leadership is something we definitely need. The way Warren started playing the last couple games and if B Graham stays those 2 could really lead the Defense next year.
We have a new leader
There were many things missing this season of Michigan Football in 2008. Maybe not all at once, but they were missing. The details have been drilled upon ad nauseum on this and other sites. From consistency to talent, from speed to fundamentals, from execution to skill. Yes this has been a season of holes and the inability to fill them.
One of the most defining absences of the season has been harped on in many ways, by many factions. The media and fans jumped on the ‘captains for each game’ theory of the coach. No captaincy voting until the season ends. And as a result, or maybe some strange almost concocted by-product, leadership, seemed to be lacking, if not non-existent.
So many times during the season, many of us seemed to be thinking, if only we had a leader in the lockerroom. Someone to call a players-only meeting to right the ship. It never happened. At times the team looked like a rudderless ship being tossed around by the waves of a storm. And make no mistake, this season was a storm, a perfect storm, if you will. It was a perfect storm of transition, inexperience, injuries and lack of leadership. (No, not coaching leadership).
The final crushing wave of that storm hit Saturday in Columbus, as the disciplined, talented, and upperclass-laden Buckeyes did what others had done this season, but with a much more resounding wallup than the Wolverines had faced all year. As the cold winds of November blustered over the boys in blue after the final whistle sounded, and the inevitable questions of what happened and what will happen in the future came again and again. The first piece of the puzzle, one of the most important pieces of a championship building foundation, was laid in the lockerroom of the beaten abd battered Wolverines.
A leader was born. A tough, undaunted leader that leads by example. A leader that has one of the most important qualities that all leaders MUST have. HEART! A leader doesn’t have to bark obscenities or be the loudest in the room. A leader has to have heart and be willing to lay it all on the line every play, every game.
Brandon Minor has been the first to emerge as one of those leaders.
“You can’t really blame Rich Rod because everybody on the team did not buy in like they’re supposed to. We have a couple of guys not going hard,” he said. “We’ll correct that most definitely. That ain’t going to happen on my watch as a senior.”
Someone has finally stepped up and is willing to take responsibility for this team from the inside. This is what Rich Rodriguez has been talking about when he refers to building a program. He wasn’t knocking Lloyd Carr or the Michigan Tradition. He knew in the Spring there was no foundation for this team. He knew there needed to be leadership from the inside that could rally the troops when the inexperience and immaturity of 18 and 19-year old kids showed in the heat of battle. Rodriguez knew he needed a leader on the sideline to keep the players in the game when things went badly, to right the ship.
That lack of leadership was all to often exposed as the team admittedly ‘relaxed’ when it got a lead or didn’t know how to come together when things started to unravel. Maybe, just maybe, Brandon Minor will be the start of that internal leadership. His comments after the game, after the worst loss to OSU since Dr. Strange Hayes put 50 on Michigan, weren’t sadness, or lamenting about what could have been. They were about the future, about what WILL happen in Ann Arbor.
Let 2009 start today. Minor is the first leader and there will be more and with Rich’s first recruiting class, more will come. Let’s look to the bright future with endless possibilities for this team and this storied program. Let it begin today! Those Who Stay Will Be Champions.
Minor stepped played a bigger role this year than I had expected due to the beginning of the season given the freshmen and lingering injuries.
I also believe he will definitely step up next year which is good because our offense will still be fairly young.
Much love to my former neighbor B Minor. He is all business, and I'm glad that someone has finally stepped up and is willing to say ENOUGH. Lloyd is gone, RichRod IS MICHIGAN, and WE ARE MICHIGAN.
All this bickering is total bullshit.
i'm so pleased and amazed to see the growth of minor as a player-from an athlete who fumbled all the time and ran with no leverage to a football player who ground out tough yards under tough circumstances the second half of the season. hopefully he can come back next year even further improved and play like a big time running back
I liked the Minor quote too. I think he will be a leader on this team and it already started. However, I would rather have us pick captains at the begining of the season. I am "one of those" who is not a fan of having new captains for every game.
I love the quote from Minor and honestly, I'm not surprised to hear that some upperclassmen never fully bought into the system. That usually happens when you have a coaching change, especially when your team struggles initially under the new coach. I think we had some of that last year in Beilein's first year, too. But after this experience, I think they'll pull together. All they have to do is look at our season record for motivation.
