GBW Exclusive: QB Coach Rod Smith Speaks

New-U-M's new-QB Coach Rod Smith spoke to GBW's Sam Webb about the new-Offense, the new-Personnel, the new-Everything.

Sam Webb: From practice one all the way to the end, how much progress did you see them make?

Rod Smith: "Oh, I think they have definitely made progress and they have been eager to learn. It is a new system, so it is a little bit different than what they did before and we are probably asking them to do things that they have never did before or haven't in a while. It is a little bit of an adjustment for them, but I have been pleased with the way they have worked. I have been pleased with the way they try to learn and just constantly keep working on the techniques, fundamentals, that we are trying to get over to them."

Sam Webb: That clearly some of misconceptions about the offense. One of those that I think was addressed in the spring was that you guys don't go deep. You guys challenged down the field time and time and time again in scrimmages. Is that something that people commonly have a misconception about with this offense?

Rod Smith: "I think it all goes back to what you have with your team and you play to your team's strengths. You play to their best ability. If you don't have great receivers, you are definitely not going to throw the ball down the field a lot. If you have good receivers that are going to make plays for you, you are going to give those guys chances. We think that we got good receivers here. We think we've got good athletes. There is going to be things that people say we don't do this or we don't do that that you may see this year. We are not going to give out all of the secrets, but obviously we are working on things to fit our team and that is the great part about our system is that we can mold our offense around the personnel that we have in order for us to be successful offensively."

Sam Webb: Speaking of personnel, you've get a freshman QB coming in (Justin Feagin). I am curious to what your philosophy is on bringing a new guy in. Do you bring him along slowly or do you throw him out there and say, ‘look son, this is the base package… we are going to see what you can do.'

Rod Smith: "Well you got to be careful with the quarterback position a little bit more than the rest of the positions, because he has got so much more on his plate, but at the same time, they understand that that is the responsibility that they are going to take over. When we recruit not just quarterbacks, but all kids, we recruit for them to come in and compete and if they can play at an early age and they are better or they right there to same level as the guys here then we will give them a shot obviously, because if we are recruiting them, we think they can win championships. But the quarterback position sometimes it takes a little bit more development a little bit more transition sort of speak from high school to college because there is so much on his plate and on what we do."

Sam Webb: I asked Gibby (Tony Gibson) this question the other day, you and Tony, you guys have been with Rich (Rodriguez), what would you say talking about misconceptions, what would you say is the biggest misconception about Rich Rodriguez?

Rod Smith: "The biggest misconception is what I heard this year about the lack of family values. That is the first I have every heard of that, but that is no closer to the truth than anything. Because Coach Rod taught us as former players and as coworkers now that family values are the most important thing. Not with just our own personal family, but also the family here and it all becomes basically one and that is the way were taught and we were molded. So that is probably the biggest misconception. I would have to say that was a first for me this year… but sometimes it is easy to slide out the backdoor than it is to walk out the front, if you know what I am saying."

Sam Webb: We talk about misconceptions about Rich, just being in the program the six months that you guys have been here now, whether it is football or off the field, anything that has surprised you thus far?

Rod Smith: "I think what surprised me is the overall support, the overall, no matter where you go, you run into Michigan people. You knew about, you heard about it as an outsider sort of speak, because as in West Virginia where I come from, you hear about the tradition when you are growing up you see it, but I think once you are in it, once you live it and you are actually part of it on a day to day basis and you go out recruiting and you see this guy is from Michigan, this is guy is a Michigan Alum, that is impressive is that the overall umbrella that covers this University is very impressive."

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