Michigan Football: Mailbag Questions — Answers to Some Questions by MaizeMan

Posted at 4:00pm — 11/30/2012

Michigan Football: Mailbag Questions — Answers to Some Questions by MaizeMan

I have been getting numerous e-mails from posters asking me some questions about Michigan football. Since I no longer send out e-mails, I am going to answer some of these questions in this post.

Question #1:

What is the difference between Hoke and RR? Hoke emphasizes defense and spends little time with offense while RR did just the opposite?

Answers:

Point 1:
While some can argue that the number of coaches under Coach Hoke favors the defensive side of the ball, that is the only argument that is valid when discussing this point. Coach Hoke does spend time with offense, RR spent zero, repeat zero time with defense. One major thing to take into consideration.

Nov 24, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke prior to the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

When RR took over, even though he claimed he would tailor his offense to personnel, he immediately implemented his offensive schemes. Coach Hoke on the other hand (which I have to admit, I had some issues with) along with Coach Borges, tailored his offense around existing players especially Denard.

Now, we can all argue whether this was the right approach and hindsight is 20/20, but we have beat every one of our rivals since Coach Hoke took over and have already played in a BCS game.

Point #2:
Coach Hoke and Coach Borges has been somewhat hand-tied because of their real lack of depth especially on the OL. This has really inhibited his ability to run practices as physical as he wants (and keep in mind Coach Hoke’s practices are already much more physical that RR’s or Carr’s).

Point #3:
When Coach Hoke took over, what was our biggest weakness? Defense. Coaches took the approach, lets not tinker a lot with the offense, we still have Denard, we have to get this defense back to being competitive. Mission accomplished.

Now, did this inhibit offensive progress and production, we can now see, yes. Has it hampered development of others on offense minus Denard, yes.

So, going into next season, I think (or lets say hope) we start seeing a major improvement in development on the offensive side. Its not like we don’t have talent, even those players who some claim are not up to Michigan standards, are good players who need time and opportunity.

November 24, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke talks with an official during a timeout in the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State won the game 26-21. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE

Conclusion:
Those who are trying to defend past tenure of RR by criticizing Coach Hoke as being RR in reverse, just does not know or refuse to really look at the facts. Coach Hoke is involved in offense, does he give a lot of responsibility to Coach Borges, yes, but he is involved with game-plan. Also one only has to go back and look at Coach Hoke’s tenure as a Head Coach at Ball State and San Diego State. Most of his teams were very offensive oriented and the year he played Michigan, his offense ran up and down the field. So, he understands offense.

Question #2:
Is Hoke the type of coach who is like Carr in that he is too loyal to his coaches?

Answer:
(opinion only) Yes and no.

Yes in that Coach Borges will be back and he will implement his offense next year. Practices for bowl and spring and into spring will be really be concentrated on running game and other parts of offense. Coach Hoke and Coach Borges will take responsibility for Ohio State debacle (but it will probably be the normal words like) — “We need to play better and coach better”

No, in that things are different at Michigan vs. when Carr was head coach. The difference is David Brandon who will be very detailed in his evaluation when Coach Hoke and Brandon meets after season and if there is a sense that someone is being “protected” instead of doing what is in the best interest of “Michigan Football”, Brandon will state his opinion.

Now, (LET ME BE CLEAR) Brandon will not tell Coach Hoke how to coach or who should coach this team, but he will ask some very tough questions.

Conclusion:
Coach Borges will be back, Coach Funk will be back, I think Michigan is a much better offensive team next year.

Question #3:
Why is there such a disconnect between offensive and defensive recruiting?

Oct 13, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive coordinator Greg Mattison during the third quarter against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-US PRESSWIRE

Answer:
This is a good question, but lets go back and review history (people tend to be revisionist at times). Coach Hoke made it clear when he took over that this team needed to get bigger and stronger especially along both lines and they have been successful in doing this. They have a strong message to recruits, Coach Mattison has coached in NFL and Michigan is going to run a pro offense and recruits like this.

I simply do not have an answer to why (what at times is considered the two easiest positions to recruit) we cannot recruit top RB’s or WR’s.

On the negative side, one could argue we are not getting top recruits at those positions.

on the positive side, one could argue we are judging our WR’s and RB’s based on ratings only. We have not really seen how good they are yet and take way to much stock in recruiting sites.

I would point out though, that when it comes to freshman ability to play early, skilled positions are usually the positions that are easiest to adjust to college.

Question #4:
Are we going to be able to keep up with OSU under Meyer?

Nov 24, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer prior to the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Answer:
Meyer is going to get his players, OSU always recruits well. It is going to be tough every year to beat OSU, just as I think it is going to be tough to beat MSU every year.

However, Meyer left Florida, some say because of health, most others around the SEC believed it was because he got tired of competing against Saban. Why? Saban’s teams beat him up, they just were twice as physical.

This is formula to beat OSU in the future. Meyer is going to be able to recruit very athletic QB types and his skilled position players will be very good. He also does a pretty good job defensively, but he can be beat, if you beat them up and this is direction Michigan is heading.

So I think the rivalry will be fun to watch.

Note:
Just repeating what I hear Saban talk about frequently “it is harder to develop a physical type of team” and “because you not only have to practice schemes, but you have to practice toughness” and “you cant expect to be tough on Saturday if you are not tough at every practice”.

Come to the message board to see the entire post by MaizeMan on the Coack Hoke Transition Era and give us your thoughts, agree or disagree.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — MaizeMan

Go Blue — Wear Maize!

Topics: Coach Greg Mattison, David Brandon, Football, Go Blue, Michigan Wolverines, Recruiting

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