Sunday, October 25, 2009

Attention, Brilliant Football Coaches of the Internet

Penn State 35, Michigan 10; 5-3, 1-3

If you think I'm going to stop, you are as sorely mistaken about me as you are about that which you bitch about so much. I take no pleasure in this, and I cannot say the same for those I am addressing, because these people are indeed taking at least a little bit of satisfaction in believing they have been proven right.

The in vogue phrase tonight on the increasingly insufferable Michigan message boards is "poorly coached." Michigan gets blown out, so it automatically has to mean the coaches are just a bunch of bumbling invalids. What exactly does "poorly coached" mean? Is it the amount of excessive penalties they're committing? Oh, five for 33 yards today.

The following is a post from a prominent Michigan message board, posted by someone who no doubt coached high level football for 20 years and is in a position to accurately judge.

I have totally jumped the fence. I'm telling you, during the coaching search RR was one of those guys in that top, top tier of my personal preferences (but I dismissed the notion because I thought he wouldn't change jobs). When UM landed him I was so happy. To have gone through the stupid crap with Miles and to actually end up with a much better hire! Wow! I was giddy. For weeks I was giddy.

But halfway through his second Big Ten campaign - I'm over it. I understand the need to be 'all-in', the natural desire to believe this is just pain on the way to the top.

But I do not believe that because:
This team is terribly coached. The losses don't bother me as much as the certain knowledge of how badly coached this team is. I chuckle at the 'three things' did this team in notion (followed by an article which categorizes 60+ crappy plays into three things).

This team is terrible at the fundamentals, haphazard in terms of scheme, pathologically deficient on special teams, and simply sloppy at every position on the field. They look like just the sort of crap can team that would spike a ball on 3rd down with ten ticks left on the clock.

(By the way: Did UM really just blitz their asses off in the red zone against a team that Iowa proved can't succeed against zones in the red zone? And get beat like a drum every time? Yes they did.)

Just look at the product on the field. Let all the other stuff go. No 'all-in', no Rosenberg, no in-fighting, just the product on the field. Remove the colors from the jerseys and just watch. UM is, by good measure, the worst coached football team in the conference. Period. A lot of it is basic fundamentals, so a lot of it is on the assistants, but ultimately, it is on Rodriguez.

I never thought this would be the case. UM is terribly coached. And today, they reverted so far, that just like game after game last year, they quit.

I apologize for this. I will not post regularly because I don't want to become that guy. But as for this coach - I no longer believe he can produce a Big Ten Quality team.

(Of course, I'll be hoping like hell he immediately proves me wrong.)

Terrible at fundamentals? Like tackling? Because overall, this team has tackled better than most Michigan teams over the past few years, excluding 2006.

What does "haphazard in scheme" even mean?

Pathologically deficient on special teams? Our field goal kicker has missed one kick all season, our punter is the best in the nation, we blocked a punt today, we have two kickoff returns for touchdowns in basically 15 years, and one of them came this year, and the muffed/fumbled punt fiasco of a year ago has been almost completely eliminated.

Here's another gem:
the team is just not getting better. If we lose and play well then we just lose. PSU could have scored 50 today had they wanted to - the UM offense was so inept that PSU probably knew at half time that they already had enough points to win. This team is currently a train wreck and I believe this coaching staff is dangerously close to losing this team. To see Bruce Tall and RR go at it like they did on the side lines is not good for the moral of this team.

Wait, you mean the youngest team in the Big Ten regressed against the second best team in the conference with the best defense and a fifth year senior quarterback? The best defense in the conference, the one so many of our fans lust over what they want Michigan's defense to look like, confused and crushed our freshman QB, and somehow this reflects poorly on the coaches? Did Rich Rodriguez go out there and stomp on Molk's leg and I missed it?

And the meme circulating that RR and the coaches need to calm down on the sidelines is getting more and more comical everytime I hear it, because it's so painfully obvious the people complaining about this never played football (or any other sport). Or maybe they got so used to Lloyd's ho-hum nature on the sideline that they just assumed that was the way it's done everywhere. Well, here's a little newsflash for you: This is football. It's not chess. It's not ballet. It's not a trip to the grocery store. It's a violent, passionate, emotional game, and things get heated. Players yell at coaches. Coaches yell at players. Coaches yell at other coaches. None of this means jack fucking shit, and you need to shut up about it already.

Oh, but it gets even better. Here's that same moron from the previous post:

You my friend are in total Denial, You can try and spin this any way you want to try and make yourself feel better, but to say that the coaches getting in to heated arguments on the side line does not effect morale is ridiculus.It looks like RR and Tall almost went to blows over something as minor as 12 men on the field and you obviously did not look at the faces of those kids on the sideline as the two of them were going at it. PSU ran a basic offense at about the midway point of the 3rd qtr-open your freakin eyes.

"Something as minor as 12 men on the field".

By the way, that was on 4th on 4. You know, as in, if there had been a penalty called, Penn State would've had a first down instead of a field goal try. So, yeah...that's pretty fucking major, just like the timeout we had to use that we could've used at the end of the half.

And yeah, I'm sure the players were trembling in fear, shocked and appalled that their coaches might raise their voices.

