this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
"And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
"Thanks for coming. This is one of the weeks in football where if you are passionate about the University of Michigan or passionate about Ohio, which is exciting. We are excited. We had a chance to get together as a team. It's such a great rivalry that we’re very fortunate to be able to play in and to be able to coach in. This is a week that gets everybody involved: media, fans, all those people. Everybody has an opinion, which is good. It's good for the game because the game is talked about. It's going to be a lot of fun on Saturday to play the football game."
Injury updates on linebackers and Devin Gardner?
"They're all going to be fine. All three of them."
Expect them to play Saturday?
What do you think needs to turn around on the offense?
"Consistency. We get a nine-yard gain and then take a step back. Or we have good protection and don't finish the throw, or don’t execute the throw, or don’t catch the football, which is all part of it. That’s all part of execution. The rhythm you need to have from an offensive perspective has to be more consistent. The kids are working, believe me. They're working. They want to find that rhythm as an offense and run the football and be able to play-action pass and do the things that have been very good to us at times."
Is this the kind of game where you’re likely to take more chances?
"You talking about down and distances? I think you go into every game, and you try to look at the pluses and minuses. You try and do a good job with a good plan in all three phases of the game. There’s always different outside factors that may dictate things: injuries, wind, weather, all those kinds of things. You always go in, but you have to have a contingency plan, whatever that might be."
How is your team mentally at this point?
"Good. We practiced this morning, and they were very good."
Can you talk about the decision to play Kyle Kalis to right guard?
"Well, he had earned it. It's really no bigger decision than that. He had earned it. He had done a good job in the week. They evaluated him. Thought it would be good for the other Kyle, for Bosch, to take a step back and watch a little bit and keep learning. And I think that's what Kalis did."
Why him at right guard and Magnuson at left guard?
"Well, Mags came in here as a left tackle, and he's been on the left side more. More comfortable for Kalis on the right side? Yes. Magnuson is pretty adaptable and can do both, but he has been a left tackle, so it worked out well."
Impressions of Ohio State?
"Well, they have a very good football team. They have four out of five offensive linemen that are seniors. They have a lot of veterans who have played a lot of snaps. Their running back is leading the Big Ten. He's a good running back. He's a guy who can break tackles. You've got to make sure you get hats to the ball. Their quarterback has played well; he's throwing the ball a little better. They have good wide receivers and are explosive offensively. Back end defensively is a good back end. They are aggressive in what they do. I think that Shazier is one of the better linebackers in this league. Finds ways to get to the football. Good instincts. They are a good football team."
On film, do they look like the best team you’ve faced?
How has Chris Wormley rehabbed this season?
"Chris has done a real good job. I think that missing last fall and being limited at times in the spring obviously hurt a guy in terms of the experiences of one play after another play. I think Chris has taken some real positive steps. He's played better in every football game, and he's playing faster. I think that when a guy starts to play faster like that you get the idea that he feels more confident in how he is playing."
Ohio State is the heavy favorite. What do you say to people who think Michigan has no shot in this game?
"Number one, I would say that we are going to play the game on Saturday, and that's why we're playing it. This game has always been different in some ways. Are they a good football team? Yeah. They’re a very good football team. Do we have to play better than we've played? I don't think there's any doubt about that, and we've got to be more consistent, and we’ve got to finish things better. It's what makes it so much fun."
Where do you see areas where your team has improved?
"I think that defensively we've improved as the year’s gone on. I think we have some of the young guys, the Chris Wormleys of the world. I think the three guys in the interior of the line are making an improvement. I would say those two areas."
Ohio State leads the Big Ten in points. Can you win a shootout against this team?
"I think the answer to that is however we have to try and get it done to win."
Will a win over Ohio State erase your struggles this season?
"No, that never happens. But this game is for our seniors. We’re going to honors those kids on Saturday. It is always important to win these types of game for those fourth- and fifth-year guys that have given a lot to this university and this program. For them, it’s always good if you win that game, because that's what guys talk about."
How quickly did Magnuson adapt to switching over, and how did you think the new interior line looked?
"It was probably a little better overall. For Magnuson, playing left tackle, that stance wasn't that big a deal. He has been early in the process and has played almost every position but center at some point. I think it was flawless to be honest with you."
How would you assess Devin Gardner’s performance through 11 games so far?
