He wants to run a 3-3-5 or let his DC determine the scheme.
If 3-3-5 can gerg and hire Casteel
If let DC run scheme let Gerg make personnel decisions or nuke the staff and let the new DC bring in his guys.
Those are the options but keeping Gerg and making him run a 3-3-5 with RRs guys is not a viable option imo
Balance of Season & Gerg's tenure
He wants to run a 3-3-5 or let his DC determine the scheme.
In terms of personnel decisions, is Greg responsible for starting Ezeh over Demens for so long? If so, I question his personnel choices. (One could, could say the same about keeping Cam at free safety and Vinopal on the bench, but that's a pretty premature judgment.)
I am not sure he has gotten a really fair shake, as, if I am not mistaken, he was hired to replace Schafer as the DC, but was sadled with the rest of the staff. On top of that, I think he has been pressured to use certain formations that I don't think he would normally of run. Add injuries to that recipe and you get disaster. However, you can't play this poor of defense for two years and expect there not to be casualties. If Michigan decides that RR should be given another year or two to prove himself yay or nay, then GERG is the sacrificial lamb. Life isn't always fair.
You should start your own blog. This stuff is "must-see" entertainment.
Great. This Troll puts "well said" in a reply to me and I get negged.
If I was was high profile defensive Coordinator for a team with a mediocre offense I wouldn't mind a DC job for one of the most explosive Offenses in the country. I'm not sayin, I'm just sayin.
Either let Gerg coach the way Gerg wants to coach, or bring on someone else who fits with what RR wants to do in terms of schemes. Frankly, if RR insists on personnel and schemes that Gerg doesn't want to run or know how to run, I could see Gerg up and quitting, rather then continuing with the current bad situation.
other side of that one. Roh (supposedly) requesting to play on the line, RVB saying in the presser that is it better that Roh be on the line, BG saying that Gerg should run his scheme for B10 play, I just can't see how we would roll out a 3-3-5 next year with some new hire. If RR wants to come out and talk about Illinois being physical and wishing he could do the same, put some bigger guys out there. Don't roll out 5 DBs and expect them to hold the edge all the time.
On the flip side, I would not argue an actual secondary coach in addition to a LB coach.
"If RR wants to come out and talk about Illinois being physical and wishing he could do the same..." Then recruit different players. I'm a RichRod guy but really...
This is a fallacious argument. He recruited a lot of smaller offensive players but he has been recruiting a lot of big, tough guys for defense. Athletic 6 foot guys who can play strong safety or linebacker and athletic 6-3 guys who can linbacker or weakside defensive end are a good thing. The tweener label is overused as a means of bashing his recruiting philosophy imhe.
Defensive linemen should get a redshirt year, which means his first full class should be red shirt freshman. If Lloyd hadn't screwed the pooch on recruiting his last two years we could run a 4 man front. He didn't so we are somewhat forced to use 3 down linemen. We also don't have enough linebacker depth, due to previous recruting, so we end up with 15 tweener safeties playing spur and bandit. I don't think Rodriguez is as commited to the 3-3-5 as most on this board. I believe his staff other than Greg Robinson is more familiar with it but I think the real reason we are using it is our personell
Martin was retained by Rodriguez. He pulled in Roh. Sadly, DeQuinta Jones and Pearlie Graves bailed at the last second and Campbell turned out to be an offensive lineman. If it weren't for these three players being unavailable, we would have a 4 man front and a much "tougher" defense. Rodriguez pulled in 4 defensive linemen in this last class and one of them is already getting serious minutes (Black). There aren't any difference makers in this class yet, but I think we could get Jernigan if we finish strong and I am expecting another Rodriguez last minute miracle like we've had the first three years to add a top caliber defender.
We have recruited plenty of size and toughness on defense. They just aren't upper classmen yet and we have had some misses (see above with three defensive tackle misses which I don't blame on Rodriguez)
It's not just a matter of running a 3-3-5 or whatever. It also is a matter of how Greg has not been able to bring out the full potential in many if not all of the defensive players. I agree that both RR and whoever the DC is need to agree on what kind of defense to play but the DC also needs to be able bring out the potential of the players and create different schemes to the defense to hide the weaknesses.
Oh look, another King of Belch screenname. Did the first 7 bannings not get through to you?
I'm so on the fence on GERG. I think he should go yet I don't want to go thru another DC transition. I just dunno at this point.
My hope for the team has not waivered in weeks
1. Rich stays
2. Gerg goes
3. Jeff Casteel arrives (lose WVU...lose)
For some odd reason allowing a team to score 65 points on us did not cause me to reconsider replacing the DC.
At least it wasn't 67.
I have very little faith in Robinson at this point. I think the defense played well against Illinois, but they still gave up 45 in regulation. I'm glad they played as well as they did, but it's not the kind of performance that is going to change my mind about Robinson's abilities.
I think there are much more serious issues that can't be white washed by a single (relatively) good performance (questionable personnel decisions, players having to explain to the coaches where they should be playing, pretty terrible fundamentals, etc). Unless the defense shows up and shuts down Wisconsin and/or OSU, I don't see a reason to keep him on board (even then, it should only lead to a discussion, Robinson can not do anything, in my opinion, to secure his position by the end of the season).
