Monday Presser 10-9-17: Jim Harbaugh Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 9th, 2017 at 6:00 PM



They said on the broadcast that Wilton had a couple broken vertebrae. Is he out for the year and can you comment on that?

“Multiple weeks. I don’t know that he’ll be out for the year.”

The vertebrae part is accurate though?

“Yeah, there’s some cracks in there. Yeah. And not a doctor, but think it’s similar to…yeah, I don’t want to say. Yes.”

After watching the film, would you have liked to have gotten the ball to Karan Higdon more? He was averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Should he have gotten the ball more, especially in the rain and the wind?

“Uh, yeah, he had—Karan played well.”

But no answer to my question?

“What do you—you want to question the play-calling? That usually is the case when something doesn’t work, so…”

But you don’t question that, how much he got the ball there or don’t want to with us?

“No. What I want to do is yeah, I want to look at the film, I want to learn from it. I’m not gonna get into questioning the play-calling.”

[SID calls on next person]

“It’s a very convenient thing, right? Play worked and hey, it was a great play because it worked. Play doesn’t work: would you wish you had done something else, had a different play call? Sure, that’s very easy to do. That’s a very—hindsight is 20/20.”

Just thought maybe there was something I was missing.

“That’s a standard question that when a play works, hey, great play call. You run a third-down draw against Florida and it works: hey, great call. You call a play that doesn’t work: would you wish you would have called a different play? That’s a very easy thing to do.”

[After THE JUMP: finding the offense’s identity, Indiana’s defensive standouts, and the final say on play-calling]

Simplistic in 20/20 and hindsight but is it entirely wrong to question play-calling?

“No, it’s your right to do.”

Do you disagree with it?

“I think that’s what people do. It’s just a fact of what anybody does. We should have throw it or should have run it; if you threw it and it didn’t work, you wish you would have run it. If you ran it and it didn’t work then hey, would have been better to throw it, and you’d be right.”

Do you do the same thing as a coach? Do you say, well, we did make the wrong play call here?

“No. You go through it and you look at where you can make corrections and where you can make improvements.”

After being able to watch the film, what’s your assessment of John at quarterback and is he still going to be your quarterback going forward?

“Yes. Again, we’ll go through it, make corrections, make improvements, and move on.”

I don’t want to compare season to season but in the past we kind of knew what this offense’s foundation and backbone was, whether it was the Power play or whatever it might be. Do you think you have one right now through five games or maybe not all the way to where you want it?

“Yeah, in the process of doing that.”

Has it been more difficult because they’re young and coming along or just not as fast as you would like? You say it’s a process but is it not where it should be or where you want it to be?

“Yeah, we had a ballgame that, you know, stuff happens. Things happen. We had fumbles, we had turnovers, we had things that just occur. We had a shotgun snap to their quarterback, he fumbles and then picks up a critical first down. Things happen during the course of a game and you don’t necessarily know why they’re happening but they keep happening and that’s where you go back and you learn from it, you look at it, you make corrections, and you move on with the mindset of not letting it happen again.”

I’m wondering if you’ve made a decision on the right tackle or whether that will be something that will happen during the week?

“Listen, I can understand there being a quarterback question, there being a quarterback controversy. We never really discuss a right tackle or a guard or a center controversy. To answer your question exactly the way you asked the question, yes, we’ll look at that during the week.”

Given the defense’s performance through the first five games, is there a sense with them yet as the offense has struggled of frustration or waiting for the offense to come? What is your feeling from them right now as far as having to carry the load?

“I don’t sense—no, we’re not frustrated. We look forward to getting back today and doing everything on both sides of the ball and special teams to contribute to a victory. We’re fortunate to have an opponent to play this week and opportunities ahead of us.”

As a coach, I don’t want to use the word ‘frustrating’ but when you look at the way the defense has been able to perform but still the offense not catching up, what is your thought about that?

“I answered your question. Not frustrated. Attacking this week’s opportunity.”

People in the fanbase but a lot of weight on beating Michigan State and Ohio State. Do you put any weight on winning those rivalry games as compared to normal games?

“Yes, we do.”

Are you concerned with your record in them to date?

“The record is what the record is. I mean, well aware of what the record is. Against Michigan State and Ohio State we’re 1-4. The record against all other opponents is 23-3. We know what the records are. We want to win those games. We want to win every game we play. We want to win ‘em all, and most importantly, we want to win this one, our next game.”

