i can't wait to show clients how much money i have to waste
|2 days 1 hour ago||Who needs elite guys? The US||
Who needs elite guys? The US doesn't just own the top-end talent, but has all the depth too. There are plenty of guys who don't quite make the NFL or who made it but left the league who would be physically able and willing to participate in such an undertaking. You could organize a permanent national team with regular try-outs and produce a great team with no effort.
|2 days 1 hour ago||Winter games, by definition,||
Winter games, by definition, must require a component of ice or snow in the sport. Anything that does not require those elements to be played is played in the Summer Games.
|2 days 1 hour ago||I wouldn't say dominated.||
I wouldn't say dominated. There are a number of good Canadian players who contribute and even star at key positions.
|2 days 2 hours ago||If you want this thread to||
If you want this thread to survive deletion for cause of duplicating a topic just posted yesterday, perhaps you could retitle this as the "Coaching Changes Wednesday Open Thread."
|2 days 2 hours ago||There's no way this is||
There's no way this is happening. Maybe some football guy has a dream that someday football will be an Olympic sport and happened to tickle the ear of an article author or one person on the USOC, but this is not a thing. Never will be.
|2 days 15 hours ago||Yzerman is one of the players||
Yzerman is one of the players I tell my kids about. A great scorer (only Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky have ever scored more points in a season, albeit each multiple times) who became a great leader.
|1 week 1 day ago||Better get your tickets now.||
Better get your tickets now. Minnie fans will snatch up championship game tix if the Gophs are in it.
|1 week 1 day ago||It may be a weird and||
It may be a weird and somewhat frustrating mid-season for Michigan if trends continue. Coming into the season the question was, "Can they put things together and make the tournament?" Now, riding a blazing-hot start against a brutally challenging schedule, we ease out of football season and find ourselves in position to claim a #1 seed. So the question now is, "is this team good enough to win it all?"
|1 week 4 days ago||Good for Chad. I like seeing||
Good for Chad. I like seeing him succeed. Realistically, though, Henne's best chance for a good NFL career going forward is as a backup. Earning the starting job in what is being called "the worst QB situation in the League" is not exactly a ringing endorsement, and Henne has actually had some skill player weapons to work with.
And there's no shame in that. A good backup quarterback is a guy who has starting experience and is good enough to come in for an injured starter and win a game or two to keep a team in playoff contention. If Henne can do that (and, by his quotes, it sounds like he would enjoy the opportunity to be that kind of backup in J'Ville, which is a cinch to draft a new starter) he can build a good financial future, win a couple of football games, and stay in the NFL.
|1 week 4 days ago||Yep. I get to follow the||
Yep. I get to follow the Vikings up close here in Duluth (this year, as a Lions fan, it has been delicious) and there is no question that their QB situation has been an anchor on the entire franchise, one that will probably cost Les Frazier his job. They reached to pick Ponder and it cost them three years of mediocrity. They threw $3 million at Freeman this year, just to take a shot, and the result has been zilch.
They will not do well without a strong quarterback.
|1 week 4 days ago||The subjective "best game I||
The subjective "best game I experienced" is an entirely different argument, in my view. Objectively judging "best games" involves criteria that is quite different from our experience as fans.
When you say "favorite game," there is an accomodation for the excitement of the game, quality of play, and stakes involved, but there is also a much more visceral emotional component.
1997 OSU was, for anyone who was there, a mountain-peak event that was as amazing as any sports experience we could hope to witness. A titanic clash between two great teams. Incredible athletes all over the field, huge hits, big plays...
But aesthetically, it was quite an ugly football game. I mean, c'mon, Stanley Jackson threw a pick-six RIGHT TO Andre Weathers. Michigan had no offense. And Andy Katzenmoyer's attempt at a conversion runback was embarrassing for everybody.
And nobody cares. Because Woodson was incredible and the noise was incredible and Michigan was #1 and we were going to the Rose Bowl. Objectively, it was hideous. Subjectively, it was the greatest thing I've ever seen.
|1 week 4 days ago||I think more in terms of a||
I think more in terms of a full day of sports.
The Michigan-Ohio State game was a classic, an all-time great game in the history of the Rivalry. It was excellent from beginning to end, and the stakes were quite high for one team.
But it's hard to put it on a list of all-time great games. I think it might be on a five-deep list of "best games of this season," but that's as far as it goes. The upshot was that it was a good enough game that outsiders like Peter King were awed by it, and that the sting is reduced because it was a privilege to watch my favorite team participate in it.
I suspect the reduced "feel" of the Iron Bowl is probably due to our emotional emptiness after the Game that ended just as the other began. The fact is, the stakes were incredibly high. Auburn has an outside national title shot, and Alabama is working on all-time dynasty status (the '02 and '05 title games you list are on my short list of all-time best games as well; part of the reason is that Miami and USC respectively were pushing for all-time dynasty status themselves--Miami, people forget, had a legit shot at Oklahoma's consecutive win streak). The rivalry was already great, one of the three best in college football. There were great players involved. And, frankly, the game lived up even before the finish.
It's not like it was defense-free, and it's not like it was offense-free either. Bama and Auburn traded haymakers in all three areas of the game. Alabama's 99-yard touchdown pass was a play of the year candidate, and it got outclassed TWICE in the same game.
And the ending... I'm a bit of a historical purist when it comes to college football. I resist and resent whatever "this is the best ever" flavor of the year comes by. But that was the best ending in the history of football. Maybe sports, period.
There's no shame in a great UM-OSU game being second to that.
But that brings us back to the "day of football." Because we were a part of a very, very special afternoon of sports. And it ranks right up there with the incredible moments of October 15, 2005. That was the day of the Bush Push (a remarkable, astonishing football game with its own epic ending) but it was so much more. At almost the same moment Leinart was tumbling into the end zone, Henne was drilling Mario Manningham to beat Penn State--one team's national title dreams preserved, the other dashed, all in the space of minutes. Less remembered but not less remarkable, Wisconsin beat Minnesota on an astonishing blocked punt in Minneapolis, and an emerging West Virginia team played an OT classic with Louisville.
It was a day for the ages; in my lifetime, the best college football has ever had, in perhaps its best ever season (that day, a classic Heisman race between two exceptional athletes, finishing with the greatest game ever played in the Rose Bowl).
Yesterday was the only day that comes close. A day where winners and losers alike can step back, watch, and appreciate that they follow this incredible game.
|1 week 5 days ago||Eh. I'm not mad. Days like||
Eh. I'm not mad.
|1 week 6 days ago||I BELIEVE IN ANDREW COPP||
I BELIEVE IN ANDREW COPP
|2 weeks 2 days ago||When I get irritated at angry||
When I get irritated at angry fans, it is usually because they express an unhealthy sense of entitlement regarding the PERFORMANCE of the team. That somehow they have been personally insulted by what has happened on the field/court/ice.
|2 weeks 3 days ago||Are you kidding? The Michigan||
Are you kidding? The Michigan brand isn't even solid in Ann Arbor right now.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||And Saskatchewan will take||
And Saskatchewan will take it. Nice for a fanbase that really, really cares about the team.
|2 weeks 4 days ago||Two division teams play each||
Two division teams play each other, two other teams play against non-playoff contenders.
So the divisional game ends in a tie and the other two lose. The worst day for any division ever? Certainly the most NFC North game ever.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Florida has two recent||
Florida has two recent national titles, including a humiliation of our arch-rival. They'll bounce back.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||By that logic, Michigan||
By that logic, Michigan fields roughly ten such players on every down.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||I think Gardner suffers from||
I think Gardner suffers from poor QB coaching and a complicated, new-plays-every-week scheme that makes it hard to get proficient at staple stuff. He has shown growth in many areas this year, yet he always has more to learn as the gameplan is torn up and re-invented every week and he is pounded by the rampaging defenses that his OL can't block.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Not sure how you think that||
Not sure how you think that Al Borges will do a better job coaching Morris than Gardner. Or do you think Borges is a really good coach at heart?
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Of course it has the tools.||
Of course it has the tools. Funchess has emerged as a dangerous receiver (credit the coaches for moving him!) and Gallon is much better than we could expect given his tools. We have a 5-star RB and an experienced senior RB who has proven to be capable of rushing for 1000 yards. We have two future NFL tackles, one of whom could be starting in the NFL right now if he wanted. We have young but quite talented interior linemen. And our quarterback has great physical tools, good intelligence and work ethic (nobody graduates in three years by accident) and has proven his ability to be brilliant when properly equipped.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||I flipped after Nebraska,||
I flipped after Nebraska, actually. I see the problems a bit differently than others, and I think a lot of people waaaay oversimplify things and try to deal in the reality that the actual decision-makers deal with, but Michigan's production against average B1G opponents is inexcusable regardless of the actual cause.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||The offense stinks. It's not||
The offense stinks.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Why not? In cold weather with||
Why not? In cold weather with receivers that couldn't catch, Michigan needed to be able to run the ball.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Numbers don't lie. Michigan's||
Numbers don't lie. Michigan's offense has the tools to be good; it is not. There are a variety of factors that contribute to this, and lots of debate regarding why this is the case.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Yeah, Gallon has never made a||
Yeah, Gallon has never made a big catch like that.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Winston-Salem was involved in||
Winston-Salem was involved in the most controversial D-2 event of the year, the cancelled conference championship game last week which resulted from (I believe I remember this right) their QB being violently assaulted by players from the other team at a pre-game meal.
