Damnit, cue another 1,000 threads on Tate and the helmet...
Thanks for the notes Tim.
Rich Rod and a couple of the team's stars in the trenches met with the media today.
Winged helmets - That's a team thing. It's usually more involved than 'is a guy out of shape?' It's more has he earned the wings?"In order to run out the tunnel on the fourth, everyone has to earn the wings. "You've got to appreciate the privilege you have to play here." Rodriguez expects everyone will meet the challenge.
Attention to detail good - guys done a good job picking up concepts. Pleased with special teams, and they're doing a couple new things schematically that he likes.
Had a couple really warm days. Need that to get guys in shape. Only had one 2-a-day so far.
Execution has been just OK offensively. Don't want any bad snaps or bad decisions. Defense - "Particularly because we've got a lot of our defensive package already in installed. I've been pleased with their mental part."
Number 1 jersey. hasn't been discussed in about two years. "It's not retired, but it's semi-retired at the moment."
They'll taper second-team reps about 8 or 9 days before the UConn game. Travel squad guys will get more reps at that point than those who are unlikely to play. That situation could change daily. More questions about the lineup are not a problem as long as it means there are more guys who can play.
QBs - "Wide open." They aren't consistent all the time. Hope we have enough confidence to play all three. Couldn't see it right now, because all three aren't playing to a high level. All three should get there before UConn.
RBs - "One guys stands out one day, today it was somebody else. It's probably as wide open as any position." With a couple physical practices this week, they'll have 2-3 guys hopefully.
Koger on the Mackey watchlist - "He's played quite a bit." Rodriguez puts no stock into preseason award watch lists. "If it helps motivate him to have a great year, that's great." Both Koger and Webb should have good years.
Stonum - returning and being a featured receiver. "He's had an outstanding camp so far." He, Martavious Odoms, and Terrance Robinson should be the top returners. "We expect a lot of Roy" Roundtree. He's in great shape.
Level of play has to get better on the offensive line. Experience doesn't necessarily mean you got better. So far, it's solid but not nearly good enough. It sounds like Dorrestein and Huyge have probably held off the younger guys so far, but "I couldn't tell you right now the depth chart" They're in great shape. Omameh: "Best I've seen him look" He and Schilling are good for a top pair of guards.
Freshman safeties have impressed. They've still had classes, etc. Anxious to see what they do once classes end and they can focus on football.
Will Hagerup has been really good. Today our kickers did a nice job. We haven't always been kicking field goals well. Hagerup tried some kickoffs, but is probably not in the mix for that. All kickers equal - Gibbons, Meram, and Broekhuizen.
Most experienced part of team. "I wouldn't say we're the most ahead..." in terms of schemes, but probably have the most leadership.
It's huge having Molk back. Not too deep at center. His return brings depth, experience, leadership.
RT - Who's looked good so far? Perry Dorrestein, Huyge, and Schofield are about even. Everybody's working and improving. Fair game, would be confident in any one of the three. LT Lewan competing with Huyge. That's wide open too. Both want it, both working hard. Tackle battles don't affect what he does - your technique doesn't change with who comes in.
Chemistry on interior is pretty good. Omameh had never played guard next to Molk until this fall. Right off the bat, things were clicking, working together all summer. "My knowledge has improved," talking with other interior OL, Molk and Schilling.
Patrick had never practiced at guard before his first start there last year. Not too much different, but little things you have to be aware of compared to tackle. "The guys were pretty big" when he came in last season. Played only tackle before, the tackles were tougher to block.
Denard - His knowledge of what we're trying to do has progressed. He still has the speed, quickness, etc. Combine it, and he's a lot more dangerous than he was.
RBs - everybody's had an impressive day or play. Excited to see what they'll do once the season hits. Vincent Smith coming back adds depth and experience. He's elusive, and it's great to have him back. He doesn't seem to be affected by the injury at all.
