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Sherrone Moore discusses reshuffling the OL, Corum being a ‘tone-setter,’ and preparing for Alabama

Michigan’s offensive coordinator met with the media in the midst of preparation for Alabama in the CFP.

Michigan v Maryland Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Michigan’s offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Sherrone Moore met with the media on Tuesday to discuss bowl preparations 13 days away from the Rose Bowl and College Football Playoff (CFP) against Alabama.

On self-scouting ahead of the Rose Bowl game against Alabama:

“Our staff has done a great job when we’re out on the road being able to do that and, obviously, when I came back, even when I was out, doing that. We spent a good bit of time doing that and have a good feel for where we’re at formationally, play-wise, pass-run-wise and feel really good with where we’re at.”

On emotions leading up to National Signing Day:

“Excited. Always excited to bring in a new group of kids into the family. We’ve known them for a while so very excited for it.”

On the pre-bowl energy inside of Schembechler Hall:

“It’s just a steady work. Guys are grinding away, guys are excited to be here every day. Coach has set a phenomenal schedule for this year. I know J.J. (McCarthy) brought that up a couple of days ago where we’ve changed the schedule from what it’s been like the past couple of years. The guys are fresh, the guys are playing fast, the guys are practicing hard, they’re practicing violent, they’re practicing physical, precise, execute at a high level. We had a walkthrough a couple days back and I was like, man, feels like we’re in Pasadena already. The guys are ready to go, they’re excited and they just keep chipping away.”

On wide receiver Roman Wilson’s evolution:

“I think he’s done an incredible job with, one, his body with Coach Herb and the staff, nutrition-wise. Always had the speed but really a precise route-runner and where he’s really excelled is the competitive catches. I go back to that Nebraska game where he took that ball off the guys helmet. He’s just made plays and more plays, and more plays. Just excited to see what he does as we continue.”

On the perception that Michigan — although top-ranked — is being portrayed as the underdog against the Crimson Tide:

“Well, we haven’t won it. They have, we haven’t. So we have to prepare our tails off to get to that point of what they’ve done. So that’s our goal, that’s our mindset. Our goal is to go win and we do everything we can to do it.”

On if Michigan needs to prove it can beat Alabama:

“I think we just need to go win. We’re not worried about proving anybody (wrong), we’re not worried about anyone’s opinion. We’re just ready to go attack and go try to win”

On reworking the right side of the offensive line after losing All-American right guard Zak Zinter for the season against Ohio State:

“Yeah, we’ve done different things, but feel good about where we’re at. I’m not going to speak to who’s doing what, but we’re excited about where we’re at. It’s been a really good week of preparation, and really a good couple of weeks and we’re excited to see what the rest of the weeks look like.”

On what he sees that others may not about what makes tight end Colston Loveland special:

“I mean, besides being an outstanding player and one of the best in the country, I just see an outstanding human being, an outstanding kid who loves football, loves his teammates, and grinds. He’s a true leader, excited to have him, excited to be a part of his journey and what he’s doing, just a great human being. He is a phenomenal player, what you see on film is who he is. A great player, but an even better person.”

On the offensive line wanting revenge after two lackluster CFP performances:

“I mean I don’t think they’re really looking back. I think they put in the effort they wanted to put in — we just weren’t as good as we wanted to be those days. We’re really not looking at the past — attacking right now and attacking the future and doing what we can to be better today.”

On how he’s feeling on the verge of National Signing Day:

“I’m great. I’m in a great place. Signing day is approaching, the boys had another great day today, girls not yelling at me, I’m in a great place.”

On the importance of the tight ends against Alabama:

“I think those guys are extremely important like they are every week. They’re a great defense, they’ve got great players all over the place. We’ve faced top-ten defenses the last four weeks but we understand and know what we see on film. They’re a great football team and they’ve got great players everywhere. Everybody is going to have to execute at a great level for us to go win the game.”

On how to balance protection and getting players out in routes:

“I think we just have to stay balanced, stay unpredictable. Keep to the plan that we have and go attack it.”

On what makes running back Blake Corum a good short-yardage back:

“One, I think, upfront the guys do a great job blocking the plays but his innate ability to find the holes that no one else sees. He’s just so strong. It’s been well-documented, he’s been one of the strongest dudes on the team. That’s when you need that strength to show up. You watch him and his legs never stop moving. Sometimes, it’s hard to find him because he’s so short but he’s not small. He’s all of 215-20 pounds and there’s not a lot of fat on there. It comes at you fast and it comes at you violently and it’s hard to stop. I think that’s what makes him even special.”

