Pro Football Focus named their All-Big Ten team (LINK), and while I won’t go about posting every all-conference team, I wanted to make note of this first teamer:
[Brad] Hawkins was one of the most balanced defenders in the BigTen, with grades hovering around 80.0 in run defense (80.6), tackling (83.9) and coverage (80.3),” they wrote. The longest catch he allowed on the season went for only 25 yards, and it was the only catch of 20-plus yards he allowed all year.”
Hawkins was the culprit on K.J. Hamler’s long touchdown against Penn State. Some people – including former Michigan defensive backs – were going off on Twitter, blaming Don Brown for putting Josh Metellus on Hamler one-on-one.
Hit the jump for more.
Here’s the link to the video (LINK).
Don Brown didn’t put Metellus in man coverage against K.J. Hamler. That was a blown coverage, and it was almost certainly on Brad Hawkins, who’s standing in the middle of the field, doing nothing. Otherwise, this is a Cover 0 look with no blitz. If you’re going Cover 0 with four down linemen, that means you’re sending at least two blitzers.
Nobody blitzes. The two corners take the two wideouts, Metellus takes Hamler in the slot, Glasgow takes the H-back, Hudson takes the running back, and McGrone just sits in the middle of the field because he has nobody to cover. If Michigan was running Cover 0, McGrone and Hawkins would have blitzed. If they were running Cover 0 with a spy, McGrone or Hawkins would have blitzed, and the other would have sat in the middle of the field watching Clifford.
Hawkins did nothing.
This is not about bashing Hawkins. This is about my dislike for Pro Football Focus grades and many of the heuristics I find across the internet. To believe in their grades, you have to trust the people doing the grading. And I don’t. I see way too many issues like this popping up with PFF. Pro Football Focus has way too many games to grade and probably not enough qualified people to do the grading.
Of course, the other options are to trust opposing coaches and media members. So nothing’s perfect.
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