You should just put "entire defense from 2011".
That jump from 2010 to 2011 is still amazing.
And Denard made a big jump from 2010 to 2011 too. Then Borges started meddling up the offense.
You should just put "entire defense from 2011".
That jump from 2010 to 2011 is still amazing.
And Denard made a big jump from 2010 to 2011 too. Then Borges started meddling up the offense.
His QB rating was better in 2010. Not to mention his stats regressed even further in 2012 (lower completion %, worse INT/TD ratio, etc.), though to be fair some of that was probally due to his elbow injury.
You know things are bad when .......
Reaching here. Graham Glasgow? Really?
If you think he came in here as a walk-on with the ability to play just about every position on the line and play it pretty darn well then your on something. This is called developing a player, Joey Burzynski is another guy who has been developed enough to be able to come in a do spot duty at least when someone gets hurt, which is pretty good for a guy who is 6' 1" and not overly athletic
that lightly thought of guys in the recruiting process progress under Hoke and highly regarded players don't. We better change our recruiting tactics.
There is a difference between being able to play every position on the line, and being able to play it well.
Graham Glasgow is no Steve Hutchinson, but he is a walk on who will have developed into a multi-year starter at Michigan.
I didn't think he was that good last year, as his pass protection was weak, but he did a nice job in the run game. HE WAS ALSO A SOPHOMORE MAKING HIS FIRST STARTS.
Glasgow will probably not ever be on any All-America lists, and he might not make any All-B1G. But he was our best interior lineman last year, and I promise you that was not the case when he showed up as a freshman; this is development.
If Glasgow played at his exact same level but was surrounded by the 2011 line, we would be talking about how great of a season he had and how Funk and Hoke are geniuses. This has been the case for almost all young OL at Michigan. They have always looked really good because they have been the one youngster amidst a line of upperclassmen. In 2016, some freshman or sophomore will play at exactly Glasgow's level, and we will marvel at how good he is because the guys next to him will make him look better than he is. This is the nature of line play.
This is becoming a fucking joke.
An even better question is how do you have 1191 points? I haven't seen a post that has more up votes than downvotes. I guess it is appropriate that your icon resembles a troll.
I guess you've never seen Major League... You're missing out.
I've seen Major League, and I wouldn't say he is missing out...
He posts like crazy, and upvotes are worth +2 while downvotes are -1. So right now, at +6 and -7, he is still up 5 points.
It's late, so I'm going to cherry pick a little here.
David Molk was first team All Big Ten in 2010.
Mike Martin was second team All Big Ten in 2010.
Funchess and Butt were great finds, but the jury's still out on a large part of that list.
And that list of players that "improved" on a mid-level MAC team and after two short years at SDSU is probably pretty short, don't you think?
The jury is not out. Every one of those guys has developed. They haven't become Molk or Martin, and may never. That doesn't mean that they have not improved or have gotten worse
Look at Frank Clark. We are almost all down on him. Why? Because his production didn't reach the crazy arbitrary levels of hype that we set? Clark was a much better player in 2012 than he was in 2011. And if he makes a similar jump this season, he will be a first team All-B1G player.
The team has not developed as fast as we'd have liked. There is a lot of room to improve. But the jury isn't out on Frank Clark, he is a decent B1G DE who has yet to play his senior season. If you're familiar with college football, you probably know that the vast majority of players are best as seniors. The jury is out on someone like Tom Strobel.
When Hoke arrived the 85-man roster had 20 three-stars. Everyone else was two-star or lower at Rivals. There's a perception that he inherited a roster loaded with talent, but if that's true it was talent that the recruiting world completely whiffed on.
Ryan Lindley was a three-star, the #34 QB in his class, with offers from SDSU and Idaho. His stats over his career at SDSU:
Year/ YPA/ QB Rating
Hoke was there for the the middle two years. Sure looks like progress to me...either that or a great scheme, because nothing in his later career has lived up to that second year under Hoke/Borges and nothing before had ever suggested it was particularly likely. Despite the regression after Hoke left, he was the 9th QB taken in the draft, which is a few steps up from #34.
Vincent Brown was a 2-star (though he did have offers from Arizona and UTEP) who had averaged about 40 yards/game over his first two seasons. Under Hoke he averaged 100 yards/game, caught 16 TDs, was a third-round pick.
Ronnie Hillman was a 3-star with only WAC and MWC offers. He redshirted Hoke's first year, then ran for 1500 and 1700 and got drafted in the third round.
This all happened behind a line full of 2-stars and the occasional 3.
The anti-Borges argument regarding those teams here was always that he had exceptional talent, much better than their MWC competition. If that's true, it was unheralded talent.
Somebody was doing something right there, some combination of player development, scheme, and/or a fantastic eye for talent on the part of Chuck Long's staff in the prior years. If people thought it was primarily the latter I suspect he wouldn't have wound up as a high school WR coach or a BTN announcer, but who knows....
However, some of the names on your list are a huge stretch and make it seem like you're reaching. Several of those guys you named have yet to really prove much on the field.
Not to mention somebody like Martin was already good player before Hoke and company got here. The only difference is he wasn't stuck in a bad scheme anymore. He was a second team All-Big Ten in 2010.
Plus he was older. Have to take natural progression into account. Same as Lewan.
Listen, I get it, you love Hoke. But you are letting your love for coach clap hands cloud your objectivity.
