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October 06, 2009 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-10-06

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 9

i

P The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 9

Molk recovering well
By ANDY REID competition on the defense in order
Daily Sports Editor to try and find a group that will best
bond together and find consistency
With the Michigan football team on Saturdays.
posting a measly 28 rushing yards "You take away a couple of those
in Saturday's loss to Michigan State scramble plays, their big third and
- including just 17 by running backs long passes, and it was a pretty solid
Carlos Brown and Brandon Minor - effort," Rodriguez said. "But you
coach Rich Rodriguez knows he has have to count those. Those are part
some work to do on the offensive line. of the whole deal.... We've got to be
But until center David Molk more consistent I think is the word
recovers from a broken foot he sus- in all three phases, particularly
tained against Eastern Michigan, defensively."
Rodriguez's options are limited. MEALER'SSTORY:OnChristmas
Molk is back in the weight room Eve 2007, redshirt freshman line-
and participating in things like the man Elliott Mealer and his family
power clean, according to defensive were inahorrific car accident, which
lineman Mike killed his father and girlfriend and
Martin. But it NOTEBOOK left his brother paralyzed. Mealer
could still be two also tore his rotator cuff while try-
to four weeks before Molk sees the ingto rescue his brother.
field Tonight at 7 p.m., ESPN's weekly
"He should be out of his protective investigative newsmagazine show
boot that he's been wearing," Rodri- "ESPN E:60" will broadcast a fea-
guez said yesterday. "He was with ture about Mealer's story.
(athletictrainerPaul Schmidt)yester- "Lisa Salters reports how after
day doing some things, snapping the the tragedy, Elliott needed to heal
ball and all that, but I'll see him this not only physically, but emotion-
afternoon and see how he's doing." ally," the show's press release states.
The Wolverines were averaging "He found comfort at the home of
270 rushing yards per game with his girlfriend's family and inspi-
Molk. In the two games without ration from his brother, who was
him, they are postingjust88. fighting to walk again. Elliott also
DEFENSIVE STABILITY:. After found a new family at the Univer-
redshirt freshman J.T. Floyd sity of Michigan, where Rodriguez
stepped up and replaced sophomore supported him as he redshirted his
Boubacar Cissoko as the starting freshman season."
cornerback opposite stalwart Dono- . Rodriguez elaborated yesterday
van Warren, it was clear the Michi- on how Mealer has adjusted after
gan coaches wanted to make a few the accident.
changes with the defense. 3 "He does not want to be coached
More changes will continue, and or treated any differently, and he
not only in the secondary. Rodri- told us," Rodriguez said. "We talked
guez said yesterday that the coaches about that the first time I met him.
have entertained the possibility of I said, 'Listen, we're here for you'
switching things up other positions and all that, and he said, 'Coach, I
including linebacker. just want to be treated like everyone
"Yeah, every job is up for grabs else: And so we have. We get on him
every week," Rodriguez said. "It on certain things, and we pat him
sounds like coach speak, but our on the back, but we also appreciate
guys know they have to play at a cer- what he's been through."
tain level. Jonas (Mouton) and Obi Rodriguez said the Michigan
(Ezeh) have played very, very hard. players and coaches have helped
... I think Jonas is a very active play- Mealer with the tragedy, but his fam-
er, and Obi has played solid, as well, ily, who travels from Wauseon, Ohio
but we can all play better." for every game, have been there with
Currently, sophomore J.B. him every step of the way.
Fitzgerald is behind Ezeh at middle "He's got a wonderful family,"
linebacker and redshirt sophomore Rodriguez said. "His mother Shelly
Kevin Leach is No. 2 to Mouton at andhis brothers arejustterrific peo-
will linebacker. Leach started for the ple. They're always the last people I
entire Eastern Michigangame, when see after the game. They're tailgat- t
Mouton was suspended for an appar- ing champions now. They'll be right
ent punch in the Notre Dame game. out there'tailgatingunitil long after
The coaches are opening the everybody is gone."

