Durkin to MD, grain of salt taken

Submitted by winterblue75 on November 29th, 2015 at 2:06 PM

mark blaudschun ‏@blauds

Michigan DC D.J. Durkin ready to sign deal with Maryland. Will meet with MD officials on Monday. http://ajerseyguy.com


Take this with a grain of salt I guess


Stringer Bell

November 29th, 2015 at 2:07 PM ^

I'll say this, if Durkin leaves for Maryland after 1 year with his lasting performance being the complete egg he laid against OSU, he will not be remembered too fondly around here.

Stringer Bell

November 29th, 2015 at 2:13 PM ^

The performances against Indiana and OSU (and his seeming inability to take any lessons learned from the Indiana game and apply them to the OSU game) take some luster off the defensive performance this year and the man who coached them.

He's also the linebackers coach, and the linebackers were not good (not all his fault as we have slow, unathletic guys but still you saw no improvement from that group this year).

Stringer Bell

November 29th, 2015 at 2:20 PM ^

Maybe, I don't think it would've made that much of a difference honestly.  We got almost 400 yards rushing put up on us, a lot of which came in the second half.  That's bad coaching and a refusal to make adjustments.  Not once did he load the box and force Barrett to try and beat us with his arm (which is exactly what MSU did).

Stringer Bell

November 29th, 2015 at 2:28 PM ^

They ran a lot of stretch plays, the same stretch plays that killed us against Indiana.  OSU has a ton of talent, a tremendous coach, and actually had a sensible gameplan yesterday unlike the one they had against MSU.  But still, we knew going into this game we were going to be without Glasgow and Mone.  We had somewhat of a blueprint to slowing down the OSU running game provided by MSU, and we didn't utilize it.  It was a bad display of coaching yesterday, particularly by Durkin, and these reports of him interviewing and possibly taking the Maryland job will bring up questions about how much his heart was really into the OSU game and the preparation for it.


November 29th, 2015 at 2:55 PM ^

Just because someone gives you a blueprint means that you can build an item...  MSU can clearly run the ball, we cant...


All this season we complained about Ruddock throwing for 30 yrds or more for deep passes when we should have been concerned about running the ball for 10 yrds or more.

Until we can consistently run the ball, our team will struggle with the "big boys"...

Mr Miggle

November 29th, 2015 at 4:24 PM ^

No one thinks we could have run the ball down OSU's throat by adopting MSU's strategy against them on offense. But we should think we could stop them by adopting the same defensive strategy under much better playing conditions? That's after OSU is spending the week trying to figure out how to counter it. I think MSU would have had a much tougher time stopping OSU yesterday.

Stringer Bell

November 29th, 2015 at 4:35 PM ^

He was talking about our inability to run the ball and how that prevents us from competing with the big boys.  That had nothing to do with what I was talking about, so I dunno where he was going with it.

But yes, I think you treat Ohio State like other teams treated the Lions during the Barry Sanders era, or like teams treat LSU with Fournette.  You load the box and make them throw the ball.  Maybe Meyer had a gameplan to counter this, but he didn't need to break it out because we never forced him to.  You don't stay with 6 in the box when you're getting gashed on the ground.

Beat Rutgerland

November 29th, 2015 at 5:52 PM ^

I signed up and stopped my longtime lurking to give Stringer Bell some suport here. We have one of the country's best secondaries, uniquely skilled at man coverage, while OSU has one of the country's best running games. OSU started grinding us into dust in the 2nd quarter. It made very little sense to me that we didn't load the box. I thought that would undoubtedly be a half-time adjustment, but early in the 3rd quarter when they came out with 3 recievers on first down and we lined up in nickle, was probably the most intense swearing I did on a day that involved a lot of swearing.

Durkin is a good coach; I hope we keep him. This was not a well-called defensive game. If we bring in an extra linebacker or lineman maybe they choose to keep running and do just as well. Maybe. If that was the case you could start talking about the talent gap that everyone keeps bringing up, but the coaching didn't put the players in a position to win the game. It's somewhat shocking, given how good the coaching has been all season and the coaching bonefides of our head man, but Urban Meyer's team was perfectly capable of putting a bad game plan together 2 weeks ago. Coaching staffs, however good they are, are not infalliable.

