It seems the Michigan Wolverines don’t believe in wasting anytime, since they fired offensive coordinator Al Borges and hired offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier from Alabama as their new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach all in the same day according to multiple reports on Wednesday (January 8th, 2014).
However, it was on Thursday (January 9th, 2014) that Michigan confirmed the hiring of Doug Nussmeier:
According to Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports, Nussmeier didn’t come cheap since they were expected to make him one of the top five highest-paid assistant coaches in college football:
I have to say, I think he is worth it. When it comes Nussmeier, you’re talking about a man who took Alabama’s already impressive offense to the next level. While Nussmeier was at Alabama, he helped them to win the 2012 BCS national championship all while setting records for offensive touchdowns scored, total points, and total offense and keep in mind that this all took place in his first year with Alabama and he did a great job this year, despite the issues with the offensive line.
Plus I like the fact that he knows how to develop talent, specifically at the quarterback position. During his time at Washington, he worked with quarterback Jake Locker and improved his quarterback rating by more than 20 points. Don’t forget the work he did when Washington had to replace Jake Locker with Keith Price. During that time, Keith Price and the Washington offense thrived under Nussmerei, jumping from 76th nationally in total offense in 2010 to 38th a year later. He did the same thing with quarterback AJ McCarron, before he came to Alabama, McCarron had proven his worth but it was Nussmeier who help to turn McCarron into the great college quarterback that he is now.
If that’s not enough, just remember what he did with Michigan’s in-state rival Michigan State, during his time there he developed quarterback Drew Stanton, who is now in the NFL.
He even helped Marc Bulger make it to a Pro Bowl in 2006 season during his time with the St. Louis Rams. The point being, that Nussmerei is one of the best quarterback developers which is what the Wolverines want and need. He may only be 43 years old, but he has great experience full of success and his track record shows it.
However, I must say that it isn’t all success with Nussmerei. During the Sugar Bowl, certain areas of his scheme were exposed. At times during the season as well in the Sugar Bowl, he underutilized certain players, then there were times that he didn’t run the ball consistently. Now none of this is to say that he is a bad hire, I’m simply saying these are certain areas to watch during his time at Michigan.
Anther question that comes to mind, is what type of offensive scheme will he bring to Michigan. I personally believe he will continue using the pro-style offense but some are unsure about what type of offense he will run. According to Ian Rapport of NFL.com, he ran Nick Saban’s playbook at Alabama just like all of his coaches do:
One thing about Doug Nussmeier at Bama: He ran Saban’s playbook. All of his coaches do. It’s an unknown what system he’ll bring to Michigan.—
Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 09, 2014
Overall, I think this a good hire, Michigan needed someone who can run pro style attack effectively, bring offensive balance, develop talent (specifically the quarterback position) and recruit. I don’t know about you but I believe Nussmerei provides each one of those factors.
Michigan has a handful of available quarterbacks and running backs along with a solid core of wide receivers with size and speed, so there is no reason to think that Michigan’s offense can’t be as good as it once was under Nussmerei.
Written by LBeasley, Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
Listen to LBeasley’s Radio Show, “Sports Talk with L-Beasley” every Mon, Wed & Fri from 6-8pm (ET) on LBeasley.com