Wednesday Presser 10-19-16: Chris Partridge

Wednesday Presser 10-19-16: Chris Partridge

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 19th, 2016 at 3:02 PM

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[Barron/MGoBlog]

News bullets and other items:

  • Devin Bush Jr. is acclimating himself well at LB. Sounds like he could step in with little drop off right now.
  • Kenny Allen would have kicked FGs at Rutgers, but the competition is still ongoing. No decision has been made this week since it’s just Wednesday.
  • Partridge added that the issues Allen has had have been mechanical, as it’s difficult to adjust your swing plan when you’re doing three different things.
  • Quinn Nordin’s healthy enough to participate in the kicking competition
  • I highly recommend reading what Partirdge had to say about Peppers’ attention to detail and drive, as well as his summation of the program’s culture.

Your thoughts on Jabrill’s [punt] return? There was an awful late flag that came in there. What did you see on that play?

“Phenomenal play by Jabrill, obviously. Kind of jumped in the air and then spun and ducked somebody at the same time, so phenomenal play. Questionable. Questionable. But, you know what, it happens. We’ve got to be real careful. I tell those guys all the time, let’s just get him to the dance. Get on your blocks as long as possible and just know if it’s ever questionable peel off and go find somebody else and let him make a move. We’ve got a phenomenal player back there, so we’ve got to get him the ability to make a play. Frustrating that we didn’t finish it, but we’ve got to learn from it and move on.”

Several of the veterans had some downtime last week. What did the kickers do? Were they going right along?

“Yeah, they continued to work, but we had to be smart and give them some downtime, too. We scheduled their kicking early in the week and then the young guys continued to work throughout the week, improvement week, just like the rest of the players.”

Coach said the competition’s always ongoing, but is it maybe a little bit more settled than it was coming out of the game before Rutgers?

“No, I don’t think it’s ever going to be settled here. I think we’re always going to compete and challenge those guys, and they know they have to perform at a high level or there’s going to be someone ready to perform. We’re still competing. About equal reps and keep working. About equal reps for the next few weeks.”

You can evaluate it in practice, but if they’re not kicking in a game, even the Rutgers game, is it hard to simulate what that experience is like?

“Yeah. I mean, of course I’d like to get a try there in a game to have that pressure, but we’ve got to just try to do our best in practice to be ready for the game when it comes. But yeah, of course. There’s nothing like game reps.”

[After THE JUMP: Partridge evaluates Peppers, JBB, what it’s like to work for Harbaugh, and his own coaching]

Monday Presser 10-17-16: Players

Monday Presser 10-17-16: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 18th, 2016 at 10:31 AM

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[Upchurch/Barron-MGoBlog]

Kyle Kalis and Mike McCray

Kyle, you guys went back to the knee braces after the Newsome thing. Was that a direct order from the coaches, and would you have done it anyway?

“Me personally, I’ve always worn knee braces but yeah, for everybody else it was kind of a mandatory thing. With Grant’s injury, it’s hard to tell if it would have made a difference, but it can’t hurt you so that’s kind of why we went back to wearing them is for precautionary reasons.”

Mike, you’ve had a pretty successful year kind of quietly. Do you feel like maybe you’re an unsung guy on the team?

“Not really. You know, it’s the whole defense. I feel like we’ve done a great job so far the first six games, and I don’t think about myself getting noticed and things like that because it’s a whole-team thing. So, I really don’t think about it at all.”

Jim had mentioned when he got here you weren’t completely healthy and that he’s seen you come through a lot. Can you walk me through that as far as this time last year and a backup role or maybe not playing to you’re at the forefront now.

“Last year, didn’t play at all. It’s just a lot different now than it was this time last year. I feel a lot better. My spirit, I’m not down about myself of anything like that, so it’s a great time right now.”

MGoQuestion: Kyle, were knee braces optional last year as well or was that something new this year?

“Yeah, they were optional last year as well. Yeah.”

[After THE JUMP: keeping an eye on OSU]

Monday Presser 10-17-16: Jim Harbaugh

Monday Presser 10-17-16: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 17th, 2016 at 5:52 PM

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[Fuller/MGoBlog]

Graham Glasgow started for the Lions. Did you see that, and is there some kind of a similarity between him and Jordan [Glasgow] in terms of temperament; he was just Special Teams Player of the Week.

