Michigan Football Preview 2019

Digital Edition

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 58 of 179

THE WOLVERINE 2019 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 57 settled in his position, and there are some good guys that are pushing him and good coaching." There's also the thorn. "The bowl game … I don't think they saw the best Michigan team, just because of dif- ferent circumstances," Sean Patterson offered. "But the Ohio State game really left a chip on all their shoulders. To real competitors, you don't go out on that note." Swinging To The End Patterson insists he and his teammates feel ready to take on a schedule that includes games at Wisconsin and Penn State, with Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State coming into The Big House in the final five contests. "We've been talking about attitude all spring, the way you approach something," he said. "You've got to have a certain drive, a certain motivation, with the way you ap- proach practice, meetings, workouts or extra work on your own. It's something in the back of your head that drives you." Sean Patterson knows it's been there all along for one of the Wolverines. "He's always had the inner drive and com- petitiveness," Patterson's dad noted. "He's always been like that, since I can remember. You never had to motivate him for a game. You never had to make sure he had his socks or cleats ready. They were all set up the night before. "I don't even like to play cards or check- ers with him at home. He seems too mild- mannered, but when he crosses that line and the game is on, you want him to be with you, not against you." One season remains, of a lifelong dream. "We really just want to soak everything up," Sean Patterson said. "Every game I'm going to walk in there and make sure I cher- ish every moment of it with our family and friends. "This doesn't happen to many people. I get the opportunity to talk to Tom Brady Sr. every once in a while. There just aren't many people who get to have the opportunity to be a Michigan quarterback dad. "I look at it as how fortunate I, my wife and my family are. We're just going to relish it and soak it up." There are no guar- antees, beyond the chance to put together a championship sea- son. The Pattersons know that, just like every other Michigan family. They also know the opportunity remains. "That's always been the dream, since he was a little kid," Sean Patterson mused. "He's the quarterback at Michigan, and they beat Ohio State. It's something we don't even need to talk about. It's a left-unsaid fact. "It's not just Ohio State. It's beating Notre Dame and playing even better than they did last year." No crutches. No excuses. Just preparation and effort. "There's some unfinished business and some goals he didn't quite meet," noted his proud dad. "On the whole it was a suc- cess, but it wasn't what he wanted to achieve, for himself or for the team. "That's not guaranteeing a win or guaranteeing anything. That's just who he is. He never settles for anything. Unless they got his best punch and the team's best punch, he was coming back." ❏ What Teammates Are Saying About Shea Patterson Senior quarterback Shea Patterson didn't enjoy several seasons in the shadows to get to know and grow with teammates. He found himself thrust into action immediately last fall as a transfer. He knows all those around him now, and they know him. They're convinced he's going to be in his element in offensive coordinator Josh Gattis' pro spread attack. Patterson himself thinks he'll have a leg up in a run-pass option (RPO) operation, having been there before at Ole Miss. He gets backing on that score, from both young and older Wolverines. "Shea's a dynamic player," redshirt freshman offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield explained. "He can run and throw the ball, and he's really smart. He doesn't create a lot of turnovers for us, which is very key. As you saw last year, there weren't many turnovers. We're hoping he can do the same this year, if not better." Senior tight end Sean McKeon likes what Patterson brings to the RPO table as well. "He's got quick feet, and he's got a really quick release," McKeon said. "If he sees that read, he can just pull the ball fast and get it out there to the receiver. He's very accurate as well. He doesn't have the most arm strength in the world, but has a quick release, throws a great ball and is accurate. That's why he's so good at it. "There's always a read player on RPOs, so you've got to figure out who that is and what he is doing on that play. Do I pull it? Do I throw it? He looks at all of it. It's a tough job, but he does a great job." Former Michigan All-American offensive lineman Jon Jansen also believes Patterson can thread the needle and hit the sweet spot with his passes. In a Gattis offense on a Jim Harbaugh team, that means ag- gressively attacking while not putting the football in the other teams' hands much. "If you're the one in charge of distributing the football, whether it's handing it off, whether it's throwing the ball downfield or whether it's running the ball yourself, you've got to build trust that you're not going to give that ball to the other team," Jansen affirmed. "It's also knowing that you are going to get your players and your team, your offense, into the right play at the right time. "Every week last year, Shea Patterson continued to build that trust." He'll get a chance to cement that trust in the coming months, with actions that speak louder than thousands of preseason words. — John Borton Patterson ran for 427 yards and two scores on 76 carries with a long of 81 yards last season, but he also lost 154 yards to end with a net of 273 on the ground. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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