The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 5A
Fifth-year senior David Moosman has filled in at center for the last three games while regular starter David Molk rehabs a broken foot.
With Molk out, Moosman
adds own touch to center
By RUTH LINCOLN
Daily Sports Editor
The Michigan Stadium field
turf poses a bit of a problem for
fifth-year senior David Moos-
How does he remove the rub-
ber artificial pellets that get stuck
in his grizzly thick, strawberry
"My girlfriend's always pick-
ing it out," Moosman said with a
laugh. "She makes sure I know.
Good shower helps, too."
Considering Moosman's con-
tact on the offensive line, it's
inevitable the 6-foot-5, 293-pound
lineman would be very famiJiar
with the ground. After receiv-
ing his first varsity letter just last
year, Moosman has stepped into a
very versatile role for the Wolver-
ines this season.
In 2008, Moosman started all
12 games at right guard. As a sta-
ble force on an offensive line that
spent the better part of Michi-
gan's 3-9 season in flux, Moos-
man and his teammates tried to
adapt to Michigan coach Rich
Within that system, a year
made a wealth of difference. The
offensive line, one of the Wolver-
ines' biggest liabilities last sea-
son, was supposed to be one of
their biggest strengths coming
into this year.
"It's actually a huge differ-
ence," center David Molk said
during fall camp. "We all know
each other, all know where each
other's feet are going to be. Pass
protection is a lot different, pass-
ing off, zone blocks, belly blocks
... it's completely different."
But halfway through the sea-
son, shuffling has replaced sta-
bility as the offensive line has
endured multiple injuries. And
Moosman has been at the fore-
After starting at right guard in
.the Wolverines' rst two games,
Moosman injured his left shoul-
der against Notre Dame in Michi-
gan's come-from-behind win.
The next week, the line was
forced to respond against Eastern
Michigan withouthim. But things
would get even worse against the
Eagles, when Molk went down
with a broken foot. Because he
didn't know the extent of his
injury at the time, Molk stayed on
"It takes a different type of
person, and Molk is that type of
person," Moosman said. "You
need to not be able to think about
it, you just got to keep going and
not stop. And, he's that kind of
guy. He's a real tough kid, a real
tough guy. He just kind of puts it
out of his mind.
"It's a tough thing to put out of
your mind. You're kind of walk-
ing on it."
Molk's injury wasn't the best
news for a rehabbing Moosman.
Still nursing his battered left
shoulder, Moosman was tapped
to start at center in the Wolver-
ines' next game against Indiana.
Having played seven games at the
position earlier in his career and
taking reps during practice, the
move seemed logical.
But Moosman's first start as
center was more complicated.
Michigan endured six botched
snaps against Indiana, includ-
ing two that resulted in 20- and
With ice cushioning his still
ailing shoulder, Moosman didn't
shy away from his faults, saying
after the game, "Put the blame on
Moosman said the biggest
challenge he has faced at center
is ability to snap the ball with one
hand. For the split second that he
snaps the ball with his right arm,
he has just his left arm available
to block. With his shoulder at less
than 100 percent, the process has
"I was kind of hoping that Molk
would not get hurt, so I could get
another week of rehab in, but as
it was, I got in there," Moosman
said this week. "Like I said, you
don't want to think about it. Gut
through it. Played well, needed to
play better. Now it's fine."
With three games now at cen-
ter, Moosman is more acclimated
with the snaps and the mistakes
are less obvious.
Moosman said Monday that
he doesn't know where his natu-
ral position on the line is, and
he anticipates that when Molk
returns in a couple weeks, the
shift back to right guard may take
At center, Moosman has taken
up a leadership position on the
line, making calls, connecting
with the quarterback and com-
ing through with quality snaps.
Unlike Molk, who is very outgo-
ing, Moosman said his leadership
style could be described as more
"If you ask the other guys, I'm
sure they'll say mine's a little bit
less regimented," Moosman said.
"I feel like I'm a little bit more
relaxed than Molk sometimes. He
gets really fired up, and I'm more
of a calm guy."
start at corner .
ByANDYREID Forcier was very limited in prac-
DailySportsEditor tice on Tuesday, the Wolverines'
only full-speed, full-pad practice
There may finally be some sta- of the week.
bility in the Michigan secondary. He "ran around a little bit, but
Since the Indiana game, the didn't do anything football-wise,"
much-maligned position group Rodriguez said.
has been plagued with too many But the coach was optimis-
unanswered questions, as Dono- tic when talking to media before
van Warren has been the only practice that Forcier would rejoin
consistently good player. But at his the team yesterday.
press conference yesterday, Mich- "Yeah, he should be practicing
igan coach Rich Rodriguez was today, unless something happened
sure about one thing. in the last two hours that I don't
Troy Woolfolk will play corner- know about," he said.
back again this week against Dela- Of course, Rodriguez wants
ware State. to be careful with Forcier as he
"Yes, I think he could go back recovers from the concussion he
to safety at any NOTEBOOK suffered in the fourth quarter of
time, but right Saturday's game at Iowa.
now we're solid "I think he's okay," Rodriguez
with him at corner," Rodriguez said. "I haven't seen him yet today.
