July 12th, 2011 at 5:45 PM ^

I can look a recruit straight in the eye and say, 'you don't have a better option. You might have some that compare, but you don't have a better option.'

Confidence and enthusiasm like that are infectious. I fricken love it.


July 12th, 2011 at 5:45 PM ^

Borges likes the QB OH NOES!!! All is right with the world, we're gonna keep the best play ever.

"So much of what they've done in the past has been based on Denard's ability to run. He would pull up and then kind of play-pass underneath, or throw the ball down the seams. They kill people with that stuff."


July 12th, 2011 at 7:03 PM ^

What is all this talk of adapting to the characteristics of the current qb? Hoke had better step in here and control his OC. Transitions must be immediate, even if that means everybody engages in some fantasy. Borges needs to play Denard as if he were a 6'4" statue. Its only proper - Hoke was brought in to bring back Michigan Football, and he must immediately implement his full system.

Full-scale immediate transition is the only way I can think of, and I'm not even a smart, seasoned head coach. It just seems elementary. Perhaps Hoke should step in right now and tell Borges what system to run. 

(Side note: I walked past Denard and JT Floyd today on campus and 1) they are both the same height, and 2) both looked stocky as hell. Not too stocky, but definitely stockier than they were. JT has definitely put on some muscle.)


July 12th, 2011 at 6:25 PM ^

Of course theyre going to run shotgun at least 50% this year.  The change is gonig to be gradual.  This is something Rod did not do, and just went full on to the spread.  Next year shotgun playss will probably be less that 50%, and then with Devin even less, and so on.

Michigan Manders

July 12th, 2011 at 7:57 PM ^

I don't want to turn this into a big deal, but you can't really blame Rich Rod for immediately going spread. For one, without Mallet, why not? Our offense wouldn't have been very good no matter what, so might as well get a jump start on the transition. Secondly, Rich Rod had never ran a pro style offense as far as I know. Sure, he knew the basics, and could pull it out as a rare change up, but it would have been like asking a black smith to suddenly become cook since all the stuff available was foodstuffs. He could probably whip up a sandwich or something, but there's no way it would have been good enough to serve at a banquet. In contrast, it looks like Borges has had a much better variety of experiences; as he said, San Diego State actually ran a fair amount of shotgun. That's just my take on it.

So while I really like the transition Hoke and Co are employing, and it's definitely better than going full on pro the first year for them (though I'm really not sure they'll ever be fully pro anyway), let's not knock on Rich Rod for what he did. Different situation.


July 12th, 2011 at 8:05 PM ^

For the record, I am not hating on RR.  And without Mallett would be a valid argument, if the other QBs weren't Threet and Sheridan.   And I am sure RichRod knows the basic pro sets.  Pretty sure every offensive football coach does.  And with how many transfers happened in 08, and the amount of youngsters (Threet was a freshman), doing the basics of a system he's familiar with is probably best.  Rod didn't have the players he wanted yet, and everyone there were pretty much from a pro style background.  It was just trying to fit a square peg into a round hole that season.

Will Michigan under Hoke and AB ever be full pro?  Odds are, yes.  That is what Hoke ultimately wants, and getting Shane Morris shows that they're serious about moving to pro.  That kid is going to be a beast under Al. 


Denard will be fine in what odds are will be the West Coast.  A lot of roll outs so he will still be able to utilize his biggest weapon in his feet.  He just needs time to learn it and get comfortable with it.


July 12th, 2011 at 8:31 PM ^

Sure I can blame RR. It was his inflated belief in his system that led to his unwillingness to adapt - in the face of his own past success due to his willingness to adapt - that was at fault that first year. Due to his inflated ego, stubborness, or whatever, he forgot what was really the reason his whole spread scheme took off in the  first place. At hIs first head-coaching job (or maybe OC, can't remember and dont care enough to look it up again) he found himself with a lot of undersized dudes compared to the teams he would face. It was for that reason that RR developed the spread principles of taking advantage of space. He adapted a system to his players, and developed the spread, and was successful.

But that success was born of fitting a system to the personnel, not the inherent greatness of the spread. That's the key - no matter what. RR somehow forgot this after his success. An inflated ego often leads someone to believe in the inherent value of something in abstraction, separated from the reality of it on the ground. We might say, if somewhat dramatically, that RR allowed himself to be a victim of his own success. 