Last game notwithstanding, look at how quickly Illinois turned around their defense with a new and competent DC. I don't see any reason why that can't happen at Michigan, provided they hire someone who knows what their doing (either with the 3-3-5 or their own scheme).
As long as the new DC can bring in their own assistants I completely agree with you. My desire for Casteel is more due to the fact that:
1. He basically hired all of the current assistants at WVU
2. He showed Rich how to effectively run the 3-3-5
3. Little, if anything, would change other than the results hopefully.
But if we cannot get Casteel then Plan B must involve getting rid of everyone, and i mean everyone, on the D staff - not just Gerg.
RR seems a bit unmotivated in searching for defensive coaches as evidenced two years ago when the board was alight with DC candidates during the offseason meetings and we walked away with nothing. A while later we end up with a guy that pursued RR for the job, not someone we really sought out due to their excellent track record. I would not mind some scrutiny in evaluating and selecting a crew of talented position coaches that will be attracted by our program instead of holdovers.
The defense didn't play well against Illinois; they took forward steps from a horrible performance against PSU. They were still a significantly below average unit against Illinois but didn't play like the bottom five unit we saw against PSU.
Historically, what is the effect of changing defensive coaching/personnel on transfers in the defense? Less severe than offense, I'm betting.
Should we make drastic changes during the offseason, do we risk a plague of transfers and another year of a colander defense?
The DC should stay another year so he can turn around this defense. It is detrimental to keep changing coordinators. Players need continuity in staff for them to improve. The defense is just real young and that is more than anything why they aren't an excellent D yet.
Gergs gotta go
Continuity on defense is not the same as on offense, schemes are not as hard to learn. He has had two years, was terrible before this, and has not shown us anything. As one of the highest paid state employees in Michigan I think he should have to produce results - crazy.
But I'm not sure replacing the DC is the answer, or perhaps not the complete answer. Scott Shafer didn't succeed in his single season with the same HC, almost the same assistants, and better, more experienced players. It's a 3-level management and team chemistry question which I doubt any of us on the outside much insight, only lots of opinions.
I'm willing to let a former wolverine defensive end and former CEO, Athletic Director David Brandon work with his head coach to come up with the solution after the season.
Also, I do believe that DB will prob. give Gerg another year. If DB had been the AD the last several years, things might be different. But with this being his first year as AD, and the improvement over 2009, and also potentially, with an 8 - 4 record, I don't see him cutting Gerg loose.
It's not the AD's job to hire and fire assistant coaches. That's on RR. The only time you see an AD get involved in something like that is when he is close to firing the HC and the HC responds by promising to clean house, à la Zook last year.
is that the only reason we've seen "improvement" is because RR has gotten more involved in the D. Thats scary. Couple that with RR having a coranary on the side line against PSU with the D during a timeout while Gerg stood and watched...Gerg has to go. Period.
I dont want to take a chance with this DC and staff when we have so much hope on offense next year. With a good defense in 2011 the sky is the limit.
I don't know if this is true but we may never know who is responsible for pushing changes on the defense. For example, it has been accepted as part of Michigan lore that Rodriguez pushed the 3-3-5 on Shafer before the 2008 game resulting in The Justin Siller Event. This year, many claim that Rodriguez pushed for off-week changes prior to the debacle at PSU.
These are two examples of Rodriguez's purported defensive adjustments with disastarous results. I'm not trying to absolve GERG of guilt. He is responsible for starting Ezeh over Demens and for Mouton's mediocrity. I think the best solution is to give Robinson complete control over the defense including the ability to hire position coaches of his choosing or bring in a new defensive coordinator who has the same freedom. In either case Rodriguez should butt out.
I think he deserves to show what he can do without having to piece together a defense made up of barely out of high school kids... NTM the injuries.
Firing him would probably do more harm than good at this point (recruiting and cohesion) IMO. I agree he deserves another year at least.
Regardless, I think the defense improves next year. The question is whether or not Robinson or some new DC gets the credit.
Ihave to agree getting 65 hung on ya Gregs got to go.
Can we please get off the score. The defense was way better than the score. You have all the OT points as well as 4 offensive turnovers and Illinois started with really good field positions multiple times.
Why would we get off the score? Not like the defense only gave up 20 points in regulation. The offense didn't help the defense, but it's not like the defense looked like anything more than a couple of particularly shiny traffic cones on the vast majority of drives.
The score is the ultimate determinant of success. However, when you focus only on the score, then everyone on the defensive staff should be fired right after the game. Not counting all the reasons everyone knows for the defense being bad, the defense made several stops and actually improved.
If you think the score was reflective of how the defense played, then maybe we should get a new HC, just not a DC. I am not arguing for us to keep GERG for next year, but I would like to see how these last 2 games go.
Firing a coach after only one game wouldn't make any sense. That isn't really what I said either. Firing a coach after repeated, obvious examples of incompetence, while the rest of the country uses the coach's name as an analogy for poor play...that was more what I was saying.
You literally cannot say the defense improved after we gave up 45 in regulation. That's more than the previous three losses. What got better was the offense and what appeared (finally) was the young players finally putting it all together for a win. The defense showed flashes of competence (Vinopal, Demens, Roh, and Gordon especially), but that doesn't mean that those players are going to be used to their full potential under GERG.
