Spring Practice Presser 4-12-18: Mike Zordich

Spring Practice Presser 4-12-18: Mike Zordich

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on April 13th, 2018 at 10:05 AM

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[Bryan Fuller]

[Ed. A- So my wife and I had a baby a week ago and since then I think of sleep like I used to think of vacations, like, “Oh, that would be nice to do someday.” Last night I caffeinated just in time for the baby to actually fall asleep, so I had a chance to transcribe this. Huge thanks to Orion Sang for passing along the audio.]

How’s your group look?

“Our group looks good. The guys that are out there are working their tails off and pleased with the progress.”

So you’re not going to come here and do what you did last camp?

[laughs] “We’re just gonna talk about the guys that are out there practicing, getting better, how about that? That fair enough to say?

“Yeah, but Ambry Thomas, B. Watson, David Long, then you got a young guy in Myles Sims who still should be in high school, he’s our here working his tail off getting better, so it’s been promising. Then Hunter Reynolds, a walk-on, really getting better, so it’s been good for ‘em.”

You mentioned Ambry Thomas. What’s the biggest difference in him from year one to year two?

“He is very comfortable now. We were just talking about it over there about maturity level. You know, last year we were so young and now all the sudden these guys have had some playing experience and it has helped them, and so that’s last year and now you’re walking into a new year and just much more confident. And things are slower for them, and he’s been really improved. [Inaudible] with the ones quite a bit, so he’s been showing up a bunch.”

If he’s been working with the ones does that mean maybe that Vert moves into the inside? Are you guys messing around with those combinations there?

“Well, yeah, you know, Vert hasn’t practiced, so he’s losing valuable time, unfortunately for him. But it allows Brandon Watson to continue to get better, Ambry THomas to get better, David Long to get better, and as I mentioned Hunter and Myles. So, it’s great for those guys. They’re just growing by leaps and bounds.”

Why hasn’t Hill practiced?

“He’s got an issue with his hips or his groin. Trying to figure that out.”

[After THE JUMP: who’s rising, who’s out, and where guys might end up]

Upon Further Review 2017: Special Teams vs Ohio State

Upon Further Review 2017: Special Teams vs Ohio State

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on December 1st, 2017 at 12:00 PM

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someday I hope to be as happy as Robert Landers (far left) [Fuller]

Ohio State’s punt coverage team is pretty good. Drue Chrisman, Ohio State’s punter, is really good. As a unit, they’ve allowed four returned punts for a total of 55 yards this season. Forty-two of those yards came on this play.

[After THE JUMP: more on both returners, parsing the punting, appreciating James Foug]

Wednesday Presser 11-15-17: Mike Zordich

Wednesday Presser 11-15-17: Mike Zordich

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 15th, 2017 at 6:30 PM

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[Fuller]

Talk about David’s [Long] play. He’s really seemed to pick it up.

“Yeah, David, from week to week, really from day to day, is just getting better. Really he’s working at his craft. It means something to him. It’s really good to see. I’m really happy for him.”

Any update on Lavert [Hill] or is that just a wait-and-see kind of thing?

“I think that’s a wait-and-see kind of thing. Know he’s in the protocol right now, so we’ll wait and see.”

What does that mean, ‘the protocol’?

“That means that he has to see a doctor every day, and certain symptoms have to go away or if they stay then certain things happen.”

How are you preparing to go without him if he can’t go?

“Oh, we’re fine. We’ll be fine. I have all the confidence in B-Wat and certainly David. Those guys are true starters anyway, and then Ben St. Juste behind them and Ambry [Thomas], he’s been playing, so we’re good. Then Jaylen Kelly-Powell, he’s been kind of working the nickel corner mode too, so we’ve got enough. We’re in good shape.”

Speaking of Jaylen, we saw him against Maryland actually on the defense and not just on special teams. What has he shown you?

“Well, he’s shown that he can cover. He’s pretty—he’s like a little magnet. He’s able to get in the slot and cover very well, and that’s why we had confidence to put him in there. He’s been doing well. Really well. What’s great about Jaylen is he can do a lot of different things. He’s a freshman; we’ve asked him to play safety, we’ve asked him to play corner, and now nickel. So those are—it’s not an easy thing to do and he’s done it and he’s done it well.”

[After THE JUMP: Kelly-Powell’s long-term fit, Ben St. Juste’s progress, when they need a decision on Hill, and intercepting the China concept]

Upon Further Review 2017: Special Teams vs Rutgers

Upon Further Review 2017: Special Teams vs Rutgers

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 3rd, 2017 at 3:59 PM

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[Campredon]

Substitution/formation notes: Nothing at all different from the last couple of weeks, which brings us right to our normally-I’d-link-this-in-the-chart-but-let’s-put-it-above-the-jump of the week, which features Khaleke Hudson blowing up two Rutgers players and creating an opportunity for Michigan to down a punt at the two-yard line. Pretty convenient for a “khaleke hudson shatter machine” tag to already exist.

[After THE JUMP: punt clear-outs, Thomas’ continued success, and a saved touchdown]

Wednesday Presser 11-1-17: Pep Hamilton

Wednesday Presser 11-1-17: Pep Hamilton

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 2nd, 2017 at 8:02 AM

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[Upchurch]

“Let’s knock this out.”

What’s it like practicing against a Don Brown defense every day?

“It makes us better. It makes us better without a doubt. It really is a true test of our rules, you know, with the energy that they bring and how intense his defense is. It raises the level of our intensity as an offense.”

