Look, another meme that needs to die. RichRod didn't throw his players under the bus any more than any other coach who uses coach speak
Look, another meme that needs to die. RichRod didn't throw his players under the bus any more than any other coach who uses coach speak
I wouldn't say he threw his players under the bus, but he did put the blame on the players and their talent instead of himself on many occasions. Off the top of my head the "picking up a kicker on the way there" comment and the "Vince Lombardi" comment come to mind. Two things I would be shocked to hear Hoke say.
You could add the Mesko punt fiasco in 2009 ("Zoltan had a read there"), as well as the punt in the fourth quarter of last year's MSU game (in which RR claimed his assistants sent in the wrong play, even though he allowed the play to go off without calling a timeout). There was a subtle pattern of RR trying to suggest that it was external factors that were preventing him from succeeding. That generally doesn't fly very well with the public. People expect the buck to stop with the head coach.
Hoke has taken the opposite approach: "If we don't win the Big Ten, we've failed them as coaches." That's taking it to an extreme, but people want to hear that. Fans don't want their coach to be a victim of circumstance. They want him to give the impression that he is in complete control all the time.
I remember seeing a clip of Hoke in an interview where he says the team didn't execute and that's why they were playing poor. There are also plenty of times RichRod said the coaching staff didn't prepare the team. Point being that all coaches say things and explain what happens. I don't think RichRod threw his kids under the bus any more than any other coach but it was magnified because people disliked him
Exactly. I think what makes Hoke so great is that he seems so genuine about it and truley believes what he says about winning the B1G etc. I have a feeling that this is what makes him and his staff so good at recruiting as well because the kids they recruit know they arent getting any bs.
It's a lot easier to say "we're going to win the Big Ten" when you have a lineup of mostly upperclassmen and the BT offensive player of the year coming back than it is to win it with Threet-idan the first year, and a lineup of predominantly underclassmen the second and third years.
Can't the asshole contingent here EVER just support Hoke without smarmy, shitty comments re RR? I wish some of you would show as much class as Hoke has.
When did I every make a shitty comment about RR? I implied that I think Hoke is a better leader for Michigan than RR was but I dont see how that is a comment against RR.
I can't believe after all we've been through there are still people in love with RR. I wasn't happy when he was hired, wished for him to succeed, but watched a nightmare for 3 years. The glass was half full excuse doesn't fly with me. You don't run off players and the entire coaching staff of a successful program when you have no defensive plan. His worst offense was getting rid of English and the D-Staff, when that isn't even his side of the ball. It is almost like he was going through a mid-life crisis and just decided to ruin a program. We had the talent and the departures were squarely on RR's approach to the program. We were due for a down year in 2008, but 3-9 is an embarrasing.
I agree that this meme has been overblown, but it's not without basis. As another commenter pointed out below, the Vince Lombardi comment comes to mind. Also, Calvin Magee's description of Steven Threet's performance in the '08 MSU game as "inconsistent, like it always is" was pretty low. Granted, Rich Rod himself didn't say that, but Magee had been with Rich Rod since '01 and is a pretty prominent branch of his coaching tree.
Great post. I've come to believe over the last several years that the best head coaches are more CEO types than X's and O's gurus. Obviously, these skils are not mutually exclusive, but IME managment skills are far more important than technical skills when it comes to being a head coach. This is an interesting parallel between sports & business. The same reason certain head coaches can be successful even as the game changes around them (Paterno, Bowden, Holtz) is why career CEO's can bounce from compnay to company and turn them around. On the flipside you can examine X's & O's guys who climb the ranks only to fail when they reach "the top", most likely because of their lack of managment & people skills (RR & Morninwheg come to mind).
Charlie Weis is a textbook example of an X's and O's guy (or a "decided schematic advantage" guy, as it were) who failed as a head coach because he lacked mangerial and people skills. But Urban Meyer and Chip Kelly are proof that you can have both. Meyer and Kelly are both X's and O's guys who are seen as spread offense gurus, but they're wise enough to rely on their assistants and not micromanage areas that that they have no expertise in. Kelly mostly defers to his defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti at Oregon. Meyer actually kept Ron Zook's defensive coordinator (Charlie Strong) when he took over at Florida.
This is why I applaud Dave Brandon for this hire. I know the process wasnt looked on very favorably but Brandon knew the type of leader he wanted and made a decision that he knew was right even though it wasnt popular at the time.
I think that the reasons for Hoke's success have been outlined in a couple of different ways and this is definitely another good perspective.
now you can get rid of that signature.
Actually, he can't. Apparently some MGoBlog members can't spell "John".
Too early to judge him so far and he has had the kind "stars are aligned" entry back into the fold that we will never really know how much was him and how much due to external factors.
I mean, who could have imagined OSU would implode (with the potential of added program crippling sanctions) at the exact same as the rest of B10 decided to shit the bed 1-2 yrs after having one of the strongest conferences I've ever seen with MSU, Wisky, OSU and even Iowa having great seasons.
