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|1 week 5 days ago||RS sophomore||
He played as a freshman at USC in 2013 and redshirted this past year.
|1 week 5 days ago||Pass catchers||
This team needs to replace Funchess and dramatically improve in the passing game after averaging just 170 yards per game last year. The top returner posted less than 500 yards and none of the other WR broke 200.
For this team to get really good in just one year, I think Harris and Canteen have to emerge as our best two WR. Darboh reminds me of a poor man's Jason Avant (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), but when the actual Jason Avant was our top receiver the team went just 7-5. If he's the #3 guy we are in much better shape than if he's the #1. Bunting could also make a big positive impact if both he and Butt are healthy and on the field making plays.
Adding 2-3 receiving weapons would go a long way toward improving things in 2015. The line should be better and the D should be okay. We just need a lot of guys to step up at the skill positions.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Owusu and Whalen and Baldwin||
Chris Owusu ran a 4.36 at the combine and was a stud at Stanford. Had injuries so he didn't get drafted and his numbers weren't what they could have been, but he's still on an active roster in the NFL. In 2009 he ran back three kickoffs for TD (how long do you have to go back in Michigan history to get 3 return TD?).
Doug Baldwin had over 800 yards on the 2010 team that won the Orange Bowl. He plays for the Seahawks and has nearly 3,000 career yards in the NFL.
Ryan Whalen also got drafted and put up over 900 yards on the 2009 Stanford team.
Canteen maybe becomes as good as those guys, but that is it with respect to our current roster, IMO, and that is totally based on hope rather than production.
Stanford also had Zac Ertz and Coby Fleener drafted highly as TE as additional weapons in the passing game. Both of those guys put up over 700 yards this year in the NFL. Levin Toilolo put up over 200 this year with the Falcons, another TE draft pick recruited by Harbaugh.
The difference is pretty stark. I'm excited about what he'll build, but acting like this current Michigan squad looks like what he left behind at Stanford is very wishful thinking, IMO.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Alex Smith||
I think people are overstating how big of a transformation took place there. In 2009 he completed just over 60% of his passes, threw 18 TD and 12 INT. In 2010 he just under 60% of his passes and threw 14 TD and 10 INT. Both years he was dealing with injuries and getting yanked in and out of the lineup by a shitshow coaching staff.
In 2011 he completed 61.3% of his passes, threw 17 TD and 5 INT. He got better and the team improved dramatically, but he didn't come as far as people seem to think (meaning he wasn't a total disaster before Harbaugh arrived, more a young QB playing on a shitty team). He was making positive plays before Harbaugh arrived, he just cut back slightly on the mistakes and his career took off.
I don't know if expecting the same kind of transformation is fair when we're talking about a guy who has literally done nothing on the field so far. Morris may be a late bloomer, but he also may just have been overrated coming out of high school, through no fault of his own.
I also think you are underestimating the weakness at WR. Darboh has looked like a decent possession receiver at best (nice production this year but only a long of 34 yards). None of the other guys you mentioned have done anything of note on the field, and the young guys did not make an immediate impact nor are they can't miss type prospects. Losing Gallon last year and Funchess this year leaves a big production void, especially if we no longer have a mobile QB to pad the rushing stats a'la OSU or Oregon. We don't need one guy to carry the load, but we need playmakers. Contrast what we have with what USC threw on the field in the Holiday Bowl (true freshman Adoree Jackson with a kickoff return TD and a 70+ yard catch and run, JuJu Smith with 700+ yards as a true freshman, Agholor with 1,300+ yards, and 5-star guys on the bench). And they still lost 4 games this year.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Consider him?||
The guys we have coming back have combined to throw for 0 TD and 9 INT so far in their UM careers. One has completed less than 50% of his passes and the other less than 20%. Neither has won a game as a starter.
Kevin Hogan has thrown 48 TD compared to 21 INT. He won a Pac-12 title last year and went to the Rose Bowl and he just won a bowl game this year.
If you can get him with just a one year commitment this is the definition of a no brainer.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Did something right||
He got to play New England to end the year when they had clinched their playoff position. Instead of Tom Brady, he beat Janeane Garofalo and got above .500. Otherwise they are 8-8, just like Joe Philbin (WHO?) and the Dolphins the past two seasons. Is he a hot commodity in the league now too?
And it isn't like Syracuse is some historically downtrodden program. They just hired Greg Robinson and were a .500 team in Pasqualoni's last couple years. David Cutcliffe has been more impressive at two spots in college, but I don't see the Jets knocking down his door.
The guy the Jets fired went to the AFC title game. Twice. With Mark Sanchez. That is at least something to put on a resume rather than, "I went 9-7 once and rebuilt Syracuse from shitty back to mediocre."
|3 weeks 4 days ago||He should take the money and go where he wants||
It just makes zero sense to me how this guy is a candidate to replace Rex Ryan who seems to be a candidate to replace everybody else who got fired, unless some random coordinator gets those gigs.
