Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh capped the halfway point of fall camp Wednesday with a press conference, discussing everything from the QB competition to rest and conditioning.
Here’s the main takeaways from what Harbaugh said at Shembechler Hall.
For Harbaugh on Michigan’s quarterback competition, Click Here.
Harbaugh press conference highlights
Q. You’re in the back half of camp now, has there been any separation at quarterback one?
JIM HARBAUGH: They, they both just continue to elevate their game really on a daily basis. In, in every, every little way. So yeah, that was pretty, pretty tight. Pretty tight to me. No, no, no, they’re both they’re both playing at the high starter caliber.
Q. Heard a lot about the health of the team being among the best that you’ve had. Is it still, now that you’ve got a couple of weeks, is the health of the team still up there? Is there any potential injuries?
JIM HARBAUGH: Yeah, so another good day today. We’ve done some good hitting and we’ve done some, you know, every possible phase and situation; offensively, defensively, special teams. And there are there are no long term injuries on the team so far. I mean, guys got to you know, keep that’s, that’s something that they work at, you know, they take care of themselves, they take care of the team.
We just had a phenomenal presentation to the team by Michael Phelps, who came in via zoom and talked to the team and I mean, the thing that just continues to ring in my ear and head from that talk was crystal clear. He told us how he couldn’t wait to get into 105 pounds of ice waiting for him in a bath. That was going to be the thing he did right after he got done with talking to our team. He talked about sleep. He talked about hydration — water — and somebody that could go anywhere in the world, any kind of treatment known to mankind: Ice, sleep and hydration with water. And I know that our team has an ice bath waiting for them right now. They’ve got water and then, and then getting that sleep. Those are the kinds of things that they take care of themselves, they take care of the team in doing that.
Q. When you have a team coming off a great year like you had last year, people wonder about is there contentment, how do you summit again, and you’ve talked about no signs of entitlement whatsoever. Has that continued through camp, and how do you detect no entitlement or no contentment?
JIM HARBAUGH: Effort is usually the biggest one, we just talked about how they take care of themselves, how they take care of the team. Avoiding the big head, you know, that’s a deep dark, lonely trap. And yeah, continuing to attack everything that’s being put in front of them and not be afraid of any challenge, not afraid of any new challenge.
All those ways and now that we’re in the camp, the big thing I’m looking for is who the tone setters are. I mean, there’s leadership that comes in a lot of different ways. There’s guys that lead by example. There’s guys that, you know, bring guys along. There’s multiple ways that you know, quiet leader, take a guy put his arm around him, but the ones that set the tone.
Defensively, we lost four real tone setters in Hutchinson, Ojabo, Ross, and Dax Hill, you know, big time. And offensively, we got some of those tone setters back like Blake Corum, and the two quarterbacks and Donovan Edwards and Erick All and Cornelius Johnson, there’s, you know, there’s a few. Special teams, Caden Kolesar is that kind of guy. He does that.
A lot of guys that have the license in respect and the ability to do that and, you know, as we go through camp, I just look at that as something that needs to take place and I see it happening, but it’s one I want to continue.
Q. Who have been the MVPs of camp in your eyes?
JIM HARBAUGH: Ronnie Bell has been tremendous. I mean, there’s been a bunch. I’ll start naming names and then I’ll leave somebody out so there’s been quite a few. Ronnie does jump out as somebody that, you know, he’s faster, catching the ball extremely well and he’s stronger. He’s been there every day and doing a tremendous job. Quite a few others.
The guy that really popped up yesterday — the day before yesterday, big scrimmage — was the guy by the name of Isaiah Gash who just did a tremendous job and — you know why boxers make good football players? Anybody? They don’t blink. Don’t ever blink. They blink, they’re gonna get hit. So Isaiah boxed all spring and winter. He was an amateur boxer. And now watching him run through those holes and as a kick returner, it’s been super fun and impressive. I could see him as somebody that’s really, really emerging.
Q. In terms of the quarterback competition, when you and your staff are looking to make the decision about who you want to go with, is that the type of thing where you would seek input it all from like the advisory council or other veterans about just kind of what their thinking is a part of that or is it purely a coaching decision about who the starter would be?
JIM HARBAUGH: Yeah, we’re all out there. We’re all seeing the same thing and you know when it’s obvious to coaches, it’s obvious to players as well. I talked to Dave Revsine, Howard Griffith was here, [Gerry DiNardo] was here. Maybe just get their opinion. They watched it. See if I’m not telling you the truth, check me.
Q. When you have two good quarterbacks, is there any downside to having that go on, have that discussion go on into the season?
JIM HARBAUGH: No, I think that’s, it’s a real option. I mean, there’s three as I see it, One is one of them is going to separate and be the starter and then we’ll roll that way with a starter and a backup. The other guy could be the starter and the other be the backup, that would be option two. Option three is we’d have to see them play games to make that decision.
Q. Could you see doing a Brady/Henson, give a couple series here and then bring in the next guy and kind of rotate that way through a game?
JIM HARBAUGH: I mean hypothetically, I don’t know. I mean, it’d be like trying to throw that in the hypothetical box. Some people like to say if you don’t have a starting quarterback then you don’t have a quarterback. I put that into the category of people that they’re born originals and they die copies, you know, they just hear something and they parrot it.
So this is a very good, unique situation. We have two quarterbacks that are playing at a high starter level. And we’re going to let it, we’re going to keep competing and it’s possible that there’s a starter by the first game, and then possible that it plays into the season til we pick the one that’s the gonna help the team win. You know who’s gonna be the best person to play quarterback to win the game.