How ideal Michigan offensive coaching staff would look

During the week, Land of 10 reporters following the Wolverines answer questions on the minds of Michigan fans. Submit a question or suggest a topic by sending a tweet here to Rachel Lenzi. Check back Monday through Friday as we answer the Michigan Question of the Day. Go here to see our previous answers. 

What would be the best coaching lineup for Michigan’s offense?

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh made a statement about his offense that caused more than a few people to perk up at its mention.

“On offense right now, we’re going through a self-scout period and looking at ways to get our offense up to where our defense is,” Harbaugh said on Feb. 7. “All those assignments are yet to be determined.”

Change is coming to Michigan’s offense. It could be a full overhaul, or some minor tinkering. Whatever it is, something’s going to be different about this coaching staff. The responsibilities will be different. The titles might be, too. There might be another new face, too, as Jim McElwain will reportedly accept a job at Michigan.

Here’s a suggestion: Create a more defined division of labor within the coaching staff. Here’s how the ideal staff would look:

  • Jim McElwain, offensive coordinator: If Michigan makes the investment in McElwain, then give him free rein of the offense. Let him attempt to rekindle what made him a successful coordinator at Alabama, and what made his offenses successful at Colorado State. This is McElwain’s chance to revitalize his identity as an offensive mind. McElwain’s offenses were 112th (334.0 yards), 116th (344.0) and 110th (335.9) in the nation in his three seasons at Florida.
  • Tim Drevno, offensive line: Coaching the offensive line is Drevno’s bread and butter. This year, Drevno has to repair and improve Michigan’s pass protection. He has to instill confidence in an offensive line that lost two starters and is in flux as spring practices approach. His job at Michigan this year is to create an effective offensive line.
  • Pep Hamilton, quarterbacks/wide receivers: Isolate the passing game, and maximize it. Hamilton can use his NFL perspective (including his work with quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Chad Pennington) and more than 20 years of coaching to emphasize the relationship between quarterbacks and wide receivers. Michigan returns all but one of its wide receivers from last season.
  • Sherrone Moore, tight ends: Moore will concentrate on coaching only tight ends. Moore’s focus will be on grooming and refining tight ends Zach Gentry and Sean McKeon instead of being an assistant who splits his time between multiple responsibilities.
  • Jay Harbaugh, running backs: Harbaugh impressed his charges with his initial preparation when he took over as Michigan’s running backs coach more than a year ago. The running backs responded, finishing fourth in the Big Ten in rushing offense (177.7 yards). Now, Harbaugh has to optimize Michigan’s run-game production, particularly from Karan Higdon and Chris Evans.

Here’s one more suggestion for Michigan as it revamps its offensive staff: Eliminate the coordinator titles for people who aren’t offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator or special teams coordinator.

Read more answers to questions about the Michigan Wolverines here

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