Michigan receivers coach Ron Bellamy joined Jon Jansen this week on the In the Trenches Podcast to discuss WR room expectations and the growth he has seen since spring ball.
From the young guys that have just arrived on campus, to the leaders like Cornelius Johnson and Roman Wilson, the unit has grown and made strides to play at an elite level. According to Bellamy, a lot of that evolution comes from the strong leadership quarterback J.J. McCarthy exudes.
“J.J. is one of the best leaders I have been around. He is the kid that could lead the operation,” Bellamy said. explained. “You can leave him out there talking to his teammates, pulling a receiver to the side, going over things with them, taking accountability. This kid gets it. He is the heart and soul of our football team.”
Bellamy also talked about what McCarthy can do on the field as well.
“J.J. can make every throw and the most dangerous part about him is that he can make and extend plays. He is a complete QB and in our receiver room, we know we have the best QB in America.”
With that belief comes chemistry between the receivers and their QB. According to Bellamy, that comes with time and repetitive action.
“First, receivers are making sure they are in the right spot at the right time and doing everything the right way,” he shared, “The more you play with each other, the more repetitions, the QB has understanding where the receiver will be and the nuisances grow and evolve.”
There will be other receivers in the mix this year for snaps at wideout. Guys like Peyton O’Leary, whose performance in the Spring Game turned a lot of heads and Tyler Moore, who made the switch to now don the No. 8 jersey and live up to the meaning, have all made strides to be there and succeed when they are called.
“We talk about development every day, individual drills, film study, within practice, it is to grow and develop. When you get developed and show that to coaches, when your number is called you are ready for it,” Bellamy shared. “A guy like Peyton has always been that guy. He is doing things the right way and he’s a big time effort guy. Peyton can ball.
Tyler Moore, coach (Jim) Harbaugh and I joked that Tyler switched from 13 to 8 and he gives you the Ronnie Bell vibes. You have seen eight has been around for some time and now see T-Mo in number eight and making those acrobatic Ronnie Bell catches or jumping over someone to go get a contested ball. He has that junkyard dog mentality, like ‘I can do anything coach.’”
Different battles have been occurring between receivers and defensive backs at practice, and per Bellamy, that’s where growth is happening. Cornerbacks Will Johnson and Mike Sainristil are giving receivers all they can handle.
“Will is talented, strong and long,” Bellamy said. “He’s a smart guy, so telling outside guys you are going against Will, you will win some of your battles and he’s going to win some of his. It is iron sharpening iron. Also a battle I love to watch is between Roman and Mikey, it’s a chess match.”
By the time the season rolls around, these practice battles should serve Michigan’s receivers well.
“Ultimately we make sure we are in position for when the ball snaps for the first game we are ready to go. Each week and each day getting better and better,” Bellamy said, “We make sure we are doing our job, being physical, setting a standard, so whoever you are playing, they are going to feel it for four quarters.”