If not GERG, then who?

Submitted by ForestCityBlue on November 11th, 2010 at 12:17 PM

With the growing consensus around the Board that GERG is a big part of the problem in terms of our defense getting better and improving within the season--let alone within games, the question I have is this: if GERG gets handed his walking papers, who would be the most likely candidate to replace him?  Across the landscape of college ball are there any defensive co-ordiantors who have successfully built killer defenses who might be available.  This is an honest question on my part.  This gets beyond my level of geek arcane knowledge of the game and I think it might be fun to start wistfully looking for greener pastures...


oriental andrew

November 11th, 2010 at 1:27 PM ^

Whatever your feelings about the Barenaked Ladies, don't you dare ever denigrate The Friars' version of "If I had a Million Dollars".  Any time you can throw a "Let's Go Blue!" into a pop song, it's ok by my book.  


Besides, if you had a million dollars, which DC's love would you buy?  And sorry, GERG, I have NOT always wanted a monkey...


November 11th, 2010 at 1:53 PM ^

Sounds like a 19th-century skin disease.

"I caught a nasty case of mangus while on safari in Upper Volta in 1896. I had to be carried out on a stretcher by a platoon of Her Majesty's finest through swamp and jungle, and then commenced by tramp steamer to return to Brazzaville, and spent six months recuperating eating nothing but sheep livers, the only cure for mangus at that time."

Cool One

November 11th, 2010 at 12:24 PM ^

If GERG gets fired then RROD needs to bring in someone that has not only complete control of the defense but also gets to bring in anyone else he wants with him. Tony Gibson might also have to leave. He might be a great recruiter but I'll take a better coach with less recruiting prowess.

UM Indy

November 11th, 2010 at 12:34 PM ^

I see here is that Rich Rod and Gibson are best buds.  We have a catch 22 here.  Rich needs to get a new D coordinator who has authority to run the scheme he wants with the coaches he wants.  Problem is Gibson may not be part of that plan.  Perhaps Gibson goes to a recruiting position?  Or perhaps Rich saves himself?


November 11th, 2010 at 1:27 PM ^

I don't see it as a major problem.  It is the AD's call.  Rodriguez has had three years.  It is clear that he has done enough to keep his job but not enough to keep his guys on defense.  He may huff and puff, but ultimately Brandon is the law, not Rodriguez.  Brandon should respect Rodriguez for being loyal to his guys, even to a fault, but he is blind if does not see the structural problems on defense. 

pee on freep

November 11th, 2010 at 12:33 PM ^

at this point i don't care who the replacement is as long as they come in and do one f_king scheme and do it f_king well.  look at Iowa, they run a relatively simple defense and they excel at it.  who's megamind idea is it to take a bunch of young inexperienced players and have them switching up schemes constantly when not one of them is working out sufficiently...  i'm no defensive megamind but when I see Iowa do what they do, make it simple make it successful, i'm all in...

KC Wolve

November 11th, 2010 at 12:28 PM ^

I say Fonzi. Not Fonzi from happy days, but Mr. Coach Klein from Waterboy Fonzi. He did amazing work with their linebackers and found ways to neutralize Meenie.


November 11th, 2010 at 1:20 PM ^

I've seen plenty of defenses with boatloads of talent fail to execute; just because he inherited talent doesn't mean he didn't utilize it well, particularly in his first year here. Aren't these the same complaints that people levelled at Les Miles winning with Saban's players, Meyer doing the same with Zook's, etc.?

Ron English was the head man behind the most dominant Michigan defense since the glory days of the 90s. Don't take away from that with Tuesday Morning Quarterbacking.


November 11th, 2010 at 2:03 PM ^

...as soon as English lost his abundance of talent/experience, his defenses were simply pedestrian. He also wasn't a very good recruiter, and some of our talent discrepancies over the last couple years can be partially attributed to him. I don't hate English, but I believe he is somewhat responsible for the ball beginning to roll in the wrong direction.


November 11th, 2010 at 1:04 PM ^

was loaded with the best defensive talent since the 97 squad and he underachieved!

Sure, you can point to 06, but all his d had to do was find a way to keep OSU under 30 points and he failed miserably.


He had 12 players that would go on to the NFL (with varying ranges of success) and although BGraham was a sophomore, the talent level was absurd.

Even his backups (Chirs Graham, Willis Barringer, John Thompson, Tim Jamison, Brandon Harrison) were solid and not inexperienced two stars or three star coners who were QBs last year.

English would be in the same boat as GERG, but maybe a little better ability to make adjustments.  Maybe.


November 11th, 2010 at 3:58 PM ^

I said the same thing.  It still pisses me off that the 06 team did not win a NC.  I mean look at that talent on both sides of the ball.  It was silly.  Still makes me pissed to this day. ok i need to calm down im sorry.  I just never liked English and whenever anyone mentions him as a DC I start boiling.  Then I have flashbacks of Crable hitting douche bag Smith and I start having seizures.  OK new topic please.


November 11th, 2010 at 1:05 PM ^

Seconded.  Apparently this would go a long way towards getting some of the "old guard" back on board, if that's important to anyone.  I don't endorse that point of view (i.e. that which doesn't accept Rich because of where he came from, etc), but if it brings people together and he's also a great candidate and a guy who played for Bo... seems almost like a no-brainer to me.


