Did Lloyd Really Leave the Cupboard Bare?

Submitted by bluebyyou on October 18th, 2009 at 6:32 AM

Lloyd Carr was accused of leaving the cupboard bare when he retired as our coach, but I wonder if that was really true.

Ryan Mallet is playing extremely well for Arkansas and Boren the traitor is starting for OSU. I don't see anyone in RichRod's stable who will replace Brandon Minor or Carlos Brown, although Brown's and Minor's injuries have always been a problem. I don't see any D linemen who are about to make us forget Graham any time soon. Where is that big, hard driving back? Much of the rapidly improving O line came from Carr.

I am aware of the issues in our defensive backfield where, other than Warren, there wasn't much talent. Ditto for linebacker.

I realize that a 3-9 season didn't help, and it may well be way early to think this way, but I am simply not seeing similar talent showing up. Our great coup of last year, William Campbell, isn't showing very much.

Am I missing something here?


Brother Mouzone

October 18th, 2009 at 8:45 AM ^

Not sure if this bait or legit but I'll play.

Different skill sets are maximized in different schemes and philosophies.

Mallet is a very good pocket passer. His limited mobility and poor attitude didn't make him the best fit for the spread option and Michigan.

Do the names Mike Shaw, Mike Cox, or Vincent Smith mean anything to you?

You acknowledge that you realize that we have so many talent issues on defense that we have walk ons with meaningful playing time -- but that's not "bare" enough for you?

Lloyd's recruiting slacked off the last two years, Leave him alone, and let's move forward.


October 18th, 2009 at 7:33 AM ^

This issue is dead. Lloyd didn't leave the cupboard bare and RR doesn't have much talent to work with. Rare firestorm of events came together at 1time to screw Michigan Rich is digging himself out quite well, end of story. 1 last recap for you. Possible returning players that coulda helped bridge the transition.

QB-Mallett..probably leaving regardless..homesick.
WR-Bass Injury
OL Mitchell-lazy
CB-Boo Boo-hasn't lived up to hype yet.
+ others

Team looks a lot better the last couple years if these guys pan out

Have you noticed Craig Roh strating on the DL as a true frosh??


October 18th, 2009 at 10:13 AM ^

The 1 time chain of events is a great way of describing what happened. Two scenarios when Lloyd retired: 1) martin hires a pre-set coach, and some of these players may have stayed throught the transition. 2) Martin hires a spread coach, and most leave.

Also, Mallet can throw, but he still can't move. Boren is big, but he still can't move. Two players do not a team make.

As for the others, unless deBord or English or maybe Miles were the answer, any new coach coming in, pro-set or spread, was likely to shake things up, and push the "you all are soft / lets get more fit / you have to re-earn your position" button.

And so the more radical transition, caused a few more to leave, which leaves us with a very young team. Next year or in two and these guys are at full weight and strength. Then the comparisons are more fair.

I do agree however, that GERG and crew are not excelling in defensive recruiting. Maybe not English, but I think the defense is where Rich might have kept one more coaching assistant besides Fred Jackson -- both for continuity in recruiting, and for knowledge of how to defend Big Ten opponents. (Who was the defensive line coach.)

Anyway, we're past it now. So Go Blue, beat Penn State!

Sextus Empiricus

October 18th, 2009 at 10:41 AM ^

Give GERG a break as well - it's his first year. I think the coaching staff in general is setting a very high bar for talent. Let's wait until Feb. before we evaluate.

McKie (sp?) looks like just the sort of in state LB talent we need to pursue; Beau Allen would be a huge get;Cullen is good; Talbott (x2)...very nice, Big Will is going to dominate...


October 18th, 2009 at 11:33 AM ^

I have always said that Lloyd did not do a good enough job recruiting DEFENSE. And there is only 1 defensive player on that list, and he was recruited by Lloyd, and he did not have enough skill to play after RR took over. The defense was not great last year, and it is pretty thin now, and I blame Lloyd for that. Is there anyone else who could be at fault for the current state of our D?


October 18th, 2009 at 8:02 AM ^

whose posts sound very similar to this. I'm not saying this person is a troll, or that troll. But.
Apparent support but the questionable topics spun in a negative light is the MO of that troll. The troll had, I thought, been contained to MLive. Possibly not.

My $.02 is that, absolutely, after the graduations, early draft entries, and bailing on the team after the change of culture, the cupboard was very bare. Little to no personnel with significant playing time and the ones who were left were the lower ranked recruits to start with. Compound this with the fact that S&T/conditioning was quite poor under Lloyd at the end caused RR to be working out of a huge hole.

And you're going to throw RR under the bus for having ONE decent but not outstanding recruiting class? After a 9-3 season? Begeezus.

Grow up.