Good to see Slippery Rock in the playoffs. My local team, UMD, has made the playoffs yet again and get a home game, which I will probably brave the 20 degree high temp to attend. They are in the "region of death."
|3 weeks 5 days ago||Yeah. I was worried about the||
Yeah. I was worried about the staff losing the team--the losses on the field are bad enough, but real program chaos is the sort of thing that #2 overall recruits decommit over, and stuff.
And while the world thinks OSU will roll all over us, I still have hope. Because the actual players are pretty good--if Michigan can catch lightning in a bottle, they can win.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||You know how sometimes the||
You know how sometimes the score doesn't tell the whole story?
This game is the definition of the principle. The picture in the dictionary, etc.
At this point, with no real goals left, disaster around every turn, and the spirit beaten out of the fanbase, this win... was a very pleasant surprise. Michigan tried to give the game away perhaps a dozen times, but somehow managed to pull it off. The upside was that, after that field goal, everything I saw was fun again.
This might be our last win this season. It's nice to get. That field goal was the stuff of legend.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||Don't worry, Falk washed out||
Don't worry, Falk washed out the blood spatters after both the MSU and Nebraska games.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||I had hope for M The dawn of||
I had hope for M
|4 weeks 1 day ago||It's not just the history or||
It's not just the history or the losses. It's the way the team looks-the problems with player development, the real chance of significant staff changes. Suddenly, this is not a team on the rise.
|4 weeks 1 day ago||Confirmed: this year's||
Confirmed: this year's struggles do matter. He talked about having a chance to win a national championship. After UTL II, it looked like we were close; now it looks a long way away.
|4 weeks 2 days ago||Here's the crux of the issue:||
Here's the crux of the issue: you say the coaches have let things get off course without doing anything about it.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||What theory do you have that||
What theory do you have that is more plausible? It is not plausible that, in decades of coaching, he has never understood the concept of constraint plays.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||This is related. See, in Al's||
This is related. See, in Al's ideal world, he would have multiple plays out of different looks that could accomplish the right things in those situations. But because he does not have time to install them, he is left with a re-run of a play that he already has. They are plays designed to be used only once or twice but that must be brought back because he needs something that play offers.
And sometimes they don't work. Keep in mind that he is working with a non-functional OL here.
This is my theory on that awful PA pass at MSU: I don't think Al had any real hope of the LBs biting, other than maybe a brief forward twitch. I think he believed he needed a certain type of pass pattern or yardage gain, and that he had seen that play show that kind of potential in practice or earlier in the game; he had confidence in the team's ability to execute. So he called it and was proven wrong.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||I think practice reps is a||
I think practice reps is a key here. In fact, I think the limited time in practice is the heart of everything that's challenging to this offense.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Brian isn't attacking scheme.||
Brian isn't attacking scheme. He's attacking what the coaches do with it.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||MSU getting swept is not good||
MSU getting swept is not good for our RPI, because we are guaranteed to play MSU more than we play Tech.
That doesn't mean that revelling in their misfortune isn't enjoyable, just that it's not a notable plus for us. Not a huge minus either, of course.
It's really too early to look at rankings, there just haven't been enough games yet. Once we hit the conference season, the numbers will gel and we'll get a good outlook on tournament prospects and where the strength of the conference really lies.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||We are not an unusual||
We are not an unusual fanbase. We expect to win, many of us handle it poorly when we lose. No fanbase is free of these issues. Not Alabama, not Florida (did you see the empty crowd pic this morning?), not Tennessee, not Washington, not Oregon, not Ohio State, not Texas, nobody. Why do you think TWIS exists?
|4 weeks 5 days ago||The PR is bad, no question.||
The PR is bad, no question. It makes things worse than they actually are--the fact is, get the right coaching and the existing recruits coming in and the OL will improve significantly over the next few years.
I think Brandon justifiably felt that the football team was not going to improve significantly under RR. Maybe he could get a new DC and see that side improve a bit, but fan confidence was already shaken and if RR had produced anything other than the type of season Hoke did produce (unlikely with that defense) he would either have to fire him anyway or commit the program to mediocrity until RR stunk enough to fire.
I don't think things are the same kind of train wreck now. Fans are pretty upset, but that's because we suppress bad memories and live in the now, and the now is kind of depressing. Get the right OC and the right OL coach in, though, and September will dawn with real promise of improvement in key areas of weakness and the possibility of actually fielding a shut-down defense on the other side of the ball. And our current angst will fade.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Sort of. Hoke has already||
Sort of. Hoke has already achieved a whole lot more than RR ever did--we will probably lose to both MSU and OSU this season, but he has beaten them and that is important. And he has taken Michigan to a BCS bowl game and won it. And, unlike RichRod, he is a lights-out recruiter who even if he loses some prizes at the end of this recruiting push will still draw a solid class.
In fact, certain parts of the team have shown growth. The defense is improving, more help is on the way, and the offense has turned some so-so recruits into extremely capable receivers, a position group I was worried about.
The problem is the offensive line, and the offensive philosophy that is around it. Fix the line, reboot the philosophy, and Michigan's talented skill players will start really humming, won't they? We know they can, we've seen it happen. So why not give Hoke a chance to do that? Contrast this with GERG's defense that wasn't ever competent and, with an exception or two, appeared to have few competent players and few players coming that would improve it.
Hoke deserves a chance to right the ship with the right OC.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||That would get a home playoff||
That would get a home playoff game and probably a matchup with Carolina or whomever finishes second in the North. That's a winnable matchup.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||What hole?||
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Wouldn't it be wise to wait||
Wouldn't it be wise to wait until decisions are made at the end of the season? We could well lose the rest of our games and see the entire staff get fired, RR style. Or the ship could right and things look ok (it's at least theoretically possible, if not likely).
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Don't worry, we play a good||
Don't worry, we play a good B1G team in a couple of weeks, I'm sure it will be even better then.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Maybe my second-favorite||
Maybe my second-favorite Lloyd moment of all time was 2003 at MSU when Michigan abandoned a dominant run game late to try a bootleg play-action pass that was blown up for a fumble-scoop-score that pulled MSU back into the game.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Of course it is coach speak.||
Of course it is coach speak. Most good coaches don't throw their staff under the bus in a post-game presser. If they do, it's a media firestorm. Nothing to be gained by saying any differently.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||No. I would have liked him||
No. I would have liked him either of the last two times, but he doesn't even try to be ethical. Frankly, his thing works in the SEC where the media is deliberately incurious and the atmosphere is tinged with dollar bills; it won't fly here. We'd get a significant scandal within five years.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Yep. Ten years ago Chris||
Yep. Ten years ago Chris Perry won the Doak Walker, and then he left a smoldering crater that was filled with.... er... Mike Hart.
Maybe we should say the last six years.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||This comment is typical of||
This comment is typical of the vacuous, empty-minded reasoning frequently found in complaints about Brandon.
The reasoning goes like this: Brandon is making decisions that make some money, and he has made some decisions that we don't like. He's a businessman--so he's probably just like those evil, soulless CEOs I see in movies. He hates regular fans like me and only cares about the almighty dollar. So naturally he won't do anything to improve the football program, which is what I care most about.
This reasoning is silly. Here's why:
1. DB is indeed concerned about money. That's a big part of his job in running the athletic department. A big reason for this, though, is because revenues fund the programs and proper use of them (say, a nice renovation of Crisler Center) leads to success on the playing field. He's also willing (to a fault, I don't like a lot of the decisions either) to think outside the box to raise revenues and keep the athletic department in the black.
2. A financially successful athletic department is an athletic department that is prepared for an uncertain future in college athletics, where stipends or even salaries for players may become a new reality.
3. The football team is the engine that drives the money machine. If it starts seriously flailing, people stop buying tickets, corporations stop investing in suites, donations go down, and advertising takes a hit.
4. The landscape of football is changing rapidly. Pictures of pathetic crowds in usually robust places like Florida were going viral on twitter this morning. There is a lot of talk on this board and in other places that attendance could be a serious issue with next year's lousy home schedule, even if the team is good.
5. For this reason, anticipating serious competitive trouble is a priority. I believe that this was the driving reason in DB's firing of RR; not just that the program was losing it, but that with the renovation of the stadium almost complete, Michigan needed to turn things around in a hurry.
6. Brandon heard the boos. He sees what's going on. He knows that money produces success on the field, and success on the field produces money. He knows that people have serious doubts about the football team next year. And he must surely know that season ticket sales (and their accompanying donations) could take a serious hit next year.
Conclusion: Brandon will not let the program disintegrate just because today's game is sold out. He is, surely, looking closely at the quality of the product. And, for financial reasons as much as anything, he will be very interested in the quality of Hoke's staff.
Expect changes, unless there's a major turnaround in the next two weeks.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||I actually think Gardner can||
I actually think Gardner can be a capable pocket passer. We've seen the offense hum--think Notre Dame--and we've seen the players get put in position to succeed. Just look at how Funchess has developed.
