Shafer is gone. I hope GERG gets 5 years. They need stability at the DC, for recruiting and to install and incorporate a consistent system and consistent coaching. He seems like a great guy and he knows what he is doing.
GERG vs Scott Shafer
Currently Syracuse has given up 109 points through 4 games, sporting a 2-2 record heading into conference play. While Michigan has given up just 91 points through their first four. Syracuse has played a comparable schedule so far when it comes to quality of opponent. With the exception of Maine, all of the Cuse' non conference games have been against the Big Ten. With a thrilling win over Northwestern, and losses to Minnesota and Penn State. Michigan's toughest game so far has been against the Irish, who I, like many other people believe are not as good as their pre-season expectations. Our Wolverines have also struggled at times with much weaker opponents (Indiana), and if not for Tate Forcier spitting hot fire in 4th quarters there's a really good chance we're 2-2 right now.
Obviously you know Michigan gets better talent then Syracuse does. And with the exception of Arthur Jones the giant DT the rest of the SU defense is not highly touted. Michigan on the other hand has a vast number of 4 star talent and highly touted 5 stars that SU only gets once in a blue moon. We should expect more out of Michigan Men, then we should out of the Orange. I watched the PSU v SU game and there was more then one occasion that a physically outmatched defense athletically, out performed PSU's offense (also had a big goal line stand). From what I've seen from both defenses on the year I'd honestly think about taking Syracuse from a defensive stand point because at least they have a pulse when it comes to stopping the run. You can draw your own conclusion from this years body of work but where we need to make the comparison is revisiting the haunting that is 2008.
I have all of the confidence in the world in Greg Robinson and the experience he brings to the defense. But after Shafer got "the boot" he took all of the blame for the lack of success the defense had during the worst season in school history. But when you look back to last season the defense had given up just 91 points through their first four. Also you cannot blame the Notre Dame loss last year on the defense as the inability to field a kickoff, punt, or screen pass was what doomed us that day. Also, last years defense was a little bigger and a little deeper then this years is. However one plays with an offense that has a leading rusher with a YPC average of 8.4 and also scores 37.5 ppg while the other boasted a team overall of 3.9 YPC and scored just 20.2 ppg.
With an offense as bad as ours last year did you really expect Shafer to hold every team on our schedule to under 20 points? As a coach I'd think its much easier to scheme defensively when you have an offense capable of breaking the big play at any time versus when you have an offense capable of being a middle of the pack high school unit. I don't think we made a mistake by hiring GERG. His resume' speaks for itself. National Champion / Super Bowl Champion. Obviously those things are a crucial recruiting tool and a certain edge that he has over Schafer. But I'm still not willing to put the blame on him for the 3-9 season last year. The only game I put squarely on the defenses shoulders was the Purdue game where a 3rd string QB that used to play WR ate us for lunch a la Armanti Edwards. You could also argue Penn State but you know they were going to get theirs. Did you honestly expect Threet / Sheridan and Co. to go downfield and match them score for score in happy valley?
I guess only time will really tell whether or not we made the right decision in hiring Greg Robinson. I think we did. But I also think that Shafer got a raw deal. I understand that someone had to be the scapegoat for a 3-9 season but if you're gonna give an offensive guru like RR time to get his offense going then SS should have at least been given a chance to show improvement with a second year instead of implementing another new system and moving players into positions they are not yet capable of playing. I'm not at all saying SS is a defensive guru, he's been average in his career as a defensive coordinator. But lets take this situation for what its worth : 3-9 at Michigan is unacceptable someone had to go. Giving up the most points in school history meant Schafer had to go. While I'm elated going forward with GERG. The blame for last year is not on Schafer entirely. The whole team was bad. The offense was the worst I may have ever seen from a highly touted FBS school. The special teams was lucky when the opposing kicker kicked it through the end zone or out of bounds so they did not have to field it. The defense had its moments but folded most of the time after being on the field for long stretches. Both PSU/OSU were winnable games at halftime. The defense kept us in it in a couple games (Toledo -Even though that dude had 20 catches), and Northwestern. Last season was bad. But as a fan I never wavered. I questioned some things, just as I always will. And I'll continue to question whether or not SS was given enough time until GERG and his infamous death-backers prove me wrong (soon I hope).
One things for sure: GERG will get another year. Yet at the end of this season I'm willing to bet that the defensive statistics will be somewhat similar to that of 08.
Just something I've been thinking about for awhile..
