this guy evidently hired to work for AD
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|4 days 20 hours ago||2/3?||
Crush our enemies, see them driven before us, and hear the lamentations of their women?
|4 days 20 hours ago||Don't diss air||
We need air. We don't need the Loch Mess Monster.
|1 week 19 hours ago||Reading comprehension much?||
Thin =/= nonexistent. The frontcourt depth went from thin to basically nonexistent.
The word "depth", do you know what it means?
|1 week 1 day ago||Exactly||
It looks like Beilein can only do so much to compensate for the team's lack of size. Michigan has been thin on bigs for the past few years. You can't replace Horford, Morgan and McGary with Young & Younger and make up for it with coaching & perimeter play.
I think everyone had their expectations skewed by Beilein coaching M to a B1G championship the year after going to the NCAA finals, thinking he could coach his way out of hell. Fact of the matter is, this is a terribly depleted team that isn't reloading so much as rebuilding. It's better than it is right now, but only because it has potential.
|1 week 3 days ago||Meyer||
My guess is, Meyer's an offensive-minded HC who has the right idea -- find a DC and let the guy do his job. However, he's not reliable at finding a good DC. Florida had some seriously good defenses during his stint there, but since he took over OSU his defenses have been inconsistent.
This is indeed why I feel this question is important. It's not just RichRod and Hoke; how many HCs are good at identifying good candidates for units outside their speciality even when they're willing to delegate? My guess is not many.
|1 week 3 days ago||I'd be happy with that||
Find a great guy and delegate. Works for me.
Believe it or not, even that still has to be a plan, and a lot of HCs are bad at it. Applying any sort of restriction on the coordinator's job is just compromising the unit for the sake of meddling, but HCs often have ego issues so they can't help but get involved. It requires restraint, and is a huge political difference between a coordinator and HC job.
What I've read about Herman is encouraging, but after the last 7+ years it's a big deal for me and while I'm not a "the devil you know" sort, it is invariably a risk when hiring coordinators.
|1 week 3 days ago||Other side of the ball||
"Herman makes more sense for M because they need offensive repairs desperately."
I can expect he would shape Michigan's offense into an elite unit. The question is whether a Herman-led defense would be top-20 or give up 60+ points to Illinois.
I don't get why this doesn't get more play. RichRod was a very successful offensive-minded coach who had a very bad defense. Hoke was a defensive-minded coach who had a very bad offense. We haven't been burned enough times yet? I don't need Herman to have 10 years experience being an HC before hiring him. I just need someone to ask what the hell is his plan for the side of the ball he's NOT good at.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||I dunno man||
Not that I'd bet money on it, but c'mon, before we write the book on Spike let's see just how far he can go. Every year he's under Beilein, he's gonna improve because that guy can coach like whoah.
It was before my time, but apparently Utah fans were outraged when they drafted John Stockton with their first round pick. That worked out pretty well.
I'm not saying it's likely, but this column seemed a bit too deterministic. I mean even if there's a 95% chance it's dead-on, where's the fun in that? We have nothing to lose by hoping.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Context||
I wonder about the context. This is the sort of thing that can really be potrayed the right or wrong way. Some coaches are nervous about success because complacency usually follows after. At times it's easier to motivate a struggling team than to convince one on top of the world that it has to maintain an underdog mentality. And then there are sadistic managers that like to operate in a permanent state of emergency.
I've never met Harbaugh, but I will say this: Every single manager I've been under or heard of that liked to watch others suffer was a compete disaster. Unless it's actual training, you just can't get results if you invest unnecessary time causing trouble. If Harbaugh has had ANY success at all, at any level (rhetorical statement there), he's not likely to set productivity on fire by starting unnecessary fights. The world of sports has enough turmoil as it is.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||I dunno||
How far back are you going with this pattern? Honest question.
My memory is a liability of its own so I'm just going off this one game, but Syracuse seemed weirdly hesitant to exploit him for some reason. He's a heady defender so you have to keep an eye on his hands but his lateral quickness isn't special and when you can force him to rotate into the paint he can't do much besides watch when his man goes vertical. I mean, bully for us and you can get away with limited defense if you've got an ORTG of 177, but sometimes it looked like Syracuse was over-respecting Albrecht as if he was 8" taller than he is. Was he doing anything in particular to warrant that caution?