October 18th, 2009 at 8:40 AM ^

I was definitely not trying to bait or be a troll. You don't spend what I spend on season tickets (section 1, row 28) if you troll. When we lose, I feel the pain big time. Last year was no fun.

I am not knocking RR, just stating an opinion. Hopefully, that is still allowed.

I felt when RichRod replaced Lloyd that by the 2010, Michigan would be a serious national contender. I am starting to rethink that position as being wishful thinking, due to the lack of talent. I have been to almost every home game for quite some time and I just don't see the talent level being close to what it was, particularly on D. I think Tate is a competitor, but I don't see us as having a legitimate QB, at least not yet. This may be harsh, as Tate and Dennard are frosh, but so was Henne. I don't see Shaw or Smith being the equivalent of Minor. We have no Arringtons, Edwards, Woodleys, etc. At least I don't see it.

As I said, I was hoping that by next year we would be top ten. Based on talent, I just don't see that happening for a few more years. 8-4 or 9-3 is a lot better than 3-9, but if you want to be top 10, you need to have 11-1 seasons. I just don't believe that will occur any time soon


October 18th, 2009 at 8:49 AM ^

I think maybe you're jumping the gun a little on the negative breakdown of the team. The mixed question/negativism makes your question sound a little shady. See Dred's response.

RR has a history of not recruiting defense very heavily. But his defenses have done ok.
I agree. Right now, it doesn't look like the players we have are going to be replacements for what we've lost and will lose.
I do think Tate probably has a lower ceiling than what we'd like to see. Denard is definitely a little rough. But they're both freshmen. Is Tate getting better? Don't know. But the team probably is. And as the team improves around him, his stats will get better. So it will appear that he will as well.

As far as stud recruiting...
We're getting the #1 ranked QB in the country next year. We have far too many receivers coming in, but they're all fast/good.
We definitely look a little thin on DL and LB. But there are a couple well rated HS players still looking at us that we are in the race for.
And we have a lot more visits coming in the next couple weeks. And against OSU.

And this is the first year after a 3-9 year.

Typically you give a coach 5 years to show what he can do. This is still only truly one year now. You could stretch it and call it 2. But he should be given some time to show whether or not he can make a go of it.
With 70% of the team freshmen and sophmores, with 2 freshman QB's, I think we're doing ok. And even with the questionable talent at LB and DB, the defense is still stopping teams from scoring (unless ST puts us in a hole).

The King of Belch

October 18th, 2009 at 8:53 AM ^

With regard to Lloyd's Lleftovers, what you are seeing is a lot of redshirts, and juniors and seniors. They are mature and maturing. That's the biggest difference right there, and Rodriguez's guys are all still young and raw--even (especially?) Campbell.

And please don't compare the QB's to Henne yet--because they are 5-2 right now and Henne finished 9-3 his first year. There's still five games to go.

The fair part is in taking a look at the 2010 class--it is short on defensive help, but again there is time. But UM does need to get some defensive help there--and based on the last two classes, Rodriguez can do that in the later stages of a recruiting cycle.

But even if this class doesn't close out with strong defensive help--there is still enough there (especially if Warren stays) and enough coming in (M-Rob!) to fill in the blanks that will be created by graduation this year.

We will see the classes of '08 and '09 beginning to mature next year--and we'll have enough vets coming back to give the team what I feel will be a very good chance to create even more excitement than this young season has brought us.


October 18th, 2009 at 8:58 AM ^

What is a legitimate QB? Are you talking Arrington/Woodley as Seniors or as freshman?

You are looking at freshmen and sophomores and saying "I don't see it, those guys aren't as good as seniors past." That's silly.

You don't think Mike Martin will be any good? Craig Roh won't get better from a good baseline? have you seen Justin Turner play? How about Emilien? Will Campbell has played in what, three games? And you're writing him off. And so on, and so forth.

Your handwringing is either uninformed or plain ignorant.


October 18th, 2009 at 8:54 AM ^

Ok You guys have convinced me. I guess I want too much too soon.

I am so tired of getting emails from friends who went to other Big Ten Schools and who have finally beaten Michigan. I also live just outside of Columbus - you don't know how much fun that can be when we lose. Of course, after yesterday, they ain't saying much.


October 18th, 2009 at 10:08 AM ^

If you sold em, you could get enough to pay a significant chunk of my aon'a out of state tuition at good old Michigan. Never have done that.

This part of Ohio has fans that are truly lunatics to the point of being scary. They are not OSU grads, for the most part, who tend to be semi-rational, but the wannabees.


October 18th, 2009 at 9:03 AM ^

Mike COX is Minor jr.

Mike Shaw is probably more like a Stve Slaton type. He is the perfect fit for this offense next year.

Vincent Smith will be a very good change of pace back.

