September 14th, 2013 at 7:42 PM ^


this was the perfect trap game.
Not making excuses for us today but...
Akron's coaching staff is better than 9 or 10 of the B1G coaching staffs.
We recruited their QB---and I saw why today.
The Zips are rebuilding with grad-transfers that don't need to sit out... (lots of experiance!)
They clearly were much better than advertised.  Near perfect storm.
We were lucky to come outwith a win today BUT also a fantastic lesson for the team.
One to really build on moving forward!


September 14th, 2013 at 9:14 PM ^

We have good coaches, good kids, we seem mature, we say the right things, it just hasn't translated consistently on the field yet.  I think it's because most of our talent is real young. We have a few guys that are older and good like Garnder, Lewan, Schofield, Q-Wash, etc. We have a ton of young players and every year each recruiting class is better than the last means we continue to stay young.  Unfortunately I think it just takes literally 4-5 years to get both talented AND experienced.  Most of our experienced players aren't super talented and most of our talent is young.  We just have to be patient.  We are still a good team, just not an elite team, and won't be next year either.  It's frustrating that we just aren't quite what we expect yet, but that's the reality.


September 14th, 2013 at 6:32 PM ^

but by the tone of his voice you can really tell he's pissed. He's not just saying this because he thinks it's what he's supposed to say. He's legit upset, as he should be. Gardner may be the leader of the offense, but Taylor is the leader of that offensive line and he needs to really put it in the heads of the three young ins that the job they did today was unacceptable. 

To be honest, Gardner's response concerned me more. His voice didn't quite have the passion/pain that Taylor's did. I might be reading way too much into the tone's and forgive me if I am, but he had 4 turnovers today. He's got to get his head on straight


September 14th, 2013 at 6:34 PM ^

I think you might be reading a little much into it.  Devin seems to be a quieter guy and Taylor's been the leader of this offensive unit for a little longer, so he's probably a little more comfortable being vocal.

Boom Goes the …

September 14th, 2013 at 6:33 PM ^

I think the captains really let the team down today...letting the team come out flat and letting this thing drag out.  i would love to see them have a great week of practice and fire on all cylinders against UCONN but this was very scary.  The coaches need to take accountability for their positions, but there needs to be significant leadership from the players.  Was nowhere to be found this afternoon


September 14th, 2013 at 6:37 PM ^

Do you have examples of lack of leadership?

Not to be an ass, but this is always annoying to me.  "The team was soft," "they didn't show up," "they weren't yelling at each other so they clearing don't care."

We only know that they didn't execute.  We don't know how leadership did or didn't play into that.  We don't know how coaching did or didn't play into that. 

Sure, we can infer things.  But I saw no lack of leadership today, but rather severe lack of execution.


September 14th, 2013 at 6:46 PM ^

To me at least. a leader is able to propel and motivate the troops to get the job done and execute the plays. Sure they we got the win, but the fact that the lack of execution persisted through the whole game and not just the first half is what says lack of leadership to me. 


September 14th, 2013 at 6:48 PM ^

Well, ok, we'll have to agree to disagree.

I'm of the strong opinion that leadership can create the correct attitude in a team, create a work ethic.  However, as a coach, I live it: leadership of one individual cannot make another individual a better player by itself.  At some point, every man on the team is personally responsible for their performance.

Sure, players can improve under the guidance of veterans.  But those vets cannot prevent the other players from making mistakes.  They cannot put in extra hours in the weight room for them.  They cannot make plays for them.


September 14th, 2013 at 6:54 PM ^

yes the veterans cannot put in the extra hours or make the plays for the younger guys. But what they can do is (and I hate using these two phrases) hold them accountable and demand excellence from the younger guys. I'll defer to you as your a coach and i'm not, but isn't that Saban's whole philosophy. He doesn't care, just know your job and execute it? Not saying our player's should be try to emanate satan saban but the guy certainly knows how to lead his team. 


