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Josh Gattis pumps the brakes on WR praise: “We’ve got work”

Gattis is slowing the pats on the back down

NCAA Football: Michigan Spring Game Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis isn’t letting the praise and projections of his wide receivers get to their heads.

On Sunday Gattis acknowledged that the unit still has a long way to go before they get to where they need to be.

Gattis’ comments are honest and realistic. The receiving corps and the offensive unit as a whole can’t be a finished product at this point, especially with a new offense being installed. There’s a learning curve that ensues, and the team is still finding their groove.

The thing as, as co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach at Alabama in 2018, Gattis’ WR unit was among the best in the nation. Gattis coached Biletnikoff Award winner Jerry Jeudy, who hauled in 68 receptions for 1,315 yards and 14 touchdowns. Alabama also had five receivers with 40 or more receptions and 600 or more yards. Gattis knows a thing or a hundred about what it takes for a unit to become elite.

Gattis is setting the bar incredibly high, and his comments reflect the fact he wants Michigan to compete for championships. Praise from pundits is nice and all, but Gattis is making sure the hype gets put in check.

On the surface Gattis comments may seem negative, but they really aren’t. He’s just keeping it real. In the same conversation where Gattis says they’re by far not the best WR unit in the nation, he says they have the potential to be that by the end of the year. He believes in his guys, but to be the best an insane amount of preparation must be put in to be conditioned to reach the mountain top summit.

Michigan should have a darn good receiving corps. It looks like Donovan Peoples-Jones and Nico Collins are both healthy currently, and there’s a wide variety of other wideouts vying for opportunities such as Ronnie Bell, Tarik Black, Oliver Martin, Mike Sainristil, Jake McCurry and Nate Schoenle. The unit is fairly deep in talent.

However, being good isn’t good enough to make the College Football Playoff. Gattis wants these guys to be elite and be dangerous all the time.

You don’t often hear coaches say “I think on paper everybody’s a little bit more excited about us than I am,” but in this case, his comments make a lot of sense and give us a glimpse into the type of motivator Gattis is and his standards for Michigan’s receivers. We’ll see if Gattis can make this unit reach their full potential and become a group worthy of fist bumps and pats on the back.