Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis spoke with the media on Wednesday afternoon about a variety of topics, one of which was backup quarterback Joe Milton. With backup Dylan McCaffrey doubtful (concussion) for Saturday’s game and starter Shea Patterson probable with a shoulder injury, Milton could be one play away from entering the game against Rutgers.
Gattis talked about Milton’s improvement as a quarterback and how Milton came in on Monday adamant that he wanted an opportunity to play. Here are Gattis’ comments on Milton.
Improvement as a passer: “Joe’s obviously blessed with a extremely talented arm. He’s really improved as a passer with touch, just not just always having zip on the ball.”
Getting more live reps this week: “When you have the that room we have, it’s about how equally can you prepare the guys to get the right amount of reps that they need to be able to create those reps to be able to turn them into game reps. And so that’s an advantage this week Joe has, now he’s getting a chance to go out there and not just run as a two or a three, or a possible one. He’s getting the chance to take some live reps in the fire against our defense. We’ve done a lot more competitive periods this week, getting back to an old school way of competing against each other.”
Told Gattis he wants a chance to play: “Joe’s progressing. He came in right away on Monday stressing that he wanted to play, wanted an opportunity. So that’s what we want from all of our guys, we want all of our guys to feel the sense of urgency that we have on offense, and as a team. If there’s a way for them to contribute, we want them to contribute. I’m excited to see Joe continue to progress and find a way to help this team and this offense.”
How Milton’s progressed since Gattis was hired: “In the pocket, just kind of working his pocket fundamentals, not just looking at the rush and obviously as a young quarterback you always come in and the first thing that surprises you is the rush and especially with our team it can be challenging verse our team with all the pressure looks they present in practice and all the man coverage where things happen fast. There’s bullets crossing in the face from that standpoint, but Joe’s really improved in his pocket presence and now it’s about kind of carrying over everything and being the general in charge of the offense and being able to lead and direct the others around him. Collectively he’s gotten really better at that, and as a young quarterback you like where he is because he’s on progress.”
The 6-foot-5 245 pound quarterback has appeared in limited action the past two seasons for Michigan, going 3-for-7 for 58 yards with 2 interceptions, while rushing for 46 yards and 1 score. Last year Shea Patterson said “Joe Milton has one of the strongest arms I’ve ever seen.”