Calvin Magee Presser Notes

Submitted by Tim on August 18th, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Notes from Offensive Coordinator Calvin Magee's meeting with the press this morning (photo from file).

General Stuff

Motivation is not necessarily about the wingless helmets, everyone on the team has a fire lit under them, because they have competition for their spots.

The vocal leader of the offense varies. All the upperclassmen are starting to be. Schilling, Roundtree, QBs, Koger "I can name a lot now, I couldn't do that before."

It's Coach Rodriguez's decision whether anybody moves from offense to help fill the void left by Troy Woolfolk's injury. "I figured that might be an early question." The offense's goal is to get plenty of depth at every position, and Magee hasn't thought about any spot where the offense could give up a guy.

They've had situational scrimmages, but no full scrimmage yet. Offense is about the execution. Keys for that are making sure we take care of the ball, making good decisions, avoiding negative plays, converting 3rd downs, and sustaining drives. "When you have chances to make plays you make them. We had, I believe, a lot of missed opportunities last year. We need to take advantage of them." The team has been better at avoiding turnovers than in the past couple camps. "Attention to detail has been much better." Avoiding the chance for a turnover, not just the turnover itself, has been coached.

The coaches aren't watching more film than normal with so many unresolved position battles. They'd be doing it anyway to evaluate the backups, etc. Fun thing now is every position has competition, and everyone knows the competition is there, so the players are pushing each other.

On the scrape exchange: "We've been seeing that for about 5 years now." "We have some pretty good answers for that... We feel comfortable and confident in those answers, we really do." Unsurprisingly, he wouldn't get into specifics about what those answers are. [Ed.: This had to be Craig Ross's question. Tim confirms.]

The team is mostly third-year guys. They understand more of what is expected at this point. More people are running around knowing what's going on than the past couple fall camps. The guys who don't understand are a minority now. The guys that have been around providing great leadership.

Right now, they're are still in camp mode with giving reps, they haven't started preparing for the first opponent. Now is time to get guys into shape and learn fundamentals.

The main improvement in the defense is that they're flying around, having fun. Magee's not worried about them, he wants to execute his plays. Right now, he's worried about offense.

Not even thinking about redshirts right now.

Quarterbacks And Other Personnel, But Mostly Quarterbacks

Who will start at QB and RB? "You wish I would tell you that." They're excited about all three QBs. They're still days away from figuring that out [note: I don't think "days away" means something is happening soon. He used it to mean "not yet" a few times]

To evaluate the QBs, they look at making the proper progression reads, learning the offense, leadership, improving every day, decisions they make, making plays. A lot of guys are making plays in camp. The quarterback battle might be won by who can motivate better. Showing leadership by example is important, good body language, knowing we always have a chance. "It's not just in completion rates and all that stuff."

Thus far, they're only evaluating the overall performance of the quarterbacks. "All three bring quite a bit to the table... it'll be our job to figure out." There's no set deadline for deciding on a starter. They just want to decide soon enough to get players the reps they need to prepare for the first game.

Denard - have you been giving him reps anywhere else? "No." [editorialization: given Rodriguez's continued insistence that Denard would see snaps other places if he wasn't going to be the team's starting QB, throw this in the pile of "Denard will be the starter" fuel.] Denard has improved since year one with an overall understanding of the complete scheme. Run game and throw game. Having a spring under his belt. "Progressing the way a young quarterback progresses."

"Tate's been competing, playing, doing well." They all understand what's at stake for the team. All-in for the team. Does Tate have his wings back? "It's not for me to tell you that."

In the spring, Devin was good for a high schooler. He's been picking up more and more, and is gaining confidence.

At running back, "we're trying to figure out who's going to step forward." Put different guys with different groups. Competition still going strong. A couple days away from figuring that out. Vincent Smith hasn't lacked confidence yet coming off the knee injury. "I haven't seen anything that makes me discouraged."

Stonum - "He's been consistent, and dedicated, and is playing at a high level right now. We're hoping that continues into games." Staying healthy is important, and he's been consistent.

