Question: This is your fifth time, what is this week like for you and what is today like for you?
Steve Schilling: “It is exciting. There is a lot of excitement around the building. There was yesterday with our meetings. Getting into game week, obviously camp, got a month hitting against your own guys and you finally get to go against somebody else and see all the hard work that you’ve been putting in all summer and all winter on the field. So it is pretty exciting.”
Question: Can you talk about how motivated you are to have a successful season after starting off with success and then have the last few years happen?
Steve Schilling: “Yeah definitely. My senior year, definitely want to have success going out the right way and the last few years have not been what we wanted and I got to see some success obviously my first year, getting to win the Capital One Bowl and sending Coach Carr off the right way. It is a feeling that I enjoy and I would like to bring back. So extra motivation it being my senior year.”
Question: Talk about your fellow co-captain Mark Moundros; he is obviously listed first on the depth chart. Talk about what an amazing accomplishment it is from changing in the spring to now being in a position to start on Saturday.
Steve Schilling: “It is not surprising given the way that Mark works and his attitude. He is a guy that will do anything for Michigan and he is one of the hardest working guys on the team in the weight room and off the field too. It is not surprising. He has got kind of that defense attitude he had on offense playing fullback, being able to move over to linebacker. He loves hitting guys and he is smart. I know he has been in there working real hard too and it is exciting to see that for him and hopefully he gets a chance to play a lot this year.”
Question: Can you talk about the offense and the progression from your first year with Rich Rodriguez to what you see right now?
Steve Schilling: “Just a whole other level of comfortable. Three years in, you obviously know more of what is going on. The first year, we were kind of getting used to it, the change of the offense, new schemes, new terminology. Just a whole other level of comfort and the older guys can help out, teaching the younger guys and bring them along and that kind of just helps the team get into the swing of things when we start up things such as sessions like the fall camp and stuff like that.”
Question: Patrick Omameh talks about how much he has learned from you and from (David) Molk; how have you seen him grow up over the last year or so?
Steve Schilling: “He has grown up a lot, physically and mentally. He is 300 pounds now, gained 50 or so pounds since he has been here so he has been working really hard in the weight room to put on the weight that he needs to play and obviously he got a chance to do so last year in a couple of games. Him playing guard, we can obviously bounce a lot of things off of each other. I want to help him out because I think he is going to have a great career here. He’s a young guy and he is going to need to contribute a lot this fall.”
Question: Mark Huyge is listed first at the depth chart at left tackle; just talk about what it is like to play next to him and how much experience you guys have playing together.
Steve Schilling: “Yeah Huyge has had some experience. He has played both the tackles. He knows what he is doing out there and he has even played guard too, so it helps that he understands what I’m doing. That level of communication and trust is there between me and Mark and we kind of know where each is other is going to be and what we expect out of each other. It helps us when we’re playing to know kind of how that is going to go down.”
Question on Taylor Lewan.
Steve Schilling: “Well he is young and he plays so hard. He definitely as he grows and learns more and gets more comfortable there, I think he’ll have a bright future. I think Coach Rodriguez always talks about playing as many guys as he can if they have the ability to play. Definitely, I think we have a lot of depth and a lot of guys are going to be able to contribute whether they are starting or not. I’m excited for him this year and going forward.”
Question: Did you sense that Mark and Perry (Dorrestein) kind of took that challenge, because you heard a lot about the two freshman behind them, pushing them. Were they were extra motivated?
Steve Schilling: “I’m sure they were, yeah definitely. Especially Perry, his senior season. Mark is an upperclassman too, he didn’t want to lose his starting job and obviously there was a lot of talk about Michael (Schofield) and Taylor (Lewan) pushing them, which was good. It helped them get better and made them work extra hard in the offseason and that competition just brings out the best in both of them. It helps their game and then adds a level of depth on the O-line.”
Question: What have you seen from your freshman punter (Will Hagerup)?
Steve Schilling: “Before practice I see him kicking it and he kicks it a mile. They always kick it onto the roof outside, he can kick it a long ways. That’s really all I see from him. I don’t know anything about punting technique, but he can kick it far.”
Question: What were your first impressions of Coach Rodriguez?
Steve Schilling: “I try not to make first impressions. I try to usually just sit back and take time to get to know somebody. I knew he was an intense fiery coach. Obviously, difficult in Coach Carr in the way that he is a little more in your face yelling. I knew he had success in the past, so I had a lot of respect for him coming in. Obviously things didn’t go our way the first year, but it hasn’t changed and he’ll have success in the future.”
Question: How has he changed or has he, and how has your impression of him changed or evolved?
Steve Schilling: “Definitely, I’ve gained even more respect going through what we have gone through. He had not really experienced that especially his last few years at West Virginia. We have kind of bonded as a team with the coaching staff as well over the last couple of years going through all the adversity, so definitely a lot of respect for him.”
Question: How much different has the Michigan defense look without Brandon (Graham)?
Steve Schilling: “It’s different. Guys have stepped in. Brandon was a hell of a player, first round draft pick playing for the Eagles now. It is tough to replace a guy like that but guys have stepped up and they know it is their role now and it is their time to shine and be out there. Guys are working hard to try and prove that they can be a player like that as well.”
Question: Do you feel like anybody has done that adequately so far?
Steve Schilling: “I think so. The guys that are backing him up have experience too the last couple of years. Greg (Banks) has played a lot even if he has not started a whole lot. Ryan (Van Bergen) has obviously played too being out there on the end. The guys that have played know what they are doing. It is like we are throwing someone in there completely with a new slate. They understand the pressure it takes to play here and to play every Saturday at a high level. It kind of helps them have a good starting point.”
Question: What do you think this offense does best?
Steve Schilling: “Hopefully, we can do everything well. As an offensive line, we look at rushing…we take pride in our rushing statistics to run the ball. We set our goal to be a good rushing team every season. So that is something that I can look at, as an offensive lineman.”
Question: Who are the take charge guys in terms of leadership on offense? Obviously, the quarterbacks have to for a certain extent, but they are young, is it a balance between you guys and them?
Steve Schilling: “Yeah. We’ve had guys stepping up. There are more upperclassman this year, not as many seniors, but like you said, the quarterbacks all taking that assumed leadership role as a quarterback has to take and myself and other seniors, Perry Dorrestein and John Ferrara. Then tight end guys like Martell (Webb) and Kevin Koger and then guys like Darryl Stonum and Junior Hemingway and you saw Roy (Roundtree) up here too. We got a good group of guys that have played at least the last couple of years under Coach Rodriguez that can help lead the offense.”
Question: Last week that Tate (Forcier) told us that he was glad that Troy (Woolfolk) called him out about how he worked out this summer; can you talk about how he has responded maybe from the start of camp, getting his wings back?
Steve Schilling: “Obviously, (he) went through some adversity there with Troy’s comments, the wings and all that stuff that you guys know about, but he has been working hard and hasn’t really been saying much, just trying to prove to us that he is working hard and wants to be our quarterback. He is definitely gaining a lot of respect back for Tate and things like that, I’m sure the whole team has. He has been working really hard and I’m excited to see what he can do this year.”