Coach Carr Talks About Spring Practice

The first spring practice starts with a press conference. Here are Head Coach Lloyd Call's comments on the team going into the spring.

"We had a great winter. We timed our players in the 40's and tested them in the bench press. I'm very encouraged by the significant improvement in our strength and quickness. Now we have to find out what we've got out on the field."

On the strengths and weaknesses of the team.
"When you look at our team, you have to look at what we've lost. We lost three safeties, so that position is an issue that we have to clarify. Some of that will not be known until we get the freshmen in to compete. We lost great production at both the tight end and fullback positions. Bennie Joppru had the finest year that a tight end has had here in a long time. B.J. Askew was a tremendous player for us. Those are areas we have to address."

On solidifying a rotation at tailback.
"Coming out of spring practice, you always hope that those issues will be clear. A lot of things can happen between the end of spring practice and the first game. They are a lot of things you can work on as a player, but if you don't continue to condition during the summer, you're going to be behind when you come into the fall. I'm hoping that we'll come out of this with a clear-cut situation, but it may go into the fall. We have five guys that are very competitive and we just have to see how it goes."

On the chances that the younger players will get an opportunity at tailback.
"It all comes down to performance. If you've been here for two or three years, then you should know more. If you're a tailback at Michigan, you're not just a guy who will run the football. You have to be able to pass protect and to do that you have to know what your assignment is on every single play. If you don't know those assignments, your quarterback is going to get hit. The tailback also has to be able to catch the ball. We're looking for a guy with multiple talents, someone who can do both those things."

On the quarterback position.
"Spencer Brinton made great strides during the last half of the season. I think he has settled in and is confident. He can definitely throw the football. I think he's really gained a grasp of what we're trying to do once the ball is snapped and he knows where to run with it. Matt Gutierrez came in last spring and sat in on our meetings and was here most of the summer. From a conditioning standpoint, he's where he needs to be."

On quarterback John Navarre.
"I meet with every player before the spring starts to discuss the goals they have for themselves and what they want to improve on. I've talked with John individually about these areas. You're either getting better or getting worse. To stay the same is to regress. It doesn't matter who you are, you have to aim to improve during the spring."

On the number of snaps Navarre will take in the spring.
"If you're not taking snaps, you're not getting better. There are always guys who feel that they don't get enough snaps. There is only a certain amount of time allotted and one of the challenges as a coach is to give as much individual attention as you can. The more snaps you get, the better you should be. I think Spencer (Brinton) and Matt (Gutierrez) will get a lot of work, but he has to get repetitions to get better."

On Braylon Edwards' participation in track.
"Anytime you have the stamina and determination to play two sports, I think it can be a very positive thing. For me, the most important issue is the academic load. If he can handle the academics, I think it will be a positive and it will help our track team. Braylon is a guy who is passionate about competing and I think he's gotten faster as a result of his involvement."

On Tim Massaquoi's position heading into the spring.
"He's strictly a tight end. We want him to get a strong grasp of the position and then we'll move him back off the line of scrimmage."

On the quickness of the defensive line.
"You always look for guys who can run and move. Alain Kashama has a rare athletic ability. What I like about him is that he proved last season that he could play at a fast pace."

On the linebackers.
"Roy Manning is cleared to go. Lawrence Reid is good to go also. If there is a positive in the fact that Zach Kaufman and Carl Diggs won't play is that it will create a lot of opportunities for David Harrison and Obi Oluigbo. Both of those guys have a lot of potential. Our young linebackers are going to get a lot of work."

On whether the injuries to Zach Kaufman and Carl Diggs are career-threatening.
"I don't think so. They're both significant injuries. They are presently on track and I'm very optimistic that they'll be fine."

On defensive back Ernest Shazor.
"I think he's very confident in what he's doing. He's made a tremendous contribution to our special teams. He's well prepared to do the things we feel he needs to do."

On the attitude and enthusiasm of the freshman class during the spring.
"The freshmen see a lot of heavy hitting at times during the spring and find out that it's a lot different than what they thought it was. The thing you try to stress is to take everything you learn on the field and in the meetings and do it as hard as you can and as fast as you can. I always tell them to not worry about mistakes, they'll make a lot more mistakes earlier in the spring than later."

On the possibility of signee Clayton Richard playing baseball at Michigan.
"During the recruiting process I talked to Clayton and his father about playing baseball. It will all depend on what he does this spring and what his draft position will be. I'm sure at that point he'll make a decision on what he wants to do."

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