One of the biggest story threads of this offseason has to do with a change in leadership in the coaching staff at Ohio State with Ryan Day replacing the “retired” Urban Meyer. A pair of Michigan assistants left Ann Arbor to join Day’s staff in Greg Mattison and Al Washington, which has made things a bit more heated between the two schools, especially with how last year ended.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh played it somewhat cool earlier this spring, saying there were no hard feelings, but that they would not exactly be sending each other Christmas cards. Safeties and Special Teams Coordinator Chris Partridge was a little less political about it and spoke strongly about how he and his team feels about what happened.
“I want to be candid. Those guys left and it was another shot. It wasn’t OK,” Partridge said, via the Detroit Free Press. “That’s how I feel. I’m not speaking for anyone else. I’m ultra-motivated and I make sure my guys, whenever I get in front of them, they hear it. ... I want to take this thing, hit it in the mouth and go get it. I just think each person is motivated in their own way, but I know my personal opinion. I’m going to coach harder than I ever imagined I could coach.
”And we’re going to try to make sure that scoreboard never looks like it did last year (again).”
Partridge also told the media has has no desire to talk to either Mattison, who will co-coordinate OSU’s defense after they nearly doubled his salary, or Washington about it and that he’s all-in at Michigan.
“No. No desire to. No desire at all,” he said. “I’ve been here going into my fifth year. I consider myself an alum of Michigan, just like someone who goes to Michigan for four years and graduates. I’m here. I’m for Michigan. I’m ‘Go Blue’ all the way. So I don’t have a desire (to talk to them).
”Nothing surprises me in this business now I guess. I just know how I feel. I’m Michigan all the way and that’s kind of it.”
This is about as strong a statement as it gets about how he feels, and the gut feeling on all of this is that this is probably closer to what everyone in Schembechler Hall feels like. The moves were what they were, and Michigan coaches and players seem like they are out to make them pay for it.
Partridge’s words are not just words, as he has demonstrated his desire to remain in Ann Arbor throughout his time with the program. Despite reported overtures from Alabama a few offseasons ago, he has stuck around and it does not seem like that will change any time in the near future if his words are being taken at face value.