Question: For you that experience that you have on the offensive line; how much do you feel that it has benefited you to this point going into your senior year?
Steve Schilling: "I don't see how it could be anything other than a benefit, having so much experience and being able to learn so many different things over the last three years that I can use this year to make myself the best player I can be and the offensive line the best it can be. I think it has been a blessing to having been able to play for three years going on my fourth and I'm looking forward to it."
Question: I know you have kind of a sour taste in your mouth when you have a season that you're not able to go to a bowl. Was it that much more disappointing when you consider the start that you guys did have last season and just to see all the games at the end of the year where you ended up losing?
Steve Schilling: "Absolutely. When you're starting off so well, it seems like the sky is the limit almost. You start off four and oh , you have a big win like we had against Notre Dame and a comeback win against Indiana at the end. It seems like we can do this year, it could be our year and then one or two things goes wrong and we kind of let it get to a snowball affect last year that we can't have happen. We talked about that as seniors and we talked about that with the coaches that when something goes wrong, we need to stop it and forget about it and move on."
Question: Just as a player, how do you deal with all the scrutiny that you hear about with regards to your coach?
Steve Schilling: "I don't think we worry about it too much. We know our coach better than probably 99% of the people scrutinizing him. We know he works hard. We know he cares about us as football players and as individuals and we support him. We're all in for our coach. As seniors, we try to preach that to the younger guys and have the whole team behind the coaches and believe in what they are doing and trust them."
Question: For you personally, how much have you enjoyed playing for Coach Rodriguez?
Steve Schilling: "A lot. Got to play for Coach Carr, a Michigan legend and coaching legend, which was great. I got to send him off the right way and I got to play for another great coach in Coach Rodriguez, who is obviously still young and is going to have a great career and probably be remembered as one of the best coaches when he is done too. Definitely been a blessing for me to be able to play for both of those guys."
Question: What would it mean for you to play in a bowl game to end your career after missing out one the last couple of years?
Steve Schilling: "It would mean everything. Our goal every year is to win the Big Ten and get back to the Rose Bowl. My redshirt year, we were in the Rose Bowl and lost to USC when I wasn't playing. I couldn't even suit up. I think it would be really nice for us seniors, especially our fifth year guys to get to go back there our last year and do it right."
Question: On the line speaking of new guys, you got two new ones, you got Patrick Omameh, who played I think three games last year and Taylor Lewan looks like he is going to break in as one of the tackles. What did those two guys bring to the offensive line this year?
Steve Schilling: "It's funny that you mention those two because they are best friends too. They both bring obviously young talent and they both bring a lot of toughness. Patrick is one of those guys who will throw his body around. He doesn't care if he gets hurt, he loves hitting people. Taylor is the same way. He's a young guy. He's careless sometimes right now, but it also helps him out because he makes some pretty crazy blocks too. They are both really athletic. So I'm excited to see what they can do. If Taylor is playing next to me, on the other side or if he is in the two deep or whatever. It is going to be fun to play with him."
Question: Is there more depth this year at center than there was last year do you think?
Steve Schilling: "You never want to see anybody get hurt but it definitely helps Rocko (Khoury) out a lot this spring with Molk being out, he got all the reps with the ones. You also got Christian (Pace), the freshman who enrolled early. He got a lot of snaps that maybe he wouldn't have got if David (Molk) was healthy and other guys like Elliot Mealer got to play a little bit of center too. I'm sure after last year that the coaches are going to be stressing center depth to make sure that we got guys in there that can snap the ball and get it done."
Question: Talk about Christian Pace, he is somewhat of an internet legend just because his high school film was very impressive. Do you look at him and say wow this kid could be something special in this offense?
Steve Schilling: "I think so. For a freshman who was technically still in high school when we were in spring ball. You can definitely see a budding star. He has talent and he works hard. He has got that prototypical lineman attitude, of kind of quiet and just kind of works hard. He will do whatever you say and he wants to do good. He beats himself up over…the first week he was here, he did some drill that he had never done before and did it wrong and beat himself up. Okay man that's good, but you need to chill a little bit. He was depressed after one little drill, which is good because he has that mentally to be great and I think that is going to help him along the way."
Question: Do you ever look at Coach Rodriguez and think he looks a little tired? Does it look like it wears on him?
