What About Scottie Hazelton Quotes
It’s not often the media gets a chance to speak to the team’s most criticized non-head coach after a demoralizing loss, but the weekly rotation has made it that way for football of the State of Michigan.
Scottie Hazelton was scheduled to speak to the media on Tuesday after Jay Johnson spoke a week ago following the Washington loss.
After a second straight defeat in which Hazelton’s ball side looked incompetent, he was grilled by the media and his answers actually leave more questions than I would have hoped.
Let’s dive into some of the answers to his questions about media availability.
Michigan State football defense ‘not far off’?
One of the quotes that really made me scratch my head is this:
How can he think the defense isn’t that far behind after giving up back-to-back monster games offensively against Washington and Minnesota? The defense was on fire every game for more than 500 yards and Tanner Morgan had one of the best games of his career in the air – the same goes for Michael Penix Jr.
Not that far would mean the defense showed some flashes in those games, but it didn’t force a single punt against Minnesota. Not exactly what I would call a defense that isn’t “super far” from fixing things. This defense turned out to be very unpromising.
And injuries don’t help with Khris Bogle, Jacob Slade, Simeon Barrow, Jeff Pietrowski, Xavier Henderson and Darius Snow all falling this year.
So, although Mel Tucker said there were going to be personnel changes this year, Hazelton doesn’t think personnel are a problem? There is some sort of disconnect or miscommunication.
Even more confusing.
This I can understand and agree with. Henderson was the leader of the defense and not having him as a quarterback is tough on the unit as a whole. But we can’t use that as an excuse for why all unity seems lost.
Hazelton should use the rest of the season as an opportunity to prove he’s the right guy for the job, but if we continue to see teams passing over 300 yards because players say they didn’t expect to a pass-heavy attack, he has to go.
I don’t think these changes should be made mid-year, but the rest of the season should be an audition, of sorts, for him.