November 11th, 2010 at 1:16 PM ^

hasn't coached in CFB since the Lou Holtz era. His RECENT success with GB (in contrast to GERG's 90s glory days) seems to bode well, but he doesn't seem to have much in the way of college defense coaching bona-fides. He seems like a solid pick-up, but then again, Charlie Weis was (and is) a pretty good offensive NFL coordinator whose schemes didn't translate well. NFL => College translation is a dicey proposition; we would be better off with someone on their way up the defensive coaching ranks in CFB or by getting a sweet pick-up like Casteel.


November 11th, 2010 at 1:30 PM ^

My only concern with Casteel is that I think I'd rather see Michigan move away from the 3-3-5.  Maybe Casteel's the guy to come in and run it well and everybody on the staff will get along great, and that would be nice.

I just feel like I'd rather see them go in a different direction.  Run a standard base 4-3 and learn to run it well, instead of continually (seemingly) confusing the players.

In the end, I'll be happy with any move that gets someone in here who can put even a mediocre defense on the field.  With the way the offense is shaping up for next year, I'd take a mediocre defense in a heartbeat right now if it meant low variance and less risk of a repeat of this season.


November 11th, 2010 at 3:48 PM ^

given Rodriguez's reputation for interfering with DCs (and Scott Schafer's success after leaving Michigan), plus given that a smooth transition would be best, Casteel makes the most sense for a lot of reasons. A 3-3-5 guru like Rodriguez wants, an excellent recruiter, good synergy with a coach who has a tough track record with DCs, and MOST importantly-- an excellent defensive cordinator.

4-3, 4-4, 3-3-5, etc. are all irrelevant if the coach drawing up these schemes isn't competent. Casteel is a professional, and while perhaps not the best possible DC out there, he's the best possible DC for the specific context of 2011 M Football


November 11th, 2010 at 2:44 PM ^

Charlie Wies' offense was just fine at ND. He had a Heisman canidate.


I do agree with your main point though. The problem is that RR cannot afford to take even the slightest flier. Often times picking that young guys is risky. Maybe you look to an older guy that has been around awhile and had success possibly at a lower level of the food chain. I am not mentioning him as a canidate at all but a guy who has been around some successful defenses and has been mostly successful would be someone like Dan McCarney.


November 11th, 2010 at 12:39 PM ^

1. Compile a list of schools who have recently fired their HC or will be firing their HC at the end of the season.

2. See if any of the HCs or DCs from that list have a track record of producing good COLLEGE defenses.

3. Add to that list any other candidates you think you can hire away if the price is right.

3. Rank those that are available.

4. Mail blank check to the person at the top of said list.

5. Enjoy.


November 11th, 2010 at 12:40 PM ^

We'll choose the same way they pick the pope.  Everyone reaches into the jar and draws a pickled egg. Whoever gets the black egg becomes the defensive coordinator


November 11th, 2010 at 12:43 PM ^

To answer your question honestly...my hope is that West Virginia loses the rest of their games, Bill Stewart and his whole staff are fired, and we get to scoop up Jeff Casteel. He's the perfect guy, RichRod wanted him to come with him initially but he didn't want to move his family. He'd get total control of the Defense. It's unlikely WVU would consider promoting him because they already did an in-house hire with Stewart and that failed miserably. Outside of that, I really don't know who DC candidates would be.

Mr. McBlue and…

November 11th, 2010 at 1:03 PM ^



Seasons School Position(s)

2004-present Kent State Defensive Coordinator

2001-03 Youngstown State Defensive Coordinator

1999-00 Youngstown State Assistant Coach

1997-98 Austin Peay Defensive Coordinator

1994-96 U.S. Coast Guard Academy Defensive Coordinator

1991-92 Eastern Michigan Graduate Assistant


1987-90 Youngstown State Defensive Back

Those who have no clue who this gentleman is, look no further than you kent state golden flashes!

Currently has his defense 9th in the NCAA in overall defense, has semi-pseudo history with Tressel, and can flat out coach a defense.

This is telling:


1 TCU 10 539 2155 4.00 11 215.50 10 0 0
2 Boise St. 8 495 1851 3.74 14 231.38 8 0 0
3 Ohio St. 9 516 2108 4.09 15 234.22 8 1 0
4 West Virginia 8 483 1999 4.14 10 249.88 5 3 0
5 Texas 9 580 2406 4.15 27 267.33 4 5 0
6 LSU 9 560 2546 4.55 19 282.89 8 1 0
7 Florida 9 570 2633 4.62 21 292.56 6 3 0
8 Iowa 9 576 2651 4.60 16 294.56 7 2 0
9 Kent St. 9 638 2689 4.21 22 298.78 4 5 0
10 Pittsburgh 8 526 2392 4.55 18 299.00 5 3 0
10 Syracuse 9 592 2691 4.55 22 299.00 6 3 0
12 California 9 581 2696 4.64 24 299.56 5 4 0
13 Utah 9 556 2700 4.86 19 300.00 8 1 0
14 Miami (FL) 9 585 2734 4.67 19 303.78 6 3 0
15 Georgia 10 603 3055 5.07 25 305.50 5 5 0

In 9 games, against 638 plays, he has his players only yielding 298.78 per game.  Stellar.  Plus, they have a 4-5 record...almost an anomoly.