Minnesota Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Minnesota Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 5th, 2017 at 12:34 PM

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[Fuller]

Obviously another huge rushing effort. Can you talk about not only what your backs accomplished but the guys in front of them?

“Yeah, I mean, it was stalwart performances. Looked up at one point and the statistics looked like we were Air Force. I thought we were Air Force the way we were running the ball. Thought we were Western Kentucky back in the early ‘90s under Jack Harbaugh. But it was a great job. I’ve never seen that many plus-50 yard runs in one game, any team I’ve ever coached or been on. That was quite the performance.

“Karan [Higdon] and Chris [Evans] had spectacular runs. The counter play was really good to us today. The blocking was really efficient; great precision there by the line. Tight ends, very good. Really didn’t see any missed blocks in the running game. Probably always—never as good as you think it is, there’ll probably be a few, but I thought it was really good. Really good. The guys up front, I mean, that was a game for the ages if you’re an offensive lineman. Fullbacks, same. Receivers got in on the action. They were blocking as well. It was quite the performance rushing the football.”

In the past two games the running game has done very well, but are you concerned that the passing game hasn’t gotten more opportunities to shine and improve going into these last three games of the season, especially with two big games looming against Wisconsin and Ohio State?

“Well, we were running the ball so well. I think 10 yards a rush, per attempt. I mean, that’s pretty good. I’m sure if we had done it any other way you would have ‘But why didn’t you run the ball more?’ Probably would have gotten that question, right? Yeah. Just kept feeding the running game. It was working.”

Can you talk about what went into the decision to start Cesar [Ruiz] when Mike [Onwenu] was hurt and how he played?

“Yeah, we had a three-man competition during the week of practice at that position and Cesar won it, and I thought he played really well. Gave up one hit on the quarterback, a sack, but good to see him get that action. It’s been time for him to play now for a few weeks and thought he stepped up and did very well, and he earned it. He earned it in practice. Coach Drevno was—we were grading the tape after each practice to see who to play at that position and he won out and acquitted himself well.”

[After THE JUMP: Hudson’s punt block phase-out; bizarre refereeing elicits a sad trombone sound effect; and Jack A. Harbaugh, run game repairman]

Spring Practice Presser 3/11/16: Greg Mattison

Spring Practice Presser 3/11/16: Greg Mattison

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on March 14th, 2016 at 2:23 PM

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[Barron/MGoBlog]

Playing three different positions in three years isn’t usually the recipe for success, but what about defensive end works for Chase Winovich that you think he’ll fit better there?

“Well, Chase has had a very good spring. We saw that in the bowl practice, and that’s why bowl games are so important. I’ve always felt—I recruited him, and I always felt he had a real high motor, he’s a very, very tough young man, and he can really run. When we got a chance to get him back on defense we just put him in in practices and I would have played him in the game. I would have put him in the bowl game at the end except our offense did such a great job of controlling the ball I didn’t have time to get him in at the end. Then this spring, he’s added some weight. He’s got a lot of learning to do with the technique but he’s willing to, and I think you’re going to be—you know, he’s got a very high ceiling and I’m excited about it.”

How about Bryan Mone? Is he at full health?

“Yeah. Bryan’s, you know, he’s rusty; you don’t take a whole year off [without rust]. But every practice you see it getting more like the guy when he was a freshman but older, and he’s working really hard. I’m very pleased. Obviously he’s very hungry. You know, you take a year away from a young man, it’s hard. And he seems to be really excited about what’s happening, and he’s getting a lot of great reps.”

On the other side of the ball, can you talk about what you see in practice from Chesson and Darboh and Butt in terms of they’re so experienced and so talented that whoever the quarterback is how much they’re going to help that guy?

“Yeah, again, you’re talking about three guys that are veterans now. They’re very talented. I don’t follow our offense. You know, you’ve got so much to do with your own side, but they just have such a great attitude and they seem to be the ones that make the plays. And they’re leaders. They’re leaders by how they play, leaders off the field, leaders in the cafeteria. They’re big-time guys and it’s fun to be on a team with them. I’m really excited about what they’re going to do this next year.”

You’ve talked a lot over the years about how you remember coaching Chris [Wormley] and Hurst when they were really young. Now they’re old. This is the most veteran line you’ve had. Are your expectations, I assume, that much higher?

