The Wolverine

October 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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OCTOBER 2016 THE WOLVERINE 71 BY CHRIS BALAS F ormer Michigan offensive line‑ man Michael Schofield was a starter on a Super Bowl champion last year, taking over at right tackle in week three and starting 16 straight games for the Denver Broncos. Though he continued to improve in his second NFL season, many criti‑ cized his play on the edge. "You get to a point where you have to shut it all off," Schofield told "You can't listen to it. Not a lot of positive things were said about me after the first couple of weeks so after that I just shut ev‑ erything off and just worried about myself." He earned praise for his play in a Super Bowl 50 win over Carolina in February, making his trial by fire — and the scrutiny that came with it — well worth it. A year later, Schofield has moved to right guard and is off to a great start. He seems a better fit on the interior line and has become a road grader in the running game. "This being my second year in the offense, too, really helps," Schofield said. "If this had been last year and I had to switch positions this early, I probably would have been hitting the panic button right now. "It's a different transition obvi‑ ously, going from tackle to guard. Everything happens a little quicker at guard, but the guys like [line‑ mates] Max [Garcia] and Matt [Para‑ dis] have been a huge help for me to adjust as quick as I could." His experience at tackle has also made him one of the team's more versatile linemen. He kicked out to right tackle against the Indianapolis Colts Sept. 18 when one of his team‑ mates went down, and the offense didn't miss a beat in a 34‑20 win. "Michael's just been really consis‑ tent, and I think that's the biggest thing," offensive coordinator Rick Dennison told "We feel really good about him play‑ ing next to Donald [Stephenson] and next to Matt [Paradis]. The consis‑ tency is a big thing for us and mak‑ ing sure that we're all on the same page." "Mike just kept his head down and kept working," Paradis added. "… He's a big guy with long arms. He looks good." Entering his third year in the NFL, Schofield is much more comfortable in his role with the Broncos. "I think we have a pretty good of‑ fensive line this year," he said. "We all fit this scheme very well. We have some very athletic guys, and I think that a lot of us being in the second year really helps us out and gets us on the same page." FORMER WOLVERINES ON NFL ROSTERS Through games of Sept. 19 • Richard Ash (Played at U-M from 2010-13), DT, Jacksonville Jaguars: Signed to the 0-2 Jaguars' practice squad for the second straight year … He graduated from U-M and spent his fifth-year senior campaign at Western Michigan. • Brennen Beyer (2011-14), DE, Baltimore Ravens: Signed to the 2-0 Ravens' practice squad for the second straight year. • Tom Brady (1996-99), QB, New England Patriots: Has been sus- pended for the 2-0 Patriots' first four games of the season due to Deflategate … Served as the honorary captain for U-M's game with Colorado Sept. 17. • Alan Branch (2004-06), DT, New England Patriots: Has recorded five tackles (two solo) in two games for 2-0 New England. • Frank Clark (2011-14), DE, Seattle Seahawks: Has recorded seven tack- les (four solo) and three sacks in two games for 1-1 Seattle. • Blake Countess (2011-14), DB,   MICHIGAN IN THE PROS Michael Schofield Is Adapting, Improving In Denver Schofield, a third-round draft pick by the Broncos in 2014, started the final 16 games of Denver's Super Bowl campaign at right tackle. PHOTO COURTESY DENVER BRONCOS

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