No one is saying that he doesn't develop players at all (ok, maybe a small minority does), the majority of people are saying that there is a lack of development. Many other coaching staffs have far less talent (and yes, younger squads) that show far more progression, especially during the season. I don't think we saw much of that in any of his years here.
And it's not just progression of technique, it's also progression of mentality, which I also think is lacking. All told, this leads to an extremely sloppy form of football, which Hoke has exhibited all 3 years at Michigan.
As for ball st and sdsu, I don't think there is enough evidence to prove your point one way or another.
I understand your criticism but don't agree. I'm actually more objective then most looking at all of the factors that lead to a bad year last year. It's not just player development but way too many switches to a complicated offense and lack of depth to fill in for key injuries.
I'm also not sure how there is not enough to go off of in seven years at Ball State and SDSU but we can make sound judgements on a three year span here, when the majority (until the second half of Neb 2012) of that time was positive.
really---that's a call you get to make? I'd suggest you are not.
Just curious - do you have a list of players that made large leaps at Ball State? I don't see Hoke's history at Ball State as very impressive. I am sure in year 6 there had to be some since they had a great year... but years 1-4 were very bad, and 5 was just above .500.
Yes its a MAC school but some of the best coaches have gone to MAC schools and turned things around much faster or put out a better product. I say this because Hoke did not build a system at Ball State - he built a team. The program promptly collapsed immediately after he left - I believe 2-10 the next year. If you are a "developer of talent" when you leave your team may stumble some but it doesn't go from 12-1 to 2-10 in a matter of 12 months.
Utah didnt collapse after Urban left, Stanford didnt collapse after Harbaugh left, Cincinnati didn't collapse when Kelly left, etc. That tells me those staffs left a foundation for the next staff in terms of talented players who should at least get the next staff to .500+...
Hoke's record at SDSU was better but he did get some pretty high end players handed to him and the first year was not good - 2nd year was 9-4, 5-3 in conference. Decent. How much his staff developed them is hard to tell though - I am not saying I have an idea, it is a small amount of time. This is what makes me wonder about 2011. Mattison basically took a bunch of players that were developed with RR staff and gave them a basic outline of a scheme that you know...works, and we lucked into a few wins such as the Sugar and played a very bad OSU team, etc. The schedule was quite easy that year - other than Nebraska and MSU there were no good teams that year on it... ND was 8-5, OSU was 6-7, Northwestern was 6-7, Illinois was 7-6, Iowa was 7-6 (a L).
So was SDSU's 2nd year a lot like Hoke's first at UM? I don't know - just has some parallels.
It can if your replacement happens to be a really terrible coach.
So we're going to hold Hoke accountable for what his successor at Ball State failed to accomplish...
...but we're not going to give him credit for Rocky Long's three straight bowl games at SDSU after Hoke left.
Either the successor matters or he doesn't, but you can't have it both ways.
Sure, you can have it both ways. Accept it and point it out when it favors you, and ignore it and try to bury it when it doesn't. Easy.
There are a bevy of names pointing to roster development from this staff and no one gives them credit. The only position on the roster in which I have not seen much development is Tight End. AJ Williams came in as a huge guy who couldn't block and he still is a huge guy that can't block. Funchess came in as a Big, Catchy TE who can't inline block and he is still very much that. I have no idea how Dan Ferrigno escapes all criticism
Then pick the position he lists twice for "player development" as a position where we haven't seen progress.
Jake Butt was pretty good as a freshman.
at this late hour, where to find that "applause" gif I've seen so frequently around here. You deserve it, Texigander,for calling out (with attitude) the negative nellie-ness that too often permeates so many threads.
And no, I'm not going to say that Coach Hoke and his staff should be immune to criticism. While there is definitely room for improvement, in some areas more than others, to paint Hoke and his staff as a bunch of incompetents in player development is to ignore the many, many successes they have had in coaxing improvement from so many.
We have seen some staff changes (the greatest of them, of course, being the change in Offensive Coordinators) in the off-season; I'm eager to see (and optimistic!) some real improvement in several areas.
I agree negativity is running rampant on the blog right now, but when you have a fanbase stepped in winning tradition that is somewhat to be expected. I do not agree with all the negative points, but some are very resonating with me.
2011 success was really due to two factors, defense actually playing defense...and Denard.
I think the thing that causes me the most worry is a caoch that absolutely preaches smashmouth football, and that dominate lines are the two most important things on the field, along with the ability to run the ball. Funny these are the 3 things that we have been the worst at since 2011. I will give you that we were hampered by past recruiting screw ups, but eventually the excuses have to stop. There are plenty of sophmore OL men that have experienced success in the past at michigan and at other schools.
He (or brandon) fired Borges, which I honestly believe will make a huge difference in the play of the OL...if not, I really dont know what to believe will help things, one more year I suppose.
Blind homers are just as bad as negative nancies.
Possibly, but they're alot more fun to be around.
The issue here is not that nobody has gotten better, which is an impossibility for any coaching staff. The relevant argument is how well Hoke and company have developed players in relation to other team's. That is hard to hard to quantify, however the W/L record the last two years is not a great sign that the development is as good as it needs to be. I think a 3-5 record in a bad Big Ten can not be 100% chalked up to the OC or a lack of experience.
I would exclude Cam Gordon and QWash from the list.
