WTKA Roundtable 1/10/2019: Ramming Jupiter

WTKA Roundtable 1/10/2019: Ramming Jupiter Comment Count

Seth January 11th, 2019 at 7:23 AM

Things discussed:

  • Craig can beat Joe Simon one-on-one.
  • Greg Mattison is off to make his money, takes his integrity with him. Michigan absolutely would have had him; this was an Urban Meyer move.
  • Dispelling the Mattison myths: No he didn't underrecruit Zach Harrison. No, Big Foot isn't buried under this studio.
  • The Game is a business: how much do the fans care?
  • Hoops: Developing the bench. Johns! Still skittish as an offensive player, but boards and athleticism and blocks, oh my!
  • Poole now the 3rd dragon. Iggy isn't a black hole anymore.
  • Is this a national championship team? They're beating very high expectations.
  • Big Ten basketball: It's Michigan-Michigan State. No awful teams in the league; Rutgers is 100ish and beat Ohio State. McQuaid shut down Carsen Edwards.
  • Sam: "X has no hope against Cassius Winston-*wink*"

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Podbean.

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.


Michigan's lost 99/100 to Ohio State we're all insane; can we please talk some basketball?


Greg Mattison is Leaving for Ohio State

Greg Mattison is Leaving for Ohio State Comment Count

Seth January 7th, 2019 at 2:33 PM

For the second time in his career, Greg Mattison is departing Michigan with a giant middle finger, and leaving a giant hole.

After the 1996 season, Mattison, then Michigan's defensive coordinator, left to join Bob Davie in the same position at Notre Dame. Michigan's 1997 defense, which owed much to Mattison's recruiting and eye for talent, then won a national championship without him.

When he returned to Ann Arbor in 2011 Mattison was more heralded—justifiably so—than head coach and friend Brady Hoke. Greg inherited the worst defense perhaps in the history of the program, gave them an identity, and recruited the bulk of a unit that was, by 2015, once again among the nation's elite (except in the one game that matters).

That wasn't the last coaching transition Mattison helped to rescue here. Mattison planned to leave when Brady Hoke was fired—even boxing up his office. However Mattison had deep connections with the Harbaughs, earning his first coordinator job from Jack at Western Michigan in the mid-1980s, and serving as John's defensive coordinator for two years with the Baltimore Ravens. As he had when Davie was replaced with Tyrone Willingham in 2002, Mattison—still under contract—accepted a demotion to defensive line coach, keeping his room intact under Jim Harbaugh. For another four seasons, Mattison remained one of the top assistants in the nation in recruiting while producing elite defensive linemen, whether they came that way (Rashan) or had to be stolen back from the fullback room (Winovich).

At 70 with his contract expired, Mattison was expected to remain or retire as a Wolverine. While no official statement has confirmed it so far, it appears that new Ohio State head coach Ryan Day offered Mattison a chance to be defensive coordinator again. It was reported shortly after the Mattison news that current OSU DC Greg Schiano won't be retained, and Pete Thamel just reported that 49ers DB coach Jeff Hafley will be accepting a "co-" defensive coordinator role there. Hafley, like myself, is 39 and has never been a DC.

Impact: So, it's not a good look, either for Michigan nor Mattison, whose reputation shifts immediately from Septuagenarian of Swag to college football's worst Benedict Arnold. Losing an accomplished and well-known assistant to the very fine people in Columbus will be press released as exactly the kind of deep blow its orchestrators intended it to be. Superficially swiping your rival's 70-year-old assistant, however, creates as many questions about longevity tomorrow as petty high-fives today. Mattison's defensive line expertise is superfluous at Ohio State, who poached top DL coach Larry Johnson Sr. from Penn State when Franklin took over, so at best this is a temporary move for Ohio State while they groom Hafley.

Michigan could also be fine. Rising star OLB coach Al Washington would have been tough to retain this offseason; Washington, like Mattison, is a strong recruiter with deep Ohio ties and in fact was previously the Michigan coach rumored to be considering an OSU job. Mattison's departure instead should clear the way for Michigan to promote Washington up the assistant chain while returning him to his most natural coaching position; Washington was Don Brown's defensive line coach at Boston College and at most of his other stops.

That all of course depends on whether Brown himself stays with Michigan or accepts the Temple head coaching job that Manny Diaz just bounced from. Harbaugh will have to wait a few more tense weeks to have a good idea of who's going to be coaching with him in 2019.


