Michigan is pretty good this year.

OK, that’s an understatement. The Wolverines are ranked No. 4 in the country for a reason. Yes, the offense is good.

Quarterback Shea Patterson leads the way, but Michigan’s rushing attack may be what truly makes the offense go. But on the other side of the ball, that’s where the team’s true greatness may be. Take DL Rashan Gary for example.

Gary could end up being a top 5 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Defensive lineman Chase Winovich is no slouch, either.

What does Michigan defensive line coach Greg Mattison think about this year’s defense? He thinks it’s about as good as he’s ever seen.

“I think it is. The thing they do such a great job of — again, I don’t have to tell you this — our coordinator, these kids practice the way you’re supposed to practice,” Mattison told reporters this week. “And our guys, as a staff, take ownership in their players. If you look at the secondary, I think the last three years they’ve been the number one secondary in the country, right? Well, (Mike) Zordich and (Chris) Partridge, that’s their room. And they take great pride in that. And it all starts with coach Brown and all of us sitting there together. And then we divide up and, ‘Let’s go.’ I think every player knows that, when you go out on that practice field, we’re gonna practice fast. We’re gonna go really fast. We’re gonna do everything we can to make sure that, what we’re supposed to be doing, we’re gonna do. Yesterday was a good example. You wonder, after a big win over Penn State like that, ‘What’s it gonna be like?’ It wasn’t any different. Our kids came out and they practiced as hard as if we were playing any one of the past three games. And that’s a real credit to Don. It’s a real credit to our defensive coaches, I believe. And our players, more than anything. It’s a real credit to them. They want to be great. And I think if you asked them, they know they can get better. We all know we can get better, and that’s a goal for us. Is to see how good we can get this defense.”

Mattison was also asked about the defensive line and if it’s the best unit he’s coached:

“I don’t know if I can answer that question until the season’s over,” Mattison said. “I can say this. The way they’re working right now, and the way they’re trying to get to, they have a chance to be there. It’s funny, we talk about that. If you looked in our meeting room, you saw two years ago, the All-Big Ten players. And then last year, the All-Big Ten players. And then there’s another board that has skeletons of people and saying, ‘Who’s gonna be in this group?’ And we talk all the time about, at Michigan, you’re gonna play in a defensive line, you better play it up to here. That’s all that’s accepted. And now, all the sudden, this group is doing that. So, you see, again, the culture that Coach Harbaugh has established. Then it goes down to the defense, with Coach Brown and these coaches. And the kids, it’s happening. Now we got — all this means nothing, this next game. And that’s what our kids now. It’s this game. Right now, we got one more game.”

Michigan’s defense will next be able to feast on Rutgers on Saturday.