- Joined: 9/4/2002
- Location: Tennessee
Re:Michigan Football: Brady Hoke Admits to a Failure of Leadership, Why He's Right
Friday, April 25, 2014 2:22 PM
So essentially: "once they start winning then I'll be on board". Awesome.
Am I the only one who thinks it is a bad idea to put the program back in the same position it was in after the Rodriguez era? First of all, ok, lets say you fire Hoke in the winter... who, exactly, are you hiring? Harbaugh? Yeah sure... Who steps in and keeps the team together? Who on the staff are you wanting to keep? If you're dumping position coaches who fills those spots? Is this team in any kind of a position to weather a mass exodus of talent? No, it isn't. I never see anybody say, "Hoke should be fired, and then we can bring in X, Y, and Z which will allow us to do A, B, and C".
I look at what Hoke inherited when he arrived and recall distinctly thinking that this would be a five year project at least; lots of seniors in '11 and then a chasm of youth behind them. He walked into absolutely huge holes at positions of need, and now those holes are now coming home to roost in the form of youth and inexperience on the field. The recruiting classes have been anywhere from solid to spectacular since Hoke arrived, he took a team that couldn't beat a .500 B1G team in 3 years and won a BCS bowl (quick, since he's such a disappointment, tell me when we last won a BCS bowl before that). Quite frankly, I don't know what to tell anyone who didn't learn their lesson about dumping a coach/staff too early after the last go-round. Yes I was disappointed in last year's results, I think we also have to recognize that we had HOW MANY first and second year players on that team? For the first time in years we actually have consistency on this football team and some experience, we are finally at the point where we can build off a base of players developing within the same system, I happen to think that's worth something.
You believe the Nuss hire was 100% DB? Based upon what? You yourself said you were not privy to any inside info, so based upon your general gestalt you think the coach who came out and stated that they needed to do better after firing his coordinator was actually forced to do so by the AD?
I'm completely fine with giving Hoke nothing less than five years and at that point judging him exactly on what TK stated: Ws and Ls. I will never understand the line of thinking that "demands" success that a program hasn't seen in nearly a decade, just because. I think he has established a base of talent here along with a staff that has the ability to return the program to where we all want it to be. This season will be the first in YEARS that we actually have something called depth at nearly all positions. I continue to be amazed at the number of people who seem to forget exactly how deep of a hole this program was in after '08-'10 when they go on rants about expectations and the like.
This whole, "10 wins is THE expectation" stuff... Since the end of the Schembechler era, Michigan has won 10 or more games eight times in 23 seasons, 34.7% of the time. I get it, I know it sounds good, but to say THIS IS THE EXPECTATION the product has to be there on the field. Do I think this team can win 10 games? Yeah, I actually do. I think we'll have a good to great defense that is going to let the offense find it's feet as the year goes on. Have we had a team capable of winning 10 games these last few years? I don't think we have. I want us to play to our potential, I want to see us improve as the year progresses, and I damn sure want to see us start evening things up with our rivals. At the end when the dust settles, then we can evaluate, but to sit here in April and say "X WINS OR HIS HEAD" is a bridge too far in my opinion.
I agree whole heatedly with you on the fire Hoke rhetoric and said as much when many on this board were calling for his head after 3 years. I`m at least willing to give the man another year to play with upperclassmen he and his staff recruited. I`m also with you when it comes to if not Hoke who? Everyone is quick to fire without thinking through who the available replacements are. We've gone through 2 searches ourselves that were both complete disasters from a process standpoint. Even a school like Texas, which is quite possibly the best job in American, had to "settle" for their 4th or 5th choice. Everyone thinks they're going to land Gruden or somebody but very rarely does it happen that you make the home run hire (Ohio State landing Meyer is one of the few exceptions).
I will say that I would feel a lot better about the shape of Michigan football if I could see actual progress being made. I agree that Hoke took over a dumpster fire. I don't blame or judge him for what he inherited. The issue is what have you done since taking over and how much progress have you made. I don't just look at wins and losses because a lot goes into that including the roster you inherited, though they do factor in. When I look at everything in total (W/L, production/stats, development, recruiting, pro-production, interest, etc) I don't see significant progress. Not the kind that makes me think, Hoke is definitely THE guy. After 3-4 years you would at least like to know that. Does that mean we should fire Hoke, I won't go that far because of many of the things above. At the same time I can't bury my head and sand with a Brady Hoke t-shirt on and act like all is well.
I fundamentally don't believe that all is well and there are many factors for why I believe that. Our W/L record has progressively gotten worse when it should be getting better. Our production across the board has either stagnated or regressed. I struggle come to up with an aspect of our team that is better now, entering year 4 than it was in 2011. Our running game is worse, our passing game is worse, our blocking is worse, our ability to get to the passer is worse, our run D is worse, our secondary is worse. On and on it goes when what you'd like to see if progress is being made is a steady increase in those areas. The lack of development is the most disappointed area IMO. I can live with losing games, not happy about it but there's nothing worse than units and individual players not developing. Hoke and Co recruited like gang busters at the beginning of the tenure (those recruiting wins have slowed beginning last year and going into the start of this year) but the end product 3 years later is not where it should be. We took 7 defensive linemen in the class of 2012, 3 years later we head into the year without a single one of them destined to make the preseason All-Big 10 team. The same is true for the offensive line where we took 4 linemen in the 2012 class, none of whom will be on the All-Conference team at the start of the year. Now there's still time, we haven't played the season yet but normally you get flashes of elite ability in a player's early seasons not just a sudden All-American (if a guy hasn't played that's different). There are very few players who I can honestly say have made significant progress during their time over the last 3 years, entering into this year. That goes from Devin Gardner and Kyle Kalis on down the line to guys like Blake Countess and Mario Ojemudia. Could they suddenly pop and turn into all-conference performers sure, but that's not something I would consider a realistic expectation for most.
It's a lack of progress thing for me. If we can't after 4 years expect to have significant progress and championship contender when exactly should we? That's especially true when your head coach CONSTANTLY prattles on about winning championships and how the season is a failure if we don't reach that goal. Brady Hoke has set the bar for what he expects, why should we judge him on anything less? Especially 4 years in, facing what is probably the weakest Big 10 conference in 30+ years (incidentally, which is why Meyer has run off a 24-1 record the last 2 years)
"Only the good ones come to Michigan"