TO THE HOT TAKE CANNON
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|4 hours 3 min ago||"I think you're working too||
"I think you're working too hard to explain away that pass with 23 seconds left."
Maybe, but there's a surprising lot going on in QBs' heads; the good ones anyway. If Rudock has any untapped potential then there was a fixable method to his madness. So my verbose justification may sound like desperation but I'm just trying to be optimistic.
"What about an 18 yard corner route, or a 20-yard seam?"
Rudock doesn't get to tell the receivers what routes to run, especially post-snap. Hence the frustration evident in Brian's post-UFR summary. And if say there was a seam that's double-covered (Maryland was in full prevent) you've just lost the game with enough time to run one more play. I like that he at least got it to a guy in space. The last hitch was inexcusable. The 3rd-and-10 checkdown was justifiable but the receiver did just about everything wrong, including possibly catching the pass. If he didn't feel he could get the first down or go OOB he should've just batted it down.
I guess my point is that you can put the decision on Rudock, not the coaches, call it a mistake, and still come away without serious doubts. Given a chance, he didn't pull off a miracle; to the contrary, he played to not lose and lost. That is disappointing. But the guy who also had a 16:5 TD:INT ratio is THE EXACT SAME BRAIN. You get one, you get the other.
We beat ND in 2010 because of Denard. We lost to ND in 2012 because of Denard. With Rudock, we get the opposite. I'll take it, but again, personal preference. I don't lament Denard playing for Michigan, but I just want everyone to get used to a very different style of QB without despairing over well-known compromises to his style of play.
|5 hours 47 min ago||It's a different mindset||
There are people who think of QBs as superheroes and people who think of QBs as system players first. To a large extent it's a matter of taste, because it can be either. But high-variance QBs are equally capable of losing games by themselves; there are no clearer examples of that than Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner. There are games we simply wouldn't have been in if not for them, but we've also lost winnable games due to terrible QB play. I think they're awesome dudes with miles of electric highlight film but I also probably lost about twenty years off my life watching them play.
Rudock is a risk-averse, low-variance QB. If you need that long TD with less than a minute he won't deliver that for you. But he also won't dig you into a hole. Personally I prefer it, at least compared to a high-variance QB at the same talent level. That does mean we are more likely to lose against teams we are supposed to lose to, but his predictability will give the rest of the team someone to gel around. That's not a knock on Denard or DG, but Borges and Nuss repeatedly stressed that it was a challenge to make the most of their talents within a cohesive scheme. Like, you can teach the O-line inside zone but then you've got this guy who can fly all over the field like the laws of physics have a bug and now his job is to just hand off the ball.
Here's my thinking on that 3rd & 10 with 0:23 left. There was time for two plays, and a Hail Mary is likely to result in a game-ending INT. The receiver was wide open; there was no one within five yards. Make a couple guys miss and he could've tried for the end zone -- it's a long way away, but FFS he could at least try to maximize his YAC or go OOB. Rudock did his job; he got the ball to a guy in space with a chance to do something. Instead the guy slams into the first defender well short of the sticks and in bounds. Plus I saw the DBs swarm in from off-screen to clean up meaning he got zero downfield blocks. There's nothing Rudock can do about unspeakably stupid receiver play. The last hitch was a bad idea -- that's the time for a Hail Mary -- but a high-variance QB probably would've thrown the game-ending INT on 3rd and 10 anyway.
|21 hours 58 min ago||Thank you so much for bringing up such a painful memory||
"it would rank up there with Al Borges's greatest disasters of the Denard era"
You mean. . . Iowa?
|1 day 4 hours ago||This stuff gets me through the offseason||
Is it September yet
|2 days 6 hours ago||What Magnus said||
I liked Beyer as a college player. But to make it to the NFL, you need to be a non-stop highlight reel or at the very least get good enough that opposing coaches are scared of you. Mike Martin blew up a ton of plays, Gallon set records, Molk won awards, a few teams actually did scheme around Kovacs. And these guys are rotation players or barely hanging on to roster spots.
Beyer was. . . solid. Rock solid, but it's not like teams changed their base plays because of him. And he was tutored by some pretty good DL coaches, so it's not like he's underdeveloped like Jackson's RBs. He projects to practice squad if he catches a few lucky breaks.
|5 days 3 hours ago||ESPN says||
Kansas is still in play.
. . .
no wait I think I'm getting my tropes mixed up
|5 days 20 hours ago||ugh||
Edit: OMFG who the hell negged Princess Bride?? That is like one of the things you just don't do.
|5 days 21 hours ago||FWIW||
Yeah it was the comebacks, but I also the conditions he was playing in. The Big Ten was absolutely brutal in '98-'99, easily the toughest conference in the nation (10-2 in bowls in that span) and he had a QB controversy to boot. To become the eventual starter and then lead the team to 10-win seasons and bowl victories he had to turn into the half-crazed game prep maniac he is to this day.
