DETROIT, Mich. -- It's been said many times that the Michigan offensive line finished its season-long metamorphosis in the final game of the 2015 season in the Citrus Bowl. The Wolverines walloped Florida and the offensive line had a lot to take credit for.
Now, heading into year two of the Jim Harbaugh era, the offensive line is coming together once more to build off a solid performance where everything seemed to go perfectly. According to offensive lineman Kyle Kalis, the biggest thing the line has to do now is spend more time learning to be cohesive and less time learning on the playbook with everything staying the same.
"I think the biggest thing for us is that we didn't have to learn a new offense," Kalis said. "We came into it with a background already and the Florida game we had a great game so we just want to build off that. We're just continuing to develop the cohesiveness between the starting five. There's a couple spots in there we're not completely sure on yet but we're just working together every day. It's been fun and we're getting a lot better."
With one more year to prove himself, Kalis is trying to build off his 2015 season. Like most players in the first year of a new system, there were growing pains Kalis had to go through. But being on the same page with the rest of his line makes the benefits increase tenfold.
"I feel like I'm playing it well," Kalis said. "But that's also a big help to the guys around me, too. We're all on the same page so that makes my job easier and I'm on the same page it makes their job easier. In turn, it makes everyone look better."
What exactly happened last year for everything seemed to go right for U-M? There isn't an exact science to figure out but in-game experience certainly goes a long way in getting players battle-tested and become more experienced. According to Kalis, a switch just seemed to flip during the season.
The rest, they say, is history.
"Maybe last season a button went off and we all just really started to click," Kalis said. "We realized that we were a team that could do it, we weren't that team that was the constant underdog. We were the guys that you didn't want to play against. That's the goal every single day, come out in practice to be a guy you don't want to play against. We're getting better every single day."