Thread for Fisking the "Attention to Detail" Post About Firing RR

Submitted by UMaD on November 30th, 2010 at 2:42 PM

A popular post on Michigan Rivals message board has been circulating via email and was reposted by genuinely sarcastic and discussed on mgoblog.  The author made the case that RR should be fired and did it in a way that came off as thoughtful and balanced.  It was the best case I've heard and it was an entertaining read albeit extremely long-winded and tangential.  What I've tried to do is condense it into the author's core reasons for firing RR.  I have many qualms with the post, but thought I'd open it up for MGoBloggers to discuss.  Are these valid reasons to fire RR?

Here's the core of the Fire RR Rationale:

1. Vanity.  RR took “special joy” in dismantling the program [tradition] in order to fully rebuild it in his own image.  Contrast with Bo, who had his own way of doing things, but understood doing it within the context the Michigan tradition. Rich doesn't seem to understand that Michigan is bigger than him.

2. Lack of Diplomacy. RR criticized Lloyd's program, antagonizing Carr-era holdovers. RR established a tone from the start that opened himself up to being undermined. RR did little to earn respect and support from Lloyd Carr.

3. Recruiting Decline.  Average rank of player has declined.

4. Diminished Academic Culture. RR recruits too many academically borderline players. “While Lloyd used to get his one or two exceptions a year for borderline kids, we take more of them under Rodriguez”.  RR does not take “academics seriously beyond lip service”, and runs UofM no different than he would an SEC school.

5. Defensive Approach. “Rodriguez views the defense as a sparring partner for the offense [and primarily] there to get our offense ready. Stopping other teams is the secondary objective.”

6. Inability to Manage. It is “beyond [RR’s] management and leadership abilities” to run a program like Michigan.  “Michigan is simply a bigger, tougher job than West Virginia” due to Detroit market size and conference strength of the Big10 (i.e. need for excellence on both sides of the ball, not just one).  RR is “not a strong enough manager and leader to cope with the events of the day and halt a critical downward spiral.”

7. Lack of “attention to detail”. RR has failed to create a winning culture that exhibits attention to detail. As a result, breakdowns in execution, fundamentals, concentration, and ball security occur. (7a) Exhibit A: Fumbling “On 7 of Rich's last 10 teams fumbling has been a major problem” across different programs and players.  (7b) Exhibit B:  The defense is awful.  Casteel, Shafer, Robinson have all been successful without RR, so RR is responsible.” An overhaul of the defensive staff will not fix the problem, since two competent coordinators have already failed.  (7c) Exhibit C: Special teams. “Special teams is ALL about coaching and attention to detail.” Ohio State and Va Tech special teams are always better than us because of “attention to detail”.

 

Note:  To people griping about all the redundant threads - save it.  I clearly labeled the thread and anyone who doesn't want to discuss this topic is free to ignore it.  I starting a new thread because I think its an interesting topic to discuss, I think I added something worthwhile to the conversation, and its entirely seperate discussion from the other thread which seemed to focus on genuinly sarcastic's personaility or the validity of the "what if Mike Debord was coach" conjecture.

Comments

UMaD

November 30th, 2010 at 6:02 PM ^

but I was actually hoping to get more info out of it that WOULD change my mind about RR, who I support.  If for no other reason than I'd be less upset in the event that he gets canned.

For example, if the fumble rate thing is true (at WVU, at Clemson, at Tulane) then I think that would be a major strike against RR.

MightAndMainWeCheer

November 30th, 2010 at 6:52 PM ^

1.  Vanity - Not sure where you are getting this idea of wanting to destroy Michigan's tradition.  It's not unprecedented for a new coach/leader to come to a new place and want to clean house and may incorporate some of the things that worked for him in the past.

2.  Diplomacy - May be a fair point but not necessarily a reason to fire somebody in my book.

3.  Recruiting - I don't think our recruiting has been bad at all unless your analysis starts and ends with Rivals/Scout/ESPN.  Even if so, RR has not fared too poorly according to all three of the recruiting services (don't have the exact numbers and don't feel like looking them up but his classes have been Top 15 for each recruiting service for each of the 2008, 2009 and 2010 classes). 

Most of the stars of the past weren't stars until they were upperclassmen (many of them redshirting too).  If you look at our roster, are you telling me that you don't see in two years the following players at least being contenders for All Big Ten selections:  Denard, Roundtree, Lewan, Omameh, Hopkins, Roh, Demens (LC recruit).  Obviously the other 15 players need to be filled in with Big Ten caliber players but I have yet to see a RR recruited upperclassmen look out of place in the Big Ten.  His recruits may not be glamorous according to the recruiting services but the present product isn't necessarily a logical evaluation of his recruiting abilities yet.

4.  Academics - Hard to say.  Tate was benched last year for missing study sessions.  Dorsey was recruited to the school, but I don't necessarily blame him for at least trying to see if he could get Dorsey in.  Even if TWolf doesn't get hurt, RR still knows there is a strong possibility that he plays a true freshman.  Why not get somebody who supposedly was faster in the 100m than Denard?  RR's "marginal student" recruits may be something that has received more publicity than in the past but I'm not sure its because it is happening more often than before.  Recruits did get denied under Carr.  So far, it doesn't look like there is a mass exodus of players leaving because of academic reasons (Cissoko, Wermers notwithstanding).  Likewise, his players don't seem to be getting into trouble any more often than Carr's did (Cissoko, Feagan notwithstanding).

5.  Defense - Not based on fact.  The idea that RR sees his defense as nothing more than a ramped up scout defense is ridiculous.  If he has 1s going against 1s, it's probably so that each side can work on things at something more resembling game speed.  Your better argument is just simply stating that RR's defenses have been horrible.

