Spring Practice Presser 4-3-18: Greg Mattison

Spring Practice Presser 4-3-18: Greg Mattison

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

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[Marc-Gregor Campredon]

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

Do you have the deepest position?

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

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

Who’s starting to earn that right?

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

What distinguishes Dwumfour?

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

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

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

Outback Bowl Teleconference: Jim Harbaugh

Outback Bowl Teleconference: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on December 4th, 2017 at 10:00 AM

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[Fuller]

“Yeah, on behalf of the 2017 Michigan Wolverines football team and the University of Michigan, we’re excited as heck to be coming down to the Outback Bowl. We all have—most of us, anyway, on the team—friends and family in Florida. We are excited about the competition in South Carolina and… hard football team. Been watching them a little bit and they’re tough. They’re really well coached.

“We’re excited about the New Year’s Day game on January 1st. I think it’s gonna be one of the most exciting January 1st lineup of bowl games that I’ve ever seen, so excited to be part of it and can’t wait. Know it’s going to be a lot of preparation our team will take up, get underway here this week.

“We know we’ve got to be better and that starts today and having a great matchup against South Carolina really helps motivate us to do that.”

What’s your reaction to the Big Ten getting shut out of the playoff this year and the decision to go with Alabama over Ohio State?

“My reaction is there should be more than four teams in the playoffs. Again, just to reiterate, eight teams, 12 teams, 16 teams—16 would ideal to be in the playoffs. It would make us more like every other spot, every other collegiate sport that has a playoff, every league in sports that has a playoff and a championship that does it through a playoff format.
“FCS, I mean, they have that format. It’s been in place. I think it’s up to 24 teams now and at that level I think it’s the ideal way to do it, so that’s my first reaction.”

I know you always talk about bowl practices as a way to catapult the team into next season but how much are you guys looking at this bowl game as more of maybe a way to validate the season for yourselves? There were a lot of variables this year: some injuries, three quarterbacks. How much are you looking at this game as kind of more just a validation of this season rather so much than catapulting into next season?

“I’d say both, Adam. Really building and attacking at the same time. This season and next season all at the same time. It’s both.”

If I could follow up real quick, just a few weeks or actually about a month or so of bowl preparation. How much more are you looking to see out of you team going into this bowl game. Is there another level that you feel you can reach that you haven’t reached in the regular season?

“Absolutely. We look at it right now, we’re not good enough. Not good enough to win all our games and we need to be better. We need to be good enough, and that starts now. That starts now, today. That started—well, really started last week, you know, as we go forward building and attacking, using our meeting time, using our training time, using our practice time, [and] this next ball game all to motivate us and improve as a football team.”

[After THE JUMP: Peters’ status (wrt the concussion and otherwise), Speight’s transfer, a Tarik Black update, and a discussion about better redshirt rules]

Wednesday Presser 11-22-17: Pep Hamilton

Wednesday Presser 11-22-17: Pep Hamilton

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 22nd, 2017 at 5:11 PM

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[Fuller]

How we doin’?

“Working at it. [/looks at SID] Give me the updates. What do I need to know? What’s my man’s name? No. 1 from our defense, he spilled some—Ambry. See, I didn’t even remember his name, so you know he’s not in the gameplan.”

Is this a double fake kind of thing?

“Alright, here we go.”

Is Brandon cleared for any kind of activity yet?

“He’s progressively getting better. He’s still in the protocol and we’ll know—it’s on an hour-to-hour and day-to-day basis where he stands, but, you know, he seems to be a lot better than what he was after Saturday.”

Is there a cutoff time where if he’s not cleared by a certain point then he won’t play Saturday?

“That’s coach Harbaugh’s decision.”

Any update on Wilton?

“Wilton, he’s been back out on the practice field and he’s looked good. Once again, that’s the head coach’s decision.”

Is it still a red jersey [non-contact] thing for Wilton?

“Yes.”

If it is John that has to play on Saturday, how do you feel that he’s—do you feel that he’ll be ready for that challenge?

“Yeah, I think he’ll be ready. It’s not like this is his first time playing. We’ve still got a lot of practice in front of us and it’s important that we go out and we have a few good days of practice and we’ll see where we stand.”

