First Game-Week Press Conference

Here are comments from Head Coach Lloyd Carr from today's (Monday afternoon's) press conference -- on specific players.

On Marlin Jackson missing the Central Michigan game:
"The most important thing is that Marlin learns from this issue. I think secondly, it's very important as a team and as a group of young people who represent the University of Michigan and Michigan football that they understand certain things. It's always a no-win situation because the reputation of the player is always impacted, and the program is always negatively impacted. As a coach, you're always put in the position where in my case, it is important more than anything else in terms of our team and the people in it understanding the responsibility they have. All the things that happened, all the things that were written, none of them were positive."

On quarterback John Navarre's development:
"When you are as close to somebody as a coach is to a player and they go through something like John Navarre has had to go through, which I think is unprecedented in terms of the criticism, there is a tendency to feel sorry for him if you like him. But the truth is that this is one of the greatest experiences any person could ever go through because it's made him much stronger. There is not going to be an issue that John Navarre is going to face in the rest of his life that he's not going to be able to deal with. That's the value of this game and intercollegiate athletics. You can take the adversity, the criticism and all the things that are thrown at you and become a stronger person because of it. John could not have learned that in the classroom, so I think he'll look back on his four years and he'll say that's when I grew up, that's when I became a man."

On Willis Barringer:
"Willis Barringer worked last year as a freshman; he did not play last year, but he was a member of our scout team. He competed at corner and we really liked his aggressiveness and competitiveness and during the course of this year none of that has changed. He worked extremely hard in the weight room and he's bigger, so in the spring we moved him to the safety position, and I think he's going to really be a fine safety. He has missed a couple practices last week due to surgery on his thumb. He will return to practice today, but I have a lot of confidence that Willis Barringer is going to be a very fine football player here."

On Jeremy LeSueur's perseverance:
"When you have some of the ups and downs you never know how a guy is going to respond because there is a pressure that comes from without. There is a pressure that comes from within. You don't always know as a coach how a player will respond. You can guess because I think the better you know someone or the longer you know someone you can make a better judgment in terms of knowing how they're going to handle it. Jeremy hung in there in very, very difficult times and I think he had support from his teammates. I give him credit for understanding that when you make mistakes in this program that they're not easy to deal with because you're facing a lot of different opinions and criticisms of the things that young people do."

On Tony Pape's excitement about the upcoming season:
"Pape was in my office last night and I said, 'Are you ready to go?' and he said, 'Coach, I am so excited.' And that's what you want. Pape is a guy that loves the game and here he is, playing in his fifth year at Michigan, and as a coach, that's exciting to hear a guy say, Hey, I'm excited. I can't wait. That's the kind of enthusiasm, that's the kind of attitude that you need because it's a long season. His challenge will be to maintain that enthusiasm throughout the course of the season."

On the progress of David Underwood and Steve Breaston:
"Well, I think both of those kids and a number of others are going to play an important role on this team. David will play. He is a big, strong, fast guy, and he is 225 pounds and is not easy to tackle. As the game goes along I think he becomes harder to tackle. He lacks experience but he has been here and knows the system. He is a very good pass protector and a good receiver. So, he is going to play an important role on this football team. Steve Breaston will as well. He is in the rotation and because of the way we are going to try to play we will alternate receivers in and out all the time because we like to be able to make sure at the end of the game that we have guys that are fresh. If you ask a couple of receivers to play 70 plays they are going to have nothing left at the end of the game. I rotate in a lot of guys and when you do that you gain experience and you get better as the season goes along."

On Darnell Hood's transition to cornerback:
"When we recruited him, I wanted to have the ability if at some point I felt he could help us somewhere else, to move him. Darnell really initiated that move because he saw an opportunity for more playing time at the cornerback position than he did at the tailback position. He has made a lot of strides and he is still a very young guy. He didn't switch until late in the spring. So, he's learning and he is much improved from where he was in the spring. He will get some opportunities to play."

For more comments from Coach Carr, go to the U-M website:

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