said. I know he's been in the meetings,
Woolfolk, who switched from and talking to the trainers this
cornerback to safety at the begin- morning, he felt it was a lot better.
ning of the season, was settling We'll see how he does today.
into his role on the defense's deep- "Yesterday, he felt a lot better. I
est level before the coaches moved don't think there are many issues,
him back to corner for the Iowa or any issues, with his shoulder.
game. It's just, again, with those concus-
His switch came on the heels sions, no matter how severe it is,
of sophomore Boubacar Cissoko's you wancto be 100 percent sure it's
suspension for a "violation of team cleared up."
rules" and redshirt freshman J.T. RUNNING ROTATION: Rodri-
Floyd's mistake-prone perfor- guez said senior runningback Car-
mance at Michigan State. los Brown should be cleared to play
Woolfolk this weekend.
could remain at Brown suffered
corner indefi- a concussion last
nitely, since Cis- "He could go Tuesday after
soko's return taking a hard hit
will be based on b ackto safety at from a ineman
his response to in practice.
the suspension, any tinie, but ... The ques-
Rodriguez said . tion of whether
Monday. we re so dw tL Brwn or senior
"When (Cis- him atdCorner" Bradn Mnor
soko) comes back, . will get the start
it's really up to Saturday doesn't
him," Rodriguez seem to concern
said Monday. "He's got certain the coach.
things he's got to do, on and off the "t really will depend on what
field, academically and all that, play we want to run," Rodriguez
and if he does that, he'll be back said. "If Brandon is 100 percent or
sooner rather than later." close to that, he'll be the starter.
And Rodriguez stated that But either one, they play so much,
Woolfolk's move was a result of I consider them co-starters."
the Texas native's positives and Rodriguez was surprised to
not Floyd's negatives. find out that Minor had 22 car-
"It really was what we thought ries against the Hawkeyes, but he
Troy could bring at corner, and said he and Brown can handle that
not necessarily on the way teams many attempts.
were attacking us," Rodriguez Although he'd like to see Brown
said. "It makes him more com- and Minor get the ball 15-20 times
fortable, and for us to be able to a game, that may be too many car-
do more things defensively. Hav- ries to support the other things
ing him, more of a veteran pres- Rodriguez would like to do with
ence, with he and Donovan at the offense.
corner, I thought it was a pretty "That's a lot of runs, because
good move." you're going to have some quar-
With Woolfolk solidified at the terback runs and some other guys
position, the starting lineup in in there as well," he said. "Mike
the secondary should have Wool- Shaw and Vincent Smith, those
folk and Warren at cornerbacks, two in particular, we've got to get
former walk-on Jordan Kovacs more game action.
at strong safety and redshirt "I can't expect them to go out
sophomore Mike Williams at free there and not have mistakes if
safety. we don't play them more. We've
FORCIER UPDATE: Rodriguez got to play them more if we
said freshman quarterback Tate can."
Wolverines look to
Harris, Sims and others
for leadership in '09
Seriously, we Tweet all
over the place.
Wright and Gibson
point to Lee and
Merritt as good
By JOE STAPLETON
Daily Sports Writer
At Michigan Media Day on Tues-
day, most of the questions about the
basketball team's leadership per-
tained to junior Manny Harris and
senior Deshawn Sims, last year's
What went largely unnoticed is
the fact that you don't need to score
a lot of points to be a team leader.
"Everybody who was here last
year needs to be more of a leader,"
redshirt junior Anthony Wright
said. "Just being able to tell the
younger players what to do because
they have respect for us. We've
been there, finally, and done that,
While having a team's leading
scorers step up is always a good
thing, last year's team proved that
formula isn't the only route to suc-
C.J. Lee, a walk-on point guard
who graduated last year, averaged
under three points per game but
was widely considered to be the
most vocal leader on the team.
"C.J. emerged as a starter and
was always great with team chem-
istry," coach John Beilein said.
Fellow point guard and graduate
David Merritt averaged under two
points per game but also brought
many valuable qualities off the
Really, the only requirement for
last year's leaders was experience.
"One of the things I want to do,
being in my last year and being
a senior, is be more of a leader,"
fifth-year senior Zack Gibson said.
"Helping the freshmen get involved
and making sure they can help us."
While Beilein encourages every-
one to be a leader, he would clearly
welcome Sims and Harris filling
the leadership role while they fill
out the stat sheet.
"Both of them need to assume
ownership of the team," Beilein
said. "When you do that, that's usu-
ally a pretty major step. They need
to do that. But until they're cast
into that, like they are right now,
you don't know how they're going
Wright averaged just under three
points per game last year, Gibson
just under four. Wright said being
a leader is not just about what you
say, but about what you do.
"In practice, it's about doing
every drill thinking, 'This might
help us win a game down the
road,'" he said.
When asked if he felt any added
responsibility to be a leader this
year, Wright was adamant.
"Always," he said. "Getting up
for workouts, calling team meet-
ings, it's just the small things."
If Wright and Gibson can step
up in a leadership role this year and
take some of the pressure off Harris
and Sims, those small things could
prove to be game-changing.
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