Spring Practice Player Interviews Part 2

Braylon Edwards, Chris Perry, and Jon Shaw all comment on the younger players at their positions, their expectations for the coming season, and various other topics.

An excerpt from the Perry interview can be heard here at mlive.com.


On the prospects for defensive backfield for the coming season

We have depth this year. I think that each guy back there can play, and probably will play. We came into the spring with a new coach. Plus, at the beginning spring we were a little rusty. But after a couple of days went by we started learning him and learning the things he wants us to do. We all started to look good and I expect us to be a very strong unit.

On if he'll be the starting free safety

If everything works out, I will be. I'll just continue to work hard.

On the differences between Coach Austin and Coach English

I don't really want to get into that. I'll just say that I think that they're both great coaches.

On Ernest Shazor

Ernie is a big guy that plays big and that is around the ball all of the time. He always finds a way to make the play and I think he's going to be a big factor this year.

On Willis Barringer

Willis made the move from corner to safety. He's progressing real fast. In fact, he's progressing a lot faster than I did when I moved from runningback to safety. He looks good and makes plays out there. I think it's better to move from corner to safety as opposed to what I did because at least you'll already have those fast feet and back-peddle when you become a safety.

On Jacob Stewart

Stewart is coming along. He's a big hitter. He has the potential to become a factor too. He just has to keep working hard.


On how Pierre Rembert compares to David Underwood and Tim Bracken

I think that Pierre sits in between the two (David and Tim). Dave is a bigger back. Tim is a little bit smaller. He's a scat back. He cuts quick and makes good runs. David is more of a power guy. He'll just run you over. Pierre is a good combination of both of them. He's not as big as Dave and he's not as small as Tim. He can run you over or he can make you miss. I think Pierre is a great combination of strength, size, and speed.

On the improvement of the offensive line

They've improved a lot this year. What I've noticed the most is they really know what they're doing. At this time last year they might not have been sure, but now they're sure. We're all on the same level. If they block somebody, I know which way to go. We're on the same level mentally instead of just physically. That's going to help everybody included.

On what he expects from himself

I feel great. I'm healthy and everything is going well right now. I expect a lot out of myself. I expect to be a major contributor to the offense and to the team as a whole. I have a lot of goals. I've set high goals for myself and I'm going to try to achieve them.

On whether he hopes to bring some national attention back to the running back spot

I hope so. It's about time for it.

On how David Underwood and Pierre Rembert have looked this spring

Coach J has been trying to get us to improve all spring. He has been working real hard with Dave. He has been running the ball real well, and they (Pierre and Dave) are both improving at a good rate. I think that they will both be able to help us out this year.

On whether he'll be sharing time with one of the young guys

It is all up to Coach J who plays. All three are improving by leaps and bounds with each and every practice. So, it is going to be real competitive. It keeps me on my toes too because any one of them can come and take my spot. It is going to help everybody work hard and get better.

On what he can do to stay healthy throughout the season

You can only do so much. You can stay in shape, make sure you work out well, and keep your conditioning up. A lot of it is luck and toughness. I think that I am a pretty tough person, but there is only so much that you can bear. I think I will be in great condition, so it is all up to luck.

On what he learned from Anthony Thomas about playing with pain

Train was a tough guy. He played every game nicked up or something was wrong with him, but he pushed through, and that is what you have to do. The team is depending on you so you have to come to play every Saturday.

On what or who will push him now that BJ is gone

David Underwood, Tim Bracken, Pierre Rembert are all still here and they all can push me. I also push myself. I wanted to do a lot more last year than I did, so that is a goal of mine….to do a lot more. Not to decrease, but to increase my output.

On how hard it is to raise the bar after being so successful in the Outback bowl

No. I didn't even run for a hundred yards, so it is easy to set a new goal. I ran for 80-something, so it is easy. I should have scored on one of the screens, so it is easy to set a new goal. Yes I can still pick apart myself. There's no big-headedness here.

On if he sees himself as a leader

I see my self as a leader. I see all seniors as leaders. Anybody that wants to take a leadership role should do it. We should have a lot of leaders, young and old. As long as the others on the team follow the leaders, we'll be very successful.

On what he'll be doing to lead during the summer

Well, we have to make sure that everyone is here for practice, have a nice workout, and try to keep the team together.

More on summer leadership by the seniors

We typically try to get the team together, try to workout a little bit, and try to keep the timing up. We try to stay in contact with each other.


On the switch to #1

Obviously my father played here, so I've been following Michigan football for a long time. I noticed that the great receivers wore #1. Anthony Carter, Dave Terrell, and Derrick Alexander. I just wanted be a part that tradition and Coach Carr gave me the nod.

On the deal he had to make to get the number

I wanted it when I first got here. But they told me my freshman year that they wanted me to prove myself first. Coach Carr came to after the season and said I proved myself and that if I still wanted to switch, I could. I definitely took the opportunity.

On whether the #1 puts a target on his back

In some aspects, yes. I guess #1 is a significant number on any team. People will go after #1, but we have a great receiving corps. So even if they go after me, we've still got other good receivers.

On whether it would be a mistake for a defense to focus just upon him

Definitely. The way we run our offense now, if you double-team any part of our offense, another aspect will be open. If you double-team me, Tyrece Butler or Jason Avant WILL be open. If you double-team the pass, the run will be open. If you come down on the run, the pass will be open. So we have a lot of weapons coming into this year.

On what he's learned going from his sophomore to his junior season

I've been critiquing certain aspects of running routes. I've been learning how to work Dbs and how to use speed at all times so all of the plays look the same. If it's a pass run full speed and if it's a block run full speed. I've been focusing a lot on keeping the same speed at all times.

On whether he sees himself as a leader

I definitely see myself as a leader. Anyone who has success is looked up to. Not looked up to as a model, but looked up to as someone who has to lead the team. So, I have to speak up for the team and I definitely have to lead by example. So this summer we're going to be practicing HARD. We're ready to go now. After the Outback Bowl, we were ready to practice again. We're just ready to get it on. August 29, we'll be ready to roll.

On whether John Navarre has taken his game to another level

Definitely. John is a fifth year senior. He's endured a lot of struggles. He's been through a lot of things and has come out on top. John is very strong now. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. In the case of John Navarre, he's definitely stronger.

On Carl Tabb

Carl is definitely getting better. Carl and Steve are both getting better. He's getting faster in terms of running routes. You can be fast, but if you don't know the system, it's not going to make you faster. You'll think a lot. He's able to play without thinking now, so Carl can definitely help us this year.

On Steve Breaston

Breaston and Carl are about the same. They're coming along and learning offense. Moving fast without the ball and learning how to play without the ball are the main things for them right now. They need to learn to block and how to make everything look like a route.

On Returning Punts and kicks

It doesn't matter to me. Anything they need me to do, I can do. If they want me to return some punts, that's cool. They put me back there to try it and it's been working so far, so we'll see what happens during the season.

On how the other quarterbacks have looked

Spencer and Matt are both getting better. You can see the development in Matt Gutierrez from his freshman year to now. He's getting older and he's under John all of the time, and John is a great quarterback. Spence is finally getting back in the groove after going on his Mormon mission. He's getting his feel back for the game now, so he's definitely getting better.

On whether he's spoken with David Terrell about switching his number

I haven't talked to Dave since I got the number. I talked to him a little before I got the number. I didn't tell him I was getting it. He'll probably be mad I changed my number. Not because it's his number, but because he would want me to stay with #80 and be an individual…but Dave is a good guy.

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