Unverified Voracity Hires Guys On The Spot Comment Count

Brian March 30th, 2017 at 1:49 PM

The first of more than a few planeteam retrospectives. From BTN:

From the blog world, Hoover Street Rag probably has an aero engineer on staff and so has all the details of what exactly happened with that plane:

The MD-83 turning onto Runway 23L at Willow Run International Airport (KYIP) would never be able to takeoff, but no one on board knew that. The right elevator was jammed in the down position, and the pilots had no chance of ever being able to raise the nose enough to lift off.

Designing and flying a safe airplane is about delicately balancing huge forces. Gravity's remorseless tug must be balanced by lift; thrust is balanced by drag. If you do this right, you get steady level flight. To turn, you have to slightly perturb this arrangement. The ailerons on the wings bank the airplane (this is called the roll axis). The rudder rotates the plane left or right (yaw). The elevator, meanwhile, rotates the nose up or down (pitch).

The tail (or the empennage, if you want to sound fancy) on most conventional airplanes consists of a vertical stabilizer, sticking up like a shark fin and housing the rudder, while the horizontal stabilizer sprouts from either side of the tail, each containing half the elevator.

And Holdin' The Rope:

After 20 minutes, Michigan trailed by two -- but it felt like it should have been much more.

After 40 minutes, Michigan lost by one -- but it felt like it should have been much less, another outcome, a different narrative track.

Various Harbaugh stories, as per usual. David Lombardi's article on Stanford assistant Tsuyoshi Kawata is interesting on its own; it will be of special interest to Michigan folks because of Harbaugh doing Harbaugh things:

Kawata could barely speak English, but he was looking for an entry point into coaching in the United States.

Kawata had thought about what he was going to say to Harbaugh before he entered his office. He told Harbaugh that he was a major influence in his football education, and that he remembered him as "Captain Comeback" from watching his games in Japan on grainy television broadcasts.

"I told him that story to make his mood better," Kawata said with a laugh.

"Do you love football?" Harbaugh asked.

"Yes, Coach, absolutely," Kawata replied.

"Come and join us," Harbaugh said.


"It was one of those deals where, all of a sudden, Jim hired him and didn't tell anybody," said Shaw, who was Stanford's offensive coordinator at the time. "So [Kawata] walked out onto the field, and it was like, 'Who is this guy? He's on the field? He's got a clipboard?'"

"Hired" in this context means "gave an unpaid internship to," but I enjoy the idea of coaches showing up at practice not knowing if there's going to be a mysterious new guy.

Also in Harbaugh is this story his brother told Peter King:

Last Memorial Day we did vacation together. My wife and I have a cottage up north in Michigan on Lake Huron. We get Jim to drive up with the kids and all that, and we have a basketball hoop in the front yard in the driveway, and we were going to play a little game with the kids, and we just started shooting around, and next thing you know it was a 4-on-4 game.

It was Jack, who is two-and-a-half, Addy, who is six, Katie, who is four-and-a-half or five at the time, Allison who is 13 or 14 and she is a little basketball player, and Jim and me and Sarah, my wife. We're playing, and you can picture the kind of game it is, right? Allison happens to hit a couple jumpers and we're playing to seven, and we're up maybe 5-1. Next thing you know, Jim starts going over the top of Allison for rebounds, he's boxing her out 10 feet away from the basket.

Next thing you know, it's 5-5 and Jim has made all the shots for his team of course. I'm like, you know, maybe Addy would like to touch the ball? Maybe Katie or Jack could dribble a little bit now and then? It goes 6-6 and a long rebound comes out the side, he goes and gets it. I see Allison happens to be over there, so I see him going to the basket, he's going to take Allison to the hole, you know, he's about 6'3", 235, so I'm going to go cut him off. I get him with my right arm bar across his chest and I'm trying to body check him into the pricker bushes behind the driveway, and he just powers his way to the basket, lays one over the top, a reverse layup off the board, and all he could talk about is how he won.

