Friday, November 06, 2009

Mailbag question: Seven questions for GBMW

Mailbag question: Seven questions for GBMW


Anytime you step into a new situation there are always things to learn and adapt to relative to your new surroundings. The Big Ten is not the Big East and Michigan is not West Virginia. Given that reality, what do you think Coach Rod has done well when it comes to learning and adapting to his new coaching environment and what do you think he has yet to learn?

Here are a few things I would be asking myself if I were Coach Rod.

1) Is size, especially in the trenches, more important in the Big Ten than it is in the Big East?

2) Would it make sense to have a few more coaches on the staff with Big Ten knowledge and experience?

3) Is my love of offense, both in recruiting and in style of play, a recipe for disaster in the Big Ten?

4) Does the revolving captain concept really work or would permanent captains improve our leadership and our on the field results?

5) Does the in-season strength and conditioning program result in players being run down in a more physical league like the Big Ten?

6) Are there times when a softer coaching style would be more effective when dealing with young players that are clearly losing confidence and focus?

7) The Purdue game is an absolute MUST WIN so how do I make sure that game ends up in the win column?

John C.
Mason, Ohio


Thanks for the questions. John, these questions are very, very pertinent and important. We have wondered along the same lines regarding how Coach Rod may be reflecting on the points you brought up above. Thank you and we hope the response equals the questions.

1) The Big East is definitely more of a speed league. The Big Ten is more a size and power league.

Michigan's main and rather obvious problem at this point is the team has neither great size nor speed. We prefer a roster that looks like Texas, USC, or Alabama that contains big strong physical linemen, with a lot of speed and skill at the skilled positions.

2) The number one issue with the UM assistant coaches is that they need to be on the same page as the head coach and the coordinators. That is more important in our opinion than where they have coached in the past.

3) Not just in the Big Ten but everywhere, playing superior defense and special teams play is THE key to winning championships in our opinion.

4) WE favor permanent captains in the off-season when leadership is a real key. This is when players organize voluntary summer workouts and such. We like rotating captains as a way of rewarding players who played well the previous week, along with players who normally would not be a captain, but have done everything asked and more.

5) Not in our opinion (workouts running down players), and most schools in the Big Ten that we are familiar with do similar types of in-season workouts.

6) All players, regardless of age, react differently to different types of coaching. The context of human stimulus is broad and so is the context of human response.

Coach Rod needs to be himself and use the coaching style that fits him best. What is important is having a balance of styles on your coaching staff. Some call this the good cop-bad cop effect.

7) All games are won in the trenches, so watch the line of scrimmage. After that Michigan HAS to stop turning the football over, stop giving up all those big plays, and play solid on special teams. This is not a secret formula to winning, but the recipe does not equal the desired product.

Again, thank you John.

Thanks for stopping by Go Blue Michigan Wolverine
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Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

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