Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mailbag Question: Regarding Avery Horn

Hi guys,

Last year there was a lot of talk Avery Horn. He was going to be something special by all accounts. I thought with the new regime he was going to be a perfect fit. All the moves, great speed, great hands. What happened?

Tom from Fenton.


Well again, this is not a University of Michigan coach or BCS coach opinion so take it for what it is worth because we have our own haters here so this is “In OUR opinion” all the Avery Horn hype was more wishful thinking than anything else.

When we attended spring practice and scrimmages, it was obvious to “us” that Horn would not be much help and yes, we heard a lot of dissension about it as well.

Horn was more about straight-line speed, and did not show the ability to cut and read blocks necessary to succeed in the new scheme.

Other factor was that Horn showed well in spring game. What was missed was Horn was playing against Michigan’s second group. Our opinion again Michigan’s lack of depth on defense, made it much easier for Horn to shine.

To us, Horn was much better fit in Michigan’s old offense, and would of helped in that type of scheme.

Here are some links that we did before the spring, during the spring, etc. on Avery Horn:

Spring breaking down the Running Backs:

This one we talked about every RB on the roster, but Horn:

Basically said we thought he was the odd man out:

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Pearlie Graves: Breaking down DT commit Pearlie Graves

He is a good athlete for his size. He plays defensive end in high school, but looks like a natural defensive tackle at next level.

Tough to get a great read on this kid, when you watch his film on one-play looks like future All-American, on next looks average. Nice pick up at position of need for Michigan and this defense.

Very quick off the ball and shows nice burst. When gets those pads and plays with leverage is very tough.

He has a nice little rip move that uses at times and almost rips shoulder off offensive linemen. Shows a very good motor, energy and hustles.

Needs Work:
Definite needs to improve his overall, conditioning and gain some strength which with Coach Barwis should not be a problem.

Some of his fundamentals also need to improve. His pad level needs to be more consistent and needs to not standup and give offensive linemen his chest. Also needs to use hands better.

Pearlie Graves Highlights:

Interview I did for GBW with his High School Coach:

GoBlueWolverine: Were you surprised at his decision about picking Michigan being away from home and the last time we chatted it seemed like he might favor staying closer to home?

Coach Hill: “I really thought probably he would be looking at programs like Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, but I knew that Michigan was high on his list so it was not a surprise to me. Pearlie made a decision that he is happy, excited about, and best fits what his needs are at Michigan.”

”He feels like this is the best situation for him and gives Pearlie an option to grow up on his own a little bit and mature. He evaluated along with everybody else that this was the best option for him. I think his family understood that along with the coaching staff and a great opportunity for him to grow up and be his own man so to speak. Sometimes the old saying the farther away from home the less likely you will get back home might ring true for Pearlie and might be a good thing.”

GoBlueWolverine: Last time we talked, you mentioned that Pearlie still had to do some work in the classroom. How is that coming at this point in the year?

Coach Hill: “Yea it is a process obviously; it will take through the school year. He has already passed his ACT test and just needs to complete his core curriculum and he should be in good shape.”

GoBlueWolverine: Have the coaches talked about him playing a certain position for them on defense?

Coach Hill: “He will be playing inside at defensive interior and that is what they are excited about having him for and Pearlie feels that is his best bet.”

GoBlueWolverine: Have the coaches talked to you about Pearlie possible playing next year or does he need a red shirt year?

Coach Hill: “Well to be honest I really do not know what the University of Michigan needs are and what players they have coming there or back. As far as Pearlie’s ability, it is a very high level. There are probably many things that he will be green around the collar as far as techniques and what they want. It would be nice to red shirt him so he can learn the system along with getting use to the school, but again I am not sure what their situation is right now. He has the physical makeup to come in early and be a asset early in his career. Of course, every year of experience and knowledge of the mental part of the game will help him out as well. They will help him out with that decision wants they see him and what he can do for them, but they will have to make the decision on whether he can play right away or not.”

GoBlueWolverine: What are Pearlie’s strengths and what does he need to work on at the next level?

Coach Hill: “His number one strength thing is a big kid that can run and that is what makes a high profile kid. Anytime you can be 6’3, 275 lbs. plus and can run a legit 4.8 or better that is his strength. His motor is always running and his quickness, athletic ability is what makes Pearlie special. The things he will need to work on are his technique and getting in with their S&C program at a college level. Needs to play with his hands better as well to improve at the next level and I believe he will do fine.”

GoBlueWolverine: Is Pearlie looking to participate in any other sports this year?

Coach Hill: “He is looking at doing the shot and discus for the track team along with to continue to work out and be ready for college at the University of Michigan”.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

BTN: Michigan Volleyball Highlights vs. Penn State

Michigan Football Tidbits: Had a long conversation with an assistant coach at a BCS school.

Had a long conversation with an assistant coach at a BCS school. Some highlights of conversation.

Q) What is your opinion of the Michigan season?

A) It is easy to say "I told you so" (which he did), but what people do not understand is the type of offense Coach Rod runs (and any other spread team) the quarterback play is worth about 20 points per game either way. Michigan simply did not have any type of quarterback play which probably cost them 20 points per game offensively and also allowed opposition to score on average of 20 points more than they would have.

Q) Do you expect to see improvement next year?

A) Two answers:

1) I expect Michigan to be a pretty good running team out of the spread next year and I expect to see Michigan have many more big plays offensively running the ball.

2) Overall success will depend on quarterback play and since I have seen very little true freshmen play consistently and Michigan's returning quarterbacks have limited upside in the spread I see a small improvement, but not close to Michigan standards.

Q) What happened to the Michigan defense?

A) Michigan's offense happened to Michigan’s defense. That and players not playing up to potential and add in there seemed to me to be some confusion and tendency for staff not to make quick adjustments. It is obvious Defense played under expectations and Michigan's continually giving up such big plays is a mystery to everyone. But as I stated before I think Michigan's offense cost the Defense an average of at least 14 up to 20 points per game. The number of times Michigan punted and had three and outs is amazing in today's football.


****Here are some Michigan offensive stats (ErocWolverine found)****

#113 in passing efficiency out of 119 teams
#111 in total offense out of 119 teams
#108 in passing out of 119 teams
#107 in turnovers out of 119 teams
#97 in scoring out of 119 teams
#60 in rushing out of 119 teams

Yes we knew the offense might be bad, but never thought it would be that bad.


Q) Do you think there will be improvements in Defense next year?

A) Again depends on the offense since I do expect the running game to be the team's strength the Defense will spend less time on the field which will help. But unless Michigan's overall offensive performance improves then expect minor improvement.

Q) Do you think Coach Rod is building the program the right way?

