Tag:Rich Rodriguez
Posted on: May 7, 2011 3:34 pm
Edited on: May 8, 2011 11:41 am
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Michigan suspends Darryl Stonum

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Michigan head coach Brady Hoke announced on Saturday that the team had suspended wide receiver Darryl Stonum indefinitely. However, in the school's official release, there was no reason given for Stonum's suspension.

“Darryl made a poor decision that is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated," said Hoke in the release. "He will be disciplined for behavior that is unbecoming of a Michigan football player. This is a serious situation, we are disappointed and any athletic department discipline will be handled internally. We will provide the appropriate support and counseling in order for him to learn and grow from this mistake. Darryl has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities. If he fulfills all of the commitments he has to the legal system and our program, we will make a determination regarding his return to the team.”

Exactly what the behavior is that led to the suspension isn't clear. According to the Detroit Free Press, an inquiry into the Ann Arbor Police Department showed no arrest of Stonum on Saturday. Though Stonum has had his run-ins with the law during his time at Michigan. During his freshman season Stonum was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and did so on a suspended license to boot. He was suspended by Rich Rodriguez for a game following the arrest.

After being sentenced to probation following the arrest in 2009, Stonum violated his probation a few times. He missed multiple court dates and skipped random alcohol testing that was mandatory. All of which led to Stonum spending three days in jail in June of last year. Stonum did not have to serve any additonal punishment from Michigan thanks to his jail time, which Rich Rodriguez felt was punishment enough.

Stonum had 49 catches for 633 yards and 4 touchdowns for the Wolverines in 2010.

UPDATE: It was another DUI arrest that resulted in Stonum's suspension.

Posted on: May 6, 2011 1:16 pm
 

Lloyd Carr told Ryan Mallett to leave Michigan

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Former Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett is now with the New England Patriots where he'll serve as an understudy to Tom Brady. When you think about it, Ryan Mallett has a lot in common with Tom Brady. Both were drafted later than either felt they should be, and both are former Michigan quarterbacks. Of course, Mallett left Michigan to go to Arkansas, not the NFL, and according to Mallett's father, nobody really wanted Ryan to stay in Ann Arbor.

Mallett was recruited to Michigan by Lloyd Carr, but after Carr was fired and replaced by Rich Rodriguez, Mallett faced the question The Clash asked many years ago:should he stay or should he go? According to Jim Mallett, when he asked Lloyd Carr what Ryan should do, Carr made it pretty clear he should go.

"At the Capital One Bowl, we were trying to smooth things out, and we talked to Coach Carr,” Jim Mallett told the Boston Herald. “I asked him, ‘Coach, next to my dad, you’re the classiest person I’ve ever been around. What would you do if Ryan was your son? He said, ‘If I was in that situation, with a different offense, he needs to leave.’"

That's not to say that Lloyd Carr had the final say in the decison, though. As Ryan's father went on to say, Rich Rodriguez didn't exactly fight to keep Mallett in maize and blue.

“Ryan’s the one who called (Rodriguez),” Jim Mallett continued. “He said, “Can I talk about the offense?’ And then he told me, ‘Daddy, (Rodriguez) never looked me in the eye.’ He never visited with the family, he didn’t talk to us. I never met the man. But hey, it wasn’t a fit. Let’s move on.”

And everyone lived happily ever after. Ryan got to go to Arkansas and work with Bobby Petrino in an offense suited to his skills and Rich Rodriguez got fired after three sub-par seasons. Okay, so maybe things didn't go so happily ever after for Rodriguez.

Posted on: May 1, 2011 4:55 pm
Edited on: May 1, 2011 4:56 pm
 

Michigan fans mock Tressel on billboard

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Let's be honest, it's been a while since Michigan has been able to get the best of Ohio State on the football field. Which means that Michigan fans haven't had much to hang over the heads of their hated rivals to the south. Combine all that with the overall failures of Michigan football in recent years, and Rich Rodriguez's failed tenure and run-ins with the NCAA, and life hasn't been great.

Which is why the trouble that Ohio State and Jim Tressel are currently in with the NCAA is the greatest thing that has happened to Wolverines fans in a long time. So you can't be surprised if they want to have some fun with it, even if that fun costs money. Which is something billboards tend to do.

Yes, that billboard can be seen on I-94 in Michigan, taunting Tressel not only for his lies of omission, but his penchant for wearing sweatervests as well. You know the old saying, if you can't beat them, may as well kick them while they're down.