Gordon went from starter at safety/linebacker to backup linebacker, so I can sort of see your point there (though injuries and the presence of Jake Ryan may have had more to do with it).
But Washington absolutely deserves to be on the list. His 2012 season was better than anybody could have expected following his first few seasons here. I'm not sure what happened in 2013 (was he injured?), but he still developed.
I love what the OP says here. Everyone here wants to be reactionary and cry like the problems here are never going to be solved, but reality is that so many people here would be singing a different tune if one little two-point conversion had been converted vs Ohio. The gap between us and our rivals (and yes I include MSU, 7-6 BWW bowl participants in 2012 in that category) is not large, and we will be just fine. To be honest, more concerning to me than player development are the hacks at the freep trying to push an anti-UM agenda and a fanbase that is more self-hating than any other I've seen. Unfortunately, college football teams only get 13/14 chances a year to show out on the field and so it gives these absurd offseason storylines a chance to explode. As a wise man once said, it's gonna be Michigan again
You are seriously more concerned with the "anti-UM agenda" than you are with the actual state of the football team? Really? Really?
By concerned, I mean that the agenda is more of a contributing factor to the negativity around the program now than what some internet tough guys have to say about player development. Obviously the latter has more of an impact on the finished product. My rant went off on several tangents.
Man we've put together one elite season since 97. It's going on almost 20 years and you have ONE season where you can say our team was truly elite (realistic contenders for a national title).
I would not have been singing a different tune had we converted against Ohio State (yes, Ohio State, not Ohio) because I still sat through and watched Akron, UConn, MSU, PSU, etc. The pessimism is not unwarranted. Even if we fix our problems, what's our ceiling?
I feel like you could go either way with this.
I think the 2003 team was elite (the two regular season losses were both incredibly flukish). Certainly we weren't too far off from the USC, Oklahoma, LSU group that were contending for the national championship.
In 1999, we had a team that finished 10-2 and #5 in the country, with a 3 point loss and a 6 point loss (though the 3 point loss to MSU came after we were down quite a bit in the 4th quarter).
So in some ways, I'd say we had 3 elite seasons in the last 20 years (still not very good?).
At the same time, all three of our elite teams underperformed in some way. The 1999 didn't win a Big Ten title. The 2003 team lost two games to inferior teams that they outplayed. The 2006 team didn't win the Big Ten and the defense (the strength of the team) got badly exposed in the last two games.
All in all, I'm not sure if Michigan has had the talent + coaching + experience + luck to really put together an elite title contender in the last 20 years.
That's why they're elite. Those teams were very good though. I think the talent was there up until the 2006 team.
Who knows how the 1998 and 1999 teams would have fared if Lloyd would have gone with Brady from the start and not played the 2 QB dance. The 2000 team was three fourth quarter collapses away from an undefeated regular season. And what is Henson stays for the 2001 season? So yes, I think the talent was there.
He did get some playing time against Notre Dame and Syracuse, but only after those games got out of hand.
Yeah, well, we're going on quite a long time that we've had problems that haven't been solved.
AND MSU's team last year was better than any team Michigan has put on the field since 1997. That doesn't have you concerned? It sure as shit has me concerned.
You don't need to go past 2006 to find a better team that 2013 Sparty.
Michigan State won the conference championship and a Rose Bowl. The 2006 Michigan team did neither. I'd take the former other the latter, irrespective of who is truly "better". Michigan has not had a season as good as 2013 Michigan State since 1997.
You're kidding right? You think the 2006 Michigan team which plowed through a weak Big Ten schedule but didn't win the Big Ten or the Rose Bowl was better than last year's MSU team? H-O-M-E-R.
Wait, but the Spartans somehow had a challenging schedule? Yes, I think the 2006 Michigan team was likely (no way to know) better than 2013 MSU (great defense, very suspect offense).
People tend to forget how bad MSU was to start the year, whereas the 2006 Michigan team was good from the start. I also think that 2006 OSU team (and probably that 2006 USC team) was better than any other team that either team faced.
I also think 2006 Michigan had more weapons on offense than MSU. However, Michigan was weak on the right side of the line and lacked DB depth. Michigan front 7 was better, IMO, but the back seven was not as good.
At the end of the day, I think Michigan's team had higher upside and could prove better in individual games, but MSU's team was probably more adaptable by season's end and could perform better against a wider range of teams.
They were better than both 2006 UM and last year's Sparty.
That I might agree with you. I think the 99 team was better than the 2006 team. Still...it's ben fifteen years. And that 99 team wasn't a national title contender as they had two losses early (go figure).
we can play the what-off game all day long, but the facts are that Hoke is 1-2 against Staee, 1-2 against Ohio, 1-2 in Bowl Games, has 2 straight seasons of 5 losses or more and our 2 biggest rivals have been kicking our ass for years, with no sign of slowing down. We haven't won the B1G in 10 years and for most of that time its been a pretty shitty conference outside Sparty and Ohio.
If you don't think the negativity is warranted then you might need to take off the maize colored glasses.
I think it's totally reasonable to question Hoke's player development. Not sure why you're so indignant. To play along, though, I'd argue that the only guys on your list that showed significant gains under Hoke's tutelage are (1) Heininger (whoo walk-on!), (2) Campbell (still not good), (3) Gallon, (4) Gibbons (eh...), (5) Funchess, (6) Henry, (7) Butt (Whoo, natural ability!), and (8) Glasgow (whoo walk-on!). Eight guys. Wow.