A) I can see both sides on this. I can completely understand those who are upset that he seems to breaking down the program when many felt it just needed to be "modernized". I also can understand the argument that unless you break it down and start over you will stay in the rut of 3 loss seasons. Honestly I do not which side is correct. But I do know one thing Coach Rod needs to be Coach Rod and you hired someone who only knows one way to coach. So understanding that I don’t see how anyone can be surprised what has happened. Yes nobody could expect this many losses and it is not a given that he will ultimately be successful. But this is the only way he can be successful so Michigan fans are just going to have to ride through the tough times which I think will continue for another year or two. Who knows maybe by 2010 or 2011 Michigan fans will start to appreciate how tough it is to win in modern college football.

written by MaizeMan and ErocWolverine

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mailbag Question: Regarding McGuffie

Hi guys,

What is the story about Sam McGuffie having to take care of his 16-year-old brother? I keeping hearing references to it, but no explanations. I thought both his parents were still alive and that the family was close. So what is the problem here? Is this just a smokescreen.



Thanks for the question. We have heard of some family issues involving the McGuffie family.

In addition, Sam was taking a bigger role in helping to raise his younger brother. We have not heard anything credible with regards to why he does this and if we have heard we would let other places deal with that issue because we believe that sometimes we need to let these people keep their personal lives that … personal. Some of these players come from a bad background (again not saying Sam does) but these kids in general come from across the country and from all different backgrounds so some of these players have added pressure to them than most kids.

Well we do know that he has had at least two concussions this year and anytime you have that many in one year it becomes a problem and needs to be looked at from the medical staff.

Also in the summer time he was homesick just as most freshman are when they first arrive at Michigan from out of the area. People keep bringing up Mallett and thinking he was ready to leave that moment, he was here as well. He came in the worst part of the winter and did not have any friends here or know anybody where as McGuffie came here in the summer and still felt that way even though he had some players on this team that were from home.

I am sure when he was injured and Minor role on the team increased and his playing time was reduced players want to be playing and I am sure he felt disappointment.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Women's Volleyball: #1 Penn State at #14 Michigan on BTN

Saturday 11/29/2008

Michigan Women's Volleyball

Penn State at Michigan

6:00pm EST. - 8:00pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 610


Mailbag Question: Regarding Boo Boo

Hey guys,

What was your take on how Boo-Boo played this year? I think he has a bright future with Michigan.

Maize n Blue


Thanks for the question Boubacar “Boo Boo” Cissoko showed flashes of talent this year. He was the type of skills and swagger necessary to play cornerback in today’s college football defenses.

He also played like a true freshmen much of the time this year. Things we would like to see improve are not lunging, showing a touch more patience, and learning to identify routes.

When he does learn some of techniques and gains invaluable experience he should be a top college cornerback.

“Boo Boo” is far more natural cornerback than Morgan Trent ever was.

“Boo Boo” is stronger and more physical than Warren and Morgan combined.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Ohio High School Football Championship Saturday TV Games 11/29/2008

Ohio High School Football Saturday TV Games 11/29/2008


High School Football Championship Pregame Show (Live)

10:30am EST. - 11:00am EST.

DirecTV Channel 662



Ohio Division III Championship at Canton

Columbus Eastmoor Academy (13-1) vs. Aurora (12-2)

11:00am EST. - 2:00pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 662

DirecTV Channel 662-1 (HD)



High School Football Championship Pregame Show (Live)

2:30pm EST. - 3:00pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 662



Ohio Division V Championship at Massillon (Live)

Youngstown Ursuline (14-0) vs. Findlay Liberty-Benton (14-0)

3:00pm EST. - 6:00pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 662



High School Football Championship Pregame Show (Live)

6:30pm EST. - 7:00pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 662



Ohio Division I Championship at Canton (Live)

Cleveland St. Ignatius (13-1) vs. Cincinnati Elder (13-1)

7:00pm EST. - 10:00pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 662

DirecTV Channel 662-1 (HD)


Men's Basketball: Savannah State at Michigan

Saturday 11/29/2008

Michigan Men's Basketball

Savannah State at Michigan

2:00pm EST. - 4:00pm EST.

Michigan High School Football Championship Saturday TV Games 11/29/2008

Michigan High School Football Championships Saturday 11/29/2008 ... all games at Ford Field


Michigan Division 7 Championship (Live)

Traverse City St Francis (12-1) vs. Ubly (13-0)

10:00am EST. - 12:30pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 663

FSN Detroit


Michigan Division 1 Championship (Live)

Rockford (12-1) vs. Lake Orion (12-1)

1:00pm EST. - 3:30pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 663

FSN Detroit


Michigan Division 5 Championship (Live)

Ovid-Elsie (12-1) vs. Muskegon Oakridge (13-0)

4:30pm EST. - 7:00pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 663

FSN Detroit


Michigan Division 3 Championship (Live)

East Grand Rapids (12-1) vs. Inkster (12-1)

7:30pm EST. - 10:00pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 664

FSN Detroit Alt.




Michigan Division 3 Championship (Taped)

East Grand Rapids (12-1) vs. Inkster (12-1)

12:30am EST. - 3:00am EST.

DirecTV Channel 663

FSN Detroit

Coaches Corner: The Special Teams, Part 4

Special Teams:

Field Goals:
Some one has to step and kick field goals even if it is the true freshmen taking the job. B. Wright is scholarship kicker, and new guy coming in, one has to do the job.

Game should be strength of team just like it was this year. Mesko could easily have been the MVP of this team this year and that is no joke.

Kick offs:
Need to find somebody that can drive the ball deep and at least get it to the goal line while still getting enough airtime for the players rushing down the field to stop the return inside the twenty.

Return Games:
This needs to be addressed in the spring and find a couple of players that can be deadly returning the ball, but also reliable enough that everybody does not worry each time the ball is either kicked off or punted. We need to win the return game and make this a weapon and not just be safe and put a guy like Mathews back there. Who is a good punt return player, but he will never frighten opposing teams with his moves.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Friday, November 28, 2008

Coaches Corner: The Defense, Part 3


Defensive Line:
If B. Graham comes back as it has been hinted, this group can be very good. Martin has ability to be better than either of this year defensive tackles, and RVB is solid.

One of the young defensive tackles needs to step up for this group to shine and needs depth that can produce during the season to keep players fresh.

If the young players do not step up this could be ugly. It is the #1 area of concern for next year. So many questions can Fitzgerald play middle linebacker so Ezeh can move outside linebacker or defensive end.

Can one of the freshmen step up and replace John Thompson. If they play as poorly, not sure how much worse they can be, as this years linebackers, Michigan will continue to give up big points no matter who coaches them, what scheme they use or who is out there. Would love to see S. Brown move to nickel the position that Harrison played this year at times.

This area should be a big improvement. Boo Boo is far more natural cornerback than Morgan Trent ever was. Hopefully D. Warren gets stronger and starts to get back on track with this defense.

Much will depend on what happens with defense. If Michigan goes back to some sort of three deep coverage and man with cornerbacks, it will be huge help.

