RR and the defense
I logged in just to neg you for this...
I know many are tired of RR discussion but this is a legitimate question and, honestly, I'd like to know the answer.
Thank you. I haven't taken the time to neg or up vote anyone since the points don't matter, but I appreciate your constructive criticism. All I can do is take it, and do my best.
But seriously, I'm sick of this. Can we just move on from RR. I wanted him to stay, he didn't, lets move on.
I am even sick of talking about this! Let's focus on the 3* Mafia...
You always have the option to not click the link...
but you can't resist! just like the rest of us.
It sure it a legitimate question...that has been asked before. Also, maybe it shouldn't be posted directed after the "Stats don't mean wins" thread.
Maybe it should have been posted in the "Stats don't mean wins" thread.
Or any of Ziff's other threads.
Good thing it's not like "whose line" and the points totally matter.
I logged on just to post this . . .
I did it because I'm bored and because I can. Nobody cares that you logged in to neg him/her. Just saying.
What are things not very good at Michigan the last three years?
Stick, meet hornet's nest.
One of the hardest things to do when you are the boss is delegating tasks to your workers and trusting them to carry them out without your direct involvement. The inclusion of the 3-3-5 is one sign Rodriguez got involved with the defense, especially when it suddenly showed up mid-season. Additionally, from everything I've read, the teams personel was more suited to a 4-3 than the 3-3-5 so there's no way a coach without 3-3-5 experience would logically transition to it.
One other form of medling I've read about is the defensive position coaches were all "Rodriguez coaches" while the DCs were outsiders. If you really trust your DC, you should give them some say in who's on their "team".
Because after the question, "What is the evidence that RR interfered with his DCs?" comes the question of "What is the evidence that Shafer or Robinson felt undermined by Michigan's staff of defensive assistants and position coaches?"
I'm aware of no such evidence, for either question. And yes, I expect that John U. Bacon's book will be enlightening.
It seems like every other guy on MGoBlog has a theory about how Rodriguez either ignored the defense excessively or else meddled with it to the point of disaster. Without so much as a quote or a statement from anybody who counts.
Those notions have been repeated and restated here enough that they are now being accepted as fact. That is what passes for content-filler on sportstalk radio.
And I'm not even arguing the point with anybody! All I am doing is asking the question: What's the basis for that? If it is unprovable, beyond the capability of human understanding, fine. We then know where we stand. That's all. I'm not claiming superior knowledge. I don't know. All I ask of anybody who makes any assertion is; How do you know?
Please don't encourage them. Its time to move on . . .
Don't feed the "RR" posters.
Yet you're perfectly happy to put out there that the savior-that-got-away, Jeff Casteel, was a Bill Martin signature on a fat paycheck away from coming here and turning our defense into the 1985 Bears without even the slightest bit of circumstantial evidence indicating that it was the case.
All I ask of you is How do you know?
BTW, I enjoyed your Lion Kim interview last week.
I've probably posted something to that effect a dozen or more times. I always write something like, "I presume," or "presumably," or "it would appear."
But the specific case of Casteel is highly quantifiable. We know that he was asked by Rodriguez to join the Michigan staff, from the beginning. We know that Casteel said, "Yes," and then changed his mind when Stewart got the WVU job. We know what Casteel said at that time, and it sounded totally believable, reasonable and non-conspiratorial. He said that given that he now had a chance to stay in Morgantown where he was settled with his wife and daughters, he would do just that. And so we got Shafer instead.
We also know what Casteel was getting paid at that time, and what his contract was for.
Then, we go through the year with Shafer, and he is done. There is no doubt (though I can't find a handy quote) about Rodriguez's then going back to Casteel a second time, to try to get him to come. Again, we know what everybody (Casteel, Shafer, Greg Robinson) would eventually have in their contracts for the relevant years.
What I suggest -- that we never offered Casteel enough money -- is at least quantifiable. I haven't relied, despite the fact that I think it credible, on the Morgantown-based rumor about what Casteel wanted, what Michigan offered, and how close they got. Both in 2009, and again (third time!) at the end of Dave Brandon's "process."
I don't like to speak for Brian Cook, but I think I can pretty confidently say that my own take on the whole situation was indistinguishable from Brian's: Look at what Casteel was making at WVU. And look at what the big boys in the world of DC's were making. Yeah, we know all about what Casteel said about keeping his family in West Virginia. But does anybody think that doubling or even tripling Casteel's pay to get him to come to Ann Arbor wouldn't have worked? Given what we paid Shafer, Robinson and all the others, does it not appear that the offer to Casteel was close to what Casteel was already getting at WVU, and not close to what was later offered to Greg Mattison?