Also, to everybody who said we couldn't run, Meyer's team did in fact have 8 or 9 guys in the box frequently when it wasn't an obvious passing down (without a lot of disguised coverage), particurarly in the first half. I thought it was good offensive coaching that we were throwing the ball there, and the offense did fine until the game went completely off the rails in the 3rd quarter. That OSU was committed to not letting us, a somewhat mediocre running team, run, should have been another big tip about what they wanted to do on offense and what we needed to at least try to take away.

It's a tricky business second-guessing coaches who know football far better than you could ever hope to. I know that. But if Hoke or Rich Rod was at the head of that game, I can't imagine the truly suspect defensive play calling here gets a free ride.


November 29th, 2015 at 6:08 PM ^

an extra man tight to the line on the first defensive series of the second half, Barrett checked out of it and pin pointed one right over the top of Clark. Lewis is a great cover corner, Stribbling and Peppers are suspect. We could not over load the box the whole game. Bottom line is that our dline was depleted and our linebackers are sub par and we were facing one of the most potent rushing attacks in the country.


November 29th, 2015 at 2:27 PM ^

He brought Wilson into the box and Barrett immediately hit Marshall with a touchdown over the top of Clark and Hill.  Great play by the OSU receiver and good recognition by Barrett to see Wilson playing run.  Said over and over again, we're not a deep team and to lose so much on the d-line did us in. Hurst, Henry, Wormley, and Charlton were all gassed. No trust in Godin or Strobel based on the Indiana game. They played more plays in the last 2 games on average than they did all year.       

Stringer Bell

November 29th, 2015 at 2:30 PM ^

Barrett made a couple of very impressive throws.  That still doesn't change the fact that you have to gameplan to slow down their strength, which is running the ball.  If Barrett beats you throwing the ball you tip your cap.  If they beat you running the ball, then you have to question why we were unable to slow down the focal point of their offense.

Stringer Bell

November 29th, 2015 at 3:10 PM ^

Come on, is Glasgow really that good that our defense goes from one of the top units in the country to giving up almost 400 yards rushing without him?  No one player makes that big of a difference.  And Ojemudia was not irreplaceable, RJS did a fine job replacing him and Taco really came on strong at the end of the year.  The injuries don't explain our defensive performance yesterday.

Stringer Bell

November 29th, 2015 at 3:38 PM ^

The defense did just fine against Penn State and their talented RB without Glasgow.  The two high powered spread offenses we faced carved us up, to me that suggests poor gameplanning and less an injury issue.  Yes, there are personnel issues with our unbelievably slow linebacker corps but IMO we still get carved up by OSU even with Glasgow.

Franz Schubert

November 29th, 2015 at 7:56 PM ^

The safeties were being wasted covering air all game! The MSU safeties were making tackles near the line of scrimmage against OSU and that was the difference. Simple case of not utilizing all of your players to stop what is clearly the 1st priority which is the run. The Michigan safeties didn't make any impactful plays against the run or pass. In other words, they were schemed out of existence. It was exactly the same scenario against Indiana. Indiana at least had a good passing game to contend with, OSU had not threw the ball all year. There was a 4th and 1 early in the second half and Michigan had 2 safeties 10 yards deep in the middle! That's just dumb.


November 29th, 2015 at 8:54 PM ^

There is no doubt that the injuries to lineman affected the Michigan defense.  When that happens and Indiana lights you up, maybe it's time to make some adjustments.  OSU did hit some passes on the secondary, but way before that it was time to load the box and force the action.  I don't wish Durkin anything but the best, but his performance did lose some luster.  When their line was deep, it was ok to play 6 in the box man free.  When you lose three lineman it's time to do anything you can to stop the run.


