This will be deleted in five....four....three....two.....one.....
Counter-productive coaching: turnovers and errors
I have been an avid RR supporter since he was hired. I think he has a great track record. I think he is a moral and ethical leader of young men. But, after the Illinois game, I began to realize something that might be his biggest coaching flaw thus far at Michigan: his coaching-style is counter-productive to the kids on this Michigan roster. (I am not talking about spread v. pro-style, just the general way he coaches kids up.)
Let me explain. We all know winning is everything to RR. He pushes his players. But, it may be the WAY he is pushing his players that is the problem.
He rides them. He bi*tches them out on the sidelines and in practice. This caused some players to leave. Fine. They were probably soft anyway.
BUT, this team is extremely young. This team has A LOT of people who didn't sign up to get yelled at every day. This team is still a work in progress with pro-style players and a spread offense melding together. Plus, there is already intense media scrutiny on Michigan and its players. Put it all together and you have kids facing more pressure than most of us ever face.
RR's style isn't to quietly support his players after a mistake. You can see this when he publicly degrades them. You've seen it on the sideline like you never see it in other big-time programs in the current era. (Michigan coaches are also yelling at each other A LOT - weird.) I think that yelling and berating makes the players "tight." It causes nervous fumbles and mental errors. It builds on itself with these young kids. A bad game and you're benched... for a walk-on.
Its almost as if the team is taking on RR's problems (the pressure he faces at Michigan) and cracking because they are too young to deal with it.
RR may have been successful at WVU because the overall level of pressure on him and the players was lower. If the team had trouble, the seat didn't get too hot and RR could still coach 'em up. WVU was lucky to have him. Plus, RR loved WVU as a former player. He could share in that love of WVU with his players. It may have motivated them. Whereas, here, they may wonder whether is yelling is "tough love" from a fellow Wolverine or just a hired-gun screaming at the top of his lungs.
To me, this SOMEWHAT explains this Michigan team's turnover problems. This SOMEWHAT explains the team's second half implosions. This SOMEWHAT explains the mental errors.
Now, some of you may lament "going easier on kids." You may think kids are GENERALLY soft today anyway. And, you might be right. But, that is reality and he has to be a realistic coach. In the era of intense recruiting coverage, nationally televised high school games and "announcements," the fact that kids are a little soft is just something we have to live with. Now, RR doesn't have to start holding hands with the kids, but he needs to understand the REALITY of the generation.
Of course, this might not be the WHOLE new generation and could be a Carr-recruit v. RR-recruit situation when it comes to "toughness." Time will tell. Maybe in the swamps of Pahokee and the hills of WV, there are still a lot of tough kids that respond well to being "chewed out." The problem is that, if so, they are true freshmen on this team.
My suggestion: RR's coaching style needs to progress. He needs to adapt to talented kids who may need a different form of motivation, maybe kids who didn't grow up getting yelled at every day. He needs to adapt the pressure he doles by understanding the high level of pressure his players already face at Michigan. He needs to stay tough, but adapt to what works to motivate and instill confidence in the young kids on THIS roster.
It's, like, his opinion man.
I'm totally fine with the way he manages his teams. He can be intense all he wants. If the kids don't want to be pushed, they either need to play well or deal with it. Most of the kids who have stayed are either starting or DID sign up for this. The ones who signed with Carr and aren't playing, they'll be gone soon. They've decided to stick with the team though, so they have to deal with what they decided.
I understand it's his opinion, but it's written in a trollish manner and fully of really really really silly statements.
If I call out Red for yelling at hockey players and not handling them with kid gloves, I would hope someone tells me I'm full of BS. Maybe Red's general coaching style combined with yelling at Jack Johnson caused him to take dumb penalties all the time....or maybe he was still learning how to play the game and kept getting caught out of position. No matter how much Red's glare was used, he is still a fantastic coach and motivator. I don't really hear to many people moaning about Red.
My general disprovable is because if the team wins, no one cares about 'coach style progression'. So if you don't care how the team is being motivated when the record was 4-0, posting this now sounds like sour grapes.
I don't think it's trollish. I don't buy it for a second, and if other people don't buy it, they can voice their disagreement or just sigh and move on due to it's ridiculousness (in my epinion) and the meme that pops up in times of uncertaintude (I'm just making up words now?) . That was my plan until you mentioned deleting it.
But you mentioned deleting it without justifying why to the OP, which is why I made the short comment above. Now that we've both made our points why we disagree with his opinion, we can go back to sighing, moving on, and forgetting about this piece.
Sounds like a fair deal.