I've posted something to this effect a few times before, but there is no way you are a real person. You have obviously created a bot that sees key words and automatically responds with either this exact post or something about Michael Rosenberg.
There actually is fairly clear evidence that RR mismanaged the defense - at least, as clear as you'll ever find. Rich Rodriguez, by his own admission, didn't spend much time in a typical week working with the defense. He said so in a few weekly press conferences. I believe one of these was after the Indiana game last season (or maybe it was after MSU). At the same time, there is the incredible coincidence of both Scott Shafer and Greg Robinson running the 3-3-5 as a base defense for the first time in their careers - a defense that RR's teams had used at WVU. And there are Shafer's post-mortem comments in 2008, where he strongly implied that his hands had been tied.
It's not that there isn't evidence. It's that some posters are so firmly convinced that RR excels in all areas that they just plain refuse to believe it. (OTOH, they have zero difficulty pulling a "Bill Martin prevented Casteel from coming here" conspiracy theory out of thin air.)
Since when is requiring evidence to believe a proposition a "fallacy"?
Bacon's book might be enlightening, as long as he doesn't say (or actually think) more things like this (emphasis is mine):
“[The Fab Five] stirred up a lot of controversy, but at the time the two most sympathetic figures were head coach Steve Fisher, a truly nice guy who seemed to be a hapless victim of his own recruiting success, and Webber, the most polished of the bunch, due partly to his private school background. To many fans, the rest of the Fab Five were just a bunch of clueless, classless clowns who didn't belong on a college campus.”
Really? Are you kidding me?
Did anyone else think this? If so, I was completely out of touch with the dynamics of the Fab Five as a 19-y/o student-fan. For my money, I wanted the ball in Jalen's hands in crunch time, Juwan was the most "polished," and I occasionally thought that Webber, with arguably the most God-given talent, was the most prone to inconsistency and lapses in judgment. But that's another discussion altogether. My point is, I hope Bacon is more in touch with the dynamics of the RR era than he was with the Fab Five (as suggested by this ridiculous quote).
It's clear you didn't travel in a lot of alumni circles back then. His comment was common from senior alums who thought Michigan should have been able to "find talent that wasn't a side show".
BTW - I was and still am a fan of the Fab Five, but I wanted to clarify that Bacon was right about a certain segment of fans.
This is true; I was a sophomore when the Fab Five hit campus. The hate mail angle is new and shocking to me, and I'm ashamed that we have alumni who felt (and/or feel) that way. I mean, to go to school at one of the most liberal, diverse schools in America, in one of the most liberal-thinking cities in America, and still think that way. I guess I was naive.
However, for someone to say that the surrounding talent was a sideshow is simply ignorant. I'm too lazy to do a lot of research on this (I'm going to rely on this article, which I assume is appropriately substantiated by accurate recruiting data...from 1991), but Howard was the #5 ranked H.S. player in the country that year (with a polished post game), Rose was #8, King #18, and Jackson #48. I don't see how even the most ignorant, racist fan can call that a sideshow. Much less, could they hold onto that belief when Jalen was running the show most games.
In the end, I guess I'm not so surprised that we have a faction of ignorant, racist fans, but that Bacon extended this to include "most" fans. To me, "most" implies the majority or more. I need more convincing before I believe that's true, because no one in my circles -- student or otherwise -- conveyed such a belief.
Had Howard #3, and King #12. But great post nonetheless.
Didn't the ESPN documentary show the volumes of hate mail sent to the players and/or to the administration/athletic department saying exactly that? Didn't occur to me that in this [that] day and age such racism/classism could be associated with UofM and its fans. I was an innocent Fab Five fan too, and had no idea that kind of hatred was circling the program.
We all know that sometimes [always?] the haters are the most vocal, but even a few is too many when it hits so close to home.
They showed some examples of hate mail, but it wasn't clear how much was actually sent.
I believe that Bacon addressed this on one of his recent Friday segments on the morning show w/ Sam and Ira. I recall that he was reflecting his thoughts at the time of the Fab Five and has now done a 180. Also, I believe that these thoughts were more general and not about who needed the ball at crunch time---more like who you would invite to a dinner party.
I'm confused.... is the horse the 3-3-5, or is it the no-blitz-defense, or is it playing Obi at MLB, or is it forgetting to recruit a free safety, or is it not knowing how to coach-up Big Will at DT, or is it......
I've never seen any good evidence, either, but the explanation makes too much sense. I don't know how else to explain all the adminstrative disasters on defense. It's not hard for me to imagine Rodriguez being stubborn and siding with his buddies.
Related: Has anyone considered that RichRod was just plain lucky when he hooked up with Casteel at West Virginia? As crazy as it may seem to some, he might still have a lot to learn about being a head coach. His next adventure in that role might turn out differently from his one at Michigan.
just blame them both(Greg Robinson and RR) and move on. I'm really no longer looking for an explanation of anything over the past 3 years. We have a new coach and need to support him and his staff and go on with our business.