Some slot receivers could see action on the outside. Roundtree, Grady, Terrance Robinson, and Odoms, could all play inside and outside. Nobody is separating at outside WR yet because they're all so close. There will be 5-6 guys who can play both receiver positions.

All the young receivers have been impressive, but there's only one new WR (DJ Williamson) since spring. The older guys are bringing them along. Evaluation comes in scrimmages, etc. Now, they're just making sure everyone is fundamentally sound. Je'Ron Stokes is coming along. "He's about where you'd think a redshirt kid would be."

Schofield and Lewan are "competing their butts off. Much improved." You always worry that redshirts might not prepare properly because they don't expect to play - but that doesn't seem to be the case. Quinton Washington has been working hard as well.

The interior line has a lot more experience now. Schilling and Molk have played a bunch, and last year Patrick got some games inside. Naturally they'll get better with experience. They're becoming leaders, and helping younger guys along.


Maize.Blue Wagner

August 18th, 2010 at 12:57 PM ^

Were the sunflowers edible? All kidding aside, thanks for your work Tim.  It's great to have such quick access to all this info.  It certainly helps satisfy the need for football until Sept. 4th. 


August 18th, 2010 at 1:04 PM ^

Gotta love the attitude. Don't dwell on the negative. Lots of competition (SORELY LACKING LAST YEAR). Sounds like we will like our offense a lot more this year than last year. I hope so because they may have to roll up a bunch of points and just let our defense hang on.

S.G. Rice

August 18th, 2010 at 1:09 PM ^

This has nothing to do with anything, but I think Coach Magee looks an awful lot like Romeo Crennel in that picture.

Give that man a Coors Light commercial!


August 18th, 2010 at 1:11 PM ^

The quarterback battle might be won by who can motivate better. Showing leadership by example is important, good body language, knowing we always have a chance. "It's not just in completion rates and all that stuff."

Just come right out and say it, Magee.


August 18th, 2010 at 2:15 PM ^

You just can't ignore the next line, "It's not just in completion rates and all that stuff."  I think what Coach Magee just said, along with all of the talk since spring, clearly points to a shift to Denard.  Not saying he's the clear starter, but obviously Tate does not have the qb position on lock.


August 18th, 2010 at 3:55 PM ^

I guess you figured it out - the amorphous "they" (presumably, RR, Calvin and the entire team) just really don't like Tate.  They think that he is a bad, mean and spiteful person.  When he walks into team meetings, they usually just pretend that he is not there or make fun of his child-like body. 

Have you seen a single CREDIBLE source indicating that anyone does not LIKE Tate? 


August 18th, 2010 at 2:30 PM ^

No, I do not think that RR is entertaining the thought of moving Denard to CB.  Why?

1.  Denard never played DB in high school - he played QB, RB and a bit of WR.

2.  Even if Denard were not winning the QB competition (which, we don't know but the speculation seems to be that he is), we would need Denard to be QB #2.  Tate is not such a lock to get through the season (because of a potential injury, inexperience, lack of wings, etc.) that we can risk an injury to Denard.

3.  QB is not a position that lends itself to transferring to CB.  WRs sometimes make the switch, but since the CBs primary responsibility is to cover the WR, having experience at WR is directly relevant to being a CB.  Also, similar skill set - speed, jumping ability, ability to position for jump balls, ball instincts between CB and WR - the similarity is not there for WR.

4.  Just because Denard is fast as hell, that does not mean that he would be a good CB.  If that were the case, we could just steal a few of our track start as put them in the secondary.

Look , I am as excited about Denard's speed as everyone, but he is a QB (and from recent reports, a good one).  He will stay a QB, and if he takes reps at any other positions, it will be WR (see the first offensive play of the OSU game last year) or RB.


August 19th, 2010 at 10:00 AM ^


Ok Ok I see the error of my ell thought out post (as I cower back to the corner)


I was thinking  the other dayt hough , if I was a 19ish year old kid like Denard my thoughts have to be making tons of money in the NFL. He has to know that even the best spread quarter backs have not had great success in the NFL. 