Seems like a league full of retreads and shot-in-the-dark candidates. Obviously Marrone should take whatever opportunities are there, I just don't understand how anyone is excited to hire him, much less multiple competing NFL franchises.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Don't make a lick of sense||
The guy goes .500 exactly at Syracuse and doesn't really leave them any stronger than when he got there (Shafer is 10-15 since). But he gets a head coaching gig in the NFL. He goes 15-17 there, then thinks he is in such high demand that he gives up his contract willingly, thinking he will get an even better job.
And yet the 49ers wanted to get rid of Jim Harbaugh? What the fuck is up with that league?
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Dream scenario||
I think you are talking about raises and new titles to get some of these guys, but it seems doable. If Roman isn't coming, I could easily see giving Drevno an OC title (in addition to OL coach and run game coordinator, which is his title at USC). Morton comes in as WR coach and passing game coordinator (pretty much the title/role he's had at USC in the past). Harbaugh handles QB. And the guy from Kentucky gets a raise and recruiting guru title alone with handling TE. Add a RB coach and you're good to go on that side of the ball. Then some combo of Durkin, Mattison, and a few others on D.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||The youngest?||
After RS sophomore Chad Wheeler (a returning starter at tackle) got hurt, the line was three true freshmen, a touted RS sophomore who still hadn't really played before (Zach Banner), and true junior Max Tuerk.
They went 9-4 and just smoked ND. Buck Allen rushed for almost 1,500 yards. Justin Davis has just under 600 more. Kessler threw 39 TD and 5 INT.
Especially for a conventional offense without a running QB, that is insane from a line that young.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||The flip side of that||
You have to wonder how much posturing was going on from NFL teams. I find it hard to believe that notorious cheapskate owners were ready to roll out the big bucks and give personnel control to Harbaugh (even if that would probably be a good idea for their team). Seems like they wanted to look like they were interested without making any serious overtures and were more than happy to see a college team pay up to land him.
If I'm a reporter and guys at the Raiders and Bears whisper they are going after Harbaugh, I suppose it is hard to ignore those guys or straight up call their bluff. But once the Niners were willing to let him go (with no compensation as they were entitled to from an NFL team) the charade was up. Yet people like Rapoport and Flanagan still didn't see through it. That is when it got really ridiculous for me.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Morton||
He has fairly elite college pedigree as well. He was the USC WR coach from 2007-09 (they finished #3 in the AP poll the first two years, in year three they went 9-4 with a freshman QB but Damian Williams was a 1,000 yard receiver). He then worked under Kiffin and left after the 2011 season when they went 10-2 and had a very prolific offense with Barkley, Woods, Lee, Kalil, etc.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Harbau$h||
He'll probably be getting a raise and an upgraded title if he comes. Those don't hurt either.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Drevno||
He would be a huge pick-up. He was at Stanford with Harbaugh when they recruited and developed guys like Martin and DeCastro and all the dudes that paved the way for Shaw's great record.
At USC this past year, he started three true freshmen on the offensive line in the Holiday Bowl. A game where the Trojans scored 45 points and ran for nearly 200 yards.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Both sides?||
People have reported the leak came from both sides and it makes sense that it would. Dunn is trying to land Harbaugh a megadeal in the NFL. Even if Jim doesn't take it, a team willing to fork over that kind of money helps Dunn and all NFL agents in future negotiations. And like you said, Michigan wants to scare off NFL teams.
My guess is the agent knew Jim was dealing with UM and would likely end up there, but that stoking the NFL flames was good for all parties (his other clients see an overall rise in pay, Michigan looks like they beat out a multitude of pro teams while paying less money, Jim looks like a boss, etc.).
It was just annoying that we had to deal with NFL folks passing along every nudge of the coals as news rather than digging deeper and seeing what in hindsight looks like a case where Jim chose UM a while ago and had a deal in place the second the 49er season ended.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Different scenario in 2011||
Kawakami used his not coming in in 2011 as reason to assume he wouldn't be interested now (and the fact that he didn't leave the Niners immediately after making the NFC Championship game for a third year in a row to take the job at Texas or USC last year). While I would assume Brandon's presence didn't help (and I'd love to blame him), the situation was a lot different then. Guys like Martin and Luck and DeCastro still had two years of eligibility left at Stanford. I don't see Jim as the kind of guy who would ditch those folks to take another college job in the middle of their careers. Jim also hadn't experienced the NFL and I would assume that was a much more alluring challenge than it is now after 4 years in the league.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Not necessarily||
Even if he knew what was going on, he has an interest in promoting his client and fielding offers. A perceived bidding war makes sure Jim can consider every possible offer and it creates a rising tide that helps other coaching clients throughout the league. A team that missed on Harbaugh is presumably more likely to pay up for option #2. Even the leaking of contract details makes Jim look good now that we know the actual deal was for less than the mega record contract originally reported.