"He has had some really good moments and some moments that he'd rather redo if he could. I think we all have that. I do as a head coach. There’s always moments that you think about and think well maybe you should have done this. But the one thing about Devin is that he’s been pretty resilient. He’s a guy that comes to work every day and prepares to get ready to play and play his best."
You’ve talked about the lack of consistency. How do you coach consistency? That’s kind of difficult, isn’t it?
"I don't know if it's difficult; when you look at the little things that you have to do to have discipline to be consistent. And those are things that you are coaching every day, whether it be your footwork, whether it be a stance, ball security, or whatever it might be. Those are the things that you demand every day so that they become great habits and consistent."
You always say the goal is to win the Big Ten. Where are you right now with this program in three years? Does this game change when your goals have to shift?
"Well the number one goal has always been to play for our seniors and to do everything we can as coaches and as underclassmen, that we represent them. At the same time, the seniors have to do a great job representing that senior class. Is the goal always to win the Big Ten championship? No question about it. And we won't make excuses nor back down from it. Have we played and coached as well as we've needed to? Obviously not. And those are things that we've got to keep going and keep working every day because that's all you can do."
What are the keys on both sides of the ball to win on Saturday, and how confident are you that you can win?
"I am very confident that we can win, or we wouldn't play. I'd call down there to Columbus and say that we won't do it. Number one, we have to stay away from negative plays offensively. You've got to manage the manageables when you look at down and distance. Negative plays, taking care of the football, trying to steal a possession by a turnover. Defensively, the running game is going to be a big part of it. It always has. So we've got to do a great job in the rushing game and try to create longer distances for them."
What’s your earliest memory of this game?
"Oh gee. Every year I get older, so it gets a little harder. Watching the game on TV, you know. Black and white. I mean … Coach Hayes. I really respected Coach Hayes."
I don't know what specifically they can do at this point in the season to address the problems on offense.
Trying to stay positive for the team.
where is the roundtable?!!
and that's why we're playing it."
Devin Funchess could have caught all his drops and UM would have had 200 yards of offense. I don't think the dropped balls contributed much to the lack of offensive efficiency.
have little room for error these things are magnified. If he's establishing himself early the defense might adjust and open up something else.
To my eye it wasn't so much the yards but keeping the chains moving and the offense on the field. I think the drops were HUGE momentum killers and just another example of how lack of execution has plagued this team. I'm sure guys will find a way to blame the coaches for well designed, timed, blocked, and thrown pass plays on which our usually sure handed TE/WR beast dropped the ball.
The first one would have been good yardage and a 1st down. The second would have left 3rd and 1 or maybe a 1st down, instead of 3rd and long. Gallon's drop was a first down drop as well. Those three drops, all on different drives, could have become something, we can never know and we certainly can't say had they been made the drives would have still stalled.
Fair enough, but that only accounts for 3 of the drives that failed miserably. Yes, we might have scored had those balls been caught, but it's more likely those drives end like all the others - stalled out.
That's 3 more sets of downs which keeps Michigan's D on the sideline.
Like you said you never know but that's 9 more chances to do something atleast and it would atleast improve field position and like I said, it would rest the D just a little more.
Great quote and picture Heiko...so appropriate
I can only imagine the howling outrage at such a statement coming out of the previous coach's mouth.
When Hayes retired, or was retired for slugging a Clemson kid on the sideline, Hoke was in his mid 20' s approximately. And he was born and raised in Ohio I believe. The statement is understandable in that context. If Bo were alive, he would say the same thing, and I m sure he did. True, though, if RR said it, it would have haunted him for all his days at Michigan. He failed albeit with a little help from his "friends". The Michigan pure breds couldn't abide a West Virginian. Cultural bias. Not uncommon.
Well, Bo respected the heck out of him too.
Bo said numerous times in interviews that he respected Hayes. Lloys repeatedly said that he respected Tressle. This oveanalysis of Hoke's every word is silly. (not directed at you, specifically, by the way).
Also, f rooting for snow. I am hoping for clear skies so that there are no excuses when we beat their asses and ruin their season.
I feel bad for the 30 sacks Gardner is going to take this weekend.
Either way, eff ohio.
What is this nine yard gain Hoke speaks of? Are you allowed to do that? I thought they capped yardage gains at like 2 or 3 yards.
picked up nine yards. Did Borges EVER call another jet sweep - NO. Did he run a play using the jet sweep as a decoy - NO.
Borges is a MORON.
Big Al needs to get in his own head. Try the Costanza approach - do the opposite of what he thinks he should do. How could it be any worse then 6 yds in 27 mins?