He picks up Jack and says, 'Doesn't it feel great, Jack, to win? Doesn't it feel great to win?' An hour later we were crossing paths in the backyard to go get a soda or something, and he looks me right in the eye and he says, ‘Hey John, have you won anything yet?’”

This isn't even surprising, down to the wicked burn he delivers his relatively normal brother. Relatively normal brother is a long-time NFL coach, which has a 100% derangement rate, and yet.

Theory of Kalis confirmed. PFF is revealing various draft grades they have, and while Michigan is going to have a bunch of guys picked it looks like OL won't be among them. The only one of Michigan's three graduates to even make their charts is Kalis, and he sticks out like a red, red thumb in  their guard listings:


Kalis is the guy with the most red on his profile. He's relatively good at screen blocks and getting plus run blocks; he's bad to terrible at everything else. That fits with the Theory of Kalis: physically talented but error-prone.

Also worth noting: the guy on the line above him who's got a very draftable grade and a lot of green on his row is Kyle Bosch. Glad to see he bounced back after personal issues caused him to leave Michigan. Also, ugh that only increases curse level of the already-thoroughly-cursed 2013 OL recruiting class.

Hockey coaching name. Providence's Nate Leaman has turned two schools with little history of hockey success into powers. He's in Hockey East and he's taken the Friars to the tourney four straight years. Big talk that he's not available:

There aren't many jobs in the NCAA that could be better than his current situation. And there's reason to believe that any interview and offer from another program would be matched by Providence in a second.

Asked recently about the terms of Leaman's contract, Providence athletic director Bob Driscoll joked that it's a lifetime contract. To wit: Leaman will be the head coach of the Providence College Friars as long as he wants to be.

"I would never hold him back in something he wants to do," Driscoll said. "But my assumption is that he's very happy here. I believe he'll be here for a very long time."

We'll see if Michigan even pokes around with him.

Etc.: Ball control isn't really a thing in football. DJ Wilson profiled by Draft Express. PFF scouts Darboh. Rashan Gary buzz? If I must.



March 30th, 2017 at 2:01 PM ^

Seeing and listening to John Beileins voice crack describing this team was intensely powerful.  Great coach, great players, great team.  We are blessed.  


March 30th, 2017 at 8:44 PM ^

He wasn't that highly rated. He was a 3-star and #386 overall in the 2012 class. Michigan fans made a bigger deal about him than he was worth because we were desperate for offensive linemen at that point.

Even so, I believe he started as a redshirt freshman at Auburn, so he must have been doing something right. 


March 30th, 2017 at 2:08 PM ^

I get him with my right arm bar across his chest and I'm trying to body check him into the pricker bushes behind the driveway

The beauty of this is that it could be a quote from two 12-year olds playing in the backyard after middle school until it's time to eat supper and do homework.

Instead it's a quote about two rich and famous Super Bowl coaches in their 50's.

A lot of people will say that fame and success has not changed them, but with the Harbaugh brothers, you can witness it in action.


March 30th, 2017 at 2:27 PM ^

 asked what I was chortling about. I let her read it and she said, "Oh you mean the guy's an asshole?" 

Yeah, but points for being pathologically charming in doing so, right?



March 30th, 2017 at 2:30 PM ^

John Harbaugh remembers the entire play by play and player positioning of a family game to 7. Something tells me he was pissed to lose after being up 5-1.


March 30th, 2017 at 2:51 PM ^

That article about Leaman is kind of fluffy and doesn't really give any particular reason why Providence is as good a situation as any in the country. It's not the best situation in Hockey East, and all of the B1G hockey schools that care about hockey (which means "everyone except OSU and MSU") can offer better facilities, better fanbases, and more money. And substantial chunks of the NCHC as well. 

Which is not to say that he's in a bad situation.

It is, however, quite conceivable that Leaman (or, for that matter, popular speculative picks Norm Bazin and Jim Montgomery) could be interested in a jump to the NHL. If so, it does not make sense to jump to another college job, even one that is a distinct improvement, when one hopes to leave in a year or two for the pros. Going to Michigan or Minnesota or some place like that is a time commitment, and college hockey coaching at big time schools is a high floor, low ceiling proposition. 

