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Insider

Linebackers have struggled on edge

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan coach Fielding H. Yost invented the linebacker in the early 1900s, but after the past few seasons, it looked as though the Wolverines weren't exactly sure what to do with that position. Or if it even existed at all. Under former coach Rich Rodriguez, highly touted linebacker Obi Ezeh looked lost and often overran gaps, giving opposing teams home run plays.

But Greg Mattison, who was the linebackers coach with the Baltimore Ravens before becoming the Ravens' defensive coordinator, has worked to get the Michigan linebackers back to a downhill kind of game.

So where do the linebackers stand? What have they done well. and where are they struggling? Is Mattison filling the gaps that were left in the middle of the field during previous seasons?