These players were not recruited to play what Michigan was playing in secondary this year. Expect this to be greatly improved area. Boo Boo is stronger and more physical than Warren and Morgan combined.

Nowhere to go but up. Will be interesting to se what Michigan does to improve this area. You cannot continue to give this number of big plays and poor positional play. Expect to see some shake up in secondary with Floyd or other freshmen safety getting a look at safety. If this does improve, Michigan will be hard pressed to show the improvement necessary. Look for B. Smith to be one of the safeties penciled in to see what he can do this spring.

Harrison and Williams were competent here this past year. However, expect to see Williams get serious look at safety as well. S. Brown could be natural here. Takeaway his deep responsibility and let him play closer to line of scrimmage. He does well when blitzing and when playing moving forward.

part 4 tomorrow morning will be special teams

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Michigan at Minnesota .... Hockey on BTN

Michigan Hockey: (Live)

Michigan at Minnesota

8:00pm EST. - 10:30pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 610


Coaches Corner: The Offense, Part 2


Expect this to be heated competition for playing time. Yes, Beaver and Forcier are most talented. However, do not write off Threet to quick. He has full year under his belt and is not a quitter. Nevertheless, by midseason would be surprised if one of two freshmen is not getting majority of reps next year.

This is an area where Michigan has a chance to improve. If it does not get appreciably better quarterback play, next year could be just as tough as 2008. They must get better production from quarterback next year no matter what happens.

Running Backs:
This has potential to be strength of team, offense, and defense. Michigan has three running backs with considerable playing time and fourth who showed well at time Brown. Also throw in two or three freshmen, and this could be special group at Michigan. If this is not at least very good group, Michigan will be in trouble next season.

Offensive Line:
This was most improved group on team, both from spring to November and from September to November. However, it must even get better. Do not care how good your running backs are if you do not block, you will not run the ball.

In addition, Michigan will need to have outstanding running game if team is going to improve appreciably. Also the running game can open up the passing game along with taking pressure off the quarterbacks.

Split Ends:
Area that really needs to upgrade, production was less than stellar. In addition, talent is there to get it done. Improved quarterback and offensive line play will really make this group look better. Blocking needs to be the top priority to work on in the off-season, and really believe we have the people to get it done.

Slot Receiver:
Really like the group of kids Michigan has here. Gallon, T-Rob, Odoms, even V. Smith have game-breaking potential. In addition, the area where quarterbacks have to get these players involved who can make small plays turned into huge gains.

It is getting slots in space that starts to stretch defenses and getting those outside linebackers out of box. Talent is there, but defenses will not adjust until Michigan proves they can make the defenses pay for stacking and crowding the line of scrimmage.

Part 3 will be about the defense.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Ohio High School Football Championships TV Games on Friday 11/28/2008

Ohio High School Football Friday TV Games 11/28/2008


OHSSA Football Championship Preview (Live)

10:30am EST. - 11:00am EST.

DirecTV Channel 662



Ohio Division VI Championship at Massillon (Live)

Delphos St. Johns (12-2) vs. Hopewell-Loudon (14-0)

11:00am EST. - 2:00pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 662



OHSSA Football Championship Preview (Live)

2:30pm EST. - 3:00pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 662



Ohio Division IV Championship at Canton (Live)

Steubenville (14-0) vs. Kettering Archbishop Alter (12-2)

3:00pm EST. - 6:00pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 662



OHSSA Football Championship Preview (Live)

6:30pm EST. - 7:00pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 662



Ohio Division II Championship at Massillon (Live)

Sylvania Southview (14-0) vs. Cincinnati Anderson (12-2)

7:00pm EST. - 10:00pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 662


Michigan High School Football Championship TV Games 11/28/2008

Michigan High School Football Friday TV Games 11/28/2008


Division 8 Championship (Live)

Crystal Falls Forest Park (13-0) vs. Muskegon Catholic Central (13-0)

10:00am EST. -12:30pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 663

FSN Detroit


Michigan Division 2 Championship (Live)

Muskegon (13-0) vs. Warren DeLaSalle (13-0)

1:00pm EST. - 3:30pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 663

FSN Detroit


Michigan Division 6 Championship (Live)

Montague (12-1) vs. Leslie (12-1)

4:30pm EST. - 7:00pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 663

FSN Detroit


Michigan Division 4 Championship (Taped)

Holland Christian (13-0) vs. Detroit Country Day (11-2)

11:00pm EST. - 1:30am EST.

DirecTV Channel 663

FSN Detroit

Coaches Corner: The Future, Part 1

As has been stated, expect more defections. This will not get to staff, same happens at most places where new regimes happen. When Coach Tressel took over at Ohio State, same thing happened. In addition, it is not to cut players either. Some just do not see themselves fitting into new program, or the commitment to it. Michigan needs to get players and coaches all on the same page and all believe in each other to turn this program around.

2) Coach Rod and staff need to be excellent salesmen with players who stay not only for their own self, but for the incoming recruits that could help rebuild this team in a hurry. These players busted their asses last winter with promise of success. Players are hearing and reacting to all the negatives in media and even from friends. It is up to staff to resell players, and get them to commit same as last winter and even work harder since they know how the off-season works now under this staff.

3) Broken Record time RECRUIT, RECRUIT AND RECRUIT. This must happen and get players that can come in and play. It is time to get involved with 2010, 2011 also and get players interested in Michigan and try to get those young recruits to Michigan. The earlier you get these kids on campus the more they will get interested in Michigan and will want to come back to the Michigan campus. There are many of the 2010 recruits already leaning. That is why on GBW with Braylon's updates are so encouraging. He is talking about 2010 and 2011 recruits. One of the top, if not top 2010 offensive linemen in Ohio is already strong lean for Ohio State. Being proactive with these underclassmen is becoming more and more important just like it has been in basketball the last several years.

4) Michigan coaching staff needs to be visible, and open, same as last winter / spring. It is very easy to be reactionary after season like 2008 and return to “fort” mentality. This would be huge mistake. Staff needs to be visible. Work the clinic and lecture circuit, go to high school basketball and wrestling events to show they are interested. Be available for banquets and award events. Being visible is 90% of battle.

5) Do same as last spring and make all practices and scrimmages open to high school coaches. This is where you can really make contacts and relationships. Staff did excellent job with this last year, and it needs to continue. Give out e-mails, answer questions, be available. This is worth it weight in gold. This is one thing the coaches even admitted they did not do as much, but all the coaches knew the staff had a lot on their plates just taking over the program and signing a recruiting class, getting ready for spring ball and then having spring ball.

Part 2 today will be about the offense.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Inside Michigan Football with Rich Rodriguez

11:30pm EST. - 12:00am EST.

