I like this idea but I hate what it implies about last year and almost seems like Hoke is passing some blame.
landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
I like this idea but I hate what it implies about last year and almost seems like Hoke is passing some blame.
He is the ultimate leader of the team. Looks like he is trying to improve things. This may imply the blame is on him and not former players. I'm hopeful he is not blaming the former players.
That's kind of the way I see it. His comment on entitlement makes me think that he regrets not giving his younger players more of a voice last year and just letting seniors do their thing. I don't think there's any blame here, I just think he sees room for improvement/positive change and is adjusting.
agreed. def good thing. not sure if hoke finally did some serious self evaluation both himself and the team as a whole or acted on constructive criticism from his staff or even took a hard look at everything when nuss arrived (all seem probable - he obviously flipped some schematic and recruiting changes post-nussmeier and publicly stated so which is great) - bottom line its positive. also think, and really hoping, hoke finally understands he cannot simply transform his teams identity via sheer will and pound teams into submission like its 1970 or 1990 (ie zero FBs or TEs on roster even remotely capable blocking, along with poor OL play, does not exactly translate well to efficiently deploying jumbo and over packages for weeks). also think, and hope, losing and performing so poorly forced him to reevalute his roster/personnel management...guys like avery and beyer and freds kid should not receive so many significant snaps just bc theyre experienced or they rated highly during given periods on hokes physicalness / effort / competing scale...does not matter who it is, the 11 who present the best chance of winning should play as frequently as possible and only rotate out when efficiency and performance dips...he was still playing roster games in last few weeks of season like trotting out 2-3 walkons on kick coverage in big time games (not kovacs type walkons, but poor athletes) or constantly flipping DBs or DL not just week to week but using 3-4 guys at some positions within game. comments are good sign but really hope he finally gets it - morality points mean less than nothing when youre a very poor 7-6 - its sweet to reward walkons with some PT or allow position groups to consider themselves 1A/ 1B/ 1C and 2-3 groups of rotating "starters" on depth chart but its just sad when youre getting smoked by MAC squads and then look like a regressed team several months later in bowl game. i guess well see this fall if guys like canteen and lewis and peppers get legit snaps or if they trot out the likes of glawgow and beyer for major minutes on DL despite very little impact plays
I understand what you're saying but he doesn't have to throw last years leaders under the bus to say he needs to be better. To me, this reads as Hoke saying he needs to pay more attention to what is going on with his team because when he trusted senior leadership it didn't work out and in retrospect he recognizes that and is taking steps to make sure the leaders on the team don't screw things up again. How many times have we heard and read Hoke say that the coaches need to be better? I think he probably had a brief moment of honesty or maybe that the pressure of the job is eating him up. Either way I don't like the head coach pointing the finger at former players and then saying he could have done things differently.
The pressure is getting to him? You have a funny way of interpreting a quote.
Hoke has been saying the coaches need to be better for years and has never placed the blame on the kids. Now, in what most people believe to be a make or break year, he says the leadership on the team didn't perform. What's changed? The pressure is getting turned way up and instead of sticking to his SOP of have the coaches absorb all blame he points the finger at his former players and says because they didn't do their job I have to do mine differently. Well, guess what. If you're doing your job differently because of the results of decisions that you made, you weren't doing you job very well to begin with. I can appreciate him trying to get better and resolve things but I just hate that he is publicly stating he thinks the kids somehow failed him and the team.
The way I read it was the Coach Hoke was admitting that they were not training the seniors to be leaders. With the 4 leaders per class, every class should now be ready to lead when they are seniors.
How exactly does Brady say that they need to improve the leadership on the team without pointing fingers at last year's leadership? He can't say "You know, last year was great and all, but we felt like changing things up a little for the heck of it." Everybody on here would be roasting him for lying, being ignorant, or worse.
It sounds to me like Brady is starting to recognize that there were problems with the football program that ran deeper than just having a "Michigan Man" running the team. He realizes that he needs to change things quickly, or else he won't be around long enough to change them. Kudos to him.
you can't be mad at him cause last year sucked and he is changing things this year... I mean, you can blame him for last year, but why not give him respect for manning up and changing things.
Exactly. Everybody is so affraid of admitting mistakes and lessons learned. It seems to be even worse in sports. Like you're admitting weakness or something.
I'd be more worried if they looked at last year, said they did everything right, and it just needed more time. They changed the OC, changed the leadership structure around to give the young guys a voice at the table.
Ultimately the product on the field will be what they're judged by, and they know this. How they get there is hardly relevant.
Why did Hoke let it go on all year if he had a problem wth the senior leadership. Reactive vs proactive is always a loser. While I resect the man for his love of the university, I still don't believe he is the right man for the job. .
Reactive vs. proactive? He let it go on all year? Wow, you must really be on the inside to know that Hoke didn't try to fix it last year.
As it happens, the senior leadership seemed to do fairly well for two years.
and for changing things this year?
That's what the internet/MGoBlog does ;)
Hoke is holding everyone responsible, including himself. He saw that his old model wasn't working, admitted it and changed it. Sounds like solid reasoning and strategy to me...
Or he is admitting he was more hands off last year and was letting the captains regulate the locker room. And this year he is going to be much more hands on.
He even said if Nuss assumes the Borges position in the box upstairs that he'll be wearing a head set more often. But Nuss may coach from the sideline, which I really like the possibility of.
I want the eyes of my OC (unless the defacto OC is the HC, such as Rich Rod) up in the box. DC is different, because it's much more about energy, and your staff can help you out with some things you maybe didn't pick up on your scouting report, but I really want my OC seeing the whole field and all the things the defense is doing.
The only thing I would like about Nuss on the sideline is to better work with the QBs between drives.
And the energy he would bring. But I guess his time with the unit pre game and half time would pump them up enough.
He said he wasn't sure where Nuss would be but he put on the headset when he thought it was necessary before like at the end of close games. He said he was letting Nuss call his own game like he did with Borges.
There were so many rumors of issues last year that were constantly being dismissed by the majority of people here. It was obvious that there were problems. It's nice to see Hoke acknowledging there were issues and trying to actually do something about it.
Really looking forward to the next few years.
This is what I take from it as well. Something just didn't feel right last season and I like that Hoke aluded to it although he won't directly name individuals.
I think it will be up to the younger players to lead this team because that's basically all they got.
I think it should be noted that team chemistry and performance are somewhat chicken and egg. Was the bad team chemistry the cause for losing, or the consequence from losing? Conversely, it's easy to attribute success to good chemistry, but good chemistry is easy when you're successful.
Not only does it allow for everyone to be heard, but it also puts guys in a position to be team leaders by the time they grow into upper classmen. There seem to be many rumblings about team chemistry issues last year, particularly some older players not really encouraging the younger guys but instead just being really hard on them. I think that's part of the reason you continued to hear Hoke in the pre-season say "I really like this team". I think even the "execute better" mantra was attempting to get everyone to buy in to what they were selling, as players started to lose confidence in everything around them.
You treat each year differently from a leadership standpoint, and sometimes the approach backfires. Hopefully this makes the team as a whole closer and better prepares the future leaders of the team. I think people need to step up and keep the team hungry so the team as a whole doesn't fall into the general pessimism of the surrounding fan base and media. A chip on the shoulder this year won't be manufactured, look at mgo.licio.us if you doubt that.
As much as I have been on the site over the last year, I missed the leadership team chemistry rumblings. I know the senior leadership was great under the Martin, Vanbergen (sp?) Koger team, and I could see Kovacs and Denard encouraging the teams, so maybe not hearing this should have been an indicator.
I am speculating, but was this a team thing or was it more specific to a certain position group?
edit: nevermind. Read the article, and it is a pretty easy read between the lines. I must have either had blinders on last year or just not been paying close attention if people brought this up in the fall. Just makes me miss that group of 5 that Hoke first inherited.
But small rumblings seemed to come out, although not yet obvious at the time. Once the season was in the rearview though, it seemed the rumblings started growing stronger.
but yeah ... miss those guys.
Just win the game.
I can't remember the last time there was a player I was more happy to say good riddance to than Lewan. Talented? Sure. But man, what an asshole...
You're excited to say goodbye to an All American caliber player?
Hey Bartender - Jobu's points need a refill...
Like I said, Lewan was very talented. No one is debating that. But the guy was a headcase on (helmet twisting and fights in his last two MSU games) and off the field (Gibbons, OSU bar fight) that made lots of poor decisions. By the end of his time here, I don't remember being more ashamed to have someone representing Michigan than I was with Lewan.
The proof will be in the pudding, but this may be a classic case of addition by subtraction. The offensive line in particular is a unit that needs to opperate as a whole, so even though they're losing a guy like Lewan (and Schofield) if everyone else has great chemistry then the line could actually be better without him. And from the quotes coming from Hoke and the OL guys this spring, that sounds like its the case.
Did you miss the "talented? sure" part?
wasn't Philly excited to say goodbye to Terrell Owens? awesome athletes who do awesome things for their teams can also be bad in certain ways for their teams, no?
We've had a number of assholes in the program. It's probably good that you apparently don't know some of the others, because that means their deeds have been kept relatively quiet.
I find it the coaches job to straighten them out.
Brady should have simply done this, grabbed Taylor's face mask and say "Son , it's tough for NFL scouts to get film on you while your ass in on the bench"
"Brady should have simply done this, grabbed Taylor's face mask and say "Son , it's tough for NFL scouts to get film on you while your ass in on the bench""
And for what reason would he have done that? So Hoke should bench his All-America left tackle because he's "pressuring" the younger linemen? Yeah...that would go over well.
Seems like something Bo would say. Send a message. We we're 7-6 with him...
I thought space coyote already made the ("pressure" point) clear to you Magnus.
-Scroll down to read, or reread.
This is a very disjointed conversation you're trying to have, BeerlessTailgate. They're two completely separate issues. The person above was trying to say that Hoke should have benched or threatened to bench Lewan for whatever his "failures of leadership" were. Space Coyote never agreed or disagreed with that notion, because he talked about the most efficient way to pressure players, not whether Lewan should have been benched for putting on the wrong kind of pressure (if we are to assume that his "pressure" was the unproductive kind).
In summary, I don't really know where you're going with your posts. I look forward to the next non sequitur, which I will probably choose to ignore.
sometimes. I respect you though.
You wrote a long spiel to explain why you don't like me.
It would be a waste of time for me to try to convince you otherwise.
I'll go my way, and you can go yours.
EDIT: I see you have erased your long diatribe. Probably a good idea.
tribe I have ever been a part of. I am now writing DIATRIBE on my nametag or lanyard @ MHSAA events. If you run into me we can talk about how I run a 5-2. It works well in freshieball.
You will be a rich, rich man.
Aren't they called proctologists?
