Player Press Conference Comments

Selected comments from Grant Bowman, Jeremy LeSueur, Tony Pape, Dave Pearson and Chris Perry. Mainly comments on coaches and other players.

Fifth Year Defensive Lineman Grant Bowman

On why this team could be a great team:
"First of all we have great senior leadership. We have a lot of guys who have not only played a lot but know what it takes to win. When you have a strong group of upperclassmen, the younger guys are going to look up to them and learn how to get the job done. It's my fifth year, I've been around and I've seen what good leaders have done."

On the transition for defensive line coach Bill Sheridan:
"I think the fact that we are a veteran group has made the transition easier. Coach (Brady) Hoae is a guy who is aggressive and intense and then Coach Sheridan is probably the exact opposite. He's a real technician and is going to coach you a lot on technique. It's nice to learn new things from new people and we really got to adjust during the spring. I think our seniors really showed that we are able to be coached."

On first-year starter Pat Massey:
"Pat was a guy who came in and had a great body frame but never put on the weight. It's taken some time to put on some weight and strength but he's done a great job with that. He's really settled in at end and has done a good job. He came from a really good high school program who taught him some good things, so you can tell he has great technique. He's a great competitor and I think he's going to do a really good job for us. He's been one of the bright spots of camp."

On Freshman LaMarr Woodley:
"You first have to realize that he's a freshman and how many transitions that involves. He just graduated from high school, got thrown into the fire and is going against guys who have played football for four or five more years than he has. He's coming along and is athletically talented. There is a lot of technique involved in football and it takes some time for the younger guys to get used to. If he keeps on working hard, he'll probably be a pretty good player."

Fifth-Year Senior Cornerback Jeremy LeSueur

On defensive back Willis Barringer:
"Willis has prepared well and is always out there studying. He's going to be nervous once he steps out on the field in front of the fans, but once that first play is over, he'll settle down and make plays."

On the freshmen in the secondary:
"They look real good. Prescott Burgess and Ryan Mundy are really smart; they've picked up on the plays. They've got a lot of ability and have really improved during two-a-days. Leon (Hall) didn't practice at first, but looked really nice once he got back into things. They're going to come out and contribute, whether it's on special teams or on defense."

On wide receiver Braylon Edwards:
"Braylon is real competitive. He's tough and quick and goes up for the ball. He makes big plays. His size and speed add a lot to his game. You don't see a receiver like Braylon often, and that's what makes him special."

On wide receiver Steve Breaston:
"I see big things out of Steve. He's real fast and he's quick. He's tough to judge and tackle because he makes moves real quick and cuts on a dime. He has real potential."

Fifth-Year Senior Tackle Tony Pape

On if this may be one of the great Michigan lines of all-time:
"We will not find out until the end of the season. We have a lot of expectations for ourselves, and we will find out how we did at the end of the season. We are just excited to play. We have been playing together for a long time. All the guys are really excited to play this season. We are smarter than we were last year, we are better technicians than we were last year, so we will be improved from last year. As far as one of the best lines ever, I cannot say until the end of the season."

On Dave Pearson having a year of experience now at center:
"The center position is the hardest position on the field besides the quarterback, I think. The center has to make every call for all the linemen on the line and he has to snap the ball and he has to block somebody. He has an extremely difficult job. My job is easy compared to his as far as mentally. He is out there in his own world and sees everything and he has to be able to get everybody on the same page so we block the play right."

On tight end Tim Massaquoi:
"He used to play receiver, but he has put on a lot of weight. He has worked his tail off to be a great blocker and we are excited for him."

Fifth-Year Senior Center Dave Pearson

On Tony Pape:
"One thing about him is that we all know he is going to get the job done every time he goes out there. He is a great leader in the huddle and when we were taking the line. He has a good time with football. He is a great guy to line up next to."

On Chris Perry as a candidate for the Doak Walker Award:
"We are not all that concerned with all the individual accomplishments. When you have a running back that works as hard as he does we want to make sure we open up the holes and he gets the yardage he deserves."

On how John Navarre has changed over the last year:
"In the last year I think he has gotten a lot more confident. He has taken a huge leadership role on this team. He feels responsible for getting our offense in the right position, making the right checks, and he is always ready to have a positive play. I have spent enough time with him to see that he has really come to enjoy the game a lot more because he has more confidence. I think he is looking forward to having a great season this year."

Senior Tailback Chris Perry

On team chemistry:
"I've been around a lot of teams growing up and the chemistry for this team is different. I've tried to observe things a lot more being a senior, and I feel that this team is very close. We have great talent on defense and offense, and if we can put it all together, this team has a chance to do something special."

On the perseverance of John Navarre:
"You're always rooting for your teammates. John has been through some rough times here and finally everyone else has seen the light. John throughout the years has gained more confidence and I think that will continue this year. You have to respect John for the things he's done on the field. Obviously the team has shown him that respect by voting him captain. John is going to come out and do the things he has to do to win, which is play well."

On Braylon Edwards:
"Braylon brings confidence to the team. Anyone with that type of talent and ability has to have confidence or you can't take advantage of those talents. Braylon's a team guy, he wants to win, and he brings a lot of toughness and confidence to the team."

On the most colorful personalities on the team:
"I can't take it down to just one person. You have Jon Shaw who is always joking around; he's a prankster. Ernest Shazor is a funny one too. Everybody on our team has a different personality so I like to be around all of them. Grant Bowman is always cracking jokes at the training table. Everyone has their own personality, but if I had to narrow it down it would be those three."

For more comments from senior players go to the U-M website:
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