Harbaugh's Thoughts on Michigan's QB Competition

Harbaugh's Thoughts on Michigan's QB Competition

Football

Harbaugh's Thoughts on Michigan's QB Competition

ANN ARBOR, Mich — It may be a foregone conclusion outside of the Halls of Schembechler that Shea Patterson will be the starting quarterback, but inside, that’s not necessarily the case.

With fall camp ten days in, the battle rages on, and, as Jim Harbaugh says, the best thing that’s happening as of current is that they’re all making each other better through the spirit of competition.

“It’s a tremendous week for finding out who you really like and who you can really count on,” Harbaugh said. “A live position like the quarterback position — I’d say, the thing that probably stands out the most is that nobody is backing down. Nobody’s giving in. A lot is still taking place. Still having at it.”

But, Harbaugh also notes that he would like to name a starter, “Sooner rather than later,” something of a departure from recent years, where the signal caller hasn’t been named until they set foot on the field for the team’s Week One contest.

However, as Harbaugh noted above, no one has relented. If Shea Patterson has won the job, no one has told Brandon Peters, Dylan McCaffrey or Joe Milton yet.

There’s no shortcut, either, when it comes to finding the right guy to take the job, Harbaugh says. He thinks back to his own days in a winged helmet, and how things have changed so radically. But, there’s one big difference: the mental fortitude it takes to be that starter, that winner of the position.

“A lot’s been talked about the amount of football you do these days compared to ten years ago, twenty years ago – that kind of thing,” Harbaugh said. “There’s no question there was more. More two-a-days, more three-a-days. No water. Guys were taking salt tablets – thirty years ago. Seems archaic compared to now, the nutrition that there is, the rules, how much you can practice. GPS monitors on guys. It’s very sophisticated.

“The thing that hasn’t changed is the mental. Things between the ears. Same thing guys faced twenty, thirty years ago, they still face today. They gotta get up there and get in there every day. They’ve got to face those challenges of: ‘Am I really good enough? Is this really what I want to do? Am I really strong enough and tough enough to have to face that challenge every day?’ It’s always the biggest challenge. And there’s always guys who are rising up from that challenge. There will always be some who don’t. That’s where the separation comes in, and all brought forth by competition.”

While we still wait to hear whether or not Patterson will be that guy when Michigan takes the field at Notre Dame on September 1, Harbaugh did share how much different he’s looked since he came to Ann Arbor this past winter.

Namely, he knows a lot more about what he’s doing and what’s expected of him compared to when he first arrived.

“He’s really having a grasp of the offense, number one,” Harbaugh said. “That’s the biggest thing. The time on task of really learning the nuances of the offense is greatly improved since the spring.”

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