Greg Mattison: "Seven (practices) left guys, seven left. The thing I would like to say about he defense, I'm proud how they come out every single day and try to get better. If they haven't done something good the day before, it is addressed and they come out and try to do better the next day. Really as a coach that is what you look for, you look especially for once you corrected it that that mistake doesn't come up again and more times than not that has happened. I think we're making strides. Where we are, I don't know. Where we are I don't know. I see times out there when we're approaching a Michigan defense and then I don't see it enough times. We have to see it at a more consistent basis. We can't be the kind of defense that does something good and the next day maybe not as good or does something really good on two plays and then not on the third play and that is something we're really working on."
Question: Are you seeing more of what you like versus what you think needs work?
Greg Mattison: "I am seeing more. Again, what I look at first in every single position is technique and I am seeing a great improvement on their technique. The thing that I as a coach, I'm such a stickler on technique, I cannot accept being in a long camp and a lot of hitting why I get tired and what I don't use my technique. I don't accept that. I think that there are going to be games when you're going to be out there more than you have to be, you have to rely on your technique. I think that is something that we have to continue to improve on and as we get tired and as practice goes on sometimes that is the first thing I see slipping. The next thing is effort. That always happens and we can't allow our selves to. If we're not a real experienced defense and if we don't have a lot of guys who play a ton of snaps, we'd better play hard. We have to make up for it in that. That's what we're seeing."
Question: What have been your impressions of Troy Woolfolk?
Greg Mattison: "Really impressed with a senior with a new staff, with a new system, with a guy who comes out every day and says okay, I'm going to do what you tell me to do, I'm going to do it how you tell me to do it and I'm going to try as hard as I can to do it. I've been very impressed with his effort. I think his technique is improving. I know Coach Mallory is working real hard on anything that needs improving and he accepts it and sometimes that is hard for a guy with a new staff in his last year."
Question: Can you tell that he is a year away from shattering his ankle, does it look fine?
Greg Mattison: "I can't see that at all. I don't see any signs of that at all."
Question: How has the other corner position shaken out?
Greg Mattison: "We've got a number of guys still battling for it. As I mentioned, there are a lot of them in the same group in all positions where one day you might say this is the guy and then he may not be as consistent, as he should be the next day, so the next guy goes in there and he looks good and the same thing. I think there are a number of guys who are competing that whole group that you know of, they're all still competing. We'll have to see what happens seven days for now. To name a guy or anything like that, I couldn't say that. I think they're all in the same boat. We have to see somebody be very consistent with your technique, effort and all the things that this defense is built on."
Question: Have you filled out a two deep yet?
Greg Mattison: "No we have not filled out a two deep. We have the scrimmage tomorrow and that'll be a big key. We're going in the Big House and if you can't play like you have to play then, you're telling us a lot and they know that. There are some battles. There are a lot of battles out there so it is going to be good to see. I think we'll know a lot more after that."
Question: In a close battle what separates two guys that are battling for the same spot in the scrimmage situation?
Greg Mattison: "For me I think the guy who plays the most consistently hard. I want to see a guy who shows…the technique I know will get there but don't ever be a guy that doesn't play with great energy, not in this program, it won't work. You show me a guy that every day that comes out here and goes as hard as he can, we've got great coaches here. Our coaches have done an unbelievable job, they will get your technique down."
Question: Who has impressed you this camp and who are the standouts on your defense right now?
Greg Mattison: "A lot of guys and I'm not being vague, I'm saying a lot of guys different days. I'm being as honest as I can be. If I were to say to you, is there a guy who has impressed me every day, I would say no. Not for what we want. Are there some guys who have had more days good than not what we're looking for. I'd say, a Mike Martin has shown that, Troy, probably would leave it right there. Guys that I want to be there every day and like I said those two guys haven't done it every day either. We've got to get that whole group doing that."
Question: How many guys would you say that you feel comfortable with, say if the game was this Saturday versus a week for now; how many guys do you feel comfortable playing?
Greg Mattison: "I hope it is 22. I don't know that. I hope it is 22. Better have 22 on defense because if someone goes down, you'd better feel comfortable with the guy going in and I'm not going to be the kind of coach that is ever going to come here and say to you, oh, we lost that guy to injury that is why we didn't win. That can't happen here. That guy that is in there has got to step it up. So we'd better have 22 and we have seven more days to get 22."
Question: Today, how many do you feel?
Greg Mattison: "I haven't looked at it. I haven't said because I know there is more time yet. To me I know there is more time. We'll coach all the way up to that game and then hopefully there is a 19th guy or an 18th guy that is right on the…we get him slipped over so that he is that 19th guy, but we've got to get that going into the first game."
Question: We haven't heard much about Marvin Robinson or Jake Ryan, can you talk about their fall camp?
Greg Mattison: "Marvin was a little bit sick and he got through that and he is a guy that two days ago, yeah that's right that's how I want to see you play. Today I haven't looked at the film yet, but I got a feeling that I probably saw that again. He's a guy that is going like that. Jake has been in and out with minor injuries and so hasn't been able to go. He's probably been out for almost a week. He was in yesterday and right away had a great hit and right away came. The one thing I am pleased with Jake and this wasn't the way it was before, he obviously concentrated and knew what to do when new defenses came in because when he came back he didn't miss a beat and that tells me a lot about a young man. If you're not going to focus when you're not able to practice, you got a tough time and he did. I'm looking forward to see how he keeps going these seven days."
Question: Is Jake only at the SAM still?
Greg Mattison: "Our SAM would also be guys that in our sub or nickel package would probably be pass rushers so that is how we kind of try to work the guys in. So Jake is playing SAM and he is a big part of our sub or nickel package."