You say you want to see the last err, 3, games go. Other than the defense not giving up more than 20 per game (and that ain't happening, even against Purdue), what would they have to do to keep GERG's job?
You are absolutely right, I would not normally advocate firing a coach after one game. But if the team let up 65 points without any turnovers or bad field positions or overtime play, I think I might make an exception.
You are right, you didn't call for anyone to get fired and I don't think I claimed you did. I was emphasizing my points, maybe overemphasis. As for your point about the rest of the country using his name as an analogy for poor play that frustrates me. Has the defensive performance been bad this year, absolutely. Is GERG at fault, sure he is, but IMHO it's not completely his fault. I hate hearing the analysis from these so called analyst on the defense for this game. Many analyst just laugh and mock our defense in their analysis because they only mention the score. They make no reference to the turnovers and poor field positions. I may be wrong, but I think all 5 turnovers were on our side.
IMHO, I think Sat's defensive performance was better than PSU, Iowa or MSU. The performance also was without Floyd and an injured Martin.
I am not going to dispute your points on GERG working these guys to their full potential. I have lost a lot of faith in GERG. Was I frustrated with the defense on Sat, absolutely, but I also felt some hope that these guys are playing better.
What would GERG have to do to keep his job. I am not sure. I just want to say that I do not think we are good on defense, but we are not as bad as the 65 points we allowed.
This is not a question of being fair to Gerg. It is a question of having the best possible defense at UM.
Dave Brandon needs to sit RR down at the end of the regular season and walk him through the defensive stats from a purely objective standpoint. He needs to convince RR to let go of some of the control of the defense and together they should hire a new DC. The new DC should be given the authority to decide who (if anyone) on the current defensive staff should be retained and he should be allowed to bring in his own people as replacements for anyone he does not keep. RR insisted on the same authority when he agreed to take the job as HC -- he totally cleaned house, if you recall -- and any DC worth his salt will want the same w.r.t. his defensive staff.
Bottom line: there is nothing uniquely talented about the current defensive staff. Say what you want about lack of experience or insufficient depth or too many injuries, but great coaches achieve above average results with the players they have. This defensive staff has not come even close to doing that.
We get it we get it, you hate RR. Now can you stop posting this response on every thread discussing firing or not firing the defensive coaches? On a side note, I disagree with the block quoted section. The Jimmys and Joes are far more important than Xs and Os, especially on the college level.
I'm sorry, I was imprecise with my language. I didn't mean you personally "hate" RR, just that you don't believe in him as the head coach. As to why GERG gets the fall and RR doesn't, it's because this offense is the most explosive in the country outside of Oregon. You have the entire team basically coming back next year that has demonstrated an ability to move the ball on anyone THIS year. Now if you want to argue that Gerg should get another year because of all those issues, I wouldn't have a problem with ti, provided there is some house cleaning done with other members of the staff. As it is, I think that most people think it would be easier to get Casteel here for the staff to mesh(I personally don't but that's the argument) than for us to fire everyone and let either GERG or a new DC pick out his assistants.
Does that apply to all the coaches (including RR) or just the defensive coaches?
Yes. And thank you for helping me make my point.
Unlike the defense, RR's offense clearly is unique and special. To toss out the offense because the defense stinks would be stupid. Specifically, this is what you would be losing:
|UM OFFENSE||2008||2009||2010 YTD|
Compare that what we would "risk" losing if we replace the defensive staff and give the new DC authority to hire who he wants:
|UM DEFENSE||2008||2009||2010 YTD|
So, would I "risk" losing our defense and trade down just a few spots, statistically, on offense? Yes.
You certainly are entitled to your opinion, but then again so am I. RR's hire should be more than enough proof that you cannot just go out and hire a coach and "poof" instantly get his current team's offense and defense.
UM took a big risk in hiring a "spread" coach and we now have a top 5 offense with a relatively young squad. Moreover, every statistic and trend suggests that our offense is more likely to get better under RR over the next year or two than it is to get worse. The problem is that the defense is a disaster and needs to be fixed. Tossing out the offense because the defense sucks makes no sense. Keeping the offense and fixing the defense makes total sense and that is what I think we should do.
Look, we have one of the worst defenses IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. Our defense is a national laughing stock. That's the plain, onsugar-coated truth. Not an insult to the players, because they seem like great kids, but there is something really broken on defense.
Is it GERG? Is it the assistants? Is it RR related? Who knows (although GERG would be the second DC to flame out since RR got here, so there is a possibility that the issue is with RR and his assistants, but we will never know). At the end of the day, what top defensive player would come here to play on a joke of a defense where players seem to get worse, not better. Even if just for the appearance of change for recruiting purposes, GERG and/or the entire D staff need to go.