What does he have to lose? He must know that his days are numbered as our OC.
It lost 4 yards. And he ran jet sweep action I believe against Northwestern, so that wouldn't have been a new thing.
I'm no football expert and like to hear feedback from those who know far more than me, so I'd be interested in your take. The issue with Al running another jet sweep (to me) was that he ran it on the very next play...after he just gained 10 yards with it on the previous snap. Call me crazy but that seems like an absolutely ridiculous thing to do.
That has seemed to be Al's problem in a nut shell this year, that his play calling just doesn't make a lot of sense. He finds something that works and then rides the hell out of it. Once the other team figures out how to stop it, he's got nothing to go to that works and the wheels fall off.
Another example would be the fake bubble draw. How many times did he think that was going to work before a team would figure it out? It worked against NW, did he honestly think Iowa wouldn't prep for that and figure it out pretty quickly? Well, big surprise...they did and after the first few plays we got nothing out of that either.
To me (an admitted untrained eye) it just looks like Borges lacks both creativity and cohesion in the way he calls games. My coaching experience in football is limited to EA sports in all honesty, but what I try to do is get the defense to expect one thing, and call something else to catch them unaware. Something that looks an awful lot like what I want them to think I am going to do, just with a twist. Like maybe you run your fake bubble draw as a play action and the guy who was running out to block the bubble fakes the block, releases and runs a deeper route. I'm just spitballing here because I'm not an expert, but there has to be things you can do. What did we see? The fake bubble draw with the occasion bubble throw in.
My point is simply that I believe there are far better offensive mind out there as well as position coaches that can help these kids maximize their talents, and for me, these kids deserve that. I could be convinced that Al is being hamstrung with what he can do by the lack of development his players have shown, and that in other instances he would do a better job. The problem for me is though, he is responsible for his assistants and their failure is his failure. An OC's only job can't possibly be to just sit in a booth and callplays right?
So while I don't think all the blame can be placed at Al's feet for how this offense has performed, I do think that he holds the acountability for their failure. I jus hope for the sake of the players that this HC goes out and gets someone whose strengths involve developing players to run his system. With the money this university has shown it's willing to pay their coordinators I don't see any reason why we should have anyone but the best available. These players are worth that in my mind, and Al doesn't fit that bill.
So I'll just try to touch on a few things.
If you follow me on twitter I have a football tip of the day. From yesterday: "Reverses, End Arounds, and Jet Sweeps are 3 different plays designed to take advantage of different things from a defense. Reverse initially attacks 1 side before reversing fields and takes advantage of horizontal over-pursuit. End-Around has middle action attached & takes advantage of vertical over pursuit (by getting depth and around squeezing EMOL). A jet sweep has no misdirection and is simply a sweep w/ jet motion attached. Designed to get to the edge before the defense."
Now, different level of football and all, but my first year coaching the OC for our team called back-to-back HB passes. The first one didn't work but was wide open, so he went back to it. Why? Because who in their right mind runs 2 straight trick plays? 2nd one scored a TD. Either way, as far as the jet sweep and reverse, they were both designed to attack a defense that was set up inside-to flow out. The first designed to slow that flow, the second designed to beat LBs to the edge with a faster RB. Whether you like them back-to-back is likely more a function of if they're both successful or not.
As far as the bubble screen, supposedly (according to Seth) they did run some bubble action, some 3 times actually (edit: clarification, they didn't run bubble action, they ran some sort of PA from a similar look that bought a lot of time, which makes more sense because I didn't remember bubble action). So they ran the bubble, bubble fake to draw, and bubble fake to pass (edit: draw action from same look, not bubble action). Once the backside DE started getting up field and crashing though, the OL just can't hold up that long, so they likely went away from it because of that. I think that's a thing that has affected a lot of his ability to go to the third iteration in a play set up though (and is something that is really hurting how "creative" he looks). OSU runs a PA off of the inverted veer, for instance. It isn't a pop pass, it's a long developing PA. The pop pass in general isn't always a safe play out of that look because of the way flow is directed. Well, that takes good protection. So I think you're seeing Borges get to things that where his protection schemes can still possibly hold up, and then going away from them instead of the next iteration because of the youth on OL.
Now, yes, ultimately the offense falls on the feet of the OC. I've said before it's very difficult for an outsider to really judge what is going on. I certainly don't think all the players are idiots, and some of it is likely on coaching, but to the same degree some of it just takes time to get up to speed. It takes a lot of reps for young guys, especially young guys playing next to young guys (which is why I've been reluctant to call out Funk as well).