You cannot give Hoke credit for the "progress" of Omameh or Molk. Kovacs, Martin, Roh, and Van Bergen were what they were when he came in, and they played better as a unit in 2011, sure. You're really desperate for examples if you want to hold up Countess, Taylor, Washington, Black, Gardner, Gordon, Beyer, Lewan, Schofield, Ross, Bolden, and Chesson as the shining examples of Hoke's player development. These guys were/have been all in neutral for the past few years. Lewis only counts if we're weighing success on spring practices now. Not sure what Clark is.
Hoke has been a big disappointment the last couple of years. It's okay to admit it to yourself. It's not your fault.
Magnum, please explain why being a walk on or "having natural ability!" detracts in any way from the development job this staff has done. Anyone who has ever been on the football roster at Michigan, 5 star or walk-on, has more natural ability than 99.99999% of the world. The walk-on comment makes no sense, especially when you consider than Heininger walked on before Hoke was even hired but the fact that Will made it into the rotation on a defense as good as 2011's must count for something. Also, you are being extremely conservative by only choosing the eight players you did to hold up as examples. Any neutral observer would say that most of the players you listed as desperate examples have improved tremendously.
I generally agree with Magnum in most posts as he was a realist before it was cool to be one ... and I agree with much of this specific post but I disagree with the walk on status as a sign of developing or not developing. Development is moving a player from point A to point B. If the point A is lower as a walk on, it doesnt mean the player was not developed. Glasgow is an example - I have no idea what kind of player he is since he played for such a putrid interior line but I think if Glasgow was the 5th man on a normal UM line he would not stand out as bad, just "serviceable" I guess. Which for a walk on is great. And Kovacs was a walk on so I'd give RR's staff credit for him no matter his recruitment status.
But the rest of his post I do generally agree with - again some of these players like Funchess and Ross III I just don't know if we give credit or not for. Ross came in a good player and was not an EE (I believe Bolden, Wilson and Ringer were the only 3 EE) ... and he looked like the same player in 2013 as he did in 2012. So did the fall camp of 2012 cause him to be good? Or was he just a certain advanced level and has stayed there for 18 months? (Full disclosure - i expected Ross III to be the breakout player of the year 12 months ago at this time and he had a solid year but no major jump). Funchess again - he showed he could catch his first few games at UM as a freshman TE. He showed the same thing late last year, just more prolific. He also showed he still could not block. So how much advancement did he do versus day 1 on campus? I don't know.
I think someone like Wilson who did start shaky but improved is a clear signal of a player who improved and the difference is obvious. Contrast that to Blake who had an unfortunate injury but didnt seem like much different of a player last year vs his freshman year. So who really "developed" if we compare Wilson v Blake? I'd pick the former over the latter.
If you didn't see the improvement in technique, especially in the defensive players you listed, I have no idea what games you were watching. Kovacs, Martin, Roh, and Van Bergen were drastically better players with regards to technique and responsibility when Hoke came on board than before, and it's not even close. Washington hardly played before Hoke got there and was good or better his JR year. Black was a raw DE that had zero technique and became one of the better interior DL on the team, and his technique improved drastically in that time. Gardner was as raw as they come and could hardly throw a football downfield, and Hoke and co took his raw talents and developed a kid that could throw for more yards against OSU than anyone in Michigan history.
Every player you list as a "stretch" for Hoke's player developement is a stretch to say they haven't developed. Plain and simple. Each player that saw these lists would laugh hysterically, because it shows the insanity and ignorance of fans that think they know football. I'm not saying you need to be a football savant (because neither am I) to watch and enjoy the game, or even be critical of the staff and players in general. But when you start talking about specifics like improvement in individual players, you should at least have some clue of what you're talking about.
And before I get the whole "you used to be cool, man. What happened to you? You got way too caught up with Borges to take anything from you anymore." I was one of the very few that was highly critical of this team after CMU and ND, when everyone else thought the team was there. This team is far from perfect and has work to do to become good and highly competitive, but the negative nancies that act like everything is God awful, the worst, and completely unfixable because the entire coaching staff think that playing NCAA Football 2003 is enough to coach the players up is getting insufferable. It's neither correct to be a blind homer or a blind pessimist, but too many choose to be one or the other instead of looking in the grey, where the truth tends to rest.
I would upvote this post 25 times if I could.
Part of what makes football fun to watch for me is how complex it is. I never played the game but I've been watching for 30 years and I still don't think I understand half of it. One of the reasons I love this blog is the way it helps me understand more of what I'm watching.
Still, it's fun to discuss and compare opinions regarding strengths and weaknesses of a team we all love. Everyone's entitled to opinions but when they're presented as "obvious", or worse, as "fact" by people who aren't remotely qualified to make these judgements we drift into RCMB territory.
I'm sure every college football player would laugh at the idea that they haven't learned a bajillion things about football since matriculating. If it doesn't make a difference in terms of their on-field productivity, who cares, really? I'm sure James Ross has learned a ton about technique and play diagnosis in the past year and would dismiss anyone who said otherwise. But he was the same player on the field last season as he was in 2012, so why should a fan care?
Doesn't mean it isn't significant. Sometimes it takes time for things to show themselves. Fans should care because it means the players are learning the things necessary for it to "click" and their play to drastically improve.