Next years offense is going to be really good. The RS Freshmen offensive linemen will be Sophmore's, who have a lot more potiential than some of the OLine players now. There is about 89 sophmores and freshmen. Give it time to develop.

The defense will not be great next year, but I don't think they have to be. Just need to be adequate.

Just be patient, will get there in 2011, if not next year.


October 18th, 2009 at 9:37 AM ^

Offensively, I could see the potential. Mallet has performed well at Arkansas and Minor/Brown are both being used in the current system. The O-Line is okay and I actually like the depth. WR is pretty solidified. The additions for the spread were the QB and the slot, but other than that, there is decent talent on offense and they would have been functional under a traditional offense.

Defensively, however, there are far too many holes. The safety position is a disaster. The D-Line lacks depth. There have been several busts as well. There were too many "tweeners" who should have been a position below where they were (S instead of CB, LB instead of S). The lack of athletes on defense is the reason why even now (when they practice against the spread everyday), the defense still can't stop spreads, or anything for that matter other than smashmouth offenses.


October 18th, 2009 at 9:43 AM ^

No the cupboard wasn't "bare" but it DEF had bare spots, or was undercoached.
1) How many years have we been talking about the poor DB recruiting? Umm....before Brian ever started his blog! And, Brian has covered the lackluster recruiting in this area for some time
2) Take our linebackers....please! Nuff said.
3) Despite Michigan's HUGE pedigree with qb's one has to ask WHY in Chad Henne's senior year, his backup was a true freshmen
4) Now for the coaching part. Moeller was doing a rotten job developing The Oline. Schilling, as a not ready for prime time freshmen, roared past most of the upperclassmen (who are stil on the Michigan roster) to start. So, clearly, Frye has done an excellent job......and Carr's staff had like TWO linemen recruits about 4 classes ago (3 star molk, and 2 star Hyugle)

Sextus Empiricus

October 18th, 2009 at 9:52 AM ^

I would think an equal spread of talent out amongst all classes. By that bar this is a much skewed team for whatever reason.

Defining "Normal" is worthy of a diary (the data is out there). I would be interested to see if senior talent corresponds to Wins directly. I think we would see there are still elites who stable talent year in and out (LSU - Florida), and top talent that goes NFL early throwing off any direct correlation (USC).

Hopefully Mich will get there (Hawthorne is a really interesting case - he has undersized physical presence - but freakish talent like Graham (who is incredibly quick for his size.)) If we can get this sort of talent and allow them to RS and build while Jrs and Srs lead - without expecting too much from true and RS underclassmen then we can historically compare this team to others.

I think we were spoiled when Bo came in and was so successful. That was a different time and coach but his legacy is unreal expectations that have haunted every Mich coach since.


October 18th, 2009 at 9:57 AM ^

No one to replace Brown or Minor? Go back and look at their freshman performances. Then take a look at Mike Shaw's and Vincent Smith's.

No one to replace Graham? Go back and look at Graham as a freshman - he played DT because he was too fat and he didn't put up many numbers. Now look at Craig Roh (2 or 3 sacks), who's starting as a freshman, unlike Graham.

No big, hard driving back? Have you watched the EMU and DSU games this year where Mike Cox runs through at least one tackle every time he touches the ball?

No similar talent showing up? Forcier was getting Heisman talk earlier in the year. Some people think Denard Robinson is better than Forcier (although I obviously disagree). Justin Turner was almost a 5-star talent who would probably be playing right now if he had qualified right off the bat. The offensive line is full of upperclassmen, so you can't judge how good those freshman and redshirt freshmen are.

In other words...not only are you wrong, but you're being impatient.


October 18th, 2009 at 10:58 AM ^

... that this is even still an open issue. Lloyd Carr was a great coach, but his coaching and recruiting left a lot to be desired in the last three or four years of his regime. Cases in point:
1. DL recruiting: Mike Martin and Craig Roh is starting as true underclassmen. Where are the junior and senior DL players? Look at the 2-deep: Heininger, Banks, Sagesse, ...

2. LB recruiting: Jonas Mouton is the only one who panned out (and he was a safety). Where are the backups? Why is a walk-on our #1 backup?

3. Safety recruiting: Jordan Kovacs, enough said.

Now, obviously RichRod is to blame for some of the current issues. But to say the cupboard is not bare does not even make sense.

(I think the OP's sentiment is shared by many Michigan fans; they just don't come to this board)


October 18th, 2009 at 1:30 PM ^

1. Mike Martin was a Lloyd Carr recruit. He committed to Carr and stuck with Rodriguez. Meanwhile, BRANDON GRAHAM is a senior who was recruited by Carr. Van Bergen was recruited by Carr. Banks and Sagesse were, too, and they're decent players. You can't expect every player to turn into a star. The only real strikout seems to be Patterson, who was a top-100 recruit.

