...talks about how UConn hasn't been in contact and how they're out. (HT: UMHoops)
So I left the Big House disappointed again today. But one thing popped into my head again and basically got confirmed by the play on the field more than it has been all year. This isn't Rich Rodriguez's fault.
This teams perception in relation to RR is distorted. BIG TIME. A million intelligent opinion pieces, Chart & graphs can't explain to those who don't want to hear the truth exactly what the truth is, so its almost impossible and completely exhausting after all these months trying to do so. The most frustrating part after today is how so many cannot see the big picture just by common sense!!?
Michigan Wolverine Football just put 36 points on the board today. AAAAAAND they did it against Purdue. Not a power house. When you put up 36 on a team like Purdue you should win. In college football 36 points, especially in the Big 10 is a win a large majority of the time. But it wasn't. And it wasn't in the Iowa game at Iowa when we put up 30 (that could've been almost 50), And it barely was against Indiana when we put up another 36. Hell we were about to roll on sorry ass Illinois until the goal line stop and subsequent easy Illini TD that changed the game immediately after. . . What I am getting at is that this defense is as bad as everyone with a football brain has been telling you that it is, but most of you won't listen.
I don't give a motherphuck if you dreamers who are making little wishes either out loud or to yourself on the side of your beds at night could get Kelly or even Meyer to leave Florida for christ sakes, NOBODY, absolutely NOBODY is going to win with a D as bad as this. And if you would open your eyes, you would see this isn't anywhere near the team of last year on offense. RR is getting this program headed to where he said he would offensively. Yeah they shit the bed in a couple games this year bad, but they are VERY VERY young AND run by a teenage kid who is one of only 5 true freshman starting at this level in 2009. As far as I am concerned we need to really just use common sense and realize that the problem isn't Rich, its what he has on the field on D. Has he made a few mistakes? Yes, all great coaches do. Has he done a good job? I don't see how you can argue truthfully. Because if you put a semi-decent secondary in we are seriously 3-4 wins better right now. We beat MSU. We beat probably beat Iowa. We definitely beat Purdue & Illinois last week.
A friend of mine sent me a text after the game today & it said- "2 words Bryan Kelly" - SERIOUSLY????!!!! Ok then lets say we get Kelly. Unless hes a 5 star safety or can be in 3 places at the same time then whats he going to do?? How is he going to coach walk ons and depleted talent levels to wins? Hes not. He won't. He can't.
What kind of coach do you think would want to come to AA after RR was canned after only getting 2 years? Keeping in mind that he wasn't even judged by having his own players, but years w/ an extremely depleted offense and another w/ a depleted defense. Also remember that last time we had a coaching search there really wasn't any A-list candidates on the radar until WV lost to Pitt.
Now I am as frustrated as everyone else about how the season has gone and don't think that RR has performed particularly well. It is even more frustrating considering RR's reputation to do more w/ less talent. That said, he deserves to be judged on what he builds not what he inherited. Also a change now just sets back whoever the B- or C-list coach that we could get that much further.
I have been an avid RR supporter since he was hired. I think he has a great track record. I think he is a moral and ethical leader of young men. But, after the Illinois game, I began to realize something that might be his biggest coaching flaw thus far at Michigan: his coaching-style is counter-productive to the kids on this Michigan roster. (I am not talking about spread v. pro-style, just the general way he coaches kids up.)
Let me explain. We all know winning is everything to RR. He pushes his players. But, it may be the WAY he is pushing his players that is the problem.
He rides them. He bi*tches them out on the sidelines and in practice. This caused some players to leave. Fine. They were probably soft anyway.
BUT, this team is extremely young. This team has A LOT of people who didn't sign up to get yelled at every day. This team is still a work in progress with pro-style players and a spread offense melding together. Plus, there is already intense media scrutiny on Michigan and its players. Put it all together and you have kids facing more pressure than most of us ever face.
RR's style isn't to quietly support his players after a mistake. You can see this when he publicly degrades them. You've seen it on the sideline like you never see it in other big-time programs in the current era. (Michigan coaches are also yelling at each other A LOT - weird.) I think that yelling and berating makes the players "tight." It causes nervous fumbles and mental errors. It builds on itself with these young kids. A bad game and you're benched... for a walk-on.
Its almost as if the team is taking on RR's problems (the pressure he faces at Michigan) and cracking because they are too young to deal with it.
RR may have been successful at WVU because the overall level of pressure on him and the players was lower. If the team had trouble, the seat didn't get too hot and RR could still coach 'em up. WVU was lucky to have him. Plus, RR loved WVU as a former player. He could share in that love of WVU with his players. It may have motivated them. Whereas, here, they may wonder whether is yelling is "tough love" from a fellow Wolverine or just a hired-gun screaming at the top of his lungs.
