Mathews Impressed With the Small Guys

Michigan junior wideout Greg Mathews on the potential impact the smaller slot receivers could have on the offense, the differences in Steve Threet and Nick Sheridan, the vertical passing game, and more.

Question:  Did you feel like a giant out there with all the (slot receivers)?

Greg Mathews:  "Yeah, it is awkward sometimes in the slot.  You look and you tell him to get off the ball, and you are like, ‘man, he is kind of small.'  It is fun to play with them because they so small and fast.  You just hold your block and he can just run right off of you.  You don't have to really kill him.  You just hold your block, he makes somebody miss and he can right off and score, so it is fun to play with them."

Question: Do you think that will benefit the team having a mix of bigger guys like you and Junior (Hemingway) and some of the other guys?

Greg Mathews:  "Yeah, I think it is definitely a nice mix.  You have big guys like us on the outside, so you can run bubble screens and stuff like that.  We get a block and let those little guys run around; get the ball in their hands in space and let people miss.  So it is definitely a good mix."

Question:  From what you have seen so far, is there going to be any vertical passing game?

Greg Mathews:  "Yeah there is definitely going to be a vertical passing especially with the pace of our offense.  DBs not giving signals… sometimes we go no-huddle stuff; so they're not getting a signal, they're tired, so we just run right by them and be wide open.  So there will definitely be a vertical passing game."

Question:  How are (Steven) Threet and (Nick) Sheridan different in throwing the ball?

Greg Mathews:  "They are not much different.  Threet has more of a side arm release and Sheridan is more over the top.  You just have to know who you are going with.  You might have to look for the ball coming out at a different angle.  That is pretty much the only difference."

Question:  It sounds like there could be a bunch of guys playing quarterback. Is that tough for a receiver, getting used to three, four guys throwing it to you?

Greg Mathews:  "It can be sometimes.  One quarterback might be having a good day, another might be having another.  It can be tough sometimes but you just got to do what you got to do to make the quarterback look good no matter where he puts the ball, so that is my job."

Question:  People are saying that this team has to win with defense and that sort of thing.  Do you think that personally and do you think you are going to have to be better than what people expect?

Greg Mathews:  "Yeah I take personal, but then again, I know what this offense is capable of.  I know we can do. I really don't try to read in too much of what people say about our offense.  I know what we are capable of.  I know how hard we trained over the summer.  Other people write sometimes, like they don't see what you do behind closed doors and stuff like that.  They're just going off the people we lost and the people that the defense has coming back.  There are always some people that just step up that haven't played.  Like last year, a redshirt freshmen won the Biletnikoff and you wouldn't think a redshirt would win the Biletnikoff because he hasn't played.  You never know.  There are a lot of people on this team that I know will step up this season that haven't played."

Question:  Do you think you will be double teamed much as the leading receiver coming back?

Greg Mathews:  "I am not sure.  I am sure that we will see a lot of man early, trying to stop the run, so we will probably see a lot of man early.  We are getting a lot of work in man in practice, so hopefully we will be prepared.  As the season goes on, hopefully we can make them play cover-2, cover-3 so that we can run the ball some more.  I don't believe I will be double teamed.  I would like to be double team so that will free up my other teammates so that they can put up some numbers as far as catches and stuff, but I am not sure."

Question:  You mention young guys that might step up.  Have you seen a couple that have demonstrated things in practice that makes you think that he might be the guy?

Greg Mathews:  "Yeah, we have Nick Sheridan and Steven Threet; both stepped up.  They have been doing pretty good in practice.  Freshman running back Michael Shaw, he has been doing pretty good.  We got the pads on now, so we can see what those guys can do.  He is definitely not afraid to hit.  He had some pretty good blocks (earlier in the week).  He runs hard.  Terrence (Robinson) and Martavious (Odoms), they have been doing a good job in slot.  Our tight ends have been doing a good job too.  Carson Butler has been doing good, he has been helping Martell (Webb) and the other tight ends.  We got a lot of people step up and make plays.  The O-line… a lot of people on the offensive line have stepped up too."

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