WolverinesWire (8/7) Michigan Football Chat Transcript

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WolverinesWire (8/7) Michigan Football Chat Transcript

Football

WolverinesWire (8/7) Michigan Football Chat Transcript

WolverinesWire’s Isaiah Hole held the first site chat with fall camp in full swing on Tuesday, August 7.

Catch the questions and responses from the chat below:

Do we know if the coaches have asked Warinner about any knowledge of the Smith abuse? – Anonymous
I honestly have no idea, and I don’t really think it matters much. I’ve seen OSU fans trying to turn this into a Warinner/U-M issue, and that’s just deflecting, in my opinion. Things will play out as they will in Columbus, and ultimately, the buck stops with Urban Meyer and Gene Smith.
Thanks for the answer, although I will have to agree to disagree with it mattering. Obviously there’s much larger responsibility on Meyer and Smith, but I don’t like the thought of someone who knew and kept quiet (if that was the case) on M’s staff.
I would agree there’s a moral obligation. But we also don’t know how close Warinner is or isn’t with Zach Smith. We know Urban’s affiliation. I’d say it’s harder to do anything about it when you might not know the person much, if at all, and you know the head coach does. You know what I’m saying?
I never hear a lot about Rueben Jones, I was wondering if he might see the field a little more this year and how he has been progressing over the years. Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks! – Nicole Porter

I haven’t checked in on camp yet (as one source told me, nothing really matters until week two anyway) I had heard that Jones had been doing really good in the coaches eyes going back to last year’s camp. However, he’s going to really have to take his game to the next level given the competition. I’ve heard so many good things about Kwity Paye, Carlo Kemp and Luiji Vilain, and even with the light check-in I did, I’ve heard Aidan Hutchinson is getting early runs with the twos. Jones is going to have to dig deep if he wants to be in that second rotation. We’ll have to wait and see how he responds over the coming weeks.

What odds to you give James Hudson to start at LT? – Anonymous
Right now—and I haven’t gotten my first update from camp just yet—based off what Harbaugh and several others said at Big Ten Media Days, I’d handicap it at 30%. By all accounts, Juwann Bushell-Beatty has taken a step forward under Ed Warinner, which is what you want to hear about a guy who’s been in the system for several years.
Who emerges as the #3 RB? – Anonymous
I’d put my money on either of the true freshmen Hassan Haskins or Christian Turner. But don’t sleep inn Tru Wilson or O’Maury Samuels. Samuels was banged up in spring and Wilson emerged as the third back at that point. But can they do it during camp? That’s what we’ll have to see.
Do you think the qb starter will be decided rather quickly and do you think it will be public knowledge or will it be kept under wraps until game week? – Anonymous
I definitely don’t expect a starter to be named quickly. It’s kind of Harbaugh’s MO to keep that particular competition going for as long as possible. Personally, I thought it was a farce all three years. Thought it was a foregone conclusion that Rudock would win in 2015, we had heard that Speight was the clearcut leader in 2016, and while O’Korn reportedly practiced very well, it was still Speight’s job. That being said, I do think it will be a closer competition. Shea may have a talent advantage, but Peters also already has two-plus years in the system—and a complicated one at that.
In your opinion, better chance at national title in 2018 or 2019? – Anonymous
It’s tough, because if the pieces from this year’s team stay for 2019, I think it’s a no-brainer. But if Michigan gets close in 2018, could we see an exodus to the NFL? That said, I’m still picking 2019. I do think Michigan has a solid chance in 2018, but will all three rivals on the road, plus Wisconsin and Penn State, it’s a daunting challenge. In 2019, you get the three at home, but play at Washington. However, Harbaugh’s first full class would all be seniors and redshirt juniors, with a ton of game experience. That team will have some incredible depth, even if a lot of players head off to the NFL. At that point, Michigan should be truly rolling.
How do you feel about our capability at the two OT positions relative to last year? I keep convincing myself it will be adequate this year, but I’ve been saying that for a long time…. – Kool Aid Drinker
I really am very optimistic. I think it’s wise to play wait-and-see, but, at the same time, early returns on Warinner’s mentorship have been very solid. Plus, you’re either going to get some veteran guys — Bushell-Beatty, Runyan — or some promising younger ones like Filiaga, Hudson or Stueber. I’d actually say, with the latter trio all now having a year in the system, that Michigan was going to be in a better place even had changes not been made this offseason. And if the line is at least functional, it should pay big dividends for the offense as a whole.
Will J’ Marick Woods & Ben St-Juste push to start this year? thanks – Anonymous
St-Juste would have to overcome a lot, not to mention injuries to get there. I think he’ll get some run because of his length, but I can’t envision him starting yet. If there’s a young gun there that would have that chance, it would be Ambry Thomas. With Woods, he’ll be in the conversation, and he came in as relief of Kinnel against OSU. But I don’t anticipate he’ll overtake him, unless he’s at the other spot. There, Metellus has supposedly taken a massive step forward. Regardless, Woods should definitely see the field often.
How’s the kicking game looking this year? Special teams in general? – Nicole Porter