September 14th, 2013 at 7:01 PM ^

I agree with that.  As a leader you have to hold teammates accountable.  We expect our leaders to do that.  However, we hold players accountable to effort and work ethic and team rules and things like that. 

Come game-time, it's each players' personal responsibility to do his job.  At some point leadership has to give way to personal responsibility.  

I guess we can all argue forever when that point is.

Shop Smart Sho…

September 14th, 2013 at 8:35 PM ^

As a coach, I completely disagree with you.  When my team performs poorly, 99% of the time it is the fault of my seniors and leaders.  This is, of course, if it isn't my fault as the coach.  Once those kids begin playing, there is only so much I can do as a coach.  If I believe that I have prepared them as well as I can possibly can, then any failure once the game begins lays at the feet of the leadership of the team.

 At this point for the Michigan football team, I believe the majority of the coaching staff has earned the benefit of the doubt.  Aside from the stupid-ass reliance on the dinosaur punting formations.


September 14th, 2013 at 9:05 PM ^

Have you ever had a predominantly young team?  I would generally agree with a veteran team, but do you really hold captains responsible for freshmen having bad games?  And I'm not talking about coach speak "you need to prepare better" kind of stuff that you bring up in front of the team.

Behind closed doors, do you really account freshmen/sophomore mistakes to the upperclassmen not leading well enough?

I'm coaching a team right now that doesn't have the greatest leadership.  Not bad, but more lead by example guys.  One's an all-state player, so at the high school level, that's not a bad guy to have as a captain, but he is just a quieter, more reserved guy.  He plays his balls off every game.  When the freshmen and sophomores make freshmen and sophomore mistakes, I certainly don't blame my All-State player who is playing at a great level.

Shop Smart Sho…

September 14th, 2013 at 11:04 PM ^

Yep, my last two years my varsity has been full of freshmen and sophomores who are much more talented than the juniors and seniors.  I expect the older kids to lead by example, and do not expect to fall back on the talent of the younger kids.  I might have been lucky, but those older players have stepped up and helped guide and mold the younger, more talented kids.  Even when it means the younger kids are taking their spots on varsity.  So I believe a great deal in leadership from players, especially when my team chooses those leaders.


September 15th, 2013 at 1:46 AM ^ I think we're on the same page? 

Sure the leaders guide and mold underclassmen.  But those underclassmen aren't going to be perfect.  My point is that even with excellent leadership from upperclassmen, underclassmen are going to make underclassmen mistakes.  And those mistakes aren't something you should hold the upperclassmen responsible for; so long as they are leading and enstilling the values you expect them to.

Maybe I are confused.  Do your underclassmen never fuck up?  If so, please, sell me your snake oil.


September 14th, 2013 at 7:23 PM ^

See, this kind of characterization always drives me crazy.  Tom Brady's Patriots laid an egg against the Ravens in the playoffs last year, and his team didn't perform well down the stretch.  He's a leader of that team, correct?  But they didn't execute, so does that mean he lacked leadership?  Of course not.  You can only do so much as a player; sometimes guys just don't play well.  Trying to divine more from it because of the result minimizes the myriad of factors in the process.

Boom Goes the …

September 14th, 2013 at 6:55 PM ^

and his unit was a glaring weakness today.  If the Oline had come out and fired off the ball and given Fitz some holes, that would have shown some leadership.  Maybe we are arguing 2 sides of the same coin, but lack of execution means nobody stepped up and made plays (Leadership).  I thought Lewan played pretty well, but his sidekick on the left side was abysmal.  Leadership would have been getting his fellow Olineman to execute better.  It just looked like apathy from EVERYONE out there, and the captains are the ones who should step up, make a play, and set the example

Boom Goes the …

September 14th, 2013 at 7:07 PM ^

are you disagreeing with any of my points?  I guess I expect Lewan to improve the play of those around him by setting the example.  That did not happen as the Oline was pretty weak today.  I guess I should ask you what your defintion of a captain is, if not to set the example, inspire your teammates, and get the most out of them.


