11 Warriors Article on diff. between Hoke & RR

Submitted by StephenRKass on May 23rd, 2012 at 11:10 PM

There is a fairly long article over at the Ohio website 11 Warriors on The tale of Rodriguez and Hoke. There isn't much new there. In summary, the author speculates that the difference was in 3 things:

  1. Institutional support. Hoke:  yes.  RR:  no.
  2. Michigan Man culture. Hoke gets it, RR never did.
  3. Defense. Mattison:  good. Gerg:  beyond awful.

None of this is new to loyal mgoblog readers. However, I was struck by two things. First, it seemed odd that 11 Warriors would care that much. Whatever. Secondly, I found the following comment interesting, and one I have only heard rumored:

My childhood best friend in fact played for Michigan under Carr and then RichRod. Through that relationship I have befriended some of his friends who were teammates of his, some of whom played for all three coaches. Outside of what was mentioned in the article they all emphasized was that by and large the players didn't like RichRod, and had no drive to win for him. Things were great for the first 5-6 weeks of the seasons when they were winning, but once the losses started piling up many players just started counting down the weeks until the season was over. 

I had heard rumblings of this last Fall, but never this direct. To say "by and large the players didn't like RichRod" is a pretty strong statement. For all I know, this is still a rumor. There really isn't any substantiation on the facts.  I'd be interested to hear more on this. Actually, on second thought, I really don't care. RR is gone. Hoke is tremendous. Let sleeping dogs lie, and don't beat dead horses. But if any of you happen to know more, please put something up about it, if you can.



May 23rd, 2012 at 11:17 PM ^

Let the negbangs begin. Whatever, can't say I'm surprised. Still, as I said above, I'm kind of nonplussed that they would use so much of their column space at an Ohio site with an article about Michigan. And while I knew that there were several Michigan players who didn't like Hoke, this suggests that was the feeling of most of the team. That is news to me.


May 24th, 2012 at 12:10 PM ^

I'm glad Hoke is our coach. I don't really want to rehash RR ad nausem.

At the same time, I found it interesting that 11W put up the article. And I have also been curious about what those who played under RR really thought.

So, on the one hand, I don't care to foster analysis about RR. On the other, I'd be interested in hearing more about what the actual players under him and Hoke thought in comparing the two.

How's that for waffling?


May 24th, 2012 at 8:35 PM ^

on an OSU blog, for that matter.

My feeling on the OP as a whole is that clearly the MgoCommunity hasn't worked out its feelings about where the RR era fits into the 140-year history (after all, it's still not too long ago) and posts like this serve as a huge vent for accumulated explosive gases that might be harmful otherwise.

After Bo died, we thought we were a community and found out during the RR era that some people so put their factions over the good of the program as a whole that sabotage was possible. I like having the discussion out in the open better.

turd ferguson

May 23rd, 2012 at 11:22 PM ^

This is behind a paywall, so someone definitely should take it down if it's inappropriate to post, but it's a couple months old and is just one part of a very interesting, worthwhile piece from Michael Rothstein at ESPN.

It's from a survey of Michigan's graduating seniors (who just finished in 2012).


Did you like Rich Rodriguez?

• Yes -- 8
• As a person, yes, but he wasn't a good coaching fit -- 6
• Neutral -- 2
• No, but he did positive things as well -- 1
• No -- 2

Most of these answers were much more nuanced, but these categories boiled down their general points when it came to Rodriguez.

Did you like Brady Hoke?

• Yes -- 19


The Rodriguez results don't strike me as great or terrible.  For Hoke, though, that's pretty amazing, considering that he didn't recruit any of those kids and they all had only a year with him.

San Diego Mick

May 24th, 2012 at 2:14 AM ^

Well he didn't win 11 games in one season, he won 15 games in 3 seasons, pathetic at the winningest program in history. I don't care what DC he woulda brought in, people assume that if we only coulda hired Casteel that everything would've been hunky-dory, I just didn't believe it then nor now. My insincts indicated to me during the middle of the 2008 season that we were in for a brutal era w/RR and I was hoping I was wrong but I'm usually accurate with these things.

