I like the way the defense played when Herron was in against ND, hope he comes back soon, I think it really helps the pass rush.
Rich Rodriguez Presser Notes 9-20-10
Note: The Indiana game on October 2 will be a 3:30 kick on ESPNU.
You worry about an emotional letdown going from Notre Dame to an FCS team. Typically, they're worried more during preparation, and it seemed like that wasn't a problem last week. "We did not play with the type of urgency defensively that we did the week before." Guys have to understand the other team has players too, whether it's UMass or BGSU.
UMass wakeup call? You hope you don't need that to be a wakeup call. "Maybe we're assuming we're more mature than we are, then I look at our guys and we've got a lot of young players."
With Saturday's performance, will RR get more involved in the defense? "I'll probably spend a little bit of time with them today. Our defensive staff I think knows what we've gotta do." Some of the problems will be longer-term fixes. "Some of our issues on Saturday have to be fixed immediately." They can't play good defense being so tentative. Wants people to be happy when they win, but the defensive guys weren't pleased with their performance after the game.
Is the defense's struggle similar to last year? It's a new year, and it was a different week than Notre Dame. What's important is to play better going forward. "Everyone felt fortunate with the win, but didn't feel that we played well."
Losing contain, some of the issues were fundamental, "some they got us on a call." They stressed keeping contain in practice and during the game, but the lack of execution cost them. "The good part is we can fix all the fundamental part, and the technical part we can fix."
INJURIES: Mike Jones and Brandon Herron injuries have led to a revolving door with the nickel package. Brandon Herron probably won't be back this weekend. "Marvin [Robinson] will be back this week. Carvin Johnson is still questionable."
Denard doesn't worry about stats and that stuff. "He loves football" He doesn't worry about individual stuff. He doesn't have a personality where the hype will go to his head.
Rodriguez is not worried about getting Devin and Tate to get reps for conference season. Focused on them getting better every day. Pleased with Tate's attitude last couple weeks. Both he and Devin are improving. Either could play if Denard needs a rest. If they had gotten a stop up 35-17, one of the backups would have gone in.
Running back: "That's the one position we have not played enough guys and we have enough guys ready to play." Want to got Hopkins and Cox in, but they need to be able to run the whole offense with those guys. Toussaint practiced last week, but was not 100%.
Stonum - "I've sensed a more mature Darryl Stonum since camp started." Stonum's off-field maturity is related to on-field success. His good start on the field has carried over from camp. Seeing a guy grow and mature is good. Young people mature, that's what happens. Making a bad decision doesn't make you a bad person. "I think Darryl, hopefully, 'gets it.'" His dad and grandma came up for the UMass game for maybe the first time she'd ever flown. Stonum and Junior are the leaders, have to step up.
"Taylor [Lewan] played really well last week. He played well to the point where it's Huyge or Lewan is the starter this week... That's a definite 'or.'"
Omameh has played better last two games after struggling against UConn. He has some fundamental stuff to work on, like taking a good first step.
Hoping some young guys on D can get a shot to get on the field and make plays. "We've gotta make it competitive in practice for some of those young guys." Backups on D are really young, so they have to learn both fundamentals and scheme. The coaches don't want to play a guy before he's ready unless they have to. On the defensive side of the ball, some guys have had to play. "We have a few freshmen that frankly, if some of the upperclassmen aren't playing well or they're having a bad day, we've gotta try 'em."
"If we need them to help us win games this year, we're not gonna redshirt 'em." Terry Talbott and Ash "They're freshmen, they're ready to roll, they're practicing. Looks like they're headed for a redshirt."
Mike Martin has played well, but "we didn't give out a player of the game defensively, because as a unit we didn't think anybody deserved that."
Rodriguez has probably never had kicker questions this deep into the season. "Usually something is established more firmly once you get into games." It just comes down to guys doing it right when the opportunity arises, not just in practice. "They have the ability to do it. You know, it's a situation where they've gotta do it under pressure in game time... I think it's probably most frustrating for them. It's not because they're not trying."
Hagerup "I'm convinced he's gonna be phenomenal." He just dropped the ball once, but he'll be fine as he gets experience.
Bowling Green, Etc.
BGSU has good skill guys, especially the running back. They have big guys up front and both of their QBs have played well, even though one got hurt. Spread shotgun w/ unbalanced, no-back, a variety of stuff. Have good defensive speed. "Some of the problems we've had this season, we're gonna see that again this weekend." Hopefully, they'll be able to stop it this time.
Lacking game film of the opposing QB doesn't have much effect on preparation. They'll worry more about the scheme, because BGSU will continue to run what they've been running.
