GERG for the Last Time

Submitted by Ziff72 on March 31st, 2011 at 10:13 AM

This is a bad idea.  I didn't  like the hire.  I thought he did a poor job. I wanted him replaced.  Despite these statements I can't let it go.  I know I won't have any support, but as the saying goes "if I can reach 1 person it was worth it".

On the Mattison presser thread I tried to make a point about GERG and when I saw the responses I was again saddened.   Maybe I'm missing the joke and that will be fine, because as fans we are known to exaggerate and be extreme.   If I'm not and you truly believe what you are saying then I need to get this off my chest for the last time.

GERG knows about fundamentals on defense.  He knows about how defenses work.  Despite all the evidence backing this up people seem to think he was on a solo mission to destroy Michigan.

First the evidence. Gerg won 2 Super Bowls.  Make any excuse you want on how he got them, but he got them.   Does this prove he runs a great defense? No it doesn't.   The fact that he got to that position does.  You can get a job in high school, because you know a buddy.  That can even get you a foot in the door at a college, but you can't work your way up to the Super Bowl and not know  how to tackle, shed a block, contain etc..    These are the coaches that have employed Greg Robinson.....Dick Vermiel, Mike Shanahan, Mack Brown, Pete Carrol and Rich Rodriguez.   Not a complete list but it gets the point across.   Vermiel and Shanahan are known as complete overbearing, controlling lunatics in a win at all costs business.  Do you think they would trust their defenses to a guy that doesn't know how to assemble a defense or know how to tackle?

I really want you to think about that a second.  Imagine Mike Shanahan is sitting at a table looking at film with Greg Robinson  and he asks him about how bad a tackle that was and Greg saying no I thought that was good form.  Or they are going over the tape getting ready for a playoff game and Shanahan asks him his plan and he says well on 3rd and 1 I want to have 5 guys in the box or on 3rd and 18 I want my db to turn his head and jump the 5 yd route.  Do you really believe that?   Really?

It's easier to believe these guys go to clinics, teach at clinics have other coaches on the staff and no one can figure out how to tackle, than it is to believe the kids are young and they need coaching?  Courtney Avery missing tackles was not because he was a high school qb and stepped on campus 3 months ago it was because Robinson doesn't teach fundamentals.  That's what your bet is?

I'm dying to see John Bacon's book because I'm curious if we will get any answers.  As I said at the beginning I don't like the way Robinson called defense for Michigan and I wanted him gone, but I have enough sense to know that there must have been some logic to what they were trying.   I have no idea if Robinson was doing a good job at Michigan, but I'm certain that they worked on fundamentals and he knew what he was talking about. 

He may have been a bad communicator, he may have been terrible at timing blitz calls, he may have picked the wrong defenses to match the personnel, he may have put the players at wrong positions. maybe it was too complicated, maybe it was too simple.   I won't debate you on that because I have no idea what went on behind closed doors, but to say he didn't teach correct fundamentals or set up unsound schemes doomed to fail is just silly.  

There are plenty of coaching examples of people being horrible in one spot and a genius at the next, but one man presonifies my point more than any other...Rod Marinelli.    Has there ever been a defense that looked as overmatched and out of position as Michigan looked the last 2 years?   Yeah the Detroit Lions over Rod's last 2 years.   I would look at my tv and say we have no outside contain they are going to run left for 10 yds and they would.  Despite the fact Marinelli was widely recognized around the league as a great defensive coach we looked like a joke and I started to think maybe he doesn't know how to coach defense.  Week after week he would sit up in those press conferences  and say it's getting there, pad level, my pick is sharp until he was a national joke and canned.   So what did a coach that had his job on the line do.....he hired Rod Marinelli to run his defense.   Rod has Julius Peppers back on his side and all of a sudden he's back to being respected.  Funny how he remembered how to coach fundamentals and set up solid schemes once he had Julius Peppers coming off the edge.

I'm not saying the coaches are always right(they are not) I'm not saying there are not great coaches, good coaches and bad coaches(there are), but they all know the correct way to tackle and they all have similar drills on how to get the kids to have better fundamentals by the time they reach the NFL or major D1 football. You need to really know that.





March 31st, 2011 at 10:39 AM ^

Woke up, decided that since a big presentation was done as of yesterday, I have a decent offer for the summer and it's opening day, might as well crack a beer[s].*

I'm in Detroit, and as I noted in another thread, was interviewd by the freep on how the Tigers would do this season...