And Ross wasn't the same player last year as he was in 2012. Circumstances around him changed. He had FR at DT in front of him and was getting hit with blockers much more often. Defensive coaches started learning his weaknesses because he was on film and they knew how to take advantage of some of those things. DL got less pass rush. Etc. But Ross improved his technique and some of his skills. As the players around him improve theirs, you'll see it become more apparent.
So the line of thought that states "why should fans care that players are learning the techniques, responsibilities, knowledge that is required to become a great player if we haven't seen it immediately" and then basically states that "fans (such as you) are knowledgeablle enough to slam the coaching staff and tangentially the players for not showing improvement that I can't really see anyway and even though I'm not really sure what I'm talking about" makes little sense. Just because you didn't perceive the improvement and couldn't distinguish that improvement or understand how it helps eventually, doesn't mean it isn't significant or that you shouldn't care. Certainly, the end field product is what matters. But these are the steps to making it the "end field product", and "they aren't progressing" is just white-washing the facts to fit an agenda, albeit, a fairly ignorant agenda.
Yes, yes, yes. It like what I've tried to say about Glasgow. If Glasgow made his way into the lineup as the vast majority of Sophomore OL did, by being the one underclassman amongst a line full of upperclassmen, we would be frothing at the mouth about his potential. But because of the makeup of the roster, he was our oldest interior OL, and so many of his weaknesses (pass protection and deciding how and when to come off a combination block) were exposed rather than hidden.
The players on the list have all improved. But because the team was and is so young, we see a lot of their weaknesses. Ross might never be a thumper up the middle, and when Washington and Black were playing well inside, he didn't have to be.
Hoke wins or he probably goes. Showing "progress" in year one against the easiest schedule in decades isn't going to save him if we go 7-5, 8-4 again. Some of the guys you listed are borderline silly. Campbell? He progressed so much he was drafted as an offensive lineman. Mike Martin was a senior when Hoke got him and one of the best players. Same with Kovacs. Jake Butt's entire career consists of 20 catches in 8 games.
You're arguing that 22-year-olds getting naturally better than when they were 18 is some kind of example of coaching, or at least something that every coach doesn't see happen.
The same "progress" of individual players happened with Tommy Amaker in basketball and his supporters kept saying wait till next year. Hoke has this year. His excuses have run out. I hope he succeeds and Nussmeier is the answer.
There was lots of progression in 2011. The team was markedly better at the end of the year than at the beginning, defense most of all.
There was still that progression, although less so, in 2012.
2013 was a clusterfuck and the team was the same or worse than it was at the beginning of the year.
Not that hard to understand.
Funchess, Van Bergen, Will Campbell, Gallon, Jake Ryan for sure.
Who's a blind homer? Somebody who says we should easily go 15-0? No one has the faintest idea what our season will hold at this point.
Regardless of the team's record, I wished we'd support the team better and let our petty grudges against Carr, RR, and Hoke go away.
we pay for season tickets, we go to individual games, we sell out the largest stadium in the country, we travel to away games, we watch on the teevee, we devote most of our Fall Saturdays, we read about the team, we read about recruiting, we discuss here.
That all seems like alot of support. Criticism or questioning here is simply part of wanting the best product possible.
And if you think anything said here affects the product on the field for good or bad, well then you have a lower opinion of the program than most.
If you're gonna claim his player development at those schools was so good, then go ahead and list those players. Otherwise it's an empty claim.
We know Hoke turned those programs around. We know both schools were filled with 2 and 3 stars. Are we to expect that those teams magically got better without any significant player development from the coaches? I mean, I'm sure the discussion is nuanced when you look into those years of Hoke's coaching career and the players he coached...but it's not an empty claim to say that player development at his previous schools was pretty good.
Yup, Hoke turned Ball State around for sure.
2 winning seasons in 6 years, 0 Conference Championships. Pretty amazing
Its OK to question player development. The idea that Hoke "forgot" that he had to develop players is sort of a new offseason revelation that's getting a lot of buzz, and it seems to fit with the current state of the team.
What's not really being examined, however, is that apparently he knows how to do this, evidence Ball State and SDSU. So if that former, now rusty, skill, can be turned back on, polished into its former shine, I think we're in for quite a ride.
I'd say objectively looking at it, I'm happy Hoke's also not the DL coach any more. Just to state I feel like he's probably an excellent, top-notch DL coach otherwise he wouldn't have lasted as such earlier in his career. However I feel like the entire team needs more of his attention to progress this season. So good realignment there.
I feel like the biggest single gain in development we need to see is OL. I'm willing to pick the best 5 in August, and let them go for as long as they can stay injury free without complaining. No revolving doors, no experimentation thru the season, just let them learn as a unit. I do reserve the right to allow a fresh 5 players off the bench in the 4th quarter when the clock needs to be burned up, as if the depth is there on the "2s" we could pound some tired defenses all the way to the locker room this way.
Hoke, in my view, deserves huge praise for his willingness to "go for it" and not play the safe probability game. That has not been seen in this city for quite awhile. I think the team needs the mindset that its up to them to make plays in critical situations as time goes forward.
