Michigan Wolverine Football: Execution, The Ingredient Talent Needs


GBMWolverine Michigan Football TidbitsPosted at 7:00am — 4/14/2015

Michigan Wolverine Football: Execution, The Ingredient Talent Needs

Building A Winning Football Program — Execution, The Ingredient Talent Needs

Last time out, this series examined the ingredient of talent, the lifeline of every big time football program. The clear conclusion is that Coach Jim Harbaugh is aggressively seeking talent for the 2016 and 2017 recruiting classes. Early returns indicate that size, physical play, and overall toughness will be important factors in the pursuit of the new world of Michigan football.

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After the talent comes to Ann Arbor, the program must undergo planned strategies that increase team success. Delineating the planned strategies collectively is not that simple. Creating a list that neatly packages every program’s needs or objectives is too rigid. There simply is a range of program characteristics, talent types, and methodology that prohibits such an attempt.

Program management and execution strategy is a collective term that may best suit the quest discussed above. Management and execution (combined) becomes a program element that is perhaps more difficult to excel at and certainly more important in obtaining final triumph than even talent searching.

Some old school bosses use a common expression that goes like this- “The secret to anything is management.” Now some on the worker side may have other thoughts, but the simplistic notion that resources must be procured, developed, and used properly is difficult to ague. The process is management and the desired result is execution.

Michigan Wolverines
Michigan Wolverines /

Michigan Wolverines

Execution runs a gamut of preliminary steps, including some preliminary Formist related tasks such as getting the supporting staff in order, getting the playbook in order, and early on implementing result-oriented philosophical directives or overtones.

Then, the grand effort gears to the maximum as the execution function goes all out to create a team that can win on game days. Execution here is well known: teaching and correction, preliminary drills, skill practice, individual work, group work, and scrimmage work. Each program is a little different in how each execution element is approached and emphasized.

Regardless of a coach’s worldview, football is a Mechanist endeavor. Woody Hayes and Vince Lombardi were consummate and successful mechanists. Bo was a Mechanist, but the underlying foundation that became the stated virtues of the Michigan machine were always paramount to him and emphasized.

Parts make machines, and better functioning parts equal a better machine. Jim Harbaugh has an ability to adjust and seek what works, state beliefs, but at heart he is a clear Mechanist.

Judgment about the success of Harbaugh’s execution of football elements is most premature. There are comments that can be presented about Harbaugh’s preliminary machine building.

As mentioned initial recruiting has focused on bad or missing parts. Besides certain positions of need being quickly addressed in initial recruiting, commits have demonstrated traits (as mentioned toughness and physical play) important to the head coach, not so much to fit his scheme philosophy (although they seem to meet that criteria), but to provide preferred parts to feed the machine.

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  • Jim Harbaugh has to gain high marks for obtaining his initial supporting staff. Paragraphs could be written about their accomplishments. And Coach Harbaugh has an added advantage: much of the staff has worked with Harbaugh before; familiarity means ready to use coaching parts, valuable time will not be spent on the process of familiarization or even negotiation or compromise. The program was delivered in a box with a contents list that indicate all the parts are present and in working order.

    The defensive playbook will be different than that of the previous years. However, what was taught in the 4-3 over and under schemes will not be totally thrown away but added to in an attempt to literally use the defense in the best manner. There will be some experimentation and organic flux, but sooner and not later Coach D.J. Durkin wants to settle on schemes that win.

    Coach Harbaugh addressed his initial foray into team philosophy quickly, with simple and clear basics. As the program progresses through his first year of leadership, he will reset as necessary, but execution concerns will far outweigh philosophy.

    And so the daily grind of repetition and grueling physical output will continue. Next up is the mundane extraneous muddle that coaches must tolerate and even overcome to advance a program.

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    Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu

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