The Wolverine

August 2015 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  MICHIGAN FOOTBALL but his prolonged hamstring issues have kept him out of so much practice there hasn't been much for the new coaches to judge. "He maybe participated a practice or two, early on," Fisch said. "Drake is an unknown. Drake has to be on the field in order to be able to help us win. We need to find a way for his health to recover and him to get back into the type of shape he can be in, so we can use his height and size to our advantage." Meanwhile, all of his receivers must take a very active part in reen- ergizing Michigan's run game. Fisch stressed that if they aren't blocking well, they're not doing the complete job presented to them. "There is no surprising anybody that we're going to go out there and run the football, and that we're going to attack teams on the perimeter, as well as downhill," he said. "When you do that, the wide receiver posi- tion has to understand their job isn't just to run routes or run guys open. "It's also creating space and creat- ing running lanes for the backs. We take great pride in our physical tough- ness. We have to find a way to dig as deep as we possibly can to block full- go, full-force, full-steam ahead and make an impact. "You're the guy who sets up the touchdown. You set up the first down by how you block, and you set up the play-action pass, because they don't know the difference from a run." All of that comes into play, and comes right back to a Harbaugh im- perative — competitiveness. "We need to find a way to just com- pete our tails off and to be playmak- ers," Fisch said. "Not just call them- selves playmakers because they're receivers. We've got plenty of guys who can do it. We've got big, strong, physical wide receivers. We've got fast, quick guys. "We have a nice array at the posi- tion group. It's really a matter of, can we consistently do this thing?" ❏ Passing game coordinator/quarterbacks and wide receivers coach Jedd Fisch believes U-M's pass catchers can develop into play- makers by being competitive and consistent. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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