Harbaugh breaks media silence, talks M.J., Peppers, Utah
Just in case Jim Harbaugh’s media lockout fooled you, his team has been practicing and they are still planning on playing a game next Thursday.
The first-year Michigan coach ended his three-week period of silence Thursday and addressed a few pressing topics. After all, it is — finally — a game week.
The lockout, he said, served its purpose.
“We wanted to and I think we did maximize every minute,” Harbaugh said. “I’m pleased with where we’re at right now.”
Seven days away from the start of 2015, Harbaugh acknowledged the fact that there’s been just a little bit of hype surrounding his Wolverines debut. He said he knows that the game in Utah, which will be on Fox Sports1 at 8:30 p.m., will be the only thing on TV besides preseason football (and TCU/Minnesota).
He welcomed the spotlight.
“You want to be at that big boy — big person’s table,” Harbaugh said. “There’s another table over there in the kitchen for those not seated at the big person’s table. If someone wants to go over there, no one’s going to be upset if they do. But this is what we signed up for, this is what they signed up for.”
Harbaugh addressed that he and the Utah coaching staff would exchange depth charts on Monday, which is when the Wolverines will get some answers at the skill positions.
When asked about the battles on the offensive side, Harbaugh was as vague as ever.
“It’s been good. It’s been intense competition,” he said. “Competition for those roles has been intense, as you would expect.”
Iowa transfer Jake Rudock has been in competition with Shane Morris, who relieved Devin Gardner on several occasions last year. Harbaugh did correct himself and say that whoever is tops in the depth chart Monday will be the Wolverines starter for the foreseeable future.
At running back, he said that USC transfer Ty Isaac, Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith will all play to start the season. The back who gets the majority of the carries remains to be seen. Drake Johnson will also be in the mix but he’s still working his way back from a knee injury.
Harbaugh was also asked about the offensive development of former five-star recruit Jabrill Peppers, who is expected to play on all three units this season as a redshirt freshman.
“That remains a possibility,” Harbaugh said of Peppers’ potential to play offense. “He’s been good. He’s been all the things that have been advertised about him. He’s a football player. A football player.”
Speaking of special athletes, Harbaugh finally got to address the Air Jordan move and how it all unfolded. He said he received a call from an unknown number. A bad signal caused some confusion on his end.
Once it cleared up, Harbaugh heard His Airness loud and clear.
“He said ‘This is Michael Jordan.’ I said ‘Come on!'” Harbaugh said. “He said, ‘This is Michael Jordan. I said ‘The real Michael Jordan?’”
And what about having the Jumpman logo on the Michigan uniforms starting in 2016?
“It’s gonna be awesome,” Harbaugh said.