Jim Harbaugh will try and beat Urban Meyer for the first time this Saturday

Monday Presser 11-20-18: Jim Harbaugh Comment Count

Ethan Sears November 20th, 2018 at 2:16 AM

Things Discussed

  • Chase Winovich, Berkley Edwards and Juwann Bushell-Beatty updates
  • The Revenge Tour
  • Apparently there's a big game this week?

[After THE JUMP: Five days]


Talk about recruiting Jake Moody and what did you notice when you first got a chance to watch him?


“Very talented. He’s got a very good leg. Very productive. Strong leg, thought he could be a real effective kickoff player for us right away. He’s progressed very well as a field-goal kicker as well.”


Can you give us an update on Chase Winovich and his status? Do you expect him to play?


“So we’re good. Really best possible outcome for both Berkley (Edwards) and Chase. As the way it looked on Saturday. CAT scans were negative, x-rays negative for both Berkley and Chase. But continuing to evaluate every day.”


So with Chase, that means you’re not sure yet?


“Continue to evaluate every day.”


Back to Chase, just looking at what he’s done this year. Talk about his overall contribution to this team


“It’s been at a most valuable player level. He’s had a great year.”


And also, Ben Bredeson. He came in, kinda knew what you had with him. Where has he progressed this year, and what has he done in terms of leadership?


“Been great at both. Ben’s been an outstanding player for us on the field, he’s been a tremendous leader for us. Consistently plays at a very high level. The leadership is consistently there daily. One of my favorite players on the team, Ben Bredeson.”


Jim, what are your favorite things about this defense and how it’s playing this season?


“Lot of things I love about our defense and how they’re playing. So many players are playing at a really high level. They’re playing their best football of their college careers. Consistently playing really well week after week. Lot of things I really like about where the secondary covers, where our front seven plays, they play really well together. The front, the linebackers and the secondary. Consistently really great with their fits, they adjust well, they tackle really well. Could go on and on. A lot of things.”


Along the same lines, with Shea, what has impressed you about not just the way he’s played, but also his physical and mental — and how he handles things emotionally?


“How Shea Patterson handles things is terrific. He does what’s needed. He does what’s expected. You need him to make a play, he makes it. Whether it’s throwing or running or not turning a bad play into a worse play. He’s got a great feel, talent and energy for the game. Love his focus, love his intensity.”


Jim, what was your reaction when you first heard the term Revenge Tour?


“That players do things to motivate themselves. That’s what I first thought of it.”


What value do you place on that as a motivator?


“It’s a good one. Anger has proven to be a powerful motivator.”




“Just is. I don’t know exactly why. Proved to be.”


Jim, what do you notice about their passing game on film?


“It’s really good. Really good quarterback. Get the ball to all parts of the field. Playmakers, at all the eligible positions. Do a great job of protecting. Quarterback does a great job of getting the ball to multiple people in the passing game.”


I was gonna ask about Ohio State in general, what you see out of them, and their ability to pull out some of the close games that they’ve had


“They do a great job scoring points, along with the passing game, they’ve got a really effective running game as well. Talented players and good schemes and really good execution.”


Jim, what does the Ohio State rivalry mean to you?


“The same as it always has meant, does mean now and always will. Big game. It’s a big game. You even got a name for it. The Game.”


Jim, going back to the whole revenge, motivational thing. Do you find this team unusually motivated, of teams you’ve had? They seem to talk about it and be driven so much by all of that


“It’s just a good ball team. Think of it as any good ball team you’ve been on. Whether it’s Little League, high school, college or pro team. Guys from the neighborhood, playing together. Enjoy each other’s company. Probably the most profound thing is how they talk about each other. Even when you’re complimenting one of our players, they’re very quick to move the spotlight off of them onto another position group or another player. Think that speaks volumes. Close-knit team.”


Every week you guys talk about how focused you are game after game. Is there a moment where you’ve stepped back and thought, ‘This is really fun. We’re having a fun season?’


“Yeah, we’re having fun. Working hard and we’re having fun doing it.”


Speaking to that, a year ago, you lost to Ohio State. After the season ended, you challenged the team to get stronger. You challenged everybody including yourself. Can you speak to the buy-in that everybody's had?


“I think I did a little bit ago. Tight-knit team.”


Given that that was a big part of the conversation in the offseason, is there maybe more significant pressure going into this game than past Ohio State games you’ve coached in?


“I always look at pressure as life-giving to energy.”


Is there more life giving energy going on?


“Yeah, sure. Fired up about it. Can’t wait to watch our guys compete.”


Jim, you talked about the offense a little bit there. It’s obviously vastly improved from last year, but I was wondering, can you put on a 10-point scale — last year your offense was blank, this year it’s blank?


“I really don’t like to get into comparisons. Never seems like a good idea. You can compare two people or two teams, players, always seems somebody or something always gets diminished. So I avoid it.”


