Monday Player Presser Notes 10-4-10

Monday Player Presser Notes 10-4-10

Submitted by Tim on October 4th, 2010 at 4:02 PM

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Denard Robinson

"I'm feeling good. Feeling alright. Just got done lifting." He felt pretty good yesterday after the Indiana game. Staying healthy - "I guess every Big Ten game's going to be a big game. I've been working out, I've gotten treatment, doing everything I can to take care of my body."

"I love people, so it's not that bad" getting recognized around campus.

"I've made some bad reads, and I kind of overthrew a couple guys. There's always time for improvement." Doesn't worry about his stats, so he doesn't care what people are saying about him. "Just don't watch it, don't read it, stay away from it."

Teammates can make plays "don't try to make too many plays."

On Roundtree: "Roy, just give him the ball and he's going to make something happen." He just makes plays. "We could do that with all our receivers, but he's standing out right now."

OL has been performing every week. "That's who I've gotta give thanks to all the time. Them and God."

Doesn't get any bigger than M-MSU [Ed: just wait a few weeks, son], it's going to be a hard-fought game. "They're a great team, they're a physical team, and they come to play. It's going to be a hard game." Everybody gets pumped up for this game, especially in-state guys.

"I was playing with him. I felt like I was in the game and just playing with him." During Tate's comeback at MSU last year.

Greg Jones is a fast, physical player who can hit. "As a quarterback, you've gotta read everybody else, not just one player." Nobody's tried to spy Denard with one player yet, we'll see what MSU does.

Roy Roundtree

"Mike Shaw is doing good." He told Roundtree he's ready for Saturday. Just needs to go in, watch film, and get ready.

Denard is always worried about getting better, and that's what he's doing. "Man, Shoelace just too fast... Coach Rod just tells him 'run straight,' and once he runs, he runs." Depth at QB means that the offense doesn't struggle too much when Denard goes out. Denard is humble, and doesn't worry about the Heisman hype he's getting. "This week, he's gotta get better, and get us right." The skill players like to have the quarterback motivate them.

Roy works hard and listens to the coaches to get better. "It's showing Saturdays, but I know I've got a lot to improve."

"When we're out there, we don't really know the stats and whatnot. We just go out there and play Michigan football." Not worried about how many yards they got. Happy for Junior's big game against IU after the fact.

Everybody knows their offensive assignments now, the team is prepared well.

Intense this week? "Come on man, it's Michigan State, it's rivalry week." This will be the biggest game Roy's played at Michigan Stadium outside of Ohio State last year. Need to have a great attitude this week to get the win. "This week is like a different intensity level."

"You just gotta be ready, man. It's all preparation." Can stay undefeated and clinch bowl eligibility this game. "What happened last year was last year. You know, it hurt all of us. But we've gotta do what we've gotta do today to get ready for Michigan State."

"I still get nervous each game, so it don't really bother me." Prepares hard, which makes him confident for each play he's out there.

They've played tough defenses, not worried about putting up stats, just getting ready for the next D they'll face.

Steve Schilling

On Denard- "Any time he breaks through there, we know he's gone, which is a great feeling to have." The more yards Denard gains, the better it is for the offense.

Confident in the offense even if Denard goes out. Tate and Devin getting snaps, and they can spread the ball around. "I'm pretty confident in our offense no matter who's out there. Obviously 16's a special player."

You're getting the job done if you score quickly on offense.

Patrick's been playing really well, Taylor's been showing what the players knew he could do.

The OL is confident in the running game, hopefully they can run for more yards and get the win (as the team who has rushed for more yards has won 30 of the past 33 matchups between these teams).

Was never into the Washington-Washington State rivalry. Michigan-MSU is a much bigger rivalry. "Even if you win the Big Ten, you didn't win the state championship" if you lose to MSU.

Seniors will explain the importance of this game to some of the younger guys. "If you come to Michigan and you don't understand the rivalry between Michigan and Michigan State... it's almost set in stone." They'll also hear from some former players about the rivalry.

Doesn't hear from students about losing to MSU twice in a row. "I know the fanbase obviously wants to get a win." Lots of people want to beat State. Winning as a senior is the most important, because it's the one you remember. "To be able to go out with a win, and to be able to say you beat Michigan State in your senior year is huge."

"Michigan State's always a physical game." Not particularly concerned for Denard, because he's a tough guy. He understands the importance of the rivalry. Maybe a little more banged up than he lets on with his toughness, good leadership.

Schilling hopes Michigan's speed can trump State's size. Endurance will be a big factor as well. "Some of the non-conference teams were smaller" up front. Michigan State has more size. Big Ten teams in general are a bit bigger.

Greg Jones is almost always leading the nation in tackles. He powers through blocks and makes a lot of plays.

"It's a big test for us. Coming in undefeated, there's a lot of angles to kind of approach it." Lots of storylines, looking to come out of the game undefeated.

Mike Martin

Big sack against Indiana - "It was an exciting play, a big play for our defense."

"I've seen still pictures of myself before I snap the ball, and it kind of scares myself" the faces he makes.

Creating turnovers is a big emphasis. Coach Robinson talks about it, because you have the opportunity to get the offense the ball more than the other team.

He was used some at DE against the Hoosiers. "It's a different look. Whenever you can give a different look to an opposing team, I think it confuses them." They'll practice it again this week.

Patterson is a good sub when Martin needs a rest.

It's nice seeing other defenses chasing Denard around, because Martin, Van Bergen, and Banks have to do it in practice all the time. "He's always been a hard worker."

Michigan State is a big game for both teams. Excited to prepare this week. "I always grew up watching Michigan, so I loved Michigan through thick and thin... I never really liked the color green."

Tough to lose the last two years, but it will help be motivated to get the win. "We do remember what happened in the past, and the past two years have been hard." It's made the team better overall and closer as a unit.

Making a bowl is a team goal, along with winning the Big Ten. "If we can just control what we can control" that's all you can ask for. "We always remind ourselves of our goals." Keeping it in sight reminds you of what you can do.

MSU's offense is good, Martin has already watched a bit of film. "We're just gonna prepare as best as we can. Guys are getting in the film room on their own."

"I love the fact that they're undefeated. That just makes this game even bigger. I think that ensures they give their best on Saturday, and I wouldn't want it any other way."

There's a bit more talking between teams in a heated, in-state rivalry game like this one.

MSU's line looks athletic, and they play hard. Both teams play a little harder in this game, because it's a big deal.

Obi Ezeh

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Doesn't worry about what outside people are saying about the defense. He knows the defense has its issues (as does the offense). "They're all correctable. Every team's going to have issues, and every unit's going to have issues. We have five new starters so we're kind of learning as we go here... We're undefeated and we haven't played our best football yet."

"It works in practice, so it should work in games." Some issues are people trying to do a bit too much. Defense is improving this year, taking strides inthe right direction.

It's good to win the games, but you know where to draw the line with letting it get to your head. "As soon as I leave here and go down to the biulding, I put on my business face and go to work."

Not worried about bowl eligibility right now. Try to win the game, and that will happen on its own. "Those rivalry games are always big for us... it doesn't matter if we haven't won a game going into those, it's always going to be a big game."

Want to stop the run against MSU - "that's usually the key to victory in most games." Get after the QB and punish their skill players. "I feel more needed" when the opponent will try to run the ball.

Was always interested in Michigan running backs growing up, so he was on the Michigan side. Was a RB in high school.

"Year-round I hear from all of my ex-classmates who have gone to Michigan State. A lot of the families back home are either Michigan or Michigan State." The in-state rivalry is an all-year thing.

"It's not easy, it's not fun" to lose two in a row and not have bragging rights. "That's part of our motivation is to go out and get those bragging rights back."

Do you root for MSU in other games? "I don't. I would like them to have as much success as possible before they play us." It doesn't rise to the level of rooting, though.

"I hope the crowd's really rocking on Saturday."

Jordan Kovacs

"I think every defensive player takes that personal, and it makes us even hungrier for the win" when people talk down on the M defense.

Improvements are happening week-to-week, particularly the young guys. "I know it something that's surely going to show up in games."

Mike Martin played well against Indiana. "It worked out pretty well, he was definitely getting after the quarterback." Defense hurt themselves with some penalties, and that stuff is correctable.

The players may be fueled by losing the last two to Michigan State, but the past is in the past. "It doesn't matter if it's my first win or my fourth win against them, any time you can play Michigan State, you'd better be motivated."

