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Off Tackle Empire Exclusive Interview with Michigan Head Coach Rich Rodriguez

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Ladies and Gentlemen:

When Jon Franz and I started this blog, our goal was simple: Give football fans analysis or discussion about Big Ten football that they couldn't get anywhere else. At our best, we accomplished this through editorializing about the many aspects of Midwestern football. Today, we take Off Tackle into uncharted waters in the form of an exclusive interview with University of Michigan Head Coach, Rich Rodriguez. Earlier this year, I pitched the idea of an X's and O's discussion to Coach Rodriguez. He agreed to do it and eventually our schedules matched up - I hope you enjoy the result of my interview.

Some highlights include:

  • Mike Martin's new nickname... "The Manster" (1:30)
  • Development of the Spread offense...(3:34)
  • Decision making by the QB: Spread v. Pro Style...(5:20)
  • Coach Rod wants his linemen to be able to move, but they don't have to be a certain size. "I like all the Jake Longs I can take"...(6:00)
  • "More people getting drafted (into the NFL) from spread offenses than any other offense"...(6:30)
  • How to beat the zone read...(7:01)
  • How to hit the hole when there's zone blocking...(10:00)
  • The power of Michigan football, seen through human relationships...(11:45)
  • What Coach looks for in a quarterback: "...like a point guard that can shoot the three"...(17:10)
  • Rich on Big Ten expansion...(18:30)
  • Recruiting is all about establishing relationships...(19:15)
  • What Rich loves about game day in Ann Arbor...(20:30)


Some other notes of interest and a thank you:

  • I am very, very impressed the way Rich broke down film for me. Very methodical - you can tell he knows what he wants from each play.
  • There may be some discussion of why I didn't ask Coach about lawsuits and sanctions, etc. I've never been really interested in that aspect, frankly. I'm the guy who watches offensive line play the whole game or who discusses throwing angles. Plus that topic has been beaten to death.
  • Some of the video was shot in HD, some wasn't. But I enjoyed the sit down so much that I refused to cut anything for time purposes. This in turn caused me to have a HUGE file that had to be compressed, thus hurting the video quality. Lesson - I'm a blogger, not a tech guy. You're not watching this to see my "three times broken" nose in HD anyways.
  • MAC users, you may want to use Safari instead of other browsers. Just a suggestion I heard.
  • My thanks to Coach Rodriguez for taking time out of his schedule to talk football. I very much appreciated this opportunity to sit down with him.