Loeffler Upholds Tradition of Quarterback U

Michigan Quarterback's coach Scot Loeffler discusses Chad Henne's maturation as the Wolverines signal caller, Henne's most significant improvement during the offseason, the adjustment process of Ryan Mallett, leadership, what it means to be a Michigan Man and much much more.

Q:  You've now coached both John Navarre and Chad Henne here at Michigan.  What are some of the comparisons between the two quarterbacks?

Loeffler:  "It’s a wonderful experience to coach and play quarterback here at Michigan.  They’re all smart and have tremendous work ethic.  They’re talented and they have a passion to win for Michigan.  When you have all those characteristics, you’re going to be a winner on and off the field.  I say this to everyone that I speak to.  These men that I work with, they’re going to be big businessmen, great lawyers and great doctors.  It’s been an honor and an absolute pleasure to work with these men."

Q:  What are some of the things you were taught that you bring into your philosophy when coaching these quarterbacks?

Loeffler:"I’ve had the great fortunate of being around a lot of great coaches here at Michigan.  Coach Campbell was the wide receivers coach when I was here at Michigan.  Whenever you’re around guys like Gary Moeller and Lloyd Carr, they’re going to teach you how to be a Michigan Man.  Being a Michigan Man is doing what’s right.  I thank God everyday for having the great opportunity to come to the University of Michigan to play football here and I’m absolutely honored to coach here."

Q:  Talk about what you’ve seen with Chad Henne over his career at Michigan

Loeffler:  "He’s grown over the last three years tremendously.  He was put in a position during his freshman year to start as a true freshman, and to do what he did that year was remarkable.  In year two, he found out what truly playing quarterback at Michigan is all about.  The expectations and the demands that we put on that young man were phenomenal.  The beautiful thing about coaching Chad Henne is that he never thinks he’s arrived.  He had an excellent season last year, but, he knows as well as any other quarterback that’s ever played here, that the expectation here is to win the championship.  He’s committed and performed and worked as hard as anyone I’ve ever seen here to try and form his legacy to go out as a champion."

Q:  Coach DeBord said he moves a lot better in the pocket now than he did last year.  Have you noticed that as well?

Loeffler:"To play quarterback here you have to be accurate and have a strong arm, but you also have to know how to move in the pocket and stay out of trouble.  I think Chad made a tremendous improvement between years two and three to have great body position.  When you have great body position you’re going to be accurate.  His accuracy improved immensely this season because of his improved body position.  We’re going to make an emphasis on continuing to be more accurate next season and to do that you need good footwork."

Q:  Talk about the unique challenges Ryan Mallett faced in making an adjustment to come to Michigan in the middle of the year?

Loeffler:  "There is no question about it that’s a challenging experience for a young man to walk out of high school and the next thing you know he’s in the environment with the expectations at Michigan.  He’s walking into a situation where all the freshmen aren’t here.  When he looks back at it, it’ll be one of the most beneficial things in his development as a quarterback.  He was able to begin learning the offense which truly takes anywhere between six to eight months to understand.  He’s ahead of the game.  When you look back at what Chad Henne did, it was unbelievable what he did because he didn’t get the advantage that Ryan has gotten with this first six or seven months in the program."

Q:  What were the things you saw in Ryan Mallett during the recruiting process that made you say, “Hey, we need this kid.”

Loeffler:"He has tremendous upside in terms up athletic ability and arm strength.  He’s 6-foot-7, 255-pounds and has the ability to get out of trouble… and his arm strength is phenomenal.  It’s one of the best arms we’ve seen here at Michigan.  He’s also accurate, but I think the biggest selling point was that he’s smart.  He reminds me of the Tom Brady’s, the Brian Griese’s, the John Navarre’s and the Chad Henne’s that we’ve had in the past.  When you’ve got a guy that’s smart, a guy that’s competitive, he’ll have a chance to succeed here at Michigan.  The wonderful thing that he gets to do everyday is play against a great defense everyday in practice.  We’re going to turn him into the best State Street quarterback that we can in practice and hopefully that translates well we get into Michigan Stadium."

Q:  Have you noticed Chad Henne talking Ryan Mallett under his wing a little bit to help him through this process?

Loeffler:"Chad Henne has developed into one of the best leaders on our team.  He wants this team to win a championship.  He wants the tradition of Michigan to continue and the tradition of the Michigan quarterback position to continue.  He’s done a phenomenal job of taking Ryan Mallett under his wing.  It’s been a tradition here to watch guys like Tom Brady, Brian Griese, and John Navarre help each other.  It’s been a great experience to watch Chad, who’s been through the battles, to help the guy who doesn’t truly understand it yet, but he’ll get it.  Whoever will be the next quarterback at Michigan, part of the reason they’ll be successful is Chad Henne."

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