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Posted on Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 11:11 a.m.

Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez: Not everyone reported to camp in shape

By Pete Bigelow

After getting his first glimpse of the summer at his team Monday, Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez said the Wolverines seemed to be in pretty good shape.

With a few exceptions.

“We have quite a few guys in very good shape, a handful who are in OK shape and a small handful not ready to play Division I football,” he said.


Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez said, "We have quite a few guys in very good shape, a handful who are in OK shape and a small handful not ready to play Division I football."

He wouldn’t identify the out-of-shape players, but said they will not “have the opportunity to wear the winged helmet” on Sept. 4 against Connecticut in the season opener if they cannot improve their conditioning over the next month.

Freshmen were not included in the list of disappointments.

“Our expectations for freshmen, with their first session at this level, is not going to be very high from a standpoint of being ready physically,” Rodriguez said. “… I don’t look at them the same as an upperclassmen.”

Mild temperatures Monday afternoon prevented Rodriguez from scrutinizing the conditioning of his team too closely. But at first glance, the third-year coach thought his linemen on both sides of the football had shown the most improvement of any particular position.

“They looked like they had a good summer,” Rodriguez said. “It was not real taxing, as far as the weather, but I liked the way we looked physically up front.

“Our young guys look like they’ve grown some, gained weight and strength, and some have shaven now for the first time.”

Pete Bigelow covers sports for He can be reached at



Thu, Aug 12, 2010 : 9:29 a.m.

From USAToday, Sept. 3, 2007: "The desire to be physical, like Meyer's teams, translated into Appalachian State's quest for stamina. 'That's why looking at film any earlier than we did wouldn't have made a difference,' Moore said. 'We're big into fundamentals, and we're big into conditioning.' Brown, the 6-6, 310-pound lineman, noticed Michigan's players were 'out of shape. Their defense was struggling to get to the ball,' he said. That's one advantage to the no-huddle. The defense cannot rest. 'We thought that in the middle of the second quarter that we had the edge condition-wise," Moore said. "When you are not familiar with the no-huddle, it's tough to sustain that defensive intensity after two, three first downs in a row.'" The Appalachian State game remains the bellwether of this Michigan football program. I don't for a minute think the unthinkable: that Michigan could lose its 2010 opener to Connecticut. But then, I had no inkling that Michigan would lose to Appalachian State, either. I am not an expert in NCAA rules, but: are players allowed to work out on their own? How closely regulated is self-initiated conditioning? Does someone have to put the boot to you to get you to achieve your minimum performance level?


Wed, Aug 11, 2010 : 7:27 p.m.

offended? gosh no! I was amused by your comment that I had to be 21. Got up this morning and wished I was 21 again :) There are so many immature kids on these sites its hard to tell sometimes. In turn, sorry if I came off as offended... Go Blue!


Wed, Aug 11, 2010 : 7:07 p.m.

aarox, not comparing my grand kids to yours, talking about having fun on this blog and don't take things personal if your a Mich. fan then you and I have the same cause and that is win, win, win with the team and coach we have this year. aarox it is a simple fact the cards have been dealt for this year 2010 and the issue here is not as much what do we have as how we play the hand we're dealt this year. LLoyd is no longer here in part becuase he did not play his hand well at times not because he didn't have solid players and make no mistake people, fans want Mich. not only to beat the big ten but get out there during the holidays and entertain us with some wins with the big boys and you know who I'm talking about, USC, Texas, Alabama, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma and soon to be Florida State and Nebraska. aarox I live in Southern Ca. and I'm not as fortunate as you to have Mich. season tickets however, I've been to every Rose Bowl game that Mich. has played in since 1973 and arrox I gotta tell ya that for the most part it has not been pleasant. On TV I watch Mich. beat up the 10 and they ship out here generally speaking for a class A beating with 2 or 3 exceptions. That's why RR is the coach and the fans think with patience the payoff will be that I don't have to sit in the Rose Bowl after spending a small fortune just to see another sad loss. Nobody is picking on you it's just fun and I apologize if you were offended by anything I wrote. Go Blue!


Wed, Aug 11, 2010 : 4:57 p.m.

Portage, I have grandkids and season tickets and may be old enough to be your uncle. For what its worth. I am as Blue as it comes but that doesn't make me blind. There were several responses to my post but none really addressed my actual comment. My post was that RR has thrown his players under the bus, not once, but multiple times. That's all. Comments like 'you will eat crow' are forward looking, and my comment was backward looking. I am speaking primarily but not exclusively of broadcasted post-game interviews. Just to avoid confusion and misinformation. Go Blue!


Wed, Aug 11, 2010 : 4:43 p.m.

3 And Out... Not to condone your post... I do find his website a bit cheesy. Does he use Michigan property for his own personal business? Does he pay the school rent? How exactly does it work?

3 And Out

Wed, Aug 11, 2010 : 1:53 p.m.