It's true that execution is part of the problem. Nebraska is TERRIBLE against the run, running power or stretch plays to attack this should not be dumb ideas. But the OL is all kinds of awful.
Here's the thing: Execution is an issue, but I believe that the Borges plan puts the players into positions where execution is harder than in other systems. Remember, one of the advantages of Chip Kelly's spread system is that the reads are simple and quick. Al's are not.
And his record with quarterbacks is awful. To his credit, Devin has fixed a lot of the interception issues; but now, he looks scared and skittish behind the line, and makes far fewer good plays than he did early this season or even last season. I don't think Devin is coached well, and since his QB coach is also the OC with a lot of other responsibilities, that shouldn't surprise me.
The team is also slow. It takes a lot of time to call and set up for plays. That's a consequence of Al's philosophy. Not that they huddle, or even that they arrive at the line later in the clock; it's that calling or changing plays takes forever. A team that used to run no-huddle tempo all the time is now incapable of moving fast.
A different coach with a different philosophy, even if the formations and plays looked kinda similar, would do better than this.
I mean, c'mon. Minnesota is playing better offense than we are. It might be nice to have Max Williams on our roster, but other than that name one player on their offense that you'd take over ours. You can't.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Check Brian's twitter||
Check Brian's twitter timeline. He's done with Borges.
He hasn't actually been on the defend-Al wagon this season. It's more like calculated silence, waiting to offer his verdict.
I suspect the verdict comes Monday.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Actually, I doubt that||
Actually, I doubt that practice was that good this year. Punishing, heartbreaking loss to MSU? I'm worried about Hoke losing this team. And things are getting worse now. Wave bye-bye to the top recruits we're hoping for.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Team is in full-on meltdown||
Team is in full-on meltdown mode, by the way. They might not be soft, but they are in a tailspin.
Hoke is in danger of being the next Ron Zook, or at least a late-term Mack Brown.
Reggie Miller thinks things are going poorly.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||It doesn't gain anything by||
It doesn't gain anything by firing him now, either. And while it gains little on the field this year, it will help its reputation with future OCs and with recruits down the line.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||The problem with Borges isn't||
The problem with Borges isn't only, or even mostly, the playcalling.
It's the entire philosophy of the offense, the way they are taught, and the way they are built.
And it's a failure.
I no longer wish to defend anything about his coaching, even the stuff that I think is unfair. I have no energy for it. Numbers don't lie.
And the numbers are bad.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||That's overstating it. He||
That's overstating it. He should get to finish the season, no reason to fire him now.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Posted my thoughts in my||
Posted my thoughts in my errant diary post:
I've defended him a bit this year. He can't do much with the OL.
But the numbers don't lie. Lots of playmakers, good talent on the team--and garbage offense at key moments. It's not just (or even mostly) his plays. It's the philosophy of the entire team. Notice how lousy the 2-minute offense is.
He must be gone.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||Borges has been working with||
Borges has been working with smoke and mirrors and a couple of good players all year. I have, repeatedly, tried to mitigate the loudest critiques, particularly of his playcalling.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||Since the NCAA tournament is||
Since the NCAA tournament is decided entirely by math, "looks" don't matter, but OOC record is big even between teams we play. Reason: we play four games against conference foes like Minnie, but only one against teams like BC. So Minnesota's stats matter a lot more.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||Any actual evidence of this?||
Any actual evidence of this? Wouldn't surprise me, and that finish was a disaster, but let's just say there are a lot of rumors floating around right now and I have to wonder if this is one of them.
|5 weeks 1 hour ago||The only scenario where this||
The only scenario where this is even remotely possible is if Babcock is tired of full-time NHL coaching and wants a simpler job, and takes a college job as sort of a semi-retirement.
|5 weeks 2 hours ago||It's not clear to me that the||
It's not clear to me that the late surge was the reason for his return, but retirement is an imminent possibility; if Michigan had won in St. Paul he probably would've announced it before he left the building.
|5 weeks 3 days ago||I think he left knowing both||
I think he left knowing both that Red still had some years to coach and that he would have a much better chance to get the job with head coaching experience. He was rather reluctant to leave in the first place; my guess is that Red encouraged him to go for the good of Mel's career.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||The worry many have, and I am||
The worry many have, and I am getting there, is that recruiting is going to get hurt by this year's performance. Look at the Scout quote upstream in the thread--if things start bogging down, recruits will start bailing. And then we might have to start over again.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||Okay, I've already said this||
Okay, I've already said this sounds bad. But some counterpoints:
Hoke and/or Mattison (I forget whom) has already been quoted this season as pulling back from some of the advanced technique coaching on the DL, because they were concerned that the players were thinking too much. MSU has, as a group, older players, so it isn't totally absurd for them to be installing higher-end techniques. And we know MSU's coaches develop players well, but it's not like we haven't seen Michigan's DL coaches develop quality options out of middling talent.
Also, you can't always read that much from warmups, because there's no context.
The larger questions, to me, are on Michigan's OL. I think the DL will develop okay.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||Is this verifiable? Because I||
Is this verifiable?
Because I want to go set something on fire now.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||Gardner appears to have been||
Gardner appears to have been coached to eat the ball. Remember, he was trying to throw it away when he tossed that endzone pick-six against Notre Dame.
Against MSU, sacks were far preferable to turnovers. Even a mediocre offensive performance could have put Michigan in position to be within a score late in the game, assuming turnovers are eliminated; one more field goal and Taylor's interception puts Michigan in position to tie the game.
So he was doing the right thing. It's just that nothing else worked.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||Because this team is||
Because this team is underachieving given the talent that it has. Devin is now a pretty solid bet to return next season, and I actually think he is good and can be very good--good enough to win games even when other parts of the team are not functioning well.
The offense will miss Lewan and Gallon, but there is every reason to expect every other area of the unit to improve even with the same coaching staff next season. Am I drinking koolaid? Maybe, but big upgrades are likely as players enter their second and third years in the program, which is what a lot of guys are doing. Darboh, whom everyone believes was poised to break out this season, should be healthy and on the field, and Funchess has already been a revelation.
Meanwhile, a good-but-not-great defense gets most of its key guys back, many of whom are also poised to improve.
Next season is the one Michigan has been realistically building toward. This year should have been better, because the line's incompetence is inexcusable and because Gardner has the talent to make incredible plays, but this year was always expected to be a building year. So many of the key players are young or hurt or both.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||If things don't correct this||
If things don't correct this season (and they still might, it's not like Michigan has never gone through stretches of ugly before) the staff probably will be on the hotseat next year. The defense will be expected to be great, instead of merely good, and the offense will at least have to be efficient and capable with Devin coming back.
But, as you say, the schedule is murderous. I actually think that all three of the "big" road games will be winnable, but it's hard to see them winning them all, or even most. And four years without a B1G title would be awfully hard to deal with.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||Ugh. So many thoughts, so||
So many thoughts, so little coherence.
I think it's realistic to think that there won't be staff changes next year; it's also discouraging, and I'm saying this as a guy who has been trying to put the brakes on the "Saturday was all Al's fault" wagon. I think Borges installed the right kind of gameplan and produced some promising concepts, but that there was little he could do with an OL that bad; I also think that, somehow, the overall system of coaching and player improvement is broken.
Borges does not seem to have a good track record of improving his quarterbacks, and whatever Funk's strengths and weaknesses, the OL is enough of a disaster that it would be a downgrade for a team like Northern Illinois. Something is wrong.
As Brian said, I expected Saturday to be bad. I honestly felt Michigan would probably lose by two touchdowns and score about 13 points; it was worse than I thought, but for all the reasons I expected.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||Quite true. I can't remember||
Quite true. I can't remember a time that I've been reading (which I started doing in the early RR years) that people haven't complained about the decline from the "good ole days."
And, frankly, this is a net-archetypical phenomenon. Back when I was involved with a small Ann Arbor internet service called grex.cyberspace.org in the early 90s, the "oldbies" in 94-95 used to complain about how things weren't great like they were in 92-93. And folks like me in '98 lamented the passing of the "good ole days" in 1996.
Nothing new here.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||You, at least, have some||
You, at least, have some understanding of the difficult decisions a "person in charge" has to make. There's a lot of angst about Brian's blowup over the recruit comments. I see both sides of it--Brian can be a bit harsh about disagreement, after all. But he also has larger things in consideration, like the problems that could arise if this board got a large, mlive-ish reputation for bashing recruits and the implications that could have on its relationship with the football program.
Part of the problem is that the issues being griped about here are really no different than the rest of the internet.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||I come here to relax. I||
I come here to relax. I actually found forming and presenting arguments regarding which coach or coaches' feet to lay the blame for this year's lost season relaxing and interesting after a busy, hard-working week with considerably higher stakes than a football result.
In high school and my early young adult years football was essentially one of the most important things in my relatively meaningless life. Even when I felt I had "matured" in my early 20s a tough loss would be hard to take.
I still cherish watching a Michigan game on a Saturday afternoon, and I enjoy thinking about and discussing the team, but this is only a diversion from weightier matters for me. One of the best things about posting here is that what I say, and what we are talking about, doesn't really matter at all.