Maintaining 298-300 weight, even with heat. Was 251 pounds when he got here. Worked with Barwis. Made huge gains in strength, weight is just coming on. Only way he can tell he's heavier is the scale - still moves like he did before. Strength is evident when he's blocking.
Feel really good health-wise. "Feel really good, strong." Able to catch up strengthwise and get in shape during spring. "I was affected last year" by the injury. It became a mental game, and he tried to just not think about it. Put on pads and play.
D-Line - Those guys are doing a really good job. Everyone's stepping up. GB, RVB making plays. Getting to QBs and rushing the pass. WC, Sagesse, Patterson - adding depth, we can count on them. Adam Patterson is a senior, this is his year. We have a lot of depth with guys stepping up. Won't have a dropoff if someone goes out.
Will Campbell is camp roomies with Martin. The coaches might have put them together so Martin could try to pull him along, and Will's responding well. He's in good shape - but football shape is different than just going out and running sprints.
"Pat's skill as a pass blocker has really improved." Only faces him in certain rush schemes. Usually goes against Molk and centers in drills.
Molk and Martin are in in groups with Barwis. Always a competition on field, in weight room. Trying to beat each other's weights, always pushing each other. "It's back and forth. I like to say I win." Molk - Tough, he's the anchor, pulls everyone together. Doesn't talk much, but doesn't need to. We battle every day, making each other better.
Dealing with Brandon Graham's departure, there are many different ways to get to the QB. Several different guys contributing to pass rush. Good things with Roh, Van Bergen, Banks, doing a great job.
Why will this team be diff than last year - "we had stars then, showed up every game," this year there are more guys that can be counted on. Everyone's coming together.
Camp is fun when we do situational stuff - real football. Not so much the drills that get repetitive.
Damnit, cue another 1,000 threads on Tate and the helmet...
Thanks for the notes Tim.
IMO this is worth real discussion from Brian--the implications for Tate not having wings are potentially huge for this team and the season. This is far from just some baseless, "let's get the season on with" rumor now. RR is sending a real message to Tate and the team with this, and hopefully it will click with Tate and he will do what is necessary. But if he doesn't, that is huge for the team because it means he won't play much and the transfer rumors will fly. And BTW, is calling Tate out that way a wise, as opposed to a hard nosed, choice? Usually I'm in the "stop the useless speculation" camp but not here.
The psychology of this is very interesting to me. There's a tough balance for every coach as to the amount of praise or criticism to give out, and where (the locker room or the press). It's also different at every level - I have a hard time imagining calling out a high school player in the media, yet see it done often in the pros. At the college level, it is probably done quite carefully. I sure hope so, anyway.
My read, for what it's worth: RichRod and the team have tried the locker room pressure on Tate, and it hasn't worked. I get the impression that Tate reads the press and cares about his public image, so I suspect that this statement is RichRod's attempt to use the force of the media for good with Tate. I hope that it works.
Considering RR's evident chagrin that a "team thing" was made public on the BTN clips and tweets, though, I doubt he intended to have Tate's "calling out" be quite so public.
Fair point. He's the first person to mention the issue - in the first presser - but it was so oblique that it could easily just have been a phrase going around the team, and not meant to even hint at this new motivational tool.
so i was right about the whole earn your wings thing.... thanks guys for taking me down to my current point total
If you think that's why people were criticizing you... wow. Just wow.
Well, being right about that was your first step to earning yours. Keep up the good work and you'll have 'em in no time.
It's not all about you...it's all about Denard.
because we thought you were wrong. I think you were negged because you were the 4,873rd person to offer that theory, yet you sold it like you brewed that shit in your bathtub.
I think it actually came out of his toilet. At least the topic made it on the front page for a little while so maybe it'll take a rest for a day or two. Maybe.
when they see this offensive line get together. I think this will be the strongest unit on the entire team. Good to see the notes on Omameh. He's needed along with Molk. Looking forward to the season.
great work tim, good to hear positive news on the defence! Freshmen contributing at safety, and impressing good to hear!
