The Michigan Football Program: Possible Changes
1-Lloyd Carr needs to resign this week or be asked to resign by Athletic Director Bill Martin and/or President Mary Sue Coleman. Of course, the resignation would not be effective immediately, but after the season is complete.
2-A national search needs to be conducted, and an entirely new coaching staff needs to take command. Assistant Coaches may always apply or re-apply for positions as other teams do.
3-We need to develop team coaching strategies and schemes that are not so predictable by other teams. Yes, this includes a new strength & conditioning coordinator.
4-The game in 2007 is different, and our current coaches and coaching philosophies simply aren't getting the job done; they are outmoded and ineffective. Other teams, including our chief rivals, have adapted to our philosophies and schemes, no longer fear us, and not only are determined to defeat us, but are equipped to do so with superior coaching methods, schemes, plans, adaptations, strength & conditioning techniques, etc. Our defense has given up 73 points, 10 red zones, 4 big play (long pass) TDs in two home games. Enough is enough!
5-The game today is about creating isolation plays, one on one matchups, and having athletes who can defeat and defend on isolation plays. Our team is equipped to play the game based on 1970s and 1980s paradigms: run the football and stop the run. We haven't adapted to the reality of today's collegiate football, and the blame falls on the coaches, not the players. Our players are getting prepared for a game that was played 20 or 30 years ago, but they are playing in 2007 and our coaches are not preparing them correctly.
A big critique of previous Michigan defenses under Jim Hermann was his "prevent" defense that would "bend, but not break" and we lacked strong defensive lines that put pressure on quarterbacks. Teams are taking what we are giving them. If we can't stop the spread, they'll find a way to run some type of spread offense; if they have a spread offense, we can't stop it.
6-We have proven time and time again we can't defend the "spread" offense. We recruit athletes and prepare athletes to run the football and stop the run, but we don't recruit "spread" offensive quarterbacks although Antonio Bass may have been our first attempt at that until his unfortunate injury. We can't defend it because we can't emulate or simulate the offense in practice as we don't have the athletes or coaching schemes to present it appropriately in practice. We lose great recruits to other schools because they want to be a part of the 21st century offenses which are "spread" offenses. It has taken us until 2007 simply to adopt the "shotgun" formation into our offense; this is another example of our outmoded coaching paradigms. Can you image what a difference to the Michigan football program someone like Terrell Pryor would make? Do you think we are recruiting him hard or for quarterback? No, therefore he'll probably end up at Ohio State or Louisville
We are going to lose more great potential recruits or even current players to transfer if we don't change this. This is similar to Bo's stubbornness to adopt the pass into his run-oriented offense in the 1970s, and he brought in Don Nehlan to teach the Michigan football program how to pass. Later, under Mo, our program went to a "drop back" or "pro" offense in the 19902 after consistently utilizing option quarterbacks in the 1970s and 1980s. The result was we are considered "Quarterback U" with Brady, Grbac, Griese, Collins, Dreisbach, Harbaugh and others who have been starters in the NFL (not to mention all the great receivers as well). It is time to change again.
7-Why do teams load up players to the line of scrimmage and put 8 in the box and blitz us? It is because of our outmoded offensive paradigm. Everyone on offense is a blocker, the fullback, tight end, five offensive line, etc. Why should teams play back? Even our 3 wide isn't getting the job done because teams know all we really want to do is run and control the football or time of possession. Oregon's spread offense put up 32 more point than us yet we had 3 minutes more time of possession and ran 7 more plays. Was this an effective paradigm? I think not.
8-It was good to hear that Carr accepted
responsibility for not having the team prepared in the first game;
however, he must now accept responsibility for his outdated paradigm
and coaching philosophy. Kudos for his previous service including
the 1997 national title, but please resign and let a national
search begin. Maybe we'll get a Michigan man like Les Miles or
Jim Harbaugh, but maybe we'll a non-Michigan man like Kirk Ferentz
or Bobby Stoopes. Remember, Bo was not a Michigan man in 1969
when he was hired.
Observations on the loss to Oregon, 7-39!
1-Obviously, we are not the team we had hoped for and were overrated! Personally, I have not seen a Michigan football team look this bad since the early 1960s. We came away with 3 red zones for 7 points in the first half in six possession with only one score. Nothing offensively in the second half with Henne out and Mallett in. Oregon converts 3 points off two Michigan turnovers, five red zones, three big play passes of 46, 61 and 85 yards and a two point conversion for 39 points. Ron English and our defense had no answers and were obviously not prepared again. No longer can Ron English be supported for Michigan's next head coach; we need a whole new staff.
2-Henne was 12 of 23 for 172 yards, 1 pick, 2 sacks and 1 TD. 6 times the offense was in Oregon territory in the first half with only one score. 16 first downs, 302 yards of total offense, 3 minutes more of time of possession with a 52 to 41 play advantage and 5 of 11 in 3rd and 4th down conversions. Mallett completes 6 of 17 for 48 yards, 2 sacks, 1 pick in the second half with only one possession in Oregon territory, and turns the ball over on a snap on that drive. Offensively, 4 turnovers, 22 first downs, 4 sacks, 365 yards in 87 plays and 8 of 21 in 3rd and 4th down conversions.
3-Hart had 128 yards on 25 carries. Carlos Brown had 6 yards and a fumble on one carry. Minor had 8 carries for 31 yards. Manningham had 16 yards on a reverse and 8 catches for 118 yards. Arrington had 5 catches for 64 yards. Butler had 2 catches for 34 yards and a costly penalty to stop our first drive.
