Coach Jim Harbaugh learned firsthand from Bo about treating everyone the same and not giving anyone special privileges. Jim learned that when he, at one time, came late to a team meeting. Bo didn’t have any trouble telling Jim in no uncertain terms what he expected-Jim never came late again to a team meeting. Jim’s players also know about not being late to meetings. Jim learned clearly on that day about order [organization] and deference [to admire and support a superior] without exception.
Coach Harbaugh also learned from Bo that players have to be able to accept injury, blame, and even criticism; and especially admit to error on the practice or playing field. Jim has no difficulty communicating mistakes to his young players. Jim even admitted his mistake during one early-season game regarding a penalty flag thrown against his team. He forgot that the NFL rules are different than the collegiate rules and admitted so on his Monday evening radio show in Ann Arbor. Jim can be seen on the sidelines coaching and demonstrating to his players as they come off the field-especially quarterback Jake Rudock. Currently, coach Harbaugh hopes that defensive end- linebacker Mario Ojemudia after suffering an Achilles injury will be able to return as a fifth year starter.
With Bo, players became solidified and close. Former All-American Mike Keller called it “a band of brothers” acknowledging it was like in some ways, like being in a foxhole with your buddies. You look out for yourself, do your assignment, and be willing to sacrifice your own personal glory for the sake of your team. Players don’t have to subvert all of their personality. However, they know that if the team is successful, the individual players are also going to be successful. Since football as a team game, it is imperative that you rely on that teammate next to you. Pay attention to your assignment, be part of the team. Do your defensive responsibility first. Once you do your responsibility, then go to the ball like your hair is on fire. It’s always about the team, the team and the team. Respect the team, learn the playbook and don’t get into trouble on or off the field.
In 1969, after three and two record and behind at halftime, Bo’s players began playing as a team, and then became unstoppable. Jim’s team has a five and one record with three consecutive shutouts. As with Bo’s teams, the defense dominates, but Jim’s players are beginning to function in unison. Michigan, this Saturday, the 17th battles archrival Michigan State University -Spartans. The winner in this game will more than likely challenge Ohio State for the Big Ten title. Jim have your team kick Sparty in the ass so we can see, Bo’s smile from here.