Anti RR sentiment revisited

Submitted by ijohnb on October 25th, 2009 at 6:38 PM

OK, at the suggestion of many bloggers, I have slept it off, that is the game and the sixteen beers that lead to my original posting. Let me now rephrase - I am not fair weather, not at all, what I am is sick of getting housed. I know that was the first time of the year that we were outplayed to that extent so I may be jumping to conclusions, but why does it seem that the Rich Rod administration is very susceptible to the wheels just coming off? Come on, 42-17 last year, 42-7 to OSU, then yesterday. A loss I can live with, I just don't want debacles.... yesterday was a debacle, and they happened far to often last year and I thought M was done with that. They need to be competitive and they were not, the coaches included. Need the Illinois game BAD!



October 25th, 2009 at 6:41 PM ^

Yes, it was a bad game. Most people are being patient with RR because he has not gotten all of his guys. Next year should be the year we compete for a Big Ten Championship.


October 25th, 2009 at 10:11 PM ^

"Next year should be the year we compete for a Big Ten Championship."

And what, pray tell, are you basing that on? I have a hard time seeing things magically "fixed" by removing Brandon Graham (and possibly Warren) and inserting more Freshmen.

I guess your use of 'should' vs. 'will' is on purpose?

The Claw

October 25th, 2009 at 11:25 PM ^

If you look who we have committed so far, it's not the huge need areas. Like OL, DB, DT, and LB. That's a big problem I have with RR. Not sure if he's just not getting them or is too concerned with getting the skilled position guys he wants for offense. If you never block, or in turn get to the QB, it's hard to win a game...


October 25th, 2009 at 7:14 PM ^

At least your not ohio fans

Cavs: 2007 NBA finals swept, 2008 NBA Conference finals, 2009 lost to magic

Blue Jacket: First year in playoffs last year swept by detroit
Indians: 2007 Up 3-1 lose in 7 to Red Sox. Havent been since
Reds: Whens the last time they were in the playoffs?
Destroyers: 2007 Make miracle run into arena football finals where they get destroyed.
OSU football: 2006 and 2007 blowouts in national championship games

Pay the Dragon

October 25th, 2009 at 7:16 PM ^

I think that alot of what happened yesterday wasn't because of any of those factors. It was all mental focus, which players should have regardless of age. We just couldn't take advantage of opportunities that were given and when we needed a big play only BG stepped up. Wish he could play offense too.


October 25th, 2009 at 9:24 PM ^

Mental focus is a product of being comfortable with what you're doing. When you can run plays in your sleep because you've been practicing them for 3 years you can devote your focus to the intangibles.

I think what seem to be mental errors for this offense are really the result of them just being inexperienced. Lets say you're a receiver. You go out and run your route. If you've been running this play for 3 years you've seen it defended a lot of different ways and it's probably easy to keep track of where the defensive players are, what they're likely to do once you catch it, how likely it is that you'll be thrown to at all, etc. Now lets say it's your first year running this play...Penn State is doing something different than you've seen before and you're probably trying to figure out the new wrinkles on each snap. While you're thinking about that kind of thing you're more likely to drop the ball because you have your mind on too many different things.


October 25th, 2009 at 6:53 PM ^

Nothing can change the fact that our quarterbacks are both freshmen.

Allowing around 30 points to Penn State might be expected no matter what. It had the potential to be a shootout, and PSU "only" scored 35. Unfortunately, our quarterbacks accounted for 3 turnovers, took a handful of sacks, and completed way less than half their passes.


October 25th, 2009 at 7:14 PM ^

Agreed. However, I was happier with the freshman taking a sack than throwing a floater at the line of scrimmage. Mental Improvement? Sure. There should be a huge weight of blame on the offensive line. I knew that Molk was important, but to see the drastic difference between the entire line as a whole when he is in and when is's amazing. And to think that a 12% healthy Molk makes the line overall better, that's saying something. The line is giving our freshmen qb's zero time and we don't have a huge threat receiver like Chad did in his freshman year as a safety valve. Next year, baby. Next year.


