This second half of the article is paywalled, but the first part is kind of an eye-opener on how some of the players felt about this season.
Rivals piece about Michigan's frustrating finish.
"A lot of guys just lost the will to play as a family, honestly," he said of Michigan's November tumble. "That's one thing you can't do in football. In football, you've got to stick in there and stay together as a family. That's one thing we've got to work on in the offseason.
That first part is rather sad to hear and hopefully it is something they work to improve in the offseason, if this is indeed a common sentiment. I think the staff here is overall building the culture that answers this need. There are probably quite a few things that we saw that could be at least mitigated by dealing with just this issue - the rest will be easier to deal with if this is addressed.
EDIT: Given the context provided below, I had thought that's where Clark was headed with this, that he was putting it with the players and not the coaches.
The problem with the non-paywalled part of the Rivals article and the quote posted above is that it leaves out some other things Clark said, as found in this Freep article:
When Michigan coach Brady Hoke walked into the U-M locker room after Saturday’s 31-14 loss to Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, it was a short speech.
“Get dressed,” U-M defensive end Frank Clark recalled. “There’s not really much to say. Coach did his job, prepared us these last three weeks with practices and everything of that nature.”
The season-ending slide, as Michigan lost five of its last six games, defined the 7-6 season. But Clark refused to put it on the coaching staff, pointing the finger at the players.
. . .
"Basically, this year, we didn’t do our job like we’re supposed to as players. It’s nobody to blame. You can’t blame the coaches. It’s the players.”
Well, the players did look like the wanted to play football as much last night and I wanted to receive a 10 gallon sriracha enema. In order to "execute" both the players and the coaches have to be ready for the game, last night no one was ready. Thank god it was on at 10:30.
Seriously people Harbaugh isn't coming, he was one play away from a Superbowl win and is likely to get any NFL job he wants. He's not leaving to come back to Michigan, it just won't happen...
Reading it I was kind of thinking that this doesn't bode well moving forward. I like Coach Hoke and most of decisions, but him trying to be the stoic leader on the sideline is not working. One of the things I saw in his first season was during UTL I after "the Catch" and everyone was celebrating. Hoke had a young Devin Gardner by the arm walking him away from the end zone laying into him. He took control of a situation that was a detriment to the success of the team. These last two seasons it seems like he's lost that fire. He gets this team fired up and ready for the ohio game, that needs to happen the 11 other weeks of the season as well. IMHO the team needs to get a nasty streak from top to bottom. Play every week with bad intentions, not to win games, but to make people regret playing Michigan. When Bama played MSU in a bowl game a couple of years ago, MSU was down by 42 and Bama was still trying to kill everyone in a green jersey. I guess I just want to see a team playing with fire.
I sense the same thing....a lack of enthusiasm as well a a failure to develop as a team. There was a fire that seemed to have gone out after the ND game, and only showed up on the offensive side of the ball for Indiana and OSU. It almost seems that Hoke has lost the team.
Youth movement be damned - there should still be improvement and I guess that Shane had time to throw last night as did Devin during the Ohio game might be something, but the D has regressed, or at the very least not improved.
Way too much talent, even for a young team, not to be improving.
The genius that seemed to be Hoke in 2011 in retrospect was probably Denard Robinson.
It has to be the coaching.
"When Bama played MSU in a bowl game a couple of years ago, MSU was down by 42 and Bama was still trying to kill everyone in a green jersey. I guess I just want to see a team playing with fire."
That's the biggest difference I see. The M product the last DECADE has lacked fire and passion. No swag, no pride, no FIGHT. That's a long way of saying Michigan is soft! And I believe if you ask opposing players...they'd agree.
To the OP, the daunting comments were mostly Frank Clark unless the paywalled section has similar thoughts from others. Dileo said a lot of things that players on every team in the country that had more than 2 losses are saying regarding not finishing, etc. THat said, one of the things most recruits walk away from the team saying is UM seems like a family so yes hearing that from a guy who has had 3 years under Hoke is troubling but as far as I can tell from the article it is 1 guy. Maybe he speaks for others who don't want to drop such hints out in public. I take anything the players say with a grain of salt, such as Lewan saying this is the best coaching he has ever had (well I would hope so, Funk is paid much more than his HS coach or his pee wee coach) or players reporting on how epic other players are in spring ball or in bowl practices (i.e. Ben Braden is going to be a monster circa 6 months ago). That said there does seem to be something amiss about this team and its not just "Rich Rod's kids have no talent".
