He’s not static. You have to give Jim Harbaugh that. Nor is he afraid of change, at least within his coaching staff and his roster.
Just look at Michigan football’s program a little over a year ago, when Harbaugh decided the promising young quarterbacks that were either there or on the way – Brandon Peters, Dylan McCaffery, Joe Milton – weren’t quite ready to step into the role.
So he went after Shea Patterson.
In his four years at U-M, Harbaugh has shown he can recruit, that he isn’t afraid to move on from long-time assistant coaches, that he will do almost anything to sell the block “M.”
And, now, he is signaling he is willing to reconsider his offense. How much remains to be seen. But hiring Josh Gattis, who was Alabama’s co-offensive coordinator, is as bold a move as he’s made.
At least it could be.
Gattis comes with a background in aggressive passing attacks. A style of play Harbaugh hasn’t completely embraced during his time at U-M.
And while Gattis hasn’t been a primary play caller, he has worked with coaches – and in systems – that feature next-level playmakers.
It’s unclear how much control Harbaugh will give him. Yet it’s reasonable to assume that Gattis wouldn’t be here if Harbaugh didn’t want to change his offensive approach.
He saw the national title game last Monday. He saw the best two teams in the country turn their quarterbacks loose from the opening kick. He saw the difference between his Wolverines and the offenses Alabama and Clemson rolled out.
He knows that to get to that level, and to start beating Ohio State, his current offensive system wasn’t enough.