FWIW, it will look bad for the coaching staff when the Big 10 says Ortmann is suspended on Thu or Fri...
Monday Presser Notes: 11-2
The press conference started of with a 20-minute presentation about Rich Rodriguez sponsoring a child-safety initiative, which sports writers are apparently supposed to care about. Once the actual football talkin' began, there were a few tidbits.
- Injuries: There were no new ones coming out of Illinois, except Greg Banks has sprained his foot. Brandon Minor's injury is expected to limit him through the remainder of the season.
- Purdue is probably a better team than their record. They lost a couple of close games early, and they still have a lot of talent and experience. They start 16 seniors. They looked bad against Wisconsin, but that was partially an abnormally bad game for them, as well as a great game played by Wisconsin.
- Rich Rodriguez is more impatient than any fan could be about the progress of the team. He thought success might come a little quicker, but when he arrived in Ann Arbor and saw what he had to work with, he knew the process would be a little longer. Building a championship-caliber program will take some time. Michigan has had to play more freshmen than he'd hoped over the past two years, and it's likely that will continue next year as well.
- This team has been inconsistent all year, whether it is at home or on the road. The road environment hasn't seemed to rattle the players. They just can't play inconsistently and expect to win. A bad half can't lead to widespread issues across the team.
- Players get too tight sometimes, and worry about making mistakes. Brandon Graham is one of the few guys who doesn't do that. He just gets after and plays. Even if he makes a mistake, he is able to play at a high level. Kevin Leach graded out the highest of any Michigan defensive player, but Obi is still in the mix for playing time. Vladimir Emilien is not currently in the mix for more playing time, but he has a chance to be in the near future.
- Rodriguez re-thinks the play-calling at the goal line, but only because it's impossible not to.
- Mark Ortmann's "punch" was reviewed by Rodriguez with Ortmann. He thinks it was open-hand, and more to push Corey Liuget away than to strike him. There should be no additional punishment for Ortmann. In other offensive line news, Patrick Omameh will probably get more reps this week, as well as Ricky Barnum. Perry Dorrestein has a slight back tweak.
- Winning the Purdue game is important for the program. The players deserve a reward game for all of their hard work, and the coaches would really like to have an extra set of practices for preparation for the future.
- The team needs to stay focused and worry about the upcoming game, rather than the past.
- There have been some missed opportunities and guys not playing up to their ability, but they can't overthink. If guys start to underperform or go into a shell, it's up to their teammates to pick them back up.
- Warren likes playing press coverage, but the scheme doesn't always call for it. He needs to do what will help the other 10 guys on the field attain success as well (reading between the lines: there aren't any safeties capable of providing deep help, so GERG is hamstrung with what he can ask the corners to do).
- The first month of the season was good for the offensive line, but they seem to have taken a step back. Not being able to punch in four tries from the 1 yard line was particularly frustrating.
- The offensive line has plenty of talent, and they should be able to uphold a high standard despite losing David Molk.
- The plane ride back after a loss is pretty depressing. Everyone is frustrated and just wants to get back into the win column.
- The Purdue game is important because it will clinch a bowl game. In his ongoing "vocal leader" role, Graham's going to explain the importance of the Purdue game to his teammates today. He sometimes plans what he's going to say, but a lot of the time he just lets it flow.
- Sometimes guys try to do too much and make plays that aren't their responsibility. When guys don't stay disciplined, that's when the big plays happen for the opponent. The goal line stand may have caused a lot of defensive players to think they needed to step up, but maybe they did more than they were supposed to. It hurt for the offense to be in the red zone so many times and not score touchdowns.
- The defense has to keep working to force more turnovers.
- This team is different from last year's because everyone is more in tune with the coaches. It will keep improving as everyone buys into the vision next year.
stay will be champions. Those who support and keep the faith will be vindicated.
