The first day of Big Ten Media Days featured lots of chatter about Michigan, from the media behind the scenes as well as the coaches. With that came questions posed to Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald about the Michigan program, and Jim Harbaugh as well.
At the initial press conference, Fitzgerald noted that his players have bulked up in the weight room this offseason more than in previous years. Reason being? Being dominated at the line of scrimmage. Fitzgerald said in their losses last season (38-0 to Michigan), the Wildcats were outmatched. He said when watching the film he went "Wow." Fitzgerald tipped his hat to Michigan.
At the podium Q&A session later he had some thoughts on Jim Harbaugh.
He's been, great, I've obviously known him for a handful of years, I know his brother John, from a great football family. I know him obviously from his time at Stanford, and now here at Michigan. I think he's a guy that has a lot of passion for coaching, and teaching in his game, for his players, and his family.
When we've ever been in meetings, behind closed doors, I think like all of us, we do a lot of listening and then when we think we have something to add that can be productive, just like everybody else he's done the same, I think he's had a really good compass as far as where his thought process is from my personal opinion. I may not agree, but I can see how he came up with that thought and it gives me a chance to pause and re-calibrate my thought process.
Fitzgerald also spoke about the Michigan team itself at the podium:
I think they got pretty darn consistent quarterback play, and I thought they managed offensively really well, with a mixture of formation variations, concept variations, compliments to their primary run game with great play action pass. And then obviously, I think Jake had a great year. He had an outstanding season. And they did a really job I think staying in with what they were trying to accomplish. And then defensively you can argue that it's one of the best defenses in the country that they inherited, and then they took it to another level