Vance Bedford

Submitted by Thrillhouse on November 2nd, 2008 at 2:32 AM

Last year, our secondary was supposed to be awful. We were all shitting our pants at the prospect of starting Jamar Adams and Stevie Brown at safety. Also, that scrub who got abused against Ohio State was supposed to be taking over 1st round pick Leon Hall at starting CB, and most likely our other CB would be a true freshman.

Somehow though, the secondary turned into a bright spot. Morgan Trent went from goat to potential first round pick. Jamar Adams and Brandent Englemon went above and beyond all expectations to the point that we all wondered what we'd do without them. These guys weren't expected to do jack shit last year, yet they surpassed all expectations and Michigan finished with one of the best pass defenses in the country. 

This year, Morgan Trent has pretty much regressed to where he was at when Tedd Ginn Jr was depantsing him, Donovan Warren no longer looks like he's the next great one, and I don't want to waste my breath talking about the safeties.

Why was Vance Bedford let go? This is the guy who coached Charles Woodson and over one season, made what was supposed to be a major weakness into a major strength for our team. Now he's at Florida and I see no way he's coming back unless we offer him the position of DC (pretty sure if he was good at anything but coaching the secondary he'd have had a shot at DC somewhere by now so I doubt that's going to happen and it probably shouldn't). Still, I can't help but think that Rich Rod really dropped the ball in not retaining this guy. Seemingly, here's a guy who did what we all wish Shafer could do, which is really 'coach up' a group of players who look awful on paper in pretty much one season.

I understand I'm posting this on the heals of our D getting ragdolled by a former RB and I seem to be kicking Rich Rod and Co when they're down. But I really would like to know if anyone can fill me in on any inside info as to why Bedford was let go, or if he had less to do with our success on D last year than I think. 



November 2nd, 2008 at 3:38 AM ^

I think that we really underrated our previous coaching staff as a whole.  There were a few shitty coaches that we have had, but as a whole English and his staff were excellent and hated on a lot.  I think that if RR does get any other coaches, he will not go to former Michigan coaches, as he has no real link to them.  Gibson seems like a very safe coach at the time, because unless Martin tells RR to fire him, I don't see him leaving.  He played and coached for RR at Glenville St. and met up again at WV.  

In my opinion, this defense is in need of an identity.  We NEED to be either 4-3 or 3-3-5.  Shafer and Hopson had never run the 3-3-5 beofre this year, while Frey and Gibson had run it exclusively for years.  I think that telling coaches to teach what they don't know is difficult.  

I see our defensive coaches as the Cowboys.  They look great on paper, but there are too many big pieces in the equation.


November 2nd, 2008 at 7:57 AM ^

I understand some of your points about the coaches, but the personnel issues are off in my opinion.  Trent made exactly 1 good play last year - the pass break up late in the game against Florida in the bowl game.  He was never, ever, a consideration for 1st round material.  Brown was never spectacular either.  I'll give you that Adams was an unexpected bright spot, but I don't know how much caoching had to do with it versus finally getting a chance to play...

As for the decline this year, yes Warren has been a slight disappointment; he needs to keep improving and maybe the competition with Booboo will help that in the off-season.  Trent is just back to being his old "oh my God don't throw it at Trent" self.  Brown is now the "responsible" one for the others mistakes and his own issues are more glaring.

However, I think the overall problem is far more indicative of our LBs being terrible underneath and our Dline not getting enough pressure.  Last year we were knocking out QB's 2 at a time, this year, not so much.  Give a QB too much time against a new scheme that not everyone is experienced at, or fit to play in and PRESTO your secondary looks like @@@@. 


November 2nd, 2008 at 11:58 AM ^

I didn't personally think Trent was 1st round material after last year, but there were Michigan fans who, before this season started, were talking about Trent being the latest in a line of lock down corners and a potential first rounder. For the record, I never agreed with it.