[After THE JUMP: the tea leaves, they are read]

Monday Presser 11-20-17: Players

Monday Presser 11-20-17: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 21st, 2017 at 8:46 AM

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[Fuller]

Chase Winovich

How does five losses in a row weigh on this team?

“You don’t think about that stuff. You just play it one year at a time, one game at a time, and if you look back even in our history, if you look at the 1969 year Michigan beat Ohio State. You don’t look so much at the fact that we had lost to Michigan State that year and other teams, you look at the fact that we had beat a really good Ohio State football team. It’s kind of that same thing. It doesn’t matter how this season has went so far, the fact that we lost a couple games in the past. It just matters what we do in this game, and that’s what we’re going to focus on.”

With Don Brown, I think it’s pretty interesting that he’s 62 years old and yet he’s able to connect with guys like you. How does he do that?

“He just does it because, I mean, he’s 62 in age but he’s got a young soul, I’ll tell you that. One of the best feelings is when you’ll be out there and you’ll do something good he’ll call you ‘bro.’ ‘You’re an animal, bro!’ Yeah, one of the highest compliments I’ve probably received here.”

Coach Harbaugh was kind of saying he brings the energy and passion kind of exactly like you were saying, like a younger guy. Does that kind of emotion rub off on everybody on the unit?

“Oh, for sure. Everyone loves coach Brown. Like, he’s notoriously liked and respected across the board. There’s other coaches that players kind of schluff off but definitely not coach Brown. He’s earned our respect. He’s a wizard when it comes to knowing football and just preparing for games and I’m just excited to play under him in this game.”

[After THE JUMP: Cole, McCray, Kinnel, Hurst, and Higdon]

Wednesday Presser 11-15-17: Tim Drevno

Wednesday Presser 11-15-17: Tim Drevno

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 16th, 2017 at 8:01 AM

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[Fuller]

Jim said this morning that Cesar [Ruiz] and Mike [Onwenu] might play together. How would that work?

“Well, you know Mike is working through some things, his back… gosh, there’s three more days of practice left so we’ll kind of see how it all shakes down and like every day, we’ll roll the balls out and see who the best guys are and the best guy for us to win. Could both share time. We’ll just see as we go. Still too early to tell.”

Even if Mike’s healthy, do you feel like Cesar’s one of your best five right now?

“Cesar does a nice job. His athleticism, his initial quickness, the way he can recover on a block. I mean, both of them bring great things to the party, but to say he’s one of the best five right now, that’s just a little too early to tell just because of where we are. He’s played two games. Did a nice job in there. There’s things that all of them need to work on, just as Cesar needs to work on some things, but he’s doing a good job.”

Enough to make you think about it, though?

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, you think about it. Every day you’re thinking about, hey, how can I change this lineup, how can I make it better? Every day is a day in here is—you want to make sure you’re working, that you’re unsettled. You don’t want to become content. Content becomes laziness, and that’s not a good thing, is it?”

Why are you looking at me?

“I’m not. My wife sometimes says that: ‘This isn’t the Marriott, pick up your stuff around here.’”

[After THE JUMP: scouting Wisconsin’s defense, why Drevno went back to coaching from the field, where Ruiz and Bredeson won’t play, and more evidence Drevno should always listen to his wife]

Wednesday Presser 11-8-17: Greg Frey

Wednesday Presser 11-8-17: Greg Frey

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 9th, 2017 at 6:58 AM

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[Chris Cook]

“How’s everybody doing?”

Good. How are you?

“Getting cold.”

What have you seen from some of the younger guys at tackle, Stueber, some of those guys?

“They’re doing really well. That transition of coming from high school to college is going really good. You’re seeing them move around do things more natural now than six weeks ago, seven weeks ago, so really excited about the young group. There’s a good group and it’s going to be fun to watch them continue to grow and compete and prepare and the whole nine yards.”

Is that typically a pretty big transition coming from high school to college as an offensive lineman?

“Oh yeah, absolutely.”

What’s been the difference for Juwann [Bushell-Beatty]? He started out no. 2, now he’s in there moving people.