It's not really a dead horse if Brian still has it as the top post on the front page... That being said, this probably is a question best left in the comments on that post, and not its own thread.
The idea that it was forced is entirely conjecture as I can tell, but there are a lot of signs that indicate not everyone was on the same page. This was a bit of a red flag for me:
Guess what? Brian can beat a dead horse just as well as anyone else can...
I remember that article all too vividly. I got to the part about "suspectible to the power run" and remember thinking "Well I'll just go ahead and pencil in Wisconsin, Iowa and tOSU as losses." I have nothing against the 3-3-5, but installing in a conference where the Power I is king is just dumb.
a) Installing the 3-3-5 is not dumb. It can work with the correct personnel.
b) You don't know what the "Power I" is, obviously.
How could a head coach not be involved in the choice of a defensive system?
You used to be good for a THOUGHTFUL reply, even when I disagreed with you. It's a little nuance the OP is after and--for my money--the notion that Gerg was so at odds with/ill-suited to the D he was forced at gunpoint to install is garbage. . . of the hacknied kind that starts to ooze pus when too many people repeat it. It's completely belied by the likes of the article cited above, for example.
It's much more likely that RR wanted it, Gerg acquiesced, insisted that was no problem, then proceeded to F it up royally, don't you think? That doesn't mean RR isn't/wasn't ultimately responsible.
I will never get why people come on here to argue DON'T THINK! BE A HOMER! Aren't there duller places for that?
The terse replies are meant to discourage Ziff72 from pondering such issues publicly when a little critical thought of his own should surely be able to do the job. These issues have been discussed at length, and the very idea that Rodriguez is not to blame for Michigan's installation of the 3-3-5 is mind-boggling. Ziff72 is a frequent reader/poster on this site, and frankly, there's no excuse for another thread being created about the topic from someone who is so involved in the site.
If he were a newbie, it would be understandable. He's not.
I'm just trying to get some info. Obviously RR has input on what defensive scheme he wants to run, but you have been around football long enough as well Magnus to know that head coaches don't always have that much input to the defense. I feel like we're Michael and Kate talking in the Godfather...who's being naive Magnus?
Mike Ditka for the 85 Bears was told to get the fuck out of defensive meetings, Mike Tomlin came to Pittsburgh with a Tampa 2 background and the Steelers told him we're running Dick Lebaus 3-4. You think Harbaugh was telling rex Ryan how to run the defense in Baltimore? Mack Brown was meddling with Will Muschamp on a daily basis at Texas? You think Bill Stewart was really meddling with what Jeff Casteel was doing at WV? Doubt it.
There is a difference between setting your overall schemes and meddling. Here's my version.
RR and GR talk in December and January they look at their personnel and tape from last year and they see what worked and what didn't, RR gives his input on things he would like to see, GR either agrees or they have a conversation and come to a decision on what they want to run. From that point on I assume RR has little input other than player development and general gameplan notes for the week.
RR tells GR to install defense he doesn't want to run. GR doesn't like it and doesn't research it and comes up with a defense no one has ever seen before. My logic meter tells me this. If RR wanted to run a 3-3-5 like he had at WV why didn't we ever run it? That's the question I can't answer for myself based on the prevailing theory.. You know better than most that we never ran the 3-3-5 like WV ran it. So what exactly was RR trying to do if he was meddling with the defense.
"So what exactly was RR trying to do if he was meddling with the defense?"
He was obviously trying to win football games. It didn't work.
Not the 90 billionth thread, HIS 90 billionth thread on the same subject.
I don't understand. This thread has no pro or anti RR in it. I asked a question to a theory that I think has been overplayed.
Let's just say the same thing over again a million times and make it come true.
Brian had the post up yesterday so I thought it was relevant. I put a disclaimer in the 1st sentence, but I'm sure you didn't even read it, you just saw my name and the title and put up your glass half empty post.
I like what you did here Magnus. I take you to task for your post and you just post back with fisking something else. You must have been a killer in debate class.
Admit I won the coaches being involved in the defense argument.....waiting...ok done.
I'm not defending RR either approach was a failure. People can't have it both ways though. Either he meddled to much in the defense or he neglected it. Can't be both. When GR came in in 09 we ran very little 3-3-5 so RR left him alone for the 1st year but meddled the 2nd? I just find it interesting why things that don't seem to make sense we're done instead of just saying these successful coaches suddenly turned into morons when they stepped on Ann Arbor soil.
What don't you understand? Forcing Shafer and Robinson to run the 3-3-5 is meddling to the nth degree.
