Idea for captains going forward

Submitted by Larry Appleton on December 29th, 2018 at 10:39 PM

First of all, I do not fault players who skip bowl games to focus on their careers.  That’s their future, and they should do what is best for them.

THAT SAID, team captains absolutely have to be team-first players.  They have to be the first players on the practice field and the last ones off it.  They need to get in other players’ faces when they aren’t giving their all.  They need to fight tooth-and-nail for their teammates no matter what.

And they cannot leave their teammates high and dry, even if it means risking their draft prospects.  That’s what a captain needs to be.

Going forward when evaluating potential captains, Harbaugh needs to ask them if they would possibly sit out any game to focus on the draft.  If the answer is not a firm no, pick someone else.



December 29th, 2018 at 10:46 PM ^

Honestly I think the captain thing is being overblown. Idc how intense or revved up players get for this game. The game planning and coaching failed them. 


December 29th, 2018 at 10:47 PM ^

Hard to blame Gary - he was banged up,  didn’t have a great year, and needed the potential hype to get first round pay.   It’s hard to piss away that much money so I can’t blame the guy.  


December 29th, 2018 at 10:56 PM ^

Maybe the captains need to be guys who don’t play so we don’t run the risk of them sitting out a bowl game. Seriously though, if Michigan made the playoffs, all of our players would’ve played. This game was meaningless and it doesn’t make you a bad teammate for not risking your financial future for an exhibition. I don’t know Rashan Gary’s situation, but if he blows his knee out like Jaylon Smith and loses millions of dollars, do you think it’s least he’s a team player, right? That’s crazy. Every player who sat out this game, has given a ton to this program and they have earned their scholarships and then some for this university.

Hail Harbo

December 30th, 2018 at 2:57 AM ^

You can't possibly know whether they would sit or play.  I will ask you the same question you asked of others, is it okay for Rashan Gary to lose millions of dollars because he blew out his knee in a conference championship game? One of the CFP games?  The national championship game?  If you said yes, in your mind is there a particular break point when playing for the glory of a trophy you can't put on your mantle is worth the loss of millions of dollars?  For instance, let us suppose Michigan did beat OSU but had no chance of making the CFP even as the B1G champ.  Would it have been okay for Gary to sit out the B1G championship game?


December 30th, 2018 at 9:34 AM ^

Look at how the fan base is reacting to this game. Look at the players. Read Grant Perry's quote from "View From The Sidelines." Look at the national perspective. Look at the rhetoric surrounding the program from those national people. Consider how different these things would've been if we had won. You're *seriously* gonna sit here and try to say the game was completely meaningless? 

Laser Wolf

December 29th, 2018 at 11:00 PM ^

“First of all, I do not fault players who skip bowl games to focus on their careers...

and they cannot leave their teammates high and dry, even if it means risking their draft prospects.”

This is obviously about you and your feelings. 

Michigan Arrogance

December 29th, 2018 at 11:01 PM ^

there will be a lot of comments dissmissing the players who sat out and BLAMING THE CORCHING (TM), but here's the situation:

M was without about 5 of their top 10 players, all of whom were upper classmen. 

Their 2 primary captains CHOSE to sit out (well Bush was questionable). and a few others considered it as well. If that alone doesn't give you a hint about the psyche of the team going into the game, IDK what to tell you.

Michigan Arrogance

December 30th, 2018 at 8:48 AM ^

No. my arguement is that it's not all on the coaches.

It's real fashionable these days to give the players all the power and none of the criticism. Xfer whenever they want for whatever reason. Pay them (more). Let them sit out the bowl game if they are thinking of going to the NFL.

And honestly, I agree with all of that (except maybe the last one? I'm kind of on the fence there). But with great power, comes great responsibility. And the players should take that. The TEs played like absolute ass the last 2 games. Especially Gentry vs OSU. Higdon sitting out as a captain is bush league the fact is he quit on his team as a fucking captain (yes he's looking out for #1 and that's his right but both can be true). Bush was at least questionable with injury.

There are guys like Winovitch and Gary and then there are guys like Higdon. But god bless him - with his talent he'll make as much money in his NFL career as I will have in 5-7 years


Michigan Arrogance

December 30th, 2018 at 9:34 AM ^

make better choices for captains? IDK it's not that simple. Maybe there's something more sinister going on here with the team dynamic, but that's tin foil hat bullshit IMO. The team was fine in Oct then by late Nov they developed some kind of fissure among the players? coaches? both? We can't even begin to speculate on that.

The things we can see are that M got injured on the DL at their strongest postions: DE. That was the keystone that held the D together. Good/ great secondary play went to Good at best after the injuries hit and losing Bush killed the middle of the D. That's pretty much the whole D. From that perspective, the coaches did great over the last year and up to Nov with what they had: 2 DEs that were great with one to hopefully step up. LBers fast and deep. Secondary that can stick for 3 seconds. Not a ton of depth besides LBer. Again, just fell apart with the top 2 DEs injured. 

It's a jimmies and joes arguement IMO. On one hand we moan about how bad the OL is and we have no tackles. Then, when the offense doesn't score 30 we bitch about play calling and the coaches. TEs drop 3 balls a game, Shea throws 2 picks a game, the OL is a sieve and it's on coaching. We haven't been able to recruit at OSU, BAMA and Clemsons level most of the last 4 years. You saw the results of that when we play them. ND is in the same boat. They are at our level, one or 2 steps below those 3. Same for OU and everyone else. 


December 29th, 2018 at 11:20 PM ^

Every team has seniors who are, at best, marginal NFL players but really good and hardworking college players. I don't think Higdon is going to be around very long in the NFL (a grinder but not good speed and not a great receiver) - this is the kind of guy who should have given it all on his last game. We lost for a lot for a lot of reasons today, but the lack of leadership, sans Chase and perhaps Ben, didn't help during the practices.

Next year perhaps Mettelus, who played much better this year (today not so well), would be a guy. Chris Evans, I hope has a good off-season and sees what it should be like to be a leader. Limit it to 2 captains. And yes, make it clear - don't ask to be a captain if you can't commit to playing the bowl game.



December 30th, 2018 at 11:02 AM ^

Intertwined to me suggests a two-way relationship, while I think it's pretty clearly a cause and effect. Shitty coaching plus something* made the players not give a shit about the team. 


* I'm not sure what that "something" is. It could be Harbaugh's shitty adherence to his awful scheme. It could be having his kid on staff. It could be (and likely is) related to both his personality and how he deals with injured players. In any case, something isn't working and it's 100% Harbaugh's fault. 


December 30th, 2018 at 1:08 AM ^

Team player, but also I want them to all be 5 stars, or close to it.  And I want high character guys. And good academic performers.  And able to run sideline to sideline as a linebacker, and 6'1" corners with 4.3 speed, and accurate passers who also can run a zone read.  And dammit I want the team to play in the CFP.

I get that everyone's pissed after a garbage performance, but the plurality viewpoint here is also the most contradictory:

(1) anger because the team isn't, and frankly will never be elite, and

(2) also anger at the (few elite) players (that we have) who chose to sit out.  You don't want Devin Bush on the team at all because he's selfish, fine, ok, then you will have a middle linebacker who is not an All-conference athlete, let alone All-American.  You don't get to have both.

Ergo, the team will not be elite





December 30th, 2018 at 1:16 AM ^

Can we just turn down all bowl invites? We always lose anyway. Maybe accept ones in the north, maybe that'd help, the basketball team always does well in NY can we just always go to the pinstripe bowl?