The Lloyd Carr fork in the road

Submitted by CLord on October 9th, 2017 at 7:08 PM

People notice Jim is glum of late relative to the last couple of years.  I'll propose it is because he is a smart enough to acknowledge over-abundant evidence that come year end he will face a Lloyd Carr fork in the road, having to choose between loyalty and extended mediocrity on offense, and making a change at OC.

Drevno and Harbaugh have worked together a long time. Quick research (maybe a mistake or two):

      OC OL Coach DC
2004 San Diego 7–4 Drevno Drevno Adolph
2005 San Diego 11–1 Drevno Drevno Adolph
2006 San Diego 11–1 Shaw Drevno Adolph
2007 Stanford 4–8 Shaw Dalman Shafer
2008 Stanford 5–7 Shaw Dalman Buh/Lynn
2009 Stanford 8–5 Shaw Drevno Buh/Lynn
2010 Stanford 12–1 Shaw Drevno Fangio
2015 Michigan 10–3 Drevno Drevno Durkin
2016 Michigan 10–3 Drevno Drevno Brown
2017 Michigan 4–1 Drevno Drevno Brown

One can espouse that while Jim has lifted Michigan especially with the Brown hire, Drevno increasingly smells of Hoke, where there was magic early, but the wheels eventually came off.

There is still time to right the ship and we'll all be rooting for Tim to get the offense going.  But at the current trajectory, the most important decision that may separate us from a decade of championships or one of mediocrity will come this off season.

 

Comments

CraigMack

October 9th, 2017 at 7:09 PM ^

We lost. Harbaugh will be fine. We never good enough to win every game this year. Chill the fuck out . You don’t get gold stars on this blog for hot takes

CLord

October 9th, 2017 at 7:14 PM ^

I fully expect the flame treatment because we're all still pretty upset, but to be clear, there is no contention here that Harbaugh won't be fine.  He will definitely be fine.  The offense has sputtered every game after Florida.  This is not a 'hot take' based upon this Saturday.  That was just added evidence that come year end Jim may face the same loyalty quandary that Carr fell on the wrong side of.

CLord

October 9th, 2017 at 7:26 PM ^

To discuss the potentially difficult decision Jim may face come end of year where loyalty and competitiveness may face off like the devil and angel on Larry Kroger's shoulders in Animal House.  We hope it will not come to that because the offense will come around, but if it does, it will be very interesting to see how it plays out, and will play a seismic role on the trajectory of the program.

reshp1

October 9th, 2017 at 9:13 PM ^

People jump on play calling way too easily. Yeah, it can be a systemic problem and maybe some of that is happening now, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

When a team sucks, every call is a bad call if it didn't gain yards. Every call is the wrong call and every possible alternative is automatically assumed to be superior simply because it wasn't the one that failed. Call a throw and it gets picked off and of course throwing in the rain is a terrible idea. But would people really be any happier with 3 and out after 3 and out as our porous OL can't get any push?

Furthermore, play calling depends on doing at least one thing well. You do that thing, get the defense doing something to stop it and punish their response with a counter of your own. If you're struggling to find something that works at all, or worse keep turning the ball over, then you're just throwing stuff at the wall until you find something that sticks, and everything that doesn't seems idiotic.

reshp1

October 9th, 2017 at 10:15 PM ^

I mean your average fan (myself included) can't parse out much more from a given play other than it gained yards or it didn't. Armed with barely more than some basic rules of thumb about football strategy (i.e. you run the ball if it's raining), the play therefore failed because either someone did something obviously wrong (usually the QB here, whether it's actually the case or not) or the play call sucked. Extrapolate that a few times after a loss, and it's all to easy to spin narratives like we need to bench so and so, or we should have done such and such instead. It's basically the back-up QB syndrome applied to play calls: the best call is the one that was never called. 

reshp1

October 10th, 2017 at 12:41 PM ^

I'm not even saying play calling isn't ever the problem. It obviously can be, but it's hard to parse out based on a few bad outings. My point is people automatically jump to that without considering the myriad alternatives.

