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Monday, February 13, 2006

Jim Herrmann is now the linebackers coach of the New York Jets. Others have beaten me to this punch. Joey's pleased but still pissed:

It's also good to have Herrmann gone. I am of the opinion that he was a yes-man co-conspirator who shared Carr's defensive philosophy. ... All is not forgiven or right, though. ... English has no coordinator experience and UM again failed to conduct a national search to land the best-possible candidate. It is important for a coach to feel comfortable with his subordinates (obviously), and there is something to be said for continuity in an industry that requires strong relationships (think recruiting) to succeed. But it is baffling that Michigan has not done more to bring in new, industry-leading ideas by way of better coaches.
; Vijay takes the high road:
...instead of "good riddance" or "finally", I think I'll send Jim Herrmann off with a "Thank you and best of luck" and the hope and honest expectation that he will distinguish himself as a good coach at the professional level.
I will offer an opinion anyway. It would be disingenuous for me to adopt Vijay's all-class attitude toward the departure of a man who caused me disproportionate misery over the years, but all told Herrmann is probably less responsible for the bunched-panties phenomenon than the man in charge. Hell, one of the strangest things about this whole drama has been the repeated assertions of Herrmann's "defensive genius" in the paper and from a couple of friendly insider emailers. And he did get hired by an NFL team to coach linebackers despite apparently not having bothered to undertake such a task at Michigan. Either this is just coaches taking care of each other--not an uncommon phenomenon in an industry with the job security of Dude Third In Charge of Al-Qaeda--or Herrmann really isn't the the begin and end of Michigan's problems these last eight or so years. It could be either. I vote some of both.

The hope represented by English is at least half a hope that Carr's no longer that guy and no longer wants a close, personal, suspicious-if-you-know-what-I-mean-NTTAWWT-I'm-not-prejudiced- except-towards-defenses-who-never-ever-hold-bowl-opponents-under-28-points friend as his defensive coordinator... but the comedy of errors that preceded English's ascension casts doubt on that. All the excitement over Ron English will evaporate right quick if Carr glares at his new defensive coordinator every time a cornerback lines up within spitting distance of a wide receiver. The proof, as they say, will be in the pudding. We need aggressive, clever pudding. Or something. This metaphor died.

In the end, Herrmann got exactly what he deserved: an anonymous, well-paid position where he can't hurt anyone except New York Jets fans--who deserve it--in easy harassing distance of Joey*. Now we have to find someone else to blame, but even there, Lloyd has provided in the form of new/old offensive coordinator Mike DeBord. He giveth, and he taketh away. Yea, verily.

I'm not ramping my expectations up to unreasonable levels quite yet, but at least if we fail next year it will be in new and interesting ways.

*Expect a string of strange incidents were Herrmann is embarrassed by loud flatulence at press conferences, consumes hilariously foul gum, and regards any and all jars of macadamia nuts with suspicion, wary of yet another pacemaker-testing fake snake explosion.