The last thing I have to offer is the "change the head coach" is always out there. I don't like it as it brings Michigan closer and closer to being a "stepping stone" program, that's going to be in play for any up-and-coming HC as soon as adversity strikes. If you look at the HC history from Bo going forward, all have basically ended their careers here. I know Moeller couldn't get to stay as long as I wanted, and I wish Rod had left sooner, so you know my personal biases, but the other guys never wanted to leave to go somewhere else. When the door gets opened to someone intending to stay 2-5 years until success is temporarily restored and use the momentum to go to [insert next job] we are doomed to these hateful years of rebuilding over and over.
2006 Michigan would easily beat MSU. We played a much harder schedule and Ohio and USC were much better than Stanford or 2013 Ohio. Plus we smoked Wisconsin who lost one game all year and it was to us.
General question to the board - if a player steps in from day 1 and is very good was he developed by a staff? Not that he cannot get better but my prime example is Mike Hart. I have no idea if Hart was EE or not. But if he wasn't, dude was just good from day 1. Even if he was EE were the 15 practices from Lloyd Carr the thing that made him Mike Hart?
Now did he develop more over time ? Was he better as a junior than a freshman? I assume so but my memory of him was he was a bad a$$ right out of the gate. Not sure how much of that goes to a staff.
So if Mike Hart came in under Hoke and this was year 3 was he developed by Hoke and staff or was it just a special player from the start that would have exploded anywhere by any staff? I ask that in Freddy Canteen style - now in his case he is EE but if he shows up next fall and explodes for say 45 catches and 400 yards, was that due to coaching or just being Freddy Canteen? I ask that because a this point he seems like our 2nd best WR and was so in practice 3, 5, 10 of his career. That is not a lot of coaching. And reminds me of Mike Hart *IF* he follows it up on the field next year. I also this of James Ross III - guy came in year 1 and played quite well. He looked like the same guy last year as freshman year. Is that "development" or just a pretty good guy right out of the gate? Some of these cases are hard to tell.
To the OP - I think we can all find 5-6 players a year who 'developed'. The problem is the basketball program is generating almost as many guys "who develop" on a 12 man roster as the football program develops on a 85 man roster. If we did it proportionately if Hoke was matching Beilein we'd see 20+ guys explode each year, not 5.
Let's use Funchess as an example - he was a very good receiver as a TE prospect as we saw in the first few games as a UM player. He never developed any real blocking skill. So he was moved out to WR where he does what he was good at when he showed up on campus. Is that development? I don't know - guys either can catch or they don't. He was catching in HS. He was catching early in his first year in games. He is doing the same now.
So some of these are just hard for me to give to a staff. Versus say if Joe Bolden exploded into a 1st team All Big 10 next year - that would be development. Or if Wilson becomes 1st team Big 10 in 2 years. Etc.
Whichever narrative makes our staff sound worse is the correct one
You are really oversimplifying football. This is not a backyard pickup game
I don't consider that better. They had a better season but if we played head to head we would win. Same thing would happen if they played Troy Smith's team. The Big ten was just better then and neither Michigan nor Ohio would've lost to Notre Dame.
The Big Ten sucked that year. It sucked last year too but at least they took care of business in Pasadena.
You honestly think that they would've beat us or the Buckeyes from 2006? We beat Wisconsin 27-13 and they ended the season ranked 5th. We played against a much better Big ten. We did make the Rose bowl but we didn't win the Big ten because we were playing the # 1 team in the nation on the road.
OSU got dismantled by Florida. They weren't that good. 41-14 is not a fluke. Also the closest we ever were to USC was 8 points. It was 32-11 late in the game.
Because of those two games the Big Ten pretty much completely lost it's credibility.
We also didn't lose to a 9-4 team. Homer alert lol.
I didn't say it was good. I said it was way better than this past year which it was. Wisconsin beat a # 12 ranked SEC team in their bowl game. Who did that this year? Ohio was in the NC game. Which Big ten team played in that this year? How many top ten big ten teams were there in the top 10 this year compared to 2006? 3 in 2006 and 1 in 2013
A lot of people here don't seem to be quite aware of what hoke faced when rebuilding his teams at SDSU and Ball State. These weren't football programs that were down. These were the types of teams where players DIDNT practice or do anything outside of the actual coached football practices.
These teams were perpetual losers, I believe I read that at Ball State he didn't even have an office when he arrived.
Brady Hoke inherited a team of mediocre players that had hardly been coached any sort of defense or football intensity (not opinion, read some of the players comments on practice and what it was like under RR, look at the recruiting etc.) On top of this he had Al Borges just crapping the bed in any way that an OC can (again, not an opinion, i mean, look at the game plans, plays etc.) In year one he turned the D around, set the O on fire, beat Ohio State and Notre Dame, won the Sugar Bowl and 11 games.
In his second year he had 1) starting QB go down half way through the season with no real backup due to being left with no recievers 2) A defense missing most of it's best players that was then full of MAC level players playing not in the MAC 3) starting RB broken ankle. They still had a winning season, beat michigan state, and took ohio state and SC to the wire, again... with the backup QB, no recievers, broken RB, al borges, etc.
In year 3 michigan had some of the youngest players that can play college football playing in the position that is reliant the most on being older (the OL), 1 reciever, and generally a team full of MAC players and children. On top of this he was still dealing with AL borges (and lets face it, most of the losses were on the offense.) And he still beat notre dame, and took Ohio state down to 1 point despite not having a developed backup QB, having a broken starting QB, and a young undeveloped team full of undeveloped players and older mac players.
