Michigan Offensive Coordinator Terry Malone Talks

Michigan Offensive Coordinator Terry Malone Talks

At today's (Tuesday's) Rose Bowl press conferences, it was the Michigan offense's turn.<br><br> Offensive Coordinator Terry Malone was there with several players: <b>Steve Breaston, Kevin Dudley, Matt Lentz, Jermaine Gonzalez and Jake Long</b>.<br><br> Malone had a lot to say about the success of the Michigan program over the years, about Braylon Edwards, Chad Henne, Mike Hart and incoming frosh Kevin Grady, Jake Long, Kevin Dudley.<br>

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Michigan wide-receiver Steve Breaston answers questions during Tuesday's Rose Bowl press conference.
Offensive Coordinator Terry Malone:

Question: Over the years where other programs have gone up and down over the years, only Michigan has stayed 'up'. Why is that?

"It all goes back to Bo Schembechler really. He still has an office at Michigan, and for the 35 years since he became coach there's been that continuity. It's a fear of losing -- that urgency, that has never left. The style of football has changed over the years of course, but the basic philosophy has never changed."

"And Coach Carr embraces the past, he embraces that tradition. He'll be the first to tell you that his mentor is Bo."

"Another thing that has always been done at Michigan -- we put pressure on our top players to perform at a high level. At some places there is coddling the top performers, in hopes that that will get the most out of them. Here we do the opposite -- we put more pressure on the top players to take responsibility for the program and to continue its tradition. Because we don't coddle our top players, that creates an atmosphere of commonality and comradrie among all the players."

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Michigan players Jermaine Gonzales and Kevin Dudley share a light moment as they leave Tuesday's Rose Bowl press conference.
Regarding the prospect of rain (which started Monday night), going right through New Years Day.

"It could be a blessing in disquise, It will give us the chance to ease up a bit and for the players to get their legs back. The first few days here have been beautiful, and we got to really work hard and get a lot accomplished."

Regarding the Texas defense:

"The one thing that jumps out is that they've given up no big plays. You might think our size would defeat their speed, but they're BIG as well!"

"But we'll run our offense, we won't change things for them .. I think we have come up with the best offense for our personel, and we'll run that."

Malone when asked about certain players.

Chad Henne:

"I admit I had some sleepless nights when it became obvious that Chad would be the starter, wondering if a freshman quarterback could do the job -- whether he could even take a SNAP in front of 100,000 people. But Chad always had that calm demeanor ... I spent much of the season waiting in a way for him to fail, to play like a freshman, and he never did. Of course he can get a LOT better -- but he has played solidly all season long."

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Michigan offensive coordinator Terry Malone answers questions during Tuesday's Rose Bowl press conference.
"For another thing, we had designed a certain offense for Matt Gutierrez, with a lot of roll-outs and movement designed for him because of his mobility. Then when it became Chad we had to throw all of that out and go back to a drop-back style ... not that Chad cannot move, but just to make it simpler for him."

Whether teams have come after Henne to try to rattle him?

"Last year when we had John Navarre, yes, that was what teams did -- they came after him. This time, with Chad, it was more that every team did something new to confuse him ... we always told him in every game to expect something that he had never seen before."

"Chad is a special kid -- I wish I knew how you could produce it."

"And then yesterday I was reminded by how young he is -- the most excited I have ever seen him was yesterday, coming to Disneyland. I said that's our starting quarterback -- with the biggest smile on his face that I'd ever seen on him, to see Mickey Mouse!"

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Michigan offensive lineman Jake Long at Tuesday's Rose Bowl press conference.
On Braylon Edwards

"He's the best college wide receiver I've seen in person. To have a kid 6-4, who can do a back flip and a 7' high jump ... and be one of the Big Ten's top finishers in the 60 yard dash."

On whether Michigan designs those jump balls to Braylon.

"Well, I'd say that's not we'd like to call it, we'd like to think it's more sophisticated than that ... but when you come right down to it, yeah, I guess that's what we do!"

On Jason Avant

"His knee just hasn't responded the way it had to. He's worked so hard to rehab it ... but unless something changes fast he won't be available. Jermaine Gonzalez will do a good job, although he has big shoes to fill ... and Steve Breason will be in more normal sets."

On Mike Hart

"He's exceptional. He's short but he has strong legs so he's not small. And he just has great vision. You spend years trying to teach things to kids ... and then some just walk in and can do it."

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Michigan offensive lineman Matt Lentz was one of five players made available for Tuesday's Rose Bowl press conference.
On bringing incoming freshman Kevin Grady along on the trip (and having him in the bowl game practices).

"Actually Tennessee did it with several kids when we played them a couple years back ... that's when we learned you could do it."

"Kevin is a special kid. We wouldn't do it with just anyone. He's kept himself in the background ... he's respectful of the other running backs who have earned their spots on the team."

"But it's a tremendous advantage for him to be able do this."

"Like Mike Hart, Grady is short, but he's NOT small. He's THICK with tremendously strong legs.

On whether Grady is working out on the Demo Team 'as Cedric Benson'.

"No, he's NOT demo for Benson, altho the defense asked for it! After the very first practice we said, THIS kid won't spend time on demo team!"

"Legally he could even play in the game, believe it or not, but he would lose a year of eligibility, so we won't do it."

On Jake Long

"He will be one of the great ones here. It's in a guy's 2nd year when you see what you have. The hardest thing for a young offensive lineman is pass blocking -- and Jake holds his own out there."

On Kevin Dudley getting a touchdown in his last game

"Everyone is worried about it but Kevin!"
"Kevin Dudley is a skilled player ... but if you had Dudley and Hart who would you hand ball off to: Dudley, or Hart with Dudley blocking?"

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Steve Breaston on the condition of his foot (stress fracture that has bothered him all season)

"My foot didn't get worse for the Ohio State game (after the Northwestern game when it seemed a lot better and he broke off a couple long punt returns). I don't know when 100% will come (for the foot) ... probably after the season, when I can get off it and rest it."

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