ANN ARBOR—While the bye week did provide Michigan and Coach Brady Hoke with extra time off physically and mentally, the status of the Wolverines’ starting offensive line heading into Saturday’s Big Ten opener against Minnesota remains a mystery.
"We've talked a lot and done a lot during the bye week,” Hoke said Monday. “We've got two good work days left with Tuesday and Wednesday, and I think really probably after Tuesday we'll have a good indication of which way we want to go."
Senior tackles Taylor Lewan and Michael Schofield remain safe, grading out well in Michigan’s four wins despite the lack of success in the rushing attack and limited time for junior quarterback Devin Gardner.
From there, the situation becomes less clear.
"I think we would be inclined to evaluate from the four games and practices, from individual and fundamentals and all those things,” Hoke said of the group. “We wouldn't have a problem making a change if that's what we deem we ought to do."
Already one third of the way through the 2013 season, the thought of making changes to the interior of an offensive line that has just 12 combined starts alongside one another remains tedious, but Hoke laid out the list of priorities, positives and negatives, that could come with a shift of positions.
"Production (is critical), and that may be more critical than chemistry,” he said. “We've got to put the guys in there that give us the best opportunity to be successful."
Alluding to Gardner being banged up last week, Hoke updated the status of his man under center, having now started nine games at quarterback for the Wolverines and looking to utilize an extra week of practice to clean up his eight interceptions.
"We went out Tuesday last week and Thursday, and he didn't look sore,” Hoke said. “He may be doing a good job acting; he knows there's a lot of guys out there who are sore -- it's just part of it, part of playing. I thought he did a nice job."
Hoke also added Monday he’d like to get carries to several other tailbacks moving forward, including true freshman Derrick Green who has run 13 times for 60-yards and one touchdown so far.