Defensive Coordinator Musical Chairs

Submitted by The King of Belch on November 17th, 2009 at 4:22 PM

Wellll, if Charlie Weis gets canned, that leaves John Tenuta out there.

Now I know, people are going to SCREEEEEEEEEM "Good gourd no, that would be like the 8th defensive coordinator in six months!"

So? Rich Rod capegoated Shafer last year and that didn't work--the defense is far worse this year. What does continuity in this case do?

In GERG, you have a guy who has stated desires to return to the HC spot, and he has had about 42 jobs in his career. Is there a reason he keeps moving on? Magnus can answer if considered good coaches move around a lot.

In Tenuta, you have a lifetime assistant who wants to be a lifetime DC. And he would seem to me to be a great fit for Rodriguez's emphasis on speedier guys and athletes on defense.

And fuck this "hybrid" shit. Go more basic for a defense the kids can understand.



November 17th, 2009 at 4:30 PM ^

GERG can scheme, he just does not have talent. I forgot who but one player said that last year when they were executing, the scheme was not working. This year the are not EXECUTING because of talent.

I know it might not seem that there was any execution last year, but in my opinion Schafer did not scheme with the talent he had, which was better than this year. I mean Trent is now sarting on Sundays.

We need a steady system and more TALENT.

Shalom Lansky

November 17th, 2009 at 4:30 PM ^

Even if Tenuta would be a good fit in the long run, RR's job (likely? probably? maybe?) depends on the team's performance next year. The D would likely be worse off next year with Tenuta instead of Robinson in his 2nd year. Would RR take that gamble?


November 17th, 2009 at 6:15 PM ^

If RR could make a convincing case as to why Tenuta would be a better DC long-term, I would hope the AD and U admin would give him some leeway and adjust their expectations accordingly, i.e. tack an extra year onto whatever they're planning on giving him to prove himself.

That said, is Tenuta really that good of a coach? I genuinely don't know.

I mean, think about it this way.

ND has a hell of a lot more talent on D than we do, and their D is a weak point this year. Their offense really isn't that bad.

Hmmmmm.... Sound familiar?

Moral of the story is, people are doubting GERG's coaching ability and he has far, far less talent to work with than Tenuta, who is currently coaching an underachieving ND defense. And people think he's the solution? Based on what?

I don't knonw much about Tenuta, so that question is an actual question, not merely rhetorical. But, the fact that ND's defense isn't very good, despite having mroe talent than us, I find it ironic that people question GERG than suggest him as a solution.


November 17th, 2009 at 4:33 PM ^

yeah honestly I thought the same things. I've said it before but- if Will Muschamp, Charlie Strong, or Monte Kiffin wanted to come here... well screw GERG I want them. I don't know if Tenuta belongs on that list. We also need to keep in mind that if he is so great it's likely the next HC would want him to stay put


November 17th, 2009 at 5:02 PM ^

nah you're right man. I think the one thing they could do better is recruit, but I think in the end he'll work out (maybe not some position coaches).

All this hum-buggery has really been getting to me (especially since I'm a big RR supporter) and I didn't really think about it. It most certainly doesn't help that most of my friends and parents are OSU fans. God I hate my life right now haha

The King of Belch

November 17th, 2009 at 4:40 PM ^

If he's so great it's likely the next HC would want him to stay put

Yeah, cuz that happens all the time.

I agree, though, Gerg hasn't shown shit and if ANY of those guys opened up--take 'em and show Gerg the door.

And to the other guy: Uh, is Gerg going to have better talent next year? He hasn't shown shit this year--and if the talent is no better next year, why hang onto him so he can not do shit with this piss-poor talent then?

Fuck it. Gerg was no Big Hire--Tenuta gives you a name and a proven DC who is regarded as one of the best.


November 17th, 2009 at 4:53 PM ^

What has Tenuta done at Notre Dame? Their defense sucks.

Edit: to put some meat on the bones:

Total Defense - 2009
83. Notre Dame - 390.5 yards/game
89. Michigan - 400.2 yards/game

And GERG isn't proven? Have you seen his hand? He wears 2 Super Bowl rings.