As far as replacing Hoke, the cart is waaaaay before the horse here. At worst a staff shake-up is in order, and Hoke has shown the ability to attract good talent. I agree that RR was treated poorly here, and I disliked how much grief he got before he really deserved to get it.
But he was fired after three years because of what happened on the field, and Hoke's record isn't even remotely comparable. If RR had won, he would have been embraced, just as all winners are. Any outsider can come in and succeed at Michigan if they win.
|5 weeks 4 days ago||Yep, this. Hoke, who has been||
Yep, this. Hoke, who has been in football all of his life, has coached winning teams, who has rubbed shoulders with greats in the sport, is so oblivious to football that he doesn't realize there is a problem. It's a good thing that you can see what he can't.
I understand people want to analyze and critique, and that's okay. But people who genuinely seem to think that they see and know things that a coach at this level doesn't are deluded or intellectually dishonest.
|5 weeks 5 days ago||I've said this elsewhere, of||
I've said this elsewhere, of course, but I'll leave this here:
Nobody should be surprised that Michigan's offensive line, with a brand new interior, would have some issues this season. It takes time to learn. There are going to be mistakes, and there are going to be trouble situations. I don't think any Michigan fan would have a problem with this.
It's always possible for a player or two to not "work out." Kalis has struggled this year, but it's always possible that he just has trouble "getting it" early in his career, or perhaps he is a "bust." Either would be a reasonable hypothesis in a vacuum. But we don't have a vacuum--we have a situation where Michigan has a significant cadre of players that have had a chance to prove themselves at the three interior line positions, and of them only one (Graham Glasgow, a walk-on!) has shown any competence at all.
But the line seems completely overmatched against even moderately adequate defenses. Its ability to run block is embarrassing; Michigan has put up decent, not great stats against cupcake defenses like Central, Uconn, and Indiana (Indiana just ceded 35 points to Minnesota, let's not pretend that their defense is competent), and was totally stymied by teams like Penn State and Akron (!!!).
Pass blocking has been okay for most of the year, but today it was a complete mess.
There is youth, yes. But there is also talent. I don't expect the line to be worldbeaters this year, but the level of play has been so disappointing that I seriously think they are worse than a good percentage of teams in the MAC. And this is with future NFL players, including a player in Lewan who could be starting in the NFL *right now* if he had entered the draft.
This is a comprehensive disaster.
And given all of this, one must conclude that there is a coaching problem. I don't know enough to know what should be happening or what is going wrong, but something is. It is true that if the OL were still Lewan-Glasgow-Miller-Kalis-Schofield, we would be furious that nothing else was being tried; it is also possible that all of the switching of players is hurting the ability of the linemen to learn to work together. I don't know.
But all of the goals for Michigan's season are gone, except for the last game of the season. And the OL is the chief culprit.
|5 weeks 5 days ago||I have some agreement and||
I have some agreement and some disagreement here. It is true that Borges likes the long ball, and Michigan has tried to build its offense around his long-ball-happy scheme. It is also true that short passes are a good way to keep pressure off of the OL.
But there are some problems. First of all, Devin's unreliability--a startling number of his interceptions have been on short throws. His very first, against Central, was about as simple of a short pattern as you can get. Even when he does not throw picks, his productivity has been poor in the short game and he often misses reads.
Also, MSU's defense, outstanding to begin with, is well-suited to combating a short passing game. Press coverage with great DBs, experienced LBs, etc. They don't give you freebies. Frankly, Michigan did use some short throws that wound up getting it nowhere.
As I've said before, I don't think there is any OC that can make lemonade out of the offensive line, as it was against MSU. I think it would be a mistake to think that there is somehow some magical gameplan that can deal with serious OL issues, or that firing Borges and hiring someone else would magically fix what the problem is.
But it is fair to wonder if the checks were adequate, or if there is a way to incorporate shorter passes that Devin can handle. I wish he had a dedicated QB coach.
|5 weeks 5 days ago||That's a fair question. It is||
That's a fair question. It is reasonable to wonder if perhaps there should be better checks for blitzes. Some checks that work with other teams aren't always practical, though--MSU's press coverage and excellent DBs force OCs and QBs to think twice about quick throws, because the players that would normally be targeted aren't actually as open as you'd expect.
This leaves them vulnerable deeper... but of course Michigan had trouble holding off blitzes long enough to make that matter.
Also, and this is something I do critique Borges for, Devin is not the best at reading defenses. I have before and still do question whether or not using Al Borges as the QB coach is the best situation, and wonder if a dedicated QB coach could help Devin and other quarterbacks grow more effective. Consider, for example, the play where Lewan wound up standing alone while Fitz was blocking the DE--Devin was checking at the line, I believe to adjust protection for a blitz he felt was coming. It was the wrong call. Is that something he did wrong?
It's hard to tell.
|5 weeks 5 days ago||That tells me that we're||
That tells me that we're about to have another in-family civil war. Which is rather discouraging. If Michigan loses to OSU, and we probably will, things are going to be very ugly in Ann Arbor.
|5 weeks 5 days ago||The offensive line is an||
The offensive line is an all-time disaster. I'll repeat my suggestion from earlier: Hire Mike Tice to consult, to get an outside perspective.
It is one thing to be young and not terrific; I can accept that. However, they are not just young, and not just occasionally making mistakes; they are unable to accomplish anything against any sort of competent defense. And it's not the recruiting, because there are plenty of good recruits in the mix, and none of them are getting it done.
No OC could have won that game. Not Urbz, not Chip Kelly, not Dana Holgerson, not Bill O'Brien, nobody. There is nothing you can do when you are that overmatched at the line of scrimmage.
|5 weeks 5 days ago||I say "built to have" because||
I say "built to have" because the players are recruited and coached to a certain philosophy. The defense is built to a certain philosophy, too, and the coaching staff has made it clear that these two units depend upon each other, particularly in areas like time of possession.
I have not shied away from assigning responsibility to the staff. Since the PSU game, and really even before, I have been fairly consistent in my stance that Borges has made some mistakes, but that the reason his offenses have looked bad have been largely a consequence of a bad offensive line--and that the responsibility for that probably lies with Funk and also trickles up to Hoke.
I actually posted a thread a couple weeks ago suggesting semi-seriously (because, rather than trolling, I thought it would actually be a good idea, but never expected the staff to actually do it) that Michigan hire Mike Tice as a consultant to get an outside perspective on the offensive line.
And since I try not to repeat myself ad nauseum, I haven't felt like rehashing all of this. It's not like the board needs another person yelling "FIRE FUNK! FIRE BORGES!" Insomuch as their is rational discussion to be had, I try to keep mine to original ideas.
|5 weeks 5 days ago||Today's game stunk. I want||
Today's game stunk. I want Nebraska to lose. I'm tired.
No matter. That play was a reminder that college football is the greatest game ever.
|5 weeks 5 days ago||Play-action fakes frequently||
Play-action fakes frequently do not affect secondaries because they aren't necessarily supposed to; they are, particularly in the case of the pistol fakes, designed to freeze the linebackers.
And Gardner had windows to make short passes to receivers. They were open pretty much every time they ran the play; unfortunately, it wasn't always executed and it was only worth 5-7 yards anyway, so it wasn't something Michigan could use to control the entire game.
|5 weeks 5 days ago||What plays don't?||
What plays don't?
|5 weeks 5 days ago||What would you have called||
What would you have called that would have worked against a significant blitz on 2nd-and-15?
I wasn't a fan of that call, but to focus on that call at the expense of all others is ridiculous. Michigan almost certainly does not score a touchdown on that drive regardless. Perhaps he calls a short slant that actually connects, Michigan kicks a field goal, and they lose by a less embarrassing number?
Sometimes you get dealt a hand without any winning cards to play. That was today's Michigan offense.
The question that needs to be answered by Hoke, Borges, and Dave Brandon: How do we deal ourselves better cards?
|5 weeks 5 days ago||Are you kidding? They ran||
Are you kidding? They ran play action at least three times on that last drive, when running really wasn't reasonable at all. The plays worked, too.
That's why these discussions are so pointless. People see what they want to see and fail to see anything else. Yes, the play-action pass on second down after the interception was a poor call, but the way MSU was blitzing (would have happened regardless of the offensive playcall) there was nothing Borges could have called on that drive that would have worked.
Borges did have a lot of short passes in the plan, particularly that reasonably good pistol-play-action-stick route that was designed to get 7 yards. Sometimes it worked, sometimes the receivers dropped the ball. Sometimes MSU made a play. There were inventive plays, plays that worked with the system that took advantage of MSU's aggressiveness, and counters for misdirection.
But there was never, ever any room to move. Because the OL is historically bad.
|5 weeks 5 days ago||Yep. Borges made some poor||
Yep. Borges made some poor calls, but I don't think he was the problem here. Not at all.
|5 weeks 6 days ago||The warrior triumphant.||
The warrior triumphant.
|6 weeks 1 hour ago||I agree with this, but let's||
I agree with this, but let's be fair: no pro-style OC would be able to concoct something that could pwn MSU's defense with an OL that is a total mess and a QB who is prone to making catastrophic mistakes, especially on the road against a team whose MO is to win by scoring defensive TDs.
