Part 3 Question: Have you seen through all of Rich's drama, have you ever seen him look worn out by it or a little overwhelmed?
Troy Woolfolk: "That is one thing that I have a tremendous respect for him because he is our leader and if he were to seem distracted or worn out or it seemed like the job was getting to him, then it has a trickle down affect to all the athletes. I think he has done a great job of keeping broad chest and shake it all off, which allows us to not be distracted by it and just focus on football."
Question: Are you ready for next weekend to be over?
Troy Woolfolk: "I just would rather camp start right now. I love camp because it is all football. There are no outside distractions. The only people we see are other football players. Like I said, football runs through our brain."
Question: When you go back to Texas, I know you are only home for a few days but do you hear stuff; like what are you guys doing stuff up there?
Troy Woolfolk: "Yeah people tend to make jokes and talking about breaking rules and trying to cheat, but they just haters and really don't know what is going on. It is all unintentional, we did not actually know what we were doing. I think we just got to do a better job of paying attention to details, not only talking about football but coaches as well. Details of what we can and cannot do."
Question: Did you hear it a lot when you were home?
Troy Woolfolk: "Not too much, just a couple of my friends who pay attention to Michigan football and just jokingly saying stuff like that."
Question: Everywhere you look and everywhere you listen I would think, you all hear that your coach is on the hot seat and stuff. What do you all talk about when you all talk about that kind of stuff or do you even bring it up?
Troy Woolfolk: "We try not to concern ourselves with that. That's coach's business, we just out here to play football. We not in the whole politics of football. He's done a great job of that. He has not shown any signs of weakness, which is really important because it might lead us to weakness and not allow me to miss a little more and I want to be in all in for him. For him showing that he is not affected by that and he doesn't need the players to think about that, it allows us to focus on football and be excited about the season coming up."
Question: Do you all feel that you are a little bit on the hot seat? Michigan football has to be better than it has been.
Troy Woolfolk: "Every year there are people on the hot seat because they have such expectations to uphold and Michigan is one of the most winningest programs. I think in the past, when you lose three games, it was a disappointing season. Regardless whether you are number one in the nation, you are always on the hot seat regardless of who you are."
Question: What gives you that sense that you are going to be better this year?
Troy Woolfolk: "I feel that we got more team unity within us. We have a lot of young people who are incorporated with the older players here. There is no separation in this team, offense or defense. I just think that with the camaraderie that we have, it allows us all to go out there and try to win some games."
Question: Is there something about making a defensive scheme switch, because you guys have changed defensive coordinator a couple of times in the last few years and now you guys are keeping the same coordinator but are changing the scheme a bit. Is that something that it is too much to get rid of all the old stuff?
Troy Woolfolk: "Actually this is kind of expected to me, because every year I've been here we've had a new defensive scheme. For me, it is a yearly change in the defense. Going out there I suspected and I actually got the skills of being able to switch defense to defense. I do not know as for me as much as the other players. I do not think it is going to be that hard of a chance to accomplish."
Question: Any theories on why Obi Ezeh or Jonas Mouton did not have the year that you thought they might or they thought they might?
Troy Woolfolk: "It could be a combination of new defense, really new coach. I think this year they got it down and I can't wait to see them play."
Question: During the workouts over the summer was there like a rallying cry among the players, kind of a motto or the way you guys ended every day?
Troy Woolfolk: "Yeah our new motto and thing this year is like the team. You got to be in ‘All in the for the team' because at the end of the day it is just us. Regardless if we have a bad season, which in the past we had a bad season and the fans kind of left us a little bit, which made us realize it is just us out there and you just got to do good for the team. We're not really having individual goals out there, it is team goals out there."
Question: Do you think too many people were focusing on individual goals last year?
Troy Woolfolk: "I do not want to say that, but I think there is more of an emphasis on it before."
Question: Does that come from you guys or did that come from Rich?
Troy Woolfolk: "I think it is a trickle down effect from Rich from talking about the team and the players started internalize it and you could see it in our emotions for the team."
Question: You talked about having standards for playing in seven on sevens. You as one of the leaders and you are one of the guys policing that. Do you think the team and the players in generally met what you wanted or were you disappointed in the response?