How satisfied are you then that the offense has progressed this much in a 365-day span?


“We’re happy with the way the offense is playing. Working really hard and have been working hard to put in a good plan for this game and can’t wait to get on the practice field and start practicing.”


Jim, what excited you most about this year’s game?


“Competition. Always the best part.”


Can you talk about how (Andrew) Stueber did at right tackle?

“Yeah, (Stueber) had a good game. He was confident, he was into it physically, did a very good job, moved well. He was really good with his assignments. I was really pleased, we all were, with how Andrew played.”


Any update on Juwann (Bushell-Beatty)?


“No. Should be better today, I would assume. But today’s the first time we see the players. They’re off on Sundays. They’ll be coming in shortly.”


Jim, how much does it motivate you that this team hasn’t won down in Columbus since 2000 and that you have not won yet (against Ohio State) as a head coach?


“I expect our team to be very motivated. I know I am.”


What would it mean to you and your program and your team to win this game?


“It would mean a lot.”


Jim, how do you find the balance between letting go of defeats in the past and learning from that defeat and using them?


“Starting with our goal. Our goal is to win the next game. When you win a game, you want to come back Monday and do everything you possibly can to have that same feeling, that happiness, that elation. When you lose a game, you come back Monday and do everything to make darn sure that doesn’t happen again. Things start with our goal of winning the next game.”


Jim, obbviously Columbus can be a tough place to play. Do yuo enjoy playing at hi Stadium?


“I don’t play anymore.”


Well, going there, coaching there.


“Sure. As I said, the competition’s the best part. This opponent has a great record, you are what your record says you are, and so do we, and expect competition at the highest level.”


Jim, as a player you made that guarantee against Ohio State. What is it about this rivalry that made you make a guarantee like that?


“I don’t know. I honestly don’t know what made me think about that. Been a long time since. Not much to say about that. Can’t tell you what it was. I can’t really remember what it was. I don’t know what it was that made me say that.”


Is this just one more game on the schedule for you?


“Of course not.”


How do you get your quarterback, Shea, amped up for a game like this? Is that something that he either has or doesn’t have, and are you concerned for him at all?


“He’s been all you can ask, from a demeanor standpoint. Every game we played. So I expect it to be the same.”


And then, coach (Urban) Meyer always talks abuot a mutual respect between these two programs. I would just like to get your thoughts on that mutual respect in this rivalry


“I’d agree.”


The progress you guys have made — is that devalued if you can’t beat this Ohio State team?


We’re just working hard to make darn sure we do everything we possibly can to win this football game.”





November 20th, 2018 at 9:00 AM ^

Please stop say "The".  It's not part of the name; its something they gave themselves as a pat on the back.  Stop giving them that respect - they don't deserve it.


Yes, this is the second hill I'm willing to die on!  (My first hill is the incorrect use of the word 'cause' as a short form of 'because' - this is Michigan, you're more educated than that!)


November 20th, 2018 at 12:45 PM ^

Yeah, exactly.  We just haven't chosen to be obnoxious about it.  If I said, "I went to the University of Michigan," that sounds normal.  Instead of, "I went to THE University of Michigan."  For whatever reason, they think emphasizing that THE makes it sound impressive.  I don't really get it and I never have.

Here's the official U of M seal, FWIW:



November 20th, 2018 at 8:56 AM ^

Just reading the transcript, I get the feeling that Jim is relaxed about the season, but anxious to get the game underway.  It's kind of a weird mix of good answers, the kind you get when he's happy, and short, terse replies like we see when he's chippy and tense about something.

But this question: "How do you get your quarterback, Shea, amped up for a game like this? Is that something that he either has or doesn’t have, and are you concerned for him at all?"

After watching Shea perform in games against UW, MSU, and PSU, why is there worry?  Knowing he's from Toledo, and grew up going to games in the Big House, where does this question come from?  'Reporters' suck...


November 20th, 2018 at 9:00 AM ^

What would it mean to you and your program and your team to win this game?

“It would mean a lot.”

Good God. These questions... 

Jim, your take on the sky being blue, or bluish-gray. And do you think the sky will be ready to go on Saturday? And also, how long of a lease do you have on your car?


November 20th, 2018 at 9:04 AM ^

It has to be exhausting for a coach to have to do this dog-and-pony show every week, especially when he has a thousand things he'd rather be doing. 


November 20th, 2018 at 9:06 AM ^

Some of the worst question ever asked of him, especially going into this week. People actually get paid cash money to ask these questions and then put words into sentences?

As a journalist, going into The Game week, and having an opportunity to ask one of the head coaches a serious question and that is the best you’ve got?

It isn’t hard to see how society has been dumbed down if this is the mindless word drool people have to read these days. Pathetic. 



November 20th, 2018 at 9:25 AM ^

I actually thought this was pretty clever by the reporter...