The B10 is incredibly weak at the moment and OSU could be down for 3-5 years - Hoke will have it easy compared to either Lloyd or RichRod.
However, huge credit for the Mattison hire and Gorgeous Al looks like he could be the real deal.
I agree completely. Also, forgive me for going there, but... while Rodriguez's football acumen is outstanding, the mismanagement, especially in a somewhat hostile environment, did him in. Rodriguez may have a coaching complement in... Cheryl Burnett? Both had unquestioned success at a smaller school in a more insular environment. Both built programs organically, over time, to great success. Both came to Michigan with great expectations, and both had careers that failed to live up to expectations (Burnett's more disastrously than Rodriguez's -- check out these pre- and post- http://www.michigandaily.com/content/introducing-cheryl-burnett , http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/womensbasketball/bigten/2007-03-06-michigan-burnett-retires_N.htm)
Rodriguez was unprepared for all the demands he faced at Michigan. Part of that is Rodriguez's fault, but I still put the blame squarely on Sailin' Bill, who could have done MUCH more to ease the transition.
I have thought much the same thing about Hoke, as head football coach is more of an executive position than anything else. And the time/energy demands of this job are such that he must delegate intellegently. I have also though that by not being directly tied up in the offense/defense play calling, it allows Hoke to see more broadly what is going on in the game. Yeah, Hoke was ready to call the final TD against ND.
But Hoke hasn't had to go through any real adversity yet, and certainly no crisis. It is easy to be magnanomous when you are winning. It is easy to look smart when your winning. Let's see how Hoke responds after a couple of losses, and how the team reacts. Do things mushroom and the team and/coaches lose confidence like the past 3 years, or do they respond?
Hoke has confidence in his coordinators and assistant coaches, they have proven they are able. I think this will make the difference between Hoke's tenure and Rodriguez'
Exactly. It's easy to not make excuses and take criticism when you're winning. So far so good, but we'll see if he can continue to impress after a tough loss or two pops up. I think he will, but that's the future.
But when i listended to his first press conference he had me at the first "This is Michigan"
Time will tell but my gut tells me we have something special brewing here.
Your gut is telling you something special is brewing? A trip to the bathroom may be in order.
he might be in love.
He's currently enjoying the same success Rich Rodriguez enjoyed in his second year. Slow down for a few weeks. Trust me, I'm with you but it's a process in which we must be realistic.
At least Hoke didn't lose to a MAC school in his first year.
I agree. I was there. Sad day.
Please don't remind me. I can only shudder and weep when I remember. I never got over the trauma, I think I never shall.
But to respond to the OP--quite. By happenstance, I had just finished reading "Lasting Lessons" when Hoke gave his first press conference. Bo always struck me as one highly effective leader, and Hoke seems to be in that mold. That trait of taking all the blame but pushing off all the glory, in particular, is brilliant and develops considerable loyalty.
As others have pointed out, he's also been incredibly adept at handling difficult questions and hasn't really put a foot wrong. What's amazing to me about that is that he comes off as 100% genuine, not even a shade rehearsed. If anything, he's an awkward speaker (diagramming his sentences would be a nightmare unless it's "This is Michigan!") yet he always manages to give a response that, if not, er, tremendous, is completely appropriate and does no harm.
I like it.
I hope it translates to nothing but winning seasons, and beating That School.
This team that lost to a MAC team in the coach's first year wouldn't happen to be the same team (so to say) that lost, while loaded with NFL talent (which all left prior to this coach you are referring to first year), to an FCS team the year before?
Sr. laden team, experienced and stable coaching stafff with team loaded with NFL talent loses to FCS school > or < than next year, no NFL talent, entire new coaching staff, loses to division 1 team.
Just what would you do, with a billion MGoPoints? Could you handle it? I think you could.
Warren, Graham, mouton, Martin, T Taylor, banks, Jamison, Trent, Ezeh before lack of coaching on defense.
Offense was good too short of qb. Enough talent to win more than 3 games I promise you!
that has been kind of an on-going thing). Another problem with "the cupboard" were the last two Carr recruiting classes combined with poor retention. I'm sure you noticed that there was very little in the way of Sr. leadership on the team last year.
The story of 2008 was not one of problematic defense, it was the deadly combination of inexperience, poor QB play with inexperienced, poor OL play. The offensive line was a huge problem in 2008. Lack of any wideout threat didn't help either (probably didn't matter as the QB, if the OL gave him time, a big if, wouldn't be able to get him the ball anyway).
Hoke best decision was to go after guys with questionable or lack of hair. RR went after guys with full head of hair and look what that did for him.
