I was just reading an article about Wisconsin over at Scout. (http://michigan.scout.com/2/1022909.html) I was struck by one quote:
Bret Bielema and his staff are so thorough about such things, he saw rainy weather in last week's forecast and required the team's specialists to do a ton of "wet-ball drills."
The article focuses on how well Wisconsin protects the ball, but it made me think of something else. I remember how frustrated RR was in the Spring of 2008, and his comments on how many basics it was going to take a lot of time to get to the point of being second nature. I also think to our deer-in-the-headlights true freshmen in the defensive secondary, and how steep their learning curve is. And I remember Brian commenting on the coaching stability at Iowa, allowing them to learn schemes extremely well, because they don't change a lot.
With all we are doing, I think Michigan still doesn't have the luxury to spend lots of time on "wet ball drills." The coaching staff is cramming so much stuff in to our team, there is sensory and cognitive overload.
My question: how many years does it take for the team to learn the basics? When does the game slow down for everyone, not just the QB's? I'm hoping that we see this in 2011. However, just this week, RR was quoted saying that it has taken longer than he anticipated for the team to get where they are now. I'm starting to think that we won't really be clicking on all cylinders, in every aspect of the program, until the 2012 season. That's how long it will take for the basics, from tackling to route running, from QB reads to secondary schemes, to become second nature.