Maize and Blue…

July 12th, 2011 at 9:20 PM ^

So RR should have wasted a year implementing a system when he had one offensive player back that had seen any significant playing time.  RR was the victim of a totally inexperienced offense that wasn't going to do much in any system.  By not implementing the system right away, year two would have been a brand new experience for the returning players and that makes no sense. 

Borges has an offense that comes back loaded and would be an idiot not to use spread principles with the most electrifying QB in the country at his disposal.  You are talking about comparing apples and oranges.


July 12th, 2011 at 9:54 PM ^

The actual quote: 

RR was the victim of a totally inexperienced offense that wasn't going to do much in any system

is pretty widely accepted, unless you want to argue that Sheridan/Threet were going to put up big numbers in a pro set. If you really want to cherrypick words, I could turn your post into:

It was his belief in his system that led to his success due to his willingness to adapt

I'm assuming that isn't what you meant.


July 12th, 2011 at 10:08 PM ^

Um, I did want to cherrypick words, that's kind of the point of the "you lost me at" response. You see, you take the beginning of a sentence that is ridiculous and then say, "You lost me at [fill in the cherry picked words]".

Let me know if you want any tips on other message board memes. 

And, actually its not well-accepted that RR was the victim of something, unless it was something he helped create himself. He was hired at Michigan. He was going to be handed an offense that was not going to do much outside of a pro-set. It was Michigan! And, you falsely abstract from events when you say he was the victim of an inexperienced or young offense. How many kids left when Hoke came in? The fact that Hoke was able to keep most offensive players speaks volumes. RR let a lot of talent walk out. You can slice RR out of that reasoning all you want, pretend like he had no influence on the attrition, or that he didn't realize he was coming to a pro-set school, but that would be quite a lot of cherry picking. 

As for your summation of my post - try comparing like things. I sliced out a part of a sentence, you created a new version of my whole post. There's a big difference. You did not cherrypick, you mischaracterized through summation. And I can't even make sense of what you came up with. Try harder next time. 


July 13th, 2011 at 12:13 AM ^

I'm sorry, but this is complete bullshit. The poster above said RichRod had an inexperienced offense that wasn't very good. You then suggest that RichRod let "a lot of talent walk out."  Even if Mallett had stayed, that would be a total of 2 offensive players drafted in the 3 years he coached here. But you are right, that offense was STACKED and RichRod told them all to fuck off because he didn't want them.

In actuality, Michigan had 1 offensive player drafted in the 6th round from the players RichRod inherited, and he just happens to be the only player returning from Lloyd's last offense. I know IT WAS MICHIGAN....why don't you tell that to the team RichRod inherited as 7 total players drafted in 3 years is not good at all.

I get it. You like to be an asshole. Any time you can be an asshole, you capitalize and are a jackass. But get some perspective and think twice about arguing that RichRod took over a team full of talent in 08 if only he wouldn't have told them all to leave.


July 13th, 2011 at 12:23 AM ^

Wait, serious points being made? Not stupid remarks making light of another posters argument?

Notice that I said nothing about RR or Hoke, just pointing out that you went from arguing a viewpoint supported by 33-50% of the Michigan fanbase to just being a dick. As for the cherrypicking words, I am truly sorry you are not able to understand what I put together, and I will most definitely try to make it easier on you next time.


July 12th, 2011 at 6:43 PM ^

Every time i hear him speak about the offense, i feel like it is in good hands.  Borges knows he has a gazelle and isnt going to have it try to be an elephant.  Then again, they haven't played a down yet, so who knows


July 12th, 2011 at 6:58 PM ^

More and more I'm starting to trust Borges.  And we all know that Denard is one of the hardest workers on the team.  I have faith in Denard that he will get himself ready to play.


July 12th, 2011 at 7:01 PM ^

Maybe Brian will take a half-step off the ledge he's been standing on for the past 5 months.  Borges and Hoke aren't stupid and they aren't going to make Denard a stationary QB when he can do so much with his legs.  They aren't going to try a complete abandonment of all spread principles in one season, it will be gradual. I look forward to seeing Denard complete games this season if things go right.


July 12th, 2011 at 7:24 PM ^

Is a smart man.

That said, I reserve judgement on our offense, only because of the Spring game...I know, a kind of useless baromether, but an ugly one at that.  



July 12th, 2011 at 7:32 PM ^

Coaches need to win to keep their jobs.

Denard is our best Offensive weapon.

When you come in as a new coach, you can make changes, but you cannot ignore strengths.

