Monday Press Conference Highlights: Players

Matt Lentz, Jake Long, Jason Avant, and Leon Hall discuss injuries, some of their teammates, and the improvements they've made throughout the offseason.

Matt Lentz

On Jake Long's injury:

"When you look at the film, you see one of those freak accidents that happens in football. I figured that a guy like Jake would be back in the next play if he could. The training staff here is a little more cautious, so they didn't put him back in. We found out later that it was pretty serious."

On how the line will replace Long:.

"Not having Jake there is like missing a brother on the offensive line. I played next to him for a majority of the season last year. I sort of got taken aback, but coach (Carr) always says that there are expectations for the position and not player. The next person just has to step up. When you get older it becomes easier because you know the whole offense and what each person has to do. From day one when you get here, coaches are training you to learn every single position that is out there. The only hard part is going in there and performing the technique. Everybody knows what to do and how to do it. I've pretty much played next to everybody right now, so there is no interchange really. I'm just going to miss Jake's personality. That's about the only thing."

On Mike Kolodziej:

"Kolodziej got off to a great start last year and then Jake stepped in. Kolodziej has been right there competing with Jake throughout the whole year. There has been no drop from what I have seen. Kolodziej is a very competitive guy and he will be a great addition. He's definitely got his chance. He started off camp thinking that everybody's position was open. Everyday is a new fight for your starting spot, and he's definitely grasped that and has stepped it up a lot."

Jeremy Van Alstyne

On his health:

"I was able to come back from and ACL and MCL meniscus that I tore in about five months. Then four games into it at Ohio State in the third quarter, I stepped on it wrong and tore ligaments in my foot again. I was able to come back with the help the trainers, Mike Gittleson and athletic support crew at Schembechler. Ever since summer conditioning I've been 100 percent. I have been able to go 100 percent throughout fall camp."

On Gabe Watson:

"I think he has stepped up a lot. Gabe is really getting his weight under control and has dedicated himself to this season knowing that it's his last. He is more focused and knows his plays. Even small things like watching his weight, and getting that under control. He is really taking the small steps to help this team."

On Will Paul's move to fullback:

"I think its been a great move and fits him well. He really likes the change. He was a little bit of a smaller defensive end and I think this (fullback) really fits his body size, speed, and ability."

Jason Avant

On how the passing game will differ this year:

"It's going to be spread out. We will have a lot of different guys catching the ball [rather] than maybe three guys out of the whole year like the last couple of years we been here. You will probably see more receivers catching it, the tight-ends more, and the backs more. I think the ball is going to be spread around a lot more. It's going to do a lot for the team. When guys are getting the ball more, they feel more a part. They are getting more involved in the offense and it is giving them more confidence."

On Chad Henne's improvement:

"Chad is going through his progression a lot better. It's a difference when you are coming in as a freshman. You don't know who is going to be open on one play. You are going off basically what the coach is telling you in practice, but once you are in the system for a long time you can really understand where the coaches are coming from and how to read defenses. In high school you really don't have to read defenses too much. You can make ball fit in places because guys are not as fast, but at this level you have to read defenses. He is doing that. His reading the progressions is making him look awesome at practice."

On Mario Manningham and Antonio Bass:

"I don't know what their role is. I know that they are capable and they have the talent. I have complete confidence in those guys. Those guys are more advanced as freshmen than me, Steve, and Carl were. Me, Steve, and Carl say that a lot. Guys already come in catching the ball with their hands. Those guys are not afraid of anything right now and they are tough. I like those guys. Hopefully they have a very significant role on the team."

On Adrian Arrington and Doug Dutch:

"Adrian is going to be a very good player here. He has the size, he has the right attitude in order to be an effective receiver, and he's fast. I believe he is going to be an outstanding player here at the University of Michigan. Both of them are going to have a big role this year. I'm really excited for those of two guys, especially Adrian. I'm very excited for him. I remember when I was a sophomore really getting a chance to get in the game. He is going to have that same opportunity...the same opportunity I had as a sophomore. I'm really looking forward to seeing him on the football field this year. It's his time and he is really going to make good of it."

Leon Hall

On how he would describe the secondary:

"Warriors. We talked about that earlier in the winter, the defense as a whole. As far as the secondary, when people look at the film I want them to see that we are flying to the ball and hitting receivers and getting off the blocks and everything in that nature, to me to sum that up would be to call us warriors."

On Brandent Englemon:

"I always knew he had it in him. He has always been one of my best friends since I got here. We relate on and off the field. I can just see the hunger in him. Ever since Ernest left he looked at it as an opportunity. He and Jamar Adams were fighting for it through spring and in camp. I really like the way Brandent has been playing. He has been getting a lot smarter, he has a feel for the game, and he has an act for plays. He just wants to go out there and help the team."

On Ryan Mundy:

"I'm not really too sure about how bad Mundy's injury really is. He started practicing at the end of camp. I'm not worried about it. I know he wants to be out there and if he can be out there he will be out."

On Willis Barringer:

"Willis has always been a guy who works hard, is very enthusiastic, very up beat, and positive about the game. When he didn't start last year, he was positive about his situation. To have Willis in there, I have no worries. I have my total confidence in him and I'm sure the defense coaches do also. He is constantly watching film and is always asking coach to rewind the same play over and over so he can know the team better...know our opponents better. It's the same thing with a lot of other people. He just wants to go out and help the team. He is not an individual type guy where he wants to make a play just to be on Sportscenter. I'm excited for him, he has been working hard."

On Morgan Trent:

"He brings speed. Just coming from the offense side of the ball, he helps us out with a little bit of stuff. The wide receiver does this and why they may do this or that, or whatever. But he definitely helps out with the speed. He is getting better and better day-by-day with his technique. Back-peddling is totally different for him, but he has worked real hard. He has been going out there making plays all camp."

To view the presser comments in their entirety, click here.

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