Keys to the game: "It doesn't matter who your opponent is, any time you can make a team one-dimensional... you've got a chance of winning the game."

Cousins is a great QB, and they have a great offense. This should be the biggest challenge so far for the defense this year.

RBs are big guys that can move. Probably the best Michigan has seen this year.

Denard: "He's something else (laughs)." Other teams can try to contain him, but Kovacs doesn't know how they'll do it. "You've gotta have some speed, that's for sure."

Rich Rodriguez Monday Presser Notes 10-4-10

Rich Rodriguez Monday Presser Notes 10-4-10

Submitted by Tim on October 4th, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Notes from Rich Rodriguez's Monday meeting with the press.

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Personnel

Injuries

  • Shaw "should be OK to do everything."
  • Toussaint day-to-day with shoulder.
  • Banks: "Little calf issue." Defense played a lot of plays, so he'll need rest. Should be fine.
  • Brandon Herron is OK.

Downfield throws for Denard? "He's missing three out of every ten. That's not bad." The couple deep misses Saturday were maybe rushed a bit, but he's been doing well.

"No matter who your quarterback is, you worry about him staying healthy" regardless of what type of offense you run. "I have the same concern every week as far as hoping the guys stay healthy. But you've gotta play the game." "He'll be a little limited [in Monday practice]. Just because he's been running so much. You want him 100% on Saturday."

Denard comeback - "There's no panic." Going to a no-huddle for the 2-minute drill isn't a change from regular offensive pace. Denard made a nice throw to Junior, Hemingway made a nice play on it. Offense is executing with a lot of confidence. They practice the 2-minute drill a couple times a week.

Denard has learned a lot since last year. He's just running the offense (he couldn't do all that last year). He has the capability to bust 10-yard runs for 50 or 60.

Offensive line - "As a group, whoever the five is out there, there's another level we can get to."

Dorrestein - "Perry has been really solid. He's a veteran guy, he knows the offense."

Taylor Lewan penalty: "From what I see... his left foot got tangled up as he was stepping over a pile... I didn't see it on film, maybe they saw something I didn't see." The scrum afterward was no big deal, the officials broke it up.

Field goals: "We were close to it in the last game. We were gonna center the ball for a game-winning field goal" [Ed: ...but you try keeping Denard from an end-zone he can see]. RR would rather score TDs, and fortunately the offense has been good at doing so. "There's gonna come a point in time where we've gotta make field goals" to win the game. They have guys who will be able to do it.

Hagerup has played a bit better. "He had a couple good punts, and he seemed composed, so hopefully the little nervousness is out of the way."

Woolfolk - "I saw him last week, he's still got a big old cast." He's doing upper-body work. Hard for him and Mike Jones to not be able to play because they're competitive guys. Woolfolk should be 100% next year after rehab.

Stonum KO returns. "It's been a little bit frustrating." Haven't come close to breaking one. The blocking isn't quite there at times, but Darryl has the ability to do that. "Boy would it be a good time to do that."

"We have not had an opportunity to return a lot of punts."

Team

"I don't think you have to blitz all the time to have an aggressive mentality defensively." You get on your heels a bit when you've been giving up a lot of first downs. "We didn't make some key stops. Some of it was mental, and some of it was physical." The D is a little limited because they don't want to confuse younger guys.

Offensively, can make more in-game adjustments because of experience. On Defense, more limited in that regard. Can make some adjustments, but not as many. The D has improved in some respects. "There's some moments on defense where we've gotten a little better, but there's also some things we've not gotten better yet, and it's going to take some time." In a tough situation with a lack of experienced depth. Need to force more 3-and-outs and turnovers.

"You always want to play a little bit better. We've battled; it's not like the guys aren't trying." Injuries and other issues are mitigating factors. "We're 5-0, and as much troubles as we've had, I don't want to belabor the fact." When they've gotten sacks from Martin or others, the opposing offense has been able to convert on long-yardage, which is frustrating.

Michigan D stats? "You can learn some stuff from statistics. I don't have to look at them to know where our problems are." Some of the problems can't be solved overnight.

Worried about defense wearing down? "Our defense was playing too much and our offense wasn't on the field at all." Doesn't alter the offensive approach, but wants the defense to play as fast as they can. "We've just got to try to play better, and get a few stops."

Were there defensive changes with Martin at DE and Floyd at S? "It was more of a defensive package thing we're trying to do." Put guys in different positions to have some success. Martin and Floyd are experienced players, put them where they can make plays.

"Our numbers defensively were way down." That's trending toward the positive, but they need to help the young guys out with their schemes.

The team learns from winning close games. "You can develop a habit of expecting to experience that same thing again." Blowing the lead in the ND game, the guys never panicked to come back. Same thing with the win on Saturday.

Special teams have been average, need to improve there as well.

Better TO margin this season is offensive experience, guys maturing, and knowing how to take care of the ball. It's been a big point of emphasis for the team.

Tackled pretty well, defended IU's wildcat pretty well. "We don't want to give up 35 points to anybody, but they have some talented players, and they did a nice job pitching and catching."

MSU

"They're all big, but this one's bigger. I mean, the rivalry games are always bigger." The more you win, the more is at stake. Both teams undefeated. "A rivalry has enough significance." Not thinking about revenge, what matters is what's happening right now.

Doesn't worry about point spreads "Usually the home team gets a few points anyway."

In-state rivalry is a bigger deal "We recruit against each other, and a lot of our players know their players." "I know they talk about it quite a bit, but so do we." "I don't blame the fans for thinking that, because they're not coaching. They've got more time to think about it."

"It's just as important to me and I think all my players as it is to them. They've just won the last two games." Anything to the contrary is just talk. No countdown clock to a given game, just to the next game. "Trust me, we talk about it quite a bit. It's very very very important to us." For the rivalry, "Anything that we do, I would keep internally.. there's always things you do for rivalry games that make it a little bit unique."

Different parts of the fanbase emphasize different rivalries. In-state might be more intense, but you're not going to try harder just because it's a rivalry; you're always trying your hardest. "It's one of the biggest games we play every year."

"I'm sure Mark [Dantonio], his health is the most important thing." He'll do everything that the doctors allow him to do. RR would do the same "Most of the time, you're going to listen to the doctor." As much as you like to compete, have to worry about yourself. "Having a health issue at any time, whether you're a coach or not, is a tough thing to go through." Tough in-season too, because you want to be out there and compete every day. Nobody talks about the health of assistants "You've gotta remind your staff to do that" - watch their health.

MSU's defense is "the most experienced for sure. Presents some challenges. They've got a very good defense." Michigan has to execute well.

"I think Cousins is an outstanding player." Cousins was a great QB last year, and "he's even playing better this year." Can run, throw, is a great leader. "Defensively, we've got some things we've got to fix."

MSU runs the same schemes with all their backs; they're interchangeable parts. "You've still gotta have guys get off blocks and make tackles... If you do that, you'll have a better defense."

MSU's offense has "Great balance, no question. They have the ability to come downhill at you and pound away. And they're very good at play-action."

Might try to keep the ball away from KeShawn Martin. MSU will try to be confusing on kickoffs. "He wants to take every ball back."

"I don't have any expectations" of a shootout. The intensity will be there. "If we can squeeze more people in there, this would probably be the week that it would happen."

MSU Defense - "They got good players, they've got a good team." They'll tackle well and take away parts of the offense. "We're gonna have to execute. That's a key, no matter what." MSU has good team speed, MICH can't do too much dancing around. "I think you've gotta stay within your scheme." MSU can't just use Greg Jones to shadow Denard, because it's not within their usual scheme. "If you don't block him or attempt to block him, he's gonna make a lot of tackles."

M and MSU undefeated adds national interest. "The more you win, the more is at stake."

This game and recruiting - "It may make an impact on one or two guys." Most recruits don't look at one game, or even the season, they look at the whole package.

Monday Player Presser Notes 9-27-10

Monday Player Presser Notes 9-27-10

Submitted by Tim on September 27th, 2010 at 4:17 PM

The Darryl Stonum fashion show marches on.

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Darryl Stonum

Long drives speak to the team's preparation in practice to execute. "It becomes clockwork, and I think that's what we do - we execute very well and that just goes to how well-coached we are... Wherever we are on the field, we feel like we can execute at any time." The offense is explosive. "I think it's 'no limits' when we execute."

Kelvin Grady has been working hard on the field and in the weightroom. He's catching and blocking well. "He's a lot more comfortable - as well as all of us."

