### Add Gino Torretta to the growing list of former players who are questioning decisions made by UM’s coaching staff.
Appearing this morning with Jonathan Zaslow and Joy Taylor on 104.3 The Ticket, Torretta said:
“You feel bad for the current players. You know there's talent there. People say why are [former players] being negative? When you watch certain things during the game, you say: Why isn't he taught this? Why isn't the adjustment made? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
“What we're not seeing is instincts. When you have guys that can run that are talented and are fast --- teach them a few things well and let them go out and play. [You] don't see guys making plays, being instinctual and being able to use one of their greatest assets, which is speed.”
Torretta said his teams “played aggressive. We attacked.” He said this defense requires a lot of thinking, where “if you don't get the quarterback, you have to catch the guard and center and look in backfield and figure out what's going on. And the linebacker has to figure out which guy is being blocked….
“You see it. I see it. The frustrating thing is we want to see improvement. We don't want to see the same mistakes and we don't want to be told we're 9-0 against scheme and four of those wins are against Army and Navy.”
He said the greatest coaches “are able to adjust their schemes to the personnel.”
His confidence Golden will get this turned around?
“It can't be any higher than five,” he told Zaslow and Taylor. “You can’t tell me we don’t have some players on the team. The only team that has beaten us in recruiting in the ACC is FloridaState. If that’s the case, shouldn’t we be beating those teams?”
Torretta called the Michigan State-Nebraska game on radio Saturday night and “all I could think about was how frustrated I was watching Nebraska --- a one-dimensional run the ball team and we let a one-dimensional run the ball team do exactly what they wanted to do against us and beat us.”
A few Monday night quick hits:
### During his two regular Monday appearances with WQAM, Al Golden made clear today that there was nothing wrong or regrettable with the strategy or schemes UM used against Georgia Tech and again put the blame on player execution. That's very much in line with his message previous weeks.
Asked by Joe Rose why UM didn’t crowd the box more against run-heavy Tech, and not play its safeties closer to the line, Golden said: “I think the safeties were at 10 yards the whole game and we’re playing a nine-man front. If they’re any tighter than that, then they can’t get in the opposite alley on the option. We’ve played this thing for a decade. Going into this game I think we were 8-1 in our last nine against it.
“So, we’ve had success using this strategy, OK? And again, we forced them into a third-and-6, where they converted, a third-and-6 where they had a [pass interference]. Without that PI, they only score one time in the first half: a third-and-7 and a third-and-16 and they get us on a wheel route [Thurston Armbrister was in coverage].
"That should not happen. So I know they got more yards than we wanted, certainly, running the ball. But where they broke our back is we didn’t take the ball away and they got us on third down.”
When it was suggested UM could have gambled more defensively, Golden said: “We did gamble. We brought the SAM. We brought the WILL. We stunted constantly.”
He said some of the breakdowns were the result of “missing an assignment or somebody got beat.... In terms of our execution of the formula, we didn’t do what we need to do. They executed what they wanted to do better than we did. I’m accountable for it. End of story.”
But when Golden says he’s accountable for it, it’s not clear what that means because he clearly doesn’t believe coaching decisions are causing the breakdowns.
In Golden's defense, he doesn't name individual players who made mistakes. (These are college kids after all.) He didn't identify Armbrister by name, though everyone could see he messed up on the 30-yard passing play on Tech's final scoring drive.
Golden said he will tell his players that there's no time to "complain" or dwell on Tech. “[This] was a totally different gameplan," he said of Tech's option offense. "It's something we only do once a year.”
### On Hurricane Hotline, Golden said he opted not to play newcomers Michael Wyche and Anthony Moten against Georgia Tech but praised Moten’s progress.
He said Chad Thomas, who played well, “walks the walk and talks the talk.”
### Golden said he wants to redshirt defensive linemen Earl Moore and Jelani Hamilton, as well as a handful of freshmen.
### Golden praised Joe Yearby but said he needs to develop a stiff-arm like Duke Johnson’s.
### Is Joe Philbin optimistic Knowshon Moreno can play this week with a brace on his left elbow?
“Sure, I’m always optimistic, but I’m a realist," he said. "He has to prove out here that he can run, he can catch (and) he can run. He’s got to do a lot of things. If he could do all of those things, that would be great. We’ll have to see."
Is Philbin concerned about him playing with a brace? "I think it’s just a matter of him getting used to playing with it in practice. He’s got to get a feel of it and carrying the ball with it, pass protection. Obviously we just can’t have him in there when we are running the ball or free release him all the time. Those are things we take the practice week to figure out.”
### With Derrick Shelby suspended, expect to see more of rookie Terrence Fede and possibly Chris McCain.
Fede "plays hard,” Philbin said. “He missed a lot of practice time [in September with a knee injury], so there are things that we need to catch him up on. He did a good job in the [Oakland] game. There’s a ton of things to get better at, but he comes out to the field every day, gives an honest effort, he works his tail off. So that’s really all you can ask for as a coach.”
Please see the last post for details on the news Mike Pouncey shared with me today and other Dolphins, Heat, Marlins and Canes notes.