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." 

Click here to read the full article:…



May 27th, 2011 at 6:38 PM ^


It's quite possible I'm completely wrong about his teams. I know I've read many times that "size" wasn't everything for them. Speed, quickness, etc. was much more important. I want to say that when Barwis was brought in there was a lot of talk about getting away from the slow giant Olines under Carr and back to the trimmer, quicker Olines that Bo ran with. And similar stories about the Dlines/etc. And note, smaller doesn't mean weaker. 

The main point is that if Carr is saying the team needs to just be "bigger" to win in the Big Ten, that he seems to be ignoring the past. But then again I wouldn't expect anything different from Carr and his group of players.

Section 1

May 27th, 2011 at 6:15 PM ^

Average player weight on Lloyd Carr's stellar, All-Pro-filled 2006 4-3 defense = 244 lbs. 

Average player weight on Rodriguez's 2011 Gator Bowl defense = 228 lbs.  But if you make an injury substitution of Troy Woolfolk (195) for C. Avery (167), and make a positional substitution of somebody like Will Campbell (say modestly, 310) for Cam Gordon (207) on defense, the Rodriguez defense average weight is 240 lbs.

Number of Seniors and Redshirt Juniors starting on 2006 defense = Six.

Number of Seniors and Redshirt Juniors starting on 2010 defense =  Three.

So at a starting point, is Lloyd Carr even right?  Did Michigan become significantly smaller on defense, apart from injuries, youth and scheme?


Mitch Cumstein

May 27th, 2011 at 6:24 PM ^

Did Michigan become significantly smaller on defense, apart from injuries, youth and scheme?

I don't think this is what Carr was saying. I think he was factoring in injuries, youth and scheme and more stating size as a factor in the losing. He was commenting on the players that were on the field independent of those factors Maybe age was the reason for the lack of size like you say, but that doesn't make his statement incorrect.

Further, you show an end of season size difference of 16 lbs per starting player.  Is that correct?  If so, I think giving up 16 lbs to the man is substantial.  I also don't think the WC for CG substitution makes sense.  I think part of the point was that the scheme dictates smaller players being on the field.



Section 1

May 27th, 2011 at 6:34 PM ^

What I said was that correcting for scheme, youth and injuries, a Rodriguez defense might have looked just about the same, weight-wise, as a Carr defense.  And, I quanitifed it to a small degree.

The next time you try to misquote me, you might want to put more effort into it.


May 27th, 2011 at 6:35 PM ^

Beat me to it.  But yeah, it seems weird that Carr would rail against size when his teams were not demonstrably larger.

There are many real factors to chastise RR's era about, but not fielding teams "big enough" to compete in the B1G is both incorrect and kind of dumb.


May 27th, 2011 at 8:49 PM ^

Because Michigan football, until we start winning big games again, is in disarray. People want to know how we got this way. Argument is natural.

You want to end? You better root really fucking hard for us to beat Ohio State this year because until we do, angst will be palpable.

coastal blue

May 27th, 2011 at 6:53 PM ^

It takes for someone to continuously peruse and then add to threads they rail against is something beyond me. 

Do you need some kind of RR/LC discussion invervention?

Maybe we could set up a live blog to help you?

There is literally nothing preventing you from ignoring this topic. 

Seeing the title should have been enough to stay away. 

Look you could have went to

"OSU gives AD, Compliance Director, Superior Reviews"

"Pros and Cons of Attracting Early Commitments"

"Pac-12 has fans vote for championship game logo"

"Former Buckeye Harrison Till's Take, OSU Fans Play Victim"

,etc. and not had anything to do with something you say that you despise.

Deep down, you love it and you love your role as the guy whose supposedly so over these discussions.


May 28th, 2011 at 11:52 AM ^

No, on-topic would be a discussion of "does Carr have a point or not?", when did we start losing the size? (hint: probably under both Carr and RR), not a re-hash of "RR was a retard vs. Carr always secretly hated him".
<br>And I do keep posting because I like this site, and, sometimes, would like to read/participate in the actual topic of a thread, not have it devolve into the precise same argument.

coastal blue

May 28th, 2011 at 12:45 PM ^


And part of the point ties in with the idea that our players were smaller because of Rodriguez.

And when Carr says something about "the last three years",  to say that is not at least somewhat about Rodriguez has to be said with a smile and wink. So whether you like it or not, Rodriguez vs. Lloyd is going to come up. 

Face it, you're trying to be the "cool" kid whose "so over that" but in reality you like these arguments and need their existence because you relish the role.

It's fine, but it's obvious.


There are plenty of points in the this thread where the discussion was on topic in your mind -according to your post - yet your only contribution at all before today was this gem:


"So you're saying that if Rodriguez played the 310 lb Campbell (which he did not), the D would, on average, have been bigger.


To one of the parts about Rodriguez and Carr.

So, really, do you think you did your part to practice what you preach?


May 28th, 2011 at 1:19 PM ^

I was pointing out a non-sensical argument - Section 1 said that if RR chose to play larger players...he would have played larger players.
<br>I supported Carr, I supported RR. I don't support every thread turning into this mess. If you want to keep making it about me, and not the 20 other people who said some facsimile of "here we go again", that's your perogative.


May 28th, 2011 at 1:24 PM ^

I'm confused, how does the passage of mine that you quoted at all lend to a Carr/RR debate? I pointed out the fact that he chose not to play a larger player. I didn't evaluate or opine, other than to suggest Section 1's point was so blindingly obvious, it was useless.