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Spike!||
"His previous tendency to dribble the air out of the ball is all but gone, replaced with an incisiveness that, yes, reminds you of That Other White Point Guard."
Funny, I was thinking of John Stockton. Short, not very athletic, but an accurate shooter, feisty defender (when you're 5'11"-6'1" with no speed feisty is about all you got really), patient yet opportunistic on getting into the paint, quick but sound decisions, insane A:TO ratio, crisp entry passes to the finisher. I was watching Albrecht work the pick-and-roll and thinking "Albrecht-to-Doyle" much like I was thinking "Stockton-to-Malone".
Albrecht is inherently limited as a defender (though he could improve his low block) but his offense seems to more than make up for it. Unless Syracuse is worse than I thought they looked, he belongs out there.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Thx||
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Not bad, I guess||
No red flags here, but I must admit I'm scratching my head about two things discussed at length:
1) I've listened/read that thing about ceremonies and Hoke's firing several times and still can't figure out what the hell he's talking about. He's comparing a firing to Thanksgiving? I don't get this at all. Ceremonies like Thanksgiving and birthdays happen every year. You don't want to ever get used to firing head coaches.
2) Hackett brought in a headhunting firm? For an HC job? Why? And who? This isn't the kind of opening where you have to sift through 5000 resumes and 50 interviews to fill a branch office; it's one position and there are only so many qualified candidates. Is there a headhunter that has expertise in filling high-profile coaching jobs in the first place? I hope I'm overreacting but unless I (or Hackett) know even less about FBS coach hires than I thought, bringing in outside consultants sounds unusual to say the least. I mean, the guy's a businessman, not an AD, so I can understand getting help, but this sounds very much like an inside-the-box businessman's thinking.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||so. . .||
What's wrong with Wild Man?
|2 weeks 5 days ago||FWIW||
Because I guess "manball" doesn't mean to me what it's portrayed as in its reductio ad absurdum form: predictable, boring, inefficient, and dumb.
"Manball" doesn't necessarily mean ignoring constriant theory like Borges. It doesn't mean being predictable like Carr. It doesn't mean making players do things they're bad at, like asking Funchess to block a DE. It doesn't mean always doing things the hard way. It doesn't mean bad clock management. It doesn't mean running power out of I-form on first down with 9 defenders in the box. It doesn't even mean huddle! That's not MANBALL; that's just bad football. Run a spread with the same level of incompetence and you will get the same horrible results.
The concept as its most vague is that the O-line splits are narrow, favoring strength over speed. That's pretty much it. FFS pro-style offenses use constraints, QB runs, hurry-up and shotgun formations. If your offensive line is bigger, it should in theory have an advantage at the LoS. And if you're the only team running it, you should also have a recruiting advantage in that you can pick and choose among recruits other teams are passing over. You can still play a sort of Sun Tzu offense where you viciously exploit mismatches, force the defense to be wrong and punish them for overplaying. That's not unique to spread; spread didn't invent that. There's a difference between an offensive philosophy and dogmatic conventions.
Look, I'm not anti-spread; the effectiveness of it speaks for itself. Michigan running spread is fine. But the problem with Hoke isn't that he's running MANBALL; it's that he's running STUPIDBALL. We could in theory convert completely to a spread-n'-shred next season and -- the difficulties of yet another scheme change aside -- we could still wind up with 10 players fielding a punt. WTF does that have to do with MANBALL??
|2 weeks 6 days ago||These are inherently frustrating||
. . . because high-profile hirings are ironically opaque. Nobody is going to say anything until it's done, precisely because it's doubly embarrassing to Dewey Defeats Truman yourself. Also, tipping your hand raises the cost. UM could make a public offer to Harbaugh now, but with some NFL teams showing interest, they'd just start a bidding war what with Harbaugh still with the 49ers and all.
So get used to frustrating silence. It's particularly bad because we have no idea how Hackett the AD will turn out, but Michigan has nothing to gain by showing its hand now.
I don't think anyone is "fucking around". I have no idea if Michigan is being its characteristically irrational self or finally learning its lesson, but silence is not indicative of inactivity.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Really?||
How'd we do so well last year despite going 0-for-3, then?
