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November 16, 2011 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, November 16, 2011- 5A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Wednesday, Novemher 16, 2011 - 5A

Reshirt sophomore wide receiver Jeremy Gallon has caught 24 passes for 405 yards and two touchdowns this season.
Gallon continues to come up big

By TIM ROHAN past summer, he ran routes with
Daily Sports Editor Gardner everyday. Sometimes
twice a day.
What makes Jeremy Gal- Sometimes they'd bring in a
lon, Jeremy Gallon? The short cornerback, usually J.T. Floyd,
answer is that he's too small. to cover Gallon. But most days,
Why, then, does he play wide it'd just be the two of them
receiver? Why is he so tough? working.
Why does he still go overlooked "(We ran) fades - every route,
after establishing himself as a really," Gardner said. "Because
true threat for the Michigan that's something we knew
football team? we could get on other teams
Too small. Too small. Too because they underestimate
small. how small he is. So that's some-
"Growing up, I always played thing that surprises them - as
big as a small person - had to," you can see, he's been jumping
Gallon said. "I feel like anysmall over guys all year."
person wants to be big, to be The receivers practice going
noticed." up and getting jump-balls on a
"He says he's 5-(foot)-9, daily basis.
but I think he's like 5-(foot)-7, They line up one-on-one with
5(foot)-6," said backup quar- a defensive back, with wide
terback Devin Gardner, whom receivers coach Jeff Hecklin-
Gallon calls his "little big-broth- ski's words ringing in their ears:
er," because Gardner is a year "When the ball's in the air, the
younger and, because Gardner is toughest guy wins it."
6-foot-4. In the fourth quarter against
When the redshirt sopho- Notre Dame in September,
more Gallon was first recruited junior quarterback Denard Rob-
by Michigan, he was too short inson trusted Gallon enough
to play quarterback, the posi- to loft a jump ball to the corner
tion he played in high school. So of the endzone. Gallon jumped,
he watched how Roy Roundtree arms extended, and came down
played, picking up the nuances with it. Had to.
of the position. Had to. He had "It's a mental thing. If I'm in
never played wide receiver the air, I'm going to come down
before coming to Michigan. with the ball," Gallon said. "I
Gallon bided his time behind really don't even care about the
Roundtree and upperclassmen height situation. ... Just throw it
Junior Hemingway and Darryl to me and I want to come down
Stonum - all taller receivers - with it."
and worked on his craft. This Each time he does it, he makes

believe
majori
athleti
or. He
high hi
a baske
time in
"I'm
can du
said.
"I d
"I':
J
c
until I
"I wou
could
ing."
Cou
among
every
challer
"It's
believe
and he
"They
he sho
"Th
becaus
lete....
he has
like."

rs out of the stubborn That's when he rises above
ty who still doubts his defenders half-a-foot taller than
cism and tough demean- he is, breaks a few tackles on a
doesn't know exactly how screen pass or destroys a corner-
e can jump, but he dunked back on a block.
tball last year for the first Roundtree said there's no
his life. doubt Gallon is the best blocking
no LeBron James, but I wide receiver on the team.
ink a basketball," Gallon Hecklinski shows them tape
of past great Michigan wide
idn't know he could dunk receivers. But it's not of Des-
mond Howard catching passes.
They watch how the Heisman
Trophy winner blocked a guy
rn no Lebron out of bounds until the whistle
blew.
ames, but I Gallon's goal every time he
blocks a guy: "Put him five yards
pan dunk a into the ground."
Every game, the wide receiv-
asketball." ers track how many knock-
downs they had. Hecklinski
made it clear: blocking is what
is expected of a "Michigan wide
saw it," Roundtree said. receiver," especially with the
ldn't think a short person emergence of Fitz Toussaint and
dunk like he was dunk- the running game.
"Gallon's got some pretty
nt some of his teammates good form," said redshirt junior
the doubters. Almost guard Patrick Omameh. "He's
day in practice someone got some pretty good leverage,
nges Gallon. but that's kind of natural."
like they still don't The jabs about his height
because he's so small won't stop. Neither will Gallon.
's so silly," Gardner said. "I don't want to be looked at
don't really believe. But as one of the soft receivers or
ws them every time. one who could be taken advan-
ey can't (cover him), tage of," he said.
e he's such a good ath- "I want to be one of the ones
He's just a small guy, so they look at and say, 'Watch out
to prove himself it seems for this kid, because he's coming
at you.' "

