D.J. Durkin Discusses "Blue-Collar" Defense

D.J. Durkin has defense focused and prepared for the first week of the regular season.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Michigan defense is expected to be strong during the 2015 season as many familiar faces return to a group that has seen a lot of football.

With a new coaching staff in Ann Arbor, the team has not wasted any time getting to work. According to U-M defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin, the team has been responding well to his teachings with one thing in particular standing out.

“Their work-like mentality,” Durkin told reporters on Monday. “Blue collar, we’ve brought it every day. This has been a tough camp and they’ve been responding every day. They’ve been locked in at meetings and they’ve done well on the field.

“There have been a few instances where I could say there wasn’t that type of mentality but, really, in the grand scheme of camp, they’ve really brought it. They’ve done great.”

How far away is the defense from being game-ready? Not as far away as some might think, considering the scheme change. In fact, with the first game of the season right around the corner, the focus is now on what counts.

And that’s winning football games.

“We’re getting there,” Durkin said. “Now we’re really starting to get into game week and Utah prep. As you’re doing that you want to try and hone in on guys and what they’re focusing on.”

With the rigors of fall camp almost behind them, the players can now start to shift their focus elsewhere. If the last few weeks have taught Durkin anything, it’s that his defense will be ready to go week one.

“Our guys enjoy one another,” he said. “It’s been good. As you get in the middle of camp there’s no light at the end of tunnel, I think they’re starting to get that now. We’re starting to back off a little bit, get into Utah prep. I think they’re ready to go.”

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