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Date Title Body
10/31/2012 - 12:35pm I was in the student section for the PSU win...

...and the players definitely came over and jumped up on the wall. It's cool to have the team come over to their fellow classmates like that, so I'm glad that it happens more often now.

01/09/2011 - 8:05am I can confirm...

That this place is pretty GD awesome. Definitely worth a look if you're looking for dressed-down deliciousness.

11/24/2010 - 6:13pm I believe you're having a...

..."CSS is awesome" moment with the ad placement: in FF/Safari on MacOS: linky

11/04/2010 - 1:41pm Isn't this the second time in three years...

...where we've panicked, moved all the deck chairs around on the defense, recommitted to the 3-3-5, and turned in what was at the time the worst imaginable defensive performance? This debacle has shades of the 2008 Purdue game written all over it.

We've got to get a DC who is aligned with his staff.

11/02/2010 - 4:08pm In re: the Offensive Criticisms

I think you might be missing the point of the offensive criticisms, Brian. Everyone likes the numbers; a top-20 offense is eminently respectable, especially given our youth. And the fact that most of the points are scored in the second half means that the offense is resilient and not packing it in like last year. Those are unqualified good things.

What I--and I think others--are concerned about is the fact that they can't score early and they can't sustain a scoring drive when it would be most helpful to do so: when the game is close. Sure, the defense isn't helping, but the marginal utility of yardage, points, and possession is lower when you're far behind: you can't expect to win shootouts if you only show up for half the battle. You've already been shot to death by then. I just wanted to reiterate that I love Denard and co as much as everyone else, but we shouldn't ignore 7 TOs and 27 first-half points over the last three games--even if the stats are happytime.

Now, the real problems are with the defense, so ya'll can go back to talking about that. If our defense were better it would make the offense more comfortable, too.

I think the best possible outcome right now is for us to win the next two and get a defensive staff where the co-ordinator knows the scheme and the assistants buy in. That could be Casteel (since we know that'll work), or Hypothetical New Guy (with new assistants). I'm fine either way so long as the outcome is a defensive staff where the DC isn't undermined constantly. We might also consider shifting an offensive coaching slot to defense or special teams duty.

11/01/2010 - 2:37pm This

Scapegoating Robinson is fairly low-brow considering everything else that is wrong with the defense, and in any case the fact remains that RR will have dishonorably discharged every outside coach he's brought in at that point. That is on him entirely.

I don't even think our offense is all that impressive. It's lightyears ahead of 2008, but come on, people: sans the Denard Magic and a frantic Forcier comeback, its an offense that has dug itself into a deep hole in the first half of every Big 10 game its been in and it was only able to dig itself out against Indiana. The rushing attack is inexplicable: Vincent Smith up the gut and a lot of single-wing power with Denard. We don't even run our vaunted screen series, nor do we mix it up much in the ZR game. Remember that whole series of runs with our mauling TEs as H-Backs? The wolverine heavy? A veer? Midline option? Where's the ZR-Bubble option? That's all been out the window, as far as I can tell. Heck, we don't even roll Denard out much. Denard is so awesome that we're sitting at #2 in yards but it's an ugly, ugly #2.

This is a desperate team, and I'm confused as heck about what the coaches are doing about it. I hope it gets better, since I love these young men and I loved the schemes on both sides of the ball when I understood what was happening.

10/31/2010 - 11:24pm there were actually...

...several things *subtracted* from the offensive side of the ball over the last few weeks. Our running game is way simplified from last year and we don't even run our curl-flat / screen game series anymore. Ridiculous in the extreme.

10/31/2010 - 10:54am No rational fan...

...expected a third consecutive year of "the worst defense in Michigan history" or "the worst defense in college football". Rational fans expected an offense that could score when it mattered instead of in hurry-up-lets-stage-a-comeback-mode. Rational fans expected a bad defense and a more consistent offense, and a 7-5 campaign, beating the teams we should beat and losing to the teams we shouldn't. We have haven't gotten any of these things yet.

That said, there are still games against Illinois (who is better than us) and Purdue (who has a better record than us) before we go up against real teams like Wisconsin and Ohio State. There's still a chance that we might make those strides, but the margin of error is nil, now. I, personally, no longer have any confidence in this coaching staff, which is a shame. I've been genuinely excited for the them and the team to date. Now I'm just hoping we survive another coaching changeover without become Notre Dame.

10/12/2010 - 12:01pm Newsreel footage

Interesting to compare some of those designed halfback off-tackles (run by Ortman in the newsreel footage) to one of our base plays: the power-O dilithium assault: it looks almost the same :). Interesting amounts of pre-snap movement, too. Plus: bonus Statue of Liberty deployment!

Nice finds!

As a side note, it always bothers me when the announcers see our designed QB keepers and assume that Denard has "taken the game into his own hands" or that RR has "asked Denard to go win him the game". Good lord, its a basic play in our offensive package, people. It was called from the booth.

04/27/2010 - 9:20am The problem is that...

