ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The Michigan offense blossomed into a high-powered machine during the late stages of the season a year ago. Now, heading into year two, the team is trying to build off that success with relatively the same team returning from a year ago save for arguably the most important position on offense, the quarterback.
Offensive coordinator Tim Drevno has seen a difference in this team from last year. With some new faces coming into the fall, they plan on injecting some new energy into an offense that has seen improvement at the skill positions, something U-M has been lacking for quite some time.
"I think with the running backs the speed, the athleticism," Drevno said. "Ahmir (Mitchell,) he's doing as a receiver. He's a big target and can run fast. You kind of see it across the board the five new receivers coming is going to help, too. You can see that we're getting better at the skill positions and every position across the board. That's part of the process of the second year going into it."
The quarterback position at U-M is also a hot-button topic throughout spring camp. Although the spot is still up for grabs and will likely be that way heading into the fall, Drevno has seen improvement from all three quarterbacks competing for the job.
"I believe the passing game has come along with the passing game with precision and timing," Drevno said. "Making corrections, people are understanding what you're correcting and they are fixing that the next time they come out (to practice.)"
As terms of his position as an offensive line coach, Drevno praised both Mason Cole and Grant Newsome in big ways. Saying that Newsome would be ready to play if he wins a starting role on the offensive line leading up to the season. Drevno says that Newsome wouldn't have played last season if the coaching staff felt as if he wouldn't ready. He also reminded reporters that he once started two true freshman on the offensive line at USC, so taking a chance on a younger guy isn't exactly a reach for him.
However, as for the players practicing right now in spring, Drevno sees the chemistry building amongst the lineman and says that it would not be difficult for someone to come in and take a starting spot away from a player. The team is always looking for ways to get better.
In terms of coaching who he has now under a second year in a system, Drevno doesn't need to change anything. In fact, it's likely getting easier.
"Nothing's different," Drevno said. "It's the same thing every day in terms of how good you can be at your craft, being at the highest level. They do understand a little bit better just when you talk to them... They can fix problems in the room which is really neat and you can kind of see the build of the chemistry and the leadership of wanting to be good."