Former Michigan kicker Bryan Wright plays for the Falcons, but the coaches don't have a way to scheme against him, and familiarity is not an advantage. Could do it with a lineman or QB or something. Rodriguez is proud of him - he has his Michigan degree, and is playing well for BGSU. Would rather not have to play against him, but glad he's happy.
Going for it on fourth "Those are all in our thoughts right now" - different situations factor into fourth-down decision, including down-and-distance, momentum, weather, etc.
Having to outscore people? "That's insulting (laughs). I certainly think out defense has a lot more pride in their abilities... we can play a lot better defensively... in that last ballgame, we just didn't play well. We played tentative."
Dantonio's heart attack - "Most coaches have probably known this for years, that it's a different lifestyle and you have to take care of yourself." The job is more public today. You don't just work your job, you live your job. Hard to get away from your job, "you don't leave your office and go home and leave your job at the office."
RR works out 5 days a week. Has his own personal stairmaster, lifting weights a bit. "It's hard to devote the time, because you wanna watch the film, and you've got a lot of things to do, but you have to do it." He has probably not slept for three hours straight in years. Sleep a couple, then you're up for one. "When you get five, that's good."
I think Lewan starts this week and entrenches himself as the guy heading into Big 10 play.
Sucks to hear Herron is still hurt, but good to hear M-Rob will be back. I'm anxious to see him play more than just kickoff coverage.
I agree about Lewan. I was excited to see him in there and did well IMO, UFR will show how well he did.
I think Thomas Gordon has been playing decent and I can't wait for M-Rob and Carvin to get back into the mix.
Whenever Carvin gets healthy again, what kind of effect will he have on the obviously struggling secondary? I mean, he won the job outright during camp and seemed to play OK in his limited time against UConn. Do you think they'll be quick to ease him back in when healthy and that he can help eliminate some of the big-play issues?
It depends how Carvin bounces back mentally from the injury. If he can mentally shrug it off and get back to playing, then it will have a very positive effect on our secondary. Physically, I expect he will be eased in slowly until he shows he is good to go. I think he will see decent time for Indiana, and reclaim is starting job for the MSU game.
I think it's time for an 'insomnia' tag
RR talk so much about defensive lapses due to tentative play. It seemed to me that the defense fell into the trap of thinking and guessing at the play rather than reading their keys and reacting. The guys will make plenty of mistakes,and we'll be frustrated, but I hope that in the coming games they are at least aggressive mistakes.
How the hell these guys stay married I have no idea.
Dolla dolla bills y'all.
The money isn't that great for the amount of work put in, and all the headaches involved/the media microscope/etc. Especially since the coach's family is part of the package -- they are scrutinized and expected to participate in the media and charitable events, too.
I really think you have to have the right personality and be bought into the job and your family, or else you'd have bailed somewhere along the road before the money got really good.
First of all, I was making a joke.
But is it really that cynical to think that some of the women married to wealthy men stick around for the lifestyle?
But I'm just thinking that D-1 college coach isn't one of those easy wealthy lifestyle things. It's a lot of work for the wife and kids and most of the time you're in college towns, not LA or New York so the glamour is kind of lowkey, too. At the very least you'd have to be into college football, or willing to act so much that it would be a part-time job in and of itself.
unless you get a job at Penn State at an early age.
Otherwise, I agree with you completely.
"The money isn't that great for the amount of work put in". This is a joke right? Most of these coaches are getting over a milion dollars per year to do what they do. I am a Doctor and can say with absolute certainty that I put in as much (if not more) time at work as any of them do and don't make more than a million dollars per year. I would also say that the stress level in my job is significantly greater than that of the coaching profession.
Insinuating that they are not well compensated for what they do is a little silly IME. And that is beside the fact that he was saying that with "tongue in cheek".
Only the top of the heap coaches in the top of the heap conferences make that much money, though. By the time they get up there, they have generally been married for a while, so unless the little lady is taking a huge gamble, you have to assume they love the guy and love the sport and so take the lots of travel, lots of stress, ultimate responsibility for things (aka college guys) you can't really control (especially off the field) as part of the package.
I know it was mostly a joke, but it seems to me the dolla dolla bills is just the ultimate compensation for a hard slog to the top.
a little when I see the defense referred to as something that the head coach will "dabble" into a little on occassion, like there is the team and then there is the defense. Rich Rod is one hell of an offensive mind, but man, he is in a defensive conference. Teams in this league play some D, and not to read to much or little into the statement, what does it mean to "spend a little extra time with them today." Offense and defense are flip sides to the same coin, that kind of a statement just bothers me a little bit.
