Mike Zordich's Impressions on Michigan's Offensive Changes

mike zordich michigan

Mike Zordich's Impressions on Michigan's Offensive Changes

Football

Mike Zordich's Impressions on Michigan's Offensive Changes

ANN ARBOR, Mich — Michigan cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich has had it good since arriving in Ann Arbor. At worst, he’s fielded that nation’s third-best pass defense.

That’s the worst he’s had thus far, and that was in 2015.

But the last two consecutive years, Zordich has overseen the corners in the nation’s best pass defense. It doesn’t get any better than that.

However, on the other side of the ball, Michigan has struggled offensively. The Wolverines passing game was moribund in 2017, ranking 111th out of 130 FBS-level teams. Obvious to say, Zordich would like to see the opposite side of the ball get better so that his team can win more games — and take pressure off of his already-elite unit.

And, this fall, Zordich says he can see the progress, especially at wide receiver.

Notoriously, Michigan trotted out one of the youngest groups on both sides of the ball in 2017. But, while the defense thrived, fans wondered why things weren’t going as well on the offensive side of the ball. It takes a lot of time for things to come together — especially for first-year receivers. And now, a year later, Zordich is impressed with how far his unit’s practice competition has come.

And it’s something he says he’s gotten to witness first-hand, due to his work with new WR coach Jim McElwain.

“From spring until now, those guys have gotten better,” Zordich said of the offense and wide receivers in particular. “We work together quite a bit. Coach Mac and I get together quite a bit now, so it’s good. It’s really good – we’re going, in a lot of non-competitive situations in practice, we get together and we go competitive. It’s really good for us and good for them as well.”

While they’ve gotten better, Zordich doesn’t have one receiver that he singles out as a guy that’s given his unit fits. But he does say they’ve all impressed him in one way or another.

“DPJ has been good. Nico. All of them – Tarik Black, Oliver Martin shows flashes coming out. Grant Perry – love Grant Perry. All of those guys have been pretty equal.”

But what about the guys getting them the ball?

Aside from the offensive line, Michigan’s quarterback situation has been one of the big storylines this offseason, and one that gets talked about ad nauseum.

Of course, Zordich has opinions on those guys, considering that it’s his job to get his players to defend the pass. Looking down the list, Zordich shared what he sees out of each Michigan QB and the different skill set each brings to the team.

“Shea is a playmaker with his feet, without a doubt,” Zordich said. “You can see that. Brandon is more of a pocket passer. Joe Milton has the strongest arm I’ve seen on any quarterback, and he’s got great feet. And you’ve got Dylan McCaffrey – he’s got great feet, great athlete. You’ve got four guys. They’re all very talented in their own little niche. That’s an interesting spot.”

Along similar lines, on Monday, offensive tackle Jon Runyan Jr. said that the offense has been “tweaked” with Shea Patterson and the other athletic quarterbacks in the fold.

Asked what that means for his defense, and how they square up against the pass game with more spread elements incorporated, Zordich explained a few of the tweaks, but also said that, even with Shea Patterson’s ability to use his feet, it doesn’t change what the defense does in defending him — at least not much.

“It has been tweaked,” Zordich said. “You’ve got a guy like Shea that can move the pocket. It’s definitely tweaked. You play different defenses. Though Don doesn’t change much. We’ve done some things different – I’m not going to talk about them, because of the opponents coming up, but we don’t change too much.”

Contact/Follow @WolverinesWire@isaiahhole

Latest

More WolverinesWire
Home