Q&A: Ron English

Defensive coordinator Ron English was one of many coaches available to the media at the teams annual media last last Monday. What did Ron English have to say about his Michigan defense as the team moves forward into 2007 with four of the key cogs missing from last year? What do Maize and Blue faithful from coast-to-coast have to look forward to in 2007?

In his second season as the defensive coordinator for the Wolverines, Ron English will see hightened expectations on a team that enters the season with a No. 5 national ranking. At Media Day 2007, English was available to answer some of the media's questions about what to expect in 2007.

On all the hype being about the offense and the thought that they could be ahead of the defense at this early stage...

In the end talk is just talk and we'll see when we've got them tired, beat up and sore. I think any type of motivation is always good. If that motivates them, good.

On the pressure of improving the defense after the final two games of 2006...

Where you call it pressure, I would say it as we all have pride here. Everybody wants to be good here. We want to live up the standards that we set for ourselves. It's more of a self-imposed, if you want to use that word, pressure.

On Shawn Crable...

I think that when you become a senior here at Michigan, what happens is there is pressure to be a leader. There is going to be pressure to do things right and the pressure to perform. I think it remains to be seen if he can handle that pressure, and I'm not just saying that because of Shawn. I said the same thing about LaMarr last year so we'll see what happens.

On whether he'll do anything different this year...

I just think that I've grown and gotten better. Hopefully that'll be evident during the season. It's just more experience and hopefully I'll be able to anticipate things better than last year. I think there's more familiarity with the staff and I think it's an outstanding staff. I feel comfortable with them and there are no concerns there which means that I can turn my attention to the players instead of the position coaches.

Are you excited about the challenge you'll be facing this season?

I think it's going to be fun, and I'm certainly excited. We've got a lot of talent. If we're as good as I think we are coaching wise, and I do think we're good, then we'll be good.

How much do you focus on the first 11 compared the last 2 when looking at last season?

Well, I think that when you have a failure you need to look at that separately. I think we've done that, but I don't see the first 11 and the last two as that way. We take each game and we'll break them down separately and that's when we dealt with those last two. I do think there are things we can learn from those games.

What do you know about the defense now that you didn't know before spring football?

I think I know a lot more about the players. In the spring, there were a lot of players that I didn't know about. I think that the advantage that I had going into last season is that I've been here with the Woodley's and the Branch's and the Hall's and all those guys for all four years. Some of these guys have been at Michigan for just one year, two years or maybe three years, so they haven't been under fire and been under pressure so I don't know them as well. I'm starting to learn them better though.

Does it help the defense to practice against this offense everyday?

I think when you play against great players you're going to get better. It's one of the things that I'm looking forward to and one of the things that I'm counting on. Everybody's competitive here from the coaches to the players to the equipment people to the media guys. We're all competitive here.

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