Offensive staff possibilities and ideas

Submitted by Ron Utah on January 5th, 2018 at 1:26 PM

Yesterday's post about OC ideas generated some great ideas and helped sift through some bad ones.  Thank you to everyone who offered useful or clever input.

Here are some more ideas, including names for position coaches and co-coordinators.  If Harbaugh stays true to form, we will continue to have a Run Game Coordinator and a Pass Game Coordinator, so that opens up more possibilites.

  • Matt Canada - Coached an incredibly successful Pitt offense in '16 and parlayed that into the LSU OC job.  Graduated from Indiana and has coached in IN, WI, PA, IL, NC, and LA.  Seems to work magic with rushing attacks.  Could be a stand-alone or Co-OC.
  • Ryan Silverfield - The Memphis OL/Run Game Coordinator is a strong recruiter and coach.  He coached Kevin Smith (UCF RB) to a 2,500 yard season and Adrian Peterson (at the Vikings) to his best (2.097 yards) season.  He was also on Todd Graham's ASU staff (where he connected with Norvell) and has coached at Toledo.  NFL, NCAA, and midwest ties with an excellent track record--do want.  As a bonus, he grew-up in and maintains Florida ties, which can't hurt our recruiting down there.  Would need a Pass Game Co-Coordinator if we hired Silverfield.
  • Beau Baldwin - While he has a thin FBS resume--with just one year at Cal as an OC--Baldwin is a highly-respected offensive mind.  He's always been a West Coast guy, but many think he has a bright future.  His #81 S&P+ ranking, following last year's #5 ranking for Cal, does little to inspire confidence, but it's a small sample and he might be able to build some success at Cal.
  • Dan Enos - Not a new idea, but I'm not sure how much most people know about Enos.  After losing their excellent OL coach, Sam Pittman, Arkansas was never able to repeat their rushing success.  But Enos' offenses have been pretty good in Arkansas, despite a talent deficiency in the SEC West.  I like this hire if Michigan finds a strong complement to coach the OL/Running Game.
  • Brian Wright - Toledo's OC/QB, Wright leads a highly effective passing spread offense.  While he's a bright offensive mind, he's unlikely to be hired as anything other than a QB/Pass Game Coordinator, since his offense does not resemble anything like Harbaugh's.

Please continue to add ideas.  Small school guys (FCS or lower) are unlikely to get an opportunity at Michigan (for better or for worse).  Roman is rumored to want to stay in the NFL.  EDIT - Now official that Roman is staying with the Ravens.



January 5th, 2018 at 3:44 PM ^

I was late to the party on this one, but just suggested it in the other thread. 
Like Don Brown at the time, no current Michigan connections... just looking arond to see who's been successfully doing what we would now like to be successful at doing.

Sterlin Gilbert:

Tulsa, 2015
Texas, 2016
South Florida, 2017
All great offenses, particularly rushing offenses.
He likes to run Veer & Shoot, which is a Smashmouth-run hybrid of the spread offense, using the spread to create more space than you ordinarily get for a bunch of power-run/play action stuff. Basically, it's some of the philosophical stuff that we've been trying to do, but using the spread to make it legitimately feasible.
Texas and Illinois recruiting pipelines, and now I-4/Florida connections
"veer and shoot takes the idea of a power run/play-action spread offense to its logical extremes.
The WR splits make for intense spacing, the passing game focuses on attacking deep or wide with screens and vertical routes, and the run game is filled with down blocking angles and two-back lead runs. Even the personnel are chosen for their extremes, veer and shoot teams target the biggest OL and the fastest WRs they can find so that teams are really punished for failing to use numbers to stop either the passing game or the runs."


January 5th, 2018 at 1:39 PM ^

This is a totally different hire than Don Brown.  With Brown, we wanted a guy who's going to run on his own.

For OC, those guys aren't going to want to work for Harbaugh.  And Harbaugh probably doesn't want to work with them, they wouldn't be a fit.

The nice theoretical benefit of a Drevno is he's an OL, which adds to Harbaugh who's a skill position guy.  We need someone  who meshes and enhances Harbaugh, not a guy to be an island

Pepto Bismol

January 5th, 2018 at 2:01 PM ^

Love this thread - AKA: Let's just all throw a bunch of shit against the wall and watch it fall on the floor. 


How about Pete Scrimbler, the current OC for D-II Crambulanch College?  His offense posted X amount of yards in his first two seasons after only scraping together <X yards the year prior.  That was good for Top-Whatever in all of college football!  He learned his craft under the tutelage of legendary West Texas High School coach and part-time law man, Wes Crowley.  One of his players went on to play in the NFL - a sure-fire can't-miss sign that he's the best coach.  His style is pro style/smashmouth, but also incorporates a ton of shotgun, pistol, flexbone and single-wing. Plus he once had a 30-second conversation with Jim Harbaugh in line at a gas station, so there are ties to the program.  He's young - only 14 years old and has been quoted as saying he never wants anything more than to be an unheralded, underpaid, whipping-boy coordinator for some overzealous college fan base.

