“We are beginning the last week of our training camp. We have got Tuesday,
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Our last 2 a day will be tomorrow, and we still
have some decisions to make and that will probably play out through the weekend
and then we will make some decisions and get into game week.”
Question: Can you over some positions that you were looking at;
right tackle, kicker, kicker return, maybe talk about that is shaping up?
Coach Carr: “I think at write tackle Steve Schilling has had an excellent
fall. He is an extremely talented guy, great size and athletic ability…
a guy that is smart and loves to play. I think that he will be a great player
here someday. I think Mark Ortmann has done a very good job and has competed
well. Perry Dorrestein. It is just too close to call at this point. The kicking
situation is pretty much the same. I think that Bryan Wright looks to be our
kick off guy. He has done a very good job there. The place kicking has been
very competitive. They have all done a good job, and I think we have 3 guys
that are very close so that will necessitate a call here, and we will have confidence
in whoever we choose.”
Question: Have there been any severe injuries that would keep guys
out for a significant period of time.
Coach Carr: “We have got some typical training camp injuries, mostly
sprained ankles and things of that nature. Alex Mitchell had an injury Monday
in practice, yesterday morning. He will miss the 1st game, possibly the 2nd,
but we hope to have him back. It is not an injury that is going to impact a
season, but he does have some rehab to do to the injury that he got yesterday.
Question: Do you have any idea when Carlos Brown will be back?
Coach Carr: “Carlos is still in a cast. He has not practiced since his
injury. He has also had three teeth removed… two wisdom teeth, I think.
So he has not had a very fun training camp, but I think the worst is over for
him. Hopefully he will be able to return to practice next week. We will just
have to see”.
Question: Carson Butler, is he back on the team and practicing?
Coach Carr: “He has returned to practice. What he is trying to do is
do some things that he has been asked to do and so we will see how that works
out, but he is practicing.
Question: How is the tight end position shaping up otherwise?
Coach Carr: “Mike Massey has had an excellent fall. He is a guy that
I think has really matured physically. He runs extremely well, has good hands.
He has won the starting tight end position. Andre Criswell has very good fall,
a week ago turned his ankle and so he has missed a few days. He is back in practice,
but he has done a very good job there. Martell Webb and Steve Watson, 2 freshmen,
are trying to learning system. But both of them have competed very well and
made some progress and we will have to see how that situation develops.”
Question: Is Ciulla in for Mitchell?
Coach Carr: “Ciulla missed a week in there. He returned to practice on
Monday and it is very competitive. Dave Molk, a true freshman, worked at center
the first week or so. He is working at guard now. He is a very, very talented
guy and it is pretty unusual for a freshman to come in and really pick up all
the things that they need to. He is a bright guy. He is strong, powerful guy,
very athletic. He has made an impression there, but Ciulla certainly is there.
Tim McAvoy has had a very good fall. We will have to see how that goes.”
Question: How is the fullback situation shaping up?
Coach Carr: “The fullback competition is very intense. Mark Moundros
has had a very good fall. Vince Helmuth is competing well. I think that will
go right down to the wire there as far as the fullback position.”
Question: Can you talk about what thought process regarding bringing
Carson Butler back?
Coach Carr: “Well, I think with Carson there was an allegation, the judicial
process played out, and he was found not guilty of a serious allegation. Because
of that I just felt that it would be extremely unfair not to give him another
Question: How has Jonas Mouton been doing in camp?
Coach Carr: “Jonas has had a very good fall. He was hurt on Saturday,
ankle sprain. He will hopefully return to practice later in the week or certainly
by game week. It is just one of those things where he needs to rehab it and
get it ready to go. But he has had a very, very good fall.”
Question: How is the middle linebacker position shaping up?
Coach Carr: “The MIKE linebacker position, John Thompson or Obi Ezeh,
those two guys are really spirited in competition. I think it is safe to say
that both of them are going to play a very important role. Ezeh is a young player,
who in high school played a lot of different positions. Last spring, we played
Obi at the SAM linebacker position, which I think gives us flexibility at that
position. He is an outstanding athlete and really a guy with great potential.
John has really had an excellent fall, so I think that both of them are going
to see significant playing time. We will just have to let that position play
Question: You didn’t mention Austin Panter’s name in
the mix at middle linebacker. Would you consider moving him outside?
Coach Carr: “I do not think that we will do that right now, but certainly
it is a possibility.”
Question: How has Chris Graham performed this fall?
Coach Carr: “Chris has had an excellent fall. He has had a lot of experience.
He has had a lot of successful in his career here. He has been slowed at times
by injuries, but he is a powerful guy. He has really improved as a pass defender,
but he is tough, and he plays with a lot of enthusiasm and guy that is really
well respected on our team.”
Question: Have you held some of the established guys back in the
fall like you did in the spring?
Coach Carr: “We have had some full scrimmages, and we have held a couple
of guys out of that. First of all if a guy has proven that he is an outstanding
player then it makes sense today with the scholarships where they are, that
you try to get them through the season. That does not mean that they have not
practiced during a lot of intense drills because they have. But we have held
a couple of guys out the full scrimmages.”
