Michigan linebackers coach Chris Partridge has been on the job a week, and he says it’s felt like a month.
Partridge served on Michigan’s staff from 2015-19 before spending a few seasons at Ole Miss. Upon Partridge’s return to Ann Arbor, he noticed things are a bit different these days.
“This thing seems to be humming, you guys have gotten it rolling since I’ve been gone,” Partridge told Jon Jansen on the In the Trenches Podcast. “The culture is just awesome, it’s got to be one of the best cultures in college football. I think the players, how willing, how hungry they are, it’s a really good place. Just walking in and feeling it, you can feel it as soon as you enter the building.”
Partridge’s first order of business was contacting linebackers and their families.
“The first thing I did is I met with each player, each linebacker one-on-one. Spent a good amount of time, an hour or so with each one. Got to know them and then I called their families. I connected with whoever their family was, whether it was step-parents, parents, or grandparents. I connected with them to get to know them.”
Beyond that, Partridge is now learning a new defensive scheme and all the terminology therein. It’s been a learning curve.
“Terminology is the hardest thing for a coach. The scheme you can kind of fit in if you have the right experiences but now all the words are different,” Partridge said. “Trying to memorize the terminology for the first practice.
Partridge noted that veteran linebacker Michael Barrett has helped him. Partridge will ask if Michigan has done something before and Barrett has given him feedback. Partridge called Barrett’s experience “huge” and helps “tremendously”.
“You kind of lean on and are able to bounce stuff off them as you’re growing together through the spring and through the season.”
Partridge said the feeling of Michigan’s first practice was awesome.
“It’s like, let’s go, let’s get after it. It’s been a hectic week but that’s what you’re here for. You kind of get tingling and you get those hairs on your neck standing up. It was awesome. It was smooth, it was great, they were running around.”
Michigan will have next week off and be on spring break, this will give Partridge time to catch up on schematics and evaluate film from this week's practices. Partridge is still staying at a hotel, and his family is still in Mississippi, next week will help him catch up and breathe a bit.
“Next week, I’m going to breathe for a second and I’m going to dig into the guts of the defense, I’m going to dig into the guts of the recruiting and be able to catch up a little bit.”
Partridge says it’s been a whirlwind for him, but it’s been fun. This picture from practice looks like he’s enjoying his time on the job so far.
Chris Partridge back wearing Maize and Blue. Love it.— Trevor Woods (@WoodsFootball) February 21, 2023
: @UMichFootball pic.twitter.com/iJitY4fIrV