On whether there’s a fearlessness you need to have as a short-yardage back:

“Absolutely. He fears nothing. Everybody has seen the picture with blood. I think that thing that pops out every day. Every game he comes out with a bloody nose and I’m like, I don’t know what goes on, how did that happen? He just keeps going. He’s a special player.”

On the impact the transfers have had this season:

“They’ve been outstanding. Start with the guys up front with Drake, one of the best centers in the country, was a finalist for the Remington, just been a great addition. Played at a very high level and brings the toughness, just kind of adds to the room with who he is, what he is and what the room is. LaDarious, First Team All-Big Ten, what a great player, what a great human being. I think that’s the biggest piece for all those guys, you go to Myles Hinton who started games for us and played at a really good level. All those guys have come in and have been part of the culture, very selfless, Drake, we always have wise words after practice and he got to break it down in spring and said I haven’t done anything, I just want to show you guys that I can help the team. That just tells who these kids are. Jack Tuttle, just a tremendous addition. Obviously, with J.J., hasn’t played as much but just his leadership, what he does, his experience, someone to lean on for J.J., for the other QBs in the room. AJ Barner has been spectacular for us. Phenomenal addition. All of those guys have been part of the culture, they’ve made it so easy for the transition from us to them and for them to us. Couldn’t ask for a better group of guys.”

On how well he’s been able to achieve balance with the offense:

“I think pretty well. Some games we threw it, some games we ran it. Some games we did both. At the end of the day, it’s all about winning. We continued to do that throughout the year and that’s the plan as we go on January 1.”

On what tone Blake Corum sets as blue-collar type of player:

“He’s just a tone-setter, he’s been like that since he’s been here. When he was a freshman, we had to tell him to stop working out so much because it was tearing his body down. It’s not a surprise that he won it, he walks in the building and sets the tone. The way he carries himself, what he does, I’ve told this to people before, if one of my daughters came home with Blake Corum, I’d be extremely happy. A kid like Blake Corum, I’d be super happy. Those are the type of kids you want in your program. Those are the type of kids you want to be around all the time. Obviously, he’s the type of player you want.”

On whether he feels like he can live with predominantly passing the ball:

“Yeah, I don’t think you ever want to just do that, I think it’s a bad set of business on any good football team. You go against our defense and they know you’re going to throw it, it’s a bad deal. Balance is going to be the key throughout the whole game.”

On the team MVP race being close:

“It was really close. Like J.J. said, it could’ve been anybody. Just shows what his teammates think of him. Type of kid he is, the type of leader he is. It’s always great when your quarterback is the MVP. Excited about that. For him, like he’s said before, he doesn’t really care about the trophies, those awards, it’s all about the big championship. That’s what we’re chasing.”

On how he would evaluate Donovan Edwards’ season:

“He’s steady improving, steady getting better. He did a great job for us. I told him today, man, you’ve got a little pep in your step. I think very selfless throughout the whole year to watch Blake pass a record, to watch Roman catch 10 touchdowns and at no point did he complain, did he sulk. That’s just Donovan Edwards, that’s just the team, that’s just how the whole unit is and that’s why we are where we are right now. He has a tremendous career ahead of him and I think he’s going to continue to get better and better and continue to create explosive plays and do things for us and continue to help us win.”

On the Rose Bowl:

“I was talking to my mom, actually, my wife, before the season, man, that would be pretty cool to play in the Rose Bowl. I’ve been a part of a lot of bowl games but that’s one I have never been a part of. Obviously, the tradition of the Rose Bowl and the Big Ten, the tradition of the Rose Bowl and here is something that is going to be really special and that’s going to be a moment you really have to take in. There’s always some point before the game where I always look around and just breathe in the moment. There will be a time. I don’t know when that will be. Just take a breath and look around, it’ll be pretty cool. I’m excited about it.”

On quarterback J.J. McCarthy:

“From a passer standpoint, he’s always been really good just reading his progressions doing his daily bit. I think as a leader, really, because he’s been such a young guy playing at a high-level role, he was a sophomore playing with a lot of juniors and seniors. I think being a junior now, I told him one day during training camp, I threw him my whistle and said, hey, these are the keys, you have the keys to the castle. So take it. He’s really done that with the whole group. Taking a lot of ownership, he’s in here all the time. Just seeing his leadership has really been the biggest piece.”