DirecTV Channel 610


Inside Michigan Football with Rich Rodriguez

Inside Michigan Football with Rich Rodriguez

6:30pm EST. - 7:00pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 663

FSN Detroit

Wolverine Sports Magazine

Wolverine Sports Magazine

6:00pm EST. - 6:30pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 663

FSN Detroit

Happy Thanksgiving 2008

Happy Thanksgiving E-Bloggers. It has been roughly just over a year (started the blog on Nov. 1, 2007) and have seen over 250,000 clicks way more than I ever expected when I decided to branch out and start my own Michigan blog.

What a great day to celebrate with family, friends, Macy's parade and of course watch a lot of football over this day and rest of the week.

Just want to say thank you for the support, the e-mails, and even the ones that do not agree with what we have stated here, etc.

If you have any suggestions please e-mail, them to us to help make this blog a better experience for you. Please e-mail us at and we will answer the questions in a timely fashion. In addition, even if you do not agree with our take and us we will answer the questions we have never not answered a question.

We have taken the position if it is true in our opinion we are going to say it no matter how bad it hurts some feelings or thoughts. This includes our take on coaches, players, posters, bloggers, etc. You can always disagree with us and state that as well.

In addition, I want to thank the guys that have helped me out with this blog. CoachBt has been a huge factor along with MaizeMan and every once in awhile Josh. Thank you guys.

written by ErocWolverine

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mailbag Question: Barwis and also the argument

I have been searching the web for incite into the first quarter argument with the coaches and Thompson/Stewart. Have you heard anything about why?

In addition, when has a Strength and Conditioning coach been so involved it the action at games? Barwis always seems so close to Coach Rod.

Thanks and keep up the good work.



Thanks for the question and comment. Coach Barwis has definitely enjoyed this type of role for years with Coach Rod. While not common, it is not unique. Many strength and conditioning coaches have special / close relationship with head coach and players.

Most strength and conditioning coaches spend more time and have closer relationships with players then coaches.

It appeared to us that John Thompson / Charles Stewart was upset because there were not enough players on the field.

What he did not realize was that Ohio State was making last second change and Michigan staff was trying to match that change.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Coaches Corner: Grading the Asst. Coaches

Normally we mesh both CoachBt and my take on these type of matters, but wanted to show people what both of us believe. We have seen these coaches in person during the spring and have heard about them in the fall. Also we can judge them on saturdays like every other fan can do.

1) Frey:

ErocWolverine: Best coach on the team for what he had to work with this year. Really, like him at the coach’s clinic and the graduate assistant that works with the O-line as well.

CoachBt: Best assistant coach of the bunch, great hire. Has experience as both player and coach in zone schemes.

2) Shafer:

ErocWolverine: Thought he was the best coach at the clinic and really think he got a RAW DEAL this year. The offense did not help him out at all and not all those returning starters improved like so many thought they should. They dreaded word "potential" one thing people need to go back and look at last years tapes and see these guys were not that good that were coming back. He will be the "SCAPEGOAT" (IMO) this year.

CoachBt: Very intense and fundamentally strong, just did not fit with rest of defensive staff.

3) Hopson:

ErocWolverine: Working with a bunch of terrible linebackers (IMO) and the best of the bunch is Mouton. Hopson is a very good recruiter, but hopefully he gets some talent with speed that will learn how to fill a hole and also tackle. Hope he sticks around, but I am not sure I would offer him the defensive coordinator job to keep him because his position group really did not impress me much, but the players he has there are terrible.

CoachBt: Top recruiter and intense SOB, better fit at defensive back than linebackers coach, but did competent job with terrible talent.

4) Jackson:

ErocWolverine: Always like Fred, but the only problem I have with him is the rotation of the running backs and he has been using the same thing for the last 8 years. Goes with one player when in this offense we could easily balance out the carries and get 3-4 players the rock.

CoachBt: Better, fit at pro style offense. Will get better with spread, good hire.

5) Magee:

ErocWolverine: He might be higher, but really thought his play calling was terrible this year. Not sure if it is changed on the sidelines or what, but many times did not understand what Michigan was doing. He is a very good recruiter especially in Florida.

CoachBt: Outstanding teacher and knowledge of spread schemes. Still had some questionable game day decisions.

6) Tall:

ErocWolverine: Disappointed in the defensive line this year. They had a decent year, but for this team to do anything this group needed to be great and bring it every game, every quarter, every play and frankly they did not. To many times you would hear Graham or Taylor’s name and then you did not for several quarters. He seems like he knows coaching, but might be just coaching wrong position. That happens when you hire staff before you have your defensive coordinator set in stone first. He is a decent recruiter, but working in Ohio will be tough until Michigan starts winning “The Game” and recruit Ohio hard instead of giving up like previous staff.

CoachBt: Tough call, he is very good football man, just coaching out of position. Needs to move to safeties, or special teams.

7) Smith:

ErocWolverine: Well not sure, if it was him or the quarterbacks, but their mechanics really have slipped this year from what I heard behind the fort with these quarterbacks practicing. He might be a good recruiter, but not sure, he is the best position coach that we could have gotten. In addition, doesn't it seem overkill to have two quarterback coaches on the staff with Coach Rod as well since he spends so much time with them when we could use that spot for special teams coach or move Magee there since we only are playing one tight end and that role is limited.

CoachBt: Top recruiter, knows spread offense. One-dimensional and does not stress some of fundamentals as much.

8) Dews:

ErocWolverine: Think the wide receivers took a huge hit this year and the position coach to me did not make these players better. I saw Stonum running better routes his first couple of practices when he arrived in the spring then he was running the last half of the season. All these players haven't learned to block, run crisp routes, etc. Took a serious hit when Michigan fired Campbell (IMO). He seems like a decent coach and maybe some of the problem is the players, but to me this group was very disappointing this year.

CoachBt: Provides needed toughness, but split ends had too many fundamental issues.

9) Gibson:

ErocWolverine: Defensive backs especially safeties really struggled this year and the "coffee boy" just does not seem to be helping them out. I keep hearing he was one of the best recruiters at West Virginia, but not seeing it here especially in Pennsylvania and Ohio where he was very good while at West Virginia. In addition, special teams looked terrible and he was part of the coaches that worked with them along with Dews I believe. We took a serious hit when Michigan fired Bedford (IMO) who is doing a good job at Florida.

CoachBT: Was problem scheme, he is not cover two coach, or just poor coaching.

Mailbag Question: Previous players leaving

Been getting many e-mails regarding players leaving previously and currently. Many people have stated that they want all these “bad apples” gone or the ones that do not buy into the program.


In a normal year, I bet the "text" thing would not be that big of deal, but when your losing and you are trying to keep the players together, you try and not let anybody slip out.

Still stand by that it was not that bad “the foundation”. It just did not have the right "mix" that Coach Rod wanted so he tore it down and started over instead of patching it up and fixing it.

