Jeffrey Swinger, USA TODAY

TE coach Jay Harbaugh touts tight end involvement in U-M offense

Tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh discussed the involvement of the tight end position in the Michigan offense.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A prototypical Jim Harbaugh offense has a heavy emphasis on the tight end position. Not only is the tight end used for the power running game but can also be utilized in the passing game as well.

Everyone is well aware of what Jake Butt can bring to the table. However, U-M has other players they can lean on to get the job done, as it has been showcased four games into the 2015 season.

According to tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh, having multiple people being able to play at the position is the ideal situation compared to a single player taking all of the workload.

"More desirable would be to have more guys that you can trust," Harbaugh said. "So I think we're kind of working towards that. Spreading around is good, I think being able to get a bunch of guys around on the field and not having one know who you're going to throw the ball to or knowing whether its run or pass is a good thing. We like having more guys involved."

It's no secret that the U-M coaching staff is filled with NFL influences. From passing game coordinator Jedd Fisch using some NFL playcalls to watching plenty of film, Harbaugh has one NFL team in mind when it comes to the tight end positon at the next level.

"I've watched a lot of everybody," Harbaugh said. "The Chiefs have done some nice stuff recently, I would say them the last couple of weeks... I think our offense lends itself to look at more NFL tape more than other colleges."

Utilizing the tight end position like the Wolverines have so far this year will also be a crucial recruiting tool going forward. Especially considering U-M is by far the single school to use the position the most out of anyone in the country.

"You see opportunities in terms of playing time and divergency of playing time is kind of unparalleled at this level no matter what anyone says it's not even close in terms of what we ask them to do," Harbaugh said. "Then, the ball is being thrown to them. We throw the ball, I think, eight times per game to my group and I don't think anyone else is that high in the country. I don't think anyone else is even close, I think the next team is at seven per game, or something. Teams like Alabama or Georgia are, like, four or five per game.

"They're aware of that and the opportunities."


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