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Insider

WolverineNation Roundtable

3/1/2012
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

WolverineNation staff writers Tom Van Haaren, Michael Rothstein and Chantel Jennings discuss three pertinent questions surrounding Michigan sports. Here are this week's questions:

1. We're about six weeks away from the football spring game, what part of the Wolverines' game do you think will surprise fans the most?

Tom VanHaaren: I think the defense is going to be better than people think. I know there are a lot of question marks with the defensive line, but with these coaches if there's any position group I'm comfortable with it's the defensive line.

You essentially return everyone in the defensive backfield and linebackers, which is something Michigan hasn't been able to say in awhile. I think the experience and the second year in the system for those guys will help them make plays and play the way defensive coordinator Greg Mattison wants them to.

Michael Rothstein: The defensive line -- and not in a good way. While most fans recognize the massive losses there of Mike Martin, Ryan Van Bergen and Will Heininger, there is going to be significant drop-off in the pressure they can get and how they play. This is something that can be fixed or at least partially remedied by September against Alabama, but it won't look pretty in the spring scrimmage and will leave fans very concerned about opponents crushing them on the line of scrimmage this fall. All of that said, this is my standard spring scrimmage/game disclaimer: Don't ever read too much into it because every coach and every team treats them differently. It is essentially just one practice.

Chantel Jennings: I think quarterback Denard Robinson is going to show a lot of improvement from the end of last season until now. He has had a lot of time in the offseason to work under the tutelage of offensive coordinator Al Borges, and I expect him to surprise a few people. Additionally, he has had time to work on his rhythm and feel with Fitzgerald Toussaint, so I expect the running game to be improved.