maybe the personel moves will be good in the long term, but i don't see how one can say they were good in the short term.
The nutty Michigan coverage isn't so much about Harbaugh as it is a signal to the Big Ten that Fox wants to party.
Notes from Rich Rodriguez's Monday meeting with the press. Photo from file.
Mike Martin is going to be OK this week. "He's our best defensive... one of our best defensive players period. One of the best in the league when he's healthy." Other people need to be able to step in.
Perry Dorrestein should be able to practice by tomorrow. "Michael Shaw and maybe even Fitz Toussaint, we'll see if he can get back in the mix there." Will Heininger will be more in the rotation this week. "You'll probably see him more likely playing going forward."
Cam Gordon is now the starting Hybrid [Ed-M: Spur], backed by Thomas Gordon. Ray Vinopal is the starting Free Safety, backed by Carvin Johnson. "I thought the personnel moves defensively, I think were good for us in the short term and the long term." Cam Gordon more comfortable closer to the ball. Vinopal did "ok" for his first time out there. Staff is trying to figure out a unit that can get some stops, part of it is just getting them to play better.
There haven't been changes to the defensive coaching staff. "No. I've just met with the defensive staff the last couple hours, and we talked about some of our issues and talked about what to do to get ready for Illinois." "Y'all don't deal with rumors do you?" Everyone is frustrated, but it's always a collective effort, win or lose.
He'll be spending more time on defense this week, because the more inexperienced players over there might need more coaching. Injuries will affect lineups, different packages. "We have what we have." If there was somebody else there who could help, he'd be contributing by now. "I have a critical view of everything, every coach, every player, everything in our program every day... That's what head coaches do, you evaluate everything with everybody every day."
"Schemes are way, way overrated as far at 4-3, 3-3-5." There's no front that does or doesn't work in a particular league. "It's the execution of the schemes. We've gotta coach the schemes the right way, we've gotta execute the right way." They'll try moving Craig Roh around a bit. Laughed when he heard rumors of defensive staff changes.
"They're a big screen-draw team." They hadn't done much of it with their fullback yet. Defensive recognition wasn't great on that, partially experience. "When an experienced player gets hurt [Mike Martin] - I'm not making excuses - whether you put a senior, junior, or freshman in there, when a guy hasn't played a lot of football, it's different."
"That was one of the positives of the game, is I thought Denard played pretty well." They were close to breaking a couple big ones. He landed on his hip the one time, but was able to come back from it. "His shoulder was better. It's good, but it's not 100%."
Speech to defense at the start of fourth quarter was just a pump-up one, nothing particular schematically.
Personal foul call? "Well, I don't want to get in trouble here. There's some plays I'll send in and get clarification on the rule." Turn in a few plays every week "there's a few more this week."
Illinois - Not a rebuilding year, because they returned plenty of good athletes this season. "They're playing at a very high level right now - probably playing their best football." One of the more athletic teams in the league and that Michigan has played in the last two years. Illinois is playing with confidence.
Illinois has a bit of a rhythm, their young quarterback is playing well for them. They have really athletic guys.
Illinois has a similar offensive scheme to Michigan, it may help the defense be prepared for it. It'll be different to do it live, because they don't tackle Denard in practice.
Goods drive at the game (Gates 2 and 8) to send to troops and families in Afghanistan. Tim Horton's is donating 720 pounds of coffee to send as part of it. Team will be wearing a flag on the back of the helmets. The American flag will be embroidered on the coaches' hats (not the Adidas ones from the Sep. 11 game).
Some of the D problems aren't going to get fixed overnight, etc. "Not just the freshmen, we've got a lot of inexperienced players playing defensively." There is a bit of improvement at this point, but not to the amount that they need.
"We've gotta get faster and more athletic defensively." That was painfully obvious from the film.
"I don't have any grand magic wands to wave [at the defense] and all of a sudden they're going to be playing better." Spending more time with the D is something he's done a few years in the past. If it was an easy fix, he'd have already done it.
Talking about defensive turnovers gained "We're almost like next to last in the country." They're trying to improve that by making sure they get guys in the right positions, working on recognition, aggressiveness. "If it doesn't work out, don't go in the tank the rest of the game."
3rd and long conversions: "If it was jut one particular thing, it would be easier to solve... or one particular guy." It's always something different. They need to look at doing enough third-down work in practice, already doing more than they've ever done.
"We're playing OK offensively, but I think we can play even better when we have more of a rhythm." Defense getting opponents off the field will help establish that rhythm.