Wednesday presser 8-29-18: Greg Mattison

Wednesday presser 8-29-18: Greg Mattison Comment Count

Ethan Sears August 30th, 2018 at 9:12 PM

So as someone who’s had ties to both schools, why do you think this should be an annual game again, and do you still have a lake house by Brian Kelly?

“It is a — it’s a great game because it’s two really, really outstanding universities. You know, both schools have great academics, both schools do it the right way, and I think in the history of football, those are two of the very, very top schools and they should always play each other.

“And do I have a lake house? No, he’s got a really, really big one I think. No, mine isn’t like that, it’s not by him.”

Defensive line’s obviously been an elite unit the past 3-4 years, how much kinda internal discussion, in terms of how much control they have to take Saturday, do you feel like the D-line is gonna set the tone?

“I think anytime — anytime you expect to have a very, very good defense, you gotta have a very good defensive line. I mean, for the history of Michigan football, I mean, you think of the Glen Steele’s and go back. I mean, the Will Carr’s. You go on and on and on, back then, and now the last few years here with the Taco (Charlton’s) and the (Chris Wormley’s) and the (Ryan) Glasgow’s and all those guys. You have to have a very, very good defensive line in today’s football to have a good defense. And this group understands that, they’ve played a lot of football. And whenever you’ve played a lot of football, the bar gets higher and higher every year.

"They all have very, very high goals. And, this is the first game entertaining those goals. That’s all it is. That’s what happens. When you play the first game, when you work as hard as this group has worked in the summer, when you had the experience that they had last year, this is the next step. Well, now it is. It’s here. Let’s see what you have.”

How have you seen (Mike) Dwumfour kinda take to being in that sort of starter position? He hasn’t started yet, but that leadership role, I guess, as far as being the front guy there.

“Well, the thing that I think we have on our defensive line is like two years ago. I talked about that all the time. We may have eight starters. We may have eight starters, and we may have the ability with our defensive line this year, to be able to tag themselves out. In other words, some places you have to say to a person, that guy looks tired now, we better put this guy in. Well, when you have a group of young men that have earned the right to play, I like to be able to say to them, ‘You rotate yourselves. You look and watch that guy and if it’s gonna be four plays or three plays or how many we decide, you’re rotating on your own throughout the game.’

"And so I look at this defensive line as having the possibility of having seven starters possibly. And then you go from there. And that’s how important it is. And when you have that, then when you're out on that field, there is no time to take a play off. There is no time to not go at 100 percent. Because if you’re gonna be out there playing and your buddy wants to be playing, and he’s earned the right to play, then don’t you dare go out there and not go hard. Now, when you can’t go anymore, because you’re tired, come on out and your buddy will come in for you, and he’ll play the way he’s supposed to play. And that’s what we had two years ago and I think we’re working towards that again this year.”

So are we wrong to think that’s Dwumfour’s job or is — is Lawrence Marshall possibly in that?

“All the guys. You’ve got a whole group of guys in there now. You’ve got a whole group of people in that group. I look at, there’s five guys possibly that are starters for those first inside two positions. And the other thing we’ve done with the inside two positions, they’re equal. Like, when you talk about a three-technique and you talk about a nose, they’re really equal positions. One just plays on one side and one plays on the other. So, you can have the possibility of five guys that are being able to play those two positions.”

Who are those five guys?

“Well the five guys would be, as you mentioned before, you’ve got Bryan Mone, and you’ve got Lawrence Marshall, and you’ve got Dwumfour. You’ve got Aubrey Solomon and you’ve got Carlo Kemp. You’ve got five guys that I believe, starting in the spring last year and right now through this camp have really earned the right, when you say, ‘Ok, we trust you. We think when you go in there, you will play the type of defense that we expect you to play.’ ”

[Hit THE JUMP for details on depth, impressions of the O-line, a look at ND, and more.]


Spring Practice Presser 4-16-18: Al Washington

Spring Practice Presser 4-16-18: Al Washington Comment Count

Adam Schnepp April 18th, 2018 at 8:01 AM


[image via Maize & Blue News]

[Ed. A—Thanks to Orion Sang and The Michigan Daily crew for passing along audio]

How are you enjoying the experience here so far?

