CC: 12 (hundred) Angry Men

Submitted by Moleskyn on January 3rd, 2011 at 2:38 PM

For those of you who haven't seen the movie 12 Angry Men, a young man is accused of murder and  there is a mountain of evidence against him. The movie begins as the 12 members of the jury convene to determine the fate of the young man, and every single man in the jury is thoroughly convinced of the kid's guilt because of the overwhelming amount of evidence that has been stockpiled against him -- except for Henry Fonda. Fonda is unwilling to accept everything presented and instead questions the evidence. He begins without really knowing for sure; he doesn't know clearly one way or the other and he doesn't have any evidence to prove the kids innocence, but he feels unsure enough to at least wonder "Supposin' this kid didn't do it." Initially his views are met with consternation and unbelief -- "How can you deny the FACTS??" But as the movie progresses, we begin to see the prejudice of the other jurors and that they reached their conclusions because of the filters through which they viewed the evidence. They wanted to see justice served, they wanted to see a kid from the slums receive what they thought was due him, and they wanted to feel like they had made society a better place; so they looked at evidence that seemed to support their desires and declared the boy guilty.

I reference this movie for one reason: supposin' Rodriguez isn't to blame. I know a large majority of the evidence points to Rodriguez as the one to be blamed for all of this, and maybe he is. But what if, in our desire to pin the blame on someone, in our quest to seek justice for Michigan football and right the wrongs of the past 3 years, we are looking at the evidence and declaring Rodriguez guilty because it supports our desires? I don't know. Maybe he is the one to blame.

But supposin' he's not?



January 3rd, 2011 at 2:44 PM ^

I'd like everyone to think about Custer's death at Little Bighorn as it relates to RichRod.

Well, everyone knows Custer died at Little Bighorn. What this post presupposes is... maybe he didn't.


January 3rd, 2011 at 2:44 PM ^

Here's the bottom paragraph of the latest Michigan rumor. 

"Sophomore Tate Forcier and freshman Devin Gardner, both of whom have been rumored as transfer possibilities in the past, would be next in line to start at QB if Robinson opted to leave this offseason."

When was it ever rumored that Gardner was transferring??  Considering this is his f-ing freshman year!


January 3rd, 2011 at 2:52 PM ^

Here is the evidence:

Exhibit 1:  The defensive staff

We have gotten worse every single year.  We have changed D coordinators.  Schaefer (sp?) was good before coming to Michigan and has been good since leaving.  Clearly, he can coach D, so he was not the issue.  The current D staff was hired by RR.  So, even if they can't coach, RR is responsible for hiring - and retaining - them.  Also, GERG doesn't run the 3-3-5 - this is something that RR's guys from WVU brought over and imposed upon him.  The results speak for themselves.  Sorry, the evidence is against RR.

Exhibit 2:  Defensive recruiting

Poor defensive recruiting has hurt us.  Some of this was during the LC era, but RR has had 2.5 classes to fix that and he has not.  We are paper thin and lacking in real talent in the D side of the ball.  As a related piece of evidence, RR failed in his ability to retain some of the prior talent or to develop some of the players on the D side of the ball.

Again, the evidence is damning against RR.

Exhibit 3:  Special teams

RR did not personally miss those fieldgoals (and even an XP) this year.  But, he did fail to recognize that we were lacking an actual kicker and rectify the situation through recruiting.  Also, the special teams issues go way beyond kicking.  There is a total lack of fundamentals in this area and this goes back to coaching.

Exhibit 4:  Attrition

When RR came in, he failed to maintain some very good talent (Boren, Mallett) that would have made the transition easier.  A good coach can adjust his system to the team, not drive a future NFL prospect like Mallett out the door because of an insistance to run a spread option offense.  That could have been phased in slowly.  Instead, we were left with Nick Sheridan running the offense, and even with Nick, RR forced him to try to run a spread that didn't suit his lack of ability.  The defense also lost a lot to transfers, including players in the secondard that could have played this year.

Exhibit 5:  Failure to recognize talent

Can someone explain why Kenny Demens was on the bench in favor of Ezeh for most of this season.  Demens is vastly more effective.  How about V. Smith?  Why does RR continue to run him against much larger teams when it is clear that he is getting nowhere.  This lack of a ground game has killed our offense and made us 1-dimensional. 

Exhibit 6:  Wholesale replacement of staff.

When RR came in, I get that he wanted to make the program his own.  But what he didn;t realize is that there were a ton of good things about Michigan football that he could have retained.  Completely firing the coaching staff (except Jackson) was probably not a smart move.  There was no reason that he couldn't have kept a few of the coaches to provide a smoother transition and a link to the past.

Exhibit 7:  Failing to show up for big games

Every MSU or OSU game (and the Gator Bowl) I have said to my wife, "I can't wait to see what RR finally breaks out for this big game."  Every time, the result has been the same - he breaks nothing out.  The offensive play calling is as boring and vanilla as any other game.  The team doesn't appear particularly fired up and the result is always a loss.  I can't take hearing "we just didn't execute well" or "we just need to tackle well" or "we are just not good enough to win playing sloppy."  We know.  That's the problem.

Sorry, the evidence is in - RR is guilty as charged.  There are, however, some mitigating factors to take into consideration, but those factors only reduce his sentence.  They do not exonerate him of the crime.


January 3rd, 2011 at 2:53 PM ^

I think this scenario has already played out in reverse. RR had much more support than dissent when hired. He had my support. Dissent goes away with success. But as the evidence grew against him, the support has waned. Rich is a good guy and he's paid very well to be the guy who gets blamed. He's not the victim of a system stacked against him.


January 3rd, 2011 at 4:06 PM ^

Try swapping the guys from the senior class Rodriguez inherited with the seniors on the last good Michigan team in 2006.

Prescott Burgess is replaced by Jonas Mouton (kind of a wash, Mouton was productive as a senior and I could see him being a late round draft pick that sticks around the NFL a few years)

David Harris is replaced by Obi Ezeh (hmmm, now this looks fishy, I'm guessing replacing an All-American and a perennial pro bowler with a guy who got benched in both his junior and senior seasons for underclassmen and/or walk-ons is going to hurt the team)

Lamar Woodley is replaced by Greg Banks (I think we know who wins this comparison)

Willis Barringer is replaced by no one (we don't have a senior safety on the roster)

Leon Hall is replaced by James Rogers (I think we may have found our biggest landslide)

Steve Breaston is replaced by, umm, I guess Martell Webb (since Webb is the only skill position player in the entire class.  He'll also have to fill in for Tyler Ecker, Jerome Jackson and Carl Tabb as well)

Rondell Biggs and his six sacks are replaced by Adam Patterson and his one (in his entire career).

Garrett Rivas is replaced by no one.

Schilling, Ferrara, and Dorrestein replace by Adam Kraus, Reuben Riley, and Mike Kolodziej.

So yeah, talent could have something to do with the difference in the record.  Or maybe it is just all the coach's fault.  I'm sure Lloyd Carr or, even better, Jim Harbaugh could magically have cobbled together 9 or 10 wins despite replacing three Pro Bowl defenders, his team's leading pass catcher (who was also one of the best return men in school history and went on to be a thousand yard receiver in the NFL), and a bunch of depth with essentially nothing.  I'm of the opinion, however, that none of the good coaching and recruiting (signing guys like Long, Henne, Hart, Manningham, Crable, etc.) that went into building the other three classes on that team would have meant jack shit if Carr had been stuck with the same shitty senior class Rodriguez had this year.  Anyone honestly evaluating the situations should come to that same conclusion.


January 3rd, 2011 at 5:32 PM ^

Yeah, those work out great most of the time.

So just for fun let's go on and compare the contribution this season of the senior class Rodriguez inherited with that of the freshmen and sophomores he has signed while at Michigan.

Seniors on offense: 2/5 of the starting offensive line, 67 receiving yards and 1 TD

Underclassmen on offense: 2/5 of the starting offensive line, 3,167 passing yards and 23 TD, 2,417 rushing yards and 26 TD, 1,119 receiving yards and 10 TD

Seniors on defense: 291 tackles, 23 TFL, 5 INT

Underclassmen on defense: 532 tackles, 29.5 TFL, 7 INT

But you're right, we should totally fire the guy now so we can maybe (and it remains an enormous maybe) get a guy who has never won a bowl game as a head coach.  That makes complete sense.


January 3rd, 2011 at 4:10 PM ^

Does anyone know what Tate Forcier has to do to regain eligibility?  For example, is it a sure thing that he will not be eligible to participate in spring practice?


January 3rd, 2011 at 4:35 PM ^

We're three years in, and even the few remaining RR defenders aren't bothering to claim he's done a good job here, just that he might not be as bad as we think.  That won't get an acquittal.