Tag:Al Borges
Posted on: February 4, 2011 11:47 am
 

Denard's load will be lighter in 2011

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While the 2010 season ultimately ended up being the year of Cam Newton, for the first month of the season the name that was dominating the college football landscape was Denard Robinson. Michigan had started out its season undefeated, and Robinson was tearing opposing defenses apart. Through the first three games Shoelace had racked up 1,230 yards and 8 touchdowns, including a 502-yard effort in a win against Notre Dame.

While Michigan's season would feature six losses before it was done, the Denard Robinson Show never really came to an end, as he finished the season second in the nation in total offense with 328.6 yards per game, and accounted for 32 of the team's 58 touchdowns. 

Now Robinson and the rest of the Wolverines are undergoing a coaching change, which means that a new offensive system is being put in place under Brady Hoke and Al Borges. While Borges says that Robinson will still be the focal point of Michigan's offense, things won't be the same as they were under Rich Rodriguez -- speaking of whom, our own Dennis Dodd had a nice talk with the former Michigan coach this week -- and he'd like to lighten his load a bit by spreading the ball around a bit more.

"To a degree … we're blowing a lot of [the offense] up," Borges told the Detroit News. "In our offense, I don't see Denard rushing for 1,700 yards, and I told him that. But I could see him rushing for 1,000 yards, and I could see him throwing for that 700 or 800 he didn't rush for."

"They were tattooing him. I came at him that way — we can save you a little bit. Everybody knew Denard was the show. He's tough, he's smart and he's athletic, and we have to get the most out of him."

Borges also went on to say that he was pleasantly surprised at Robinson's passing skills, as he came to Michigan thinking Denard was a runner, but after watching more film on the team, he likes what he sees from Robinson in the passing game.

The change in philosophy, while expected, is also pretty logical. The only thing more common than seeing Robinson make some fantastic play with his legs last season was seeing a play end with Robinson getting up slowly, or even leaving the game. Since Robinson is such a unique weapon for the Wolverines, you want to make sure you can keep him on the field as well.
Posted on: January 13, 2011 6:31 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2011 6:31 pm
 

Brady Hoke says Denard Robinson is staying put

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

One of the biggest question marks surrounding the hire of Brady Hoke at Michigan was how his stated preference for a smashmouth, pro-style offense would mesh with the handpicked spread-n'-shred personnel left over from the Rich Rodriguez regime--specifically, reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Denard Robinson.

The marriage appeared to be such a bad one (particularly once it became public knowledge that Hoke would be bringing West Coast offense proponent Al Borges with him from San Diego State to run the Wolverine attack) that many have expected Robinson to transfer. And for his part, Robinson has declined comment when publicly asked if he would return for his junior season in Ann Arbor. But Hoke was expected to meet with Robinson yesterday, and on local radio this afternoon, he said that Wolverine fans had nothing to worry about :



The story's not over just yet; until Robinson himself declares that he'll be in maize-and-blue this fall, there's still enough wiggle room for a change of heart.

But if Hoke is confident enough to point-blank say that Robinson is sticking around, clearly the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of Robinson staying. Breathe a little easier, Michigan fans.
 


Posted on: January 12, 2011 1:29 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2011 1:59 pm
 

Tate Forcier not currently enrolled at Michigan

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The last time Michigan underwent a coaching transition, Ryan Mallett walked out the door towards stardom at Arkansas. And it's not looking much better for the Wolverines this go-round, either, with Denard Robinson notably non-committal in the wake of Michigan's Gator Bowl defeat and Tate Forcier not even enrolled in the school, as reported today by the Michigan Daily :

Forcier, a Sport Management major in the School of Kinesiology, was academically ineligible to play in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla. on Jan. 1.

In an interview this morning with The Michigan Daily, the representative in the registrar’s office said Robert Patrick Forcier was not enrolled in classes the University as of Jan. 12.

