Taylor Lewan on the ND front 7, on being calm in the huddle, on the leadership of Molk and Denard in the huddle, on the receivers blocking -- and, with Taylor, there's always a couple laughs.
Question: You don’t know what is going on behind you, you said you don’t care who the running back is or what the play is necessarily, you know you are supposed to block as an offensive player. So when a game is going on like that and things start obviously exploding and there are all these plays downfield are you guys aware of that?
Taylor Lewan: “I usually don’t know what’s going on until I hear cheering or a little more quiet in the stands. I’ve said before, I don’t care who’s running the ball. No one should care who is running the ball. It is not about playing favorites, oh, I’m real good friends with him. It is not about that. You’re doing your job for Michigan and it is not about you but it is about you doing your job and doing your job for Michigan.”
Question: After looking at the tape, what do you think the biggest issue was, was it technique, was it just strength, getting after the ball?
Taylor Lewan: “It was a little bit of everything. They are a good team, a big strong team and they played real well. Manti Te’o is a hell of a player, and we all know that. They’ve got some good D-ends that’s how it is. There are a lot of things that we do need to work on and I think overall there is a little bit of everything to work on.”
Question: If you guys play to your full potential next week, what is the offense going to look like?
Taylor Lewan: “I don’t know how much I can actually answer that. I think you’ll see an improvement in the offense absolutely, not just with Denard (Robinson) or the running backs, everybody. You’ll see more of a team that plays in sync. I’m not going to give numbers or anything like that, but when you see a team playing together and playing in sync that’s something you want and that’s something if we can get it together you’ll see. If we get it together.”
Question: What was the huddle like with eight seconds to go?
Taylor Lewan: “It was just another play. Eight seconds left, the possibility of two plays. At Michigan you expect to win and I think the biggest thing is how calm everybody was. Everybody knew what their assignment was and knew what we needed to do. That’s a big thing that came into play those last eight seconds.”
Question: Who was doing the talking?
Taylor Lewan: “No one really needed to talk. (Dave) Molk set the huddle, Denard called the play and we knew what we had to do. It was like another play. It was not, oh eight seconds left. It was Michigan playing football.”
Question: Did you see the catch?
Taylor Lewan: “I did not. I heard some cheers though so that was good.”
Question: Does that calmness that you talk about come from just being familiar with that situation that you guys have been in a few times?
Taylor Lewan: “I think so. I think it is leaders too. You’ve got Denard, a quarterback who has played a lot of football and knows what he’s doing. You got Molk who is a center, calls the huddle and calls that first call on the line. You got guys taking care of business and being leaders. We’ve got plenty of leaders on the team so I like to think of myself as a leader but at the same time there is nothing that needs to be said because everybody is doing what they have to do right then and there and you knew it, you felt it.”
Question: That picture of you throwing Denard up in the air like that, did anyone say to you afterwards, you got to be careful with him (laughter)?
Taylor Lewan: “It’s a trust thing. It is a big time trust thing (laughter). I think we’re okay there. We’ve practiced. We had pads around us so that’s good. Overall, we’re going to keep doing that I think because we’ve done that every game. We’re going to keep doing that.”
Question: Are you surprised how much shotgun you’ve run?
Taylor Lewan: “Yes and no. I know it is a pro style offense, but at the same time when you have a player like Denard, you have to utilize those tools. The guy can run. I don’t know if you guys have noticed the guy can run a little bit and he is a playmaker. We need to put him in a situation to make plays and put our offense in the best situation to make plays, if that means a little more shotgun…Coach Borges knows what he’s doing. You guys know and I know that. These coaches know what they’re doing. Anything they say, I’m listening to.”
Question: How big is it for this offense for somebody like Roy Roundtree who did not really get the ball thrown to him a lot, can come up with that play at the end of the play?
Taylor Lewan: “Like I said, everyone focuses on their job. Wide receivers know, every time we have a pass play, everyone has a route but not everyone gets the ball. Everybody runs their route just as hard as everybody else because that’s what we’ve been taught to do; what we’ve been coached to do. That’s a big thing that these coaches have done is teaching us…well not us, I don’t get the ball. I’m a little upset, but we’ll talk about that later though (laughter).”
Question: We’re still waiting for your first carry.
Taylor Lewan: “We’ll figure that out. That’s a story for another time. These receivers know they are not always going to get the ball. They know when it is a run play that they know to block. They know what they’re doing and these guys have good heads on their shoulders and they don’t let the ego get in the way. It’s tough, you catch the ball, it is tough to get the ego out of the way and Roy has done a good job. He’s a good player.”
Question: You talked about great Michigan offensive line, did you see Steve Everitt on the sideline?
Taylor Lewan: “I saw Steve. I saw him give him a big hug right after that play too.”
Question: Ryan Van Bergen said he took the hardest hit of the game from Everitt.
Taylor Lewan: “I bet. That guy’s crazy in a good way (laughter). Steve Everitt—I’ve only had conversations with him believe it or not on the field or on the sidelines. From when I met the guy, he’s awesome. I’ve heard plenty of good stories about him. Some good, some a little crazy, but at the end of the day he is an overall good guy to me.”
Question: Can we hear some of the little crazy ones?
Taylor Lewan: “Absolutely not.”