I'm constantly impressed by how big - yet how lean - our big guys look. They look like athletes, dammit!
The way he's talking I would guess Greg Banks is starting on the D-Line this year.
The question was asked in a way that assumed Banks to be a starter, but Martin not refuting it might mean that it's probably true. I guess it makes sense: who would start along with Martin and RVB?
To be fair, that's probably the only noteworthy thing any reporter could write a story on. The rest is just normal "he's doing well" fare.
I wonder if she flew all the way to Hartford to be on CFL for 30 seconds.....
She also did something for NASCAR.
1.) Could someone remind me what Martin's injury was? I flat-out can't remember. Please and thank you.
2.) I sometimes get so emotionally torn by these training camp notes. I would love to think our D-line is doing great but then I think about maybe our O-line is just struggling that bad. It is a no win situation. September 4th please come early.
I like that RR has never sugar-coated anything. I've wondered about this apparent change of tone as well. Each year he's seemed more confident than the previous year. Is he just tired from a long weekend or is this how he displays confidence in progress? In other words, is the bar the highest it's been since being at Michigan and so what used to be a good day is now average and enough to make him mad.
Players are usually more positive than coaches but there seems to be a greater discrepancy between RR and players' quotes than previously.
I've often wondered about this too. RR has always seemed to be very realistic about how the team is doing, and I've always appreciated that to some extent. I too have noticed that compared to, say, 2 years ago he has gotten progressively more positive leading up to the start of the season. I do have to think that his expectations have to be much higher (obviously!) and that this will be really motivating. At least that is my positive take on it. I'm very good at being negative though so I'm just going to stop there on that happy thought.
Torn rotator cuff.
...this year there are more guys that can be counted on.
I like this part very much. I can't wait for this season, I think it will be special. This team is undervalued and will prove the doubters wrong. Kick ass.
All this talk about no one separating, people being solid but not great, issues here and there are starting to concern me. I hope it is just press handling rope-a-dope, but my generally nervous attitude towards Michigan football would just love to hear that the team is humming along and will kick ass in 2.8 weeks.
I'm very confident it's standard coach-speak. Coaches have a pretty good idea who's going to contribute at every position, although it doesn't necessarily mean every starter is inked in...
That he's dogging guys more is probably positive. Coaches get on kids when they're good, and build them up when they're struggling.
Also, keep in mind that at this time last year Nick Sheridan was listed as co-starter with Tate and Denard
I thought Huyge was going to play RT and Dorrenstein LT? Did they switch at some point? It seems like that is what Omameh said.
Huyge is practicing at both LT and RT. Lewan is practicing with Huyge at LT. Huyge, Dorrestein, and Schofield are practicing at RT.
It has Huyge as RT and Dorrestein as LT. Omameh seemed to say that they've switched. I wonder if this is due to Dorrestein's back injury, or if it means Lewan will be the starter at LT and Dorrestein is the starter over Huyge at RT.
Huyge practicing at both spots means he's a backup, right?
I don't think they've "switched," that just where they've been practicing.
Did you read the post? It explicitly says that the battle hasn't been decided at either position. It's way too soon to say that Huyge is a backup, especially since Rodriguez said, in no uncertain terms, that he was on the first team right now.
Team is rising out of these ashes. Sounding like a team
Maybe I can stop worrying about Tate for 5 minutes and recognize the strength of the pack developing here. Respect is for working hard, playing together, toughness
G-C-G is going to F people up this year
I don't how you guys feel about it but I really like RR approach with the media now. I could be looking to much into it but I like he taking more of a no nonsense approach.
Seems like the team is coming together as each day passes. Can't wait for Sept 4th. You can tell they want to get out on that field and prove to everyone the progress they have made. These kids deserve a great season.
I like what I hear. Sounds like Martin will be a beast this year, and the offensive line sounds like it has real depth. Still a little worried if Molk gets hurt, but everywhere else it sounds like there is legit competition.
