The Snowflake Thread: Coaching

Submitted by LSAClassOf2000 on November 2nd, 2013 at 6:39 PM

This will be this evening's thread to discuss issues with the coaching and any issues you may have with the staff in general. 



November 2nd, 2013 at 7:09 PM ^

There is really no reason to believe the Oline issues are not due to youth and inexperience.  Take a gander at the depth chart.  We have a grand total of THREE SCHOLARSHIP OLINEMEN older than redshirt freshmen!!  Talk all you want about how other teams including Michigan have succeeded with underclassmen on the Oline.  They haven't done it out of necessity.  In a normal situation an underclassman plays on the OLine because he beat out an upperclassman and he's an anomaly.  NOT because he's the only option.  What the hell do you all want Funk and Borges to do with that?


November 2nd, 2013 at 9:29 PM ^

Look, many teams would kill to have two NFL linemen tackles and few red shirt freshmen. Hell, MSU would swap in a sec. Did you see us get much pressure on MSU O line? At certain point you have to admit that coaching bears strong responsibility for this failure.


November 2nd, 2013 at 7:32 PM ^

Blaming this on inexperience when we have Lewan and Schofield on the line is more "dishonest" than blaming the coaches. We should have enough talent to get one td in two years, no? Just one td? They have allegedly a top five nfl prospect on their line and you are all saying its in experience? IMO This is coaching and scheme and poor player execution (which as a former coach, I partially blame on coaches).


November 2nd, 2013 at 8:04 PM ^

I appreciate you have taken up Space Coyotes efforts to bring calm and reason to the board. Forget about comparing Michigan's lineman to other teams. Simply compare it against itself. Please point to any progress made on the line in regards to identifying who to block, being able to pull, and being able to block in space. On a consistent basis the simplest of blitzes and stunts confuses this o-line. These are areas you would expect improvement, both as a unit and individually. If you can offer up examples of improvement you saw during last years season or so far this year in these areas please do so to continue to provide calm.


November 2nd, 2013 at 9:05 PM ^

Bosch is better at blocking collegiate lineman than he was one year ago.

The reasons that this line is terrible are many. Experience is probably the biggest one. Nothing prepares you to block a blitz like actually having to block a blitz. These guys are seeing things for the first time. Do I think Funk os a good coach? No. Fire him. But I don't know that it will change anything. They are really young. Blocking is really hard, man. Only repetitions can make you better.


November 2nd, 2013 at 9:21 PM ^

The staff should have had the foresight to see this coming and gone after a couple good transfers or grad-transfers on the OL.  Such a shame we are wasting another year when we do have a fantastic QB and good skilled position players.

I know Michigan’s football program likes to think they are above taking transfers, but it’s needed.  If they have a couple open scholarships at the end of this recruiting process, I hope they do go out and get some experienced players for 2014.


November 2nd, 2013 at 9:01 PM ^

The longer you guys apologize for Al Borges - the single worst coordinator Michigan has ever had in my 35 years of watching us play - the longer you delay any chance for this program to take that leap back to prominence.  Borges is an utter failure and absolutely MUST be fired at the end of this year, after we get steamrolled by Ohio.



November 2nd, 2013 at 9:08 PM ^

No real arguments. I'm OK with firing Borges. Always have been. I just don't think the next guy would do any better with this year's team because of the poor line play.

Also, if you think Borges is worse than the defensive coordinators under Coach Rod, you are stupid. For the record, I don't think you are, I just think you have poor emotional control and this causes you to say stupid things that well overstate your case.


November 2nd, 2013 at 9:29 PM ^

I'm not sure that's fair. Rodriguez's DCs were hamstrung by being forced to run his scheme, which they didn't know and hadn't ever used, and use his set of position coaches. I don't know how you evaluate a guy that's not given a chance to do his job. And in Shafer's case we got a pretty clear glimpse of the problem because the defense was a hell of a lot worse after he was cut out (before Purdue).