Troy Woolfolk: "Of course you have a couple of people out there, but for the most part, the numbers surprised me every day. We always had a nice little crowd out there and guys were able to mix in and out for reps. I think as a team we met our quota."
Question: How did it compare to previous years?
Troy Woolfolk: "I was actually thinking about that the other day and I think it was about the same. I think in the past it was…the only problem is that before it was just a given that you got to come out and people already knew that nothing was mandatory but now that we got in trouble, everybody, the coaches are trying so hard that this is not mandatory, you don't have to do it. I think it is actually encouraging, okay, it was already known that it wasn't mandatory but the fact that they were stressing it all the time was causing younger players, okay I don't have to come out here. I'm not going to be in trouble, which would have a negative effect on the outcome of the people actually coming out for practice."
Question: Do you kind of stress that you still want them to come out?
Troy Woolfolk: "Yeah that is where senior leadership plays in and that's why we have the rules to try and enforce. If you are late for anything, we make you run a lap. If you don't come out and when you finally do come out, you're going to get lesser reps than someone who came out before."
Question: Who made up the system?
Troy Woolfolk: "Just the seniors, the senior leadership. We actually had a meeting and talked about it."
Question: When was that? It was before seven on sevens started?
Troy Woolfolk: "It was before we started summer workout, we all met. We still meet about once every three weeks."
Question: All like 12 or 15 of you?
Troy Woolfolk: "Yeah."
Question: Where can you guys meet? In the building?
Troy Woolfolk: "Yeah inside the building."
Question: What is different about this year from last year?
Troy Woolfolk: "I think we have a sense of ‘we can' versus ‘we can try'."
Question: You talked a little bit about the senior leadership and how you guys were really encouraging the guys to come to the workouts and stuff like that. Do you think that really encourages the attitude among the seniors to take ownership of the team sort of?
Troy Woolfolk: "Yeah we sort of split up the senior leadership with different positions. I feel like I covered the DBs and stuff. We basically had everybody at each position but receiver and so we got a tight end to compensate for that. I think it puts more emphasis on the fact that if we are going to be good this year, we have to be aligned and do things right and to encourage that in a way that the coaches cannot do that because they are not always going to be there, like off the field they're not going to be there."
Question: Do you think that might be something that hurts the wide receivers. They lost Laterryal Savoy and Greg Mathews last year and they don't have that senior leadership, is that something that might hurt them or do you think that is not?
Troy Woolfolk: "I actually like that because it causes some of the young people to come up and try to fill those shoes and the two people that I've seen trying to do that is Roy Roundtree and Martavious Odoms. The way they have been out there practicing, out there taking extra reps, I think they are going to be the senior leadership for us regardless of the young age."
Question: Talk about some of the other guys that have caught your eye on seven on seven drills?
Troy Woolfolk: "I would have to say would be Terrence Robinson, he has looked real good out there. I remember his freshman year, when he first got here, he seemed really quick. Him and Martavious Odoms were actually competing for the job. Then he tore his PCL/MCL and when he came back he just wasn't the same. I feel like he has been working hard and this year might be a breakout season for him."
Question: What does Devin bring that is different than the other guys. Denard has the reputation of being the very fast guy, Tate is the accurate passer, is Devin in between or is there a different thing that he brings?
Troy Woolfolk: "I think he is a great combination of both of them but in lesser versions. Like he is a good runner, but he is not as good a runner as Denard. He is a good passer but he is not as good a passer as Tate. I think he is like a great sponge of both of them. If we could have one quarterback in a couple of years, I guess it would be him. I'm just joking, don't quote me on that (laughter)."
Question: Is Butch Woolfolk going to go down as Troy's father in the end….?
Troy Woolfolk: "Hopefully because I've been here going on four years and I'm still known as Butch's son. Hopefully, I can get rid of that reputation and make him know as Troy's father."
Question: What I have heard about the workouts is that Tate has not necessarily as much as Denard. Do you think that is contributing at all about who's the team perception of who the quarterback is?
Troy Woolfolk: "Yeah because I think all the quarterbacks should be out there playing for the team and Denard has been out there and (mumbled) and Tate he tries to come out, but he is not as consistent as Denard. I think that has just a work ethic affect in allowing Denard to kind of in the horse race jump a little bit ahead of Tate and I think Tate is going to have to do a lot of work to catch back up to Denard and catch him. It is a horse race and I can't wait to see who is going to be the starting quarterback."
