Our season is going down the crapper and you can't even bitch about the coaches because its their first season, their players are too young - not overly talented - don't fit the system, and they have an impeccable track record of success at the highest levels with other institutions.
All that's left is to watch the games, stew in the humiliations, and attempt to parse legitmate and usable critisisms from the blah blah blah for use in hunting scattered bread crumbs on the trail to "Michigan will be back."
Of all the big knocks on this staff out there at the moment, the one that seems to have a shred of legitimacy is the "at least we should see some improvement" refrain. Problem is, offensively at least, I don’t know where you could look in this toxic dump and recognize improvement if existed. There are so many breakdowns play after play, you wonder if its even possible to evaluate the coaches. But there a few areas I think require some explanation.
For example, has anyone figured out Brian's consistent critique of the coach’s use of that formation where Matthews is covered up and therefore ineligible, which is always a running play?
I haven’t heard anyone complain about this yet, but why do we continue using Minor/Grady in the backfield or as the h-back with McGuff/Shaw? The foundation of a run game is obviously blocking people. Moundros is our best run blocker. Isn’t it elementary that the coaches get him more involved in this capacity? I’m not talking about new plays or schemes, just put him on the field over Minor/Grady.
This came to me when re-watching the Toledo game and seeing those two really whiff on some blocks. 19 times out of 20, hell maybe more than that, they aren’t the player touching the ball when they are in with the super back. The decoy effect is non-existent. Minor has actually thrown some decent blocks this year, but to me it doesn’t make sense to take the best blocker on the team out in these situations and get nothing in return. I understand that the big back needs some touches to keep defenses honest and that Minor/Grady are likely to do more with those touches, but they take so much off the table from a blocking perspective that the offense would be better served living with the results of giving those touches to Moundros so he can play more.
If Minor and Grady are going to continue playing along side McGuff/Shaw, then can Moundros take snaps away from the TE? There are no words to describe our TE blocking. I saw Butler get in for a single snap against Toledo and whiff so bad on the man standing directly in front of him, I am now legitimately scared that Butler is being controlled by gangsters. And sitting him for the season is only going to piss those guys off. RR needs to throw him off the team and start his own investigation ASAP so that we can self report and hope for the best. If we wait for them to drop the dime on Butler after the fact our NCAA punishment will be much worse.
I have noticed RR keeping the TE in more to help with the run blocking, which is a logical move. There’s nothing in the spread rule book which says you can’t have 6 guys run blocking at the line of scrimmage (I don’t think). The two most glaring problems I see with UM’s run blocking is that Molk can’t hold at the point of attack in the middle without a double, and the tackles can’t hold the point against ends on plays outside. Its maddening to see a guard or tackle shoot past an unblocked DL into the second level, and to watch that unblocked guy make the tackle. But the reason that unblocked guy is making the tackle ½ the time is because our playside blocker(s) are getting owned causing hesitation/improvisation by an RB who can’t break a tackle in the backfield unless his name is Minor, but then you deal with the 25% chance of a fumble. Adding a TE to the line is going to bring another dude into the box, but it allows you to double more at the point. I’d rather see our backs getting hit at the LOS by a nosey saftey on busted plays than 4 yards in the backfield. But again, its not even worth it if you use anyone on our roster with a TE next to their name. So why not use Moundros in that capacity when he’s not lining up as the big back? In all seriousness, I think we could also do worse than using Ferarra as a tackle eligible.
These are a couple of things which have been aggravating me, along with our LB zone drops (what ever happened to using Chambers as an LB? Does Thompson need to be on the field against a Toledo team which has not only abandoned the run, but is going empty backfield?).
I know I said I wouldn't do it, but file these suggestions under know-nothing fan bitching about coaching I suppose. Incidently, if anyone out there can tell me specifically why these are stupid observations it would make me feel a lot better.