It must be so comforting for idiots like this to pass judgment from the comfort of their couches, knowing no important decisions involving this team will ever fall on them. They get to preach about how they know all that ails this team without being in any sort of contact with any of the coaches, players, trainers, anybody. These people are no doubt preparing their resumes so they can deploy their brilliant knowledge on the football field when it counts.

I'll try and explain this, one more time.

1. Our quarterbacks are freshmen. Apparently people aren't accepting this excuse anymore, which is rather amusing. Just so you know, there is no light that magically goes on for freshmen quarterbacks. They're still freshmen in October and November, just like August and September. And for some reason, they often play worse late in the season than they do early on. This could have something to do with the fact that they're playing better teams and better defenses, but hey, I'm not the expert here.

2. Our defense is operating under its third different coordinator and system in three years. I guess this isn't being accepted either. Apparently it's supposed to be easy to learn something complicated in three different ways three years in a row.

3. There are walkons in the two deep at all three levels of defense. Jordan Kovacs is a great story. Will Heininger and Kevin Leach are gamers, I'm sure. But when they are backups who are asked to contribute significant time in real games and not clean up duty at the end of blowouts, there is a problem. How many times does this need to be said before people start listening? Er, scratch that. It's starting to become clear that it doesn't matter how many times it's said.

4. The transitive property does not apply in sports, EVER. People were operating under the following assumption. Iowa mauled Penn State up front. Michigan mauled Iowa up front. Therefore, Michigan will maul Penn State. This doesn't work. Each game is independent and stands alone. Previous results and trends can be used as a rough outline of what may transpire in the future, but there are never absolutes.

I mean...I don't know, man. I'm pretty close to my wit's end when it comes to arguing with these people. A year ago Michigan lost to MSU by two touchdowns to fall to 2-6. We're 5-3 now. We're nowhere close to where we want to be, and that seems to be the only thing these morons want to see. They refuse to acknowledge that while we're still far from the sky, we've risen from the sewers.

Even when the man who metaphorically tucks them in at night finally voices his support...
"Rich is a young guy, (and) he's got a great background for such a young guy," Carr said Saturday during his interview with Frank Beckmann and Jim Brandstatter. "What we're seeing here offensively throughout this season is a great thing for the future of Michigan football.

"The transition a year ago you could expect it (the struggles) because what they were looking for in a quarterback. Certainly what we have here is exciting. I'm excited for the future."

...Well, I suppose that isn't good enough either?

I thought after the pleasant start to this season, it'd be possible to finally just sit back, watch some football and enjoy the growing process. And now we have one bad day - imagine that, a young football team being overwhelmed - against a really fucking good team, and it's time to run around with scissors, screaming and setting shit on fire because chaos is really fucking cool, man.

It's like pissing into the wind, trying to debate this over and over again with the same dense, close-minded people. You feel relief and you feel like you're getting something done, and then you realize you're just covered in waste now and you smell like urine.

Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.


scott said...

well said.

they're competitive in (almost) every game. they've beaten the cupcakes like cupcakes. and they've nearly stolen a couple against good teams.

how's that not improvement? even when they were beating notre dame and indiana, the defensive problems were obvious. the offense has cooled off a bit.

the losses suck, but they're not world-ending. it's a game. played by kids (young adults). in the grand scheme of things for you and me (and most of them), it means nothing.

but it's fun to watch for 3 hours every week. and even with the losses, it's fun again this year.

Hup said...

Absolutely agree! I was at the game saturday with my wife and some friends. We were leaving the stadium discussing the problems we had, when we overheard a conversation between what I can only say seemed to be college student age young men. They were belittling not only the coaching staff, but the entire team. Now, as I said, they seemed to be of college age, but were apparently wise beyond their years when it came to coaching a top tier program to a national championship with mere freshmen and sophmores every year. They seemed to be so well versed in tactics and strategy, that they could even do it with a VERY thin defense, two "young" quarterbacks, and an offensive line that has been injured, shifted, and overmatched in the losses we have taken. I was disgusted, and still feel the rage that I felt in those few minutes as I remeber them. These incredible coaches took what to me was a great day of college football, in what I consider to be the greatest sporting venue in the country, and ruined it. I am tired of hearing all the bitching and complaining that all these supposed fans have been doing since we lost to Iowa. This is college football folks! Any given saturday can be a win or, God forbid, a loss. This is what makes this sport so great. These players on the field are just that, players playing a game. I'm not saying I'm happy watching my beloved Wolverines lose, but these are young adults playing a game to get through college. They won't all go on to be pro's, and some may not even graduate, but on that field you expect them all to be supermen, with no faults, make no mistakes, and make every play perfectly every time. Disgusting! If this is the way you support your team, maybe check into another program. tOSU is always looking for more perfect followers. Just check out nearly everything written about Terrelle Pryor in the last few weeks. This poor kid was made out to be the second coming of Christ, has a bad case of the sophomore slump, and now most of Ohio is ready to crucify him. Again, Disgusting! Get off your high horses and let's be realistic. The coaches we have, I consider to be some of the best in the country. They have done some AMAIZING things in the past year with what they have to work with, and I think the future is very bright. Just let the coaches do what they do, let th players grow and learn, and just try to support your team through thick and thin. Things will get better, but no one is going to win all the time. This is a pasttime and a sport. If you have that much riding on a game, then your life is seriously lacking. I really wanted to ask, and still would like to know, I know where my loyalties lie, do you?

