Ex-Michigan linebacker Dhani Jones: Patience is running thin with Rich Rodriguez
New York Jets receiver Braylon Edwards isn’t the only former Michigan football player frustrated at the direction of the program under Rich Rodriguez.
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Dhani Jones said Monday on “The Jim Rome Show” that Michigan needs to show major improvement next year after 2 straight losing seasons under Rodriguez.
Ann Arbor News file photo
Rome asked Jones, “What do you think about the program and the job Rodriguez is doing?”
“Up to this point it really hasn’t been that good of a job at all,” Jones said. “But then you have to look at the perspective of how long it takes for a class to change over to be his class. There’s a lot of different things, but as a Michigan man you expect things to be changed in an instant. Sometimes you have to have a little bit more patience.
“Two years, my patience are running a bit thin. So next year it’s going to be really a qualifying or disqualifying year for his ability as a coach to get the program in the right direction. And I don’t think many people will stand for it if he doesn’t do a good job next year.”
In television introductions before Sunday’s Jets-Bengals game, Edwards said he was from “Lloyd Carr’s University of Michigan.”
Both Jones and Edwards played for Carr, who retired after the 2007 season. Rodriguez is 8-16 as Michigan coach.
Jones, the Bengals’ leading tackler who helped Cincinnati with the AFC North with a 10-6 record, addressed several other topics in the interview:
â€¢ On his time in Cincinnati: “it’s been a growth experience. Coming from so many different organizations, coming from New York, coming from Philadelphia then coming to Cincinnati, they’ve really embraced me and the things I like to do and allowed me to play free. It’s been an amazing experience. I appreciate sort of the second birth of playing football. Being on the street for a couple weeks it really puts a lot of things in perspective and I’m grateful and I love playing.”
â€¢ On how being released by the Saints on the eve of the 2007 season changed his perspective: “It taught me how to really turn the switch on and off. In the offseason really commit to things that I want to do, then when you get into the season you really put your head down and you focus on the task at hand. I think a lot of people try to use the dimmer and they kind of do some things on the field and do some things off the field, when really when it comes time to play football you have to commit all your resources, all your energy, all your mental faculties to playing football so that you can play your best game.
â€¢ On overcoming the death of teammate Chris Henry: "I think it's important to think about what he thought, what he wanted you to think about. As he lived and as he passed, he concerned himself more with football than most people. His life was football, that's what he thought about, that's what he cared about. Football and his family. This kid, that was his focus. So when you play football recognize that that's what he wants you to do. A lot of times people don't know how you're supposed to grieve and when you really look at it, look at what people celebrated in their life and you celebrate that in your life through playing football for Chris and that makes it a more comfortable experience."
Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.