6A - Thursday, March 10, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 0
Mattison draws from experience with Ravens
By TIM ROHAN built at stops at Notre Dame and March 19. While the offense said. "The reason Ed Reed is the
Daily Sports Editor Florida and in the past two sea- wrestles with learning a pro- best safety in the NFL, is not
sons as the defensive coordinator style attack, Mattison will be just because he's a great athlete,
Just the sight of Bo Schem-
bechler would make Greg Mat-
When Mattison was the
defensive coordinator at Michi-
gan from 1995-96, Schembechler
was the athletic director and his
office was right down the hall
from Mattison's. Sometimes,
when Mattison would go into
the copy room to print off items
for the defense, Schembechler
would see him and follow him
into the room.
"I would be scared to death,
and he'd go, 'Hey Mattison,
you're doin a helluva job. Keep
stopping that run,' " Mattison
said in his best Bo impersonation
on Wednesday afternoon.
And that's when Mattison
"And I was like, 'Oh God, Bo
just talked to me. And he gave me
a compliment,' "he said.
Now in his second go-around
as Michigan's defensive coor-
dinator, the trademarks of his
defenses have remained the
same - stop the run by being
That's the reputation he has
of the Baltimore Ravens. Leaving
one of the best defensive teams
in the NFL for Michigan was a
product of a perfect combination
for Mattison - coaching with
Brady Hoke and becoming a Wol-
Mattison explained Wednes-
day that he and his wife were
very close to Hoke and his family
- as close as they could be with-
out actually being family.
"When Brady got the job and
it was Michigan - I honestly can
say if Brady would've got another
job somewhere else, and it wasn't
Michigan, I probably wouldn't
have done it," Mattison said.
"But the chance to come back
here, and to be with him, made it
At the college level, Mattison
has the opportunity not only to
recruit again, but also develop
recruits into great players. As
Mattison put it, in the NFL, if a
player wasn't any good, he was
cut. In college, Mattison has the
time to mold players.
There will be plenty of mold-
ing expected when Michigan
starts its spring practices on
prepping his players to take on
a tough approach in their new
four-man front defense.
So far, all Mattison has been
allowed to do is see what the
defensive players can do in
t-shirts and shorts, though he
was reluctant to pass judgment
on any player until he saw them
hit. In fact, he didn't even watch
film of last season to avoid unfair
Instead, Mattison pops in tape
of his Baltimore Ravens teams to
The terminology is the same
that he will use in coaching the
And, as teaching tools for his
Michigan guys, Mattison can use
Ray Lewis and Ed Reed as exam-
ples. He used to let the 35-year
old Lewis sit out from plays in
practice to try and save the All-
Pro's legs - Lewis would sit out
one play and then go back in.
And Reed matched Lewis's work
ethic with his preparation off of
"I was fortunate enough to
be with players that played as
hard as they could," Mattison
he watches as much film as the
coaches do. Then the players
understand, 'Maybe, I'm get-
ting really good because I watch
tape.' A lot of players don't do
"To be able to say I was just at
a place that that's why they were
good, then pretty soon it's, 'Okay,
that's good, maybe I should do
The Michigan players have
been receptive to Mattison and
all the defensive coaching staff
Maybe it's not exactly how
the coach acted around Schem-
bechler, but the coaches did
describe the players as eager to
learn and play well.
"What we have right now, I'm
excited about," Mattison said.
"What I've seen so far, I'm excit-
ed with the way they work and
their attitude - that's all we can
judge it on right now."
But can a unit that broke
Michigan records for the wrong
reasons make dramatic improve-
ments right off the bat?
"It has to - you know, it has
to," Mattision said. "Michigan
Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison is hoping to resurrect a defense that
struggled mightily during Rich Rodriguez's tenure as head coach.
forever has taken great pride damentals, starts with stopping
in defense. And we'll take great the run. It starts with not giving
pride in defense again. That's up big plays and it starts with
our coaching objective in every- playing great red zone defense -
thing we're doing. That starts that's what we'll be working on
with technique, starts with fun- every day."
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