Fall Camp 2011: Greg Mattison Presser Notes

Submitted by Tim on August 9th, 2011 at 7:58 PM


Photo (obviously) from file

2 days in, there's a long way to go to where they want to be. Impressed and excited about effort. Couldn't see them in the summer, but they put in the work. "Trying to do the right thing, trying to improve themselves, and then it just carries over when they start practice." In spring, coaches were teaching the philosophy, then schemes. Players worked the schemes in their senior-led practices this summer.

Focus in early practices: "You want perfect alignments, you want perfect technique, and you want unbelievable effort to the football." Need to correct missed assignments early, because those will eventually become big plays in games. The defense's goal is to not give up big plays.

"When you coach the DL or you coordinate defenses, you have great respect for great coaches. And Brady's always been one of those guys." Great passion and work ethic as a coach. "Every day that i've been here, I feel like that was the greatest decision that I've made."

Strength of the D - "I can't say right now that we're a blitz team. I can't say that we're a coverage team. The only thing I can say is we'll play with unbelievable effort." Hoping to say that playing with great technique is a strength at the end of camp as well. Guys understand what he wants to do with the D. Now it's about doing the little things to properly execute what the coaches want. Wants to be a team that nobody can run the ball against. Wants an aggressive D that makes the QB nervous in passing situations.

Asked Will Campbell to cut weight he hit his target. Craig Roh needed to put on weight. "I noticed in practice no pads, I saw it already." There are a couple other players that were asked to hit weight goals, and didn't succeed (no names). Jibreel Black has to prove himself every day. Young guys can't get away with mailing it in, even if they're talented. The results speak for themselves. "Jibreel's gotta be more consistent." Will have to wait until first game to see if Martin will be used at LB, etc. "The thing that we're gonna do with this defense is always try to put players in a position to best effect the outcome of the ballgame."

Marell Evans "He's an inside linebacker. And he showed some very good things in the spring." LBs most improved since the start of spring. Is that because they were bad to start, or because they're improving? Hopefully the latter. Front 7 - "They're not going to get any stronger right now [since camp has started], and they're not going to get any bigger right now." Improving technique and effort will be the way to succeed.

Woolfolk - will know once hitting starts if he can still play. Coverage may be faster without pads. "I think you're gonna see where he's gonna be fine." The lineup isn't set. Nobody is ever handed a job. "When a guy gets hurt, he's gotta come back and earn that position." Some position changes still possible in fall camp. "It's anywhere in your defense. It isn't always about height-weight, that sort of thing. You're gonna put the best eleven on the field."

Freshmen - "I think Frank Clark has a lot of ability. You can see a different speed at which he goes. Brennen Beyer looks like a guy that we thought we saw on film." Some freshmen haven't been in a lot of practice due to summer classes.

How hungry is the D for success? "I feel that, and I feel it for them." All people talk about is how bad the D is. It doesn't matter what they've done in the past. "All we care about is that this defense plays the way Michigan defenses are supposed to play." When they work hard, then you want them to see the rewards.

"I've always loved recruiting." You work to make your coaching job go better. "When you're recruiting for the University of Michigan and having the direction that Brady's giving us right now, and that Dave Brandon's giving us, you get your blood going, because you want that young man to have this. You want him to have what's about to happen here." Surprised how quickly the 2012 class has come together? "No. It's Michigan." Tremendous product with academic/athletic/tremendous city to sell to the players. Want to make sure you get Michigan-type players.

Did the NFL experience change him? "Gave me a whole new perspective on pressuring the quarterback." NFL QBs will tear you apart if you don't get pressure on. If you have tremendous pass-rush ability out of your front 4, you may not need to blitz. "I was the luckiest guy in the world to have a chance to work with those guys [Ravens players]. Coaching is taking what you have and making sure it can learn." Coaching is about guys who people don't think are great players, and give them a chance to get drafted because they improve. If he's not going to get an NFL chance, he'll have his degree.

