Wednesday Presser Notes

Submitted by Tim on November 18th, 2009 at 5:02 PM


  • Brandon Minor is doubtful for Saturday. His ankle is healed, but now the shoulder is a problem. He didn't practice at all yesterday, and they're hoping he can do a little today.
  • Martavious Odoms should be healthy enough to play on Saturday.
  • Carlos Brown should be full-go.

Personnel Items

  • Last week's Tate/Denard issue was overplayed. Tate and Rodriguez never "argued," but the coach was giving a coachly lecture. The two QBs split snaps with the first team last week (contrary to rumors), and Tate will likely start this week, though both will play.
  • Carlos Brown, Mike Shaw, and Vincent Smith are considered co-starters for Saturday at this point. Kevin Grady will get some carries as well.
  • Woolfolk is at corner because there were concerns with that position. Brown's position is almost like a nickel safety, rather than a linebacker, so that's a natural fit for him.
  • Brandon Smith and Mike Williams are competing in practice this week for the starting safety spot.
  • Obi Ezeh and Kevin Leach are still competing for the starting linebacker spot.
  • Brandon Graham and MIke Martin are the only defensive players who graded out high in the Wisconsin game.
  • The season's permanent captains have been decided, but they won't be announced until tomorrow afternoon - even to the players.

Ohio State

  • If you can't get fired up to practice and play this week, something is wrong with you. The players still need to focus that energy towards improving to win the game, not worrying about the implications of the game.
  • Rodriguez has not talked to Terrelle Pryor. Still, he's a talented player, and it will be tough to simulate him in practice.
  • They'll run more more 1st team v. 1st team this week, in order to practice against the best in preparation for OSU.


  • The CARA reporting issue was taken care of as soon as Rodriguez found out about it. He can't say anything else about it, however, as the NCAA investigation is ongoing.
  • The team had higher goals this season than scraping into a bowl game, so regardless of the outcome on Saturday, the season will be a disappointment. However, it's not discouraging for the program, and the groundwork has been laid for future success.
  • Taking the ball off the coin toss against Wisconsin was one of the few times Rich has ever done it. He wanted to get on the scoreboard early, and Wisconsin's students still hadn't made it into the stadium, so he thought it would give them an advantage.



November 18th, 2009 at 6:11 PM ^

Brandon Minor has usually been one to play through injury. This is potentially his last game as a Michigan Wolverine, and against its fiercest rival. On senior day. If he is intact enough to practice today, a shoulder injury is not going to tether his RAGE on an unbreakable leash. I suspect we will see Minor on Saturday.


November 18th, 2009 at 5:27 PM ^

dumb, it's the way he's handled, or in my opinion, mis-handled, captains. Every former Michigan player I've ever heard opine on the subject says that season-long captains repeatedly play critical roles in enforcing discipline, instilling the proper attitudes, and psychologically getting guys ready to play. The rotation RR favors squanders that kind of leadership.


November 18th, 2009 at 5:34 PM ^

Perhaps the title might give someone more confidence and status to speak up, but leaders will be leaders either way. It doesn't sound like B.Graham has been shy despite not being a season-long captain. If anything, giving a handful of people the title of captain will encourage more people to voice their thoughts.

This seems like one of those things Coach Rod has put some thought into. He deserves the benefit of the doubt IMO.

Huntington Wolverine

November 18th, 2009 at 6:55 PM ^

I agree with you. It's an organizational leadership move. It holds with the premise that if you want to be a captain, you should act as if you already are by being a leader on and off the field. It multiplies the number of leaders you have rather than limiting your leaders to 4 people.

If there are four official leaders, and I'm not one of them, then I don't need to act like a leader...


November 18th, 2009 at 5:37 PM ^

its just a notational thing. Captain for the 2009 season going down as "various" wouldn't be very satisfying, neither is a long list that includes half the offense and defense.

* beginning in 2008 game captains were seleced for each game and permanent captains were named at the end of the season


November 18th, 2009 at 5:14 PM ^

Interesting. I like when RR mentions his reasoning behind decisions - his thought process is very transparent after the fact, and he's generally willing to discuss things. Looking out at the stands and realizing that 'the twelfth man isn't quite in the building yet, time to go on offense' is a good call on his part. That's a RPS+1 for the game.

Groundwork is right. RR's going to have some damn talented seniors in a few years. All-Americans are being bred before our eyes people! Roundtree, Stonum, Roh, Koger, Martin, Forcier, V. Smith, Cox, Shaw, Molk... there are a lot of players that will probably be under consideration for 2nd or 1st Team All American by their senior seasons.

Damn you Michigan Running Back Hating God!


November 18th, 2009 at 5:28 PM ^

I'll be really disappointed if he can't play. This kid's had some tough breaks, and he serves as a reminder that we as fans sometimes overhype the whole "toughness" factor of football players. Sure, maybe some guys are more injury-prone because they can't take a hit, and maybe some guys are less injury-prone because they are "tougher" than most, but Minor - in my unscientific opinion - has to be one of the toughest injury-prone players we've ever had.

