Tmi: Great piece on Ed Warinner and why our Oline troubles are in good hands now

Submitted by bostonsix on June 25th, 2018 at 12:15 AM

Nice piece written by Sam Webb on how Ed Warinner can take failed D line players, and three star O linemen, and turn them into NFL starters. Everyone can agree our biggest weakness is our Oline and this article should give opptimism to even Bluey. 

First post to mgoblog 3.0 from Mobile so I hope the link works, if not maybe someone can Embed it for me in the comments.

Go Blue And Enjoy some Optimism for a change.



June 25th, 2018 at 12:21 AM ^

As far as OL coaching, things can only improve. Last year there seem to be major confusion on assignments and techniques. I think Ed will do a good job coaching which will improve our OL, may be not up to pre 2007 Michigan standards but at least average B1G performance.


June 25th, 2018 at 12:34 AM ^

I didn't know before reading the article that Ed had taken three star o lineman and a failed D lineman at Ohio State and that was the same line that was pushing Alabama around in the National Championship Game. In the article it also says that Urban Meyer was complaining about the depth of his Oline the past two years and the caliber of his players who Ed apparently recruited. That made me very optimistic about what he can do with this line immediately. It still might take two three years to get there but i think it will happen sooner rather than later. If he gets us to average B1G performance this year, we will most likely be looking at 10+ wins and i think Ohio State is one of those wins.



June 25th, 2018 at 12:23 AM ^




June 25th, 2018 at 7:21 AM ^

URLs don't automatically turn into clickable links like they did in mgoblog 2.0 -- yet another casualty of the site "upgrade." To do that now you have to click the chain icon (third from the left, next to the italics icon) and enter in the desired URL.


June 26th, 2018 at 9:30 AM ^

You are very welcome, sir!

Also, just realized I wrote "want to by" when I meant to write "want to be." Guess I didn't cross my fingers tight enough!

Hail Harbo

June 25th, 2018 at 8:45 AM ^

Does anybody have insight to the apparent falling out between Meyer and Warinner?  Don't get me wrong, I think he was a great hire if for no other reason than he brought freshness to a stagnant position group, but I find it rather unfathomable that Urbs let him get away. 

Here's to hoping he'll be giving back those gold pants for many years to come.


June 25th, 2018 at 8:54 AM ^

He was elevated to OC two years ago, and OSU's offense went stagnant.  So he took a lot of that fallout, and was allowed to leave.  He went to Minnesota and coached the Row Boat's OL last year, and now he's in Michigan.  Word is that he was promoted out of his comfort zone and suffered for it.

Poor move by Meyer?  I dunno - asking him to accept a demotion back to OL coach would have crushed his credibility in the locker room.  So I don't think there was a chance he could stay.  Any complaints from Meyer now are probably not directed at his coaching ability, but just fallout from a guy no longer there.  I seriously doubt it's personal...


June 25th, 2018 at 9:14 AM ^

It will be interesting to see what Warinner can do in just a few short months with the current pool of offensive linemen. Actually, I will be interested to see who we're talking about in potential starting roles at about this time in the month August given that we don't know how different it is going to look. 


June 25th, 2018 at 10:48 AM ^

Relevant section re Meyer taking shots at Warinner:

“I know Ohio State, Urban Meyer… he’s complaining now about the depth on their own line of Ohio State. And they’re having to improve their depth past two years. To me that’s (taking) a shot Ed Warinner and whether it’s true or not… I don’t think Ohio State does have good depth right now on the O-line. But Ed Warinner had stayed as the line coach, maybe guys who are looked at like dead weight now… maybe they wouldn’t be dead weight for Ed Warinner. So there’s two sides to that coin. No, he didn’t get some five stars that they wanted, but maybe the three stars that he got, had he coached him for four or five years… maybe they’d be pretty good players today. We just don’t know that.”

Sounds to me like Warinner's strength is as a coach who teaches kids how to be great OL, not as a super recruiter or offensive coordinator.

Not saying they're the same quality of coach, but I suspect a significant part of Drevno's issues here was his status as the de facto OC. For both Warinner and Drevno, maybe being OC is an example of the Peter Principle at work.


June 25th, 2018 at 11:15 AM ^

I don't think Warinner is directly comparable to Drevno.  As an example of the Peter Principle (we agree there), he more reminds me of an offensive variant of Brady Hoke -- a craftsman who can find 3-stars and castaways and hone them into beasts, but wanted more and got burned for it.

Drevno. . . I don't know what went wrong there, but it didn't happen overnight.  He got the most out of Hoke's old crew and I seriously doubt Harbaugh took him as a flier, even if he was part of Harbaugh's mad grab for assistants when he first got here.  Contrary to popular belief, I doubt his OC duties did him in.  For starters, the OC positions on Harbaugh's staff have always been fluid, so Drev was neither in the position to stagnate the playbook nor get overwhelmed to the point of failing to do his basic duties.