They prefer "colorectal surgeon."
I think this may be a more complex issue than what you make it to be. Carr did a great job with Joppru (I believe this was the tight end) who had been under achieving per his talent. Carr said he could either straighten out and party less, or depart the team. He spent the next few months meeting Carr every morning to run steps and turned his career around.
Lewan never had an issue bringing effort on the field, or I'm assuming, off. What I'm gueeing he was doing was being a negative influence on the team chemistry. A good leader can vary his approach to influence his teamates. It sounds like Lewan just berated them. What Hoke needed to do, and maybe he tried, was to make Lewan understand how this was not helping him, or the team win. I don't think your approach would have worked in this instance, but that's just my opinon on an issue I didn;t know was a problem until today, so yeah, maybe I should just shut up.
True, but the biggest assholes tend to leave the biggest mess in their wake.
As if their assholish deeds being kept quiet is a good thing... Yikes.
I think he's speaking more to the deeds. If you're an asshole but fewer people know it, it probably just means that your asshole moves aren't as bad.
It is not surprising that there were challenges. One of the challenges with deferring to having seniors lead is the assumption that their experience and personalities will lead to belief in their actions matching the past chemistry in this capacity.
It is hard to flip the switch and even harder to have the rest of your team believe and follow if you have spent the rest of your years not being known as a leader. I think that there were several red flags such as not having your QB selected as a captain, having another leader known more for finger mustaches, having quiet leadership as a senior in the defensive backfield, and on and on.
The vaccum created by losing and missing out in multiple classes was not only in talent and depth, but also in chemistry and leadership.
has really been the least likeable captain i can remember in over 30 years of football. i am glad he is gone, with his f**king moustache finger tattoo and twosie and false start and roughing penalties and off the field being a d**k issues.
i had such mixed emotions about his return and he delivered on every single concern.
Leave the twosie out of this!
a misdirection play.
I feel a little guilty making personal evaluations with limited insight, but the evidence at hand suggests he is equally well-described as a "great talent" as a "hipster meathead douche." To be fair, it can take awhile to mature in both respects and I hope he becomes a respected performer in the league and excellent representative for the school.
This makes a lot of sense - especially with a team that does not have a ton of upperclassmen. When you have a roster that is heavy on the upperclassmen - not only numbers but contributors, then you can rely on senior leadership, but we are not there yet.
I had the same thought. It appears that the problem was recognized early in the season and continued throughout. I wonder why Hoke was incapable of going through an entire season without making the requisite changes to solve the problem.
How do you "fix" a thing like chemistry? Seems to be a mostly structural thing, and that's not something that's easily fixable once the season is underway.
do you remove the captain designation?
I do think that back in the day, a guy like Bo could have changed player attitudes, though.
I'm not a Ross MBA type, but it would seem that if what you have isn't working, you use a different approach. I would assume, perhaps wrongly, that your coaching staff might have been in a position, to take over some of the roles that the seniors had assumed but hadn't been successful implementing.
In virtually all businesses, there are crises that occur that necessitate a modification of your management style. Maybe a football team is different, but I suspect not. Good managers figure out how to get the most out of the available pool of talent and are able to implement changes when a preconceived plan of action isn't working. While I appreciate that it is way easier to talk about this topic on a sports blog than to correct things, Hoke identified the problem early in the season, yet, several months later, very little had changed.
Ultimately, the blame must be shouldered by the person in charge.
Once the season starts the coaches get pretty bogged down with game prep, interviews, and other week-to-week stuff. It wouldn't surprise me if the offseason is the only time they have to step back and take stock of the program as a whole.
Hoke is being paid millions of dollars a year to run a program that generates a large amount of revenue, and its his job to solve problems. If he can't, then he needs to be replaced by someone who can. It was obvious by the Akron game that the team had issues, yet, even in the bowl game three and a half months later, nothing had changed.
I don't know if anyone remembers the problem that Bielma was facing with Wiscy's offrensive line play a couple of seasons back when he fired the position coach early in the season. By the end of the season, things had improved considerably, Presumably, Bielma was bogged down by the same day to day concerns that faced Michigan's coaching staff.
Again, I appreciate that sometimes, in spite of your best efforts, but looking at results as the yardstick to measure improvement, not much changed.
There could be a hundred differences between these two situations, so without knowing all the the details you can't really compare the two.
Wiscy had a veteran OL that had long been coached by a great and well respected OL coach that knew the system inside and out and taught to that system. That coach went elsewhere (Pitt, with the OC), and they brought in a new guy. That new guy tried to do things his own way, tried to change techniques and terminology and approach, etc. That clashed not only with the coaching staff, but with the veteran members of the team and the OL that not only liked the old way of doing things, but were very successful doing things that way.
So the coaching staff fired him and hired the grad assistant (who previously played for the previous guy) to go back to the techniques, terminology, and approach of the previous OL coach that had been successful. The players bought in, did what they were comfortable doing, and had a successful season.
But that is by far the outlier, and typically not the best approach to doing things (and is a much higher risk/reward type situation for a somewhat risk averse profession). But the situations are completely different, other than they both deal with an offensive line in football.
Whether the analogy works or not isn't the question, which is why over the course of the season, a situation, admittedly clearly identified early in the year, wasn't fixed.
From my perspective, football teams, in the course of a couple of seasons, are never better than the people who coach them. Some programs do incredibly well with talent well below what Michigan had for the '13-14 season. I know all the arguments about our O-line, youth movement, etc. but to go 7-6 with our schedule, and barely beat Akron and UConn, I find simply unacceptable. For me, it starts and ends at those two games. Actually, it started the year before when Denard spent the second half largely sitting on the bench and we ended up losing to a less than stellar OSU tean. If Hoke couldn't see the problems that Borges brought to the table by manner in which he ran the offense, suggested a problem with the head coach.
I have nothing personal against Hoke. I supported him until last year when I started questioning whether he was up to the job. This latest piece about leadership suggests that perhaps he is not the right person to be the head coach.
And it's not at all about the Borges part (though a "less than stellar OSU team" that was undefeated playing at home... followed by what looked like a strong performance on offense against South Carolina after Michigan was actually able to implement more of an offense for DG).
I dislike the "I supported him until last year" because we're just going in another cycle. The lack of support is obvious around here, it's payoff, unless Hoke can circle the wagons and have the players take it as a chip on the shoulder and perform better because of it, is a possibility of another dead-coach walking. Meaning recruiting drops off, meaning the leadership suffers, meaning we're in this same position again 5 years from now because we can't be patient at all.
I get it. I know "this is Michigan" and that comes directly from the head coach. I know people are tired of all the excuses, and the losing. I know people always unrealistically expect more. And I hate that this unrealistic, what-have-you-done-for-me-lately, now-now-now attitude is what fandom has come to though, because it not only doesn't help, it hurts. I know we all hope Michigan does well this up coming season, I hope Hoke turns it around this year and improves in '15. I think the win-loss record and some of the other things are an outlier in what this program will become. That is my belief and hope, and I understand others see it differently. But I don't want to be in this position 5 years from now doing it again, and I'm afraid that's where the fans are taking it whether it's the natural path or not. Like with Rich Rod, it's getting forced in that direction.
Than the Space Coyote. Nor would I try. Lets not forget that ND is still in transition I would dare to say from the Lou Holtz era, I'm talking the early 90's. Talk about perpetual transition! I can only hope thats not what we are in for because of "in fighting" I won't live that long. I need to see this team turned around and beating our rival Ohio not like ten out of eleven like the "good ole days" or the "Cooper Era" but at least every other year like the "Ten Year War" between Bo and Woody. Then I can die.... Go Blue!!!
This expresses my view of the current state of sports fandom extraordinarily well.
The only additional thing I will say is that it seems that sports talk radio has become the model for being a fan. Having a "strong take" and "calling people out" has replaced any sort of enjoyable, fact based discussion of sports.
But I don't want to be in this position 5 years from now doing it again, and I'm afraid that's where the fans are taking it whether it's the natural path or not. Like with Rich Rod, it's getting forced in that direction.
This times about a billion. I realized all the difficulties Rodriguez was having, and realized all the roadblocks that were in his way (most put there by others, a few by himself), and I hated the idea of firing him. I ended up supporting that after the disastrous end of 2010, despite my belief that Rodriguez is an excellent football coach. Even after Hoke did such a good job in 2011, I was still questioning if firing Rodriguez was the right move. Not because of any shortcomings of Hoke, but because firing capable coaches and starting over is just damn hard.
I think the same about Hoke and his staff. There are some difficulties here. Some are inherent in the situation, some are a bit of his own making. I have a fair amount of confidence that this will get fixed, and Michigan is headed to having a superb football program. Let's not make that process harder.
Hopefully it's clear this is not the old "RRod vs Hoke" thing. It's about what's good for Michigan football. Firing/Calling for firing coaches whenever things get rough is not good for Michigan football, IMO.
I dislike the "I supported him until last year" because we're just going in another cycle.
“Patience is a virtue, right? Too much patience is stupidity.” Lou Piniella
Too little patience leads to ineffectual churn. Too much patience breeds mediocrity.
Coach Hoke and his staff are making big bucks! I don't expect 10 wins but I want to see his team improve this season. Even if we win just 6 games this season I want to see improvement and player development. I'm sure Hoke will get through 2015 to prove himself, unless this year turns into a disaster we lose 7 games! I'm fearful that impatients will place Hoke on the hot seat in 2015 if he does not win more than 8 games. But I will be happy with Hoke's coaching abilities if his team is playing much better at the end of the season even with 4 or 5 losses. I don't want to turn into a ND with a new coach every 3 or 4 years! Our program needs stability and I hope Hoke is the guy to deliver!
eliminate the good year before he lost the majority of the experienced players. Can you provide examples of teams with so few juniors and seniors who did vastly better?
I'm not saying Hoke is without blame. I think it's premature to judge him a failure before he has HIS team as upperclass men.
they tried a ton of different stuff to fix it, hell that was probably half the problem is we tried something new like every week. tackle over, simplfying protection schemes, they tried just about every trick in borges book
(and no snark intended) but have you ever played or more particularly coached---at any level? Because chemistry problems are almost impossible to fix during a season. The trouble-makers are often your better players (and/or dominant personalities, see Richie Igcognito) and benching them usually exacerbates the schism. Doing nothing is an equally inadequate solution. It is simply a hard fix. You see this in professional sports and even in youth teams.
Being paid millions of dollars a year hopefully means you are a good enough coach to minimize or have fewer internal issues, but it doesn't mean you have a short-term fix if they occur.
And projecting how Bo would handle it is just that--rank speculation.
maybe the problem was misdiagnosed as on-field situations, hence lineup changes and our beloved tackle formations. hindsight is 20/20, right? no on-field remedy can fix off-field problems, except winning regardless of problems, which didn't happen...