What happened to Magic Barwis? Oh wait...he is selling consultations on his website now. (this is for real). Stay tuned for the Barwis version of P90X videos and late night infomercial. Too bad the Barwis System is not working for the football team.


Wed, Aug 11, 2010 : 12:47 p.m.

people please stop being so naive about what is going on with our football team. Im not buddies with rich rod by any means but lets be realistic for one second. This decade alone we only had one solid team. 2006 was our best team by far in this decade and we still lost to osu and usc. Lloyd carr teams constantly under achieved against teams they should of beaten Fast forward to 2010 the same problem still exist from jan 1 2007. The SECONDARY. USC torched them in the second half and we have not been the same ever since. Going into the very next season, the first two games proved that Morgan Trent and Warren were not as good as we thought. Once Branch and woodley left they couldnt cover anyone. Warren went undrafted for gods sake because he couldnt cover plain and simple. If all we lost in the secondary was a undrafted corner i dont see the big loss. They only looked good cause of the 4 man pass rush that was provided for them in 2006. When they actually had to cover they failed. This year if the front 7 cannot get to the quarterback the secondary will be in trouble again. Its that simple rush the passer create untimed and bad throws your secondary looks a lot better. The offense should be a lot more disciplined as well so it wont be as many three and outs and turnovers. Its a bit different from what we our used to i admit but, u cant tell me that we lost to app st cause henne hart and long wasnt healthy, thats bull. We gave up 34 points to a fbs school, that had nothing to do with offense. Go Blue!!!!!


Wed, Aug 11, 2010 : 12:27 p.m.

So... there is a rumor floating around on various sites, that JT Turner was one of the individuals referenced... and was given his release today. Anyone else heard this... or is it just that, a rumor?

Jay Allen

Wed, Aug 11, 2010 : 11:33 a.m.

@aarox: Crow is today's special.


Wed, Aug 11, 2010 : 9:50 a.m.

What I got from this story: Blog trollers and commentors will always looks for a way to twist generic information to push their own opinions and agenda as usual.


Wed, Aug 11, 2010 : 9:08 a.m.

can't wait to hear what people have to say when Michigan is 5-0 going into the MSU game at home this year. The bandwagon will be overflowing! That stadium will louder than anything we have ever heard in Ann Arbor.


Wed, Aug 11, 2010 : 7:28 a.m.

It looks like RR is already starting with the excuses. Here's a suggestion -- how about nominating team captains for the entire year and looking to them for leadership and peer support???


Wed, Aug 11, 2010 : 5:53 a.m.

RR is not going to throw Barwis under the bus or the players. If a player shows up to camp out of shape, that is on that player. To hold the player accountable is an act of integrity. (You see it in the pros every year also.) That's one of the reasons you have 3 weeks of training before the season starts. Not all players are on campus all summer. Sorry but, Bo had many press conferences and complained about his players also, particularly linemen. RR is too open with the press, but he's learning what Lloyd, Mo and Bo all learned, the press in Ann arbor is not your friend. The days of Wayne Deneff are gone. In my mind, ever since Woodward and Bernstein, the slant of the press is not the truth, (even though that is their mantra), it is negativity and sensationalism. I'm not saying they should cover-up. I'm talking about the press's motivation. Every writer thinks they're going to win a pulitzer if they dig up a STORY. Oh ya, and the whole team didn't show up out of shape. Just a few. Just like the press, some posters glean something from the article and expound on that. I've seen some pretty interesting senarios written here that are based on nothing more than emotions.


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 10:05 p.m.

aarox, son ya gotta be 21 to have what I'm having but you are old enough to support RR and the Wolverine's upcoming year, Go Blue!


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 9:45 p.m.

What would you do? The Freepress sent undercover reporters to the weight room all summer. I would of taken the players to Ohio State to work out.


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 9:07 p.m.

I'll have what Portage is having.


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 9:05 p.m.

Ya boys and girls we're at that time of year again if RR is caught picking his nose that's worth noting now if RR farts that should bring about 100 comments from all of us. I used to hear about all of Bo's boys coming to camp out of shape and Bo would send them straight to the, "dog house" with no dinner. The kids will be fine and RR knows if he makes an off the wall comment or for that matter if he mumbles something it could be taken out of content. It's all the same usual baloney at this time of year what it's really about is the anxious anticipation for a brand new season. Heck, I can tell Sean T is excited about the upcoming season he actually sounds positive. At this point it's Michigan 0 vs the rest of teams scheduled 0. I can't wait to see those same winged helmets come running out on the field the Michigan Wolverines that I've watched since my first game in 1955. I don't care about nothing in the past just the first game with new kids and others more mature. On my dying day on this earth I will be thankful for all the great entertainment I've gotten win or lose from my great Michigan Wolverines and their great dynasty coach RR. Go Blue!


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 9:03 p.m.

