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Harbaugh: Shea Patterson has been ‘best QB on the field each and every game’

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Michigan’s head coach still feels good about what his signal-caller brings to the table.

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Michigan Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Shea Patterson has been far from perfect this season, but he moves forward as Michigan football’s starting quarterback heading into the stretch of games that will be legacy-makers for he — and perhaps his head coach — to close out the 2019 season.

The numbers have not always been pretty, but Jim Harbaugh told reporters on Monday afternoon in Ann Arbor that Patterson is a “winner” and that he has been the best quarterback on the field in each game that Michigan has played this season and that he is happy with the direction of the offense.

“Offensive line play is really getting consistent, gelling and playing with a style of play that’s physical, smart and tough. Our tight ends are also playing extremely well,” Harbaugh said during his Monday press conference. “Quarterback, I felt like, he’s been the best quarterback on the field each and every game, I feel that he is a winner. He’s tough. He makes great decisions. This past game, with the run and with the throw, we’re giving ourselves the best chance to win. Receivers, as well, each week they’re more involved with the running game in terms of the style of play and the blocking. The running backs are ascending as well.”

Patterson was one of Michigan’s two offensive players of the week for the 42-25 win over Illinois on Saturday with the other being running back Hassan Haskins.

Patterson has started all six games for the Wolverines at quarterback this season and has thrown for 1,246 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions while completing 57.1 percent of his passes.

Harbaugh also addressed where he came to discover the young coaching prospect that is his new offensive coordinator in Josh Gattis. Seeing as it is Penn State week, a reporter asked Harbaugh if that was where he caught his eye. It actually goes back further than that.

“It was actually Western Michigan that Josh Gattis first caught my attention,” Harbaugh said. “Then Vanderbilt, Penn State and Alabama. Just his track record of success of developing players and offensive innovation, and what kind of coach and teacher he is. Always been impressed with. Now, getting to work with him, all of those things are validated and he’s a tremendous coach at the highest level.”

In terms of the things that he liked about Gattis’ background and the type of offense they like to run, Harbaugh briefly went into it without getting into schematics.

“It’s a spread system with a West Coast passing emphasis,” Harbaugh said. “No huddle and multiple, various, running schemes as well.”