Question: You implied that you didn't understand a lot of things about your position when you got here and maybe you're more honest than most guys, but you are a son of a football players and it would seem that some of that stuff would come naturally, but it didn't or are you kind of exaggerating some of that?
Troy Woolfolk: "Actually my dad, he is a really humble guy. I didn't know how good he was. I didn't even know that he was a professional football player and I started to get older and once I came here that's where I was really eye opened to how good he was because he doesn't have any football tape. He doesn't brag about his stuff. He didn't really talk about it. I always knew he was. Another thing he was a running back and I am a cornerback, those are two different positions and when I was younger, I never thought that I would be playing football in college. My thing was track. I was a track guy. I loved running track and I actually tried to quit football going into high school but my dad convinced me to play for one more years and then I started getting scholarships. Then I was like okay, I'm going to use this football scholarship to get me to college and ride the bench the whole time and run track and have fun. Then I started getting good at football and that is where I started picking up the game more easily and it started becoming more fun. I wasn't exaggerating at all. I did not know nothing about football when I got here. I actually had one of the worst coaches of all time. By the time I got here, cover-2, what? I am just playing, run around. I think I kind of gained a lot of knowledge of the game now."
Question: Are you still running track at Michigan? I know you did a couple of years ago.
Troy Woolfolk: "Yeah I did. I took last year off for other reasons. I'm going to try and come back next year right before the draft."
Question: You said that you had one of the worst coaches?
Troy Woolfolk: "One of the worst football teaching coaches. He was a good guy. I will give him that."
Question: That was in high school?
Troy Woolfolk: "Yeah. I came here and it was like learning a different language. I did not know anything before I got here. I felt like I was a step back and it is what hurt me my first two years because I was just a sponge that year. I was just taking so much in. I did not realize how much I did not know of this game and that is what kind of held me back. The one who really helped me out was Stevie Brown. Stevie Brown knew everything. He didn't even play my position, but he still knew what I was doing. Even last year, sometimes I would forget the play and I would scream to Stevie and he would tell me what I had to do and what the play was. I'm going to be sad this year that I don't have Stevie here with me and I'll have to do it on my own."
Question: You're going to be that guy.
Troy Woolfolk: "Yeah. It is funny though, even in seven on sevens, sometimes people don't even know what they are doing and they come to me. It is, that's funny, I used to be that guy. I see how annoying it is, every play. Troy, Troy, what do I got to do. I remember where I came from so I do not get annoyed."
Question: Call Stevie and apologize.
Troy Woolfolk: "Sorry Stevie, I didn't mean to be that annoying to you."
Question: Were the coaches surprised that you didn't know some of the things?
Troy Woolfolk: "Yeah. It is actually funny, I feel like I actually chased a coach out of here because of my lack of knowledge almost caused him to get an aneurysm. It was Coach Bedford. He was phenomenal. He taught me so much, but I was just so far behind everybody else it was ridiculous. He just tried to work with me because he saw the ability in me. One of the things that I could not get was in motion and in man. I have to run with the receiver. I would always be over here in la-la-land (laughter) and he used to always say that he would never cut and he never cut nobody, but except for when I get on the field, he cuts them and everything. He called me a different type of cat. That's what he used to always say. Troy, you a different type of cat, boy (laughter). That was funny. I miss him. I'd like him to see me now that I actually got a defense down. He probably wouldn't even believe it."
Question: You're a very intelligent, articulate guy, did you not put the time into it that you needed to?
Troy Woolfolk: "I think I just did not understand. I didn't understand like football is basically a class. You have to study the game. The only way you get better is by repetition and mental reps and frequency reps. I was just so loss about the game. I didn't understand that you had to watch film. I never watched film. I used to go to sleep whenever we watched film or be texting on the phone to my friend that I'm about how I was about to go to sleep watching film (laughter). I was so lost in the game."
Question: When did the light bulb go off and you realized that I got to be a little bit more serious about this?
Troy Woolfolk: "Actually Stevie started talking to me because he got tired of me asking for help and he was like Troy you got to start doing this and doing this and what I can and cannot do. Just looking at him and how much he paid attention to the game, I saw him excelling at the game and I see that I was not going anywhere. So I said, okay let me try something different. I started watching film and the first time it clicked and I saw a play that was about to happen that I watched on film and I was able to get the interception. So I saw that I could actually reap benefits from staying up in film session."
