Michigan DC Jesse Minter provides early assessment on Wolverine pass rush entering Week 4
Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter wasn’t given the same tools as now-Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald when hired from Vanderbilt this offseason. He was all but starting fresh when it came to establishing a pass rush in the B1G.
Minter has been overall pleased with the progression of the Wolverines’ front 7. Working the trenches takes timing and chemistry with others on the defensive line. A Week 1 outing against Colorado State might now be exaggerated given the fact the Rams have struggled to block anyone this season.
Michigan’s 8 sacks are currently tied for 4th-most in the B1G. The Wolverines recorded 7 in their season-opener against the Rams. Over the past 2 games, they’ve managed to produce one takedown.
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Minter said that these things take time to flourish, and one big game isn’t going to change the way he views the unit as a whole.
“I’m not overly concerned,” Minter said via 247Sports. “I think pass rush and coverage always work together. I like where we’re at. I certainly think guys know that there’s opportunities to win one-on-ones that we still want to take advantage of. So I’m excited to see how we go.
“And when I look at the first couple of games: first game, lots of pressure. That team now I think has given up tons of sacks over their first three games. So sort of take it for what it is. In the second game, I think the ball was out really, really fast. I think the third game, honestly, we were preparing for a lot of screens and quick throws, which we did get early, especially on third down. I think it maybe slowed our guys down a little bit. So we just got to have some answers to combat that and let them turn it loose when it turns into more of a drop-back game.”
Last season, the Wolverines had one of the better combos in the nation with Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo coming off the edge. Hutchinson, a first-team All-American and Heisman finalist recorded 62 total tackles, 16.5 tackles for losses, and 14 sacks. Ojabo, who garnered 1st-team All-B1G honors, totaled 35 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 11 sacks.
Hutchinson would end up being selected No. 2 overall by the Detroit Lions in April’s draft. Ojabo, a projected top-15 pick, was selected by Macdonald’s Ravens’ in the 2nd round after suffering a torn Achilles at Michigan’s Pro Day.
Through 3 games, 6 different Wolverines have recorded at least 1 sack on the season. Michigan is set to face Maryland Saturday in Ann Arbor at noon E.T.