Ryan Van Bergen
Question: Coach Mattison said the defense isn’t where it needs to be and
maybe that’s going to be something he always says. Do you feel that you
guys are making enough progress to be ready in ten days or so?
Answer: Yeah, I think we have done pretty well. We’ve had our ups and
downs as anyone would in camp. Coach Mattison has preached consistency to
us and wants us to be a consistent defense. That’s something we’re striving
for everyday and we’re preparing for it and luckily we have a few more days
to prepare. We’re getting better but we’re not where we need to be yet.
Q: Coach Borges has said practices aren’t for the faint of heart. Would you
agree with that?
A: Yeah, I mean, you probably question your commitment if you’re not fully
into it in practice. We go full pads everyday and have been and we bang
everyday there is no light day. You got to bring it every day or you’re not
going to be ready for practice and you’re not going to enjoy practices. It’s
rough, but it’s a physical game and it’s preparing us to be physical when we
get into the season.
Q: How much percentage wise … from last year?
A: I don’t have the stats in front of me but statistically…
Q: (laughter) well you know what I mean ... (laughter) ...
A: I would say yeah. I can’t speak for the whole team but the drills that
we do kind of separate from the offensive line to the defensive line and
along the defensive line we bang everyday and we probably have, periods of
five minutes, we probably have ten periods that are full go offensive
line-defensive line and that’s not including just going against the
defensive line. We have a very physical practice going full pads and we’re
getting after it and it’s going to make us better in the long run.
Q: How much are you hurting after practice?
A: I mean you’re always going to be hurting after practice. I said it’s a
physical game, everyone is going to have their bumps and bruises, but you
can’t come in the locker room and cry about it because you have to come back
tomorrow and practice. You just develop a mentality where you don’t care
what happens in practice. I’m going to go hard and then come back and go
hard again tomorrow. Otherwise you’re going to get your face beat in so you
might as well come in with a good attitude.
Q: How often are you in the five technique as compared to the three
A: We’re going to change it up a little bit. There’s been some
opportunities for me to play three and play the five depending on
situations. Who we’re playing is what part of that is going to be game plan.
It’s because Coach Mattison putting guys in position where he thinks they
can make the best plays. Right now I’ve been repping both of them. I’m
comfortable with both of them, I’ve played both of them in the past.
I’m 290 pounds and the last time I played three technique, I was 260 and I
don’t think that went to well. I’m actually much more comfortable with the
weight right now and I’ve been playing pretty well and I need to get better.
Q: Do you feel more comfortable at one position than another?
A: Not really. It’s the same position if you break it down. I prefer five
technique in practice because I get to go against my bud back there in
Taylor Lewan. If I had a choice, I’d rather go against Taylor because he’s
a good offensive lineman and it gives me a good look in practice but I need
to get reps in both of them because there are subtle differences in both
Q: Do you go against another position you don’t respect as much? (Laughter)
A: (Laughter) No, no that’s not the case. It’s just me and Taylor are real
competitive and we’re good friends. We’re best buds, it’s not a big deal. I
just like going against Taylor, but the other guys are just as good. Taylor
and I just have a record in the series going, it’s no big deal.
Q: Who’s winning? You don’t have to answer that. (Laughter)
A: (Laughter) It’s not about winning and losing. But if it was about
winning and losing it might have gotten tied up today. We’ll let him talk
about it, but I think I got him tied up with a win today. No winners or
losers, just competition.
Q: Is it harder because you guys are changing bodies and the offensive line
A: I could see that being the perception but it’s really not like that. The
defensive line has been together for so long. It’s been me, Mike, Craig,
Will Heineger, Nate Brink and Will Campbell. Everyone is like a junior. When
you’ve had that many reps together and it doesn’t matter what position or
who’s on one’s and who’s on two’s, whatever, so it’s not like you have any
rookies in there making the wrong plays or you’re not comfortable next to
them. Everyone has been with each other long enough that we feel
comfortable next to them.
Q: Talk about Frank Clark and what he’s done to impress.
A: Frank Clark, there have been a lot of freshman who have been impressive
in practice. We’ve got to see what they can do in games obviously. (Frank
Clark) He’s just got a lot of raw athleticism, a lot of speed, I think he
was a good track guy in high school and coaches have been impressed with
Q: Want to correct the record on what Ryan said?
A: The record? The record was 2-1 before today and we do one on one’s and
that’s our big deal. He beat me today. A blind squirrel finds a nut every
once in a while right? (Laughter) But it’s all good. It’s tied up and we’ll
see what happens tomorrow.
Q: … Progress of the offensive line and the chemistry?
A: I’m real happy. We’ve got a lot of guys competing for a lot of
positions, Mike Schofield especially. He’s everywhere. Right guard, right
tackle, left tackle, all over the place and if you have that type of
competition on the team it’s only going to make everyone better. Pushes me,
pushes Huyge, pushes Patrick Omameh and that’s awesome.
Q: Overall you guys holding your own with the defensive line? Do you track
that like you track one on one battles?
A: I don’t track it as much. I like to think, you go against someone every
day in camp, we’re on practice 22 now, I know what Ryan is going to do
before he even does it and vice versa. We don’t really track it, but the
defense has gotten us a few times throughout the camp.
Q: How’s Chris Bryant doing? Is he going to be a contributor this year?
A: Chris Bryant has shown a lot of improvement. He’s gotten his weight
down a lot and he’s shown a lot of athleticism for a big guy. Playing this
year, I’m not positive, I’m not a coach. But he’s shown a lot a progress
and I’m excited about his future.
Q: You guys don’t pay a lot of attention to what’s going on behind you …
running backs.. Do you notice this offense as efficient as it’s been in the
A: You know, this is a much more pro-style obviously and we run a lot of
power and if we get four yards that’s successful to us because the plays we
run. We don’t have the big plays we did last year but we’re nickel and
diming it and controlling the ball and I think that’s a big part of us and
Michigan has been for a while.
Q: What have you seen from Ricky Barnum?
A: I talked about Ricky at media day and he’s improved so much from a
redshirt senior. He knows what he’s doing and he’s helped me out sometimes
and I like that. It feels good now that Steve Schilling is gone and Ricky
picked it up like it was no big deal.
Q: (Question about David Molk’s leadership)
A: Molk is not very vocal but he leads by example. That’s a big thing and
what we need. Him being a center and making all the calls we need that guy
to be sturdy and know the fronts and know the defenses that are coming . I
make calls too at tackle but making calls at center, you know, most
leadership is very valuable to this team. He’s done a great job this camp.
Q: What’s Al Borges style?
A: Anything that works. He does a little bit of both, there will be times in
practice he’ll get in our face and tell us you need to do this, this and
this and you need to do it right. And there will be times he’ll sit back
and get on the lift and call the plays and be a little out of it and that’s
good for our offense. You don’t want to be a coordinator that tells us
what’s going on without us knowing ourselves.
Q: Does Borges have a lot of control over the offensive line?
A: Coach Funk takes a lot of control over the offensive line obviously and
he knows what he’s doing throughout the offense, but Coach Borges will jump
in sometimes and tell us a little bit here and there.