November 2nd, 2013 at 11:27 PM ^

Maybe the university should listen to its former players then since they are saying a lot of the same things the fans are. Borges called read option plays at the worse times, a 3rd and 1 in the red zone against a 9 man front. We got a pick, he calls a read option against a loaded box, loss of 5. Both times we basically yelled out 'hey, we are running again, haha, yeah, we know you will blow it up'

Every running play looks like it takes forever to develop, fitz is terrible, he cant block, and he is severely indecisive. On his 8 yard run in the second quarter he got the ball and stood there for a second, then took off and got taken down by a guy being blocked who just stuck his arm out. RUN DAMNIT, JUST FREAKING RUN. He should of had at least 20 yards on that play. stop running the ball with a back who is afraid of contact, he anticipates contact and begins going down, how the hell does a BCS get tackled by a 1 armed man stuck to a tree??????????????

My point being is why is he calling the same running plays with the same guys who cant run them. Since you think the fans know nothing, go ask larry foote, benny jopru and RVB what they thought of that effort from this MAC staff.

I am beginning to think Borges shows up to team meetings and when he is asked about his game plan he throws a picture of a cat with a freaking pancake on its head up on the big screen and asks when the pudding is arriving.

2 weeks to prepare and this is what we get, cats with pancakes on their heads.


November 2nd, 2013 at 11:35 PM ^

I've heard from one Van Burgen, but I would imagine there are a lot more guys who still support Hoke.

Besides, are these the same former players who almost unanimously said Hoke was absolutely the right man for the job? 

Running against a run defense  formation isn't always a bad thing. Teams do it all of the time and to success.Having 9 guys in the box doesn't mean a whole lot if they're stacked to one side, or you can get some misdirection going to give you an advantage to either the weak or strong side.

If they've got 9 guys in the box, but 6 of them are stacked to one side, and you run to the other side, that's a positive, but you have to execute your blocking assignments. We haven't been able to do that much this year. 

To basically restate something I said earlier...

You can give a one armed man as much preparation as you want or game plan as much as you want before he steps into the boxing ring, but he's still a one armed man.

That is to say, some deficiencies are as such that no amount of scheming or preparation will get you the W. State is just a better football team, and it just so happens that our major deficiencies line up with their strengths.

You can blame the coaches for failing to develop any competent interior O-Linemen in the 3 years they've been here, but play calling and a lack of preparation were not the reasons we lost that game.


November 2nd, 2013 at 10:01 PM ^

Just to be clear, I am not “apologizing for Borges” & I don’t see how that has anything to do with the content of my post.


Now, if you want to know what grade I would give Borges, it would be an incomplete because as of yet, I have no clue what his end goals are with this team because most of what has been tried just doesn’t work or has been some horrid chimera with Rich-Rod’s head, Hoke’s body and Denards dreads.


I also have no idea what offensive theory he’s trying to apply.  It looks like we have a bunch of plays but no coherent offensive system to speak of.


As others have posted, with such bad blocking / pass protection, not much would work...


I’d really like to see what Borges could do with a good line and a QB capable of running his system.  Denard wasn’t that guy.  Devin may be, but the line sucks.  It’s hard for me to feel confident judging Borges one way or another right now.


My point above stands though.  The coaches should have seen this youth problem (if that is what it is) coming even two years ago and should have planned for it by bringing in a few good OL transfers to shore things up.


November 2nd, 2013 at 10:44 PM ^

Few if any, but I can’t recall such a clear youth problem in the OL over the past 40 years either.  Also it’s a different era & I don’t see why the football program shouldn’t look at grad & JC transfers if it makes strategic sense.  The U of M student body includes many transfers.  There is no reason that the football program shouldn’t also if warranted.


November 2nd, 2013 at 9:12 PM ^

Exactly. What kind of asshole calls power, ISO, stretch, zone, and veer from multiple looks when the line can't block? What kind of asshole tries to mitigate his bad line by running a ton of max protect stuff with multiple TE, RB, FB? What kind of asshole gets a bunch of wide open looks on quick passes over the middle that are set up by play action? What kind of asshole goes shotgun a lot to get these short passes out in time?

Why not just call the old play that always works when no one blocks anyone, ever? What's that play called again?


November 2nd, 2013 at 7:12 PM ^

What would you have called that would have worked against a significant blitz on 2nd-and-15? 