This team was 7-6 and young last year, 8-9 wins are expected in my opinion this year by most of this fan base.

The result is = SHOTGUN, DENARD, etc...

El Jeffe

July 12th, 2011 at 8:20 PM ^

This is why RR fucked up so badly, as noted by blue^3 above. If you have a weapon like Nick Sheridan, you do not leave it in the holster. You design your offense around his special talent set. Or Threet. Stops at 3 different universities have shown him to have an uncanny knack for something. If I'm RR at my next stop and I have two unproven marginally talented signal callers, I scrap everything that got me where I am and play to their strengths.


July 12th, 2011 at 8:36 PM ^

is difference between the two situations, doesn't seem like alot of people understand that difference.

That said I am encouraged to hear Borges say this. I was a little apprehensive about how he would use the talent on offense, but  he is a smart cordinator. He understands that this  current offense can be very successful, by running more of a hybrid offense.


July 12th, 2011 at 8:44 PM ^

You can fit the system that will best work for the team on both sides of the ball, not tinker by mid-season switches to 3-3-5 that don't fit the players or you DC, and try and win as many games as possible for the senior class you have, the players, rather than hurrying to institute a system on just one side of the ball for a player who won't be around and ready for 2 more seasons, and end up getting fired anyway because you didn't win enough that year or before. 

But you're right, it was a great plan.  Since Borges has never coached a true spread, and what he runs is all he knows, he shouldn't adapt either.


July 12th, 2011 at 9:04 PM ^

of his offense or the direction it was headed in. Not sure why you brought up the defensive side of the ball, since nobody else did and nobody in their right mind would think RR handled that side of the ball correctly, which in  the end is why he is no longer the coach here. The fact of the matter is why would RR of instituted a pro style just to benefit two QB's who are not good players at the collegiate level in any offense. Those guys do not/did not have nearly the talent that Denard has, hence why it is more imperative that Borges instill the new parts of the offense a little more gradually and still incorporate elements that take advantage of Denard's abilities. The two circumstances of  situations are not the same thing, it is not an apples to apples comparison. Like I said Borges seems to be taking the more gradual approach.

Pretty annoying that every thread about the new coaching staff, turns into a bash the old coach thread. You know it is possible to praise Hoke and his staff, without bashing the old staff at every oppurtunity.


July 12th, 2011 at 9:09 PM ^

Because he didn't win enough games.  Which he might have mitigated some if he had won more than 3 his first year, and obviously didn't mitigate enough by winning 7 his last year. It wasn't just a couple of QBs...he didn't have any players that really fit a spread.  No one was asking for MANBALL...but wholesale change obviously didn't work.  And it was about tailoring your systems to your talent vs. instituting your system without regard. On defense, he kept pushing for a system that didn't necessarily fit his talent, and certainly didn't fit he DCs. And it didn't work. He did the same on offense...and it started to work; but not fast enough to make up for the past, and not well enough to make up for the other side of the ball.

Should Borges flex for the talent he has? Yes, because he shouldn't be worried about 3 years down the line, because they need to win right away as much as possible, for sure, but you owe it to your senior players to win as much as possible. If you do a good job,  you'll have many, many years coaching. But your senior class only gets one year to finish their careers. Yeah, 6-6 or 5-7 wouldn't maybe excite the fanbase all that much, but it certainly would feel better than 3-9 for those players.  And that's what the program is supposed to be about.  Brandon realizes that, and made it a point in his hiring of a coach. Yes, players, coaches, administrators, and fans all have a more enjoyable experience if winning a lot is a part of it.  But it's the players who should always come first in that regard.  They're Michigan Football.


July 13th, 2011 at 12:19 AM ^

I'll tell you right now, if I were RichRod, I would have surely tried to win as much as possible for all those amazing seniors who were actively working against him and not trying their hardest (according to some still on the team).


July 13th, 2011 at 11:53 AM ^

What dahblue was all season, in the post-season. You're both smart posters, and make good points, and aren't drifting into Dudeness like trolling.....but every post is of such a one track mind, "bash Rich" vs. "defend all things Rich", that it's kinda predictable.

And to your point, maybe the players didn't want to work for or with a guy who basically was saying him being successful in 3 or 4 years was more important than them being successful now. And if they didn't like it, they could leave. If you want someone to run through a wall for you, you have to show them that you have their back.


July 12th, 2011 at 9:17 PM ^

Pretty annoying that every thread about the new coaching staff, turns into a bash the old coach thread. You know it is possible to praise Hoke and his staff, without bashing the old staff at every oppurtunity.