“Yeah, I mean, they’re brothers. Similar. Very similar, yeah. Similar parents.”

In terms of their temperament and the way they approach the game, is there something there?

“Yeah. All three brothers are really smart guys, good guys, good teammates, good football players. Breed ‘em well in the Glasgow family.”

You guys had the knee braces on the offensive line. Did you guys have a talk about that after Grant [Newsome] got injured or what led to that?

“Yeah, yeah. No longer optional. All linemen are wearing knee braces.”

What is Grant’s status now? Is he out of the hospital and what’s his prognosis at this stage?

“Um…there’s been good progress and he still has more surgeries to go.”

Without specifics, can you talk about your recruiting trips and how you got involved with the chain gain and the homecoming announcement?

“Yeah, I was asked to announce the winner at the homecoming game, and Tatiana Mendez was the winner. It was great to be a part of the activity. Then the chain gang, we needed a guy and was promised a tri-tip steak sandwich at halftime. That was all I needed to hear. That was a lot of fun.”

Can you assess the play of Kalis and the right side of the line?

“He’s really--somebody asked last week how is his intensity and that’s really what he does. That’s his forte. He’s—he brings to the whole offense a great amount of intensity and good physical play. Strength. The lost art of toughness in football. Also, the valuable talent that is toughness and strength. It’s a respected quality.”

[Hit THE JUMP for more]

Wednesday Presser 10-5-16: Jedd Fisch

Wednesday Presser 10-5-16: Jedd Fisch

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 6th, 2016 at 10:01 AM

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[Fuller/MGoBlog]

Can you assess Wilton’s play through five games?

“He’s doing a nice job. He’s making really good decisions, which is obviously the first thing you look for in a guy who’s in his first year starting. Hasn’t turned the ball over very much at all, so that’s exciting. Has found ways to complete balls—he’s over 64% or so—and really good touchdown:interception ratio, and has managed the game really well. So, so far, so good.

“But the next half of the season will be another test. You know, he hasn’t been on the road yet, so that’ll be obviously different. And then we’ve just got a chance to continue to see how he improves.”

He’ll often talk about a play that you’ve dialed up that week and you can see that he likes the creativity. Talk about that side of the job, looking for something new every week or periodically that could be a good play for you.

“I think we’re just—we’re always gameplanning every week, every day. Every day we gameplan and put together the best possible pass game and run game we can, and then, you know, try to deliver it in a way they understand why the plays are in, and then maybe show them examples of plays where whether or not they’ve worked other places or whether or not they’ve worked here or whether it looks like they’ll work based on the coverages we get. Spend a lot of time just kind of explaining in our meetings—all position groups, all coaches—why plays are in and how to go out there and execute them.”

Some of the protection issues with veterans at times: are those mistakes guys shouldn’t be making at this point?

“I think that I don’t know much about whether we should or shouldn’t be making them. I don’t think there’s many being made. I think we’re still—well, we’ve only been sacked in five games eight times or nine times. I don’t know. That’s not much. We do a really good job of picking up almost everything. We get the kitchen sink thrown at us and our guys work really, really hard to pick it all up, and over the course of 17 games or so we’ve probably been as good as anyone in terms of not getting sacked and getting the ball off, so I don’t think there’s much of an issue there.”

When Jabrill’s working in the wildcat, are you hands-on with him in practice there, or who has the most input?

“Oh, with everything, it’s a group collective effort in everything that we do. You know, the wildcat stuff, we throw him in and quarterback roll, then he kind of deals with some of the ball handling with us, but really kind of everybody’s talking to him about what that job entails and what plays we’re putting in and really what he’s going to do with those plays and the footwork and the reads and all that.”

[Much more after THE JUMP]

Wednesday Presser 10-5-16: Mike Zordich

Wednesday Presser 10-5-16: Mike Zordich

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 5th, 2016 at 6:03 PM

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[Fuller/MGoBlog]

Talk about the play last game of the corners. Those guys just seemed to be right on.