Mattison has defense
play with tough skin
By TIM ROHAN have a good idea if you've
Daily SportsEditor messed up or not messed up,"
Roh said. "And you kind of
Greg Mattison had a point he know which play it's going to be
wanted to get across to his new next on the film. So you're kind
defense. First he showed them of hoping you don't get to it -
a picture of a baby rabbit. His you're hoping time runs out and
next slide was a picture of an you have to get out to practice
armadillo. before that play comes up on
The Michigan defensive the film.
coordinator told them: "If "But then it does. And you're
you're going to be on this just like, 'Ahh, man.' And they
defense, you have to have tough just keep rewinding it, and
skin." rewinding it and rewinding it
Having armor-like skin of and rewinding it. And you don't
the armadillo would've helped make that mistake again."
in the summer film sessions The best compliment Mat-
that followed. Mattison and tison ever paid Roh was, "You
Michigan coach Brady Hoke played hard."
were going to be brutally hon- That's as warm as it gets
est with the Michigan football considering the goal is perfec-
team's 107th-ranked scoring tion. At least Van Bergen admits
defense in the country, and this they'll never play the perfect
was fair warning. game, but they're getting close,
"You can't have skin like a he says. The journey from No.
baby rabbit in our room now," 107 to No. 5 started with that
Mattison said Tuesday. "If you belief in mind, with the expec-
do, you won't make it.... It's tations as high as ever. Then the
never personal, but I don't care honesty infected everyone.
if you're a four-year starter and Hoke doesn't outright bash
an All-American, the bottom Mattison's calls, but he'll ques-
line is what you see on film, it tion decisions and offer advice.
is going to be corrected and it is Roh was asked Tuesday if he
going to be addressed." knew where Michigan was
Even after Michigan's 31-14 ranked last season.
win Saturday over Illinois - "Yeah, really bad," Roh said
even after Mattison emotion- unflinchingly.
ally declared that the defense The players have been more
finally looked like a "Michigan honest with themselves. With
defense" - the defensive coor- each other.
dinator said there was still They know now when they
plenty of bad tape he could put make a mistake. And the coach-
on in the meeting room. es' criticism has waned with
There was the 4th-and-26 each passing week.
Illinois converted, the final Roh quietly fist pumps to
touchdown drive the Fighting himself under the table when
Illini orchestrated and a few Mattison chooses not to pick
bad reads defending the run at apart his play on film.
the end of the game. On the field, it's far from
"I wouldn't say he was emo- silent, but that's a good thing.
tional," fifth-year senior Ryan Mattison's hearing his players
Van Bergen said of Mattison. talk more. They call out how
"He was just a little more prais- the opponent lines up and what
ing than normal. they see coming.
"As far as coach Hoke and "Great defenses, if you're
Coach Mattison, they haven't ever out there with them, it
said too much (lately). And sounds almost like a stock mar-
when they're not yelling at you, ket," Mattison said. "Well, first
that's all the praise you need. few weeks it was like a morgue
Just silence sometimes is good." out there. I mean, 'Come on,
Junior defensive end Craig talk.' And the guys (are) going,
Roh said he has come to appre- 'Oh my God.' Now you're hear-
ciate the silence. ing it.
No one group has been criti- "It's talking and taking care
cized more than the defensive of your buddy, and when you
line - the unit Hoke and Mat- make a mistake, not hanging
tison used to coach. It took the your head, coming off and get-
line, and the whole defense, ting ready for me to rip them,
time to adjust to the tear-you- but them saying, 'OK, coach,
down, build-you-up coaching I got it.' And then (you're) not
style. having to yell at them because
"Well, during practice you you know it means something."

IC e O(
Berenson says Michigan is
freelancing, getting'cute'

By LIZ VUKELICH
Daily Sports Writer
The No. 7 Michigan hockey
team can only dream of execut-
ing a trick shot like the game-
winner in Saturday night's
sudden-death shootout.
As Miami (Ohio) forward
Bryon Paulazzo skated to take
the shot, he paused at the crease
in front of Michigan fifth-year
senior goaltender Shawn Hun-
wick.
He then proceeded to make
a 360-degree turn; lobbing the
puck over Hunwick's left shoul-
der.
That trick shot worked for the
RedHawks and iced the game in
the blink of an eye. But it may be
a long time before you see the
Wolverines pull a stunt like that.
Michigan coach Red Berenson
says he still can't even trust his
team get the puck from point A
to point B.
"If our players get too loose,
then they start doing things
that are not in the game plan,"
Berenson said.
"They start freelancing to a
point where it's not in sync with
the team."
Junior forward Chris Brown
was adamant that these prob-
lems shouldn't plague a highly

ranked program. But somehow,
Michigan still struggles.
That begs the question: what
exactly does "making simple
plays" mean?
More than anything, it means
keeping possession of the puck.
Too often, when the Wolverines
take command of the puck, they
quickly lose it. A pass gets inter-
cepted or sometimes a player
just loses control. In the worst of
these situations, the turnovers
result in goals for Michigan's
opponents.
It happened on Saturday
when freshman defenseman
Mike Chiasson's attempt to
clear Michigan's zone eventu-
ally resulted in a Miami game-
tying goal.
All season long, Berenson has
preached the importance of not
playing "cute." But for some rea-
son, the message isn't sinkingin.
This isn't a problem that can
be blamed on the team's young
blood. According to Brown, it
"happens all the time, to guys
that are 18 to 24."
Berenson says he always
makes his expectations explic-
itly clear. But when confidence
- instead of common sense -
takes over for Michigan, it's easy
for the simple things to get lost
in the madness of the game.

"There are players that think
they can make a move, and then
it doesn't work out and they
regret it," Berenson said.
"It's up to (the coaches) to
communicate what's expected.
We need everyone on the same
page."
The problem is becoming so
serious that Berenson is even
prepared to threaten the players
- too many fancy antics on the
ice will lead to "a lesser role on
the team."
The coaches are frustrated,
and the captains are too. The
seniors have been trying to
emphasize the importance of
staying in the right mindset
before games.
"It's not a light switch that
you can just turn on," Brown
said.
"You've got to make sure that
before you take a pregame nap
or pregame meal that you're
thinking about doing the little
things correct."
Until the Wolverines prove
that they can master the basics
of hockey, Berenson has no
plans to allow them to freestyle
on the ice.
"We've got a lot of work to
do," Berenson said. "We don't
have time for players improvis-
ing outside the team."
A

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