Chris Spielman

Submitted by HAIL 2 VICTORS on November 20th, 2010 at 3:57 PM

I am not a big fan of former tOSU players offering color commentary for a Michigan game.  However Spielman was actually insightful and very good on today's broadcast.  His comments about the 3-3-5 and the bubbles of space that force your 5 defensive back to make the majority of plays 2-4 yards beyond the line of scrimmage was dead on. 

Spielmans comments about recruiting were also succinct pointing out that although we did lose some players on strange one off's (Cullen Christian) that for the most part players that work on the defensive side of the ball at West Virginia are just not going to cut it at Michigan.

However, ESPN has no excuse to miss 5-7 Michigan plays today becuase of a sideline interview or pictures of the stadium from 1927 when we are in the hurry up.


Fuzzy Dunlop

November 20th, 2010 at 4:35 PM ^

Your comment is conclusory and without support.

Why was Spielman's comment dumb?  In three years, Rodriguez has recruited very well on offense, and has quickly replenished the offensive talent.  He hasn't done the same on defense.  Do you really deny this?  Who are the defensive standouts in Rodriguez's first three classes?


November 20th, 2010 at 5:22 PM ^

Saying this is Rich Rod's "third recruiting class" is a misnomer. He had essentially had a month between the last bowl game and signing day to let the dust of settle and see what he had. He's had 2 full recruiting classes, of which the guys would be true Sophomores or redshirt Freshman. How do you realistically expect them to be stars at this point? Look at Wisconsin, Iowa and Purdue...did you hear much about Watt, Clayborn and Kerrigan last year? Not really, they are seniors now and studs.

As for Spielman...the fact that he kept saying we need to go out and try to get "top talent" was stupid. Does he really think we're recruiting inferior players on defense? That is hollow thinking that makes me think the rest of his analysis was as well.


November 20th, 2010 at 5:37 PM ^

It's not half the game.  Recruiting is getting them to sign.  When things go sideways a year later, you don't say, "Well we obviously didn't bring in enough defensive talent a year ago" because you did.

When you sign 5* Justin Turner and he winds up at a DII school in Ohio because he's decided he's not really interested in football anymore, that's not a recruiting problem.


November 20th, 2010 at 5:58 PM ^

Can you give me another example of a team that lost 25% of its defensive recruits over 3 years?  That doesn't seem like a HUGE problem to you?  Everyone says "our defense is just young".   Yeah?  And how deep is that defense?  Even if RR stays (which, frankly, will not happen if we lose to OSU), our defense won't have the necessary talent to compete for about three years.


November 20th, 2010 at 7:03 PM ^

I don't know how you can be so confident in your assertion considering that he hasn't exactly received ringing public endorsements from Dave Brandon and Mary Sue Coleman.  Coleman clearly stated that it's Brandon's call and Brandon's statements strongly indicate that he is undecided on whether to bring RR back in 2011.  He has also publicly stated that our performance in these last two games will be very important in his decision.  You honestly think that being uncompetitive against Wisconsin and OSU will not impact Brandon's decision?


November 20th, 2010 at 7:52 PM ^

Here are the actual comments regarding defense: 

"On the defensive side of the ball, this is such a young team. The development these kids go through from the time they're 18 and 19 to the time they are 22, 23 is amazing, the amount of weight, speed and strength they gain. That's the case in all programs across the country. We've got a bunch of 18 and 19 year old guys out there trying to chase down and tackle and fight off blocks of 22 and 23 year old guys.

"We have two big games to play. It's important to see how our guys improve, particularly as we step up the level of competition, so I'm like everyone else. I'm anxious to see how this all pans out."


November 20th, 2010 at 9:01 PM ^

Not sure where you're going with this.  Are you saying that I should conclude from those comments that Brandon has made up his mind to bring RR back next year?  I was responding to someone who was absolutely convinced that Brandon won't let Rodriguez go.  What does that quote do to support the assertion that RichRod isn't getting fired?  If Brandon has already made up his mind, why doest he say "Rich is the coach in 2011"?  He won't say that because he hasn't made up his mind.

Are you saying that how we performed today, and how we perform next week, is not at all relevant to Brandon's decision because "we're just so young"?  If that's really the case, then why doesn't Brandon publicly say that RR is coming back?