“It’s been good. It’s been real good. Everybody here from an administrative standpoint to a player standpoint has been great. It’s good to be—you know, I’m three hours from home, so family comes often. But it’s Michigan, you know. It’s a dream school. But it’s been really good, so I’ve enjoyed working here.”

You were a Buckeye growing up.

“I was. Well, I wasn’t, my father was, so you kind of get born into it, but yeah, I’m familiar with Ohio State. All respect to them and coach Meyer and what they’re doing, but I was excited about this for a lot of reasons. I’m trying to convert as many family members over.”

How about your dad?

“My dad—my dad was here this past weekend to come to the spring game, the spring practice, and he had a good time. He had a Michigan hat on but he had an Ohio State jersey underneath, so I was exposing him a little bit. But yeah, he’s excited. He’s proud. It’s a great program and great school.”

What did you get out last year with Fickell?

“You said how did I?”

What did you take [away]?

“Oh, well, coach Fickell’s a great person, first off. I hadn’t worked with him prior to going there but growing up in Columbus, a lot of coaches I’m close with were close with him. He’s a great human being, man. Great coach, he’s a winner, so I really enjoyed my time there.

“It was tough to leave so soon because you get relationships with these kids, but—and coach Fickell. What did I get out of it? I guess just another perspective, another high-level coach to learn from how to conduct their business, how to run a program.”

Did it catch you off guard? You were only there for one year, like you said. You’re young. Did it catch you off guard when they called you here and said we want you to coach here? Was it something you expected?

“Every year is kind of its own deal. So, I had been at Boston College for five years prior and that was kind of my—I’ve been all over the place as I’ve come up. Did I think I’d be offered a job at Michigan at the beginning of the year? No, but I didn’t think it was something out of the norm.

“And, you know, my relationship with Donnie [Brown], I’ve kept in contact with Donnie. He’s a big part of that, obviously. That’s documented. But, you know, I’m not surprised about much. Every year is kind of unique, and so it was a great situation, for sure. Appreciative of it, but I’m kind of ready for whatever.”

[After THE JUMP: Don Brown on Mount Rushmore, piranhas on a quarterback, and a child care conundrum I am intimately familiar with]


Spring Practice Presser 4-3-18: Greg Mattison

Spring Practice Presser 4-3-18: Greg Mattison Comment Count

Adam Schnepp April 4th, 2018 at 8:03 AM


[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

[Ed. A—Pick your poison if you’re wondering why there aren’t any MGoQuestions: is it the GI bug that has kept me up and…uh, occupied since 4 AM, or is it that my wife could go into labor at any time? I’ll be back at Schembechler Hall as soon as I can. Thanks to MGoFriend Isaiah Hole for the video.]

Do you have the deepest position?

“Well, you know, I don’t know. I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know, we haven’t looked at it. I think the linebackers got some good depth, some good talent. I think there’s some good young kids all over that defense that are working to make the depth that we need.

“But up front, you know we want to always have enough depth to be able to rotate, and really, that’s what the spring is for us. We want our first group to get better and come out every practice to get better, and guys behind them gotta earn the right so that you say, ‘Okay, when we get in games, this guy can go in right now. I think you’re getting that. I think you’re seeing that.”

Who’s starting to earn that right?

“Well, Kwity Paye is having a really, really good spring. Michael Dwumfour, I think, is having one of the best springs that I can remember. I mean, he’s really playing hard, and Aubrey’s [Solomon] playing hard, and Carlo, Carlo Kemp every day comes out an gets a little better, and he’s playing a couple positions. I think we’ve got a number of kids that are doing good to try and get that first group [to] feel like they’re there.”

What distinguishes Dwumfour?

“Dwumfour, it’s been he’s so quick off the football. He has a lot of Mo Hurst in him. There’s times when you see him come off the ball and you just go, ‘Whoa, that’s really good,’ and he’s a little bit thicker and a little bit bigger.

“The other thing, it’s probably Rashan [Gary] and Chase [Winovich] and Bryan Mone’s leadership that have really gotten him to step up. He’s always shown flashes, but now all of a sudden he’s getting more mature. Times when he’d play really good, really good, really good, and then all of a sudden try to take a play off or he wasn’t ready to take that next play. He’s not doing that now. He’s pushing himself way past where he usually would, and that’s a real good sign for us.”