"When you play a whole bunch of freshmen in the secondary, do you want to play a lot of man coverage or cover-0?" Need to find a balance with inexperience. Took a couple chances against PSU, and got beat.
Stop a slide like last year? "I don't have to think about it. Everybody else writes about it." People want to focus on the negative, because it sells papers. Team is better offensively, team is closer as a group, making strides in classroom and weight room. Young men are growing up. The wins and losses are bad, but there's more to it than that.
"These guys that are playing young and inexperienced from now, they're going to be experienced a year or two from now. I'm not happy, but I'm optimistic."
"Nobody's happy we've lost the last three games. We're still five in the good and three in the bad." People can't walk around moping, just need to learn from the mistakes, be mad for 24 hours, and start working on the next game.
Turnovers "I thought we were really pretty good at it most of the year." Denard used the bye week to go back and remember to have his eyes in the right spot. "Denard threw one ball he'd like to have back that could have been intercepted," and Hopkins had the fumble, but it was good other than that.
Defensive scheme change help? "we're gonna try." Trying to simplify some, but still give them the opportunity to be aggressive without exposing the secondary.
"I'm not sticking my head in the sand... we know what we have, we know what we've gotta have, and we'll try to fix that going forward."
maybe the personel moves will be good in the long term, but i don't see how one can say they were good in the short term.
agree with this. Why were these changes necessary at this point of the season? Obviously, the defense has not been good for the whole year. However, I did think there was at least some minimal improvement up to the Iowa game, which seemed to be completely lost with all the shifting. I think that if we played defensively like we did against Iowa (mediocre), instead of what we got against PSU (completely lost), then we win Saturday night.
I know how tough the losses are and the bad defense and all that.
But please, please, try to stay positive. Cheer on the team. We have four games left, and if we manage to beat at least Purdue, we'll have a bowl game. Who knows -- we may get lucky and beat one of the other three teams on our schedule. There are still things to play for.
This was an awesome post. Seriously. I am as pissed off about the losing, the slide, the defense, the 3-3-5, and all of the other stuff, and I am definitely in the camp that this team need to hire a new coaching staff (RR included). But, you are correct that there are things to cheer for. Going to a bowl would mean 15 more practices. Hugely important for this young team, regardless of who is the coach next year. There is also something called pride.
So yes, our fans need to cheer on this team (especially at home!!). Thanks for the reminder.
I like this post, because I like Michigan football, even when we play poorly. These 12 football Saturday's in the fall are still great days. Would I like to win more? Yes, but damn do I love watching the Maize and Blue take the field. Despite our slide, this is still our team.
damn right. i'm going to cheer my team to the end, win or lose. there's time when it's over to figure out if he's the right coach. in the meantime, i'm going to make my players know that i want them to win. i'll be sitting in the nosebleeds on saturday, but they'll hear me on the field.
Brian, I think, said it best:
"bitterness is no fun, faith is rewarded, the kids on the field are more resilient than we are, and sometimes they can let us borrow some of that."
These kids have shed blood, sweat and tears working tirelessly trying to build the team. They moved from hundreds if not thousands of miles to wear the colors we choose to cheer for. Whether you like RR or not these kids deserve our support. Go Blue!
i like that you are humanizing the young men! they are student athletes, human beings with families first, students second and ball players lastly! obviously the last one is usually the most important to us fans yet the first two are intrigal to who they are and what they bring to us as fans. i also REALLY appreciate your comment about becoming a man of value! that is something for me to strive for! Go Blue beat illinois!
Equating lack of support for the coaches with lack of support for, and an implied lack of cheering for, the team is just blind fumbling for some reason to bolster your case. Logical minds can do both - not support the coaches yet cheer for the team. Illogical minds refuse to accept that.
But I am soo F'n sick of losing. Especially a game like this, this one was rough.
..it pains me to say but if I was David Brandon I would start the back channels of a head coaching search.
I think it is fair for one to say, "Hey there are 4 more games left, let the season play out," however I have no confidence whatsoever that anything will change. I believe we will split Ill/purdue, and get blown out by the other two teams. Consequently we need to get a jump start in creating a candidates list. Preferably I would like a new head coach installed for the bowl game.
Obviously this is an outsiders perspective, but if I am clinical about this viewpoint, there really is no other answer. Rich Rodriguez as the michigan coach has been an abject failure.
the bandwagon just got a little lighter.
Why is it necessary to call him a bandwagon fan? He is a fan who is expressing his opinion on the currest state of the program. He is not saying that he will not root for the team, he is not saying that he is no longer a fan, he is not saying that he will not continue to make alumni donations as long as RR is coach (if he is an alum). He is just saying that he doesn't believe that RR has done a good job. Based upon the records and results to date, his opinion is not unwarranted.
