if you seek an image of the most Wisconsin OL ever, enter here
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- 3 years 15 weeks
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- two years as a grad assistant at Notre Dame under Greg Mattison
|3 days 10 hours ago||Don't really care||
Nepotism is, by itself, not a bad thing. It's a yellow flag. A yellow flag is not a red flag. However, it is a yellow flag because nepotism is usually done for the wrong reasons. In this case I'm willing to give Jim the benefit of the doubt, because Jay's got his head screwed on straight and has the perfect attitude for the situation he's in.
My only concern is our wide receivers weren't that good last year and unless I missed something, this incoming staff has collectively like one year total of coaching WRs and zero playing experience on the offensive side. While that's not on Jay, as "TE" coach he doesn't add anything here either. Fisch similarly has the resume of an X's-and-O's coach. Who's going to coach technique?
|3 days 13 hours ago||Uh||
Does mini-Wheatley really need an official?
|3 days 17 hours ago||To quote myself (wow that sounded douchey)||
. . . the best-case scenario in nabbing a coach from Youngstown State is that he's happily underemployed, a 20th-level NPC disguised as a hermit.
Aside from appeal to authority here, there IS circumstantial evidence that is the case. He's from Youngstown, played in the NFL, COACHED in the NFL and went home. That's your classic "retire to a rural hut after slaying dragons" pattern there, if such a pattern exists. Of course it can also mean he peaked way early but I think he's way too young to have lost the touch, so I'm putting my money on high-level NPC.
|4 days 14 hours ago||Agreed||
I'm gonna be smug here and say I called this several times last season, although I was cautious to not make any bets. I basically argued it makes sense given the personnel, though I wasn't sure if they would pull the trigger.
Like you, I doubt we'll see quarters because Wilson isn't the crazy athlete Peppers is. This move more frees up Durkin to move things around. If you can't do one thing really well, you have two choices: Try to disguise your coverages or play soft. Michigan tried to do one thing (press man), gave up and played less aggressively but with little to no deception -- largely because I think they didn't have the luxury. Of course, Peppers was out but he started as the nickel anyway.
Long story short, Peppers can afford to underplay certain assignments to make the QB guess what he's doing. For example, the guy's wicked fast so he can blitz from ten yards out when the QB might think he's going to backpedal into deep coverage. You can't get creative like that when he's a cover corner and the offense is going three-wide, not without taking some pretty big risks IMO.
|4 days 19 hours ago||I almost thought it didn't go far enough||
What the HELL is wrong with Penn State? I like football but even the most hardcore derpy fans don't have the audacity to value it higher than preventing child rape, or so I thought at least. I don't expect every fan base to go apeshit and get their AD fired when a concussed adult is put back in play or write a thank-you letter when the opposing QB consoles an injured player, but Penn State ventures so radically far from what my mind had considered the limit for sane behavior that I'm struggling to realize just how wrong I was about the utterly despicable and depraved depths of human nature. I mean, what do I do here?
If ANYONE I know values a game over someone's safety, I cut them off. I consider this common sense so I would have no clue what to do if I found myself in an entire community that openly condones pedophilia. Move, I guess.
|6 days 11 hours ago||Now the circle is complete||
Since that GA spot Durkin spent…
"I've been waiting for you, Matti-Son. We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the assistant; now I am the coordinator."
"Only a coordinator of the 3-4, Durth."
"Your coverages are weak, old man."
"You can't win, Durth."
|1 week 3 days ago||Fisch & chips||
"Jedd Fisch is SO gonna force choke you for dissing he & young Harbaugh!"
I'm relishing the thought of it. Crow pie would never taste so sweet.
"isn't is reasonable to speculate that some of those advanced techniques we were so enamored of will be adapted and employed by the S&C staff we did get?!"
Sure, but I think "let's see" is a valid position as well. Tolbert worked under Turley so it's reasonble to expect he has similar knowledge, but S&C coaches all tend to have their chosen methods so it's likely Tolbert deferred to Turley and will implement his own program at Michigan. That makes him less of a sure thing to me, but that said, Tolbert is NOT an unknown to Harbaugh, so while I'm going "let's wait and see", it's strictly from a fan standpoint. I'm not questioning Harbaugh's judgement here.
|1 week 3 days ago||the good and the unknown||
Jay Harbaugh and Fisch are weird fits. I consider Drevno a bit unproven as an autonomous OC, but he won't be autonomous under Harbaugh. Durkin WILL be autonomous after working under Muschamp but the hype on that guy is insane. Zordich is kind of enigmatic; either he peaked early or he's a 20th-level NPC disguised as a hermit. I'm not sold on hiring Wheatley just because he's Wheatley (that reeks of "legacy hire") but what I've heard is that 2014 Wheatley is definitely a RB coach, and we need a RB coach. And don't forget Tolbert. I would've preferred Turley of course; Tolbert is less of a sure thing, but nothing on his record indicates Michigan will regress. So while the pessimist in me is all "let's wait and see" after years of crushed hopes, the ceiling is super-high for Durkin, Zordich, Wheatley and Tolbert. My only real worry is that our WR play last season was disappointing and neither of the guys in charge of the ball-catchers have significant experience coaching receivers. Who's going to coach technique??