Pet theory here, but based on player interviews I think Drevno suffered from getting "in too deep".  You do something for a long time with constant pressure to improve, you go so far down the rabbit hole of details and minutae that you lose sight of how to teach what you know, which is death for a coach.  Furthermore, a number of Hoke's guys thrived under Drevno since Borges had them block for basically every kind of modern football play in existence, so naturally Drevno figured these new kids could do the same.  So he had guys making 5-6 reads at the line before they could even tell left from right.  He should've realized that on his own, and his failure to do so made firing him a necessity, but all I'll say in his defense (assuming I'm not way off the mark) is that it happens.  A lot of programs and coaches go through cycles of simplicity and complexity.  I think Harbaugh went through an episode of self-scouting not merely because it was urgently needed, but because Drevno didn't.


June 25th, 2018 at 11:55 AM ^

"I seriously doubt Harbaugh took him as a flier..."

No chance of that, since Drevno was one of Harbaugh's assistants from 2004 to 2013, from San Diego to Stanford to the 49ers. It couldn't have been easy for Harbaugh to let him go considering their long relationship.


June 25th, 2018 at 12:35 PM ^

Based on comments made in interviews, I do think there is an additional subtle issue which helped cause Drevno's eventual downfall. In prior stops he was primarily the O-Line coach. At Michigan he definitely added more Coordinator responsibilities. In essence, he had a bigger voice at the table than in previous roles. The rumor was that he was not good at listening and taking in other coaches advice. When you are one of the guys giving advice, that is not a problem. When you are one of the guys supposed to be taking in that advice and doing something with it, that is a big problem. 


June 25th, 2018 at 12:38 PM ^

I would disagree, to me Drevno is the exact same as Warrinner. Brian, and everyone else it seemed, waxed ecstatic at every mention of replacing Funk with Drevno. There were more than a couple front page posts detailing his record at turning around offensive lines elsewhere, the only negative being some SF fans felt his offense wasn't creative.

I think Drevno was a very good O-line coach who got caught up in the failed Frey-Drevno O-line stew and increased duties of part time O-coordinator with Fisch leaving. Peter principle at it's finest. These things happen. I'm glad Harbaugh was able to hire a quality coach like Warrinner to fill the spot. If our run blocking is as good as it ended the year, and our pass blocking improves enough to give one of these QBs a chance to be better than average I expect we'll be as good as two years ago.


June 26th, 2018 at 6:07 PM ^

Biggest problem with Ed is his lack of humility.  He thinks he should be an OC/HC but he hasn't been successful at landing a HC gig and his time as an OC has been lackluster.  Best Jim can hope for is that the last two years have been a wake up call for Ed after he was dispatched from OSU and not retained by Minnesota while missing out on at least 2 HC jobs he interviewed for. 

He developed some really solid players at OSU and ND.  They weren't diamond in the rough types though.  Guys like Decker, Elflien, Linsey and Mewhort were all top 200 recruits with offer lists a mile long. 

The problem with Ed at OSU where Urban has a point was his lack of ability to close on the blue chip guys coupled with his inability to develop the plan B/C guys. If he only had one of those two problems it would have been fine.   In 2013/14 he brought in 7 recruits.  Two were very much plan A recruits, Demetrius Knox and Jamarco Jones.  The next 5 were plan B/C guys after they missed on some pretty key guys.  Of those 5 plan B's, three transferred out of the program while Ed was still on staff.  Only 1 stuck and he is likely headed for a back up role as a RSSR behind a RSFR. 

I think he will do well with the Michigan roster as it stands.  2016 was a monster year for OL recruits.  The question becomes how does that OL look in 2020-21 when the young guys all have a chance to go to the league with eligibility remaining. If he recruits like he did at OSU then there may be some issues down the road. 












June 25th, 2018 at 11:15 AM ^

Ed seems like an impressive man and coach, who understands Michigan's values and potential.  He grew up in Ohio and gained respect for Bo, he knows the tradition and type of O Linemen Michigan should have.  His interview after spring practice was good to watch - he seems confident and Harbaugh eluded to a "long relationship" with Ed, which would bring some needed stability to our O Line room.  I'm not sure the ceiling of our 2018 O Line is top 10 (or top 20), but even with a 20-40ish range nationally we can compete for a championship with our dominant defense, verge of stardom receivers, and strong passing and running from our QB.   3rd and 8's with Shea's scrambling ability will seem much more achievable this year.


June 25th, 2018 at 11:32 AM ^

This interview is a lot of fluff about toughness, etc. I don't doubt Warinner will make the line better, but I don't think it's because he "demands toughness." Our problem last year was the line was soft, it was they didn't know what the fuck they were doing most of the time. I think having a good coach, and a single coach handling OL instead of splitting like last year, will help that. I buy the "he's simplifying things" as the way we're going to see instant improvement, not a change in attitude or trying harder. 


June 25th, 2018 at 12:56 PM ^

In fairness, it's hard to be tough when you have no clue where the hit is coming from. 