Where have you seen Brandon Peters get better from the start of the season?

“Well, Brandon’s still a work in progress. He’s only played in a portion of one game. Just like a lot of our young players, time on task, having more time on task has allowed them to improve. I don’t want to say that there’s not still a lot of work to be done, because there is. But he’s gotten more reps as of late and we expect continued improvement.”

What did he do to convince you guys to put him in the game? What’s he doing in practice?

“He had a better understanding as the season went on of the offense. More recently, once Wilton went down he had more of an opportunity to get reps with the first offense.”

Was there a play or two that stood out Saturday as impressive to you for a guy getting his first live action?

“Absolutely. Finding the checkdown. The play where we had a four vertical concept called in the red zone, he didn’t force it downfield, he didn’t force it to one of our tight ends that were running down the seams, he stepped up in the pocket, showed tremendous poise, and checked the ball down to Henry Poggi and that was a big play for us.”

[After THE JUMP: finding offensive rhythm with the guys you’ve got, more on Peters, and Mo Hurst: destroyer of games, wrecker of handoffs]

Upon Further Review 2017: Special Teams vs Penn State

Upon Further Review 2017: Special Teams vs Penn State

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 27th, 2017 at 12:01 PM

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[Upchurch]

Formation/Substitution Notes: Nothing of note this week. All of the easily identifiable personnel stayed the same: Thomas and Hawkins as returners on kick with one of them plus Mason forming the two-man wedge, Peoples-Jones at punt returner, Robbins as the punter and Poggi the personal protector in a pro-style punt, and Foug and friends on kickoff. There’s not much to talk about in this section, so I’ll leave you with something that does warrant discussion: a Michigan kick returner creating something out of nothing.

[Large enough sample size to draw early conclusions about the kick return unit after THE JUMP]

Wednesday Presser 10-25-17: Chris Partridge

Wednesday Presser 10-25-17: Chris Partridge

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 26th, 2017 at 8:05 AM

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[Barron]

[Ed. A- I was too sick to make the trip in yesterday, but thanks to 247’s Isaiah Hole I had video from which to transcribe.]

“I thought after the first big run that he has we did a decent job of containing there. They hit some big plays. Quarterback’s phenomenal. Hit some big plays on us in the pass game and kind of flustered us a little bit and then we couldn’t get re-settled down in terms of that. I don’t think we paid too much attention, though.”

What happened to Quinn on the missed extra point? Crowd was booing him pretty heavily but did that affect him?

“No, I mean, that’s unacceptable. That can’t happen. He knows that. He just let his emotions get carried away and kind of kicked the ground a little bit and pushed it and that’s got to be fixed immediately from a mental standpoint. Can’t have that ever happen again.”

Ambry [Thomas] seems to really be progressing in kick return. Talk about what you’ve seen from him.

“He’s explosive, fearless. He’s what you want back there. It’s a really good combination we have now. We got Ben Mason, Brad Hawkins, Ambry, three true freshmen working together, getting to know each other, feeling each other out, because all three of those guys could get the ball and two of them have to be a blocker on every kick. Really, really happy with that unit’s progression and how those guys are really coming together and feeling each other out and stuff like that. Really happy with that group.”

[After THE JUMP: Rashan don’t read this, he wants you to keep the chip on your shoulder]

Wednesday Presser 10-18-17: Mike Zordich

Wednesday Presser 10-18-17: Mike Zordich

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 19th, 2017 at 8:01 AM

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[Fuller]

Jim said the Lavert [Hill] pick was not a penalty. What did you see on that play?

“Yeah, I was astonished. I actually asked the official at halftime, I said, ‘What happened? What’d he do?’ He said he tugged on his top shoulder and that’s what made him able to slingshot in front of him. You look at the film and you don’t see that, you just see a kid making a hell of a play, so I was surprised.”

Tyree [Kinnel] said he sees a little Jourdan [Lewis] in him. Do you see that?

“Yeah, you know what, I can see it. I can see what Tyree’s saying, and Lavert is starting to come out of his shell a little bit and you can see his fieriness, his competitiveness more in practice as the year goes, so absolutely.”

Have you been pretty happy with David Long’s progression at the other spot?

“David has progressed well. B-Wat has progressed well. Yes, happy. We still need to progress, absolutely.”

We’re starting to see a little bit of Ambry Thomas in pivotal game moments. What has he been able to do?

“Ambry’s come along. He had to go in there because David got dinged up a little bit or a little dizzy, but Ambry’s coming and so is Benjamin St. Juste. Both those guys are working extremely hard. I would say if they keep up this pace, in a couple weeks I wouldn’t be afraid to put them in more than what they’re seeing now.”

[After THE JUMP: the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau is gonna love this]

Upon Further Review 2017: Special Teams vs Michigan State

Upon Further Review 2017: Special Teams vs Michigan State

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 13th, 2017 at 5:03 PM

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[Fuller]

Substitution/Formation Notes: With regard to substitutions, the big one is Ambry Thomas taking over as the primary kick returner. We saw this in the second half against Purdue and, after this game and Chris Partridge’s comments this week, it seems like it’s going to hold for the foreseeable future.

MSU did some interesting things in response to the punt return team’s ability to bring pressure; it warrants further discussion after the charts.

[After THE JUMP: the ball itself is a focal point of the yardage-tracking charts, which will surprise exactly zero of you who sat outside for this game]