In college, you also need to be ready for a QB that takes off running, which can alter schemes. In college, there's less prep time (practice, film, etc.) than for the players than in NFL. "You have to make sure that you don't slow your players down because they don't know what to do." There will be plenty of defenses installed, but they won't be called unless they can be executed properly. You don't run the same defenses every week - the opposing offense can dictate what pressures and playcalls you use.

Expectations: "I do" expect them to set the world on fire. "I wouldn't be coaching if I didn't think we'd be able to get this defense up to the level that Michigan expects." If players play hard and execute assignments, they can succeed.

"I know in my heart what's about to happen here. We're going to have a Michigan football program that Bo, Coach Moeller and Coach Carr are going to be proud of again." When it happens, we'll find out. Passionate people with great product means something good is about to happen. Bo would like Hoke, how he teaches, and his passion.

Watched 3 game of film from last year- Wisc, MSU, and ND. "Those are hard-nosed physical teams, and like I said our #1 thing on D will be to be physical and stop the run." Hasn't watched college film other than looking at draft prospects over the past 3 years. Only has watched on TV. Watched Florida and Michigan last year as Ravens coach - just caught them on TV. "Anyplace that you've been at, when they're not having success, it bothers you."



August 10th, 2011 at 1:43 AM ^

"You don't run the same defenses every week - the opposing offense can dictate what pressures and playcalls you use".

Man i can't wait for a coaching staff that can actually make adjustments. Whether it be week to week or out of halftime. I feel like we havent seen that in a hwhile.


August 9th, 2011 at 8:10 PM ^

"I know in my heart what's about to happen here. We're going to have a Michigan football program that Bo, Coach Moeller and Coach Carr are going to be proud of again."

Too much passion to fail.


August 10th, 2011 at 1:08 AM ^

I know RR gets no love, but I believe he hopes the best for M and the defence. He recruited them and built relationships with them, and though corny, I think the old saying 'no one would be prouder' would apply.

Yes I liked RR. But I love M.


August 10th, 2011 at 8:20 AM ^

Passion is great, but it won't win very many games by itself. Far more important is football intelligence and competence. Greg Mattison has those qualities in abundance, and his record shows it.

Greg Robinson doesn't, and his record—especially in college—shows it.


August 9th, 2011 at 8:35 PM ^

"We're going to have a Michigan football program that Bo, Coach Moeller and Coach Carr are going to be proud of again."

I wonder if the obvious omission will get anyone's blood boiling. 


August 10th, 2011 at 1:43 AM ^

After 13 years how did he leave the program?  Appalachian State.  Oregon.  Steven Threet.  Nick Sheridan.  He did well with Gary Moeller's players.  But when he was on his own ... well .. the proof is in the pudding - no coach in Michigan history went 1-5 against Ohio State during any stretch.  Stop trying to revise history to make him something that he wasn't - a good coach.


August 10th, 2011 at 7:02 AM ^

Lloyd had Mallett there. And Threet in a pro-style would play fairly well. If Carr was still there and Threet still wound up there he'd be a RS Junior starting.

Oh, and how come you left out handing Tebow and Urban their only bowl defeat?

And how about that Heisman winner named Chuck? Carr guy. Yeah, pretty sure he had a big hand in winning tge NC.


August 10th, 2011 at 11:51 AM ^

What Threet are you talking about, the one who Transfered to UA or ASU and was terrible there as well?  He would not be starting as a RS Jr here - he was a stop gap, that is all.

He tried hard and gave it his all but he was not a good QB.


August 10th, 2011 at 8:39 AM ^

I would never claim that Lloyd Carr was among the elite of college coaches during his career, and his stretch against OSU at the end was disappointing. However, claiming he wasn't a good coach based on a small portion of his entire career is like claiming Bo Schembechler was a mediocre coach because his bowl record was 5-12, going 2-8 in the Rose Bowl.