Remember the O-line shuffling?
But I think we're all in agreement that many things in 2013 could've been handled much better by everyone involved.
I'm not sure what should have been done, obviously none of us have the details.
But once Akron happened and Lewan called out the line, and in the following game and rest of season things got worse or stayed the same, Hoke should have known there was a problem. When a guy guarantees it and things don't improve, he either can't do it or needs help.
I have wondered if something was going on in Hoke's life last year that caused him somewhat to mail it in. There was just a lack of overall urgency. Nice to see that has changed. This year he has done all - really, more - than we could have expected.
I think the way Hoke reacted on the sidelines and in the media was largely him trying to not make matters worse with regards to young players making mistakes. Even Brian Kelly was easier on Golson than he was on the more veteran Rees. Hoke is a bit more level-headed than Kelly, and I think his approach last year was one of "alright, let's go back out there and execute and do what we know we can do" in a hope to instill confidence and not have the players get even more down on themselves.
As someone who personally had confidence issues in basketball at a point in my high school career, being cussed out or yanked from the game wasn't something that made me better. It's not that the coaching staff should coddle the players, and I don't think they did, but I don't think the approach was to be more urgent and choatic with many of the problems, especially on offense (and that's partially why you saw a little different approach with some of the defensive mistakes, though not all: see Nebraska game with the young CBs).
WAS the leadership and chemistry issue. He did not involve the young line and support them. Instead, he bullied. The Incognito of Michigan. There. I said it.
That's odd, because he was voted as a team captain.
Sometimes people are voted into positions of leadership because it is expected. Lewan was supposed to anchor the line. He came back to school to do so. He's always has discipline issues. Maybe his teammates voted him captain because it was the expected thing to do, and then he just wasn't up to the challenge?
And maybe he was up to the challenge but the team still wasn't very good.
You can try and defend Lewan all you want, but for all the quotes from Hoke and the offensive linemen coming out of spring, all signs point to him being a big part of the problem.
I'm not disagreeing entirely. I just think people are latching onto some weird stuff. There were more seniors on the team than just Lewan (like the 6'6", 304 lb. guy on the opposite end of the line), and blaming a complete lack of team leadership on one dude suggests that there were some other dudes who weren't quite capable of being leaders, either.
Yeah, it was probably not the best overall group of leaders from that senior class. And if the majority of them passed on being any sort of leader, the impact of a vocal guy like Lewan would certainly carry more weight for better or worse. And it would have taken one hell of a leader to stand up to someone as imposing at Taylor.
Is this a hangover side-effect of the charges filed in March? I don't hang around the board much but my general impression was that there was nothing but love for Lewan around here.
You are mostly correct. There was nothing for love on here for the previous four years. Everyone loved his play on the field (except for those penalties at the beginning of his career), his finger mustache tattoo, his twosie, his pet pig, etc.
Then this year, there were the charges against him, his dirty play against MSU, and rumors about him intimidating people during the Gibbons investigation. Now it seems everybody hates him.
I think if the team had done well this year, people would be singing a different tune. But who knows?
In Taylor's defense, MSU have been throwing punches and trying to break our players necks for years. As a leader it was his job to do something about it.
With that being said, off the field he seems kind of like a dick.
There was a lot of talk last year about Lewan's character, or lack thereof. It really started with the Gibbons rumors, picked up some steam with the game in EL when Gholston first started playing really dirty (two years ago, and Lewan continued it last year). I've been pretty indifferent towards him, but now that all of the dust has settled, I don't miss him. I'm sure I'll miss his blocking, but not him.
The whole team voted on the captains right? (correct me if I am wrong) The offensive line alone did not vote him to be captain, Therefore 3/4 of the team who voted were not around TL every practice. A returning all-big ten-american guy is going to be voted by his team to be captain regardless of how much of a tool he was. He did not allow the young lineman to feel comfortable, instead he pressured them. You can clearly see this. It was Taylor Lewan's line and he failed as a leader. (Hoke failed by not taking control of this situation)
"He did not allow the young lineman to feel comfortable, instead he pressured them."
He pressured people?!?!?! How dare he! Nobody in big-time sports is ever pressured. Those poor, defenseless babies felt...*gulp*...pressure? Where's Dr. Phil when you need him?
See what I mean? Negative pressure makes people not perform to their full potential.
Coaches and captains pressure their charges all the time. Not all players want/need to feel "comfortable."
And I agree that the coaches and captains at least consistently applied pressure. More likely, it's the approach of applying pressure that was the issue. Players shouldn't feel comfortable last year, what with the performance, but you don't want them getting pressured in such a way as to make matters worse (leading to overthinking, freezing up, lack of confidence, lack of drive). I think that approach at times last year probably wasn't helpful from some of the player leadership, and that's what is looking to be changed.
My feeling coming into last year was that Lewan wasn't necessarily a natural leader, or at least not a natural vocal leader of an entire unit. That doesn't mean he couldn't be effective or improve in that capacity, and optimally that would be what happens as he was one of if not the best player on the team, but it didn't seem to.
I think Lewan is best served as someone that leads by example with his play and less as a disciplinarian, vocal, and approachable leader. While I certainly wasn't in a position to have a great view of everything, Lewan's body language, the way he spoke, etc, never seemed to me a guy that would be natural as an outspoke leader, and his method of leadership seemed to be "get more angry", which is only part of the job. He seemed more natural in the non-verbal role with Molk being the harder driver (and I understand this is easy to say in hind-sight). Sometimes it's just a natural thing that can't be learned, and people have to play their roles. Issue last year was there weren't many other options to assume that role.
You alude to something I thought about too. That they had named captains and guys who did the press interviews and said the right stuff but I'm not positive that these were the best leaders in the locker room.
I don't think there was a guy there to step up on the soapbox, so to speak, and push and encourage his teammates. To some those kinds of things may sound corny but I feel it's imperative for successful teams to have vocal leaders who willing and know how to positively push their teammates.
I would view Gallon as another guy more comfortable leading by example. In fact, it seemed like all the seniors I can think of, (granted there were not many which was another problem) seemed to be the lead by example types.
I think DG is the most natural vocal leader (easy to say as he's a QB), but I also don't think he felt comfortable overstepping some of the seniors, so he wasn't going to be the one that stepped up in that role as a non-senior.
My worry is that some of his confidence has been shaken personally, which makes it difficult to then lead others (though some of the worlds greatest leaders did so despite sometimes lacking personal confidence in some areas, typically they were in outside situations, ie: Lincoln and his emotional lack of confidence rather than lack of confidence in his morals and intelligence). He needs to regain that confidence, or someone else will have to step up on offense to be that guy. I do think there is a new fire on the offense, likely brough on by Nuss, but that needs to continue through the offseason and hopefully some of that can be driven out with this new approach.
Plus, you've got to factor in that he was constantly getting battered due to poor OL play. Tough to be a leader in that situation and come across as genuine. How do you lead and encourage the young guys that are responsible for the offense struggling and your insides getting mauled?
I hope they are building his confidence behind the scenes.
One thing I could never understand last year was people talking about the lack of development of DG. He had his own quarterback guru who worked with him last summer and I'm sure they were in contact troughout the year. I remember hearing glowing reports from everyone about how DG was doing. He had one of the best quarterback coaches in the country if I recall correctly.
Maybe Borges should have been there for him more, but his quarterback probably had far more time with him than Borges due to NCAA time restrictions.
- I see what you are saying. But young players entering college football, moving away from home need a sense of family. And these young linemen moved into a TEAM/FAMILY with an abusive father (Lewan) with a passive mother (Hoke/Funk). And you wonder why they floundered..
"And these young linemen moved into a TEAM/FAMILY with an abusive father (Lewan) with a passive mother (Hoke/Funk). And you wonder why they floundered.. "
You're into some good, ol' fashioned hyperbole, aren't you?
Name one instance in which a trained professional pressured anyone or told them that “the inner child in you needs to grow up.”
Hmmmm, ok, forget Greg Harden. Name some other people.
Wasn't Incognito on the Dolphin's 'Leadership Council' or whatever? (edit: yes, LINK)
Being in a position of authority/recognized by peers obviously isn't all you need to know about someone's character. Actions speak louder than words, and we've seen plenty from Lewan.
What have you seen from Lewan? Him yanking on Isaiah Lewis's facemask? I remember when Jonas Mouton punched a guy. He never faced this much hate from Michigan fans.
You have to admit that allegedly threatening a sexual assault victim is reasonably going to change attitudes. For many, the puts a different lens on his whole character, off the field and on it.
"You have to admit that allegedly threatening a sexual assault victim is reasonably going to change attitudes."
The key word there is "allegedly." There's a certain former member of MGoBlog who went down in flames partly because he so vociferously argued that those alleged threats were never proven in the investigation. And while I have no affiliation with said former member of MGoBlog, he was an intelligent poster who looked for reasons and facts.
It's actually not that tough. He hasn't been convicted. And aside from that, all it takes is someone who perceives a 6'7", 315-pounder's "peacemaking" as a little over the edge. I don't know what happened that night, but it's not hard to conceive a scenario where he broke up a fight with an OSU fan, somebody bruised their pinky, and things went too far with the law. This is why there's that whole "innocent until proven guilty thing" (which you acknowledge).
The appearance of impropriety is a phrase referring to a situation which to a layperson without knowledge of the specific circumstances might seem to raise ethics questions.
It is common legal and business practice to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
to let them "prove their innocence". This has been asked of police frequently recently. You also have a police department knowing there has been a lot of media exposure to Lewan. It's not hard to believe they would cave to polititcal pressure to avoid the appearance of favoring a football player in the aftermath of the Gibbons case much less with Lewan.
I hope you never serve on a jury. It's a scary thought. I served on a jury once and almost everyone wanted to get it over with quickly. The first vote only had two people voting not guilty. I was one of them. I insisted on listening to a tape that no one else wanted to listen to because it would take too long. They finally got the tape and took another vote. He was found not guilty. The man never knew how close he came to spending a few years in jail because the jury wanted to hurry up and get it over with. There was even one lady who said they were all guilty so she would vote which ever way would get it over with.
My point is the legal system is far from perfect. It may be the best in the world, but it's not perfect. It was a scary thing to be sitting on that jury.
You should be greatly commended for the integrity you showed on that jury -- it is scary to think how expediency gets in the way of "beyond a reasonable doubt." However, not everything is or should be processed through the legal system. For instance, there are times when a man's reputation is bound to take a beating even if he is found not guilty by a court. O. J. Simpson comes to mind. The upshot is that if one cares about his reputation -- and Lewan may not care -- then he should do more than avoid a guilty verdict in a courtroom.