I missed this diary when it came out, but it is the opposite of trollish--it is thoughtful and well reasoned. I don't think I agree, but that does not make it trollish at all, and that is one of the problems i have with some that comment on this board. I'm glad david came around below (above). Mistaken theories are legitimate topics for discussion
"RR may have been successful at WVU because the overall level of pressure on him and the players was lower"
Are you kidding? Pat McAfee received death threats after he missed several FGs in the loss to Pitt in '07. Rich Rod couldn't go back to WVU for several months after coming to Michigan. No pressure in WVU? Those fanatics are fucking ridiculous.
Rod's personality and coaching style has nothing to do with turnovers. When the majority of your team is underclassmen, there are going to be turnover issues. Bad INTs, not protecting the ball correctly, shit happens with an inexperienced team.
He isn't suddenly yelling at Michigan players b/c of pressure he's feeling.
And I thought he was doing it because he loved to crush the hopes and dreams of young men everywhere...
Are you kidding me? This is just about the dumbest, stupidest, and most idiotic theory I have ever heard.
So, you think the Greg Mathews (A Senior) is dropping punts because of RR's coaching style? You think Tate and Denard are fumbling because of RR's coaching style? Couldn't be the way Tate and Denard carry the ball. Or the fact that the O line is letting too many guys get to the QB. Naw, must be coaching STYLE.
There was a study done of the infamous Bobby Knight and guess what they found? 95% of all his feedback to players was POSITIVE. But, when a player F's up, once in a while, ya gotta let them know.
Tate and Denard tend to carry the ball like a bar of soap. Another issue is that Tate gets a ton of pressure on him and feels the need to scramble. Molk being hurt is killing the O-Line. People tend to focus on the negative feedback from a coach instead of anything positive he does.
I don't know what fantasy NCAA Football world you live in, but from what I've seen the majority of coaches bitch at players. Sorry, it's just the way it is. Are you trying to tell me that if Tim Tebow went out on the field and was throwing the ball all over the place to the other team and making poor reads, etc. that he would continue to keep telling Tim it's ok? I don't think so. I totally understand the coach, in this case RR, calling out his players and yelling at them. The side of it you don't include is when Tate and him hug after the ND game after Tate played one heck of a game. You can't possibly expect a coach to stay calm when players are making big mistakes. The turnovers are not due to this. It has to do with youth on the team, inexperience, and a new system. I think players feel like they have to do too much now. Tate seems like he's trying to be the hero from the ND game every down. He just needs to relax and the plays will come to him. Next year he'll get a better handle on it and think a little bit less and settle down. Even if I thought you were right, which I don't, RR will not change his coaching style. He is who he is. Maybe Dennis Green, in all of his rage, was right on this one...
Some of the crazy Husker fans (mostly the older ones who loved Osborne) here are all up in arms because Pelini blows his lid at least once per game. RR hasn't done anything I haven't heard someone here in Huskerland complain or comment about that Pelini has done.
I don't watch enough (or are around the fans of) any other teams to really know if there are more, but certainly RR isn't really any different than Pelini in this regard; in fact RR is MUCH better at dealing with the PR side of the HC position than Pelini. Plus RR isn't the only new coach in the country trying to lead an extremely storied program (with very impatient and hardcore fans) back to the top. His situation, while in the specifics is unique, in the generalities is not, and is shared by at least one other coach in the NCAA who is just as temperamental and has a similar amount of pressure on him in year two of taking over the program.
woody and bo could have been more successful had they coddled their players a bit more...also the big tuna, bob knight, jud heathcote and gene keady, to name a few.
is way off base. Bo would ride his players as much as anyone when they made mistakes. In fact, if a player fumbled in a game under Bo's tenure, there was a good chance the player would not see the field the rest of the game. RR is intense, he hates to lose, and I for one have no problem with his style of coaching.
The practice of football and football coaching generally will involve yelling at people. Players get yelled at for: running too slowly, hitting too softly, hitting the wrong guy too hard, running the wrong route, missing blocks, getting blocked, falling down, picking up the wrong block, sitting down, standing up, standing on their heads, smiling, frowning, yawning, sleeping, talking, and for a variety of things that may or may have been their fault.
For instance, I was once benched in HS for an entire 2nd half because as I was running to make a tackle on the far side of the field, I got clipped and the ref didn't call it. From the sideline, it looked like I just fell down and gave up when in reality i slid 5 yards on turf and was eating a lot of rubber pellets wondering what the hell happened. I got reamed on the sideline, but was vindicated in the film session. That's the stuff you really don't get to see on TV.
By the time players get to college, I doubt players really break under the stress of being yelled at. Sure, the accent and creativity might change, but yelling is yelling.
In short: No. Babying players who might have been coddled and told they're the best in HS is no way to build a successful program. Stripping players of their belief in entitlement is the way to get them to start actually learning.
My point is not that coaches can't and shouldn't yell. My point is not that it didn't work for Woody/Bo.