The part that is worrying to me, and I had a different opinion 12 months ago as I rationalized 2012's losses as "well it's Alabama" and"we had no QB in the 2nd half of Nebraska" and "well we lose to teams #2, and #3 in the country" and "South Carolina could have gone either way" is both the losses and victories (many of them) this year were questionable....meaning people will say "well we were 6 play away from going 10-3!" or such nonsense when they forget the miracle it took to beat Northwestern (plus NW literally dropped 3-4 INTs), the run stuff it took to stymie Akron, the epic comeback it took to beat a horrid UConn, among the lack of seeing more than 5-6 players truly take any steps this year from Sept to November. You cannot build a program on 5 players a year showing meaningful improvement. This team / program is not passing the eye test. In 3 years Hoke has not beaten anyone who UM clearly is less talented then. In 3 years Hoke has not had a serious road win.
You're right Frank is the only one saying that out loud to the media. But he is one of our leaders on D, if not THE leader and again, out loud...
Frank Clark is a loudmouth who doesn't have a lot of self-control. Frankly, he's one of the players whose opinions I least care about on the team. The dude has been in legal trouble and has (or had, since I haven't checked in a while) an extremely vile Twitter account.
Yet he's one of the leaders of our team, like it or not. Do you honestly think Taylor Lewan is any better? Think again buddy.
He's one of the leaders in that he's one of the starters, I guess. He wasn't named a captain (Courtney Avery, Jake Ryan, and Cameron Gordon were), and he hasn't been given a Legends jersey (Desmond Morgan has). So I would say he's at least #5 on the list of defensive leaders, if not lower.
Right. Him and Lewan. Way to get the team to play. Lewan goes down as the only four year starting LT never to win a Big Ten title.
One player doesn't make a team
I agree with what you're saying completely. It seems like the staff is coaching to compete not win. The Michigan defenses of old went after people en masse, hell even in 2011 during the Nebraska game on one tackle of Taylor Martinez there were nine blue jerseys around him. I think Mattison is a great coordinator, but we need to be more agressive and guit playing bend but don't break. On the offensive side we have to figure out who the hell we want to be, Hoke wants manball, but hires a WCO coordinator, that's a square peg in a round hole as far as I'm concerned. You want a pro-style offense you hire a pro style coordinator.
Thats a mighty big IF. I knew players while I was at Michigan too. Mister Simpson was waaaay better than Mike Hart, the only reason Hart started was because him and Coach Carr were butt buddies. This all from the horses mouth, so you know its a fact.
Look. College football players are used to being THE guy, so when they aren't playing, they always blame others first. Or racism. But it's never because they are not the best at their position. Never.
The word of backup players is never the right reason to get rid of a coach. I've seen really good coaches get canned (at the high school level) because bratty backups complained loud enough to the higher ups. It's bullshit.
Be upset with Hoke because the team looks piss poor on the field. Don't put any stock into the rumors of an (alleged) internet friend of a few backup players on the team.
This times 1,000. Any athlete, but moreso high profile athletes who are used to dominating and were wooed to attend a university, will hate having no or a small role--especially when the team is struggling. That also does not mean every player who thinks he should be starting will transfer, otherwise there would be floods of transfers every year.
All in all yes Michigan looked very sloppy. However, Shane Morris showed he has an arm and did not look half as scared as Devon does all the time. I know we are all frustrated after a lackluster season. I said in one of the last feeds about the k state game the one that had squirrelly in the title that K-State was a good well disciplined team and that is exactly what I saw last night I can't say anything about the tensions because I have not heard anything about that. But, the future holds promise in Shane Morris
Devin had a brilliant year, one of the best in UM QB history. People's lack of perspective about these things is terrifying! Stats someone compiled over at Mlive:
2013 Big Ten 3443 (2nd)
Total Yards Per Play
2013 Big Ten 6.8 (1st)
2013 Big Ten 32 (1st)
He also broke or set several individual game records for productivity by an M QB, and under these circumstances. Gotta get real here and be careful what we wish for. This guy may be gone, anyway; people with any sense of proportion or awareness will cry.
