Mike Lantry, 1972
[Ed-M : Interesting comparison, but not a diary]
So the big news in the NFL was the Broncos firing Josh McDaniels as their head coach. When both Rich Rod and Josh McDaniels were hired, there were some parallels in the type of hiring that took place. I think Michigan and the Broncos made a similiar coaching decision when hiring their respective coaches. Happily, the bottom line is that Rich Rod is a better coach and a much better person, two factors that will hopefully weigh heavily in Dave Brandon's pending decision.
Michigan hired Rich Rod knowing that he was a paradigm changing coach for our program. He was/is relatively young, though with a track record of real success. We took a chance on the exciting prospects of higher octane offense and schemes on both sides of the ball that had built West Virginia into a real program.
The Denver Broncos hired Josh McDaniels following the Mike Shanahan era. Shanahan's time in Denver was not unlike Lloyd Carr's at Michigan. Shanahan won Super Bowls in 97 and 98 with John Elway, only to spend the next ten years with successful- but not championship-caliber teams. The Broncos needed a change even though Mike Shanahan was an excellent coach, a feeling many of us had about Lloyd in 2007. (Obviously no disrespect to Lloyd Carr, he was and is a class act and one of our all time greatest coaches.)
McDaniels was hired because he was going to bring fresh life to the Broncos. As a Belichick disciple, McDaniels had done extremely well as the Pats offensive coordinator. He built Matt Cassel into a legitimate NFL quarterback. He was a young, bright coach who was going to bring a new and exciting system to Denver.
Fast forward to today and the firing of Josh McDaniels. Part of the decision to fire McDaniels was his overall win-loss record. Since starting 6-0 last year, McDaniels had subsequently gone 5-17 with the Broncos. This sounds not too dissimilar from Rich Rod’s 4-0 and 5-0 starts over the past two years, right? No, not even close. Here are the differences:
1. McDaniels had lost the team's confidence
If one thing came out of the end of this season, it is clear that the players still believe in Rich Rodriguez. Our guys believe in Rich Rod and want him to succeed. Effort has never been an issue this year. Even our defense, which admittedly has been tough to watch, has played hard for Coach Rod week in and week out.
2. McDaniels was arrogant and destroyed the talent base
Say what you will about Coach Rod's speech last week, his message was humility and belief in the Michigan program. He is not arrogant. Josh McDaniels didn't get along with his star players and destroyed the Broncos by trading Jay Cutler, Peyton Hillis and Brandon Marshall. Rich Rod has been quietly building and improving this Michigan team. The talent level of this Michigan team is rising.
3. McDaniels was coaching for himself, not for the players
When watching Broncos games this year, one thing above all else struck me about Josh McDaniels. He had little to no interaction with any players on the sidelines. Literally none. He was aloof and didn't bother to check in with his players, whether things were going well or poorly. Chatter from within the Broncos organization was that McDaniels was not well received by the players this year, after having alienated many of the veterans.
Rich Rod is clearly fully invested in his players at Michigan. He cares about them and is fully engaged in their success as athletes and people. One example: he wouldn't let Denard back into the game against Illinois out of concern for his head injury. Rich Rod was emotional last week at the Bust when talking about how much his players mean to him.
While no one is ecstatic about the win-loss column over the last three seasons, it is instructive to see how Rich Rodriguez looks when compared to Josh McDaniels. The two shared more than a few commonalities when hired to be the new head coaches of their respective teams. Luckily, Michigan hired a guy who has maintained a high quality environment for the Michigan football program. Josh McDaniels provides a great reference point for the type of coach who should be fired. Rich Rodriguez deserves a much better fate.
[Ed-M: This is really board material]
I've only been able to make it to ONE Michigan Bowl game in my life, but it was a fine game at that --- the January 1, 1991 Gator Bowl.
My brother lives in Daytona Beach, and I usually visited him around NY's Day. This year, it happened that UM had beaten a woefully-coached Cooper OSU team on a last second FG by JD Carlson (why ON EARTH would a coach sent slow, David-Cone-style Greg Frye on an option on 4th and 1 from his own 29????)
UM faced Mississippi, the school that (at least then) proudly strutted out the Confederate Flag (OK...didn't that War end in something like 1865????).
Anyway, I had easy access to UM tickets so my "bro" and I (my "bro" is a dual UM/MSU grad, please don't flame me for that one) decided to go to the game, sitting in the Michigan section.