So, I don't know, it certainly needs to show a lot of growth by next year. This year's team is this year's team, people expecting a massive jump week-to-week are expecting extremely unlikely things. But if this OL can make the jump, say, MSU's OL did (last year, MSU had a lot of injuries and rotation along their OL and were terrible; this year it's the strength of their offense) then it starts setting up for Borges to be able to do all the things he wants to do. But I can promise this is a very handcuffed version of his ultimate offense because of the extreme limitations presented to him. But yes, it does need to get better.
As far as discussion, I don't mind talking facts (how a play is designed, what it's designed to do, etc), but I don't really want to get into the opinion stuff. It's honestly been beat to death and it will just turn into the same flamewar that it always turns into, so I'm trying to minimize opinion-based my discussion, though some of this requires some of that to be made.
and thank you for your feedback as well. It was very informative.
Oh, just so I'm clear though, what you're saying is he didn't actually call the same play back-to-back. One was a reverse and one was a jet sweep? If that is what you're saying it seems to me you are right and I was mistaken now that I think back on it.
I do agree with your other point as well, that calling the ssame play back-to-back may work because who would ever think someone would do that. Good points.
I will say though, that my main issue with the coaches (and not to debate this, just to point it out) is not the playcalling because I just don't have the knowedge to critique it. I mean, it looks crazy to me, but honestly that doesn't mean much given my lack of understanding.
Correct, it was reverse and then jet sweep.
And that's fine, I don't even mind people questioning play calls really, as long as they do it with an open mind. So I have no issue with you, for instance, critiquing play calling. You should critique it if it's something you're interested in, it's how you learn. And I'm not saying people can have an opinion until I tell them otherwise, all I'm trying to do is give the idea and theory behind something like that, then people have a broader knowledge base and can formulate their own opinions.
"Magnuson is pretty adaptable and can do both, but he has been a left tackle, so it worked out well."
I feel like I live on a barrier island and I know the mother of all hurricanes is coming. I'm trying to minimize the damage the best I can but I know it is inevitable that I'm going to be on the short end of an ass-kicking for the ages. Sigh.
And Mayor Hoke is still just hanging out at the cabana, eating peanuts and drinking beer. No urgency to PREPARE FOR FUCKING HURRICANE!!!.
Please don't tell me you actually believe that.
Put up storm shutters around the heart of your fandom. This one's gonna be rough!
Good times, good times.
BILG, you made me laugh out loud- that was excellent. And that's all we can do now: Laugh maniacally like Walter White in the crawlspace, because that's all that we've got left.
"It's going to be a lot of fun on Saturday to play the football game."
If that statement turns out to be true, then I will probably reverse my feeling about this season 180 degrees. I don't even need a win. A fun game against Ohio would be enough.
Ok, Brady, go execute.
He means it's going to be like sticking needles in your eyes then yeah...this is going to be fun. In all honesty I think playing games like football is fun so I assume what he means is it's going to be fun for them. For the fans watching the game...I can think of a lot of descriptors for what it's going to be like watching "The Game" this year....fun isn't one of them.
I wish he would come out and really put some pressure on Borges and the offense, but it's not going to happen. Of course he realizes that the offense is struggling - everybody knows our offense is struggling, but he's not going to start going after our coaches or players at this point. The issue will be what he does at the end of the season, not what he says now.
If no changes are made (which is what I expect) then it's entirely fair to criticize Hoke. If he surprises us all and switches something up, then we have to reassess what to complain about (until next season).
Here's what I'd like to see happen in the offseason. Boot Borges, bring in another OC who is creative and doesn't call runs against 9 man fronts 20 times a game. Shuffle the coaches (somebody would have to go, but I'm not sure why we need 2 linebacker coaches...goodbye Coach Smith?) and bring in a QB coach. Hopefully Fred Jackson will retire and we can bring in Wheatley or Hart as a RB coach. I think Funk gets another season given the youth on our interior. However, if Bob Bostad (TB OL coach and former Wisconsin OL coach) is available, I think you need to consider him. Either way, Funk will be on a very, very hot seat going into next season.
OK its impossible to unf*ck someone or something, but beating OSU on Saturday would come as close as physically possible to unf*cking this season
...its not lottery-type odds...more like roulette odds: UM victory = 1/n (36 - n) = 36/n - 1
Well then I'm betting on double zero.
