Morris: 3 OCs, 3 QB Cs in 3 years

Submitted by BornInA2 on November 1st, 2014 at 1:34 PM

First off: This is an honest question and I'm hoping to get some thoughtful conversation/input on it.

I think Gardner's biggest issue is that in his five years he's played under three OCs, three QB coaches, three offensive systems, and 3/4 of one year at receiver. When I look at it in this context, it makes a whole lot more sense to me that his play and decision-making is more like a sophomore than a 5th year senior.

If Nussmeier gets fired this year, Morris, our presumed started next year, will be on his third OC and third QB coach in three years. Which puts him on the same trajectory as Gardner. This seems to be somewhat borne out in his play this year.

I really and truly think we are missing just one thing to flip the script on this season: Good QB play. Yes, I know, our D hasn't been what was expected. But what was expected also included Peppers and Morgan (yes, I ate my lemon). We've also had various other defensive players out for some periods. When I look at the D and O-line, I thinik, yep, that's about right. Not great, but coming along.

Now, we can't run the ball. And I think we can't for the same reason we haven't been able to for five years now: We have zero tangible passing threat. Because our QB hasn't progressed as a passer. If we made teams play honest pass coverage, we'd have room to run. But we don't because we can't pass. Just like we couldn't with Denard.

I live in Seattle where a whole lot of my friends wanted Nussmeier as the head coach at Washington when Sark left. He had a great run with the Huskies as OC and was successful in Alabama, too. The guy can get it done. And, personally, I think our offensive line HAS improved this year, and it's certainly better than last year. Except, again, at QB.

So, and this is where I'm hoping folks will engage in some...ahem...civil conversation, I'd personally like to see Hoke, Mattison, and Nussmeier get one more year. I don't think it makes sense to fire them after one season or less with a new OC and I don't think it gets us much of anything in terms of improvement next year, especially at QB where I think we really need it. If there isn't a significant improvement next year, then make a change.

Thoughts? (running to closet for Nomex suit now...)

Comments

glewe

November 1st, 2014 at 4:38 PM ^

Are you aware of what the OC job entails? Primarily designing and calling plays. The things that you said are true, but not of coordinators. They are true of position coaches.

As it happens he also coaches QB. And has a good record of QB coaching. Not on him to make all other positions execute.

Gulogulo37

November 1st, 2014 at 8:56 PM ^

"The things that you said are true, but not of coordinators. They are true of position coaches."

Nevermind you blaming the position coaches when Nuss is one of them.

It's a mess all around and I'm not saing Nuss is a bad coach, but I still don't see how you keep the guy around given this entire horrible staff needs to be cleared out. There are plenty other good OCs out there.

CLord

November 1st, 2014 at 2:44 PM ^

How you could possibly want Nuss to stay is bewildering.  If Nuss's offense was remotely any good this year, this team is in contention.  Nuss is a goner, unless it's revealed he was entirely suppressed by Hoke's manbaw mandate, which is unlikely.

klctlc

November 1st, 2014 at 3:33 PM ^

He has no quarterback.  Period. End of Story.  Gardner is broken and Morris is not good.  

We don't know if his hands are tied with going to more spread or not.  That is the only serious critique I have of him.  

What do you want him to do?  Gardner cannot read a defense?  His offense is predicated on that.  Plus the OL has not helped, but honestly there have been times people have been open only for DG to get happy feet.  

Finally, which receiver puts the fear of god into defenses. Funchess, yes, but they double him and he gets this yips to much to be a truly dominant wide receiver.  NOBODY can get separation.

Nuss will probably go, but he is by far the least dirty shirt in this bunch.

Jack Harbaugh

November 1st, 2014 at 5:04 PM ^

to throw more INT's this year than last year. His completion % is near identical. He just doesn't make good decisions with the ball. Plain and simple he's not a good QB. Morris is not better but hey, Denard and Devin are the best QB's to ever come through the program, right?

klctlc

November 1st, 2014 at 5:10 PM ^

Listen to the announcers trying to be nice but calling Gardner out. Watch the start of today's game when they replay the interception with Butt streaking down the middle and no pressure on gardner.  He is a warrior.  He is a good man.  He is  a terrible qb. 

 

Come out of the ether. 

Darker Blue

November 1st, 2014 at 1:38 PM ^

Dude it doesn't matter what you want. Hoke isn't getting another year. Shane Morris is a smart kid, he'll be able to grasp whatever the new offensive system is. 

MoJo Rising

November 1st, 2014 at 1:39 PM ^

I realize the fact he has gone through different coaches but he has not nor do I ever think he will live up to his recruiting ratings. I don't think he knows how to put touch on a football. He's a gun slinger but not a passer. He can't even beat out Gardner who isn't that great of a passer himself. 

