December 28th, 2018 at 2:54 AM ^

Love Don Brown, but you can't call rock, or variations of rock all game.  Aggression is great, but you need paper and scissors in your bag if the opponent keeps smashing the rock.

IE, we need to be multiple on defense, just like we complain when the offense keeps running into a brick wall.  We didn't run zone schemes until the second half, and Meyer and staff knew it was coming and adjusted to that as well.  

Variety is the spice of life.  Yes, you need an identity to hang your hat on, but both our offense and defense need to be more flexible going forward, and I expect they will be.

FWIW, I love our recruiting and think we have the chance for a special year in 19, with Dax back there playing free safety, and Shea throwing to what will be the best receiving corps in the nation. Uche +Paye > injured Gary.  I'm curious to see if 1 of Long or Hill stay.  Bush will be really, really hard to replace.

Toe Meets Leather

December 28th, 2018 at 1:53 PM ^

You really think Don Brown doesn't try to be multiple? That's all he ever preaches and why he's so good. Don Brown's defense isn't set up to run zone schemes all the time. I agree you need to mix them in (that's what causes a lot of sacks and picks), but to say DB's defense isn't multiple is just ignorant. 

As for the offense, it definitely needs more variety when the opponent is better. I can't remember where I saw it but someone said that Michigan play-called like they were the favorite against OSU (when, you know, OSU was actually the better/more talented team), and they got boatraced. 

Recruiting class looks great.


December 27th, 2018 at 7:46 PM ^

Technically 55 happened.  But your point is a good one. The last 3 games of 2018 regular season on defense were not impressive.  Rutgers, IN then OSU.  Not a good trend to end season. Did people start to find the crack in the Don Brown armor?  I for one am happy he is here, but he stated loud and clear to anyone listening he will entertain offers.  I got to say it, that beat down in the Shoe took the shine off Don Brown. Again, I am happy he is here, but I am a bit concerned about how the season ended.  Of all the games to have the defense not prepared was inexplainable. That game on defense was Don Brown's pure and simple.  I saw players, playing there hearts out, but there were a lot of players out of position or put in position to struggle and that is coaching.


December 27th, 2018 at 8:18 PM ^

It was interesting that Don pointed to “Day 1 mistakes” when it sure looked like a scheme issue.  Not sure how I would take that as a player if the coach said it’s because we made day 1 mistakes.  

This was a good read imo, from wolverinewire:

Cracks in the armor include. (From the article)

  • 2016: Brown's defense gives up a 13-play drive that allows Ohio State to tie the game at the end of regulation, and eventually win the game in overtime when the Buckeyes score touchdowns on both of their possessions.
  • 2016: Deondre Francois posts the fourth best QBR of his career as Michigan gives up a season-high 33 points in a loss to Florida State in the Orange Bowl.
  • 2017: Penn State gets its most total yards ever against Michigan in a 42-13 primetime thrashing.
  • 2017: Dwayne Haskins comes off the bench cold to post a stellar 99.2 QBR and lead the Buckeyes to a come-from-behind victory at the Big House.
  • 2018: Brandon Winbush posts a solid 83.4 QBR to lead the Irish over Michigan in the season-opener, but then is benched for the season after ineffective play against Ball State and Vanderbilt.
  • 2018: Ohio State gets its most yards ever against Michigan and the 62 points allowed is the most ever by the Wolverines.


December 27th, 2018 at 8:57 PM ^

This is a good read.  I agree, Don Brown is at a cross roads with his scheme.  Will he adapt and change it to combat how offenses are attacking him or will he continue with the "solve problems with aggression" philosophy? Again, the Michigan/OSU game put serious doubt in the staying power of the Don Brown defensive scheme.  I don't think he needs to overhaul it, but there are weaknesses in every defense. Some teams are better prepared to adjust to what defense will give you and some teams can't.  OSU was one of those teams that have the talent to attack almost any defensive weakness.


December 27th, 2018 at 9:01 PM ^

I totally agree and that is a huge point, will he adapt? I think he is a near defensive genius but is he a flexible genius?  I think he can absolutely adapt to the teams that exploit his scheme, I hope he makes that choice.  If so those painful 62 points will be the best thing for the team since Ed Warinner. 


December 27th, 2018 at 10:32 PM ^

A few years back, Scott Frost made a comment along the lines saying brown’s defense is easy to expose you just need the athletes to do it. This could explain the defense getting gashed in those games mentioned or it could be end of year fatigue in most cases Either way needs to be addressed and solved. 


December 27th, 2018 at 10:43 PM ^

That aligns with what the article says as well.  There are very few teams in the B1G that have the athletes to match up. The top 10 type teams have that talent and as you said, it has to be addressed.   Recruiting better athletes won’t do it alone, there has to be changes in the philosophy IMO.  


