GBW Interview: Dan Ferrigno

Michigan's special teams and tight ends are two units that should see some changes in 2011, and one man, Dan Ferrigno, is at the head of both.

His connection to Michigan and Coach Hoke
I was on Jack Harbaugh’s staff with Coach Hoke and Coach Mattison in the eighties.  We used to come down here too. When Bo was coaching and Jack Harbaugh had roots with Bo. We had Carte Blanche. We’d come down and watch practice, so I got very familiar with Michigan football.

Has he had a chance to look at the tight ends?
Yeah, I have. The guy that played the most was Kevin Koger. Brandon was limited. I got to see Kevin and I got to see them all move around in morning workouts. I’m very impressed with how they move for big guys. I think they’ve got the skill set and the ability to play the position and it’s a very important position in our offense.

Will the tight ends be emphasized more?
I think so, because what I know about the spread, a lot of time, it’s four wide receivers with the tight end split out. This is a different system. The tight end is next to the tackle most of the time and he’s got his hand in the ground and he’s blocking or running routes. A lot of time there’s two tight ends, sometimes even three tight ends.

Are the tight ends excited about this?
I just think they’re excited because it’s a new system and because it’s a new system, there’s that anticipation. They know what we did last year with some of those kids. We had a kid that was a freshman All-American last year, caught 30 passes and eight touchdowns I believe. I’ve shown them all that and I think they’re excited.

Given what happened last year, what has to happen on special teams this season?
I don’t want to comment on last year. I just know that we have to be sound. We have to punt the ball, punt it well, keep people off our punter, cover kicks. And we have to have a good return game. I think that’s possible here at Michigan. There are a lot of very skilled athletes. Now we have to find the best people to catch the ball and run it. That will be our job this spring. We should have a very good idea by the end of the spring and by the end of fall practice, we should have an idea if any new kids can do it. I mean, our goal…we’re not too complicated. You’ll find that about our program and Coach Hoke. We’re not going to trick people on special teams. We’re going to be sound and good and protect it when we kick it and return it a long way when we return it.

The Michigan Insider Top Stories