Full Transcript: Ryan VanBergen

The senior DL talks mainly about the D-linemen committing to gaining weight in the offseason, as well as to leading the team.



Question: Did it feel different than the camps you've been through before the last couple of years?

Ryan Van Bergen: "A little bit. It was only day one, so not too much can vary. A little bit different feel, a little bit different tempo. Day one in camp, is day one of camp. Just got to hope for everybody to come out and give their best effort and start learning, picking things up again."

Question: The tempo was it faster, slower or more intense?

Ryan Van Bergen: "I would say the practice tempo is a little bit slower as far as more emphasis on teaching, but we are getting our conditioning in because of the ways that we rotate the ones, twos and threes in. We are definitely getting our conditioning in, but we also our getting to learn the scheme a little bit more I think."

Question: The head coach singled out the defensive line as one of the groups that he was most impressed with in gains over the summer, leadership, physical stuff all that. What went into that?

Ryan Van Bergen: "There was just a lot of senior leadership. I think Mike Martin, Will Heininger and myself did a good job of getting the guys together in things that were optional, where coaches weren't involved, and going through different techniques and stuff, and going through our calls that we're going to be using this year. I think bring everybody together. Mike had guys over for a BBQ. We tried to spend a lot of time together a unit because Coach Hoke puts so much and invests so much in us as a unit, we tried to make ourselves as close and as tight as possible before camp started. So that way once camp got here, we would be able to lead the defense in and be strong, and we're still working towards that. That's definitely not a process that is completed."

Question: The guys talked about the shape that guys were in. He said Taylor Lewan is bigger, Will Campbell is smaller, can you see it in those two guys just standing there?

Ryan Van Bergen: "Absolutely. When Taylor first got here, I was the first one to tell him that he was not going to play tackle here because he was 250 pounds. I told him that he was never going to play at 250, and now I look at him and he is 303 when he weighs in at the scale. He has put a lot of work into it and you can tell. Will Campbell has been the same way. He has had a great work ethic in the offseason, and we're hoping that carries over into camp. He has gone from I want to say…I don't know the numbers exactly but from like 335 to just under 320. He is more mobile, more flexible, and it is just going to benefit him and everybody else around him."

Question: Is there anyone else that you look at and just say, wow that is just not the same guy? ?

Ryan Van Bergen: "Craig Roh. Craig Roh has put on I want to say a good 10-15 pounds. I also put on close to ten pounds, close to 290 now. That's all because of strength and conditioning coaches have been harping on us that we need to be a certain weight in order to be as efficient as possible and help the defense out. And I think a lot of guys—Quinton Washington has also maintained his weight well. There has been a lot of guys I think that have put in a lot of work, outside of just the weight training part and aspect—and nutrition, and make sure that they make the weights to be best for the team."

Question: Did you feel like you needed to put on weight? Or was that a mutual thing, or did they tell you that you need to add. ?

Ryan Van Bergen: "It was for the scheme I think. For me to be the most comfortable, I needed to gain weight just to make sure that I can hold up my double teams and stuff as a five technique, and make sure I'm keeping guys off the linebacker when they need to make plays, and making sure I can hold my ground. I just want to be accountable to my teammates, and in order to do that I felt like I needed to put on weight."

Question: Is that just one of the biggest differences is just expectation is different in body transformation, and what you're expected to be from the previous staff to this staff? ?

Ryan Van Bergen: "I would say so. I think there has been an emphasis, obviously there are some guys that have had to get smaller, but as far as guys up front, but there have been guys who have been asked to make some gains in size, and I think it is because of the new scheme and because we're more of a pro style offense and we're a four man front on the defense. We're expected to fit certain body types so they can plug us in and we're going to be more successful in their system."

Question: Besides for lifting weight what were some of the things that you did to gain weight? ?

Ryan Van Bergen: "Personally, I know I was presented if I wanted to gain weight, Coach Wellman told me I had to get six or seven thousand calories a day. I'm sure that is just about the same for Craig Roh who was trying to gain weight, and for Taylor Lewan. There is a lot that goes into it. You're thinking about it all day, and when do I got to eat next and what am I eating. You can't eat McDonald's and gain weight, because you're going to come into camp and be sloppy. You have to eat things that are going to go into your body and provide good fuel and make you more efficient as a runner too. You can't got out of shape."

Question: What was your weekly grocery bill? ?

Ryan Van Bergen: "I don't know off hand, but I learned to cook some good food. My specialty right now is pineapple glazed salmon."

Question: How many calories were you put on and what kind of diet were you in previous off seasons, six thousand or seven thousand right now? ?

Ryan Van Bergen: "I would say probably close to four, in between four and five. I wasn't really counting. The previous strength staff was more emphasis on speed and efficiency, so I was always concentrated on coming in and working and being very efficient in my speed training and stuff like that. That was the emphasis, and now the emphasis also being fast and efficient but at the same time being the right weight for what fits this scheme."

Question: Troy (Woolfolk) came in and said because of scheme and physical development he expects you guys to get more pressure on quarterbacks this year, can you see that happening? ?

Ryan Van Bergen: "Absolutely. I would definitely anticipate that we get more pressure on quarterbacks and more takedowns. I think we had some good pressure on quarterbacks last year, but the amount of takedowns—when we got there, we weren't cutting it. I don't know where we were in the Big Ten, but we want to lead the Big Ten, and that's something we've talked about as a defensive line. We have the veteran group. There is no reason why we can't make a push for the best in the Big Ten and the best in the country as far as quarterback takedowns and stuff like that. Coach Mattison, I think that is something that he emphasizes. We're going to get after quarterbacks and make them make quicker decisions.'

Question: So were you watching the Food Network and picking up recipes? ?

Ryan Van Bergen: "Nope, was on Google. I saw what I had in my cabinet, and we had peaches and pineapple, and I figured pineapple would probably be better (for the salmon). A process of elimination."

Question: The hunger that you have to make this season a winning one after experiencing the last few? ?

Ryan Van Bergen: "I feel an obligation right now to my seniors, the guys that have been with it since 2007 with Coach Carr. We've been through a lot as a class and it is unique to our class the things that we've gone through, as far as the three coaches, four D-coordinators and stuff. For the sake of all the guys that I've been with, I just want to have a successful season. I want these guys to be remembered as some guys who came in and helped aid the transition for Coach Hoke and turn Michigan back around and put it in the graces that it used to be. If we could do that, I feel like our senior would feel like we were successful, and that is something that I'm fully committed to doing and I know my seniors are fully committed to doing. And that's why we had such great senior leadership in the offseason."

Question: Jerrel Worthy from Michigan State, did you hear about his tattoo? It is a Spartan warrior standing on top of a Wolverine that has a block M helmet, just kind of squishing the Wolverine. I was wondering if he had any reaction to hearing that? ?

Ryan Van Bergen: "No he can put whatever he wants on his body, he still has got to play the football game." ?


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