Could we please stop with this "players are getting worse" meme. It's shit and wrong. Numerous players have gotten better from last year to this year. Unless you want to count Williams, Floyd, and woolfolk as not getting better, name all the players that have gotten worse. Ezeh? Luckily for us demens has gotten better...but I'm sure that isn't Gerg. Mike Martin? Better. Cam Gordon? I guess if u want to count his time at wr last year, sure. All of the other true freshmen and sophomores? I guess Gerg just can't teach them. For every JB Fitzgerald (who I'm not completely convinced he is not good, but maybe he got worse), there are 5 players who have gotten better or are true freshmen or sophomores. The defense will get better no matter who is at d coordinator simply because of the age of our team
Sure, some have gotten better. Largely because they are a full year older and have, you know, hit puberty. But, that imcrimental improvement aside, I have not seen a single player make a huge step forward. And some have regressed. But that is not the point that I was making (although I don't think I was clear). My point was that over the course of this season, I expected to see these kids improve - at the beginning of the season, after either UConn or ND, RR even made the statement that with this much youth, we can expect improvement over the season. To my untrained eye, this improvement has not happened. Our defensive fundamentals (i.e. tackling, angles, assignments, overall "smart play") has regressed.
Now that said, I do think that the recent game represented an improvement for this defense, and not because of the result. Even when we were losing, my wife and I both commented that the defense was tackling better and harder, taking better angles, making stops and sealing up lanes. If this holds, then it sort of disproves what I was saying above, and I hope that it does. On the other hand, the improvement that we saw seemed more the result of new players (Demens was a beast!!), position switches and new alignments, so who knows.
I agree to a point. But I will also add that there are some true freshmen have gotten better as the season goes on. Vinopal, Black, Johnson, MRob...these are all guys who didn't start or didn't do much at the beginning of the year and now are either starting or getting quality minutes. That is my whole point....the fact that true freshmen and sophomores are gaining experience is probably the reason individual players are getting better. I expect that to continue next year when we bring back 8 starters and aren't playing 8 or 9 true freshmen in the two deep.
Fire Gerg if you want and praise the next D coordinator for bringing our defense up into the 70's or so (which I think we will and which is also around the number most on this board think will suffice with our offense being so good). But let's be honest, the defense is getting better no matter who is coach. If he is fired, pro-Gerg people will say anyone could have done it with the returning talent and the anti-Gerg crowd will point to how amazing the defense could have been without him. The answer is probably somewhere in the middle but how on earth are we going to find out if we fire D coordinators 1 and 2 years into their tenure here. Last year it was Kovacs and Roh, this year it is the entire defensive backfield. Starting true and redshirt freshmen is starting to become the norm here. I guess it all lays on RichRod for not recruiting senior and 5th-year senior talent when he wasn't here yet. It is amazing that RichRod might actually get to see his first full class be juniors or redshirt sophomores.
The call will be DB's, and I trust his judgement. Does GERG get a free pass because there are nine freshmen in the two-deep, or is he so bad against comtemporary offenses that it doesn't matter how much talent he has to work with?
The main thing I noticed is that when they are agressive, it works better. When Michigan gives up a lot of big plays, they win because they get the ball more times. When they play it safe and sustain "death by paper cut," the other team still scores the same amount of points but Michigan gets a lot less possessions. Ultimately, if they are going to give up 45 points anyway, they are much better off doing it with sixteen possessions instead of nine.
Hopefully, we see even more aggression the rest of the year. I would be perfectly happy watching four more (including a bowl) 67-65 victories.
All the defensive "records" that have been set and the inability to successfully scheme against any defense they have faced, says to me that some kind of change is in order. I prefer a new defensive staff that incorporates its own scheme and runs it without input from the HC. the key to it is the DC has to have successful track record against solid if not excellent FBS competition.
If we can get a brilliant DC who is a great recruiter and will be given free run with his staff, coaching, etc then I am all for canning Gerg. However, if we are just bringing in some "meh" guy then I don't want to see him go just so we can bring in the next scapegoat.
Outside of Casteel who is a possible replacement??
Not like Casteel is the only solid DC in the country. Hell, poach Mullen's DC, Patterson's DC, or any team ranked in the top 20's DC. Give said DC full control, a dump truck of money, and the UM brand? They'll come.
Yea I shoulda been more specific with my question..Have any coordinators expressed or hinted at interest in the position if it opens explicitly?
I think we as fans are getting a little ahead of ourselves though, don't be overly surprised to see Greg next year. After all he does have 2 rings at D coordinator and he hasn't exactly been coaching Charles Woodsons out there. And finally, recruiting could take a big hit, which is the last thing we need on D.
Just like Denard is still slow to read defenses, so our defensive players are still slow to read offenses. We aren't watching the film like the coaches, we don't know what was supposed to happen on any given play and where the breakdowns were.
It is still possible that we have good defensive scheming with poor execution. Simplifying the defense to get better execution means poor scheming and big holes. Greg may be caught between a rock and a hard place with these guys.
All it takes is for 2 or 3 guys too slow to read a play and react to turn a 2-yard gain into 30. With so many young players out there, there may be just too many decisions to make in too short of a time for them to be effective. It's almost guaranteed that on any given play we're going to have a couple screw up due to their inexperience.
I'm not a defensive genius myself, I can't watch what they're doing and clearly tell the difference between good coaching with poor execution or poor coaching with good execution. I'm willing to stand back and admit I don't know, and will accede to whatever the guys in charge think is best.
I want to say go, but if he does go, I think they all gave to go. I would not support Gerg getting canned and anyone but Casteal coming in with the rest of this staff still here.
My only issue is that we seem to be in on several top D recruits that are going to be making decisions soon. If we nuke anyone, we have to play the waiting game to hire someone and could lose the D recruits we desperately need between firing and hiring.
