HOUSTON, TX – Media Day was all the buzz at Playoff Fan Central on Saturday morning at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Michigan was up first as coach Jim Harbaugh, quarterback J.J. McCarthy and the rest of the Wolverines fielded questions from the media.
Here are some notable quotes from Saturday’s Michigan Media Day.
Question: When you’re watching film of Michael Penix, what’s the scariest thing he does? What keeps you up at night about him?
Coach Harbaugh: “Well, the “it” factor that he has. He’s just got it. Next, just, like, no conscience. He’s got no conscience when he’s throwing one of those balls into the tightest window and the confidence that he can put it in there and his receivers are going to make a play. I mean, that’s scary good. As good as he is in the pocket, he’s deadly when he gets out of the pocket, too, in either direction. It’s formidable. It’s elite. And he’s got the “it” factor. He’s got great arm talent. Can tell he’s a really cerebral guy. He knows. The next thing I would say is the real clock he has in his head. I mean, he gets in trouble, boom, it’s going to a check-down. He just sees the field, knows where everybody is at all times. So it’s an exciting match-up for our secondary. We think we’ve got a really good one. And then it’s got to coordinate with the pass rush, the discipline to keep him in the pocket because he’s deadly outside the pocket, too. So all those things. Excited about the challenge. To be the best you’ve got to beat the best. All those things are what I think.
Question: Give me a sense from a year ago what the difference is preparation and mindset, routine for this team to get ready for this game, one step closer to your goal than you were last year?
Quarterback JJ McCarthy: I think the difference in preparation, different from last two years, was more about ourselves, how are we going to go out there and be the best version of ourselves. At the end of the day, the last two playoff games we were beating ourselves. So just staying focused and keep thing simple, stay in the present moment, and attack every day. You never get those days back, never get that meeting back, that practice back. I feel like we’ve done a really good job trying to maximize every single day and get the best out of it.
Question:This is the first championship game in nine years without a team from the south. What do you think about that?
Linebacker Junior Coloson: I think it’s great. It’s allowing more teams now to start playing at that level, so now teams are starting to catch up. I think it’ll be great. It’s making football more competitive in a way. Because most times it’s always just teams from the south, Clemson, Alabama, all those guys. Now being able to add the Big Ten, the Pac-12, all those great teams who maybe didn’t get as much love and now they’re being put in the spotlight, it’s awesome. It’s awesome to see that.
Question: Washington’s offensive line, how important is it to get (indiscernible) on a team especially when they’re so well-coached?
Defensive Coordinator Jesse Minter: “I think it’s a great challenge. They’ve only given up 11 sacks. Sometimes in this type of game it’s not necessarily about the sack numbers. It’s about affecting the quarterback someway, somehow, and sometimes that’s through coverage, sometimes that’s through pressure, sometime that’s through winning one-on-ones up front. It’s a great challenge. Their O-line has played really, really well. I love our D-line, so that’s a matchup I’m excited to see play out on Monday.”