On Tim Massaquoi:
"I think he has developed into one of the best tight ends in the country.
When we recruited him, we recruited him with the idea that he would be a wide
receiver. But it was very obvious that he was going to be a big guy…a
guy that would be big enough to move inside. I'll always remember he came in
to see me after the spring of his freshman year, and said, 'coach, I want to
move to tight end.' I'm just hoping he can have the best year of his career
because that increases our chances to reach our goals and puts him in a position
to do something after he leaves Michigan."
On the defensive breakdowns in the Rose bowl:
"I think looking back in retrospect, and it's even difficult there, the
Texas - Michigan game was an absolutely great football game. That's difficult
to discuss when you lose the way we lost and you give up as many points as we
did because we've always prided ourselves on being a team that played good defense,
tackled well, and didn't give up big plays. So while I recognize and try to
appreciate that it was a truly great football game, that doesn't help me in
terms of feeling frustrated in terms of the way we played in the second half
defensively. So, yeah, it's frustrating and disappointing and hopefully we can
do better. That's my job."
On Pat Massey's opinion that the breakdowns were the fault of the players:
"I think anytime you're not successful, generally speaking, there's not
one reason. There are a lot of things that go into it and everybody can share
in that. I think offensively, had we converted on 3rd and 2 and used up some
of the clock down there and kicked a field goal, we would have won the game.
There are always those scenarios. Certainly as coaches, as players, as the head
coach ultimately…I'm responsible. I've got to do a better job. I think
the way you get better and the only way you can hope to correct problems is
if everybody takes responsibility for the changes that need to be made. That's
what we’re trying to do."
On the calls for Jim Herrmann's job by fans after the Rose Bowl:
"First of all, there is no one…there is no one that is going to
tell me who to hire and who to fire because if they do, then I won't be here.
I don't care. None of that ever will have an influence on me. I've hired people
that have received the same criticism and now they're considered among the best
coaches in the United States. I don't give a damn what anybody else thinks about
any of that."
On if how Herrmann feels about it:
"In our first meeting of the year we talk about what you have to deal
with as far as the pressure of playing here and, certainly our coaches know
the pressure of coaching here. And it's no different anywhere. That's just the
nature of it. Don't feel sorry for yourself. If you don't like it, then don't
coach. You don't like it, don't play. This is part of the arena. And it's part
of, really I think, one of the values of the game. You learn how to deal with
those types of criticisms from people who very often don't know what the hell
they're talking about. You can get angry. There is a writer named Sid Harris
and recently I heard him referred to as the Emerson of the 20th century. He
said, 'the one thing I've always been able to do as a writer is never react
to the people that criticize me. Then I turn around and see that a lot of those
people have died, or have failed in their own lives. To have spent anytime worried
about them would have been a waste of my time.' "
On if he ever listens to criticism:
"The one thing about coaching and playing is at the end of the game there's
a scoreboard up there. If you don't come out on the right side of the scoreboard
enough, as a coach...you're not going to be there. As a player, if you don't
perform you're not going to be in the lineup. There are a lot of professions
out there where there is no scoreboard. I like the fact that I'm in a game where
there's a scoreboard because I want to know how we did. I want to win. I'm going
to make decisions based on what I think gives us the best chance to win. I want
to win more than any other single person in Michigan football. I guarantee you
On the Notre Dame Game:
"It's a great game. I think it's a game that everybody in the country
wants to see, I think it's a game the players love to play, and I think it's
great for college football. I think the real issue is how that fits in an era
where we have the BCS, which means if you want to have a chance to win the national
championship, don't lose a game. Each institution has to decide if that game
is worth risking. There are a lot of schools out there that aren't going to
risk playing a non-conference game like that because of fear that it will cost
them a national championship. I don't worry about that and I've never worried
about that because I knew when I became the coach here that we were going to
play Notre Dame through the end of my tenure."
On Tim Jamison and Marques Walton:
"Marques Walton has done a great job with his conditioning. His weight
is down. He has really made some strides there and I think he will have a role
on our football team. Tim Jamison has recovered from his surgery. I think he
is ready to go. He is much bigger and stronger than he was. He is a very very
explosive guy and he will play an important role in our defense."