Ty Isaac and Chris Evans have had some costly fumbles over the last few weeks. How concerning is that for you and who would you say has a leg up at that position moving forward?

“Again, just like the previous question, we’ll evaluate that during the week.”

I wonder what you see as the primary challenges vis-a-vis Indiana this week and what they present to you.

“Yeah, very good football team. In fact, very competitive games with them. I think they’ve played very well. They’re playing very good this year, especially at home. Very good football team. That’s what we’re doing today, we’re making those preparations.”

What players and what numbers jump out so far on the Hoosiers when you take a look at them offensively and defensively?

“No. 16, excellent cover corner. No. 8, very athletic, fast linebacker. Again, another—tough safeties. Movement up front in the defensive line, stout. No. 4, another very good linebacker. Very good defense. Very athletic. Tough.”

I know you say week to week every game is the same, but given the loss Saturday, the Indiana game, is there an extra premium put on it or a little bit of extra motivation going into this week?

“Yeah, we’ve already felt the next game is the most important game and that’s our next game.”

Is there nothing--

“110% as opposed to 100%? I guess we could have that debate but 100% focused on them.”

About the play-calling, you talked about on the radio a couple weeks ago with Pep, but what is the hierarchy? Is it Pep [Hamilton] and Tim [Drevno] call the plays and you’re third, I think you said? How does that work?

“Yeah, we call the plays together as a staff. The final say, I have the final say, the final say of the play-calling.”


[email protected]

October 9th, 2017 at 9:21 PM ^

They were great questions though, very well thought out. Follow up questions, based on his response's were just as good. Just perfect, A+++.

I can imagine that after bullying the media for so long that he does not enjoy being bullied back, but that's where he is.

As far as his job, no way it's it's in jeopardy right now. He has plenty of time to get it fixed, and I believe he will.



October 10th, 2017 at 7:26 AM ^

Name calling is one way to over react to a statement. Kudos for your intellect. If you don't see a different Harbaugh then okay. It could be tired of the media, could be internal strife, could be nothing and it will pass. Use your imaginary neg power to put me in my place. I want him here for fifteen more years. He is known to wander. Denial is on the journey to acceptance.


October 10th, 2017 at 9:41 AM ^

think it is reasonable to acknowledge the possibility that his eyes are wandering.  I think a couple of things are notable about his stint at San Fran and what we are seeing now.  First, he went to San Francisco and made Kaepernick an all-pro basically overnight while the job had his full attention, but their offense went from humming to dead in the blink of eye when he wasn't engaged anymore.  The turnaround he had with Jake Ruddock was incredible, but it is also really really odd that our offense has fallen off a cliff to the extent it has and that we are seeing actual regression at QB and O-line.  Within the range of reasonable possibilities, yes, I think Harbaugh could have interest in another job and that we are seeing what a Harbaugh team looks like when he is not fully engaged with it.


October 10th, 2017 at 1:12 PM ^

but your psychological assessments of Harbaugh since Saturday's game are just plain dumb.  There is a zero point zero percent chance that Harbaugh is "not fully engaged" with his job or this Michigan team.  Do you honestly believe that he's going to give anything less than his full time and attention to winning this weekend's game -- and then the one after that, and the one after that?  And it's especially pointless to psychoanalyze Harbaugh based on his attitude at press conferences, when he has a long history of blowing hot and cold and becoming disengaged when he thinks the questions are not valid.  Perhaps you could point me to an example where Harbaugh was willing in the past to engage in an extensive post mortem of a loss or to discuss play calling in a past game, so we could say that he is somehow different now?

The comparison to Harbaugh's last year in San Francisco also is pointless.  In that case, his bosses were actively preventing him from doing his job and broadly hinting that they wanted him gone.  Many of us would develop a certain detachment from a job where we are not wanted.  I assume you would agree his situation at Michigan is different?


October 10th, 2017 at 8:59 AM ^

I'm not advocating him leaving at all, but Michigan is 5-4 in their last 9 and 1-4 against our rivals. Just saying this game was "bad luck" is not adequate.

I think it comes down to one question: How can we not have a serviceable QB right now, mid-year 3? That's really the crux of all of those losses. An average+ QB makes all of those games wins.