Monocle Smile

November 1st, 2014 at 1:40 PM ^

It's much more than merely "better QB play." The OL has improved from "tire fire" to "bad." Let's not kid ourselves.

We're also seeing somewhat unexpected receiver issues. It's rare that someone gets open. We had Jake Butt pop open for a TD last week (turned into a pick-six), but that was pretty much it. Drops, crappy routes, etc. are an issue. I'm not saying QB doesn't have issues, but it's not like the QBs are getting any help.

Jack Harbaugh

November 1st, 2014 at 5:08 PM ^

Look at other programs, their QB's get sacked just as much as ours. Watch Gardner in the pocket, he can't sit still even when there's great blocking. He moves into his own blockers and is indecisive on when/who to pass to. Perfect example is today when there's great protection and he flees the pocket for a 1 yard gain. You're not going to win games against good competition when your QB is doing that. 

OSUMC Wolverine

November 1st, 2014 at 1:40 PM ^

You have to remove some good tissue from around the tumor to make sure the cancer is gone.  Nussmeier has to go too.  He may be a great coach--but he is near/part of a very aggressive tumor.

Double-D

November 1st, 2014 at 2:07 PM ^

I would like to see Morris finish the season as starter to get the reps for next season. DG has proven to have great but fleeting upside with no consistency. His flaws are brutal on the field. I love DGs toughness buts let's see if Shane can build for next year.

GoBlueInNYC

November 1st, 2014 at 2:23 PM ^

I really, really try not to talk bad about individual players, but Shane has been absolutely terrible so far. What do you think he "can build" for next year? He has looked so utterly lost when he's gone in. Letting him start the rest of the season would essentially be forfeiting every game.

He has thrown 5 INTs and 0 TDs in 87 career attempts (5.7% of his throws are INTs), plus at least one bad fumble. This season, his YPA is 3.2 yards and his completion percentage is 35%. I really don't want to talk ill of him, but he has been horrible.

Double-D

November 1st, 2014 at 3:19 PM ^

was worse than both Morris and DG in his Sophmore year.  He could barely throw it 20 yards.  Once he had some time time to play,  gain maturity,  and strength he became one of the best QBs we have ever had.  You have nothing to lose to give Shane the reps.  I dont want to decide a kids ability based on two starts.

RockinLoud

November 1st, 2014 at 2:29 PM ^

 


His flaws are brutal on the field.

 

Yes, and Morris has show that he's even worse. There would be no building, it would be all tearing down and pain. Am I the only one that watched the Minnesota game? Either way he will be working on a different offense next year, better to keep him  healthy esspecially given the nature of concussions; he gets another good pop to the head even this close to the "mild" one he sustained, it could seriously harm his wellbeing both short-term and long-term. Not worth it all the way around.

charblue.

November 1st, 2014 at 2:28 PM ^

to get reps and prepare him for next year when he's not assured of getting the job doesn't change the fact that playing him will prepare him for next year. I would never play him ahead of Gardner regardless of their flaws. Gardner can make plays that Morris can't I question whether Morris will ever make the grade and that he was allowed to play too long against Minnesota and should have been pulled before the late hit that made him a lasting reminder of this sad season.

Gardner gives Michigan the best chance to win regardless of his flaws.

GoBlueInNYC

November 1st, 2014 at 2:41 PM ^

Are you saying Gardner is fragile? The guy is tough as shit. He gets injured not because he's fragile, but because he takes such a beating.

And the previous poster clearly said he'd never start Morris AHEAD OF GARDNER. Of course if Gardner gets injured you put in Shane ahead of Bellomy. But regardless of which backup you put in, the offense will still go nowhere and throw plenty of picks. (I guess it'll throw plenty of picks with Gardner, too, but at least there's an outside chance of the occasional TD.)

GoBLUinTX

November 1st, 2014 at 3:23 PM ^

I'm asking that of Charblue.  Actually I meant mentally fragile, of which I don't believe either suffers.  I'm seeing an awful lot of "he's broken", too many OCs, too young, not enough experience.  They're all saying the same thing, Michigan QBs don't have the mental toughness to compete.  Personally I don't think enough excellence has been demanded of them, maybe because the coaches also believe they're China Dolls.

 

Victor Valiant

November 1st, 2014 at 1:44 PM ^

I could definitely see Nuss getting another year if the new AD brings in a coach that prefers to run a prostyle system. If one of the Harbaughs or Les Miles comes here, there isn't a great reason not to keep Nuss if they don't have a proven OC that they want to bring with them.

Pro's:

The kids know Nuss 

Nuss isn't "married" to Hoke since they didn't know each other prior to this year.

Nuss has shown he can work with a strong personality HC (Saban)

It's widely believed that Saban dictated to Nuss a lot of what he wanted done on offense, so there is no reason to believe Miles or Harbaugh would have to fire him because they want to run their own stuff. 

