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Quick Recap: Everything Jim Harbaugh said in his Monday press conference

Harbaugh took the virtual podium ahead of Penn State week.

Michigan v Penn State Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh just left the virtual podium in Ann Arbor to kick off the week of preparation for the Penn State Nittany Lions. Here is a recap of the topics that were covered on Monday.

  • The film study showed that Cade McNamara had “one heck of a game” and that both teams “played their hearts out.” Said it went back and forth for both squads. Proud of the guys on his team and the way that they continued to make plays.
  • No updates on injuries to Cam McGrone and Brad Hawkins
  • It’s “possible...questionable” that Ryan Hayes, Jalen Mayfield, Andrew Vastardis, Kwity Paye return this weekend. But it’s Monday and too early to tell.
  • On how playing in a COVID year is going: “All the focus is on our next opponent and today’s preparation. The team is getting better and better at focusing on what is important now and getting ready for the ballgame. To be 1-0 this week. We’re improving.”
  • Harbaugh said that the field goal kicking operation (snap, hold, kick) have to go together “like a battery.” Striving to get better at that and putting the ball through the uprights. No announcement to make on who will take the kicks on Saturday, but “Quinn is our field goal kicker and Jake is doing the kickoffs.”
  • Continuous progress cited by Cornelius Johnson at wide receiver and he is “getting better every day. Seeing that with him and with several players. Great mindset right now and his training has been on point every week.” Says his big catch radius and continued development have been a positive for the wide receiver room.
  • Hassan Haskins was able to gain yards that were not there to be made on Saturday and Harbaugh praised his ability to get yards after contact. Said that he played great. The other running backs “did as well, but a lot of tough runs out of Hassan.” Would not directly answer if he is the No. 1 or if they will continue to go with the hot hand.
  • Says their position is that they will do everything they can to win the week when asked about the threat of a talented Penn State team that has not won a game yet.
  • Harbaugh is happy with the play of true freshman Zak Zinter at guard. Continuing to improve on a daily and weekly basis. Said the attention to detail of all three true freshman offensive linemen has been impressive. Thought that redshirt freshman Zach Carpenter played well at center and “acquitted himself really well.”
  • Harbaugh expects “a lot of fight” from Penn State and says they have had a lot of good battles with them. He anticipates fight out of both teams.
  • Donovan Jeter put in a “really strong” offseason conditioning regimen from home and virtually. Calls his breakout “a steady climb” and that he took to heart that he is “naturally good at football.”
  • “We will not be making any dramatic announcements as per usual at this press conference” when asked about if McNamara will start moving forward. Harbaugh meets with the media before team meetings on Mondays.
  • Harbaugh says they will continue to coach players that are starters, backups, developing, etc. and that all of that is happening at all times. It’s a continuous process and they will get guys ready to play and keep improving.
  • Zach Charbonnet singled out for a blitz pickup in Saturday night’s game
  • Responding to Desmond Howard’s criticism from over the weekend, he says the team is playing hard and to the best of its ability and that’s all he could ask for.
  • On Cade McNamara’s maturity: “His mindset has been very good, very solid. He’s a very good...he’s confident and has faith in his ability and works extremely hard. Tough, too. Really good mindset in all of those areas.”

Saturday’s game between the 2-3 Wolverines and 0-5 Nittany Lions kicks off at 12 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally via ABC.