December 28th, 2018 at 3:45 AM ^

UCF also outhit us.  Take Scott Frost quotes with a grain of salt.

Sure, the New England Patriots would beat the piss out of Alabama...thanks captain obvious Frost.

Nothing Bama could do in scheme would keep that game close.

It was a shit game with shit coaching and we got blasted.  Let's not forget it's the same team (OSU) that got destroyed by Purdue and Iowa the year in back to back years, 2 completely different teams and schemes.

Sometimes shit just hits the fan and starts to snowball.  Because it's OSU and they beat us like a drum every year (when we are better, when they are better, or the teams are on par) over the past 20 years, we are programmed to over react to simply being owned AND having shit luck against them.  Lets be honest...Harbaugh could just as easily be 2-2 against them as 0-4.  The problem is they blow us out and win, and they win the close ones.  I dont expect next year to be close....I think we blow them out, simply because it will be a focus for Brown and staff all year round.


December 27th, 2018 at 6:29 PM ^

Why would he work on a new contract. He’s locked in through 2022.  He’s already paid well. He has a great gig at UM. If he really decides he wants to leave then I guess so be it nothing we can really do about it. 

Hes done a great job for the most part except for OSU as that was an embarrassment. I was actually surprised at his lack of adjustment in that game. As long as UM gets talent we will be fine if we have to find another DC in a couple of years. There are plenty of good ones out there 


December 27th, 2018 at 5:16 PM ^

Pep certainly isn’t.  I mean, Brown has been fantastic for the most part, but ultimately there have been a couple of huge spots where the defense has faltered.  I think he probably had a lot of negotiating leverage before the OSU game, but the D flat out no showed in the biggest game of the season and maybe his career.  Day ate his lunch.  He really did need to have that defense more prepared than it was and has something to prove next year.


December 27th, 2018 at 4:49 PM ^

When you've said Dooon Brown, you've said it all!


Hope Harbaugh has a Don Brown padawan on the staff, soaking up everything there is to soak up. 

Why did you do that? Why did you do it that way?


December 27th, 2018 at 8:05 PM ^

There are definitely employees out there who would never leave because their situation is already amazing.  I guess you could theorize a situation they would leave for but off the top of my head:

-Nick Saban

-Rick Carlisle (seems random but he probably has more job security than anyone in the NBA)

-The Pope? Is the Pope an employee? 


December 27th, 2018 at 5:04 PM ^

With retention bonuses, Brown will make less than about half the DC's in the SEC.  Worse yet, he will make less than Pep Hamilton.  He has had the no. 1, 3, and 1 defenses in his tenure at Michigan but I think he is going to be defined by the 62 points he surrendered in Columbus until we find a way to beat OSU.

Reggie Dunlop

December 28th, 2018 at 9:20 AM ^

He's currently making about 3 times what he made at BC just three short years ago. This is not a money power play. Not everybody on earth goes to bed at night thinking of how to con more money out of their employer. The number of people here who think you just throw a bag of cash at any assistant who wants to be more than an assistant is mind-blowing. 

gustave ferbert

December 27th, 2018 at 5:05 PM ^

Even if he did leave.i have faith in harbaugh to find a great replacement. When he has Bill Belicheck in his Rolodex his network is vast.  I remember how deflating it was when Durkin left.  


I wouldn't imagine a school wanting to hire someone his age to build/rebuild a program.  But what do I know?

Mr Grainger

December 27th, 2018 at 7:38 PM ^

Plus, those two were already successful coaches at major programs as each won a national title. A big-time school is less likely to take a chance on a 60-something-year-old. 

That having been said, it wouldn't be impossible for a mid-major to go after Brown. The question would be whether they could give him something Michigan couldn't.


December 27th, 2018 at 7:07 PM ^

I agree that Harbaugh should be able to find a serviceable replacement and not miss too much of a step as far as coaching prowess goes, but I believe the major problem will be recruiting. Don Brown is one of the biggest recruiting pluses Michigan has right now. If Don Brown would have taken the Temple job, I wouldn't have been shocked to see most of the recruiting class bolt on the defensive side. Daxton Hill sure wouldnt have committed.

Jim Harbaugh does not have Michigan running like a "Machine" yet, and until he does coaches like Don Brown are essential to keeping stability in the program. Don Brown is the biggest name outside Harbaugh himself as far as coaching goes, so to lose him before the "Machine" is established would set the program back, especially from a recruiting perspective. This does not even take into account how difficult it is to change up defensive scheme and teach it to the current players and perform at a high level.

I hope Don Brown stays until retirement. Michigan needs coaching stability right now among its biggest names. It is in my opinion Michigan's best chance at establishing a dynasty.