This offense is fun because there are so many options. "You never know who's going to be the one having a big game."

The collapse last year is motivation to keep working hard this year. "We can't get our heads big right now. Like Coach Rod said - we can't swallow the poison."

"I think we're just together as a team... it's a family atmosphere in the locker room." Everyone is comfortable with each other, and they're able to have fun out there.

"Troy's happy... He wants to get back out there with us so bad." He'll be on the sidelines as soon as he can.

Haven't watched any Indiana film. "I'm pretty sure Indiana's a great team, and they're gonna be a great team for us to play this week."

Kelvin Grady

Grady will graduate in December and start working on a Master's.

"I actually smiled" when he saw the penalty flag calling back his touchdown. "It's one of those things where - it happens." Felt good to score, even if it didn't end up counting.

Feels comfortable in the system. Has had the opportunity to play three different positions. Understanding the other positions had made him more comfortable at slot.

"I'm blessed to be able to get to different positions and learn other positions." Now he has the experience to help younger guys out.

"We're gonna go in this week and we're gonna work hard." Playing Indiana is no different than another opponent.

Avoiding team's recent struggles in Big Ten play? More guys are interested in their individual role on the team. Some guys have stepped up. "Darry Stonum has really stepped up this year for us." Mike Martin has stepped up on D, and the DB corps is getting better all the time.

Is Denard at 75% healthy faster than most QBs? "I'd take 25% Shoelace as faster than most quarterbacks." He's worked hard to step up. Devin and Tate came in and showed the depth at the position. "It's very key" to have the quality of backups Michigan has. "This game is more about patience. Obviously we have Denard that's stepped up and is doing very well for this team. But we've also got a 12-game starter as his backup." There are plenty of guys to step up.

Success on the ground: "I feel like we have weapons all over the place." It helps to have a fast QB.

"Being 1-7 is something obviously we don't want to look back on." Use it as motivation for this season.

"Denard is really humble. A really humble kid. Sometimes, I think we actually - I don't think he recognizes or knows the accolades." They tease him that he doesn't even know he's on TV every 10 minutes. "A great person, a great teammate. Humble, has great faith. It's all positive." He's not selfish - wants to see the other QBs play well.

Taylor Lewan

"Did you see those glasses? They were awesome."

Starting "was the goal as a redshirt freshman." It's been a blessing to get the opportunity, glad to be out there. "You're just way more into the game." It was frustrating against Penn State last year, because there was nothing he could do. "The biggest thing is I can help change."

Working out with Barwis helped Lewan - "really just fueled the fire." Worked on strength, speed, quickness, using everything he has to his advantage.

Jersey number - "When I actually committed, one of the things was, 'I want #77.'" Didn't know much about Jake Long until after he started wearing the number in high school. Watched Long play for the Dolphins last night: "He does it all, and that's awesome." Saw Long once last year on the sidelines. "That's a very large individual."

Favorite thing about Ann Arbor is all the different people. See all sorts of interesting people.

Balancing mean streak with avoiding penalties. In high school, got probably three penalties a game. Need to be nasty, but also smart. "When I go out there, I'm trying to be as mean as possible, and make sure nobody's having a good time when they're playing against us."

Lewan's dad gives him constructive criticism after every game.

"We were 4-0 last year at this time. We've gotta keep out head down, keep playing."

The QBs are playing like seniors. "They're playing like champions, and that's awesome."

Zac Ciullo has probably never played a snap [Ed: Got in at left guard during CONESTRAVAGANZA '09], but he's a huge leader out there. He has great work ethic. "He works harder than every other person on this team."

The OL blocks equally hard for all three QBs. "I'm gonna do what I can to protect them no matter what."

At first, Lewan was bitter to lose the LT competition in camp. "It just made me work harder."

Likes left tackle because they get all the attention of the offensive linemen.

"I feel like I just turn off my head and play football" to get the mean streak going.

Ryan Van Bergen

"I think it's a more mature 4-0 team. I think it's a hungry 4-0 team. A lot of guys on this team have been 4-0 before and didn't accomplish a lot of things they wanted to ."

Chappell is an experienced QB. Have to account for him on every play, they protect him well.

Young guys on D. "I think that the play of Thomas Gordon" has been a pleasant surprise. When Carvin went down, he stepped up. They'll compete when Carvin returns.

Lewan: "He's a pretty physical guy. I'll give him credit." Joked with him a lot that he'd never get big enough to play, but that motivated him. They've exchanged blows in practice, but are still friends after. "The ceiling for him is really high. I think he's got a lot of potential."

Facing Denard in practice is helpful, because you're never going to see a guy like that in the opposition. Helps learn pursuit angles, but it's frustrating to chase him on D.

"I think it's a common misconception that if you play to your assignment, you can get to Denard. That's why we have him out there, because he breaks your assignment."

Martin - "Since he's playing in that 0 head-up on the center..." people are doubling him up, but they don't get there in time because he can get rid of the center before the guard can get over. Credits his quickness to wrestling.

RVB's role on the D is to help break down the Xs and Os for the younger guys.

RVB's mom is telling him to keep it up. "She's happy with the way we've been playing."

JT Floyd

Lewan competes on each and every play, he shows the nasty streak in practices.

The D knew they had to come out aggressive to improve from the UMass game. Worked on tackling, but still need more improvement. "A lot better energy going into the game, and I just think we were a lot more focused."

The defense is versatile, they have a lot of different schemes, and can put guys in many positions to make plays. Can disguise things, etc.

"We definitely remember what it was like 4-0 last year. We know this year we can't get our heads big." Need to continue to progress.

"Playing at Notre Dame was a great experience." It gave the young guys a chance to get ready for a hostile atmosphere.

Indiana is a Big Ten team, the Wolverines can't look ahead to MSU. "No chance. We look at each game like it's the most important game of the season."

IU's receivers are another challenge to step up to. "They're definitely a talented bunch."

Postgame Presser Notes: BGSU

Postgame Presser Notes: BGSU

Submitted by Tim on September 25th, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Quotes from after the game. Will update with photos when they're ready.

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Rich Rodriguez

Injuries: "Denard seems to be fine, I know that's the first thing you're gonna ask." He'll get treatment and be fine after some rest and ice. No x-rays needed. He was moving around on it. Michael Shaw is "pretty much the same as Denard. Just a little bit sore." Perry Dorrestein is fine, just got "a hangnail or something on his toe."

Today was a good win, the team got better in all three phases. Defense was a little more aggressive than last week, offense controlled the game with the run. "Last week, we did not play well." Improved this week on defense and special teams especially. It was nice to get lots of guys in there, especially seniors.

Team is deeper on offense than last year. "Defensively, we're younger." Completely different years. "I think there's enough positive things that we can grow from and enough negative things that we can fix." The first goal is the B10 championship, everyone is 0-0 in the conference.

Offense didn't have to do a whole lot in order to move the ball, ddn't have to show a lot. Executed well.

All three QBs did well. Didn't think about putting Denard back in at half. "We were moving the ball whoever the quarterback was in there." Needed to just get a couple stops. "I wish he woulda stepped out before he got hit." Needs to scoot out when the touchdown isn't going to happen. "I thought all 3 quarterbacks were very efficient." Devin not as ready as Denard or Tate because he's a year behind. These guys are getting it. "All three of those guys have not hit their ceiling yet. Not even close." It's a tough deal because only one can play at a time. Denard and Tate both more comfortable seeing the field than last year. Seeing things like coaches see them, why a play did or didn't work. Tate maturity - "I'm impressed with a lot of our guys' maturity. There's a lot of progress."

RBs - "It started up front. I thought our line and our tight ends did a good job blocking." Made a couple mistakes, but it was nice to get lots of RBs experience.

Guys come in boys, leave 4-5 years later as "a man, a Michigan Man."

Could tackle better, hit a couple screens on us. Missed opportunities to make tackles. Played more aggressivley, not on their heels like last week.

A couple special teams penalties were frustrating. Would FG kicker have been Broekhuizen? "Maybe." Depending on length and hash.

Team knows Indiana is very good, they can't mail it in and win.

Roy Roundtree

After last week, the players wanted to just return to playing good Michigan football. Different year than last year. "Everybody's playing for somebody." They play their hardest every Saturday.

Offensive skill guys didn't have any trouble with the rotating QBs, because it happens in practice. When Tate came in, he was shocked everyone was yelling his name. Denard - "I'm pretty sure he'll be back this week coming up - get some treatment on it." Roy is very confident whoever QB is. "Minus the MAs [missed assignments] and the penalties, we just keep rollin'."

