- Member for
- 3 years 32 weeks
- View recent blog entries
|1 day 7 hours ago||Uh. . .||
Well, I was born in the USA; does that count?
|1 day 10 hours ago||Nah||
This is more like being approved for fire insurance after buying a new home, having watched the last one burn to the ground. A huge relief that it happened, that's it.
Not to put Gardner in a bad light; he was probably the most badly mis-coached QB I've ever seen. Case in point: Bellomy and Morris were even less prepared. It would've been nice to have hired Harbaugh the first time around, just to see what could've been. Sigh. . .
|1 day 10 hours ago||No surprises||
The insight we're looking for is if there's something here for Harbaugh to coach up. Unfortunately, it's tough to tell. What we ARE seeing is that Iowa's offense is a lot like Michigan's, so at least he'll be working in familiar conditions.
|1 day 10 hours ago||Long arm of Wisconsin||
If Wiscy expected something, OK, but I think blitzing in a game you're not scheduled to play in should be a violation, if it isn't already.
|2 days 10 hours ago||3rd guard||
At the same time, he's not there to fill minutes, which is what I dislike about the "rotation" label. I mean, it's accurate in that Beilein does use short rotations, but he's no longer a reserve. Beilein puts him out there not just to spell starters, but also to calm the team down (for lack of a better way to phrase it). For all his creativity he's not a consistent creator, but he's an excellent ball-handler so when he's bringing the ball up the court the team can reliably get into their offense. We've had chronic youth issues so even early this season (IIRC before injuries shredded the roster) he saw a lot of playing time when opposing defenses tried to fluster our young guards.
|2 days 14 hours ago||The Zone Merchant||
I'm assuming the Count did his homework, but does Auburn use a lot of zone?
|6 days 10 hours ago||Tevaun Smith?||
You mean Tevaun? Small sample size is small, but I think Darboh is better. He's just not a "threat", at least not at this point unless he's making huge strides in practice. He didn't look like a #1 receiver during the spring game but I'm not sure how much to chalk that up to the regime/QB change.
|6 days 12 hours ago||This||
Our WRs are not very good. They're not as bad as Iowa's, but the problems are similar -- they can't get separation, their routes are bad, they drop a lot of passes and their decision-making is iffy. I like Darboh's character and Chesson is a huge asset in the run game but unless a light turns on in someone's head in the next three months, passing yards will be hard to come by.
|6 days 12 hours ago||Kind of hard to UFR that.||
Kind of hard to UFR that. "TA", maybe.
|6 days 12 hours ago||Here, lemme help||
Whether or not Rudock starts, every gameday you are one day closer to death.
|6 days 12 hours ago||YMRMFSPA||
|6 days 13 hours ago||I'm responding to imafreak1's||
I'm responding to imafreak1's comment at face value. I wasn't following RichRod's teams particularly closely because I had other things going on at the time (note the date I created my MGoBlog account). So if we argue about why things were done during the RichRod years, I'm gonna lose. I do appreciate that everyone's seeing the forest from the trees, though. My focus is more on Borges than anyone else.
|6 days 16 hours ago||Eeehhhhhh, errrmmm||
Kiiiind of. It's apt, but I'm not comfortable with this analogy because the contexts are so different and beyond the scope of this site.
While the principle is the same, I'm more comfortable comparing it to learning a piece of music vs. learning music. Anyone can master a particular piece on the piano if they just rep it enough. Musicians, however, are drilled scales and arpeggios as well as taught concepts like tempo, dynamics, key, transposing, etc. At first glance it's very inefficient and causes intense "paralysis by analysis", but over time, a conceptual understanding gives one the ability to make seamless adjustments, improvise, and pick up new songs at a pace simple repping can't keep up with.
|6 days 18 hours ago||If that's the case||
Then credit to Borges, because simplifying the read made the option viable. Again, there are perfectly legitimate reasons to go with the "tell, not teach" approach, and this is one of them. RichRod tried to teach Denard the zone read for two years and had to ditch it. Borges got it back by making it a process instead of a concept.
