U-M's Mon. Presser: Coordinators, Key Players

Michigan's coordinators Terry Malone and Jim Herrmann, plus key Wolverine players Chad Henne, Jake Long, Dave Harris, Leon Hall, Pat Massey. WITH PHOTOS.

Offensive Coordinator Terry Malone, Chad Henne, Jake Long

Coach Malone, looking back on the season: "Bowl practice is a great opportunity to do that, and it's actually more helpful when the season is not as successful. As a coach it's much more critical then. We have looked back. If we had been able to run the ball better ... if we could go back and change one thing, it'd be that we'd have run ball better. When you run the ball it opens up the rest of the offense."

Coach Malone looking back at Michigan's red zone offense: "It's very important to be able to run the ball in the red zone. Even NFL teams have found it's hard to complete passes in the red zone. If you can open the ball it opens things up. If not, teams can suffocate you."

Coach Malone, more on looking back: "The other we've worked on is -- being able to finish a game. When you have a season with 3-4 losses like we did, you're not able to finish. We feel as if we've worked hard on this the past couple weeks, more than we ever have before actually. We have made improvements."

Coach Herrmann on looking back: "As a defense -- we have talked about finishing. We WANT to be on the field at the end of game, that's the way we want it. We want to be the group to close the game out. We want that challenge."

Coach Malone on Mike Hart: "Mike Hart is as healthy as he's been this season. It doesn't matter if starts -- he's gonna play, he'll play the money downs. We need him to play well. He's practice extremely well."

Chad Henne on Mike Hart: "Mike is back, he's healthy, and he's looking forward to a great game."

Chad Henne on the offensive line: "We've had the same five guys finally, they're coming together. It's definitely a boost for us."

Jake Long on the different offensive line combinations during the season: "We did have a lot of injuries, and so there was a lot of shuffling ... but in this last month, we got a strong group of guys together, and I feel that in this game the line is going to come together and play a great game."

Coach Malone on the O-line: "One thing we don't have on the line for this game is depth. We do have Mark Bihl and Adam Kraus at center, and one of them could slide to guard. And if a tackle gets hurt, Ruben Riley could move out there. But that's it -- you'd think Michigan would be three-deep at every position, but that's not true in this day and age."

Coach Malone on the team's injuries in 2005. "One of the things you do in two-a-days is decide who your best players are and decide what you are going to do to feature those guys. This season we had to re-do that almost every week."

Coach Malone on Steve Breaston: "He was not healthy to start the season. It was discouraging -- we thought he'd be 'the guy' this season. But he wasn't healthy. It had nothing to do with his effort."

Offensive coordinator Terry Malone on this team's leaders: "We thought going into the season that our three best leaders (on offense) were Chad Henne, Mike Hart and Jake Long -- and then we lost two of three. The losss of Jake effected everyone -- quarterbacks, running backs, coaches. He is more than just a great player -- he's a leader."

Coach Malone on Henne leading: "Henne is becoming more assertive. He's always had the respect of his teammates. But there's been a marked difference in his demeanor. He's decided to become a more vocal leader. Part of his development is to be responsible for all the guys on offense."

Coach Malone on Jason Avant: "He is extremely talented, he was a great basketball player in high school. He has a competitive fire, you can't get him out of practice. He's a great captain, a great example for all of us."

Chad Henne chimes in on Avant - "Jason never wants to be off field; wherever you place ball he will go get it."

Coach Malone on Jake Long's health - "We thought we lost Jake at the end of the OSU game. He was scheduled for surgery -- and it turned out he made practice every day."

On Nebraska:

Offensive coordinator Terry Malone on Nebraska's impressive sack numbers: "Our whole approach to this game on offense is to handle things up front first. To protect the quarterback is always a high priority in our offense -- if he's getting hit were not doing our job. We've done a lot of planning to keep Chad safe in the pocket."

Defensive Coordinator Herrmann, David Harris, Leon Hall

Coach Herrmann on the Nebraska quarterback, Zac Taylor: "When the year started, he was a new starter ... he's matured from game to game. The Nebraska team as a whole is still learning the pro style offense, and it got better and better as year went on. This is a group of individuals who've gotten better as season went on."

Coach Herrmann on whether Michigan has played against an offense similar to Nebraska's: "Their offense is very similar to what we do. The biggest thing we've been able to do to prepare is to practice against our own team the past few weeks."

Leon Hall

Pat Massey

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