Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh just left the Big Ten Media Day podium at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to kick off the leadup to the 2021 football season. Below is a recap of every topic that was covered during his 15 minutes on Thursday.
- Harbaugh opens by thanking Kevin Warren and Big Ten for Media Day event.
- Calls three U-M players in Indy “freaky” in their abilities and “better guys than football players.”
- Harbaugh praises new coaches for what they know about football, how good teachers are, and how they have come together. Says that Mike Macdonald and staff have gelled as a defensive staff and that the dialogue in the room has been “tremendous.” Nobody’s afraid to talk or put their opinion out there. Says that their collaborations have been like a “scrimmage” with a lot of sharing of ideas. Seeing the same thing with the offensive staff with Josh Gattis and the free-flowing dialogue has been strong. Energy and trust were two of the words he used.
- Harbaugh says he judges quarterbacks on making everyone else around you better and takes command. Good in 11-on-11 situations and helps lead drives and score points. “He’s the straw that’s stirring the drink.” Cade McNamara was the first player named and confirms that he is the No. 1 heading into fall camp. J.J. McCarthy did an “excellent” job in spring practice and is fighting. McNamara is holding him off despite ascension through young career. Dan Villari will be tried out in a Taysom Hill-type role. Alan Bowman has impressed in summer and Harbaugh is looking forward to how he performs in fall camp.
- Harbaugh says brother John told him Macdonald likely would have been Baltimore Ravens’ next defensive coordinator. He was on the ground floor of putting in a new scheme with the Ravens. Came highly recommended by a lot of people that Harbaugh says he trusts in football. Harbaugh says he is a “really good communicator” and good at installation. Notes his ability to plug players in and move them around. “All options are open.” He says it has gone even better than he could have hoped.
- Harbaugh is proud of Kwity Paye for moving on and playing for the Indianapolis Colts. Raves about Aidan Hutchinson and says there are a lot of ways they can use him. Hutchinson has “a great desire to be good and for his teammates to be good.” Says it’s all “A-plus-plus.”
- Harbaugh says he is as “enthusiastic and excited” as he ever has been to get back on the field and try to beat Ohio State. Mentions Michigan State too and says they want to beat these teams or die trying.
There will be individual podium sessions with Aidan Hutchinson, Hassan Haskins and Josh Ross on Thursday afternoon, as well as a separate session with Harbaugh. We will have coverage from those sessions and the rest of the happenings on Thursday throughout the next few days on the website.