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March 22, 1967 - Image 7

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-03-22

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22, 1967

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

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RuggedLine Exudes Optimism

By RUSS ROJAKOVICK
When a football team loses four-
teen of twenty-two starting play-
ers, it's unusual to see optimistic
coaches the following spring.
But Michigan interior line coach
Dennis Fitzgerald and defensive
end and linebacker coach Y. C.
McNease are exceptions, and with
good reason. The seven positions
under their guidance are almost
untouched by graduation, and be-
cause of this, the front lines of
the '67 Wolverine defense figures
to be stronger and more experi-
enced than last year's.
McNease is faced with two prob-
lems, and one is to find suitable
replacements for graduating line-
backers Barry Dehlin and Frank
Nunley, the leading tackler in the
Big Ten last season. Half the ans-
wer to that problem lies in the
condition of Dennis Morgan's legs.,
Tough as Anyone
Morgan, who according to Mc-
Nease, is "tough, strong, and as
good as anyone in the conference
when healthy," is sitting out
spring practice because of a knee
injury. He sustained the injury
near the end of last season and
had to undergo corrective surgery.
Still, the Michigan team physi-I
cian expects Morgan to be fully
recovered and ready to go for the'
1967 season. If he's ready, one line-
backing job will be well taken care
of.
Bob Wedge and Cecil Pryor are
ekpected to battle- it out for the
other spot. In McNease's evalua-
tion, "'Wedge, at 6' 3" and 200
pounds, is one of the fastest line-
backers in the Big Ten, if not the
nation. Pryor, standing 6' 4" and
a 230-pounder, is just a sophomore,
but he has tremendous potential.
If he progresses as he should, he'll
be a standout for 'the Wolverines
for the next three years."
The other 'problem' facing Mc-

ends, it appears that the positions'
will be well manned. Kramer, if
forced to play there, is a proven
veteran. Rosema, although ham-
pered by leg injuries, has been a
regular for the better part of two
seasons.
And Stincic, who started as a
sophomore last fall, "improved in
some way in every game," accord-
ing to McNease. "If he keeps it
up, he'll be outstanding. And he
has a great attitude toward foot-
ball."
McNease predicts that. "if both
Tom and Rocky stay healthy, they
will be the best pair of ends in the
Big Ten."
In spring practice, coaches try
to determine the best eleven play-
ers and then put them on the
field, even if this involves switch-
ing positions.
Kramer was switched for this
reason, as was veteran middle
guard Garry Miklos who has been
converted into a defensive tackle.
Both he and Dick Williamson, a
regular last year, are vying for a
starting job.
Porter Missing
Senior Tom Goss is currently
holding down the other tackle
spot, but Dave Porter, a starter
last fall, isn't out for spring prac-
tice yet. Porter has spent .the
spring preparing for the defense.
of his NCAA heavyweight wrest-
ling crown.
Fitzgerald, a former Michigan
wrestler, doesn't think that miss-
ing practice will prove a serious
detriment for Porter. "Wrestling
is good for Dave's wind and
strength. Competition, especially
at the national level, makes for a
better athlete."

defensive alignments, creating
fumbles, interceptions and missed
blocking assignments by the op-
position."
Fitzgerald went on to explain
that "there's an awful lot of work
to be done, but the players. show
great enthusiasm and we expect
to be strong, real strong."
Change Posts
The National Football League
has formally adopted the use of
"slingshot-type" goal posts with
only one standard, replacing the
old H-shaped posts. The standard
will curve from its position six feet
behind the goal line, so that the
actual crossbar and uprights willa
be on the goal line as in the past.
The new posts mark the first
change in the physical set up of
a football field in many years, and
are expected to serve as an im-
portant safety factor since there
is much less danger of a player
crashing into a standard. Both the
American Football League and the
NCAA have reportedly shown in-
terest in the innovation.

TOM STINCICI
Nease is much more pleasant -
he has thre'e returning regulars at
defensive end, Rocky Rosema, Tom
Stincic, and Jon Kramer. All three
are experienced, and the coaching
staff doesn't want any of them
riding the bench. To solve the di-
lemma, Kramer has been switched
to middle guard.
"We feel certain he can master
the new position," Fitzgerald stat-
ed. "To play middle guard on our
Oklahoma defense, a player must
be quick, strong, and agile, and
Kramer is. But if Rosema's knee
doesn't heal, we'll return Jon to
end."
No matter who plays at the

DAVE PORTER

Both coaches are extremely op-
timistic about the defense, and
Fitzgerald gave reasons why, in
addition to the fact that the Wol-
verines have six starters returning
to fill their seven positions.
Second Year
The line coach boasted that
"this is our second year with a
five-two-four defense, and both
the players and the staff know it
better. Now that we have the basic
defense down, we'll be able to,
add more stunting and differentI

SPORTS NIGHT EDITOR:
BILL LEVIS

11

lUlL ~uI

This Week in Sports
TODAY
Baseball-Michigan at Arizona
Golf-Michigan at Miami Invitational
TOMORROW
Baseball-Michigan at Arizona
Golf--Michigan at Miami Invitational
Swimming-NCAA Championships at East Lansing, 8 p.m.
FRIDAY
Baseball-Michigan vs. Cochise College, Tucson
Golf-Michigan at Miami Invitational
Swimming-NCAA Championships at East Lansing, 8 p.m.
Basketball-NCAA Championships at Louisville
SATURDAY
Baseball-Michigan at Arizona (double header)
Golf-Mielgan at Miami Invitational
Swimming-:NCAA Championships at East Lansing, 8 p.m.
Basketball NCAA Championships at Louisville

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