Michigan Football Preview 2013

2013 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 72 of 267

killed. It caught up with us. It ended up doing exactly what we didn't want, and that's get him hurt." The Wolverine: Was the Michigan offense limited by Denard Robinson's inability to consistently deliver in the passing game? Borges: "It wasn't just Denard. We were better in a lot of other areas in 2011 than we were in 2012. Denard was Denard, but because we weren't as good in 2012, Denard was forced to do some things and probably felt pressure to do some more things. "I think the Notre Dame game is the perfect example of that [when he threw four interceptions and fumbled once] because he had done so well against them previously in his career. "We were not as imposing up front. We were not winning all the jump balls we had the year before. It shows up in Denard's stats, but it was a lot of other positions, too. in the slot and throw him 100 bubble screens, he could have had big numbers. But we were going to be a running team. We weren't going to be a heavy screen team. We weren't going to have a lot of short throws just to build up our numbers. "When we went more pro-style in the last five games and had more of a passer-runner, then we started looking a lot more like San Diego State where we had two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher, a tight end that put up some good stats. We had those types of players because the quarterback's skill set was throwing the ball. That's what we saw in the last five games here last year." The Wolverine: Even with the move to a pro-style, how much transition will take place this season because of the relative youth of so many players at key positions? Borges: "It's still a transition year, but we're not using that as an excuse. We need to to decide on a starting offensive line, especially with Notre Dame's ferocious front seven awaiting Michigan in week two? Borges: "We have to do it as soon as we can — identify the five we think give us the best chance to win and go. That's the No. 1 priority for us offensively — to find out who those five players are going to be. And I think we're getting close to it." The Wolverine: Do you see the three favorites, guards Ben Braden and Kyle Kalis, and center Jack Miller, winning those spots? Borges: "We've got five or six kids there right now that are really pushing. [Center] Graham Glasgow had a really good spring. Joe Burzynski really showed us that he can play center and guard. "[Guard] Kyle Bosch, who just came here in the winter semester as a freshman, might not be ready to be a starter, but he should be a starter eventually, and depending on "We kind of threw our system in during the middle of last season, but it was still embryonic. All of a sudden we're under center doing a bunch of stuff we really haven't done as much in two seasons. But now we've actually been able to put it in and grow in that system." Borges "We just simply weren't as talented offensively, so it put more pressure on the quarterback." The Wolverine: How excited are you to return the offense to your initial intent? Borges: "I don't think there is any question that we are more comfortable in the scheme we're doing now, but we were fortunate enough to have enough talent to run what they were doing before we got here, but to run our version of it a different way. "We've always known what we've wanted to be. We implemented our system — the words, the terminology — to accommodate a pro-style offense, yet we were running a spread offense. Now that we're into our offense, or the early version of it when Devin Gardner started last year, it's more of a comfort level, but moreover we've recruited to that style. We've recruited bigger linemen, taller wide receivers. We've recruited bigger tailbacks. We're heading in that direction." The Wolverine: What will the offense look like in 2013? Borges: "If you've done research on offenses that I've coordinated … if you look at San Diego State, we had a passing quarterback, but we didn't throw 40 passes a game. We threw 30-32. "We made Denard the centerpiece of our offense, and then we were going to explore what he did best. That meant our receivers weren't going to catch a lot of balls. "Now if we wanted to stick Roy Roundtree get them to a point where they're functional, but you're right, this is the first year really of the offense that we want to be in. There are going to be growing pains that go with the talent. "This spring football was a lot like the first spring football in any place I've been. We implemented our system from beginning to end, and normally you would do that as soon as you get here, but we needed to adjust to our personnel instead of forcing them to adjust to us. "We kind of threw our system in during the middle of last season, but it was still embryonic. All of a sudden we're under center doing a bunch of stuff we really haven't done as much in two seasons. But now we've actually been able to put it in and grow in that system." The Wolverine: Do you believe you have the personnel in place to achieve offensive balance in 2013? Borges: "We're getting there. A lot of it is based on some of these young guys, particularly how our inside players on the offensive line develop. The jury is still out on that, but we're going to have it eventually. "How quickly? I hope it's sooner than later, but it will happen because we can recruit some great players here. That's the thing you like about being at Michigan — if you have needs, you'll be able to address them with top talent." The Wolverine: How quickly do you need how he develops, he could push someone. [Tackle] Erik Magnuson is a very talented player. Depending how quickly he comes around … what we have now is more depth. "We have more to choose from then we had before, hence the competitive level is higher. Guys are forced to perform faster and more efficiently where before you only had 'X' amount of players that we could pick from that we felt could go into a Big Ten game and give us a chance to win. Now, from a talent perspective, we have a lot more that can do that. "They all have to grow, but that competition is only going to get greater and greater because we have four more freshmen coming in. "Everything we're doing, the direction we're going, is really good. I love what we're doing. We're getting the talent at the positions we need to make the offense go." The Wolverine: What does it mean to this team that left tackle Taylor Lewan returned for his senior season? Borges: "He makes a huge difference. You don't know what it's like to break in a left tackle, and we don't have to do that. You talk about these inside guys, but I'd rather be breaking in them then breaking that tackle position in. "They're putting their best pass rusher on the backside of your quarterback … the appreciation for that position has gone through the ceiling, but it makes a big difference. It's The Wolverine 2013 Football Preview  ■ 71

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