“Yeah, very high. You know, they know me that if a guy shows that he has talent that I’m going to expect him to get all the way to the top of that talent, and so sometimes things that might be acceptable some places are still not acceptable. I’m always after them for perfection. I want them to be as good as I know they can be, and that’s hard to do in a four-hour practice but they’re being pushed to do that.

“You see those guys, you know, Glasgow, he can’t go right now but he’s doing some things that he wouldn’t get injured with. But all those guys, Taco, it’s four years for them now and you’ve seen them. It’s funny because when you see a Shelton Johnson or a Carlo Kemp or Winovich, you see a young guy and you remember that’s just what they looked like, so you want to get them there faster so they can be up with them. But it’s good. The bar is very, very high for this defensive line.”

[After THE JUMP: If tickets for the Rashan Gary Hype Train weren’t already sold out…]

Coaches’ Clinic Presser 3/11/16: Jim, John, and Jack Harbaugh

Coaches’ Clinic Presser 3/11/16: Jim, John, and Jack Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on March 14th, 2016 at 11:17 AM

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[Isaiah Hole/ 247]

Just talk about what a day this is for the three of you to be together here at the clinic and then across the street tonight [AA Pioneer Hall of Fame induction ceremony]?

Jim: “It’s just like so many things that we’ve all done together through the years. It’s one more thing to be done, but I mean great memories of all the times we were doing stuff together. The three of us have done a lot together through the years.”

Jack: “Fishing…”

Jim: “We’ve done a lot of things with mom and Joani as well and our wives, but the three of us, we’ve done a lot of cool stuff together. You know, this is certainly one of those shining star days.”

You gave the coaches a lot to chew on. Is there one thing that you hope they take away from it more than anything else?

Jim: “My personal feeling is that during a clinic or even a talk or speech of some kind is try to give something that somebody can use, even if it’s just one or two or three things. And I think we did that. Think there was—they at least got one or two things.”

John: “They had a lot to choose from. They had a lot of options.”

Like a salad buffet, you take what you need and what works for you?

Jack: /laughs “I wish I’d had that line.”

Jim: “Talking to, listening to coach Tim Tyrrell talk, you know, we were all there and I took probably 20 really good coaching points and took furious notes. That’s what you want to get when you’re a listener to somebody at a clinic or a speech, that there’s something you get that you can use and incorporate into your own team and own coaching staff.”

Jack, I think you said something along the lines of you wished you could have coached with your two sons.

Jack: “Yeah, no question.”

What about them would you want to share with them on a staff?

Jack: “Well, as I sit back now without a coaching assignment-- and they are so good with Jackie and I, they bring us into their families’ lives, they bring us into their professional lives—but to just sit back at the back of a room and watch how they address their team or sit into a coaches meeting and watch how they address their coaches, the great trust that they have with their team and their coaches, I marvel. I say, ‘Why wouldn’t the lord put me on the earth earlier in my coaching career?’ Then I could have had an opportunity to experience that. I think I would have been better. I think my record would have been a lot better as a coach.”

Jim, you ever think about hiring him here?

“My dad? Oh yeah. We got him daily. Sometimes he’s over in Baltimore and sometimes he’s in Bloomington, but when we do get him we learn a lot and cherish it. I mean, he’s an honorary member of whatever staff I’ve ever been on. Same with John.”

John: “He’s full time. More than full time. He works for three coaches right now. He’s got three staffs.”

Jack: “It’s a blessing.”

[After THE JUMP: Twisted blue steel, Judge Judy, Mark Emmert, and the Super Bowl]

H4: Hall of Harbaugh Quarterbacks, Part 1

H4: Hall of Harbaugh Quarterbacks, Part 1

Submitted by Seth on February 10th, 2015 at 10:15 AM

Michigan's offense this year is facing the mother of all X factors in its quarterback situation. Brady Hoke left the rest of the team in relatively great shape, but its most important position in a Shane-or-die position.

