Carr: U-M will compete in B1G with consistent defense, bigger players

Submitted by The Barwis Effect on May 27th, 2011 at 5:07 PM

"The biggest thing (is) you can't be changing defenses every year," Carr said on the Sports Pen on ESPN 970-AM. "The players need to learn a system, and you can't learn a system if you're changing every year. (Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's) brought in the 4-3 defense, and I think we've got to recruit some bigger players."

Rodriguez's offensive and defensive systems were predicated on smaller, quicker players. Many questioned the wisdom of using those players in the Big Ten, where tradition (and weather) generally dictates the use of bigger, stronger players.

"We've been a very, very small team for the last three years," Carr said. "In this conference, to play championship football, you need big people because you're gonna play against big people almost every single week. And when you're a much smaller team, you're gonna wear down, you're gonna get beat up, and you're not gonna be able to finish a season.

"In this conference, it's at the end of the season that you have to be strong if you're going to do the types of things and have the kind of seasons that we've always aspired to have here." 

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May 27th, 2011 at 8:31 PM ^

I love how you condemn threads early and then sit on your moral high horse three hours later.  If you actually read through the thread as it stands now, you would see some interesting debate--some of which I was involved in--in addition to the customary clutter and "flamebait" posts.  In short, you are not a value-add poster in any way, shape, or form.


May 27th, 2011 at 5:12 PM ^

So I'll just say "Lloyd Carr is the greatest human being ever to grace this earth. Thank god for Lloyd Carr.. Scratch that thank Lloyd Carr for god!"


May 27th, 2011 at 5:32 PM ^

"We've been a very, very small team for the last three years," Carr said. "In this conference, to play championship football, you need big people because you're gonna play against big people almost every single week. And when you're a much smaller team, you're gonna wear down, you're gonna get beat up, and you're not gonna be able to finish a season."


So.  According to bouje13, Carr somewhere in this statement says that it's RR's fault we had small players.  Bouje13 makes sense...

Carr is not placing blame.  He's stating what he believes to be a problem.  He is well aware that many of the players RR had on the roster while head coach at UM were players he (Carr) recruited.  But, go ahead, insult Carr.  Really kind of you.


May 27th, 2011 at 5:37 PM ^

Carr is not insinuating blame.  Problem is, many people here think he is, because they've heard so many opponents of RR say that his players will be too small for the Big Ten.  If anything, Carr is taking his share of the blame.  Anyone with more than a 1/10th of a brain can figure out RR was playing with many of the players Carr recruited.  Carr is aware of this, believe me.  He's a pretty sharp guy.


May 27th, 2011 at 5:47 PM ^

trying to entertain a 1-year old while I type. 

I'm not trying to say Carr isn't intelligent, I'm just sick of all of this crap coming out of Michigan players that I used to love and now feel like most of them are entitled and whiny little girls.  I feel like Rodriguez got stuck in a disaster, then gets blamed and laughed at for it when really Carr left behind little talent, no depth and some serious entitlement problems. 


May 27th, 2011 at 5:51 PM ^

I'm sorry RR failed.   I really am.  I loved RR, actually.  And am pretty pissed off we didn't go all the way with him.  That said, it's not Carr's fault he failed.  Carr didn't exactly set him up nicely with a stacked cupboard, which all of us here know.  But, other coaches have done more than 3-9, 5-7, 7-6 in similar situations.  I just feel RR had injury problems, was attacked by the press, and got unlucky with D-Coordinators.  But, Carr certainly is not out to get RR.


May 27th, 2011 at 7:51 PM ^

why hold onto this knowledge about fielding successful defenses in the Big Ten?  Despite our issues on offense the last two years, we would've been much better the last two years, probably building off of two straight bowl seasons with a consistent 4-3 defense.  I just feel like he could've been a huge asset.  Maybe Shafer doesn't get fired and we keep the 4-3 around.  I don't know.  This is such a lose-lose topic.


May 27th, 2011 at 6:50 PM ^

I think you're right. I think Lloyd is smart enough and classy enough that if he was asked who shouldered the blame for some of these facts, he would take a lot of it. I think they both should take some of the blame. On one hand, RR did recruit a lot of guys that were tweeners in an attempt to be a faster defense. On the other hand, he was forced to play some guys early who probably weren't developed to where they needed to be. Perhaps, had he had some other guys around for a couple years, he would have had better development. In any case, some of the guys were probably a touch small, but I still don't think that was the majority of our defensive woes.


May 27th, 2011 at 11:30 PM ^

Let me preference what I am about to say by stating that I am not a Carr slappy, but I don't think that he said anything that wasn't obvious. RR was recruiting a different type of player to Michigan. He said it. He wanted his players to be leaner and play a faster pace than what they were accustom to...try to tire out the competition and by the fourth quarter run circles around them. That is why there was  muchado about Barwis.. strength and conditioning and such...This is in direct contrast to the outgoing philoshophy that Carr had which he expounded upon in the ops post. There was a clash of styles...a changing of the guard that didn't work... but for Carr to say that doesn't make him a rebel rouser. He should be able to  invoke his feelings as to what was/is needed to play big 10 ball. We/he/everybody saw how well Rich's philosophy worked. Which probably is much more a useful barometer than anything Carr said as to what it takes to win championships in the conference...But for him to say what he said is not a slap in the face, the past three years of having to live through it is. 