October 25th, 2009 at 7:32 PM ^

but so was Henne when he played for Michigan, and he only came in out of necessity. So as others have posted throughout the blog, its a multitude of things that are not clicking for UM, not just that our QBs are freshmen. I think they are the obvious target because they touch the ball every play.


October 25th, 2009 at 7:57 PM ^

Exactly. Henne had a lot more help around him then forcier does. There really has been a great/good 1-2 punch since manningham and arrington left. There is a ton of potential to have that here in the next few years. And when they get the TE's going at the same time look out. Koger has been very good for us, but he needs to stop dropping the ball.


October 25th, 2009 at 11:37 PM ^

"So as others have posted throughout the blog, its a multitude of things that are not clicking for UM, not just that our QBs are freshmen."

I dont think this suggests that Tate should be Henne at all but rather that other things aside from the QB position is responsible for Tate's performance.


October 25th, 2009 at 6:57 PM ^

I think we can all agree that blowout losses suck. I'd be surprised if anyone expressed a dissenting viewpoint on that. Here's the thing though: sometimes your team can be well-prepared and still stink up the joint. Heck, the PSU team that spanked us looked like complete garbage against Iowa (who, I'm sure, will turn in an equally awful performance one of these weeks). Good teams find ways to bounce back after bad games. PSU and OSU have done this. We'll have our chance next week.


October 25th, 2009 at 7:11 PM ^

My problem with everything is that we have played 4 bad games in a row (I count DSU). And 3 of those games were losses. We dont run many different plays. And we get burned every time we arent playing a 2 deep safety coverage. I was at the game yesterday and i was hoping Sheridan was gonna play. But i knew we were done when DRob got into the game. I dont have anything against him but he just turns the ball over. I cringe when i see him throw and its becoming that when he runs too.

I also think I got my expectations too high cause its clear we are young. Tate never checks down but like i said, we are young. I also thing having Molk out has killed us as well.

I only question why we dont run between the tackles more. Its very successful yet we dont do it more. My philosophy is do it till they stop us. But we dont, we want to mix it up too much and do things that dont work. Why cant we do what works till it doesnt THEN mix it up more. I just dont get it.

Oh well..i still enjoyed my visit as i always do.


October 25th, 2009 at 7:26 PM ^

I agree with mgonate's sentiments that we must continue to run the ball between the tackles. Obviously as any astute fan knows, you must pass to set up the run and all of that but Minor is a flat out stud and we should ride that horse (along with Brown and occasionally Shaw outside the tackles) until the opposing team can consistently contain it (and by it I mean minor as he is questionably human).

Sextus Empiricus

October 25th, 2009 at 7:32 PM ^

Magnus said it. Freshman QBs. It hurts.

A while ago someone posted for DSU win something like..."This shows Time of Possesion means nothing...". Well now here's a counterpoint. When you run the hurry up unsucessfully and turn it over to boot you potentially get blown out. TOP for PSU ~35 min for Mich ~25 min. In a ball control conservative scheme we might have saved 14 points just by holding onto the ball - even if we didn't score.

It hurt to see BG block a kick and then 1 minute later have to get right back out there (he deserves more than this team gave). The defense has been put in bad position many times this year.

I don't think RR and coaching staff are mostly to blame for this game (MSU yes - this game no). I certainly don't think we should put the coaching staff to the screws as yet either. There is progress out there - though we haven't gotten the 6 wins we need for a bowl (which is key for recruiting and getting 15 more practices into these guys before spring ball.) If we don't get the 6 wins - that will hurt. But even then 2009 > 2008.

I don't see this team going down that road. Illinois and Purdue are big games for Tate IMO.

Go Blue!


October 25th, 2009 at 8:02 PM ^

In a ball control conservative scheme we might have saved 14 points just by holding onto the ball - even if we didn't score.

The system you run is irrelevant if you're not picking up first downs. If you're going three-and-out with regularity, it doesn't matter how long you let the play clock run down. You're not going to possess the ball that long. And against a PSU team that was very comfortable throwing the ball downfield, I doubt it would have done anything to keep the score down. All of PSU's touchdown drives were quick.

As for us giving the ball back one minute after the blocked punt, you are aware that that was due to Brown fumbling the ball, right?

