Mark Ortmann: "First I'd like to start off with a few personal things. This year in camp a few of us had class – just to support what Coach Rod and his program is doing. A few of us did have class and they did change the schedule practice around to fit our class schedule. Also, he mentioned the church aspect. A few of us started going to church with (Mike) Barwis and his staff on Sundays and it grew to be quite an experience and the numbers grew each week and at one point, we almost filled up a third of the church. So the family atmosphere is there. Coach Rod and his staff is in full support of everything we do on and off the field."
"Just real quick – these new allegations that have come out, I know I can guarantee you that they will not affect the team this week in preparation for Western (Michigan). They're a great team and we know we can't go in there with a light mindset of any means. That's all I have to say personally."
Question: Mark what church do you attend with Coach Barwis?
Mark Ortmann: "There is a church out in Saline called Keystone that we attend."
Question: What was yesterday like for you?
Mark Ortmann: "What aspect?"
Question: Everything; what was going through your head?
Mark Ortmann: "Honestly, I didn't realize how big of a problem it was, and I still don't think it is even seeing Coach Rod and his staff's reaction to it. I know what we do is honest and we all work hard. I wouldn't say a laughing manner, but almost because I don't see the big aspect of it I guess. From my understanding, we follow the rules and like you said, on Saturdays and Sundays, I know Saturday for sure the entire offensive line and defensive line was there at 11 o'clock getting extra work there. To the people who are questioning that we are working hard that we're not working hard. I can tell you that that is not true at all. We've all put our time in. We're all embarrassed by how last year went and we're going to go out there and give it everything we have to make sure that that doesn't happen again."
Question: Rich has talked about using three quarterbacks on Saturday; how will that affect the an offense and as an offensive lineman what kind of things do you have to prepare for to when a Tate (Forcier) comes in, when Denard (Robinson) comes in or when Nick (Sheridan) comes in?
Mark Ortmann: "I don't think it will change much. We've got to practice with all three of them running with the ones. I think Coach Rod mentioned they all bring a different aspect to the game, which is nice. I don't think that it will change much."
Question: Would you prefer at this point to have one starter that you know going into the week and does it bother you that you have three different guys?
Mark Ortmann: "I don't think it bothers anyone. I think it is nice knowing that we have three options back there and they all bring something different to the table. I think that it is a good thing."
Question: Do they all have different packages that they learned or is the offense they run pretty similar?
Mark Ortmann: "The offense is pretty similar. Each of them has their own specialty and you'll see certain plays called with each quarterback while their in. But for the most part, we run the offense that Coach Rod calls."
Question: We haven't seen the freshman in live game situations; can you just talk about their strengths, weaknesses, what they bring to the table.
Mark Ortmann: "Yeah, Tate and Denard are very quick athletes and bring an aspect that we didn't have last year. The option of being able to run the ball down the field, that's nice to have. Both of them have great leadership qualities and I think that'll help them with their lack of game experience."
Question: You mentioned the quarterbacks running the ball; how much better do you think that the overall rushing attack will be this year?
Mark Ortmann: "With the spread option, each play there is three possible, maybe even more people that could get the ball. With the speed that we have now, it is a pretty deadly attack."
Question: Western Michigan has a lot of players that probably wish they were here; do you guys think about that at all that you're probably going to get their best shot, not that you wouldn't anyways the first game.
Mark Ortmann: "Yeah. It's not something we talk about, but I think everyone knows that, especially the players on our team from Michigan, they really know what it's like to grow up in the State of Michigan and want to go to UofM. I think they all know that we'll be getting their best shot on Saturday."
Question: Just to follow-up on one thing you said earlier; it's not that you're laughing at the obvious, but what do you mean by that exactly?
Mark Ortmann: : "I guess personally and talking to the other players on the team, we don't fully understand the allegations. They're saying we're working too much, and personally I don't think we're working hard enough. We can always improve. It's not necessarily a laughing manner because I know how serious Coach Rod is taking these allegations, but from the player aspect I know what we do on and off the field and I see none of that as illegal."
Full Transcript: Mark Ortmann at the Podium
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