What did GERG used to do in a given day?

Submitted by iawolve on September 2nd, 2011 at 12:54 PM


We have just gone through all our analysis and breakdowns of last year, interviews with our players, interviews with opposing players and pressers/interviews with coaches that highlight a few themes:

1) Our defense had poor technique and fundamentals

2) Players did not know why they were executing in the scheme so it affected decision making

3) We had miscast players in certain positions in addition to our defense lining up in seemingly odd ways, to the point of players requesting correction


For a man who did not recruit so he could focus on scheme and fundamentals (shin angles, it is all about shin angles) how could GERG allow both areas get so effed up for this team? What did this guy actually do for his job considering the results were so terrible? This is a man with two Super Bowl rings as a DC, so he has to at least be competent. Did he simply check out at the beginning of last year? Was it an FU to RR for having to run a 3-3-5? I can only believe he had to be delinquent at fulfilling his duties. Do you think Casteel wouldn’t have taken a phone call about where to put the MLB? Can you believe there was no available film on WVU? On some level, this just pisses me off that we effectively cheated our players of a year of coaching and development which brings me to clawback provisions for our contracts.  

I don’t know if anyone has actually met the guy and saw the type of effort he put into the program. Please share it if you do because it is just simply maddening to me. The other option is that Dr. Vorax was actually running through the halls inflicting his chaos like some evil Chucky doll. Hopefully Hoke used a trident on it. Ship him and Tacopants to a new location.





September 2nd, 2011 at 12:58 PM ^

I was going to say that first he woke up and climbed out of bed.  He then took care of the 3 "S"es (sh-t, shower, shave, in that order).  And then most of his morning and early afternoon was taken up conditioning, styling, and generally coddling each individual strand of hair.  After that, there's not much time left for football-related things.  Its understandable and I don't hold it against him.  He had a responsibility to the viewing public to keep that hair perfect!



September 2nd, 2011 at 12:56 PM ^

I'm assuming he tried hard. He had to know he was totally f-ed if he messed up as badly as he did. That's why he's currently interviewing for part time color commentator jobs instead of coaching.


September 2nd, 2011 at 1:21 PM ^

I stayed on campus overnight prior to the PSU game in 2009. On the way to the golf course Saturday morning, driving through a nearly deserted campus, we spotted GERG jogging. He crossed right in front of us. My dad gave him a thumbs up and gave him a "Go Blue!" and he looked at us like we had lobsters crawling out of our ears. As if it was news to him that it was game day.

We should have held up a different finger, in retrospect.


September 2nd, 2011 at 1:31 PM ^

They have 25 scholarship players on defense and basically a black hole at safety and middle linebacker.  They lose a first round draft pick off the d-line, an NFL draft pick at OLB, and an All-Conference cornerback.  Then the other starting corner's ankle explodes.  Then the best remaining player is hobbled by a cheap shot and playing at far less than 100% for the entire second half of the season (i.e. the time when the team collected all of its losses).

Greg Robinson didn't make us suck at defense.  He certainly didn't help the cause, but we were going to be really bad last year (and significantly improved this year) no matter who sent in the signals.


September 2nd, 2011 at 1:45 PM ^

He didn't help the cause.  But moving those guys back didn't suddenly make us not terrible.  Neither did replacing Ezeh with Demens.  Neither did using more four man fronts in the Big Ten schedule.  Nor would any other goofy suggestion (press coverage, more blitzes, etc.) have suddenly turned last year's unit from craptastic to something approaching competence.

Greg McMurtry

September 2nd, 2011 at 1:56 PM ^

But I'm fine with agreeing to disagree.  I'm finding this more and more on this site.  I guess we'll never know how good the D could have been last year.  But I'm basing my prediciton that the D will be much improved this year upon my contention that last year's D coaching was horrible.  I'm not saying we had 11 all B1Gs out there, but that there was definite misuse and poor coaching which led to results that were worse than they should have been.


September 2nd, 2011 at 1:58 PM ^

More blitzes wouldn't have helped?  So an ineffective three man rush that routinely killed us on third and long wouldn't have, I don't know, been slightly worse than a four man rush (wherein we still probably get killed but might occasionally cause the QB to not be able to run through his progression nine times)?

No, Greg Robinson made an already bad defense terrible.


September 2nd, 2011 at 2:17 PM ^

The QB doesn't even have to take a progression, easily spots one on one coverage with an overmatched DB and makes an easy pitch and catch long before even four rushers can reach him.

Or we bring more rushers and something like this happens.


When you say things like "still probably get killed" and "an already bad defense" you are basically conceding my point, but still want someone to blame.


September 2nd, 2011 at 3:43 PM ^

Or you know,  this would happen.  The QB doesn't always have an immediate check down, especially if the blitz is effectively drawn up.  Which you weren't going to get from GERG, especially since he was hamstrung by ineffective position coaches.

I know our defense last year was going to be bad, even with a competent coordinator.  It didn't have to be nearly that bad.  The mystifying thing to me, is that the incompetence of GERG was being basically yelled at the fanbase from day one (from Syrcause fans and just about everyone else) and people continued to defend him.  People defended him around this time last year.  I remember a thread where I got destroyed because I said GERG was in over his head.  Today, people continue to defend him.

I said "still probably get killed" because there was no depth and freshmen were starting.  That doesn't imply that GERG did anything close to correct in development or coaching.


September 2nd, 2011 at 4:07 PM ^

I don't think he did a good job nor am I defending him.  I am simply pointing out that if he or anyone else had done a great job coordinating the defense we still would have been really bad on that side of the ball.  As such, I don't really get the need for another "OMG remember how much that guy sucked!" thread.