I don't intend to have a discussion about this, as I clearly see how injuries can be caused by "tough running style" (Campbell, etc.), just saying - if Minor can play, I'm sure he will, but I sure as shit feel bad for the way his last couple of seasons went with all the missed time.

Todd Plate's n…

November 18th, 2009 at 5:26 PM ^

I really hope Minor doubtful is more gamesmanship and he is closer to probable, at least for 8 to 10 carries.

I like that Grady will get a chance, I really thought we would have seen more of him as the between the tackles guy with Minor injured all year.

Raback Omaba

November 18th, 2009 at 5:38 PM ^

He is a vocal leader and a great running back.

I truly hope this is gamesmanship, because he needs to play. I hope he plays, not just for us as fans, not just for the team, but also for Brandon Minor.

The kid deserves to go out with a bang on Senior Day against OSU.

Arizona Blue

November 18th, 2009 at 5:53 PM ^

I just stopped violently smashing my face into my desk. We are a much worse team offensively without Minor. We need his physical running style and the calming effect his presence has on the overall offense. Hopefully Rich Rods just sippin the snake oil and Minor is healthy and ready to go. Go Blue! Fuck ohio prison style!


November 18th, 2009 at 5:56 PM ^

It's his last game. Rememer 07 when Henne played with his arm all busted up? That year they knew they were going to a bowl game. This year it depends on a win for that to happen. I expect to see Minor try to finish his career no matter how banged up he is.


November 18th, 2009 at 7:46 PM ^

I agree, put them both on the field. I think RR has done that a bunch at WV to have 2 slots and 2 wide on the field at the same time. But since M has had pretty good TEs, he's mostly used 1 slot and 1 TE and 2 wide all year.

Only issue might be protection without a TE, but since Tate gets it out pretty quick to the slots, this might be a great matchup for M.


November 18th, 2009 at 6:38 PM ^

I need THE KNOWLEDGE to come back and predict the whole Minor injury is a hoax to get inside OSU players' heads, and that he will come out 100% and have a Biakabatuka-like performance


November 18th, 2009 at 9:24 PM ^

So, how many are there?

My guess as to who will be:

- Graham
- Moosman
- Mezko
- Minor

I don't know if he's been a vocal leader per se, but, Stevie Brown might be a possibility for his perseverence and leading by example.


November 18th, 2009 at 11:56 PM ^

in the game, but I can't see him playing a full 60 minutes.
I feel for him. It's got to suck being perpetually on the mend, but it's part of the game. I don't think people realize that the guy's been playing the last 2-3 years at UM through a considerable amount of pain.


November 19th, 2009 at 8:00 AM ^

Two things i heard about the CARA "issue:" One, the reports or logs wouldn't be due until next May, and two, they are not required, but voluntary. Both of which to me means somebody inside the Ath. Dept. is grabbing at whatever he/she can to make RRod look bad. Can anybody shed some light?


November 19th, 2009 at 12:23 PM ^

The CARA forms are University forms meant to track athletic activities. Sort of like a time sheet. You don't send time sheets to the IRS, but they help ensure that you pay people properly and transmit the correct info to the IRS come tax time. So, the CARA forms are not required by the NCAA, but rather by University Audits.

As far as when they are due, I can't say. It seems that they are completed and "turned in" on an annual basis. I don't know about due date. I would assume that May is a good estimate, since that's when school is done for the year, but it could fall on the fiscal year (July-June).

BTW, this wasn't driven by the Athletic Dept. but by University Audits, as part of a routine audit. I sincerely doubt that anyone was looking to make RR look bad.


November 19th, 2009 at 9:50 AM ^

If he is really out, I think you have to effectively kiss any chance we have of making 1-2 yard conversions goodbye. I hope RR has something creative for this week, we need something special to win this one.


November 19th, 2009 at 9:50 AM ^

If he is really out, I think you have to effectively kiss any chance we have of making 1-2 yard conversions goodbye. I hope RR has something creative for this week, we need something special to win this one.

Old School

November 19th, 2009 at 10:22 AM ^

I agree that RR's endless rotation of not only captains, but players, in and out of positions, on a game basis, is unwise. You mean, the coaches can't tell who is best at each position at the beginning of the season? If they can't, then something is very wrong. And, how the heck can there be stability on a team (now obviously lacking) if you don't get a chance to play at your position on a consistent basis


November 19th, 2009 at 10:44 AM ^

Agree - not so much with the part about rotating players but with the part about rotating captains. The player rotations were the product of a young team and a group of players who were (and are) still adjusting to a new system. With a team this young, it is normal for players to develop at different rates, and I think it is a positive thing that RR was continually evaluating his best options. If he kept playing the same players, I imagine that many would be criticizing him as stubborn and unwilling to make changes.

As for the captains, I agree that with a team this young, having a set of designated captains would have likely been a positive thing. While I am sure that there were unofficial leaders on this team - B. Graham and B. Minor, and perhaps others - having those leaders designated as captains might have given them more ability to try to bring this team together and rally. Not saying that it "would have" helped - it might have been nothing for nothing - but it couldn't have hurt.

All of that said, if the biggest complaint we have about RR next year is how he selects his captains, we will all be happier and less hung over on Sundays.