“Yeah, they’re playing well. They’re working hard in practice preparing themselves week in and week out and they just gotta continue, and it’s paying off in the games. So, we’ll keep on that same path and just try to keep building it.”

Lewis interception ranks where in the pick offs that you’ve seen?

“It’s insane. I mean, I haven’t seen anything like that from a defensive player. Seen a few guys offensively do it, but nothing like that defensively. That was a hell of a play.”

Besides that, the way that he’s closing in the run game and getting to the ball, just talk about how good he’s been.

“Yeah, he’s a complete player on the defensive side of the ball. The kid’s very competitive, very feisty, he’s very good at man-to-man coverage, very good at zone coverage when asked to drop, and he knows how to get off blocks and he knows how to make tackles. I mean, he can do it all. He’s a pretty good player.”

You’ve coached Jourdan now for a year and a half. How many times can you recall during a game where he made a technical mistake?

“Well, we all make mistakes and he has made a few. Even last week, him and Channing made a few technical mistakes that we’re trying to clear up and we will clear up. They’re few and far between with him. And the thing is, when he does it, he knows it and he gets pretty upset about it. He tries to figure it out real quick.”

Obviously not having Jeremy [Clark] you guys are kind of on thin ice with just two guys, even as good as they are. With the other two [freshmen], are they ready?

“I feel so bad for Jeremy. Really practiced so hard and played so well in the games he was in, and everybody’s talking about him and hoping the best for him. Brandon Watson had a hell of a camp. Really since spring. Played well in the spring, played well all through camp, and he’s going in, filling in just fine. Lavert Hill: extremely talented young man. He’s just got to grow and mature. He’s young. David Long, same way. His injury held him up a little bit, but now we’re starting to see some things out of him. It’s very unfortunate we lost Jeremy—you never want to lose a guy like that—but those guys, those three guys I think in time and if in need can fill in and play.”

[After THE JUMP: discussing soil conditions in the garden]

Monday Presser 10-3-16: Players

Monday Presser 10-3-16: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 4th, 2016 at 2:00 PM

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[Fuller-MGoBlog]

Jake Butt, Wilton Speight, and Matt Godin

Matt, about Glasgow: he just keeps seeming to elevate his play and you’ve seemed to play well as well. How much do you guys feed off each other there?

“Oh, we feed off each other big time. I’m pretty sure Ryan’s grade percentage has gone up every week, too, so he just keeps getting better and better. Yeah, we feed off each other. We love just working on stopping the run and our technique.”

Matt, Ryan mentioned on Saturday looking to both sides and seeing a bunch of veteran guys who’d been around four or five years. Saturday was a game where the defensive line really did a good job setting the tone. Just talk about that. You’re one of the guys, been around for five years, as far as the depth goes and controlling a physical game like that.

“We definitely knew it was going to be physical watching them on film, but we love that. I mean, 22-personnel, 23-personnel, that’s what we work on all offseason with these guys, too. [/nods toward Speight and Butt] We were ready for it. It was good to have Mone back, too, so we have everyone back now and healthy and ready to go, so it was great.”

Through your five years here, is this the strongest the D-line has been?

“I think so, yes.”

Jake, obviously the team likes to play at home. What is fun about the challenge of going on the road to win a football game?

“It’s always fun to go into somebody’s house and right there you’re kind of backed up against the wall, a lot of adversity because you’re going against their home crowd. They’re hyped up, lots of energy, but nothing’s better than silencing fifty, sixty, seventy thousand people, hearing that stadium quiet after you’re making big plays or you have the opportunity to win a game like that.”

[More after THE JUMP]

Monday Presser 10-3-16: Jim Harbaugh

Monday Presser 10-3-16: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 3rd, 2016 at 6:02 PM

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[Upchurch/MGoBlog]

News bullets and other items:

  • Grant Newsome is done for the year. Harbaugh wasn’t sure whether it was a career-threatening injury; it’s too early to tell.
  • Bushell-Beatty at LT is probably happening, but Harbaugh said Cole and Braden could move there.
  • If Cole moves back to LT, Kugler will be the center.
  • Karan Higdon’s lack of carries was not due to injury
  • Quinn Nordin’s been healing and might be a part of the kicking competition this week; it’s too early to tell as they haven’t practiced yet this week

Seemed like Kyle [Kalis] really brought some intensity Saturday. Can you talk about how he played?

