Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rich Rod Presser

For the second time in less than a week new University of Michigan football coach Rich Rod held a press conference. This time the presser took place in the Michigan Football Meeting Room at Schembechler Hall-a place that got the nick name "Fort Schembechler " due to the reluctance of the program to welcome members of the media. However, all that seems to be changing with Coach Rod giving the media a level of inclusion not found around Ann Arbor in 40 some years.

There are two new signs up on the walls, one reading, "Spot The Ball" an offensive reference and on the other wall, "Hold The Rope" no doubt for the defense. Then a quote on the front of the wall which I loved, "When the time comes to perform, the time to prepare has passed."

I'll run down some of the more interesting quotes from the presser, today was the first practice in pads for the boys.

-Rod said three times that the players are still out of shape and still need to condition. Now, I know it has been the off season and the boys have been eating hamburgers, donuts, and milkshakes but how can they be THIS out of shape? It makes you wonder what "in shape" was under the Carr staff and just how different it is under Rod.

-The guys lift on Mondays and Wednesdays-Kevin Grady practiced full today, back from the sore hamstring he had. Not so lucky was running back Carlos Brown who broke a finger while lifting weights.

-Rod said he would not know the starting QB until Aug, and all three are learning the system as best as they can at this point in the process.

-There will be a Spring Game taking place on April 12th, and it will be at a local high school TBA. It will not be a game but an offense vs. defense scrimmage because there are simply not enough guys practicing to play a game. So, if I had to guess it will be much like the last Spring Game with the crazy scoring system they had in place.

-There is a lack of leadership on this team, and I guess thats to be expected with all the talent that left from last year's team. Right now Brandon Minor and Morgan Trent are starting emerge at the vocal leaders of the team but the coaches want more players to start stepping up, particularly the seniors.

-The topic of Captains came up and it will be quite different than what Michigan fas are used too. It was a bit confusing but here is what we gathered-there will be different captains for the offense and defense for every game next season. Then, at the end of the season the team will select the permanent captains at the end of the season, which will go into the record books. Sounds like Trent will be the guy on defense, offense might have to search for awhile.

-Michigan is very thin at three positions: Wide Receiver, where M only has 5 right now and they want 10. QB-Only 3 on the roster and only one coming in the fall. OL-future recruiting classes will fill these voids in the years to come.

-Michigan seems to be right on schedule making the transition to Rod's system. He said that the team is at the same point all his previous teams have been at this time, and he is seeing and experiencing the same frustrations that he has every where else. That's the good news, the bad news? In Rod's first season at Tulane the team went 7-4. In his first season at West Virginia he went 3-8.

-But without a doubt the best comment came towards the end of the presser when Rod let out this gem in response to if any player is starting to stand out, "Well, I don't pat players on the butt because you might end up with crap on your hands."

The days quoting elegant poets moved on when Lloyd did.

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