With Jan. 25 as the final date to add classes at Michigan, there remains the possibility that Forcier will re-enroll. And after older brother Chris Forcier transferred out of Michigan several years ago only to be unable to find traction with any other programs, the family has said they're not interested in going the transfer route.

But that was before much of the rockiness of this season, when Forcier was beaten out for the starting job by Robinson in the spring, had his work ethic publicly criticized by teammate Troy Woolfolk (who was then, stunningly, praised for his actions by Rich Rodriguez ), watched Robinson become the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, and finally was forced to sit out the bowl game with academic issues. Considering that Forcier had been hailed as a true freshman savior just 12 months prior, Forcier's 2010 in Ann Arbor must have been a crushing disappointment.

With the expected arrival of West Coast offense coordinator Al Borges, Forcier could have an opportunity to earn back the Michigan job; Borges' pro-style attack seems much better suited to the more-accurate arm of Forcier than the dynamic legs of Robinson, who may not even bother to try to win the job in the first place. But a fresh start somewhere else may simply be too tempting for Forcier at this point, and if Robinson follows him out of town, redshirt freshman Devin Gardner will be the Wolverines' 2011 quarterback by default.

Gardner's got a ton of talent. But another year with a first-time starter at the controls -- the fourth straight for Michigan -- isn't what anyone in Ann Arbor would prefer.

UPDATE: Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon confirmed at Brady Hoke's introductory press conference that Forcier is not currently a member of the Wolverine program. It would appear that Forcier's time at Michigan is all but officially over.

Posted on: January 12, 2011 1:29 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2011 1:59 pm
 

Tate Forcier not currently enrolled at Michigan

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The last time Michigan underwent a coaching transition, Ryan Mallett walked out the door towards stardom at Arkansas. And it's not looking much better for the Wolverines this go-round, either, with Denard Robinson notably non-committal in the wake of Michigan's Gator Bowl defeat and Tate Forcier not even enrolled in the school, as reported today by the Michigan Daily :

Forcier, a Sport Management major in the School of Kinesiology, was academically ineligible to play in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla. on Jan. 1.

In an interview this morning with The Michigan Daily, the representative in the registrar’s office said Robert Patrick Forcier was not enrolled in classes the University as of Jan. 12.

With Jan. 25 as the final date to add classes at Michigan, there remains the possibility that Forcier will re-enroll. And after older brother Chris Forcier transferred out of Michigan several years ago only to be unable to find traction with any other programs, the family has said they're not interested in going the transfer route.

But that was before much of the rockiness of this season, when Forcier was beaten out for the starting job by Robinson in the spring, had his work ethic publicly criticized by teammate Troy Woolfolk (who was then, stunningly, praised for his actions by Rich Rodriguez ), watched Robinson become the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, and finally was forced to sit out the bowl game with academic issues. Considering that Forcier had been hailed as a true freshman savior just 12 months prior, Forcier's 2010 in Ann Arbor must have been a crushing disappointment.

With the expected arrival of West Coast offense coordinator Al Borges, Forcier could have an opportunity to earn back the Michigan job; Borges' pro-style attack seems much better suited to the more-accurate arm of Forcier than the dynamic legs of Robinson, who may not even bother to try to win the job in the first place. But a fresh start somewhere else may simply be too tempting for Forcier at this point, and if Robinson follows him out of town, redshirt freshman Devin Gardner will be the Wolverines' 2011 quarterback by default.

Gardner's got a ton of talent. But another year with a first-time starter at the controls -- the fourth straight for Michigan -- isn't what anyone in Ann Arbor would prefer.

UPDATE: Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon confirmed at Brady Hoke's introductory press conference that Forcier is not currently a member of the Wolverine program. It would appear that Forcier's time at Michigan is all but officially over.

