Wednesday Presser 11-23-16: Don Brown

Wednesday Presser 11-23-16: Don Brown

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 23rd, 2016 at 3:00 PM

30351032680_8424eaa61f_z

[Bryan Fuller]

MGoQuestion: This is one of the faster teams you’ll play this year. How do you counter that tempo defensively?

“Do you mean tempo meaning speed between plays or do you mean the team speed?”

MGoClarification: Speed between plays.

“Um, again, we’ve been seeing it on a week-to-week basis. Several teams we play run the spread or some kind of form of the spread. Ohio State does a little bit more with the power game, but, you know, you just gotta go ahead and get your calls in, get your guys lined up, and make sure you’re ready to go.

“To be quite honest, I think Indiana’s really fast. I mean, I felt that the other night, and I thought for the most part, expect for three snaps, we got our feet in the ground, all 11 ready to go. Feel good about to this point our preparation against spread offenses. We minimized our last spread outfit to 64 yards rushing, which is an important stat, especially when they’re in the 200s coming in. Felt like—feel like we’re in a good spot getting ready to go for this week.”

How tough is it specifically to deal with JT Barrett?

“He’s a good player. Does a good job. You’re gonna have to challenge your entire unit to stop him because when you’ve got an athlete at quarterback, you’ve got to chase an athlete with a bunch of athletes, so that becomes an important piece of this thing. You can’t just rely on the front four. You have to involve everybody in the process, whether it’s run fits or finding ways to be creative in rushing the passer on throw scenarios.”

[After THE JUMP: never, ever tease Don Brown about playing press man]

Monday Presser 11-21-16: Players

Monday Presser 11-21-16: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 22nd, 2016 at 5:00 PM

osu week players presser

Erik Magnuson, Kyle Kalis, Jake Butt, and Chris Wormley

For the Ohio guys especially, is this the biggest game you’ve ever played in your career to date?

CW: “I think so. It’s #2 versus #3. It’s for a Big Ten championship berth. Big game.”

JB: “I second that.”

KK: “Agreed.”
EM: “I’m not from Ohio.”

Pretty well documented the struggles the program’s had against OSU in the past 10 or 12 years. How important is it for you guys to end that and get Michigan [?]?

JB: “It’s not as important to win this game for what’s been going on in the past, what’s been going on the past 11, 12 years. Really, we just need to win this game for what we have in front of us right now, and that’s all we’re focused on is we have an unbelievable opportunity to go on the road and compete against a really good team. Everything’s on the line right now. Our whole entire season’s on the line, so we need to win the game for that reason.”

I have a similar question: to be a great rivalry both teams have to win, and that hasn’t happened. How much do you guys need to win not only for yourselves but knowing Michigan has lost 11 out of 12?

KK: “Again, I don’t think you can focus that much on the past, especially when it’s this type of game coming up. It’ll be a big game. We’re definitely going to put in the work this week to prepare ourselves for it. I can’t wait to go out there and just play with all the guys. It’ll be the last time we play together as a team in a regular season game against Ohio State, so it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”

[Guy identifies himself as being from a Columbus newspaper] The Jim Harbaugh we see, that we just saw about five minutes ago, would you guys know that side? How is that different from the Jim Harbaugh you see?

CW: “Compared to what you guys see?

Yeah.

EM: “Michigan reporters only.”

KK: “Yeah, no comment.”

EM: “I’m sorry, I’m just kidding. I think he’s probably very similar to what you guys see. He’s as real as they come. The media kind of paints a bad picture of him sometimes because of his antics like going after referees and stuff like that, but he’ll fight to the death for his players. He’s a player’s coach in that aspect and he’s somebody that you’d run through a wall for, but he’s pretty similar to what you see. In everyday life, that’s who he is.”

[Hit THE JUMP for a good Jabrill story and a lot on the personalities of great coaches]

Monday Presser 11-21-16: Jim Harbaugh

Monday Presser 11-21-16: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 21st, 2016 at 3:19 PM

31119025245_d356112c77_z

[Bryan Fuller]

Dymonte Thomas the last couple games has made some big plays for you. Talk about what he’s given you on the field?

“He’s always given solid play, and lately big hits, momentum-changing plays. He’s a very good player. Always has been consistently good.”

