It’s ridiculous to say about Mark Dantonio and his staff, “Their failure to adapt is malpractice.” It’s not just ridiculous to say this, it’s insane.
I just read an article written by one of The Experts who types up stories for one of the Detroit newspapers.
In the article, the Detroit newspaper person says that Mark Dantonio’s “failure to adapt is malpractice.”
This is insane.
It’s a great example of how the insanity of the era we have to live in presently surrounds us at all times.
And this particular Expert is usually pretty rational and sane in the ways he expresses his Expertise.
Stop and really think about the words that this Expert wrote –
“Their failure to adapt is malpractice.”
That word seems to be a popular word these days as people throw it around as if they actually know what the word means.
Let’s get this out of the way in order to be perfectly clear –
The decision to go for the one yard on 4th and 1 from the Spartans’ own 11-yard line with the game still in the balance late in the 4th quarter of Michigan State’s 29-19 loss to Northwestern is a decision that can be and should be scrutinized.
The inability to gain the yard says a lot about how good, old fashioned toughness is not manifesting itself at key moments for Michigan State right now.
I wore a football helmet and competed on football fields in football games ions ago.
I never went toe-to-toe with Big Ten- or even Little Zero-caliber football players but I lined up on football fields and competed against other football players.
When a man has to line up, dig deep, and simply beat the man across from him, sometimes it boils down to some very basic things: execution, determination, toughness, and, yes, talent.
Sometimes football isn’t really all that complicated no matter how much we all want to believe that what we’re talking about requires really smart analysis – sometimes it’s really just as simple as needing to beat the guy across from you.
That didn’t happen on that 4th and 1 play and it’s something that, to me, has to do with current issues related to constant toughness and grit and execution that the program has to address.
Was it “malpractice” when Dantonio led the team to the 10-3 rebound season of a year ago?
And about that 10-3 rebound season of a year ago – the same Detroit newspaper guy who’s used the word “malpractice” has also said, in the same column, that last year’s 10-3 record was a “mirage.”
Did those ten wins not happen?
Does the Detroit newspaper person actually know what the word “mirage” means?
When Michigan State gut-punched – and out-coached – UMAA all night last year and left Ann Arbor with a 14-10 win, was that a “mirage?” To suggest it was a “mirage” is insane.
The Detroit newspaper person’s references to “weather” and other things that helped lead to the 2017 “mirage” are crazy.
After the 14-10 gut-punch that Dantonio delivered to UMAA last season, a Detroit newspaper person said to Dantonio during the post game press conference, “Coach – you coached conservatively once the weather kicked – ”
Dantonio cut The Expert off and said, emphatically, “We coached smartly.”
That point was a very overlooked point last year and it applies directly to any reference to last year being a “mirage.”
Dantonio’s entire game plan heading into Ann Arbor was predicated on getting a lead by halftime in order to take full advantage of the weather that a Detroit newspaper person now wants to say was some sort of “crutch” that let Michigan State get a “mirage” type of victory within a season that was, overall, a “mirage.”
When Matt Coghlin converted the game-winning kick against Penn State last season, what about his execution – to say nothing of the execution of the rest of the Spartans to get Michigan State into position to win that game under very challenging circumstances that Penn State had to deal with also – was a “mirage?”
There wasn’t anything “miragey” about last season’s 10-3 season.
The ten wins count – just like the three losses count.
And to suggest that Dantonio’s “failure to adapt is malpractice” is simply insane.
It’s very fair to point out areas where Dantonio and his staff has been stubborn and should work to analyze what the best schemes are from game to game based on the personnel Michigan State has at its disposal.
I’ll offer this – I continue to question why Brian Lewerke is not running the ball much more.
Lewerke is a weapon as a ball carrier and Michigan State appears to have urged him to limit his tuck-and-run mentality.
With a full slate of receivers as talented as the Spartans have, I can understand why and how Lewerke would be encouraged to prioritize his weapons rather than risk injury with open field running that might be easily “replaced” with downfield connections with the studs.
But the injuries, the tough sledding in the trenches, the overall red zone and short yardage struggles – that all seems to point to a need to let Lewerke loose.
He hasn’t been let loose and that’s bern frustrating – perhaps it’s more frustrating for Lewerke himself than it is for any of us who are sitting in our mother’s basement with a typewriter.
But to use the word “malpractice” related to the coaches’ handling of the Lewerke situation or any other situations within this season is outer-limits insane.
The word “malpractice” should be disallowed by The Journalism Experts and the arbiters who are in charge of letting regular people complain about the ways the coaches, the players, and the media do things.
Michigan State’s chances of going into Happy Valley this Saturday and coming away with a win appear to be slim.
However, I don’t think that Mark Dantonio and Dave Warner are currently devising a whole batch of new 4th and 1 running plays that feature Raequan Williams carrying the football.
I don’t think that Mark Dantonio and Mark Staten are currently considering lining up Matt Coghlin at center.
I don’t think that Mark Dantonio and Mike Tressel are saying to themselves, “Remember that ‘play call’ when Kyler Elsworth jumped over those guys and made that really cool tackle against Stanford in the Rose Bowl – maybe we should run that ‘play’ again….”
I don’t think Mark Dantonio is saying this to his staff right now in a room somewhere:
“Guys – this might sound weird – but – give me a list of the ten plays that have been the least successful this season by 8a tomorrow morning. I want to run those plays as often as possible this Saturday against Penn State.”
Saying that Dantonio’s “failure to adapt is malpractice” makes about as much sense as Dantonio standing up in front of the Fourth Estate and saying, “Guys – instead of talking about the Penn State game this Saturday right now, I want to explain to you why it was journalism malpractice on the part of Jim Murray when he wrote, about the Indy 500, that the start of the race should include the declaration, ‘Gentlemen – start your coffins.’ When Murray wrote that, he was being far too glib about the safety of the race car drivers and it introduced a flippancy to the way we all view athletes and the dangers they put themselves in by exposing themselves to injury and even possible death. That was journalism malpractice on the part of Jim Murray. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, does anyone have any questions about how we plan to deal with a possible 4th and 1 situation this coming Saturday against Penn State?”
If Mark Dantonio trots Brian Lewerke out onto the field despite Lewerke having sustained a second straight concussion-inducing head injury due to being flattened by an aggressive pass rush, maybe we can talk about “malpractice.”
If Dantonio chooses to sit Lewerke this Saturday and, instead, hand the offense over to fullback Max Rosenthal to see if Rosenthal can jumpstart the ground game and find ways for greater efficiency inside the red zone, perhaps we can suggest the three-time Big Ten Championship coach is guilty of “malpractice.”
If Mark Dantonio decides to move Jacub Panasiuk to safety this week because he thinks Panasiuk might flummox Trace McSorely by wandering around in that secondary while McSorley surveys the field before every snap, maybe then we can accuse Dantonio of coaching “malpractice.”
In the meantime, how about we leave the ridiculous hyperbole for the journalists and politicians who cover things going on in Washington for now?
How about we let the coach get his team ready for the sixth game of the season before we throw around words like “malpractice?”
It’s really not all that hard to “cover” the team without being ignorantly hyperbolic.