So remember how Brady Hoke was hired and immediately started talking about adjusting his schemes to the personnel he had? The local media went bonkers for it and starting comparing this edict to Rich Rodriguez's approach of Complete System Overhaul when he came to Ann Arbor. Yeah well, that may not have been entirely accurate, and was certainly before offensive coordinator Al Borges had his say:
I was once told: A great coach makes the kids do what he wants them to do. They've got to come with us. They've got to do what we want them to do... At the end of the day, they're going to appreciate what this staff brings to the table because there's a lot of experience and a lot of guys that know what they're doing.Caveats about this being the first part of a two-part interview--the second half will invariably talk about Denard--but this sounds exactly like the mindset of Rodriguez when he came to Michigan, except that it's being delivered the friend of a Michigan Man. Also, Borges had just finished talking about execution and making sure players can do everything well, but regardless, this sounds like a man pretty firmly set in his ways.
Other disconcerting comments (emphasis mine):
I'm on the Brady Hoke page and always have been. I think toughness is critical. You have to start with that. This game is not for the faint of heart. Particularly in this conference because there are a lot of people coming off the ball and forcing the issue. And we're going to try and do that same thing.Borges is clearly not a man that is going to mess around with zone blocking schemes, the zone-read, or a bevy of quarterback runs. He's been running his system for over two decades and is not going to be swayed to change it significantly now.
I agree wholeheartedly with MGoBlog's recent post about Borges' offensive system and how it gels with Michigan's current talent pool: it doesn't really. I've seemingly been the only one advocating that Denard is not necessarily a lock to take the starting QB position next year, and this just feels like more fuel to that fire. It's still early in the process and unfair to condemn anyone yet, but this should squash any thoughts of Hoke and Borges et al are any different than Rodriguez when it comes to rethinking your offensive strategy to accommodate the players you inherit. Let's hope Greg Mattison can do something with this defense.