Agreed. All the "sit Devin" or "move him to back to WR" talk throughout the season was beyond stupid IMO. The guy got moved to WR for one, which has an effect on a QB, especially a spread QB playing "pro-style." He needed time to adjust geez. Furhtermore, he had no running game behind him and no time to throw, on top of an average recieving corps. Devin is a stud and a 1st-2nd round pick in 2015 draft.
He also broke his foot and proceded to fight against OSU for the second half. I agree that Devin certainly hasn't been the problem though yes sometimes he could have made some better decisions. We probably have another glorious 3-9 season, if that, if a true freshman QB is leading the team the entire season.
This is not a knock on Shane Morris who performed well last night. We have our QB in 2014 though as long as he is healthy.
Devin Gardiner was the key playmaker this year. I know it was a roller coaster, but you have to let Devin be Devin. When he started to play conservative and limit his turnovers, the team started losing. He is a dynamic playmaker who can create on his own. Let him be that player and take the good with the bad.
if you think devin looked scared.. you are blind. that is one of the most ridiculous things i have ever heard!
if you think devin looked scared.. you are blind. that is one of the most ridiculous things i have ever heard!
In other news, Shane looks the part of a stud thus far.#BrightSide
Thanks in part to a simple game plan with majority of throws <= 10 yards
Yep. Still, he made some good throws and he didn't look rattled at all. Also scampered for what, 40+? His future is bright.
His footwork is miles ahead of where it was at the beginning of the year. Shane was a huge bright spot last night.
After a season such as this it's temping to gather everyone and encouraging them to bring their pitchforks and torches so we can burn the whole mess down and start anew.
I'm not in denial, nor delusional about this team. This season was agonizing in much the same way that 7-6 in 2010 was agonizing. The main differences are that we're now trending "the wrong way" (11-2, 8-5, 7- 6) as the costs of transition and attrition hit us from the coaching change, and that we lost 4 of those 6 games in close, defensive, painful, fashion.
The ranks of the upperclassman have been heavily depleted. Someone posted a diary showing that inner OL experience correlates directly with success running the ball. Guess where we've got RS Freshman.... It's one season, and there weren't really other options.
The class of 2010 yielded a couple key contributors in Devin Gardner and Jake Ryan, and a few other solid players (Dileo, Avery), but was something like a 75% bust including only ONE OL.
The only thing that's been a constant irritation in Hoke's three years is offensive inconsistancy which has been generally attributed to Borges. Everything else has seemed solid until this year and there's a TON of things factoring into it. A million papercuts. I agree that Hoke looks clueless in losing, but there aren't many coaches who look even remotely graceful in that situation until they redeem themselves with wins later. I do think there's a certain amount of truth behind the idea that Hoke isn't a hard-edged diciplinarian or cold, calculating master-mind of a coach. But if the players get behind him he's already proven that he can and will win football games. If nothing else we, as a program, probably need to let Hoke run out his contract (unless he ties his fate to that of Borges) and carefully set up the next coaching hire to work as a progression rather than a succession from the players abilities.
And if you want to Hoke to get the ax so badly, who would you propose as a replacement, and who would you like/expect to see as their assistants?
So other teams win with freshman and RS freshman but Michigan just can't? Last night was the 13th game of the season. They aren't freshman anymore. This staff was out coached across the board. You could see from the players they have no faith in their staff. But hey what do I know right ? Just a hack on the net .
Most young teams struggle. That there is the occasional exception does not change the general rule.
What happened to Michigan this year goes beyond struggling, especially on offense:
5 games below 300 yards of offense
3 games below 200 yards of offense
2 games with negative rushing yards
A debacle against Northwestern in which we managed to get to 300 yards on the second to last play of regulation.