Now sure, there are accomplishments that havent been made that now need to start being made. But the thing that is getting really old is the concept that someone can't have a reason for failure "WINNERS WIN", what a dumb sentiment, sometimes there are obstacles in life that slow you down. I don't care what you think, you can't MAKE players better than their ceiling, you cant insta-repair injuries to bone, you cant undone recruiting form years that you didn't even work for the uni, etc. The Man has a history of being a good coach, and he DID turn those schools around, AND plenty of players have developed AT Michigan UNDER Hoke. Just because were not 12-0 and winning it all every year doesn't mean that it isn't happening, it just means it isn't happening at the pace YOU want it to happen at.
A lot of people here don't seem to be quite aware of what hoke faced when rebuilding his teams at SDSU and Ball State.
No, I'm fully aware that Hoke didn't rebuild anything at Ball State.
Ball State all time winning percentge: 52.4%
Ball St. under Bill Lynch (Hoke predecessor): 37-53, 41.1%
Ball St. under Brady Hoke: 30-39, 43.4%
Ball St. in 3 years prior to Brady Hoke:
Ball St. under Brady Hoke:
Every single one of them. Not a single player in the program has done anything but progress under Hoke. Has it been enough? To date, no, as last year shows. But this insistance by people that each player hasn't individually improved is completely fabricated. Every player improved. Some got injured and slowed their improvement, but the mental part has improved leaps and bounds even with them. Even the players that never "grasp the mental part of the game" have improved leaps and bounds in that aspect. Each player has improved a ton in technique that has participated in practices.
Sometimes other teams learn players weaknesses and the Michigan players/coaches haven't been up to getting them past those weaknesses quick enough. Sometimes players haven't been able to take their progressions, combine them, and show them in a comprehensive way on the field consistently enough. At times other teams have had their players appear to improve quicker than Michigan's. But again, every single player has improved in his time at Michigan, just like they have at every other D1 school across the nation. That's not to say sometimes players don't play better the previous year, but many other things go into that, including: surrounding teammates, confidence, distractions, etc.
People often like to bring up MSU's offense as an example of improving over the course of a year. Did they? Certainly. It just took their offense 1.5 years and tons of experience to turn from a shit-show into something that was pretty good eventually. Their OL couldn't figure out who was taking on second level blockers and who was taking on first level blockers in 2012, and outside of Bell being a really damn good RB, their OL was awful. They got a bunch of experience, threw some guys together, and suddenly the schemes clicked. Their WRs, which were getting open the year before, realized after 1.5 years that they were allowed to actually catch the ball. It's amazing what marginal improvement from a few players can do for an entire side of the ball. Yet people around here forget that it took them 1.5 years of awful play to make that leap, they simply act like MSU cherned out player after player that made drastic improvement instantly and constantly, and act like Michigan is in a tailspin of doom in which only outliers have developed at all. It's stupid. MSU players did improve, I'm not denying that. But the progression was slow, at times too slow, and gradual, until it finally "clicked."
The question isn't if players have improved under Hoke. The question is if player will improve enough and fast enough relative to their counterparts under Hoke. Last year the answer was no. But in 2011? They did. In 2012? Many of them did. No let's see about this year, but many around these parts have been far too "what have you done for me lately" and have had selective memories combined with an observer-expectancy effect.
And just to repeat, so it's clear, every single player under Hoke has progressed.
is a nice bit of exaggeration that has a zombie-like life around here.
Bill Lynch's final three seasons at Ball State:
5-6, 5-6, 6-6
Brady Hoke's seasons at Ball State:
4-8, 2-9, 4-7, 5-7, 7-6, 12-1
Given that it took Hoke five years to exceed the win total—by one whole game—that BSU had the year before he took over, it's more accurate to say that he turned around his own Ball State program.
that become All-Americans, it's all about wins and losses and championships. Different styles can get it done but Hoke,like RichRod was, will be judged on bottom line results. We can argue till the cows come home about the effectiveness of the assistant coaches (the guys who really develop the players) but unless you have honest access to the players you probably are just guessing. If Hoke beats MSU, OSU or ND and gets a minimum of nine wins based on this weak schedule, he'll get more years. If not, the $ donors will turn up the heat on DB. This is how it works at any school that has the facilities/expectations and donors that UM has, not some sort of unscientific barometer of player development.
This post certainly hits a nerve. Thought because of some of this tone I'd join and try to add some very broad but perhaps hopefully more relative insight..
I do not ask my son to divulge goings on, but I do learn through conversations a bit more than what any of the press would know or "experts" on various blogs.
There does seem to be a desire to find the dark lining in many things about this team lately and besides what can actually be used as fact (real games)... everything else is opinion based on what a beat writer may say, or someone saw in a highlight, or a spring game/practice.
So, so much more going on behind the scenes and you would be really impressed with the players. There are also significantly more positional status, player performances, and development going on then you would ever know.
The season was a challenge last year, sometimes variables converge to mess up what we would all like to see happen. Players are energized, Nuss has been a big addition, so many things are moving in the right direction and I can say that not only with a biased perspective but someone who (really) knows this game and has played at a high level.
Be a fan, have an opinion, but support these kids. They do see this stuff. Also know that you don't know anything that is actually going on behind the walls but have some faith that these are good coaches and this team is progressing very, very well.