There is no way that was "open-handed" or intended to "push Liuget away." One of our guys hit another player in the testicles and while it might seem funny to joke about, that could seriously injure that kid, regarless of the fact that he was being a douche and standing over him. This makes UM not only look like a crappy football team, but also one in which clearly over-the-line behavior is tolerated, for whatever reason Rich Rodriguez has for tolerating it.
1. I challenge anyone to look at that tape and conjure up an explanation that doesn't involve Ortmann intending to deliver a punch to the groin.
2. We cannot be the kind of program that accepts that crap from its athletes.
Yeah, you've got to do something. I understand taking your player's word for it a far as intent goes, but he's got to sit a quarter or something. We'll see what the conference does.
especially because hes been so adamant about making sure the bigten is policing this after his run in with delaney after the nd game.
it seems almost insanely naive to think the bigten wont step in, im kind of surprised rr isnt going to do something.
I'm sure they'll let us know by Thursday if Ortmann is suspended or not.
Technically, all it does is make us bowl-eligible... are there any likely scenarios in which we get six victories but are shut out of bowl consideration?
Because UM has such a solid fan-base and bowls do not have to pick based on record unless there are too many bowl eligible big-ten schools. In that case, the big-ten affiliated bowls would have to take the 7-5 teams over us, but then I would bet my bottom dollar that a non-affiliated bowl would pick us up because our fans travel so well, its good for tv ratings, etc.
So, short answer, almost assuredly this will not be an issue, but you are right that there are certain unlikely scenarios where it could be. Please god, let us be 6-6.
I don't think so. Granted, bowls have to take all seven-win teams first, but usually at least a few six-win teams go, and we have to be the first selected, or close to it. Whatever else Michigan may be, they are a consistent fan draw with alumni everywhere. Hell, I'd probably go to the Motor City Bowl if we were there.
The BCS has 7 auto-bids for the Big Ten, so we've got to move past Purdue and Northwestern (currently 7th) to get the slot.
Minnesota, currently 5-4, plays Illinois, South Dakota State, and Iowa, so at least one more win likely.
State (4-5) plays Western, Purdue, and Penn State, so one or two more wins.
Northwestern (5-4) plays Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin, so one more win likely.
Purdue (3-6) plays us, State and Indiana, so that could be a strong finish.
So it could shake out like this:
Minnesota 7-5, (5-3)
MSU 6-6, (4-4)
NW 6-6, (3-5)
Purdue 4-8, (3-5)
Michigan 6-6 (2-6) (win against Purdue, loss to Wisconsin + OSU)
Now, I'm not sure how the seeds break down if one team has a higher overall win-loss but behind in conference, or a higher spot in conference but less than 6 wins (like State compared to Nortwestern, or Michigan compared to Michigan State).
Or throw such a backhanded, veiled insult at Lloyd Carr, and vicariously, the previous 40 years of Michigan football.
We get it, we were young. But we were also a year removed from playing on new years day and beating the best program in the past 4 or 5 years.
Those comments are the only thing I've not liked about Rich Rod. He acts like he's doing us a favor when he's won 1 more game in two seasons than Lloyd did in his worst season as head coach.
2 seasons removed from barely eeking out a 7-5 record.
Also just 9 months removed from the most embarrassing loss in college football history and eeking out respectable 8-4 record heading to Florida.
it's losing to teams that have equal or lesser talent, or in the case of Illinois, a team that's completely given up. That's happened about 5 or 6 times so far in his tenure.
I understand that this team doesn't have the typical talent of Michigan. But the typical talent we have is of a national contender, not a team struggling to go 7-5.
RichRod has lost a number of games where talent wasn't the issue; execution, however, was terrible. That's not on Carr.
Blame is toxic in any team atmosphere and RR publicly belittling his players is flat out unprofessional anyway. Think if this was your job. Your boss is telling you that you suck, that you aren't good enough, basically letting you know that you're going to be dropped like a wet sack of shit as soon as they get a new guy in. Forgetting for a moment how motivated you would be to work for such a boss, are you going to think you have what it takes to get the job done? Probably not.