The folks who I know for a fact were out of the loop were the NFL reporters who kept acting like Jim was looking at NFL teams even after SF immediately let him out of his contract, something they never would have done if another NFL team was a serious option. Either they were stirring shit for clicks or are ridiculously dumb.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Just a hunch||
I think old Mr. Hackett is fibbing a bit when he says Jim agreed to take the job yesterday. Quite a lot of billboards up (not to mention other logistical considerations) in a really short amount of time.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||All of them?||
I doubt the Niners are going after a BCS-bowl winning college coach after what just went down and they aren't going to poach a currently successful NFL coach. So the candidates are retreads, more middle of the road college coaches (I'm thinking like Mariucci was when he got the job there) and coordinators. Those guys are presumably going to jump at the job unless they have a better offer. And even then, wouldn't they rather have the Niners current talent than go to maybe the Raiders or Bears, even assuming they are that desired as to have multiple teams after them?
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Definitely agree on college coaches||
I wonder if the trend will continue as NFL teams continue to pinch their pennies knowing the cash is coming in no matter what and that they might as well keep recycling guys or promoting coordinators who will take the job for less cash. And will NCAA teams continue to spend for the cream of the crop guys with proven track records. This makes me all the more curious about how legit the NFL offers for Harbaugh were and for how much dough and for how much control. Do the Raiders, for example, really want to bet the farm that he can right the ship and be the personnel guy, and if he succeeds how much do they have to pay him then?
It will be interesting to see what happens after the playoffs this year. If, say, Carroll, wins a second Super Bowl do teams start throwing money and control at guys like Saban, Harbaugh or somebody currently out of coaching who has won before? Or will teams continue to gamble on no-name guys and retreads and hope they land a franchise QB who gets along with them?
|3 weeks 4 days ago||RB||
Don't really watch the high school film or anything so don't really have an opinion on where Peppers would fit, it would just be nice to get the ball in the hands of our best athletes. To me that is the primary downfall of the Hoke era, and the thing that could hurt us going forward, not bringing in enough dynamic offensive playmakers.
I'm curious why you're so high on the RB position though. Do you think Green had turned a corner before his injury or that Isaac is going to be something special? Or just the rising tide of (hopefully) better line and QB play?
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Or offense||
Where he could potentially be a massive upgrade and impact player.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||I didn't offer an opinion about his greatness as a coach||
I'm simply pointing out that the gap between "excitement" (however little that means to you) and people wearing "Fire Dave Brandon" t-shirts in a stadium that gets less and less crowded every week is huge.
And that the excitement and the moratorium torches and pitchforks are far different for a Harbaugh hire than they are for any other candidate in the country. You will notice there is zero debate about whether or not it was a good choice or if it will work out eventually? Can you imagine that happening if anyone else gets the job?
There's value in that, especially after what went on this past season at Michigan.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||In aggregate||
Yes, the odds that a random 4-star guy makes the NFL are higher than they are for random 3-star. Yes, higher recruiting rankings generally correlates with more wins.
Saying, Derrick Green (or whoever) has 5-stars so he'll be better than 3-star guys Harbaugh "coached up" at Stanford is just not the case. USC has had plenty of 5-star guys who sucked or who never cracked the depth charge. Toby Gerhart was the leading rusher in CA high school history. Big programs and recruiting services whiffed on him because he was a big white RB.
The theory that our roster is set up for success is based on a theory that guys we've seen play are as good as their star ranking. If we had the high school expectations of Pipkins, Kalis, etc. lining up this past year, we would have been good this past year too. That didn't happen.
Maybe injuries kept Pipkins from being that guy. Maybe Isaac is that guy at RB. Maybe Peppers back healthy makes a difference and potentially helps on offense. Maybe Morris is a bit of a late bloomer.
Not saying this stuff can't happen. But assuming it will after what we've seen from the Hoke classes so far seems like a recipe for disappointment. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm not dialing up my own expectations until we see success on the field or we get to see the team Harbaugh is building.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||How it works?||
I'm not an NFL fan at all, but it seems like paying for a coach and getting a name guy isn't necessarily the way to success, at least in the minds of ownership. Plenty of winners haven't been able to replicate it in different circumstances (just the nature of the league, it's hard to be really good and it's harder when you have Steve Beuerlein instead of Steve Young). Meanwhile the top coaches seem to all be guys who somebody took a flyer on.
