Mandel: Mattison Among Coordinators to Make Impact in 2011

Submitted by Gulo Gulo Luscus on February 17th, 2011 at 12:39 AM

Stewart Mandel cites Greg Mattison among "10 recently hired coordinators who could have a major impact on both their teams and the national landscape for the 2011 season."   Safe to say it will impact the team, but here's hoping the "national landscape" will feature more UM this fall as well.

Good to see more positive press from ESPN SI, anyway:



February 17th, 2011 at 12:50 AM ^

Our offense was one of the most lethal last year - nationally. Most of last year's starters return so I wouldn't forsee a dip in our production.

If Mattison can shore up the defense and bring it to even 'average' nationally we should see a finish in the ranks again nationally.


February 17th, 2011 at 8:47 AM ^

I hope you are right. 

I'm cautious about our offense right now.  I was a little disappointed that we were losing the spread.  I'm concerned that we will have som growing pains implementing the new offense.


February 17th, 2011 at 9:42 AM ^

I'm actually pretty optimistic. I'd imagine that every coach in the country looked at Denard last year and said, "what if?". I'd assume they got the same thing from their current film watching streak.

If Hoke and Co. can utalize him running, the passing will open up for him kind of like in a read option offense.


February 17th, 2011 at 12:56 AM ^

I love the spread offense and wished rr could have succeeded here. With that said i hope Al Borges can develope a offense that kinda like what Penn State ran when they had Darryl Clark. Alot of qb bootlegs and roll outs and utilizes all the wr talent we have right now. I just hope we dont go back to the days of Mike Debord offenses.


February 17th, 2011 at 1:44 AM ^

I think that is exactly what we will have with Borges, and Hoke wil help develop to. The roll out passes Denard did last year were my favorite plays in the RR offense.It will get denard thinking pass first but if it is not there keep the feet moving.

..As for Mattison, people are saying " If Mattison can make a terrible defense average we will make some noise." But I am excited, I think we are going to see a pretty nice and noticeable improvement in the defense.


February 17th, 2011 at 7:32 AM ^

I am not sure what everyone is so concerned about with the D.  There is a ton of experience now.  They all played a full year of college ball.  They understand the speed of the game, the one thing they were lacking was a coaches ability to obtain their full potential.  Now we have a coach who has the ability to make alot of noise and bring in a scheme that is not tainted by anyone, a coach who can run his scheme and run it without opposition from anyone.  This D had the potential last year to be great, I really feel that with some true hard nosed coaching that the D could have been special.  There is talent there, and alot of it.  I like what Mattison has done in his previous stops.  Mark it this D is in the top 25 in total D's this year.

Bill in Birmingham

February 17th, 2011 at 9:17 AM ^

This D had the potential last year to be great

I am truly hoping that Mattison makes a difference and we see great improvement this year. But if you really believe this statement, you and I were not watching the same players last year. Badly coached? Absolutely. Potential to be great? Uh, not really. You can't be playing that many freshmen and have the potential to be great, even with tremendous talent.


February 17th, 2011 at 10:24 AM ^

Sure, our players now have a year of experience.  But on almost any team, the starters will mostly have 2-3 year of experience.  We are still going to be at an experience deficit.  And, while I think that Mattison is going to be a tremendous coordinator, we are still going to a new system under an entirely new staff - there are bound to be some adjustment pains. 

Also, there is the issue of talent.  The defense is comprised almost entirely of 3* type guys.  Without getting into any debate about the ranking system, we will still be at a talent deficit, when compared to what our defenses used to be.  Mike Martin should be a beast, but aside from him, can you name a single D player that you think is a game changer? 

So, with that said, I am not expecting a "potential to be great" defense.  I am expecting a defense that can be average - hold most opposing teams in the 20s, so that we have a chance to win it with our offense every game, as opposed to giving up 35+ almost every game and putting our offense in the position of having to score on every possession.

Improvement will come, but let's keep expectations in check.


February 17th, 2011 at 11:03 AM ^

Badly coached


That in itself relates to lack of full potential.  These kids are no longer Freshmen, they are now a year older.  They had the potential to be great players and make a statement last year if they had been coached to their strengths not their weaknesses.  I hold firm to my statement and will wait to see if Im right on target with my assessment.  

You bring in a big time DC, and individuals who want to teach.  Are all on the same page in reagrds to schemes and teaching methods.  That to me barks and speaks volumes to what these kids will do next year.


February 17th, 2011 at 2:19 AM ^

I told him I thought that between Hoke and Mattison, Mattison was the most important hire and the one with the best chance to really make an impact.  He has the Urban Meyer stamp of approval as a recruiter, SEC experience, and NFL experience.  

I'm not fully convinced Michigan will be much better than an average defense this season, but I think Mattison might be able to help pull in a top ten or even a top five recruiting class next year, and I'm hoping he can mold a defense that is still a little young this year into a very good one in 2012.   


February 17th, 2011 at 10:28 AM ^

Mattison ACTUALLY SAID that he would not have taken this job if not for Brady Hoke!  He actually said that.  It is very unusual for a coordinator to make a lateral move from a position in the NFL to a college position, and even more unusual when the coordinator is currently highly successful in the NFL and going into a rebuilding opportunity in college, and even more unusual when that coordinator is 62 years old. 

Matty came for one reason - to coach with Hoke.  He would not have come for RR.  This is not a criticism of RR - he wouldn't have come for any other coach.

As to freedom on the defensive side, quite the opposite - Hoke has said publicly that he intends to be heavily involved in the D.


February 17th, 2011 at 10:33 AM ^

As to freedom on the defensive side, quite the opposite - Hoke has said publicly that he intends to be heavily involved in the D.