From there, though. . . hoo boy. Hee hee hee hee hee. Mattison took a demotion to position coach. Jackson's SF secondaries were insanely good. Baxter is probably the best college ST coach in the country. And of course we have Jim Harbaugh the HC, Jim Harbaugh the OC, and Jim Harbaugh the QB coach.
|1 week 4 days ago||Damn||
The coaching staff is absolutely silly.
Many of these guys are arguably among the best at what they do. A few are probably THE best. The rest are up-and-comers.
My first few looks were just to process it. Then I gaped. Now I'm giggling like I got the teacher to sit on a whoopee cushion.
|1 week 4 days ago||Uh, he did mention John.||
Uh, he did mention John.
|1 week 4 days ago||What the unicorn||
FWIW, intrinsic value is a useless metric. It's only useful for economists to argue academic points (the difference between intrinsic value and appraised value is completely arbitrary), and kooks who don't want you to look at their balance sheets. Note I'm not saying it doesn't exist; I just don't care, and no one who counts beans for a living cares either.
Someone posted a graph a while back showing Brandon's pull-out-all-the-stops marketing-driven regime basically kept the Michigan money machine following the same trendline as all of college football. That pretty much said it all. A used teabag would've done just as well as Brandon, and at least presumably have provided someone with some tea.
|1 week 5 days ago||Yeah this one's weird||
I ain't saying "booo" yet but Youngstown State? Was he happily underemployed there? This is one of the most obvious promotions so I'm really curious what piqued Harbaugh's interest.
|1 week 5 days ago||Michigan's kind of in a "show||
Michigan's kind of in a "show me" state right now. How they do depends on how much they grow from week to week, which is going to be in fits and starts.
|1 week 5 days ago||Yep, NT, DE, don't care||
Pretty much any playmaker will do. The havoc a playmaker at SDE can wreak on the base run game can shut down an entire offense. A playmaking 3-tech is pretty much the difference-maker in an under defense (it's hard to NOT make the 3-tech the point of attack). Even a Woodson-like CB that everyone's hoping Peppers becomes, because that frees up a safety to focus exclusively on the run, or even show a bona fide BASE 4-4-3 because you can get away with it. Yeah we got 8 in the box AND your 3-wide's covered, bitches!
JMFR was a playmaking 4-3 under SLB that forced offenses to spread out. . . the problem was, that's exactly what Michigan's opponents wanted to do in the first place. That's why Mattison made the controversial decision to move him to MLB. It was shaky for a good while there, but it was either that, taking on the tackle as a DE, covering a slot receiver or standing on the sideline.
For the past two years Mattion's been preaching a form of disciplined football, with some occasional experiments at rushing 4 or press man with disastrous results. I take that to mean he's been trying to find a playmaker but the defense, for better or worse, is at its best when it stays within a scheme that doesn't expect too much from anyone. I think he stayed on in part to find out who's finally going to end that.
|1 week 5 days ago||Disruption||
I prefer to look at a defense from an opposing standpoint; as in, can you impose your will on the D. If the answer's no, you've got yourself a D.
The 4-3 over looks like the best "fit" and I don't dispute that. In their current state, what we have are a bunch of guys who can reliably execute their assigments. When it works, it works -- that's NOT a complaint. But on the flip side it's at a level where an offense with a playmaker can wreak havoc on the scheme, because there isn't anyone who can handle extra responsibility. The defense has held together by not trying to do too much, but as a result QBs in non-dysfunctional offenses have had a lot of success throwing the ball.
But that works both ways; a bona fide defensive playmaker limits the offense's options. This defense still needs its own playmaker up front, and like you, I think our current best hope is Henry. (Taco's an athlete but for some weird reason he looks to me like Charles Barkley in pads.) I don't think Henry's hit his ceiling. We've seen him toss linemen aside using just his arms so if he can force offenses to hold a double just to keep him at bay, they can't combo the MLB. When the OC's thinking he doesn't have enough linemen, you've won.