You're asking message boarders if they were flies on the wall when Rodriguez/Robinson were discussing whether the MLB should be playing at 2 yards depth or 4 yards. I don't know why Kenny Demens was only 2 yards deep. Frankly, I don't give a rat's ass. He was, it didn't work, and that's on Rodriguez.
The answer to your question is obvious. The question is rhetorical and redundant. I don't need to write a 10,000 word tome to explain why this thread is dumb. You finished your retort by asking another silly question, to which you received a concise and pointed answer. You can accept it, or you can start another thread asking questions about the Rich Rodriguez tenure. You will probably do the latter, and you will probably be met with much resistance.
Why so terse? Wouldn't you like to know why Demens was lined up 2 yards behind the line?
I would like to know why things happened instead of just saying they were dumb. Call me crazy, but I think it more believable the coaches at Michigan had a reasonable plan that went wrong instead of just saying it was dumb.
No, I don't really want to know. I don't care. It's a waste of time, and I hope it never happens again.
I think the general theory is that Robinson never coached a 3-3-5 at any point in his 20 some year career. Even when he came in, he told folks he was planning on going with a 4-3 Under type defense. Combine this with the fact that all his assistants are 3-3-5 guys held over from West Virginia with closer ties to Rod then to him and you have some pretty strong circumstantial evidence of either the head coach messing about, or the assistants completely undermining the D-coordinator...Not to mention the 3-3-5 making bizarre appearances at completely inopportune times throughout the last 3 years...e.g. Purdue in year one.
Didn't GERG himself say he had run some 3-3-5 when in Denver and was familiar with it? (Note: I'm not saying the 3-3-5 was the Broncos' base defense during those years)
I feel like most DC's run some 3-3-5 on situational passing downs, but the 3-3-5 stack base defense is a completely different beast.
Staler than the staliest thing ever encountered. Ziff you knew this when you started this thread. Talk about this shit with your dog, he will listen all day, and never rebut you, plus he has just as much inside info as the rest of us.
I don't profess to "know" what happened, but there were a few things that lead to the conclusion that RR (either directly, or indirectly by allowing his D assistant coaches too much authority over the DC) meddles in, and harmed, the D:
1. GERG never ran the 3-3-5 before. Ever. RR and his coached did. It doesn't take a large logical leap to figure out who made the decision to run the 3-3-5. Forcing the DC to run a formation he does not know can never be a good idea.
2. Terminology - there was some GERG statement from when he was hired (before he went on media blackout) where he alluded to having to learn a whole new lingo. Spur, bandid, etc. This was the same terminology that RR and his staff used at WVU. If the DC is first learnign the terminology, it is likely that he is being fit into an existing scheme, rather than being given autonomy to run his own scheme.
3. Observations - I think that game was PSU, but there was one point where GERG was addressing some of the D players in the huddle on the sideline and RR came running into the huddle, almost threw GERG out of the way, and started yelling at the players. The dynamic, more than anything, made obvious, the power dynamic on the D side of the ball.
1. We didn't run WV's 3-3-5 ever as Brian has painstakingly pointed out. So I wonder why not if RR was so gung ho for it?
2. Nice Clue. That is telling as we like to say here.
3. Don't remember it. If it's the one I'm thinking of RR said he was just trying to fire them up, nothing scheme wise.
False on point 1. Found it:
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez ran a 3-3-5 during part of his tenure at West Virginia, but Robinson said the entire coaching staff was on board with the change. In the 1990s, he said he ran a similar scheme as defensive coordinator with the New York Jets and Denver Broncos.
EDIT- this is a reply to the post above Ziff72's, and the others, who have said GERG "never ran the 3-3-5," or wasn't familiar with it, etc., prior to coming to Michigan.
it's over. RR isn't coming back. niether is Gerg or Schaefer. for whatever reason, it was a disaster. it doesn't matter what the reason was. hopefully, Hoke and Mattison usher in a new era of swarming, effective Michigan defense.
Good God people, it's over. Done. Stop!
It's an inference. Greg had never coached a 3-3-5. Nor had Shafer. RR's defensive assistants had. Then, miraculously, Gerg and Shafer started coaching a scheme that they had never, ever, run. I don't think that's unreasonable.
Demanding "evidence" from situations you know won't yield it is pointless.
Was I demanding? Just trying to get more understanding.
Your point is a good one as other have brought up.
My point is that we never ran the 3-3-5 as described in videos or run at WV. If RR really wanted that defense and not just be multiple as he stated why did he not have the team run the 3-3-5 as WV does. Brian has posted endlessly that we were not doing anything like WV had done previously other than line up with 3 lineman and 3 LB's.
For me it just doesn't add up. If RR wanted the 3-3-5 so bad why would he hire guys that didn't run it?
