I have a lot of faith in Rich Rod, but I just can't see the defense catching up to Big Ten Championship level until it's too late. It won't be four or five years until we have comparable depth to OSU and PSU on our defense. It's sad, but true. The culmination of attrition, poor recruiting by Carr, bad defensive coaching and unbalanced (offense vs. defense) recruiting under Rod will be our demise. I hope I am wrong, but does anyone else see it?
I am an optimist Michigan fan but...
With our offense progressing every year, I don't think they need to be the best defense in the Big Ten right away, or as fast as we hope. They need to get better, no doubt, but they don't need to be the best.
I'm optimistic, because our offense is going to keep getting better. With the recruiting we're doing, and experience the current defensive players are gaining, I think there will be enough improvement to win.
I hear what you are saying about the defense getting needed experience this year - Roh, Campbell in particular. But what the original poster wrote - 'the unbalanced recruiting under RR' - is the real concern. The big problem going forward is that we signed 1 DT in 2008 and 1 in 2009. We are going to have DT depth issues for the next 2 years, without a doubt.
What happens if Martin or Campbell have a career ending injury? I don't even want to think about the backup plan.
The unbalanced recruiting seems to be staring us in the face - I know its early, but is anyone else concerned our two biggest recruits are 255 (Talbot) and 262 (Pace)? It's just frustrating to see 8 or so WRs and RBs committed when all anyone is talking about here is the defense and line play.
many people have been complaining about the line play on either O or D. The oline has struggled because our best lineman is out. Our dline has held up pretty well its the linebackers and DB's that have given us cause for the biggest concern and the coaches are def trying to address that. Look at the #'s of cb's and safeties coming to visit this weekend.
And, I think that the offense will score enough points to make up for a mediocre defense.
Cincinnati does not have half the talent Michigan does. They have a whole lot more than we do right now. Last year's Michigan team finished seventh in the conference in terms of players drafted (on the whole team, not just the defense). This year only Graham is a lock to get drafted. The year after that only Warren is a lock to get drafted (again, off the entire team). In terms of top-end, NFL talent, we will be ranking near the bottom of the Big 10 for three straight years. Combine that with a roster that doesn't have enough non-freshman scholarship players to field a defense (Williams is the only safety in the sophomore, junior and senior classes), and you have a woefully talent deficient team, despite the idiotic assumption that "we must have lots of talent cuz we is Michigan."
EDIT: Cincinnati had six players drafted last year to Michigan's two. Michigan doesn't look to surpass two drafted players this year or next.
I can guarantee you that this is easily the least talented Michigan has been in the better part of a half-century. That factoid that Williams is the only non-Freshman Safety on the team is staggering. This is absolutely unprecedented for Michigan, and you are seeing the results of it, no matter who the coach would be.
Find me a Michigan team that had to start walk-ons on defense (and when you only have one guy for a position with two players, you have to start walk-ons), had a true freshman QB, 33 freshmen on scholarship compared to 36 in the other three classes combined, true freshmen starting on the d-line two years in a row, and the type of high end talent deficit I mentioned above. I doubt you can find one, but if you do, I would bet a lot of money their record was worse than 5-6.
The "we did more with less" nonsense is nothing but platitudes and coachspeak. Teams win with talent.
Great players make great coaches and great programs.
The players must have talent to be able to perform. Coaches refine that talent and make that talent work within a system. No system, or coach, no Urban Meyer, Nick Saban or Pete Carroll can win without talent.
Look at Saban at MSU, he was good with mimimal talent. At Bama he's great with above average talent. Pete Carroll is a genius with all the talent, when 9-10 players on defense leave and the coordinators leave, he's an average coach.
Don't try to explain that talent is priority no. 1, because it is!
Carr had it until the last couple of years and RR got stuck with talent that couldn't make the grade and guys with limited talent. He's restocking the shelves and that takes time.
Jimmah Clausen is light years ahead of where he was two years ago, but he was grossly overmatched as a freshman, now he's a heisman candidate and a 1st round draft pick(maybe).
When RRs guys are juniors and seniors they will own the Big 10.
this had to start a walk-on thingy boggles my feeble mind. Rodriguez chose to start walk-ons he did not have to. Heavens forbid, but the coaches may have made some poor personnel decisions that forced their hands in regards to starting walk-ons.
Would you prefer had to start walk-on OR true freshman? Is that any better in your mind? Mike Williams is the only safety on the roster who isn't a walk-on and isn't a freshman. You have to put somebody else at safety with him, unless you want to switch to the old 4-4-3. So yes, he had to start a walk-on. Same goes for any attempt to bench Ezeh and Mouton, since Fitzgerald is the only non-freshman scholarship player that could replace them and he can't play two positions at once.
It is not an either/or. Smith and Floyd are RS Freshman who could have played safety. If James Rogers had remained on D he would have been available. Hell we could have played Stevie Brown at safety and moved Herron to Brown's position, surely Herron has more speed than Kovacs.
Not sure how realistic my scenarios are but to say we either play a walk-on or a true freshman is hogwash. We missed opportunities for other options.