You’re going to a place where they really don’t know what to make of you down there. Some people say you’re crazy like a fox, some people say you’re just crazy, but they all say you’re progressive. Could you describe who you are to Ohioans?

“Not crazy. Wouldn’t describe myself as that.”
Anything beyond that?

“No. I mean, I don’t know that my personality really, how relevant that will be to the ballgame this week. Probably irrelevant.”

Is there anything unique about competing against Urban Meyer, whether it’s on the field or recruiting or anywhere else you come up against each other?

“Unique in that it’s at the highest level.”

How so?

“In terms of competition on the field or recruiting, everything’s at the highest level. Competition’s at the highest level.”

Can you update us on Wilton Speight’s condition, and do you expect him to play?

“No, I do not have an update today. Hasn’t been evaluated today.”

[After THE JUMP: Harbaugh waxes poetic about Peppers, lists all the cities he lived in as a kid, and explains why love for his children and football can’t be accurately expressed with a pie chart]

Indiana Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Indiana Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 20th, 2016 at 12:00 PM

30312448093_1583255ec6_z

[Eric Upchurch]

News bullets and other items:

  • Wilton Speight is “day-to-day”
  • Asked whether he will practice next week, Harbaugh said, “We’ll see.”

Can you talk about what De’Veon Smith and your offensive line gave you when you really needed it there in the third quarter?

“Yeah, I mean, grinding out first downs, grinding meat. De’Veon, he played with great motivation. And some great play from the offensive line. It felt like old fashioned, slobber-knocker football.

“Tim Drevno made some great calls. The touchdown, the long touchdown by De’Veon was a heck of a call. We’d been running to the strongside. Come back, pull, have the pullers to the weakside, it was just enough. Just enough space, and De’Veon, breaking tackles. The yard runs, the yards after contact, pushing for the first down was critical. I think it’s the most yards of his career. Heck of an effort by De’Veon.”

No disrespect to Indiana, but is it possible your guys were thinking ahead a little to next week. How was the focus, do you think?

[laughs] “I’ll tell you what, to win this game, it feels like one of the best wins I’ve ever been involved with because it was a playoff game, and it was beating a tough Indiana team. We have a lot of respect for them. They’re a heck of a football team. And the elements, too. That was…you know, feel good about our football team.”

Can you reflect on the run that O’Korn h.ad to set up De’Veon’s first touchdown, and how would you assess his play overall?

“Yeah, that was huge. We were struggling making third-down conversions and there was not just one but two defenders pressuring John, and [he] stepped out of it with good ball security. Got the first down and was being threatened there at the sticks and didn’t dive, didn’t slide. Kick through, kicked through an arm tackle and kept right on running, so that was a big play. That was a signature play for a quarterback in a big game, so I feel really good. Amara [Darboh] was also outstanding to extend our last drive. He did a lot of good things.”

[After THE JUMP: special teams, smashing the narrative, and waxing philosophical about Michigan Stadium]

Wednesday Presser 11-16-16: Tyrone Wheatley

Wednesday Presser 11-16-16: Tyrone Wheatley

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 16th, 2016 at 6:00 PM

29718363826_49db2a8818_z

[Bryan Fuller]

[Wheatley sees Ty Isaac on the opposite side of the desk in the lobby/Towsley Museum]

“I’m about to talk about you. You know that, right? Wanna listen to it? Wanna come listen to what I’m about to say about you?”

[Isaac laughs and walks away]

With Chris Evans, he seemed to have the most productive day at Iowa. What were the things that stood out about him that maybe he was doing different than other guys?

“You said it. It was production. Certain games and certain backs—it was a penetrating front and Chris was able to hit some creases and go for it and be productive, so that was pretty much it. With guys we go to who has the hot hand and who’s productive and that was it. Chris was hitting creases.”

Were you guys trying to get him more as the game went on? I think he ended up with eight carries. De’Veon seemed to get carries down the stretch.

“Like I said, at that point whatever play is called and whoever’s doing well at that point in time, that’s who’ll go in.”

With so many guys that can go for you, what’s the room been like from a keeping it light but also keep--

“Chaos, man. They hate each other. [laughs] You see the bags under my eyes? Gray…I look like Barack right now.