Cons:

Nuss might be associated to much with the failed regime

Nuss's offense isn't exactly lighting up the scoreboard this year

New coach might want his own guy

New coach might not be a prostyle guy.

flashOverride

November 1st, 2014 at 2:35 PM ^

As much as I appreciate the effectiveness and simplicity of the spread, I sure as hell hope the next coach is a pro-style guy. Coaching transitions are one thing, but I don't want to go through another player personnel transition. We've just finished our second one over a seven-year span. Let's not go there again.

Pro-style offense that implements spread concepts and tempo? Would love it, that is in fact what I prefer. Full-on, zone-read option spread offense? That ship has sailed in Ann Arbor, I think.

Victor Valiant

November 1st, 2014 at 2:40 PM ^

I tend to agree with you. I do not want to see another personnel transition either. The last 2 have been extremely hard to watch. I too prefer a pro-style system that implements newer spread concepts. I still think pro-style is the best long term system for a team that wants to win and recruit consistently. Obviously there are exceptions though. 

GoBlueInNYC

November 1st, 2014 at 2:44 PM ^

You know there are passing spreads, right? Moving to an offense that is called a "spread" is not inherently going to be some drastic, traumatic change. There are things in between a Wisconsin-like power running attack and a Rodriguez read option offense.

The dread over "spread or pro-style" is insane. Get some one who can run a functional offense AND defense. Period.

flashOverride

November 1st, 2014 at 3:18 PM ^

I am aware there are passing spreads, yes. That's why I took care to emphasize the "zone-read" part when I said the ship has sailed. That said, even the Air Raid would require some transition. I'd like to see the team, regardless of coaching staff, come out next fall looking sure of their identity and comfortable in the offense they're running. If that can be accomplished in an offense that more would term spread than pro-style, fine. But the players that will be on the roster were recruited with a certain vision in mind, and I think it would be wise to not stray too far from it. 

klctlc

November 1st, 2014 at 3:38 PM ^

Now we need a QB.  Most important player on UM roster next year is not on the team this year. Either Malzone or a fifth year guy.  And it is not even close.  With a competent QB and a top line HC 10 - 2 is possible. (not likely, but other than a pass rushing LB or DE, next year is a pretty solid group)

 

charblue.

November 1st, 2014 at 2:38 PM ^

that Nussmeier is an influential OC. I think he says all the right things, but I haven't seen anything from his offense that impresses me and makes me want him around under a new Michigan coach. i

Either Michigan can't perform what he wants to do, or his hands are being tied by Hoke, dictating the rather average play-calls Michigan runs. I just don't see all the rationale for keeping him. I think Borges was a more creative play-caller. Clearly he got Gardner to perform better using a wide variety of sets, formations with an even crappier Oline by all accounts.

Beyond that, the offense is brutally slow in running plays,  which again, may be a strategy of this offense, but if so, it has done little to advance the case for this type of play-calling. I can't remember a Michigan offense that seems so willing to not take chances, and that's with every other play-caller that people here have bitched about. This offense is boring as hell.

 

charblue.

November 1st, 2014 at 2:38 PM ^

that Nussmeier is an influential OC. I think he says all the right things, but I haven't seen anything from his offense that impresses me and makes me want him around under a new Michigan coach. i

Either Michigan can't perform what he wants to do, or his hands are being tied by Hoke, dictating the rather average play-calls Michigan runs. I just don't see all the rationale for keeping him. I think Borges was a more creative play-caller. Clearly he got Gardner to perform better using a wide variety of sets, formations with an even crappier Oline by all accounts.

Beyond that, the offense is brutally slow in running plays,  which again, may be a strategy of this offense, but if so, it has done little to advance the case for this type of play-calling. I can't remember a Michigan offense that seems so willing to not take chances, and that's with every other play-caller that people here have bitched about. This offense is boring as hell.

 

MWolverine7

November 1st, 2014 at 1:44 PM ^

It's not happening and it shouldn't.  IMHO Nuss could stay on under a new head coach but that should be his decision.  Hoke is a disaster and risking the program over one player is not sound reasoning.

Tater

November 1st, 2014 at 1:44 PM ^

No.  I have changed my mind on Hoke.  I still don't blame him for taking his dream job, but his teams are getting worse every year.  There isn't much "worse" left to go to if he continues the pattern.

JohnnyBlue

November 1st, 2014 at 1:44 PM ^

I can possibly see Nuss staying...but Nuss left Bama to get away from a coach with an intence personality...Harbaugh well...he isn't exact hoke..Mattison I don't think wants to deal with someone like Harbaugh at this point in his career.  I wounder honestly if mattison came, because he saw a friend that he thought would be way over his head and be the Vice Headcoach behind the scenes.