Your thoughts?  Does he play wr or wildcat qb a couple downs a game ala Pat White behind Chad Henne?

SC Wolverine

August 18th, 2010 at 3:24 PM ^

under any circumstances.  When you have someone of Denard's explosiveness and speed, you must play him on offense.  Wherever he plays on offense (preferably QB), he will help us most with the loss of Wolfolk by scoring.  The team needs to move the ball and score points!

MMB 82

August 18th, 2010 at 2:10 PM ^

The QB position is just too important in the offensive scheme to not have at least 2-3 ready to go. Rather we get some people to step up into the starting CB role, and if we win games 51-48, so be it.


August 18th, 2010 at 2:32 PM ^

Unfortunately, I have the nagging feeling that the good vibes about Stonum might be based on the conerbacks he goes up against in practice.  Here's to hoping that is wrong.


August 18th, 2010 at 2:59 PM ^

I think the coaches are smarter than that. They see his attitude, his work ethic, how he responds in individual drills, his route running, his blocking, and his catching ability. The good vibes are just that, good vibes for good reasons by coaches who have been around football a long time. 


August 18th, 2010 at 2:48 PM ^

I haven't heard too much about Ricardo.  Maybe I missed something, and I know he's a freshman and all, but I haven't heard too much about him yet.  Anyone know how he's doing?


August 18th, 2010 at 3:03 PM ^

Maybe I am just out of the loop on this, but didn't Je'Ron burn his redshirt last year?  Or is Magee saying he is a sophomore playing like a redshirt freshman?  I doubt he could mean it that way.  Confused, now.


August 18th, 2010 at 4:01 PM ^

of our WR's played CB in highschool?  I am much to lazy to research that question, but I'm sure someone out there can find out with a few expert clicks on the old CPU... It seems to me that they are letting our slot WR's practice on the outside but not vice versa. This would make it easier to move a X or a Z onto the defense than a slot guy. What about Hemmingway? He's got speed and size, and the kid is pretty physical to boot.  Maybe him at safety and move Cam to CB? Who knows, this whole fiasco makes my head hurt, and the season hasn't even started yet. Next man up, please.


August 18th, 2010 at 4:37 PM ^

It seems to me that they are letting our slot WR's practice on the outside but not vice versa. This would make it easier to move a X or a Z onto the defense than a slot guy.

This doesn't really make that much sense.

What about Hemmingway? He's got speed and size, and the kid is pretty physical to boot.

Hemingway doesn't have great speed at all.


August 19th, 2010 at 11:31 AM ^

I don't see it among our WRs ... but I will be interested to see if they ask Mike Shaw to do it (assuming he's even academically eligible).  No whispers to this end yet, just the following reasoning:

Lloyd initially lost him to Jopes because U-M wanted him at corner but PSU promised him RB.  The Old Man was too classy to throw the snake oil comment out there, but RR gave him the same treatment as he gave Tiller on teammate Roundtree.

Carr's crew was generally of the opinion that Shaw had high end potential at CB.  There was some minor talk of a Woodson analogy -- though that was always clarified as NOT a prediction of the "next Charles Woodson," but moreso just physically reminiscent (size/speed combo, body type, very good quickness, two-way standout from OH, etc) and the potential to be very good at the spot. 

IMO CB and RB have some parallel in that experience (while useful) can be trumped (or at least in part covered up for) by elite athleticism.  I don't take Shaw's flaws-to-date as a RB (goes down too easily, prone to misread/mistime the hole, sometimes dances) as fatal flaws for his theoretical prospects at CB.

Pea-Tear Gryphon

August 18th, 2010 at 7:17 PM ^

Cal mentions a lot of the different receiving options we have, but fails to mention anything about Jr. Maybe I missed something or it was an oversight, but I'm a little disappointed. He seemed to impress when not injured last year. They keep talking about slot guys getting time outside, so it seems like Hemingway is working his way down the depth chart. Telling...