"It's not about last year or who's here or who's isn't here," says your head coach. "It's about getting out here and competing and seeing who is here, and that's where we're gonna go."
With Rich Rod's reputation for offensive wizardry (and for wizard hats) I'm not surprised that he has been able to load up depth at skill positions on offense.
Depth is lacking on the defensive side of the ball. Two years in, I'm not suggesting that Michigan, under Rodriguez, can't or won't be able to recruit highly skilled defenders in sufficient number, but with his reputation and focus in line more with the offense, is there reason to be concerned that Michigan's defense will be overlooked relative to the offense?
Is RR heavily involved in recruiting on defense? I imagine having a head coach involved along with coordinators and positional coaches would have quite a strong effect on a recruit.
Maybe TomVH can chime in, does Michigan recruit defense with the same intensity it recruits offense?
Can GERG become a brand of his own that high school players will be interested to play in his system, the way offensive players are re: Rich Rod?
So I remembered that Syracuse upset ND in South Bend last season with Greg Robinson as head coach. He has some familiarity with their offense and must have film of what he did right in that game. I didn't watch the game last year and am not fully sure about what happened, but I was curious to what people here thought ... How does this translate for us?
After the longest wait I have ever experienced between Michigan football games, it's over. Wolverine Nation can breathe a little easier. As they say, the proverbial weight has been lifted. Leaving the stadium, you could feel the tension rise away, as hope set in for the dawn of new era of Michigan Football.
Skeptics believed. The faithful rejoiced. In the midst of the crapstorm that has been circling around the program since the RichRod hire, the Michigan Wolverines managed to prevail. And in doing so, they managed to prove something they have been waiting over a year to prove. Michigan Football will be back, and they will be hungry.
I just recently graduated from U of M and was lucky enough to get a job in Ann Arbor, and able to go to the game to see the team in person today. It was actually kind of funny looking at my facebook status updated from all my friends at Michigan, and in one moment, people were finally excited again. The long winter was over.
The defense looked solid. They were able to tackle (finally) and managed to stop, for the most part, those long plays that plagued us all last year. Upon GERG's hire, he stressed the importance of fundamentals to his game. Tackling. Angles of pursuit. Stevie Brown in a spot that fits him.
Tate looked good. He looked like he had a handle on the offense. He worked through his progressions pretty well, and as another poster said, he took control (I don't remember which post in was in, sorry). He did the things that we had wished Threet or Sheridan could have done in even the faintest glimmer of hope last season. It's amazing what a quarterback suited for the system can do for you. He has a lot of room to grow, and in my opinion, a hell of a lot of upside, but simply having someone meant for the system makes such a big difference. Denard was fast. REALLY fast.
We didn't fumble punts. Enough said.
I say this all with cautious optimism, all be it slightly less than 24 hours ago. I think the most important thing we can take away from today is that we do have a lot of growing to do, we're still a young team, and we are going to have the associated growing pains. But today we also learned to appreciate the small things-- tackling, angles, completing passes, holding on to the ball. These are the things that will win championships--take it from Bo--and it looks like we are headed in the right direction. We will see in a week against the Irish.
So, I called in to a sports talk show here in Denver that's co-hosted by a former Bronco DL, Alfred Williams, who won two Super Bowls with Gerg as his coordinator. I asked what his thoughts were on his former coach, and what it would mean for Michigan.
- He said he could only think of one word to describe Robinson's style/philosophy as a d-coord: intelligent. He said it 3 or 4 times "Greg Robinson was always intelligent with the playcalling", or "Robinson had intelligent strategies". Robinson, according to Williams, always seemed to have the knack for knowing when to crack out a zone blitz, when to play it conservative, etc.
- As for his failures as a head coach, Williams felt that Gerg didn't have the personality. He said that Robinson was incredibly "ra-ra" (his words) and enthusiastic, qualities you couldn't have in full as head of a program like when you head one side. Williams compared Gerg's personality to Pete Carroll's (!!!), and speculated that his difficulties as a head coach were because Robinson was unable to be as intense as he'd like. Williams said, though, that he couldn't see any reason why Robinson shouldn't regain his excellence as a d-coord at either the college or pro level.
- Williams mentioned that he was impressed by Gerg's stint at Texas and thought the same could come to Michigan. Williams then sorta ripped RR, saying that even if RR didn't have the personnel this season to implement his system, he needed to adapt temporarily because otherwise he wasn't "doing right by his seniors". Whatevs.
On the whole, Alfred Williams seemed to think highly of his old coach and couldn't see a reason why he wouldn't be pretty strong in Ann Arbor.
Rocky Mountain Branch, Out.
Here is an interview with our new DC. He talks about his philosphy, where he likes to coach, how he got the job.
An interesting interview.