Like ST3 upthread, though, I'm far less inclined to deny accusations that my prediction was emotionally charged. I have a tougher time disputing that I was correct but perhaps only coincidentally. But outside UM fandom circles, good luck getting anyone to believe that you were high on Tom Brady at all. No one wants to be wrong and and given EVERY SINGLE NFL team (including the Patriots) was dead wrong about him, I invariably get a "yeah right".
|5 days 23 hours ago||Ain't worried||
He's turnover-averse and that's a welcome change. He may lack the ability to win a game by himself, but he's also not going to throw a pick-six in his own end zone. Devin was so erratic he did both. . . in the same game.
If Rudock's ceiling is low that may infuriate some fans, but I like the floor. Pessimistically he projects to be a "boring" QB, but I welcome that as a change of pace. He's probably no Andrew Luck, but he could be Brian Griese.
|6 days 11 min ago||Surprised?||
Sigh. . . I know everyone wants to claim the same thing, but I wasn't surprised by Tom Brady's success at all. I was surprised that everyone else was so surprised. I remember him trying to engineer that comeback against Michigan State and while it pains me that they lost because the D couldn't slow down Plaxico Shootmyselfinthefoot, his last drive was a thing of beauty. Just a horrible situation for a QB to be in -- no time, tough defense that knows what you're doing, the D unable to get you a break -- and he just kept making the decisions and hitting NFL windows and doing whatever he had to keep the chains moving and the clock not. Michigan lost because MSU's last drive kept him off the field. Only other QB I saw do so well in such a horrible situation was Drew Brees vs. Michigan. I was screaming with frustration at how he just kept hitting passes with a paw in his face. He turned out to be pretty dang good too. And I don't mean these guys might have a shot. I was like, "These guys are gonna be like the Joe Montana or John Elway of my adulthood," and I was stunned on Draft Day.
The guy who surprised me? Dhani Jones. I considered him a very good college linebacker, All Big Ten but not All-American, not the kind of guy that took over games by himself, was drafted late and never blew up the NFL but lasted ten years. Frankly I had no idea how any of the '97-99 linebackers would do. Sam Sword and Ian Gold were similarly prolific with All-Big Ten honors but Sword went almost nowhere and Gold went in the 2nd round. I just can't even. I'm actually pretty darn good at projecting QBs, but apparently I'm terrible at evaluating linebackers.
|1 week 2 hours ago||Chronicles of Rudock||
We have stability at QB. If anyone beats out Rudock that means they beat out a 16:5 TD:INT guy. With Rudock's addition I really don't care who's QB anymore, because he's the floor.
O-line and WR are the big question marks. The O-line has to go through another transition, TE is desperate for candidates and our WRs as yet have shown no playmaking ability. If the line can't block and the receivers can't catch then it really won't matter who's the QB or what plays they run.
Harbaugh was hired for the long haul and that entails growing pains that I doubt will be worked out of the system by September. That's not a strike on him by any means; it's just not enough time to overhaul an offense. It's why RichRod got 3 years, Borges got 3 and Nuss wasn't able to do much with one.
|1 week 3 hours ago||Wiscy vs. Bama||
"did no one watch the Big 10 domination of the bowl season?"
We also watched OSU beat Wiscy 59-0. Alabama did much better against the Buckeyes. Just sayin'.
As for UM-Yutes, it's the exact same factors as last time. Defense should hold up, but the offense is a huge question mark -- can they learn the Harbaugh/Drevno/Fisch system fast enough to score TDs in the opener? This is too wide open of a question for me to dare a prediction, which is why I think the spread is so narrow. This is exactly the sort of game to lose your shirt.
|1 week 3 hours ago||Da Bears||
Lemme guess, you're spotting them a FG only because our coach isn't Mike Ditka.
Oh wait, Harbaugh actually said he's Mike Ditka. Bears by 800.
|1 week 3 hours ago||Just to rub it in||
They also took Spergon Wynn over Tom Brady.
|1 week 5 hours ago||Last line is key||
This is all pretty involved as an implemented scheme, but rep it and the reads/communication can be done very quickly with practice. But HSPs don't grow on trees. You can find guys who fit the mold, but these are inherently difficult tasks, football at a very high level. I'll stay away from the DL talk as I've always been a space guy, but as discussed ad nauseum here, the HSPs need the speed to get to their spots but enough power to blitz and defend the run. Teams know how to stop the spread, in theory. The tough part is finding the players that can do it. I don't think MSU's D was a gimmick or "too aggressive" or unsustainable so much as they lost the guys who could execuate the very demanding tasks, especially safety. Well, maybe that's how it was unusustainable.
This is the value of Peppers as a FS, and why I've been screaming for Michigan to put him there since he arrived on campus. As a corner he could be a lockdown guy who could take pressure off the safety, but the safety is still targeted by spread offenses. Why do that when he could BE the safety and handle what spread offenses will throw at him?