Via Kegs N' Eggs

Posted on: April 25, 2011 12:56 pm
 

Ex-Michigan CB Christian transferring to Pitt

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Apparently the Ann Arbor-to-Pittsburgh exodus isn't just for coaches.

Earlier this year, new Pitt coach Todd Graham took full advantage of Rich Rodriguez's dismissal to hire away three different former Wolverine assistants. It's a decision that's already paying dividends where the Panthers' roster is concerned, according to this report at Scout.com; thanks in part to his familiarity with new defensive backs coach Tony Gibson, former four-star recruit and 2010 Michigan cornerback Cullen Christian has elected to transfer to Pitt.

For the Panthers, it's a welcome addition to a 2012 secondary that finished 19th in the country in pass defense a year ago but has its work cut out for it under Graham, thanks both to the Panthers' new defense-straining no-huddle offense and a 2011 two-deep that could feature as many as four seniors. Christian (like virtually every member of Michigan's 2010 pass defense) didn't do much to stand out as a true freshman in Ann Arbor, but did see action in 11 games and recorded six tackles.

A Pittsburgh native, Christian's return home and ability to continue working under his original position coach could see him fulfill the potential that made him one of Pennsylvania's most sought-after prospects in the class of 2010.

But where Michigan is concerned, it's yet another blow to a secondary that's already sustained a decade's worth of blows the past few seasons. The Wolverine pass defense was already in tatters last August, and that was before Troy Woolfolk missed a season with a serious ankle injury, Vlad Emilien left the team, Jared Van Slyke broke his clavicle, Ray Vinopal left the team ... you get the picture. Christian's decision not only deprives Brady Hoke of a much-needed scholarship body at corner, but of the highest-ranked recruit remaining in the entire secondary.

It's not a pretty picture for the Wolverine pass defense. But don't expect an unproven, first-year staff like Graham's to have much sympathy.

Posted on: April 22, 2011 4:31 pm
 

Rodriguez talks draft, college football, and more

Posted by Eye on College Football and Eye on Football

The CBS Sports Network is in the middle of their Inside College Football: Draft Special, a series running on the CBS Sports Network in the evening leading up to the NFL Draft. The show is hosted by Adam Zucker, and includes guest analyst Rich Rodriguez. Our television counterparts arranged for Rodriguez to spend some time talking to the Eye on College Football and Eye on Football bloggers. Here were some highlights from the call.

What he would be doing right now if he was in coaching

Rich Rodriguez: This is a time right after spring practice ends where you have all your exit interviews with your players. It's the final meeting before the end of the semester where you talk about everything. Talk about academics, what their plans are and all that. Usually as a head coach you meet with every single guy, and there's 100-some guys on a team, those meetings could take a whole week. That's one thing I missed because I really enjoyed those meetings. For me that was a get to know you even better deal, even for the guys who have been in the program 3 or 4 years. Then normally in May, for a head coach it's either a fundraising month or doing a lot of tape evaluating of future prospects in the offseason.

On differences in evaluating players coming into college and coming into the NFL

RR: There are certainly a lot of parallels between evaluating a high school guy on film and a college guy, I think the difference is you can get a lot more information and a lot more film on a college guy. A lot of times you've seen them play 2, 3, or 4 years. You've seen the results of workouts, you can work them out yourself, you can get a more thorough evaluation of the players. Obviously you need to because you are going to pay the guys.

On making the jump from the spread college offense to the NFL

RR: I think it's so overstated from a standpoint of this guy played in a spread in college so he's going to have a bigger adjustment. If you look at the success of guys in the last several years, I think it's irrelevant whether they came from spread system or pro-style. I mean Sam Bradford was the first pick in the draft, he played in a spread system and he did pretty well;. Colt McCoy played, Tim Tebow also played as a rookie, and they all came from spread systems. I think it's more rather how coachable a guy is, how quickly he can learn. Even if you come from a pro-style in college, you still are going to have to learn when you get to the NFL. You have to learn the terminology, the speed of the game; in my opinion if you are in the right kind of spread and get coached up it can actually help make the transition easier because you have to make quick, active decisions. The best quarterback in the NFL makes quick, accurate decisions. It's not so much whether he can take a three-step or a five-step drop under center.