Question: What about Josh Furman?
Greg Mattison: "The same thing, there are some good things. There are days when you see great improvement and there are other days that whether it is technique, effort, knowing what to do isn't up to the standard. Another guy that we got to get it going that way."
Question: Is it harder than you anticipated?
Greg Mattison: "No not harder than I anticipated, it's Michigan, it's Michigan. It is harder only because Brady Hoke our staff, we've got the bar up here. That's where were going to work for and that is what every day we come in to work for and I don't care what happens practice one to practice 18, our jobs as coaches is to do everything we can to get them back to Michigan football. Is it harder? No. That's what you love about coaching. Sometimes when guys know everything they're doing and like I said the first meeting that's all you're doing is calling defenses. Now, I don't want to be correcting every kid on every play but that's why you coach. It is good to see the look in their eye and I can't wait until they all play defense like we want, like the Michigan reputation, when you look that eye and they say this is the way it is, this is how it is and that's what we're working for."
Question: How would you describe yourself as a recruiter?
Greg Mattison: "I like recruiting. I like being able to present the greatest product in the world. Everything I do I'm competitive. So recruiting is a competition for me. If I have the ability to work for a great school like Michigan and there is a young man that qualifies character wise, academically and football wise for Michigan, then the ball game begins. That's where I get the opportunity to see what kind of…recruiting is a lot of things and I don't ever like to use the word salesmanship. It is like a football game. You've got to know what you have to do to push the buttons to get the guy to see why this is the best place and I love recruiting. It is a challenge. I'm a selfish guy. I want to get every great football player here. I probably work harder on defensive guys than offensive guys if you want to be dead honest because I'm a selfish guy. I want to be surrounded with unbelievable great players that are Michigan people. Luckily you're working here where you can really present something special."
Question: Talk about the battle at WILL linebacker and how that is playing out?
Greg Mattison: "The WILL linebacker, there are a number of guys that are going at it. A young man by the name of Desmond Morgan has shown some great signs. He got a little nicked up so he has not been able to do what he wanted to do the last two or three days. Mike Jones, Brandin Hawthorne in the last scrimmage we had, we do a thing called production points. What happens in football, a defensive player can have his technique be perfect on every play but if he doesn't make plays, you're not going to have a great defense. Guys got to be able to have great technique and be able to make plays and we put points on them. Interceptions are ten points, fumble recoveries are seven, tackles are three. So you know where I'm going with this. Hawthorne was in ten plays in that scrimmage, a live scrimmage and I think he had 24 or 25 points. So I was sitting there thinking, wow we got a guy right here and then he twisted his ankle a little bit. He'll be back, he'll be fine. Same thing I said before, all these guys show something, Jones shows some great things. Morgan, we're obviously very excited about him as a young guy. Hawthorne and Brandon Herron. All of them have had their moments, now who is going to put the moments all together and that's what we have to figure out."
Question: You had some plays in the scrimmage it sounds like, were you pleased overall with the play in the scrimmage?
Greg Mattison: "I was pleased early. I was pleased early. It is the same thing that this defense has to show that they can do, you've got to be consistent. When you're into your 60th and 65th play what are you going to be like then. That was what bothered me. I didn't see them stay the way they started out all the way through. Then when something bad happened, I didn't see a…let us stop it right now and continue going that way and I didn't see that. That was what I wasn't happy with, but early I was excited to see what I was seeing."
Question: Is Craig Roh in the mix on the defensive line?
Greg Mattison: "He is a rush outside linebacker for us. Craig, Jibreel Black and even a young kid, Frank Clark, all three of those guys are working very hard a that position."
Question: Has Kenny Demens separated himself in the middle?
Greg Mattison: "Kenny Demens has been running with the firsts at MIKE all camp. He has had some really, really good hits and he's done some really, really good things but not every day, not every play and that's what we have to have."
Question: Would you say that competition with Roh and Jibreel Black is still pretty open or do you feel like you have a leader there?
Greg Mattison: "Oh no, it is definitely open. Like I said, they're all open. That's what it will, these guys will understand for as long as we're all here you never have that position locked up and the only way you lock it is up is play the weigh a Michigan defensive player plays. Now you can lock it up and come out and every day and doing what you have to do. Obviously some guys are much more talented than others, but I'll take a guy with great effort every day than a guy who is talented and doesn't play up to his ability."
Question: You talked in the spring your rapport with Denard did that carry over into camp?
Greg Mattison: "Oh yeah. I got on him today in fact. He didn't play every play of yesterday's practice. I yelled at him over during stretch, I said you must be as fresh as a daisy today boy. I was kidding him and he gave him something back, oh yeah, I love him. The wide receivers, they think I'm an adopted child. I go over to that wide receiver group every day and talk crap to them (laughter). I love it. Coach Hecklinski said I'm a wannabe wide receiver because I'm over there with them so much. We've got great people on this team and that's what is fun about it. We've got really good people that all of them have bought into the way that Brady Hoke wants to do it. Some of them haven't bought in every day, but all of them have. All of them have bought in. We've got to teach them to do it every day."
Question: Is it nice to know that you can go over to a group like that and say something and get the best out of them?
Greg Mattison: "Yeah. That's what makes coaching fun. I think they know too. I believe our players really know that we're in it for them. I don't think there are any coaches on our staff that are thinking I want to do this and I want to do that, all we want is for them to have success. I think young man can see that when you are really genuine. That's Brady Hoke, that is his whole deal. He is here for them for them to be as good as they can be and I would say every coach on this staff is that same way."
Full Transcript: DC Greg Mattison
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