Full Transcript: Michael Shaw

RB Michael Shaw talks about the competition for the 'go-to back' spot this fall.

Question: What are your impressions so far of the first few days?

Michael Shaw: "Everybody is excited and everybody is finally back in the swing of things. It is good to be out in the field and out of the weight room after a hard summer. It is good to just be playing football again."

Question: Did you hear the coaches say that no single running back has kind of separated himself, does that bother you a little bit as a senior vying for that job?

Michael Shaw: "No, it just makes me want to work harder and it makes the guys want to work harder. At the end of the day, if the guy who works the hardest and who shows that he is physically and mentally capable of handling the duties of running back position at Michigan, he'll get the job."

Question: Do you like the fact that Al (Borges) wants to have more of a feature back versus what you guys were running in the past?

Michael Shaw: "That's what Michigan football is one guy. There pride factor where every single running back wants to be the man. It comes with the territory I guess."

Question: What is the biggest difference in the responsibilities that you guys have this year as opposed to the last couple of years?

Michael Shaw: "We're behind the center and the quarterback, as opposed to being on the side of them. We have a great responsibility in protecting the quarterback in pass protections. We're not leaking out as much and we have a good deal of knowing where the offensive line is going to be and who they are picking up as far as blitzes. That's what we have to focus on."

Question: How would you handicap the freshman? You remember what it was like to be a freshman and you have two of them with you now. How are they adjusting to it?

Michael Shaw: "They actually just got out there. They had classes for the first couple of practices. They're learning. As a senior it is my job to help them, so I'm going to do the best I can and we'll see."

Question: The guy who wins that job what will he have done really well in camp? Do you understand what they want to that degree?

Michael Shaw: "He has to be able to pass block and he just has to be tough and that's what the coaches want. They want whoever is back there to be the toughest guy and he wants to be a guy that carries the mold of the pass Michigan running backs, which we were tough physical guys who can run downhill and could keep guys off the quarterback."

Question: Why do you think you should be the guy?

Michael Shaw: "Everybody wants to be the guy. It wouldn't even be good for me to be here if I didn't want to be the guy. What football player doesn't want to be a starter."

Question: You put on some weight this summer was that an effort to be more of a feature, 25 carry back and has it changed the way you'll run at all?

Michael Shaw: "I just think it is good for my running style. I kind of view myself as a guy who likes to run downhill. I just think me putting on weight is a tribute to Coach Wellman and his staff and how great they are. I didn't do anything special. I just took care of my body and listened to him and his advice."

Question: How much fun is it to actually be talking about a go-to back? Last year in particular it was Denard (Robinson).

Michael Shaw: "I don't know how much it would be to talk about it. I think it would be more fun if I could actually do it or any of the other guys could do it. The fun will come when we are out there on September 3rd and actually getting to experience it."

Question: Do you feel like you have any sort of inside track with your experience or is it something that is really just that wide open and you really have no idea if you are going to play?

Michael Shaw: "No. That's just because it is the first four practices. Everybody is getting their feet wet. Guys are starting to see what the coaches really want. Spring is different from the summer. Summer camp is a lot more intensive as to where spring they are just trying to install the offense, especially have a new coaching system. I think as the days progress, the guys will fine tune more and toward the next couple of days and then on the doubles you see guys start to be ahead of the pack sort of speak."

Question: How much do you think the offense retained? How much did you and Denard and other guys retain from the spring from where you started off this fall?

Michael Shaw: "Actually, I think we have not lost a step. I think we are picking up where we left off, which is good. I think a lot of it has to do with what we did as a team without the coaches. The seven on sevens, the players held walkthroughs just to make sure that we knew our assignments. We watched film. I think because of the things that we did as players without the coaches, we are actually still upbeat and it helps the coaches from having to re-coach things that they have already taught us in the spring so that we can add more plays do more installations."

Question: One of the things that coaches talk about is new players or when they learn a new system being tentative and not playing fast right away. Where do you think are in terms of what they have put in, are you at a point where you're just reacting now or are still a little bit tentative, where are you in particular?

Michael Shaw: "Kind of both. I was out a lot of the spring so I got a lot of mental reps. I think all the guys are still trying to feel where the coaches want us to be and how they want us to be there, but like I said after this week everything should be smooth flowing. It is still the first week and then we just put on pads yesterday. Things are still a little shaky, but we are getting to where we need to be and with hard work we'll get there."

Question: Everyone talks about how complicated Rich's (Rodriguez) offense was, is this similar in terms of how complicated it is or is it easier to pick up this scheme?

Michael Shaw: "Each different offense has its own nuisances and things that they have that is its own complications. This offense is complicated too. Coach Rod's offense was a different amount of complication, but it is fun just to learn football from a guy like Coach Borges who knows his stuff. It's fine."

Question: What about some of the other running backs, Stephen Hopkins and Fitzgerald Toussaint and Michael Cox, what have they shown you so far?

Michael Shaw: "I think you'll have to ask the coaches that. Everybody is working hard and everybody is trying to prove what they can do. They have all shown great stuff. That's something you have to ask the coaches."

Question: You know Denard, do you believe that he is going to run less or do you think when he gets into to it or do you think he is just going to want to take off?

Michael Shaw: "That's up to the coaches. Like last year with Denard running a lot, it wasn't that Denard was calling his own number that was the coaches play calls. I think that another thing that you'll have to ask the coaches. If they say he is going to run less, I guess he'll run less."

Question: Have you gotten any sense of kind of where you stand in the pecking order after these first four days?

Michael Shaw: "No. Coach Jackson has done a great job of making sure that the rotations have been different and everybody has been getting reps. So as of right now, no."

Question: Everybody is learning a new scheme, but this is the one position group that has had consistency in terms of your position coach, Fred Jackson. Does that make it a little easier?

Michael Shaw: "It makes it easier and Coach J, we're comfortable with Coach J because we know what he expects from us. A lot of guys know that they have to step up their games because if we don't show him, he's been with us and we've been with him for such a long period of time the clock on playing time is going to dwindle if we don't pick up to where he wants us to be. It is actually good for us that we have Coach Jack, because we know what he expects."

Question: He said in the spring (Coach Jackson) that he was going to have guys running with first team one practice and the fourth team the next practice to see how you all react to playing in those different situations, is he still doing that?

Michael Shaw: "Yes he is."

Question: How are you reacting to that?

Michael Shaw: "I don't pay attention to it. I just go out there and play. It doesn't matter who the line is really because we have a lot of good players. I just get back there and when we break the huddle I know my assignment and just do my job and trust everybody who gets their job done."

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