But the downside to something like this is precisely what happened in the Nebraska game (and hence) -- a process will eventually be reverse-engineered, especially at a heavily scrutinized program like Michigan. Borges had to keep tweaking but he could never stay ahead; there are too many permutations to drill. Concepts is how you compress the permutations. If the players understand what needs to be done, then are drilled on technique, in games you don't have to tell them what to do.
I think Borges wanted to simplify the game as much as possible for the players, do all the thinking so they could just run the plays. That has dramatic short-term advantages but it's unsustainable. In that light, I think Borges' resume makes a lot of sense.
|6 days 18 hours ago||Got me there||
OK, that's a point. RRod had guns pointed at his head from the day he arrived, but there were plenty of things those guns were NOT telling him to do that he did anyway, that got him fired. Running a 2-gap 3-3-5 with a DC who didn't know how was one of them.
Again, I don't think RichRod's issues were insurmountable. Tough, yes. Unfair, yes. But to me, the mystery is why everyone involved who remember, WANTED TO WIN was sabotaging the team. RichRod's stubbornness in meddling with the defense. Carr, Freep, etc.
In all, I really just think generations of success had bred a critical mass of arrogance within the program and without. Everyone took success for granted and wanted success MY WAY, and in the process had to learn that success must be earned. It's unfortunate that RichRod had to be in the middle of it, but the misadventures with the defense shows he had some learning to do himself.
|1 week 5 hours ago||Thank you||
I'm putting forward something I neither can prove nor necessarily feel should be proven, given Hoke's gone anyway. But if it provoked thought, that's the best I could've hoped for.
While I had to cut down my post for length, one other reason why I came up with the "teller not teacher" theory is indeed how they kept going on about the "good practices". I believe them. I believe the players executed every practice according to the coaches' expecatations. It just didn't translate to the games because opposing defenses would make adjustments they didn't expect. When what they were told required defender 1 to be in gap C etc., and that didn't happen, they'd run around wondering what to do.
If you teach the concepts, which is admittedly much tougher and takes longer, the players develop the ability to make adjustments on their own. The defense was coached much better in that regard, but I think that's because Mattison and Hoke -- who can coach D-line very well -- had the capacity and mentality to develop the defense into players who knew what they were doing. I feel this is what Nuss envisioned, but he only had like six months to unravel 2-3 years of "telling" and he lacked Borges' knack for scheming out of trouble.
FYI, I think Borges was the "teller". Hoke's a teacher but was too focused on D-line instead of being an HC, Mattison was a teacher, Nuss was a teacher but didn't have enough time. Borges being a "teller" explains why he's great with experienced units but can't develop an offense.
|1 week 5 hours ago||Denard did fine||
Denard did fine when he had the ball. The 21 (!!!) minuses he got were racked up in large part because he kept handing off to Fitz at inopportune times. I theorize Nebraska had reverse-engineered Borges' "give if the edge isn't clean" read and used an EMLOS defender to get the ball out of Denard's hands while the DE went right after Fitz. A bunch of other factors put the game out of hand, but that particular strategy worked.
Basically, Borges coached Denard like he was an idiot.
|1 week 5 hours ago||?||
I think the story was more straightforward there, and well-chronicled on MGoBlog. RichRod didn't get the DC he wanted, found a 1-gap DC but insisted he run a 2-gap scheme, never righted the ship. The mystery was outside Schembechler Hall -- while I don't agree that RichRod's problems were insurmountable, why bring in a guy and then make his job harder than it needed to be? It's easy to take sides but what's baffling is that no one involved on any level was against the idea of success.
Hoke's offenses were much more mysterious because they vastly underperformed. They had talent, they had past success (Borges at Auburn & SDSU, Nuss at Alabama). . . It was easy to pick apart the details but everyone struggled to make sense of the big picture.
|1 week 9 hours ago||Not enough time||
We've consistently maintained an offense needs to be "yours" for 3-4 years before you "own" it. Nuss implemented an inside zone base (which takes a long time to learn) and I speculate that he tried to replace Borges' "do what you're told" method with "know what to do". The result was a catastrophe, albeit one I was optimistic they would eventually climb out of.