RR will succeed here eventually, but engaging in fingerpointing with reporters will not get him any closer to that success and will only serve to alienate those he needs most to accomplish his goals (i.e., the players). He needs to be positive, if for no other reason than to keep the team from giving up on each other.
Your boss is telling you that you suck, that you aren't good enough, basically letting you know that you're going to be dropped like a wet sack of shit as soon as they get a new guy in."
Oh, you're talking about the players.
I thought you were talking about RichRod.
I'm not saying we should even consider firing RR now or next year. This is going to work, we have to stick with RR, and anyone who wants to fire RR right now is an idiot that is willing to accept Michigan's descent into big ten mediocrity
The team is young. A lot of freshmen starting. Saying that they haven't been up to the task and that it's going to take time is not an insult to their talent, but an acknowledgment that there is a lot of need for growth. If they were all SR/JR and he said the same thing, it might be insulting.
There's no way that Carr didn't leave enough talent to beat Toledo. Talk about a new system or bad luck or whatever, but glass houses and stuff, so no need to throw stones.
Rodriguez's teams won just as many BCS bowl games in seven years at freaking West Virginia as Lloyd did in his thirteen years at Michigan. He may not be "doing us a favor", but he is definitely an upgrade at the head coaching position. You can't honestly look at the depth chart without realizing that Rodriguez inherited a big shit sandwich when he finally took the reins here.
Those comments by RichRod annoy me on multiple levels. First of all, I agree that it's an insult to the players who he did inherit.
And second of all, I don't like this idea that he can't perform better without more talent. It's not like this is a well coached team right now. There are plenty of problems that aren't Carr's fault.
How do you come to the conclusion that this isn't a well coached team? Because true freshman quarterbacks turn the ball over and walk-on safeties take bad angles? This team plays just like everyone should expect them to be playing right now (very up and down). This team can't win consistently without more talent/experience. Failing to recognize that ignores the factual world of college football in favor of one where championship teams are molded out of clay by their supernatural coaches.
I'm not trying to turn this into a laundry list of problems, but to keep it simple - we can't catch a punt (Carr's fault?), we actually do have some scholarship safetys and their angles are *worse* than the walk-on's, we can't tackle, and we go for it on 4th & 6 when we could have used the FG. Surely some of those things can be fixed in practice and therefore aren't entirely Carr's fault.
Just some random examples.
My point is that I don't like it when RichRod acts like he's doing everything right, but Carr simply left him without any semblance of talent. I think RichRod is a good coach, but it's time to focus on the shortcomings of the current team, not on what he inherited.
We have one scholarship safety who isn't a true freshman. One guy for two positions is what Rodriguez was left with (regardless of who is to blame). "We can't tackle" is a direct result of having a lack of experienced talent in the back-7 and having multiple walk-ons and other stop-gap players see the field. Inexperienced players make mistakes like dropping punts. The only experienced PR option left from the Carr regime is Greg Matthews and he hasn't fared much better than the young guys.
I'm not saying the team can't improve, clearly that is what the coaches are trying to do. I am saying that virtually every gripe about this team (which then becomes a gripe about Rodriguez) is clearly attributable to the lack of experienced talent he inherited. We don't have enough guys in the Jr./Sr. class to even field a defense for, Christ's sake! Expecting this team to be much better than they are completely ignores the facts.
Well, neither Mike Williams nor Troy Woolfork looked better than Kovacs at Safety.
As far as tackling - there's a pretty fundamental aspect to it. Sure, you can't teach a cat to bark, but I imagine its possible to get better tackling out of our current back 7.
As far as fielding punts - Mathews is a senior. Hemmingway is a junior. Stonum is a sophomore. RichRod is in his second year. Honest question - how long does it take to learn to field a punt? 5th year senior under a 10th year coach? (Sorry if I sound harsh).
And even then, it's not like every game plan and play call has been awesome, either.