Fuzzy Dunlop

November 17th, 2009 at 6:07 PM ^

The Super Bowl rings were more than 10 years ago. More recently, he went 1-10, 4-8, 2-10 and 3-9 as the head coach of Syracuse (where he had to recruit players, rather than have them drafted). I hope Robinson succeeds, but to say he's "proven" as a college football coach is just not true.

Barry Levinson was a great director, who in the past made such films as Good Morning Vietnam, Rain Man, Avalon and Bugsy. More recently, he's made such commercial and critical faves as Toys, Jimmy Hollywood, Sphere, Bandits, Envy, Man of the Year, and What Just Happened. Let's just say that I loved Rain Man, but I'm not rushing out to the theater for the next Barry Levinson flick.


November 17th, 2009 at 6:35 PM ^

i don't think anyone would argue that greg robinson is a good HC, his record as a DC is great though. so yes, it IS true that he's proven as a college coach. his defense at UCLA in the 80s were quite good as was his 2004 defense (save the rose bowl where his D gave up 37 pts, to be fair we had excellent field position all game) and we've already discussed the bling on his fingers. he's definitely proven as a college coach.

Fuzzy Dunlop

November 17th, 2009 at 7:07 PM ^

Rain Man also came out in the 1980s - hence, Robinson's performance at UCLA is irrelevant. It's really irrefutable logic.

Robinson was only at Texas for one year, and inherited very good players, so I don't think that's sufficient evidence of his ability. As many have said, Rich Rod doesn't really coach defense, and defers almost entirely to his coordinators. Robinson now has the responsibility of rebuilding a barren defense, including playing a major role in recruiting the players he needs, something he didn't have to do in Texas. Thus, while normally I'd agree that being a head coach isn't the same as being a defensive coordinator, in this case I think his performance at Syracuse is a better indicator of his ability to recruit and build a team than his one year at Texas.

Hey, I hope to God I'm wrong, and I certainly agree that we need to keep GERG around for some continuity. But when we have to go back 25 years to find college success, and recent history is not kind, I'm not feeling optimistic.


November 17th, 2009 at 6:53 PM ^

...headed up a very good defense in the ACC at a medicore Georgia Tech team for four years after wandering in the desert for most of his career. I'll take the guy with the Super Bowl rings.

Not saying Robinson doesn't have his flaws (I think it's kinda sketchy that he called Michigan asking for the job), but still - not worth even considering firing him for Tenuta. The poster here wants to replace our Barry Levinson with Kevin Smith.

And I LIKED Sphere. OK, not really. But it wasn't the director's fault! The book was kinda lame! Sharon Stone has no talent! He had nothing to work with!

Fuzzy Dunlop

November 17th, 2009 at 7:10 PM ^

So in the Sphere analogy, Dustin Hoffman, Samuel Jackson and Liev Schreiber are Brandon Graham, Donovan Warren and Stevie Brown, and Sharon Stone is the rest of the defense? And next year is "Sphere 2", with Sharon Stone as the only returning cast member? Oh God.


November 17th, 2009 at 4:35 PM ^

1. Is Tenuta really that great? ND defense this year was no good. I don't remember when Tenuta started or whether last year's defense was any good.

2. Would Tenuta bring any really good ND defensive recruits along with him?


November 17th, 2009 at 4:36 PM ^

He has recruited his guys and ND has been getting top-10 classes and ND can't really stop anybody either. ND has had to outscorew everybody they play except Nevada.

I'll take my chances with GERG in his second year then Tenuta in his 1st. Michigan can'ttake a chance on a possible chemistry issue within the staff or between the staff and players.


November 17th, 2009 at 7:54 PM ^

I've actually been trying to give your posts a chance, you do make some good points. I don't get "irrationally bent" whenever I see your posts, if you've been paying attention I've defended you a couple of times.

As to your response though:
He said "Tenuta has had his chance at ND"--do you seeee?
Yes, he said that. But that's not what you, or I, commented on is it?
"I'll take my chances with GERG in his second year then Tenuta in his 1st. "
He's been there two years--got the job when Johnson took over at Georgia Tech.
He's saying that it would be Tenuta's first year at Michigan vs. GERG's second year here. See?

Namecalling? Really? Is this third grade?