Too early to tell. Ask me again in 1-2 weeks.

Any idea on Grant Newsome’s status? I’ve been rooting for him since the cheap shot he took vs Wisconsin. – Wes
Not yet. It’ll definitely become wide knowledge the moment it’s known.
What coaches/grad assistants have been added in the last couple years that you feel are really going to make a positive difference? We hear a lot about the big guns – but perhaps you could give a peek behind the curtain at some of the lesser known but on the rise coaches? – Nicole Porter

Obviously my big one is Ed Warinner, because he has a track record for producing elite OL. Roy Roundtree is my guy in the grad assistant circle. He already has two years under his belt being a bonafide WR coach at Illinois State. Taking a step back to return to Michigan is huge. Sticking with the WRs, not enough people are talking about Jim McElwain. The dude led Florida to back-to-back SEC East titles and was the OC for national champion Alabama. His role has been greatly simplified, and that should pay immediate dividends.

The fact that all of Michigan’s grad assistants are alums is huge, IMO. Guys like James Ross and Patrick Kugler know what Jim Harbaugh is trying to do, and know the standard in Ann Arbor. Jordan Kovacs played in the NFL for several years, and already has done a great job with the safeties after one year.

On the recruiting trail, Al Washington and Sherrone Moore are rock stars. I’d also say that guys like Grant Newsome and Salim Makki—injured players who have taken on some player-coach responsibilities—have had impacts both on and off the field.

Just a follow up… 1st – didn’t we crush that SEC East Champ in a bowl game?? 🙂 2nd… I don’t remember who the receivers coach was Harbaugh’s first year – but they did an awesome job with Chesson, Darboh and Perry – who was it and where did they go? Seems like our WR had no coaching last year. Lastly.. thank you Isaiah!
Michigan actually didn’t have a dedicated WR coach under Harbaugh until now. The NCAA only allowed a 10th assistant until this offseason.
If Michigan has another empty season with nothing to show for it, is Harbaugh on the hot seat next season ?  – Anonymous

Unless 2018 is an utter failure, and I’m talking like 3-9 type failure, then no.

Sources indicated to me at the end of last season that the AD is fully aware of the level of rebuild Michigan was undertaking when it hired Harbaugh. He may have made it look easy with two consecutive 10-3 seasons, but Michigan was behind the 8-ball when it came to being nationally competitive. And the AD knows that.

As far as I’ve heard, so long as Michigan continues to rise towards the goal (and despite going 8-5 last season, with the attrition and youth, it, from a coaching standpoint was still moving forward) then Harbaugh is safe.

If you could get any coach in the world to coach this team who would it be. To me, it is still Harbaugh. Unless there is a better alternative, there is no hot seat. – Kool Aid Drinker

Yeah, there truthfully is no one better, and that’s speaking by looking at the team and program holistically.

There’s no coach out there that knows Ann Arbor, the expectations, the tradition or the University better. There’s no one that’s accomplished what he has in both college/The NFL that has that fit. While there may be a handful of generational coaches (Saban/Belichick) that might be able to come in and get results faster, I don’t think they’d be cultural fits for Michigan, overall.

Thus, yeah. I don’t think there is a single coach out there right now that’s a better fit than Harbaugh and Michigan.

Of the 2019 big time recruits left on Michigan’s board (Zach Harrison, Daxton Hill, Kyle Ford, Lewis Cine, etc.)who would be most likely to commit to UM ?? – jjconklin16
Tie between Harrison and Hill.
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