The on field spat between Michigan head coach Brady Hoke and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison is not a big deal. It really is not.
However, when a program is under attack people look closely to see if the walls are tumbling down. A number of NFL players told me to not judge teams by what happens on the sidelines during games. There are angry outbursts just about every game because players are caught in the heat of the moment and they are jacked up to perform.
Sometimes teammates get angry with each other. Sometimes coaches become angry with players and vice versa.
When I was the Michigan beat writer for the Detroit Free Press I used to meet with assistant coach Gary Moeller on Wednesday for a quick interview. I sat outside the meeting room and used to hear horrific, profanity filled rants inside the room. Coaches would call each other dumb, question their strategy and all kinds of things.
It was really loud and emotional.
Afterwards everything was OK. Sometimes a coach would leave the room with his arm around another’s shoulder as they broke for lunch.
It was probably the same for Hoke and Mattison. I bet there are no hard feelings. That is part of football. Hoke checked Mattison for being on the field when he should not have and Mattison fired back.
I do not worry about their friendship or relationship. I worry about if they are keeping this team together. That is the most important thing.
This is not about fixing a relationship. The focus needs to be on fixing a football team.