Palmer:“That guy is sponge. I mean, [U-M offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier] has a great guy to work with. Because he has already made the decision that whatever it takes to be great – he’s going to do it. And that’s really what comes down to it. All these guys can throw. All these guys can play. But the guys who are going to be all in on figuring out a way to get better, those are the guys you want to work with and you want playing for your team. I think Alex has that in him.”
Newkirk: He might not have the ideal height, but I think Malzone brings other intangibles to the table. What are your views on that?
Palmer:“ “Absolutely. I think he came in well today, not knowing when he was going in the second half, and he sparked us. He threw the ball down the field. I saw that again [earlier in the week] too. I think the biggest thing we talked about with him is, ‘you only get a couple of opportunities to really make a big play. So when it’s there, you really got to make it.’ And having confidence when somebody is open, throw the ball the exact same way as if they were covered and you had to throw them open. That’s something young guys got to learn. I think for him to come here and have a couple of lessons on that, cause it happened a little bit, where he didn’t make the play and where he came back and he did make the play. To be able to come here and experience this where it doesn’t really matter. It’s not your high school senior season, it’s not University of Michigan. To have learned those lessons here, that’s one of the great attributes that this opportunity provides. I think he got a lot better this week. He is one of the guys that will stick out of all 18 [quarterbacks] that got a lot better.”
Newkirk: Malzone went to two Elite 11 tryouts before The Opening. So you have had a chance to see him multiple times now. How have you seen him grow from then to now?
Palmer:“ “He reminds me of Shaun White last year, just finding him on the circuit. Going ‘gosh, you know, he’s not necessarily physically big. He doesn’t throw the ball like this guy. He’s not as fast as that guy. But man, is he consistent.’ I don’t know, if I am an offensive coordinator, that’s what I want. I wan t somebody who is consistent. I can trust them. That word trustworthy is huge for coaches. It’s huge for general managers in the NFL. I trust a guy like Alex. I trust him to make good decisions. I trust him to work harder than he needs to work. I trust him to stay out of trouble and be focused on football, and lead my guys and let my guys rally around him. He’s going to mix that QB room up there at Michigan I think when gets in and gets rolling.”
Newkirk: You mentioned leading, how has he been a leader out here? He’s a confident guy when you talk to him. Is he being vocal enough??
Palmer:“I think form a leadership standpoint, when he’s in there he commands respect. He knows where to go with the ball with his progressions. He gets through it really quickly. He is just going to do the right thing. People are going to follow people who do the right thing.”
Newkirk: Lastly, in five years from now, what are your expectations for Alex? In what you have seen, and the little glimpse you have got to see being around him coaching him. What are your expectations for him? What are you hoping to say about Alex Malzone?
Palmer:“ “One of my very good friends is Chad Henne. In five years I am expecting him to have a Chad Henne type career. Big numbers, playing in big games, making some championship runs, doing the right thing, being the most respected guy on the team and being very appealing to NFL teams.”