BWW Q&A with Taylor Lewan

Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan addresses the media about his squad's upcoming Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl match-up with Michigan. The senior captain discussed Shane Morris's growth, potential changes in the offense, and more.

QUESTION:  (Question regarding K State's defense.)
Taylor Lewan:  Their tendencies are pretty consistent.  As a team, the most dangerous part about them is how they always work as a team. If they're going to be in the B gap, they're going to be in the B gap.  If they're going to be in the C gap, they're going to be in the C gap.

QUESTION:  Do you think they're underrated?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  I don't know their exact rankings.  I know the Big 12 has a lot of high-powered offenses.  They might be a little bit. I know when this offense is playing well, they're playing on all cylinders, it's tough to beat us.

QUESTION:  Did you think after the Ohio game this would turn into such an ordeal with the quarterback?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  No, I didn't.  Shane has been part of Michigan tradition for a while.  He's a hard-working guy.  I think you put him in a position to be successful, he'll do his job just fine.

QUESTION:  Do you think he's ready?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  Absolutely.

QUESTION:  From a maturity standpoint, how much have you seen him grow?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  It's almost been day and night.  Since I was a freshman, he's been committed to the university.
I've gotten the opportunity to be around him, and been like this guy that's worried about Twitter followers, to a guy who could truly care less.

QUESTION:  How do you think he'll handle the first time he gets sacked or pressured?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  I don't know.  It's rough.  But it's part of the job. Shane, when he gets hit, man, it comes with the territory.  He's got to understand that.  If it doesn't feel good, you have to move on.  You have to understand you have the whole team counting on you. It's not just about Shane, it's about 11 guys.  I know there's going to be a lot of scrutiny, a lot of pressure that the media puts on him.  If he doesn't focus on that, focuses on what he needs to focus on, he'll be fine.

QUESTION:  Coach might be scaling back with offense.
TAYLOR LEWAN:  What do you mean 'scaling back'?

QUESTION:  With the quarterback.
TAYLOR LEWAN:  You find out what your wheelhouse is, you can run screens well, three-step drops, five-step drops.
No, I think we're prepared for them.  We're prepared and it's going to be a really good game.

QUESTION:  From an offensive line standpoint, Ohio State, that might have been your best game.
TAYLOR LEWAN:  Absolutely.

QUESTION:  When you were in the film room, what was your message to the other guys?  This is what we can be, we can do that again?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  That's exactly what it was.  You're playing a team that at the time was ranked No.3 in the nation.  All of a sudden we come in and play the way we did.  It shows a lot about the fight in this team.
I said it after the Northwestern game, this team is always going to fight.  We'll get hit in the face and hit right back.

QUESTION:  Coach Borges said it was going to take time.  Do you think that was the moment?

QUESTION:  Seems like you're in a different unit almost.
TAYLOR LEWAN:  I think we're going to be successful.  I think this team is probably more consistent, like you said.  We'll definitely see on Saturday. I'm excited for that whole song and dance.  It's going to be awesome.  It's great.  It's my last game.

QUESTION:  You say it's your last game.  How much emotion goes into this?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  No emotion.  I'm not trying to watch sad movies, all that.

QUESTION:  Not watching Old Yeller?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  No.  Something about dogs, can't do it.

QUESTION:  How much would this win mean for this senior class going out?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  It would be huge.  It would be awesome.  You want to win every game.  Obviously that didn't happen.  You want to be successful, do all these things.  Going out with a win would feel phenomenal.

QUESTION:  If Frank says he wants to come back, but to be a leader on this team, what has he shown you that he can be a leader on this team?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  I think he's a great leader.  He's done a lot of things that have really helped this team.
I think one thing that this team has done, it's started from ground zero as far as leadership goes.  I feel the next team can build off of what we started building.  This class started from ground zero.

QUESTION:  When it's all said and done, what is the one message you want people to remember about this team?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  It's been fun.  No matter what the circumstance, what the game, whether it was a blowout or win, we fought till the end. It's tough to go out 7-5.  My voice is hoarse from just yelling.

QUESTION:  You've been emotional?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  Not emotional.  But I'm trying to get the message across in practice, I guess.
These guys, I tell them to just keep fighting.  Hopefully we can go out with a win and be the next team to be one of those legendary teams.

QUESTION:  Ryan Mueller, what are your impressions of him?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  He's a great player.  He works hard.  That's his best quality.  He consistently works till the whistle.  You can't say enough good things about him because he doesn't do a lot of things wrong.
If I get the opportunity to go up against him a bunch, I'd love that.  I'm sure he'll have a good game, but my job is to make sure he doesn't have a good game.

QUESTION:  What about their defensive front?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  They're extremely consistent, hard-working, fighting guys.  That's what makes a great defensive line.  They may not be the most athletic guys at the end of the day, but they work as hard as they can.  They'll keep coming over and over and beat you into the ground.

QUESTION:  Have you seen improvement from them?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  You can see in the last six games.  Their turnover ratio is plus nine.  They've scored 72 points in the fourth quarter and their opponents have only scored 31.  Those things are through improvement.
They have a defensive lineman Player of the Year, and all that stuff is improving week in, week out.  We might have improved throughout the season till our last game, so we'll try to be as successful as possible on Saturday.

QUESTION:  They have nine new starters.  Do you watch it in a progression?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  I watch the things I need to watch.  Like I said, just watching the progression through the last six games, it's been impressive, something I'm excited to go against and see how much they've improved since the last game. Hopefully we can be successful come Saturday.

QUESTION:  Does your offense change at all with Shane?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  Just because he's a left-handed quarterback, we might run things a little bit different about how he feels it.  Other than that, we're confident in him running the same offense that Devin ran, try to put him into a position to be successful.

QUESTION:  Do you move because of him being left-handed?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  No.  I think we'll be just fine, so...

QUESTION:  You're one of the bigger guys on the team.  In a wing-eating competition, who do you think would take the cake?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  Is it boneless or traditional?

QUESTION:  Either way.
TAYLOR LEWAN:  Graham Glasgow.  He can eat boneless wings.  He's a thick man, a thick boy over there, he's No.61, the center. There are a couple guys that are smaller than him that can probably put it down.  But Graham is probably my choice if I was putting money on somebody.

QUESTION:  Bud says he thinks he's probably the best eater on the team.
TAYLOR LEWAN:  He could put it down.  Yeah, I can see it.

QUESTION:  Where would you stack up in the team-eating contest?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  I'm not huge on eating food like that.  I could put down maybe 40.

QUESTION:  You had some close games, Penn State, Ohio.  Coach Hoke said he was 11 points away from being 11-1.  How important is it for you to finish games in the fourth quarter?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  It's huge.  This a team that plays extremely well in the fourth quarter, Kansas State.  We've done a good job throughout the year of getting consistently better.  But we've fallen short a couple times.

QUESTION:  You started out 5-0, dropped five of the last season.  How big would it be to pick up a win?
TAYLOR LEWAN:  It's very important.  It's not everything in the world.  Obviously, you want to go out with a win.  It's not detrimental to your program.  But it's great for the seniors, and putting the next team in position.

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