A long-winded way of saying, without some speculative leaps the defense is about as good as it can get (all due credit to Mattison) which is good, but a playmaker short of elite.
|1 week 5 days ago||In context||
Michigan also played some pretty terrible offenses; IIRC the advanced stats showed them as middling. There's room for improvement.
But I do agree about not too much. They couldn't slow down the *#F$eyes, but to be fair, no one else could either.
|1 week 5 days ago||Damn, that *uckeye offense||
Regarding Mattison's comments. . . does that damn team go three-wide? I haven't followed them closely (following Michigan in a vacuum was punishment enough) but Meyer has been traditionally spread-to-run and statistically they don't seem any different. Have they been using a slot receiver like RichRod's offenses did?
|1 week 5 days ago||This||
QB is the obvious choice, but thing about QB is, I think the QB issue is the OC's problem. Harbaugh will know what he has, and you can't win by giving the position more than it can handle. So the QB competition might just turn out to be a formality, with Harbaugh spending more time figuring out how to get production out of Morris.
I went back and looked at a few Stanford games and while all eyes were on Luck, their RBs were very, very disciplined. Our RBs have been inconsistent and spotty, but we have a lot of them, and with Isaac now eligible to get a shot I think Harbaugh is going to run them through a Thunderdome to see who wins the honor of toting the rock.
But the key thing will NOT be a grab-and-go RB. Stanford didn't work that way. Their RBs made the PLAY go. The way their tailback sold the counter in the second half against VT was a thing of beauty, and pass pro will be a must as well. I honestly don't know who's up to be a Harbaugh tailback what with running IZ last season, so this will be more interesting to watch.
|1 week 5 days ago||QB play||
There are ways to get good QB play without overly stressing the position. Meyer is a master of it, what with winning the NC with a third-string QB. It's tough to tell what with Harbaugh bringing in Luck early in his Stanford regime, but from what I saw, by no means was Harbaugh sitting back and expecting Luck to win the games for him. Stanford did plenty of runs setting up other runs, and also ran plays that gave Luck some ridiculously easy throws. This isn't to say Harbaugh didn't use every bit of Luck's ability, but it was definitely within the context of a complete offense.
So, the offense will not live or die with consistent QB play. Rather, with Harbaugh, I think QB play will just be an indicator of the offense's overall consistency.
|1 week 5 days ago||Honestly, NO||
Not gonna prognosticate here. Way, WAY too many variables. I mean, the entire staff was overhauled, and while this staff is downright SILLY what with college coordinators and NFL coaches willingly taking demotions, there are two huge questions:
1) What changes are the new staff going to make, and
2) How long will they take to implement?
Some guys have impeccable track records; others are closely tied to success but their contributions are difficult to quantify. Harbaugh uber alles and all that, but from the outside we can't tell if a given hire (save S&C because that was very public) was the A-guy or a quick grab because Harbaugh doesn't have much time. So we really don't even know what the HC thinks is a work in progress, and I think if anyone asks Jim will probably bite their head off.
I DO feel excitement. Genuine excitement. I'm not the sort of guy who wants guarantees and instant results. I know what progress looks like, and in that context there are sure things. Again, this staff overall is so ridiculously loaded it's impossible to fathom they won't bring success. But a 2015 prediction is really asking on what terms, which will depend on the staff's evaluation of this team.
What I predict is a transformation. Hoke's tenure was marred by some questionable personnel decisions. He always spoke of meritocracy but I didn't feel he always lived by that. Harbaugh is downright fearless at putting guys in a position to win. That sounds odd but it takes some guts to bench a star player even if you know what's best. So expect Harbaugh to move some pieces around; we may even lose a few high-profile players as he tears through the roster looking for winners. Some guys might move or flip; my secret bet with myself is that Peppers moves to FS.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Great work||
Heh, Jackson almost seems like a check-off. "Oh, another young coach with a stellar track record. Next." Yes, it's good to feel spoiled.
All that said. . . and yes, I know I'm being unreasonable, but I'm most nervous about the S&C guy. I don't doubt Harbaugh's standards and whiffing on Plan A certainly isn't a disaster, but this is the one coach we need pretty soon. Was Tolbert confirmed? I don't remember seeing anything solid FP-ed.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Ermey||
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Ahem||
If tight pants is your idea of "scantily clad", you need to get on the Internet more.
. . . assuming your boss is OK with that.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Lionel Hutzler?||
Hutzler is not a law firm; he's just an attorney-at-law.