There's a lot of pre-game Borges hate here, which suggests to me that there is no game plan Al could produce that would satisfy fans, unless, Michigan produces an upset victory. Yet Borges just doesn't have much to work with, except for the slim chance that DG plays the game of his life, on the road, against one of the best Ds in the nation.
It's just not happening.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||This is almost certainly||
This is almost certainly hogwash. But if it's real and the B1G is looking to add, Texas is just about the best option from a program and academic standpoint. I'm wary of their political baggage, of course, but a key here is to get teams that are actually worth growing for.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Hard to overstate how huge||
Hard to overstate how huge this start is. A young team, coming off of a disastrous season, with its star scorer benched early for "off-ice issues," staring down a gauntlet of some of the best teams in the country.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Slow isn't always bad, and I||
Slow isn't always bad, and I haven't argued otherwise. I think the last 2.5 years have shown that the slower pace of the offense has helped the defense considerably while still, usually, moving efficiently.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Not exactly right. RPS does||
Not exactly right. RPS does not evaluate whether or not the playcall was "good" or "terrible," just that on that particular play the combination of playcalls resulted in a significant advantage for one team. That's why it's "rock, paper, scissors"--because there is often an element of randomness.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||I'm not sure I read Brian's||
I'm not sure I read Brian's remarks the same way you or SC do.
|7 weeks 4 min ago||Those DL numbers are really||
Those DL numbers are really troubling. It is one thing to be overwhelmed by tempo, but it seems like none of those guys could make any plays at all.
Ryan is getting into the swing of things. I am hopeful that, with a bye and a slower tempo opponent, he will be a much bigger factor next week. There's no way they could have played him most of the snaps against Indiana and I think they knew that from the outset, so his contribution against IU was always going to be limited.
I think Brian's grasp of the top-down philosophy of the program is pretty much accurate. It's the same top-down philosophy that compels Al Borges to throw whatever he can against the wall to try to run the ball from under center. It's a systemic thing and I don't really like it, even if guys like Nick Saban have the same philosophy and win national championships.
But, then again, what we saw may have been partially due to Michigan's inability to run consistently, if you believe that high-tempo teams tend to produce lousy defenses (with Indiana being a perfect example of this). Michigan could not count on four yards from scrimmage consistently, so they varied the gameplan and successfully fielded an offense that Indiana had no chance of stopping. Unfortunately, that means they also scored quickly, since there were a lot of big plays. I think in the ideal world of Hoke, Borges, and Mattison Michigan is grounding IU's offense with long, punishing drives that score points but reduce possessions by 30%.
|7 weeks 45 min ago||I have a 19 inch flatscreen||
I have a 19 inch flatscreen in a spare room, and I would like to graciously offer a straight-up trade to relieve you of this burden.
|7 weeks 23 hours ago||Funch is going to be a millionaire. Might make Gallon one, too||
After Gallon torched Notre Dame, teams rolled over and bracketed him, leaving light coverage on Michigan's second receiver. When that was Jehu Chesson, forced into the role by Darboh's injury, the results were mediocrity. Bad reads, covered receivers, and events like that Gardner INT that was a catchable deep ball thrown to Chesson.
So the coaches pulled Funchess from blocking duties that he wasn't particularly good at and put him outside, and he has left a trail of smoking ruins. He looks terrific, and as Brian said, he appears to be a matchup nightmare for anybody he plays.
Of course, he hasn't played anyone good yet, but the MSU game will give us a good idea of how effective he can be. With how productive he has been, though, I have to believe that he will either continue to develop as a large possession-type receiver in the Terrell Owens mode, or learn to block and project as another unbeatable tight-end. If he learns to block he can be a top-15 draft pick after next season.
And now his presence forces teams to account for him, and they can no longer bracket Gallon. Poof! Gallon is open again. His ceiling isn't as high, but he is vital for Michigan's offense.
And as bad as the OL has been, the emergence of a second star receiver has been vital for the offense. This was what allowed Michigan to score as many points as it did in the PSU debacle, and it keyed Saturday's breakout. Also, this helps clarify how devastating the Darboh injury was to Gardner early.
I'm genuinely excited about Michigan's receivers for the first time since Mario and Adrian were out there.
|7 weeks 23 hours ago||My impression as well. It||
My impression as well. It wasn't a horrible pitch and I think Fitz still could've gotten it, but it was low and way out in front.
Given the play, I'm surprised that doesn't happen more often.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||Strongly disagree with this||
Strongly disagree with this premise. One of the problems with the running game, especially early in the season, was Fitz bouncing outside of his blocks prematurely rather than just taking the gap that was presented to him. He has significantly improved this in the last few games, as judged both by the eye test (I see him hitting holes better and faster) and by Brian's UFR analysis.
So bouncing outside to get the "big play" is not something we want him to start trying again, even if this is the unusually bad defense that would allow that to work. It will not work in East Lansing, and we don't want him to do it. This was exactly what we want him to do.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||I agree on both points. I||
I agree on both points. I believe that Gardner and Gallon were coached to assume blitz out of a certain look, either based on film study or on what they had seen in the game. It would be interesting to see if there were similar plays earlier in the game that triggered a similar corner blitz, thus the need for more data.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||So we're discussing the play||
So we're discussing the play PP'd yesterday:
His glance was so fleeting that only the most uncommonly gifted eye-to-brain processing could grasp all the implications of what he saw if he saw it at all (I don't believe it would be possible to detect movement, for example). Given Devin's struggles to make even basic reads in past games, I don't think that is the case here, and frankly I doubt he saw the CB coming at all.
His throw in the play diagrammed yesterday was extremely fast, and he did not get so much as a look at his target prior to gunning it. I can only conclude that he threw the ball to a spot that he knew to be the right spot but never actually saw.
I understand what you are suggesting, but would assert that the last thing that any coach wants is for the quarterback to be thinking and processing in the course of the play. The reaction must be instantaneous--THIS look means THIS reaction, automatically. It's the same reaction you have when, in your commute, you see a red light at a familiar intersection--you go to the brake without thinking about it.
Devin's read was to his right. I believe the read in the prior play was made pre-snap. If he is changing his mind during the mesh with Fitz, while he is looking away, that means he is "thinking," and no coach wants a player "thinking" in that way. "Thinking" leads to slow play and disasters. The read was made, the action was pre-determined.
|7 weeks 1 day ago||So yesterday we had a nice,||
So yesterday we had a nice, engaging discussion (and when I say "we," I mean I said something early and then had to go to work and disappeared) about whether or not the play PP'd yesterday was a true package.
I accept Brian's assertion that this is a genuine post-snap package read, because in this play you can see Devin staring down the corner before turning to hand off to Fitz. So it seems that this is a package read that is the counterpart to yesterday's play.
Problem: I went back and looked to make sure, but in the (otherwise seemingly identical) play yesterday, Devin did not look at the corner post-snap. His head was only barely in position to be viewing the corner as he was turning to fake the handoff to Fitz. In my opinion, there is no way someone could have made a proper read in their peripheral vision, after the snap, in yesterday's play.
I believe that on the first play, based on film study or what was happening in the game or whatever, Devin was intended to use the alignment of the defense to make the read pre-snap. On the second play, with the corner now conditioned to worry about Gallon's hitch, Devin was to make a read. You can see that on this play Devin takes a solid look in that direction, one that was not present in the previous play.
|7 weeks 2 days ago||Good catch on the DE. But||
Good catch on the DE.
But this throw happens so fast, with Gardner starting the play facing left, that there is no time for a read--Gardner had to know exactly where the ball was going at the snap. In my opinion. So I don't think Gallon has a read here.
|7 weeks 2 days ago||With how fast Gardner throws||
With how fast Gardner throws this, it looks like there is no second option. If that corner bails, this is a pick-six.
Which suggests that the corner was blitzing the moment the run action appeared and Borges called a counter to that, because I don't think Gardner has time to read this after the snap. On the other hand, Fitz transitions into a pass-block stance immediately after the mesh, and it appears the two receivers to the left are running routes, so perhaps this is a quick dart that Devin can abort if he sees the corner sitting back.
But knowing how this season has gone, my guess is that this is something Borges prepared and gave Gardner with no second options. So Indiana must have been really consistent with the run blitz.
|7 weeks 5 days ago||Wow. What a huge weekend,||
Wow. What a huge weekend, stealing a tie last night and then squeezing out a win.
|7 weeks 5 days ago||The problem is that almost||
The problem is that almost nothing in this game will carry forward to the MSU game. Indiana stinks, and we can't really evaluate how good the revamped OL is for that reason. Max-protect 2-man routes aren't going to fly well against Sparty's secondary, and the running game will be flummoxed to a much larger degree.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||The panic is not iust for||
The panic is not iust for this year anymore. Hoke's ability to bring in top OL recruits is going to take a serious hit if the coaches appear to be incapable of coaching them. That Kalis--a blue-chip prospect--has been benched is bad; that nobody on interior is performing is much worse, suggesting a systemic problem rather than just one guy falling short.
|8 weeks 21 hours ago||I stand by the content of my||
I stand by the content of my post, but your assessment of my "dismissiveness" was correct, and I apologize.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||This is complete baloney.||
This is complete baloney. Maybe if you actually bothered to read what SC wrote you would understand why. But let's sum up:
Borges had and used counters to the stacked boxes. As a direct consequence, Michigan produced 17 (should have been 21 but for a drop) points by early in the fourth quarter. Michigan then ran an effective time-killing sealing drive up seven that was thwarted, not by bad playcalling, but by a delay of game call that Brady Hoke deservedly took responsibility for.