Why would you expect an offensive genius head coach to also be running the defense? I would assume his dabbling is going to be getting into guy's ears about playing hard. Head coaches hire assistants for a reason.
I was going to say exactly this. Most offense-oriented HC's don't do a lot of coaching on D. I'm sure RR does as much with the D as guys like Harbaugh or Meyer do.
Is to hire the best fucking Defensive Coordinator in the Country. And get it right the first time. If that's your "weakness", you need to make sure you've got it covered. Because it's half the team, and probably the more important half.
So what are you saying exactly? That our DC is no good? No doubt we haven't looked great on D, but we have all of 4 seniors on our defense and one was a WR a year ago, not to mention 5 underclassmen. If we had a talented and experienced defense that was underperforming, I'd agree with you. But I don't think you can put this one on the coach just yet.
I'm saying, as a head coach, if you're going to disinvest yourself from one side of the ball, you need a coordinator that's great, not good. Because he's going to have a lot of responsibility, and you're going basically let him do his own thing, so he needs to be able to do it all on his own, because you're hands off.
I don't know if GERG is great, good, so-so...or I guess he could be out and out bad, but his past track record would make me think he's not. But in any case, the fact is that GERG wasn't even his first hire, and he needs someone who can convince recruits they want to play in that defense, because it's going to send them to the NFL. And instead, we look more like a team (in recruiting, not talking on the field) that defense has been an afterthought...by a guy who cares about offense. Because our defense isn't only young, but there's a lack of any star power too. Decimated Defense says why it's not good now. It doesn't say why the future isn't looking great either. We've got to start nailing defensive talent that makes it in, develops, and stays on the team. Because whiffing on the Turners and Dorsey's hurts the future defense, even if it wouldn't make us an less young.
It's great to have a dynamic offense, and he's great at it. But all the top teams, whether they run boring offenses (Ohio State, Alabama) or fun offenses (Florida, Texas) all have really good defenses. And most either have defensive-minded head coaches, or really strong D-coordinators. (Florida looking a little shaky as they transition from their former D coach who left to become a head coach coincidence? Maybe).
Edit: Example - Jim Lee Howell coached the NY Giants to 3 NFL Championship Games, winning one. Never heard of him? Not surprising. Because his greatness as a coach was in him hiring other coaches: he hired Vince Lombardi as his offensive coordinator, and Jim Landry as his defensive coordinator. He wasn't a great football mind. But he knew his weaknesses and compensated by hiring strong people around them to offset them.
I still don't understand what your thesis is in all of this. Is it you want a better defense? Sure, we all do. That you want us to recruit better defensive players? Yeah, OK. If you're saying our defense isn't great because our DC isn't good enough I don't know if I agree with that, and if you're saying our defense isn't good because RR isn't involved with it enough then I think you're crazy. And blaming the coaches for Turner not panning out is just silly. Busts happen - every coach in the country wanted Turner, same with Dorsey.
We have defensive talent, just not enough experienced talent yet. As we keep building, that will change, but the last 2 classes have both had solid D talent. Give it another year.
"...our DC isn't good enough I don't know if I agree" means you're not sure either, and that may be the problem. Because if you're solely an offensive guy at a nationally prestigious School, you should go and get a guy you have no doubts about, even if it means a pay cut rather to pay him big bucks, because that's job security. There should be no doubt. And you should have a plan to cover up your weaknesses, and not wonder if you're going to promote someone then hire a guy who fails, then replace him after a year, and still not have a plan till someone calls you and says he'd like the job. Maybe he and we lucked out. But it doesn't seem like covering your weaknesses so you can concentrate on your strengths.
No, I don't think he should be more involved...he should have things in place so he doesn't have to do anything in year 3. And more emphasis on that the first three years would have helped. So when you know the "cupboard is bare" you compensate for it, so you can have a great defense in the future. Because he's not at a point where you can afford to have most of you bluechip defensive recruits bust out. That gets you fired, and we don't want that. You see a D that just needs experience; I see one that needs that and talent. Because I don't see the NFL drafting a lot of our guys in 2-3 years. We knew the defensive backs would be bad; we didn't expect the line to be ineffective. The front 7 has been as bad as the D-backs. Because we can't stop the run any better than the pass. Or get pressure on the QB. Maybe it's scheme, maybe talent, maybe experience; but I don't see us as bring a couple of seasons away from country leading defense. And that's going to be a problem.
Take a look at what jmblue said in the "should Rich be more involved in the defense" thread. He said it far better than I have.
is that after the '08 season Rodriguez knew he really needed to get his offensive system installed ASAP or else he would be fired. As a result he recruited hard on offensive talent and neglected the defense (hiring Shafer didn't help much, either). He has his guys on offense ready to go now and the fans can see that, so I expect to see more of an emphasis on defensive players in the recruiting going forward. He doesn't really have a choice after all the attrition, though.