This suggests to me that gerg, et al. didn't know enough about WVU's style of 3-3-5 to run it properly. I suppose it's possible they Michigan was trying to run some other 3-3-5 and doing that poorly, but why assume they were not trying to run the same 3-3-5?
Brian has about 7,684 posts up about how we look nothing like the WV 3-3-5 ran. Our dline and LB did not line up anything like WV does.
That's why I assume.
RR ran it at WV and brought some defensive assistants. If they wanted WV's defense I'm pretty sure they could have looked at tape and at least lined up correctly.
who the brains of RR's WVU defense was, and he didn't join RR's staff at Michigan.
Well here is a possible scenario: RR hires Gerg and tells him he can run the defense he knows how to coach. When results are not immediate (due to talent or scheme or whatever), RR decides to go back to what he and his assistants were familar with in WV and has Gerg implement the 3-3-5. The only problem is 1. Gerg has never run the 3-3-5 so he is unsure how to actually set up the formations correctly. 2 RR basically let Casteel handle the defense at WV so he was unsure of how to make the corrections as well. This leads to massive failure, ala the Penn State game with linebackers like 2 feet behind the Dline.
Not saying this is true, but it seems like a plausible option if you are having a hard time visualizing what happened.
I can go with your scenario except the lining up part. To believe that GR couldn't figure out how to line up players from looking at a tape is lunacy.
We'll just have to wait for the book, but football isn't that complicated. Brian never played in his life and he looked at a couple of DVD's and a few youtube clips and knew where to line up the lb's.
FORCED to cuddle with stuffed animals.
How did that acrylic-fur animal thing get started? What sort of animal was it? What was the inside joke? The players apparently thought it was genuinely funny, didn't they? Why would none of the players say anything about it? Has anyone ever reported the real story?
Well you can only get so much from tape. He had never run this defense in his entire career. He doesn't know the little intricacies of it. He probably got as much out of the tape as he could in the short amount of time he had to install it. Either that, or Gerg played with his stuffed beaver instead of actually watching the tapes. Could go either way.
The WVU 3-3-5 was developed and run by a highly successful DC.
Ours was adapted by a multiple-time failure and a few guys that had the highly successful guy's notebooks.
I'm not as worked up about the OP bringing up this topic as some (if you beat a dead horse long enough, you get dog food, and that's useful), but chitownblue2 nicely crystallizes the "RichRod Defense Problem" . When Michigan couldn't get Casteel as a DC, RichRod hired two DC's with no 3-3-5 experience, and then told them they were stuck with Casteel's old assistants.
With this mismatch, it's no surprise that the defense was a tad dysfunctional the past few years. Of course, whether a 3-3-5 is even viable in the Big 10 is another topic. But it sure as hell wasn't likely to work for Michigan when Robinson and Shafer had never coached the scheme before.
Gentleman & Scholar alert.
How about an "RR" tag?
I love how it is completely fine to talk about any prior Michigan coach.....as long as it isn't RichRod. When a valid question is brought up, just get over it and move on. No explanation needed. Just give a short answer that doesn't answer the post and never talk about RichRod again.
Here, how about I put it to you this way:
I seem to have missed all your posts on the thread right below this one entitled "stats don't mean wins." In fact, I don't notice you posting on anything other than why RichRod was horrible. I wonder why?
My point was some of us like intelligent debate and wonder what happened the past 3 years, want clarification on the reasoning of posts of those who disagree with us, think the program would have gotten better as more upperclassmen played under RR, etc... To this, yourself and other people who hated RichRod come up with "get over it. Hoke is here. Support him or get over it. You suck as a poster for trying to clarify anything with regards to RR. He is gone and was horrible. Get over it." But, at the same time, you completely turn the other way and don't notice when people make stupid fucking posts about RichRod failing at Michigan. In short, people who supported RR are completely fine talking about the past and the future of our program, which includes the current and past coaches. People who hated RichRod, such as yourself, only want to talk about why he sucked and anyone discussing otherwise needs to "let it go" or "just accept it." That is what I was talking about. It's ok to have positive discussion about Michigan football.....unless it involves the last 3 years, in which case fuck off and get over it.
I sure didn't write any of them. I don't recall any recent "wistful romanticized" Rodriguez references.
My only point, all along, was that Rodriguez was treated unfairly. And, I never felt as though David Brandon made a good case for dismissing him. I didn't think that there was a good case for dismissing Rodriguez, particularly if Plan B was Brady Hoke. Most relevant to this thread, I didn't understand how Michigan had failed to attract Jeff Casteel, to compliment the Rodriguez offense, after Casteel has clearly been one of the highest-performing DC's in the nation for the last five years.
I thought those were all relevant points. They were at least arguable points. I don't see any "wistfulness" in any of that.
Ha. Yes, You are just an innocent bystander pointing out the sad nature of these RR posts, all the while being unfairly classified as a person who hates RR.
Also, you might want to try and be a little less condascending. Prick.
Edit: This was meant as a response to dahblue.
Yeah, because memories of getting smacked by OSU and Wisky are soooo much fun.
I know this from VERY VERY RELIABLE SOURCES IN THE PROGRAM:
RR forced Schaeffer to run the 3-3-5 against Purdue in 2008 and it was doom.
Schaeffer refused to run the 3-3-5, so RR ran him out..and Schaeff is doing great at Syracuse now.
RR hired a newly FIRED Gerg, and told him if he wanted a job, to come and run the 3-3-5.
He did, and it was the worst ever!!!
Period. That is why Gerg NEVER did post game interviews, cuz he had nothing good to say, and couldnt stand by this defense.
Horrible situation for all!! and it was all RR's fault.
no, ONWARD AND UPWARD with a new staff that knows that defense wins championships!
Jesus, it's getting pretty close to mlive in here some days. You have a VERY VERY RELIABLE SOURCES IN THE PROGRAM huh? You mind letting us know who it is?
Ice just proved my point about mgoboard turning in milve.
Only if we roll over, play dead, and let it happen.
If Rodriguez told Robinson, "If you want a job, come run the 3-3-5"...
...then we wouldn't have run a 4-3 back in 2009.
You can ask Gerg yourself. Simply place a "Coach Needed to Run 4-3 Defense" ad on Craigslist and wait for him to reply. Once you ask him why he's looking for a new job, I'm sure he'll be more than willing to divulge what really happened.
I feel badly for through this entire debacle because anytime I see him the only vision I have is that stuffed beaver attacking his neck!
I can understand why people think RR discussions need to stop: it's a headache thinking about the last few years*, we have a new coach who's taking us in a new direction, and RR will never step foot near this program again.
(*as a fanatical senior at UM who had high hopes for football as a student, I understand this as well as anyone)
But, in defense of Brian and others on here, please stop telling us to "get over it," or to stop talking about it because it's irrelevant now. It's not.
Hopefully after Hoke has a good season, RR discussion can be anecdotal not argumentative, but we're 3 months off of an RR season, so it is completely relevant. A few months into Obama's term, Bush's just-completed term did not become completely irrelevant. Bush made his mark on the executive branch and judicial branches of the federal government (just like RR did on the program and the depth chart), but I didn't hear anyone saying discussing Bush's term is irrelevant in 2009 because Obama desired another direction. (Putting no value on either president, or comparing their value to the coaches)
As far as thinking we're complaining when we wonder what went wrong, I think that represents a difference in fundamental beliefs about RR as a coach. What I think, and what I'm pretty sure Brian and many posters here think, is that we hired a truly elite college coach who came into a fucked up situation, with fucked up people surrounding (read: covering) the program, and fucked up a little himself. Others here (correct me if I'm wrong) seem to believe we made a "sexy" hire in RR, that he got lucky at WVU with great players and a great D-coordinator, and when he came here he was exposed for who he was.
I'm not saying either side is right, but just understand these different modes of thinking. If you believe the former it is completely relevant and interesting to discuss what went wrong, if you believe the latter it is not. So, please just let us in the former category discuss what went wrong because there aren't many better places to do it, and stay out of our discussion if you have nothing to contribute other than oversimplified played-out arguments.
That is all.
It's not so much that RR's tenure is irrelevant now that rankles people, so much as the continued "How dare anyone speak ill of RR" attitude. You could have argued that that kind of "circle the wagons" attitude was justified when he was the face of the program. I don't think you can argue that now. He is an ex-coach and there is no point in now glossing over his deficiencies.
As for whether RR is "truly an elite coach," if he is one, how do you explain the chain of events that took place on the defensive side of the ball? 1) Hiring Shafer, only to basically strip him of duties halfway through one season and then shove him out the door; 2) hiring a proven failure in GERG; 3) bringing him back despite a defense that was worse than 2008's and 4) asking him to run the 3-3-5, a defense he'd never run before, all the while (by RR's own admission) hardly even supervising him. This has the distinct whiff of a guy who didn't know what he was doing on defense.
I think you're right about this (I don't agree with 3, because it's hard to fire a guy for having a worse defense with worse personnel, and make the decision to have your third coordinator in three years--BG and company's 4th in 4 years). RR didn't know what he was doing on defense, or at least had too blind of a trust in his assistants, and not enough trust in his coordinator(s).