My point is that, with this (a) young team of kids, (b) who signed up for a gentler Carr regime (or are 18 years old), that those kids need a little something else to help them. They might need something IN ADDITION to yelling.
I watch A LOT of college football. I know us fans yell at the screen when a player makes a really bad play. But, if you watch the sidelines, the coaches rarely lay into a freshman or sophmore for a mistake IN THE MIDDLE of the game. Maybe at practice. Maybe in the locker room. But, not during the game as often as RR and staff.
The team plays extremely tight. Things start to go wrong and it gets out of control. It looks like a lack of confidence and the failure to "have fun out there." Yelling at them may help in some instances, but given ther composure, it might not be the best thing to do EVERY TIME somebody makes a mistake. (The kids are trying hard and the coaches should know it.)
If you can tell understand that this isn't a simple debate of yelling vs. not yelling. That it is about when, how and how much to lay it young kids, then I think you get my point.
If you have never coached anything in your life and you think a coach should just scream at every mistake, then you will never get my point... and you wouldn't be good at coaching anything in my opinion.
A coach can be INTENSE, yell at his players and still be smart about it.
"...the coaches rarely lay into a freshman or sophmore for a mistake IN THE MIDDLE of the game."
That's a very broad generalization to make. Unless you are a player, part of the team, down in the trenches I think that is simply too wide of a conclusion to make.
That said, I think you are correct with the explaining the main disagreement: you are not arguing the concept of "yelling vs. not yelling" but I think that it is very naive of fans to believe that RichRod is doing it too much, in the wrong spots.
It's been a rough rebuilding process but I don't think that this variable is one that can be objectively concluded without hard, empirical facts...and with a topic like this, that is next to impossible.
+1 though for legitimate opinion
The coach who's the most 'berating', if that's really what's happening, and at the same time constantly being mentioned as the next 'savior' is Brian Kelly. He's meaner and nastier than anyone on the sidelines. These directors always have a camera on RR and anytime he makes a peep it's on for all to see. How often do you see Mack Brown? Never. I have no problems with RRs 'style'. In fact, one could argue that he's passionate.
Last year, Rich Rod rode Threet's ass like Zorro. So much so that it may have led to Threet's transfer (I have no inside info, just epinion).
You'll notice that Rich Rod has been a lot more calm when corching Tate and Denard this year, except in very limited circumstances.
So, I do think he's adapting as to his players.
Rich Rod may have rode Threet so much as to make Threet nervous, lower his confidence, and thereby lower his performance. I think that is the issue being discussed.
If by "RichRod riding" people mean "Tate Forcier appearing" then yes, I think we have a valid discussion for Threet's transfer.
As other commentators have pointed out, Bo could be a mean S.O.B. Camera crews didn't cover the sidelines then like they do now. Watch the on field post-game interview with Bo and Carter after the '81 Rose Bowl. Carter looks frightened of Bo.
It's the yelling at the assistants that makes me cringe. I haven't seen a replay, but it looked to me when I was watching the game like RR was bawling out an assistant (Fred Jackson?) after the goal line fiasco. That's typical. Carr would never do that (I bet Bo did from time to time, however).
I love Bo/Woody and how they coached. But, I think that times have changed and that wouldn't be effective for most of the current generation. Its just the reality of the situation and not how it should be.
...RR is too hard on his players. He rides them like the late John Holmes. Maybe they should have a campfire on the sidelines. Whenever anyone makes a mistake, they can call a timeout, sit around the campfire, and sing "Kumbaya."
Sorry, guys, but football is a game for men, not pussies. Offices, schools, and workplaces are now politically correct by mandate, but most people go to football games to get away from politically correct. Yelling is part of the game. Gee, you might even have to yell to make yourself heard when between 70 and 110 thousand fans are screaming and making noise.
But I can see the point here. You'd really hate to hurt someone's feelings in the middle of a heated battle.
There are degrees of difference between laying into freshman players on the sidelines at every chance and singing "Kumbaya."
Maybe the internet is not the best place for an intelligent conversation. (I should have expected wild over-reactions).
I have not seen broken men in post game pressers, only discouraged ones.
The one incidence of a mental beat down was the Iowa game where Tate was shaken after RR yelled a bit after his final series. RR was very conciliatory to him when he didn't go back in for the final drive. Even that brief tête à tête wasn't a really sharp exchange in my epinion. Tate did what he has always done (apparently since childhood from what his high school coaches say) - make plays, but unfortunately he didn't follow the playbook before he started to scramble and make bad decisions. He still does that despite a simplified script. RR tried to push him to play better with a sharper tone. Tate responded by checking out. RR pulled him and gave him a shoulder pat when he sent in DRob.
