Monday Presser Highlights: Week Five

In Coach Lloyd Carr's post game presser he commented on the play Chad Henne and Steve Breaston, the injuries to Mike Hart, Mike Kolodziej, and Jeremy Van Alstyne, and more.

On the Wisconsin game:

I think we left too many points on the board in the first half. We missed two passes to Avant that were big plays. We dropped a touchdown pass in the end zone, and we came up short on fourth and one. We left a lot of points there. In the long run we had great field position the first half, so we just weren't able to take advantage of it. The second half…the field position change…Wisconsin's punter did a tremendous job. It was our inability in the second half on offense…our first five possessions we didn't do anything with it. We had a couple of turnovers which left our defense at the short end of the field. The one turnover after a personal foul penalty gave them first down at the 12-yard line. They converted for a touchdown. I thought we played very hard. It was a very physical football game. I thought the effort, the intensity…all those things were good enough to win. We weren't able to capitalize on the opportunities we had. In the second half we had a good punt return. Steve Breaston brought the ball back to midfield, but that was negated by a block in the back. We took over the ball inside our own 10-yard line, then we misplayed a kick off and ended up with poor field position. "I thought the good things were I think Lamarr [Woodley] played the best game since he's been at Michigan. I thought he was outstanding. I think he's having a great year. He's on his way to being the player that we expected him to be. I thought Alan Branch had his best game. David Harris was outstanding. Willis Barringer had a good game. We did some good things. I think our inability to stop them there at the end…we had a couple chances, and we just didn't get the play done. "I think the main thing is we were on the field too long. You can't expect the defense, in terms of a 30-minute half, to be on the field for almost 21 minutes. I expect much more than we gave."

On Mike Hart:

"I hope he plays. I think Mike has done everything. There's nobody wants to play more than he does. The truth is we're not going to know here until he gets out there. He will be at practice tomorrow. We'll just see where he is."

On if he is worried about the team's confidence:

"I think the measure of any team is how it responds when things don't go the way they want them to. Certainly we're just trying to do on a daily basis the things that will enable us to get better. We're a better football team than we were a month ago. We have a lot of young guys on this football team. Kevin Grady did some good things in there. Max Martin did some very good things in there. Mario Manningham made some big plays. He made two great plays without the football…great blocks that he delivered. We've got some young guys that are gaining with their experience, and we're just trying to improve on a daily basis. That's what the season's about."

On Gabe Watson:

"I thought Gabe played much better on Saturday."

On if Steve Breaston is pressing:

"I think we've got some guys that are pressing because they're not playing like they want to play on every occasion. I think sometimes that happens. I think Steve may be pressing a little bit because he's a guy that has such high expectations. But if you look at the film you'll see that Steve Breaston played extremely hard. He played extremely well without the football. I think when you're not playing your very best, sometimes you press. But I think in all those cases you have to persevere. You have to continue to fight and get yourself out of it."

On if Breaston has lost confidence:

"I think confidence is something that is an interesting part of anybody's makeup in any endeavor. Sometimes it's better than others. I think more than anything else, if you have the ability to do the things that you want to do, which Steve has, then you have to focus in and not let all of the pressure get to you because the more you press the worse it gets. But I think he knows his coaches and teammates have great confidence in him. I don't have any question that he'll come out of this."

On the possibility of Gutierrez taking over at QB:

"I don't think I can make this any more clear. I have great confidence in Chad Henne."

On the high-powered Michigan State attack:

"I think it's the nature of defensive football today. No matter who you are, on a weekly basis, you're going to have to [acclimate] yourself to a new scheme. If you compare the two offenses that we faced last week and the one we'll face this week, they're about as different as you can be. Both of them are based on being able to run the football, but that's really the end of it. They are different. It's very difficult because the formations are different, the type of running plays you're going to see are much different, and of course this week you've got a guy that can really throw it. You've got guys that can catch it, you've got outstanding backs in the backfield, and a big, strong, powerful offensive line.I don't think we're going to play a better offensive football team this year. I think their defense is a defense that has a very good scheme. They're big, strong, powerful guys in the front and at linebacker. Yeah, they're a great challenge."

On if Chad Henne is pressing:

"No, I don't think he's pressing. I think he's doing a lot of good things. I think there are plays that he made in there that are excellent plays. He made some great throws. When a crossing receiver is delayed, either he gets jammed by a linebacker or he gets hung up in there, then the timing is disrupted. I'm not saying he's throwing the football right now as well as he's capable of, because he isn't. But I think there are some things that we can do to help him from a mechanical standpoint. But I don't think he's the problem. I think he's part of the problem. We're all part of the problem. I'm part of the problem."

On the status of Jeremy Van Alstyne and Mike Kolodziej:

"I don't expect either one of them back this week. I want to make this clear. Jeremy Van Alstyne…he has fought a hamstring injury all fall. It had nothing to do with his effort. That wasn't part of his deal. Mike Kolodziej…tests are being taken, and we just have to wait and hope that things will work out so he can come back."

On if Mike Hart is the spark that is missing from the offense:

"Mike Hart is the complete football player. If you believe it's important to play the game from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, with all of your heart, mind, and soul…that's what Mike Hart is. He's a great football player."

On if he considers Michigan the underdog vs MSU:

"I know this…I don't ever in my life remember going into any game feeling like I was an underdog. I certainly have never experienced that at Michigan."

On if Mike Hart could have played vs. Wisconsin:

"No. He could have willed himself to play. There's more than one game, and with the injury that he has…it's one of those things… Massaquoi is playing with a screw in his bone. Rueben Riley is playing with casts on both thumbs. There are some injuries you can play with and play relatively effectively if you can endure the discomfort that comes with it. There are other types of injuries where if you play, you make them worse. The key is to make sure that Mike is ready when he comes back."

On why Garrett Rivas kicked off once versus Wisconsin:

"When you kick the football off, the goal is to get the ball between the hash marks and the sideline. We didn't do that. Garrett has really improved his kick offs, but then he kicked the ball in the middle of the field, which didn't make Coach DeBord very happy. The thing about Ross [Ryan] is he gets the ball high. If you can get it high and into that corner, then you get the best chance to give your coverage people time to get down there and pin them in there. But we didn't do a good job there."

On if he has thought about using someone other than Breaston on returns:

"We've got a lot of guys we've worked at return. Steve has done a good job on the returns. He hasn't had a lot of help there. A week ago he had a big return where he had some help. But in terms of the kickoffs, when you're playing a guy with Steve's ability, that motivates the other team too. You have to give them credit. They've done some good things. As far as what he has done in the return game, he's done fine. He made a mistake there, which he'll learn from."

On if he has been surprised by Manningham's progress:

"No, I really expected him to go fast because it was very obvious from the first practice. During the summertime,when he was here, our players were all talking about what he could do. I saw him play basketball as a senior in high school. I saw the film. What he's done and what he will do…I don't think any of it will surprise me. I didn't expect Adrian Arrington to get hurt. Certainly [Mario's] opportunities have increased because of injuries. He's done a wonderful job with those."

To view Coach Carr's comments in their entirety, click here.

The Michigan Insider Top Stories