to work miracles. Most of the time the kicking team was well into the returner before the ball was ever fielded. That implies to me that it was a flawed system more than just a bad player.

  5. Comments: 21395
    BISB
    Jul 12, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    @ Nick:

    "Special Teams play has been horrible at best and the who playbook scrapped and burned"

    I don't think "bobble the ball and/or fall over" was a scripted play. You can blame RichRod for a lot of stuff (and lord knows I do)… but at some point, dropped balls aren't the coaches fault. Braylon had a problem with the dropsies, and no one was screaming for Carr's head.

    Perhaps Magnus can enlighten me, but I don't know if coaches at the college level can teach much about fielding punts other than "when it falls out of the sky, catch it." It's like kickers making everything in practice and missing everything in games; some stuff isn't about coaching.

  6. Comments: 21395
    Anonymous
    Jul 12, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    I was really excited about gallon. Loved him as a quarterback in high school, 4.3 40. I thought he could tear it up as a slot/scat back. But his hands worry me. Pre-gator bowl mike hart needs to shed some wisdom to the team about hands.

  7. Comments: 21395
    Jul 12, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    Nick and Anonymous,

    Specials was obviously not a priority, but are you going to start blaming Rodriguez for missed field goals as well?

  8. Comments: 21395
    Jul 12, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    @ BISB 9:56 a.m.

    There's not much you can do about MUFFED punts. You can teach a kid the mechanics of fielding a punt (plant the back foot, elbows together, etc.), but at some point, you either have it or you don't. Some kids just don't have the hand-eye coordination to catch punts, just like some players don't have the hand-eye coordination to be great pass receivers.

    The thing that concerned me more about the punt/kick returners was the fumbles AFTER the catch. That just made me think that ball security wasn't preached enough and/or the best ballcarriers weren't being put out there to return. I would rather have a guy who rarely fumbles but can't make the big play (Mike Hart, for example) than a guy with great speed/moves who drops the ball 20% of the time (Gallon, for example).

    You simply cannot give the ball away on special teams. First of all, your defense has already gotten a stop if it's a punt, or your defense probably just suffered a long drive or debilitating play if it's a kickoff. Secondly, you're typically catching the ball deep in your own territory on returns, thus making it a short field if you turn over the ball.

    Gallon has the speed and moves to do it. But if he can't hold onto the ball, he shouldn't be out there.

  9. Comments: 21395
    Nick.
    Jul 12, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    BISB and David…

    I was not blaming RR for him physically fumbling the ball, but when it comes to coaching special teams there is more to it than just catching it. As Magnus said……he coughed the ball up a number of times after catching it and not securing it. There is also the issue of blocking during the punt/ kickoff. We had very few punts/ kicks where the kicking team was not all the way into the backfield. That only increases the pressure on the returner and increases the probability that he will bobble or drop the kick as it comes to him. It also decreases the time needed to secure the ball after catching it and thus allowing the other team to get the turnover.

    As for blaming RR for the kicking game……only if he never made the guys kick in a live scenario during practice. If they sat at the other end of the field kicking balls unopposed by a defense then you can blame him, but I doubt that is the actual case.

    Yes guys fumble, yes guys miss kicks. It comes down to the other Special Teams things that concern me.

  10. Comments: 21395
    Anonymous
    Jul 12, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    If one guy muffed a kick or two and then was pulled, I wouldn't blame the coach. But if we have so many players performing so poorly — kicking, PR, KR, turnovers on offense, missed assignments on D — then the problem isn't the players. It's due to a bad apple or two.

    Why did the coach keep sending out the same player, who kept making mistakes on kick returns?

  11. Comments: 21395
    Anonymous
    Jul 15, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    I think that you might have him ranked too high. This guy doesn't fit into the new offense (he wasn't valuable in the old one either). What I've heard and seen with the guy also indicates work ethic/attitude issues. I'd say that there's a 50% chance he won't be on the roster next year.

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