4-Dixon was 16 of 25 for 292 yards, 3 TDs by air and has rushed for 76 yards in 16 attempts for 1 TD. We have no answers for spread quarterbacks. Stewart had 111 yards on 15 carries and 1 TD. Jeremiah Johnson adds 89 yards in 13 carries. Oregon ends up with 28 first downs, 7 of 15 in 3rd and 4th down conversions for 628 yards in total offense. Oregon outgained us 336 to 147 in net rushing.
5-Special Teams saw Carlos Brown returned 3 kickoffs for 63 yards. Sears had two for 46 and Massey had one for 10. Of course, we had no punt returns because our defense never stopped the Ducks. Gingell missed his only field goal, and another attempt was negated by a delay of game penalty. Mesko had 6 punts, and Oregon was called once on a roughing the kicker. 8 costly penalties (Butler, Mitchell, Taylor, Kraus and delay on a field goal attempt) for 53 yards. Oregon missed two field goal attempts while they made another.
6-We were physically beaten up. Oregon was a much more physical team, their superior strength and conditioning program was evident. We were physically whipped! Injuries to Henne, Hart, Long, Arrington and others. Their line on both sides of the ball physically beat us up, and were superior from start to finish.
7-Hopefully, Carr and his staff will resign effective at the end of this season. Another head coach, Bellotti, showed he has his team prepared while Carr doesn't. As we did with Appalachian State, we lost the game in the 2nd quarter and couldn't recover. This time, we didn't have the heart or spirit to recover. This game was similar to the Syracuse humiliation when we were behind 7-38 and lost 28-38.
8--We thought it couldn't get worse after Appalachian State, but it is worse. No leadership, no coaching, too predictable, outdated paradigm of coaching schemes, overrated, disgusting. We could very easily end up this season without going to a bowl game, and not even have a winning record. I think the only sure win is Eastern Michigan. We could very easily be losing to Wisconsin, Ohio State (6 in the last 7 years including 4 in a row), Michigan State, Notre Dame, Penn State and Purdue. The Illlinois, Northwestern and Minnesota games look like our only winnable games other than EMU. As several posted last week, 4 and 8 may be optimistic. This is the first time Michigan football has lost 4 games in a row since 1967, and two in a row at home since 1959, shades of Bump Elliot. It is sad, very sad to see a great Michigan man like Carr go out like this. His legacy will include winning a national championship in 1997, but most likely going out in 2007 after having a losing season, not earning a bowl bid and losing to our chief rival in John Cooper like fashion.
9-A few player observations: Jamar Adams
takes bad angles and misses tackles regularly, Brandon Graham
is non-existent as a factor at defensive end, both Johnny Sears
and Brandon Harrison were burned on two long TD throws, Oregon
ran throw our middle regularly and with confidence: Taylor and
Thompson couldn't tackle or get off blocks. Shawn Crable was easily
defended and blocked when he lined up in blitzing situations at
defensive end. Thompson and Harrison led the defense with 9 tackles
each, Crable contributed 8, Warren and Engelmon had 7 each. There
were no statistics kept for missed tackles, but the defense missed
a lot. We are much weaker at defensive end and linebacker than
I thought we'd be, we are adequate at defensive tackle with Taylor
and Johnson, but very, very weak at defensive end. Our linebacking
is weak although Crable is adequate. Englemon and Warren have
helped out defensive backfield, but overall it is a very weak
one that can't cover man well as in previous years.
Observations on the first half with Oregon, 7-32!
1-Obviously, we are not the team we had hoped for and were overrated! Personally, I have not seen a Michigan football team look this bad since the early 1960s. We came away with 3 red zones for 7 points while Oregon converts 3 points off two Michigan turnovers and three red zones, two big play passes of 61 and 85 yards and two point conversion for 32. Ron English and our defense have no answers and were obviously not prepared again.
2-Henne is 11 of 22 for 167 yards, 1 pick, 2 sacks and 1 TD. I would be in favor of playing Mallet the rest of the way if he can buckle his chin strap. 6 times the offense has been in Oregon territory with only one score. 16 first downs, 302 yards of total offense, 3 minutes more of time of possession with a 52 to 41 play advantage and 5 of 11 in 3rd and 4th down conversions.
3-Hart has 95 yards on 16 carries. Carlos Brown had 6 yards and a fumble on one carry. Minor had one carry for 8 yards. Manningham had 16 yards on a reverse and 5 catches for 90 yards. Arrington had 4 catches for 43 yards. Butler had 2 catches for 34 yards and a costly penalty to stop our first drive.
4-Dixon is 11 of 14 for 217 yards, 2 TDs by air and has rushed for 75 yards in 12 attempts for 1 TD. We have no answers for spread quarterbacks. Stewart has 73 yards on 9 carries and 1 TD. Oregon has 392 total yards at halftime, 6 possessions, 5 for scores, 4 of 7 in 3rd and 4th down conversions and 18 first downs. Oregon leads in net rushing 175 to 135.
5-Special Teams saw Carlos Brown returned 3 kickoffs for 63 yards. Sears had one for 23 and Massey had one for 10. Of course, we had no punt returns because our defense never stopped the Ducks. Gingell missed his only field goal, and another attempt was negated by a delay of game penalty. Mesko has 2 punts. 4 costly penalties (Butler, Mitchell, Taylor and delay on a field goal attempt) for 20 yards. Oregon missed a field goal attempt while they made another.
6-Hopefully, Carr and his staff will resign effective at the end of this season. Another head coach, Bellotti, showing he has his team prepared while Carr doesn't.
7--We thought it couldn't get worse after
Appalachian State, but it is worse. No leadership, no coaching,
overrated, disgusting. We could very easily end up this season
without going to a bowl game, and not even have a winning record.