November 20th, 2010 at 6:11 PM ^

So please stop with that sentiment. In a world that doesn't see Warren, Cissoko, Woolfolk, Emillen, Turner, Campbell (he left the defense), Dorsey, Floyd, (I know there are more) not play on the team/ injured, we may have a different story, but it is what it is, a worst case scenario.

This is the best offense in the histroy of the B10 and the youngest team position to position wise in America that returns 19 (depending on who you count) starters. It'll be alright.

Fuzzy Dunlop

November 20th, 2010 at 7:40 PM ^

1.  So Rodriguez bears no responsibility for Cissoko, Emilien, Turner, Campbell, Dorsey and Floyd, all his recruits, not panning out or not being academically qualified to get into school?

2.  This is the best offense in the history of the Big 10?  Are you freaking kidding me?


November 20th, 2010 at 8:43 PM ^

So you think RR should be responsible for:

Cissoko... kicked off the team for academics and who knows what else, then turned criminal.. he was a Carr recruit who apparently couldn't take advantage of all the academic resources in place around him, and then sadly didn't have the attitude to fight through some adversity and turn things around, and instead made his situation way worse.  Not on RR.

Emilien... came to UM cause he thought there would be opportunity for immediate PT... but transferred b/c he wasn't seeing the field either because he just wasn't that good or never recovered from his HS Sr season injury.  Emilien wanted something RR wasn't willing to just hand to him... PT.  Clearly not on RR.

Turner... I'll put this one somewhat on RR.  He was too talented to not take a chance on even if the staff suspected he didn't have the attitude or committment to play at a high level in college.. but its not like that is real easy to see in the limited time you spend with a kid during recruiting.  Who puts on their game face during interviews?... pretty much everyone.  I don't think it's any different for some of these kids trying to earn offers to their dream school.  Maybe RR could have done more to motivate this kid, but I guarantee he and the staff tried everything they could other than begging on their hands and knees that he spend more time getting in shape, watching film, etc.

Campbell... some recruiting analysts said from day 1 they thought he would be a better fit on the O-line than on defense.  Just because RR moved him to where he though he would be most effective, not where you think we have the biggest depth concerns, doesn't mean he made a bad decision.  It just means he didn't magically transform Campbell into the Dlineman you wanted him to be.

Dorsey... RR thought he had the green light, but then we found out Dorsey spent his senior season or part of it at some 3rd rate joke of an alternative HS program that wouldn't fly with admissions.  RR should have done his research better, but give him credit when credit is due.. they did grab a sleeper in carvin johnson, which IMO makes up in part for the fail on Dorsey.

Floyd?... so now we're blaming RR when players get hurt?  I thought that was something people only blamed Gittleson and his 1970s conditioning program for.

Of all the players mentioned, any sane person might fault RR some for Turner and Dorsey, the rest you've got to be kidding.

As far as the offense... great offense yes.  Obviously not best all time in conference.  They are great, but inconsistent, and won't be elite against good opponents until the defense gets better and takes some pressure off the O to carry this team every week.


November 20th, 2010 at 7:45 PM ^

C'mon, man. All-time?

This year UM is first in offense by yards and first in rushing yards.

Michigan is not first in scoring offense.

And Michigan has yet to play the league's No. 1 defense, whether you're using points or yards. (Ohio State)

Michigan's offense is damn good, but let's not fool ourselves that it is the best in Big Ten history.


November 20th, 2010 at 8:24 PM ^

What sentiment?  I pointed out the fact that we have no depth on D and have lost (not due to injury) 25% (actually, it's a bit higher) of RR's defensive recruits.  It's just a fact.  I'm not happy about it either, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be discussed.  


November 20th, 2010 at 7:32 PM ^

A huge part of recruiting is identifying players who are good fits for your program and can be inspired to work hard enough to remain in the program.  It's clear that Rodriguez can do a much better job on that front.  Signing a guy like Dorsey is doubly hurtful because not only did he not make it to campus but also because it scared away guys like Tony Jefferson who is contributing as a true freshman at Oklahoma.