Don't get me wrong. I agree on defending a guy who has not been proven guilty. I'm just pointing out that allegations like this taint a guy's reputation. That is why allegations should be either proved or disproved. In our society, where there is often no closure, allegations tend to stick. Lewan would be wise to confront this, unless he is guilty.
The helmet twist is pretty egregious. People were ready to crucify Gholston when he did that to His Holiness Denard, and rightfully so.
I've been trying and failing to find a count of unsportsmanlikes called on Lewan. He was no stranger to the personal foul.
Hoke here suggesting the leadership last year was suspect, specfically saying this year they aren't just going to 'annoint certain players'. That's not Lewan-specific, but he'd be in the group.
He's facing assault charges (LINK).
He was accused of intimidating Gibbons' alleged rape victim.
The immediate reaction to most of these has been to defend our guy against perceived witch hunts. "The damn buckeye was smirking when he talked to the cops! That Watchdog guy is insane, he's got a grudge!"
I don't think you would find many personal fouls. You might find a lot of false starts, some holdings, an ineligible man downfield...but not many personal fouls.
False starts, yes, but more personal fouls than any Michigan player that I could recall. Here's a story from very early in his career.
My memory could be faulty but I sure remember him picking up at least a couple of bad personal fouls every year. At least more than most Michigan players--Michigan doesn't tend to get very many personal fouls in general.
Like the other commenters here, all I have is my own memory of 'Lewan has gotten a number of personals', or articles mentioning a single foul in a random game.
It would be interesting to see the actual count - it would be cool to see comprehensive NCAA penalty stats for their own sake, too.
If the charges are dropped I assume we probably won't see you around very much.
perceived power go to their head. I'm not saying that's the case here but it happens.
And no one has ever chosen poorly when it comes to voting? Sometimes the person you think will be the best leader often turns out to be the worst.
My point there is not necessarily that Lewan was voted captain and therefore must have been a great human being.
It's more that Lewan was voted captain and that was the type of leadership "his people" chose. I doubt that Lewan completely changed from his redshirt junior to his redshirt senior year, so his teammates obviously saw something in him that they wanted to follow. And if he turned out to be a poor leader, then maybe that indicates some dimness amongst the voters. Or it's a flaw in the process. (Perhaps the coaches should choose the captains?) Either way, I'm not going to absolve the rest of the team for having leadership issues just because one guy is alleged to have been a poor leader.
Sure... but how did the rest of the O-lineman vote?
And, to Magnus's credit, he says maybe the method of picking captains is flawed (though in that situation, there were few other good options).
Lewan came back to take on a leadership role. He was trying to be a leader. He was being outspoken and pushing players in practice. At the time, it's a good possibility that is what the others even on the OL perceived as "leadership", because that is something we often associate with leadership though it's only a part.
Schofield was never a very vocal guy, the other guys on the OL weren't up to the talent level, were young, or also weren't very vocal. Lewan likely appeared as the most natural leader due to these circumstances. That's an issue and one hopefully this new approach fixes, as it gives younger guys a better view of what leadership is as a whole, rather than what it is often simplified to be.
Bobby Knight is a leader, and he does things a certain way. Conversely, Joe Torre is a leader, and his way is totally different. I don't doubt that Lewan was trying his best to lead the team. Perhaps his style just didn't jive with the makeup of the group.
There is also the argument that the best players seldom make the best coaches: They are too naturally talented to understand the limitations of their players. Lewan never struggled like Kalis did. So he had a hard time relating to it, and when trying to motivate him, wouldn't have any experience of having been motivated through similar struggles.
Of course, some guys aren't natural leaders. That could be true in this case as well.
And as someone that is actually a pretty big fan of Bobby Knight (though not everything he did) and some more relaxed coaches, I'd be a hypocrit if I said otherwise. When I first went into coaching, Kirk Ferentz gave me the all important advice: "always be yourself and never anything different".
I think Lewan is a guy that gets angry and shows his emotions on his sleeve. I also think he's a guy that is goofy at times. I don't think (partially because of what you said, partially for how he carries himself) that he's the type that sit and work with a player patiently or work in other ways to always get the best out of someone. In other words, I don't think he's the natural leader of an entire team. He doesn't have to be a manifestation of all great leaders, but to some degree he probabbly should have been a more natural leader as his true self, and I think in other ways he was acting as what he thought a leader should be, and that backfired.
That is in no way to say he didn't try to be. He didn't go out there and just be a dick to everyone because he thought losing and underperforming was fun. He wanted to win just as bad as anyone else, and he was likely doing what he thought was best for the team.
This whole thing is only part of the problem. Leadership on a young team is very important, but Lewan isn't the only person here, he's just a part of it. Other leaders didn't step up if he didn't perform in that role. It wasn't identified early enough. And then there are all the other issues. I don't want to place all the blame on Lewan either, I just don't think his role was a natural role for him, and on a team that was so young and didn't have others to step up, it manifested.
FWIW, I didn't mean to imply that you were questioning his effort as a leader. I just responded to your comment with my thoughts because you had hit upon the vocal/nonvocal aspect but not the style aspect. My comment was an addendum to yours, not a rebuttal.
I know very little about Taylor Lewan, but from what I do know, I was surprised he was elected captain. Guys with twosies and pet pigs and finger tattoos have their leadership roles as seniors, but they are usually not the type that Michigan elects captain. This points to a bigger issue, perhaps: The makeup of the team was so young that they didn't know who to properly select as captain, so they picked the first-round NFL draft pick and funny lovable good-time guy.
Coyote - are you getting a Culvers?
Though, if I was at my current position, and someone offered me $200k to run one, I'm not sure I'd pass that up either.
That's obviously a question that none of us can answer.
However, I find it highly questionable that the 15 or so linemen on the team would all vote for someone else because Big Bad Taylor Lewan was picking on them while the other 95 players on the team were completely clueless. If he were a total prick, the other guys would know. That's a pretty lame suggestion, if you ask me. The guys on the team interact with each other, are in the same locker room, room together, practice together, eat together, etc. I'm a football coach, but I know the reputations of our baseball coach, our basketball coach, and so forth. You might work in the Customer Relations Department, but that doesn't mean you're not aware of the people in Sales or Marketing or Personnel.
I think he was part of the problem. There has been a lot of discussion of him not helping younger problems as well as his press conference comments about the play being embarrassing. While it may have been true, it may not have been appreciated by a young line working their asses off. Also the comments about his bar nighs. I know he isn't alone but you wonder if it did affect the players.
It's possible this also may be a sign the players felt they had no were to go with frustrations about the offense. The offensive play calling may have led to chemistry issues for the team as it did here.
It was a youger team than Hoke had to deal with previously. I think he didn't realize the extent of the leadership vacumn until it was too late. I think this leadership council is a step in the right direction to make everyone feel they have a voice and can only be beneficial.
I do disagree with labeling him Incognito. There is no proof it approached that level.
"I have to be a better leader, I should have taken some of the leadership (opportunities myself) and not anointed some of that (to just senior players)," Hoke said. "I could have done a much better job with consistency. Every day.
As someone in a leadership role, I don't mind hearing Hoke admitting to this because sometimes you do delegate tasks incorrectly or delegate too much and results suffer. He seems to be doing exactly what people in that role should do though - reassess and redistrubute the authority, or indeed, take some of it back. I believe he said something in passing a few days ago about how he has not delegated as much to upperclassmen this year (that sounds more like a structural item - they'll have a role, but perhaps a revised one), and perhaps Hoke becoming a little more hands-on is part of the broader solution in addition to the schematic changes.
about this and who doesn't need more chemistry.
Nothing like undressing and showing your vulnerabilities in front of the media. Maybe its better to just hold off on all the emo drama, STFU and coach.
Everyone gets on Hoke for never saying anything interesting to the media and covering all his mistakes in coach-speak. So now we are going to bash him for saying something interesting to the media and admitting a mistake? Let's pick a side and stay on it.
We should probably come to a consensus here so that our complaints don't contridict one another so that, as a fan base, we don't sound completely bias in making every move/decision/thing a negative move.
Oh, that's been happening since PSU last year you say? Why yes, yes it has.
Wait, do we like the Fort or not?
I'm relatively indifferent.
What I don't like are actions by the team that make using "the Fort" an option.
And with your job on the line, you dont come out and blame " the leadership". Thats dumb. Just get on with it and get it done because in 2014 the media is not going to be Hokes's friend.
Half of me agrees with you. I don't like the public implication that the leadership last season was bad. The issue, for me, I that its public. This is why I love the Fort and Hoke's usual non-answers. Talking about this is a mistake.
That said, part of his job as a coach is to manage team chemistry and develop internal leadership. The leadership council qua leadership council is totally fine by me. Also, the admission (to the team) that the coaches underperformed in this regard is a good thing. Basically, everything that has been done is wonderful. There is just no reason to talk about it outside the building.
"Part of his job as a coach is to manage team chemistry and develop internal leadership".
I agree 100% that the head coach is to manage team chemistry and develop internal leadership. I'm sure he will do all of that.
I disagree that Brady Hoke needs to publicly admit, re-gurgitate or re-acknowledge coaching failures from the 2013 football season (7-6) because to do so is completely unnecessary at this point. Besides this, who cares? Except now they do because Brady Hoke brought it all back up. Forget 2013 (like 1984, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010) and move on to winning games in 2014.
Obviously football coaches make motivational and leadership adjustments every year - even mid-year to re-energize the team, because the chemistry is never the quite the same year to year. This is nothing new. Sometimes coaches stop doing things they normally always do, like after a 1-2 start in 1980 and the Schembechler-Cannavino confrontation. We didn't witness Schembechler railing endlessly to the media about the 1984 debacle (6-6), beat up/injured QB and all. So why is Hoke doing this to himself?
2014 is a critical year. All this kumbaya "we now understand leadership " stuff is great material. I even LIKE it.........on a post-season review show, after Michigan has gone 10-2 or 11-2 or 12-0. I don't see the value in more 2013-related remarks to the media during pre-season, especially after 8-5 and 7-6 results.
I don't mind people disagreeing with me on all of these points.
Hoke knows he is gone if he doesn't win this year, no question. I hope there is no déjà vu with our season. App St. was the beginning of the end for Lloyd.
Yet, there is no better alternative that is considered a "michigan man".
but I think we were something like 0 - 5 in the red zone during that game (which actually never existed). But the Oregon game that followed was the true end for Lloyd - from #5 to unranked in 2 weeks .... and possibily the worst home blow out I ever witnessed in person (though Syracuse is up there too).
I was on the golf course for the Horror, and although humilated and disappointed to no end, it paled in comparison to what I felt during the Oregon game.
I destroyed a TV with a whiffleball bat while watching the Duck make our team look like a those old school mechanical football guys just turning in circles in place.