I can and have agreed that the 27 for 27 is awful. But to then state that Borges "never" countered at all is to demonstrate your own failure to understand what happened.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||I haven't been focusing on||
I haven't been focusing on the minutiae of Oregon's process this year with regards to whether or not they have significantly changed anything, so this may be a year out of date, but:
Oregon under Chip Kelly never laid the responsibility of changing the play on the quarterback. The offense got the cue to change plays from the sidelines, and the QB helped get everybody into the right position once the call was made.
And, as you will learn if you watch fishduck's excellent videos analyzing the offense, the Oregon offense actually is often quite predictable. And that is intentional, because Chip Kelly, like Al Borges, would use predictable primary plays to set up unpredictable counters. A good example of this is the inside/outside zone read, whose direction can be predicted very easily simply by noting which side and which depth the RB uses when they line up next to the QB.
With many newer offenses, it is not uncommon for teams to drive down the entire field at an up-tempo pace while running the same packaged play over and over, daring the defense to stop it.
As it happens, I love the up-tempo, package play, check-sideline offenses. That's not what Michigan does, for better or for worse, but that doesn't mean that Michigan does not use some of the same concepts to move the field.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||I bristled when I began||
I bristled when I began reading this post, but you contextualize nicely at the end: SC and Brian are doing different things with their analyses. Brian's analysis is designed to chart the performance of the players with a small consideration of the effectiveness of the playcall, in the form of RPS. SC is trying to analyze the playcall exclusively, based not on what happened but what result the OC could reasonably expect/hope for.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||I wish they had gained a few||
I wish they had gained a few yards, putting Gibbons within that zone where stats suggest that the FG is high percentage. For what it's worth, they got exactly the same scenario that they got in the Sugar Bowl, when Gibbons won the game. We weren't furious about how that turned out.
A much bigger problem would be an interception or a sack, both of which are very much a possibility with Gardner under center. I might have chosen differently, but I can accept the logic there.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||You're not reading carefully||
You're not reading carefully enough, then. I'm not the only one who has offered contrasting opinions, but the language you've used in this thread has called me a "sheep," presumably meaning you are the only one thinking for yourself.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||I think it's unfair to blame||
I think it's unfair to blame this board for the lousy stream of postings; it's universal to the internet, and it is instead the rare place that muzzles that tendency of the internet that stands out.
|8 weeks 1 day ago||I'm late in on this, but let||
I'm late in on this, but let my corroborate: Brian has, on this site, savaged Jim Harbaugh in the past for his comments re. the football program. To my knowledge he has never repudiated that.
|8 weeks 2 days ago||Borges likes to throw the||
Borges likes to throw the ball. We know this. The fact that he has turned to Tressel/Lloyd philosophies in the offense is disturbing, but we must know that there has to be a reason.
We can find it in the three game preceding the PSU loss. One of them, against Minnesota, was a comfortable victory in which Gardner did not turn the ball over, the defense bent a bit but did not disintegrate, and Michigan was able to grind out some yards.
Two of them were terrifying disasters against vastly inferior opponents. And the reason they were terrifying was that Devin Gardner coughed up the ball, usually in awful places at the worst possible times.
I think Borges and Hoke decided that Michigan's best option was to play ultra-conservative, because the team still has tools to win most of its games even if it doesnt use all of its talent. Borges is capable of opening things up more, and he did in the second half, but the coaches appear to think that having Gardner throw the football that often is a dangerous idea.
And, you know, they were right--Borges held Gardner close until he needed points, unleashed him, reigned him back in before he could do damage, and produced a 10-point lead.
The problem is that Tresselball worked because the defense was great, special teams were perfect, and they didn't make mistakes. Michigan failed all three of those, and lost.
Just like the Lloyd era, but with much worse offensive line play.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||Overall I think the coaches||
Overall I think the coaches have decided that with Gardner's propensity to make big mistakes and the defense's decent play, a conservative gameplan is the best chance for the team to win every week. I think this might be the right way to go--conservative enough to reduce or eliminate TOs seems to take the most important points off the board for our opponents, who in all of our close games have been in good position due to TOs.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||This is a big part of the||
This is a big part of the problem: Devin has repeatedly thrown interceptions on short ball-control-type passes. Remember his first pick against CMU? Exactly the kind of play you're talking about.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||Forgot to say this in my||
Forgot to say this in my throw-to-Gallon enthusiasm, but this is a fantastic post.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||Youth is an issue, but it||
Youth is an issue, but it should not be this large of an issue. It would be one thing if a couple of guys had certain reads that they missed or something, but as the OP says, there are so many different issues. Too many. Something is wrong with how they are taught, and that's saddening.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||Blue Mike mentions this, but||
Blue Mike mentions this, but this was the glaring issue I saw with the first pic sequence. The blocking is bad, but look at Jeremy Gallon at the bottom of the screen.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||It shouldn't be too||
It shouldn't be too perplexing that Bryant wasn't good, because he wasn't the opening day starter, and was never considered the starter injured or otherwise. The coaches are just trying to see how guys do right now; we shouldn't expect anyone to be a massive upgrade.
|8 weeks 4 days ago||I'm not arguing that Tice is||
I'm not arguing that Tice is a great OL coach, but he is NFL level, worked with bad players in Chicago, and still managed to produce a good running game.
|8 weeks 4 days ago||For reasons I do not||
For reasons I do not understand, the software did not accept my line breaks. My apologies for the formatting.
|8 weeks 4 days ago||Okay, let's look at it this||
Okay, let's look at it this way:
|8 weeks 4 days ago||It's easy to see these||
It's easy to see these struggles and blame it all on Borges, but there are layers to unravel here. Clearly, the staff is unable to produce its ideal offense based on what they want.
|8 weeks 4 days ago||Yeah. The spike was||
Yeah. The spike was absurd--even the players knew it. Remember how they turned to the sideline, hands in the air, wondering why it was called?
|8 weeks 4 days ago||I honestly believe that||
I honestly believe that everyone is overreacting to the play calling in the second half. Not so much in OT. But I think Borges called most of the second half pretty well...
|8 weeks 4 days ago||I wanted to be mad at Leyland||
I wanted to be mad at Leyland for this, but in truth what can you do when your pitchers give up base runners like that? Someone has to get some outs.
|8 weeks 4 days ago||But Verlander can actually do||
But Verlander can actually do this.
|8 weeks 4 days ago||I am not changing my username||
I am not changing my username just because some bespectacled horror author whom I don't read has the same name that I do, no matter what bandwagon team he roots for.
|8 weeks 4 days ago||Thanks for posting this, so I||
Thanks for posting this, so I don't have to post the "Which choke was worse?" thread that was about to spring off my fingers.
|8 weeks 4 days ago||They're just going to break||
They're just going to break our hearts later in the season. We know this.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||They didn't say that in 2003.||
They didn't say that in 2003. They said that in the 2006 season.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||That's a fair question, one I||
That's a fair question, one I have often ask. It does seem to me that some of the basic things Al asks his players to do have a lower margin for error than things RR asked players to do, and that is a concern for me in the long term.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||I agree with a lot here,||
I agree with a lot here, except this is the first time we've seen Hoke go into a shell. That hasn't been his MO. Tonight was bizarre, and IMO he should've called the endgame better.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Here's the thing that it||
Here's the thing that it seems like everybody is forgetting: Michigan completely abandoned the run midway through the third. Barely tried it. Moved the ball.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||This is stupid. Borges||
This is stupid. Borges revamped the gameplan and put points on the board. When they were sitting on the lead Michigan got conservative, and I don't believe that's Al's call. I think everyone on the staff, starting with Hoke, decided to go Lloyd.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Defense had the chance to win||
Defense had the chance to win it in regulation and didn't. They have some responsibility.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Too conservative, yes, but||
Too conservative, yes, but this loss is all on the delay penalty. Runs make sense in decent field goal range; the penalty pushed us out.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||A win here would be a nice||
A win here would be a nice capper for hockey. Good way to show that there will be consistency this season following a great result against BC.
|8 weeks 6 days ago||There's no mindset. It is an||
There's no mindset. It is an expression of a pattern of allowing one's emotions to drive one's actions without concern for consequences. Possibly with the lubrication of an intoxicant.
|9 weeks 2 hours ago||Seems reasonable to me, as I||
Seems reasonable to me, as I argue further down. Michigan under Hoke has had very few games on the road where everything seemed to work well.
|9 weeks 2 hours ago||I think Gardner played||
I think Gardner played promisingly well at Minnesota, revelatory even. But he was still bailed out by receivers on several occasions.
|9 weeks 4 hours ago||I think there are some sample||
I think there are some sample size issues here, obviously, and part of the problem is that Devin hasn't started for a single full season yet--just two fractional seasons.
