As I read him, a certain critical edge has been creeping into Nick Baumgardner's reporting on Michigan, particularly on Jim Harbaugh's unexciting play-calling. This tends to confirm what a relatively unsophisticated watcher like me THINKS he's seeing, but I am really more interested in what other, more knowledgeable fans think.
The thing about Baumgardner is that he really seems to know his stuff; he breaking down last Saturday's play-making here with a sophistication that puts many other football writers to shame.
The bottom line is interesting--not wildly critical, certainly, but more measured:
"This offense puts a lot of pressure on everyone on the field to do their job perfectly on every play. That's why it's called pro-style — professionals run it.
Whether or not Michigan can accomplish that will determine how this season ends."
The piece seems important to me, for two reasons:
1) It tends to confirm the lessons and wisdom I have observed from some of the better posters here. But
2) if correct it really suggests that what Harbaugh's trying is something of a gamble. He's going to need bright and talented players, a little luck and continuity to succeed. (Learning his big-a** playbook takes a while.)
Does Baumgardner have it right? Are the risks Harbaugh's taking worth it? Or is the NFL style he's trying to roll out just too damn boring, with too many variables to ensure success?
I can see quite a lot of potential upside (long-term powerhouse in the making?). I can also see how all these things tend to suggest it might take Harbaugh longer than, say, an Urban Meyer, to start rolling up wins. . . But how do others see it?