Defense showed up today. "Wasn't like the slackin' last week." In practice, it was 11 hats to the ball, they did it today.

RVB

RVB is not really amazed at the offense's performance. They've been going toward that for the past year. Expecting to see them make plays.

"Absolutely" more focused than last week. Might have been reading too many press clippings coming into last week. "Circled the wagons and prepared this week like it was a bowl game."

The team used a little more 4-man rush to get to the QB this week. "Persistent, and keep coming after the Quarterback." Had pressures, finally turning them into sacks. As long as the QB is moving his feet, the throws become inaccurate. "If you sack him, it's prettier but you don't necessarily need it."

Better team chemistry this year. Team united, want to play for each other.

"Michigan is noted as a powerhouse in the Big Ten, and we have not lived up to that the past two years." Hungry to be successful in-conference this year.

Tate Forcier

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"A lot of people say I'm not staying here, but I'm still here... I love Michigan, I love everything about it... I love Coach Rod, I love these fans, I love everything about Michigan football."

Felt good to be out there competing again. "Coach Rod just told me to be patient and stay ready." He was ready when his number was called. Coach Rod told him to be ready, he knew he would get in this week. Never know when your number's gonna get called, have to be ready to come in. "Coach Rod's the coach. I'm gonna let them make the decisions, and if they go with him, I'm gonna be right there, ready."

Felt almost ilke a first start again. Thanks the crowd and coaches. How can you not notice that the crowd was supporting him. "Crowd always motivates me. Because you just want to keep hearing that." Michigan has the best crowd in the country, and the team has to to keep them happy.

His injury isn't serious. "I got hit. I got a little dead leg." He'll be fine within a day or so. "I'm healthy, and as long as Denard gets healthy, I'll be happy still." Never 100% as a football player, have to play through a bit of pain.

Hard to wait when you played last year "Denard got the same question last year when I was the guy." Everyone is good enough to play, he'll let the coaches make a decision. No rust. Studied lots of film this week "It was easy out there." Had something to prove when he went out there. "That's what I heard." that he set a completion percentage record. Could have improved a couple things.

Treat every team like a threat. Cites App State. "Treat every game just like you're playing against Ohio State." hould be able to play this well every week. Should be able to have a lot of success this year.

Indiana gave the team a good game last year. Fun to go into away stadiums and have everyone against you.

Vincent Smith

Team executed better today. Did a lot of studying with good focus this week. Made sure they were focused to take advantage of opportunities.

"We just come out and just execute and make plays." Don't worry about what the opponent's doing.

Denard's injury made him think of his own knee injury, even though it didn't end up being as serious.

The offensive line: "They had a awesome game. Just the same, they're very consistent and always do their job up front." Lewan - "He's doing an excellent job. I was telling him that on a couple of runs."

"We have a lot of talent in the backfield, no doubt." Everybody does their part when their number is called. "We all look at it from... if one man falls down, the next man steps up."

Red zone mindset - "We gotta get in."

Craig Roh

Performed better than last week. Pretty good outside of a few plays. This defense is always hardworking, taking positive steps toward learning more. Concentrated and wanted to get everything right today.

Prepared the same as last week, maybe a couple guys watched a little more tape. "I thought our preparation was consistent."

On BGSU's QB: "You know that's in his mind where he's already kinda out of his comfort zone." Backup QB is obviously going to be nervous coming into the Big House.

Impressed with offense? "Yeah. I love our offense. It's very dynamic and explosive."

"I really feel like we have 3 very good quarterbacks coming in that can all run our offense."

Lewan - "I heard he did pretty good. I talked to him after the game, and I'm just excited to see Taylor playing." Been playing against him in practice a few years now, likes to see him develop.

"This team is just so close. Everyone is everyone's friend."

Concentrating coming into Big Ten season. "We... we're ready."

Player Presser Notes 9-20-10

Player Presser Notes 9-20-10

Submitted by Tim on September 20th, 2010 at 5:45 PM

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Darryl Stonum

First: Look at those glasses! He says they're not prescription.

When he made two big plays late in the first half "I just felt like it was the momentum changing." The offense started poorly, and he needed to provide a boost. "I don't know if 2 touchdowns in 45 seconds is quite the dream," it might be better. "I was always the big-play guy in high school, I was always the deep threat in high school. I've always wanted to get that transition over to Michigan."

In the third year of the offense with Denard throwing well, it's not just Stonum that's blossoming. Everybody knows stuff so can go out there and play fast.

"I try to lead by example most of the time. I'm not really a vocal screaming yeling in the huddle type of guy." He lets his work ethic speak for itself. Always works as hard as he can in weight room, in class, and on-field.

Patrick Omameh

Defenses play differently with Denard in the game. They'll contain instead of trying to sack Denard. He's making the right reads and is pretty dangerous. "We knew we didn't want him carrying the ball 30 times a game every game." They were able to get the ball to some RBs and establish something else on the ground.

"We've got some pretty athletic offensive linemen." They relish the opportunity to show off that athleticism by getting downfield and making plays. "I knew we had playmakers, it was just a matter of us getting the ball into the laymakers hands and setting up opportunities for them through our blocking."

The OL is coming together each week, as they have pretty good experience. Molk jumped back in where he left off with his injury last fall and spring. Taylor Lewan - "I watched the whole game yesterday, and he seemed to have a pretty good game." He and some others have been performing well in practice, even if they haven't seen the field much.

"There's absolutely more [offensive improvement] to come. The offense is clicking but we're still not performing to our full potential and capability."

Craig Roh

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UMass was a "mini wakeup call." Seniors have been good at getting them pumped, but they need to do better than last week. "I'm frustrated now and I was frustrated then. You just can't do anything about it now." The defense needs to prepare better and be more hungry going forward.

The first two games were good for the defense. Against UMass "looking at the tape, we just didn't tackle well." Were surprised by a few schemes as well. Have to have a certain persona to tackle well. "I really did think every guy came in with that" and it just didn't work out for some reason. They'd hit guys in the backfield, or allow 5 yards to be stretched into 10. Don't want to let guys get more than they should.

"With our training from Mike Barwis, we don't get very tired ever." The fourth quarter points for UMass were not a result of that.

Taylor Lewan played well. Proud of him because they've been buddies for a couple years. "He's finding a happy medium between being aggressive and holding a lot." That style will work well in the Big Ten.

Mike Martin "he is the strongest person I' ve ever seen in the weight room, and it's really showing on the field." Beat a double team to sack the QB.

It won't be tough to get up for BGSU. "From our performance this Saturday, this team is definitely going to get up for this game."

"The offense really helped us out this past Saturday, and that's why it's a team." One side will have to rely on the other from time to time.

Craig doesn't listen to music before games to get pumped up - reads a bit of the Bible.

Jordan Kovacs

Being a hometown guy, it'll be a different experience to play BG. He doesn't know anybody on the team though, outside of Bryan Wright. "It's gonna be weird" being on opposite sidelines. Knows him well, good kicker. They keep in touch a little bit, but haven't been trash talking yet.

Defense mindset - "Obviously we aren't satisfied with the way that we played defensively." It's much nicer to get that out of the way early in the season, and with a win. "I expect it to be a 1-game slip-up. I'm sure we'll make our corrections today."

Feels different than last year's struggles. They'll move forward. "I think they're pretty simple things." Technical errors and a couple missed assignments. Players might have been hesitant after giving up big plays to Notre Dame "maybe guys are just inexperienced and aren't feeling comfortable in their zones yet."

Obi and Jonas are the senior leaders on D. Each said a few things after the game in the locker room, as did Craig Roh.

"If you can control the ball, you can wear out a defense." The D didn't do their job to get themselves off the field.

Cameron Gordon

Interception - "The first thing I was thinking is 'yes I finally got one.' Sometimes, you don't want to do too much." He should have tucked the ball better.

The team will be very focused after a letdown against UMass. "Last game was a reality check for many games to come. Of course, it's a good thing that we still got the win." There's a small margin for error at this level. The other teams prepare, too. "You have to prepare even better. It's not like high school."

The defense wants to do their part like the offense has been doing. "We're still not as good as we need to be or want to be." Both sides of the ball can improve, but there's only been three games.

Going against Michigan receivers in practice helps prepare for other teams' best receivers.

Transition to safety is good. Still room for improvement. "What's the best room in the house? That's room for improvement."