September 14th, 2013 at 7:18 PM ^



  1. Make or become better: "efforts to improve relations with China"; "improved rail links"; "his condition improved".




Of poor quality; inferior or defective: "a bad diet".

The OL was bad. But how can you know that Lewan did not make them better?

Let's say that the OL play today was a 2.5 out of 10. Perhaps without Lewan they would have been a 1.5. That means that Lewan improved them, i.e., made them better, because 2.5 > 1.5.

Are you saying that you know that without Lewan that the OL play would have been AS BAD (e.g., a 2.5), meaning that he didn't improve them?

If so, how do you know that? How COULD you know that?


September 14th, 2013 at 7:28 PM ^

I am arguing that:

  1. You have no idea whether or not Lewan is a good leader.
  2. You have no idea whether or not Lewan improves the play of the players around him (or not).
  3. All you know is that the OL played badly.
  4. And you conclude from that fact that Lewan is a bad leader.
  5. And that is a logical fail.
  6. Because Lewan, like any leader, can only do so much.


Boom Goes the …

September 14th, 2013 at 7:36 PM ^

let's ask TL is part of his job is to make the Oline better. Hint: he will say yes.  As long as the Oline plays poorly, he will and should take some responsibility for that.  That's what leaders do...


For instance, if one of my Marines makes a poor decision, he will be held accountable.  But so will I,  as his leader.  Not only do I need to do the right things, but I need to inspire those under  me to do the same things.  

It's clear we disagree (somehow)- but if the Oline plays poorly, TL bears some responsibility for that, and he would tell you the same thing

Boom Goes the …

September 15th, 2013 at 9:51 PM ^

"We didn't prepare. This is on the seniors, this is on the leadership of this team, and extremely poor, poor leadership. Especially on my side. Being the one offensive captain on this team, I put that offensive performance on myself."

"This is the seniors' fault. This is the captains' fault. We will not come out like this again."

I'll let you guess who said those things


September 14th, 2013 at 8:05 PM ^

Have you ever played competitive sports? Have you ever been an offensive lineman? Seriously, you think that Taylor can make the players on the o line better in the midst of the game? This is not basketball where he can draw the defense to himself and drop dimes all day long. He can help the guys prepare in the weightroom in the offseason, he can help them prepare by helping them become students of the game watching film, he can give them advice on the sideline, and he can encourage them during the game. I think it is pretty well establishedhe has done some of these things (I have no clue what he does on the sidelines during games). He cannot make blocks for them, he cannot read the defense for them after the snap. That defense had 10 in the box at times today and we have guys making their 3rd starts. The game was ugly, but to say the leadership was lacking tells me you have never been on the sidelines of a football game. I didn't see any blow-ups on the side line or players pointing fingers at one another, or any other self-destructive emotional outbursts. That IS a sign of LEADERSHIP. They stuck together through adversity and didn't implode completely. They laid an egg today, they didn't execute, they came out flat. Akron laid it all out on the line and played way over their heads. These things happen, they preserved the victory, it was a valuable lesson for the young players, hopefully next week we see a more focused and motivated football team.


September 14th, 2013 at 6:43 PM ^

the captains really let the team down today. This is really concerning to me. Coming out of the half with the score being 7-3 should have been a huge wake up call but it didn't seem to matter much. We pretty much traded point for point with akron in the second half. This is not good as the leader's really needed to step up. This is one of the games where missing Jake Ryan really hurt us. I didn't see a leader out there at all on defense. 


September 14th, 2013 at 6:40 PM ^

Unless you're part of the team, you have no freaking clue how much Taylor has helped the team through his words. Maybe they would have been a lot worse without his leadership. The man is doing everything he can to help the team -- he gave up millions of dollars to come back and help the team, and all you do is complain about how "words are just words"? Come on, man. Don't be a douche.