[After THE JUMP, a 275-pound man is referred to as “little Phillip.” Football!]


Wednesday Presser 11-8-17: Greg Mattison

Wednesday Presser 11-8-17: Greg Mattison Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 9th, 2017 at 10:11 AM



Talk about Aubrey Solomon and what he’s improved?

“Yeah, Aubrey’s steadily since he got here has improved every day. Again, it’s really like it was in the past, which we take great pride in, is the older guys have really mentored him. I mean, you can see it every day. You get Bryan Mone coaching him on what he should be doing, you’ve got Mo Hurst—guys are watching the film and you’ll hear them say ‘That was really good’ or ‘Step this way’ and he’s really a great young man. I mean a great, great young man that wants to be good, and so he’s gotten the opportunity and when he’s gone in he’s played very well.”

How often did you interact with Aubrey during the recruiting process?

“A lot. A lot. Obviously you want a great player like that to come here so you have to. There’s always going to be an opportunity, so that was the big thing he saw and wanted to come.”

How was it building that relationship during the recruiting process.

“Good. I mean, it’s the same as it is with any player. You’ve got to be yourself. You’ve got to be fortunate enough to be at a school like Michigan where, to me, when I recruit, it’s a no-brainer for a guy to come here. I really believe that in my heart.

“You’re going to have a great head football coach, you’re going to have a great football program, and you’re going to have an opportunity to play because we play the best players, doesn’t matter, and you’re going to get the greatest degree in the country. So what else would there be? If you like weather that’s not hot, you’re in great shape. But—so it’s not hard.”

How has Kwity Paye not only improved since he came in but how far can he go as far as what you can see?

“Kwity Paye’s another one. Kwity Paye is just like Aubrey. I mean, he has just daily improved. Again, I’ll sit there and just before I’ll say something to him you’ll hear Rashan or you’ll hear Chase say ‘No, you’ve got to step this way’ or ‘You’ve got to be lower here.’ He’s the same way; he listens in meetings, he’s got great pride, he wants to be a really good football player, and so the same thing’s happening with him. Every time he takes a rep, I sit there and say this guy’s gotten better. He gets better every day and he’s gon’ be a special player.”

[After THE JUMP: maintaining rush lanes, rolling eight deep, Chase gonna Chase]


Wednesday Presser 10-11-17: Greg Mattison

Wednesday Presser 10-11-17: Greg Mattison Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 12th, 2017 at 8:07 AM



Just talk about Mo Hurst’s game last game. Haven’t seen a lineman play that well probably in a long time.

“Well, yeah, Mo had a really good ballgame. Mo’s done some really, really good things. Obviously as a senior in big games you want to play your best and he’s been practicing that way to do that. I was happy for him. He’s capable of doing that a lot this year; he’s very explosive. The thing I’m proud of him is he’s been a good leader and he’s worked very, very hard. The guys look up to him and you want guys like that to have the reward of playing like that.”

How’s Mike Dwumfour coming along?

“Mike Dwumfour’s coming along very well. He has a lot of Mo in him. He really does. They both are very quick twitch, they’re explosive, they can run. You’ll see Mike a lot more as the season goes on. He played in this last game and I feel like we’re really starting to get with the D-line like we had before with the two-deep. They’ve worked hard in practice, and the only thing you can judge by is practice. The guys are working really hard in practice. Coach Brown does a great job of rotating them in practice like we do in-game, and they’re all starting to become that two-deep group like I want them to.”

This isn’t a criticism of Rashan, but it seems like he’s maybe a quarter step slow off the snap sometimes. Is that just because he’s playing next to a guy like Maurice Hurst?

“Well, I’d question anybody who would say Rashan’s a step slow. I bet you’d like to ask the people he’s played against if he’s a step slow. I think if anything it’s because he’s being very, very unselfish and very team-oriented and he’s knowing he’s playing the run first, and when you’re playing the run there’s a lot of times you have to react as you step as a D-lineman, and that’s what he’s doing.

“We could get all our guys to just come sprinting off the football if you wanted to but I don’t think you’d be happy with the outcome of that. I’m very proud of Rashan because he continues to try to work on his technique and continues to try to do what the defense asks him to do, and great things are going to happen because of that.”

[After THE JUMP: scouting a DeBord offense, the development of Solomon and Paye, and some good stories about Winovich]