Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh will make his return to the sidelines this weekend when his Wolverines take on Rutgers in the Big Ten opener. On Monday night, he sat down with Jon Jansen to discuss his J.J. McCarthy, the state of college athletics, and the work of his assistant coaches during the first three weeks.
- There’s plenty of excitement for Harbaugh to be back on the sidelines. With a 3-0 start, Harbaugh had some praise for his assistants who led the way during the first three games: “They did everything that could be done — they did a spectacular job.” Additionally, he gave shoutouts to the assistant coaches, players and support staff for all stepping up in their roles and demonstrating leadership while he was away.
- Harbaugh was joined by running back Donovan Edwards during the show. When asked about Edwards’ performance thus far (as well as the team’s performance), Harbaugh said, “There’s an unfair expectation that the team’s gotta win by 40 points or has to score 60 points, or in (Edwards’) case — every time he touches the ball he’s gonna go for 75 yards.” He also mentioned how Edwards, “had some really darn good runs in this past game, where’s he’s just hitting the hole every which way you’d want him to hit it, same with Blake (Corum).”
- Before the season, Harbaugh made some waves by speaking about revenue sharing and the current state of college sports. He once again spoke up for college athletes and his players in the wake of some criticism they’ve faced for their most recent performance: “These guys are college football players, they’re doing what they’re supposed to do, they’re winning, they’re playing good.”
- Additionally, Harbaugh referenced Saturday’s injury to Bowling Green linebacker Demetrius Hardamon to make a pitch for better treatment of college athletes. “These guys get hurt out there, man — I’d ask people to consider that when they say these guys shouldn’t be getting minimum wage for their efforts out there.”
- McCarthy was a big topic of conversation after throwing three interceptions in Saturday’s game. Harbaugh expressed some optimism, though, about where his quarterback can go moving forward: “I’m not ever gonna make him a victim of over-coaching. I don’t want him to change.” Additionally, Harbaugh said, “There’s nobody that wants to see J.J. McCarthy change the way he plays.” He also mentioned how McCarthy’s errors could have been a result of him simply being competitive and always wanting to make a play, rather than getting too cautious after making a mistake.