Is Brady Hoke to blame? Not a chance

Posted on Posted in Michigan Football

Gearing up for Minnesota this Saturday may not have been so daunting in years past. This time around, considering the circumstances, it might be a little different. Michigan struggling two weeks ago will have fans and undoubtedly the coaching staff nervous. Combine that with a vastly improved Golden Gopher team and it could spell disaster.

Coming into this weeks contest, there is one man who should be absolutely free of blame for the team’s struggles, that is Brady Hoke.

The team is 4-0, the upcoming schedule is favorable from an opponent perspective and the team is destined for better things. To put the past in the past, things are looking up. But, should the latest struggles be Hoke’s fault? Absolutely not. In fact, it’s far from his fault.

Before getting into the heart of my argument, something must be addressed.

On top of placing the blame on his shoulders and questioning the quality of coach Hoke is, the complaints about him not wearing a headset need to end. Not only is that argument dumb and invalid, it’s not going to change the outcome of the previous two games. Typically, on a football team, there are offensive and defensive coordinators who call the shots for their respective side of the football. In coordination with the head coach, they call plays throughout the game. Hoke has always been the type of coach that stays back and allows his coaching staff to call a football game with minimum interference.  Only during crunch time or in the rare occurrence he wants to override the coaching staff one will find Hoke with a headset.

Would putting on the headset make Gardner become a more accurate passer? Or how about the offensive line containing pressure so Gardner is able to have time in the pocket? The answer to both of those questions are probably no. Michigan is 4-0, they’ve played four games. What else do fans want here?

It’s understandable fans wanted to see Michigan crush Akron and UCONN, but stats are stats. For example, seeing Gardner throw for 500 yards against UCONN won’t make much of a difference four-five games down the line. Sure, it helps with confidence, but what does that have to do with Hoke?

The point is, the problem is far more wide-spread. Pinpointing the blame to a singular person or entity is useless. The problems will still remain.

Perhaps the game against Akron could be placed on the coaching staff as a whole. The players were obviously under-prepared and it showed. Whereas the case with UCONN, was it the same concept? My point being is that there comes a time where the players should be having the blame placed on their shoulders and not the head coach. Granted, Hoke is THE guy, he will take all the blame when it comes to the team struggling or not being prepared for a team because that is the type of guy Hoke is. He will never throw a player or member of the staff under the bus. But you can’t blame someone else when your quarterback is giving the ball away, there is no passing game as of late, and the rushing attack is sparse.

Perhaps the gameplan has been poorly executed? Perhaps the offensive coordinator has not put the offense in a position to succeed? But, I am willing to bet that once Gardner and the offense figure out their issues and get the proverbial ball rolling, all will be forgiven for past performances.

It’s funny how quickly people seem to forget what Hoke has done in such a little time. From beating Ohio State and a BCS bowl victory in 2011. On top of that, absolutely killing it on the recruiting trail. Again, I ask, what would you rather prefer? Before acting like Michigan doesn’t have the right guy at the helm, calm those feelings down until the team wins a conference championship first. Hoke is leading the team in the right direction and he’s doing it the right way.

We are just beginning to scratch the surface with Brady Hoke. To see the strides we have made from the previous coaching regime of Rich Rod has been huge. To question his ability to coach a football team, especially one at the University of Michigan, is silly. He is one of the very few who get what it takes to be a Wolverine. He understands the culture, the history, and the type of players that wear that winged helmet.

Besides, armchair quarterbacks of the world, if you feel like you’re a better coach than Hoke. Why aren’t you out there on Saturdays? I’ll rest my case.

Derek Devine
Institutional voice of Alma College during the day, Michigan fanatic at night. Taking TBHR to the next level one post at a time.