Add Detroit News columnist Terry Foster to the list of reporters who have attempted to cast a negative shadow over a Michigan team that is 4-2 with two losses by a grand total of eight points.
To Foster, replacing a first-year quarterback (who has been replaced before) on a team that has lost two out of six games, after a 3-9 season, including one against a top twelve team, is a sign of "friction."
"Michigan needs to get everyone on the same page," the title of his article proclaimed this morning.
Here's the gist of the article: "If you listened to Rodriguez address the media, all is well in the land of maize and blue. But it is not. There is something wrong with this brew. The chemistry is not as strong as it should be and it is one of the reasons doubts are hovering over this program."
Foster's (objective?) game-recap article assures us that Tate's disappointment with being replaced by Denard Robinson in the fourth quarter has created "another cloud of doubt...settling over this program after their second straight loss."
Well folks, with Halloween right around the corner, the witch hunters are officially out hunting again.
Excuse me? Doubts hovering over the program? Which doubts are those exactly?
Chemistry, you say? Is this the same lack of chemistry that propelled us to our first 4-0 record in years? The same lack of chemistry that brought us back to win several games? The same lack of chemistry that almost brought us back to win this game?
No, no. It couldn't be the fact that we are an incredibly young and inexperienced team. It couldn't be that we have recruited poorly at several key defensive positions for several years prior to Rodriguez's arrival.
It couldn't be that we have a freshman quarterback running a year-and-a-half-old system.
And it couldn't be that we have a new defensive coordinator teaching young defensive players new assignments. No, no. It's the sign of a deeper problem on the team. Not only do we lack chemistry, but there is now genuine doubt over the program.
Give me a break!
Terry Foster also whined about Rodriguez not giving him "the truth"?
What exactly would you like Rodriguez to say?
"Um, I thought Tate was really awful today, and I didn't think he did a particularly good job? He told me he wasn't happy with my decision, and I told him he's no longer in my weekly bookclub."
The truth is exactly what Coach Rodriguez said it was: he put in Denard to provide a spark. What about that don't you understand? Do you really think you are entitled to the substance of sideline communications between a player and coach? Do you really think Rodriguez would tell you?
Foster needs to stop creating doubt where none exists. For his thesis to have any credibility, he should ask Michigan players, the overwhelming majority of whom have bought into the new system and have consistently expressed their firm belief that the team is united, about chemistry.
He shouldn't rely on the fact that Rodriguez didn't give him a better headline at a press conference, or the fact that we lost two straight games by a total of eight points.
Why can't a tough road loss just be a tough road loss? Why do reporters like Foster have to insinuate something deeper every...single...time? Reading articles like his are simply nauseating, but are just par for the course for those local reporters who use anything negative to automatically conclude that doubt surrounds the program.
If Foster keeps it up, he'll have given this blog another local newspaper to boycott.