Everyone on these boards is free to debate, but I just don't get the personal insults.
If he's made it this far, he's not exactly a bandwagon fan.
You are not alone in your opinion. Looking at this team over three years, it is hard to conclude that RR's tenure has been anything less than an abject failure. We have had two pathetic seasons, and are in the midst of another. Our defense went from bad, to worse to worst. RR has broken just about every single Michigan record for futility. I can't even count the number of streaks that he has snapped, most prominantly our bowl streak. Yes, there are 4 games left to play, but barring anything miraculous, I believe that the school would be best served by bringing in a new coach.
This is not a criticism of RR. I am sure that he is a good man and actually a good football coach (offense, at least). But, unfortunately for us and for him, he got off on the wrong foot in AA. Perhaps it was the messy divorce from WVU, perhaps it was the anti-RR faction within the fanbase that was looking for any reason to hate him (although 3-9 didn't help), perhaps it was the media jihad or perhaps it was just a bad fit. For whatever reason, it just seems like RR never got it close to going in AA.
"seems like RR never got it close to going in AA" Atleast wait till the season is over to say something like that buddy.
So 2 B10 wins in 2.5 seasons isn't enough to at least ask the question without getting negbanged?
"RR never got it going" What about all the positive Michigan and Big Ten records that Denard and this offense have broken already? I'd say the offense has it "going" pretty darn well. The struggles on defense mask the truly great year the offense is having. Is RR to blame for a lot of the struggles on D? Definitely, but that doesn't make him a bad coach, he's just made a few poor decisions with the way the defense has been handled. However, this offense is EXCITING. Once the defense gets its feet under them, this team is going places, and I'm happy to be along for the ride.
(side note - I am on the "third and one - damn it, why is vincent smith in the backfield. they aren't seriously giving it to him again are they?? aaarrgghhh" what-the-hell-is-RR-thinking bandwagon, but otherwise he's solid... haha)
"Is RR to blame for a lot of the struggles on D? Definitely, but that doesn't make him a bad coach, he's just made a few poor decisions with the way the defense has been handled."
Seeing that RR doesn't do much coaching on the defensive side of the ball, the decisions he has made concerning the defense should seen as a direct symbol of his coaching ability. For me, I have seen a great OC but a bad head coach, in that, the defensive has struggled since he came aboard, and, well, we haven't won many games. RR seems a novice of defensive coaching and relies too heavily on his DC. A good coach creates a good football team, not merely a good offense, and there is no evidence that, regardless who the DC is, that RR can positively affect change on defense when/if needed, and that he relies to heavily on his DC to maintain that side of the ball. Saying that, there are many coaches that are specialized in one area or another but if they make poor decisions with their staff they are rightfully criticized and many times fired Without full expertise a lot more is left up to chance, and if those chances are turned negative due to poor decisions then that translates to poor head coaching.
Don't think it is all RR's fault although he has the final responsibility. The fact the defense was so out of position on many of PSU's plays makes me think that the right schemes aren't being set up so these guys are in a position to make a play. I can't believe that the sheer athletic ability of the defensive guys are that different than the offensive team. That leaves coaching and if the right schemes aren't being run we will look bad.
It bothers me that he thinks that Hopkins fumbled that ball. I think Hopkins gives us the best chance of winning out of our RBs (considering 3 are injured). The fact that Hopkins "fumbled" probably limits his time even more.
OK? Like OK to play? Man would that help.
So does this mean that Rodriguez is going to do more on defense than stick his head into one meeting, grab a doughnut, and walk out?
try to do something different. Before one of the defensive series, he stepped right in front of GERG and screamed at the defense, who then proceeded to (I believe) make a defensive stand and force a 3 and out. I'm all for that in the future. Then, at least they can't be distracted by his hair.
Hes not a defensive coach, and he doesnt pretend to be. He is an offensive coach, and a damn good one. Hate him for hiring gerg, keeping his underperforming assistands, etc. but dont hate him for not being 100% involved in the defense. Nobody expected that coming in, and theres no reason that should change now.
The man mythical man hour is just that. Throwing more bodies at the problem doesn't automatically equal a fix.
Yes, the HC is the CEO and ultimate authority of the program.
But I hope RR would give the DC some autonomy. Especially if the HC doesn't know jack about defense (I don't know if RR does or doesn't -- I'm just sayin'). Especially if the HC is a control freak and runs off the DC who now has the #13 ranked defense in the land because the DC won't run the 3-3-5 -- especially if said control freak parrots scheme doesn't matter.
