RR talks big ten teams this season and CF generally

Submitted by michfan4borw on August 16th, 2011 at 10:01 AM

This is not a thread intended to debate the merits of Rich Rodriguez as a coach at Michigan whatsoever.  RR's tone in the interview suggests to me that he's gotten over having been removed as Michigan's coach, so hopefully we all have too. 


This interview is interesting, because he talks about his predictions within the big ten based on his coaching experience.  FWIW, he has high expectations for Michigan, but I also think picking Michigan to have any other type of season (poor or average) would not come off well at all.



I tried to embed.  I hope it worked. [EDIT: please help by embedding the video; a reminder on how to do it would be nice also but not expected.  thanks.]



August 16th, 2011 at 2:13 PM ^

Here we go again, there is no way this thread doesn't turn into a "I hate RR"/"I love RR" debate. I've come to understand a long time ago it is impossible to post something about RR without it turning into a flame war. I wish we could just comment on the video and his opinions but, it's just not possible. Especially when you have people like ciggaro cubano and dablue on here.


August 16th, 2011 at 10:55 AM ^

Trying to speak on behalf of "most UM fans" is a sign of a "very tough" exterior but also of a very weak mind.

I'm no longer surprised by your neg of the thread immediately after I posted it now that you returned to provide your classy comment. 

I think deep down you really dislike the class that RR continues to demonstrate.

Blue in Yarmouth

August 16th, 2011 at 11:01 AM ^

Listen, this isn't a contest and if you like RR you have to hate Hoke or vice versa. I loved RR while he was here but admit it was time for him to go. He had his troubles with the defensive side of the ball but he did some great things with the offense. He conducted himself with class while here (and continues to do so now) and I think anyone who can't just get over it and wish the guy well is being childish IMHE. 

Blue in Yarmouth

August 16th, 2011 at 1:05 PM ^

RR is gone and BH is our coach now, and I am fine with that. If you don't think he conducted himself with class that is your opinion and you have a right to that. Personally I think he showed a lot of class in the way he put up with things while here at UM. I think he has conducted himself with a lot of class since he left as well, where he has had ample opportunity to sling mud and yet took the high road. I wish him well, if you don't that's your business.


August 16th, 2011 at 10:10 AM ^

Picking any other type of season would not make any sense.  Everyone on this blog, deep down, knows that Michigan was on its way to 10+ wins this season.  Bringing in a top-flight defensive coordinator should not change that.  And don't give me any crap about "changing schemes will hurt the offense."  A new scheme does not take away the threat of Denard's speed and arm, defenses will still have to account for both regardless of his first-five steps.  Add to that a threat to develop out of our stable of running backs, as well as a ton of talent returning among the WR... tremendous.

I'm happy with a "9 wins or bust" mentality; our coaches are not happy with anything less than a B1G championship.  I love it.

His Dudeness

August 16th, 2011 at 10:41 AM ^

If you are thinking "9 wins or bust" then what exactly happens at "bust?"

Coaching does mean quite a bit, but I am not sure that 30 days of coaching will make these kids seek out contact on defense rather than being pushed off the ball time after time after time.

I just think our defense will be rough for a recruiting cycle. Not to say they are all bad football players, but some of the guys just aren't there yet and may never be there.


August 16th, 2011 at 10:52 AM ^

While I agree that a new DC won't turn around a bad defense all by himself, that's not all we have going for us.  We only lose two guys from last year's defense, one if you count Woolfolk taking over for Rogers at CB, and although Mouton was a solid LB most of the time, he's not a crippling loss. 

Last year we had a lot of underclassmen starting or contributing, and those guys are all a year older and bigger.  Cam Gordon, Thomas Gordon, Courtney Avery and Carvin Johnson all started multiple games last year - every game had at least two of them starting and for the last few games it was three of them.  These guys, starters or not, should play with a lot more consistency this year having on-field experience and another off-season to improve. 

Don't sell our returning starters short. 


August 16th, 2011 at 11:52 AM ^

My approach to assessing the impact of the team being forced to start five freshmen in the backfield last year:

If each of five DBs made the right read and was in the right place on 80% of plays, there would be an average of one DB out of place on any given play.  This means that an experienced QB who could make his progression to his 4th or 5th receiver would inevitably be able to find an open man on any given play when facing 5 freshmen DBs.

Now, if the DBs are able to improve their reads/positioning to being in the right place 95% of the time (and the number of DBs shrinks to 4,) then it will take 5 full plays to occur before an opposing QB will find the wide-open receiver (at least until they get to the LB or Nickel who is in coverage.)

My beliefs:  

1.  Freshmen are much more likely to be out of position than sophomores.  This is not talent dependent.  One year of tape review = massive progression on positioning.

2.  Adding Troy and Floyd back into the mix, in the least, brings positional correctness back.  Senior leadership on the field, directly communicating = massive progression on positioning.