Choosing Michigan - "I love it here." Everyone will face adversity growing up, and he's learning at Michigan that working hard and staying in the fight will help you through.

Rich Rodriguez Presser Notes 9-20-10

Rich Rodriguez Presser Notes 9-20-10

Submitted by Tim on September 20th, 2010 at 2:53 PM

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Note: The Indiana game on October 2 will be a 3:30 kick on ESPNU.

UMass

You worry about an emotional letdown going from Notre Dame to an FCS team. Typically, they're worried more during preparation, and it seemed like that wasn't a problem last week. "We did not play with the type of urgency defensively that we did the week before." Guys have to understand the other team has players too, whether it's UMass or BGSU.

UMass wakeup call? You hope you don't need that to be a wakeup call. "Maybe we're assuming we're more mature than we are, then I look at our guys and we've got a lot of young players."

With Saturday's performance, will RR get more involved in the defense? "I'll probably spend a little bit of time with them today. Our defensive staff I think knows what we've gotta do." Some of the problems will be longer-term fixes. "Some of our issues on Saturday have to be fixed immediately." They can't play good defense being so tentative. Wants people to be happy when they win, but the defensive guys weren't pleased with their performance after the game.

Is the defense's struggle similar to last year? It's a new year, and it was a different week than Notre Dame. What's important is to play better going forward. "Everyone felt fortunate with the win, but didn't feel that we played well."

Losing contain, some of the issues were fundamental, "some they got us on a call." They stressed keeping contain in practice and during the game, but the lack of execution cost them. "The good part is we can fix all the fundamental part, and the technical part we can fix."

Personnel

INJURIES: Mike Jones and Brandon Herron injuries have led to a revolving door with the nickel package. Brandon Herron probably won't be back this weekend. "Marvin [Robinson] will be back this week. Carvin Johnson is still questionable."

Denard doesn't worry about stats and that stuff. "He loves football" He doesn't worry about individual stuff. He doesn't have a personality where the hype will go to his head.

Rodriguez is not worried about getting Devin and Tate to get reps for conference season. Focused on them getting better every day. Pleased with Tate's attitude last couple weeks. Both he and Devin are improving. Either could play if Denard needs a rest. If they had gotten a stop up 35-17, one of the backups would have gone in.

Running back: "That's the one position we have not played enough guys and we have enough guys ready to play." Want to got Hopkins and Cox in, but they need to be able to run the whole offense with those guys. Toussaint practiced last week, but was not 100%.

Stonum - "I've sensed a more mature Darryl Stonum since camp started." Stonum's off-field maturity is related to on-field success. His good start on the field has carried over from camp. Seeing a guy grow and mature is good. Young people mature, that's what happens. Making a bad decision doesn't make you a bad person. "I think Darryl, hopefully, 'gets it.'" His dad and grandma came up for the UMass game for maybe the first time she'd ever flown. Stonum and Junior are the leaders, have to step up.

"Taylor [Lewan] played really well last week. He played well to the point where it's Huyge or Lewan is the starter this week... That's a definite 'or.'"

Omameh has played better last two games after struggling against UConn. He has some fundamental stuff to work on, like taking a good first step.

Hoping some young guys on D can get a shot to get on the field and make plays. "We've gotta make it competitive in practice for some of those young guys." Backups on D are really young, so they have to learn both fundamentals and scheme. The coaches don't want to play a guy before he's ready unless they have to. On the defensive side of the ball, some guys have had to play. "We have a few freshmen that frankly, if some of the upperclassmen aren't playing well or they're having a bad day, we've gotta try 'em."

"If we need them to help us win games this year, we're not gonna redshirt 'em." Terry Talbott and Ash "They're freshmen, they're ready to roll, they're practicing. Looks like they're headed for a redshirt."

Mike Martin has played well, but "we didn't give out a player of the game defensively, because as a unit we didn't think anybody deserved that."

Rodriguez has probably never had kicker questions this deep into the season. "Usually something is established more firmly once you get into games." It just comes down to guys doing it right when the opportunity arises, not just in practice. "They have the ability to do it. You know, it's a situation where they've gotta do it under pressure in game time... I think it's probably most frustrating for them. It's not because they're not trying."

Hagerup "I'm convinced he's gonna be phenomenal." He just dropped the ball once, but he'll be fine as he gets experience.

Bowling Green, Etc.

BGSU has good skill guys, especially the running back. They have big guys up front and both of their QBs have played well, even though one got hurt. Spread shotgun w/ unbalanced, no-back, a variety of stuff. Have good defensive speed. "Some of the problems we've had this season, we're gonna see that again this weekend." Hopefully, they'll be able to stop it this time.

Lacking game film of the opposing QB doesn't have much effect on preparation. They'll worry more about the scheme, because BGSU will continue to run what they've been running.

Former Michigan kicker Bryan Wright plays for the Falcons, but the coaches don't have a way to scheme against him, and familiarity is not an advantage. Could do it with a lineman or QB or something. Rodriguez is proud of him - he has his Michigan degree, and is playing well for BGSU. Would rather not have to play against him, but glad he's happy.

Going for it on fourth "Those are all in our thoughts right now" - different situations factor into fourth-down decision, including down-and-distance, momentum, weather, etc.

Having to outscore people? "That's insulting (laughs). I certainly think out defense has a lot more pride in their abilities... we can play a lot better defensively... in that last ballgame, we just didn't play well. We played tentative."

Dantonio's heart attack - "Most coaches have probably known this for years, that it's a different lifestyle and you have to take care of yourself." The job is more public today. You don't just work your job, you live your job. Hard to get away from your job, "you don't leave your office and go home and leave your job at the office."

RR works out 5 days a week. Has his own personal stairmaster, lifting weights a bit. "It's hard to devote the time, because you wanna watch the film, and you've got a lot of things to do, but you have to do it." He has probably not slept for three hours straight in years. Sleep a couple, then you're up for one. "When you get five, that's good."

Post-UMass Presser Notes

Post-UMass Presser Notes

Submitted by Tim on September 18th, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Rich Rodriguez

Not pleased with the way they played, but happy with the win. All three phases of the game had letdowns. "As quiet a winning locker room as you'll ever see."

"I can promise our guys will look at the film, coaches will look at the film, I'll watch everything on all three phases." "Defensively we thought they would pressure us a little bit" so Denard couldn't run. Has to talk to D coaches to see if UMass did surprising stuff. "They're pretty good up front."

Nobody was injured outside of Banks, and his injury isn't serious.

Take what they give us. Stonum made plays, Shaw stepped up. Not worried about starters being tired because they only played 56 snaps.

3-4, 4-3 shift "We saw the same thing last week." Switch just about every other snap. "That's kinda part for the course. Our guys have seen that." UMass adjusted at the second half. UMass played a lot of cover-0, gave up lots of 1-on-1 opportunities. Maybe Michigan should have taken even more deep shots. Wanted to run to give the D a break.

"[Denard] was pretty sharp with his eyes and his decisions." Ball-handling was the problem. Denard not as sharp as he was first couple weeks. "Amost like a first-game feel." Execution wasn't clean. Denard made some great throws, a few good runs. "We didn't run him as much. We didn't want to." Shaw stepped up.

Offense is QB-centered, he has to run sometimes. More designed RB runs today to give him some relief. Shaw - "runs hard, got great speed, used his vision well today." Team's biggest homerun threat.

Lewan - "we should have played Ricky Barnum too some." They'll decide if a few more guys should have gotten onto the field. "If we'd have payed better, we could have played more guys. Didn't happen, so we've gotta play we've we've got to to win the game."

"We have some warts, that's still out there. Let's not pretend that we're the 1985 Chicago Bears." Have to play with passion, intensity, and intelligence in all 3 phases, but especially on D. Didn't get better today, but the guys know without being told that they need to work hard this week.

Some of D struggles lack of execution - missed tackles, losing contain, "there's a lot of things that we've gotta clean up, and everybody knows that." Going against a different scheme this week, made some mistakes. Has to watch film to compare where the breakdowns were. Losing contain to our left was bad, because they knew it would happen coming in. Lost contain 5-6 times at least.

Kovacs strip - scored quickly, then got the turnover for 2 quick scores. Momentum with the ball in third quarter. Didn't happen to shut them down and put the game out of reach. "They played well." Went into the UMass locker room to tell them that.

Special teams - The return game was OK, a couple times Darryl almost broke one. Missed only field goal, kick coverage needs to improve. Kickers make them in practice. Will just dropped the snap on the block.

