landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
Question for TomVH: The Continuation of RR's Preferred Walkon Program / Interest in Walk-On Players?
Just a quick question for TomVH and others that might know -
Rich Rodriguez established a preferred walk-on program at Michigan which had a number of players added to UM's roster over the last few years. I'm a firm believer that walk-ons can be very good contributors, as they have been at places like Nebraska, Stanford, and other schools.
Do we know whether this "preferred walk-on" program might continue under Hoke?
There are a few players that were/are coming to Michigan with that understanding, such as Traverse City fullback Joey Kerridge. Keeping a No. 16 ranked fullback coming to Michigan would be a good thing, I would think, given Borges'/Hoke's love affair with battering ram ISO plays not to mention an extra blockeror safety valve receiver on play action passes, etc. (Hello waggle pass to FB in the flat!...and touchdown!! Where have you been?)
I'm hoping this walkon program or a derivative thereof can continue at Michigan, especially if Hoke wants to sink the roots in deeper with H.S. coaches and players in the state of Michigan.
Rich Rodriguez donated his Michigan wardrobe to the Salvation Army and it will be sold on Saturday at the Wayne Store on Michigan Ave. Items will start at $6.00.
I remain a fan of the coach and he certainly could have pitched this stuff. It's nice that he took the time to donate it.
BTW - The article says his friends are taking him someplace warm for the weekend. I'm sure that's what I would want too in the same situation.
While none of us know exactly what happened in meetings or conversations between RR and Mallett and between Hoke and Denard, my sense is that it was something like this.
RR - Ryan Mallett you are one of the top pro-style quarterbacks in the country. I don't really see how you will fit in the offense I intend to run, even though I have no one else available to me that can run it. I hope you stick around, but if you decide to leave I will understand.
Hoke - Denard Robinson you are one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country and have dilithium speed. I would be a fool not to find a way to take advantage of your skill set and experience, even though I have Devin Gardner (and nobody else) to work with. If you leave Michigan you would have to sit out a year and you would not get the value of a Michigan degree. The team needs you, I need you, please give me a chance to find a way for us to be successful together.
Brady Hoke believes football is won in the trenches with bruising OL and DL play.
Under Rodriguez there were a couple of notable position switches, and I'm wondering whether they will stick under Hoke:
DT Will Campbell-73 from DT to OL (OT)
OG/OT Quinton Washington-76 from OL to DT.
CB Teric Jones to RB
The defensive line loses Banks, but looks to be in the best shape since 2008:
Jibreel Black, Mike Martin, Ryan Van Bergen and Craig Roh make a nice front four. Then there's DT Richard Ash and 5-start Will Campbell, if he were switched back to DT.
As for Quinton Washington's move to defense, I'm not opposed to this. The added depth doesn't hurt.
As for Teric Jones to RB last year, I did not understand this move. He had 3 carries for 7 yards. With James Rogers graduating, but J.T. Floyd and Woolfolk likely returning at CB, I would think a switch back to defense for Teric (RS So elig.) would make sense.
What do people think?
This actually spawned from a response to one of the earlier posts, but I wanted to give it a little more space to breathe. Up front, I'm an RR supporter who felt he was shafted, but I'm cautiously optimistic about Hoke being a decent guy down the line. Also, I will admit to disagreeing with people who attacked RR in years past, though only if their comments lacked substance and were merely seeking a reaction.
For all the people complaining about how Brian's take is going to "alienate" visitors to this site because of his negativity toward the Hoke signing, I counter that the blind devotion I'm seeing about Hoke from everyone is turning me off a bit. The guy was a meh choice that may very well work out, but saying all this "but he loves UM" crap doesn't hide the fact that he is a risky hire and brings into question Brandon's handling of this situation.
And for all the people trumpetting Hoke wanting to be here as some major point in his favor, do you honestly think RR didn't want to be here as well? The guy has been busting his ass for 3 years here under near-constant scrutiny from local and national media personalities, from a faction of the fanbase that hated him from the moment he was hired, and who had to revamp a team that was dangerously shallow in depth at various positions. He suffered through the same losing streaks everyone else did, and this is from a guy who won over 100 CFB before he came to UM. He recruited reasonably well, brought an innovative offense to the school, groomed the B1G offensive POY, and honestly was making strides on offense. Sure his defenses sucked and he made some dumb mistakes, but every coach in America has his flaws, and RR just kept plugging along and tried to fix them. Whether or not you agree with the measures he took to address them, the guy is a good coach and was doing the best he could.
He wanted to be here as much as anyone, but Brandon decided he needed to go so the change was made. He didn't leave UM - UM kicked him out. So stop it with the argument that RR didn't care about being here - I'm certain he wanted it to work out, and is probably pretty beat up that it didn't. He deserved better than this, even if it meant being let go weeks ago.
