Hey hey what can I say, day to day day to day to day day.
“[We had a] good work day yesterday, [good] preparation. [Iowa is] one of the good football teams, especially a team that, capacity-wise, they’re playing well when you look at taking care of the football, turnovers, and the running game from an offensive line standpoint. They’re typical Iowa where they’re going to get on you and they’re going to do a great job in the zone schemes. Defensively they’re going to play very tight up front and let the linebackers flow. You see that. In the kicking game, they’ve got some real weapons in their kickoff return and their kick coverage and in the kickoff that they’ve done a nice job with. For us we had a good practice. Like I said, it was a good work day. Need another good work day today.”
Day to day on your quarterbacks?
“Yes. Good answer.”
Would you say the last two weeks were the best performances you’ve seen from your receivers?
“There’s other times where I think they’ve played pretty well, especially in getting on people and blocking. They’re probably stepping up like they should. I think Roy’s caught the ball well with his hands when you watch it fundamentally. I think they played well.”
Has senior day ever been a distraction in your experience?
“For the seniors? Not really. I think this group, it will be an emotional time and it should be. A lot of these guys have been playing since they were in third grade, and there will be some of them who will never play again. A lot of them.”
You have a lot of personal traditions. Do you do anything specific with the seniors this week?
“We’ll do something Saturday.”
Can you talk about some of the guys on special teams and coverage teams that have done a good job?
“Well Hawthorne is a guy. Him and Floyd Simmons, they’re two seniors who are on a lot of those teams and we expect a lot out of them. I think in the kickoff return phase of it and being a gunner on punt, I think Norfleet has brought some excitement and done a nice job. When you look at the guys, Joe Bolden’s got a lot of snaps out there. Wilson’s -- Jarrod’s had a lot of snaps, which are very valuable for young guys, but I’d say from Paul Gyarmati to the seniors that are out there with Floyd and Brandin, I think those guys are the guys who are on a lot of those teams.”
Do you grade those guys like you do with your offense and defense?
“Yeah. They’re all graded. Dan does that with every special team. We watch it and evaluate, critique.”
When you evaluated Mike Kwiatkowski when you first got here, did you think he would get to this point in terms of production?
“I think that’s all part of it. As you go through the process of coaching what you want to do offensively, the encouragement and the evaluation that you give on a daily basis is important. I think Mike is a guy who has gotten better, obviously. He’s done a good job inside that tight end room helping the young guys.”
You said he was more of a lineman. Did you think to move him immediately?
“Well I think it was a need as much as anything else. We play with tight end a lot. I don’t think that was part of the offense as much before we got here.”
Would you say the biggest thing Quinton Washington has done this year is improve the use of his hands?
“Yeah, I think that’s part of it. I think his confidence is a big part of where Quinton has established himself a little more. Probably starting with the Illinois game as much as anything. He is a better technician. He is visually keen [with] what he needs to be looking at with more focus. He just -- there’s so much further we can get him.”
How do you know with any player when the confidence starts to kick in?
“Uh. It’s a really good question. I think probably because of how … maybe you don’t get as many questions? Might be part of it. I think the speed that they play with is part of it.”
Al said yesterday it’s been a cram course preparing Devin the last couple of weeks. How hard is it to get someone up to speed that quickly?
“I think from the standpoint of the intricacies of the position and the checks and the different things you have to do, I think even people in here could take a snap where it’s a little bit more than that. It’s more than the protections, more than what you seen coverage-wise, the ball handling, the footwork, all those things. That’s where you get more and more as far as a mental piece to playing the position. I think the one thing is that Devin is a very intelligent young man. He is into the football part of it when you look at film and study an opponent.”
Is he playing at the highest level at quarterback that you’ve seen from him?
“I think he’s been pretty consistent. I think he’s managing games, and that’s a word that is probably overused, but you know, managing an offense, that starts with how your approach is in the huddle and how you talk to those ten other guys and those teammates. I thought on Saturday at the end of the game, just watching him run down the field to spike the ball, he showed great poise and showed great leadership with it.”
Can you quantify how hard it is to relearn all that?
“Yeah. I don’t know if that’s fair for me to say how hard it is for him. I think it’s difficult. I would think. He had some carryover obviously, and some guys -- and I think there’s some carryover, too when you look at him play wide receiver and studying coverages, if it’s two-deep or one-high, inside leverage and those things. I think that all helped him.”
How big is this for him moving forward into 2013?
“Let’s worry about Iowa.”
On the spike, it looked like Devin Funchess had to run off and dive over the sideline --
“He really didn’t have to. He was a little more dramatic.”
Why was there switching going on?
“We were in a hurry-hurry situation from an offensive standpoint. If you’re making a substitution, he’s getting ready to make that substitution and not waste time.”
So he was going to make the substitution after the play?
“Started to, yeah. But when he saw where the ball was, it was, ‘Hey, I’m going to get off the field.’ ”
Long snapper is sort of a thankless position. Can you talk about the job Jareth Glanda has done?
“I think he’s done a very good job. We always talk about the guys kicking the field goals and we critique punters a lot, but I think Jareth has been very consistent. It’s not easy in protection all the time to snap and protect. A lot of teams don’t ask those guys to do that as much, but within our system, I think he’s done a really really nice job [knock knock knock], and he’ll keep it up.”
James Ross got a lot of time last week. He was in there at the end. Was that specific to playing Northwestern because he might be a little faster?
“No, it’s just playing different guys.”
Desmond Morgan’s not banged up or anything?
Northwestern used a lot of cutblocking. What can you do as a defense --
“You’ll never get cut if you put your helmet and your face on that guy’s face. So you teach technique and you talk about it and you teach it and you drill it. Now sometimes you ask to be cut because you’re not being aggressive enough. Sometimes you ask to be cut because you won’t put your face and bend your knees and everything you need to do to play a cut block.”
Is that one of the harder things to learn for a defensive lineman?
“Eh. Not really. [For] defensive lineman, it’s not. I mean, we’ve hardly been cut.”
How similar is the culture of your team to what it was like when you were here before? How long did it take to get there?
“Oh, I don’t know. I mean, guys have done a good job.”
MGoQuestion: Regarding the seniors, a lot of them are thinking about their lives and careers after Michigan --
“I hope they’re thinking about Iowa.”
MGoQuestion: Has anyone expressed an interest in coaching, and what sort of advice do you give?
“You know what, we haven’t really broached those conversations at all yet.”
MGoFollowup: When do you talk about those things? After the season?
“You know what, he’s getting better.”
Do you expect him to play?
“I’m hoping so.”
Has he practiced?
Will he return punts this week?
“He’ll be fine.”
Now that you’ve had time to think about the question, can you evalute Denard Robinson’s career and what he’s meant to the program? It’ll be his last game in Michigan Stadium.
“Well, it’s 23 guys’ last game at Michigan.”
Denard hasn’t been special at all though?
“I think they’re all special.”
Well yeah, but 10,000 yards and all that?
“I think that’s great, but they’re all special.”