ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- There's no mistaking the Michigan football coaching staff is loaded with NFL-minded talent that understand gameplanning and unique scheming for an upcoming opponent.
The coaching staff, especially on the offensive side of the ball, will be facing another gameplan for this weekend. However, this one has an added benefit to it, a chance for in-state supremacy for a year when U-M faces off against Michigan State on Saturday.
Enter passing game coordinator Jedd Fisch.
Praised by U-M head coach Jim Harbaugh all season for consistently calling good games, Fisch has the benefit of having like-minded people to help gameplan for the upcoming opponent.
"For us what our philosophy has always been on offense is that we're very gameplan specific," Fisch said. "We're going to try to come up with the best possible formations for the team we're playing. With that whatever concepts that go along with that formations. We've had a lot of personel groupings, formations, concepts. That's going to be our idenity, we're going to be somebody who finds some ways, the best we can, to put our guys in the best possible position to succeed and with that comes a variety of formations."
The fact that U-M has so many NFL coaches in the program might seem uncommon for college football as a whole. For Fisch, the way the coaching staff goes about their business in terms of preparing for upcoming games always remain the same.
At the end of the day, it's all about putting your best players in a position to win.
"I think everyone has done that in terms of our group (of coaches)," Fisch said. "It's nothing really too rare in terms of what we've done. Even when we're at different places and then when we're together, we've kind of all seen it the same way. You want to put your guys - find the right formations - that give us the best possible opportunity to move the ball against the defense."
Make no mistake, this new way of doing things is not easy for the players. The process is demanding from equally demanding coaches.
At the end of the day, Fisch wants his players to think about football all day, every day. He wants to challenge you mentally and physically, especially if you're a quarterback. The more complex the playcall sounds, the more prepared you are to succeed.
"It does," Fisch said. "I think that makes it great. I remember Coach Gruden came out and talked about it years ago that you can walk into a huddle and say a couple of words or you could walk into a huddle and rip out a long playcall. Really what it does is challenges your guys to go home at night and make sure football is always on their mind. And make sure that it gives the quarterback instant credibility when they walk into a huddle and spit out a nice long one. Makes it look like they're preparing extra hard. And then, on the same token, football never leaves their mind when they don't feel like they've ever arrived.
"I think that's so important for our guys to understand. It just can't be a 20 hour week in terms of with us, it's gotta be when they get home they gotta look at it. They've got to prepare and that's the best chance to succeed."