Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh just left the virtual podium from Schembechler Hall in Ann Arbor after his Monday press conference. Below is a quick recap of the topics covered coming off the loss to Indiana and looking ahead to Wisconsin on Saturday.
- Aidan Hutchinson has an ankle fracture and will be undergoing surgery.
- Harbaugh says that they will consult with medical staff to determine if this weekend’s game is safe to be played. Says that he is assuming they will play.
- Asked about if expectations of winning and competing for Big Ten titles at Michigan are fair, says their goal is to “win the next game.” There are opportunities to play and said that that’s what players came to Michigan for. There are “other ideas and tweaks” that are being put in for the benefit of the players.
- “I really like the team we have and how hard they play. I want to give everything I can...and so do all our coaches” into players that are still on the team as opposed to some of the players they have lost. Says there is excitement there in developing young players like Joe Milton and wide receivers. Cornelius Johnson and Roman Wilson spoken highly of as emerging next to Ronnie Bell.
- Improvements for Dax Hill: “Playing really good. Physical play was really good and made some outstanding tackles in the game as well.”
- Asked if taking lumps as opposed to winning games is how progress being measured: “Focus is win the next game. That’s where the focus always is and where it continues to be.”
- Harbaugh says that Taylor Upshaw, Luiji Vilain, Gabe Newberg will be given opportunities at end in Hutchinson’s absence.
- Ryan Hayes and Jalen Mayfield are still working through injuries. Harbaugh noted that he is excited about Karsen Barnhart and Zak Zinter and that they will keep pushing to improve there.
- On what “tweaks” are, Harbaugh says it is ideas, personnel and getting reps for guys that have not played as much. Also includes schematics.
- Harbaugh says Milton made improvements this week in pocket presence and says he is still learning and making progress. “It doesn’t happen overnight.”
- Harbaugh calls the mood of the team “good,” citing morning workouts. “They like football. I expect they will come back attacking, as well.”
- Outside noise affecting things moving forward coming down to willingness from team to listen what other people are saying. Says he has low interest in doing that and hopes his team feels the same way.
- Harbaugh says that he thinks Hutchinson will come back even stronger and faster from his ankle injury.
- On gameplanning for team that has only played one game, Harbaugh says they will use what they have and go from there.
- On Big Ten title chances all but gone: “Win the next game. This is the most important thing. Fired up for it and ready to get the boys in here. Let’s roll.”
- Harbaugh “has no willingness or interest” in listening to NFL or contract rumors. “Like the actions speak for what you have to say. Let your actions speak so loudly that people can’t even hear what you’re saying.” Says he will let the actions speak for themselves when asked if he wants to stay at Michigan.
Next up for Michigan is a date against Wisconsin on Saturday night in Ann Arbor, if in fact they get the go-ahead to play. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC.