I am a RichRod defender. I think he's a great football coach who has succeeded in every place that he's ever been. That other coaches consult with him when they want to know something about the spread is a testament to his standing in the CF coaching community. I also think he's done a good job of recruiting players who fit his system, and that many of them are destined for exciting moments in their winged helmets in the years ahead.
I still have a very bad feeling about this year.
I know, I shouldn't be thinking like this when it's spring, and we should all be optimistic and supportive. But I just can't help it.
I like Tate Forcier and think he shows a lot of promise, but even if he shows improvement he'll still be only a sophomore. It's sobering that there are no sr. or jr. QB's on the roster.
I like that we picked up some very promising playmakers at D-back, but they will all be freshmen. I like that Justin Turner is expected to make an impact this year, but he will be a redshirt freshman.
I like that our O-line will be deeper this year, but I feel uneasy that the optimism is based on the fact that our redshirt freshmen are at last ready to see the field.
I like our freshmen WR's. But they are, after all, freshmen, and I don't like that we have only 3 non-freshman WR's on the team.
I like that we picked up Josh Furman from Maryland, but I'm worried sick that our LB problems will take years to really fix, given that we need to bring more of them in, and that even when we do they won't likely be able to help significantly right away.
Are you seeing a pattern here?
I think that last year's pattern of promising starts and horrid finishes was due to our lack of depth and the fact that we were essentially playing our JV against everyone else's varsity. I'm worried that in 2010, we still will be.
That leads me to my deeper fear: that RichRod really is a great football coach, but could be gone before he really has a chance to re-stock the pond. In CF, you can't re-stock the pond overnight. Even when you bring in the right players, under normal conditions they don't normally make an impact until their third year in the system (one year to redshirt, another year to work their way into the system) unless they are superstuds, a la Charles Woodson or Chad Henne. And even when a lad is a superstud who can't be kept off the field, there is still a big difference between a) inserting an exciting freshman into a lineup of veterans, and b) depending on underclassmen for half of the starting positions on the field (with no real depth to back them up, to boot).
I'm sorry for being such a downer. I love Michigan football and I would be thrilled to eat my words in the fall and exult, "I was wrong! I was wrong! Oh, thank you God, I was so, so wrong..."
I long to see a RichRod-coached Michigan team that starts jrs and srs on both sides of the ball, with adequate depth behind them, and on which no player has played in anything other than the spread offense at the college level. But that would be 2012...and he may not have that long if it doesn't go well this year.
What do you all think? Please help - I really want to be wrong on this and if there is solid reason for optimism, it would make spring a lot less gloomy for at least one Wolverine fan...