Here's a section of his book that goes through my head a lot. It's relevant for obvious reasons. Maybe it's still valid in today's game - maybe things have changed...
Now I have to admit - since I'm being as honest as I can be here - there was a time when I doubted if fundamentals were still enough to produce top-notch football teams. I even wondered if the game had passed me by.
This crisis of confidence occured after our infamous 1984 season, when we finished 6-6. In the off-season I went to one of these national coaching conferences with a few hundred other coahces, and they had some hotshot young high school coach from California explain his new whiz-bang system of defense.
He had zones two deep, three deep, man-to-man, and combination of the two. That really caught my eye. I'm thinking, Maybe you've got to do all those things to win these days. Maybe our approach at Michigan is just too simple to succeed in the modern era. Boy, that was an awful feeling.
But after this guy finished his slide show, someone in the audience raises his hand and asks, "If your defensive schemes are so great, then why did you team give up 400 yards a game last season?"
Well, I wanted to hear this! The hotshot replied- and I will never forget this- "We were just a poor tackling team."
Well, hell! That tells you all you need to know! You throw out 50 percent of that fancy stuff, and spend fifteen more minutes every day practicing the most basic thing in football: TACKLING. That's all!
After another coach asked the same whippersnapper why one of his plays failed in a big game, he said, "That play would've worked if the dam guard had pulled." Then don't run that play unless the guard is so indoctrinated that he will pull every time- and do it in his sleep. That's called coaching.
I walked out of that auditorium, and I knew what we were going to do: Get back to the basics! Get back to Michigan football! And I was determined that we were going to do it better than anyone else.
Blocking and tackling!