My argument that he's an elite coach is that he gave us the best chance to have a perennially elite program. I'm sure many would argue against this, but I believe he could've been a truly elite recruiter if he ever got the program on solid grounds (and that he did pretty well considering he never did). Continuity on the defensive side of the ball, and a serviceable kicker would've had this ship righted. Easier said than done, I know. We were all impatient.
My point wasn't about whether or not he is an elite coach, but that some of us believe he is, and could've been here if there weren't so many circumstances working against him. It was a strange thing that happened here, and I think we have a right to discuss it.
when was it determined that RR was a control freak about the defense? I don't recall any article in the past implying that RR was soley determining the defensive scheme.
Do you think Shafer and Greg Robinson came up with the idea to run the 3-3-5 on their own?
If you need someone to find you exact evidence in this situation then you are just being ridiculous. If you walked into your home and heard moaning from your bedroom, then found your wife naked with another man, would you deny that they were cheating until you saw actual penetration? COME ON.
My theory is that Michigan never had a true defensive coordinator under Rodriguez; Bruce Tall and Tony Gibson were his real coordinators. Shafer was forced out because he refused to be a figurehead for Tall/Gibson. Rodriguez' undoing wasn't so much his meddling with the defense, it was his unchecked loyalty to Gibson and Tall in allowing them to essentially run the defense without actually promoting either of them to coordinator.
When Rodriguez was assembling his first staff back in '08, he simultaneously asked all of his defensive assistants at WVU to join him in Ann Arbor. Most of his position coaches decided to follow him before Casteel made up his mind. When Casteel decided to stay at WVU, it put Rodriguez in a quandary: he had to find a new DC who could work with the position coaches he had already hired and start out with the entire defensive staff on the same page. That clearly didn't happen. Instead of just promoting Tall, Gibson, or Hopson to DC, he went after a DC with coordinator experience at a BCS school and hired Scott Shafer. By the end of '08, it was clear that Gibson/Tall/Hopson had mutinied against Shafer and that Rodriguez sided with them over his DC. Robinson was hired when he called Rodriguez out of the blue (or perhaps out of desperation, after having been fired by Syracuse) and lobbied hard for the job. Robinson was a good candidate on paper but wasn't in a position to exercise a lot of authority over the position coaches who (with the exception of Hopson) had been with Rodriguez since WVU. As someone who was just happy to be employed, he was fine with being a figurehead DC who implemented the will of Gibson/Tall/Hopson and later Braithwaite (another former WVU guy), but the inherent flaws of that model doomed his defense from the start.
Irregardless, of who was calling the shots on D, it's time to move on.
Irregardless is a double negative. It may be in the dictionary, but for future reference using that word makes you look bad.
so much for the dictionary...
Go ahead and use it then. Just know that you'll be viewed as uneducated by people who actually understand grammar. There are lots of things in the dictionary that sound stupid.
"Just know that you'll be viewed as uneducated by people who actually understand grammar. "
I'm not standing up for his use of "irregardless", but come on man. Understanding grammar and being uneducated are very relative. I think you could have said that in a much nicer, and more accurate way.
serious potato salad in here.
keep it clean, boys.
In my opinion if you do not have players it does not matter if your running a 3-3-5, 4-3, 3-4, or even 5-2. UM did not have the players to run any defense in my opinion. There was a reason why the world seemed to end when Wolfolk went down. UM played the entire season in my opinion without a functioning CB. We started a converted redshirt freshmen receiver at one safety position, and had a walkon safety at another. We had no functional depth on the Dline or LB'er.
If any one of the following does not happen R^2 still might have a job. Warren declaring early, Woolfolk having a season ending injury, Campbell being motivated, JT Turner being motivated, Jones not having a season ending injury. Everything went wrong.
People ask about the 3-3-5 verse the 4-3. If UM were to run a 4-3, who would the 4 down linemen be? I think we can state as fact that Evans, Sagasses, and Patterson were extremely limited. Campbell was a bust. If it was easy to fix him, he would not be the focus of spring ball. I believe Ash and Black have talent but they were very young last year. You have starters in Martin, RVB, and Roh. But a small problem is not only did we have a black hole at DE, we had no functional depth. Every time one of those Carr recruited seniors had to play it was a huge advantage to the opposing offense. Nothing against the players. I am sure they are fine individuals. But they were not Big10 atheletes.
Now lets look at the secondary. At one point we had a true freshmen starting at one corner, a 5th year journeyman who could not start in the MAC at another corner, a true freshmen playing FS, a former walkon playing another safety position, and a redshirt freshmen former receiver at the last safety spot. Your not going to win very many games with this combination of talent and youth. If C Gordan and Kovacs were 5th year seniors surrounded by 3rd and 4th year players, I think they do fine.
