ANN ARBOR -- The first day of spring practice is officially in the books for Michigan football.
It also marks the official start for new Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. The talk of the potential impact his hire will have on the program can cease and the football product can now be used to see how far away the team is from competing.
For Harbaugh, he is excited to finally get started.
"It's good to start," Harbaugh told reporters on Tuesday evening. "You feel like you can start to lay down a benchmark of where you are and gives you a place to go forward, a place to improve from."
With a new staff also comes new strength and conditioning programs, with the team having to fend for themselves during the downtime of finding a new head coach, Harbaugh gave credit to his strength and conditioning program, and the players, for being in good shape heading into camp.
"The team is in very good shape," Harbaugh said. "Kevin Tolbert and his staff did a very nice job and the fellas did a very nice job getting into good condition. It gives us a fighting chance."
As excited as he might be to start coaching his team, he also had very little of substance to offer Tuesday evening in terms of glimpses into his mindset and what he wants to accomplish. Granted it was the first day of practice, there were no spring goals shared, no timetable for a rough depth chart or no solutions to potential position battles heading into spring practices, most notably the quarterback situation.
Harbaugh still needs to familiarize himself with his new team and the players will take some time familiarizing themselves with the new staff.
In a sense, it's a brand new world for the Michigan football program.
"Everybody is in uncharted waters somewhat," Harbaugh said. "And sometimes that's a really good thing. Some people thrive on that."
News, notes, etc.:
- Despite multiple players listed on the spring roster with new positions, Harbaugh did not acknowledge players in new positions. For example, Jabrill Peppers' switch to safety, Brady Pallante to fullback and Ross Taylor-Douglas back to corner. Instead, Harbaugh said that the players are competing to find their best placement on the field.
"We're still trying to figure out who the best players are and what their best positions are," Harbaugh said. "We don't know what their positions will be yet, or who the players are at those positions. Nothing's been done."
- Heading into camp, the team appears to be relatively healthy. Aside from the known torn ACLs of Khalid Hill and Drake Johnson last season that will keep them off the field until the summer, Sione Houma will also miss spring with an undisclosed injury. Harbaugh said that he has gone through a procedure and he will be back.