|9 weeks 15 hours ago||The pass completion was okay,||
The pass completion was okay, but to me just a part of a great game.
|9 weeks 2 days ago||Why would Schofield backtrack||
Why would Schofield backtrack away from the play? That doesn't make any sense at all.
|9 weeks 2 days ago||I'm sorry, but reading this||
I'm sorry, but reading this whole thread of debate... This is all kinds of crazy. I don't know anything about you, so I don't know if you're the sort of person to sharply disagree about something like this just to get attention. So I'll assume you just genuinely think Lewan should have charged at an out-of-position LB who had no angle to make a play.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||Crucial question: have teams||
Crucial question: have teams been rolling over on Gallon? I suspect this is the case--he's good and Devin likes to throw to him, but he's been quiet recently.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||I'd have to check, but I'm||
I'd have to check, but I'm pretty sure Lewan wasn't a TE--that would make him an eligible receiver, which he would have to report to the ref on every play due to his number. It was an unbalanced line instead.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||Disagree. I think he looked||
Disagree. I think he looked much better in this game.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||Admirable effort by Notre||
Admirable effort by Notre Dame to eschew their classic look to be more like Oregon.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||Georgia rips TN's heart out||
Georgia rips TN's heart out at Neyland better than any other team. 2001 last-minute TD by David Green, 2003 last-moment-of-1st half 100 yard fumble return TD, this. Wow.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||Tennessee should be thrilled||
Tennessee should be thrilled with how well they played... But what a gutting way to lose.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||Wow. That's incredible.||
Wow. That's incredible.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||1 yard between victory and||
1 yard between victory and defeat.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||Based on my longstanding Tx||
Based on my longstanding Tx preference for A&M, I would call them TU.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||Gutty drive by Murray.||
Gutty drive by Murray.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||I dislike SEC bias, but||
I dislike SEC bias, but Georgia has been decimated by injuries, and road conference games (especially in places like this) are hard. Very hard.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||Green played well, so there||
Green played well, so there isn't much need to rotate more. And there just weren't that many plays to get other guys work.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||Football is awesome.||
The atmosphere at Neyland is great. This game is a magnificent commercial for the greatness of college football.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||Ace was playing the voice of||
Ace was playing the voice of reason on twitter, constantly reminding that Minnie's first drive averaged less that 4 yards per play.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||Here's something I've noticed||
Here's something I've noticed a lot this year: the team looks a lot different once they've finished running Al's scripted plays. The scripts actually work pretty well, and the players clearly execute well (Gardner's first drive against UConn was really sharp, for example), but then things change. Some of it is adjustments, some of it is execution, but it's a lot different.
|9 weeks 5 days ago||Green looked good early, but||
Green looked good early, but later on the holes dried up. Still a lot of errors from the OL, but I think things were better this week and there were a lot of positive plays.
|10 weeks 1 hour ago||That's the dumbest thing I've||
That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.
|10 weeks 23 hours ago||A loan like this from a coach||
A loan like this from a coach is not a small thing. This is a pretty big deal.
|10 weeks 23 hours ago||Chris Webber payed Ed Martin||
Chris Webber payed Ed Martin back. Loans like that are serious.
|10 weeks 23 hours ago||04. And it was actually a||
04. And it was actually a great game.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||The clearest evidence that||
The clearest evidence that PEDS are a serious issue in the NBA is the fact that nobody ever gets caught using.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||Some Heisman years are better||
Some Heisman years are better than other. Mark Ingram? Lousy year. Reggie Bush and Vince Young playing "can-you-top-this?" Good year. Woodson deservedly earning the Heisman on the back of gigantic big-game performances over guys like Manning and Moss? Great year for the award.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||I have every reason to||
I have every reason to dislike Peyton, as do all Michigan fans. His biggest Heisman rival was Woodson, and his biggest pro rival is Brady.
|10 weeks 1 day ago||I don't think Peyton is||
I don't think Peyton is using, but PEDs sure do help with recovery, particularly from injuries. Also endurance. And, of course, strength. PEDs are very useful for all positions.
|10 weeks 2 days ago||I was in the upper deck of||
I was in the upper deck of the corner Dileo was parked in with my daughter. I figured Gardner was dead, watched him heave it, looked down... there was Drew. It felt like it took the ball five minutes to get there.
After the longest stretch of my lifetime without seeing Michigan football in person, a great memory.
|10 weeks 2 days ago||My first was probably (it's||
My first was probably (it's possible I went to one when I was younger, but I don't know) 1990, when Tripp Welborne tore up his knee on a punt return in Michigan's last home game on astroturf. I've been to a large number of others, most recently taking my oldest daughter to her first ever Michigan football game last year at TCF Bank.
Most of mine were in Ann Arbor, of course. The best of the ones I attended was the 2004 game. I think between 90 and 04 I either attended every game (they were cheap to get into) or only missed one in the early 90s, but they kind of all blend together.
|10 weeks 2 days ago||At the beginning of the year,||
At the beginning of the year, Hoke and Borges talked about having the "best five" out there. They weren't just talking about one player being better than the other--it was the combination that mattered. For example, it could mean that Glasgow was physically a bit better than Miller, but much better at guard than Bryant or Injured Bryant's backup. Or that Glasgow was a better blocker, but Miller a much better snapper. Or that Glasgow is ok as a center but a much better player as a guard.
But, as the obsession post highlights, things are really bad, so there's no sense not changing things up. I think, based on performance and on the staff's quotes last week, we all knew this was at least a possibility on the table.
|10 weeks 2 days ago||I don't think that any of||
I don't think that any of that is likely unless another conference completely blows up, and probably not then.
Of course, we will have to see how the new conferences work out, but right now the NCHC provides a good alternative to the B1G for the major hockey schools in the upper midwest, and ND is a good cultural (if not geographical) fit for Hockey East.
Johns Hopkins was a special sort of case for a sport with a unique landscape. The B1G is not well established in lacrosse and Hopkins plays basically nothing else; Hopkins provides a big prestige name, as well as a school that fits the B1G profile.
None of the four schools you listed in the second paragraph are B1G-type schools, and none of them exceed the prestige or history of the top four historical B1G hockey schools (only UMD is close, and then only close to MSU).
If the B1G expands, it will be with B1G schools.
|10 weeks 2 days ago||From a wide-angle standpoint,||
From a wide-angle standpoint, I am hopeful that the B1G conference will grow the profile of college hockey relative to Major Junior and even the AHL, which could potentially result in better talent being drawn to college and more overall attention.
We gripe, justifiably, about the sleazy tactics of the OHL in drawing players, but let's not kid ourselves: it's not exactly the SEC. Major Junior has some very attractive characteristics for a teenager who wants to play high-level hockey. There are lots of games, a terrific playoff system, and some very dedicated fanbases.
College hockey has a hard time competing with some of these things. But the chance to play for high level B1G schools in big arenas on television every weekend can be a big draw.
Personally, this is terrific for me, since I live in Minnesota and I'm now guaranteed three Michigan appearances within 2.5 hours of me every year.
|10 weeks 2 days ago||The beauty of something like||
The beauty of something like this is that it will be completely answered on the field. Either Michigan gets things together, shuts down Minnie's offense, scores in bunches, and shows that the talk is stupid... or it's a tight game and Minnesota's confidence is completely justified.
I do think that bragging about it in the press is stupid, but Minnesota needs something like a win against Michigan desperately, and Michigan does look, to any objective outsider, quite vulnerable. They should be brimming with confidence.
Don't mistake it for a large swell of optimism from the fanbase, though; the fans are beaten down by life up here.
|10 weeks 2 days ago||Boom. That's pretty big news,||
Boom. That's pretty big news, if already suspected.
|11 weeks 1 hour ago||Valid question. I think,||
Valid question. I think, given the challenge most teams face in completing passes deep to the outside, that the area where he is weak is outweighed by the advantages of having a superior athlete in Countess at nickel. From that position he both covers dangerous receivers that are running easier-to-complete routes and is available to participate in blitzes, where I suppose Avery is less adept.
|11 weeks 1 hour ago||Probably true. I do, however,||
Probably true. I do, however, think it was notable that Greg seemed more willing to unleash some of the exotic blitzes that are in the D's arsenal--that puts pressure on the safeties and they're doing okay.
Also, they're not getting picked on, which suggests opposing coaches haven't found them to be a weak spot. It seems to me that you can kinda tell who is the weak spot of a defensive backfield by seeing which player gets tested deep. Coaches who spend hours watching film and have years of experience have a way of finding that, even if their players aren't actually capable of completing those deep balls often. Remember JT Floyd getting at least one deep ball test every week last year?
|11 weeks 18 hours ago||An argument I made when||
An argument I made when things first started coming out about this. People like sticking it to the NCAA, but some of the ideas floating around could wind up making us all disappointed. Despite the general griping, I like the NCAA series and this is an unfortunate development.
|11 weeks 2 days ago||I'd like to say that all||
I'd like to say that all Michigan needs to do is figure out how to run the ball consistently. That is, in fact, true; a good, productive running game will make worlds of different to Devin and to our somewhat under-talented receiver corps. A lot of good stuff flows from that.