Look, I'm not saying that this team is under performing (even though that is my opinion), nor am I trying to hate on RichRod.
Instead, what I'm getting at is that RichRod has plenty of problems that don't require him to diss the state of the team when he took over. I don't really care what he thinks, but I wish he'd stop saying that stuff out loud.
He sometimes plans what he's going to say, but a lot of the time he just lets it flow.
kind of like coner, when he's got a mic in his hand.
From today's presser on whether his animated nature on the sidelines might add to the tightness:
"...If we had a quarterback that threw to a wrong guy and the guy picked it off and ran 100-some yards for a touchdown and all of that, and he came over to the sideline and people are expecting me to put my arm around him, whether he's a freshman or senior, and say, that's okay, don't worry about it, misreading and all that kind of stuff ? well, let's talk about it in the future and we'll sit down on the couch and have some tea and crumpets, the kids would look at me and say, okay, something is happening here; this guy went nuts on me."
Um, was anybody paying attention when Bo coached?
Grabbing players' facemasks to within 2 inches of his nose and screaming at them at the top of his lungs was just his normal mode of conversation.
He may have given his players hugs and fatherly advice and a quiet "here's how to do it better next time" talk, but if he did, it was behind closed doors.
None of us ever saw it during a game.
If I'm the coaching staff before the Purdue game I would just leave and let Brandon Graham be alone with the team for about five minutes before they leave to go out.
They might not have a team left if they do that
First, I would like to know the grading standards for defensive players because Leach coming out on top can only mean the protocol rewards players for making the right reads and having the right assignments. That would be ideal if you had good players, but Leach and Kovacs are no Clay Matthews. Both were not out of position as often as say, Mike Williams last weekend, but they simply do not have the physical skills to compete at the D1 level. I'm sure Leach and Kovacs are both great kids, but the talent simply is not there. There's nothing they can do to change that. That's life. So given that they were overwhelmed even if they made the right reads, why not give Emilien/Fitzgerald a chance. It can't get any worse.
Second, regarding blaming players for poor performances, that's just real life. In the real world, you are going to get blamed for your poor performances. I must say, from my limited anecdotal experience, that the days of mentoring an employee and viewing new employees as long term investments are long over. Industry in almost every field, including fields that were once gentile, is highly cutthroat and all that matters is how much money you can make for the firm now. In the football world, I certainly see the same cutthroat mentality amongst players and coaches. Whether we like this new order or not is not really the issue. It exists and players and students at large are going to have to deal with these pressures. So while some of you may be offended by the coaches calling out players who obviously missed assignments and played very poorly, I'm not going to hold that against him. I will, however, judge him on wins and losses and I'm not going to give him five years to field a competitive team.
...of COURSE they're grading on making the right reads and being where they're supposed to be. if everyone does that, you win the play, whether you're a team of walk-ons or a five-stars.
"Winning the Purdue game is important for the program. The players deserve a reward game for all of their hard work, and the coaches would really like to have an extra set of practices for preparation for the future."
I'm sure it wasn't his intent but it sounds like they are conceding the Wisconsin and Ohio State games and Purdue is basically the only chance they have for a bowl game. In retrospect, they probably should have taken that mentality into the Illinois game.
This quote from Angelique Chengelis' article today, which I assume is from the presser, just infuriates the crap out of me:
"To build a championship level, Division I program, there are a lot of parts to it, " he said. "It takes a little bit longer. Progress is being made ... We're pressing forward."
So what was Michigan before RR got here, chopped liver? Why do we keep hearing about "building a program?"
Those comments always get to me, too. Michigan was 9-4 (2007) and 11-2 (2006) in the two years immediately preceding RR. I understand that a decision was made to change the direction of the program and that's fine. However, but it's not like he took over Purdue, Indiana or Northwestern. Michigan knew a little something about Big Ten championships in the not-too-distant past.
. . . along with the attritions, RR might as well be starting from scratch. Also, see the most recent recruiting analysis on the blog.