ANN ARBOR—New Michigan offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier was calculated and punctual in his introductory press conference Friday morning.
No matter the reasoning or circumstances that lead Nussmeier from Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama up to Brady Hoke’s staff at Michigan; the play calling, schematics and overall interest in exhibiting a downhill, power attack will follow.
The only problem for Nussmeier and Michigan is the depth chart littered with two to three five-star prospects at each position down in Tuscaloosa will not.
According to Nussmeier though, that’s okay.
“Correct me if I’m wrong but we’re 11-points away from being 11-1,” Nussmeier said. “So, this is a good football team here with good, young talent and if coach Hoke recruits players, which I know he does cause you look at our recruiting rankings over the last two years, as well as he recruits coaches cause he recruited me, we’re going to do really good with our young players in developing and moving towards the future.
“There’s young talent on this team -- we’ve got to develop it. We’ve got about 45, 46 days before we go to spring football so getting those young players on the same page and player development it’s all about how you view it and with any young player there’s a steep learning curve.”
Admittedly not having much of a chance to watch film or gain a greater understanding of Michigan’s struggles offensively last season, Nussmeier does already have an idea of what it’ll take to correct some of the issues.
“Well, like I said and coach talked about, we need to run the football,” Nussmeier said. “And just briefly looking at statistically where we’re at, we’ve got to eliminate the sacks; we can’t have lost yardage plays, number one thing we’ve got to eliminate that. We can’t have undisciplined penalties, pre-snap penalties.
“Anytime you’re trying to find consistency on offense you’ve got to start from the basis of we’re not going to go backwards so we’re not going to have lost yardage runs, we’re not going to take sacks, we’re not going to have penalties. So, that’s the first thing we’ll start from.”
Filled with buzzwords, discipline, a few laughs, and several thank you’s, Nussmeier delivered a performance at the podium Michigan fans will want to cling to.
Asked to describe his vision for the Wolverines’ offense under his control, Nussmeier used little flash.
“Tough, physical, explosive,” he said. “That’s what we want to be. We want to be able to run the football and we want to be able to put points on the board and we want to force the defense to defend all different elements of the game.”
Oft criticized for a lack of creativity to go with a fair share of stubbornness throughout the 2013 season under offensive coordinator Al Borges, Nussmeier’s offense, as part of the identity Coach Brady Hoke wants to see on that side of the football, won’t be all that unfamiliar to fans and opponents.
Michigan is going to run the football in 2014 and beyond, even, at times, if circumstances dictate a pass.
“You’re always trying to identify the best way to do things,” Nussmeier said. “What’s the best way we can create a fair box count for our linemen to get people blocked or can we use a receiver with this type of motion to create a numbers advantage; those are all schematic issues.
“And there’s times too that our players got to know that there may be a loaded box but you know what? We are who we are, we’re tough, we’re hardnosed, we’re physical and we’re going to come downhill and run the ball at people.”
Nussmeier and his family headed back to Alabama following his press conference Friday in order to take care of details prior to their permanent move north but did say he had met with the staff for recruiting purposes with signing day less than a month away.