You think we'll hire him?  We should totally hire him!


(Spoiler: We won't.)


January 5th, 2018 at 1:37 PM ^

Idk about hiring a passing spread only coach as our passing game coordinator. Most of those routes work based off of other passing concepts, so they don't integrate well with a run prodominate scheme. I'm guessing that was a big error this year with Pep, and why we had so few wide open WRs... We never passed enough (successfully) in order to get the other passing concepts open by feinting the original successful concept?

Mpfnfu Ford

January 5th, 2018 at 1:42 PM ^

But I'm not sure he's the right fit to work with Harbaugh. He's the kind of guy who really wants the offense to be his baby, without meddling. He's the perfect OC for a defensive minded coach who just wants his offense to be good, which is why he got along great with Narduzzi at Pitt. I think him and Harbaugh would clash and Canada has a few personality problems. He's fallen out with Bielema, Dave Doeren and now Orgeron. I don't see him fitting into a collaborative atmosphere that Harbaugh stokes.

Just give me some dang pistol. That's all I want. I want Michigan to be able to use a running quarterback. I'm so sick of trying to run an NFL passing offense with college kids. When it works and you've got upper classmen, it's fabulous, but oh man getting the kids the experience to run it sucks.

what would Bo do

January 5th, 2018 at 2:05 PM ^

I mostly agree, but man would a Matt Canada/Harbaugh offense be fun.  We have the personnel to run it.  Canada's offense has an identity (power run), but utilizes a ton of misdirection, counters, and screens to keep defenses off balance in a way that makes sense in the overall scheme. 

Is there actual evidence of him "falling out" with anyone other than Orgeron?  Maybe he left Wisconsin because he wanted to work with Doeren.  Maybe he got a pay raise to go to Pitt.  He definitely got a pay raise to go to LSU.  He "only" made 560k/year at NC State; I couldn't find his salary at Pitt, but I found that an article that said LSU doubled his salary, which would've had him make 750k at Pitt...maybe he left for more money.  Unless there's more evidence of "falling out", I don't think it's any more likely than he just went elsewhere for more money or better/different opportunities.

Mpfnfu Ford

January 5th, 2018 at 2:58 PM ^

He didn't leave State, they fired him. I know I know, he ended up at a job that's arguably lateral making more money, which I think speaks to how good a rep he has as a mind. But he got himself fired from NC State.

Him and Bielema clashed a lot. Canada wanted to be more spread than Bielema was comfortable with, and Bielema absolutely didn't buy in on the jet sweep stuff that's still a staple of what Wisconsin does:

So the charitable way of putting things for Canada is that it seems like every time he's clashed with a HC, he's been right. Lord knows Brian's more fit to run an offense than Ed Orgeron, and ultimately his Pitt offense in one offseason was better than what the team that fired him had. His Wisconsin stuff was so good that when they parted ways they still kept a lot of his ideas. But there's something to be said for not just having good ideas, but being able to convince the people around you that they're good ideas, and he seems to struggle with that.

what would Bo do

January 5th, 2018 at 3:25 PM ^

I upvoted you for not ripping me for offering a contrarian view and backing up your initial statement with evidence.  That's how this board should operate.

It was always a longshot and I would assume the hiring of Enos would preclude us from pursuing Canada.  That being said, there aren't many places that have the cupboard stocked with players that fit the personnel he wants to run, so if he does leave LSU, I'd be curious to see where he goes.  If get gets a buyout from LSU, his new destination wouldn't have to match his salary, which would limit the schools interested even more.  He has to be close to being offered a chance to coach a G5 team as a HC if that's his goal.  Not many take the John Chavis/Bud Foster route and stay a coordinator until retirement.


January 5th, 2018 at 1:39 PM ^

Giving the OC a new title (and probably more $$) to keep him.  Not an intentional thing to do his brother, but migh have messed with Jim's plan.  Of course none of us KNOW what the plan is. 

Maybe John did this to stop the speculation because Jim has a completely different plan in the works

Mr Miggle

January 5th, 2018 at 1:45 PM ^

of having run game and passing game coordinators.

It made sense to have a passing game coordinator with Drevno as the OC. I don't see it if our OC is the QB or WR coach.

We didn't have a run game coordinator before Frey. It was probably a mistake to make him one, but likely was used to lure him here. Could be those titles will again be used to make the jobs more attractive, but I'd expect there will be more concern about the fit.

My guess is that only Dan Enos and one other offensive coach will end up with some sort of coordinator title.



January 5th, 2018 at 1:48 PM ^

Drevno but he should not be the OC. I'm glad Rome is off the list, since he would be similar to Drevno as an OC. Lets get more of a pass happy OC and Harbaugh and Drevno can work on the running game.