6.  Management - Maybe this is correct; I'm so indifferent.

7.  Attention to Detail - This is more on the players.  I'm not sure how our kicker's inability to make field goals is tied towards attention to detail.  The fumbling/tackling problem may be an indication that we need to go live more often in practice (which we can't do yet because our depth isn't where it needs to be).  It's hard to improve technique when you're running tackling drills at half-speed most of the time.

What I'm saying is that most of the reasons in the article were somewhat weak and speculative to me.  I don't see how having Harbaugh as our coach this year would have made our defense any better.  He would have still been dealing with our secondary (a mixture of true freshman, a redshirt sophomore, and a converted-from-WR-2-weeks-before-first-game senior).  He still would have had to pick his poison with our front 7; we basically have 5 Big Ten-ready/caliber players (Martin, Van Bergen, Roh, Demens, Mouton) to play 7 positions.  Harbaugh would still be short a DT and a LB with the non-existent 4th DL being the most glaring problem. 

If you think RR is a horrible fit for Michigan, then fine.  That's about the only legitimate reason I have heard for letting him go.  Our athletic department is reliant on donors and boosters, and the fact that he has such little support is a problem.  Obviously his record has a lot to do with it but he was never completely welcomed from the start.  He has had to deal with so much BS from the get-go that has only intensified, that it may very well be better for both parties to just go separate ways.

This idea of the perfect fit will always be elusive though.  Harbaugh is arrogant and surly, just like Rodriguez; people will take issue with his personality.  Nick Saban/Urban Meyer/Pete Carroll, Mack Brown would never be "good fits" here at Michigan either; say what you want about the shadiness factor for some of them but they are/were the best coaches in the game.  Harbaugh may be the "best fit" b/c of his ties to Bo, but we will find a reason to turn on him just like we did to Carr and RR.

bryemye

November 30th, 2010 at 7:15 PM ^

1. He was hired to install his system and he did. He was hired because he has a different system. Saying he thinks he's bigger than Michigan is ridiculous if not something worse.

2. Not sure what he's head against Lloyd and co. but damn it if I don't know some things said to him and about his program.

3. The team has been much worse and the recruiting was in decline before he got here. All told his classes have looked pretty good, though the kids on the defensive side of the ball haven't seen the field quite like we'd all appreciate seeing. Cissoko and J.T. Turner were two unbelievable burnouts. Witty and Dorsey I think he's responsible for.

4. How true is this? Mario Manningham's performance on the Wonderlic suggests we've been taking borderline kids for a while. Plus, putting high-character underpriveleged kids through a school like Michigan will help them forever.

5. Just plain stupid and untrue. See previous team's defense yadda yadda. GERG successful where, when, Shafer meh maybe at lower levels god whatever this pisses me off.

6. Jury is out. Equating Michigan with just Detroit is oh-my-god arrogant and just stupid besides. Don't think you can really say this with any confidence right now.

7. a. Young players

b. God damn it i hate people. That logic is stupid and doesn't merit a response. Extraneous factors and god just forget it.

c. Special teams is about having enough athletes left over after you fill your defense up so you don't have defensive starters getting hurt. Please see defensive talent.

m83econ

November 30th, 2010 at 8:36 PM ^

If you want him gone, stick with something real (like wins/losses).  Is it necessary to make up crap as reasons to fire Rodriquez?  This is recycling old blue complaints from 2 years ago...

MICHIGAN58

November 30th, 2010 at 9:02 PM ^

Did he say that rebuilding a West Virginia team was an easier job then rebuilding Michigan, is he retarded.  The West Virginia teams Rich had were Great teams that blew out teams in BCS gamesand if we give him two more years I think we will see the same here.  Recruiting is not a game on rivals you choose guys for your system. 2003 rivals recruiting rankings Michigan 17th West Virginia 46th would you like to compare the performance of those two classes over 4 years? I had heard ( and correct me if I'm wrong) that our team GPA was the highest it has been in years. Come on guys this guy did not forget how to coach he just needs time. I think he deserves at least two more years. Bobby Bowden said he was one of the top five offensive minds he had ever been around. The problem he didnt  kiss everyones ass and I would be the first to want him gone if he did. I will really be disappointed if we screw this up and let him go. Jim Harbaugh are you kidding me, please GOD tell me thats a joke. Every coach should get to see his first full recruiting class through and then if he sucks can him. PS before the year everyone was saying we had a 6 and 6 six team what has changed

MICHIGAN58

November 30th, 2010 at 9:06 PM ^

 

Did he say that rebuilding a West Virginia team was an easier job then rebuilding Michigan, is he retarded.  The West Virginia teams Rich had were Great teams that blew out teams in BCS gamesand if we give him two more years I think we will see the same here.  Recruiting is not a game on rivals you choose guys for your system. 2003 rivals recruiting rankings Michigan 17th West Virginia 46th would you like to compare the performance of those two classes over 4 years? I had heard ( and correct me if I'm wrong) that our team GPA was the highest it has been in years. Come on guys this guy did not forget how to coach he just needs time. I think he deserves at least two more years. Bobby Bowden said he was one of the top five offensive minds he had ever been around. The problem he didnt  kiss everyones ass and I would be the first to want him gone if he did. I will really be disappointed if we screw this up and let him go. Jim Harbaugh are you kidding me, please GOD tell me thats a joke. Every coach should get to see his first full recruiting class through and then if he sucks can him. PS before the year everyone was saying we had a 6 and 6 six team what has changed