I am not ruling out the possibility that Nuss was an overrated OC that rode Saban's coattails. But it's also possible he could've molded the offense into a solid unit if given time. But whether he's terrible, awesome or whatever in between, he just wasn't around long enough.
|1 week 12 hours ago||I thought of that||
My post is detailed but VERY VERY speculative. Strip it down and I am accusing the last coaches of not developing the players in favor of controlling them. Which, well, people have been saying around here, but this is the closest I'll get to a formal accusation. It's not really something I feel is appropriate for posterity, because all the evidence is circumstantial.
Second, my last diary was intended to be more objective and it still got hammered with negative posts. Not that that got under my skin, but it certainly wasn't the engaging discussion I was hoping to foment, which seriously blunted the upside of going through the effort. The theme here is far more inflammatory. I'd rather not be the spark for yet another head coach flamewar, but as long as I want to get this off my chest, a post has a short half-life compared to a diary.
|1 week 13 hours ago||So, how?||
I've had my own theory brewing for a while now as to why the offense fell apart. There's all the stuff detailed above, the recruiting misses, the scheme transition, etc., but the offense didn't just struggle through the Hoke transition; it collapsed. As Space Coyote mentioned on his blog, Michigan had been running Power-O for several years and still couldn't execute it consistently. He has, to his credit, refused to speculate the cause, given it really comes down to what goes on in practice. Given I have no credibility to lose, I'll speculate for him.
Two issues come to mind, in the first half of the Hoke era. The first was opponents' adjustment to the zone read, Nebraska 2011 in particular. Fortunately due to great defense & ST play the game was a blowout for Michigan, but Denard finished the game with a -12. Brian writes in his UFR summary:
What was he doing? He'd been running RichRod's offense without similar issues. Taking a closer look at a few of the plays:
I read somewhere else (sorry, lost the cite) Borges said he was coaching Denard to give if the "edge wasn't clean". That means all opponents had to do to get the ball out of Denard's hands was show his jersey colors on the edge. The guy's actual assignment wasn't relevant; something as simple as one guy with outside leverage on the EMLOS and Denard would follow Borges' strict orders to hand off the ball. Fitz had a great 2011 season so it wasn't a great option, but they'll take Fitz over Denard, every time. This is exactly how NOT to run a zone read; you want to force the defense into a bad choice; not the other way around. Denard wasn't missing his read; Borges gave him the wrong read.
Now, maybe that could be chalked up to Borges' lack of familiarity with the spread. Also, they did make adjustments later such as delaying the give/keep choice. But then there was this moment, in the South Carolina game:
Yes, it's that hit. Clowney's in the red circle, between Lewan and Kwiatowski; neither picked him up. Obviously it was a miscommunication. But what got miscommunicated?
Lewan was called to make a combo block, leaving Clowney, SC's #1 defensive threat:
1) Either one-on-one vs. Kwiatkowski,
Even accounting for the miscommunication, these are all violently stupid options. Kwiatowski has no chance against Clowney, Omameh has no hope of getting there in time, and #3 is unfathomable. No sane lineman would look at a threat like Clowney and think the new call was a good idea even if perfectly communicated, but Lewan's first priority was doing what he was told (combo the fucking linebacker and leave the TE 1-on-1 with horrible leverage). To Hoke/Borges, following orders is more important than, you know, doing what's obviously needed to win. This is why I called the 27-for-27 game a betrayal of trust -- if you demand impeccable obedience, you damn well better not be Field Marshal Haig.
Now we've reached the crux of my point. Hoke's offense is an offense of instructions and orders, not teachers and students. They aren't learning the game; they're just learning where to go and what to do. That may not sound like much of a difference in a technique-heavy sport like football, but over the long term, it stunts development. Now, there's a reason to do it this way. It gets faster returns (it's much easier to tell than teach), and for a program that isn't obsessively scouted like Ball State, you can execute a play a very specific way and not expect MAC DCs to relentlessly pick it apart for tendencies. Michigan isn't Ball State. Michigan's opponents have interns locked in dark rooms watching film for 27 hours a day.