I do think there is a coaching aspect of toughness. Some coaches lean more towards technique, tactic and execution while others learn more towards physical aggression to solve problems. Both can achieve good results and both are open to flaws. What stood out to me in the article is the definition of a Warinner type player being a smart mauler. I.e. he knows who to hit and then hits him. 


June 25th, 2018 at 1:11 PM ^

I like our chances: Harbaugh recruits, Ben Herbert (Wisconsin grad) jacks them up in the weight room and Warriner coaches them up on the practice field sounds like a great recipe for an O line

Perkis-Size Me

June 25th, 2018 at 2:22 PM ^

I know we're in great hands (finally) on the OL. I watched that Sugar Bowl against Alabama. I saw him do to Alabama's defensive line what I'm not sure I've ever seen another team do in Saban's entire tenure there. 

I saw what his OLs did to Michigan every year he was at OSU. If he can get this OL to get even remotely close to what he created at OSU, this program is a playoff contender.


June 25th, 2018 at 3:33 PM ^

And once they got by Bama, Oregon's smaller D-line had no chance.

The biggest thing I remember about that OSU O-line is that at the beginning of the year they were very shaky. OSU dropped their 2nd game of the year to Va. Tech and the offensive line was a big reason why. I remember after that game a lot of people thought it would be a rebuild year for the Buckeyes.

Which is why if UM's line doesn't look like a hyper-death machine against ND, I'm not too worried. However, I do think it would be ok to become uneasy after several games if not much improvement is seen.


June 25th, 2018 at 6:07 PM ^

Ed is a good OL coach.  Period, end of story.  As long as no one asks for much more he will be a solid addition.

He is a lousy recruiter, doesn't relate to players or parents well.  He is an awful play caller and he is not particularly endearing as a human. There are two reasons he is not at OSU: Recruiting and play calling. 

He brought some real dogs to OSU as recruits.  Since he left most of them transferred out or have been passed up by the guys Studrawa has brought in since he came in 2016.  Studrawa killed it last year getting 3-5* OL's last year and took over the OL/OL recruiting in 2016 when Ed moved up to the booth. 

The OSU OL is in better shape depth-wise/talent-wise today than it has been since Tressel's heyday.  That is a scary thought when you realize they survived on patchwork and good luck from 2012-16.



SMart WolveFan

June 25th, 2018 at 11:23 PM ^

Really seems counter intuitive, especially for Oline which is the position recruiting services have the hardest time predicting, that a team is in better shape with the person who can "sign" the better potential than with the person who molds what he's given into a cohesive unit.I

O well moneyball and recruiting stars o my


June 26th, 2018 at 5:27 PM ^

No doubt about it, Ed is a heck of an O line coach.  His elevation to co-OC was the peter principle at work (although I lay most of the blame for the 2015 loss to MSU at the feet of Tim Beck, but the Clemson Fiesta Bowl debacle was all Ed's by that point). 

He's a friend so I want to see him do very well for you guys, except for the 4th Saturday in November.  In fact, I want him to do so well, that he gets hired away as a HC by another school. 

I just wish UM fans would tap the brakes a bit.  It's going to take him some time.  That O-line that bull dozed Bama in the Sugar Bowl on 1/1/2015 was a pathetic mess in early September that season.  I think Ed is much better at player development than talent evaluation and recruiting.  He was with Ohio State for the 2012 through 2016 seasons.  By my count, Ohio State enrolled 22 O linemen during his tenure.  He probably wasn't the lead recruiter for all of them, as most schools, including Ohio State, assign assistant coaches geographic areas to recruit.  I think Ed's was NY, NJ, parts of PA, parts of OH, and probably some other areas.  Of the 22 O linemen, 12 were 4 stars, 10 were 3 stars.  Here's the good.  4 are now in the NFL (Decker, Elflein, Price, and J. Jones).  Two first rounders, two Rimington winners.  Current O line coach Studrawa had as much to do with the development of Price and J. Jones as did Ed (probably more so with Jones).  5 current starters were freshmen when Ed was at Ohio State (although Bowen and Knox split time last year after Bowen's injury).  The bad:  Only 2 O linemen recruited when Ed was there are currently reserves, but only one is in the two deep.  11 have transferred or left football.  That's what Urban is talking about when he mentioned the lack of depth on the O line.  Basically 50% (probably closer to 60%) of the O line recruits by Ohio State during 2012-2016 have been busts/whiffs.  You can't have that.  Again, I'm not saying Ed recruited all those busts.  Finally, for the first time in several years, Ohio State has a legitimate two deep/three deep on the O line.  I'm not saying Studrawa recruited them all, but I also think this was another factor in Ed's departure from Ohio State after the Fiesta Bowl debacle.  Jordan got hurt and it was all she wrote.  

Ed is a great O line coach, but like any coach, talent means everything and it will take some time to develop what you've got there currently.  I wouldn't expect him, by himself, to improve your O line recruiting or talent.