Michigan senior Thomas Gordon was issued a few major challenges by his coaches during the offseason.…
Thomas Gordon ready to help lead Team 134
"It is all about building your and preparing your mind for a long season," he told GoBlueWolverine. "All those hours you put in this summer and the bonding time you put in with your teammates that count. We made our biggest strides coming together as a team, that's a big part of it. When you feel that guy next to you is your brother you are going to play that much harder for him."
Gordon also likes the fact that the defensive backfield is one of the units that the Wolverines will be able to lean on, in part because of what he is seeing out on the field with their depth and competition.
"I feel like that (the defensive backs) is one of the strongest groups on the defense, on the team. There is a lot of competition and depth that we haven't had here in recent years. I think all the competition is making us better -- you can see the competition and see who's going to vie for that starting spot for our first game."
Like most upperclassmen at Michigan, Gordon sees the need to help lead his younger teammates and to help coach them up when necessary. That is where senior leadership is important, to help speed up the development process with them. Coach Mallory has some qualities he is looking for from his senior leader as well.
"That is a part of my role here," he said," helping those young guys come along and helping with their learning curve. It helps me when I get mental reps -- teaching other people, that helps you learn also. Coach Mallory wants me to come with a lot of energy and be a guy that comes to Schembechler Hall every day to work. Somebody that everybody on the team can look to and say, 'That guy is doing the right thing all the time' - that is what he is looking for from me."
Coach Hoke has been talking about playing fast, and about winning on the road -- and those messages have clearly gotten across to Gordon and the rest of the team.
"We made strides in the spring with that," he said, "and obviously over the summer to get faster -- we made strides and improvements as team, you can see that in fall camp. But we still have a ways to go to get to the mark where Coach Hoke wants us to play at. Coach Hoke also talks about 'no more excuses' -- we can't go on the road and lose. We go into someone else's house -- we have to make that our home, we got to win; there are no excuses. You have to knock out all the outside distractions because you can get caught up in so many things, with the fans and the media and things like that. You have to focus on that game -- the only people that control that game are the people in between those white lines -- nobody else. We just have to focus on ourselves and handle our assignments."
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