2. Jonas Mouton is the only one who panned out? Obi Ezeh has been just as good as Mouton, and both are in the same class. Steve Brown was a good recruit - he was apparently just playing out of position.

3. I might give you the safety thing. He didn't bring in enough safeties, and a few of them were destined to be linebackers (Brandon Smith, Mouton, Steve Brown). But each one of those guys was rated highly by the recruiting services as a safety, so he wasn't the only one who missed on that.


October 18th, 2009 at 10:21 PM ^

1. My point wasn't that Mike Martin wasn't Lloyd Carr's recruit. My point was that there were no upperclassman starter in front of him or Craig Roh. While I didn't expect every player to be a star, I'm disappointed that there is nobody in front of Mike Martin and/or Craig Roh. (As far as I can remember, the only two full-time sophomore starters on the DL since 2004 are Woodley and T. Taylor. To have two in one year is not normal.)

2. I give you Obi Ezeh; I think he's barely serviceable but you are right that he's about as good as Mouton. Stevie Brown was recruited as a safety and the only reason he's moved to LB is because there is nobody else at LB.

3. That seems to suggest a problem with LB recruiting. I think Jonas Mouton would have made a good SS (or whatever it is that Kovacs is playing).


October 18th, 2009 at 10:32 PM ^

1. There were upperclassman starters in front of Martin. Their names were Will Johnson and Terrence Taylor. And Craig Roh is playing kind of a brand new position, a hybrid DE/OLB. That position didn't exist prior to Greg Robinson showing up, so why would there be a guy ahead of him to play that position?

2. "...the only reason [Stevie Brown] moved to LB is because there is nobody else at LB." Not exactly. That might be partly true, but he wasn't a good safety and he's been great at SAM. He moved there because he's perfect for the position.

3. A lack of good safeties doesn't suggest a problem with LB recruiting. It suggests that those guys couldn't cut it at safety. Jonas Mouton was 6'2", 212 coming out of high school. That's a damn big strong safety, considering just about every kid puts on at least 10-15 lbs. of muscle in college. He was pretty much destined for linebacker right off the bat.


October 18th, 2009 at 12:14 PM ^

I don't know that it's fair to say that the cupboard was left bare, but I think that for the a lot of the big recruits of the Carr era are not playing now (due to injury, transfer, etc), and a lot of the guys stepping into those rolls may not have gotten time if those guys had not left. Add to that the coaching philosophy change and you have the situation we are in. I think as many said above, it's way to early to evaluate the recruits from the 2008/9 classes for their abilities/future playing on Saturdays. That's my opinion anyway.

That said, there's a lot of guys in those classes who are contributing and are playing exceptionally well (especially WRs). I think that this season has gone better than most expected and it's because the coaches are getting more of what they want out of the players this year as opposed to last year. Add to that the fact that the defense is making tackles and you're seeing a ton of improvement from both Carr recruits and RR recruits. Moreover, guys who are young now will really benefit from getting early playing time in the future.

Lastly, you haven't seen some of the younger guys in key positions (say RB) because the older guys are better at this point. Shaw is going to be a really great back at Michigan, maybe as good as any to come before him. Who knows about the other guys, but they're fast, versatile and elusive, so I think that we'll see great things from them. On D, I share your wishes that we get top guys at every position, but it's not like RR isn't going after top guys, he just isn't always getting them yet. It's not like he can throw an offer out and they'll always commit. He's competing against some really great options for players and quite frankly, for now it's much more attractive to go to Florida or USC than Michigan because they're the hot schools. It's cyclical though and we will be the hot school in a couple of years for recruits. Top recruits will come to Michigan in larger numbers when that happens, and we will dominate on both sides of the ball. FWIW, I think that it's pretty clear that just dominating on offense will probably win us the big ten in many years, as long as the defense is just adequate.


October 18th, 2009 at 1:58 PM ^

here several months back that analyzed the last 5 or 6 recruiting classes and how each individual player panned out / didn't pan out / left early, etc. It was a pretty good analysis that showed the talent level was down for a number of reasons, but not necessarily due to Lloyd. A lot had to do with almost out entire offense matriculating after Lloyd's last year (Henne, Hart, Mario, etc). Anyone have the link? Would be very useful to this thread.


October 18th, 2009 at 3:06 PM ^

Our issues last year were due to a perfect storm of problems. One was that Carr's last couple of classes didn't live up to their hype, but there were others, including: 1) the introduction of a totally new coaching staff (aside from Jackson); 2) the introduction of a totally new offensive system; 3) the typical offseason attrition that comes with a coaching change; 4) the failure of some upperclassmen to buy into the new system; and 5) an usually high injury toll. That last one, in particular, gets overlooked by a lot of people. If we could have simply had Threet and Minor make it through the season (or Brown in Minor's place), I think we could have made it to a bowl.