Brady Hoke is 3-0. Exactly like the last two seasons with this program. He's doing a good job off the field, particularly recruiting, just like the last two seasons with this program. I don't understand the prematurely rave reviews on a lot of this other stuff:
Not that I want to get a 9,000 word diatribe out of you, but on the meddling portion: isn't it sort of accepted as canon around here that the previous head coach meddled quite a bit with the defense, leading to Shafer being fired and Gerg running a system he didn't understand?
It is an inherently loaded concept. "Meddling" automatically connotes wrongdoing of some kind on the part of the meddler.
Some folks criticized Rodriguez for not being involved in the defense; because after all, he's the head coach, and defense is part of his responsibility.
And then there are the folks who criticzed Rodriguez for "meddling," and insisting on a defense that his defensive coordinators didn't like or weren't capable of coordinating.
And worst of all, all of this is spouted off in the context of Brady Hoke, who was given a million bucks to get the defensive coordinator of his dreams (rightly so; any Michigan Head Football Coach should be able to get the DC of his dreams) and who is now being praised, apparently, for simply doing what Rodriguez did, which was to delgate the operation of the defense within some general outline that he prefers. And moreover, all of this is somehow proven by Hoke's "success," which is statistically indifferent from Rodriguez's success at this point in each of the last two seasons.
if it weren't for
Not sure what about my post so upset you other than my comment that Hoke appears to have a better handle on the niceities of managing people than RR did. If you remember, i was a staunch RR supporter and opposed violently the Hoke hire. But I have been impressed by what i've seen and I'm not letting my personal bias towards RR cloud my evaluation of Hoke.
As far as your specific objections to my post i do not believe RR wanted any opposition to his plans, especially on defense. A weak manager, and unfortunately it seems to me that RR was a weak manager, insists on HIS plan regardless of the wishes of his subordinates. You will NEVER convince me that Gerg woke up last year and said to RR "hey...let's run that defense I've never coached before...might be fun to learn as I go."
The rest of your objections are nothing more than taking a contrarian position on anything I supported (headsets, ND game, my guess for how he'll handle adversity) for the sake of being a board contrarian. Nothing more...nothing less.
That (a) Brady Hoke seems like a nice guy, delegating to a capable OC and a capable DC that he trusts, and (b) we really don't know how any of this is going to turn out in terms of hard results for 2011.
And I agreed with you on that.
My only other point was that all of the other Hoke-worship and implied Rodriguez-comparison was weak. Because, as you say, we really don't know, yet.
He hasn't really had success here. I bet if you asked him, this is what he'd say. Not a success until we win the Big 10.
Now, has he done everything right so far? Pretty much. It's hard to find something to complain about. And that makes the future look bright. But we'll see soon enough.
At this point (3 games into the job), Hoke's success hasn't been about Management or Football Skills. His success has been in MARKETING.
It's too early to give his Football Skills or his Management abilities a grade because his job is still in its infancy. The one thing that cannot be deined right now is the work he's putting in restoring the Michigan brand.
I'm not saying that Hoke isn't good with football, but he is a master of good management. He let's his staff coach, and doesn't meddle. Hoke has great coordinators on both sides, good position staff, he manages the PR and media, he spends time with players and parents, he's positive, humble, decisive, joyful, gets everyone on the bus. To my way of thinking, he is a casebook study of what a good head coach is. Of course, in the final analysis, it's about wins, isn't it, so we'll have to wait awhile to make real judgement. But right now, I think Hoke is great at managing well.
6. When prostyle QB is lacking for your pro style set, go back to the Denardian Well and thank RichRod for all your offensive gains.
In other words, he's willing to adapt to the personnel he has at hand.
It's Michigan for gods sake.
does anyone think that Hoke is turning the tide of the rivalry? tshirts?
I don't know. I wish I knew eat the hell people believed.
Is the team hasn't really proved anything yet and he has the whole country drinking the juice! If they can start off 7-0 wait to see and hear all the talk!
This is a very thoughtful post about Hoke as a manager. Thanks, mgrowold. Lots of good points. However, I'm tired of hearing about how Hoke is supposedly deficient in his knowledge of football and schemes. How did that idea come about? We really have nothing on which to base it.
My only supposition is that it's the collective compromise to the "we didn't really want Hoke" mindset that originally predominated the board. He said and did (and hired) all the right things after, so we decided he wasn't the greatest at coaching football, to support our original ideas, but he's a master at delegation so we love him and he'll be successful. The other rational I can come up with is his overall head coaching record of 47-50 before Michigan, which may be due to taking years to turn around truly horrible programs.
I think it's quite possible he actually is extremely talented at coaching football and he's wise enough to know to surround himself with the best and trust them to do their jobs. Certainly, he could be both. Again, time will tell all. But I think the idea that he's not a great football mind should die until otherwise brought to life.
I'm very interested to see how he handles the aging of his veteran coordinators. I don't see Mattison coaching more than another 5 or 6 years and I'm very interested to see of we can restart another good coaching tree so transitions are less gut wrenching.