The real question will be what does the kids that might leave say once they are away from the program. That could be key to the success of future recruiting for Michigan.

Players who have already left, like Boren making fun of and talking about lack of family values, and number of others Mallet, etc. have had big effect on product on field. Coach Rod has caused many distractions that have come back to bite him. Agree when winning these things do not hurt as much, when losing them escalates in a hurry. Coach Rod has small window of time to turn this around and show some positive results.

The funny thing is this whole player’s do not like Mallett thing started over an argument with Mario and truth be told the players did not like Mario!

Not many disliked Mallett, he was just a cocky young rookie, that is always going to rub some players the wrong way especially the upperclassmen, but for the most part players actually respect players for being like mallett, and they become the leader. Players such as Adrian, Mike, Chad all loved Mallett’s approach and new he was a future leader, and visiting recruits ALWAYS spent their Saturday night with Mallett and loved the kid).

On offense, it is just Coach Rod decision to run Mallett off that cost the program this year and especially a bowl game, practice time, etc.
You cannot dismantle things and then cry about things being dismantled, but he learned that from Bush-Iraq if nowhere else.

It works because people do not pay close enough attention.
He treated the situation as if he was entering a losing program, which is what his story was elsewhere such as West Virginia dismantling everything. This was not the case here though until he created it.

Now people are hoping for 6-6 or 7-5 for next year just to get into one of the 26 bowl games out there. If he does not make a bowl game next year, we will be looking for a new coach all over again. This program does not have patients or time to wait 4-5 years down the road.

You can say the "foundation" was cracked, etc... but it sure didn't need dismantled ... maybe tweaked such as getting the players in a S&C program and demanding they be there along with player developement.

What we mean by this is fixing the S&C program in which it was a voluntary program in the past especially in the off-season. Making the players held accountable for their actions and getting the coaches involved. Getting a S&C coach that makes it known that if you do not participate you will not play in the fall and that was backed up by Coach Rod.

Also like his openness to the media, but some of the things with so many more media covering Michigan Coach Rod needs to be more careful what he says. At West Virginia, he was in a smaller area and not as much national exposure and most of those media had a personal relationship with him for awhile as the head coach there along with being a player and living in West Virginia.

I think people need to stop referring Bo to Coach Rod from here on out.

There are other people around as well that believe this as well.

Doesn't really matter now, but Coach Rod is off his pedestal for most with people with doing nothing wrong and next year is "make or break" (IMO) for him.

He (IMO) will have to at least show improvement and at least get to a bowl game (6-7 wins) for him to see what he can do with the 2010 season which should be a lot better when we open up Michigan Stadium and all those expensive boxes as well that are not sold yet.

Are we saying we do not like what Coach Rod has done? No not at, but we believe he has made some mistakes that have hurt the program short term. Will this effect us? Not sure we will find out next year along with how recruiting goes the next several years.

In addition, another kid to keep an eye on is what Brandon Graham has to say about the program if he says anything. Of course, if he leaves now to me that means he was not fond of the coaches and the direction of the program and looking to move on with the NFL, but if he stays that can only help the situation and tell recruits that the program is moving in the right direction. The one catch is does he risk saying anything and then not being able to come back and work out with Barwis in the off seasons once he gets to the NFL.

Have to look at players like Babb, Banks, Butler (GVSU), Chambers, Clemons, Cox, Grady (GVSU), B. Graham (NFL), Herron, Horn, Kates, McGuffie, Patterson, Savoy, Watson and Webb who might all look at their options of being back on this team, asked to leave or will not be granted their fifth year. Some of these players have already gone public so the wait will be for the rest. One thing to keep in mind with the off-season so long this year the kids have several chances to leave. Right now since the season is over, their exams are coming up in early December when they can leave and make it public, not show up for the January school session, can come to spring ball and see how they fit in this year and then decide.

Again NOT saying all will go, but you have to think that almost everyone of them will look at their options and see where they stack up and if they want to be on the team and sit the bench or if they might be able to play next year. I have been told that many of the players I mentioned are goners and not by their choice either.

This team was not this bad or it did not need to be this bad, but Coach Rod decided to tear it down to the ground and start all over. Coach Rod needs to take the heat for that and also he better win at least 6-7 games next year or the "natives" will be restless especially with a remodeled stadium completed for the 2010 season and boxes need to be filled.

That is another point I have heard they have not sold any or many of the boxes since the spring. I have heard they are still in the forty's. They were at forty-two I believe when we were at the spring coach’s clinic. Also heard that several have or will be asking for their money back since it is all based off points system anyway and if they want back in points for the given areas of the boxes will structure it all. In addition, when the boxes cost as much as they do what does a $5,000.00 deposit matter.

Written by CoachBt, MaizeMan, AAir16 and ErocWolverine

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mailbag Question: Sideline tussle?


Big Wolverine fan stuck in Buckeye land...

What is your take on the sideline tussle between Coach Rod, other coaches and
several players? Pretty disturbing?



Thanks for the question also we both feel your pain as well. It is never a good sign when players and coaches have verbal confrontations in public.

What was more troubling to us was fact that those players went back into game. As coach, you cannot tolerate this type of open disrespect.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Mailbag Question: Lack of recruiting depth

Great blog, guys. Fun to read.

One topic has me curious though – we keep reading, and have seen evidence, about the lack of recruiting depth over the past 4+ years by the previous staff. Comments have been made that recruiting efforts got lazy and even ignoring outside tips from people wanting attention from Michigan.

During those years however, none of this came to light, as much as it was people complaining about the staff’s problems with game-planning and/or adjustments, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Evidence has surfaced of that as well.

So what WAS the previous staff doing? Comments from various sources say they weren’t recruiting while others say they weren’t doing much in on-field strategy, as evidenced by opponents saying Michigan was predictable and they knew what to expect.

So what exactly WAS the previous working so hard on, as related to football? Personal Development and graduating players, as well as keeping them out of trouble, seemed to be their highlight reel.

Were they too comfortable, not hungry?


Thanks guys.



Thanks for the question. Old regime, Coach Carr regime, recruited players who fit into what they were trying to accomplish, and had character they wanted.

They used state of Michigan as base and then used rest of Midwest to supplement their base. We had three basic problems with their philosophy.

1) They gave up on Ohio. Ohio needs to be large pat of any Michigan recruiting effort. Michigan conceding this wealth of high school talent to Coach Tressell without fighting for them is just giving up a great athletic state.

2) Michigan was over reliance on the summer camp. Some of the top tier talent was already committing and getting offers and Michigan was not even engaged. TJ Downing and A. Gonzo are example of Michigan legacy players who were already offered and close to committing before Michigan even got involved. Michigan almost lost Kevin Koger the same way.

