Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Coaching Candidate Rumors

Tyrone Wheatley, if for not other reason
than bringing back happy memories.
I have a few posts waiting to be completed, and even a few that are already finished. But a lot of them have to do with recruiting, and I don't think anyone cares much about recruiting right now. All Michigan fans care about is who the next coach will be, and I can't say I blame them. As Michigan fans, we can't move forward. (On the other hand, I have been moving forward with catching up on Parks and Recreation.)

Detroit Sports Rag contributor Jeff Moss tweeted out last night that there has been a "sea change" in the reporting on Michigan's head coaching job. Other Twitter feeds have also changed their tune somewhat, based on someone in Michigan's administration supposedly giving info that Jim Harbaugh could be leaning toward returning to Ann Arbor. Moss also said that he will release the source of this information at 9:00 a.m. today, so that ought to be interesting.

Aside from Harbaugh's return, there have also been rumors that:

  • Former Michigan running back Tyrone Wheatley, currently the Buffalo Bills running backs coach, will return as co-offensive coordinator
  • Former Michigan offensive line coach Andy Moeller, currently the Cleveland Browns offensive line coach, will be Wheatley's co-offensive coordinator
  • D.J. Durkin is being considered as the defensive coordinator. Durkin was at Florida under Will Muschamp and is currently their interim head coach; he also worked for Harbaugh at Stanford
I am posting this info not because I necessarily believe it, but because this is all anyone seems to want to discuss. Past coaching searches have taught me not to believe anything (thanks, Kirk Herbstreit), but we all know that Jim Harbaugh is Michigan's #1 choice for the coaching job at this point. Until his situation is resolved with the San Francisco 49ers (whether he resigns, they fire him, they try to trade him, etc.), Michigan's football program and Wolverines fans are in a holding pattern.

In other news, former Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden signed a contract extension with ESPN.


  1. If we get Harbaugh I'm going to lose my mind.

  2. Why are we even thinking of bringing back Moeller?? He was terrible last time he was here and he's terrible at Cleveland. I refuse to believe that he's the best option out there. And aside from that, it's pretty silly to speculate about subordinate coaches at all when whoever we bring in as HC is going to want to choose his own staff.

  3. I would not trust Jeff Ross as a legitimate source of info. He says somebody from the media is telling him that somebody else from the media (Jim Brandstater) is spreading rumors that people are buying. So what -- this is 4th hand info, at best.

    It is clear that Michigan is trying to land Harbaugh and very likely that he hasn't turned them down at this point...

    The rumor mill is abuzz and the buzz is good, so that's better than the alternative, but still far from conclusive.

  4. We talk about Moeller, I think, because of the reported rumors of text messaging with JH lately suggesting their UM reunion. While we do not know the reliability of the rumors, they are plausible since Moeller was JH's best friend since grade school in AA. I think also that there were connections between their fathers, Gary and Jack (?coached together at UM).

    Like you, I am not so sure that Moeller should be a first choice for co-OC. To my knowledge, he lacks OC experience. Also, he has had a checkered career, probably due to alcohol issues. At the same time, I am hopeful that he has overcome them for the past 3 years. That hope is supported by his capacity to keep finding decent jobs in the NFL.

    As for his performance, he was on a SuperBowl winning team with John Harbaugh's Ravens. While his Browns OL had a lot of recent trouble with an inexperienced Manziel at QB, the Cleveland OL reportedly accounted for a lot of the team's surprising early success with Hoyer--a guy cut by the Pats because he would have been an unnecessary third stringer.
    Since the UM OL is critically in need of development, I would hope that Harbaugh critically evaluates whether Moeller is the best choice there or (if Moeller is just co_OC and not also OL coach), that another competent OL coach is chosen.