CUF REEDER/Daily
Senior Brandon Graham has had to fight double teams and max-protection blocking from opposing offenses this year, but has emerged at the defense's biggest leader.
r m adopts vocal
leadership role on young 'D'

By MICHAEL EISENSTEIN
Daily Sports Editor
The locker room was silent
after the Michigan football team's
overtime loss to Michigan State
last Saturday.
But then senior defensive end
Brandon Graham spoke up.
"When we got in the locker
room after the loss, Brandon was
just telling everyone, 'Remember
this feeling,' " sophomore defen-
sive tackle Mike Martin said
Monday. "Just yelling it through
the whole locker room, because
everyone was just - it was silent.
Brandon just cracked the silence
and was just like, 'Remember this
feeling.'"
It's something you would
expect to hear from a senior in
a shaken locker room. But in the
past, words like those have rarely
come from Graham's mouth, even
though his candidness with the
media and his joking demeanor
during in practice would suggest
otherwise.
Lastseason, Graham let his Sat-
urday afternoon numbers do the
talking: 20 tackles for loss (second
in the country), 10 sacks (seventh
in the nation) and 46 tackles (a
career high). He also posted three
sacks against Michigan State last
year.
"Coach talked to him (saying)
that he has to work on being more
of a vocal leader, even though he
does put leadership on the field
obviously by making plays," Mar-
tin said. "But he's doing a good job
talking to us. It's not his thing.
He's told me, 'I'm not much of a
talker.'
"But when it comes to actually
giving some good leadership out
there and saying the things he
needs to say, he's getting pretty
good at it."
And just as Graham, a pre-
season All-American selection,
has started to embrace his role
as a leader in the locker room,
the opposing offensive lines have
started to lock him down on the
field. He routinely faces double
teams or goes against max-pro-
tection blocking.
The extra attention has
helped Martin, redshirt soph-
omore Ryan Van Bergen and
freshman Craig Roh sack the
quarterback a combined four
and a half times. And Graham

has still made i
field, leading th
les for loss (6.5).
But in sacks,
which every d
judged, Graham
next to his nam
Saturday, when h
quarterback
Kirk Cous-
ins four yards
behind the line
of scrimmage
and forced him
to cough up
the ball with
11:15 left in the
game.
"He hasn't
said it, but I
know he was
getting a little
wasn't getting (an
"He was getting
times in games, a:
like to not get his
Although he w
first four games
Graham is still
former-Wolverin
(1996-99), who 1
most career sa

t into the back- gan. Graham, who has 20 career
e team in tack- sacks, needs five to tie Hall and
pass four former greats, includ-
the category by ing Lamar Woodley (2003-06).
efensive end is Mark Messner (1985-88) sits atop
has had a zero that list with 36.
e. At least until But comparisons with the play-
e caught Spartan ers on that list don't accurately
quantify his
impact on this
year's young
"Brandon was defense. Gra-
ham is lead-
telling everyone, ing a defensive
line on which
'Remember this he has nearly
twice as much
feelng.'> game experi-
ence as any
other starter,
yet Michigan
antsy that he coach Rich Rodriguez called it
ay)," Martin said. "the most consistent group on
so close so many our defense."
nd BG, he doesn't It's a tribute to Graham.
sacks." "Having him out there - he's
vent through the a senior, he's been through it,"
without a sack, Martin said. "I remember talking
within range of to him when it was a third down
e James Hall just looking at him, he looks
has the second- over at me and is like, 'Come on,
cks for Michi- Mike. Let's go.' Just those little

words that he says, little words of
encouragement, you know, it just
settles me down out there on the
field."
Although opposing quarter-
backs might not know what hit
them as they fall to the ground,
his presence is being felt more
than ever on the defense with his
words, especially when Graham
told his teammates to "remember
this feeling."
"When it comes next weekend
and we're at Iowa, we'll remnei-
ber him saying that," Martin said.

Bearulfer
Stent Publications
seeks New Member
The University of Michigan Board for Student
Publications is recruiting a member for a one-year
term beginning immediately.
The Board is responsible for three publications:
The Michigan Daily, the Michiganensian Yearbook,
and the Gargoyle.
Because the Board is committed to realizing
diversity's benefits for itself and for the publications
it oversees, the Board is particularly interested in
recruiting members of the University Community
(faculty, staff and students) or the general public
who are members of underrepresented groups and
who have experience and expertise in journalism, law,
finance or development.
Interested persons are encouraged to apply.
For more information and application forms, please
contact Mark Bealafeld, Student Publications General
Manager at (734) 936-7883 or mbealafe@umich.edu.
The deadline for receipt of applications is
Friday, October 16, 2009.

Would you let this man into your hote?
Hilarity ensues when a family man is duped by
a pious con-man in this comic masterpiece.
by Moiere
Directed by Priscilla Lindsay
Dept. of Theatre & Drama
Oct.8 & 1. at 7:30 PM " Oct.9, 10, 16,& 17 at 8 PM
October 11 & 18 at 2 PM *Arthur Miller Theatre
General Admission $24 *Students $9 with ID
League Ticket Office 9 734-764-2538 " music.umich.edu

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