The Wolverine

2021 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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40 ■ THE WOLVERINE 2021 FOOTBALL PREVIEW BY CLAYTON SAYFIE W hile Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh never explicitly said in public that he was looking to get younger on his coaching staff, that's exactly what he did this offsea- son. In 2020, his assistant coaches aver- aged 46 years of age. Now, that number has dropped to 36. But age is "just a number," and it's not just the youth that has Michigan's players ex- cited. There's a new energy around Schem- bechler Hall and the practice fields, and that has started at the top with the re-tooled staff. Harbaugh has been impressed with what some of the new faces have already brought to the table. "The coaches did a great job [in the spring], and the players were trusting what they were telling them," Harbaugh told Jon Jansen on the 'In The Trenches' podcast. "They were seeing themselves take those coaching points from the meeting room to the field, and have success. That put an ex- clamation point on it for them, that these are coaches that know what they're doing and know what they're saying, and players are developing under their guidance. "Players listen to guys who know what they're talking about, and it was very ap- parent that our players were listening to our coaches, our new coaches. The coaches are very engaged and gained their trust." Offensively, the Wolverines shuffled some pieces — Sherrone Moore moved from tight ends to offensive line and co-offensive coor- dinator, while Jay Harbaugh switched from running backs to tight ends — while also bringing in running backs coach Mike Hart, the program's all-time leading rusher, and quarterbacks coach Matt Weiss. Moore is replacing Ed Warinner, who was the Wolverines' offensive line coach from 2018-20, and the players are already notic- ing the difference. The linemen have rallied together, and they're happy to go the extra mile for the newly minted man in charge. "We have a lot of confidence right now," redshirt sophomore tackle Ryan Hayes said. "Coach Moore, he's brought that sense of juice to the room. People are playing with confidence. They're not really scared to make mistakes. "You really just want to go to war for the guy, honestly. When he talks, people listen. He brings a different sort of energy." "The passion that he has for the game, he wants us to get better every single day," second-year freshman lineman Zak Zinter added. "He puts everything he's got into it, and it really shows to us as players the passion and the emotion that he brings to practice — and it's been awesome." Moore is allowing the players to have more input, trusting what their eyes are tell- ing them during live reps and taking into account the feedback they're giving. "It's a more open room environment and you can ask a lot more questions," redshirt junior lineman Andrew Stueber said. "The older guys on the team like the vibe he's bringing to the room and his overall energy. "Coach Moore's style is more personable and interactive [than Warinner's]. He's ask- ing questions individually and allows discus- sion, asking us what we think." The running backs are excited to learn from Hart, a two-time Doak Walker Award finalist and three-time All-Big Ten first- teamer who, just 14 years ago, sat in the same seats they are sitting in today, hav- ing played for the Maize and Blue from 2004-07. "It's been an awesome experience so far," Early Returns Michigan's Young, Energetic Staff Of Six New Assistant Coaches Bring The 'Juice'

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