...simply calling Apple's public phone number isn't the only reasonable thing to do--nor even particularly reasonable--in this case, as is required by CA code 485. If you find someone's possessions in the bar, the reasonable thing to do is to either A) give the item to the bar owner, or B) since it is a phone and you got the guy's name from it (as was clearly the case since Gizmodo publicly shamed the poor guy), try to contact the person directly.

Under no circumstances do you say "well, I called your huge company's front desk and they didn't believe me so I'm going to sell it for five grand". Gizmodo should never have purchased the device. If they had been shown it, taken pictures, poked around with it, fine. Then they are merely performing journalism. Paying money to acquire property is the problem here. I've no idea what they were thinking.

Journalism shield laws are to protect sources of information, not to provide cover from prosecution when you've publicly admitted to a crime. CA's shield law clearly refers to shielding journalists from *contempt* charges for refusing subpoena. If Gizmodo were covering, say, illegal arms shipments, there would be no question that they shouldn't actually acquire stolen military hardware, right?

04/19/2010 - 7:52am Speech-to-text translation code...

is usually trained on UN transcripts--since those are translated into and spoken in several different languages (and archived well). There's a ton of data, too, since diplomats love to talk!

But it does leave you with a rather heavy geopolitical focus. Awesome finds :)!

03/13/2010 - 8:38am That's why he [TomHagan] moved to the AA.com comments...

...god, I hate comments on news articles and tech sites. Argh, they make the brain hurt.

03/05/2010 - 10:43pm Yep

I think it was linked specifically below. The event was run by Ignite Ann Arbor. Warning! Everything else there is unrelated :). Mostly interesting, but unrelated.

02/08/2010 - 3:40pm I'm going to go all history-nerd

...and suggest that the pistol is probably a muzzleloader.

Pirates! Hyar!

01/28/2010 - 8:33am Looks like a very...

...instinctual and natural free safety. Highlights, obviously, but they highlight him diagnosing plays, playing center field well, and really powering through his tackles.

He plays they way I hope to see safeties play! Rangy, confident, and punishing. Nice find, RR+co.

12/31/2009 - 9:18am This was my read as well, Magnus

To flog a dead horse further, out of position and/or slow to react interior LBs undermined the rush defense (giving up leverage, getting suckered in by Juice over and over again, accepting a block rather than trying to flow outside of it, etc), while the pass defense had chronic missed assignments or late reactions to a TE or slot WR breaking deep.

I liked the effort to simplify the defense and focus on fundamental play. That should pay off next year as the veterans will be coming in with some idea about what they're supposed to be doing, for the first time in a number of years. We need these older guys to mentally anchor the new guys for a little while.

12/09/2009 - 12:37pm Vinopal

...looks like he's about ready to kick some ass in that photo. Sounds like he and Carvin are great finds!

(Waves hand at LSU... this is not the safety you're looking for...)

11/23/2009 - 11:02am ...

If he doesn't win games, then obvs. we must build him a shrine and sacrifice more oxen. You *did* sacrifice at least a goat this year, right?

Of course he won't remain the head coach for longer than 4-5 years if we're epic failing every year. The point isn't that RR can do no wrong and we all must believe, its that there isn't anything better to wish for other than continued improvement. There's no reason to believe that it won't happen: let's get to 85 scholarship athletes and string together a few consecutive years running the same offensive and defensive systems before we throw *everything* away.

There is no better alternative than this coaching staff right now. They have a track record of success at other places. Let's give them some god damn patience, people.

11/23/2009 - 8:26am Sounds like you wrote that article yourself!

I like that the quotes are arranged artfully and interspersed with just enough commentary and analysis couched as reporting to make it seem like Rodriguez is a towering dick. Cripes, I wish people would stop falling for this stuff. I mean, "all but pulled out a picture of Lloyd Carr"? Really? Seriously?

Yes, it's too bad that our last few Februaries haven't panned out the way we'd like them to. They were full of top rated players, sadly, none of those kids who were top rated at LB and S have panned out, stayed with the program, or gotten into school in the first place. It sucks that we had to fill 30-35 spots on the roster the moment RichRod was announced, given that we're only allowed to sign 25. Discipline problems that surfaced late in Lloyd's tenure have continued, and that sucks too. These are structural problems, and you can either acknowledge them or go live in a fantasyland. I prefer to live in the real world.

Them's the breaks. Get over it. Les Miles isn't coming here. Harbaugh isn't coming here. If we fire RR now, we lose another recruiting class or two, and then whee, we're stuck in this &*#$ for another 2-4 years before we even start to get better again. I wish Rodriguez was the miracle-worker that we all wanted him to be, but it turns out he's not. He's still the best answer we have: continuity, continuity, continuity.

11/23/2009 - 8:06am Prior to Michigan...

...he'd had success everywhere.

The point is that Rodriguez two years ago looks a lot like Kelly now.

11/22/2009 - 7:24pm Awesome

Indeed. What would be more fitting for a Michigan defense than law firms and historical personages (Vlad the Impaler).

11/16/2009 - 12:28pm Robinson is not the LB coach

Note that the positions GERG coaches (Brown, Roh) are not a problem. Brown is easily the best LB we have, and Roh's only problem is that he's too small yet to take on a double-team from serious opponents. I love the way both of those kids play. The defense is straight up uncompetitive at two spots, so if you want to blame a coach, blame the coaches of those positions.