The top guys in the sport now draw salaries that don't rise above $300k a year, which is a lot more than I make but not close to what one can get in the NHL. Guys who have a chance to make it there (Jeff Blashill, for example) can and will jump at the opportunity to move up. 

OTOH the good part of it is that you can be totally unqualified for the job and still keep it for six years if you coach at a place with the history, funding, and malaise of Michigan State. So there's that.


March 30th, 2017 at 4:05 PM ^

are making the jump from HC in college to HC in the NHL. Usually they will need to become an assistant for a long time before the NHL is going to give them a shot as an HC. Most who have made the jump have yet to find a lot of success.

I can see coaches moving around more in the collegiate level to find a better situation, where they could make a run at an NC and maybe make a little money. I still beleive Michigan is a top spot for a coach to land and don't think Providence can offer everything a Michigan can. Still think getting someone like Montgomery would be a lot longer shot. He has a great chance to win the NC this season and money is not an issue at DU

Michigan Arrogance

March 30th, 2017 at 2:56 PM ^

I think there is one glaring omission that people are ignoring re: the hockey coach search (besides that Red hasn't actually retired yet):

There are 2 kinds of programs in DI hockey: the kind that go after talent and the kind that go after experience. Lehman was at Union before providence and the Union success was based on getting the 20 y/o freshman who's already washed out of getting serious looks by the NHL. Same at UM-Lowell and Quinnipiac. These teams have very good coaching of course, but they are getting much more experience players.

M, NoDak, Minn, BU, BC, Wisc, etc get the 17-18 y/o high draft picks that stay for 1-2 years. 


Will a guy who traditionally goes for the older less talented FR players work at a BU/BC/M/Minn? IDK if that's the best fit. 


March 30th, 2017 at 3:26 PM ^

I don't know if the distinction is that easy to make, and further it seems like the recent, unsuccessful effort to cut down on overage players by B1G schools was a bellweather demonstrating that the trend is not going away for any team.

Simply put, most teams are peppered with older players now. Even classic pro factories like Minnesota have a significant portion of their roster taken up with older players. Their captain this year, Connor Reilly, was born in 1991. Michigan signs a lot of young guys, but we also have guys that waited before coming in. Sam Piazza will turn 24 during his senior season.

So there are younger prospects that are contributing, but guys getting a year or two of extra seasoning in the USHL or other amateur leagues is rather common and has become a standard strategy for coaches. I am not qualified to analyze the whys and the wherefores here (and this has happened on some level for a long time, I can't even say if this trend is increasing), other than to say that championship teams aren't necessarily built upon a roster of NHL prospects anymore.

I think any decent coach will adapt to this without trouble. 


March 30th, 2017 at 3:15 PM ^

I did not realize he made Big 12 All-Conference 1st Team at West Virginia.  I'm glad he was able to get things in order and good luck to him.




March 30th, 2017 at 3:18 PM ^

If you haven't read the Kawata article yet, stop everything you are doing and go read it right now.

After reading it, I had a vision of Faalele on one side and Akebono on the other side of the line with Onwenu in the middle. That's the future of football, folks.

EDIT: Add Bredeson and Takanohana and we'll be unstoppable.


March 30th, 2017 at 3:22 PM ^

For all those people (including me) that thought that maybe they were making just a little too much drama about the plane "crash" (just an aborted take off really) . . . um, perhaps not.

This could have been a real disaster and they really were lucky to walk away from it.

So go ahead, coach, and talk about how walking away from it changed you and your team's life perspective.  

Turns out it should.



March 30th, 2017 at 3:38 PM ^

thought that for a second, but then thought about how when you are on a plane, all you are really doing is "feeling" as opposed to seeing.  What you can see outside of the plane close by consists of the 12 inches right in front of your face outside of the window and even that is obstructed or only partial.  Combine that with the fact hardly anybody who is ever flying (except the pilots) really knows what is going on with the airplane, and you had a plane full of kids that knew nothing (and could see nothing) but that they were sliding uncontrollably down a "sure to be ending at any time" runway (likely mixed with deafening sounds of metal on concrete).  Personally, in that situation, I would have thought I was certainly going to die and I have no doubt that all of them did as well.


