ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan has a loaded backfield of players that have not necessarily stepped up to secure a permanent starting role. With a new coaching staff at U-M, they certainly have a lot to work with.
Enter Tyrone Wheatley.
Wheatley returns to U-M on Harbaugh’s staff to sift through the bodies to find, and refine, his starting running backs. At this point, rotating multiple running backs in certain situations seems likely, but the competition to get there will be fierce.
Wheatley believes that competition molds people. Being a former player himself, he knows all about the benefits of competition.
“Because it breeds a quality,” Wheatley said. “Because when you’re on the field, and I’m speaking from personal experience and also coaching experience, when you’re on the field, you have guys that are all different molds, shapes and sizes at the running back and they can all do something a little different, in your mind, you’re like, wow that’s impressive. Then you’ll say okay, watch this. Now you have to do it with this.”
Now, it’s time for the offensive coaching staff to figure out their own combinations and formulas for the 2015 season. Wheatley does mention one important point, however, your talent must fit within the offense.
Once you get that, competition will elevate the players around him.
“Your talent has to be structured within the confines of the offense,” Wheatley said. “What you want conceptually and basically do it every single day and be consistent doing it every single day and then be able to make plays, that’s the guy you want to come out of this competition. As he’s doing that, everybody else is doing the same thing. So the elevation of the room grows. It doesn’t stop after day one or year two, because guess what, you might win a starting job this year, but someone is coming for you next year and it does.”