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June 16, 2008 - Image 12

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2008-06-16

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12

Monday, June 16, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

NOTEBOOK
From Page 11
the ball from defensive coordinator
Scott Shafer.
"Any coach is going to try to take
the concepts and simplify them,"
Shafer said. "So we're doing the
same thing here at the clinic - try-
ing to simplify some things and
actually teach them about football."
Rodriguez roamed between sta-
tions, but settled at the quarterback
training for much of the day.
Several players came to the clinic,
and many camped out in the weight
room, where Mike Barwis, director
of strength and conditioning, led
the women in stretches.
"To see that Mike was so serious,
making them doing it exactly right,
was kind of funny," said senior
defensive tackle Terrance Taylor.

Most of the coaches were relaxed
on the sunny afternoon, using the
day to calmly teach football. But
moments of competitiveness came
out of the coaches.
"I actually think they like it when
we yell at them," Rodriguez said.
BROWN REVITALIZED: The
preseason hype for then-sophomore
free safety Stevie Brown was nearly
deafening last year.
But there was hardly a whisper
when Brown was benched after the
Wolverines allowed three touch-
downs and 249 yards in the first half
of Michigan's season opener against
Appalachian State.
"It may have been complacency,
or it may have been satisfaction
thinking I made it," Brown said.
"So right now, I'm trying to stay as
far away from that as possible. I'm
trying to keep the hunger every
day."

Over the next few weeks, Brown
considered transferring as coaches
told him if he improved in practice,
he would get more playing time.
"And then weeks gone by and
I'm still sitting on the bench," said
Brown, who played in each of the
Wolvirines' 13 games, but started
just the first. "I know I'm play-
ing well in practice. I was just like,
'Something's not adding up here.
And I was like, 'I don't see why I
should be out here if coaches are
going to lie me,' things like that. I
mean, that's what I was thinking.
They really weren't lying to me. I
just wasn't doing as well as I thought
I was doing."
Brown's parents reminded the
Columbus, Ind. native how much he
loved Michigan growing up, and he
decided-to stick it out.
Brown will likely begin the sea-
son as the starting free safety again

this year, and he has taken steps to
ensure he will keep the job. He has
been watching film of Michigan's
first three opponents, even spend-
ing time at home to do so.
"I watched film a little bit here
and there, butI was never really like
a student of the game," Brown said.
"I would watch it so if the coaches
asked me, I could be like 'Yeah, I
watched it."'
Brown sees himself as one of
the leaders on the defense and said
even when he didn't start last year,
many of his teammates went to him
with questions. He said he has done
well with identifying trends in the
film when he actually focused on it.
With that added knowledge, Brown
should be much more of an asset on
and off the field this year.
See michigandaily.com
for anexpandedversion.
TRACK
From Page 11
one."
Waithe will not have much
time to celebrate his team's
showing at the NCAAs. He will
most likely be focusing on his
next event: the Beijing Olympic
Games.
He will leave next week for
Trinidad to run in Olympic qual-
ifers.
"If anything, (the 400-meter
dash) kind of shed some light on
some things I need to work on,"
Waithe said. "We'll see what
happens after that."

FELDMAN
From Page 11
of the Michigan football pro-
gram.
The Wolverines haven't had
a losing season in 41years and
boast the nation's best bowl
streak (33). Michigan's facilities
will be top of the line when the
construction on Michigan Sta-
dium is completed, and the new
indoor practice facility opens.
And the winged helmet brings a
uniqueness that attracts limitless
attention.
And you know what? Rodri-
guez doesn't need to push, either.
He charmed the crowd with
his one-liners - offensive coor-
dinator Calvin Magee works
with tight ends, but he doesn't
have one; the only time his teams
huddle is if one of the offensive
lineman has a funny joke - and
he didn't need to stir the pot with
anti-Buckeyebarbs. Thatsame
natural charisma inspires his
player and, coupled with excel-
lent coaching, produces. West
Virginia won four of the last five
Big East Championships.
Michigan is a great program,
and Rodriguez is a great coach.
As they blend together, the
future is bright.
"As soon as I took the job, I
became a Michigan man," Rodri-
guez said Saturday.
Point Michigan way. Point
Rodriguez way.
- Dan Feldman can be
reached at danfeld@umich.edu.

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