According to Greg Mattison, one thing that Brady Hoke has always done as a head coach is split reps between the first and second string during practice, so that when the second string is called on during the game, they know that the expectations don't change.
"The way that we practice is that the first and second units get equal reps throughout the practice." Mattison said yesterday.
"You're always measured by the expectations for the position. It doesn't matter if your a freshman or a guy that's third team...all of a sudden your second team, all of a sudden your first team." Mattison explained.
That approach has helped ensure that there is not a huge drop off when a starter has to come off the field.
"I think that's something that Brady has always implemented and it's unbelievable how it keeps coming through. By getting all these reps for the second unit, equal to the first, that whenever the time comes, they're closer to being ready."
This approach may be one that is looked at even closer by staffs (if they haven't already) with this season's helmet rule that states that players helmet comes off they have to leave the game for a play. As coordinators, many of us will dial up a play that goes right at the substituted player, challenging him to a make or break type play.
With their approach at Michigan, you can bet that the guy that comes on the field after that type of situation will be prepared.
How many other schools out there are splitting their reps right down the middle? It seems that most coaches go with an 80/20 or 70/30 split for their starters. Let us know your thoughts.