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Priorities||
I don't really think they're doing anything dogmatically so much as for the regents and AD, running Michigan into the ground is a casual hobby. They don't really think through these things because they just don't care. I don't know if they're making much money off it but obviously they're sitting on Michigan's legacy like it's a comfy chair as opposed to determined to live up to the reputation for excellence it's built up. I mean, the fans got Brandon fired (ahem, to resign) but that was only after he'd become a national embarrassment that kept Michigan in the news for all the wrong reasons. That's hardly a bold move.
It's like a bunch of bratty trust fund babies took over the family business. They're already where they want to be in their lives so Michigan is just a toy to them. As such even 100,000 raging fans is really just a minor embarrassment to them, and only worthy of scorn.
Schlissel seems to be sane but if no one in the university knows how to run an athletic department he probably doesn't have anyone he can safely confide in.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||On the bright side||
At the same time I marvel at Chesson's eagerness to block. On the punt fake he made a vicious block downfield, and by "downfield" I mean like 20-30 yards downfield that gave Kerridge an extra 10-15 yards or so. That means he blocked his guy and raced downfield just to murderdeathkill somebody else.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||Semantics||
I've been reading football for years and I still don't know what "power" means for the same reason.
The takeaway I'm getting here is that RichRod changed his offense to suit the talents of his players, which is something Michigan has had problems doing since they kicked him to the curb. I think Nuss is trying but DG is broken for some reason and Hoke screwed him by not addressing the QB depth situation.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||Red herring||
I don't want a football factory. I root for Michigan partly because it's still a school. Whenever anyone suggests we become more like Alabama, I suggest they root for Alabama because they'll give you Alabama.
No, the problem isn't that we're losing; it's that the losses were mostly preventable. I don't know that we'd have beaten MSU in any shape or form last year, but consider the issues we had against the likes of ND or Rutgers. Can we honestly say it's because the players were studying too hard?
The lack of QB depth was preventable. The lack of O-line and RB development was preventable. The implosion of the secondary was preventable. They were all very much coaching decisions that we predicted would bite them in the butt, and it DID bite them. And it was mostly because they kept making the easy decisions when they're being paid to make hard decisions. It was easier to play an injured Gardner than address the QB issue. It was easier for Borges to scheme one-week gimmick offenses than develop the O-line. It was easier to pretend Manning could coach DBs in a new scheme than find another coach. It was easier to retain Fred Jackson in spite of the screaming evidence that he's been washed up for years. It was easier to just do what MSU is doing when we didn't have the personnel, coaches or experience. Hoke did eventually fire Borges but only when it was clear he had no choice.
They say they work hard. I believe that. I 100% believe that. I don't question their effort. But the most efficient way to waste effort is to avoid making tough decisions.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||On the defense||
MGoBlog has been harping that this defense hasn't been able to stop up-tempo mobile QBs, but. . . they're kinda hard to stop, period. That's why they're all the rage in college football these days, and why MGoBlog is a spread zealot in the first place. MSU had success stopping all manner of offenses last season but even they had trouble with Ohio State and Ludicrous Speed Indiana; they won because their offense improved dramatically over the course of the season. And even they are getting exposed as OCs are realizing they were counting on them to not test the safeties (they also lost their best safety to the draft after last season). Modern offenses are hard to stop yo.
Mattison's been good. Record, late-game implosions and some head-scratching changes aside, if he kept coaching the defense I'd be OK with it. However, I'm going to go back to my "Hoke is a technician doing an engineer's job" post and declare that Mattison, Nuss and Hoke are all limited. We're doing IZ because it's a mature concept. We're doing 4-3 over with press man because that's what MSU did last year (and it's already being exposed). They're adopters, not innovators, which means they'll never be better than B+. This year Michigan was spectacularly unlucky in numerous ways, but in my mind I still can't envison them doing better than 9-3. And while fans would be happy with that, long-term that's not what Michigan fans accept as a hypothetical, optimistic ceiling.
The last job I quit was for a parts manufacturer that was losing market share because they stuck to mature concepts they knew inside and out. They could guarantee reliability, but for the premium they charged, they couldn't match competitors' performance. They weren't idiots; they just wanted the world to stand still for them. Sound familiar?
|3 weeks 6 days ago||Agreed||
But about a fucking year too late. They'd been asleep on the job for years so pretty much the ONLY reason they're hitting hard now is because the writing is on the wall.