I haven't seen anything that makes me think we're schematically or tactically bad. We have confidence issues, which is obvious considering how often these kids have been blown out. We also have epic fail issues at S and LB. No defense that lacks confidence and skills over the middle will stop anyone with any consistency. I don't get how the DC can do much about these problems in 11 months by himself. I think we need two new coaches, LB and S. Let's quit shuffling the overall plan and start shuffling the pieces that are broken.

At this point I'm amazed we get full half out of them before the cracks show up.

11/12/2009 - 1:02am No Kidding

I'd rather all this stuff stay internal. The team, the team, the team.

11/07/2009 - 4:01pm Honestly?

I thought we'd be further along, too. I get that we're really short on players and didn't expect more than looking generally more competitive against the big boys and beating the small fry again. Sucks to still be having mental lapses and emotional collapses and total team fail, but them's the breaks.

Rodriguez absolutely needs to have a team that is solid fundamentally next year. If we must have a talent gap, then so be it. But a discipline and focus gap, that is something that is correctable. We've got to give him more time to see if that that "Hard Edge' will ever re-materialize.

As a fan, I hope they pull this thing together.

11/07/2009 - 3:54pm I hate press conferences

That is all.

10/28/2009 - 8:12pm Nice work, Miso

Looking forward to your continuation of this series, depressing or no :).

10/28/2009 - 4:07pm Not sure that GERG deserves a "you got PWND"...

...given all the hand-wringing about the usual awful ILB and S play. I mean, you summarized the schematic changes yourself as being "so they can run two-deep without a guaranteed touchdown, just a high chance of touchdown."

Penn State did an excellent job of exploiting the new version of our obvious weakness; I'm guessing they would have done an even better job of exploiting our old obvious weaknesses. I mean, freaking Iowa put up 30 points on this defense. 30!

I think they're trying to see if they can get better by playing a relatively minor variation of the base GERG is teaching, unlike the Purdue game last year where they decided to burn everything and start again. I like what they're trying to do; they're just not particularly good at some key, key positions.

10/25/2009 - 10:01am Denard is a Quarterback

A position switch is really not worth debating at this point, given that he is nearly the best quarterback on the team, and certainly not any worse than the second best. We've got to have at least one option that isn't Nick Sheridan--who is courageous, but not going to get the job done--at QB. This option will have to be either Tate or Denard.

His mistakes have been more costly than Tate's so far, but c'mon: they're both freshmen, and both freshmen from warm weather states that are having a hard time with this cold, crappy weather :). I suspect both of these problems will get better.

We need wide receivers to step up and help 'em out: Henne had Avant and Braylon. Who do Tate and Denard have?

10/24/2009 - 10:32pm Cosigned on a lot of your points

save the first: Even giving him the drops back, Tate still had a pretty terrible day. Several of the drops were on marginal throws, and especially in the second half he was trying to force balls into double and triple coverage.

The "Two QB" system is not a mistake; the mistake, such as it is, is that our two choices are true freshmen who have been A) a bad decision factory since the trip to Iowa, and B) a turnover machine (but an exciting one!). I'm not sure what has happened to the decision making and crisp throws that Tate had earlier in the year; maybe it is the lingering shoulder problem. If so: hoo-boy.

I'm thrilled by the way the defense plays. I mean, it's pretty clear that we have huge talent vulnerabilities at LB and Safety; there isn't anything GERG can do but try to mitigate via scheme. Outside of big plays given up by LB and Safety debacles, the defense is solid. They never seem to get down on themselves, unlike the offense.

There are a couple of things that *are* disheartening to me:
1) Offensive line play; I expected more out of these guys, Molk or no Molk. There's never much time to stand in the pocket, and the running game gets blown up constantly against decent opposition.
2) Wide Receivers can't seem to get open, and they don't seem to ever come back to the QB when he is scrambling. I don't understand why we never seem to have anyone other than TEs open.
3) I'm beginning to get a little concerned about the offensive coaching decisions in these tough games. I'm usually able to figure out what the plan is, but I have no clue what we were trying to do against Iowa and PSU -- and all the procedural penalties! Argh.

All in all, I guess this team's ceiling is closer to where we thought it was before the season. I thought we would be done getting blown out at home, though.

10/12/2009 - 12:03pm Methinks this is overly negative

Tate was clearly not himself in this one, he looked hurt and rattled; Rodriguez had seen enough (all the forced throws, near delay-of-games, forgetting to check the sideline) and he needed to sit. As of the presser, we know why (concussed); it's too bad that Rodriguez looked ready to murder the kid, but that's the way he is. Robinson looked about ready to puke after his first TD, but between a nervous Robinson and a rattled Forcier, I guess I choose Robinson too.

We played tough, with a ton of heart, and nearly beat the #12 team in the country in their house *despite* 4 outcome-changing turnovers. I'm disappointed in the offense's lack of focus and execution, but can't be that unhappy with the team overall.