Watching the PSU spring game, and Desmond discussed us with Brent, Millen and Herbstreit. Desmond identified the loss to Sparty and specifically the run they scored in in OT, as a "lack of desire" due to the missed tackles on the play, and said that was more important than scheme. He also said he thought we'd score and be good on offense, but that defense was the key. Herby actually said that defense hasn't been a problem just since RR came, that we hadn't really been dominant on defense during the last few LC years either ("Oregon scored like a hundred points on them"). Millen said that you can be as great a coach as you want, but if you don't have the talent you won't win, and that it was unfortunate that RR doesn't yet have the talent he needs to run his system. I was unsettled by the fact that I agreed with Matt Millen.
Desmond identifies "lack of desire" on defense last year
*cough* Warren still on board *cough*
But he is a terrible analyst. He has fallen into the abyss that is ESPN and lacks any real inside information about the Michigan program
Not to say that I disagree with your point but could you give some examples to back it up?
He said after watching the Spring Game it was clear that Denard would overtake Tate for the starting job. If he actually knew what was going on he would have seen the practice the week before where Tate and Denard both split reps with the 1st team and both performed well. Desmond just goes off what other people tell him and is not seeking out real information from Michigan insiders. My point is his opinion on Michigan is no different than any other talking head on ESPN
Now I am going to disagree. When RR was hired and had the team practicing Desmond said that the team looked bad and didn't think they would make a bowl.
Most "insiders" are saying that Denard is the guy too. I don't know how that is such a stretch. The players are even saying really great things about him. If that is all you have on him then your argument is incredibly weak.
Former UM players are much different than ESPN analyst Desmond Howard. I am definitely not picking up what you are laying down.
Alienated himself from michigan, thus the lack of inside info....And add to that the espn agenda (to piss off a fanbase to get ratings from all fanbases) desmond likely having to follow espn's road first...
Agree defense has been an issue for a while now, not just the last 2yrs.
Unless the alienation happened in the past year I don't believe this to be the case. Desmond has been back to Schembechler Hall to work out when he is in AA as early as last year, which leads me to believe that he has not alienated himself from the program at all.
He just coached one of the teams in the alumni flag football game.
could you really say that Obi and Mouton really cared at times? I sure didnt see it when they were all over the place against illinois and wiscy. Warren looked rather uninterested and it showed. I agree with Desmond. Some of the players looked beat and just quit all together. Sometimes the truth hurts.
Kirk was dead on about Michigans defense under Carr too. I saw a stat that showed that under Jim Herrmann, Michigan posted 5 of the 6 worst defenses in michigan history. It was the whole mindset of playing to your competition. Lets get up 14 and then rely on the defense. there was a lack of aggressiveness and a general mindset of lets destroy theses guys
see, thats exactly why i think jonas and obi will turn it around - its now about their career at the next level - the chips are down ...
not a comment about them personally - read somewhere it is common phenomenon to protect urself jr yr and promote urself sr yr - sort of like producing the yr before your nfl contract is up
Definitely a lack of desire that caused Troy Woolfolk, playing out of his natural position at safety, taking on a big running back with a full head of steam, in overtime of a game where he was on the field for virtually every defensive snap because of a lack of depth, and in a game where the opponent had the ball for twice as much TOP to miss one tackle.
He'd also been held out for two or three plays earlier in the game because he picked up what looked like a shoulder stinger.
Bad exemplification by Desmond; that one was not Woolfolk's fault.
that even with a tackle State has a chip shot FG to win. I was at the game in the end zone that the play was going to and I thought that Troy was going for the strip.
I think you're exactly right. He made the correct tactical decision in the situation.
what on god's green earth does Millen know about talent?
Millen might not know shit about talent, but he is quite famillar with losing due to a lack of talent.
proves the point that some people do not get better with experience; in fact, i would say that Millen is the poster child for being unable to learn from past mistakes. He probably still gets burned by hot stoves.
... many of these kids had 3 DC's in 3 years.
Bad tackling, poor schemes, or the coaching? I think it is a bit unfair to call out the kids on desire. I can think of 100,000+ reasons why desire shouldn't have been the problem for a majority of the games.
IIRC RR was quoted last year saying that the team was "flat" at halftime in some games and played the second half the same way. I don't really understand this since we were legitimately still in every game last year at the half.
"Dumb cliches" like Bad angles, arm tackles, not getting of blocks, biting on fakes, etc...
Is Millen implying that we still don't have talent, or looking back at last year? I hope the latter. I expect the talent level, desire and overall intensity to be much higher this year.
Do not listen to Matt Millen.
I'm not sure how much Millen knows about the current roster or what it will look like when the freshmen arrive in the fall, but you can't argue that this team was extremely talent deficient the last two years.
This year's team only had three guys drafted. One was a punter and another was one of the very last picks in the draft who only got a sniff from the pros thanks to a senior season position change. That is worse than teams like Illinois and Indiana with respect to top-end talent. Throw in the overall youth and the lack of ten scholarship players and it shouldn't be a surprise that the team struggled. On top of that, the 2008 team only produced two late round picks. There aren't too many probable/possible picks in the upcoming senior class either save maybe Schilling, Woolfolk, Ezeh and Mouton.
By way of comparison, USC has had 18 players drafted the last two seasons (and still lost four games this past year). Schools like OSU, PSU, Iowa, OU, Texas, Alabama and Florida have all sent double digit numbers to the league with multiple early round picks among them.
As someone who only watches UM on TV, I'm not sure I can comment on what Desmond said. I'd like to think that desire wasn't issue, but who knows.
Herbie: for the most part I can't argue. I will say the 2006 defense was pretty darn good against about 85% of the teams they played that year. However, I do think Herbie is right in that the latter part of the Carr era wasn't exactly full of great defenses. For the most part I'd say they were various degrees above average (some years closer to average and some years closer to really good).
Millen: for the most part I can't argue what he said either. If the team you are playing has a decent advantage in talent, more often then not you're probably going to lose. Coaching definitely helps in developing players and coming up with good game plans, but if the players cannot execute the game plan, the coaching advantage goes out the window.
Brilliant analysis Desmond. We can add this to list of useless cliches, right behind starting pitchers who "know how to win".
Or do all football analysts start channeling John Madden at some point? Desmond's comments started bordering on the Frank Caliendo parody of Madden: "See, what the wide receiver was trying to do was reach the end zone because he's trying to score some points. And in football, the team with the most points at the end of the game usually wins."
In fairness, some NCAA hockey referees may need that last point explained to them.
Amid all the other reasons, I'm glad I'm not a Lions fan because I have no qualms about liking Matt Millen for being a good analyst and positive about UM.
Hey, I'll never say anything bad about Lions fans. When I was at UM, the Michiganders were in their rooms every Sunday in the fall screaming at the TV. Now that's dedication.
Barwis would neg bang the shit out of Desmond if he heard that.