As for the other offensive positions, I keep getting worried when I hear RR talk about 3 guys seeing playing time at QB. I like DG is a beast, but if he sees time this year over Denard and/or Tate, that means the third string guy is basically a lost cause. Right now that sounds like Tate, and with him goes the most polished passer on the squad. Still, I trust the system and the coaches, and it is nice to hear that Denard is really progressing as a player in this system.
I haven't heard anything about Stephen Hopkins getting reps at tailback. Is this on purpose in order to unleash a secret weapon or is he just not getting the reps? I don't think I've seen him on the videos or anything either.
And what happnned to Anthony Lolata? GERG hasn't mentioned him at all.
He's been talked about (sometimes at length) in literally EVERY SINGLE other press conference.
I assume you are responding about Hopkins. I have seen/heard his name mentioned a couple times when people list the running back, and maybe a mention of the role he is playing as far as being the Big Back and playing a role like Minor did running straight ahead, but I haven't heard anything about how he looks, or how good/bad he is. Has he fumbled at all, etc etc. Plus, I don't think I have seen him once in any of the videos, at least not carrying the ball.
You haven't heard that about any of the other running backs either. You aren't going to get that sort of info from a fall camp presser.
Lalota is a project. You probably shouldn't expect to see him on the field much this year.
Throughout this entire helmet debate, i have not heard one rumor that Tate wants to pick up his football and go elsewhere. If they are truly competing then that is nothing but positive for UM football. It does make me excited to see the product that is placed on the field Sept 4th.
It's a team thing
Rich said it at least twice with emphasis. I am wondering if the seniors had a motivational points system in place, and the guys with blue helmets are the ones who didn't earn enough points over the summer ...
Obviously they meant to keep it internal, but it leaked out.
I don't know about a "points system," but I would guess this is one of the "special things" Schilling talked about at media day, as far as seniors' ideas for camp.
This sure sounds like The Team, (read: the senior class) is showing Tate what is expected of him. What we're watching is a cultural transformation in action. Upper classmen always set the tone for the rest of the team, seniors especially. But, they're taking hold of traditions like the Winged Helmet and saying, "You want to wear this? This is our team. You're going to have to earn it first." That seems to be a new development.
I wish my clients were so motivated.
The good news is, Schilling said:
Tate's been working hard. Not saying much, just trying to prove he can be the QB. We see him working hard, and that's a good thing. Troy's comments could have affected him, but he's here working hard. Get better every day for the team.
Sooo, it sounds like the seniors did not think Tate showed enough voluntary effort in the off season, so they are making him earn his wings in camp. It also sounds like Tate has been working hard to earn his wings.
Now we just have to worry about the "banged up" BTN comments, and the red shirt he had on in practice yesterday.
If this is something the seniors came up with, I am very impressed. Sort of hazing, but not negative. Earn 'em. I love that, and particularly if it came from within the team itself.
you can tell coach is annoyed that the BTN put out the photos of players without wings on the helmet.
I really think Brandon has worked wonders with coach and the media. Think how nice of a story this could be in October, after a two headed tate denard beast takes down MSU.
Unfortunately, now that the story leaked now, before coach intended, it's turning into this big negative media thing. It is a totally awesome motivational tool, and he intended to keep it behind closed doors. Too bad the BTN let it out, but the fact he tried to keep it behind closed doors is a huge improvement over years past.
Had it been secret like intended, it could have only become a positive story. Hopefully it still turns out that way.
I don't think it's being looked at as a "big negative media thing" outside of places like this board, which isn't exactly known for its ability to hold back overreaction.
Reading the tea leaves here, Martin said he "Usually goes against Molk and centers in drills", which makes less likely the preferred outcome of Big Will stepping up and starting at DT so Martin can play DE. Keep pulling him along, Mike!
(No need to repeat ad nauseum the reasons why this is the preferred outcome.)
I think Martin taking over as the leader of the defensive line, and I love going back to his interview on Countdown to Kickoff. He knows he turns into the Hulk, and he likes it.