Big Ten Media Day: Carr Goes In-Depth

Lloyd Carr

Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr stepped away from the dais to speak more in depth with the local media about some of the issues facing his 2006 squad. Among the topics covered were the future of Antonio Bass, the status if his incoming freshman class, summer conditioning, and more.

For GoBlueWolverine's previous content on Big Ten Media Day, including Carr's comments from the dais in which he reveals more details about this year's team, click the following links:


On Antonio Bass’ status:

“He’s doing extremely well. The knee is coming along really well. His rehab has gone extremely well, but there is a test that they are going to take here in the next couple of weeks involving another issue. Right now I’d say it’s very good.”

On if it’s another leg issue:

“Well, it’s related to the injury.”

On if Bass is pushing to play this year:

“No.”

On Chris McLaurin and other players that had surgery around the spring time:

“Chris McLaurin will return. We are expecting his return at some point in the season. James McKinney, we’re optimistic that at some point this season he’ll return.”

On if anyone has said they’re not coming back in the fall:

“No.”

On if all of the freshmen are qualified:

“I think we have one clearinghouse issue that we are waiting on.”

On when practice starts:

“Our players report next Sunday, we’ll have media day on Monday, meetings in the afternoon, we will begin our one-a-day practices Tuesday through Saturday, and then we will begin our (two-a-days) the following week.”

On whether Bass has suffered a setback:

I don’t know that it was a setback. It was something that depending on how that test goes…it’s an important test in terms of his future as an athlete.”

On if Bass’ career is in doubt right now:

“Well, I think the test is going to clarify that issue.”

On the new rules to speed up the game:

“I think when you look at the lengths of some of the games I think that it is important to do some things to try and speed the game up. I think that’s the intent of the rules committee. We will have to see. I think eventually the biggest rule change that will speed the game up in a significant way will be stopping the clock on first down. I think that’s an issue that continues to be debated. I think that’s something that may be in the future.”

On staying healthy while trying to practice physically:

“Well that’s always an issue. It has always been an issue, and it always will be an issue. Injuries are to some degree out of your control. We have done a lot of things on recent years…you are limited in the number of scrimmage opportunities you can have in the spring. You are limited in the number of full contact drills you can have. Plus spring ball has been reduced three days. So there are a lot of issues. I think you have to be lucky because to get football team ready to compete, contact is part of the game. It’s an issue that we deal with daily because every time you go out there, and I think Antonio is the perfect example, someone can get injured without contact. From a coaching standpoint that is one of the great issues that you face.”

On if they’re any players he is really looking forward to seeing based on what he has heard come out of summer conditioning:

“Well, in talking with Mike Gittleson, the great majority of our summer conditioning went extremely well. We’ve had a lot of freshmen in, and that is something that you are always excited to see. You recruit guys that have reputations and you have been able to evaluate their high school practices, but until you get there and find out hard they compete and what kind of condition they’re in…some of those guys are guys that can make a difference in your team if they’re ready to compete and ready to contribute.”

On the back-up quarterback spot and if David Cone will factor in:

“David has been here. We’ll have to see. Certainly he is going to get some reps because of the numbers at that position. But I think the experience that Jason Forcier has had in a year gives him certainly a great advantage there. Jason did some very good things there in the spring and I think he has made some progress this summer. My guess would be Forcier.

On if he likes the instant replay change with the challenge:

“Well I think we had to do something in terms of giving a coach an opportunity when he sees something. I think the difficult part is that you may see something on the field, and because we don’t have the number of cameras available…you still have an issue where you can see something and know it, but not have it overturned because you don’t have the camera angle. I think instant replay will be much like the NFL experimentation. I think over the next few years there will continue to be some changes as coaches find there are certain things about it that they like and don’t like.”

On what the winter and spring did for Carlos Brown:

“I think the transition…he is not going to have to worry about being homesick. He has been here for six months. He has been in school. He knows what that is going to be like. Certainly he knows what the workouts are going to be like, and from standpoint of learning, he is far ahead of where the typical incoming freshman is.”

On whether Rueben Riley at right tackle is still a likely scenario:

“Well, I think he had a very good spring, and yet the good news for our line is Rueben has played both positions. It’s really going to come down to what other people do. We’re going to see how the training camp goes and see if somebody steps up and takes control of either the guard position or the tackle position.”

On the weight challenge issued to Alex Mitchell:

“I think we’ll see. I know that his conditioning is better. I don’t give a guy a specific weight to come in at. I don’t think as a coach that’s smart to do. I think what you can tell him is if he’s too heavy, he needs to lose weight. Then he has to find a weight that enables him to play at a consistent level throughout the course of a practice and throughout the course of a game. That’s his challenge and really, that is going to impact his performance.”

More on reports from summer conditioning:

“I think as a team we had a great summer. This team is motivated. I think if you talk about in terms of strength, it’s always the younger players that have the ability to improve the most…and we’ve done that. I think as a team, we’re in top condition in terms of starting practices. I think our weight, generally speaking, is very good.”

On Chad Henne:

“If you go back to his freshman year, he had an outstanding year considering his age and his experience. I think a year ago he took a lot of criticism and a lot of blame that was unjust because he had to play with an offense that had so many injuries. It impacted his ability and it put pressure on the passing game because we couldn’t run the football. I think he really is committed to being a great quarterback and I think he’ll take another step in that direction this fall.”

On if he notices a difference in this team from past teams in terms of being motivated:

“I think anytime you have to deal with disappointment, it can either make you or it can break you. I think based on the work ethic, which has to be the first tool you evaluate, they’ve been very good. I think the work ethic, the attitude…there is great enthusiasm…and we have a very very strong nucleus at every position coming back. It’s not like we don’t have experienced players coming back. LaMarr Woodley has played on two Big Ten championships, and Mike Hart has played on one. Except for the freshmen, everyone here has played on a championship team, so they know the difference.

On if Mike Hart is eligible to be a captain this year as a junior:

“Traditionally our captains are seniors.”

On if he sees that ever changing:

“I there are a lot of traditions that can be changed. I think with the fact that numbers went from105 to 85, it just means that a lot more freshmen are playing every year. That means that by the time a guy is a junior, he has as much experience as guys did 25 years ago when freshmen weren’t eligible and couldn’t play until they were sophomores. So yeah, I can see that.”

On if that is a possibility this year:

“Well, I’m not speaking to that now.”

On his thinking behind calling Jim Delaney about Jim Filson, the referee that was fired after it was discovered that he was blind in one eye.

“I will say this; in the complaint, and it has been reported in the media that someone from the media called me to inform me that one of the officials in the Big Ten was legally blind in one eye. That part of the complaint and that part that has been reported in the media is totally erroneous. Somewhere following the 2004 season I received a call from a Big Ten official who asked me if I was aware, or if the coaches were aware of that issue. He proceeded to tell me that there were some major issues regarding this. His comment to me was if the media got ahold of it, it was going to become a major embarrassment to the conference if it occurred that a call was made where it might impact the game. Following that conversation I called the commissioner. I called him because I felt I had an obligation as a member of this conference to call him. (The referee that informed Carr) indicated to me that he didn’t think that the commissioner did know. So when I called the commissioner I made it very clear that I was calling for one purpose and one purpose only. That was to pass that information that was given to me by a Big Ten official. I made it clear to Jim (Delaney) that I had no opinion and that I was not calling with any motivation other than to provide him the information. What he chose to do with it was certainly his decision. I have never, until this moment, spoken to anyone from the media about that issue. But given the same circumstances, I would make the same call in spite of the fact that it has been portrayed that I cost him his job or I was trying to get him fired. There is nothing further from the truth than that.”

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