I appreciate the input from someone on the "inside" and I really don't think things are as gloomy as some like to believe around here. I think *most* of the board does really support the kids. I definitely don't put the blame on the kids, but what you are doing is asking for blind faith because (and I quote) "you don't know anything that is actually going on behind the walls" (who's fault is that btw, Fort Schembechler and all) when we really have very limited reasons to believe that this coaching staff will indeed turn things around. I think we will all continue to love and support the program, the kids, and the coaching staff but it is also okay to question whether things are indeed getting better. The fans fill 112,000+ seats for every home game in the fall. I don't think you can question the support. It is just tiring to see MSU, OSU, and Wisconsin excelling when Michigan appears to be stuck in the mud. Hopefully you are correct and things are going to be much better this year. I would love to see this group, lead by DG go to the Rose Bowl and bring Michigan all the way back.
- a couple of follow ups though -
I think personally it is right to keep key information from the fans. There is a need for program privacy. Believe me, I would love nothing more that to corner a coach and ask a million questions about jr. I would feel very unsure about the coach/program actually did that !
I'm not saying just have faith - I said have "some" faith that these guys do know what they are doing, what is at risk, and the need to get this program at a level that we expect (and they do as well).
I can tell you and the rest of the members here that Nuss is going to change the trajectory significantly.... He has a grasp of what was happening, why, and how to address it that is light years beyond what any expert can prattle on about.
Mattison and the D will be back to their right upper level performance too. Some real talent and depth there ; )
Thanks so much for posting this. I am glad to see your son is having a positive experience!
For the input. I think it should be made clear that no one should be putting any failure, blown play, sack, etc on the kids. Those kids fucking work their tails off both on and off the field. The school makes millions off their backs, and those kids don't see their fair share (yeah, I know, a different topic for a different time). Any ounce of criticism from this board should in no way be directed towards the players. The coaches? Different story. These guys are paid millions for a reason. And that comes with some baggage, including being responsible for the overall success of the program.
The less HOMERism and Michigan unconditional love the better. I think player development falls somewhat on the players. I personally believe a lot of players don't put in as much work as others. I'm not saying the players for work hard or want to get into a pay players argument. But look what happens when players like Nik and Caris bust their hump in the offseason. I understand basketball is a different animal but I have to imagine Jordan Kovavs worked harder than other guys to see the field. It seemed to me guys on MSU played with a chip last year and maybe that chip was there in the offseason. Perhaps that falls partially on the S & C coach? I just don't think Hoke is 100% to blame. Other coaches and personal accountability on players is a factor.
You'll never know the real answer to this. Some kids step in Day 1 and are just ready to play. Others are hard workers that will make themselves better no matter who is coaching. And likewise there are always going to be the 'bad apples' that will likely fail under any type of program.
The only things we can say DEFINITIVELY, in my opinion about Hoke's tenure at Michigan:
- 2011 was magical because of our seniors on the defensive line, the upgrade to Mattison from GERG, MOLK, and the ability of Borges to NOT fuck with the offense so bad
- 2013 was a literal tire fire and Borges was fired
We'll see where 2014 goes. Will Nuss right the ship ala Mattison back in 2011? Will we have another magical season? I hope so.
9-10 games this year and this all goes away. I just dont know what to think about this team. Come out and beat the shit out of App State and thats a good start.
is that people are really using "player development" as a way to talk about something else-- mainly, that Michigan was 7-6 last year.
Of course, "player development" is going to be a factor in the performance of any team, sure. The problem is that every mediocre team is going to have, almost by definition, mediocre players.
Last season, there were some legitimate concerns about the ability of the coaching staff to develop certain positions (O-Line, Running Back, NT, Saftey come to mind). There were perhaps bigger concerns about the coaching staffs ability to game plan and, more specifically, to scheme around their deficiencies. All of these things are undoubtedly true.
For people to go around pretending that the team must be either completely horrible at player development or blame other factors while pretending that evey completent player must be "improved" is assanine. "Player Development" is a term that is handy to throw around like a legitimate measure of the general ability of the coaching staff, but its something that can only be applied to groups or, for maximum accuracy, individual players. "Player Development," used as a general term, is simply a vague assesment of what you think the team has done and, likely, where you think it is headed. Most people seem to ignore the fact that specifc players can develop while the team generally perfoms worse. It doesn't even take that many.
In conclusion: I can't wait for the season to start.
would come in here and tell us that we may think we know whats going on behind the scenes but outside of the obvious player development no fan will know. When I say player development I mean physically you can tell each and everyone of these players are getting stronger from the weight room workouts.
When we say, well these guys are not getting better it is usually scoreboard driven. We are losing x amount of games so we must not be getting better. When so much goes into wins and losses nobody can be sure why team a lost to team b. There are nagging little injuries, that we are not privey to, as well as discipline that may be handed out or a player knowing he will be dealt with when the team bus pulls in. Knowing your grades are going down. So many factors go into winning and losing, team chemistry cannot be underestimated which is another thing none of us know anything about. Like most people have said more wins and all this goes away. I can't agree more but with the same ole 8-5 9-4 records to hold up people will doubt the coaches. Human nature I guess. Just like the fans can't get too excited about wins and losses at the beginning of a new coaches tenure, the players need to understand fans are going to be there to speculate especially when things get rough.