I also think Rods job could depend on next years success. If they fire everyone and don't have a solid D class and have to learn a new system again next year, it could end bad. Almost seems that Rods best bet for at least next year would be to keep everyone and hope for improvement.
It will be hard to fire Greg Robinson if Michigan goes 7-5 and wins a bowl. Assuming that this happens, the season was a mild surprise, and RR will feel little pressure to make a change.
Things could change for the worse if Michigan loses to Purdue, or gets humiliated in a bowl. If Michigan beats either tOSU or Wisconsin, this discussion is simply over.
In short, it's too early to tell. As underwhelmed as I am with Greg Robinson, I am hoping for a strong finish so he can stay, for the sake of continuity and program stability. Michigan needs defensive recruits more than anything, by far, and it may be a tougher sell if Michigan just fired its defensive coordinator.
How many defensive recruits have LEFT under Gerg?
Yes I'm happy we won, but we did in fact give up 67 points.
I know you watched the game. Do you think the defensive effort was reflective of the score? I am not saying the defense was good, but it was not 67 points bad.
...to flex his muscle at RR. I want RR to stay, but I want DB to use his roladex of contacts and "strongly encourage" RR to take his suggestions seriously.
When DB puts his stamp of approval on it, I'll be satisfied.
I agree with Punisher as far as leaving it in DB's hands. Brandon knows what needs to be fixed and he will make sure it is fixed. It was his job at Dominoes and he was great at it. He will work with Rich to get it fixed. He knows that he may need to micro manage this portion of his product for a while until it is rolling. Believe me he is smart enough to know one half of his product is amazing (offense)and that he only needs to fix the other half (defense). Brandon will work with RR to give him every chance to succeed. He won't fire RR on a whim because he is scared of angry fans and alum. If he sees it won't work RR will be gone.
I very much disagree that RR is already safe for another year. If we lose our next three games by 20 (which won't happen), then I think he'd be gone. An academic point, but it still matters; RR has not secured the rest of his time here yet.
I see very little reason to keep GERG around. Sure, the defense did better. It wasn't good by any stretch of the imagination. My major issue with GERG is that his realistic best case scenario, given his performance in recent history, is that he ends up creating a mediocre defense.
Continuity is vastly overvalued - it's already his second year. The point of keeping someone around is so they can establish good results that they have demonstrated in the past, which hasn't happened at the college level with GERG. First year defensive coordinators make an immediate impact all the time. While our defense will be better next year no matter what, it will be better off without GERG (assuming a non-stupid hire). The whole continuity argument seems to be an offshoot of the keep RR argument, which is much stronger because RR was a proven winner at the college level.
I'd keep him around if we give up an average of 20 points or so in the next three games. That's unrealistic, and I won't be sorry to see him go at the end of the year.
GERG is not solely responsible for the problem, but (based on his track record) he is not likely to be the solution. Let's find someone who can be.
RR should take the Glick for the offense and let Gerg have Oosterbaan for the Defense and never the two shall meet until Spring practice. Then repeat until fall camp. If we suck next year in whatever Defense Gerg chooses to teach/run, then move along little buddy, we're tired of fielding the point-a-minute defense.
To those that are unsure of whether Greg Robinson should go, my question is - how much worse could he possibly have done in the past two years for you to now conclusively think he should go?
I'm guessing posed that way people will have a very difficult time coming up with an answer that doesnt sound like "fire Gerg". Unless their requirements are simply making sure 11 guys are on the field and have all their equipment properly adjusted. If that is the litmus test then yes, he can stay.
You should post that as a thread. I wish I could give you more than one upvote.
I've said much of this before but do continue to update my thoughts from week to week on this subject. FWIW, I am not so much a Gerg supporter as just a rabid fan and alum who believes everyone deserves a FAIR chance. So, before the season started and before Woolfolk got hurt, everyone thought this year’s defense would be a disaster. Then, Woolfolk was injured and out for the year, so expectations went to somewhere below disaster. We wound up with a defense that involved 3 seniors (Banks, Mouton and Rogers) who would not play on most Big Ten teams, 2 juniors (Martin and Van Bergen), 4 sophomores and 2 freshmen. As time went on, 2 of the 3 seniors were getting to the point of being replaced with 2 more freshmen, Banks with Black and Rogers with Avery (I think), so we had a defense of 1 senior, 2 juniors, 4 sophomores and 4 freshmen. Recapping our defensive starters by class, we have no one from Carr’s 2006 recruiting class, 1 not beaten out by a freshman from Carr’s 2007 recruiting class (even that one – Mouton – would not be playing at most Big Ten schools), 2 from Carr’s and RR’s joint 2008 recruiting class who play well (with Martin dramatically improving from last year) and who would play for most Big Ten schools and 8 from RR’s recruiting classes in 2009 and 2010. For two games, Martin, our best defender – and only really good and experienced defender – was out with injuries for all except a very few plays, bringing the experience level and quality even lower, JT Floyd is out for the season, so Rogers is back on the field. Now, we are back to the 3 seniors (2 of whom lost their starting jobs to freshmen but got them back due to injury and the other who would not start at most Big Ten schools), 2 juniors, 3 sophomores and 3 freshmen, and we frequently are playing 4 sophomores and 4 freshmen. As RR said, even Vince Lombardi could not make this an effective defense, and until GR has had a team with some experienced players it is just plain unfair to throw him under the bus. Next year, with Woolfolk back, the defense will field 3 good and experienced seniors, 4 good and experienced juniors and 3 experienced (and we hope good) sophomores unless a redshirt freshman or true freshman is able to beat someone out. Give the man a chance! Although this year’s defense looks like a disaster, (1) we expected it to be a disaster before the season began, (2) the kids are gaining experience (and I believe playing better) and (3) the coaches are trying to make changes and improvements, as shown by position switches and the emergence of Demens and Avery. As someone said, how quickly do you think kids who had not yet attended their senior prom a year ago are going to gain the needed experience? To me, this problem becomes particularly acute when you consider that we have no one, except maybe Rogers, behind the linebackers with any significant experience. People will continue to pick us apart until our kids get enough experience to understand what to do instinctively (not after giving it a moment’s thought), where to be looking and what not to do. If we make a bowl, they will get 15 extra practices plus the spring, all of which combined with another year of experience and Barwis, should lead to substantial improvement. Be patient, and don’t make our fan base seem like a rabid lynch mob. I’ve got to believe that has a negative effect on recruiting (I suspect recruits are even more likely to be reading this blog than the current players or coaches). And keep in mind the human quality of the kids RR has brought in, almost all of whom make me proud that they will also be alums.