On Blaine Gabbert

RR: I have not interviewed Blaine, but everything we hear from the coaching staff, from the guys who have talked to him in the interviews - he's very sharp guy. In that system he was in they ran a lot of no-back, and you have to make a lot of quick decisions, scan the field, use your eyes the right way. Everything I've seen of him on film and what I've heard from people who've talked to him he's a sharp guy in that regard. He probably is the maybe the most ready right now, even though he comes from a spread offense. He's still got a process a learn, but I don't think there is any question in my mind that he's going to be able to make it. You just hope that an organization doesn't throw him in there for the first day. Especially with everything right now; there is no rookie minicamp, no OTA's, so guys will have to learn even quicker without a lot of information. Makes it even more important that you have guys that are sharp and can learn pretty quick.

Adjustments for quarterbacks from college to NFL

RR: The speed of the game is going to be the biggest adjustment, and the windows that you can throw in. When you go from high school to college that window becomes smaller and quicker, when you go from college to pros the windows you can throw become tighter and you have to make a quicker decision. I think learning the terminology is the first thing, the second thing is understanding how fast, how timely you have to be with your throws. Whether you are coming from a pro-style or a spread style there's still that understanding.

Conversations with NFL personnel regarding players coming out

RR: There's a lot of guys you get to know in the 25 years - 18 of being a head coach - you get a certain comfort level with scouts and NFL coaches and I've always enjoyed that part of the process. I know some college coaches don't want the guys around practice, think they can be a distraction. I've always welcomed it because I think its obviously in like with the kids' goals. You get a scout watching practice, even during the season, I always thought it would add a little pep in their step. I've enjoyed in 25 years of talking to those guys getting a feel for what they want. At Michigan you always get a couple of them. Probably had the least amount of guys in the last three years than in the history of the school just because of the transition and having a lot of young players. Whether it was at Michigan, or West Virginia, or as an assistant at Clemson or Tulane, or even back in my days of Glenville State I've always had guys come over. They can watch the talent part on film, they can watch the talent part when they practice. Usually what they want to know is "is this guy coachable? Is this a good guy? Is this a guy that will be a positive to the organization?" I love talking about it because I've always had the guys that I thought were positive people that would be an attribute or asset to an organization.

Expectations of Pat White when he was entering the NFL

RR: He may not be an every down quarterback, but I thought Pat could be really good in the role of a specialized quarterback doing some what people call "Wildcat." I also thought he could play some receiver and do some returning, and I still think he could have. But you know he took a big hit, and that kind of probably made him re-evaluate things and think about baseball. But he was a phenomenal college player. Sometimes we can get misguided into thinking that players in college, their goal is prepping for the NFL. I think the goal in college is to be as good a college player as you can be. If you do that, I think that prepares you for the NFL. Pat was a phenomenal college player, as good as any I've seen or been around. I think he could have had a role in the NFL, but you know it's very very competitive. If you get dinged up or banged up a little bit, you kind of re-evaluate what you want to do.

Any regrets in hindsight jumping from West Virginia to Michigan

RR: You know that's a fair question, and I've been asked that before. I think it's easy to go back now and say, "Gee, made a mistake." And you can say that now because of hindsight. But at the time, some of the things I was looking to do and the opportunity that was there you kind of make the move. The frustrating part for us was that we thought we battled through the tougher times to get it to this point where we had a lot of the team coming back and we thought we were getting ready to take off, but you know hindsight is always easier to look back and say, "it was a mistake." Because we did have a good thing going at West Virginia, and we really enjoyed it. As you look back at it, wasn't the best move. Easy to say now.

Getting back into coaching

RR: We played the Gator Bowl, then when we were let go in January there wasn't a lot of coaching jobs that were available. I still love coaching, I'm open to another opportunity, but we'll see. Here, that window looks like it's closed, but if something comes open after this season, and it seems like it may be a good opportunity for me and someone is interested I'm sure I'll look into it.

If the spread has "peaked"

RR: Everything is cyclical, but I think the spread is not easily defined. I'm sure you've heard coaches say this before, there isn't one kind, just like there is not one pro-style. Even though a west coast offense is pretty much a west coast offense. When you see the spread now, you know us and other teams that were using it -- Oklahoma State, other - we're still using tight ends and fullbacks they were just in the shotgun a lot, using a lot of no-huddle. I think the spread has taken so many different forms on that it's kind of here to stay. You know you see a spread team use tight ends and maybe a fullback in the shotgun, you saw it with Green Bay in the Super Bowl. I think it's constantly evolving, I think even though they still call it a spread it's not like a "run n' shoot" type of spread. It's taken on so many forms and it's evolved in so many ways I think it's probably here to stay. In the NFL there is so much talk about pro-style but there's as many or more teams in the NFL that get in a shotgun. It's not easily defined, and that's probably why it's going to stay around a while.