Posted on: December 22, 2010 6:56 pm
 

Assistant salaries: Who's overpaid? Underpaid?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

After earlier compiling a database of all 120 FBS head coaching salaries for the recently completed 2010 season, USA Today today released a look at the salaries of the nation's assistant coaches, all 907 of which are available for comparison here . Your highest-paid assistant: Texas ex-defensive coordinator Will Muschamp at $900,000 per year. The lowest amongst coaches actually drawing a paycheck? Leon Lett -- you remember him ! -- who's being paid just $12,000 to coach defensive tackles at Louisiana-Monroe.

Inbetween on the scale are some 900 other coaches (not counting those working at private institutions whose salaries are not public information). Ignoring certain obvious choices (yes, Greg Davis was overpaid, yes, Dana Holgorsen was a bargain), looking only at 2010 results, and making allowances for coaches in their first year at a new school, here's three choices for the country's most underpaid and most overpaid assistant coaches:

MOST DUE FOR A RAISE

Don Treadwell ($235,250), offensive coordinator, Michigan State.
Despite possessing few playmakers known to fans outside the Midwest, Treadwell guided the Spartans to a top-20 finish in yards per-play and offered his team an enivable balance with better than 2,000 yards rushing and 2,800 passing. He also took over for two games as interim head coach while Mark Dantonio dealt with a heart ailment, winning both. And he did all this for the cost of less than many SEC position coaches.

Jeff Casteel ($372,268), defensive coordinator, West Virginia. Casteel's not doing too badly for himself, salary-wise, but compared to what his fellow DCs are earning in the SEC, Big 12, etc., he's still a bargain. With virtually no nationally-recognized players and few star recruits, Casteel quietly put together the nation's third-ranked unit in total defense and third in scoring defense; the Mountaineers were the only defense in the country to allow 21 points or fewer in every game.

Tom Osborne ($220,000), special teams/tight ends coach, Oregon. Osborne put together arguably the best set of special teams units in the country, leading the Ducks to top 20 finishes in net punting and kickoff coverage, coaxing a 12-of-16 performance from his two kickers, and along with returner Cliff Harris creating the most dangerous punt return unit in the nation, one that racked up better than 18 yards per return and scored five game-changing touchdowns. The Ducks probably aren't in the national title game without him.

Honorable Mention: Manny Diaz ($260,000), defensive coordinator, Mississippi State; Pete Kwiatkowski ($259,520), defensive coordinator, Boise State; Al Borges ($205,000), offensive coordinator, San Diego State.

MOST DUE TO NOT RECEIVE A RAISE

Norm Chow ($640,000), offensive coordinator, UCLA.
That figure includes a $250,000 retention bonus designed to keep Chow in Los Angeles, but maybe the Bruins would have been better off being spared paying the nation's eighth-highest assistant's salary for the nation's 109th-best offense.

Tyrone Nix ($500,000), defensive coordinator, Ole Miss. For Nix's salary, the Rebels could have had Gus Malzahn, who earned the exact same amount this season from Auburn. Malzahn will earn quite a bit more next year, obviously, but Nix won't after overseeing a defense that utterly collapsed in the embarrassing season-opening loss to Jacksonville State and went on to finish 105th in yards allowed per-play.

Stacy Searels ($301,200), offensive line coach, Georgia. Offensive line coaches do very well in the SEC, with several topping the $300,000 mark. If we ignore the low-hanging fruit that was Steve Addazio's season in Gainesville, none had a more disappointing season than Searels, whose Bulldog charges looked to have the makings of one of the nation's strongest ground games at the close of 2009 and entered 2010 with as much experience (and talent, arguably) as any line in the country. Instead the Dawgs finished 10th in the SEC in rushing and middle-of-the-pack in sacks allowed (despite ranking 9th in passes attempted) as Searels wound up forced to juggle his lineup late in the year. Searels has done outstanding work before and likely will again, but 2010 wasn't his best moment.

Dishonorable Mention: Chuck Long and Carl Torbush ($350,000 each), offensive and defensive coordinators, Kansas ; Nick Holt ($650,000), defensive coordinator, Washington; Greg Robinson ($277,100), defensive coordinator, Michigan.
 
 
 
 
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