Meram is scoring some sweet-ass goals of late
On a positive note, Denard finished the game with 122 yards today including that explosive 67 yarder that was incredible to see in person. This brings his career total to 4,395 yards--just 85 yards short of Pat White's 4,480 with a bowl game left to play. I know a few weeks ago it looked like a lost cause, but I now think he has a great shot of doing it.
Anyways, just trying to bring some happiness to the board and I didn't see this posted yet.
As a side note, chill out people. Please. Yell at your cat or punch a pillow instead. Don't give these guys any more satisfaction than they already have.
It was fascinating to learn last week that Denard had a staph infection early in the season. The staff did a great job of keeping this information private. I don't recall even a hint of this in any media report on the nature of his bandages. Hoke commented that Denard had a "boo-boo," which I interpreted as a minor scrape or bruise or abrasion.
Even more interesting is that Kovacs didn't even know Denard had a staph infection. Martin knew that much, but not that Denard was hospitalized. This information apparently wasn't shared widely on the team!
This reflects great unity among the football staff, in the athletic administration, and at UofM hospitals. They worked together to keep this information private, and not to leak it to anyone who didn't need to know (including the team!!!)
While we as fans want to know every tidbit possible, I completely support and applaud this change in privacy. It was no one's business what was happening with Denard. It was a strategic advantage for other teams NOT to know that he was close to not playing. Worse, if Sparty had known, they probably would have targeted Denard's arm for injury. I respect Hoke for maintaining privacy and confidentiality where appropriate.
On the other hand, I absolutely love the transparency about the team, and the access to information. For me, this is best reflected by the OC & DC pressers weekly during the season. I find what Borges & Mattison have to say fascinating, and actually more interesting than Hoke's press conferences. These guys are actually helping teach me more about football.
I think that Hoke has a decent relationship with the press and the public. He also has a great understanding of what should be kept quiet, and what can be public. However, this isn't only Hoke.
The lack of any leaks speak to a much greater unity among the athletic administration, the football coaching staff, and the team itself. Sadly, I cynically believe that someone would have leaked this kind of info (about Denard) under the prior coaching staff. Regardless, I am glad that the current climate promotes a healthy culture of silence where needed, and an openness to sharing more information, where appropriate.
Alright, legitimate post time.
Brian's post on the front page regarding the progress of the basketball team since the essential reformatting of the squad, namely the axing of the entire coaching staff by Beilien and the willingness to let two experienced guys walk has gotten me thinking. The basketball team has clearly benefited via addition through subtraction. They are playing better with less experience, and, one could argue, no substantial addition in talent. (Yes, we've got some exellent young guys, but the guys that are gone weren't too shabby).
So the question becomes, was it the changeover in staff that has created the bulk of the positive change this season? Is it Bacari Alexander and the rest that are to be most credited with this solid success?
If so, I want to know what you all think that means for the football team. We've already tried changing D-Coordinators. Didn't work. However, there is some consensus that the initial change was simply because fans, alumni and everyone else needed a sacrificial lamb after that attrocious 2008 season. I'm not sure if we can count the inditial D-Coordinator change when we try to decide if replacing more staff will help the team this time.
The other factor to consider is that, as opposed to the Basketball team, we're not looking at a fresh bevy of talented but inexperienced faces for next season. For the first time in a while, we're going to finally return an experienced, established squad that is familiar with their position coaches and scheme and so on.
Keep in mind that this is not just defensive either. Though the offense was clearly killer this past season, it also had its share of problems. Most notably, turnovers (fumbles) and, in the later season, substantial red zone issues (kicking game withstanding, because I don't even want to get into that).
Obviously, some changes in the coaching staff need to be made. I guess at the heart of the matter is this question:
In light of the basketball team's early season success after a wholesale staff changeover, assuming Rodriguez remains as coach for the 2011 season, and considering both the returning experience of the team AND the problems that plagued a variety of position groups this past season, exactly how much of the staff do you think Rodriguez should replace? Is D-Coordinator enough? Should he gut the defensive side of the ball and bring up position coaches from all over? Do any offensive guys get it?
I don't care so much WHO you want to see brought in as who you think, ideally, needs to be replaced to see the squad perform at a much higher level next season.
It's no secret that most of the nation is telling us we've got to be concerned about Denard's durability. "QB's just can't take that number of carries and the hits that come along with them and stay healthy", is the usual line we've been hearing. While I agree that QB durability is a concern, to me, it's no more of a concern than for a team whose QB stands in the pocket all day long.
Here's where I have to disagree with all the people who see his carries numbers each week and fire off some rambling echoing comment about inevitable injuries.
DRob is not your average QB. No, I'm not talking about his got-here-before-I-got-here speed, or his super nova bright smile, or his unbelievable humility. I'm talking about how his carries are obtained, and how his hits are taken.
Your average stationary QB will take most of his hits in the pocket and a few of them while running for his life. Of the hits taken in the pocket, most of them will be taken without any warning and usually with at least a moderately forceful tackle. This is why QB durability is even a topic in today's football conversations. Then, we look at carries and hits. The higher the carries and the more the hits a QB in this conversation takes, the more likely he is to come down with some kind of season affecting injury. So people see his carries, and the number of hits he's taking and they automatically put him in the "high risk" bracket for getting sidelined at some point.
Here's what they aren't accounting for:
1) If we want to count the hits a QB takes in the pocket, DRob is already at an advantage to the stand there and shoot QB. If a play is busted, and he's taking a hit, someone actually caught him- and we all know that's been rare. And even those hits are usually someone trying to slide him to the ground before he breaks loose and gains 50 yards.
2) If we want to count the hits a QB takes when he rushes, DRob is clearly at an advantage because of his speed, his cutting ability, his running vision, and his mentality as a runner (looks like a HB). If a defender is hitting him and actually brining him down, they're hanging on to his leg or his waist (Manti Te'o in Heisman-like photo). This is because they can't commit to a huge hitting tackle the way they can against a target that moves slowly enough to zero in on. How many times has a defender given him a hit that everyone gasped at? None. And this trend is likely to continue based on the abilities listed above.
3) The hits he actually does take when he's rushing are taken just like a RB would take them. He's never a dear in the headlights or a car that couldn't stop soon enough to not get hit by that semi.
4) The kid is tough. Period.
So if he's taking any more hits than a typical QB would take, it can't be that much more. He takes less hits in the pocket, his hits downfield are never huge hits, the hits he does take downfield are braced for and slippery like most RB's/HB's, and the kid is tough as nails.
We don't hear the media fretting each week about the durability of every star RB in the nation.
So why do we hear it about DRob every five seconds?
Is it because they just need something to say/write about other than, "Denard Robinson is fast!!!"?
Is there a faction of people out there who want to be right more than they want to see a humble kid tear it up all year?
Mathlete (or someone else with numbers skills and access to some stats)- I’d love to see some numbers behind this…general categories like hits taken in the pocket, hits taken rushing, big hits, unexpected hits, etc.
It seemed like they may have had a guy or two on DRob all day. Throwing it out for comment.
Side note: UMass crowd was small but good natured. Even their band did the wave with the crowd today. Great half-time show by both bands.