It is not hard to imagine the secondary taking a huge step up due simply to being in the right place on any given play, let alone having Mike Martin playing through single blocks instead of triple.


Creedence Tapes

August 16th, 2011 at 12:35 PM ^

It all begins with coaching. The coaches were not preparing the defensive backs well enough, regardless of how young they were. The team did not improve as the season went on, as you would expect with young players gaining more and more experience. I think the improvement will come from a change in coaching philosophy, such as schemes and stressing fundamentals in practice.


August 16th, 2011 at 11:15 AM ^

Our new scheme will have (bulked up) Roh at WDE on a 4-man line instead of either OLB or DE in a 3-man line, neither of which he is suited for. We hvae good size at SDE and both DT spots. That should make it a lot harder for other teams to push us off the ball even though Campbell is unproven. 


August 16th, 2011 at 11:18 AM ^

I will not be happy with less than 9 wins this season.  I do not accept the argument of "coaching change" to excuse regression.  Players win games, and Michigan is stacked with players.  Coaches lose games, and Michigan is stacked with coaches who do not accept losing.  Argue with me if you like, but we have a coach who will not be happy with anything less than a B1G championship (which I suppose is possible with only 8 wins... but my guess is that Hoke will not be happy with four OOC losses and then limping into the title game with one conference loss.  I think Hoke is more of a "13 wins or bust" kind of guy.)

So, join the "9 Wins or Bust" cult, else Brady Hoke may point you out as untremendous.


August 16th, 2011 at 12:07 PM ^

I disagree that M's roster is "stacked" with talent. Plenty of talent on O -- but without a top-notch RB and much depth, especially at WR. And the defense is certainly not stacked with talent at most positions. The D-line starters are good. After that? Lots of question-marks.

turd ferguson

August 16th, 2011 at 10:45 AM ^

I respect that you know what we all believe deep down, so I should probably defer to you with respect to my true beliefs, but I don't think a 10-win season was in any way inevitable. I think Michigan was going to be better in 2011 than it was in 2010. Coming off of a season in which our wins were close and our losses were blowouts, there was a lot of room to improve before it even showed up in the record.
<br>I'm optimistic about this year but very cautiously so. In addition to being worse than our record suggested last season, we're learning new systems with reduced practice time and still have very questionable talent on defense (though more experienced questionable talent). I think the long-term outlook is brighter than the short-term outlook. A very good season is possible, but I hope the Michigan fanbase won't lose it if we see another so-so record in 2011.

Blue in Yarmouth

August 16th, 2011 at 1:16 PM ^

At about the midway point last year I thought this year was going to be the year for RR (conference championship and who knows what else), and then things started spiralling out of control.

I would agree that 10 wins would have been a minimum with RR if he was forced to bring in a new defensive staff with a big time DC, but with the same coaches on the defense...I don't think anything was certain other than the fact that gerg would have likely been knocked unconscious for rubbing stuffed animals in players faces. 

Section 1

August 16th, 2011 at 2:04 PM ^

I would agree that 10 wins would have been a minimum with RR if he was forced to bring in a new defensive staff with a big time DC

I am not sure why anybody thinks that Rodriguez would need to have been "forced" to completely revamp his defensive staff.  Now, some of the guys on defense were Rodriguez's guys.  And that might have been an issue.  But I am guessing that Greg Robinson was gone before anybody even began to discuss Rodriguez's future in the first week in January.  I am guesing that Rodriguez's firing was made all the more diffcult by the prospect that perhaps Jeff Casteel might come to Michigan to be the next DC.  I think that Rodriguez was unhappy with Michigan's defense the entire time he was in Ann Arrbor, and that it was essentially Plan C or Plan D to retain Greg Robinson for the 2010 season.


August 16th, 2011 at 3:24 PM ^

My guess is that the reason it took two days to fire RR was he wouldn't give up the defensive coaches.  Otherwise what is there to talk about?  And that defensive staff wasn't going to give us a 10 win season.

On the flip side, what top notch DC would want to come in to a situation where the coach was on the hot seat.  If he's that good he has other options and going down in flames with RR probably isn't option one on his list.

Section 1

August 16th, 2011 at 3:39 PM ^

but I think you've got it exactly backwards.  I think that the first thing that Rodriguez and Brandon agreed on, was that Greg Robinson had to go.  And I think that Robinson was informed of that fact one or two days before any final decision was made on Rodriguez.

Letting Robinson go was the easy decision, since he was nobody's first choice to begin with.

The hard part would have been the other defensive position coaches, most particularly the guys who had been with Rodriguez at WVU.  Things would have resolved themselves if the next DC was Jeff Casteel; Jeff had worked with most of those guys previously.

Now you ask the right question:  What DC would come in to a program where the coach was already on the hot seat?  Not many.  But if in fact the final hard decision that Brandon was faced with was the one that has been the subject of rumors -- that Brandon had come to the conclusion that Michigan had underpaid for its DC position and needed to vastly upgrade; AND that Rodriguez had spoken to Jeff Casteel and had learned that Casteel might come to Michigan if everyone were assured that Rodriguez would be extended -- well, that scenario is one that sort of proves both of our respective points.