You've got to learn to use paragraphs.
Having said that, you articulate well what I feel should be the case. Not throwing people under the bus to save your own skin is the mark of a good leader. For all the howling here and elsewhere, I believe that RR, with DB's support, will give Gerg a fair chance by at least giving him one more year.
I’ve updated my previously posted thoughts to accommodate the changes that occur from week-to-week. It’s not so much that I am a fan of Greg Robinson, really just a rabid fan and alum, but I do believe he should have a fair chance, something he has not had so far, regardless of TCU’s recruiting class rankings and subsequent performance, which is meaningless as a basis for comparison. The plain, simple fact is that before the season started and before Woolfolk got hurt, everyone thought this year’s defense would be a disaster. Then, Woolfolk was injured and out for the year, so expectations went to somewhere below disaster. We wound up with a defense that involved 3 seniors (Banks, Mouton and Rogers) who would not play on most Big Ten teams, 2 juniors (Martin and Van Bergen), 4 sophomores and 2 freshmen. As time went on, 2 of the 3 seniors were getting to the point of being replaced with 2 more freshmen, Banks with Black and Rogers with Avery (I think), so we had a defense of 1 senior, 2 juniors, 4 sophomores and 4 freshmen. Recapping our defensive starters by class, we have no one from Carr’s 2006 recruiting class, 1 not beaten out by a freshman from Carr’s 2007 recruiting class (even that one – Mouton – would not be playing at most Big Ten schools), 2 from Carr’s and RR’s joint 2008 recruiting class who play well (with Martin dramatically improving from last year) and who would play for most Big Ten schools and 8 from RR’s recruiting classes in 2009 and 2010. For two games, Martin, our best defender – and only really good and experienced defender – was out with injuries for all except a very few plays, bringing the experience level and quality even lower, JT Floyd is out for the season, so Rogers is back on the field. Now, we are back to the 3 seniors (2 of whom lost their starting jobs to freshmen but got them back due to injury and the other who would not start at most Big Ten schools), 2 juniors, 3 sophomores and 3 freshmen, and we frequently are playing 4 sophomores and 4 freshmen. As RR said, even Vince Lombardi could not make this an effective defense, and until GR has had a team with some experienced players it is just plain unfair to throw him under the bus. Next year, with Woolfolk back, the defense will field 3 good and experienced seniors, 4 good and experienced juniors and 3 experienced (and we hope good) sophomores unless a redshirt freshman or true freshman is able to beat someone out. Give the man a chance! Although this year’s defense looks like a disaster, (1) we expected it to be a disaster before the season began, (2) the kids are gaining experience (and I believe playing better) and (3) the coaches are trying to make changes and improvements, as shown by position switches and the emergence of Demens and Avery. As someone said, how quickly do you think kids who had not yet attended their senior prom a year ago are going to gain the needed experience? To me, this problem becomes particularly acute when you consider that we have no one, except maybe Rogers, behind the linebackers with any significant experience. People will continue to pick us apart until our kids get enough experience to understand what to do instinctively (not after giving it a moment’s thought), where to be looking and what not to do. If we make a bowl, they will get 15 extra practices plus the spring, all of which combined with another year of experience and Barwis, should lead to substantial improvement. Be patient, and don’t make our fan base seem like a rabid lynch mob. I’ve got to believe that has a negative effect on recruiting (I suspect recruits are even more likely to be reading this blog than the current players or coaches). And keep in mind the human quality of the kids RR has brought in, almost all of whom make me proud that they will also be alums.
...should be replaced. His pedigree for collegiate success is virtually non-existant and closer to being a detriment. Now that the team is bowl bound and the offense is humming, I'm ready to get started on fixing the other half of the equation and become BCS relevant again.