November 29th, 2015 at 3:39 PM ^

We should be proud of our D's performance. Even after the game against OSU, M is ranked #4 in total yardage allowed, despite the key injuries we sustained. In one year, Durkin installed an aggressive, attacking style of D and coached guys like Lewis and Peppers into stars. The techniques he was coaching were complete departures from the year before, and several key players (esp. the LBs) are not ideal fits.

Although players like Peppers are going to be good no matter the system, the week-to-week improvement as far as technique and ability to diagnose was obvious when watching games. We had an historic run of 3 straight shutouts, during which we utterly dominated, like Alabama.

Even Alabama, with a roster built for its system and incredible depth, gives up 40 points sometimes. That Durkin got this production out of a transitioning defense is nothing short of amazing.

Michigan has an ascending defense, and Durkin deserves a ton of credit for it.

Stringer Bell

November 29th, 2015 at 3:47 PM ^

How much of that is Durkin, and how much of it is due to guys like Jackson and Zordich (I honestly don't know).  I think our position coaches are great for the most part.  Jackson and Zordich have helped our secondary become one of the best in the country, developing a legit shutdown corner in Lewis, developing a serviceable second corner, and helping guys like Dymonte Thomas develop into quality contributors.  Having Mattison focus solely on the DL has paid huge dividends for us.  I think Durkin is a fine DC and a valuable recruiter so I would like to keep him on staff, I just wasn't impressed with his defensive gameplanning at the end of the season.  It just seems weird to me that he'd hold out for Harbaugh to take the Michigan job so he could join him, then leave 1 year later.  I find it highly unlikely he's learned everything he wanted to from Jim in just 1 year, but what do I know.


November 29th, 2015 at 4:51 PM ^

osu has more complete team (the same team that destroyed bama and oregon last year to win it all) - osu has more talented starters and more talented depth than m at most spots (though not including butt and lewis and some obvious guys), they have future first day draft picks at each level on O and D, they have all american caliber players used to dominating at some of the games most important positions (QB, RB, DE, etc)  - but no big deal, sounds like durkin couldve schemed and prepped his way to a w, regardless of his squads execution on the field.

im sure durkin has his regrets (hes a competitive dude who obviously loves his fellow coaches and players and no doubt wanted that w)  but theres a point where game prep, hammering home keys, preaching recognition and sound assignment ball, calling a solid balanced game, etc ends and it falls mostly on the players to execute and win matchups, win series, and win the game.

osu has great coaches too.  they also happen to have very talented team.  any clue what youre talking about?  if you "honestly dont know" thats cool but maybe you shouldnt throw most of blame at durkins feet.

count the missed tackles, yards after contact and all around missed opportunities left on  the field

Stringer Bell

November 29th, 2015 at 5:09 PM ^

I've said it a few times above, but I know that when you're getting gashed on the ground you don't continue to try to stop the run with 6 man fronts.  Getting more bodies in the box helps reduce the possibility of missed tackles, missed gap assignments and the such.  You force them to beat you throwing the ball.  They probably make enough plays to beat us regardless, but we'll never know because we didn't try to.  OSU is definitely a better overall team than us, with more talent and depth and equal coaching.  They're not 29 points better than us at home.

L'Carpetron Do…

November 29th, 2015 at 3:49 PM ^

I was a little confused by the LB play this year.  They were supposed to be the strength, the veteran core of the D, but it seemed like they were actually better last year.  I loved watching Morgan and Bolden and was really excited for Ross but it seems to me like they were the least improved of all position groups under Harbaugh/Durkin.  The loss of Glasgow was huge and it really showed but I couldn't believe how bad the entire defense played yesterday - it was a real bummer, man.  I guess that's on Durkin?


November 29th, 2015 at 8:17 PM ^

Well yeah they were better last year, they had Jake Ryan.