To me, this SOMEWHAT explains this Michigan team's turnover problems. This SOMEWHAT explains the team's second half implosions. This SOMEWHAT explains the mental errors.
Now, some of you may lament "going easier on kids." You may think kids are GENERALLY soft today anyway. And, you might be right. But, that is reality and he has to be a realistic coach. In the era of intense recruiting coverage, nationally televised high school games and "announcements," the fact that kids are a little soft is just something we have to live with. Now, RR doesn't have to start holding hands with the kids, but he needs to understand the REALITY of the generation.
Of course, this might not be the WHOLE new generation and could be a Carr-recruit v. RR-recruit situation when it comes to "toughness." Time will tell. Maybe in the swamps of Pahokee and the hills of WV, there are still a lot of tough kids that respond well to being "chewed out." The problem is that, if so, they are true freshmen on this team.
My suggestion: RR's coaching style needs to progress. He needs to adapt to talented kids who may need a different form of motivation, maybe kids who didn't grow up getting yelled at every day. He needs to adapt the pressure he doles by understanding the high level of pressure his players already face at Michigan. He needs to stay tough, but adapt to what works to motivate and instill confidence in the young kids on THIS roster.
a blast from the past:
"Speaking of which, I don't want you to blame Bruce, but we do have to limit or not have the media at practice on Wednesday anymore. Not because it's anybody's fault, but I made the decision because I guess it was out on -- I don't know if it was newspapers or Blogs on certain plays that we were running. I thought, 'geez, you know, I've been pretty open about practice and let everybody view practice and see who is out there. But when plays get written down, I hope you can understand where I'm coming from. When plays are described on newspapers or Blogs and, you know, what you're seeing ? I can't have that out there. That's not fair.'"
Is this Brian?
Okay, so I decided to stop being lazy and post my thoughts here (neg me if you want). I understand a lot of people, especially here, are sick of hearing this. But, as long as it is in the "news" it's still news. I am going to post my thoughts about a recent FreeP article as I typed it in my minor fit rage" (please excuse the typing errors):
"I have sat back and watch this story unfold, just knowing that it would go away. But, once again the FreeP has failed the general public. The FP continues to publish biased, off-based 'non'-news. First off, I am a former Division-I football player. I played and started many games for a Top 25 program. We won 2 Bowl Games while I was in school. With that I know exactly what it takes to play and be successful on the that lever. In addition, I also know the rules. I know that as a player there were many days that felt like we were at the Stadium ALL DAY...especially Sundays. A regular Sunday goes something like this...lift at noon (about 1 hour of actual lift time), meet at 2 (yes, it takes about 3 hours to watch the entire a game film), go to practice probably at 6 (quick practice about 1 hour only to get legs going again, walk through for upcoming week, and run for the errors in the game), dinner at 7:30 or 8 (home by close to 9 or 10). Yes, for 4 years I watched no NFL!
(cont.) But, I didn't care...I was winning football games! Now, that seems like a long day, but only a few of those hours actually count towards the weekly limits. As for off-season conditioning program, I can't think of one big-time University that wasn't not required to be there in the summer. In fact, I have dozens of friends that played college ball (yes, it's a small circle) and all had to be at there respective schools during the summer months. When my friends that played at UM would tell me that they could work out on their own, it was unbelievable (about 4 years ago). As players we would joke and call the reuirements "MANDATORY, non-mandatory". Yes, they always made sure to explain to us that everything was non-mandatory, but at the same time we knew it wasn't. Why? B/C, we wanted to be good, we were accountable to our teammates, our parents, our fans, and most importantly our university. In addition, we were refused to be out-worked. Heck yes, we did a lot of things
(cont)...that would be virtually unbearable to the average student, fan, out-of-touch news reporter, and 2nd rate scholarship athlete looking for a free ride. As a great coach used to say to me, "There is no such thing as free ride." College football should be taken as and treated as a full-time job. A scholarship equates up over $40,000 per year for many of these athletes.
I have so much more to say, but I sick of typing. I only hope that no one here is ignorant enough to think that RR is running a unethical program, b/c he EXPECTS (not require) his players to put in hard work. That is a sign of a good program. Some of his past players said it best, "The workouts aren't mandatory, but neither is playing time." Those who are there and putting in the work the coaches tell them that they should do if they want to be the best player that can, will be the ones you see Saturday afternoons playing and the ones walking across that big stage in April!