Blame RR first

Submitted by 909Dewey on November 8th, 2009 at 7:23 PM

It is pathetic but I will admit that I have been back and forth on this blog for the last 24 hours because I really can't wait to see Brian's opinion after Purdue.

I do not want RR gone after this year. Even if he loses out. Barring something coming out of practicegate he should get the third year at least.

I do have some big problems with RR though. I may be branded a heretic but you do not lose to a bad Toledo team by three at home. You do not get owned in the second half against Illinois and Purdue two years in a row on your way to making an elite program.

So much of our current situation is the sole doing of RR. He has coached in a way that prioritizes his system over wins and losses. That is not to say that installing a system is not important, but what coach in his first year at a program used to winning starts McGuffie in game one over Minor, Brown, and Grady? Why did MINOR RAGE happen just as McGuffie's carries dropped off? Did the junior suddenly start looking as good in practice as the freshman? Give me a break. Minor didn't get one carry against Toledo. The next game was PSU and he gained 125 yards. Fault RR.

This is the thing though, regardless of everybody eagerly awaiting the next great post that exposes the secret behind why some facet of the team cannot produce desired results, it doesn't matter. The upside that RR was supposed to bring with him is that he will make this a top ten program. Consistently. That means he has to be an elite coach. Elite coaches win the games they are supposed to win and most of the games that are tossups. He hasn't shown anything remotely close to that here. That is not to say that he won't, but if it going to start it had better start soon.



November 8th, 2009 at 9:11 PM ^

Unfortunately, RR didn't inherit the team that beat Florida. If he had, this whole transition would have gone a lot more swimmingly.

Regarding recruiting rankings on defense, look at the positions the players were actually recruited for. None of the four starting linebackers were actually recruited to play their positions. Woolfolk wasn't recruited to play cornerback, and Kovacs and Leach weren't recruited at all. And these are the first-stringers!

Yeah, "we're Michigan." But we were Michigan in the 1950s and '60s, too. We were Michigan in 1984 when we went 6-6. Having the name Michigan doesn't make us immune to the effects of having 69 scholarship players, a true freshman QB, porous OL and very little talent at LB and S.


November 8th, 2009 at 9:18 PM ^

"Unfortunately, RR didn't inherit the team that beat Florida. If he had, this whole transition would have gone a lot more swimmingly."

Having that defense would have been nice.

Watching Chad Henne trying to run a run option offense may very well cause me to defecate from laughing so hard.


November 8th, 2009 at 9:28 PM ^

I had to register because I need get this off my chest. Talent isn't the only thing that makes a successful coach. It certainly helps, but it isn't the only thing. I think I have been around the block long enough to figure out you need to have an equal contribution between talent, strategy, flexibility to adapt to your teams strength, and the ability develop and get the best out of your players. I thought that Rich Rod was great and taking crappy players verses the big boy BCS schools and beat them. If the only hope is that Pat White and NFL caliber defenders walk though that door to be successful, we are pretty fucked.

My biggest concern about Rich Rod to date is that he has only demonstrated the strategy part well and seems pretty inflexible about adapting to the strength of his team. I love the O and want him to be successful more than anyone, but where is the ability the coach up people, especially on defense. Good coaches take bad players and make them better and take good players and make them great. I mean teams win superbowls with undrafted free agents playing. You can say a lot about Lloyd, and lord knows that I did, but Lloyd and his staff developed a lot of players in his tenure and it isn't like every single one was a five star out of high school. Most great players were developed a lot in college. It seems like everyone thinks that we are going to get All-Americans from day one out of high-school. Really doubt that is going to happen and these guys need to be developed, especially on defense.

Also, most successful coaches adapt to the talent of their teams and try to seamlessly integrate their systems as warranted. For Christ sake, Mike Tomlin was a 4-3 guy his whole life. When he got to Pittsburg, he saw that he had one of the best 3-4 on the planet and adapted to use the strengths of his team. Urban Meyer slowly switched Florida to the spread. Parcells threw 50 times a game in New England. Tressel ran the spread with Troy Smith. I can keep going if people want

Rich really needs to show the other successful qualities before I am certain that this will end well. Otherwise, we better have 11 all-American defenders show up with the next recruiting class or it will not be pretty for the foreseeable future. I hope he can do this, but too use the corporate analogy, I really haven’t seen any results that give me confidence this will be the case.

Neg-bang away if you wish.


November 8th, 2009 at 9:47 PM ^

No. Don't keep going. You don't know what you're talking about. How do you "adapt" your scheme to a team that lacks enough talent, depth, and fundamentals?

