Wojo: 8-4 is reasonable, plus damning Kalis quote

Submitted by wolverine1987 on August 28th, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Wojo as usual with a reasoned take on the upcoming season, also of note in the article is this quote from Kalis that made me very sad:

“Coach Harbaugh is awesome. And the way coach (Drevno) coaches us, it’s just working. We’ve had days where we’re rolling guys 10 yards off the ball, and that never happened before. It’s not that we couldn’t do it, it’s just we didn’t know how to do it.”


EDIT: here is another Kalis quote, elaborating on the above, from a different article:

“We definitely have more of a grasp on how to play the offensive line,” Kalis said. “How to get a rhythm. Technique. Footwork. Stuff we would never really practice or have a knowledge of before.”





August 28th, 2015 at 10:50 AM ^

I hate to break it to you, but we heard the exact same kind of stuff when Hoke replaced RR, and then again when Nuss replaced Borges.  It's the same with every coaching switch ever.  The proof is in the pudding.

I think it's very likely that we've made a huge upgrade in coaching quality, but the evidence for that does not come from player quotes.


August 28th, 2015 at 12:44 PM ^

Except I've seen a number of 'insiders' comment  that the Oline looks light years better than last year and that it will be a force. In this case, Devin was the ONLY person I saw comment on this...no one else was making claims about how much better Devin was at reading defenses coming out of camp. 



August 28th, 2015 at 1:50 PM ^

Okay, so what you're saying is that you trust insider reports to tell you how good the line will be.  I agree that insider reports can tell us something (though they have been misleading in recent years as well).  That doesn't change the irrelevance of the quote.


August 28th, 2015 at 4:10 PM ^

The quote is relevant, not because it's any different from any other time we heard the exact same thing only to see no improvement, but because Drevno has proved it true at every coaching stop in the last decade, college or pro, NFL veteran or true freshman. Drevno makes this quote not only valid, but maybe even a little understated.


August 28th, 2015 at 4:15 PM ^

If you're interpreting the quote according to alternative data, like the track record of the coach, then what independant value is the quote giving you?  None.  You're just predicting quality based on the track record of the coach, as you should.  Quote = irrelevant.


August 28th, 2015 at 2:05 PM ^

That would be awesome but I think a lot of people sell last year's oline short.  It definitely didnt'tdeserve comparison's to the Hanlon olines or evem most of the ones under Carr.  However, I think a portion of the criticism aimed at the oline was due to the running backs not finding the holes.  Most people when they see the running back get tackled at the line of scrimmage assume the oline messed up - I usually do.  However, if you go back and read the UFR's from last year, one of Brian's general themes, at least until Johnson took over, was the oline was creating holes but the running backs weren't hitting them.  When Brian did his running back preview yesterday, he spent a decent amount of time showing how Green/Smith were missing the holes the oline created.  


August 28th, 2015 at 12:47 PM ^

was a really good coach but had to coach within the confines and personality of another.  The OL actually did improve over the previous season but the D took a step back and QB play was not where it needed to be etc, no need to rehash what everybody already knows.   This year feels different somehow.  I believe this team will improve throughout the season and not regress as we were witness to the previous seasons.  Predicting 8-4 is the safe bet but shows no fortitude.   10-2 is where they will end up ranked in the top 15.  


August 28th, 2015 at 1:30 PM ^

I'm hoping these quotes are more similar to the ones from Roh and RVB about the new coaches finally teaching them how to do what they wanted to accomplish rather than just telling them to go out and do it. Those quotes were accurate -- the new coaching made real players out of them.

I expected a nice jump in OL play due to each of them being another year in the system and not having to replace any starters. But with Drevno, I'm now expecting a quantum leap. And I haven't been an optimist w/r/t the OL since Lloyd retired.

Kids always talk up the new staff, you're right. But lets go with some optimism in this case. Can't hurt until the first loss.


August 28th, 2015 at 11:19 AM ^

Totally plausible.  I'm sure if you could actually examine all of the things that changed in the most recent coaching switch, you'd find tons of things that Harbaugh's staff is teaching that Hoke's wasn't.  There are probably also many things that Hoke's staff taught that Harbaugh's doesn't.  Whatever the differences, track record suggests that Harbaugh's methods are more effective.

All I'm saying is, when you just take little quotes here and there from players saying "the old regime never taught me this or that," it's meaningless.  All coaching transitions lead to players learning new things and being taught in different ways.  It doesn't mean everything is fixed.

Again, I'm not trying to minimize the coaching improvement here.  Harbaugh >>> Hoke.  I'm just saying, don't put stock in stupid quotes like this.  It has led us astray many times in the past.


August 28th, 2015 at 11:40 AM ^

There is no quote whatsoever that I'm aware of that tells us that Nuss was teaching techniqiue that "we've never heard before," or words to that affect. Nor that Hoke was teaching things they hadn't seen before after RR. You are correct that all players praise the new coaching staff when it turns over--but if you look closely no new staff we have had gets quotes specifically like this, which go straight to actual coachining technique. Vs. the usual quotes about getting tougher, or more enthusiastic, or more caring, or more together, or buying in, etc. This is different.

Clarence Boddicker

August 28th, 2015 at 1:39 PM ^

We've never heard anything about improved o-line coaching. Or anything about the o-line blowing people off the ball. We know our d-line is the team's biggest strength since it was under Hoke. I agree that, yes, every coaching change brings interviews that are little more than fresh air blown up our collective asses, but Kalis is speaking to real fundamental changes. I'm buying in on his quote.


August 28th, 2015 at 1:49 PM ^

Kalis is saying now--the previous regime did not know how to coach offense. Or really anything (ST, overall head coaching etc) other than defense. Also it's different because it includes the head coach, and becasue DG's quote was about one specific instance--Kalis is talking about an entire different level of coaching OL. 


August 28th, 2015 at 1:06 PM ^

"I think it's very likely that we've made a huge upgrade in coaching quality"

I am aware of the danger of getting ahead of ourselves, but Harbaugh's staff is as close to a sure thing that I would almost guarantee that this is definitely a huge upgrade.


August 28th, 2015 at 1:32 PM ^

So use some context/reasonableness/consistency tests.

Yes, players all say stuff like that for the new coach.

But when the new coach has been to the Super Bowl, there's reason to believe the examples of "here's a specific way our coaching is better".


August 29th, 2015 at 1:42 PM ^

Whenever asked about the O-Line, I've ALWAYS heard him say: (paraphrasing) "we're not exactly where we want to be...we still have work to do...we're getting better...." etc. Never have I heard him say what Drevno said. He said the offensive line was good and they're at right now, where they wanted them to be. He was direct and to the point and the response was a positive one. These fellas are being coached by next-level prefessionals and the results are gonna show on the field.


August 28th, 2015 at 2:43 PM ^

The quotes about offensive line coaching give me the most optimism for the upcoming season. We've had so many good OL recruits on paper, but they haven't shown the promise their star-ratings suggested due to bad coaching and youth. I'm not going to predict a B1G championship or playoff appearance, but with the new staff in place, I think 10-11 wins is possible despite a 5-7 season last year. Auburn went from 3-9 in 2012 to the national title game in 2013 when Malzahn came on board and totally revitalized a moribond offense on a team that had a solid defense. This sounds awfully similar to our current situation, and with only 2 games that look like sure losses on paper (OSU, MSU), the impact of Harbaugh could lead to a quick turnaround. Even so, I'd be content with 8-4 and see it as decent progress.