This is a good thing, Rodriguez was rightfully involved with the offense because he is an offensive-minded coach. Hoke has made it to this level with his defensive coaching so it's only logical that he and Mattison will be involved with the defense together.

Blue Mind and Heart

February 17th, 2011 at 10:48 AM ^

many on the board often moan about how it would have been great if DB only forced RR to hire a great DC.  

The only issue with that is that no quality DC would have accepted the job.  This would have been clearly RR's last shot and no top notch DC would want to take what would have been a one year job.  The talent did not appear to be on that side of the ball and RR's culture of offense over defense will make this year a tough job for any DC.  Hopefully the talent was just badly misused or poorly coached and Mattison can make huge strides.  Either way, he knows he has years not one year to put in his system. 


February 17th, 2011 at 9:18 AM ^

but I would gladly accept a slight decline in O if the D gets back to kicking butt.

Shootout games are entertaining but comes down to who has the ball last not who is the better team.  

Defense wins titles. 


February 17th, 2011 at 9:29 AM ^

Rich knew his defense was horrible but that still didnt stop him from tinkering with it and forcing a system that GERG didnt know how to run.  I wanted a 4th year from him but damn man at some point you have to say..I'm really good at offense I'm going to go coach that.  GERG why dont you just do whatever you want on D as this 3-3-5 surely isnt working and dont call me Shirley. 

Oh well I feel like we were just getting to know each other but alas that summer fling is gone and now we need to put our faith in Hoke.  I'm just hoping the talent RR left Hoke doesnt doom us ala Charlie Weis (love ya big guy) ND style, and by that I mean really good 1st year and a steady decline. 


February 17th, 2011 at 9:28 AM ^

The impact of teams not being able to double team mike martin is going to be huge i believe.


We are gonna see our line getting a lot of pressure on opposing QB's this coming year i believe


February 17th, 2011 at 9:39 AM ^

Look guys I've been playing a lot of NCAA 2011 recently with the SDSU playbook.  I think it's safe to say we're a lock to go undefeated for the next four years. 

Seriously though - Mattison as an impact coordinator (when Mendel mentions like 10 of them) is a no brainer.  It's like being told you're going to Applebee's for a steak dinner, only you really end up eating at Morton's. 

With all the support Hoke is getting, and all the positive attention, I hope people have seriously high expectations of the team this year.  Like 9-3 in the worst case scenario. 

Gulo Gulo Luscus

February 17th, 2011 at 10:23 AM ^

i should know better anyway- i gave up on ESPN's horrible website long ago and can barely stand anything but live sports broadcasts on their channels.  at least isn't such a mess.  content wise... 6 of one half dozen of the other?

at least i corrected my original error of referring to him as "mike" mattison before anyone viewed the post.  (perhaps mike "the mouth" matusow was on my mind).  this thread would have looked quite different and i'd be in bolivia by now.


February 17th, 2011 at 9:54 AM ^

Playing the 4-3 under/over will have an instant positive impact in a league where smashing the ball up the middle is key.  I also like the idea of Mike Martin playing the 3-tech instead of nose. He will find himself in the backfield blowing up plays often with this scheme. 

The big question is  - Who is the nose? Will Will be? (wierd sentence) Can they bring him back to the other side of the ball, or does he prefer offensive line now? Maybe Ash or Talbott can hold the nose spot? I would rather have a B- or C+ nose tackle and an A+ 3-technique, than stick Mike in the middle to get lost in more double teams. These are just a few of hundreds of questions that might be answered as early as April 16th. 

Can't wait to see the team and maybe some mgopeeps in AA in a couple months. Go Blue!!! 



February 17th, 2011 at 10:33 AM ^

The assumption that the returning players on offense will somehow not decrease our production might be a little overzealous.  I can't remember where, but someone posted a diary here that effectively concluded that returning players don't have a major impact on year to year performances.

We're switching styles, and that in and of itself is enough to warrant a step down in offensive production.  I'm not saying it will happen, I'm just hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.

Our defense, under Mattison, is what excites me most about 2011.


February 17th, 2011 at 3:57 PM ^

The Ravens defense is also extremely talented.  I'm definitely thinking Mattison should help improve UM's defense but the Ravens defense has consistently been one of the best defenses in the league for almost a decade (Mattison was only there the last 3 years).

Wolverine 73

February 17th, 2011 at 11:13 AM ^

is a more consistent performance in games against good defensive teams.  For all of its explosiveness last year, the offense stumbled against the Ohio State's, Wisconsin's and Mississippi State's.  Add to a more consistent offense a competent defense--and anyone thinking it can become more than that overnight is a real optimist--and we will have a chance to win each of the games we play.  That will be a huge improvement, whatever our final record may be.  2012 is when we can hope for a defense that gets back to what we were used to around 1997.


February 17th, 2011 at 4:13 PM ^

The impact of hiring Mattison may take us 3 to 4 years to realize.  His recruiting prowess could make this defense nasty good.  This year, I'd take a 7-9 win season happily, as long as we see progress on the defensive side and not too much regression on offense...maybe even an offense that can move the ball consistently against upper echelon teams.  If those things start happening, it's most certainly a strong possibility the recruiting starts picking up and we see the top tier recruiting numbers we are used to seeing from Michigan.


February 17th, 2011 at 9:53 PM ^

I thought that piece by Mandel was watery.  The Mattison hire is much more substantial than he writes.  As for game changers other than Mike Martin on D...I think Kenny Demens has the chance to make several MAJOR plays every game, either drive-killing TFL's, forced fumbles or simply a big stop or two on third and short.