Also, notice I said we started the season with Adams and Brown and everyone was shitting their pants. But I only mentioned Adams and Englemon when I talked about the improvement.


November 2nd, 2008 at 2:59 PM ^

Before the season started, I read something that said that Trent was the most draftable player going into this season. He was being looked at as a low first round pick.

Last year he had more than one good play. There were several times that he made excellent game changing plays. I don't remember which game it was but I thought the best play that he had last season was when he dove in front of the receiver to catch a low thrown ball for an INT and I believe it was pretty much game ending.

chitownblue (not verified)

November 2nd, 2008 at 11:13 AM ^

I don't get the retrospective Vance Bedford love.

You know how everyone love to bash the last 11 years of Michigan Safeties? How the best group we had was last year's "not shitty" tandem of Adams and Englemon? Guess who presided over all those 4 and 5 star safeties who sucked?


November 2nd, 2008 at 11:45 AM ^

I can't see Bedford as being any worse than Tony Gibson. According to many WVU fans, he was probably the most "questionable" coach on Rich Rod's staff and were happy to see him come to Michigan. There is no question that Trent and Warren have taken giant steps backwards this season. Some of it might be attributed to poor safety play, but, NOT all of it.


November 2nd, 2008 at 12:18 PM ^

I agree that I thought he should have been retained... However, as another poster suggested, without good DL/LB play, it is hard to generate good secondary results.  Bedford had a record of good secondaries during his years at UM and with the Bears, however, all those units usually had pretty good DL/LB groups up front.

Also, I think I read that he had a prior relationship with Meyer... So when the change came, he probably saw an opportunity down at UF.

I liked the idea of keeping WR coach Campbell (who went to Iowa) too. He had probably a stronger record of production of players for UM. But lets face it, without a competent OL/QB, it probably wouldn't have made a difference.


November 2nd, 2008 at 12:08 PM ^

Bedford's a great coach.  Last year we were 8th in the country (!) in pass defense.  This year?  Uh, not quite as high.  Last January, Florida saw firsthand what our DBs could do under his coaching and nabbed Bedford as soon as he became available.   


November 2nd, 2008 at 12:11 PM ^

You know how everyone love to bash the last 11 years of Michigan Safeties? How the best group we had was last year's "not shitty" tandem of Adams and Englemon? Guess who presided over all those 4 and 5 star safeties who sucked?

And the answer is:

Teryl Austin (1999-2002)

Ron English (2003-06)

Vance Bedford (2007)



November 2nd, 2008 at 12:18 PM ^

Michigan couldn't stop the run last year so it looks like the Pass D was amazing.  The run D was historically terrible last year.  It's the other way around this year....or is it?  Ringer and Sheets had a field day.



November 2nd, 2008 at 12:29 PM ^

Our rush D last year wasn't great, it's true, but it wasn't a total sieve.  In 13 games, it surrendered 17 rush TDs.  This year, in nine games, we've surrendered . . . 17 rush TDs.  (I won't even get into the ghastly pass defense numbers.)


November 2nd, 2008 at 12:36 PM ^

ouch....gawd this year is the sucks.

I really don't know enough about schemes and all that good stuff to understand's just inexplicable how bad they are.  Woooo 2009 get here soon.

The only thing I can consider, and many may dispute this, is that the D is just totally spent this year.  It's not that they aren't good enough, but that when the offense puts them in bad spots again and again that it just adds up and they are emotionally spent and perhaps physically spent as well.


November 2nd, 2008 at 12:49 PM ^

Chitown: and the scary thing is, we suck worse this year.  We have given up as many rush TDs even though we didn't face Rashard Mendenhall or Oregon's running game, we haven't yet faced Beanie Wells, and we won't get the chance to face Tim Tebow.  And the run defense is the supposedly the STRENGTH of this year's D!

chitownblue (not verified)

November 2nd, 2008 at 12:51 PM ^

I don't really see touchdowns as the right metric to use - as it's extemely context dependent.