Thought Seth Broekhuizen kicked better for kickoffs. Placekicking - "We had a student body tryout. Any student out there... we'll have another tryout for you.

Darryl Stonum

"You never know" how many points you'll need to win. UMass is a good team. "They gave us a run for our money." The D carried the offense last week, so in the team concept, it's time to pay it back a bit. "They'll make some corrections, and so will we."

Came out slow, but for the most part did a good job executing. Offense knew they were shooting themselves in the foot early, just started executing better.

"On that play, I'm usually a backside outlet" on the long TD reception. Omameh and Grady did a good job blocking to open the hole.

Last time he scored 2 TDs back-to-back like in the second quarter was in high school. Personal breakthrough game? "With all the talent we have at receiver, you never know who's gonna be the hot hand for the week." Just his job to show the coaches he's capable of making plays. He and Roy joking about who would be the guy this week.

On his long (non-TD) reception "Denard fakes the sprintout, and we knew that the whole defense is gona key to his running." Just had to run past the cornerback.

Denard throwing: "His accuracy and his... total quartebrack, just being a pocket passer." His accuracy has improved. Puts the ball where the receivers can run away from the defender after the catch.

Michael Shaw

"[Denard] told me on the sideline, mid second quarter, that he was gonna start giving up the ball a lot more." Denard's been getting yards because Ds are keying Shaw instead of Denard. Today was different. Other guys need to step up so the offense can click without Denard having to do it all. "We have playmakers, but now we're coming into our own as an offense."

There's no way to tell from film who the end is keying on. Had an idea they'd try to contain Denard (like ND, which didn't work out for them).

He was trying to hit the hole fast early in the game, but the DL was 2-gapping the OL, so he tried to hesitate on his long TD run to make sure he had the right read.

Offensive pressure opposite that D? "We added pressure to ourselves." Held each other up each of the past two weeks. Denard kept the team poised when they were down 17-7.

Special team struggles? "I don't really expect our kicking game to miss kicks. We all have faith in all of our teammates." Offense's job is to score TDs and not have to rely on those guys as much. "Those 40-yard kicks can turn into 2-yard extra points."

Jordan Kovacs

UMass held onto the ball well. Defense didn't do their job to get them off the field. "You've gotta give them a lot of credit they're a very good team. Maybe they caught us off guard." "They've got some big offensive linemen, I know it's nothing like we'll see in the Big Ten."

"We're happy that we didn't lose, but we're not satisfied with the way that we played defensively." Defensive play overall: "Clearly it's disappointing." Better to have that happen in a game that they still win, instead of have them cause a loss.

On his strip and recovery: "At that point in the game, they had a lot of momentum." Knew his team needed a big play, noticed the guy was carrying the ball low.

Losing contain - "Tough to see defensively. I'll admit that it happened to me a couple times." Need to get back to fundamentals and responsibilities. Would have been a different story if everyone executed well.

Mike Martin

"We never underestimate a team. We're not good enough to just walk in and get a victory." The team just has to play hard. "I think a focus that we needed" was lacking. Had a good week of practice. Need to get back to fundamentals this week in practice. "Michigan came out with a victory, and that's all we can ask for."

UMass offensive line - "They had a good line. They were smart and they did a good job with positioning their bodies a certain way." Called some plays to keep UMass unbalanced, disguise some things. They did a god job reacting.

Fighting through doubles. "It feels good as a nose guard because you don't get a lot of chances to be free." If you hit a rock over and over and it breaks after 100th hit, it's not the 100th hit that breaks the rock, it was the 99 before that.

Fewer sacks - "We've just gotta keep playing hard." Last year, it took BG 4 games to get a sack, there's still a lot of football to play.

Cam Gordon int/fumble "That's tough. I think it's just one of those freak things." The way it happened, they didn't complain and just went to go play the next play.

The team has done a good job not getting worried, pointing finger. "That's what we did in the past and we've done a better job this year in that aspect." Just do your job to win.

Coach went over a few things on the drawing board, and the halftime message was to go out and play as hard as they can for the final 30 minutes.

Make sure guys buckle down and get ready for Bowling Green.

Denard Robinson

UMass is a good team on both sides of the ball. "We watched film and knew they was pretty good." The team just came out sluggish. Can't come out sluggish and expect to win. That was the lesson they learned today. Have to re-focus to make sure this doesn't happen next week.

"We just had to focus and everybody had to play as one, play as a team, play smart" when they were down 10. Team started slow, and everyone needed to whole team to play.

"They really didn't contain me, I guess. That's why Shaw had a great game." UMass made that decision, not Denard. "It was great to have [Shaw] running the ball like that." All the running backs are threats, they just needed a D to give them a chance to break out.

"I'm all in for Michigan. Whatever it takes to win. We winning for Michigam, we're not just winning for me." Doesn't care about his stats if they win. "If we get a W, that's good." Nobody's perfect. He knew he wasn't going to go a whole season without throwing a pick. "We're gonna face adversity the whole season."

He thought he would play the whole game, until the coaches tell him otherwise.

On the long Stonum touchdown, "It was designed, he read the blocks perfectly, he made one guy miss, and got going." It was a big shift in momentum before the half. The offense just had to make the plays happen. Everybody knew they had to step it up.

"We've moved from that Notre Dame game, that was last week. And will move on from UMass after we watch film tomorrow to Bowling Green."

Monday 9/13 Presser Notes: Players

Monday 9/13 Presser Notes: Players

Submitted by Tim on September 13th, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Denard Robinsonnardheisman.png

On Heisman hype: "I don't pay attention to none of that." He doesn't have cable,and doesn't go on websites that talk about it. For entertainment "I like being around my teammates, and around the players." The opinion on him has really changed: "A lot of people doubted me last year... I really don't care what other people think about me."

Staying humble: "My mom raised me to be humble, and always keep your eyes on the prize, and on you go." Can't get a big head. People back home tell Denard he's gotta keep going "It's not the end." What is the prize to aim for? "Try to keep winning for Michigan. Be all-in."

Are teams trying to knock him out? Yeah, but you can't control that. "I guess you've gotta be ready to take blows like that, shots like that." He's a little sore, but you've gotta get through it.Denard is stronger and faster than he was in high school. Can take more of a pounding, reads defenses better. "You get better when you get to the next level because you have great coaching."

Other teams recruiting him said receiver, corner. Michigan's pitch was "you'll be a quarterback unless you want to play something different."

Growing up, he watched "Charles Woodson, you gotta say the great guys who came through Michigan" but watched the great players from the Florida teams. Mostly receivers, RBs, guys with the ball in their hands. He's never talked to him or met Pat White, but it's an honor to be compared to him. "That's somebody that's set records." Denard has watched lots of tape of him. Great runner and passer. "Same thing they listed me at: as an athlete."

"When the offensive linemen are blocking like that and it's god-willing, I can do whatever."

QBs are a happy family. "We're all brothers on this team." Tate, Devin, Jack happy for him after the game. The team is having fun. "Just starving to get better."

The RBs are all-in for Michigan, and nobody's going against each other. "Michael Shaw is a tough, tough dude." He tells Denard to make the read, and if he has to pull the ball, so be it.

Punting - Practiced it a lot, and RR makes a big deal about QBs being able to punt. "I wouldn't like to punt. We don't want to punt any balls."

"Classmates, they don't really say to much. They probably just say 'great game, and just keep doing it.'"

"Both of my parents like smiling. My whole family smiles all the time. It's just something that goes through my family, I guess."

David Molk

"Denard is probably the best person that could have all this fame." He can handle it, and doesn't seek it out. "He's not gonna get taken by the storm."

RBs - "Our running backs are forming. Denard's been taking a lot of it as we all know. they're going to step up and they're gonna be big."

Ranking doesn't change his view of the season "I don't like the attention that comes with all of it." Would rather see the team stick together. The team came in ranked 80th, now 20th, will change other teams' view of them.

"Everyone's more mature, no one's making mistakes" frorm last year.

OL is doing well, but there are always places to improve. Will find and make those improvements over the course of the season. Playing center in a spread offense is "probably no different than any other center in the country." He starts with the ball, so his screwups look bad. It's nothing he can't handle. "Offensive line play, in my eyes, really doesn't change. I just get to hit people, snap the ball."

On fan perception of Rich Rod: "They hate him when we lose, and they love him when we win."

It was amazing to see guys come together when drives would stall because of mistakes. "It was more come together: 'we know we need a drive.'"

