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Greg Robinson and the Michigan Defense Have Better Days Coming

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 19:  Tight end Ben Thayer #81 of the Eastern Michigan Eagles carries the ball as he is chased by lilnebacker Kevin Leach #52 of the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Michigan won 45-17.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Adam BoutonCorrespondent INovember 9, 2009

Greg Robinson is one of the best defensive minds in football.

He's won Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos and been a part of many good defensive teams, such as the 2004 Texas Longhorns and in the early 2000s under Dick Vermeil and the Kansas City Chiefs.

That being said, he had a monumental job in trying to turn around a Michigan defense that had arguably one of its worst defensive seasons in 2008.

He has talent but needs to try to mold that talent to his system, and that may take a year or two.

Just like Rich Rodriguez's spread offense, which has taken a year to come into its own, Robinson needs a season to ingrain his system into the minds of his players.

Come 2010, the players should be better prepared to respond to his defensive schemes.

Even though Michigan loses top defensive talents and potential Sunday players like Brandon Graham and Stevie Brown, it should be better off next season.

Most of the starters will be back, including cornerback Donovan Warren and linebacker Obi Ezeh. Plus, most of the youngsters starting on defense will be better prepared for the season having already played a year of Robinson's defense.

Players such as Jordan Kovacs, Kevin Leach, Ryan Van Bergen, and Craig Roh will be ready when the first game rolls around next fall.

Robinson will have all year and all next summer using the same players he used in 2009, molding his schemes and game plans around these players. In simpler terms, he will be better ready to prepare them.

One of the biggest areas of concern this year is the secondary.

Boubacar Cissoko went way downhill, and Troy Woolfolk was absolutely torched last week against Purdue. Inexperience and the inability to stop the pass have been big reasons why Michigan has slid down the Big Ten standings this season.

If Warren sticks around another year and doesn't enter the NFL Draft and Michigan can find someone to complement him at the other corner, it would be a HUGE improvement over what has happened this season. Kovacs and the other safeties gaining a year of experience can only help Robinson and the defense as well.

Something also makes me think that some of the talent Michigan is bringing in next year will help make an impact.

That, and true freshman William Campbell will probably break into the defensive line rotation next season.

If Michigan's offense becomes even more dangerous next season and Robinson can help shape up the defense, Michigan has to be in for better days, doesn't it?

Not exactly.

But given Robinson's track record and his ability to turn around defenses, with the talent at Michigan, there is reason to believe they will.

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