The Michigan offense in 2013 was uncharacteristically bad from an output standpoint that helped the Wolverines finish with a 7-6 season.
Michigan head coach Brady Hoke decided to make a change at the end of the season. Bringing in former Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier to fix an offense that needs a big year in 2014.
With just a few weeks left until the start of the season, many of the same questions remain from a season ago with the offensive line being the biggest that needs to be answered.
The pressure of improving from a 7-6 season a year ago doesn't faze Nussmeier. In fact, he embraces it.
"Pressure is what you put on yourself and the expectation here at Michigan is extremely high and that's how we want it," said Nussmeier. "That's why you coach at Michigan, that's why you play at Michigan, you embrace it. There's a lot of guys who've played and coached at this program who have set a standard and you want to be apart of it. That's why it's a special place."
The team has responded well to the new scheme and have worked hard to get better every day, according to Nussmeier. He is very happy with their progress.
"I feel really good about the way our guys have worked," said Nussmeier. "The players have worked extremely hard and had a great summer with Coach Wellman (Strength & Conditioning Coach) and came to camp re-focused and had a really good first week."
The offense returns many of the same starters and familiar faces from a year ago, although the talent is still very young the added experience should aid the returning youth. However, all the problems will be solved with an offensive line that can gel.
According to Michigan head coach Brady Hoke, that decision on who is the starting five will be coming soon.
"I think sometime next week we'll settle in a little more on what we want to do as far as the top five guys," said Hoke. "I think Darrell (Funk) and Doug (Nussmeier) have done a nice job of rotating guys in who we think really have an opportunity to be in that first group."
"I think as we go through it, the improvements they made from the spring and what they did through the summer, they've taken that to the field."
Nussmeier is also preparing the offensive line and allowing them to gel and is also an area that he is working on.
"The sooner you can answer that question (starting OL) the better off you're going to be," said Nussmeier. "We talk about it all the time. It's not just the verbal communication, it's the nonverbal communication that goes on there. It's something that we're working on and we're looking at a couple of different scenarios and combinations right now. We'll settle on that soon."
With camp coming to a close and preparations for Michigan's first game against Appalachian State drawing closer, the fall camp has not been without competition -- especially on the offensive side of the ball.
According to Nussmeier, it's making the team better.
"I think Coach has said it many times, we've created some really good competition on our team. We're getting better and deeper as far as creating competition," said Nussmeier. "We think the competition brings out the best in every player."