Running the ball in the spread

RR: There's a difference between the spread at Oregon, Auburn, some of the ones we did, and then a so-called spread in the NFL. There's a lot more running involved, and I think that's two-fold: In the NFL your guys are so much faster on the front 7, they can chase things down. I think in college you can have a little more variety, guys can be a little more creative and run a different type of run scheme than you would in the NFL. I think at some point in the NFL I wouldn't be surprised if someone starts taking a third quarterback and making him be a quarterback that can run and throw a little bit, use him in all different ways.

On coaching in the NFL

RR: I haven't thought about it much until recently. Seems like college coaches are going to the NFL, and NFL coaches are coming back to college, so those lines have been blurred a little bit as far as working. It's still working with young men and helping them achieve their goals and being around football. I had never really thought about it much until recently, and now I've always been about "What are we going to do to win a national championship." But these last couple months have given me time to evaluate and it may be kind of fun with the right organization and the right people it probably would be pretty enjoyable to coach. But I really haven't researched it much or looked into it too much but I may have some time to do that now.

On his relationship with scouting services

RR: All these individual scouting services that were popping up- you know one DVD, three or four guys, we never got involved with that. There were a few scouting services that covered a whole state, or covered a whole region, and you paid a couple thousand dollars to get information and DVDs - we used to use them. But they weren't really big in our process. We relied more on high school coaches, film, and our assistant coaches to do the evaluating. You know a guy that's shopping one or two people around and asking for six to ten grand to get one DVD on him, there's something shaky anytime that comes up. We used to use scouting services that have a lot of tapes and a lot of information on occasion. Nowadays you don't even have to do that because you can get a lot of film off the internet. Whether it's on YouTube or one of the recruiting sites on the internet, you really don't need that to evaluate your prospects.

On any changes he would implement NCAA-wide for the game of football

RR: They need to have more coaches involved in helping them with the organization. It almost seems to me there's compliance officers of the NCAA, and then there's the coaches over here. It's almost like there's a mistrust amongst coaches and we need to communicate better. I think coaches need to get in the middle of it and say, "This is what's going on, let's help clean the game up." There are some issues that need to get cleaned up, but it's better than it was 20 years ago. It's more transparent. I think that's why the issues are coming up. There's frustration with some of the things that coaches are getting in trouble for, and that's different than paying a player or getting a competitive advantage. I think that's where the coaches can say "This is what's happening out here, and this is truly giving a competitive advantage." Whether it's in recruiting or what have you. Until that happens, I think there's always going to be some frustrations out there.

For more from Rodriguez and the Inside College Football: Draft Special gang, check out the schedule below. All times eastern, contact your local cable provider for information on the CBS Sports Network.

  • Monday, April 25 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET) – Where college football’s brightest stars such as Cam Newton (Auburn), Nick Fairley (Auburn), Patrick Peterson (LSU) and AJ Green (Georgia) will be selected in the Draft, their NFL potential and how the teams they left behind replace them.

  • Tuesday, April 26 (10:30-11:30 PM, ET) – Provides a look at some lower-round projected prospects who could make an immediate impact in the League.

  • Wednesday, April 27 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET) – Examines how the Draft will impact college football’s projected Top 10 teams for 2011, as well as which teams and conferences best supply NFL talent.

Posted on: April 17, 2011 12:41 pm
 

Hoke says Michigan has a long way to go

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Saturday, around 25,000 Michigan fans were able to get their first glimpse of what life will be like under new head coach Brady Hoke. Michigan, like a lot of other schools across the country, concluded its spring practice with a scrimmage on Satuday afternoon. While trying to take away too much from one single scrimmage in the spring and using it to determine how the upcoming season will go is foolish, that doesn't change the fact that what Michigan fans saw on Saturday wasnt' much different than what they saw the last few years.

The Wolverines offense had its struggles as it tries to adjust from Rich Rodriguez's spread system to Hoke's more pro-style offense, though the Wolverines defense was kind enough to forfeit some big plays for it anyway. While it will be hard for Michigan's defense to be any worse in 2011 than it was in 2010, Saturday did prove to remind people that better doesn't always mean good.

So it didn't come as much of a surprise after the game that Hoke said his team has a long way to go.

“I don’t think we’re where we need to be, by far, at any position,” Hoke said after the scrimmage.

