The Wolverine

November 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 23 of 123

That's What Michigan Wants From Its Defensive Linemen, And That's What It Is Starting To Get RECKLESS ABANDON it takes for them to be successful. "As a defensive lineman, nothing M ichigan defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery knows what he wants from his players and what BY ANDY REID you do is soft. Everything you do is wild," Montgomery said. "When you get a guy that plays with a reck- less abandon coming off the football, that's what you want. When you talk about former Michigan defensive linemen — Glen Steele, Will Carr — those guys were reckless and physi- 24 THE WOLVERINE NOVEMBER 2012 cal and violent. That's what you want. "When you can get kids to buy into that, it's special to see. We bang into 300-pound guys every single day. When you get a guy who lines up and knows he is going to beat the guy across from him every time, that builds confidence in the whole de- fense." of controlled chaos Montgomery mentioned. The defensive line's new hard-line approach and mentality was a major reason the Michigan de- fense jumped from No. 110 nation- ally in 2010, giving up 450.8 yards per game, to No. 17 in 2011, slicing its total defense average to 322.2 yards per game. Last season — led by the now-de- parted Mike Martin, who is getting reps with the NFL's Tennessee Titans, Ryan Van Bergen and Will Heininger — the Wolverines achieved the level One of the biggest question marks heading into 2012 was whether the defensive line could overcome the loss of Martin, Van Bergen and Heininger, and maintain that level of play in the trenches.

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