“Juwann’s—he’s really maturing in just his outlook and how he goes and it’s been really fun to watch and interesting to see, like you said, overcome some adversity early on and continue to battle and continue to press. Certainly not where we want him to be or where he feels he can be but I think he’s on that road and it’s been really fun to watch.”

He’s been moving people. Is the pass pro part still where you’re really—

“Yeah, it’s always because every defense presents different challenges, and so as a group and watching these guys, they’re attacking those challenges. Still making some mistakes. There’s still some things we’ve got to get where maybe a guy gets anxious or something happens where we’ve got to calm him down a little bit but he’s solidly moving forward to become what we think he can become.”

[After THE JUMP: how Frey approaches TEs, updates on Hudson, Newsome the player/coach, and a Maryland scouting report of sorts]

Minnesota Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Minnesota Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

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

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[Fuller]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday Presser 11-1-17: Pep Hamilton

Wednesday Presser 11-1-17: Pep Hamilton

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

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[Upchurch]

“Let’s knock this out.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rutgers Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Rutgers Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 29th, 2017 at 12:00 PM

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[Campredon]

Can you assess Brandon Peters’ game and did he do enough to earn another start?

“He really acquitted himself well. Moved the football team. Played very, very well. Yeah, he did a lot and from the first time he went in there, just feeling the deep zone and feeling the linebackers drop and taking that extra half second to take a breath and hit the checkdown just was good ball. He was good.”

Brandon himself said his biggest advancement since fall camp was communication. How much has he addressed the things you talked about before the season?

“He’s made big strides. Really good in that area. It’s been—and was good out there today.”

What did you see on the touchdown pass to Chris Evans and—

“I thought Chris made a heck of a catch on it. Thought Brandon saw it well. Good protection, and Brandon put it… you know, a little short, but Chris adjusted well to the ball and made a nice catch.”

And then the next time out he had a two-minute drill. What impressed you most about Brandon’s game today?

“Today? Well, the things I talked about earlier. I mean, just that he was playing the position. He was playing good ball. Two-minute drill, I think that’s definitely… that’s a real bright spot to go in there—what was it, his second drive, I think, and get organized and get our team organized in the two-minute drill on the field. That’s something a quarterback doesn’t usually have happen to him on his second drive of playing football but I think it went really well for him, and that was great to see.”

[After THE JUMP: questions about special teahaha just kidding it’s more stuff about Peters]

Monday Presser 10-23-17: Players

Monday Presser 10-23-17: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 24th, 2017 at 8:00 AM

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[Upchurch]

Grant Perry

Route-running wise, have you seen, do you anticipate, I know that’s been kind of a topic of discussion with the offense, drops, that sort of thing. Can you evaluate that?

“Every game you can evaluate a lot of things, whether it’s drops or wrong routes or route-running in general. We’re going to evaluate that today when we go over the film with coaches and get some feedback.”

To us maybe it seems like an easy fix [re: route-running]. Is that an easy fix?

“Route-running? Yeah, there can be fixes to it, whether its’ the timing with the quarterback or knowing zone versus man, which affects the route. Just little things that can be picked up on.”

Mood of the team coming out of that one more angry? More determined? How would you gauge it?

“Yeah, we were definitely disappointed we lost but if we all stayed disappointed it wouldn’t be good for this week, so we all agreed that we’re going to move on and take our frustrations out on Rutgers.”

What have you noticed out of Donovan through seven weeks of the season as far as getting acclimated, learning, and picking up on things?

“Donovan, he’s definitely maturing a lot. He’s doing really well in practice. He’s picking up on things that I wasn’t even picking up freshman year. He’s understanding the game like a veteran, and that’s going to come a long way throughout his career.”

Can you detail maybe sitting down and having a conversation or what are the Xs and Os like when you’re talking in practice?

“It’s just little things, whether it’s different routes, how to run this route, how to see this coverage, how to see this safety rolling. He’s seeing the whole field really well. Everyone knows that he was having trouble on punt return muffing balls and all that and he hasn’t muffed a ball since, so it just shows how mature and how comfortable he really is.”

[After THE JUMP: Isaac, Bushell-Beatty, and Poggi]