Any position? But what about at quarterback, the position that introduced Denard Robinson to the masses last season? Well, much like everybody else on Michigan, Robinson is still getting acquainted with a new offense that features a lot less of "Run, Denard! Run!" and a lot more read progressions. Robinson wasn't very electric on Saturday, but a lot of that had to do with the two-hand touch nature of the game when it came to Robinson, and the rust of the offseason. Though Denard did get Denarded on the very first play of the scrimmage, busting out a 55-yard run. Other than that play, however, Robinson missed on a lot of passes and admitted afterward that he's still "trying to get a grip on that offense."

While Saturday's game may not have Michigan fans excited about the possibilities of 2011, they shouldn't read much into it either. It's not as though Hoke can come in and totally overhaul and fix everything that Rodriguez had implemented in a matter of months. These things will take some time, and while some lumps will be given, Hoke's track record elsewhere leads you to believe there will be improvement in Ann Arbor.

The only real question is will the improvement be enough, and will it happen quick enough that Hoke doesn't suffer the same fate as the coach he's replacing.

Posted on: April 14, 2011 1:53 pm
 

Braylon Edwards gives Hoke OK on No. 1 jersey

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When Brady Hoke was hired at Michigan, one of the common selling points used to justify the selection of a coach with a lifetime under-.500 record was that his longtime ties to the school and record of success under Lloyd Carr would unite a fanbase and program divided by Rich Rodriguez's outsider status.

How much that unity might pay off on the field remains to be seen. But there seems to be little question that Hoke has, at least, created the unity his hire promised. For evidence, look no further than the contrasting reactions of Braylon Edwards, the Wolverine All-American receiver whose exploits helped make the No. 1 jersey a status symbol for Michigan wideouts.

Edwards had this to say in the Detroit News on Hoke and his handling of the No. 1 (emphasis added):
"He was asking me about the number," Edwards said of Hoke. "I said, 'You know, coach, for the No. 1 jersey, everyone looks to me, but at the end of the day, it's on you. You feel like someone deserves to wear the number, you feel comfortable, you have my blessing to give it to whoever you want.' "

Hoke replaced Rich Rodriguez, who was fired after three seasons.

"I had a great time," Edwards said of his visit to Schembechler Hall last weekend. "It was like home again. Brady's door was open, he was on the phone, told the person he'd call him back and he gave me a big hug."

This would be less-than-noteworthy, run-of-the-mill daily beat fodder if not for Edwards' reaction to Rodriguez's decisions with the No. 1. Rodriguez casually gave the number to an incoming freshman defensive back, prompting Edwards to say he'd "have a talk" with RichRod and claiming "Lloyd Carr's University of Michigan" as his alma mater during Sunday Night Football introductions. Clearly, Rodriguez did not have Edwards' blessing to do whatever he wished with the jersey.

It would be easy to see Edwards' bellyaching over a tradition he didn't start himself (as he admits) as childish, his open lack of support for Rodriguez as sour grapes. But it's also worth noting that Hoke began the conversation by asking Edwards his thoughts on the matter; whether that's necessary or not, it's the right move from the public relations standpoint. Rodriguez's approach might not have been wrong, per se, but there's also no doubting it was needlessly clumsy, one of many minor missteps he could have avoided that piled up into major missteps.

Again, for Hoke to succeed where Rodriguez failed, he's going to have to do a lot more than simply be a better politician. But being a better politician is a start, and as Edwards' example shows, Hoke is off to a good one in that department.


Posted on: April 12, 2011 1:11 pm
 

Michigan looking to work on its tan

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Michigan has already scheduled a game against Alabama to be played at Cowboys Stadium in 2012, and now that they've got a date in Texas it seems that the Wolverines are looking to get another neutral site game in another high school football hotbed. According to the Naples News, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon is in preliminary discussions with Miami Dolphins owner, and Michigan alum, Stephen Ross about playing a game at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

“We’ve had some preliminary discussions with Stephen Ross about whether or not it would be possible to come down here and play a game,” Brandon told the paper. “We don’t have anything scheduled, but that’s something we’d consider because this is an important recruiting area for us as well.”

As Brandon said in the quote, there is no word on when Michigan would be playing this game, nor whom Michigan would be playing. All the Wolverines care about at the moment is getting a game in Miami to give the school a bigger presence in the fertile recruiting grounds of southern Florida.

Of course, it's not as though the Wolverines haven't already had success recruiting in Florida. Rich Rodriguez proved to be pretty good at plucking talent from the Sunshine State and bringing them up to Cloudy With A Chance Of Flurries State. You don't have to look past Michigan's starting quarterback, Denard Robinson of Deerfield Beach, to see the kind of talent Michigan has already been able to nab.

 
 
 
 
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