87th best total offense in the country (113th for November).
103rd best rushing offense in the country. (56 yards per game in the month of November, second to last in the country even with the Ohio State game).
We didn't struggle, we actively got worse until eventually we were nearly the worst as the season wore on, excluding one glorious blip against Ohio State.
I'm not advocating the firing of Hoke at all. But I think he should do what Nick Saban does at Alabama, he brings in a psychologist to talk with each player. He figures out the best way to motivate every player on the team. I think Coach Hoke thinks old school is the way to go and personally I want to see Michigan grinding yards out on the ground by the hundreds a game, but the attitude and physicality to do that aren't there yet.
I can get behind the psychologist idea. If anything I'd rather see the program put money there rather than giving the coaching staff any raises for a dismal season. If anything I'd like to see them pick up a small group of psycologists who would interact with both the players and coaching staff and be available at most hours of the day or night (in some capacity). Student-Athletes are incredibly busy, so having psycological staff available with bankers hours would (probably) not have the desired effect.
Say what you want about Saban, but the man wins at the college level. If I were at a crossroads such as this program, I'd go pick the brain of they guy who's been churning out NFL draft prospects like it's no big deal.
Also over recruits his roster by 20 dudes a year and cuts the dead weight. Not saying we shouldn't do this bit it might ruffle some grey feathers
That is the WRONG way to do "IT" what ever "IT" is and to get the accolades he does because he does it is pretty wrong too. Winning at all costs...I'd like to know what year "It's not about winning or losing but how you play the game" died...
the players who go to Bama know that 1/5th (or whatever) of their classmates will not be at Alabama in 4 years. It's no different than any elite consulting firm (I would assume law and banking are the same).
That Michigan has a psychologist on the football staff, right? I can't think of his name off hand, but he exists. I suppose more could be better.
Edit - Sorry, Timmmaay, I didn't see your post until after I had posted this and it refreshed. I think, however, that we are speaking of the same fellow.
For JTP - please take note of my exemplary C&P skillz.
Just because it is a great tale - Tom Brady's Guru
A snippet from this link:
Roundtree, a receiver who played his final college game on New Year’s Day, choked back tears as he discussed the impact of Greg Harden, the Michigan athletic program’s longtime counselor for athletes. Roundtree said that without him, he would never have earned his undergraduate degree, let alone enrolled in graduate school.
The most accurate article about our coach...
...was written six years ago.
his own freaking article.
Well, that was interesting.
He can recruit. I wonder if Brian knew Hoke would have 3 consecutive top 10 recruiting classes if his evaluation would be any different?
Also, Brian assumed Hoke would be bad at game-management decisions, like when to go for it on 4th down. That was one of the things that most frustrated him about Carr, IIRC.
except Borges. There is just too much damning evidence, copiously documented on this page to justify his continued presence on the staff. Mattison had a pretty lousy year too but he has earned a little leeway based on his past performances with the team, including his epic turn around of the history making 3-3-5 crap show he was gifted from RR. Borges has no such history to fall back on.
I really don't know who the hot OC is out there. All I would ask for would be to get someone that has the ability to have a vision of where we need to go (West Coast, Spread, Basketball on grass, manball, whatever) BUT have the sense to figure out and recognize what the folks he has can do best in the here and now and attempt to play to their strengths. We don't need some nutty mad professor who keeps running the same experiment over and over thinking the outcome will be different.
Lots to think about regarding the culture overall, that falls on Hoke. He seems like a guy who looks in the mirror. I would expect him to shake things up one way or another, probably for the better.
Borges, Funk and Jackson all need to go.
What about a guy like Major Applewhite? He's a tough guy, he's young, he coahced with Saban.
I believe Brady Hoke literally bleeds Maize and Blue and would keep him in some capacity at Michigan, he can recruit like a mad man. He may turn it around in 2014 and 2015 and prove us wrong. But Borges has shown no ability to adjust to in game situations or call a coherent game plan.
I agree. Borges can't adjust and his running plays are predictable.