(Closes eyes and braces for the onslaught)

Blue in Yarmouth

May 30th, 2011 at 8:47 AM ^

I don't see why it is a big deal for Carr to mention something like this really, but I simply thought he was smarter than this.

How many times have we listened to the debate "the spread won't work in the big ten" and foolish topics like that and said they were complete bullshit. If the spread couldn't work in the big ten then why did spread teams always beat the hell out of big ten teams when they played (in most circumstances).

The "players are too small for the big ten" is equally as insane. The problem with RR and his teams had nothing to do with the fact that they were a spread team or that they were small and had everything to do with the fact that they were poorly coached. Even as a RR supporter I have to put that blame squarely at RR's feet.

It was a different system, but there is no doubt in most reasonable peoples minds that it could have not only worked, but thrived in the big ten if they players had better coaching. Size was not the issue and frankly, as a guy who loved RR but also loved Lloyd as well, I am amazed that Lloyd doesn't see that.


May 27th, 2011 at 5:20 PM ^

I agree with the consistent defense that we never seemed to have. No arguing far as bigger players and such. If he is speaking of Oline then we were right at the Big 10 average this year.

I still think the constant changing defense is what made the offense look bad. Look at virtually every elite team they dont go into games thinking they have to score every possession. Obviously they want too but not scoring every position wont affect them like it did us the last 3 yrs.

Whether hater or apologist I think we can all agree that the constant changing of defensive alignments and plans put way to much pressure on the O knowing they had to  score almost every single time they touched the ball.


May 27th, 2011 at 6:01 PM ^

I agree with everything you have said here.  

However, what really saddens me here is this, "Whether hater or apologist..."  We as a fanbase, both alumni and casual fans, need to unite.  Those who blame RR need to stop.  Those who blame Carr need to stop.  Everything does not always work out perfectly.  We had some bad seasons, but we'll keep moving forward.  It's too bad one of OUR coaches, RR, had to take the fall for those three seasons, but it is what it is.  Let's everyone unite, and prepare for hopefully what turns out to be a spectacular 2011 season!


May 27th, 2011 at 6:46 PM ^

look, the people with power (ex players, regents, donors) are happy and united, they will give hoke the time he needs.  The common fans and students, they don't really matter in the grand scheme of things, we should just let everybody complain about carr and RR for a few more years, its not going to hurt anything.  Eventually time and winning will unite the fanbase no matter which faction they come from.  within this university and fan base, successful coaches become legends ad the not so successful one fade into obscurity, so let people argue about this, it just show their passion fo this team


May 27th, 2011 at 5:29 PM ^

I don't see what the problem is. The guys just speaking the truth. He had a birds eye view of the last 3 years and what the speedy little guy spread system is about. Hell, hrs probably been bubbling the past few years watching what The Blue was turning into. I have absolutely no issue with what he's been saying lately

Mitch Cumstein

May 27th, 2011 at 5:34 PM ^

Maybe I'm wrong, but doesn't putting 5 defensive backs on the field in a 3-3-5 trend towards a smaller lineup as a whole?  I realize the whole "smaller player" thing is a hot button issue here, but in total mass of player, I think we might have been smaller due to the scheme. 


Edit: Also, unlike former players, I like how he used the word "we".  It shows that he isn't disowning the team the last 3 years.


May 27th, 2011 at 5:46 PM ^

You're not wrong. When Rodriguez came in the mantra was speed, speed speed. The defenses of the later Carr years were thought to be big and slow, as evidenced by the Horror, Oregon, etc.

Think of John Thompson, the big linebacker who had the one great moment with the INT against Wisconsin. The following season his position (sort of) was played by Stevie Brown, last year by by either Thomas or Cam Gordon. That's at least 25 pounds lighter, and it was on purpose.

I'm not saying I agree with Carr that smaller is worse. I'm just saying Rodriguez's philosophy was to get smaller (and faster).


May 27th, 2011 at 5:38 PM ^

IMO, I feel Carr was saying we recruited smaller players in general to fit what RR was doing schematic wise and it wasn't going to work


May 27th, 2011 at 5:42 PM ^

See, that's what you "feel" Carr was saying.  He bleeds blue.  He supports the program no matter who was coach.  If he feels smaller players are part of the problem we haven't been competing in the Big Ten, then he feels that he is partly to blame for that, which must be tough on the guy.  What also was tough on the guy, was losing games to OSU that he probably should have won if OSU wasn't getting extra talent because of the shadiness going on down there.  Please give him a break.  He's not out to "get RR". 


May 27th, 2011 at 6:34 PM ^

I love how you keep telling everyone to stop interpreting what Carr said you can interpret it positively. How do you know he wasn't talking about RR? He did say the past 3 years, didn't he? If he was blaming himself also, why didn't he, you know, say 4 years ago considering those were players he recruited and we weren't really competing for a championship then either? If you ask me, its pretty clearly a swipe at the type of player RR was bringing in.


May 27th, 2011 at 5:41 PM ^

I just wish every former player and coach would shut up and stop looking so petty. I can't wait until we can play some damn football.


May 27th, 2011 at 5:53 PM ^

It was not a stupid thing for Carr to say.  That is his opinion of the program, and he knows he is partly to blame for it.  Anyone here who remembers Carr, knows that he does not say stupid things.