RR says that scheme is overrated. If he does not really care about scheme, why is he forcing DCs to employ it?
sure it's jimmys and joes not Xs and Os, and i agree that scheme is overrated, but coaching is not. most schemes will work if executed correctly. what we're seeing is not just a lack of execution of whatever scheme we're employing at that moment, but coaching breakdowns such as poor recognition and tackling.
What's really funny is Scott Shafer used to say schemes are overrated too.
But he didn't toss RR's salad and he's gone. All Shafer has done since is coach the #13 ranked team defense in the country.
Do I think Shafer would be the answer for Michigan's problem? No. The jury is out on that; they guy only had 1 season and didn't get along with RR for whatever reason.
Dude, watch your language. When you start to use ugly language like that, you lose credibility. Stop being disrespectful... sorry RR is throwing games, and making the defense bad just to piss YOU off.
Uh where did I mention throwing games or taking it personally?
Fans can be critical of what's going on and still support the team ya know -- I know that's hard for Illogical minds to accept (HT: blueblueblue).
Why does anyone even ask him about injuries? His answers on their state are never true. I'd rather we go back to "the expectation is for the position" and not talk about injuries, rather than put out bogus injury reports.
And anyone there or who say the video get his tone? Was he pissed? Short? Back to smiley Lion King mode?
He seemed surprisingly calm but not happy, only wanted to say what was necessary, no more than that. Hard to read. He seemed somewhat resigned, a little numb.
Well, if he is resigned and a little bit numb, then he knows how we all feel. I am resigned to another crappy season, where the Insight Bowl would be treated like a Rose Bowl appearance and I am numb to the hit that our program is taking under his leadership.
You speak as if you're suffering more than RR is and he's just finally getting a taste of the pain we've been feeling for three years. Trust me, no one puts more effort into winning these games and cares more than Rich Rodriguez. The man has moved his family, put up with three years of bullshit, worked 20 hour days, and put his blood, sweat, and tears into this program. Even if he doesn't end up working out, people should show a little fucking respect for how hard a head football coach works for his team.
We have to find RR a magic wand.
God I hope we turn this around.
Ricky Bobby: "Dear Lord baby Jesus, lyin' there in your ghost manger, just lookin' at your Baby Einstein developmental videos, learnin' 'bout shapes and colors."
Name the movie . . .
I like to picture Denard with angel's wings singing lead for Lynrd Skynrd with an all angel band, and I'm in the front row hammered drunk.
I am happy that he and his band of merry men from WVU "laughed" when they heard rumors about the coaching staff. We, the fans, are not laughing.
I get what he is saying - basically that we don't take seriously the stuff printed in the press - but to me, at this point, the comments (like "Y'all don't deal with rumors do you"), which may be an attempt at humor, are just not funny anymore.
Even if you hate or dislike him, you've got to feel for the guy just a little. He's got to stand up at this press conference and answer questions about fixing the defense when there really are no answers. Sure, he gets paid a sh-tload of money, but it still has to suck standing in front of the press and trying to answer questions you know are coming that have no answers.
He has this John Wayne quality about all the negative hoopla. He doesn't run his mouth worrying about fan perception to buy time. He just keeps on the long term path he believes in. Another reason to really like the guy and want him to succeed.
Illinois is a big one. It would be a win that no one could marginalize. After Saturday night, the experts are predicting doom for Michigan and Michigan's coach.
I'd like to know what you'd say if the media asked you about your job and firings what you would say.
You are correct. Perhaps I am parsing his language too finely. I can admit that. I am just frustrated with this team and the way that we appear to be tankning another season. I obviously no longer believe that RR is the guy for the job, but my reasons are not related to stupid press conferences.
I understand that you're mad but we have to stick together. We the fans dont see how hard this team works everyday.. when this team turns this around please stay away because you're sick of the coaches go cheer on state or stanford.
Maintaining a sense of humor is a mature defense mechanism. It's helping him deal with the pressure of constant speculation about his job. You, and some others, seem to be displaying many of the immature ones (fantasy about what UM football was, idealization of JH, somatization etc.).
Are you claiming that you are taking this more seriously that RR is? Because he's not only interested in winning -- I'm sure he's way more competitive than you and he's way more affected personally than you are by the losses -- but his job, his family, the well-being of the student-athletes, the well-being of his coaching staff, their families, and so on, and so forth.
Maybe you're the one with the problem. For you, it's just a game. It's a lot more for him and the rest of the coaching staff and the players. Lighten up.