"He's a hard worker, and he watched me and Tim (Hardaway Jr.) and Nik (Stauksas) put work in to become (first-round picks), and I'm just happy he's getting better," Burke said. "It's great for the program, too. It shows what type of program the University of Michigan is and the direction it continues to go in."
Praise for Vincent Smith's toughness:
Aside: I'm still trying to determine which players weren't tough last year. /s
Presenting for discussion ... *not* a Freep article:
* To some degree, I believe in all this "toughness." I don't think it was lacking under the prior regime, but there are worse things to emphasize. I won't be surprised if it improves.
* Navarre (who, to be fair, has always seemed like a good guy) seems to be equating toughness with the pro-style offense here: "We're going to have a fullback in the game, the quarterback's going to be under center." I do not agree. John does not seem to believe that spread teams can be tough.
* More from Navarre: "I know they're doing a lot of mental toughness things they've been doing for years that we got away from a little bit." Where's the evidence for that?
* We've seen Griese's comments about "effort." I wonder if he watched the Oregon game in '07?
With all the obvious targets (defensive coordinator position, etc.) provided by the RichRod regime, why is it that we continue to hear about things like "toughness" and "understanding the rivalry?" To me it's evidence that a bunch of brains locked up when Rodriguez lost too many games. If Griese et al. would restrict themselves to GERG, academically shaky recruits, etc. they'd sound a lot more reasonable.