“Nah, the room is great. The room, the tone has been set in camp. They understand the task, and the task is to win the Big Ten and then hopefully from that point on, as you know, the little gold trophy. So, the mantra for this university has been ever since the big man was here, ‘the team, the team, the team.’ So, it doesn’t change. You kind of put yourself to the side and put the team in front. The room is great. Guys are absolutely a treasure. I mean, a treat to coach and a treasure for me to have, so the room’s been great.”

[After THE JUMP: how to gain Wheatley’s trust, the secret to the Hammering Panda’s success, not noticing QBs in practice, and a quick injury update]

Wednesday Presser 11-16-16: Brian Smith

Wednesday Presser 11-16-16: Brian Smith

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 16th, 2016 at 2:15 PM

29574784014_c430bbb393_z

[Barron/MGoBlog]

What did you guys learn from last game in your group, specifically?

“In our group specifically, we’ve got to tackle better. Fundamentals of the game, that’s what it comes down to a lot of times in those situations, the fundamentals of the game. You’ve got to be sharp, and that’s something that we definitely have to focus on going forward, as we do every week.”

In terms of the secondary and your position specifically, Delano [Hill] left the game. What’s his status? Has he been practicing fully this week?

“Delano should be fine. He left the game at the end there, but he’s doing well. He should be good to go this week.”

The grind this time of year, can you see guys wearing down a little bit and what’s the message to them?

“The message is just to prepare like we do always. I think we’ve done a good job in preparation throughout the whole season, and we don’t want to lose any of that. Every week, just keep preparing like we’ve been and take it to another level each week.”

Tyree Kinnel’s been getting a lot more action. Can you talk about his progression and what you’re seeing out of him?

“Yeah, Tyree, he’s played well. He’s come a long way. This is only his second year getting in there and getting in the mix, but he’s been doing a good job on special teams and when you do a good job on teams we trust you more to get in there on defense. He’s done a nice job with that.”

[More on Metellus, Hudson, and Indiana’s offense after THE JUMP]

Monday Presser 11-14-16: Players

Monday Presser 11-14-16: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 15th, 2016 at 2:04 PM

11-14 players

Jake Butt, Maurice Hurst, and Matt Godin

Talk about how your team still has its destiny in its hands in terms of winning out to get where you want even though you lost.

JB: “Yeah, obviously it’s a tough loss. It’s a game we could have won, so that’s gonna sting a little bit. But we reminded ourselves and each other that what we set out for at the beginning of the season is still right in front of us. We’re going to learn from this loss and become tougher and better because of it. We control our own destiny, so as long as we keep handling business we’re not worried about what anyone else is doing. We’ve just got to handle our own business and the rest will take care of itself.”

Matt, what were some of the problems up front against the run, especially on first down, on Saturday night?

“First of all, give credit to them. They had a great seam going in the run game, but we just weren’t fitting some of the things right in the run game, obviously. We’re gonna have to take a look at it in film today, but we’ll get it fixed.”

Jake, what were some of the things that guys were saying to each other yesterday, a day removed from that? Was there encouragement needed? Was anybody having to say anything, or did you all just realize how you had to move forward?

“Thankfully, we’ve got a veteran team, a lot of older guys that have seen a lot of different things in their career here, and a lot of mature younger guys, too, that can follow some of the older guys’ lead, [and] a great coaching staff that has seen a lot of things, too. It’s a tough game. We were going to face adversity this season. We wish we would have come out on top in that game, but we understand—there’s no panic button. We’re not gonna let one loss turn into two. We’re just going to continue the same mentality of get back to work today and move forward.”

[More after THE JUMP]

Monday Presser 11-14-16: Jim Harbaugh

Monday Presser 11-14-16: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 14th, 2016 at 6:04 PM

30932493876_90095a6662_z

[Eric Upchurch]

News bullets and other items:

  • Harbaugh saved timeouts because he planned to use them after second and third down and get the ball back with about 35 second to play; Iowa converted the third down.
  • There were 10 guys on to block the field goal because they started with 12 guys and there was a miscommunication in the huddle about who was supposed to come off the field.

Any more on Wilton Speight?

“We’re gonna know more--It’s gonna depend just on how he feels.”

And can you talk about Jeremy Clark? Has he had the surgery, and have you guys started the petition at all with him for the sixth year?