I just hope he fixed his end of game time management issues as well, like not calling a timeout to avoid the delay of game on 3rd down against Penn State that pushed us out of field goal range.
We as corches have to corch better.
say my bad after back 2 back poor seasons. I like Brady and deep down inside I think all of us want him to win because that means Michigan is winning.
There was something missing with that team. They had talent but they weren't maximizing it. Mattison apparently made a conscious choice to play prevent and he must have had a reason. Borges' frenetic hamster playcalling worked against certain teams and imploded against others. I loved some parts of Lewan's game but he was not the steadying presence a team needs from its leader.
This is why every year when I hear "the team is really buying in this year. We're really all together and doing it for each other" I basically ignore it. It only means that last year there were issues and we're trying to change this year. That's it.
To me this is just another data point on the piling data points that the staff doesn't seem to be the best at identifying things about the team early. If team leadership was an issue, why did it take a 7-6 year to figure that out? I would think that by fall the staff should have identified this as an issue and stepped in earlier to help correct it.
And at that point they were put in a tricky spot. If you've ever been in a position of leadership where you witness the leadership beneath you falling apart or not working well, well, it's a bad situation to be in.
You basically have two options:
1) You can drastically try to change things mid-stroke (early Fall). This can fix the problem and you can get on a correct path if the leadership mix up is extremely strong in that role (these are the rare leaders that step up within the player ranks that even the previously perceived leadership naturally buys into it); or of bigger concern, can cause more confusion lower in the ranks, cause more problems overall as previously perceived leaders now fall out of favor of the staff and team, and the whole thing can implode on itself where the season not only ends in a similar record (or worse) than Rich Rod's last year, but feel's like Rich Rod's last year.
2) You can ride the course and hope that the leadership steps up and fixes things on a finer scale, as those leaders are supposed to do. You don't want all the leadership coming from the staff, they aren't going through the same things as the players are going through, don't have the same mindset. It's the difference between looking up to a father compared to an older brother. Both serve a role, both are important aspects of a unit the size of a football team. The upside here is that the leadership fixes things, the team buys in, and the whole group is stronger because of it; the downside is, well, last year.
The difficult part was that by the time this becomes apparent, you're at a tipping point with big risk. Unless they knew of the situation in the previous spring, they were kind of stuck. I think they hoped that the leadership would step up in spring/summer, because I think naturally that's what is best for any team. That didn't happen, and leadership seemed to suffer.
This move, I think, is an approach to get a feel for that earlier. You now have voices from different classes to get a better feel for the team as a whole so that these problems can be fixed in spring rather than when it's too late. I think last year, Fall came, and there was no longer a good solution for the staff with regards to player leadership.
And I nearly always appreciate your views, so I know in the past you've recognized there are shades of grey in most situations. I also understand that you're probably simplifying into two scenarios for argument's sake.
But still I disagree. The OL was the problem last year. After Lewan called out his team and things still didn't approve, that was the signal. Hoke has to act at that point. Go with the OL during practice and stay with them. You probably understand the effect just having the head coach present will have on a position group, if they're not used to having him there. So he may have done that, probably did. But at that desperate point he's got to step in with more authority. He's got to have examples from film in his mind, observe, and when he sees an error, stop everything and get a ground-up explanation on what's going on. Example: pulling play, sees Bosch run right by a defender who kills the RB. Stop practice, hold up a hand to Funk indicating you need a minute to talk this through and he needs to be silent for a moment (talk to Funk beforehand if you know you're going to do this, so he doesn't feel stepped on, if that's a concern). Have Bosch explain. OK whatever the reason is, we've probably talked about that before - what are you not understanding? It's OK guys, we need to fix this, you don't have to tell me you have the answers if you don't. Taylor give me a minute, you know your assignment I'm asking the younger guys. You're totally confused because we run 18 different things? Got it. What else? OK... good... let's talk about it more. OK let's run it again. What else happened, let's talk about it. Now bring Funk back in gradually as you work through practice. Now bring Lewan back in. Then go back and meet with some of the younger guys in private. Based on that, have a private conversation with Lewan/Funk/whoever. Fire Al Borges on the spot and have him taken away by helicopter (s/). Critique yourself for having missed it earlier. Stay with that position group every day until they improve (you can't devote as much time as you did the first day, but you can devote time).
That's a lot of bullshit I wrote up there, and maybe it wouldn't work anyway, and maybe Hoke did all of that. But it sounds like he didn't. It sounds like he leaned on coaches and hoped it would get resolved. That's an enormous error when you're in crisis mode. You are the leader and you have to step in. At least you can start getting better at that point.
I could not agree with what you wrote any stronger. Everything you said I think should've been done (if it wasnt and I have no way of knowing other than the results on the field would seem to indicate they didnt).
And I love the "fire Al Borges on the spot and have him taken away by helicopter". I wish I had an upvote plus or something to give out on posts like yours. It warrants more than one IMO.
And on a separate topic I didn't notice until today that you replied to what I said in the student tickets thread either. I didn't have you in mind when I posted that, but frankly I have made statements similar to that to you in the past (i.e. that you seem to be bragging about dropping your season tickets).
The root of my belief is this: that things are going badly, and a lot of people aren't handling it well, which is magnifying a bunch of nonsense that has nothing to do with the root cause. Losing is the root cause. And if that's true - and it's certainly debatable - that misaligns with my idea of fandom in general, and to Michigan in particular. Specific to your case, I don't think voting with your absence is helpful to the program. They won't process your like of season ticket purchase as a prompt to action to get more wins. They're already don't everything they can to win, and they (Brandon, Hoke, the players) all want to win much more than we do. So I think voting with your absence of dollars is self-destructive to the program.
And generally it's a bit of a downer to think you or any devoted fans won't be showing up. I know you're a huge fan, maybe bigger than me. Judging from the distance you drive and how long you've been coming and so on. I'm just not in agreement with the way in which you're showing your displeasure. Stay in the foxhole, and if need be, keep screaming and punching your leadership and mates in the face until they come up with a way to win this thing.
The cubs have lost for decades, yet they bring in fans every year. Yes winning makes things easier, but there have been plenty of changes that have combined with the losing. I loved going to Wrigley because of the nostalgia. No flashy lights or any wow factor. Just watching a baseball game with lots of tradition.
Changing the stadium experience at Michigan to include Rock Music and ads and removing some of the freedom for students to "be kids" (like throwing out a guy tossing hot dogs to students who cheer the loudest in between quarters), is all adding up to reduce the magic that is college sports. In addition, the constant squezzing of dollars out of the fan base to the pushing point is not helping the matter. I believe Brandon pushed the price point to a tipping point, and the fact that the team is not living up to Michigan high standards is tipping the scale unfavorably.
Again I don't think any of these complaints are made en masse unless the team is losing. It is the losing that has turned this board into a culture of complaints, where a series of nothings are piled into a flimsy totem marking failure. "I'm hurting" has increasingly translated into verbal aggression and acting out, mostly against Brandon; now Hoke, and today Taylor Lewan.
1. I'm sure some of the players enjoy the music, and so do some of the fans, but I am sure that many enjoy the band as well. To me, the band brings a uniqueness to the game. I loved it at all the games, and as much as I do enjoy some occasional 7 nation army (hey I'm human), I do miss just hearing the band.
2. There are no ads around the stadium, however, there are planty of ads placed during game day. I'm less of a stickler than some on this, but if I am given the choice, I choose no ads and slightly less revenue
3. Price point and market price. I can blame Brandon for setting this too high. Michigan is one of the highest student and regular ticket prices in the nation. If we have a drop in attendance then yes, this does mean he is above market price. That is exactly what market price indicates. Yes this correlates to the success of the team, but there are other contributing factors. The fact that there are available tickets, and tickets may be available much cheaper during the season indicates to me that price point is above market price. I believe that Brandon wanted to test what the market price is, and with other factors (team not being great as you point out being the biggest), he appears to have overshot.
Feel free to ask yourself more questions though. Brian asks Brian all sorts of questions and I have read his stuff for years.
I don't think the job of the AD is to maximize revenue. The NCAA is a non profit organization. To me this'd and he needs to run the department in the black while keeping competitive facilities and a winning atmosphere ( both in and out of the classroom). And choose coaches that can both win and represent the university.
My personal belief is that Brandon has increased the prices more than necessary. I understand his vision for upgrades to non revenue sports, but personally feel that it is a mistake to price the market to the edge that we are at this season. The BIG network is a huge financial boon and apparel deals should offset the costs enough that you don't need to raise the prices to the tipping point of fan attendance.
I don't think being AD is an easy job and many haven't been great. But this is michigan and I have higher or different expectations for how the department should be run. I personally think Martin did a better job, with the exception of the handling (not necessarily the who) of the football coach hire.
I'm glad Hoke is acknowledging one of our glaring weaknesses especially down the stretch. Clark has alluded to some internal strife and Kalis and Magnuson in their sping interviews all but said that Lewan and Schofield were great players, but they think they will be better without them because at least the OL will be a more "cohesive" unit.
Hoke is always preaching that eveyone needs to compete. I commend him for looking at the traditional "play for the seniors" dynamic that he came in with and creating a dichotomy which also involves some of the younger contributers/leaders.
With all the youth on the team how could we not? Everyone needs to get a fire in the belly if we want to right the ship and relying on seniors who may or may not be your hardest workers or biggest contributers seems like an easy way to string together a lot of mediocre seasons.
He is already starting to wear real thin on some folks with the bland coach speak and poor results to go with it. Time to simply put or shut up, but I am glad he is improving the leadership and being accountable. That's at least a start.
I'm glad Hoke is recognizing the need for a change. Although seniors are usually great leaders, it is probably best that there are a few designated leaders from each class.
While I'm definitely encouraged to see Hoke taking steps to remedy the situation now - can somebody please explain why he either chose to ignore the issue last year or was oblivious to it while it was going on? I dont really see a third option for him here - either he knew it was happening and did nothing about it or he wasnt aware it was occuring and to me at least, neither of those choices give me a great deal of confidence in him right now.
I think it's just hard to change course in mid-stream. Implementing something like this in mid-season would seem like a panic move.
I agree. Stopping in mid-stream is not easy and sometimes painful.
Sure it's painful. And yes it's difficult. I know this first hand as I've both done it and also taken the course that Brady did and regretted it after the fact - just like Brady does now.
But I'd argue not nearly as painful or difficult as 7-6 with losses to MSU, PSU, Nebraska, OSU and a butt-kicking in a third-tier bowl game because we didnt come close to winning the B1G.
He's talking about pee pee.
