KIRK FERENTZ'S OPENING STATEMENTS
Injury wise, Marcus Schnoor had surgery yesterday and that was scheduled. It went very well, and hopefully he will have a strong and fast recovery from the ACL injury. David Walker did go in and have his triceps repair, they had to fasten that down, so we have lost him for the season, which is really unfortunate. Dave worked extremely hard to get back from the Achilles, he played 17 plays the other day and that is tough. We have now had four players on this team that have had two serious injuries during their careers. You don't want anybody to get hurt, but double injuries are tough for the individual. We are optimistic that the repair is good, and he should be back to full speed sometime in the spring I would think.
The only big change from last week is that Jason Manson has been cleared to do some drill work. He did some running Friday and Sunday. There is a chance that he will rejoin the team this weekend if not then, probably a week from now.
With the game on Saturday, there is not much to say. It was as bad on tape as it seemed in person, or on television, I am sure. So that one has been looked at, digested, reviewed and corrected. Now we have to move on. Tuesday is a new day for us. We begin our preparation for our (Big Ten) opener today, and that is where we are right now.
Anytime you play Michigan, it's a big game, but we are opening league play as well, so those are two significant things. Another thing is our improvement; we really need to get to work and try to improve some things really quickly.
A few words on Michigan. You have to start with the word talent. They are always very, very talented and this team is no exception. You look at their receivers, and they have the most talent in the country and that might include a lot of NFL teams. Throw the tight end in on top of that, they have great threats. The left side of their offensive line has been together for a long time, and they made a change at right tackle which has given them a little burst on Saturday.
The running back Hart jumped in there and ran the ball well with form. He is a decisive and quick runner. The other factor is the quarterback, they are playing a true freshman. I don't feel too bad for them, as this guy (Chad Henne) was very highly recruited and there is good reason for that. He is an outstanding talent and he can really throw the football. You put him in with that supporting cast, and they are a very dangerous football team offensively.
Defensively, they have changed their system. They have shifted to a three-man line; I think probably because the wealth of linebackers they have. They have a great crew there, and they have a great group of stout defensive linemen. Probably the strength of the team is the secondary, as they are very good there. Their strong safety Ernest Shazor looks like a linebacker playing strong safety. They lead the country with 14 turnovers,
and that says a lot about their defense. It's a typical Michigan defense. They play aggressive.
They are also very good on special teams, its something they have worked hard on. Their number one threat is Steve Breaston. Steve is an excellent receiver, but also a great return player. He will be a real threat anytime he has the ball in his hands, both in the passing game and especially on special teams. They give him great room to get him going.
It's going to be a great challenge. We have challenges in all phases of the game and that is our task at hand. We will go to work this afternoon.