November 17th, 2009 at 4:37 PM ^

Well Robinson's track record isn't too bad, the Broncos won two Superbowls with him as DC and the defense was pretty good, his defense with Texas in 2004 was pretty good, but he wasn't a good head coach. I think he just needs time, like all the coaches. Once he gets the right players for the scheme I think the defense will be pretty good. And plus, making the defense learn a brand new scheme next year would be disastrous, we need to progress and move forward with the schemes.


November 17th, 2009 at 4:39 PM ^

Have you paid any attention to ND's defense this season? Tenuta's group has gotten absolutely shredded - and it has no walk-ons in the two-deep.


November 18th, 2009 at 1:41 PM ^

we definetely need to keep GERG, if only for continuity. recruits do not want to come to a team with a coaching carousel, or even rumours of coaching changes. get behind the team and coaches people or watch the team struggle for the forseeable future with sub standard recruits. top talent will not come here. get on board and let BLUE get it's talent.


November 17th, 2009 at 4:53 PM ^

as DL coach and DC at UCLA throughout the 1980s.
UCLA was 40-11-3 in the PAC 10 during this time.
USC fans are still pissed off to no end about this era.

The Big Ten was win less against the Bruins while he was coaching defense there (and those B10 teams all finished with 7 wins or more).

I don't know man. GERG is probably a pretty decent coach. Maybe not a Jim Young or Bill McCartney, but possibly a Gary Moeller/Lloyd Carr DC, which means plenty of W's.

Besides, I've kind of fallen in love with those wise, shiny blue hairs of his on the sidelines. They're sparkly.

P.S. Tenuta is probably good at making awful defenses great. But once he's handed a bunch of 4 and 5 star recruits, the results go in an unexpected direction. Just compare his performance at Ga Tech vs. Notre Stain. And the other question would be this: Does Tenuta actually coach anything other than just blitz the crap out of people?

The King of Belch

November 17th, 2009 at 6:19 PM ^

So I am seeing more and more complaints about Rodriguez and walk ons.

But ya know, before UM actually started walk ons, everyone was SOOOO Happy because Rodriguez, a former walk on himself, now understood the great impact walk ons can have, and it's all, like, more evidence that he get's it and is a great and wonderful human being! YAAAAAY! We're as giddy as school girls!

Now, walk ons are THE SUCK and they all should die.

So should Rod abandon the walk on program?

EDIT: So, lemme get this straight changing the DC after ONE YEAR is a BAD IDEA, Right?


November 17th, 2009 at 6:23 PM ^

I am opposed to changing d-coordinators. I would like to see what Gerg can do when he gets to develop some defensive talent over time.

That said, if we were talking about possible replacements how come I never hear Dick Bumpas's name thrown out there?


November 17th, 2009 at 6:26 PM ^

Ummmm, no. People were happy that we were trying to expand the walkon program. There still walkons and freshemen shouldnt start as walkons. Thats more indictive of the fact that we have all of two good veteran players.


November 17th, 2009 at 8:01 PM ^

3-4 schematrically is as big of a change defensively as going to the spread from the Pro. There will be a drastic improvement in year 2 of the 3-4 if GERG is retianed. If he is not, you will have another year of our defensive players running around like lost puppies trying to learn, yet, another system.

enuta is a 3-4 guy as well with the same problem as GERG. RUnning a complex scheme with young inexperienced players who probably all played a 4-3 in High School; definitely not a 3-4 (no high school runs it).

We are running out an extremely base 3-4 with a ton of zone coverage because we don;t have the talent to play man. Once the corners learn man and the LB's learn the new angles and pass drops, the 3-4 is significantly more complex to read for opposing QB's and OC's. Year one in the 3-4 looks very similar to year 1 in the spread.

You will see grwoth next year. GERG must stay.


November 17th, 2009 at 8:04 PM ^

Note to self: use spell check next time, regardless of your emotional quick-typing pissedoffedness at certain posts made by people who know nothing about defense or football for that matter.


November 18th, 2009 at 2:01 PM ^

there is probaby a reason he is, as you put it, a lifetime assistant. i'm sure he has lot's of reasons. but mediocre assistants do not get HC jobs. so i guess i'll take the asst. that wants to perform well enough to even get considered a HC job.


November 18th, 2009 at 2:07 PM ^

what makes folks think that just because Weis might get fired that Tenuta will too. RR might have fired a bunch of assistants, but that doesn't always happen. If Tenuta's truly a top DC, might the new ND coach keep him????