March 30th, 2017 at 4:52 PM ^

And crashing through the metal fence, hitting that ditch, and having the landing gear collapse had to be more than just a ltiile bump.  

All while you can't see anything and are waiting for a firm kiss on the lips by a tree .


March 30th, 2017 at 4:39 PM ^

I've been pretty much terrified of the thought of being on that plane.  The linked article does a really good job of making the plane-mechanics involved pretty plain-English, and it's no less terrifying than my imagination.  I'm so thankful there were experienced pilots at those controls and that they made good split-second decisions in those brief moments.


March 30th, 2017 at 3:42 PM ^

The Kawata story is awesome.  I was curious though - how did he support himself when he was a volunteer assistant?  Did he have money left over from his Japanese football days, or did he work some other job?  Palo Alto's a costly place to live.

Tasker Bliss

March 30th, 2017 at 4:10 PM ^

According to his Hello post: "Gary's 4.74 SPARQ-verified 40 time is gloriously not FAKE at all. He's an unbelievable athlete for a player that size." Maybe off-season training in UGG's is the way to go.


March 30th, 2017 at 4:40 PM ^

I never quite understood how we:
- a) complained about the OL quite a bit this year,
- b) see that justified by the fact "...while Michigan is going to have a bunch of guys picked it looks like OL won't be among them", yet
- c) Michigan placed four offensive linemen on either 1st or 2nd team All-B1G

I know doing well in college does not always directly translate to pro success, but it seems there was a real disconnect this year in the perception of our OL.


March 30th, 2017 at 5:22 PM ^

Not only did we have four 1st or 2nd teamers, we also had a freshman All-American (and hon mention All Big 10) on the line. All 5 guys got some sort of recognition. We had the 2nd highest YPC in the big 10 behind only OSU and the 5th highest YPC and YPG numbers in the last 25 years of Michigan football. Speight was also reasonably well protected.

Many folks complained because in 2 of the 3 losses, the offensive line was overmatched. I think they played well enough to win the OSU game. The turnovers and refereeing were the culprits in that game. Jaleel Johnson from Iowa destroyed Kalis, and that guy from FSU destroyed Bredeson. There were other reasons we lost those games (fumbled KR and dropped passes against Iowa, and no Peppers against FSU) but the line breakdowns happened repeatedly and stood out. Those guys have to be perfect on every play. A defensive lineman only needs to get to the QB 2 or 3 times to be a hero. Being an offensive lineman is a thankless job.

Folks also complain, we only got 80 yards against this team or 90 yards against that team. I think they have forgotten the 27 for 27 game or the -51 yards game against MSU a few years back. I'll take 3 ypc against a good defense any day as long as we are forcing them to overplay the run thereby opening up the passing game.


March 31st, 2017 at 12:30 PM ^

Those All Conference Teams are basically given to the guys who have the most starts over their careers. The only time the lists are notable is when they name a younger guy instead of older guys. That means the underclassman is damn good. Everyone was surprised by Dave Baas being voted a first teamer in 2003 not because he didn't deserve it but because they assumed some 5th year senior, 3 year starter would be named ahead of him. But Baas was so good he had to make the list.

EDIT: Also, the B1G was not exactly full of great linemen in 2016.


April 1st, 2017 at 11:36 AM ^

"Hey John, have you won anything yet?" "Who's got it better than us?"

These kind of slogans keep reminding me to ask Jim, "Hey Jim, have you won anything yet?” Championship, you know, we need championships. Can you win one or two?

The issue is we keep singing "the leaders and best", but the players don't have the bood to climb up to win the championship. It's a motivation, a mindset, a blood that is so rare in the team over the years. They just need a little more psychological endurance.