I've been keeping this to myself for a couple years but I feel now is the time to share this:

-RR created a feeling of paranoia on the team, in 2009 a player who was not able to play anymore and was made a team mgr was ordered by RR and Staff to report on guys for smoking weed and stuff like that and narced on Tate Forcier and another player and players didn't know who they could trust anymore.

-RR had people perusing blogs to see if they could filter out who was talking shit about him or the rest of the the Staff, I bet Hoke doesn't worry about this sort of thing.

-During the practice week of that infamous 67-65 OT win over the Illini in 2010, Tate was running the 1st team in practice and hurt his ankle on a play and was trying to tell RR that he tweaked his ankle and should have it looked at, RR kept screaming at him and not believing Tate was hurt and when Tate finally could barely walk and they took off his cleat and saw how black and blue the ankle was, RR says to Tate "hey you gonna be alright by game time"? Well thank god he was cause he came in to that game and saved our asses and we luckily had a winning record that year, finally!

These are things I heard from the family, I'm not making it up and don't know the exact validity of them, however, the results and overall mood of the program suggest they were true, so make of it what you will.


May 24th, 2012 at 6:52 AM ^

Me thinks the anger in your writing about something that is long over tells me that you might be the kind of person who holds a grudge and doesn't get over stuff very easily. Why pour more fuel on a fire that has almost been trampled to death with rumors and my friend and friend of friend type allegations?

Lastly, and most importantly, always remember that winning cures all...


May 24th, 2012 at 7:16 AM ^

I agree this is +1 interesting, but not for the reasons people may think. :)

"I've been keeping this to myself for a couple years but I feel now is the time to share this ..."

Oh, really? Much like the comment included in the OP, I'm inclined to say what you provided is BS until proven otherwise.

Also ...

"My insincts indicated to me during the middle of the 2008 season that we were in for a brutal era w/RR and I was hoping I was wrong but I'm usually accurate with these things."

Wow -- what a Nostradamus you are! Never mind the QB situation or one of the least talented offensive teams of the modern era.

I can at least *imagine* RichRod doing all those things. Doesn't mean they actually happened ...


May 24th, 2012 at 9:18 AM ^

It's a bad thing if it leads to a widespread sense of distrust among teammates. I've no idea if it did, obviously, but its much better if pressure not to violate team rules comes from within the team, rather than from the belief that a teammate sold someone out.

San Diego Mick

May 24th, 2012 at 12:33 PM ^

In my haste to post my comment I failed to point out that it was not true that he had smoke weed from what I was told.

Also, please read my last paragraph before you jump down my throat. I said I'm not sure of the validity of the claims I heard of but the results and the mood of the program indicated they might be true.

The OP asked for opinions, rumors and grapevine stuff and I obliged, why are so many people on here so defensive when it comes to RR? You act as if he was successful or something. That story I heard about the Illini week practice came from his uncle who was visiting his nephew that week after having gone to the PSU night game the previous week and he was so pissed at RR's behavior that he left practice, this is what I heard, again I'm not making it up. But many people have said that RR's treatment of the players was misguided, I'm not the 1st or last guy you will hear this from, sorry if I have pissed off some of you.


May 24th, 2012 at 1:52 PM ^

And it's hearsay without any attempt at providing context. 

- In 2009, Rodriguez probably had good reason to feel a little bit paranoid what with the media actively trying to screw him over, tepid departmental support, and a lack of senior leadership.  Can you imagine the headlines if some of the underclassmen like Forcier were caught smoking weed?  Normally, that would be the type of thing you could have your seniors taking care of in house, but we didn't have many seniors to speak of at this point.

- A coach trying to gauge the morale of his team?  What a novel idea.  So Rodriguez is the first coach who ever tried to find and isolate players who had bad attitudes and try and keep them from ruining the chemistry of the lockroom.  No, no, Rich Rod is Big Brother!  Beware!  What Orwellian hogwash.

