It’s not exactly a secret that Rich Rodriguez’s downfall at Michigan — aside from that whole Michigan Man malarkey — was the team’s defense in his tenure. More specifically, the lack of defense. It doesn’t matter much that your offense can score 30 points a game when it’s allowing 35. So one of the first things that new head coach Brady Hoke has to fix if he wants to avoid Rodriguez’s fate is the Michigan defense.
And all indications are that he’s looking to the NFL to find the man to do it. Several reports on Monday say that current Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Greg Mattison has had talks with Michigan about taking the same role there.
Mattison has ties to both Hoke and Michigan, as both have worked together under Jack Harbaugh at Western Michigan, and at Michigan under Lloyd Carr. In his two seasons as Baltimore’s defensive coordinator, where he replaced current Jets head coach Rex Ryan, Mattison’s defenses finished third and tenth in the NFL.
If he can bring that kind of success to Ann Arbor, then it may not be long until Michigan is once again competing for Big Ten titles. Though if he has any stuffed animals that he uses as motivational tools, he should probably leave them behind in Baltimore. Maybe bring Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs instead.