Sextus Empiricus

October 25th, 2009 at 8:33 PM ^

give your opponents more TOP and opportunity, whether they go down and score quickly or not. If you take your time and run ball control - generally running the ball - the clock runs there are fewer TOs. Your opponent has fewer opportunities to score. 3 and outs in the hurry up save a minute of game time that your opponent will eventually use if you don't, especially if you are not deep in your defense and they are playing their heart out.

Yes Brown fumbled and BG went right back out on the field. He deserved more from his team. I'm sure Carlos would agree with that.


October 25th, 2009 at 10:01 PM ^

If a ball-control offense were all it took to hold an opponent's offense in check, then Lloyd Carr should have fielded some lights-out defenses on an annual basis, right? Jim Herrmann's job must have been very, very easy, since Carr's offenses bled the play clock all day. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way.

None of PSU's four TD drives took very long. The notion that we'd have held them to 14 fewer points just by running the play-clock down a little more during our possessions (as you suggested above) is just not realistic. If we'd actually moved the ball more, and gained more first downs, then maybe it would have helped the defense some. But that has nothing to do with offensive philosophy.

Sextus Empiricus

October 25th, 2009 at 10:19 PM ^

This takes into account that a ball control offense would probably have been more effective (we know the offense Mich ran was couldn't hurt.)

The fact that PSU's offense scored quickly doesn't take away from the proclivity of the hurry up to get blown out if not executed.

Each time PSU gets the ball they have a chance to score. Each time Mich goes 3 and out it "saves" 40-60 seconds of game time. If one team is executing and the hurry up team is not, they get more TOP/opportunity.


October 25th, 2009 at 7:35 PM ^

I was pretty upset yesterday when Denard hit the field and turned the ball over. I was absolutely furious when he was allowed to return and turned it over again. I have tried to be patient and understanding with RR's decisions but putting Denard in yesterday seemed like a huge mistake. It almost seems like RR is willing to sacrifice a chance of winning to get reps for our players. We probably would have lost anyway but Denard is not even close to being ready to see some playing time against skilled opponents. Anyone agree?


October 25th, 2009 at 7:51 PM ^

This isn't the first game where Denard came in and his turnover changed a close game into a sliding slope. I think that RR wants to develop him despite it ruining our chances of winning some close games. I can see that if he could get both phases of his game working, he will be something special. Why does he need reps right now? Did he promise him a certain amount of PT?

I still really like where this team is headed, I just want to stick with the QB who gives us the best chance of winning. I guess we really just need to win 2 more to get a bowl game, so I will pray we get there. How many turnovers in the last two games combined? That's a killer against good teams.


October 25th, 2009 at 9:14 PM ^

I agree that's why we're probably a 7-5 team instead of 9-3 or 10-2...but I still think RR is doing what he needs to do. It would be terribly irresponsible to not develop Denard as much as possible. Tate can't be the only functional quarterback because he might get injured. We've already seen that happen this year, if it happens again do you want to end up with a situation like last year? No. So as a coach RR has to mitigate that risk by getting Denard some experience even though it probably isn't the best thing in any individual game.


October 25th, 2009 at 8:28 PM ^

You would have a point if Tate was lighting it up like he did in the early games, but he hasn't been. I don't think that his shoulder is fully healed, and the loss of Molk has clearly hurt the offense. Tate came in with a reputation as a very accurate passer, but in recent weeks he has been missing his receivers with greater regularity. I don't know if it is his shoulder, or if it is a matter of the two top defenses in the conference forcing him make tougher throws, but there has been a decline in his production. I don't blame Tate - he is a freshman who has been playing hurt against some quality opponents. He has, however, shown tremedous playmaking ability when healthy and when given time, so I am confident that he will fare better against less dominant defenses and when his health improves as well.

My point is that when your passing QB is struggling with his passing (for whatever reason), is it so crazy to put in your running QB? Denard is a high risk/high reward player, but he is capable of turning any play into a big play. When you are looking to pull an upset and your offense is not clicking, sometimes you have to roll the dice and try something different. If you think RR is not putting in the QB that he thinks gives us the best chance to win at the time, I think you are nuts.