3) Michigan was just being slow. Kids with Michigan interest were not even getting letters or calls until well into the process.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Michigan Basketball: Norfolk State vs. Michigan


Nov. 25, 2008

Norfolk State (1-1) vs. Michigan (3-1)

8:30pm EST. - 10:30pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 610


Mailbag Question: What do you think of returning safeties?

Hi guys,

Great site-lots of useful input guys. What do you think of the returning safeties and is there a chance to convert one of the corners (Warren, Woolfolk or Floyd) to safety next year?



Thanks for the question and comments. Until we are sure, exactly what Michigan is going to do on defense with the coaches it is almost impossible guess or speculate on personnel. Is Michigan staying with cover 4 and 2 schemes used this year, man schemes, or returning to 3 deep packages used in past.

Much will depend on which staff members return and who takes their place. We will have much better feel for what is happening after spring practices. We do agree with your hypothesis that Michigan does need to upgrade their safety play, and entire defense for that matter.

Also it depends on what commits come in for next year and the potential of those guys being able to play early. What do they do with B. Smith as well might be a big factor.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mailbag Question: Wow big difference on Saturday

WOW what a difference between Ohio State and Michigan yesterday.

The complete talent level, but just not that either. The players on defense you could see two completely two different styles. OSU came and put hits on you and they wanted to punish you while Michigan just wanted to make tackles.

On offense ... wow ... all I can say is how come Ohio State do it with young players, but we can't? Seems like an excuse.



Thanks for the question. Our biggest problem with game Saturday was that Michigan lost their edge after first quarter.

For that first quarter, Michigan met Ohio State intensity and fire. After Wells long run, the bottom fell out. Michigan just could not, or did not keep up with Ohio State.

As for young players, yes Ohio State used some young kids. Difference is that Ohio State also has some stars, and elite level talent. Michigan does not have a Laranitis or Jenkins on defense.

Michigan does not have a Beanie Wells or Alex Boone on offense. Ohio State has at least five and maybe even more first day draft picks, you would be hard pressed to find more than one at Michigan.

That is why since the spring practices we attended we have been preaching recruiting especially on the defensive side even though many people was going against us on that issue. We saw first hand this defense was not that talented and that the depth of the defense was really lacking as well no matter how many so called starters were back. It just was not very many good players back.

As much as anything, Michigan needs to recruit and develop some difference maker type players because that is major difference between Michigan and Ohio State with their current roster.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

BTN: Vanderbilt at Michigan Women's Basketball Highlights

Mailbag Question: How bad is this season?

How bad is this season, really?

or do we not know until we see this team next year?



Thanks for the question. There is no way to spin 3-9 as anything but horrible season.

Losing games to Toledo, Purdue, and Northwestern were absolute killers. Had the team pulled those three games out and qualified for even the Motor City Bowl you could make argument that while things were not good the bottom had not fallen out and several things you could say was still intact. Such as the bowl streak and you could sell the fans of rebuilding with new scheme, new players, new coaches, etc.

To have worse season in Michigan’s 129th history, that you will have tough time finding many positives with this season. Remember when Coach Rod was hired and he talked about when he was at the airport leaving a West Virginia fan said “you better not go 3-8 at Michigan like you did at West Virginia your first year” and remember he laughed about it along with all the media, fans, donors, etc … well nobody is laughing now.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Michigan W / M Cross Country: NCAA Championship

Michigan Men and Women's Cross Country

NCAA Championship (Live)

12:00pm EST. - 1:30pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 613


Mailbag Question: How do they regroup?

Hey guys,

Terrible loss for Michigan how do they regroup for next year and does this change the feeling of Coach Rod at Michigan? Does he have a timeline now to turn this around and how much time does he get? What does he need to do to keep his job for the 2010 season when the stadium is finished renovating with all those luxury boxes.



Thanks for the question. Those are some great questions that are going to be tough to answer. Regrouping is matter of selling players that last year season was a fluke and that if they stay and commit to the program good things will happen.

One thing we believe the Athletic Department will try and do is get an easier schedule. Look for three type MAC games along with Notre Dame so the fans will get behind this team and hopefully get some early wins to build confidence.

Coach Rod needs along with the team need to have winning season and be bowl eligible next football season. If Michigan is not bowl eligible things could get very tough on Coach Rod and the Michigan administration especially if they don’t win games next year.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mailbag Question: What do you guys think of Minor comments?

Hey guys,

I read Brandon Minor comments and was wondering what you guys thought about them?



Thanks for the question for the people that did not see it here is the link from the Detroit News.

"As far as next season, it's going to be totally different, I promise you that, tailback Brandon Minor said. "I can't really blame Rich Rod because everybody on the team didn't buy in like they're supposed to. But we'll correct that. It's not gonna happen on my watch as a senior next year."


Our take on it we see this as a good thing and a bad thing. Good is it sets Minor up as leader for next year. Michigan desperately needs some leadership. However, calling out teammates can also cause some hard feelings and always felt that those types of comments should be left in the locker room and it almost shifts the blame away from him and other players. In addition, if you call out, you hade better deliver.

Where was Minor at this spring, summer, and fall?

Why wasn't he getting into those players faces? He was supposed to be one of the offensive leaders on this year’s team. He was a guy that played last year and should have been a leader in the off-season and during the season knowing he was going to have to be "the man" for this team to succeed.

Minor was one of the best players that we saw in the springtime so what did he do just sit back and wait for the seniors to do something. To us that is not a leader.

Do we like his emotion and what to look for next year ... sure. Do not get us wrong we love what Minor did the last half of the season when he got his chance, but we do not like the mentality of throwing other players under the bus. That type of attitude will only make this problem worst or could.

This is not pro sports where you are dealing with grown man being paid to play. This is as much about being a team as anything. Those types of statements can really split team in half if not careful.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Mailbag Question: So how bad is it?

So how does Michigan change from being a 3-9 and losing 42-7 to Ohio State and become a contender again in the Big Ten along with becoming a national program again.



Thanks for the question. Real simple, recruit, recruit, recruit. Michigan at this time does not have the elite level players Ohio State has. The only way you get them is to evaluate and then recruit talented players.

People can complain about the cupboard being bare, but the day Coach Rod was hired he had a lot more talent on this team then he did against Ohio State yesterday. It is what it is and we as fans have to live with it and hope things work out for the best.

Average players make average, good players make good plays, and great players make great plays.

Michigan needs to get some of those great players, until then, Ohio State will continue to beat Michigan.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Mailbag Question: Why do I keep reading about friction between Coach Miles and Coach Carr?

I love reading your blogs and look forward to your posts at Michigan.scout site. Both of you have great insight and offer valuable insight. I wish I had found your site earlier!

Why do I keep reading about friction between Coach Miles and Coach Carr? Is there bad blood there? Is Coach Carr one of the reasons Martin did not listen to the search committee?

I have had the pleasure of meeting Coach Rod, I know his first season has been a disaster but this is a class act, he knows how to win and he will win big here.