The focus is on the offense, but next season's defense has the potential to be very, very good. Not only are they experienced, the 2014 defense was unfortunately a mix of players that didn't fit that well. They were good at some things (Countess at zone, JMFR at attacking the edge) and I'm big fans of 'em all, but cobbling together a cohesive defense with all these mismatched specialists was probably the defense's biggest challenge last season. With Peppers and Morgan back, oh man. . . If we can just get some decent DE play, Michigan will be very tough to score on.
|1 week 10 hours ago||Ain't surprised||
I would've taken Tom Brady in the second round. The NFL is really bad at evaluating undeveloped players.
|1 week 1 day ago||The weird thing is||
Gardner will be competing with Funchess directly as a big WR. And he may have higher upside. Funchess struggled last season due to injuries and overall bad play, but his weaknesses are his own and he's had adequate time to eliminate them. Gardner's raw as all get out but he's also 6'4"/220 with good straight-line speed and has shown a willingness to block. Rawness can be fixed.
I wouldn't take Gardner in the first or second round, but as long as both are risky projects, I'd actually take Gardner over Funchess. Which just feels. . . weird.
|1 week 1 day ago||The weather was atrocious||
The wikipedia account said the field was mud, 5"-6" deep in parts.
Even in today's game, conditions like that result in soccer-like scores.
The M00N game was ludicrous because neither team could blame the weather for the sloppy play.
|1 week 4 days ago||If you can judge a man||
by the caliber of his enemies. . .
|2 weeks 6 hours ago||Unless you're a kid||
If they're doing any coaching, satellite camps provide some benefit. It's not like you're forced to go, anyway.
Oversigning screws the kids and there's little they can do about it.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Rumor has it||
I have confidential, unnamed sources say that he couldn't find Mychygan.
Good for hym, though. Happy trayles, and hope we beat hym on the court in the tourney.
/ yes I'm making fun of his name
|2 weeks 1 day ago||On that||
Not that it's coming from you, but I take issue with the "college guys are only around 3-4 years so it's OK" angle. I think this is just a nicer form of the same butthurt press. It doesn't do anything to the insinuation that Harbaugh is abusive other than dress it up a little.
I'm going to be charitable to Boone and assume he was toeing the party line while Harbaugh was there and got out the knives once he left. Thing is, a lot of NFL players move around on the 3-4 year timescale, so even if his comments make sense, the above justification doesn't.
If there's a relevant difference between college and NFL for Harbaugh's style, it's not that 18-22 year olds can use a good old-fashioned butt-kicking. OK a lot of them could, but that doesn't get Harbaugh out of hot water. Rather, it's that when you're that age, you're basically immortal. I abused my health like crazy, partially because I was a terrible procrastinator but partly because I felt I could. When you're 35 (and Boone isn't) and have been playing competitive football for at least half your life, you can't go 100mph, every play, practice or game. Your body is a dwindling resource and you need to use what's left of it carefully or you won't be good to go on gameday.
In other words, if he's intense, Harbaugh's style is more suited to players who benefit from being pushed to the limit. That's not necessarily abusive or there'd be reports out of San Diego or Stanford of disgruntled and crippled players. The consensus I hear is intensity, but college students feast on intensity.
Mind you, I won't carry water for Harbaugh if a real scandal does surface during his tenure. But I don't put much stock in an NFL veteran saying he was worked too hard.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Wow||
What'd he do, show up for a workout and lift a mountain with his teeth? He had to have impressed somehow.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Careful||
I do not question this team's toughness. Toughness was not the reason they lost so many games last season.
If anything, Hoke relied too much on toughness. Toughness should be more of an implicit expectation -- you need to be tough enough to handle the game. But adding extra toughness to requisite toughness does not make a better football team.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Yo||
Aren't you selling Baxter a bit short?
Everyone's focusing on the offense, but on special teams, we now have this guy.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||OK. . .||
That's kind of. . . yeah. I mean, NO! I mean, I agree, but this is the engineer's hedge here. That's the result I get only by refusing to guess how much each group will improve due to coaching, default to "none", and essentially project their output based on last year minus the guys we lost (Beyer, Funchess, Gardner, JMFR, etc.) plus the guys we get (Rudock, Peppers, Morgan, etc.) with some token progression due to added experience.
6-6 is an acceptable floor only due to massive uncertainty, but as an actual result it would be a complete disaster, because that implies our new coaching staff got nowhere across the board. Now yes I do expect there to be growing pains, especially on offense, but this means the new guys like Wheatley, Jackson and Baxter didn't pan out and that would be a complete shock to me.
|3 weeks 3 hours ago||Yep||
It's the fairweather fans that force change. If anything, the diehards owe them a debt of gratitude. There are times for loyalty, but sports just isn't one of them. What programs often need is patience, but that assumes the program has a plan that will take time to implement. When it became clear that DB didn't have plans, just a bunch of shitty ideas to exploit the fans like they're a stolen ATM card, it was time for him to go.
|3 weeks 3 hours ago||Holy crap||
I hope most of those are just concepts. The opulence is rather silly.
|3 weeks 3 hours ago||That's the watered down version||
The original strip was spicier:
|3 weeks 1 day ago||Numbers, schmumbers||
Allen Iverson never once wore #42 in his NBA career so why should I care about anything anymore.
Don't you understand? THE ANSWER WAS NEVER THE ANSWER!