Brandon said what needed to be said. Lets hope he does what needs to be done. I think his words will do a lot more than we know. With that quote, he has already answered the questions for the guys who were thinking about leaving. This is a great moment for this program and I am sure RR liked hearing that.
When I read that I thought, why didn't he say that in September? The fact is that by saying it then, it would not have had the same tone. He cannot possibly override the upperclassmen at that point in the season. Like it or not, that is not how the lockerroom works. Unfortunately he had to wait to say this until the final whistle of the season for it to resinate(sp?). Notice how he didn't wait very long. He will be a great leader and this will be a fun '09.
This is what they needed all year, somebody to take charge of what happens. I have had enough of blaming RichRod he did what he could with Lloyds recruits and now we have a new year and RichRod will come through. Go Blue
Minor runs with an effort and intensity matched by no one. RR knew that Minor was the only player on our team capable of scoring a TD against OSU, and gave him the ball 4 times in a row. Every single time, the OLine got dominated and Minor ran into a wall of 2+ OSU players in front of the goal line. Every time, Minor made the most amazing +/- one yard effort I've seen. The 4th time, it was enough to get in. No one else, and no other call, could have scored on any of those plays.
I've been a Minor supporter since the spring.
But really? "No one else, and no other call, could have scored."?
Wow. You can say with certainty that no other player on the team could have scored? Not Moundros or Grady or Brown? No slants or outs or screens or trick plays or pop passes or naked bootlegs - NOTHING ELSE - would have worked?
I've been a Major supporter
I thought Minor's comments went a long way toward explaining why we played so poorly all year. The offense was understandable but the failure of the defense baffled me, more than just having weak safeties.
I think RR (including his staff and Barwis) were somewhat sabotaged by a few malcontents. I'm hoping they (the whiners) will be gone by next season. Then we'll have some bona fide QB candidates coming in. Even if they're green, Threet may be adequate until one of them emerges.
I was fed up with RR for not recognizing the better players sooner (Minor and Mouton are examples). And for all the stupid mistakes we kept making, like fumbling kickoffs and punts, blown coverages, and dropped passes. Many of those were perpetrated by freshmen, and the best thing about freshmen is that they eventually become sophmores.
The score of 42 to 7 hurts too but it ought to give us a year to dwell on payback, like 50 to 14 did 40 years ago from Woody and like the way our 38 to zip whipping inspired ND to get us back.
I'm relieved our season of agony is over - somewhat prematurely for Michigan. But in a strange way I'm really looking forward to RR being able to start showing us what he can do. Thank you Brandon Minor for pinpointing a major reason why.
Nice write-up and I agree - next year will be completely different. I can't wait until RichRod throws 70 on someone and also can't wait until he gets his first win against tOSU. I guarantee most educated tOSU fans are apprehensive about the future of M football and would rather have Lloyd than RR running the program.
A friend of mine who played under Lloyd went back to watch one of the games this year from the sideline at the bighouse. This was one of our more embarrassing home games this year. He said that during the game, he overheard some of the players talk about what they were going to do that night (which parties to go to, etc...). He was shocked. Not only were they struggling against a team they should have been beating (and should have been focused accordingly), but any talk about the night's festivities (by his account) never happened under Carr. It struck me as strange because, for some reason I can't pinpoint, I always thought of RichRod as a disciplinarian (maybe it was the stories about how he liked to yell and all that crazy Barwis stuff). Maybe it's true. Maybe no one was steering the ship: not the coaches, and not the players. I love this post though. It's right on. Minor is a friggin badass. I am very optimistic about our intangibles next year, although I'm still wondering when we're going to have a quarterback with the physique, skill and experience to be the centerpiece of a RichRod offense.
I agree there was a lack of leadership but I dont buy that the reason is because RR didnt appoint captains for the entire season. Leaders on athletic teams aren't appointed to become leaders, they are appointed because they are already the leaders of the team. Do you think Mike Hart was a leader last year only because he was appointed or because he was already a leader? Same with LaMarr Woodley the year before. These guys were appointed as captains because they were leaders, not leaders because they were appointed captains.
I personally like that Rich puts every senior on the team in the running to be a captain, essentially saying they are all leaders on the team and that they are all responsible for the teams success. I really think that will lead to stronger leadership in the future, not less.
The team was leaderless but not because of Rich's changes to the way captains are determined.
uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ending with "Those Who Stay Will Be Champions" is so October.
The leader? What is he? Some kind of leader?