“Yeah, Kyle always brings intensity. Kyle Kalis?”

Yeah.

“Yeah, always. Practice, games, weight room, meetings.”

Was that one of the better games you’ve seen him play this year?

“Yeah. I thought he played extremely well. He’s been doing that consistently good his entire career here at Michigan. Strong. He’s strong. Kalis Strong.”

How important is it to win games differently? You’ve won with offense, you’ve won with special teams, Saturday you win defensively. How important is that in the coaches’ room?

“I don’t know exactly how much or how important. There’s an importance to winning, importance in being successful, winning on gameday. To your specific question, how important, I don’t have the answer to that.”

Did you get specific news on Grant Newsome and whether he’s going to be done for the year or not?

“Yeah. Yeah, he had a serious knee injury and he’ll be out for the year. It’ll be a tough couple weeks for him. It’s a reminder of just how tough the game of football is, just how serious injuries can be in the game of football.

“What I do know is, as far as character, human being character, football character, nobody’s ever come through here, this football team or this university, that I know of with more of it than Grant Newsome. Leon and Kim Newsome, they should write a book on raising kids. Grant is the finest, and just praying for him right now. It’s not a good feeling today at all. But just being with him at the hospital, everybody’s he’s come in contact with, nurses and doctors, it’s ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ It’s amazing. He is an amazing, amazing young man.

“And he’s strong as they come, and I know that all things are possible with Grant Newsome. But keep him in your prayers, as he is in ours. It’s going to be—got some things to work through right now, but he’s handling it like a champ. I know he’s got pain, but he’s…watching him up there, he’s as tough as a two-dollar steak. It’s unbelievable.”

[Hit THE JUMP like Wisconsin’s linebackers hit their run-throughs]

Wisconsin Postgame Presser: Players

Wisconsin Postgame Presser: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 3rd, 2016 at 10:13 AM

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[Upchurch/MGoBlog]

Ryan Glasgow and Amara Darboh

Can you talk about how the defensive performance today gave you the opportunity as an offense, particularly, to provide the end result?

AD: “Yeah, from the offensive standpoint, the defense kept getting three and outs and then kept helping us stay in the game. They didn’t let them score all half, so that gave us the opportunity to make a play at the end.”

Talk about the placement on the long touchdown pass.

AD: “Oh yeah, it was perfect. It was one-on-one coverage out there. The safety was in the middle, then I got inside my guy and Wilton put a perfect ball and I just had to run underneath it.”

This was your guys’ first true test of the season; this was the first time you guys played an opponent many people considered a contender in the Big Ten and also nationally. What does this win mean for you personally moving forward? How does your team improve from here?

AD: “I think it says a lot about our team. Wisconsin’s a very tough football team—very good defense, very good offense—and I think us beating this team says a lot about our character. It says a lot about the players on our team, but we need to focus on the games ahead, because this win doesn’t define our season.”

Ryan, it seemed like they were playing to get the ball back to the defense to win it. Was that kind of the message, it was your guys’ time to win the game?

“Regardless of what the offense does, we don’t want any other offense we’re playing to get a yard, get a first down, get a touchdown. So, regardless of what the offense does, we expect to win every game. We had a seven-point lead, which we think that’s enough for us to win a game on defense. Regardless of how many points they score, we feel like should win the game on defense.”

[Hit THE JUMP for more]

Wisconsin Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Wisconsin Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 2nd, 2016 at 12:00 PM

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[Upchurch/MGoBlog]

News bullets and other items:

  • Grant Newsome’s injury will likely require surgery
  • Quinn Nordin is injured
  • There will be a kicking competition this week, and Ryan Tice will have the chance to lessen the burden on Kenny Allen; Harbaugh said he always thought it was too much to have to use Kenny for field goal, punt, and kickoff duties.
  • The defense got an A++
  • Speight’s decision making got an A
  • A couple of the penalties came from Wisconsin simulating the offensive and punt team cadence, which you’re not allowed to do.