“Yeah, he’s doing good. Surgery was successful and it’s a process. Where he is in the process is gathering the information, making a case. Soon.”

With Wilton, when do you think you’ll have to know to make a decision on him and is it a game-time decision at this point?

“Could be. As I said, when we’ll know is based on what the doctors say and how Wilton’s feeling, what he’s able to do during the week in terms of practice, etc.”

And it’s his shoulder?

“As I said, we’ll make that determination with the doctors and with Wilton.”

Do you at least know if there’s anything structural or is it just a soreness thing? Have you been able to determine that yet on Wilton?

“Um…as always, per our principle we don’t like to speak specifics.”

If need be, John O’Korn, have you seen enough of him in practice to be confident in him?

“Yes, yeah. Yes. John, Shane [Morris]. I especially would anticipate today, the next couple days at least, that they’ll get the majority of the reps. It’ll be good practice for them, but they’ve both had extensive practice time through the course of the year and yes, we are confident they will do a good job.”

[After THE JUMP: running-into-the-kicker calls, the program’s momentum when Harbaugh arrived, and praise for Indiana’s defense is definitely a thing now]

Iowa Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Iowa Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 13th, 2016 at 2:03 AM

29782633160_5e92a015cb_z

[Upchurch/MGoBlog]

There are portions of my audio where I couldn’t hear because of the reverberations of Iowa folks celebrating, so I pieced together what I could.

What was happening with the offense tonight? Seemed like it was misfiring.

“Not enough—we didn’t make enough plays to extend drives and get first downs. Missed some deep throws. Close. Just…you know, give Iowa credit. They tackled, they blocked, they played a very good football game. So, congratulate them and move on.”

How about your defense? They stood tall pretty much the whole game, it seemed like. Stribling had a big interception. Talk about what

“Yeah, they—I thought they played well most of the ballgame and it was a low-scoring, hard-fought football game.”

Did you think with the facemask, I didn’t see it, but did you see it from your field position?

“I didn’t see it either.”

Did you get any explanation?

“No.”

What did you tell your team after this game?

“Big things and every little thing isn’t going to go our team’s way or anybody’s way. Every little thing doesn’t always go your way, and we’ll make—to make it a win you’ve got to make it that way. We didn’t do enough to make it that way tonight.”

[After THE JUMP: more words]

Wednesday Presser 11-9-16: Jay Harbaugh

Wednesday Presser 11-9-16: Jay Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 10th, 2016 at 9:59 AM

29972170841_7c4eb308ee_z

[Fuller/MGoBlog]

Talk about where your group is right now and how pleased you are with their progress.

“Really pleased with where we’re at. Simple thing that we talk about as a group is just getting better every week, and I think the last three or four weeks we’ve been better and looking to continue that moving forward.”

What does it mean to have somebody at the top of the all-time tight ends list in terms of receptions. I know Jake was excited about it.

“Yeah, really excited. The whole group was really thrilled for him, which says a lot about who he is as a teammate in the room and just in general on the team. Guys being happy for his success says a lot about who he is. And understanding the work he puts in, how he approaches every day. It’s not really surprising. It’s just what you expect of a guy who puts that much into it.”

Jabrill got so many opportunities on punt return early in the year and seemed like there was one or two every game he was a step away from breaking. Is there something in the last couple weeks that’s different in the way they’ve been blocking you guys or adjusted to something?

“Uh, well, shoot, I think against Maryland they only punted a couple of times, which is unusual for a game like that. Then both times there was excellent hang time on the ball and great location on the punt, so credit to them. That’s how it goes sometimes. There’s things you can do to neutralize a great returner. It’s really all in the punter’s hands. And then not having as many opportunities is the other part of it. I think those things kind of go in cycles and hopefully we’ll see a few more opportunities down the stretch.”

Jim talked a lot about Kekoa’s blocking, then he did, too, last night. How much do you work with the wide receivers on blocking? Is that you or is that Jedd?

“None for me. I can’t take any credit for those guys. Jedd and Drew [Terrell] and Ryan Nehlen and the other guys, they do a nice job working with them. Really seen a lot of progress from those guys.”

[After THE JUMP: Kenny Allen’s kicker swagger, running the program like an NFL team, and differences in utilizing tall vs. short TEs]