Monday Presser Notes

Coach Carr and his players discuss the polls and the upcoming game with Northwestern. Also included is info on the status of Jacob Stewart and Marlin Jackson.

Larry Stevens:

On what he spent his weekend doing:

“I was chilling out and relaxing. It couldn’t have come at a better time. A lot of my teammates and I just relaxed. We took care of business as far as watching our opponent. But it was just good to be off of our feet because it’s a long season.”

On Michigan climbing in the polls:

“All that doesn’t matter. All we’ve got to do is win. That’s the bottom line! We can’t worry about that. “

On if being in Evanston for the game against Northwestern in 2000 makes it easier to not to look past them:

“Most definitely! And besides the fact that I was there, it’s just the bottom line about their capabilities on offense. It’s a dangerous type of offense. Anybody that takes it lightly or not seriously is foolish.”

On if the defense is what he expected it to be at the beginning of the year:

“This team is going to be measured by what we do this Saturday. If Michigan is a good defense like we say we are, and how much we’ve been talking about improving coming up to this point in the season…the last two games of the year it’s going to come out. If not, it’s too late. Then, we’re how everyone sees us. We’re an incomplete team if we don’t, and that’s the bottom line! The defense HAS to step up at the end of the year. If not, what kind of team are we?!”

More on Michigan moving up in the polls after 10 or so questions on the subject:

“We’re not worried about it. You know what…I’m going to end this conversation right now!” (Walking away laughing)

Jason Avant

On if he’s paying attention to the polls:

“No. I was yelling at the younger guys yesterday. I was telling some guys that are redshirting to stop looking at that because it’s like a poison. You look at that type of thing and you start thinking about if they lose, we go here…and stop worrying about Northwestern, which we have this week…and you mess around and lose.”

On if he occasionally takes a peek:

“I’ll look at them, but that’s about it. If it’s going to happen it’s going to happen. We have to worry about our games. All we can do is win against Northwestern this week. So if we continue to win games, everything will work itself out. We have no control over what happens.”

On if he watched football and if he rooted for or against certain teams:

“I was watching football, but I can’t say I was rooting against any teams. I just like watching the game of football. That’s what I was doing this weekend. I had the opportunity to sit back and watch the guys that everybody is talking about…because we’re usually playing when they’re playing. Fitzgerald is a great player!”

Lawrence Reid

On if things have slowed down on the field for him:

“Really, after playing 10 games I just feel a lot more comfortable out there then I did last year.”

On his health situation last year:

“The doctor said that the muscle in my neck had grown bigger than it was supposed to and it cut off the circulation in the veins to my arms, and it clotted up. I went up to the hospital and had something performed that showed that I had a blood clot. I had surgery on it and I’m fine now.”

“…The blood clot was in my arm and it kind of swelled up like a bruise. The trainers couldn’t figure out what it was so they sent me to the hospital. “

“…I guess if I hadn’t of got it detected, it could have moved and gotten into my lungs, and I possibly could have dies.”

On the operation:

“What they took out was part of the muscle in my neck and part of my upper rib bone.

On if it affects the way he trains or lifts weights:

“No I’m back to normal, like it never happened.”

Tony Pape

On if he pays attention to the polls:

“I pay no attention. Ratings make no difference, especially during the season. It only matters after the season. You can’t determine what someone else says about your team anyway. You know who you are, so it’s kind of worthless to go and see what someone else has to say.”

On getting emotional prior to the last drive versus Michigan State:

“It was funny because 2 years ago we had a chance, on offense, to put the game away. That was something we kind of dawned on during that week. We knew that if we got to that point in the game again that we weren’t going to let that happen. We knew the offense had a chance 2 years ago to step up and win the game for our team…and we didn’t do that. I just got so upset! I was like, ‘I’m not going to let this happen again! I was playing on this field two years ago! There’s NO WAY I’m going to let this happen again!’ “

On if the team lost anything during the bye:

“I think, if anything, we gained a lot rather than lost anything. We played 10 games in a row. We gained some confidence and some pep in our step. Not that we were slowing down, but we just got a chance to rest. It’s not to kick back and say look what we’ve done…but to look at what we did, look at what we’re capable of doing, and look what’s ahead of us. So, I think it helped us.”

