Michigan Football Preview 2016

2016 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 53 of 179

52 ■ THE WOLVERINE 2016 FOOTBALL PREVIEW override me, but it's great. When you have a staff, you want a lot of different ideas and different things. One guy can't do it himself, and it's about a team effort, so we put the plan together, I make the final decision on everything and we'll go from there. "But everybody is assigned a different game situation in terms of that week as you're planning. I'm involved in run and pass, Jedd works on pass game at times in the red zone, third down. [Running backs coach] Tyrone [Wheatley] works with short yardage and goal line. There are different things we're all assigned to do specifically trying to look at how we can get better at it and find different ways you can attack. We always feel like different guys can come up with different ideas so we discuss, talk about it and see what's best for our team. "All the guys did a great job last year. It ON THE RISE Coordinator Tim Drevno Believes His Crew Will Continue To Improve BY CHRIS BALAS M ichigan's offense improved immensely from the beginning of the 2015 season to the end under coordinator Tim Drevno, finishing fourth in the conference in three of the four major categories — total yards (395.9 per game), passing yards (237.7) and scoring (31.4 points per game). The Wolverines expect to build on that performance in 2016, Drevno said. Here's our preseason Q&A with U-M's second-year coordinator. The Wolverine: How happy were you with how the team fared offensively last year given that it was the first year under a new coaching staff? DREVNO: "I was very pleased. Just com- ing into a program in January, trying to fig- ure out everybody in the room, what you have talent-wise and implementing a system you're bringing in offensively, you wonder if they're going to grasp it. You're always con- cerned about that, what you're going to have to change to accommodate people. They did a great job from day one really believing what we were doing. "Coach [Jim] Harbaugh, he does a great job with that. I felt it with the whole offense, with [quarterback] Jake Rudock coming in the summertime, me teaching him the pass- ing game and different things with him — he really did a nice job with that. "Everybody just bought in and worked. Everybody kept their heads down and just kept on working … 'How good can I be today?' It was really good." The Wolverine: You mentioned during the first week of spring ball at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., that you felt it was an extension of the Citrus Bowl practices with the way everyone was so focused. What was it like the rest of spring when you got back to Ann Arbor? DREVNO: "It was exactly the same. When you go down to that bowl practice it's like having an extra spring ball [session], which is great. You get the younger guys in there to get a lot of reps. You start to figure out after graduation who are the other guys you have on your team. "Then we went down to IMG, which is unbelievable for team building — just to be able to spend time together as a team and practice. The confidence level after the win over Florida — when you win, it gives you unbelievable confidence. "They've kept that working mentality. They haven't thought they've arrived — no- body thinks they've arrived. We've got to be great today and keep getting better. We have bigger goals. This is just the start, and we're going to get better. It starts with the guys in our program, and recruiting. Today's a new day, so how great can I be today?" The Wolverine: You also mentioned that the guys were much further ahead of last year at this time, which you'd expect after a year in the system. What did you sense from the group this spring in that respect? DREVNO: "They were a lot more comfort- able. When a play comes in the huddle or I install it, they understand what I'm saying to them. They're a lot further along, and right- fully so. It should be that way. "I think, too, that now it's just guys fix- ing problems. They'll come to you and say, 'Hey coach, what about this, what about that?' If you install something, they might cover something you didn't install that day but we were going to get to it. They're kind of thinking one step ahead of you as you go through the process of installation and how you're teaching the offense. "It's part of the process. We're right on track with what it should be, and it's excit- ing to see." The Wolverine: Some wonder how you put it all together having three guys — you, Jim Harbaugh and passing game coordinator Jedd Fisch — contributing to the offensive game plan. How does that work? DREVNO: "I'm the offensive coordinator, and I'll make all the final decisions for the offense. Coach Harbaugh is the one who can

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