October 10th, 2017 at 9:28 AM ^

of piggy backing on that, why did Speight so noticeably regress from last year in terms of just basic throwing mechanics before his injury?  And piggy backing on that, how did Brandon Peters go from outplaying Speight in the Spring Game to third on the depth chart and not in the question for meaningful playing time?  These are oddities.  These are irregularities.  They were easy to ingore while we were undefeated, nothing is really going to be a big deal to fans while you have a 0 in the loss column.  But now that we don't, and the loss we do have was a strong wiff of debacle, I think reasonable minds can disagree as to whether something else is at play here.


October 10th, 2017 at 12:43 AM ^

We have beaten OSU once since the last Lord of the Rings movie came out. We have beaten MSU twice since Lloyd Carr was our coach. We endured a 3-9 season, two 5-7 seasons, and a litany of mediocrity in between. Brian & co. were ready to run Lloyd out of town for being Tressel's bitch despite the fact he played in 3 Rose Bowls in his last 5 years. We haven't beenback since.

This fan base was fucking ecstatic over a win against a shitty MSU team last year, a 12-10 win over them in 2012, and a 40-34 win over Luke fucking Fickell's OSU in 2011. Muppets for all 3 of those despite the fact those teams finished 3-9, 7-6, and 6-7, respectively. We have gotten our asses handed to us time and time again. I am sick and tired of these fucking excuses (the punt block, the spot, the refs, the rain, blah blah blah blah). If they don't win the Big Ten this year it will be tied with the longest drought in history. This is literally the worst period of Michigan football that anyone under the age of 75 can even remember.

So don't even fucking begin to talk about beating Alabama and winning the NCG. If Michigan actually beat OSU and won the Big Ten this year the fans would burn the fucking town to the ground.

Goggles Paisano

October 10th, 2017 at 5:44 AM ^

I'm certain there are far more members on this board than when you joined back in 2010.  And with more members, they typically come out and post only to bitch after a loss.  And especially after a tough loss like this one.  How many unfamiliar user names have you seen in the comments section the last couple days? 


STW P. Brabbs

October 10th, 2017 at 8:00 AM ^

I used to think that the miserableness was because everyone had simply gotten a little spoiled and complacent under Lloyd, and then understandably frustrated by the successive shit sandwiches of Rodrigues and Hoke. But nope, the fan base is just fucking unbearable. Everyone has forgotten how quickly Harbaugh turned everything around in his first fucking year, how Jake Rudock became an NFL fucking QB, how Wilton goddamn Speight looked like a killer at times last year, how we fucking outplayed OSU in the Shoe last year and would have beaten FSU without a miracke kick return. He's clearly lost his touch, because the offense is shit this year. Maybe we can hire Brohm! I HEAR GRUDEN'S AVAILABLE.

And now this! Harbaugh seems really pissy after a painful loss to MSU, and the press goes after him, and maybe he's going to up and leave? Jim "I bought a house on Bo's fucking street" Harbaugh is going to tuck tail and run while he has that 1-4 record hanging around his neck. Fuck off. Just fuck right off.

Some people just love to feel like being OUTRAGED is somehow going to help, and they are too fucking fragile to handle the fact that there are going to be ups and downs. I would like to humbly ask that they fuck right off and just go inhabit some Real Madrid and Alabama fan sites. Site traffic might be cut by a third, but that's some serious addition by subtraction.

SF Wolverine

October 9th, 2017 at 7:06 PM ^

He's fine.  Trying to be steady for a young team, and avoid any iteam issues caused by the gargantuan disparity in quality of play as between offense and defense.  And, he's avoided the Brian Kelly route by keeping this a "we" discussion, and about learning and improving, instead of throwing someone under the bus.  Admirable leadership qualities.  

UofM Die Hard …

October 9th, 2017 at 9:37 PM ^

Is awful. Grow the fuck up. He is pissed he lost, he knows this team is not there, and you think the highest paid coach, a true Michigan man, and a family man is gonna quit based on his answers to some dumb shit reporter who clearly is more pissed than Harbaugh is and decides to poke at him.

Everyone who thinks like this, please just go away and bitch to each other live. You spew this garbage on social platforms and give the rest of us a bad name.

We love this team just as much as you idiots but have a rational thoughts in our head and think before we hit send


Go Blue