I don't see RR losing composure (ie punch an opposing player.) This all seems within the realm of human nature and good coaching. Maybe RR felt he had taken the wrong tone with Tate then. Maybe. If he did - I think they both have learned from it and moved on. But I emphatically don't think this team is losing because of RR's tone.
Ultimately the quality of RR's coaching is going to be based on what he says and not how he says it.
I don't see a bunch of beaten children when i watch Michigan, I see an athletically-impaired defense and young offense when i watch Michigan.
I think the new RR gameplan should be only: 'HOLD ON TO THE #$%$#% BALL!!' Turnovers have killed us in every single loss.
breaks them down when they need to be broken down,
and builds them up when they need to be built up.
Wow. When you say it like that, it sounds so easy.
Look. The team is young and has experience/depth problems. That accounts for a lot of their struggles. The part I an concerned about is the "falling apart" when things go wrong in a game.
RR says the team looks really good in practice.
The team comes out pumped up and usually does well on its first drive.
Then, when there are mistakes made, it seems to snowball.
From your vantage point, it seems like coaches should just yell. Maybe you don't think they need pep talks at halftime or before the game. Maybe the coach should just spend halftime telling the players all the ways they disappointed him in the first half (the "airing of grievances"). That sounds really productive.
I am not saying you shouldn't yell at players. I am just saying that at certain points during the game, it might be best to leave the angry tirades until film review. The player is young and trying extremely hard and I don't think riding him AT THAT POINT is the best idea for the particular kids on this roster.
I think if RR shows some poise during the game when things go wrong (he can still be really upset), his players might too.
This is getting too complicated. As I see it the biggest problem with the fumbling, especially with Forcier, is technique carrying the ball. When you commit to running you have to put it away like a running back. 5-10 yards down field when he can't throw a forward pass he is still carrying like the proverbial "loaf of bread". It will come out eventually and now the opposition has seen it repeatedly on film and knows to go for it. I am not saying this is easy - it is a habit that has to be broken over time - he is a freshman - but when it is broken he will stop fumbling.
I don't think RR is going that ballistic on the sideline - every time the slightest thing goes wrong they have to switch to a tight camera shot of him and it looks bad.
This is a very young team and two things are working against them as the season progresses:
- More film for the opposition to scout that was not available prior to the ND game
- The season is wearing physically and mentally on the younger players.
Just take a deep breath, regroup, and win the next damn game.
People only seem to remember when RR yells. I still remember the times when a player came back to the sideline after a huge mistake and RR just had a few quiet words with him. Point is, Rich Rod is not yelling at his players ALL THE TIME. As has been noted already, in the Iowa game, when Tate came out for D.Rob, RR was pretty calm with him.
Seems like he only yells at players when they make a really bad mistake such as a horrible read causing a 3rd down to fail and having to punt, or when a lineman makes a terrible attempt to block and the qb gets sacked. I personally like to see him yell at players when they make horrible mistakes, because we yell at the TV when a mistake is made and it's good to hold the players accountable for their mistakes. I know that any of the players playing college football get yelled at constantly, it's part of the game you mess up and there are 2 or 3 people waiting to see if they can do it. This offense has a really high mental aspect to it and it takes special players who are both smart and fast to run it correctly. This is one of the biggest things when people say RR needs to get his players, he only has maybe 1/3 to 3/8 of HIS PLAYERS, and he is still winning with the players he has currently.
...and it's fitting here too.
Anyone who has ever played football at any level and claims to never have been yelled at is lying. It happens, it's part of the game. Coaches yell at players, assistants yell at assistants, players yell at players, waterboys yell at towelboys.
In the heat of the battle it happens. It's a common reaction. Watch Brandon Graham get after the defense...does that make him less of a beast? Less of a person?
We don't know what they're screaming down there. We'd be fools to guess the context of their screams from the 55th row or from our television view. And to think less of a head coach's ability or to compare his emotions to Bo's or to Carr's for yelling at his players in a game called FOOTBALL is probably the most asinine critique yet. Very Boren-ish.
The OPs premise is ridiculous. Seems to have forgotten about the first 4 games of this season. Hmmmm, we won all of those and the players looked pretty good and turnovers were actually positive.
Apparently the OP thinks that RR then started yelling and it all fell apart.
I've heard the team takes on the personality of it's coach. If this is true, we are going to have a relentless, driven, high expectation team.
Petr only has one "e"
Your diary is as shallow as you claim our players are. Just because Rich chews some players out during games doesn't mean that's how he coaches all the time. With that said, I think some of the mistakes mad the past few weeks do go back to coaching, and I don't mean the psychological side either.
"A bad game and you're benched... for a walk-on."
I challenge you find a good game from Obi Ezeh.