Hoke and his staff recruited just Russell Bellomy (a last-minute flier stolen from Purdue) in the hybrid 2011 class, and skipped a quarterback altogether in 2012 because they already had a commitment from Morris in 2013. This was a bad idea then, and worked out awfully for Michigan. Bellomy's injury ruined any chance of a badly needed redshirt for Shane, so even if Morris worked out he'd be gone after 2016. And if he didn't work out: Michigan was going into this year hoping to catch lightning in a freshman from either lone 2014 recruit Wilton Speight, or early enrollee Alex Malzone.

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From left: Morris, Speight, Malzone, Gentry, O'Korn. O'Korn won't be eligible in 2015 due to transfer rules but gives Michigan a guy they didn't have between Morris Speight.

This won't happen under Harbaugh. The former Michigan and NFL star likes lots of bullets and lots of competition at his old position, which he personally coaches. Harbaugh has already added the high-ceilinged Zach Gentry, a perfect complement to the high-floor Malzone. By this time next year (unless there's attrition), Michigan should have the above plus two years of eligibility remaining on Houston transfer John O'Korn, and likely one or two of the nation's best freshmen.

What I'd like to do, then, is go back through Harbaugh's quarterbacks—the starters and the recruits—to see if we can find any common threads in the type of guy he adds to the pile, and the type of guy who emerges from it.

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Jim used his Orlando offseason home as a base from which to recruit the talent-rich region for WKU. [USA Today]

Western Kentucky
Recruiting assistant, 1994-2001

Bo's former defensive backs coach Jack Harbaugh was coaching at Western Kentucky, and struggling through his first few years, when the school decided it would cut two assistant coaching positions and a handful of scholarships (they already put very little toward equipment). His sons offered to do some scouting and recruiting for him—John from Cincinnati and Jim from his house in Orlando—and the harvest from those recruits was an WKU's rise to a I-AA national championship in 2002 and eventual reclassification into Division I-A.

The Jim-John co-op (John was doing much of the scouting, passing on guys Indiana couldn't recruit) was personally credited with 17 players on the national championship team. Nick Baumgardner got the story of Jim's first quarterback recruit, Willie Taggart:

Harbaugh explained he was trying to round up some talent for his dad's program. He told Taggart that he and his father were watching tape of Manatee and asked, "Who is that little skinny guy?" Jim said he thought he should play quarterback in college and he'd come by the school on Tuesday at lunch to discuss it further.

Taggart hung up and assumed it was a prank or something. "I called my high school coach and he checked on it and said, 'Yeah, Jim is Jack Harbaugh's son.'

Manatee was a Tampa area powerhouse back then, so Taggart's a guy who absolutely would have shown up on recruiting radars today, and had FBS programs looking at him then. He became the best QB in school history, improving a 2-8 team in in 1995 to 7-4 in '96 and 10-2 in '97. Taggart is now USF's head coach, and was an assistant for Jim at Stanford.

Taggart returned to WKU in 2000 and ran an option offense that rotated between three candidates. The original winner was Jason Johnson. They got the 6'3/200 Johnson out of Palmetto, but with the limited scholarships they couldn't offer him one out of high school. Johnson went to a military college for a few years before being re-recruited:

It was during that second season that Johnson had to renter the recruiting game. He was in contact with a number of Division programs, including Clemson, South Carolina, Kansas State and Indiana, but in the end Western won out.

Donte Pimpleton was the second, a local-ish dual-threat kid who wound up playing receiver—there isn't anything on the internet connecting his recruitment to the brothers. The third candidate, and the starter of the 2002 championship team, was Jason Michael, another local recruit, onetime Jim Harbaugh assistant in SF and now the OC of the Tennessee Titans,

Jim did recruit Alan Ogletree, an overlooked athlete from Atlanta who ended up starting at every position in the defensive and offensive backfield for the Hilltoppers (QB, RB, FB, WR, CB, SS, FS, K, P).

[After the jump: Raiders and San Diego]

Unverified Voracity Has Spirits

Unverified Voracity Has Spirits

Submitted by Brian on January 1st, 2015 at 3:34 PM

USE THE FORCE JIM. Daily article on Harbaugh's mentors with them all lined up…

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…and the mind instantly puts them in this:

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Sorry, Mr. Carr. Shouldn't have stood in the center.

MATTISON IS PRETTY MUCH IN. Man is still recruiting:

Score.

GET THIS MAN A TATTOO. Mark the Nomad has got to get some ink:

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He's looking for the internet to fund it, in order to slightly reduce the chance this results in a divorce.