Greg Banks

"We don't really look at rankings. We're still playing like we're ranked 80th in the nation." The players all citing the 80th ranking is not a marketing ploy, it was the truth coming in. They're trying to earn everybody's respect back. Anything provides motivation.

Is it tough to get up for a powderpuff? There's no such thing. "We saw that with App State. We underestimated them, and it'll never happen again." Michigan will give their all against every team.

The defense wasn't low about allowing the last ND touchdown. "It happened one play ago, so we have to flush that in order to be ready for the next play." During Michigan's game-winning drive, Banks was just reminding everyone to stay focused and be ready to get back out there.

UConn and ND have great OLs, not taking anything away from them "we can only focus on what we can do."

Doesn't matter what year it is, "The Notre Dame game is the Notre Dame game. Big either way you look at it."

Can't replace Brandon Graham. It's not the player they're filling, it's the position. "I can only play within my limits. I talk to him every day before the game, before practice." Graham is a mentor. "He's a great friend of mine that I'll have for the rest of my life."

James Rogers

Preparing for an FCS team - "just gotta stay humble. Go out and prepare every week like it's the biggest game of the year." Prepare the same way as other games. Didn't see any of JMU's win against Virginia Tech. "I didn't see any of it, so I don't know."

UMass receivers - get scouting books today and learn more about them.

Michael Floyd "I kind of picked of some of his tendencies early from watching film." Prepared well for him. You have to watch as much film as you can for a little advantage over an exceptional opponent.

Denard off the field "He's a great kid. He's only a sophomore, but the kid's a leader." First one to workouts, etc. "Boy's a speedster. When I see him, I just look at it like it's a track meet. He's just gonna cross that goal line and be a champion."

DBs get together as a unit to watch film "I gotta help these young cats out a little bit." Help them use the film system, etc. Cam Gordon- "Cam's a hard worker. Me and Cam worked out together over the summertime." He'll watch the film and get better - he's his own biggest critic.

Comfort level - "I go out and play, just have fun every week. I feel that I've got nothing to lose." Have fun, play with enthusiasm. Always get out there and have fun with it. Saw Woolfolk's injury and any position switch as an opportunity. "I knew when Troy went down, I knew I had to step up my leadership as a senior."

Half the team probably doesn't even know they're ranked.

JT Floyd

Denard "He's the best, man. He's a real down-to-earth guy... I can't say enough good things about him, I'm just proud to be on this team with him."

Jonas Mouton - "Man, I love having him on my side." He's a great ommunicator, always gives 110%.

Extremely impressed with James Rogers's play against ND. "He's always had the work ethic," and just needed a bit of game experience.

The goal is always to win for Michigan. Stay focused and keep the hunger.

"It was one of the most exciting games I've ever been a part of." Confidence "I definitely believe this is a step in the positive direction." Still a lot of stuff that needs to be patched up. The road victory is something that can be attributed to hard work and preparation.

UMass has a good group of receivers. Work hard to prepare for them.

On his interception: "It was a big weight off my shoulders, just getting that first one. It's aways elusive." The secondary did well, had some good plays. Gave up a couple plays they wish they could have back.

Unfair perception of the secondary - it's just something out there, everyone's inexperienced. "Every week we've just gotta go out there and prove we really belong here."

Rich Rod Monday Presser Notes 9-13

Rich Rod Monday Presser Notes 9-13

Submitted by Tim on September 13th, 2010 at 12:56 PM

RRPresser.jpgFile photo courtesy of the Michigan Daily

A couple notes from Michigan's Sports Information Department: Redshirt freshman defensive end Anthony LaLota has asked for, and received a transfer release. Michigan's game against Bowling Green in a couple weeks will be a noon contest on either ESPN or ESPN2.

Notre Dame and UMass

Injuries: Mike Jones suffered broken leg, and is doubtful for the remainder of the season. Brandon Herron sprained his ankle, and is day-to-day. JB Fitzgerald, Mark Moundros, Kenny Demens, and Kevin Leach will step up a bit.

"Anybody that says they don't want to be liked is probably lying to you. Everybody wants to be liked" the only thing that matters is how you react to it. Positive press "It's like poison - just don't swallow it." On bandwagoners: "What I'm worried about is things I can control. Am I a different guy now than I was two weeks ago?" People's perception is whateva for him. "There's probably some people who will still be unhappy. No matter what we do. And they'll be unhappy for the rest of their lives."

The team played well enough to win Saturday, it's not a case of being good enough to win despite playing poorly. Would like to have some plays back, "we're still not good enough to play poorly and win... I still would not like to test that out." There were enough good things to say that the team didn't play poorly.

On penalties - "some of them I still question. Nonetheless, we had them." Late hit on Cullen Christian: "I couldn't tell initially." Coaches film revealed it was a close call, but an unnecessary thing for Christian to do.

Nobody really realized that TJ Jones dropped the ball before scoring the TD. Wouldn't have known anyway, with no video boards in ND Stadium. "It's certainly a teaching moment to tell our guys to run down and jump on the ball." Michigan shouldn't have an issue with dropping the ball before the endzone: "We hand the ball to the official. That would never happen to a Michigan guy."

Poise down the stretch on the road - "You learn a lot on the road... When it's a hostile environment and the crowd goes crazy every time they make a play." There were never any Michigan guys who seemed to be afraid when ND made plays. "Hey, let's go out there and play football" was their attitude.

"I didn't see any panic whatsoever on anybody on the sidelines" after ND took the late lead. Face adversity in every game, they'll learn how to deal with it with experience.

No turnovers - "Denard put it on the ground one time" he was holding it loose, and Vincent Smith's hustle bailed him out.

"Two weeks ago, I'm not sure we'd have been favored" against UMass. Rankings didn't matter then, and don't matter now. Shouldn't bother with polls until October.

RR will bring up Virginia Tech losing to James Madison to remind the guys not to overlook anyone. "Thee's already been what 5? 5 or 6 this year?" FCS beating FBS. In FCS level, the good teams are really really good. If you play an average or below average FCS team, the D-1 teams aren't going to have a problem. "We're playing a good one. UMass is one of the good teams in 1-AA."

"You don't have to be listed as a recruiting service 5-star recruit to be a very good college player or even an NFL guy." Parity b/w 1-A and 1-AA - there are more kids that are getting known now. "All the upgraded facilities." Everyone has somthing to sell to recruits, and kids want to go somewhere they'll play. "We sell the biggest stage and greatest education."

"We'll do whatever we've gotta do to win the game." In the UMass game, they'll do what it takes to get the W, even if it means lots of Denard.

Personnel

"I'm biased. I think we've got a bunch of good guys." Guys who succeed academically, athletically, and people who are just good guys. Some guys might be misunderstood (I assume he's talking about the Chris Henry, Pacman Jones, Demar Dorsey types), but some guys you know as soon as they're on campus, "this is a great guy." Denard was raised right, and has great family support. Loves football, loves playing at Michigan with his teammates.

Denard is continuing to grow and mature in the offense. Playing on the road was an experience that will help for the future. QBs haven't been hit in practice since camp started. They're not going to beat Denard up in practice. More worried about QBs throwing too much in practice.

Should they shield Denard from the attention? They've already talked about that. Everybody wants to talk to him. Good thing for him, family, and program. He's still got a full class load, practice, etc. "We're really gonna limit him. That's probably not going to make a lot of people happy." He's not seeking attention, though everyone likes being talked about in a positive way.

Denard's performance "continuation of the first game." He executed pretty well. He was hyped up to run at start of game, and would have taken a couple decisions back. Having such a young guy tear up opponents is a surprise. QB-centered offense though. "Denard's been taking a lot of threes" like a point guard who can make you pay for sagging off him.

On Denard's 57 carries - "You coach your team, I'll coach mine." [Ed: sounds like a snap back at Brian Kelly. Doesn't seem like there's much love lost there.] Lots of carries, but they do what it takes to win. Have two good backups. Denard getting better on run game reads and keeping his eyes in the right spot. He has great vision to read blocks - something they've been hamering him on since training camp.

"Some running backs, the more carries they get the better they go. Our running backs are fresh (laughs)."

RBs - They ran hard. There weren't missed reads, their lack of success was just due to the way ND was playing them. Opens up more things for the QB. Denard made a couple bad reads in the run game, but for the most part was sharp. "I think our biggest improvement in the runningback is to be involved not in the running, but the other aspects of it." They blocked well, and ran good routes. They can still block better.