It kind of hard on a site where every day there's a new double standard where what was the going meme for Rich gets flipped for Hoke. It started in the thread commenting on how Borges says he WILL run lots of shotgun, and has run plays for Denard, when we've had two straight weeks of front page posts admonishing them for more "shotgun, shotgun, shotgun", and posts above basically saying it's ok for Rich to not have to adapt and run a system he's never run before, but Borges better do exactly that, OR ELSE!!!!  It's more commentary on how everything Hoke's staff is being encouraged to do, and what is expected of them is the opposite of what we heard Rich should do. (Suddenly today the defense goes from "1 year away, with experience and aging, from being good" to "well, we're going to suck again".  I don't necessarily disagree with the premise.  There's not a lot of talent on that side of that ball. But how it went from being youth and inexperience as an excuse under Rich, to not being good enough under Hoke....well, who recruited most of them...?)


July 12th, 2011 at 9:28 PM ^

to say that Borges has no expierence running the Shotgun is highly innaccurate. San Diego State used quite of bit of Shotgun last year. Granted they seldom, if at all, ran the read option or QB power run plays like we saw with Denard last year. Running the read option a little more frequently and utilzing the QB power run plays/QB draws here and there out of the Shotgun isn't really a radical change for Borges. To compare that to expecting RR to go from full spread to something resembling a  pro style is apples and oranges.


July 12th, 2011 at 9:35 PM ^

You're just creating straw men.   Borges has said he'll run shotgun, and has. But the company line has been MOAR all the time. In other words, run a spread offense. Which he hasn't.  And no one has ever really said Rich should have run MANBALL either. Just do what people expect out of Borges, and run a hybrid, and institute stuff gradually, rather than throw the baby out with the bathwater and say "screw it, they suck....the system is more important than the players...who cares if the school or kids could barely squeeze they're way into the bowl game....that may prevent me from winning 7 games in year 3....".  It'd have been better for his career chances too, because spending a year ending every streak and putting up the worst record most people alive can remember didn't give him a lot of slack. And if NOT instituting it all immediately (for a player in Denard he wouldn't have for a year, and not remotely ready for another year) would cause him to not win a couple more games in year 3...well, he was doomed anyway.


July 12th, 2011 at 9:37 PM ^

As a supporter of Rich Rod, sadly, what Wolverine said IMHO is right.  He just didn't win enough.  That defense was bad.  I think Rich lost Wolverine after the MSU game.  I held on much longer, but in the end I was ambivalent.  I just didn't want Harbaugh.  

I think Brian wrote some interesting points and has some data.  but, I look at data all day and data can be shaped to support your opinion.  Don in the thread said it all.  If the defense won't improve that much under GMAT, who is probably the best DC we could get, then we will be disappointed.  But IMHO at the end of last year,  Brian argued that we should give Rich more time because the defense will get better doesn't make sense.  There was no way Rich could have gotten someone better than GMAT. 


July 12th, 2011 at 9:48 PM ^

I did kind of melt down after MSU...but that was because we lost to Sparty again, and at home.  I was kinda back on the bandwagon until PSU. Because they were not good. That shook my confidence. But I liked Rich, I was rooting for him. And I even held out hopes that a nice bowl game could make it all bearable. But after that, I just didn't think he could succeed here anymore. Because forget recruiting like Hoke, it would have been hell for Rich for 12 more months of hot seat...and recruits would know it.  He'd have had to win 10 games this year to quell it, and that wouldn't have been fair. No one wants to get fired, but it may have been as merciful for him as it was for the program. Both have a better chance of having success apart after the last 3 years. If they had gone differently, it could have worked though.


July 12th, 2011 at 10:09 PM ^

exactly defended the defensive side of the ball under RR in this thread or said that RR won enough games to keep his job. There was essentially no question what had to be done in after the bowl game.  However that doesn't mean, that the choice to run the style he did in the first year, was a signficant reason why he didn't win enough games or was the wrong decision. At most that team in 2007 could have won 2 or 3 (personally I think 3 is probally stretching it) more games, since the defense was also poor that year as well.  Who is say that they would have not of lost 2 or 3 additional games the following two years, due to the offense being a year behind. That would have left RR in the same position win total wise in that scenerio.

RR's had the offense on track to be just as explosive as his WVU's offenses. He would of won enough games to keep his job, had the defense and special teams not of been so poor.