The Michigan Wolverines hit the reset button on the defensive side of the ball by getting rid of defensive coordinator Don Brown and replacing him with Mike Macdonald, but one of the opted-out players from this past season was not a fan of the move.
Cornerback Ambry Thomas, who elected to sit out the season and instead prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft, did a Q&A with The Spun and said that it was not fair for Brown to lose his job for what happened this season.
“Can I be totally real with you? I do think it was unfair to get rid of him. This year the team had to deal with COVID-19. If our full team was there – we had a pretty good defense prior to the pandemic. You had me and Nico [Collins] opt-out, Kwity [Paye] missed games, and Aidan [Hutchinson] got hurt. Key pieces to the defense were missing, so I don’t think it was right to get rid of him. I love Coach Brown. Honestly, I feel like everyone in that building should’ve got another year just because of the circumstances.”
Michigan’s defense slipped in a big way this season due in large part to injuries and losses of players from the season before. Thomas’s absence hurt, but given the pandemic-impacted season and his previous health issues, one understands why he made the decision he did.
Also of note was this exchange in response to a question about Ohio State:
The Spun: Looking back at your career. What would’ve been sweeter: winning a national championship or blowing out Ohio State?
AT: Man, that’s a hard question. I would rather blow out Ohio State because those guys think they’re good – and honestly I don’t think they’re that good.
The Spun: Did you get any personal enjoyment out of watching Ohio State lose in the national title game?
AT: I’m not going to say it felt good because it didn’t. I don’t like watching football, I rather be playing. We played against Alabama last year during a bowl game, and their receiving corps was way better last year – this year they just had DeVonta Smith. Up until the third quarter, it was a good game. If we had more offense, we would’ve been fine. Kudos to those guys [Ohio State] for getting to the national championship, but I’m happy Alabama won. Put it like that.
Most draft analysts have Thomas as a mid-to-late round pick in the upcoming draft.