Rich Rodriguez on Michigan football: 'We've got a long way to go to get some national respect back'
And Rodriguez isn’t saying whether the Wolverines, coming off a 3-9 season, are worthy of that honor.
“We got to deserve it,” Rodriguez said Wednesday after practice. “My team, I’ve got confidence in our guys, I think they did a great job (this off-season). But until we play a game, until at least they get a few weeks of practice, I won’t really know where we’re at.”
Three practices into fall camp and two days before the pads come out, Rodriguez is generally pleased with what he’s seen so far.
Missed assignments are down, more of the defensive playbook is in than anticipated, and the young quarterbacks continue to make strides. What that means in football terms, though, remains to be seen.
Rodriguez said he’s talked with his team about the public perception that Michigan is poised for another disappointing season and acknowledges that’s motivation for this year.
“A lot of it is just projection and talks, so whether you’re on the high end or the low end, you still got to prove it on the field,” Rodriguez said. “But there’s no question we’ve brought it up. We’ve got a long way to go to get some national respect back, but I understand it, too. There’s nobody in the room that said, ‘Geez, why did that happen?’ We know why it happened. Now we got to fix it.”
For a video of Rodriguez on Wednesday, click here.
Dave Birkett covers the University of Michigan football team for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at email@example.com