I know CFN and Fiutak are four-letter words here, but I acutally thought he summed it up pretty well in this week's "Cavalcade of Whimsy"
"If I’m a Michigan fan, I’m jacked up right now. First of all, the Rich Rodriguez hot seat talk has to stop now, no matter what happens in the final three games against Purdue, Wisconsin, and Ohio State. The goal isn’t just to be decent, it’s to be a national powerhouse, and the rest of this season has nothing to do with that. Michigan will go to a bowl, and that’s the step that had to be taken; everything else is just gravy. If you want to fire him and get a new head coach, then you’re basically putting off being BCS Championship relevant again until 2014 at the earliest.
Taking the approach that the program is half full, the offense works. Kids, this is what you were buying when you brought the man in from West Virginia, and now you know that when you combine his attack with Michigan-level offensive players, very, very good things will happen. If the defense can do something, anything, then the makings are there for something potentially special. And it should be an easy sell. "
I agree, this one time.
It isn't all GERG's fault, but the defense will not be fixed under him. Once again, one of the WORST IN THE COUNTRY. I don't care if these guys are young, they don't look properly coached at all. How do you manage to let Illinois score twice on the wheel route with no one within 15 yards of the receiver?
Someone blew an assignment, was told he had blown an assignment and either (1) he blew the assignment a second time or (2) a second player had the coverage and blew the assignment. It is extremely unlikely that can be blamed on anything other than inexperience (perhaps inexperience times two) or lack of ability. I disagree on the "properly coached" comment but would love to hear Coach Schiano's take on this, as 90% of the people who write on this board cannot tell whether someone is or is not properly coached. To me (admittedly part of the 90%), it looks like a LOT of young players are actually getting a little better as the season goes along. Martin looks much better this year than last, Vinopal is starting to make some plays, Avery looked pretty good, Demens has come along, Mouton has definitely played better this year than he did last year and other totally inexperienced players are coming along, but you can't have a decent defense with 4 inexperienced sophomores and 4 freshmen on the field most of the time.
The defense has been ravaged by defections and injuries that aren’t his fault. But with the talent Michigan has, even in backup roles, there is no excuse for being one of the worst defenses in the country. Remember, Michigan is not merely the worst defense in the Big Ten. It is worse than practically all of the mid-Majors (e.g., MAC, C-USA, WAC). Michigan’s defense was torched by a mid-level I-AA program (UMass), and would likely be torched by many others of that class. In the UMass game, Michigan had every starter except for Troy Woolfolk. You’re telling me that 10 Division I-A starters and 1 backup (Rogers replacing Woolfolk) can’t dominate UMass? Something is wrong there.
The defense has been ravaged by defections and injuries that aren’t his fault. But with the talent Michigan has, even in backup roles, there is no excuse for being one of the worst defenses in the country. Remember, Michigan is not merely the worst defense in the Big Ten. It is worse than practically all of the mid-Majors (e.g., MAC, C-USA, WAC).
Michigan’s defense was torched by a mid-level I-AA program (UMass), and would likely be torched by many others of that class. In the UMass game, Michigan had every starter except for Troy Woolfolk. You’re telling me that 10 Division I-A starters and 1 backup (Rogers replacing Woolfolk) can’t dominate UMass? Something is wrong there.
Doesn't the performance of the Illinois defense contradict the 4th point? They brought in a new dcoordinator in the off-season and with the exception of this past saturday their defense improved substanstially.
I think the continuity point is valid if you have a good dcoordinator. If you have a bad dcoordinator you're probably going to have a bad defense even with the continuity.
I hope that you are history. If you think this team was going to win the past two with the talent we had, you are an idiot. We would not have won with Lombardi as head coach, Walsh as OC and Landry as DC. But we are Michigan so UNACCEPTABLE. Your logic needs work. I get the GERG concerns and share them, but I can't believe the UNACCEPTABLE comments about the overall state of the program. There has been great progress on offense this year. Normal improvement with freshmen and sophs becoming sophs and juniors well help the rest of the team. GIve RR a chance.
People like you just don't get it and never will.
"Sad to see how we've fallen. Remember when a seven or eight win season was UNACCEPTABLE?! I do."
So do I. I remember having a lot of underachieving 8-4 and 9-3 teams that would lose bowls too.
Fact is, we've been going through some tough years these last few years, but we're making improvement. 2008: 3 wins 2009: 5 wins 2010: hopefully 7-8 wins Rich Rod will take us to heights we haven't seen for a long time, why can't you grasp that it's not gonna happen as fast as you want? Why can't you grasp that we're winning more games each year under him?
Without focusing just on the points allowed, does anyone think the D played the best this week? Just a question. I wonder how we would do if Floyd played this week.
Regarding point #2, he did have something to do with the lack of depth, as did Rodriguez. To me, the most significant indictment of the staff to date is its inability to keep the players on the roster on the team--particularly on defense. Depth wouldn't be near the issue it is now if several people hadn't jumped ship.
Obviously, there are lots of reasons for transferring, and I'm privy to none of them, but the combined effect doesn't reflect well on Gerg or the staff.
right on the head! The ONLY way rich should keep his current D assistants is if we can lure Casteel here from WVU. If not all defense coaches need to be fired and we need to get a new stud DC in and give him total control of defense and hiring of assistants! this forcing RR's wvu boys on a DC clearly doesnt work!
