Michigan OL Taking 2017 Failures Personally, While Taking Massive Step Forward

cesar ruiz michigan outback bowl

Michigan OL Taking 2017 Failures Personally, While Taking Massive Step Forward

Football

Michigan OL Taking 2017 Failures Personally, While Taking Massive Step Forward

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The wait-and-see period is almost over, as on Saturday, we’ll get to see firsthand how much better Michigan’s offensive line either is or isn’t.

But, from what you hear coming out of the players who play the position — and those who play against them — it’s a much improved unit.

If it’s any indication of the leadership coming from the offensive line, junior left guard Ben Bredeson was named a team captain on Saturday, and he’s the player leading the charge along the O-line. Bredeson says that this offseason, he’s seen the requisite attitude change needed for the offensive line to take that next step forward.

“We have a great room,” Bredeson said. “The group’s always working really hard. We run ourselves really well. We have a great work ethic in the O-line room. All summer we were together and I think you’re going to see some hard work paying off and the cohesiveness of the group makes it really easy to run. Everyone kind of does their own thing, but we work really well together. It makes it easier for me.”

Of course, one of the major differences comes from the top.

Gone is Tim Drevno, and replacing him in Ann Arbor is renowned OL coach Ed Warinner, who taught the elite unit at Ohio State during the Buckeyes national championship run.

Bredeson says that it’s not that it’s a huge difference schematically now that Warinner is leading the charge. It’s more that he’s been able to get in tune with his players and take baby steps to get them to where he wants them to be.

“I’d say notably different, not completely different,” Bredeson said. “We’ve got a lot of the same schemes, a lot of the same runs. I’d say the way he teaches is the main difference. He simplifies a lot of things, makes it really easy for us. So when we get on the field, we’ll only have basically one check. It just makes it simpler for us so we can play faster.”

Earlier during fall camp, Bredeson spoke about how the newfound ‘camaraderie’ is one of the reasons why the offensive line has made vast improvements.

But now, the reason why this unit refuses to be bullied as it was oftentimes during the 2017 season, is because they’re just overall sick of hearing how bad they are and how much Michigan’s offensive problems fell on them.

“I feel the group has definitely come together,” Bredeson said. “We’ve talked about how we have sometimes let the offense down in the past. We’re sick of that narrative. We’ve definitely had that in the back of our minds this summer as we were working, and we worked hard to come together. We just want to be the solid part of the offense. We definitely know what people think of us, but we know what we need to do for the team to win.”

And, because of Warinner — mixed with a year of experience — this OL knows what it takes to succeed up front.

The biggest difference overall, now that all the pieces seem to be coming together? The game is slowing down. Which is usually what you hear from units anywhere on the field before they take that next step forward.

“The pace of play has gotten a lot faster for us,” Bredeson said. “We were still getting used to Coach Warinner, how he wanted things. We had a little bit of taste from spring ball, but in camp on now, we get so much time with him and we understand what he’s wanting from us and what we need to do. The strides there have just been incredible, from the mental game and in practice, too. We’re just a lot sharper than we were in the beginning.”

We’ll see firsthand exactly how improved Michigan’s offensive line is on Saturday, as the Wolverines travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame at 7:30PM.

Contact/Follow @WolverinesWire@isaiahhole

Latest

More WolverinesWire
Home