Steve Schilling: "No I don't think so. I definitely don't. You can look around at anybody and say they look a little tired sometimes. I never look at him and think gosh…I don't feel bad for him. I think he is a strong coach and a strong guy. I'm not worried about him coming through all this."
Question: People are anticipating this opener more than most with UCONN. A lot is going to be told about this team, Michigan from this game. Do you get that sense?
Steve Schilling: "Probably. I think people might be a little more cautious this year because last year's opener was so successful and everybody jumped right back on the bandwagon. I'm sure this year no matter how the outcome is people will be a little more cautious. You can't worry about all of them. It is great to have their support but there are too many fans that go back and forth and booing us when we're down at halftime. You can't really worry about them too much. It is great to play for over 100,000 every day. We got to worry about our team and focus on UCONN and try to get that win."
Question: How important is it to maybe get that first signature win? You guys have a lot of opportunities this year, a pretty tough schedule, to beat a Wisconsin, to beat an Iowa, to beat one of these teams that people are talking about.
Steve Schilling: "Definitely for me as my senior year I'd like to beat all of them. I haven't beat Iowa. I haven't beat Ohio State. Those are definitely two games that I'm looking at. We have a lot of tough competition in the league this year. It is a strong league, top to bottom I think. Every game is going to be a fight and whoever comes out on top is going to say a lot for whoever comes out on top."
Question: Adrian Clayborn and Cameron Heyward both get a lot of national attention. I was wondering…you probably haven't faced Clayborn that directly that much, but who is kind of the tougher guy to go against?
Steve Schilling: "They are similar players in that they are big strong defensive ends. They are not the quick guy as much as they are so strong. I've gotten to against Cameron more because he has played on the inside a little bit and he can play both positions. They are both definitely both players. I expect them to have great years and great futures in the NFL. It is exciting to get to play against such competition each year."
Question: When you guys are preparing as a line, do you spend more time on one guy or another?
Steve Schilling: "In terms of Clayborn and Heyward?"
Question: Yeah, how much of that line meeting is devoted to that guy?
Steve Schilling: "I had never heard of Clayborn until our game last year and obviously the coaches stressed what kind of player he was and so we saw that. I think he played well against us. They are great players, any time you have a great standout star player like that on defense, you are going to focus on that and make sure that you can try to neutralize them."
Question: You said that you have never heard of him. Do you just not pay attention a whole lot of attention to what goes around the Big Ten?
Steve Schilling: "I don't know. I just had never heard of his name. Once I kind of heard of it and the coaches pointed him out and showed the film and saw it, I kind of wondered why I hadn't watching the film (laughter). But he is obviously a great player, no disrespect to him or anything, but I had never of him, but definitely heard a lot about him now."
Question: Going into year three into this offense, are things that make you say wow, this is so much better than year two? Are there little indicators that you see that this offense is really going to be something special as compared to the last few years?
Steve Schilling: "I think just the experience that we have. Every time we started a new practice session, fall, spring, whatever, you can see…it doesn't take as long for guys to get it back or pick it up. They can throw new things in there and obviously these coaches are smart coaches, masters of the spread offense or whatever. It is exciting to be able to give them an opportunity. If we're all on the same page and know what we're doing, it gives them an opportunity to come in and do what they do best as well."
Transcript: Steve Schilling, Part 2
The Michigan Insider Top Stories
Michigan cruises to 41-8 win over IllinoisMichigan took care of business on Saturday with a 41-8 victory over Illinois.
The Michigan Insider1:53 PM
Peoples-Jones' Electrifying Touchdown GrabWatch Donovan Peoples-Jones blow by his defender for the 55-yard touchdown grab to give Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech an early 7-0 lead over Detroit King in the PSL championship game.
The Michigan InsiderYesterday at 5:48 PM
WATCH: Stronger Mo Wagner Excites U-M StaffMichigan sophomore big man Moritz Wagner worked hard on his body and his game during the off-season, and new Wolverine assistant Saddi Washington says the result of all of that…
The Michigan InsiderYesterday at 10:49 AM
Preview: Michigan vs. IllinoisPreviewing Michigan's upcoming game against Illinois.
The Michigan InsiderYesterday at 7:23 AM