I wish people could stop blaming coaches and players and just admit that when both teams play well, OSU is just a much better team this year. That's not complicated. Our D was good, but had weaknesses and that was exploited a couple time this year when a) we faced a bad match up and b) Glasgow was out. We didn't have the horses to run with OSU on O or D and before the season we all knew that. Fortunately, Harbaugh and staff made us good enough since then to cause us to forget how much better OSU was than us, but it bored out yesterday. Ohio State should be playing for (and quite possibly winning) another national title this year. Lucky for us, the picked a poor weather game against a good team to play their worst game of the season.

Don't get all "I don't care if Durkin leaves" because of one game we should have lost anyway.


November 29th, 2015 at 4:22 PM ^

he prob couldve made some addl tweaks and called more aggressively in some situations (in terms of pressure and run blitzes) but it eventually falls on the players.

coaches can only do so much, then its on the players to make it happen.  durkins not arm tackling all americans, hes not diving at ankles in the hole, hes not staying blocked, durkins not playing uninstinctive and passive football.   not the staffs best game.  but they also ran into a freight train finally operating at full speed.  

m needed to execute, disrupt up front, own the edges, tackle perfectly and play their best games on D in order to win - but they did not so they were gashed.  looks like your last sentence recognizes the talent disparity, serious matchup disadvantages vs future 1st rounders, etc.  durkin inherited this squad and they improved overall but its tough to expect big jumps in production from experienced seniors with limited ability.

the jimmys and joes failed much worse than the D staff


November 29th, 2015 at 5:25 PM ^

The defense played well and aggressively most of the year, and that, I believe, is largely a reflection of Durkin and Harbaugh.

I doubt that posters on this blog know more about coaching defense than Durkin and Mattison. Furthermore, I seriously doubt that they spend a lot of time studying Brian's UFR's.This team just did not have enough talent on the defense to match up well against teams with spread/zone read offenses.

The defense did quite well against conventional offenses this year. I am thankful for the improvement and their efforts and look forward to a bright future of Michigan football.

Templeton Peck…

November 29th, 2015 at 2:21 PM ^

... pushing hopes and dreams. And Les Miles was out at LSU after this season as reported at ESPN, and there was no way that Jim Harbaugh was heading to Michigan. We're supposed to believe some dude because he has a blog? Dude has about as much insider information as I do... and that is probably less than 99% or the people who write on this board.


November 29th, 2015 at 2:13 PM ^

Speak for yourself.. :( I'm as bummed about yesterday as anyone, but this guy did a hell of a job this year. If Glasgow and Ojemudia are playing yesterday, I think things are different. Maybe we don't win, but it would be different. And nothing takes away 3 shutouts.



November 29th, 2015 at 3:33 PM ^

that it certainly is possible. I also think that this mistake (and frankly, I'll take your word for it as a more knowledgeable football guy) doesn't diminish his accomplishment in taking an average defense and making it damn good for a majority of the season. I think it's clear he and his position guys taught technique far better than the previous group, and won the overwhelming majority of the chess matches with OCs.



November 29th, 2015 at 3:42 PM ^

I may have thought and said this yesterday in the pain and emotion of the afternoon.  But earlier this season when Jake Rudock made us wonder how he was even good enough to be the BACKUP at Iowa, it was the defense that made sure UM won all the games they were supposed to win.  Even the MSU game, when the offense didn't really do much at all, the defense put them in position to win at the end.


I'm glad Durkin was the DC this year, and yeah, I wish he hadn't interviewed the week of The Game, but who am I to tell a man not to pursue advancement in his profession because of my selfish whims?


What I won't remember fondly is a DC thinking his defense can attack a physical 6 man front with a 3 man DL and no blitzing from the LBs, as I've ranted on time and time again.


Maybe he'd have had more time to watch tape, then draw up and teach blitzes if he wasn't preoccupied last week.


But anyways, best of luck to him.


November 29th, 2015 at 5:29 PM ^

Regardless of on field performance, the fact the guy took an interview the week of The Game rubs me the wrong way. His unit looking completely unprepared just makes it even more of slap in the face.

I can't imagine it sitting well with Harbaugh considering his previous comments about not disrespecting the game by talking about other opportunities during the season.

If he really does head to Maryland, I hope we run up the score on him every year.