October 25th, 2009 at 10:25 PM ^

if you mean high risk high reward in the passing game, I think you're dead wrong. The risk is very high. The reward is very low.

If you mean in the running game, there is no excuse for fumbling like that. None. I was at the game, and I haven't (and probably won't) watch the replay, but it looked to me like his fumble was not particularly forced. I like the kid. But, you come in for a series or three and are responsible for two turnovers? Yikes.


October 25th, 2009 at 10:21 PM ^

in thinking why the hell anyone would ever call a pass play with Denard in the game. I was thinking that, he did, and then he threw the ball straight to the defender, on a rollout short pass nonetheless.

I think Denard could be viable. He's not now. And I'd hate to think we're getting him some reps just to do it. But who knows.

I know that last year we did not have the personnel to run the spread, but we did anyway. I'm giving RR the benefit of doubt, we're improved tremendously from last year, and I think next year we'll be pretty good (though it will be tough to replace Brandon Squared.


October 25th, 2009 at 7:42 PM ^

experienced. Just like Iowa is better and more experienced. Just like N.Dame is better and more experienced.

And all three of those games had different outcomes more because we are young and unpredictable than because RR teams cave in.


October 25th, 2009 at 8:15 PM ^

that Denard is too much of a risk at this point, and does not make enough big plays to off set those risks. Speaking of big plays, is there a good explanation why Stonum has done absolutely nothing outside of MSU and ND games? Either he is injured, or absolutely does not show up for games.

For those who think we will contend for Big Ten championship next year, how are we going to stop anybody? Our LB play is horrendous, our secondary is below, average at best, and the only reason we are able to stop people now, is because of Graham, and he will be gone.

Offensively, we will be decent, but I think we will have to outscore people to win, and I am not sure we will be ready to do that either.


October 25th, 2009 at 8:17 PM ^

20 games in to the Rich Rod era, they keep dropping passes, fumbling, missing key blocks, missing tackles, ignoring defensive assignments which lead to huge plays etc.

I just don't that on coaching? Some of it has to be.

Im not a hater on RR...but it is starting to not look like it is going to work here at Michigan.

The team MUST play more disciplined or it wont work out for sure.

* BTW: These are not "fair weather" fan questions...these are questions that must be asked, particularly since the Big Ten season is 4 games in to it and the same bad play continues.


October 25th, 2009 at 8:24 PM ^

Dropping passes and fumbling is on the players. Coaches can stress it in practice, but they ultimately are the ones that need to hold onto the ball. Missing blocks and ignoring defensive assignments is more on the coaches, but that's probably not RR at this point.

Frustration is one thing, but to say at this point that RR might not work out at Michigan is jumping the gun like woah. Unless the team takes a step backwards next season, we need to sit tight and let him work in all of his system. I'm still very confident things will get turned around, and I look forward to seeing this team develop not only through the rest of this season, but through the off-season as well.


October 25th, 2009 at 8:29 PM ^

I dont mean to 'jump the gun'....I have been resoundly behind RR since Day 1 and thought that it was a good hire.

However, when you ask the question:

"How many games this year has the team looked and played like a Well Coached team"...what is the answer to that?

hardly any...

Dont even ask that about last year because the answer may just be 1.

I know the QB position is critical...but it has been more than that... much more.

The sloppy play has me thinking this is not a very well coached team. Just look at what happened on the sidelines yesterday.

Im man enough to admit when Im wrong.


October 25th, 2009 at 8:36 PM ^

I see what you're saying, but it doesn't matter whether the team is well coached or not if they're not able to carry out even the simplest things they're asked to do. Our defensive coaching last year was bad, but Threet and Sheridan didn't help the offense look "well-coached" in any way.

I don't have a problem with the fact that you're questioning Rodriguez, because we should always be as objective as possible, but every piece of evidence we have says that he's got the ability to come into a program, change everything completely, and come out on the other side victorious. Maybe that's tougher in a conference like the Big10 where there's much more parity and quality than the other conferences he's been in, but we'll find out in the next couple years I suppose.