*Technically a brass monkey. My throat has been feeling a little scratchy. Heading to the bar after class is done with at 12


March 31st, 2011 at 11:18 AM ^

Maybe he was an awful teacher. We heard how they were working on tackling and fundamentals every week. Obviously he was a pathetic teacher because none of it translated to Saturday performances.


March 31st, 2011 at 10:24 AM ^

then why didn't his players?

Also "Do you think they would trust their defenses to a guy that doesn't know how to assemble a defense or know how to tackle?"

Have you even watched Michigan play defense the last couple years?


March 31st, 2011 at 10:21 AM ^

Despite all the evidence backing this up people seem to think he was on a solo mission to destroy Michigan.

I have no way of knowing GERGs intent and I really doubt he was on a mission to destroy us. The evidence though backs up only one thing "Under GERG our defense sucked."

He's a legitimate target for criticism due to his on the field performance. Accept that and move on.

Six Zero

March 31st, 2011 at 10:24 AM ^

You should email it to Dave Brandon, and maybe he'll fire the former Baltimore Ravens DC so he can bring Gerg back.  After all, you've proven the point that he can win here.



March 31st, 2011 at 10:26 AM ^

Sometimes things just don't work out...who knows why, but the results make the case.  Be it the defensive scheme, injuries, inexperienced players, Gerg aging, the relationship with RR or Michigan hating gods, something didn't work.  Over the two years it went from bad to worse.

It is one thing to know fundamentals, another to be able to teach them.

The buck had to stop somewhere and in my mind it was the DC and the head coach.  I switched camps after the game with PSU.

As far as disagreeing, I almost never neg someone with a dfferent point of view unless it is totally absurd or mean in the manner of presentation, which your posts weren't.  I find negging has a definite chilling effect on free expression, but maybe that's the point.


March 31st, 2011 at 10:31 AM ^

Whoever was teaching the defensive fundamentals last year sucked at it. Eyeballs don't lie. Neither do missed tackles or wide fn open receivers on the same route 3 straight times. Not to mention playing guys horribly out of position. Just let GERG rest in peace. Everybody who is interested in what happened in any depth knows it was more than a one man job.


March 31st, 2011 at 10:32 AM ^

I'm not sure if you read your own post.

Your only evidence that Robinson was good at his job was that his defense helped win the Super Bowl over a decade ago (also, you make it sound like coaching the Super Bowl is a specific job you can be hired directly for, which obviously isn't what you meant, but I thought was weird nonetheless). You then go on to point out a bunch of the things he's clearly bad at and all the things his players have been bad at.

If you want to focus exclusively on issues of fundamentals, fine. There clearly was an issue with youth on the team (no one is surprised that Avery was lacking in technique as a true freshman), but the young and inexperienced players weren't the only ones with problems of fundamentals. Ezeh and Mouton had very basic problems with their play. When a sophomore former walk-on is easily the team's best tackler, that means there are other players (including experienced ones) who aren't getting the job done.

Will Robinson find success elsewhere? Maybe. But the past 10+ years of his career wouldn't suggest he will.


March 31st, 2011 at 10:47 AM ^

I didn't say he was good.   Come on Michigan fans. READ!!  I thought you were better than MLIVe "dur hur Greg blows my cock".  Apparently not.

I never mentioned RR's job or defending RR.   Way to read into things.  It's done. It's not the point, but bring it in anyway.

I said I wanted him fired. I'm not defending his record. He sucked.

So thru almost 30 responses not one reasonable response to how Greg could make it thru 30 years of coaching  not knowing how to coach tackling or think it was important enough to teach.   I'll just assume everyone really does know this and we'll act like we don't, because it is cooler to just say he is an idiot and we're all the geniuses on the internet.



Woo hoo I'm excited for fundamentals.  Now Michigan football is back.  Where's the keg?  Woo hoo!!  Yeah Michigan.    $uck it $suckeyes  Watch out Brahs we're coming for you.


March 31st, 2011 at 10:55 AM ^

You realize people age, lose their energy and the game moves on right?  