Question: What do you think Bedford would say if he knew other players were now coming to you for information?
Troy Woolfolk: "We in trouble (laughter). In his eyes, I am the last guy that you should come to for information."
Question: Where is he now?
Troy Woolfolk: "He is actually at Florida (actually Louisville). It was right after we beat them in the Capital Bowl One bowl game, they saw that they liked his coaching style and asked for a job after the game and he went there."
Question: If he can coach Woolfolk, he can coach anybody.
Troy Woolfolk: "Yeah basically. If you all can do something with this guy, you can do anything."
Question: How much did your dad talk about Ohio State versus Michigan when you were growing up? How much did you hear about that?
Troy Woolfolk: "Actually, we never really talked much football when I was growing up. He left it up to me. He was the type of father who sat back and make my own decisions. So we never really started talking football until I actually got into college and I would spark the conversation. He allowed me to do anything I wanted to and he is not the enforcing type of father. I didn't really know about the rivalry until I got here and I didn't really care about the rivalry until it became personal. I wouldn't say I do not like them…okay I would say that I don't like them, but it wasn't until we started to play them that is when he started (mumbled) for me and I understand the great hatred that Michigan has for Ohio State and Ohio State has for Michigan."
Question: Did you see the passion in him when that rolled around once you got into college?
Troy Woolfolk: "Yeah it is funny because during that week, he asked me how the team felt. Every other day he would text me and check up on me, are you all feeling good, did anybody get hurt, do you understand the defense. I lied and said yeah, when I really didn't (laughter). I think it is like flashbacks from when he was playing. Regardless, if you leave here as alumni or if you are currently playing, you just have the (mumble) against Ohio State."
Question: Now if you left without a win against Ohio State, would that be harder on your or your dad?
Troy Woolfolk: "I think it would probably be harder on him. Actually it would be harder on me, because I think after my freshman year, it became like I said I got turned on the true meaning of the rivalry. I just know that we haven't beat them in six years and it would be such a great sense of accomplishment to finally beat them, to be that team to finally knock them down and get back to the old Michigan. I would love to be a part of that. In my mind that would compensate for the lack of wins that we had because we had a sense of accomplishment that even the old Michigan couldn't do it, when we had Mike Hart and Jake Long. I just think that would be a way of internalizing us getting better."
Question: How long would you say, you called it la-la-land where you weren't taking things as seriously until things started to click and you started taking things more serious?
Troy Woolfolk: "I think it took me two years. At the end of my sophomore year, that's when I started to likeu…I wasn't accustomed to being on the bench."
Question: How bad of a feeling is it to play a position to play the defensive back and not feel like you are prepared. It means it is the worst position in the world to feel that way.
Troy Woolfolk: "Actually I think cornerback is the hardest position because you are trying to emulate what the offense is doing and trying to stay with that receiver. Everybody on the offense knows that they are doing and the receiver knows where he has got to go, but I do not know and I still have got to have quicker reactions to him to where he is going. One of the things that helps balance out that unbalanced level is to try and look at film and try to get a lead on what he is doing and I never looked at film. I feel like I had double step back to cause me to get beat on plays in practice and I never got in the game."
Question: Talk about the different quarterbacks in the league as the maybe the most difficult to defend from your position?
Troy Woolfolk: "I would say one of the most difficult to defend at my position is Terrelle Pryor because of the type of quarterback that he is. He is more of a scrambling quarterback and once he starts to scramble that's when he becomes backyard football and all the routes that the receivers initially start to run just get obliterated and they just start to scramble around and run around to try and get open and that is kind of hard for him to do. You can't look at film to try and predict a scramble that somebody is trying do. I think because of the type of quarterback he is, makes it harder for a cornerback to try and lock up on a receiver."
Question: What about at receiver?
Troy Woolfolk: "Who is one of the hardest receivers to guard?"
Troy Woolfolk: "I would say the receiver from Notre Dame, actually both of them. They are both phenomenal receivers. I feel bad that one of them had a broken collarbone and he couldn't finish the year after he had a great year. I think that receiver was having the best year."
Transcript: Troy Woolfolk, Part 3
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