Given that that was a big part of the conversation in the offseason, is there maybe more significant pressure going into this game than past Ohio State games you’ve coached in?


“I always look at pressure as life-giving to energy.”


Is there more life giving energy going on?


“Yeah, sure. Fired up about it. Can’t wait to watch our guys compete.”


November 20th, 2018 at 9:32 AM ^

Since I assume Harbaugh is lying about all depth chart questions, that makes me worry that Chase is out this week. Hopefully he knows I know that he knows that I know that he often lies, and is doing an octuple bluff!


November 20th, 2018 at 9:44 AM ^

Crashed on my shoulder several times mountain biking and road. Broke collar bone and had AC joint issues.  The main problem will be soreness and the ability to put pressure on the shoulder area. It can be weakened after a solid blow and takes time to heal. Hopefully he heals quickly and and deal with some pain to get on the field.

ole luther

November 20th, 2018 at 10:07 AM ^


If you have been keeping up with this blog AT ALL this season, you should know not to do this!

Gary's mother had to come on here to shut your dumbasses up.

I could give a shit about your injuries.  You're not special on here.

Shut up about your life and the possible, possible, possible out comes of possible, possible, possible injuries.

You have no idea what's going on so just SHUT UP!

ole luther

November 20th, 2018 at 11:54 AM ^

Oh....you don't get the point either. 

Doesn't matter how she ended up on here but her obvious point was....leave it alone and shut the fuck up about my son and his injuries, you people discussing (guessing) what his intentions are and when he'll recover is not appropriate for us.

Leave me alone you.....fool.

yossarians tree

November 20th, 2018 at 3:30 PM ^

In a way I do feel for the reporters at these things. Not that I fault Harbaugh for the very clipped responses, there are some coaches that do give much more involved responses to these types of questions. The reporters need some quotes for their stories and they are just trying to get him talking. Unfortunately for them Harbaugh will only give a very succinct answer. He will occasionally  go on a bit when he has a chance to praise one of his players.


November 20th, 2018 at 10:09 AM ^

No matter how hard my day gets today, I'll find solace in the fact that I don't have to answer questions even half as stupid as these. How do sports journalists even have a job?

Section 1.8

November 20th, 2018 at 11:21 AM ^

These do look like a lot of terrible questions.

Thing is, they are questions that are intended to get the subject to talk, and to provide quotes that can be headlines (if they are good quotes) or at least the subject of more subjective writing  (about how Harbaugh "feels," etc.

I can think of some questions that would elicit more information; but I don't think that Harbaugh would answer them:

Jim, we heard late on Saturday that Chase's x-rays and a CT were "negative."  Was there an MRI done?  [Of course there was, but hasn't been mentioned.]  So at the end of all of that, what is the diagnosis for Chase?  Will Chase be practicing at full speed and in contact drills tomorrow/Wed/Thurs?



November 20th, 2018 at 11:32 AM ^

He is a master of deflection. Questions are sophmoric, but even if he got an elevated one, his response would be rote and generic. You're not going to pull any meaningful insight out his answers regardless.


November 20th, 2018 at 12:30 PM ^

After 4 years of this I should be used to it, but I still can't help but think Harbaugh could be a little more amiable in these things. I get there are a lot of bad questions, but Harbaugh is the $7M man, surely he could steer a conversation toward something that's more interesting.

It would probably benefit him too, because if he just played the part of an amped up rivalry week Michigan coach, he could put an end to all the questions about The Game's meaning, importance, value, priority. It's easy to see how the press gets a narrative about this being like any other game when Harbaugh plays this so unconvincingly.  

I read sick Urban's presser too and he engaged way more with the media than Harbaugh. Meyer even told Woody and Bo stories, talked about how they couldn't coach the same way today but would have adjusted because they're brilliant. Talked about the more prepared team winning, how you prepare differently than you do for a team that's not as good, and how they're putting in a ton of extra hours to prepare. Easy to sense he's all in for this game, even if it's his last, or even if his head actually explodes on the sideline. 

Harbaugh could easily make these pressers way more tolerable if he wanted to. obviously he doesn't care to, and it doesn't matter because his job is to coach football and win games, not win a daytime emmy. but he could shape the media narrative if he played it up a little more. 

"what would it mean to win?"

"a lot."



November 20th, 2018 at 3:12 PM ^

"Jim, you talked about the offense a little bit there. It’s obviously vastly improved from last year, but I was wondering, can you put on a 10-point scale — last year your offense was blank, this year it’s blank?"

This takes the cake as dumbest question of the year.


November 20th, 2018 at 3:19 PM ^

On head coach press days, I wish we had Mike Leach and the Mike Leach Press Corps.  Interesting questions that get crazy answers.  Only for that 30 minutes, though... the other 10,050 minutes of the week, give us Harbaugh.