I wasn't a fan of that call, but to focus on that call at the expense of all others is ridiculous. Michigan almost certainly does not score a touchdown on that drive regardless. Perhaps he calls a short slant that actually connects, Michigan kicks a field goal, and they lose by a less embarrassing number? 

Sometimes you get dealt a hand without any winning cards to play. That was today's Michigan offense.

The question that needs to be answered by Hoke, Borges, and Dave Brandon: How do we deal ourselves better cards?


November 2nd, 2013 at 8:09 PM ^

But, why are we doing play action when we have no running game?  That makes no sense yet we did it repeatedly.  And, what was that one call where Fitz was assigned to block the DE? 


The answers to the o-line are on the team.  Kalis, Dawson, Kugler, LTT, Bosch, and Fox are all top 300 guys on the o-line.  The problem is most of them won't be any better than servicable until 2015, Kalis probably next year.  That fixes the o-line issue. 


The real question is that if our o-line can run block and give the QB a little more time, does the scheme work?  Also, are we as a group willing to wait 2 more years for it?  Then, if it still doesn't work in 3 years what happens?  Fire Funk, fire Borges, or fire Hoke and hit the re-set button?  Then, do we have to rebuild yet again?  I have more questions than answers at this point.  I'd suggest if we don't show improvement over this year Funk should go.  If we don't show improvement next year Borges should go.  If we don't show improvement by 2015 Hoke should go and find a coach to fits our system as we cannot change systems again.  I'm willing to keep waiting assuming we can maintain 8-win seasons.  But, if we can win 10 games by 2015 something needs to change...again.


November 2nd, 2013 at 9:13 PM ^

...but I clearly recall a play where the line shifted right at the snap, Lewan was looking around for someone to block (he eventually doubled the DT that Bosch had, but it was late and not really necessary), and Toussaint had to step up to pick up the unblocked DE. Blackledge commented that it was a "terrible scheme" but no one would diesign a pass blocking scheme that assigned Lewan to air instead of the DE lined ujp outside him. It had to be a misread on the line call; nothing else makes sense. If the idea had really been for Lewan and Bosch to double the DT Lewan would have headed straight there instead of looking around for a couple of counts.


November 2nd, 2013 at 10:04 PM ^

And this is probably the most frustrating thing for fans. Michigan has an outstanding O-line class in 2012 and 2013 but, as highly ranked as they were, they won't be serviceable contributers until their 3rd year in the least. Offensive line is the toughest position to transition from high school to college. The weight/strength gains, technique refinement, PAD LEVEL, and experience all take time. Most fans are not patient enough to wait for this. 


November 2nd, 2013 at 9:05 PM ^

Louie, take a moment to step away from the keyboard, walk over to the mirror, take a look into it and think about the fact that you just typed "I actually liked what he was doing today" after Michigan, with an All America Tackle on one end, a senior tackle on the other, and a 5 star lineman as well, rushed for -48 yards.  Please snap out of this delusion that Al Borges is anything other than a resounding failure to whom the game of football has passed by.


November 2nd, 2013 at 9:20 PM ^

I liked what he was doing, too.

You did too, according to the posts you made before the game. You wanted a game plan that was damn close to this one.

But you didn't want these results. No one did. Hindsight is 20/20. But you did ask for this:

"Max protect with quick releases to Butt, or quick hitches to Dileo, Gallon and Funchess, being mindful of Sparty jumping routes. Great discipline to throw it out of bounds and avoid the sack. Moderate OL play (that will be the hardest part."

We ran a lot of max protect early and a lot of quick stuff after the half. Quick hitches to Gallon and Funchess.

And this:

"What I'd like to see is Borges softening the defense up with throws to Butt and Dileo. They are the two that MSU will least likely scheme around, so they should be early targets, and once MSU adjusts, that should soften the run game and over the top to the big 2 - Gallon and Funchess."

Dileo was out, and Butt didn't really get involved, but we did throw early and often and it DID NOT soften up the run game. We also failed to get over the top, but not for lack of trying.

So, if the game that you wanted produced this, has the game passed you by?