Shaw and Smith "They're playing hard, not breaking a lot of big runs year but I like their effort." They understand the offense, are doing the little stuff, helping Denard with communication. "I'd like to get some of those other backs into the flow." Mike Cox, Stephen Hopkins, and Teric Jones might get into the flow. Fitzgerald Toussaint may be healthy enough to go this week.

Stephen Hopkins: "Yeah, every time he carries, he scores." He's a bigger back, but has a lot of 1-back skills. Getting closer to doing a lot of that stuff.

Roundtree's toughness: "He practiced all week." By Thursday he was doing everything, and there were no issues with the doctors. He made some nice plays. Receivers did a good job blocking downfield, but can still improve.

Outside WRs - "[Denard]'s got a lot of confidence with Roy, Martavious, Darryl Stonum." Hoping Hemingway will come back soon. Not a lot of depth out there. Tay and Stonum taking 80-some snaps - too many.

Downfield was blocking better than game one, but still can improve (from wideouts).

RR doesn't care who gets the yard if the team gets 500 rushing. "Would you like to have more balance? Yeah, if they give you that." "Denard wouldn't have whatever he's got rushing if he didn't have some dudes blocking for him up front."

Will Campbell and Quinton Washington couldn't wait for the game to start, and were hoping for a short-yardage situation. They have a few other packages that they're involved in.

Molk - "He and Steve Schilling are the two emotional leaders up front." Patrick Omameh - "He played better. And he'd be the first one to tell you the first game wasn't his best performance." He still has room to improve. The OL as a whole graded out "OK, it wasn't great. I thought Notre Dame's line got after us pretty good."

Defense good minus big plays - "you have to count the big plays in there." The D still held Notre Dame to six three-and-outs. There were lots of possessions though. They can play better, and missed more tackles than the first week (ND's players and technique issues in tackling were responsible for that). The three interceptions were huge.

Cam Gordon just made two bad plays. Just a technique thing where he misjudged the angles. "He'll be fine."

James Rogers - Really consistent. "He's seen the field, I've been really pleased with his play so far."

Kicking battle still open. Broekhuizen kicked the last extra point. Doesn't know today who will start on Sturday.

Hagerup will punt a lot better than he did on Saturday - just not on his game. "I didn't ask him" if it was technique or nerves "I just said 'can you kick a little better?'" Meram - hasn't been over as much with his soccer responsibilities.

Etc.

Expecting 30-some guys to show up for walkon tryouts "I think there's gonna be a lot of kickers." "Maybe there's another Kovacs in there. Gosh, would that be great?"

UM Transplant Center - "I know what they do and the lives that they save." Had a staffer at WVU need a transplant to save his life. "I'm an organ donor. It's easy to do on your driver's license." Wolverine-Buckeye challenge to sign up people for organ donor registry. 108k people waiting for a transplant "The entire Big House."

Monday Player Presser Notes 9-6-10

Monday Player Presser Notes 9-6-10

Submitted by Tim on September 6th, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Following Rich Rodriguez's time with the media yesterday, we also talked to TE Kevin Koger, RB Mike Shaw, LB Obi Ezeh, and DL Ryan Van Bergen.

Kevin Koger

koger.jpg"I think a couple people were shocked, because not a lot of people picked us to win." He was pleased with the team's performance.

Denard's performance - "I know he was doing what the coaches were coaching him to do." With his speed, if he doesn't need to stop his feet nobody will catch him. When Denard came in last year, teams knew it was a run. Now, they can't expect that. "He did take a lot of hits on Saturday, he did get hurt once."

"If it ain't broke don't fix it." The run worked well on Saturday, no need to worry about chucking the ball downfield more often. Teams have put 8 men in the box to stop the run. They might put more DBs in the box. "You really can't tell until you watch film." When they do that, you'll see more passing.

The big focus for WRs and TEs in offseason was dropped passes. They needed to work on their focus, ad it's paying off.

Everybody wants to make their blocks on every play, so it's not their guy that makes a tackle. Big play ability is always there with Michigan's team speed. Have to make your blocks "that could be the difference, so you never know." Downfield blocking "all comes down to effort. If you want to block, you block. If you don't [want to], you don't."

Kevin could notice a difference in crowd noise with the new boxes. You can hear the echoes off the boxes. "I think 113,000+ had a lot to do with it also."

Kevin traveled but didn't play a couple years ago at Notre Dame. He's ready to experience it for the first time. Players talk about "how loud it was and how tall the grass was."

Mike Shaw

"It was a good game. Coming out with a packed crowd like that, it was a lot of nerves, but we got through it and had a good showing against UConn."

"So far, so good" for Denard. "You never expect anybody to go out and have the game that he did." When he pulls the ball down, he's as good as a running back. If he stays healthy and everyone keeps blocking for him, it'll be all good. "Anybody can get a big run in this offense. It's so spread out." UConn wasn't ready for Denard's speed. Once teams key on Denard, it'll open up lanes for others. "As of September 4th, it was Denard's show." It's hard to compare Denard's command of the offense from last year. "What the coaches asked him to do, he did well - more than well."

Coaches look for stability and consistency in RBs. Shaw and Smith didn't fumble, etc. in camp, which put them ahead. There was no discussion of who was going to go in "when our numbers were called, we just went in there and did our thing." He's always hard on himself after a game. "I feel that I have a lot of room for improvement," especially in blocking and hitting creases harder.

He's talked to Roundtree, and they watched the play on which he got injured. Roundtree was thrilled to be involved in a big hit - he likes to be in on the action.

The O-line was a huge plus - even more than Denard. They've made big strides over the past couple years. They'll lead to a lot of big plays this year.

As for his academic situation in fall camp: "I am a student-athlete, and to not be eligible is not something I think the University of Michigan would stand for."

It's always a rowdy crowd at ND. Both teams have a lot to prove. "A lot of attention in the national spotlight."

Obi Ezeh

The first three-and-out "that was nice" UConn's hurry-up didn't work out to start the game. "Our coaches got us really prepared for that game."

Fumble recovery - "In the right place at the right time, and kinda had my wits about me.... Kinda reminded me of the Michigan State game last year, when I had a fumble recovery and got smacked in the face."

The D-line was amazing. "A lot of people don't really hear about the efforts those guys put out." Hopes Martin knows that he appreciates the effort.

"I'm my worst critic," but Jonas played awesome. He was getting in the backfield, wreaking havoc, reading his keys, everything gelling well. "I felt comfortable out there too." Everyone makes mistakes - not perfect but a good game.

"Obviously things didn't go the way you wanted or you planned last year," and Obi used that for motivation. "I just want to win." All the seniors want to leave a legacy. There are more important things than last year.

The time of possession helped the defense. "It's fun when you don't have to play like 80-some plays a game." There will be times that Mich doesn't dominate possession, and the D is in good enough shape to handle that.

ND - Big game, big stage. Want to make a statement. "With that all being said, it's still a game, and just like last week you need to prepare, focus in, and practice hard." Everybody has a different version of the spread, so you have to prepare for ND differently. ND has explosive players at their disposal. "Our coaches are gonna come in with a gameplan obviously and we're just gonna focus in and execute to the best of our abilities."

Ryan Van Bergen

Did the team make a statement on opening day? "I think we did a pretty good job. I wouldn't say we had a performance that was perfect." There's a long season to progress, and young guys will come along during the season.

"I probably thought that in spring ball, probably first or second week" that Denard had really come along as a passer. He's accurate, which he struggled with last year. Completing passes will open up the run for him.

DL Coach Bruce Tall tries to rotate guys in and out along the line, to give the starters a rest. Even with the defense out there a long time, they can have depth and stay fresh. Mike Barwis has done a fantastic job with conditioning. Everybody on DL is leaps ahead of last year - which means a lot because they were in great shape last year too.

Position change "My role hasn't changed that much. It's a little bit nicer that I don't have to worry about a double team every play." BG gave him a lot of help.

He's "absolutely" happy to see somebody else have to chase Denard around.

Pressure on the QB. "Obviously I don't think we recorded a sack. We did a good job of putting pressure on the quarterback and forcing some bad throws." UConn went heavy protect a lot of times, but they're hungry to get some sacks.

Obi - "He just really resilient. He's gonna come back just as hard if not harder if he makes a mistake." Always a leader. He and jonas both motivated. Rubs off on the rest of the d.

Secondary - "I they played well." Don't have a veteran back there who's a bigtime leader. Those guys played well, weren't deer-in-headlights. Bounced back if they gave up any big plays.