Mark Ortmann on the Offense

The Texan O-Tackle on Coach Rod, and particularly on the O-line -- on Steve Schilling and Mark Huyge, and much more.

Question: Western (Michigan) has lost seven starters on defense, does that make you and the offense feels a little comfortable with that you can perform against them?

Mark Ortmann: "No just like us, they've had a year to prepare since last year. They are very aggressive. They show a lot of different looks. It should be a good game."

Question: What does the coach do to help prepare you for that in terms of their aggression in terms of being the first game, coming out, all excited…?

Mark Ortmann: "We can only watch so much film with the coaches. They kind of give us a little insight of what else to watch, what to prepare for and what to look for. We'll go in as the O-line or the offense and watch extra film just for preparation, maybe some possible looks that they haven't shown in a while or what they could possible show this week."

Question: Were you surprised that coach (Rodriguez) was so emotional (at his Monday presser)?

Mark Ortmann: "Yeah. As I mentioned talking to players on the team, we didn't really understand the full aspect of these allegations and from yesterday and from today from his personal reactions you can tell that it really hits home and hopefully…because these coaches love Michigan and they love the players just as much as any staff member has. Hopefully one day they will be able to experience Michigan as we all have."

Question: You said that this is something that could galvanize the team, guys could come together a little bit more than they would have?

Mark Ortmann: "Maybe. It's hard to say at this point just talking to them (Sunday) knowing really not as much and then see all the coverage that we've gotten by the media and Coach Rod's reaction. I think people are starting to take it a little more serious. So maybe, we'll see. Definitely, I don't think it has any affect on us so far."

Question: Talk about the offensive line, obviously having Steve (Schilling) on the left side, what it means to you guys having everybody except for Mark (Huyge), everybody back is a returning starter.

Mark Ortmann: "Yeah Steve has really come in to his own at guard. I think he felt that he was a little rough at first, but he has definitely shown his capabilities and I think he was a little surprised about how well guard starting going for him. It's nice to have all four of returning. Huyge has been around for a long time now and he knows what to do."

Question: How is the cohesiveness of the unit; I know that was a problem last year, now you all have a year together, there are so many returning starters; how has that been?

Mark Ortmann: "It's been good. I think that's the biggest thing amongst the offensive line is communication. I think that's one thing we lacked last year was just not a lot of people knew what was going on. This year, we were able to correct that and you can see the difference."

Question: How much is that going to help you going into the season?

Mark Ortmann: "Tremendously. Verbal communication on the field and on the side line helps a lot, seeing what the defense is doing, etc, etc."

Question: Mark you mentioned that everybody is kind of embarrassed last season; having lost your last two home openers, do you feel any extra pressure this year?

Mark Ortmann: "That's one thing that we mentioned last night in our season meeting. The seniors have been around. We saw what happened the last two seasons with slow starts with how detrimental that can be to the start. I definitely think this Saturday we'll come out swinging and have a fast start unlike the last two seasons and hopefully build upon that." Question: Do you think you guys are putting too much pressure on yourself?

Mark Ortmann: "No I don't think so. It's understood, we are Michigan, we have to uphold what was laid before us."

Question: Is it a relief to finally have a game at hand?

Mark Ortmann: "Yeah. Finally going to be able to hit someone; it's going to be good."