I guess the SEAL Training didn't pay off. Remember when that was going to be the difference? This is just filler for the papers. Blaming Lewan because guys couldn't block is weak. That's their own responsibility along with their coaches. Leadership is mostly just a bunch of bs for the media and the coaches to talk about. The only time leadership has really any relevance for a football team is in the offseason when the coaches aren't around. If you can make sure your guys make it to their workouts and keep the trouble to a minimum you have done your job as "leader". During the season coaches handle most of this stuff.
I can assure you that being a leader in football extends to other facets of the game than just playing mommy during the offseason.
As someone who has been a player and has coached teams with both good and bad leadership, I can tell you that the difference is very real and very significant. Maybe it gets overstated by the media because it's easy to point to a good team and equate it to good leadership and a bad team to one with bad leadership (when sometimes they may just have a lot of talent or little talent, but the talking point is low hanging fruit), but having seen teams with seemingly equal talent perform drastically different because of difference in leadership, I can tell you the affect is real.
There certainly is a difference of having good leaders or not on your team. But it doesnt excuse young guys from mailing it in. Especially if these are "Michigan men" that we hear about - and wonderful student athletes as we hear about in every recruiting roundup under the Hoke era.
Thomas berated player who came to the Pistons in the Bad Boys all the time - he still was considered a great leader. Because they won. If they didn't he'd be considered a cancer. Funny how the talent around you and how self motivated it is reflects on you as a leader. Things do not happen in a vacuum.
If the OL surprised to the upside all we would have heard was "Lewan was tough on us, and held us to a nearly impossible standard so we strived to get there and it helped us so much!!!"
You dont know what Lewan was doing one way or the other so it's impossible to say what the comments would be if we had won more.
And theres also no evidence that any of the young guys "mailed it in." Theres a big difference between high school and college and without good leaders to push them and show them the ropes the young guys might have just had a hard to knowing how to handle their business.
Theres an awful lot of conjecture in this thread based on one very nonspecific quote.
I think we agree in princicpal, I just didn't express it very well. Leadership and chemistry are important to winning teams but I think it's a bailout position for coaches and media. We get so much fluff it's impossible to tell what the truth is. This article is as much fluff as the fluff about great leaders heading into last season.
Blaming Lewan for the play of the line is ridiculous though. People need to take responsibility for themselves and stop blaming others. I have no idea if Lewan was a good leader with bad followers or if his style didn't mesh or he's a bad leader. What I do know is his effect on wether or not Kalis knew the plays or if the line could execute a block effectively was minimal at best.
Agree and disagree with what you're saying. I do agree that I think the "leadership issue" is primarily just a media ploy to stir discussion and interest. However, the idea that leadership doesn't matter is a complete joke.
Anybody who has ever played a sport at ANY level can tell you the difference between a team with strong leadership and a team with weak leadership. Obviously, at the college level, the leadership is the biggest in the offseason as the coaches aren't around as much, but it's also about setting an example, encouraging growth, and getting guys motivated. People have ripped on Hoke's player development non-stop. All three of those things are incredibly important in player development.
Do I think fans ever get a full perspective on this? Absolutely not, but that doesn't mean it doesn't matter.
Was the Cali leadership trip prior to the 2013 or 2012 season?
Wasn't it both?
before last season, although it may have been before both.
It's amazing how many people become psychologists the minute their favorite team struggles.
Well, its interesting that they tanked the K St game, the last one for the seniors.
Oh yeah? What about all the character men Hoke has recruited as FR and SO? I was told they all fit "the system" or are character guys? YOu don't give up on your team even if you dislike 4 seniors. I was a far worse athlete than any of these guys are but I had personal pride even at the HS level to always give my best. It didnt matter what a coach said to me, or if I disliked an upperclassman - when I am out there I am going to give my best because that's in my nature. I thought Brady Hoke was just recruiting that sort of guy now - so the young end of the roster should not just lay down in a bowl gam eand get punked because 3 seniors rubbed them the wrong way. If they do, all these comments about how wonderful character guys they are, are nonsense
For those of us with a special connection to the '97 team, one of the occasionally told stories surrounded Chris Floyd's subtle, but extremely important leadership. Floyd wasn't a captain -- wasn't really even in consideration. Floyd wasn't a stat leader, so to speak, on the field. He rarely rushed the ball. He did have a well-earned reputation as doing the dirty work, specifically lead blocking. During Floyd's senior year (1997), Chris Howard made a significant jump in rushing efficiency. To go back and watch the game film, Chris Floyd certainly deserves a good chunk of the credit for Howard's surprisingly good year.
Where am I going with this? I cannot shake the memory of hearing how many of the more-recognized leaders on the 1997 team cite Chris Floyd's speech at the first team meeting at the beginning of training camp as being the emotional catalyst for the 1997 season. For those of you too young to remember, the 1997 success came as a surprise to many, as most national pundits thought little of Michigan before the season (Side note, the 1997 team had MAJOR OL doubts before the season. Three of the OL who started the majority of the season had virtually zero experience going into the year -- Chris Zieman, soph., Hutchinson, RS Fr., who played DL as a true freshman on the scout team, and Jeff Backus, RS Fr.).
Here's an exercpt from a 2012 interview with Floyd and the WWL:
WN: What’s your favorite memory from Michigan? CF: “I have a lot of memories here. One of my favorite memories was during my senior year when we came up with our team goals and our personal goals as well. I remember at this particular meeting that it lasted so much longer than it had the previous three years. It was a lot of thought put into what our goal would be and what our model would be for that year. A lot of guys had an opportunity to speak on it and me, normally, I’m a quiet guy and I don’t speak too much but I did speak at this particular one and I told the team what it would take for us to win. We really weren’t focused on the national championship but to win the Big Ten. I said we need everybody, all the practice guys, the walk-ons, everyone was important to give us the best look. Even that being the case, sometimes I would go out on the scout team to give the perfect look that this walk-on or freshman can’t give. That was one of the things that everybody bought into and the scout team bought into to try and imitate our opponents the best possible. That helped us out tremendously during the year. http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/colleges/michigan/post/_/id/4995/catching-up-with-former-rb-chris-floyd/refresh/true
While this is someone speaking about them self, I've seen/heard too many other '97 players corroborate Floyd's speech to discount its true effect. Does this year's team have a Chris Floyd? I guess we'll find out.
I remember quite a few people including myself on here saying there was a lack of chemistry and people went "NO COLONEL SANDERS YOU'RE WRONG MAMMA IS RIGHT! THE TEAM IS JUST YOUNG!!!!!!!!!"
Yea the youth excuse is getting pathetic and exhausting. We're soft and in disciplined.
Don't younger guys tend to be more soft and undisciplined than older guys?...
Likely making chemistry and leadership even more important.
Black, White, meet Grey.
The young team had something like 4 seniors. If they had more seniors (thus being an older team), they would have a larger pool from which to get their senior leadership.
The issues go hand in hand. I really cant understand your point, other than to disparage those of us that think having more older players is better than having fewer. And that's a weird stance to take, anyways.
Taylor Lewan is not my favorite UM football player nor human being but I am a bit concerned about threads like this that seem to be pinning almost all of last year's ills on 1 player. There were probably 10-15 reasons for last year's downfaill and Lewan was just one. This seems like a lot of recreationist commentary to make everyone feel better that now that we got rid of said "cancer" all will be well.
I know it had nothing to do with character but Beilein faced a far greater "crisis" mid year with Mitch going down, and rejiggered the whole team around the loss of the best big man and just chugged along. So if there was an issue with leadership last year it is on the head coach to recognize it early and start thinking of ways to fix it, not come out 5 months later and just throw people under the bus via "between the lines".
The coaches did not do a good job last year - no matter the "leadership" nonsense. Bad play calling, bad secondary coaching, ineffective defensive line, horrid interior OL - that was on coaches, not leadership. Not having your team ready to play a bowl game after 5 weeks of prep - that's Lewan's fault? Bullshit.
Everyone rah rah'd Taylor's comments after the Akron game on these same boards - if they had reeled off a 8-2 run after that he would have been pointed to as the turning point. Some of this hate has gotten egregious and speaks of trying to find a simple solution to a host of complex problems.
of guys he recruited, guys motivated by what he was selling, guys whose imaginations were inspired by his vision. Hoke and company did pretty well with the tail end of Carr's recruits. I realize many things contributed to that but I wouldn't dismiss that Hoke spoke the language of Carr when it came to the program. Things like that are what leaders use to rally the troops. Leaders rely on shared values to motivate.
I see many are discounting the role of leadership. I couldn't disagree more. Every successful organization has strong leadership. The source and styles may differ but it isn't absent.
Leadership won't matter if lineman are being blown three yards off the LOS.
Um. Leadership is definitely the problem if that happens. The coaches can only get so much time with the team especially during the summer - it's up to the players to put their own time in to get better. You think players at schools like Alabama are sitting around drinking during their summers? No.. they're working as hard as they can to get stronger, tougher, and know their playbooks. If there is no team leadership from within, the younger players won't know how much work they need to put in to get better. It doesn't matter if the O-line spends the 5 or so hours a week alotted with Funk if they aren't putting in the time outside of practice to implement suggestions and learn schemes.
I agree that leadership is necessary. I'm saying it's not sufficient.
to be fair, those Alabama guys are also quite a few years older than the first year kids on the line last year.
How do we know Lewan is a bad guy? We're not around him. He sounded like a good guy in all his interviews. Do we even know the details of what happened with the Ohio fan?
He's not necessarily a bad guy, but he has handled himself very poorly on multiple occasions.
Chemistry is a fickle thing on teams. You never know what might break it either. For me, I look at the team that played against Notre Dame and the team that took the field the next week against Akron. They were completely different. I wonder what happened that week. I thought at first that it was just a let down from a huge game and a huge rivalry, but as the weeks went on, it didn't get any better. By the time we got to the bowl game you could tell there was 0 chemistry left on that team. I think something happened that week after Notre Dame and it wasn't pretty.
The mob has turned on Lewan now. It's not his fault - it's the head coach's fault, then the OC's, then the OL's. It was clear after he called out the team vs. Akron that Lewan couldn't will his position group to perform. Maybe in fact he wasn't a great leader, but I don't see one article as evidence of that. Regardless... it's the job of the coaches to correct.
I regret that burrito last night...psych!!!
Remmeber, Hoke is crediting a change in leadership STRUCTURE, not the leaders themselves. It seems like he's saying that he felt like Freshman and Sophmores (who played a number of important roles) didn't have enough input, and he's changing that. I don't think he's saying "Lewan is an asshat", I think he's simply saying "If young guys are going to start, we need to have more imput from them and their classmates."
Actually, OP left out the last part of the quote, which reads "Lewan is an asshat."