The problem is that running downhill into the defense has been THE stated goal of this coaching staff since they walked onto campus for the first time, and in 2.3 seasons they have been utterly unable to produce anything remotely resembling a good downhill running game. Maybe they really don't have the horses inside, but when something is a "goal" for that long you would think they'd have been able to do something about it.
So I wonder about the offensive staff's ability to coach the players. And I wonder just a bit about Al's "grab-bag" philosophy, with the concerns illustrated by Brian. Al is willing to use pistol concepts, for example, but he does not have a "pistol package." He has a couple of plays that aren't counters to each other that the team is not very good at running.
Leaving all of this out, though, I think Al's playcalling has been very good this season. He has been hurt by poor execution, not by poor choices. In the second half against UConn, he clearly made a choice to go into a bit of a conservative shell. Not in a bad way--he was banking on Michigan's ability to stop an anemic offense and on Michigan's superior physical talent to find a way to scrape out enough points to win a low-scoring game without throwing the ball much. It was a wise move and it worked.
But... I don't know. I feel like the players are not reaching their potential.
|11 weeks 2 days ago||Happens all the time. The||
Happens all the time. The NTDP plays college programs throughout the year. There have been years Michigan has played them in Jan or Feb, I believe.
|11 weeks 2 days ago||I'm on the wagon. This is a||
I'm on the wagon. This is a great idea.
|11 weeks 2 days ago||I like RR and wanted him to||
I like RR and wanted him to work out, but this sentence is totally absurd: "While recruiting looks promising, the fact is the team has regressed from the level RR built it up to."
|11 weeks 2 days ago||The behavior of many people||
The behavior of many people who use the internet as a semi-anonymous cloak to express their ugliest thoughts and impulses disgusts me. I may sound like an old "get-off-my-lawn" type for saying this, but there needs to be more respect for other individuals in society. That such respect is going away (and not just here, or even on sports sites, or even on the internet) makes our society notably worse.
Maybe I'm just a bit more sensitive about it because I work with kids, many of whom get truly awful things said about them or to them; some people on boards like this say exactly the same types of things but think its okay because it's the internet.
|11 weeks 3 days ago||I'm sorry, but your last two||
I'm sorry, but your last two paragraphs are just not accurate.
Oregon's scheme was and is excellent, but they had in guys like LaMichael James truly remarkable talents that were well-suited to what they ran. And yet they were substantially disrupted by Auburn's defense.
...Which is the even larger problem. Auburn wasn't even close to the best D in the country. They gave up 24.1 ppg, good for only 53rd in the country. They gave up almost 260 passing yards and over 100 rushing yards per game. This was in the not-so-offensively-brilliant SEC. They were, nonetheless, able to hold high-flying Oregon to 19 points, a cool four touchdowns below their season average.
|11 weeks 3 days ago||Yep. Unfortunately, this||
Yep. Unfortunately, this largely falls on Gardner. I love Devin and believe he will excel this year, but his TOs at key moments have turned "eh" games against patsies that should have been more impressive into nailbiters that make everyone question everything.
Akron, for example, featured TOs that swung at least 17 points (option fumble and Gallon INT on plays that could have easily produced TDs, and at least one probably would have, plus the screen pick-six) and would have left Michigan up 21 if all other things are equal, with no excitement late.
Against UConn the sneak fumble was a worst-case event, and Michigan basically controlled the rest of the game, albeit in conservative fashion.
|11 weeks 3 days ago||It's one thing to be starting||
It's one thing to be starting one young player. It's another to have young players be all of the interior line, including center.
Glasgow is the guard I have the most faith in. He has blown the fewest plays and does not get physically overmatched. I think there is a good argument to be made that he has simply performed above expectations.
The issue, to me, is that a previous coach completely biffed on OL recruiting late in his tenure. We don't have a junior or senior player who may be "just a guy" but has three years of lifting and practice to plug him in and not make mistakes. Michigan has known for two years that it is counting on Kyle Kalis to be a starter at right guard and that there is no other option; he's ok, but there is nothing in front of him.
I am agnostic about the OL coaching right now, because I think the guys should be better. But it is quite possible that they will be, and as we know the recruiting on the line is going to fix at least the talent issue in the coming years.
I think things should be better. Young guys should be able to block MAC level defenders. That they aren't is troubling. Still, it's hard to tell where the issue is coming from--it is evident that Miller is struggling to get up to speed, but how do we know that's coaching? Michigan does not have other players ready to take his place and could not be expected to have such players ready. It was Miller or bust.
|11 weeks 3 days ago||In that sense no offense is||
In that sense no offense is impossible to defend. I think SC's point is that Borges uses a playbook and a philosophy that has an answer for every defensive question. Whether those answers are easy to execute is another matter, but it is there.
I love spread offense, but let's not pretend that they haven't struggled from time to time. When Oregon played Auburn and then LSU, their offensive line was blown apart by superior DL athletes, and as a result they simply could not function as they would normally expect to. Oregon played the title game right down to the wire, but much of its offense came through the good-but-not-great arm of Darron Thomas, and he benefited from a very inconsistent Auburn defensive backfield. LSU punched Oregon in the mouth and Oregon had no answer.
All impossible-to-defend offenses have special talent, and most are at least schematically thorough. There has not been a national champion in recent memory that has won with an offense that gave it a schematic advantage but did not exploit it with unique talent.
|11 weeks 3 days ago||Quite true, the accessible||
Quite true, the accessible simplicity is attractive. But if it's accessible to us, it is also, presumably, more accessible to the players--and with a hard limit of 20 hours of practice per week, that's important.
I'm not arguing that Borges is automatically a problem, but I appreciate schemes that account for the fact that most teams have to deal with transition to newer, less-talented players at some position or another in almost every season.
It must be said, though, that some of the things that are difficult to execute are just plain difficult to execute. On Gardner's long INT to Chesson, for example, the ball was thrown slightly inside, by only a foot or so--but it mattered. Chesson was taller but did not reach out to get the ball--and it mattered. Chesson was not able to lose his cover man--and it mattered. All of these things need to work right for a deep ball to work properly. But, of course, that is true in every offense in football.
Also, I think one of Al's problems is that he is countering a very specific weakness that is difficult to cover for: a disastrous interior line. Notre Dame was charging the LOS before the line's true weakness was exposed, and the counters to that were fairly easy to call and execute and resulted in touchdowns. Now that teams know they can stop the run without stuffing the box (and they know that Michigan does not have a receiver who can physically overpower his defender to win deep balls) things are much tougher.
|11 weeks 3 days ago||Here's one of the things that||
Here's one of the things that I think I notice about Borges, related to Brian's observation: His schemes are technically fine, but they require a higher level of talent/execution to succeed.
|11 weeks 4 days ago||I don't think Glasgow is the||
I don't think Glasgow is the problem. He may be making some mistakes, but he seems to be good at what he is doing. Miller is a major issue; Kalis occasionally makes big mental errors. On at least one blitz sack he went for the wrong guy, turned, got nobody, and wound up spinning in place while two or three Huskies charged Gardner unblocked.
|11 weeks 4 days ago||I think we now understand||
I think we now understand what the staff meant in the preseason when, upon being asked about how they were evaluating the OL, they would always say "We want the best five guys out there."
We seem to have confirmed that Miller has not performed up to expectations. I suspect that Glasgow could potentially be better (certainly from a pure physical standpoint) but that the line with Glasgow at center just didn't have a usable left guard. So they felt that the whole line would be better if Miller were the one getting it done at center.
Basically, they decided that the line was better with Miller at center than with Bryant or Braden at guard. It could also be that Glasgow, while serviceable, just doesn't do things like line calls or snapping very well.
But Miller has been struggling. And it seems that nobody has stepped up to be able to push him out. The preseason worries about how the line was shaking out appear to be completely valid.
|11 weeks 5 days ago||I don't know if it's worse||
I don't know if it's worse than last year, because last year it was really bad. But it doesn't seem to be any better.
Now, when word leaked out that Braden had moved to tackle and that Miller was getting pushed and Glasgow was everywhere, I found that quite worrying. Some people still said, "I'm sure it will be okay," but after last year I no longer found that to be a good default position.
And it seems to be correct; Miller, in particular is struggling. The line is just not working, and that's with a guy at left tackle that, had he gone pro, would be starting for some team tomorrow. Now, some of it must be due to youth, but you would still like to see a better performance.
|11 weeks 5 days ago||I actually don't have a huge||
I actually don't have a huge problem with the late playcalling. Here's why:
Gardner was not handling regular passing routes well. He was holding the ball extra long, scrambling, and getting sacked. He was making turnovers.
Borges decided to adjust to what is quarterback could offer rather than hard-headedly keep doing the same thing. Gardner was able to run the football, and so Borges called runs.
Mr. Yost, you probably forgot (as is easy to do) the first plays called, which were all short drops and quick passes. Devin started out throwing well running the Borges script. Then things broke down, and he couldn't make a throw.
Now, I think there are some structural problems with Borges; his scheme has a low margin for error, and some of his "counter" plays are easier to mess up than, say, a quick bubble-screen. I also question his ability to develop players.
But this gameplan wasn't the worst thing in the world, and the playcalling in the second half was specifically designed to win the game exactly the way it did.