SS did get a raw deal, but he also was not very good a schemes. Too often he played soft coverage against a dink-and-dunk team and refused to let his LBs be aggressive to stop the run (not to mention missed tackles galore). He could've easily done much more than he did with last year's starters, and just didn't. GERG, on the other hand, is doing what he can with a thin defense, all around. GERG is much better at teaching fundamentals (see:tackling!!!) and understands the flow of the game and teachs the guys how to read it.
I remember someone saying "he explains it to us. We ask 'why?' and he shows us how it works", or something to that extent, remarking how GERG actually teaches the strategy, the attacks and counter-attacks if you will. That's why he's a better coach.
ok one comment...
1. never mind...
that is all...
With an offense as bad as ours last year did you really expect Schafer to hold every team on our schedule to under 20 points?
Straw man argument. People didn't expect perfection, but they expected something better than by far the worst scoring D in school history. Going into the season, the expectation was that the D would carry the team, not be a colossal liability.
The original post seems to posit a false choice: either we put all of the 3-9 on Shafer and make him the scapegoat...or he should have been given more time and it's not his fault.
The answer is obviously in the middle somewhere. All 9 losses were clearly not on his head and the lack of Offense was a huge factor (especially see Toledo and Northwestern). But the defense was THE WORST IN SCHOOL HISTORY..by far. The amount of HUGE plays against us the absolute BEATDOWNS we took at times by being so un-physical(see Purdue, OSU, PSU, Illinois, MSU)...the utter lack of tackling...well there is just no excuse for those things. That is squarely on his head. Also, see Brian's season review for the defense just before the WMU game. He goes back to last year's UFR's and shows how we were so bizarrely in the wrong schemes at the wrong times with the wrong personnel (example: Johhny Thompson consistently on the field trying to cover slot receivers down field...example, putting us in a nickel package and taking our best DEs off the filed in third and short when DE/DT was supposed to be the strength of the team...it goes on and on...)
Just bad coaching by Shafer, period. Nobody expected him to have a "stout" defense...but it should have at least been "adequate."
There is no "c" in our former defensive coordinator's name, for God's sake.
Sott Schafer, that is a weird name....
this post was written by GSimmons under a different handle. What's next, a post from the Grobe Mafia on where Michigan would be if Michigan had just hired Jim Grobe?
And yes, people, this is a joke. MGoBlog alumni from haloscan will get it.
It's been stated a number of times by coaches and players that the main reason for the change was team chemistry, not performance. Obviously, chemistry can play into performance on the field, but anyway, if you're going to run a GERG vs Shafer competition, then it would have to include the unquantifiables, like is everyone communicating better, teaching more effectively, singing kumbaya, etc. Just didn't sound like Shafer 'fit in' very well, where GERG does.
and charts and comparisons. Very little fact and quite a bit of opinion.
Floydless Notre Dame is indeed "overrated". The offense we faced, even with the Weis handicap, was not. It's too bad Floyd got hurt as I think their offense is much, much harder to defend with him in the line-up, and that win would have looked even stronger on this team's resume.
As far talent goes, I don't have the line-ups next to one another to make a point by point comparison, but I can say that this defense is much younger than most, it's relied on 2 walk-ons recently, and one of it's 4 star cornerbacks is having a rough season thus far and has been benched for a true freshman. Point is, I wouldn't call this a "typical" Michigan defense talent or experience-wise.
Still a ton of football to be played before I can form a solid opinion of Robinson. From what I read, I (still) like Shafer, but I completely trust Rich Rodriguez and am looking forward to what he's building.
Can't compare the two. 4 returners this year and one is playing a new position. Only thing similar is they are/were new coordinators.
Robinson has two SB rings and has never been on the losing side of a bowl game as a defensive coach.
Shafer's claim to fame beating SC while at Stanford something one below average Pac 10 team does every year.
GERG has great hair. Shafer was non-descript. Mmm snowy mane.
There was nothing really positive I saw in us having Shafer as a DC. At least with GERG I get 1. a great head of hair 2. a nice person and 3. a deathbacker or whatever the hell that position is. Also, I get 4. non-DEATH Stevie Brown. Upgrade!
(this post is half-joking.)
Obviously the part about the hair isn't a joke.
"Obviously you know Michigan gets better talent then Syracuse does. And with the exception of Arthur Jones the giant DT the rest of the SU defense is not highly touted."
Let's not forget that the current lack of talent at Syracuse is in large part due to GERG. Sure, Syracuse is a tough place to recruit, but we can't completely leave him off the hook there.
That being said, I'm a GERG supporter now that he's on our side and hope he turns things around on this defense. And hopefully he has a better time luring defensive talent to UM than he did at SU.