You guys left a lot of points on the board with the three missed field goals. You guys also kind of uncharacteristically had a mistake filled game with a lot of penalties. I was wondering, was that a source of frustration for you and what message did you give your team to get them back on track?

“Well, first of all, talking to the team, we were celebrating a win. Great win for our team. Thought there was a lot of things we did really well. Obviously we left nine points off the scoreboard. You've got to put those points on the board. Points on the board really matter. So, we'll have a little kicking competition this week, and it'll be an opportunity for Ryan Tice. And, uh, yeah. See if we can't make them next time.”

Can you talk about your perspective on Jourdan Lewis’ interception? Ever seen anything quite like that?

“Yeah, I've seen Odell Beckham Junior do that. Looked like that kind of play. Really, most impressive thing about it was, you know, he jumped a little early and I was a little nervous that he was going to come down and the ball was just going to go over his fingertips but he was able to hang in the air and he made a spectacular play. Then I was thinking, well, it was fourth down. Probably would have been better had he not intercepted it. I'm really glad he did. It was a spectacular, spectacular football play, Athletic play. Really unbelievable.

“I thought Channing Stribling did a great job as well. And Jourdan had a tremendous tackle in the open field. Thought the secondary was really good. Our defensive line was lights out. It was a game-ball for Don Brown kind of a game. Very impressed with our defense, our defense of coaches, and the character of our defense of players and their talents. A++.”

First off, what was your vantage point on Wilton's downfield throw for the touchdown? Looked right on the money. And also, are you itching to get this team a good road test next week?

“Yeah, we were under center, play action pass, really the play is designed to go to Jake Butt, but then I saw Wilton wheel and throw it to Amara and I saw Amara had a step on him or two. Just kind of hold your breath through the last split seconds of the play to see that it doesn't get deflected, but I really felt good when the ball was in the air.

“Wilton has been extremely good throwing the deep ball, extremely accurate throwing the deep ball, so we all have a lot of confidence. And he has a lot of confidence in throwing it and it was a tremendous play. The slant a couple plays before that, also to Amara, was another excellent throw. We didn't get Wilton the pass protection today that we would like and he deserves, But when he had protection and was able to set his feet and throw the football, I thought he did it very effectively.”

[After THE JUMP: ice cream time!]

Wednesday Presser 9-28-16: Jay Harbaugh

Wednesday Presser 9-28-16: Jay Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 29th, 2016 at 9:59 AM

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[Fuller/MGoBlog]

Thoughts on how your group’s played so far through four games?

“They’ve played well. They for the most part have done what they’ve been asked to do. More importantly than the games, I think, they’ve shown four weeks of improvement each in their own individual way in terms of what they needed to work on. I think we’re really in position to be playing our best football as a group getting into Big Ten play and then, as you’d like to, in October and November, so I’m excited about that.”

What was the point where you saw Devin Asiasi emerge? He’s obviously right there as one of your top guys so far.

“Uh, last January when I watched his junior high school tape, probably.”

What is it about him, is it that he’s physical?

“He’s a guy who plays fast, he’s physical, he’s capable of playing very nasty. He weighs somewhere around 270 pounds and still moves very well, so it’s a rare physical combination. Then he has a good football awareness about him and he learns well. Once I got a sense of the fact that he’d be able to pick things up fast enough to contribute it was kind of a no-brainer that he’d be part of the group.”

Speaking of playing nasty, it seemed like Tyrone [Wheatley Jr.] had that kind of week last week blocking. Is he becoming that kind of a mauler out there at that position?

“Yeah, certainly He’s definitely improving. Every week has been better than the previous, and looking for that to continue.”

Devin said that you had a big role in his recruitment and getting him here. I know for him it was a lot of last minute stuff and getting hot late in his recruitment. Can you touch a little on what it was like to build that relationship with him?

“Shoot, it was just kind of steady. He’s the kind of guy who could have gone wherever he wanted to go and it was just kind of always being there and building that relationship over a long period of time. I think he might have been the first guy I offered when I got the job here last January or February or whatever it was. Always loved him and it was just a long time, and luckily it paid off at the end.”

[After THE JUMP: pick your punt-return poison]