As for Hoke, I'm very happy that he is excited to be here - after Harbaugh and Miles thumbed their noses at the school, it is reassuring to know that somebody out there wanted to coach this team. But wanting something really, really bad doesn't mean this was a great hire on paper, or promises future success down the line. When RR was hired, people questioned whether or not a guy with a somewhat-limited coaching resume at smaller schools (and yes, people crapped on the BE since it was created) could step in and succeed at a competitive school like UM in the B1G. But now with Hoke, a guy with even less experience and a less impressive record at "worse" programs than RR, any comments about how this is a risky choice are labelled as flippant and caustic because the guy really cares about the school and "since he's the head coach, you have to support him." It is this hypocrisy that drives me crazy, even if it is human nature (and something I'm as guilty of as anyone else).
Listen, there are many reasons to be happy with Hoke: the guy has coached in the B1G before, he seems more offensively adventurous compared to other Carr disciples, his most recent track record shows a coach on the rise (even though the Ball St. season was definitely a fluke), he sounds like a good recruiter who has connections in talent-rich California, and he will bring a focus on defense that has been missing the past few years. But implicitly devaluaing RR's dedication by saying Hoke is dedicated to the program isn't fair to either them or the discourse that needs to happen.
I want you to think back, carefully, think back to the days of Coach Carr. What did you used to say, muttering to yourself grimly or shouting to others in the room angrily during the game? “A field goal will only put us up 6 and there’s plenty of time for another drive left. Go for it!” I shouted this at the TV on many 4th and 1’s from the opponent 14. “We’ve been blitzing successfully all day, and now we get down to the last minute, and you go to this totally ineffective Prevent? Play to Win!” You may have supported Coach Carr to the upmost, like I did, but you can’t deny that his choices infuriated you on occasion. He so often played not to lose. He so often did things ‘the old way’.
And so, we brought in Rodriguez to change all that. To finally do away with the run up the middle on third and 50, and the QB who couldn’t get out of the way of the world’s slowest developing pass rush. We brought him in, scary as it was, to reverse the field and have lightning quick snap counts and to play to win. And it didn’t work.
Monday night, a spread & shred offense as good as anything Rich Rodriguez at WVU ever put on the table played in the national championship game opposite Auburn, a team featuring a more traditional spread. True to form, the scoring in this game was quick and furious, featuring scoring drives of less than a minute in many cases. Full field reverses and lightning quick snap counts were the play du jour. At times, it was awesome to behold.
Keen observers may note one thing, however, about the game. With a final tally of 22-19 and scoring that included safeties, goal line stands and field goals from within the red zone, the battle was undeniably defensive. In a game where the question was expected to be, “How long can these good defenses stand up before these excellent offenses find a chink in the armor”, we instead found ourselves asking, “How many chinks in the armor before the offense runs out of little things to exploit and can’t make anything else happen?”
And we were left with one more question. Why did the Auburn defense not get tired, slow down, and slowly but surely give the game away in increasing chunks of yardage, as every MSM talking head had prognosticated for weeks?
Ladies and gentlemen – we brought in Rich Rodriguez to be our coach to lift us out of our mediocrity and to finally lift our sights higher than a Big Ten championship and a Rose Bowl berth. We brought him in to reinvigorate the program and bring speed, style and a modern flair to Saturday afternoons in the Big House. We brought him in to win National Championships. And we sent him on his way because while the speed was coming, the rest of it, so far, was frustratingly not. And now you question it?
No, don’t say, “He needed more time. He needed more time to install this and ready that and yadda yadda yadda.” No. We brought Rodriguez in to take us beyond dreams of Big Ten Championships and Rose Bowl berths where we were never really in the national picture. We brought him in to wake up from our dreams of Bo. And as I’ve already pointed out, that’s no guarantee, even if everything works perfectly. The best Spread & Shred in the history of Spread & Shreds just played in the national title game, and lost, in a DEFENSIVE BATTLE. I’m not saying that the spread doesn’t work. Obviously it does. But think back to Michigan/Florida in the Capital One Bowl. Just because it’s the spread doesn’t mean it’s a winner, either.
And we recognized this. And we fired our coach. And we were prepared once again to move on. Except now, the name we wanted – we couldn’t get. And people are lamenting, “If we couldn’t get Harbaugh, we shouldn’t have fired Rodriguez.” Well, I’ve got news for you people. “4th and 1 from the 14? We couldn’t get the TD, so lets just kick the field goal.” “1:15 left up by 6? I think it’s time to pull out that prevent defense.”
No, we may not have gotten exactly who we wanted. But who we had was not getting it done, and even if everything was optimal, it very well may not have been enough.Brian talks about how we sacrificed our chance at being national champs to be conference champs. Well me, I think that's a lot of bull. Rodriguez was a good coach, but we were still a million miles from becoming a national power, and the next flash in the pan wasn't any more likely to do it. And last I checked, winning the Big Ten goes a long way in your national perspective. Keep Rodriguez if we couldn’t get Harbaugh? Avoid the perilous situation we’re in now? You’ll excuse me if I don’t feel like kicking the field goal and playing prevent. It might cost me, but I’m a Michigan fan. I want to PLAY TO WIN.