YPSILANTI, Mich. — Enough is enough!
Your old Uncle Mel and all of his nieces and nephews that have watch Eastern Michigan University football this entire season have had enough of watching terrible football.
Uncle Mel is upset and refuses to watch any more of that garbage that Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English and his coaching staff allows to be on display and masquerading as an acceptable style of football at Rynearson Stadium or any other football venue because-it is not!
Let Uncle Mel take all the nieces and nephews back on a little time travel oh don’t worry it not far, just back to the hot month of July, inside the air condition home of the Detroit Lions, the spacious Ford Field located in beautiful downtown Detroit at the annual Mid-American Conference Media Event.
English sat in his folding chair at the round table and his back pressing literally against the wall, as he answered questions about the 2012 football season at Eastern Michigan University.
He talked that morning about his team being confident in the fundamentals of basic football. He said his team is excited about getting the season started but most important, English wanted to talk about being a winning program and he wanted to talk about taking that next giant step toward being a respectable NCAA football program.
The 2012 season is now 10 weeks old and with just two more weeks to go, the Eagles have only one win to show to the world and in the conference, the Eagles are still looking to get their first win. The Eagles have an excellent chance at finishing the 2012 season with an overall record of 1-11 and winless in the Mid-American Conference.
English took over a floundering football program in 2009 and he had to endure and overcome a winless season. He dealt with and dismissed unhappy players, fired undermining coaches but when he stood out side the visitor locker room at the University of Arkansas and told your old Uncle that it is a matter of trust there was a look of concern in the eyes of one wary coach.
English did show all of the followers of the Eagle Nation that there is a light at the end of a tunnel, when last season the Eagles finished the season with an overall record of 6-6 and English was named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year.
It appeared that Eastern Michigan University football would be entering the road to success but something happen and the road soon became a rough and a out-of-control ride crashing and burning along the way. The Eagles took a detour around the road of success and have fallen back to the old and comfortable ways of losing.
The warning sign appeared during and after the first game of the season, Eastern Michigan University opened the 2012 season under the lights, a late summer August night and a conference game- a chance to make a bold statement to the league and to the NCAA.
Instead of playing like a team that made the necessary changes and ready for that giant step toward respectability, it turned into something that you step into and it does not smell like roses.
After the game, English said that his team played without any kind of electricity, no emotion. His team’s performance left him disappointed but he promised to address the issues and get the mistakes fixed.
What unfolded on that warm August night in Muncie, Indiana at Ball State University especially on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage is continuing-nothing is repaired.
English looked for an escape goat for the dismal play of his squad; he looked into his offensive backfield and decided that the problem was senior quarterback Alex Gillett. So at the start of the second half at Ross-Ade Stadium at Purdue University, Gillett found himself relaying offensive signals from the sideline to sophomore quarterback Tyler Benz.
English said, after the Boilermakers defeated the Eagles 54-16, that he felt putting Benz in at quarterback gave the Eagles the better option for the offense that English wanted to play.
Instead of working and improving with what worked in the past and is successful for the Eagles offense. A strong running game featuring Gillett but now with an explosive halfback that suddenly appeared after four games and running for 238 yards against the University of Toledo, the talented Bronson Hill.
Hill is a raw talent but he posses the ability to run between the tackles and around the tackles, he is fast and he is a bruising tailback but with that being recognized, he is another weapon from the backfield in the arsenal of the rushing game.
The option for English does not end with Hill, he can turn to Javonti Greene, Ryan Brumfield or Dominique Sherrer each halfback posses a different style of unique running ability.
What Gillett and the halfbacks provide for the Eagle offense is a running game that could have opened up the passing game. It would have created a balanced offense instead of being predictable.
The running game would have developed the offensive line, a chance for them to be a positive addition to the offense.
Is Gillett the next coming of Tom Brady, the next Joe Montana, the next Walt Church or even the next Charlie Batch the answer to that question is a simple-No!
English laughed and said that the Eagles are not a good enough football program to have a quarterback controversy, so if that is true, then why would English give up on a senior quarterback that started 30 games?
Gillett has done everything that English has asked him to do, including being the escape goat for the coach that could not be patient and stay with the offense that works.
So niece and nephews at beginning of the second half of the game against Central Michigan University last Saturday afternoon, English called upon Gillett to rescue the Eagles and to save English. Gillett all most did it too, he did get the Eagles an 11 point lead and placed the fate of the game in the unreliable hands of the Eagle defense.
Eastern Michigan University’s offense in many games play well enough this season and scored what should have been plenty of points but the defense can’t keep the other team out of the end zone.
The defense for the Eagles is the running joke of the conference because everything and anybody can run forever against the Eastern Michigan University defense because that would require that this defense would be able to tackle someone.
It would require that this defense be able to stop an offense, create a turnover and play the game of football with a high degree of intelligent and have a basic working knowledge of the general rules of the game of football.
What they continue on doing is continue to collect penalties that extend drives, play defensive backs that are so light that they actually bounce off of wide receivers, linebackers that are constantly out of position and a defensive line that does not take control of the line of scrimmage.
Eastern Michigan University defense is the worst defense in the NCAA. This defense is last in stopping the run and is first at giving up too many points, they do not sack anybody and they have six interception for the entire season.
English came to Ypsilanti and to the Eastern Michigan University as a rising star with a reputation of being a coach that can teach defense. English hired as his defensive coordinator Phil Snow and said that Snow is talented enough to be coaching at any Division 1 NCAA program.
The only problem with that statement is that Snow is not at another football program and both coaches philosophies about defense is not penetrating the defensive players which seems to be the occurring theme because this defense is not penetrating offenses lines either.
At the press conference, after last Saturday’s 34-31, Eagles defeat by the mighty Chippewas, English said that the clock is ticking for all of us. Well Uncle Mel agrees with English but add this adjustment- the clock is stopped and time is up!
If the cards on the table play out the way Uncle Mel predict, then after four years directing the Eagles, then English’s record at Eastern Michigan University will be a remarkable 9-38 and that is a winning percentage of 19 percent.
The football coach at Eastern Michigan University before English, Jeff Genyk spent five years at the helm of the Eagle’s football program and finished his tenure with 16 wins and a winning percentage of 27 percent.
Genyk replaced former Eastern Michigan University football coach and who is now an Assistant Coach at the University of Texas-El Paso Jeff Woodruff in 2003 and after little over four years Woodruff won nine games and lost 20 for a percentage of 21 percent.
Enough is enough and Uncle Mel says the writing is on the wall and it is time for a change.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.