Just to pick one of your lousy examples: At Florida, Urban Meyer had Chris Leak, a talented mulit-year starter QB, protected by an experienced offensive line and supported by a ton of depth on both sides of the ball from excellent recruiting by Zook. And there was that Tebow kid, too.


November 8th, 2009 at 9:51 PM ^

One of my good friends went to UF during that time and no one thought the Zook left the program in good shape. Just lost to John Navarre and Michigan with Rex Grossman. He had recruits in name only and hardly developed talent on the field with results (Kind of like the same stuff I hear in Chicago about the illini) Meyer won with those kids and slowly adapted his offense to reflect the one today run with Tebow.

I am always looking to make my arguments better - Help me understand how my other examples are crappy.

Help me understand the game of football better.


November 8th, 2009 at 10:17 PM ^

You keep saying that good coaches develop their players, and infer that Rich Rod isn't a good coach because he doesn't develop his players. What the hell do you think he's trying to do? Have you seen the roster? Our #1 and #2 QB's are TRUE freshmen, and the rest of the offense is loaded with freshmen and sophomores. The defense is also very young, playing lot's of freshmen and sophomores - not to mention a student body walk-on that made the team only this past spring.

I would say that RR is indeed developing his players, he just can't do it overnight. You can't expect TRUE freshmen to develop into All Americans in a matter of months, it takes time.


November 8th, 2009 at 10:27 PM ^

Florida not in good shape? a top 5 QB in his class and a returning starter (leak), two top 5 WR in his class (caldwell and jackson), a top 10 RB in deshaun wynn; all of whom were upper classmen.

they returned 7 starters on offense and 8 on defense. they avg 32 pts per game on O and gave up 21 pts on D in 2004 (zooks final year).


November 8th, 2009 at 10:40 PM ^

What, exactly, is the strength of our defense as you see it? I'd submit the D-Line. Should one of the defensive linemen be moved to the secondary?

I'll even take the knock that RR was too stubborn last year in implementing the offensive system whole hog. But, all of those players were inexperienced and had to learn a new system...why not have it be his? Also, the results this year on offense support that decision.

The discussion on Zook is a relevant one. He's a bad coach but a good to great recruiter. Meyer was fortunate to be a hot commodity back then. He didn't need to do a whole lot of rebuilding. That's the issue we're talking about here. If you believe MIchigan needed to be rebuilt, what's a reasonable amount of time for that? If you don't, then why don't you believe the data that has been presented to you?

As for rebuilding I'll aggressively assume that a good head coach can do it in two recruiting cycles: one offense heavy class, and one defense heavy class. Next season's team should not get blown out by anyone, beat the teams that are not as good as them (Illinois and Purdue), and go to a bowl game. If those things do not happen next season, it will be hard to defend Rodriguez.


November 8th, 2009 at 10:53 PM ^

"Elite coaches win the games they are supposed to win and most of the games that are tossups."

Nick Saban - lost to Louisiana-Monroe in his first season at Bama
Pete Caroll - lost to 41-point underdog Stanford AT HOME in 2007
Lloyd Carr - The Horror

This is college football. Shit happens.


November 8th, 2009 at 11:34 PM ^

We will just have to agree to disagree and let the results on the field speak for themselves going forward next year and in the future.

I will root like hell for them the win the next two games and will never question Rich Rod’s or anyone's desire to win for Michigan.

Go Blue!


November 8th, 2009 at 11:58 PM ^

The reason I haven't negged you on any of your posts is because you're a nOOb, and because you seem like a true Michigan fan, just a frustrated Michigan fan. I'm frustrated too, but I see the talent on the field, and the youth on the field, and I know that given time, Rich Rod and this team will be great. Keep cheering for the Maize and Blue, and have some patience - good things are coming.

I've been an outspoken supporter of Rich Rod so far - on this board and at the games. I'm willing to give him 4 years. By 2011, Rich Rod will have "His" players in their 3rd or 4th year. If Michigan isn't competing for the Big Ten title by then, we might have to start re-thinking things. Until then, keep the faith... I still have confidence that this team will pull out at least one upset in the next two weeks.

Go Blue!


November 9th, 2009 at 10:35 AM ^

God I hope we win a game so that this shit can stop.

I'm fine with questioning RR, I question his decisions at times too. But clearly there's a big problem when guys can't hang onto the ball, can't tackle, can't stay with their man, etc. The coaching staff will either address this, or they'll be coaching somewhere else in a few years. Outside of that, the rest is just finding guys that can come in and raise the level of play up to big ten standards (at least). Given the number of recruit names I've heard bandied about, I'm guessing that one way or another we're getting more defensive recruits once the chips start falling. Till then, rest well and dream of large women.