Spielman on Hoke and players development

Submitted by massblue on December 23rd, 2013 at 11:51 PM

Accroding to Chris Spielman, Hoke and his staff should do a better job of developing the talents that they recruit. A point that I completely agree with.  UM players are not getting materially better.



Edit: Spielman did not say "poor job" as initially posted.



December 23rd, 2013 at 11:57 PM ^

The actual quote is far less damning than the OP makes it seem.

Spielman: It's very important for them, and I know a lot of people are restless for Coach Hoke.  They just have to figure some things out.  They really struggled against MSU and Nebraska offensively, then they got back on track against Ohio State.  He can get it turned around, and they have to get it turned around.

They get 4 or 5 star kids every year, they've got to start playing like 4 or 5 star kids every year.  They gotta get those kids to play and that's the coaches' job.

Spielman never uses the word "poor."

turd ferguson

December 24th, 2013 at 10:38 AM ^

Massblue is a repeat offender with this kind of thing. From me a couple of months ago:

"I don't think massblue even reads these stories before he starts threads. He started one last week about how Michigan-Notre Dame was the highest rated regular season college football game in ESPN history, which was also clearly not what the article said."



December 24th, 2013 at 1:58 PM ^

One could argue that Gallon got good under Rich Rod, but Glasgow and Funchess were both much improved over the season.  Funchess moved out to WR but still the coaches had to decide to do that.  Glasgow was a walk on that is now a versatile part of the interior line. He has issues snapping the ball, but much of the consternation on the line was with the guards.  I’m no Borges lover, but it has to do with scheme at this point as I think many of the players have come out okay while most need more time to evaluate fairly.

snarling wolverine

December 24th, 2013 at 2:56 PM ^

I think you can put Gallon in the Hoke column.  He caught four passes for 49 yards and one score in 2010 under RichRod.   Under Hoke he's caught 160 passes for 2,556 yards and 16 TDs in three years.  Maybe he would have done the same under RichRod, but that's speculation.  At the very least, we can say he's fully realized his potential under this staff.  




December 24th, 2013 at 7:28 PM ^

Your primary and only defense of hoke is youth and yet Coach Rodriguez is condemned for the production of an underclassmen.

2700 yds passing and 1700 yds rushing by a true soph is something you would have us believe is not possible. 

You should thank Coach Rod daily for Denard. Denard is the only thing between Hoke and a losing record. 


December 24th, 2013 at 12:07 AM ^

It's not just that those schools are good in player devleopment. They've established alot of stability over the years and they redshirt probably 80% of their freshmen. That's huge. Carr kinda mailed in in towards the end and we haven't had solid depth since with the 180 in philosophy by going to RR and then a 180 back after three years. MSU and Wisconsin are very good at player development, but they've also got experienced guys on the field at all times pretty much. We've been having to play freshmen and sophomores for 6 straight years because of lack of depth and philosophical changes.


December 24th, 2013 at 7:12 AM ^

The only problem is the wolverine fan base has the patience of a TWO YEAR OLD. Besides Jim Harbaugh I'm not sure there is a better guy out there than brady (& g mat). Not 100% sold on Borgess. I think he's a little stubborn at times but I think he's very smart. Who knows if this stubbornness is his own fault or if he's trying to pound the square peg into the round whole because that's what his head coach wants him to. I gotta believe funk has all the tools to be a great teacher too. As fans we can't ignore the depth and youth issues of the past few years. Being objective tho....those excuses are running on empty. Especially for O-line development.

We need major strides to be made running the ball or we are in trouble. If we don't get 9 wins next season I'm calling a "code stroke" on behalf of the um fan base.


December 24th, 2013 at 8:33 AM ^

I agree on depth and redshirting freshman.  My question is when will the coaches actually begin doing this?  I feel like it's just a rationale of the coaching staff.  Part of that is may be because they struggle at certain positions so they are trying other people.  Another part may be that every recruiting class has been better than the last so each year the freshman are the most talented players.  But, at some point you actually have to redshirt these guys.  Take the situation with Stribling and Lewis.  Why can't we redshirt at least one of those guys?  Why couldn't we redshirt Darboh last year?  Why couldn't we redshirt Deveon Smith?  Why couldn't we redshirt Thomas this year?  It just seems like we could redshirt guys that we just don't.  It seems like it's simply not a priority of this staff.  They play the best players then down the road if a guy is eligable they apply for the redshirt versus purposefully planning to RS certain guys ahead of time.  Based on what I have seen the guys they play in year one isn't worth not RS them compared to the play I'd guess we'd get from them in year 5.


December 24th, 2013 at 9:20 AM ^

There is alot of truth in your statement. MSU has had stability under Dantonio for now 7 years. His first 3 seasons weren't the greatest either. Actually, Hoke has more wins in his first 3 than Dantonio. I know waiting and patience is not an option for 99% of fans but I feel that's what it's going to take. I expect next season we'll start to see things turn a corner. If not then I will start to question Hoke.

snarling wolverine

December 24th, 2013 at 11:19 AM ^

Do you realize that a lot of the talent we recruited in 2009 and 2010 - the classes who should be leading the way - isn't even on the team?  We have nine players left from the 2010 recruiting class.

Championship rosters generally are good in terms of talent, experience and depth.  We aren't very strong in any of those areas.  We don't have as many star players as usual, we have very limited numbers of upperclassmen, and we have paper-thin depth at many positions.  The good news is that we should be improved in all three next year, as Hoke's first real recruiting class becomes juniors/RS sophomores, and there are several current freshmen showing promise.