- Forcier had already proven himself to be a bit of a discipline case, what with losing his wings, other players criticizing his offseason work ethic, and the trouble with this grades.  I'm willing to give Rich the benefit of the doubt for him questioning Forcier complaining about an injury rather than interpret that he was running some kind of sweatshop.  If Forcier couldn't convince his coach he was really hurt, he probably bears some responsibility for leaving that doubt in Rodriguez's mind.

Now granted, my explanation is just as much hearsay as Mick's, but without the Machiavellian overtones.  Context people.

Rich Rodriguez made a lot of mistakes.  So did Bil Martin...and Mary Sue Coleman....and Lloyd Carr.....and so on.  The man is gone.  It's not necessary to piss on his grave and descrate his memory for Christ's sake.


May 24th, 2012 at 12:33 PM ^

so i am going to call bullshit on this one.  tate was all over facebook with pictures of his awesome life with parties and hotties.  you didn't have to retain a narc to spy on the players.  and the general tone of your post hints at an emotional reaction rather than an intellectual one which my understanding is frowned upon here.


snarling wolverine

May 24th, 2012 at 12:52 PM ^

But if you look at it from the other perspective, only eight of 19 could give an unqualified "yes."  And these were last year's seniors - the guys who stuck it out through three years of Rodriguez and one of Hoke.  This survey doesn't sample the opinions of all the guys who left the program early.

But anyhow, to me the most telling bit of info is that all 19 seniors gave Hoke a "Yes," despite the fact that none were recruited by him.  That's an incredible endorsement.  It seems almost too good to believe.


May 23rd, 2012 at 11:26 PM ^

I'd be willing to bet that the players definitely didn't hate RRod.  My evidence is that poll above this post and the fact that a lot of the players were upset/surprised when he got fired.


May 23rd, 2012 at 11:36 PM ^

I also do not think the majority of the players hated RR. From what few connections I have to the program, the general buzz around RR and the players, and other accounts, I never got the impression that most players hated him. Sure a few did not appreciate him, his methods, or their lack of playing time, but I think the survey does a better job at least cutting into the very nuanced manner in which the players viewed RR. Additionally, the whole put their heads down and waited the season out when the losing started was really only a theme during the third year as it started during the second year. However, I could see some truth to that. I think even reading 3&Out would give you that impression.


May 23rd, 2012 at 11:42 PM ^

The players did not like Rich Rod. Anyone who, you know, actually straight up asked the players this, friend to friend, heard that. I asked a couple of friends on the team (non starters) about what they thought. Every single one of them liked Hoke more.


RR was a drag to play for. Hoke was different, practice was actually, fun under him. The defense especially was overjoyed to have a real coach. Their words not mine


I LOL hard when people like Section 1, who basically live in a fantasy world of their own, pretend Rich Rod was beloved by everyone but the Freep. The friggin team did not like him. There's not much else to say.


May 24th, 2012 at 12:12 AM ^

You are confirming what I suspected.

I heard from the father of a potential recruit who was at a practice with RR that the yelling and screaming was not fun. I've been around enough football coaches because of my son playing on the DL. (albeit at a much lower level.) Nonetheless, it isn't a whole lot of fun when someone is yelling and screaming and in your face all the time. Mind you, I think that Mattison and Borges and Hoke are also very intense, but they are directed, and not yelling all the time, from what little I've heard.


May 24th, 2012 at 12:57 AM ^

I think that Mattison and Borges and Hoke are also very intense, but they are directed, and not yelling all the time, from what little I've heard.

I'll never forget the Michigan - OSU game this past year when punter Will Hagerup fumbled the snap.  Hoke's treatment of Hagerup was calm and aimed at getting Hagerup's mind back to the game, not on the mistake.  Hoke was disappointed, no doubt, but he did not let that rule his reaction.


May 24th, 2012 at 9:42 AM ^

And one that my wife compared with Rich Rod right away, She said "If Dick Rod was the coach I'd be feeling sorry for the kid, But look how Brady handles the situatuion".

Everyone in our section that heard her nodded their heads in agreement.