May 28th, 2011 at 2:23 PM ^

No...although I think his point was stupid, Section1's post was on topic, ie, "is what Carr is saying even correct?". Neither his post nor my reply was about either coach's culpability in "ruining Michigan football."
<br>This is now completely stupid - I'm complaining about off topic ad-hominem debates about our former coaches, and you've somehow turned it into a discussion of my presence on this board - which nobody wants to read.
<br>Have a nice afternoon and Memorial Day.


May 27th, 2011 at 6:26 PM ^

Because I was intrigued, I looked at the average weights of Carr's last team (2007) and RR's (2010) to see how much weight difference we are talking about.  Carr's last team averaged about 233 lbs, and the last RR team was 228 lbs.  So about 5 lbs difference, which is certainly something but not the "very very small" players that Carr was talking about.  And along both lines (DL/OL and also LBs), the differences are:


  • DL = 278 lbs
  • LBs = 222 lbs
  • OL = 292 lbs


  • DL = 277 lbs
  • LBs = 230 lbs
  • OL = 298 lbs

Now I know that these are one-year snapshots, but I don't see a major distinction between the weights of these players (and that LBs are a little skewed because, shockingly, Carr's last LB class was dominated by underclassmen while UM's had older players who were more developed/added weight).  So yeah, when Carr talks about fielding small teams under RR, he should probably look in the mirror or pull out a freaking spreadsheet first.


May 27th, 2011 at 7:06 PM ^

To me, that defense was one filled with older, established players who all wound up in the NFL and developed throughout the years.  We simply didn't have enough time with RR's players to really figure out if they could have grown into a similar role.  Also, RR probably should have hired a DC who knew what he was doing/didn't allow the HC to undermine him so blatantly.  That is totally on RR.


May 28th, 2011 at 1:03 PM ^

Good call.  Though that still isn't everyone.

I think people tend to overvalue the '06 and '07 teams due to players making it to the league.  While I love all of those guys, it doesn't mean they were the most talented teams in college football at the time, or even in Michigan football history.


May 28th, 2011 at 1:28 PM ^

To me, 4 guys on from those '06 and '07 defenses (including some high picks) is pretty stocked.  UM isn't a pro factory like Miami or a couple of the SEC schools, but those defenses had their fair share of pros.

And I never thought those defenses were immensely talented, but they were still some of the better units under Carr and were championship-level.

steve sharik

May 27th, 2011 at 8:37 PM ^

...leave out the weights of the DBs, and I'd be willing to bet Carr's were bigger.

You also conveniently leave out the heights of the players, which can factor in, as well.

Most importantly, you forget that if you have a 4-3-4 (which is essentially a 5-2-4 when you're playing a lot of under front) vs. a 3-3-5, you're basically substituting out a 278 lb. DL for a 190 lb. DB, giving your defense much less size overall.


May 27th, 2011 at 9:59 PM ^

Were those DBs 10 lbs bigger than the ones RR had?  I kind of doubt it.  So yeah, maybe an extra pound or 2 difference for the DBs, but my point is that Carr saying they were "very very small" wasn't factually correct, at least compared to his earlier defenses.

And stop with the height argument - I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I seriously doubt that RR's players were significantly shorter than their Carr counterparts save some slot ninjas.  It's not like RR fielded 6' OL or anything.

Finally, yes the formations have an impact, but if you looked at the numbers RR's teams weren't that much smaller than Carr's, but in the scenario proferred by Carr they should have been significantly smaller.  My whole point isn't that Carr was right that UM needs to have a better defense, but dragging out the tired trope of "they need to be bigger to succeed in the B1G, like my old teams" doesn't jive with reality.


May 27th, 2011 at 7:05 PM ^

USC never seemed to have trouble slowing down UM, and Washington's defenses used to terrify me.  Cal and Oregon have fielded decent defenses recently as well.  Now, they are certainly not to the elite level of, oh, Minnesota, Purdue, or Indiana, but not everyone can play defense like the black-and-blue B1G.


Waters Demos

May 27th, 2011 at 7:21 PM ^

Does the "/s" modify every sentence in your post?  Or only certain sentences?

Whenever I come across an adjective followed by a list, I follow the rule of construction that provides that the adjective modifies every noun in the list.  For example, "That yard over there has beautiful grass, trees, and shrubs."  Here, "beautiful" modifies "grass" and "trees" and "shrubs."  Not just "grass."  It's like the distributive property.

Here, "/s" comes at the bottom of the post, and, therefore, after all its contents, which leaves me without any rule of construction.  Setting aside the merits of "/s" (i.e., its gruesome redundancy and pointlessness, and the question of whether sarcasm has any value outside of a debate between school children) for a moment, I'm having a hard time understanding its use here.

So, for example, when you said "Washington's defenses used to terrify me," was that a sarcastic comment?  Which parts were sarcastic, and which weren't?


coastal blue

May 27th, 2011 at 6:59 PM ^

I took from this is the "you can't be changing defenses every year". I think Lloyd is spot on with that observation.

The biggest coup by Hoke so far was Mattison. It ensures that we will have quality stability on that side of the ball over his tenure.

He's proven. He hasn't regressed according to the stats. He's got the background to lure recruits in and from what we've heard so far, he's really putting an emphasis on improving the fundamentals, which is very important in any sport when dealing with youth.

I'm really hoping to see us beat Notre Dame on a last minute drive for the third year in a row, only this time with a 4th down stuffing by the defense.