November 20th, 2010 at 7:58 PM ^

Let's be honest the offense started slow in the four games that Michigan has lost. The first drive against Penn State was the most disappointing since the team had two weeks to prepare. Let's also be honest that Michigan has a lot of young guys on offense that should get better (more consistent) next year. The problem is and probably will remain next year is that they need to be near perfect in order to compensate for a poor defense.


November 22nd, 2010 at 8:40 AM ^

His solution to Michigan's defensive woes was that Michigan should recruit better players.  This wasn't just a passing comment I could shrug off either as he repeated it about 30 times before I muted my TV. 

Someone please get the word to Richrod; all he needs to do is to recruit better players.  Apparently he's been intentionally recruiting less talented players than what he could be, shunning 5 star players for 3 star players.  

When you have a coaching change followed by two subpar years, an NCAA investigation, and a neverending coaching controversy, recruiting gets a little bit more difficult than it used to be.  With everything considered, I think our recruiting classes have been pretty solid and look to improve drastically in the near future. 


November 20th, 2010 at 4:03 PM ^

Although I am not a fan, I have never listened to a commentator that is so precise and spot on at times and so misinformed at other times. Strange, just strange.


November 21st, 2010 at 12:01 AM ^

It was blatantly obvious today that 5 DBs have trouble tackling bruising RBs. Who would have thought? When O-lineman and TEs take out the down lineman and LBs, then who do you think is going to tackle power runners? Avery, Vinopal? I mean, they're doing the best they can, but let's face it, 3-3-5 is not a good scheme against a power running team. I think we need bigger bodies in there against non-spread teams. That means 3-4 or 4-3. None of this 5 DBs crap, especially when they're all so under-developed.


November 20th, 2010 at 4:37 PM ^

Rivals indicates that Michigan had a ton of 4 star committments that committed to UM over some very prestigious football schools.  They've either lacked the coaching or committment to develop.  Plus many of them are Freshmen.  Speilman's comment was just plain wrong factually.


November 20th, 2010 at 4:48 PM ^

...and if you want to complain about Michigan's Defense coaching (with the *possible* exception of Bruce Tall) then you've probably got your most sympathetic audience possible.  But Coaching =/= Recruiting.


Though at this point, does it really matter whether its coaching or recruiting?  the result is the same.


November 20th, 2010 at 5:51 PM ^

...but we'll have 4 star guys starting at every position group, so its not like the starting line-up lacks talent (our line and LBs should be completely 4 stars next season...unless Black starts and Black's performance in the North-South game indicates that he might have been under starred).  The secondary is a big problem, but it was an issue under Carr too (which is why Marlin Jackson had to move to safety that one year), though even this is slowly improving. 

Though some of the drop in % of 4 stars had to do with the fact that we were offering a signicant increase of D scholarships, when that happened some decline was likely (unless you are Nick Saban and you over offer scholarships and then run off the 3 stars :) ). 


November 20th, 2010 at 10:07 PM ^

Carr recruited who didn't pan out on defense... there were a TON.  And very few players with less than 3 stars ever developed into contributors under Carr.

IMO, Carr got more credit for recruiting when in reality a lot of guys under-developed under him.  I think what we will see under RR is that he will get a few less 4 star players each year (the difference above is like 2.5 players a year) but I believe he will get more out of the 3 star players he signs... I can already see Carvin Johnson and Courtney Avery developing into good players down the road.

RR's problem has been numbers.  My one beef would be I think he oversigned on offense and undersigned on defense his first couple years, but its not like he had a crystal ball to foresee all the transfers and injuries the team has dealt with.  If he just gets the numbers right, I have no doubt he'll bring in talent regardless how many stars they have.


November 20th, 2010 at 4:06 PM ^

I agreed with Spielman about the problems with the 3-3-5, but I hate this mindset that permeates broadcasting about how "blank" won't work in the B10.  First it was the spread offense, until teams like Purdue, Illinois, PSU, and UM started putting up huge numbers and slicing up good defenses.  Now it is how RR's defense won't work in the B10, even though it was apparently good enough to trash good schools from the SEC, B12, etc.  RR's defense has its flaws, but with 6 freshmen in the secondary's 2-deep, saying the defense won't work is myopic.  I respect Spielman for his time with the Lions and as a great linebacker at OSU, but his words aren't gospel.