Belichick was 36-44 with the Browns over five years. Went back to being a Parcells assistant for four years, started 5-13 in New England, then Tom Brady fell into his lap via injury and the guy becomes a legend. Mike Tomlin was a defensive coordinator for one year with the Vikings before getting the Steelers job (where he's had success with the same QB Cowher won a Super Bowl with two years earlier). John Harbaugh was never a coordinator before getting the Ravens job.
Chuck Pagano has virtually the same winning percentage as Jim Harbaugh. Jim Caldwell has been to a Super Bowl and just led the Lions to one of their best seasons ever. I had to look up who both of them were.
I think NFL owners don't want to spend money when they don't have to and they see a recipe for success that doesn't involve paying a high profile coach, and certainly not giving one personnel power or a huge salary. I think most are reluctant to make the deal Carroll and Kelly got (and Belichick got after winning multiple Super Bowls). That is what Harbaugh could/would demand presumably, so I guess that explains them trying or being willing to cut bait now.
I honestly wonder how much Kaepernick plays a role in this. If he's Jim's guy and they don't think he's the guy they need to be elite consistently, does that force this decision and set about a roster turnover at the position (and probably a change in offensive philosophy as well).
|3 weeks 4 days ago||You can at least acknowledge the chasm||
In just the last few months we were on the national news because it appeared one of our players may have been seriously injured and then put back into the game at great risk by a more or less oblivious coach (not the fairest portrayal, perhaps, but pretty much how the story looked on the air). We had a series of controversies and clashes between the school administration, fans, and the athletic director (student seating, Coke giveaway, "NO" vote on fireworks, etc.) culminating in the publication of shitty emails the athletic director sent to disgruntled fans, the publication of which saw him fired under threat of a fan boycott and ongoing active protests in the stadium. Then we kept losing. Then fewer and fewer seats were filled at each game. Then the coach got fired.
Contrast that with hiring the hottest coaching candidate in all of football (for less money than the pros offered, after virtually every national media outlet implied there was zero chance of landing) and introducing him to a packed basketball arena full of screaming fans.
Maybe "saved" is too strong a word, but the difference in the situations before this hire and after it could not be more different.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Jones||
Jerry was an all-SWC player at Arkansas. He was also the GM of the Cowboys when they built that early 1990's dynasty, and despite the criticism (some valid) he did win another Super Bowl after Johnson left. And has a decent team again now.
He probably doesn't know as much as he thinks he does, but he has infinitely more football credibility than those other guys.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||100% credibility||
I'm pretty confident in the long term (as we all should be), but this hire also solidifies the short-term better than any other possibly could. This team could very easily be mediocre to bad again the next year or two (we could improve, but we didn't go 5-7 because this is a national title contender in the making). If Dan Mullen or Mora or Schiano or maybe even Les Miles is the coach if/when that happens, people are going to dissent and doubt. If it is some no name coordinator or a lower level HC things would be much worse.
If this team isn't good right away, I don't think any UM fan is going to think that is Jim Harbaugh's fault. Nor will there be any real doubt about how good we'll still be in year 4+ when the program he wants to build is in place (just like what happened at Stanford).
Hackett bought the program a near complete moratorium on criticism and doubt from the fanbase and guaranteed ticket demand until at least the middle of the 2018 season. Considering where we were with Coke giveaways and Brandon's other horseshit and the concussion bufoonery, we've come a long way in a short time thanks to the two Jims.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Not arguing the conclusion||
Yes, Hoke deserved to go in my opinion. But using recruiting stars as a direct proxy for talent is just way off base. Jake Ryan, whether he got "coached up" was incredibly successful under coach Hoke. So was Patrick Omameh. Desmond Morgan has been very good. Gallon blossomed under Hoke when he had done little before that. Fitz busted out with a 1,000 yard season.
Coaching didn't stop Lewan, Denard, Schofield, Countess, or other highly rated recruits who were also good players from excelling. A lot of those guys only played for Hoke at UM.
The problem is he didn't bring in enough players who were as good as those guys, not that he couldn't get good players to play well. Harbaugh brought in Andrew Luck in his first class at Stanford. Hoke didn't sign a QB. Harbaugh brought in Martin and DeCastro, future NFL players who were all-conference as RS freshmen. Hoke saw Lewan, Schofield, and Omameh (and BWC) head to the league while guys that he recruited struggled to crack the lineup and/or block the opposition.
College football is about building a program. Jim Harbaugh didn't make the shitty teams at Stanford he walked into good. He got the most he could out of them, but that was only 4 or 5 wins. The team he built at Stanford was a juggernaut though. Sort of the opposite of the guy he's replacing. I think we'll be patient even if there are initial struggles, but I hope I'm not wrong. The payoff should be fantastic.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||Drew Sharp||
Quiet up until then, for maximum effect.