December 24th, 2013 at 12:36 AM ^

Look at where Dantonio was in his third year at MSU when the team went 6-7.  Nobody was claiming he was some great developer of talent at that point.  Once his own recruits had been in his system for 3 or more years, he started hitting his stride, and people started noticing how he was developing players. In year three, the great defensive mind that many here (and elsewhere) rave about, Pat Narduzzi, had the State fanbase up in arms demanding he be fired. So, did Dantonio and Narduzzi suddenly figure something out and start doing something right in their 4th year coaching at MSU, or just maybe, in most cases it takes more than two or three years to see the full fruit of player development.



December 24th, 2013 at 1:51 AM ^

You seem to have completely missed the point.  The point isn't just that we are playing a lot of young players because they are so good or promising but that we are playing young players out of necessity.  For the most part they're not beating out quality upperclassmen for the job; they're playing because there's really nobody else.  On ESPN's all BIG freshman team, Michigan has three players (as many or more, btw, as every other B1G team except OSU which has four, two of whom are on special teams).  The main reason Kyle Kalis, Willie Henry, and Jake Butt started or played in as many games as they did is because there was a lack of upperclassmen at their respective positions. Take a look at the lack of upperclassmen at OG, DT, and TE:



December 24th, 2013 at 1:54 PM ^

RCMB's archives only go back to 2011 so all the low-hanging fruit is apparently gone, but here's some stuff that turned up on a quick google search:

http://firepatnarduzzi.blogspot.com/2009/09/coming-soon.html (not much of a website, to be sure, but would you even have suspected it existed?)


There was even a bowl-pickem group on Yahoo!, made up of State fans, that called itself "Fire Narduzzi".

"After a game plan like that Narduzzi should join Treadwell at Miami." This was three years ago, a year after most of the hate had receded.

There was dissent, of course. "Let's not fire Narduzzi and GERG ourselves." But, in the comments to that article: "I emailed Brian at MGoblog earlier this year and offered him a straight up trade, Pat Narduzzi for Greg Robinson. So far, he has not taken me up on that offer."



December 24th, 2013 at 11:45 PM ^

He refuses to adapt his scheme to his personnel. He won't even change personnel according to the offensive formation--he just does what he wants to do, thinking he can force the offense to adapt to him instead of making adjustments based on what the offense is trying to do. He can't possibly be successful unless he has dominant personnel, and even then he underachieves.

Does any of this seem familiar?


This is the defense MSU continuously goes to.  It is our bread and butter defense.  It might work if we had 3 copies of Greg Jones at LB, but of course we do not.  This is the defensive scheme that allowed Minnesota's bad offense to go for 500 yards, Purdue's offense to go for 500 yards, Central Michigan to go over 400, Notre Dame to get over 400, Wisconsin to go over 400, Michigan to put the game into OT, and Northwestern to nickel and dime us all day.

This is what Pat Narduzzi calls, this is what he likes, this is what he wants.  This is why I want him fired.  Promoted.  Or Demoted.  In any event, we need a new defensive coordinator if MSU is ever going to be better than a 6-6 mediocre Big Ten team.



We just needed a different scheme and never got it. This is just coaching the talent you are given, and nothing more. The scheme needs to work with the players you are given, and our coaching staff refused to admit this for the entire season.


The really soul crushing part

Is that this is the pinacle of MSU football. The team is not going to get better. If everyone else knows you are going to play a majority of your defense as a Cover 4, then they are going to game plan accordingly.

Sure the defensive line did not get much pressure, but with the QB getting the ball out in under two seconds, its hard to generate pressure. The games that kill me are Minnesota and Purdue. Those are bad ball clubs. Minnesota scored zero points twice this year. They scored 42 against MSU. That game was so much of an anomaly for their offense that you would think MSU had the defensive talent of a bad FCS team.

Even if MSU has big upgrades in talent, this defensive scheme is always going to cost the team wins. I am thinking this is why NW won in 2007. The spread offense was basically designed to kill this defense. Next year Michigan is going to have a Sophomore QB, is everyone looking forward to them putting 40+ points on the board?

This defense is 100% dependant on the other team making big mistakes. Dropped passes, bad passes, blown blocking assignments. Even a mediocre FBS team is not going to be that consistently bad for an entire game.

This is MSU football with Narduzzi. The team will probably range between 6 and 9 wins but never get better.



December 24th, 2013 at 10:36 AM ^

MSU and UW cannot recruit at M levels. So their success will always be attributed to player development, right or wrong.

For the record, I'd prefer to compare M to OSU. No one talks about Urban's player development because they recruit at a high level. And they win more than MSU and UW. They will always be in MNC contention if they have a great season. So will M. It's just taking a while. Stick around. You might enjoy the fruits of this staff's labor.
Probably not, though. If we go to the Rose Bowl, we will complain about not being in the NC. If we lose in the NC, some of us might drop dead from grief. Only an NC win would suffice, and even then, I guarantee we complain about the offense (unless its a spread to run outfit)


December 24th, 2013 at 1:00 PM ^

No, most people tend to complain about 5 loss seasons that should, at most be 3 loss seasons. You know, like this season. 

Are there some people who complain about everything? Sure. They are a minority and an annoying one. 

There are also people who explain away all poor performances with endless excuses and take a neverending "wait till next year" approach. This group also tends to think that Michigan is the only team that ever has sort of issues, except for one: coaching! A couple of them are all over this thread :). This is another annoying minority. Possibly even more annoying than the first. 

But hey, its Christmas. Go Blue. 


December 24th, 2013 at 9:38 AM ^

color guy in college or pro football IMO, and by a mile. Not in terms of voice or entertainment value, but in terms of knowledge and ability to impart it, also the ability to recognize what's happening in the game and communicate that. I have tons of respect for him despite the Ohio thing