Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Michigan's defense and the stuffed animal
By Adam Rittenberg
Greg Robinson's coaching methods have been a subject of great scrutiny as the Michigan defense continues to backslide.
But things got weird -- and amusing -- in Saturday's game against Wisconsin.
After Michigan forced a fumble early in the third quarter, linebacker Kenny Demens and others returned to the sideline, where they were greeted by Robinson, the Wolverines' defensive coordinator. Robinson approached Demens and appeared to rub his face with ... a stuffed animal.
Check it out. I wish I could make this stuff up.
Whatever Robinson was holding didn't prove to be much of a good luck charm, as Michigan's defense reverted to its fundamentally flawed ways down the stretch as Wisconsin called 28 consecutive run plays to close out a 48-28 win.
But the stuffed animal was a major topic of discussion at Michigan's news conference Monday. Not that the Wolverines really wanted to discuss it.
"Are you saying there's an animal on the sidelines? Next question," defensive end Craig Roh said.
Nose tackle Mike Martin confirmed the animal exists but said, "It's a secret. ... That's kind of our thing. That's the defense's thing. I can't talk about that. That's got to stay in our room, our little thing."
The animal sighting sparked a series of burning questions: What was it? A Wolverine? A Badger? A Liger?
Will Robinson bring the stuffed animal to Columbus this week? Is it a staple for Michigan, or does Robinson switch it up every week?
Hey, at this stage of the season, Michigan should be trying just about anything to help its woeful defense.
My suggestion: Jobu.
Can't you year Robinson in the locker room before Saturday's game? "Running backs, Wolverines are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from Wolverines. I offer him cigar and rum. He will come."