ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A bitterly disappointing end to Michigan's 2018 season made one thing clear: The Wolverines' offense needed a genuine shakeup.
The offenses Jim Harbaugh had won with as a Michigan player, and had employed successfully with both Stanford and the San Francisco 49ers, weren't cutting it. Michigan couldn't ride top-10 defenses filled with NFL players to championships.
After several key offensive coaches left for other opportunities, Harbaugh turned to Josh Gattis, the co-offensive coordinator at Alabama, to reshape the unit. The 35-year-old Gattis had never been a primary playcaller, but had important roles in record-setting offenses at Penn State and Alabama, two programs that, like Michigan, broke away from their traditional schemes.
Gattis and his offense, based around a #speedinspace philosophy, is the top story for Michigan entering Harbaugh's pivotal fifth season. The angst is rising after Michigan needed two overtimes Saturday to outlast 23-point underdog Army 24-21, in a game where the offense committed three turnovers and six penalties, and struggled with short-yardage run situations.
Will No. 10 Michigan's offense blossom and ultimately propel the team to championships, or will more of the same create genuine pressure around a decorated coach who hasn't delivered?
I watched the Army game and last week spoke with Gattis and others who know him to break down Michigan's offense and where it goes from here.