There is no question that the seat is getting hotter by the week with Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines. Chief among their problems right now is the failure to execute on the defensive side of the ball, which reared its ugly head once again on Saturday in the 38-21 loss on the road at Indiana.
Harbaugh spoke to the media after the game and said that he feels the team is close to turning a corner, but that the next step is getting the players to trust in themselves on Saturdays.
“My personal feeling is we’re close to doing it (on the field),” Harbaugh said. “You see it done. You see it happening and then it’s got to take the next step of happening in the games. There are guys that are doing it and others will get it and you just keep coaching. As a coach, that’s what you’ve got to do. You keep coaching and players keep learning and get the experience. That confidence in their ability to make the play, not to hesitate and to let it go. Let it happen. Make that quick decisive decision that leads to success.”
Harbaugh’s seat is warm, but defensive coordinator Don Brown’s might be blistering. Despite another poor showing on that side of the ball on Saturday, Michigan’s head coach said that he is confident in Brown and the staff to get it figured out.
“Yes I do,” Harbaugh said. “Very much so. I love all of our coaches, every coach on this staff. They work extremely hard, their schemes are very good and they’re coaching good. Just keep forging ahead, stay after it to make that next step. Critical step.”
Harbaugh’s common refrain after the effort on Saturday in Bloomington was that the players are showing the coaches flashes of talent in practice and that they believe the preparation has been strong. His staff is doing everything he says that they can to speed up the process with so many games still to go this year.
“As coaches, we’re trying to speed that up as much as possible, and I feel like we’re going to get there,” Harbaugh said. “But we’re playing good teams every week, and gotta get there fast, a little faster. As a coach you’re out there living every play with these guys. You know they have it in them, and just making that connection to doing it and trusting themselves and their abilities.”
It has to happen quickly, as Michigan plays a Wisconsin team looking to get back on the field after two missed games due to COVID-19 within the program. That game kicks off next Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. from Ann Arbor.