As is the case every year, the Michigan football team went through its first full spring practice session in helmets and shorts inside Oosterbaan Fieldhouse Saturday. The non-contact session focused mainly on teaching and technique, thus giving outside observers (i.e. the media) a glimpse at the preparation that the players and coaches go through on a daily basis.
Chad Henne sets to pass as Coach Debord looks on
The junior-to-be was very crisp throughout morning, showing pin-point accuracy on both short and long throws. His best ball off the day was a beautiful a tear-drop pass on a twenty-yard out over the out-stretched arms of two defenders to Mario Manningham. With Henne's effectiveness, it should come as no surprise that the receivers looked very good as well. The aforementioned pass play to Manningham was only marginally better than one that was thrown to Steve Breaston. The Pittsburgh native got deep on the defense before catching a perfect over-the shoulder bomb for an easy score. Adrian Arrington showed very good hands, as did tight end Mike Massey who caught and ran with the ball like his lighter pass-catching brethren. Many of the defensive veterans exhibited the same efficiency. After having been out for a full year, safety Ryan Mundy seemed like he hadn't missed a beat. He appeared to make every read and check correctly during our observation.
Some of the younger players struggled with their techniques a little bit more than their older teammates, but practices like the one on Saturday are very effective at addressing some of those issues according to Coach Carr.
Coach Steve Szabo instructs the linebackers
"I think the advantage of these practices without pads is teaching," Carr said. "You can take a player, and show him, and repeat it, and he's much better prepared. So on Tuesday when the pads are on and you're doing the same things but it's a contact drill, he's better prepared, because he's been taught in a much slower methodical way."
The benefits of that one-on-one attention began to manifest themselves even on Saturday. Redshirt freshman quarterback Jason Forcier is the leading candidate for the crucial responsibility of being the team's back-up QB this year. Much of QB coach Scott Loeffler's day was spent correcting some of his young pupils incorrect tendencies. To Forcier's credit he didn't hang his head and learned from the tutelage. He seemed to get better as the day progressed.
There were a number of others that showed similar improvement. For full position by position recaps of player performances, be sure to click the links at the bottom of this story.
Recruits in Attendance
Ronald Johnson DB/RB Muskegon
Cameron Joplin TE/DL/OL Ann Arbor Pioneer at least 6'5...well built. Big Ten kid IMO.
Vince Helmuth RB/DL Saline. Michigan commitment
Cedric Everson DB/WR Detroit Mumford
Ryan Wheat OL/DL Flint Carman-Ainsworth
Mike VanDerMeulen DL/OL Marshall
Eric Haislah. CB Cleveland Glenville
Post practice Audio
To hear Lloyd Carr's post-practice comments now, click .
To download for later, click here.
Stay tuned for GoBlueWolverine's photo features
on Michigan's opening spring practice session.