Sunday, May 14, 2006

Defensive coaching overhaul for 2006

Following last year's 7-5 campaign, Coach Carr made sweeping changes in the senior coaching staff on the defensive side of the ball. Of course, Jim Herrmann was let go as Defensive Coordinator (uh, I mean was given the opportunity to explore possibilities in the NFL) but the changes hardly stopped there. We have a new linebackers coach (Steve Szabo) and a new cornerbacks coach (Ron Lee). The senior man in his position is Steve Stripling who is in his SECOND season with us as Defensive Line coach having held that job previously with MSU.

Now to be fair, our new Defensive Coordinator Ron English is in his 4th year with U-M but this is his first season ever serving as Def. coordinator at any level of coaching. His college coaching experience, while extensive, has primarily been limited to coaching members of the secondary. Now I understand fans calling for new blood to be brought in, but did we really need this much bloodshed from the former defensive staff? I mean there is going to be a tremendous learning curve with this many "new" coaches on staff being led by a coordinator who is adjusting to his new position. Granted these "new" coaches aren't recent graduate assistants getting their first full-time gigs. That is why I put new in quotes. They are just "new" to U-M. Szabo for example has been coaching for 38 years including the previous 12 years in the NFL. So, I think he knows what he is doing. It's just that it takes time for a staff to gel just like it takes a team time to come together and there are an awful lot of new (but experienced) hands who aren't used to working together that are going to have to hit the ground running once Vanderbilt rolls into A2. I like stability and I can forsee some chaotic times ahead until the defensive staff finds its way which will hopefully occur before we hit the Big 10 schedule.

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