FIFTH YEAR OPTIONS. A quick glance at the roster will tell you that Michigan should be in the market for a graduate transfer QB. Their current options are either freshmen, Russell Bellomy, or Shane Morris. The former two have never played in college; the latter two have struggled immensely when they've gotten in the game. So this bit of news is intriguing:

A redshirt junior on track to graduate in June, [the Chicken Bowl] was probably [Kevin] Hogan’s last shot in a Stanford uniform. He hasn't addressed whether he'll return for his final year of eligibility, and head coach David Shaw intimated that Hogan didn't want to discuss it before the end of the season.

Harbaugh recruited Hogan, and he's obviously got he academic chops to make a smooth transition.

Hogan wasn't a world-beater this year (or he wouldn't be transferring) but he did finish with a 66% completion rating, 7.9 YPA, and a 19-8 TD-INT ratio. He's also a decent runner. He would almost certainly be an upgrade on Michigan's current options, and he knows the offense.

Another option: Everett Golson. Golson dropped off a cliff at the end of this year, as he turned into a turnover machine and split time with Malik Zaire in the bowl game. ND insiders and message boards are rumbling about a potential departure. If I had to bet I'd say he returns to ND, but keep an eye out if he doesn't.

DISCOUNT STILL IN EFFECT. Moe's is taking advantage of an opportunity with an enthusiasm unknown to retail-activation-kind.

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AND SUDDENLY YOU'RE A FREE AGENT. Bills coach Doug Marrone has a bizarre window built into his contract that allows him to opt out at no cost… one he's just exercised. This puts his assistants in serious limbo, one of whom is Tyrone Wheatley. Even before this happened a lot of Michigan folk suspected that Wheatley would end up in Ann Arbor; now it seems highly, highly probable.

ALL THIS COULD HAVE BEEN OURS. LSU fans have always been turning on Les Miles, but now the knives are well and truly out. Miles is losing DC John Chavis to a megaoffer from A&M, leaving LSU scrambling to keep their defense as good as it needs to be to keep the wonky Tiger offense from submarining seasons.

ADDING TO MOUNT NFLWRONG. He hates recruiting!

His wife didn't want to come!

His heart is in the NFL!

York, though, would not shed any light on what was said in those discussions, saying they were "private" in nature, though he did acknowledge that teams had inquired about trading for Harbaugh, and Harbaugh was not interested.

It was all about the money!

NOPE. If you were wondering if Devin Funchess would return to the team because Harbaugh, your answer is no:

He'll be a first or second round pick in the draft even with the disappointing finish to his year.

WHAT ON EARTH. There is a woman named Ann Arbaugh who lives in Ann Arbor. And she's…

The Ohio State graduate said she hasn't abandoned her Buckeye roots, and that she's become an Ann Arborite but not quite a Wolverine-lover.

…an Ohio State graduate. Life is weird.

COLTS ON HARBAUGH. They didn't think he was a total weird megalomaniac:

"I've read about that side of him, but that's it," Ward says. "He was not thought of in that way (here), and it doesn't characterize Jim as we knew him. He was intensely competitive, absolutely, but he was a great team player and scrappy and always, always battling for the team."

Indianapolis fell in love with Harbaugh, in part because he was the anti-Jeff George, a superstar talent whose less-than-superstar results and aloof air – think Jay Cutler – rubbed people the wrong way. Jeff George was not what the city of Indianapolis craved in a leader. Jim Harbaugh was, and he gave this city what it loved.

There was the 1995 AFC championship game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh, when the Colts trailed 20-16 in the final minutes and Harbaugh was bleeding from a torn hand and still leading the team down the field before his final pass, a heave into the end zone, bounced away from Colts receiver Aaron Bailey.

"I remember blood dripping from his hand," Ward says, "and he singlehandedly pretty much drove the team within inches of winning that game."

ETC.: Mitch Albom bashing always goes down smooth. His latest stuff is so bad that colleagues are publicly mocking it on twitter. John Morton 49ers interview. Ditto Drevno. We are mad about khakis.

How to get eligible real quick, or The Demar Dorsey Eligibility Plan. Someone at a newspaper wrote something that's actually funny. HSR on the hire.