I have been a Michigan fan since 1969 when I went to my first game, I know live in SEC country and I cannot wait until the speed he is recruiting starts producing so I can shut these knuckleheads up!

Go Blue


Thanks for the question. We think much of this media hype trying to make a story where none exists.

Is there bad blood between Coach Miles and Coach Carr? Yea there probably is because they were both on the Michigan staff and it came down to one of them leaving for reasons that do not need to be in public from such a long time ago.

As far as Bill Martin in concerned he made the decision to go away from his own search committee so right now he is feeling the heat of what is going on right now.

Players who has spoke up have said Coach Carr told them to give the program a chance. Coach Carr has been seen at home games in the press box. In addition, has done or said anything that suggests to us he is anything but 100% pro Michigan. Coach Carr is in a no win situation here in our view. If he is visible, he is interfering and not letting Coach Rod put his stamp on the program. If he stays away, he is being unsupportive.

The bottom line to us is that Michigan being 3-9 is magnifying all these little things this year. If Michigan were 8-4, 9-3, 10-2, 11-1 or even 12-0 this year none of this would even be an issue.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Saturday, November 22, 2008

BTN: Weather forecast for "The Game"

Coaches Corner: What I have learned in 28 years coaching

What I have learned in 28 years coaching


Everyday we have seen a number of posts; I back Coach Rod, or the other side of coin. This in general leads to infighting and name-calling. My 100 % unabashed opinion on this year.

1) Warned all that would listen this spring Michigan would have tough year. Between lacks of talent, new system and coaching staff could just tell leaving spring practices this was going to tough year.

2) Losing seasons like deaths in the family, bring out best, and worse in people. Every one deals with disaster differently, and has different tolerance levels.

3) Any time you have as much passion / love for something as we Michigan fans do their will always be flair ups.

4) These flair ups are healthy as long as everyone stays respectful and drops the name-calling, “I am better Michigan fan than you”, etc.

5) Even the most realistic Michigan fan, myself included, never thought Michigan would be 3-8 going into Ohio State.

6) Fans, like good coaches, are never satisfied, coaches just have better release valves.

7) 90% of fans, yours truly included, fall in love with certain players and when they fail we blame coaches.

8) Winning will fix 99.9% of these problems.

9) As frustrated as we Michigan fans are, coaching staff is more frustrated, and even more upset than we are.

10) Coach Rod and staff are have great pride, and whether I or others 100% agree with them, they are doing what they think is in best long term health of program.

Next year.

1) Do not be surprised if Michigan starts out rough next year. We are going to be very green at some key positions.

2) This giant Blue family is just like an Irish, or Hillbilly family, being both I can use the terms. We may fight like Hell with each, other but let some one else start something with one of us and they get us all. Remember that this weekend when Ohio State fans get cocky with one of our Blue Brothers or Sisters. Stick together this week and in future, not following blindly, but have each other’s backs.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Friday, November 21, 2008

Michigan Football Tidbits: Part 3

Good news is 2008 is almost over. 2009 brings a new start for Coach Rod in some sense a second chance. 2009 will be the biggest challenge in Coach Rod's coaching career because he cannot afford another year without playing in a bowl, but he is going to have to get there with one of the youngest teams in Michigan history (including probably a true freshman quarterback).

How does he possibly accomplish a successful season:

1) B. Graham has to return.

2) Again, defense has to be a vital part of the team it has to be productive.

3) 2009 has to be the best running team in the past decade.

4) Safety position has to get a major upgrade. B. Smith key player here.

5) Have to find the right place to play Ezeh. Potential impact player if they find a way to use him.
6) Forcier or Beaver has to do almost the impossible and that is be a productive freshmen quarterback (that does not have Braylon Edwards on the roster).

7) Recruiting has to be in top five in 2009 optimism is always a good thing.

8) We have to reverse our turnover ratio from this year.

9) Probably, the most important Coach Rod has to find a way to get these kids to not accept mediocrity, not to accept defeat, but at the same time get these kids to play with passion and have some fun for once.

written by MaizeMan and ErocWolverine

BTN: Preparing for Ohio State

BTN: Womens Basketball highlights vs. Texas A&M

Michigan Football Tidbits: Part 2

4) Wide Receivers:
Is the position group that could see the most defections and we have just one commit for next year (and that one is iffy) so expect a couple of late maybe surprise offers at the Wide Receiver position in December and January. Hemingway of course needs to stay healthy next year, Stonum needs to mature quickly but he is fine, and Rogers needs to make huge strides. Roundtree could possibly end up being the third receiver next year. Matthews had a rough time adjusting to new program. He felt he was going to be the #1 guy in 2008 in old scheme, but he is fine now and expect him to be back next year and be one of leaders on the team.

Another personal note:
It might be just me, but wide receiver position has been the hardest adjustment for me. Think of all the top wide receiver we have had in the past 10 years the way in which we used the wide receiver and now all that seems gone. Now maybe when we get a top quarterback who can throw. I will once again enjoy our wide receiver play, but that time cannot come soon enough.

5) Big Will:
Is such an important recruit for many reasons including the fact he is from Michigan. And I have lost hope on Jenkins, but probably the most important recruit left is Lewan. Is possible we could possibly get a commit from a true offensive tackle? Since Long when have we seen a more impressive looking offensive tackle on film?

6) We need another DE recruit:
I understand Tank may have had some serious issues, but obviously not serious enough for Illinois to offer. Not saying Michigan should of ended up with Tank, but what harm would of visit do? Since Tank is not longer a possibility we need to make defensive end a high priority not only in this class by in upcoming class. With the lack of defensive ends (even LaLota may not end up at defensive end) more and more likely we see more three man fronts in the future.

7) Difference in this yr in terms of off-season is:
Players will start working out immediately after Ohio State game. Workouts in December will be off and on because of finals and holidays, but in January instead of giving players until first of February like in years past workouts will start up as soon as kids return from holidays and will be going full blast by mid-January.

8) Quick note about B. Smith:
He has been told there is very little chance he will NOT be playing safety next year. Of course, he will have to really improve in his ability in pass coverage. They want to upgrade their physical presence at that position next year.

9) O'Neill:
Have to wait till spring, but feelings are if he does not show ability to play right tackle well enough to consider moving Schilling then O'Neill will play more right guard in spring and Dorrenstein will be the back up at right tackle. Of course, a commit from Lewan could change things (longterm).

10) Reading between the lines:
Now you can understand when I kept posting about how Coach Rod during his first ten months has had a difficult time adjusting to Michigan. Coach Rod tried hard at times to tone down his approach and now in retrospect could of made this transition even a longer process.

Personally (AGAIN MY OPINION) I think Coach Rod has had numerous second thoughts about taking the Michigan job, but now since he has a long-term contract has finally decided that he has to do things his way.