Lloyd Carr

Opening Statement:

“Well, we’re looking forward to going to Evanston to play what I think is a very good Northwestern team. A team that I think played outstanding defense if you looked at the Penn State game and the Wisconsin games. I think that’s tremendous improvement. Offensively what impresses me, other than the fact that on the offensive line, the 2 guards and 2 tackles are big guys all over 300 pounds, (is they have) two outstanding backs in Wright and Herron. And Basanez is doing a great job a quarterback. Their balance offensively between the run and the pass is almost 50/50 in terms of yards per game. What they do a great job of is changing up their personnel packages using some of the no huddle. So it’s going to be a challenge for our defense. What we need to offensively is control the football and keep their offense off of the field.”

On Northwestern’s offense:

“It’s still the spread offense. They’ve used Herron as a wide receiver, so you think there are two backs in the backfield but he’s flanked out. I had heard a comment earlier in the year where Coach Walker said that Wright was as good a back as he’s coached. That’s high praise. He has coached some great football players at that position. Both of those backs are good receivers so when they flank them out, it forces you to make personnel adjustments. You’ve got to know who’s in the game and you have to line up properly, which is a challenge.”

On coming out of the bye:

“I don’t recall specific games, but my recollection is sometimes you come out of a bye week and you’re not as sharp as you were before the bye week. I think for the most part, we have not played as well after a bye week as I would have liked to. Certainly that’s a challenge for us.”

On if he can comment on the status of Alain Kashama:


On the injury situation:

Jacob Stewart has not progressed as well or as quickly as we had hoped, so I don’t expect him to play. I do expect Marlin to play.”

On how much Marlin will be used:

“I want to see how he practices this week. He practiced yesterday and says he feels fine. But coming off that type of thing you have to see how well he practices and how he responds to being out on the field and how the injury feels…whether he feels full speed or not.”

On what he thinks of Larry Stevens walking off the podium after being asked about the polls numerous times:

“I’m proud of him! (Laughing) The one thing about Larry Stevens is you never know what’s going to come out of that man!”

On who he was cheering for in the OSU vs. MSU game:

“Both of them. I like em both! (Laughing)”

On if there’s anything you can pick up watching TV as opposed to film:

“In coaching you’re so used to being able to rewind the play. You’re at the mercy of the television crew when you watch a game. You get a feel for personnel at times particularly in the front 7…the offensive and defensive line. You may notice something that you don’t see on film. One of the things you see if you watch on TV is if a team no huddling…in our film exchanges you cannot tell whetheer a team is in no huddle mode. It used to be 20 or so years ago…even though we didn’t get a lot of no-huddle teams then…you could get a film and the team may have used the no huddle…and you go into the next game not knowing. But with all of the games on TV, now, that’s pretty much a thing of the past. In the substitutions on the kicking game…some teams are now trying to take advantage of the rules by rushing their punt teams on very late making it very difficult for you to get your punt return teams on. That’s something that I think is being addressed at the conference level. I think the other thing is there are a lot of signals that you can pick up on TV. Sometimes the offense signals in a play and the camera’s got the guy, and you may pick up a couple signals there.”

On a possible BCS quagmire should the teams ahead of Michigan lose some games:

“I’ve always said this...there’s a big part of me that would love to have a playoff where you had an opportunity to get into it. But for me there are a lot more negatives. Thus far it has done what it was designed to do. But with the scheduling and all of those issues, I don’t think we’re ever going to be without controversy because it is limited from the standpoint of if you have six or seven 1-loss teams at the end…choosing is just a vote. That’s what it comes down to.”

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