Stevie Brown is our only functional linebacker. His struggles at safety in the past two years have been well-documented. Yet you propose moving him back to safety just to avoid starting a walk-on?
**Caveat: Normally I would also mention that Herron lost his starting role to an undersized true freshman defensive end. However, I think that is more a testament to Roh's skill than a deficiency on Herron's part.
This is where we are. Tossing out scenarios that even the poster acknowledges may not be "realistic" for the sole purpose of arguing whether certain players "had" to start. For example, if James Rogers was sufficiently promising on defense, the coaches would not have moved him to wide receiver. And so on and so on.
"We missed opportunities for other options." You are technically correct. The coaches could have tried different combinations of players in the secondary/linebacking corps. But that doesn't mean they were good options.
here's the skinny: (per the Bentley Historical Library) in the last 21 seasons(1988 season until 2008's squad) we've had 41 all americans and 130 all conference players. that's an average of 2.05 all americans & 6.5 all conference players per annum prior to the 2008 campaign which, as we recall had zero all americans and one all conference player: zoltan mesko.
what's that mean? we rarely, arguably never (per this 20 year sample) had to rise above talent deficiencies.
Please stop texting your posts and huffing glue at the same time. What is the problem that "lies in the excuse with recruiting"? What "is always going to be poor recruiting until you start winning?"
In one post, its Michigan has talent, there is no way team X can have more talent than us
Then in your next post, it's michigan has always had less talent than everyone we were coached up into something special. blah blah blah.
What changed? Oh yeah, you were presented with facts and had to move your own personal goalposts.
I think the "Michigan Myth" has crumbled, and it fell apart long before RR arrived in Ann Arbor. It's become clear to me that since 2005 or so, Michigan's recruiting, especially on defense, was a shell of what it was in decades past. Carr just wasn't getting it done the way that he had before. I don't know why, maybe he was just burned out (as someone else suggested), maybe the high school coaches in the pipeline states weren't happy with the way they saw their former players being developed. The bottom line is that "Michigan Myth" of simply having more talent than every other team has gone the way of the dodo.
I'm tired of hearing anti-RR people go on and on about the lack of performance being "unacceptable" yet those same people REFUSE to accept the presented facts that Michigan is a shell of it's former talent packed self.
I have faith in RR, and even if I didn't, there's basically NOTHING that any coach could do in this depleted situation. These guys that are calling for Harbaugh, Miles, Kelly, or anyone else, are simply UNINFORMED as to the real facts of the situation.
However, the problem won't last forever, RR is addressing it and doing everything within his power to right the ship -- it's just not going to happen over night!
that by Tate's Junior year they will have a defense that is acceptable. Taking longer than that to be competitve on defense would probably not be acceptable to a lot of M fans.
So is 3-9 and possibly missing a bowl game two years in a row. Many M fans are bandwangoners and have no idea what they're talking about anyway, so who cares what is or is not acceptable to them?
Like Tom said this team just needs a functional defense. If there were two or three games where the defense didn't break down so badly this team could be 8-3 or even 7-4 at this point in time.
The offensive progress has been obvious, but then again there is far more talent and depth on that side of the ball. We just need to recruit, recruit, and recruit, and get some depth. Give those four and five star recruits a chance to grown and learn over a few years time instead of forcing them into playing as soon as they arrive on campus.
Does anybody have any insight, inside scoop or an idea of how long this NCAA investigation could last? It has got to be hurting recruiting. I wish we would hear something sooner rather than later
Next year I think you will see a more comprable starting D (good enough). Then the depth will fill in the following years.
Spider-No I can;t name anybody on Cincy's defense. Then again, I am pretty sure that noone outside of Michigan can name any non-BG players on ours.
As for investigation: to conclude by end of December.
As for optimism............I'm clinging to it.
With this offense, giving up around 23-25 points (average NCAA defense) would mean a solid 8-10 wins a year. The defense doesn't have to play like OSU's because UM's offense is dynamic enough to score against virtually anyone.
I do think that a couple of 8+ win seasons for RR will buy him the time he needs to really get the defense to where it needs to be.
I listened to Brian on WTKA today and a caller said that he played defense in college football and had a scheme change in his soph year similar to what is happening this year at UM. He said that nobody realizes how difficult it is to pick up a new scheme in one year. This gave me a lot of hope that next year there will be a general improvement on defense.
First of all forget talk radio, they have no idea what their talking about, except if Brian is on of course.
But since this is my first post and I can't make my own thread, is it just me or can we land a pretty stellar recruiting class on the defensive side of the ball?
According to scout both Josh Furman(Saftey) and Jatashun Beachum(DT) - four star recruits have a high intrest level in us. Furman even says its down to us and VT. This guy has a timed? 4.36 40??
Meanwhile were in good position to land cullen christian, possibly grimes, and knight. If we could land one of furman or beachum and pickup at least cullen and grimes that would be really solid.
TomVH do you think we have a resonable shot at doing so?
Of moving some of the skill players on offense to defense in the spring. Not any of the current guys but the 2010 class. Plus we still have something like 15 scholarships left to give out.