Summing Up the Season

Submitted by cbuswolverine on November 22nd, 2008 at 7:19 PM

I'm drunk. This was a rambling response to a question about what I thought of the coaching this season in a thread on Scout. I'm creating a diary with all of this because being drunk has massively increased my sense of importance. Rod, I know you're going to read this and invite me to play golf this spring.

As far as Xs and Os go I don't know, to be honest. It's so hard to evaluate such a young offense, for one. Who knows how much these kids are able to pick up in practice. There's so much for them to learn. I can't make judgments about things that go on in practice and film sessions. They started the season with a very, very limited package on offense. They add a little more each week but I don't think it's enough to counter any halftime adjustments that opposing defenses make. The QB situation is dire and that obviously limits them as well. It just hasn't been possible for this offense to be very versatile this year. The run blocking has improved about 500% over the course of the season, imo. We don't have backs getting hit five yards behind the LOS every other down anymore.

Defensively, ugh. They're so solid up front but man do they give up a lot of big plays. Maybe Shafer isn't the guy. Again, I don't know. The safeties are absolutely horrible but they've been horrible for awhile. We've had one safety make All Big Ten in about forever. Tackling is disgusting but we've had problems there in the past as well. FFS if I were forced to watch Morgan Trent try to torpedo a guy with his hands hanging by his waist one more time in the open field I think I would throw a ******* chair at my television. We lack depth at LB but I think that is the most improved part of our defense. Mouton has gotten much, much better. He's going to be a beast next year. WVU fans pointed fingers at Tony Gibson as the reason for their poor secondary play the entire time he was there. Maybe there is something to that.

Special teams: ZOLTAN minus a everybody and their brother dropping the ball on the ground. How much coaching goes into catching. It isn't rocket science.

Every coach is an idiot in a lot of fan's eyes when their team loses, without exception. Every coach is an idiot, dumbass, retard, etc. every time they lose a game. A lot of fans are like neanderthals or little kids. When their team loses, it hurts. They feel PAIN and all objectivity goes out the window and they lash out at whatever is in their path. They start talking about the coach who needs to be fired or the player who they wish would get hit by a bus as if that would fix everything. It's irrational and aggravating.

Everybody is an armchair QB. Hindsight is 20/20, etc. Earle Bruce criticized Tressel's playcalling on 1460 here in Columbus after their game against Penn State. He had one caveat, though: he said that while he thinks he may have called different plays on a few crucial downs, he can't say for sure. He explained that a coach has 15-20 seconds to choose a play. They have only that much time to analyze their opponent's personnel on the field, make their own personnel changes, and then choose from one of two or three plays being given them as an option. He said that until you walk in those shoes you can NEVER understand the pressure that a coach is under when it comes to playcalling. He said that even the very best can never, never, never get it right all the time. He said that those who have been there such as himself can point out obvious coaching mistakes even for any team on the plus side of a blowout. He said that he knew with 100% certainty after the game that Tressel and his OC had made a few errors with the playcalling but that he would put pretty close to 0% of the blame on them for those calls.

When a team loses 9 games there is no one thing that you can point to as the sole reason for losing 9 games. There is more than one flaw, obviously. Can the coaching staff do a better job? Of course. And I'm certain they question themselves everyday. Could this team have gone 7-5 or something? It would have taken a miracle, imo. And the majority of the people who populate Michigan boards wouldn't recognize that 7-5 team for the amazing job they had done, anyway. I imagine the attitude here would be more or less the same. There is not much objectivity on this board.

If you drop discussion about Xs and Os and forget about what's happened this season, though, I don't understand people who just don't like Rodriguez in general. WVU fans are bitter, etc. The media bought into a bunch of that stuff from day one, but again, I don't get it. People need to open their minds, quit being such sheep, and quit believing everything they read. I do not recall reading a SINGLE complaint from a WVU player TO THIS DAY regarding the manner in which Rod left WVU. Everything I have read indicates something from his players' general disappointment with the situation to them wishing him good luck. I may be wrong. Feel free to point it out if this is the case. But until I hear otherwise, these were the people closest to Rod and the situation when he left, and well...Occam's Razor.

Rod has the fire and the drive to be successful. He's not arrogant or cocky. He works as hard as anybody and he's personable. He's a coalminer's son. When he was in high school he would go outside in the winter and pack down the snow so he could shoot hoops with gloves on. He turned down basketball scholarships because he really, really wanted to play football. He walked on at WVU with enough cash in his pocket to get through one semester, knowing that if he didn't get a football scholarship he was probably going to go work the mines or somesuch for the rest of his life. He made up his mind that he was going to start fights with anybody and everybody everyday in practice so that coaches would notice him and his determination and the fire in his ******* belly to MAKE IT. Nehlen gave him a scholarship at the end of that first season.

Rod is a good guy. People who know him say he is neither arrogant or cocky. If anything, he is shy by nature. He came from next to nothing. He's a self-made man. He has worked hard everyday for everything he has. He loves to win and hates to lose as much as ANYBODY. He is doing his level best to win. I guarantee that as much as this season has hurt anybody here it has hurt Rod 1000x more. I see the reflection of Rod's desire to win in the way this team has fought on every down this season. I believe in Rod and his plan for this program. Regardless of our record this season, I feel that anyone who doesn't show their support until we see how this plays out over the next couple of years is doing a great disservice to this program. Questioning playcalling or personnel decisions is one thing. Laying the entire blame for this season on them is completely off base.

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Thank you, seniors. You're Michigan Men, every last one of you.



November 22nd, 2008 at 7:30 PM ^

You make a lot of sense with your rambling even if you are drunk. I completely agree with your assertion in the last paragraph. No matter how much we fume or are upset by the losses I think Rich Rod feels it that much more. It is nice to know that he has that much desire to win and eventually it infects the whole program. I just hope we give him the time he needs to do what he needs to get done. He's a good coach who is in a new situation and is learning too.


November 22nd, 2008 at 11:39 PM ^

well said my friend. Amazing ability not drooling on your keyboard or the like. You hit on some key points. We all need to wear our UM gear and be proud in the off-season. Show up at the Big House and cheer our brains out. Heck, I want to send a letter to every player returning that says: NEVER, EVER QUIT.

To all fans I say: "Those fans who stay, will SEE champions."


November 23rd, 2008 at 2:07 AM ^

Dude good post. I get really sick of people saying "Rich Rod doesn't know how much I care" "Rich Rod doesn't care about winning" "I'm hurting more than the coach"

GIVE ME A BREAK! What a bunch of idiots. Of course he cares more than any of us ... this isn't just a game to him, it's his bread and butter for one thing. And more importantly he's devoted his entire life to it... have we? Thanks for pointing out the truth, man