How are people seriously considering that GERG should be retained? Are you the people that sit on the plane with a crying child next to you actively ignoring them? In the restaurant too?
- Gerg has only had two years to prove himself.
And in those two years, Michigan's defense has gone from meh to oh my god kill it with fire bad. When people look back on 2010 and think terrible defense, they will think of Michigan.
2. It is not his fault what has happened in the secondary this year.
Really? So it's just fate? Who do we blame this on? Someone does in fact have to take the blame.
3. Next year, with more defensive depth, and with more experience, we will have a much more accurate picture of the defense.
Ah, I get it, you want Rodriguez fired. Clearly we'll have a much more accurate description of the defense...and it will be awful.
4. A change to another defensive coordinator would not be good, in terms of continuity.
And it will be wonderful in about every other way.
Michigan is 114th in yards per game given up nationally. And some people still want to retain our defensive staff. How? Why? I'm so confused.
Before the season started I warned we'd be winning games 42-38. I'm not sure why everyone thinks that the defense sucks because it's all freshman and sophomores but the offense can excel with similarly young players.
A good DC given the opportunity to run his scheme can be up and functional fairly quick. I wish we had made a run at Stoops who is now at Fl St. He has that unit functioning much better. Illinois has a new DC and outside of last week they've been ok. Heck, even with an OK defense we'd be sitting at 9 wins right now IMHO.
Nope, never had faith in him and I have even less now.
Given the injuries and lack of talent there is a strong case to be made for him.
It seems many people have a problem with recievers having to big of a cushion on 3rd downs. Well, simply put our corners are not talented enough to press and play the bump. They would get smoked. Press in the coming years? Yes. Now? No.
In addition, looking at players individually has anyone significantly under achieved under him? To name a few, Kovacs has played well given his walk on status, Demens has shown great potential, Martin has been great, BG was great in his time, Brown was as expected when he was here, and Warren was good but simply left too early..
Having witnessed this Greg Robinson sympathy effect during his second season as Head Coach and Co-Defensive Coordinator at Syracuse, I’m reminded of the Yogi-ism, "It’s like deja vu all over again."
In his first season at ‘Cuse, Greg Robinson’s defense, using Paul Pasqualoni’s players and Robinson’s schemes and assistants was ranked 57th in the nation. But his team had the worst season in the school’s football history (1-10; 0-7 in Big East).
In Robinson’s second season, using some of his recruits and all of his schemes and assistants, Syracuse went 4-8 with one Big East win. That Syracuse defense was ranked 107th in FBS. With the improvement in the number of wins, there was some encouragement, and the poor performance by the defense was glossed over by the three-game uptick in victories.
In Robinson’s third season, using more of his recruits and again using all of his schemes and assistants, Syracuse slipped to 2-10 and 1-6 in the Big East. The defense was ranked 111th in FBS. Robinson’s final season at Syracuse saw his team go 3-9 and again have one Big East win, plus the nationally-televised upset of Notre Dame in South Bend the week after Robinson was fired. That Syracuse defense was ranked 101st in FBS.
By most accounts, Greg Robinson is considered to be self-confident, extremely likeable and generous to his players (two of whom were allowed to open and manage a hookah bar during Robinson’s tenure there). He ended his career at Syracuse with a 10-37 record (3-25 in the Big East), and even after he was fired, he was convinced that he was the right person to be coaching Syracuse in 2009.
If he were told that he’s going to be fired after Michigan’s regular season or after the bowl game, it would not be surprising for him to beg to keep his job, or even offer to work for free next season. He’ll emphasize that his young players are beginning to show more "want to" and he’s "really feeling it". Or he might add his classic, "It can maybe snowball into something that can catch fire..." (Google "Gregisms Tournament" for more.)
There are many reasons to excuse Greg Robinson for his underperforming defenses at Michigan, just as there were reasons to hope that a coach who had won two Super Bowl rings as Defensive Coordinator for the Denver Broncos in the 1990s would excel with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Syracuse Orange. But at what point do those excuses become smokescreens for questionable coaching talent? Compare Michigan’s improvement on offense during Rich Rodriguez’s time in Ann Arbor to the slides taken by both the Syracuse and Michigan defenses with Greg Robinson in charge. Or consider what Scott Shafer has done with several of Robinson’s players at Syracuse. Are there no candidates in the country other than Greg Robinson who would be well suited to be Michigan’s Defensive Coordinator in 2011?
I have been pro RR and even pro Greg since the beggining because I feel everyone deserves a fair chance to show what they can do. However, after reading your post it really makes me wonder. How long do we risk putting up with him?
Assume stats for his defenses hold true. Also assume we give him 1 more year to prove what he can do. What if next year he produces another 100+ nationally ranked defense? Now look at the situation we are in. We are going into Denards senior year in which we have to play Alabama, Notre Dame, Nebraska, and tOSU on THE ROAD and we are supposed to switch DC's?
That just seems like a terrible idea to me and I, for one, would rather cut ties with the entire defensive staff now as opposed to waiting until next year.
I'm concerned on future recruits being reluctant to come here due to the coaching, whether it's perceived, or not, due to the injuries we've faced.The D looked better Sat., but they looked baffled against PSU. If we don't see more improvement the next 3 games, it's time to make a change.