September 2nd, 2011 at 5:15 PM ^

Well, I don't disagree with you there.  Eerily, when looking back at those posts from early 2009, some were pretty dead on.  A Fanhouse writer said something along the lines of, "Rich Rodriguez just hitched his job to Greg Robinson.  In two years, when Robinson's defense is fully in place, if one goes, so will the other."


September 2nd, 2011 at 5:49 PM ^

Coach Robinson may have put himself into a untenable position. Even if we acknowledge all of these mitigating factors which others have listed (number of players, player quality, loss due to injuries, graduation, transfer, failure of some players to develop) the two years were disappointing because of the response. Yes, he was dealt a bad hand, a terrible hand, no aces and sometimes only a lousy pair. But even given all of these reasonable points, what really hurt for many fans was the appearance of taking the same approach as one would if the defense were competitive and just needed a tweak here and an adjustment there. The defense was clearly not as good as it had been in years past and the level of personnel and performance was low enough that most coordinators would have to take the position that just showing up, rolling the ball out there and letting them play would not remotely have a chance of working.

Would blitzing have saved RR's job? Would it have won more games? Probably not, the breakdowns were pretty significant, but it really hurt the perception by not trying these options. To borrow from other sports - in tennis, if you are an average pro and you are facing Nadal or Federer, you won't have a chance just going out and keeping the ball in play, you have to take chances with junk balls, moon balls, drop shots, serving and coming in behind a second serve, or chipping and charging the return. In chess, if you are an average grandmaster versus Kasparov, Anand or Carlson, you'll have to take a risk in a double edged position where a single slip could turn the game in your favor. In poker, if you are playing against a top pro, playing slow and tight all night will get you worn away. You have to take a shot here and there and be deliberately erratic - you won't be able to out calculate the odds and card distributions and have to play up the uncertainty - it is the one factor which you have as good chance as the top pro.


September 2nd, 2011 at 1:49 PM ^

If you don't have players, go get them. GERG removed himself from gathering new talent to focus on the talent we had. If he had to play replacements, they may be athletically inferior, but they should had done their job in the correct manner. Opposing players commented via interviews on Rivals how bad our technique was. 

Iowa played an undersized true freshman MLB last year. I watched the first game the kid had to play due to injury to the two players ahead of him on the depth chart and the kid at least understood his keys.  


September 2nd, 2011 at 2:04 PM ^

Even if Robinson had been the best recruiter in the world, it wouldn't have made much difference last year (we didn't stink because we didn't have enough freshmen and sophomores making contributions).

Iowa played one guy like that and you didn't see many obvious screw ups (I doubt you solely concentrated on him during every play).  Michigan played at least a half-dozen guys like that at a time.  A walk-on sophomore at safety.  Freshmen at every other safety/hybrid position.  Multiple true freshmen at corner.  A skinny sophomore on the d-line.  Any offensive coordinator is going to have a field day looking at so many liabilities he can target on a defense.  When Martin went down we basically had RVB, Mouton, and a bunch of guys we should have expected to struggle (underclassmen or emergency starters who had never seen the field before)

I get that you're pissed and wish the team you like was better last year, but your expectations don't really jive with the reality of the situation.  Like I said originally, if Iowa or some other team had the roster issues I mentioned, you wouldn't bat an eye if they ended up having a pretty shitty defense.

Hillbilly Jihad

September 2nd, 2011 at 2:13 PM ^

I saw them line up in the 3-3-5 on third and goal from the 2 v PSU. I saw it happen and right then and there I no longer had any excuses for GERG. I got up and de-friended RichRod on Facebook immediately and would have de-friended GERG if i had him as a friend. i would have posted somehting on his wall first though. So GERG DID make us suck...worse than we would have sucked if anyone else had been DC. I want GERG dead. I want his family dead. I want his house burned to the ground. I want salt poured on the ground so nothing will ever grow there again. King Kong aint got nothin on me.


September 2nd, 2011 at 1:51 PM ^

He ran the scheme he was assigned to run and he kept the position coaches he was assigned to manage.

Does anyone really think a better DC would have agreed to those conditions? It wasn't so much that hiring Robinson was a mistake as that the handling of Schafer and his staff made a better hire impossible.

His Dudeness

September 2nd, 2011 at 2:40 PM ^

Step 1) Wake and remove sleeping hair net

Step 2) Comb hair for 4 hours while staring into the mirror naked

Step 3) Go to Schem-y Hall

Step 4) Yell at kids for a while about stuff he doesn't fully understand

Step 5) Return home to comb hair for 45 minutes to 3 hours

Step 6) Place sleeping hair net on lush head of hair and put on sleeping robe of red satin

Step 7) Go to sleep with a fuzzy bear puppet

Step 8) Repeat



September 2nd, 2011 at 6:52 PM ^

I think the entire defensive staff was perpetually dysfunctional for all three years under RR, so it's hard to pin it all on GERG. Many of the defensive assistants Rodriguez brought on were either bad coaches (Gibson, Hopson, Braithwaite, GERG) or bad fits (Shafer). I don't think that GERG was necessarily clueless on X's and O's or fundamentals, but he was unable and/or unwilling to exercise much authority within the staff. Rodriguez fired Shafer because he wasn't a yes-man and frequently clashed with RR and the position coaches on philosophy and scheme issues. The fact that he went on to do fairly well at Syracuse demonstrates that he was a pretty good coach. GERG had just been fired after running Syracuse into the ground and was just happy to have landed a job, so he had no problem being the yes-man that Rodriguez was looking for. IMHO, if GERG had the mandate and/or the gumption to coach the defense the way he wanted, they might have performed better.