Super Bowl winning GERG might have been good.  We didn't get Super Bowl GERG though, we got "worst defense ever fielded at Michigan" GERG.  The GERG Michigan fans know was terrible.  The GERG we know was fresh out of getting canned at 'Cuse for his poor performance and he continued to stink here. Hell Charlie Weis had rings and look how he worked out for ND.  

Keep up the ad hominem MLive insults though, it makes you look classy.  


March 31st, 2011 at 11:07 AM ^

After year 1 with his job on the line RR looked at the tape, conferred with his other coaches, talked to his friends like Bob Stoops and Urban Meyer and listened to his players who all came to him and said, "coach man this guy forgot how to coach tackling".

Grow up.  Sure guys lose energy as they age, but they don't forget what the proper way to tackle is.  He's not  in a home, because he lost his mind.    That is an absurd comment. 

If you don't want the insult don't live up to them with such nonsense.


March 31st, 2011 at 11:38 AM ^

You're the one that said you were insulted.  .  I knew they were coming, I said so in the 1st line of my post.  I knew the thread would probably deteriorate, but I just find it ridiculous that people keep posting this stuff about fundamentals.    Stop being naive and believing everything you read in a press conference or interview. 


March 31st, 2011 at 12:31 PM ^

Maybe he really does suck at coaching fundamentals compared to other coaches. 

Maybe the players on the Denver Broncos superbowl winning teams had already learned fundamentals sufficiently to warrant their inclusion on a superbowl winning roster.

Maybe the players on his other NFL teams had been similarly well coached in fundamentals to warrant their inclusion on NFL rosters.

Maybe the one year he was at Texas he had awesome players who had already been coached with good fundamentals before he left. 

Maybe in the 1970's and 1980's when he was working his way up the college ranks he had really good schemes and ideas that worked based on how football was played at the time, and he was able to get by on those schemes, and the fundamentals taught by other assistant and position coaches, and as football changed, the game passed him by and his schemes were no longer capable of masking his inability to teach fundamentals. 

There, now you can't say that no one has addressed the point of your post, which was that GERG surely must be well versed in fundamentals.  It's possible that he isn't, as compared to elite division one coaches. 



March 31st, 2011 at 2:23 PM ^

Also in the pros there is no limit on the player-coach interaction time.  Also no limit on assistants, trainers, etc.  GERG could excel in a system where given unlimited time with highly paid and motivated players (who did not have course work to juggle, etc) he was an excellent coach.  When you're paying a guy 800,000 (or more) a year it is easier to tell him to show up 60 hours a week to watch film, practice and work with the trainers.  In college that kind of demand is a NCAA violation.    

Since we're doing the whole "but he has rings" thing, Charlie Weis simplified his offense significantly during his tenture at ND.  He was used to Tom Brady showing up at 6 am to watch film all day and suddenly he didn't have that.  So he tried to install a complex system and it failed.  

End of the day GERG has one good college coaching spot on his resume, Texas.  I see nothing wrong with saying he sucks at college coaching.  Doesn't mean he fails to understand the game but he could fail at dealing with younger players, at effectively managing time in a limited enviroment, etc.

Personally if it wasn't for our new D-Coord's successful stint in college prior to joining the Ravens, I'd be worried slightly about his hiring.  


March 31st, 2011 at 6:08 PM ^

Why would you be worried about hiring Greg Mattison to be our new D-coordinator?  He laid the groundwork for the '97 defense.  He knows how Michigan is supposed to "traditionally" operate...unless there's a hidden dark side to the Mattison years at Michigan?


March 31st, 2011 at 1:30 PM ^

Knowing something, and being able to effectively communicate to other people so that they can know how to do it, are two separate things.  I suspect he has gotten worse at the latter as time has passed.  It happens to a lot of coaches.


March 31st, 2011 at 11:37 AM ^

I'm not sure why you replied to my post to compain about people talking about Rodriguez, I didn't say anything about him.

And I like to think I gave you a reasonable response to your original post, to which you flipped out and went full ass-hole.

As to how he went through 30 years of coaching without knowing how to teach fundamentals? Well, there's always the very reasonable possibility that his best years are behind him and he's lost it. There's always the even more reasonable possibility that (as you yourself point out) his best years were spent in the NFL coaching seasoned professionals, not 19 year old true freshman. I'm willing to wager that teaching fundamentals is less critical (still important, though) when coaching the pros than when coaching young, inexperienced college students.