Sunday, November 08, 2009

Mailbag question: Regarding your response to firing Coach Rod

Mailbag question: Regarding your response to firing Coach Rod

I have a few comments and questions regarding your recent response about not firing Coach Rod.

First, I realize it is not going to happen while Bill Martin is still AD. But, I think that it would be best in the long run if it were to happen at the end of this season. It appears that we are in the same situation as Nebraska a few years ago, with coaches leaving for different reasons. We have a coach trying to change a long-term team identity and he is not good enough to accomplish it. He won in the Big East, which is not the football conference the Big Ten is, even in a Big Ten down year. The record between the conferences is heavily in favor of the Big Ten. He could get away with low ranked players on defense in the Big East and a few good players on offense. He does not seem to be going after any differences makers on defense, or increasing the number of defensive recruits.

As you have stated in your blog, practices are set up for the defense only to provide work for the offense. There is no set work time or strategies for the defense to work on their issues, so how is the defense supposed to improve? This is Coach Rod’s decision. Have you seen any evidence of this (shortcoming) changing?

If one or two players were fumbling, this would be a player problem, but when you have a large number of players fumbling the ball regularly this is a coaching problem. There doesn’t seem to be any improvement from last year. Is there anything the staff is doing to change this problem?

Coach Rod is complaining all the time about not having his type of players but destroys the attitude of the players that are on team. So why does he keep doing this same routine, is it just to give himself an excuse for losing? Why doesn't Coach Rod worry about improving the players he currently has on the team?

I have had season tickets since the mid 60’s and I have never seen a Michigan team have such an utter mental collapse as in the Illinois game. For the whole team to react this way it has to be a coaching issue, either in demeanor or actions on the sidelines or in the game preparation. What do you think will happen on the first bad play versus Purdue? This does not seem to a “youth” issue after 8 games, plus the number of experienced starters is not really that low.

I hope I am wrong because Martin will not get rid of Coach Rod, but I think the decision is going to be put off and the result will be Michigan will have bad teams for several years and then go through another transition.



There are a lot of issues to address within this letter. And thank you for your letter Andy, we will try and cover the bases with what may be termed informed opinion based on thought on insights. Three months ago, GBMW thought that Michigan would show enough improvement to muzzle the hounds.

Coach Rod was not the first choice of any of us on the blog, but we want to remind people that once he became the head coach at Michigan we threw our full support behind him and only wished the program the highest level of success We have supported every head coach at Michigan throughout their tenure. This also means we support Coach Rod, but we do not have to be blind followers that ignore the obvious and cannot comment.

We were in favor of giving the program a good tweaking, versus a complete overhaul. Once the decision was made to overhaul, that is hiring Coach Rod, we knew this would not be a quick or easy process. We also knew it would almost certainly take a longer period of time than what we assume is the maximum patience level of the mainstream Michigan fan. The wildcard that was not expected were the ugly side issues that have repeatedly cropped up from the West Virginia response to the present.

We quickly concluded that many Michigan fans would not like the type of athletes Michigan would recruit to make Coach Rod's schemes work. "HATERS" became a code word from a recruiting site for people who where even the least bit in the wait and see mode. But as everyone is seeing, success at West Virginia does not guarantee success at Michigan. There are indeed differences, big differences between the Big Ten. In the Big Ten defense does count and scoring 50 and giving up 30 is not a realistic scenario.

We believe that not giving Coach Rod enough time to change things over to his “specifications” is wrong and somewhat unfair, since Michigan administration bought into the blow up option. And the result of yet another change may indeed set the program back even more so. Yes, indeed, the word Nebraska is starting to come up frequently in the newfound discussions of job security, a lifelong bane of coaches.

Trying to convert this roster to yet another style of play, needing a different type of athlete would take another two to four years. Trying to attract a top coach, after seeing how Coach Rod was treated by the media and some within the Michigan community could also prove to be tricky and most likely entail Michigan opening up a piggy bank that Paul Bunyan could not lift.

How many of the current players would stay on to attempt to fit the new mold? Would a major change entail the program going through the attrition of 2008 and 2009?

No, in our opinion Coach Rod needs to be given enough time to build his roster and schemes. But that does not rubber-stamp the status quo. Clearly, very clearly, upgrades must be made, essentially across the board in all areas, excepting perhaps S and C.

If Michigan does not show enough growth and do the necessary requirements to forge forward, starting next season we may personally supply the pitchforks!

Let's see how the rest of the year works out before everyone starts lining up for the discussion of who the next head football coach at Michigan will be.

The word premature is in order, but three weeks may change some opinions, either way.

Thanks for stopping by Go Blue Michigan Wolverine
If you have any questions please E-Mail

Written by CoachBt, Doc4blu, and ErocWolverine

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