He doesn't seem very excited. I guess no one believes they can pull this one off, not even the person who is responsible for making it happen.
Do you really think the coach is, "the person responsible for making it [winning] happen"? I agree he's a large part of the equation, but I think the players are more responsible for winning and losing that the coach. He and his staff can only do so much, at some point the kids have to out play the opposition, no?
Ok dude, whatever you say.
Your mindless negativity is pathetic. I try hard to do my due diligence into the causes. You do not. You just shit on everyone and everything. I'm not an apologist, I'm a realist. The reality is obvious if you'd take the time to look. But, you're too emotional to look, you just want heads to roll so you'll feel better. That is immature, IMO.
What reality is obvious? Penn State, Nebraska, Iowa, and Michigan State all have better players than Michigan? Akron and UCONN players are on the same level of Michigan? The only other thing it could be is that Michigan does have better players than some or all of those teams, but they are not prepared properly, and that falls straight on the coaches.
Lay off Sten. While I completely disagree with his opinion on the coaches he is entitled to express it. Even if it's unpopular.
Yes I did support RR specifically because I looked into the roster and saw what a dismal state Carr left it in. And i support Hoke because RR did very little to solve the roster issues, and made the OL situation worse. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink dude. The line has mad progress and I've said I think Borges has the play calling yips. What more do you want?
I thought then and still believe that the PSU play calling especially late was understandable, and actually worked in putting the special teams in a position to win several times -- they failed to convert. I think Hoke & Co. Have determined that they need to keep repping the power run -- the staple of the scheme they want to run -- until the guys get it. That is frustrating to us fans, but understandable, IMO, from a long term rebuilding a young roster perspective. That being said, I think Borges displays some very weird play calling traits that make me think his years at Michigan have messed up his head. He gets something going, then goes back to the thing that they do poorly. He has a defense reeling, and he runs right at them and puts the offense behind the chains. I have no problem replicating Borges if someone must be sacrificed. But if they keep him, I think many of his most detested traits will disappear as the OL matures
They played the percentages They had a chance in regulation, and two in OT. Who would bet Gibbons would miss three FG's?
"They played the percentages"
I'm not really sure that is true -
Over the last 5 years in FBS - average distance of a missed field goal:40.2 yards
So the Michigan Man idea is what ails this program? Really?
First of all, it is what makes the program special. It is a clean program that has excelled on a consistent basis for one hundred years. That is amazing and deserves some serious respect.
Michigan is not about winning at any cost. Other programs have gone that route, and I for one do not want Michigan to go that route.
Michigan doesn't just stand for wins. We are not entitled to wins. We need to earn the wins, not get them the gimmicky way. It's about doing things the Michigan way. The players who have played at Michigan all talk about the importance of the Michigan Man concept. They are what the program is about. It's about creating better men, and that will make a better team.
Second, it seems to me that we had much better records when we had coaches who understood the Michigan Man ideal. So to say that it is what ails the program seems pretty debatable.
Does following this tradition of playing the right way put Michigan at a disadvantage? Probably yes. But I will argue that those teams will come and go, and Michigan will always be one of the great programs. We may not win a lot of National Championships, but we will win the vast majority of our games. That is how Michigan has always been during my 42 years of fandom, except for a few years here and there.
If I take the long view, I can't think of any other team I would prefer.
If I take the short view, I can understand people wanting other programs, but I'm okay with who we are. We are Michigan.
Cool. We can do that with just about any coach we hire, no? Anyone reasonable? "That" being "run a clean program." What we are all arguing about here is the other 75-90% of coaching. So we don't need to pontificate about it, do we?
I don't think BILG (or anyone) has ever suggested we should not continue to uphold the traditions and run a clean program; it's just that too many people think that those traditions also include neanderthal offensive football and blind loyalty. The latter two are unnecessary relics and are NOT intertwined with the former automatically.
So a "Michigan Man" can come from anywhere. And whether or not one is a "Michigan Man" is immaterial to whether or not one's offense is completely and utterly putrid and the man at the controls- the OC- is likely not the man for the job. He isn't. He has demonstrated that his celiing is below this level. Look at what happened at Auburn. And for many, if Hoke doesn't pull the trigger, than that's a massive indictment on Hoke. We shall see; I can say that if Borges is still OC next year, I'll have much less confidence in Hoke than I do now.