Question: If you had to play tomorrow, who would the top three
Coach Carr: “Johnny Sears has had an outstanding fall. He is a guy that
really played a significant role on some of our special teams. He made some
great plays on the kick off. He is a guy that plays without any fear. He is
a very, very tough hardnosed player, and I think that he has really matured
as a corner. He has had a very good fall. I think Brandon Harrison has had an
excellent fall, and he has in the last week or so made some strides at the cornerback
position. Of course, he was a starter a year ago in our nickel back situation,
so I think that the experience that he had a year ago has helped him. He has
I think made some real strides. Troy Woolfolk and Donovan Warren will both play.
I think they are young guys with very, very good ability and Donovan is a guy
that is extremely aggressive, a good tackler and a guy that plays without fear.
I mean as a true freshman, I think the thing that I look for is a guy that is
not intimated by the speed, by all the things that they are too learn. Sometimes
that really delays a guy because he is thinking too much and in my experience
the guys who have been able to come in and play important roles as a freshman,
are guys that do not get down when they make a big mistake. They understand
that making a mistake is part of the learning process. So I think both of those
kids have done an excellent job.”
Question: What about Morgan Trent?
Coach Carr: Morgan will be one of the starting corners. He has had a very good
fall. I think that Vance is very pleased with where he is. I think the big thing
with Morgan is that he has all the ability. He, I think, is one of those kids
that has worked at his career. He understands, like every player does, that
it is about getting better. It is about preparing yourself mentally for all
of the challenges. Of course the older you are the better prepared you are to
do that, and I think he has done a good job.”
Question: How is the battle between Charles Stewart and Steve Brown
Coach Carr: “I think Steve Brown is really a physical player. He is still
a young player. He still has a lot of things to learn. Charles Stewart has I
think made the move in there. I like both of those guys. I think both of them
are going to play. I think they are both guys that are going to make a real
contribution in a lot of areas on this team. I think that position right now
is probably up for grabs, so we will see what happens here.”
Question: Who is your punt returner right now and who is doing
Coach Carr: “Johnny Sears has done an excellent job catching punts. We
practiced yesterday morning in the stadium in a torrential rain. It was a very
valuable practice from the standpoint of learning how you have to play different
when the ball is wet and that is particularly true in the kicking game and as
a receiver, as a punt returner, kick off returner and a QB certainly, center.
Also, I think we learned some things yesterday, but Johnny I think with 3 or
4 days to go here has done an excellent job. Greg Mathews is a very reliable
guy in terms of handling the football and really that is what a return guy has
to prove. He has got to prove that he is reliable and making good decisions
on whether or not he is going to fair catch it, whether or not he is going to
field the ball inside the 10 yard line, or all those kicks that are short where
you have to come up and fair catch it. There are a lot of decisions to make
and Donovan Warren has caught the ball extremely well. James Rogers I think
at some point will develop into an outstanding punt returner. We will determine
that later in the week.”
Question: Kick returners?
Coach Carr: “I think Brandon Minor is a guy that we have to decide how
to use Brandon on kickoff return with Carlos out right now. That really becomes
an issue from a depth standpoint at tailback. Avery Horn has got some looks
there and is a pretty explosive guy. He missed a week or so of training camp
because of some clearinghouse issues, which I think really set him back some,
but I think we are not decided there where we are going to be.”
Question: How has Marques Slocum been coming along?
Coach Carr: “I think all of our back up guys on the defense line are
freshman or are guys that are redshirt freshman or sophomores. Jason Kates has
shown real improvement. He has got his weight down, and he is improving every
day. John Ferrara, Greg Banks, all those kids… and Slocum has got an opportunity
to play for the first time. He has got a lot of work to do, but he has wonderful
athletic ability, and I think he has made some real strides from where we were
when we started. I think that he certainly will have an opportunity to get some
Question: What has been the biggest surprise of the camp?
Coach Carr: “When I look at what we have done through yesterday, now
you have to take it to the game. But I think defensively we have made a lot
of strides from where we were when we started spring practice. I think that
we are a better team today, and I think we are going to have a team that is
going to play with a lot of energy, enthusiasm. We got a lot of young guys out
there and the question will be how we stop the run and prevent big plays. I
think that is the test of every defense and certainly with as many new players
as we have and as many different types of schemes that young players are presented
defensively with, a different type of scheme almost every week. So how they
adjust to that and how they grow I think is a big question, and I think certainly
in the kicking game we have got some unknowns. The return game, we just have
to see how some of these kids that are getting an opportunity to play for the
first time respond to the pressure of game competition.
Question: How was Brandon Graham’s fall?
Coach Carr: “Brandon missed last week with a sprained ankle. But he was
having an outstanding spring, and he is back practicing. He is not full speed,
but he hopefully by Monday will be ready to go.”
On tri-captains Mike Hart, Jake Long, and Shawn Crable
Coach Carr: “I would like to say, I know you have heard me say the honor
of being selected by your teammates as a captain is the greatest honor a Michigan
football player can receive, and I think that are team really made three great
choices here. These guys have all proven themselves as outstanding football
players. They have always represented our program, our team, and the university
extremely well and they are all guys that are very passionate and very much
team guys. They just want to win and that really I think says a lot about our
team. They want to win and that is what they based their decisions on.”