Carr's teams won or shared five Big Ten titles, which is three more than the legendary Fritz Crisler. That alone should be enough for rational people to conclude he was a good coach.

micheal honcho

August 10th, 2011 at 8:54 AM ^

Not mine. I would be more pissed if he had included him out of political correctness just to please that small % who's blind love for the man overrode the epic fail that was the 2007-2010 Michigan football program.

I'd love to sit on a barstool with Mattison and get his candid, uncensored opinions on just how badly the last bunch of bozo's screwed things up. I"m sure he could give specifics that would make even the most devout RR fanboy cringe.

I for one and glad he's got the balls & the confidence in his methods along with those of Hoke & Borges to make these kind of "omissions" without blinking.


August 9th, 2011 at 8:40 PM ^

a goal of not giving up big plays shows that Mattison is not expecting greatness this year. That's not the motto of someone striving to be the best; that's a motto for not being bad. And that's okay by me, mediocrity may be the best we can hope for from the D. It's just an observation.


August 9th, 2011 at 8:50 PM ^

Not giving up big plays should always be a goal.  FWIW, your read from that statement directly conflicts with other quotes from Mattison, specifically the one where he believes he can get this group up to par with Michigan D's of past.


August 9th, 2011 at 9:19 PM ^

What he fully said, via Angelique at the Detroit News-
<br>"'Nobody is going to get big plays on us!' Mattison told the Wolverines.
<br>And it is his mantra during news conferences, as well.
<br>'You want perfect alignments, you want perfect technique, and you want unbelievable effort to the football,' Mattison said when asked what he has looked for early in camp. 'The thing we have to correct is any missed assignments, because missed assignments will eventually turn into big plays. That is our biggest purpose right now with this defense -- do not give up the really big plays.
<br>'Every team we play is going to get a run of over four, five or six yards -- we know that -- but we can't give up the 25, the 30, and the home runs, so that's what's been a big emphasis for us.'"
<br>Emphasis on "right now", day 2 of practice. If not preventing big plays and stopping the run, what WOULD you like them to be concentrating on, like a good defense should?


August 9th, 2011 at 9:30 PM ^

the emphasis on fundamentals seems to indicate that this team needs that emphasis. Of course technique and alignment and stopping big plays are always good things, but I imagine that with a more veteran and established defense could spend more time on more advanced or nuanced aspects like scheme variants, disguising looks, making proper reads, etc. I don't think the Nebraska or Oklahoma coaches are probably spending as much focus on simply not giving up big plays.


August 9th, 2011 at 9:38 PM ^

"In '98, I had three starters back out of four on the defensive line, assuming those guys knew the expectations, technique and fundamentals, so I got a little more involved in scheme, and we lost our first two ballgames. We got beat by Notre Dame down there in South Bend. And Donovan McNabb, we made him a top-five pick. I blame myself for that, to this day. ... You can't assume. In fall and spring, we will never assume. I don't care if they've played 35 straight games."


August 9th, 2011 at 10:15 PM ^

Well, I did read excerpts that were posted on the board but didn't see that from him. Pretty relevant to our discussion I suppose. So I will concede that aspect.

But returning to my original comment: If the goal for this season is to not give up big plays, then that sounds to me like trying to take an intermediate step before trying to achieve greatness. Maybe that is just his temporary goal, i.e. this week, or maybe it is his season goal. Either way, I think we are all in agreement that the team needs focus on fundamentals and not making big mistakes, and that Mattison seems to be the man for the job.


August 10th, 2011 at 10:15 AM ^

The goal of most successful defenses is to stop big plays to ensure your opponent has more opportunities to screw up or for you to force them to screw up. The Ravens, The Steelers, The Patriots, Bama, USC in their Hey-day, Michigan in the mid 90s all these defenses thrived on not giving up big plays. You beat sound defenses by not turning the ball over and taking what they give you. If my defensvie coordinator never uttered a word about 'not giving up big plays' I'd be disappointed. I think you're reading this all wrong... At least we're in agreeance that Mattison seems to be a homerun hire in both recruiting AND coaching.