My blood runs BLUE!!

Anonymous said...

Great blog as always Brian. I'm at the point of deleting some sites as to not cause myself to have a stroke.It's painfully obvious some of these idiots have never played the game. And I thought Bucknut fans were bad. Thanks for summing up my feelings to a Tee. Go Blue.

Jack (Jackdog)

Anonymous said...

Care to comment on the fact that Cullen Christian is no longer a heavy Michigan lean? So much for Rich Rod fixing the defense through recruiting. I'm sure you will find a way to blame Lloyd Carr for losing Cullen, right? You keep slingin' your bullshit and living in a state of denial there, Brian. Rich Rod has been an absolute disaster as our head coach so far.

JLC said...

Cosign what all of the commenters said -- great job, Brian. Please know that you're not the only one swimming upstream against all these idiot bandwagon jackasses.

P---H said...

Thanks, Brian.

I've sent your column to those among my friends who are irritatingly fair-weather. I'm taking a lot of comfort, too, in that the collective record of teams not named Michigan State who have beaten Michigan this year is 15-1.

Still all-in! Go BLUE!

Brian said...

Lol, Cullen Christian is still very much a Michigan lean. And he's taking his official visit to Michigan three days before his announce date...connect the dots, anonymous tool.

Steve said...

Hey Anonymous: Get f*cked, you fair-weather piece of shit.

Aaron said...

One thing I learned while attending Michigan. Never argue with stupid people. They just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

BradyStoleMyGirlfriend said...

Hey Brian! I don't know which "insufferable" message boards you are referring to, but I can probably narrow it down to about... 400 or so! Actually, I can probably narrow it down to one in particular, but that's not the point. I too am annoyed by Section 12 experts, the East Quad scholars and, most of all, the "UM Class of 2008" geniuses who think that their diplomas somehow magically endow them with levels of football wisdom unattainable by anyone that is not in lockstep with them. Based on most of their postings I can conclude that 90% don't know whether footballs are stuffed with feathers or filled with air. Somehow, every Michigan football related conversation ultimately erodes into areferendum on RichRod. Those that hate him always hated him and always will. RR can go 10-3 THIS year and they will say "Yeah but, 3-9 & lost to Toledo". If RR walked across the water, the haters would say: "See, I told you he can't swim." So Aaron is right. Don't argue with them. It's like wrestling with a pig. You both get dirty, but the pig likes it!

General Beauregard said...

Hey, Brian! I don't know which "insufferable" websites you are referring to, but I think I can narrow it down to 400 or so! Actually, I think I can narrow it down to one in particular, but that's not the point.

I too am annoyed by the Section 12 experts, the West Quad scholars and, most of all, the "UM Class of 2008" geniuses who cite their recently minted diplomas as proof of their unassailable football knowledge and otherwise unattainalbe insight into all things Michigan football! Most of these lemmings don't know if a football is filled with air or stuffed with feathers. Most of themare just RR haters and if you notice (how can you not), almost all discussions erode into an anti-RR diatribe. RR could go 10-3 THIS year and their collective response would be "yeah but he went 3 and nine last year and lost to Toledo and yells at his players and his wife has big hair and he took out a mortgage on his house and Ryan Mallet plays at Arkansas and besides Brian Kelly would have gone 13-0....." If Rich Rod were to walk across Lake Michigan on national TV, that group would say: "See! I told you that RR can't swim!" Aaron is right. Don't argue with them. As the saying goes, "Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, but the pig likes it!"

Bayside Raiders said...

Like my assitant coach says - "The fans never lose a game."

bouje said...

What's really sad is that people like anon fail to realize that:

Our recruiting had fallen off a cliff in certain spots (I.E. Safeties, CBs, LBs) and such that we could also never recruit quality DEs. Since we couldn't get quality DEs this had a trickle down effect of LB--> DE DB-->LB which left us with a dearth of talent at S.

The year isn't even half way over with and already you are going to pile on that RR can't close haha. Do you want me to name all of the DBs that Carr has lost over the past 5 years? Here's a list for starters:

Justin King
Myron Rolle
Dionte Allen
Ronald Johnson
Jerimy Finch
Doug Wiggins
Jai Eugene
Darrin Walls
Taylor Mays
Antwine Perez

All of those are 4/5* guys. Granted you aren't ever going to get everyone but instead of getting Plan A guys we got plan C/D guys.

I'll will wait to reserve judgment on defensive recruiting UNTIL closer to NLOI day or when we starting missing out on guys like Grimes, Cullen, etc. But to say "RR SUCKS OMG SKY IS FALLING" is ridiculous and shows just how much you know about Michigan and recruiting in general. Because frankly last years Michigan class was one of the best classes that I've ever seen at Michigan. When did we ever (before that) recruit 2 very high quality DEs? Oh right NEVER.

You are what is wrong with this program not RR.