They still have a job to do, but this is not journalism. This is exactly the opposite of journalism. The fans made the news, the fans drove this, and the media was the goddamn caboose the whole way.
I don't mind hard-hitting questions but this was more like kicking someone after the beat-down.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||On the band||
Since football sucks. . .
I was in MMB in the 90s and I am so jealous of the shows Ohio State's band get to do. They're creative, well-done, varied and really entertaining.
I actually submitted ideas to the MMB. They were "filed". Le sigh. . .
|3 weeks 6 days ago||I like Nuss, so far at least||
I could be delusional but I think Nuss is OK. I honestly thing DG injured his shoulder during the ND game and Nuss spent the whole season trying to hide it. By the end of the season the O-line is blocking pretty well and they play well in spurts. Borges could win games here and there by scheming but Nuss is actually building something and made progress in year one.
He's had to deal with unmotivated players, an injured QB, no QB depth, a lazy playmaker and a disaster of an O-line. DG's ankle was injured so QB runs were out. His shoulder was injured (just look at the throws -- probably a torn labrum) so long throws were out and even his short throws are erratic. His receivers were green so short routes are ineffective and the only guy who can take over a game -- Funchess -- doesn't give a shit. Meanwhile the O-line and RBs spent the whole season learning IZ. I mean, what the hell do you do at that point? It would be tempting for him to go the Borges route and rely on gimmicks to win a few games but he sacrificed short-term success to leave the team in better shape.
If my opinion of him has changed at all, it's that I think Nuss' ceiling is similar to Mattison's in that he's probably a B+ coordinator at best. I'd like to see what he could do here with several years to work with, but he might take an unfair share of the blame for this season's failure.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||Hugs & smooches||
I suggest you find a new blog to read. We will be fine without you.
|4 weeks 11 hours ago||Damn||
He certainly seems more likeable than DB at first glance, but I'm far from impressed.
|4 weeks 14 hours ago||Hmm, maybe not quite that||
He may be more like a technician who think he's an engineer. He knows the game of football inside and out like my grandpa knew engines. My grandfather could make entire machines from scrap metal. If the part he needed didn't exist, he'd measure it, spin up the lathe and make one. He was anything but an idiot; he was one of the smartest people I knew as a kid, and I looked up to him. I will defend his reputation with my 170-pound couch potato frame and little Nintendo-calloused fists of futility if you were a 300-pound MMA veteran; I respected the man enough to sacrifice a few broken bones to get the message across.
But he didn't invent. He was a builder, not an innovator. He could put together a working vehicle from spare parts and literally did so, but it was a manual transmission, ICE tractor. I eventually became an engineer, and realized my job wasn't to weld together spare parts like I'd imagined while watching him as a kid, but design something that had never existed before.
The problem is that the cutting edge isn't a different enviroment. It's the same environment; it's a different job. Consider how firemen and mechanics were terrified when hybrids first came out. They didn't even know what parts were safe to touch (we had to mark them bright orange); they were that lost. These are the same firemen we rely on to save our lives and mechanics we trusted all through the days of monolithic engines; it's not like they were or are idiots. But their entire world of expertise was not the cutting edge. The cutting edge is not what they do. If anything, it scares them.
Hoke was the perfect coach at Ball State because they needed a guy who could get them a working engine. But Michigan is not some broken-down tractor. High-profile programs are like effin' NASA by comparison, and your 50-year-old technology -- no matter how well you know it -- won't fly when the expectations are to land a nuclear-powered probe on Mars. My grandpa was a damn smart guy, but if he was alive and worked for NASA today it'd be to repair trucks.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Of course||
Are you mad? No way our offense won't exploit this matchup by throwing bubble screens to Darboh.
Wait, you want Funchess to go deep? You must be thinking of UnLikely.
|4 weeks 4 days ago||QA||
"I think it's just the same as ours; you've got to block it all out. They don't know what we've done behind the scenes."
No one will ever care, Jake. It's not always fair, but that's not how evaluations work. The person who's paid to care about the "how" is your boss or, in the case of sports, your coach. But everyone -- not just athletes, EVERYONE -- is judged by results. Not that this team owes anyone anything so you can hold your head high, but this is why Hoke is a dead man walking.