ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Last season wasn’t easy for senior linebacker James Ross III.
Not only has the impact of his hire being felt across the country, the team feels it too. It’s more confident and ready to prove that this group is more than what past season records says it is.
“I just feel like there is a little bit more fire, a little bit more excitement,” Ross said. “We’ve got a little tough swag to us. I can’t explain it. You just look at how Coach Harbaugh carries himself and that’s the way our team is. That’s what he has implemented and brought to Michigan football.”
What was the team missing last season? There isn’t a magical formula to outline that. Some say that the team lacked toughness and accountability.
Ross doesn’t exactly agree with the sentiment that the team lacked toughness. However, he does acknowledge something was missing. Something important.
“I wouldn’t say toughness,” Ross said. “I feel there were a lot of tough guys on that team. I just felt like, I don’t know what the right words to say. Maybe there was just something missing. Of course that is why we weren’t winning. It’s our job to find that this season and I feel like we’re on the right path of doing so.”
Now it’s up to Harbaugh, and the staff he has assembled, to find out what the team has been missing to get things on the right track.
For Ross, from the training staff to Durkin, the staff shows the enthusiasm that the head coach so emphatically advertises.
“Enthusiasm unknown to mankind,” Ross said. “I can talk about Coach Durkin and he is very intense and his whole thing is that when the ball is in the air, it is our ball at any time. We got a lot of coaches on the staff that we really genuinely want to play for and we would do anything just to get their approval. It has been tough for the past few years and we’ve had great coaches and it is kind of like a life lesson. It is life and if stuff doesn’t work out, something is going to happen.”