'Insane' Nussmeier demands perfection from Gardner during spring practice

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Senior quarterback Devin Gardner spoke with the media after Michigan's spring game on Saturday. He discusses new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and his wishes for Gardner to scramble less.

Saturday's spring game didn't exactly showcase an offensive force to be reckoned with. In fact, it was very plain, and at times, was even hard to watch.

This spring hasn't stopped new U-M offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier from pushing senior quarterback Devin Gardner and the Michigan offense.

What does Gardner think of his new offensive coordinator?

"He's insane," joked Gardner. "He demands perfection. So even when you have a big play, he finds something that can be improved so maybe next time when it happens again, it won't be so much of a big play."

"Everyone is trying to understand that and be as perfect as possible."

Although the offense was far from perfect Saturday, Gardner hinted towards the possibility of the elements affecting his ability to throw the football efficiently. Gardner, who only completed two passes and threw an interception on the opening play of the scrimmage, said the wind was a factor.

"It was a little windy but I think I did pretty good," Gardner said. "We haven't practiced outside yet (this year) and for it being the first day I thought we did pretty good."

Under Nussmeier's newly installed offense, he is trying to emphasize keeping Gardner's rushes down to save him for the fourth quarter. Also, with nursing a broken foot that appeared almost completely healed during the spring game, cutting down on the rushing will also significantly lower his risk of injury as well.

For Gardner, he is on board with running less.

"That's the plan," said Gardner. "That's what Coach Nuss is all about. Even when we have read plays, it used to be if it was questionable then go, now he wants the running back to hold the ball."

"The threat (to scramble) is always going to be there, I feel like that is going to keep defenses honest. I'm pretty sure they have me on film running before. I feel comfortable with it, it keeps me a little more healthy towards the end of the season."

With many months of practice time remaining until U-M's opener Aug. 30 against Appalachian State, Nussmeier and his offense couldn't show too much during the scrimmage. Gardner said that the spring game was "supposed to be bland and we couldn't show too much."

For the offense's sake, U-M is hoping that the bland offense on display Saturday was an anomaly this season.

Be sure to follow Maize n Brew's Joshua Henschke on Twitter, @JoshuaHenschke.
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