Michigan got off to a good start and a TD to go up 7-0. Ole Miss got a long FG to get to 7-3. Then, all hell broke loose, at least against the ""Rebs" (gotta love a team that names itself after the LOSING faction in a cataclismic batlle --- did you ever hear off the "Goldwaters" or "Dukasis'es"). Desmond Howard, in a preview to the 1991 Heisman, toasted a slow, white Ole Miss DB for an easy TD on a bomb.
Michigan set its modern day record for most yds in a game at something like 715 yds of total offense. If not for a few turnovers, we would have won Civil War II by more than 32 points.
I remember thinking, after the game, that we had just beat a mid-level (Minnesota in those days) B10 team.
Let's hope we can repeat some history this coming January 1st!!!!!
Quotes about Rich Rod: “I get upset when people poke fun at Coach Rod, because I know him on a personal level,” Mike Martin said. “I’ve been at his house with his family, and that man should never be made fun of because he’s nothing but a good person.
"I'm all in for coach Rodriguez and everything he does," -Ryan Van Bergen said.
"I'd be pretty devastated if anything happened (to Rodriguez)." -Darryl Stonum
Reporters are gonna write stories that tell me lies about how there's no "family atmosphere" anymore? Bull. Lots of people left Bo's first year because they couldn't take it, but not many people besides the coaches knew that until many years later. Now with ESPN, Twitter, Facebook, and everything else on the internet, every time that happened recently it's a big friggen deal. Of course Bo didn't have to completely change systems, but that doesn't matter. I remember Bo always got choked up at Banquets and things, and now RR does too. But when he does it he's "begging for his job". Shit pisses me off.
Shawn Conway will not be attending U of M next fall. Instead he will be attending a JUCO in order to get in. From his comments on the situation he remains committed to us and very much desires to eventually be a Wolverine. I like Ricardo Miller and Jerald Robinson but man, seemingly missing out on Sammy Watkins and not having Conway in 2011 really sucks.
Edit/ per TomVH's twitter:
Like many mgoblog members I've been reading all kinds of comments about DB's timeline to wait until after the bowl game to make a decision about the future of RR and the actual coaching staff. Some of them agree with him, but the majority doesn't. Most think that he is a bad CEO and there is no reason to wait unless he actually wants JH to be the next coach of Michigan football team. I want to bring a new perspective into this situation; I think he is forced to do it. Now let me explain it.
Most will agree with me that we are faced here with two likely scenarios:
1. J. Harbaugh or,
2. R. Rodriguez
If JH is the future coach, waiting for him is probably the best solution and an early announcement will probably create a bad situation both at Michigan and Stanford (remember West Virginia 3 years ago).
If RR is the coach, announcing it before the bowl game can open up a big can of worms. Why, will you ask? Think about it. What the next question will be? What about Greg Robinson and the defensive staff? Are they coming back? In this case what DB's answer can be? Yes! Unless he's 100% sure he cannot say that and what if he wants some changes in defense?
I don't know what your opinion is, but I think we need a change there and a lot of people believe that even if RR is back GERG is gone. Now we have to admit that this is a very likely scenario and I actually think that after JH as a HC this is the most likely to happen. He cannot say: "Wait for that answer after the bowl game" because that can mean only one think. You're fired, but after the bowl game.
Doing something like this IS a bad CEO decision because will divide the coaching stuff and create animosity and friction between offense and defense. That's why when somebody is fired he has to live immediately. You cannot have half the coaches safe and half not. What kind of working environment is that? You are better off with nobody safe then that.
So in conclusion J. Harbaugh or R. Rodriguez, D. Brandon may not have a choice on the timeline of his decision. Waiting after the bowl game may be his only solution.
P.S. I am in "keep RR get rid of GERG" camp. My second choice will be JH, other than that keep RR.
I know previously there was alot of complaining, with good merit, when certain former Michigan players said their HS football team or whatever else instead of the Univerity of Michigan when doing intros on Sun and Mon night football. I was wondering if anyone noticed Derrick Mason last night saying his HS instead of MSU as well as a number of other players saying various things including Suggs saying he wen to his parents university? Just sort of made me think that it's probably not former players putting our team down, but just maybe just maybe them doing something different. I guess it's hard not to get your panties in a bunch with all the negative publicity we have been getting, but this just put it in perspective better.
Go Blue and beat MSU