I'm so glad that Shafer is gone. He couldn't seem to do anything right. Our defense was supposed to be the strength of the team, or at least not be a crippling weakness. We had seven returning starters back, so there was some talent to work with.
However, the defense Shafer put on the field was atrocious. Instead of utilizing our greatest strength (our defensive line), Shafer would routinely pull one of the d-lineman and put us in a nickel, a move that usually ended in disaster. He also had John Thompson try to cover slot receivers, which was an awful, awful idea. Our corners would constantly play way, way, WAY off the receivers they were supposed to be covering, usually resulting in easy gains for the other team's offense. It got to the point where I pretty much expected the other team to convert on third and long.
Does anyone remember the game against Purdue? Remember how Justin Siller, Purdue's third string quarterback, threw for over 250 yards against us? That defeat rests squarely on the shoulders of Shafer. Remember when 3-9 Toledo had over 300 yards of offense and one of the WRs set a Michigan Stadium record for receptions in a game? Remember when Juice Williams broke Michigan Stadium's record for total yardage by a single player, a record that was formerly held by the Red Grange?
The fact is, Shafer sucked. He was awful and a big part of why our team posted the worst record in its 100+ year history. He couldn't teach fundamentals, he had no schemes, and he couldn't coach. I was ridiculously satisfied when he left, because quite literally, we couldn't do worse than him.
is the worst argument i have ever heard...
there are so many things in here that are wrong i dont even know where to start, so im not...
You could just link to some of your previous posts
agree there had to be a scapegoat for last season and shafer seemed to be over his head at this point in time with the U of M DC post (bad call by RRod if you ask me - the first of many mistakes). But the Purdue game that's alluded to can't be put on Shafer. That was the point in the season RRod (an offensive coach) decided to take over the defense. Shafer may as well have been out the door that game already. So that one can rest squarely on RRod. Just had to be said...
Edit: nice driveby, whoever you are, got like my last ten comments... Nicely done sir.
the dc will be good, if we loose he wont.. according to most people on mgo...thats cool, just dont try to tear down shafer to make yourself feel better...
Shafer was responsible for the worst Michigan defense in the program's history. Certainly the offense didn't do the defense any favors last year. But to claim that Shafer was a good or even adequate DC after his performance at Michigan last year doesn't make any sense.
isn't any better then last years. Statistically they probably will be but that's mainly due to 1) an offense/special teams that isn't turning the ballover a ton, 2) an offense that is scoring points, 3) an offense that isn't going 3 and out a lot and because of that is helping with the field position battle.
You put last years offense with this years defense and we'd probably be looking at a mirror image of 2008.
again, like i said before, your arguments in this comment and in your last are very powerful, and have caused me to rethink...
you win you win...
I hate to criticize someone who is probably not a bad guy, but our scheming under Shafer was abysmal. A 3 man front with soft coverage on third down? Abysmal fundamentals? Shafer also had more talent to work with. Even though I think Gerg could afford to blitz more, the defensive scheme is at least competent. Obviously we need recruits badly on defense and we could get better on execution, but I hope Gerg is here for awhile.
Our second DC since the transition and it's more obvious than ever that the cupboard on defense was empty. To have freshmen and walk-ons starting at a top level FBS school says a lot about the previous recruiting classes.
i think half time adjustments has been the biggest factor in our wins. which is something shafer never could do, or the previous administration under carr. it's finally a good feeling going into half time and knowing our defence will make adjustments.
I think SS underperformed but SS was not as bad as some are making him out to be.
I think GERG is doing some things really well with the defense, but he's not being confused with Monte Kiffin, Bud Foster or Jim Heacock.
I think they are similar in many ways when you net out the strengths and weaknesses.
For this program/team, at this point in development I'd give a slight nod to GERG on the ABC's
- Ability to make halftime adjustment
- Better tackling fewer YAC's
- Coaching wisdom/chemistry
Meaningless stats to ponder...
We are 89th in total D through 4 games 'Cuse at 96th
Only two B10 teams are lower. Illinois at 90th and Purdue at 108th
With Rodriguez, but also with the players -- one major difference that has not been mentioned above is that GERG is down on the field during the games, instead of being up in the booth sending messages down from on high like Shafer.
Being down on the field allows for tinkering right there and then, not just at halftime. I think maybe the reason his halftime adjustments seem to work is that he's already been talking to the players on the field/sideline about what's been happening, so players are better able to understand why they're making the changes they are. Something like that.
The resume speaks for itself.