In my heart of hearts, I think that is exactly what happened.  Rodriguez and Brandon were both eager to get rid of Greg Robinson.  As for the decision on Rodriguez himself, Brandon was torn, and the possibility of bringing in Jeff Casteel to rescue Michigan's defense, keeping the Rodriguez offense, just made a hard decision even harder. 


August 17th, 2011 at 3:03 PM ^

That Casteel wsa considering coming here, other than you?

And if anyone thought Rich was getting a contract extension after the end of last year, they were truly wasting their breath having that conversation.  That "assurance" was never coming (because Brandon seems like a guy who would want to owe MORE money to a guy he's thinking about firing).

blue in dc

August 16th, 2011 at 10:49 AM ^

I think there is a wide range of what could have happened under RR. While I think eveyone would agree expectations for the offense should have been higher under RR, there are lots of unknowns about where we would be on defense. How good a defensive coordinator would RR be able to hire? Would there have been transfers? Would RR's recruiting class have suffered after the loss? It is not as simple as - more experienced defense = better. We'll never know - but 10+ wins hardly seems a certainty to me


August 16th, 2011 at 10:58 AM ^

Agreed.  If we'd handled our business against middle of the pack B10 teams (not needing six zillion overtimes to beat the Illini) and not had our head kicked in by the ranked B10 teams, I could buy jumping up to 10 wins.  As it stands though claiming 10 wins is claiming "We'll handle all the medoicre teams [that we barely beat last year] and get ourselves some top tier scalps as well."  


August 16th, 2011 at 12:08 PM ^

UConn: +1
ND:  +3
Indiana:  -
MSU:  -3
Iowa:  -4
Illinois:  -4
Purdue:  -  
OSU:  -2
PSU:  coaches lose minds, change scheme/positions
Wiscy:  pummeled

I'm jumping on the optimism train.  There are players on O and D.  T/O margin should regress to the mean. 



August 16th, 2011 at 10:38 AM ^

I totally agree with you on this.  I am happy that he is gone, I wish him well, but I do not miss him.  I also 100% agree with you that Hoke = upgrade.

BUT, why go there?  It is just going to spark a debate that can be summed up as follows:

Anti-RR:  Happy he is gone, we were never going to win with him, he didn't get Michigan, he recruited midgets, and his spread offense wasn't going to work in the B10.  And, he made poor staffing choices, sang a Josh Grobin song and hates babies.

Pro-RR:  We were on our way to 10-wins.  Book it.  The offense was the best ever, and was going to be even better, the defense was GERG's fault and also we were forced to play 17 year old kids at virtually every position.  But the offense - we were going to be amazing this year.

Anti-RR:  We were forced to play 17 year olds because RR's attrition and player retention were terrible.  He made poor staffing choices (GERG), poor recruiting choices (Dorsey), and poor fashion choices (I know I saw him wearing red once when he was at WVU and that is UNACCEPTABLE).  Also, he didn't know an obscure, and somewhat new, Michigan tradition about the #1 jersey, so there you have it.  Also, the offense wasn't that good - tons of yards, etc. against crappy teams, but totally shut down against MSU, Iowa, Wisco, OSU, PSU's back-ups and MSU (Gator). 

Pro-RR:  But we moved the ball against all of those teams.  Take out a few fumbles, a few interceptions, a few drops, and improve our team's fundamentals, and we would have beaten all of those teams.  That's what counts. 

Pro-RR and Anti-RR guys together:  I hate you.

I threw in some jokes on both sides to add levity, but that really is how this debate always goes.  It's better if the debate is just left in the past.





August 16th, 2011 at 10:51 AM ^

How did I spark the debate?  Is someone going to raise an issue with any of the joke-point/counter-points that I raised?  My purpose was simply to show that both sides have their arguments, some are silly and some are valid for both sides, and the arguments are so beaten to death that we can all reiterate both sides by now.  Just a joke and definitely not intended to spark a debate.  I think that a comment like "Hoke = upgrade" is a lot more likely to start the debate.  Just my opinion - feel free to disagree.

micheal honcho

August 16th, 2011 at 10:42 AM ^

Hoke is a better fit for UofM, better fit for B1G football and a better fit at any school that can and does draw top level recruits with NFL level talent.

I agree with his prediction for UofM in 2011 under coach Hoke & Co, however when he talks about how we were "positioned" for 9-10 wins I have to respectfully disagree. Nothing I saw in the last half of last season would have led to believe that we were positioned for anything other than another 5 wins early then total collapse.

When the Blitz featured Urban Meyer interviewing Chip Kelly and Mr. Kelly's exact words were "If we had the personel to run power I succesfully, then we'd run power I".  I said to myself if only someone else had been as willing to adapt.