Shocking read /s. Hate to say I told you so..but I told you so. This guy is clueless.#Obvi
PS...Hoke played Christmas songs DURING practices last year leading up to the Bowl Game. This is the bowl game we got embarrassed in, where our players looked like they didn't want to be there. Wtf
Yeah! With more rap music during practice we would have killed KSU! #isthisajoke?
C'mon. Who cares if he played Xmas songs. Maybe he felt the team needed a more lighthearted theme in order to gel. Sure they got embarrassed. But do you really really think the outcome would have been any different had they played AC/DC instead. Get over yourself.
Playing Christmas songs you say? Well it could be worse......
Man I don't get why everyone harps on this. I loved it. Sure, RR didn't have the wins and losses success here we would have liked but he loved his players like they were his kids. I can respect that.
Exactly. The criticism of the Rodriguez/Groban thing smacks of the "MEN DON'T CRY OR HAVE FEELINGS!!!!" attitude. Maybe it didn't strike quite the correct chord, but Rodriguez was trying to show that he cared for the players. Good for him.
Full disclosure: I hate Josh Groban's music.
I care. He should have played "holiday" music.
Every post you excrete on this board lowers the collective intellegence of all who read it like a massive dose of toxic chemicals straight into our brains. Please stop posting. You know nothing about anything. He's clueless? Pot meet kettle!
I read this as more of a structural change that crapping on the seniors (both now and in the past), especially given how few seniors are on this team. But I'm starting to get sick of this staff's reliance on excuses when things aren't going great.
They certainly seemed to have everything working when the team went 11-2, but then it was Borges saying the offense wouldn't work with Denard as well. Then he got Devin in, and then it was issues with the offensive line not blocking properly and everyone not being on the same page. Defensively, it's been all about not having the right pieces at certain positons while yo-yoing with the lineup. I absolutely understand that there have been issues beyond Hoke's control with regards to recruiting, attrition, and injuries, but at some point you'd hope all of these veiled shots at guys who departed would end and the coaching staff would stop finding reasons or "needs for change" and just start performing up to expectations.
2013 is the one that's not like the others in that scenario, in terms of coaching performance. Hoke made some significant changes, including the OC and the defensive scheme and personnel (4-3 under to over, move Ryan and Ross, more aggressive coverage). I'm OK with this. 2014 begins with the pendulum dead in the middle, though I admit I'm a big fan of Hoke's character. But Brian's right, this is the year. M's coaches have to be better than the opponents.
Re: 2011 = glorious.
Let me preface this by saying I am going to take 2011 and run with it since it was the only thing near glorious we've had since 2006. But a closer inspection shows a lot of things went right - a lot of "Carr's players" (as everyone says now) were seniors... and a lot of opponents sucked that year. And I still have no idea how we stole the bowl game.
2011 ND was 8-5, 2011 OSU was 6-7, Illinois was 7-6, Purdue was 7-6, and Northwestern was 6-7. We beat a lot of .500 teams that year and our top rival had its worst year in 12+.
The one team that sort of played up to its normal standards that we beat was Nebraska at 9-4.
So I think it was a good year and we beat who we SHOULD have beat which is something a lot of Carr teams failed to do (a lot of 8-4 seasons should have been 10-2). But upon closer inspection, Mattison installed something called defense, we had a bunch of upperclassmen, Denard played great and we beat a lot of .500 teams. So the record was great but now that we have 3 years to really inspect what is going on, a bit of this was circumstance. Just like I think 2015 - with or without Hoke - should work out really well with major rivals at home, a bunch of juniors finally coming of age, an offense that returns everything but the QB etc. Some years are just laid out for success and 2011 in retrospect was. Didn't mean we could not have went 9-4 just as easily as 11-2 but it was a bit of an outlier.
But it's still hard to go 10-2 and win a BCS bowl. You have the record you finish with, and get to brag or lament as appropriate. 2012 could have easily been another 10-2 with a few more fortunate bounces, could have easily won that bowl game.
Maybe it's a matter of perception but I have to disagree. I don't know how you can read that and not see at least some knock on last year's seniors. It may be unwarranted but it's there for all to see.
I saw it as a knock against last year's senior, and I think they deserved to be knocked. As I said below, some of the issue is that Michigan has had very few seniors (and 5th year players) of late. If they failed to step up as leaders, why is it so wrong to say so -- it's their team. Hoke, like a good leader, blamed himself as much (if not more) than he blamed anyone else.
"...you'd hope ... the coaching staff would ... just start performing up to expectations."
Whose expectations Bronx? That's really important to identify because they may, or may not, be rational expectations. I tend to feel like those of the fanbase in here are exceedingly irrational given the depths the program sunk to in the not so distant past. Leadership issues revolve around the number, quality and character of a program upperclassmen. When there are few if most aren't good leaders you have what we saw last year. Again, these are lingering issues that only time will solve. In a few year Michigan will have HUGE senior classes.
I think - no, i hope there is a general expectation that Michigan is a dominant football program that earns respect from its peers and its fans for its play, the manner in which it conducts itself and its record and accomplishments, all equally. It seems like there are many who have lowered expectations, relying too heavily on the one we have mostly accomplished - the manner in which we conduct ourselves as a team and program. Hoke seems like a really great guy of high character. I personally want more. Maybe a lot of people here don't agree with me, but I want more.
... a new defensive coordinator saying he plans to make the team "more aggressive." It's only one half step away from meaninglessness coach-speak like "toughness" and "physicalness" and such. "Chemistry issues" have little to do with why last season was so disappointing. The biggest reason, by far, that last year was so dismal was plainly shown by the scouting report on Taylor Lewan that Brian linked to on the blog last week -- the one that quickly moved from a scouting report on Lewan to an evisceration of Michigan's overall offensive scheme. Coach Hoke has already made the only move he can to attempt to address that problem. Everything else is just window dressing.
Granted, window dressing is all we have during the off season. I don't mean to denigrate overanalysis in general, but only on this particular point.
Hoke seems to be more passive than assertive which can't bode well for the future. Anyone who is comfortable delegating as much as he did while things were not going well makes me nervous. (He admitted to this in a recent article as well) If I was Brandon, I would want a spitfire at the helm. And I know it would be easy for him to say no one is ever happy.....which is true.....but when things are getting progressively worse from year to year and you're publicly admitting you were too passive and need to do better..,..I just don't know if that's the guy who's going to get you to the promised land.
The amount of despair and angst on this board is unbearable.
And this is coming from a life long Astros fan. They are more optimistic than the posters here with less reason to be so.
One of the interviews from a guy on the line (Mags or Kalis maybe? sorry don't remember) where they were talking about learning from each other so far this offseason as opposed to the seniors on the line during the 2013 season made me wonder. I kind of got the impression that they were saying that Lewan was hard to play with/learn from. It did make me wonder why the line never looked cohesive. I know there are other factors that went into it, but if there isn't chemistry on the line, that's a big problem. Judging from some of his off-the-field problems, it wouldn't shock me if Lewan acted like a total prick if someone fucked up in practice or in the game. He was a hell of a player, but guys like that can cause real problems for team morale, which spills over into performance. Hopefully this year the line will gel early and we'll see great improvement. It's 2014, fergodsakes!
leadership. Plain and simple.
Back in early 2011 right after Hoke got the job there was a lot of discussion about his formalized program for building leadership within the team. He mentioned that usually he and the coaches worked with the seniors who then worked with the rest of the team to pass the skills on and after a few years the process simply worked, but that for the first year the coaches had to work with all the team members because the players, especially the seniors, hadn't been exposed to the program for their underclass years. That approach had been successful with prior Hoke coached teams and given the fact that the 2011 seniors had all made a personal commitment to each other not to let the team fall apart during the coaching transistion there were plenty of seniors commited to providing leadership. Between the direct action of the coaching staff and that of the senior class there were many different "styles" of leadership available to motivate the team and generate strong positive chemistry.
By 2013 there were comparatively few seniors left to implement the program and fewer "styles" of leadership to operate. I'm sure that the seniors and the captains did their very best to provide leadership and build team chemistry, but apparently the structure of the leadership program did not allow for enough leaders to emerge.
In 2014 Hoke is again faced with a shortage of seniors so he has come up with a new structure so that he will have no fewer than sixteen leaders for the team each selected by the members of their class. (As an aside I find myself wondering how red shirts fit this model.) Also Hoke and the rest of the coaches will again (as in 2011) be working on leadership with members from each class not just the seniors and relying on them to pass the lessons on. Rather than coaches intervening to address a problem, they will be part of the process from the very beginnings of this team.
It is reasonable to expect that last season Hoke would have foreseen possible leadership issues from the dearth of seniors. Perhaps he did but not to the extent that emerged, or perhaps he felt that with notice the seniors and captains could manage and was proven wrong. Perhaps he felt that his program refined and proven over several years would stil produce the desired results even under adverse circumstances. In any event, by his own admission, his program (not the seniors of 2013) failed to produce the desired results and in the offseason he analyzed why and has made structural changes to address the failure.
Other than getting into a time machine to go back and fix this last season what more can we reasonably expect him to do at this point?
Not saying that Lewan doesn't share the blame, and I am in no way defending him, but did any of the captains show any leadship?
Story time: late in the OSU game when we were driving, the coaches were getting all the defensive players up to push the offense (most were already up on their own). Ryan and Morgan were the only two sitting on the bench, and I could see Ryan say "I'm not standing" to Morgan. It made me kind of sick. (FYI - my seat was in the 1st row behind the defence).
Lewan wasn't the only problem. Did any captain actually stand up and lead?
It's just like the fucked up markets in here -- the new normal says good news is bad news.
Fer fuck sake guys! The leader of the Michigan football program comes out and makes a positive change to the way that player leadership is dealt with within the program, and the doubters STILL use that change a log to throw on their simmering fire -- it's pathetic.
Why didn't he do anything about this last year? How do you know he didn't? As someone else said, "team chemistry" isn't something that can just be "fixed" by a coach. Hoke, appropriately, puts much of that on the players and the upperclassmen. If they fail, or if they are a negative influence (as seems to have been the case with Lewan), there is only so much that a coach can do.
Even the most effective leaders make mistakes. But, when mistakes are made, they own up to them, and make changes that they deem appropriate to rectify the problem(s). Hoke is doing, he is in the trenches every day running the football program. He makes the decisions, and then lives with the consequences of those decisions. What do you guys do? You sit back and nit pick every shread of news, every comment, every rumor, and wring your trembling hands and spin it to suit your doubter's mindset. Doing isn't easy, and neither is trying to solve problems within a dynamic and every changing system.
I am so sick of listening to you guys bitch about something you know NOTHING about.
If RR had pulled this, most MGoBloggers would be up in arms about his lack of respect for "tradition". But when BC does it, it's OK. What a bunch of hypocrites.