I think year three is the one for this program! We'll have an experienced offense, which will put up 30 pts a game. The defense has lost some guys, but the players returning are going to play better this year.My biggest concern is the special teams! I think people underestimate the effect that playing that many young guys has on a team. Not just physically but mentally. And losing takes it toll. The young guys just don't have the resilience to over come tough spots in a close game. And the snowball becomes and avalanche. I think we will be pleasantly surprised this year. We just need to stick with this team and these kids regardless of what you feel about the coach. This is MICHIGAN. And if we claim to long for the days of Bo, then remember what he always said "the Team!, the Team! the Team!"


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 8:49 p.m.

Jaxon I hope you are right but my belief is that RR is getting ready to throw his players under the bus again. He did this 2 or 3 times last year which is 2 or 3 more than Bo did in his 21 years with us. I hope I am wrong.


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 8:38 p.m.

Everyone knows that RR has been a succesful college footbal coach. Heck, last year's offense was really quite good -- remember the Iowa game? But, the turnovers made even a good offense "not nearly good enough". Here is where we must improve: 1. Cut down the turnovers and start out with 0 again UConn. 2. Play solid D -- this will be tough as we lost a couple of great players. 3. Create an excellent kicking game -- this will also be, but it can be done. I cannot wait for the UConn Huskies!!!


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 7:28 p.m.

I'm hoping this is a very clever move on the part of the coach to manage opponents' expectations. They already regard UM as a bottom-rung Big 10 team, and now, if they hear some of the team are out of shape, they'll relax. That's when we strike, when they're relaxed, and we pull off a surprise victory. Should work, against Indiana.


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 7:20 p.m.

I also, find it odd, that Rich Rod brought this up......HHHMMMMM,maybe it's a preemptive EXCUSE! Oh well, just another day in "Wolverine world." Just so you guys know, it is Day 2,455 since you beat the Bucks!


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 7 p.m.

what goes in practice stays in practice--unless you are trying to make yourself look good by making others look bad


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 4:36 p.m.

MG--your comments made me wonder: "I am optimistic that it will, but even if we stumble yet again, I - and other true fans like me - will be right there with them". As a true fan, how long do you give a coach time to "turn it around" if the program never needed true turning around, but just tweaking? Do you have to support the coach to be a "true fan"? If the record is a repeat of 5-7 or 3-9, do you support the coach because he is employed by UM (your team)? Or do you allow for others to be "true fans" by having higher expectations than what have been delivered? As far as those out of shape, it is an issue every year, and it sometimes takes players years to mature. Just think about big Gabe. Even all the linemen that have come through--many of them did not make big impact until junior year. Even BG who just left was not in optimal shape until junior year. I don't mind RR holding their feet to the fire at all--think of how LC did that to Braylon, but ultimately those players have to realize it's on them to do it without hand-holding or scolding.


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 4:07 p.m.

Well,sounds like not everyone wants to be apart of the team.Any Wolverine not ready, don't play them.Michigan football demands more.GoBlue!!!


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 3:40 p.m.

I am ridiculously excited for this season to arrive. Season three is when you expect to see the payoff. I am optimistic that it will, but even if we stumble yet again, I - and other true fans like me - will be right there with them. I would absolutely expect some players to come in off their peak performance, but thats what two-a-days are all about. These kids will be back to prime shape within a week. I miss Ann Arbor more and more each year as the end of summer approaches. Go BLUE!


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 2:30 p.m.

Interesting contrast to how the MSU was at their first practice. Looking good for 3 in row on 10/9


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 1:50 p.m.

well go ahead and take my previous comment out, it was off topic and with the rest of the comments removed it completely lacks context. sorry for the rant


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 1:48 p.m.

Having some players report out of shape is normal, I'm sure. What's interesting is Rodriguez bringing it up in public. Being more open about his comments (unlike past coaches), he thought it was relevant. He needs to be tough with said players though, as I'm sure the expectations about their summer conditioning and weight goals when reporting were clear. Once he gets Barwis on their case(s), problem should be over.


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 1:47 p.m.

iam sorry if i was bad... i ran my wind sprints and beat everyone else. boy those extra secret practice's are starting to pay off! michigan will be in good shape come opening day...


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 1:39 p.m.

From a recent Nick Saban press conference:. "We only have really one issue. Kendall Kelly is probably going to be out for several days.". On one hand, Alabama's biggest problem is one player out for a few days.....all their pieces are in place.. On the other hand, all our places are in pieces........


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 1:23 p.m.

Out of shape.....that's what you get when Rich Rod can't have extra secret practice time

Mr. Tibbs

Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 11:23 a.m.

And you were expecting what? Disciplined players? In the midwestern mecca of anarchy? puh-leeze. just send them to another sensitivity class, that'll straighten right out.

Sean T.

Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 11:06 a.m.

This is an issue that every program has year after year but it is usually lineman. Seems we have a lot of "smokers" on our team when skill-players come out of shape! The good thing is it doesn't take long to get back in shape.


Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 10:34 a.m.

Time for some bleacher runs!