But reportedly he's on the. . .
|2 weeks 4 days ago||.||
|2 weeks 5 days ago||HIT||
I won't go as far as BIGBLUEWORLD's meditate under waterfalls purple prose, but an apt concern is being addressed here. A bad S&C coach can use HIT and be a disaster. You can take a single-minded approach to building strength and quickly cause on-field injury because the parts of the body needed to stabilize the motion aren't flexible or durable. For example (just one example!), if you're pushing forward into someone you need to develop your leg muscles (glutes, quads, calves), but all that force is going to be anchored by the arches of the feet, sometimes a single arch:
On the field the player's weight is shifted forward, whereas most leg workouts are flat-footed. If the arch can't support all that force, it generally doesn't tear -- it collapses. The foot goes flat and either the guy rocks or skates backwards, or the force shifts to the knee and destroys it. Only one problem -- developing it won't help you with your weight target. It won't help your leg press goal. It only matters if you want to play productive, injury-free football. I think mentioning Chuck Norris is silly, but the point is apt -- the best do not isolate training & practice; one is built around the other. You can't deliver the full force of your HIT-developed muscles if your body can't supply sufficient counterforce to anchor it without injury. That has jack to do with practice.
I think the common ground here is that HIT is just a method. Football requires a lot of strength, so it makes logical sense to incorporate a lot of HIT into the training. So, I'm A-OK with a coach that uses HIT. However, there is a huge, HUGE difference between a meatheaded HIT zealot who thinks pain is a religion and injury is a sign of mental weakness (they'll give ANY method a bad name) and a professional that knows his shit and uses HIT as just another tool in the box. Maybe the tool that gets used far more than any other (if you're assembling a car for example, learn to love your socket wrench), but the usage is not warped by bias. But both can be considered "HIT guys" depending on one's agenda, hence the confusion.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Fair enough||
FWIW I'm not one of those people. I don't blame Jackson for everything that has gone wrong with our offense. MGoBlog has done breakdowns that show when a TFL had nothing to do with the RB. . . and plays where the RBs set new expectations for buffoonery. Replacing Jackson isn't going to fix the offense. But keeping him will certainly blunt any improvement.
I mean, when Fitz is running around Gallon's block, turning an easy TD run into a short gain, it's on Fred to fix that. Granted the RB play dramatically improved the next week, but at that point it had to have gotten everyone's attention when it's the RB coach's job to make sure it never gets that bad in the first place.
My impression is that Fred hasn't forgotten the concepts, but shows the characteristic decline in focus that afflicts most people aging in extremely demanding jobs. Coaching kids requires inexhaustible energy that very few people his age can maintain so it's not like he's a special case here.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||OK||
How do you go from basically dismissing the RB coach as a glorified recruiting position to defending Jackson's record by crediting him with past performance? I'm the one making the case that the RB coach is accountable, and in that context I don't care what happened in 2008. Fred was still in his 50s in 2008.
I guess you've never seen someone grow old, but they can hit a wall pretty hard. Anyway, it doesn't matter. Keeping him or not will be Harbaugh's decision, making this an academic discussion. But while I don't hate Jackson, I also think the justification for keeping him around this long basically amounts to what he did 5+ years ago, which is a very irresponsible argument to make.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Make a better point then||
"Are you fast? Can you see holes? Can you run through a tackle? Hold on to that ball, dammit! Okay, there. I just went through everything you need to know to coach running backs."
Asterisk noted. Look, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that there was a point you were trying to make, but in that case what you said and meant were entirely different things. Not trying to start a fight, so here's a tip: You can't make a case in earnest AND be snarky at the same time. Pick a tone and be aware of the sort of responses it'll get. We can't read your mind.
Anyway, our RB play -- independent of O-line as documented in UFR -- has been terrible of late, and that includes "easy" part like pass pro or even just following the damn blocking, so there's ample evidence that Jackson isn't even doing what you call the "easy" part.
I'm not calling Jackson a moron (thanks for the blatantly loaded argument though); I'm saying he's done. There's no shame or disrespect in that. There is, however, a danger in abusing the notion of loyalty or tenure. He's accountable to players, people with something to lose, so if he's incapable of meeting the expectations of the job he needs to go. The burden of proof isn't on me; he need to constantly prove himself like anyone else, and the performance of our RBs has been anything but consistent of late. At the very least, I'd say someone else certainly deserves a shot. Jackson can stay if at the end of the day he's shown he's the best candidate, but I'm skeptical.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Jackson||
"I also don't think Jackson forgot how to coach. So he either got lucky with all those guys from the mid-1990's through 2007 (and unlucky in the subsequent years), or he is a good coach who got saddled with some players who couldn't do the job up to his standards."
Or he got old. The dude's 64. It may just be he can't handle the 17-hour days as well as he used to. It's fair to appreciate one's past contributions while pointing out they're no longer an asset. No one deserves a coaching spot as a gold watch; it's not fair to the players.