Lets face it Coach Rod has had a bad year, a horrible year and it has cause ripple effects, which I have discussed before. Lack of donations, lack of luxury box purchases and now there has even been people trying to cancel their initial commitments.

To make matters potentially worse next year could be another struggle.

In Part three at 4:00pm EST. we will discuss 2009.

written by MaizeMan and ErocWolverine

BTN: Nick Sheridan Interview

BTN: Kevin Borseth Interview

Michigan Basketball: Michigan vs. Duke

Been awhile since we have been able to see or hear that about a Michigan Basketball coached program.

Agree great win and something the kids, the coaches, and the fans can build off of and feel good about the program. It has been 10 years I believe since they have beaten a top 10 program. Will UCLA stay in the top 10 all year ... who knows, but they are a program I would rather face now then in March.

The thing is the kids need to learn that they need to bring that type of effort every night. It does no good if they beat UCLA and then tank against programs they should win, but judt think they can show up and get the wins. That will be the true test thid year now.Expectations will grt higher now because of this win by the fans and media. How will the team react now to those higher expectations.

The bad thing is now we have to play Duke tonight. To me this is where you would love to go home and celebrate for a week before you have another game, but instead we have to face a Duke team that had a really great 2nd half yesterday and like I said yesterday on the Crisler free board;stm=42781365 "I am hoping for a good game ... win or lose ... Michigan needs to be able to play with these type of teams and show them/fans/media/etc. what this team has improved and become a better team." So again going against Duke would love to see us being able to play with them win or lose and keep the game close.

Michigan Basketball with a huge win last night against UCLA will take on Duke tonight for the Championship in the Coaches vs. Cancer from Madison Square Garden.

Michigan vs. Duke

7:00pm EST. - 9:00pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 209 (Mpeg-4) and DirecTV Channel 72 (Mpeg-2)


Michigan Football Tidbits: Part 1

Season almost over and then we have to get through the month of December. Why is this important because by the second week of January we will know who will be returning. Most of the bad news will be behind us and recruiting will bring some positive news. No matter how it ends up and Coach Rod can start getting his real program going. In the meantime, here are some points of interest.

1) Coach Rod has told people and has almost admitted publicly about his second thoughts. He accepts the challenge and his mind understands the challenge what he fails to grasp is that Michigan faithful did not nor still thinks the challenge should of been this difficult. There lies the rub.

2) During spring practice, coach’s clinic to be exact Coach Rod used some language that some did not feel appropriate. They complained vehemently to Michigan administration. Coach Rod himself even admitted he probably went overboard that he was pushing the kids excessively hard to get his system put in and did not know the kids well enough to understand which kids you could push more than others. Therefore, he took the approach by being overbearing to everyone he has since claimed it was a mistake.

3) Have no idea if defensive coaches will be changed, but I sure hope we keep Hopson.

4) I disagree with recruiting and Coach Rod can say whatever he wants. And I have no doubt that he is now making recruiting a high priority, but he again (as I keep stating) informed everyone that recruiting would take a backseat this year because there was not enough time and that some coaches (ala Shafer) would not be spending time on recruiting. Since season started it has been different, but they lost ground on many kids early on.

Agree the economy has been a factor, but there has been some attempted cancellations due to people not liking new regime. I guess the old motto--"winning solves everything" is very appropriate here.

Regarding the team:

1) Defections:
They will continue. Defections really had begun back in October, but there are many who are sticking with team until the end of this semester. However, they have really cashed it in (as I reported on Chambers). Others really gave a true effort, but feel like they just simply do not fit in with new program or approach.

Personal Note:
I really feel badly for these kids. Babb was probably the one player who I kept predicting even back in spring that would not be around long not because of the scheme, but he was simply not a Michigan type kid. What has bothered me in the past few years (and I am sure it prevalent at every school) is the kids just have not seemed overly upset after losses. In addition, although I understand kids in college are going to party and go out even after games I have always wondered why they did not do this in private after games especially losses. Why do they party publicly where people who have an emotional connection with the team see them. (Probably nitpicking, but it just seems Michigan has accepted more and more mediocrity in the past few years and just maybe this PAINFUL overhaul is needed.

2) Speaking of defections:
I hope Cox is not one of them. It is well publicized that he seriously thought about leaving Michigan before classes started in fall and a decision will probably be forthcoming in the next month. I have no knowledge that he is planning to leave just hoping he stays because I have been impressed with Cox in practices. Although I personally never worry about running backs especially in this offense, Cox is really the only physical type we have after Minor leaves. He was a real sleeper in last years class and was probably rated low because of injury issues his senior year, but this kid can play and lets hope he stays.

3) Butler:
Two weeks ago, I was 50/50 on him staying. Now I think it will be a major turn around for him to be back next year. Butler has never really been able to keep himself out of the doghouse in either program for more than a couple weeks at a time. Biggest difference Coach Rod does not have patience nor does he want any bad influences around. So do not look for Butler to be back. (also just cant see Butler staying in school another year or be eligible).

Part 2 at 12:00pm EST. will have more details on kids, recruiting, etc.

written by MaizeMan and ErocWolverine

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mailbag Question: Ohio State coaching staff

Do you think that the Ohio State coaching staff will go into this game conservatively with not putting Pryor in a tough position and giving Michigan a chance?

I have to think he will try to pound with Wells and spread Michigan out and letting Pryor run, but not sure he will be allowed or put pressure on Pryor to win the game on Saturday.



Thanks for the question. Coach Tressell and staff are going to use same formula they have used since they arrived at Columbus. They are going to lean on the defense and special teams to create short fields for the offense.

They will try to establish Wells in the running game and then use Pryor on boots and play action once they have established Beanie.

This is the exact formula that was worked for Ohio State since Coach Tressell arrived, that was allowed Ohio State to win six of seven against Michigan under and Coach Tressell. We see no reason for them to switch up now.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Mailbag Question: How to contain Beanie and Pryor

How does the Michigan defense contain or stop Beanie Wells along with at the same time trying to contain Pryor?



Thanks for the question. One task is not necessarily incompatible with the other. Best way to stop any team is playing strong fundamental defense. Keep everything in front; keep the offense between the hashes, run like HELL to the football, and sound crisp tackling.

Most big plays come from breakdowns in fundamental play by the defense. With players like Wells and Pryor the task is definitely more difficult, but not different. You have to get eleven helmets to the football every time Beanie touches the ball, punish him with gang tackling, and do not allow him to break contain.

With Pryor, you must keep him in the pocket, that means backside defensive end has to stay home, pass rushers need to stay in their lanes, and same as wells, punish him every time he leaves the pocket.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

FSN Detroit: Wolverine Sports Magazine

FSN Detroit: Wolverine Sports Magazine

6:00pm EST. - 6:30pm EST.

DirecTV Channel 663

FSN Detroit

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