Peoples-Jones Excited to Move Forward With McDaniels as Interim Coach

donovan peoples-jones michigan wide receiver

Peoples-Jones Excited to Move Forward With McDaniels as Interim Coach

Football

Peoples-Jones Excited to Move Forward With McDaniels as Interim Coach

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Coaching attrition is part of football, whether you go 10-2 or 5-7 — that is, for better or worse.

In this case, former Florida head coach Jim McElwain, who spent the past season coaching the Michigan wide receivers, moved on to the Central Michigan head coaching job, being announced on Monday morning in Mt. Pleasant.

The Wolverines wideouts benefitted greatly from McElwain’s presence, as the young corps improved getting off the line of scrimmage with better releases, found more ways to get open and also took a major step forward in blocking.

In just 12 games, second-year wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones proved to be one of those benefactors, nearly doubling his production from 13 games last year, and pulling in 7 receiving touchdowns, where he had none a year ago.

Peoples-Jones says that McElwain will be missed, given how much he’s helped — but he’s excited to see what he does next.

“I think he helped us a lot,” Peoples-Jones said. “Just with our production. With him not being here last year and him being here this year, I think we increased our production – I’m not sure what the numbers were. It was fun playing with him. I’m excited for him. I’m excited to see what he can do.”

Now coaching the WRs in interim is Ben McDaniels, the younger brother of New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

As we wrote yesterday on his history, for a little background:

The Wolverines have two candidates in-house with experience: former Michigan WR Roy Roundtree, who spent two years coaching wide receivers at Indiana State before returning to his alma mater as a graduate assistant, and offensive analyst Ben McDaniels, who had the same position with the NFL Chicago Bears for two years before coming to Ann Arbor this year, and was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Rutgers in 2015.

Before taking on that role under former Scarlet Knights coach Kyle Flood, in 2014, McDaniels coached the wide receivers. He came to Piscataway after having been an offensive analyst for a season with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013, and having had the same role in 2009 with the Denver Broncos before being promoted in 2010 to wide receivers coach.

McDaniels also spent one season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Columbia in 2012.

 

Peoples-Jones says that people might be surprised at how integral McDaniels has been to the receiving group. Likewise, he’s eager to see how he handles the increased role as Michigan amps things up for the bowl game later this month.

“I like Coach McDaniels a lot,” Peoples-Jones said. “He played a huge part this year. I don’t think too many people knew that. He played a really huge role.

“Very familiar with him. I’m very familiar with what he has to bring to the table, and I’m excited to keep moving forward with him.”

McDaniels will be coaching Michigan’s wide receiving corps in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, which will take place Dec. 29 at noon EST at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

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