Let me start by saying up front that I have been one of the harshest critics of Al Borges since he was announced as Michigan’s Offensive Coordinator. That continues to this day for a number of reasons however; lest it be said that I am unwilling to give credit where it is due…
Far too often football coaches develop a “my way or the highway” philosophy. Many get caught up in the details of their own system and what they want for their team. They lose sight of one of the most important factors in football, flexibility. A friend of mine agreed to help coach a youth football team this fall. At the first coaches meeting the head coach informed the other coaches that they would be running the option as their primary offense. My friend was stunned since none of coaches had met or seen the team they would be coaching. “What if we have the next Peyton Manning, are we still going to run the option?” my friend asked. The answer was yes.
Al Borges took over the Michigan offense with some preconceived ideas of his own about the kind of system Michigan would run and the structure of the offense. One of those preconceived ideas included using one tailback as the primary ball carrier, giving that back 25 carries a game or more. Unfortunately for Borges, Michigan’s offensive roster did not include an every down work horse. Michigan has had to rely on a number of different backs to carry the load through the first 4 games. At his weekly press conference Borges said the following about the tailback situation:
“I still prefer a guy that can tote it and go. But if we can produce over a hundred yards rushing from our tailbacks between two guys, I can live with that. As long as there’s productivity at the position, and we’ll get into a little of that now, I’m not going to complain about it. It’s just not my preference.” (MGOBLOG)