Yes, they did screw the pooch on recruiting, but on the other hand shit happens there too. If Harbaugh had been a college coach instead of NFL, we would have had him for another month+ to recruit in 2014. As it is we lost that class, mostly. Swenson got cut loose before we knew Hamilton was going to decommit. Then Newsome gets hurt, Ulizio loses a season to mono last year, then Runyan jumps in a fucking creek and tears his rotator cuff this off-season. Peters... I dunno, isn't engaged enough, Drake Harris can't put on good weight, Nate Johnson gets booted, etc etc.

sdogg1m

October 9th, 2017 at 7:38 PM ^

Hoke fell to this as well with Darrell Funk. A lot of coaches seem to be consumed with staying in their network even at the top level rather than looking to hire the best person that will say yes. The Don Brown hire was a refreshing deviation for sure.

Two changes this season does not settle well. First, Jay Harbaugh's position change. Jay probably asked for the job and has aspirations of moving up but Michigan is not a "learn on the job" program. You are constantly facing competition that has the best resources and there is pressure to win every game. I fear we will suffer through a few years when Jay is finally bumped up to offensive coordinator. I wouldn't mind an experienced OC Jay Harbaugh coaching for Michigan after he receives that initial experience somewhere else.

The hiring of Pep Hamilton and Greg Frey as both have experience that offsets our current offensive coordinator Tim Drevno. What is the point of having Drevno? I have never seen the positive of layered leadership. I cannot imagine that running a football offense has become so time consuming that you need two additional coaches for playing calling and offensive line coaching. I am not a coach so I wouldn't know but from what I see, this is most certainly a negative.

 

Jonesy

October 9th, 2017 at 8:22 PM ^

Jay was the TE coach and they were really good, then he was the ST coach and they were even better than the year before when we had the Don Brown of ST coaches, this year he's the RB coach and Ty finally looks like a 5*, Higdon is better, and Evans gets destroyed by poorly blocked plays every time he sees the field. Did Jay the so-called terrible coach manage to undo a lifetime of coaching and coach them 'up' to fumble the ball?

I don't see how you can blame any of this on Jay.

CLion

October 9th, 2017 at 8:36 PM ^

Isaac looked like a ~ 5* until he got injured. He hasn't done anything since. The RBs have been fumbling and pretty damn bad in pass pro. I agree with the TE/ST stuff, and maybe RB stuff is just bad luck, but I wouldn't mind him getting reassigned to one of those other roles at the end of the season and we bring a recruiting stud at RB coach. When in god's name are we going to have a Dobbins of our own? 

bronxblue

October 9th, 2017 at 10:04 PM ^

You literally said that Harbaugh is stuck between loyalty and "extended mediocrity".  I guess neither sound particularly appealing, but one definitely isn't "fine".  So I don't get the point of this thread beyond digging up the horse, dragging it into the town square, and beating that carcass until it is a puddle of nothing.

MinWhisky

October 10th, 2017 at 9:53 AM ^

Sure, Harbaugh will be "fine" - he's got a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract.  We are half way into Harbaugh's 3rd season and the offense is not "fine".  During that time it has never looked really good except against mediocre competition, and now it's on a downward trajectory.  If something is not working, you have to recognize that and fix it.  The OP is suggesting much of the the problem with the offense is due to the the OC, Drevno.  Your solution is HARBAUGH!.  That isn't working.

Harbaugh's Lef…

October 9th, 2017 at 7:14 PM ^

Oh FFS! Most people projected this team being a 3-4 loss team. They're 4-1 after 5 and yes, it sucks to lose at home, especially to an instate rival but come on! Everyone's acting as the wheels have come off. The offense is in trouble, lots of it but we were still in a game where we were a -5 in takeaways. Everyone is acting like Harbaugh is done. Magic gone. Not a good coach anymore. Everyone needs to calm down a little.

roosterbaan

October 9th, 2017 at 7:59 PM ^

agreed.

i think the only reason everyone is panicked is that the strength of this team has very little to do with harbaugh (other than his decision to hire don brown), and that harbaugh's strengths (qb development, power running game with creativity sprinkled in) have seem to gotten off track. 

i was begging for harbaugh for years, so i am not going to bail now, but it definitely hurts that we've lost to our rivals so often even with his arrival. 

 

Maynard

October 9th, 2017 at 9:52 PM ^

Nice. Ok. I missed that one. I give you credit because some of the scores I saw were just crazy. I think I saw stuff like 40-6 and other blowouts that were laughable in any rivalry game let alone one where we have offensive issues.