What about Warinner, the "X" Factor for our Preparation?

Submitted by xtramelanin on November 19th, 2018 at 4:56 PM


I haven't seen this discussed, and if it has it was given short shrift, but what about the secret weapon we have with Ed Warinner on our sidelines?  I analogize it to the Lions actually beating New England this year despite the fact that the Lions are the most pathetic franchise in the history of sports.  Matt Patricia knew every possible tendency, audible, etc and that had to be a huge factor in pulling off a victory.

Michigan has a lot of the pieces in place and I think an excellent chance to beat ohio, even down there in the shoe. But above and beyond all that, we have Warinner to tell us where the bodies are buried.  I'm thinking he's worth a score all on his own.

So the question is:  How much impact and in what fashion do you think Warinner helps us prepare for 'The Game'?




November 19th, 2018 at 5:04 PM ^

If Don Brown has not consulted Warinner, he's a fool. Don Brown is no fool.

OTOH, the OSU offense this year is not the same as last year. Different tendencies, different capabilities.

I'm more interested in Warriner knowing the OSU defense from practicing against it.


November 20th, 2018 at 6:44 AM ^

Not only that, but how much really is there that both isn't available on tape and has held up for two years?

As to OP, sure... a little here and there inside knowledge can be the ultimate difference. And that's pretty much the definition of xfactor. He gives us that.

But the importance of continuing to improve our OL guys is a few orders of magnitude greater.


November 19th, 2018 at 5:07 PM ^

The only value there would be if he knows of potential offensive wrinkles that they practiced while he was at OSU that have not been put on film yet. I doubt that's much if anything significant. There aren't a whole lot of secrets with OSU's offense at this point, they've needed to put a lot on film just to pull out wins.


November 19th, 2018 at 5:10 PM ^

My hope is that Warinner's high-level knowledge (obviously, he can't speak to the particular tendencies of current assistants) of OSU will come in handy in key situations. What those situations might be, well, we shall see, but this is the game where I thought that - going into the season - it would be particularly interesting to see / hear his input. 


November 19th, 2018 at 5:11 PM ^

I think Warriner would like to beat his old team. And he must have a few insights to offer his offensive line. He has brought new play-calling flexibility to Jimmy's offense, and that play-calling has also complemented Shea Patterson's skills and game. He'll point his players to this or that tendency of an OSU player as the week goes on. But he'll help most by having them ready to execute the plays they're going to be running. 


The Maize Mafia

November 19th, 2018 at 5:14 PM ^

I don't know that there's any way to quantify or measure Warinner's value for this game in particular, but I'd be willing to bet that, when Harbaugh interviewed Warinner, "familiarity with Urban Meyer" didn't end up on the "cons" list. 


November 19th, 2018 at 5:16 PM ^

Lions beat the Pats because they hate their fans and wanted to give us hope so they could further crush us later in the season.

How about we don't need an x factor? How about we have better lines and skill guys and a great QB? How about we just play our game and run them into dust by the 4th q.?


November 19th, 2018 at 5:37 PM ^

The Lions beat the Pats because the Pats run defense was still trash at the time (it has climbed all the way to "meh") and Patricia knew this because he built that trash unit. The Pats were also without multiple starters in the front seven that day. Patricia's brilliant strategy to topple Goliath that day was "Don't Give the Ball to Tom". The Lions ran the ball, never snapped it with over 10 seconds on the play clock, and gave Brady and his Edelman-less offense like 8 possessions to beat them. 

I'm a Pats fan, I was there, and it was so painful to know in the first quarter that we were going to die a slow death thanks to the most obvious gameplan of all time.


November 19th, 2018 at 5:17 PM ^

Having him certainly can't hurt.  You often hear about players who get traded or come over as free agents giving inside tips on plays and calls; I'd have to imagine a coach would have even more information to share.  


November 19th, 2018 at 5:27 PM ^

Here are the assistant coaches at OSU who overlapped with Warinner:

Tony Alford, RB, 2015-16

Larry Johnson, DL, 2014-16

Greg Schiano, DC, 2015-16

Greg Studrawa, OL, 2016


Ed probably has some insight into the the techniques taught by all those coaches and the weaknesses of/how to attack said techniques. I doubt that this week will be the first time he appraises Jim & staff of any OSU insight he has.

Frank Chuck

November 19th, 2018 at 5:31 PM ^

The number of Michigan fans who still misspell Warinner's name pisses me off.

Once again, his last name is a composite of 2 words: war + inner = Warinner.


That said, I think highly of Warinner and think he has a beat on Ohio State's tendencies. I'm glad he's on our coaching staff now.


November 19th, 2018 at 6:17 PM ^

I remember in the 2013 GAME'S 2 point attempt for the win, there was someone on OSU's staff who had worked with Al Borges-- after they successfully blocked the 2 point conversion, multiple OSU players said that this coach "knew" what Borges would run in that instance and they were able to defend against it.  

So it has worked against us in the past, let's hope it works for us this year.  It's about time we had a little luck, though I'm hoping we don't need it.


November 19th, 2018 at 6:37 PM ^

I am guessing if Tate Martell comes in for red zone short yardage OSU will try to rpo it and drop a pass over the linebackers.   It seems like he always runs it and not very effectively. 


November 19th, 2018 at 6:48 PM ^

I think it’s a pretty big deal. Even if there isn’t a ton of specific play info, he has to understand Meyer’s thought process better than anyone on the staff. 


November 19th, 2018 at 6:57 PM ^

I don't put a lot of stock into Warinner providing intelligence on OSU. While he probably knows a thing or two and maybe has a couple of tips, the combination of time away and differing personnel makes most of his information outdated anyway.

Keep in mind that Greg Mattison served under Urban at Florida. He has been on the Michigan staff the entire time that Urban has been at OSU. 

And it's not like OSU's offense is this huge secret. What they have on film is what they are. They might have some interesting wrinkles, but most of that is stuff that either is available to someone who studies enough (there is only so much you can prepare players for, there's always stuff you just have to ignore) or is different from what Warinner would be familiar with.

Warinner's major contribution is to coach up the OL to block well and to help develop a running game that can gain yards when we need them to gain yards.

Beat Ohio.


November 19th, 2018 at 7:50 PM ^

If you listen to Spencer Hall's new podcast on the Wake Forest Leak scandal a few years back, the Wake announcer and former asst. coach gave 4 opponents the actual game plans and plays that Wake was practicing for each opponent.  Wake went 3-1 in those games where the otherside had specific plays they knew were coming.  If THAT only works 1/4 of the time, dont think coaching there three years ago helps very much


November 19th, 2018 at 7:34 PM ^

Not exactly though. Their passing game (the half of their offense that actually has regular success) is all Kevin Wilson's doing, and Kevin Wilson got to Ohio State the year after Warinner left. Warinner doesn't know Wilson's stuff anymore than any defensive coach who has scouted Ohio State.

Now, what Warinner is likely to know about is the specific techniques and tendencies of position coaches that were there when he was there, most notably their DL coach Johnson. Warinner should know how to attack their DL from seeing Johnson's guys in practice for 3 years.


November 19th, 2018 at 7:47 PM ^

I think you are right (but I don't know much.)  I suspect that Warinner's contribution as a super constructive building block approach to o-line development is almost everything and what he knows about OSU is almost meaningless.  Kind of like Dakich going to OSU and Spike Albrecht going to Purdue yielded no benefit to those teams.  OSU is on film and I doubt that Warinner has any inside knowledge that is likely to come into play.