I could go on. Space Coyote has often chronicled various instances where the line would get confused and make the wrong decisions, even for plays they repped over and over, but I feel this can all be easily explained that all those myriad schemes and plays were taught to be run in very specific ways that made broad assumptions about how they'd be defended. Borges wasn't a fan of constraints, but at Michigan, his bigger failure was his inability to realize that he needed to develop his recruits into players who understood football. The kind that could make adjustments in real time without getting confused. Based on his pressers, Borges obviously thought they weren't up to the task.
Enter Nuss. He had his own issues, but I feel he was at least a teacher, not a teller. Unfortunately the offense was in such deplorable shape that the "paralysis by analysis" that Borges tried so hard to avoid emerged in full force. Funk managed to coach up the O-line to about average by the end of the season, but the RBs were lost with Jackson in de facto semi-retirement and Gardner -- in the position that needed the most teaching -- well, it was just too much. He went from very specific sequences to figuring it out on his own, and if given another 2-3 years he might've been everything we hoped he'd be, he broke instead.
This is one reason why I don't expect Harbaugh's offense to explode in the first season. The scheme change is an issue, but if he's the teacher I think he is, he's got a LOT of ground to make up because basically everyone on offense is a true sophomore in terms of development.
|1 week 1 day ago||Don't you mean||
|1 week 2 days ago||Shot clock||
I get that it's boring to watch, but this is not a waste. Passing the ball back and forth doesn't just grind down clock, though that's definitely one aspect of it. It also puts the defense in a bind. In certain defenses such as the 2-3 zone, the perimeter defenders shift position based on ball possession. You're forced to choose between expending energy playing disciplined defense when the offense is just tossing the ball back and forth, or dailing back the effort -- but expect the offense to pounce on that. Or you can play undisciplined and go for a steal, but again that's just giving the offense the advantage. Each pass has a small chance of some sort of lapse. Michigan used this to try to open up opportunities against Syracuse, for example.
|1 week 3 days ago||Fouls||
Eh, I like my dad's idea of simply not counting fouls AND eliminating free throws but adopting the hockey rule of a penalty box. Of course, the difference is that in hockey you can literally slam your opponent against a wall, whereas in basketball you can't even brush the jersey of a guy while pinning the shot against the backboard.
/ my dad was a troll
|1 week 6 days ago||In all seriousness||
This question is impossible to answer without knowing what wears well on you.
I'd like to shave my head, but can't. The bald look works great for my father-in-law but I look like a goddamn conehead.
|1 week 6 days ago||Bro.||
Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and have their shoes.
|2 weeks 11 hours ago||Damn||
I searched and couldn't find any reference to it.
Welp, time to brace for the incoming negbang flood.
|2 weeks 12 hours ago||I remember a conversation way back||
Out of curiosity my sisters were watching me watch college football and asked why some players had stickers all over their helments. When I explained each one was a reward for good play, they started laughing. "Ooh, you work hard and you get. . . a STICKER!"
I saw their point, but I just shrugged and said, "Well, if you're a n00b and the guy lining up in front of you is much bigger and has a helmet covered in them, it can be rather demoralizing."
|2 weeks 14 hours ago||Exactly||
He can help Michigan, but Michigan's conversion to press man doesn't help him. A fifth-year All-B1G corner coming off the bench? That's a luxury no program should afford.
He's been my favorite CB (I'm geeked for Peppers but -- no fault of his own -- need to see him in action) because I'm envious of zone merchants. I've always been a man (not press) coverage guy because I'm quick enough to stay on someone but I always felt zone is the better team game. Man can be effective, but it's not cerebral. You can frustrate your guy but I enjoy messing with the QB's head. Peppers' athleticism is so far out of my league I'm totally in spectator mode, but Countess isn't freakishly athletic so I look at him and think, "I want to be able to do that."
|2 weeks 1 day ago||It will be interesting||
You don't want to play a man/zone hybrid (it screws up the assignments), but I do think Countess is one of our best CBs if he's put in a position to do what he's GOOD at. I know Durkin's all-in on press man but Countess is a hell of an asset to leave on the shelf.
So, we're not going all-zone to accommodate Countess, but how would any of you guys use him?