Good points but Tom is the name, didn't think I was alert didya:)
Where the heck did I come up with "Jim"? Must be all this Harbaugh talk. For a second there I second-guessed myself thinking I had put the former Lions QB up there...but I wasn't close to either.
He invented a little thing called the 4-3 to stop a guy named Jim Brown...Genius.
Lots of assumptions, too. When I read his remarks about the game, I didn't get the impression that he didn't know what was going on with the defense. Lots of folks seem to be saying that because he spends a lot of time on offense and is heavily involved in crafting this offensive scheme, it doesn't mean he's not worried about, thinking about, getting involved in the defense too.
The man can't sleep more than 3 hours at a stretch. I'm pretty sure he's way more concerned with the defense than any person posting on this blog. And I'll bet he's probably involved with getting it on track. He is, though, a respectful guy who isn't about to throw his DC under any buses for a frothing sports media audience.
Sheesh. I mean, the man says he can barely string 3 hours of sleep together in a row. I doubt it's over Denard's reads.
(Edit: This comment not intended solely for the one it's replying to, but for a good portion of the whole thread leading into it.)
Press on. You can sleep when the season's over. IN JANUARY!!!
(Orange you glad I didn't say November).
He has probably not slept for three hours straight in years. Sleep a couple, then you're up for one. "When you get five, that's good."
Sounds like me when I was getting my CS degree Problem is, I absolutely could handle that kind of crap from 18-23. I don't see how anybody can keep that up for twice as long as than that (and then some); it's alarming.
And the lack of sleep can totally be a contributing factor to overall health issues, including high blood pressure.
I'm thinking one of them docs up in Michigan, University of, Medical School, should jot down RichRod a 'script for some Ambien or maybe some Lunesta, if he prefers butterflies, afore he joins Dantonio in the heart attack club.
It is encouraging to hear RR say that the defense played crappy. To me, this shows that he believes that they are capable of more. Contrast this against statements that RR made in prior years about "lots of youth" and "needing to get the guys comfortable with the system" at various positions (not actual quotes). It seems like RR believes that our D is capable of doing more that it has done so far.
On the other hand, aside from punting, where RR thinks that Hagerup will be the next Zolton, it seems like RR has serious concerns about our kicking game.
As he should have serious concerns about the kicking game. But I think in the next game or two a kicker will emerge and be at least viable for the position.
But i don't think the defense is THAT bad. I'd like to see more sacks, but they're forcing turnovers, and for the most part stopping people. They had some bad plays agains UMass, but looking at all three games i don't think it's the complete disaster many have portrayed.
Did you actually watch the entire game? UMass pretty much ran and passed at will. It was only due to a very good offensive performance that we won the game.
ND - gave up over 500 yards and the starting QB missed almost half the game.
There is some hope, and maybe I'm looking from a glass half empty, but from what I saw, our D ain't pretty.
I think a big portion of the awful performance was lack of focus and the team just not showing up. By no means am I saying the looked great the first two weeks, but they have been able to get stops and create turnovers. I think they will get better each week - but they need to show up and have a have an attitude on the field and play with a hard edge.
I think the defense is better than last year, despite losing several NFL-class players.
Mouton credited GERG with his improved play, and overall, they seem to be a cohesive unit that knows the scheme.
As a high school athlete hoping to go pro, to play under GERG, with his pro credentials, would be a positive.
I cannot think of a better D.C. choice for Rodriguez, who prefers to focus on Offense.
"it is more about Jimmys and Joes than Xs and Os"
RECRUIT RECRUIT RECRUIT
Does any website ever embed either the audio or video from the press conferences? I tire of MgoBlue's evil software that constantly stops/starts/stops/starts. Used to be MVictors, but I haven't noticed them doing the recent press conferences in the past few weeks.
Boyz in da Pahokee usually gets them done. I haven't seen today's videos yet, but I'm sure they'll be up eventually. Here is the post game.
Update: Here they are.
"We have a few freshmen that frankly, if some of the upperclassmen aren't playing well or they're having a bad day, we've gotta try 'em." "If we need them to help us win games this year, we're not gonna redshirt 'em." Terry Talbott and Ash "They're freshmen, they're ready to roll, they're practicing. Looks like they're headed for a redshirt."
Doesn't the context suggest that last line would have been "looks like they're going to get some playing time"?
Does this mean he doesn't have it set up so he can watch film while on his stairmaster?
Yuck, I don't even get ESPNU on the premium sports package I'm paying for in order to watch the BTN.