The 2011 seniors, who were coached by RR for three years, didn't seem to have any leadership issues. Guess that means RR did a better job of teaching that than HC.
You shouldn't label a group when you clearly are unfamiliar with the popular stance of that group at the time. MGoBlog was heavily in favor of Rich Rod. And Rich Rod did change tradition with respect to how captains were picked for each game, I don't recall many on here being upset about it. So not only is your angry rant misplaced, but you're also insinuating posters (many of who have been very negative about the current staff recently) should be more negative because the last coach was treated unfairly and wrongly so that should continue to happen; after all, posters correcting what was previously a highly flawed approach to handling a coach is akin to, oh, I don't know, a coach correcting an approach that was previously flawed: both should be insulted for the hypocrites they are. And who the hell are "BC" and "HC"?
Anyway, word of advice, don't call people hypocrites when speaking out of your ass about things you don't know about.
I don't comment often but I read the board practically every day. If you can't recall all of the people calling for RR's head because he didn't respect the "tradition" at UofM, then that's your problem, not mine. When Hoke changes a "tradition", however, those commentators are no where to be found.
You don't know me from adam, yet you can use a personally insulting phrase to address me. I think that says alot about you and your character.
Post-PSU in 2010. Before then, people would be heavily lambasted for even insinuating such a move on MGoBlog, negged into oblivion, and consulted to seek the Free Press or MLive for their Michigan football needs (and like-wise burn in a hellish fire with them). MGoBlog was like a bastion for those that were willing to change tradition if it meant progress. It was the epitome of optimism with regards to what Rich Rod's revamped offense meant for Michigan's future: from McGuffie, to Minor Rage, to Tate and then Denard. With every successful tweak of the offense, this blog and the commentors on this blog salevated over the possibilities that Rich Rod presented for Michigan football.
Then PSU in 2010 happened with DBs running downfield with wide open WRs catching deep outs with no one within 10 yards of them. Then people started second guessing. It wasn't until pre-bowl game to his ultimate firing that people became more open to questioning what Rich Rod had done to Michigan. Yeah, there were people that didn't like a CB getting handed the #1 jersey, stuff like that, but on here they didn't use that as ammo to get rid of him, they basically said "I wish he wouldn't do that because this gives the idiots that want him out easy ammo".
So you can make this some how about the previous coach that was doomed by many that certainly weren't on this blog, and you can try to use that to doom this coach for some reason. In my opinion, that shows you don't have the best interest of the team in mind, but instead, have your own interests and misplaced blame to try to justify.
There is no better or clearer evidence that you are wrong than Rich Rod changing his approach to leadership and how captains were decided by a board that was perfectly fine with it.
Who the hell is Adam? BC, HC, Adam, you keep throwing up names and initials like they mean something. You called this board full of hypocrites for something that frankly is very untrue. It's revisionist at best. I called you out for inaccurately calling out many on the board, if you want to poorly try to debate that by then trying to slandar my character, you're barking up the wrong tree with that middle school logic.
I'll simply say that my recollections about how RR was treated, and when, are different than yours.
I just find it hypocritical to attack one coach (RR) for making changes in how captains are elected while giving another (BH), a free pass or the benefit of the doubt, when he does the same thing.
Space Coyote is correct - this board was always pro-RR. There were a handful who were against him, but they were a clear minority. Only at the very end was there any real discussion about his job status.
Here's a link to a presser on August 9, 2010. Little to nothing negative about Rich Rod here. Rich Rod also decided to have two permanent captains and two elected for each game (a change to tradition). That lead to such hostile comments as:
"I like that they have voted for their two permanent captains at the beginning of the season. While I also like the game captain philosophy as a rotating honor, I think continuity of senior leadership across the season is important, and welcome the return of that tradition."
"The best thing about this to me is just how comfortable everything seems. It's all in the little things: not calling out Woolfolk, listening to the team and allowing them to elect captains, saying "we will worry about the outside stuff, the team needs to worry about football" and knowing that that is absolutely true. There is no sense of tension with the team or the press, it's all just business as usual. Which, really, is what we all want in the end."
"I like the fact that we have two permanent captains named for this season, along with two honorary captains. I like that there seems to be more accountability and ownership amongst the seniors on this team. Do we know why Rodriguez changed his policy on captains for this season and is this going to be the way things are done for the future? Did the team select Schilling and Moundros or was that decision made by the coaches?"
"Senior leadership is the best news to me. And RR listened to them and made two permanent captains.
The Team, The Team, The Team."
Need I continue with this?
First, who is BC? If you say Brady Choke, I'd suggest you take the time to spell it out. The burn will be so much stronger if people know what you're talking about.
Second, Coach Rod tried his damnedest, came up short, and now works for Arizona. That discussion is old, tired, and entirely irrelevant in this thread (and probably all others).
Third, mgoblog is probably the last place on earth to be accused of anti-Rodriguez bias.
Finally, Hoke has a much better record than Rod, and so is given the benefit of the doubt much more easily. This is how the world works. It's actually a pretty good way of living on earth.
Your statement that "Hoke has a much better record than Rod" is simply untrue. RR's college coaching record is 136-94-2 while Hoke's is 76-63. ThisTTThis T
Your statement is an illustration of the "bias" I see so often from so many bloggers on this board.
I made two typos in my original post, "BC" & "HC", instead of "BH" for Brady Hoke. I have been following Michigan football for 60+ years and would like it to be successful. I'm doubtful Hoke is the guy to get it done, but I would not be disrespectful and call him Brady Choke.
At Michigan. I didn't think I had to spell that out. But now I have. Brady Hoke has a much better record at Michigan than Coach Rod did. And thus, he gets the benefit of the doubt from Michigan fans that Coach Rod did not.
Care to give the board some "historical facts" to dispute that?
Your statement that "Hoke has a much better record than Rod" is simply untrue. RR's college coaching record is 136-94-2 while Hoke's is 76-63. ThisTTThis T
Your statement is an illustration of the "bias" I see so often from so many bloggers on this board.
I made two typos in my original post, "BC" & "HC", instead of "BH" for Brady Hoke. I have been following Michigan football for 60+ years and would like it to be successful. I'm doubtful Hoke is the guy to get it done, but I would not be disrespectful and call him Brady Choke.
At the end of it all guys, this is a football team for, by, and of students. They are responsible for the chemistry -- the coaching staff can only do so much. Michigan has had extremely small senior classes and it's showed. If the upperclassmen are few in number and the natural leaders within those few are even smaller, what the fuck can you do?
Michigan is still suffering from the effects of all the turnover and changes. Rebuilding takes time.
THIS IS "throwing players under the bus":
"Marcus [Fillyaw] was absolutely awful. That's about as PG rated as I can say it. He was awful. Our guards were awful. Our three starting guards had one assist and seven turnovers. They must think it's a tax credit!" he said. "It's unbelievable how our starting guards played. And lets talk about our big guys. Two for 11. How can you go two for 11? My wife! My wife can score more than two buckets on 11 shots because I know my wife will at least shot fake one time." Hinson also said his players were "uncoachable right now" and called them "mama's boys."
THIS IS NOT "throwing players under the bus":
"I have to be a better leader, I should have taken some of the leadership (opportunities myself) and not anointed some of that (to just senior players)...I could have done a much better job with consistency. Every day.... (I should have stepped in) a little more, yeah. I think that's part of it."
well said Don!
Eh, why can't both be cases of throwing people under the bus?
I'm as pro-Hoke as they come, but I think taking this to the press was a tactical error. It's a million times better than the Hinson rant, and he doesn't name names, and he doesn't make it personal, but he does suggest that the leadership failed.
Again, I'm not saying he is wrong and I am certainly not saying that the steps he's taken to rectify the situation have been wrong, but talking to the press about it is. Keep it in home. Tell the current squad that Taylor Lewan is the devil if you want, but heed the old sign that Carr had up in the meeting room:
What you see here,
What you hear here,
Let it stay here,
When you leave here.
I've always professed that I loved Carr, and I love that he showed a coach can also be a scholar. So leave it to him to use the historical phrase used by people working on the Manhattan project.
Freshmen used to report a day or two earlier than the rest of the squad to have a little mini-camp to get used to the pace of practice and the daily schedule and get some hands on time with the coaches before the real team came and the focus turned towards them.
At our first team meeting as college athletes, Lloyd Carr read Kipling to us, told us a parable about the creation of pearls, and used excerpts from Churchill's The Great War to explain Michigan football.
Then the assistant coaches came in and we talked about, you know, the sport. Coach Carr is a great, great guy and its a shame that fans don't get to see that kind of stuff. To me, that's what makes a head coach, not X's and O's.
NOW this is the law of the jungle, as old and as true as the sky,
And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die.
When ye fight with a wolf of the pack ye must fight him alone and afar,
Lest others take part in the quarrel and the pack is diminished by war.
While I personally like the Carr mentality of never speaking to the press except when required to, Hoke is kind of damned either way. When he speaks to the press, even when he accepts responsibility and doesn't blame a single other individual, he is called out for "throwing people under the bus." When he doesn't address issues with the press or provide insight, he is accused of "hating the fans" or refusing to acknowledge the problem.
Personally, I don't think that he said a thing wrong - he accepted a lot of blame and didn't call out a single member of this or last year's team. The fact is that anyone watching could see that the team lacked chemistry, cohesiveness and leadership. Many on this blog noticed it. Hoke is simply conceding that there was a problem and discussing a method that he has employed to fix it.
What you see here,
What you hear here,
Let it stay here,
When you leave here.
I understand the philosophy, and generally agree with it, but I wonder if that type of thinking helped keep the Brendan Gibbons episode under the rug.
Sometimes policies need to be broken.
Is this anything like the Leadership Council Richie Incognito was in with the Miami Dolphins? Just wondering
Leadership is key. From the coaches and from the players. I hope team 135 gets it done. Go Blue!
I believe there have been multiple quotes from various players since the bowlgame suggesting the leadership paradigm (i.e. since that Senior's provide the primary if not exclusive leadership) needed tweeking...or was that twerking?? Anywho, it seems Brady is actually reacting to his team's suggestions. Now, my concern is WHY NO MENTION OF THE STOLEN JEWELS???
there was a problem with the chemistry tells me he is a leader and will take responsibility for short comings. This shows he will allow some transparency which might have been one of Carrs short comings. I don't know whether this is a good or a bad thing but I feel he is being real and I do like that. When you say something like this it can be high risk high reward, meaning I assume it could come back to haunt him or it could be a turning point for this team to really give coach their best effort. I just hope its the latter.
The 5 best OL are selected to play after summer camp and no changes are made to the line unless there are injuries. Stop rotating lineman and let the line develop together.
Not going to happen, it's always said that the best five will play. If someone is being outperformed in practice then that guy plays...