Coach Rod claims program still has "family values"
In response to Justin Boren's statement, Coach Rod addressed the issue of the alleged erosion of values of the Michigan Football program since Coach Lloyd Carr's retirement. Coach Rodriguez would not discuss Justin Boren's situation specifically but the coach did say any claims that that he, or his coaches, have compromised Michigan's values are simply wrong. Coach Rodriguez told the Ann Arbor News via phone on Thursday:
"Anybody who would make any comment about our values is way off-base. The people who know the staff, who know what we're putting together here will tell you just the opposite as far as what's been reported. ... My players and my coaches are my family. They're coached that way. But we're not going to apologize for being demanding. We told that to the players. We also told them our job is to take them some place they can't take themselves, on the field and off the field, and I think the majority of our players understand that."
Coach Rodriguez did acknowledge that the styles and approaches of some coaches on his staff may differ from previous Michigan coaches, but believed that would be expected in a coaching change. Coach Rodriguez did stress that his coaches treat Michigan's players with respect inside and outside of practice. Coach Rodriguez stated, "This is not my first rodeo, and I think if you went back and asked the majority of guys about their experience playing in our program, they'd feel pretty good about it."
Coach Rodriguez' statement was calculated to quell the growing disturbance in the Michigan Football "family" that as the new head coach, he was out of touch with the "Michigan way". Losing Justin Boren (a starting offensive lineman) was particularly devastating considering that Justin's father Mike played for Coach Bo Schembechler. Although Coach Rodriguez professed in his statement to have a familial relationship with his players at WVU, he never has explained why he decided to inform Terrelle Pryor of his decision to take the head coaching position at Michigan before he even told his own team which he allegedly thought of as family. Coach Rodriguez' actions speak louder than his words. I do not believe that he felt the players at WVU were "family" and I sure do not believe that he thinks of the players at Michigan (after 3 months) as family. Lloyd Carr thought of the players like family. That was heartfelt. Coach Rodriguez' comments are simply salesmanship. He already has the job now I just wish he would do it. 2008 is not 1969. Michigan will not be good next season just because the Wolverines won the Big Ten title in 1969 in Bo's first season. People keep comparing this year's attrition (i.e., Justin Boren, Alex Mitchell, Jeremy Ciulla, Mario Manningham, Adrian Arrington, & Ryan Mallett) to what occurred in 1969. Remember, however, in 1969 that despite heavy attrition that Michigan did not lose any guys who could have really helped the team. The same is not true for 2008. The players who have left the squad were key and were at key positions. Many of the players who left did so because of Coach Rodriguez and/or his new offensive system. Coach Rodriguez needs to concentrate on figuring out how to win with the players he has remaining. Go Blue!
Labels: Coach Rodriguez