Mike Martin Plans to be Healthy

The chronically-ankle-injured defensive tackle talks about getting healthy for the Gator Bowl.

Q. How are your ankles?
MIKE MARTIN: Good, I'm where I want to be with my health right now. The week off I was able to get a lot of treatment and just rest and do the things I need to do to get back to where I needed to be.

Q. Is it possible for you to be 100 percent for the Bowl game?
MIKE MARTIN: Yeah, yeah. We're not going to be practicing this week. We'll be lifting, running, doing some conditioning and stuff, but nothing hitting with pads or anything, so that will be good for everyone, as well.

Q. Jonas and Denard have both guaranteed a win.
MIKE MARTIN: No, I didn't hear that.

Q. Are you guys looking at that and is that just guys getting excited?
MIKE MARTIN: No, I would say that's just excitement. I can say personally like everyone on the team, I know the feelings of excitement and anxiousness to get ready, start practicing. A Bowl game, I think any team should be excited for their Bowl game. We're going to practice and work hard to a point of us wanting to go down there and get a win. So Jonas and Denard, probably just the pure excitement of them just wanting to get down there. We all want to win, so we're going to do the best we can to try to make sure that happens.

Q. Do you have any personal feelings about Coach being in limbo, about whether he's going to be back? The athletic director keeps saying he's going to wait for the season to be over. Do you have any personal feelings about that?
MIKE MARTIN: You know, that's not something I can control or anyone on the team can control. You know, whatever decisions are made or are not made are the best ones. I know myself and my teammates, we're just going to play and -- we're players, and we're going to control how we play. You know, whatever pans out, we're worried about the game and worried about how that pans out for us down in Florida.

Q. Historically Michigan has done pretty well against the SEC in Bowl games. How excited are you to play somebody from the SEC, one of the best conferences out there?
MIKE MARTIN: Yeah, I'm really excited. This is my first Bowl in my history here. It's big for me, it's big for the guys that I came in with that haven't gone to a Bowl game yet. There's some older guys on the team that have gone to a Bowl and experienced that whole situation and everything, and I know it's a lot of fun. I'm a junior here, and it's not -- I don't think there's a lot of times where there's a junior at Michigan who hasn't gone to a Bowl game. I'm asking questions to the older guys like what's it like, because I have no idea, and the younger guys, I know they're excited, too. It's a new experience for a lot of us, so we're just ready to get the ball rolling.

Q. A lot of times they have eating contests between the teams. Who wins that for Michigan?
MIKE MARTIN: We've got a lot of big boys, a lot of guys who can eat and a lot of guys that are small and can eat. Roy over there, he's small but he likes to eat. You wouldn't think he could out-eat some guys. I don't really chow as much food as you would think I would, but I can pack it down.

Q. You guys get a bunch of extra practices. How do you think that can help especially some of the young guys on defense, progressing towards where you guys want to be?
MIKE MARTIN: Yeah, any time where we can get with our coaches or in the film room and just practice, that's any good time, because you improve -- you improve any time you can get some work in. Whenever we get into practice or anything, we always make sure we're ready to work and get better.

Q. Craig Roh has moved up into the line. You watch film obviously. What's he done well up there, and do you think he's holding his own?
MIKE MARTIN: Yeah, Craig, I know he feels a lot comfortable being on the line. That's been his thing his whole time in high school mainly, I know, and he didn't really feel as comfortable being back there in the linebackers. That was new for him, and there's a lot to learn when you go from line to linebackers, there's a lot more you need to know, a lot more techniques and just scheme, period. It's a lot more comfortable for him just because he's used to it and he doesn't need to know as much, and he can just kind of play his game down there.

Q. How close can you get to full strength personally with this layoff that you've got now between the Ohio State game and the Bowl game?
MIKE MARTIN: Yeah, I've been working really hard. I know a lot of guys on the team that were banged up throughout the season have gotten in the training room have done as best they can to try to get back to full health. So there's been a lot of efforts towards that, and myself personally I've been doing the same thing. There's a great chance for me to feel good for the Bowl.

Q. What's the first game that you injured the ankle in?
MIKE MARTIN: Michigan State.

Q. Is that difficult, obviously the Iowa game you had to take yourself out and then you missed the Purdue game. How difficult is it for you to say I'm just not at a point where I can go?
MIKE MARTIN: It's terrible, all the hours you put in through the off-season and just all the work, period. Football is all-around sport, all year-round. You're either working out or practicing or watching film, doing something all year-round, and when you can't -- you've got 12 opportunities a year, 60 minutes a game, not even that because you're playing just on one side of the ball and you're not able to play those minutes and those plays, it's rough for any guy that's injured because he works hard with his teammates and with his team, and when he's not able to enjoy the atmosphere, the environment of just playing football, a great game, it's rough. Me, not being able to play stinks. So getting back to full strength and getting healthy is very important to me.

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