We have not even gone into the linebackers and it is getting grim. What coach on this planet could work with such a deficiency. Maybe Robbinson did not have the motivation he once had 20 years ago. But I challenge anyone on this list to name a coach and a scheme that would work with the personel we had. If you blame R^2 for not bringing in enough defensive talent in his two recruiting classes, show me a defense made up of freshmen and sophmores.
In my opinion R^2 got hit by a perfect storm. Anything that could go wrong on defense went wrong. Much of the fan base was rooting for him to fail. The previous coaching staff really came up lame on recruiting. He had no room for error. Worse for him a new AD came in who had made up his mind the day he took the job regardless of what he says. Lastly I think R^2 knew it and paniced and tried some crazy stuff midseason that blew up in his face(PSU). I think your going to see R^2 get another coaching gig and he will do just fine.
Sagesse could have been a serviceable defensive tackle. I'm not quite sure why he didn't play more, to tell you the truth. Even if you move Van Bergen inside to the 3-tech position on third downs, you would still have Roh and Black as your defensive ends.
I still think a 4-front was the way to go, but it might have been the difference between giving up 35 points a game...and giving up 34 points a game.
Still as bad as the defense was, if the offense had been consistent and many times scary in meaningful games, he'd probably still be coach. It wasn't. So we weren't left with much to hang our hat on going forward.
I don't buy for a second that most of the fan base wanted him to fail. Still, it isn't relevant. Cowboys fans laughed at Jimmie Johnson when he was 1-15 and they mostly DID want him to fail.
The fan base here tired of watching Michigan not be Michigan. In other words, losing in embarrassing fashion to our rivals. Rodriguez could have won everyone over with a signature win early on. To give the fans a taste of what he was building That isn't a lot to ask for a coach who never shied away from the genius label.
The fans were largely against him at the end because we weren't playing well and it was getting worse. It was no more a conspiracy by prejudiced fans as it is for any other coach who loses.
.....the English alphabet didn't have an "R" in it sometimes.......
Is it possible to make some sort of rule that all "RR" threads must immediately be virtually TP'd and a potato placed in the muffler pipe of the offending individual? Could we maybe focus on what's happening now?
Yeah sure. Let us not talk about anything that generates controversy and be done with it. The Greeks argued their philosphy in the symposiums of old. The French argued politics in their cofee shops. Webster, Clay, and Calhoun waxed eloquently about slavery. We of MGOBLOG have more important things to do which is to disscuss anything and everything about Michigan sports, particularly football to ad nauseam! I pity the poor fools who think they have a life and scream "Enough Already"
To discuss and debate what we think will happen, should happen. could have happened, would have happened, what really did happen, is half the fun. And if it takes 600 hours and 14 trillion posts, the better. Is that not the definition of football fanatics? Nonfanatics, why are you reading this? ;)
And Sagesse should have changed his last name to Molasses and his middle name to Cold. I am sure he is a lot faster then me. He was really slow. Black was a freshmen who played, well like a freshmen. I think he will be good, but got eaten alive sometimes because he just did not know what he was doing yet.
It seemed to me that Michigan played better against power running teams with its 4-front than its 3-front.
Also, I realize Sagesse is slow. I do not expect 300+ pounders to be fast. But if putting Sagesse on the field means that one of those freshman defensive backs is being removed from the field, then I think that's probably a better option. I said he was serviceable, not great.
No matter what the reason RR had the worst win% of any M football coach, and there was no real reason to believe he'd turn it around the way the D was going.
I believe UM's defense would have been better. If R^2 had stayed I projected out 10 wins. I'm not an eternal optimist as I had projected out six wins for 2010. If your are going to change everything you do it is a 4-5 year project. Imagine UM basketball if Belein had been fired at the end of last year. After 3 years your looking at a complete rebuilding job going into year 4 and a team with two pretty good starters in Harris and Sim's did pretty crummy. Were going into year 5 and UM can talk about competing for a Big10 championship.
We see this much more in the NFL where even more clueless owners make knee jerk coaching moves. A system takes 4-5 years to put into place. In some cases the NFL it is easier to make changes because you can hire/trade/draft where in college you can only replace about a quarter of your team a year. The exception might be a power program where if you have a preponderance of talent you can do anything you want. If your a USC in it's heyday, your defense is going to be pretty good regardless of the scheme you choose if you can pick 10-15 of the top 150 players every year.
Back to UM I believe Ash, Washington, or Black would have been good enough so that we could at least field 4 starters. Of course we still would have been hurting for depth.
So in summary I can respect the firing if Brandon's decision was that spead and UM is not allowed. He gave the basketball coach a 4th year. R^2 was working against such odds. I am sure the Cleveland Browns felt pretty good about themselves 15 years ago when they fired a pretty good coach who went on to win a few SB's. We know what Cleveland has done since.