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Player Comments from Weekly U-M Football Media Luncheon
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Julius Curry | Dan Rumishek | Jonathon Goodwin
John Navarre | Victor Hobson

Junior Strong Safety Julius Curry

On playing with his brother Markus ... "I was on the field several times with my brother. It was kind of different. It reminded me of some high school times, seeing him out there. ... He is a lot faster than I thought he was."

On the positive remarks made about the Michigan secondary ... "It's always a good feeling when someone is saying something positive about the position that you are playing rather than it being a problem. We still have some things to clean and clear up for the Washington game, but it's always a great feeling to know that coach is giving a positive backing to the defensive backs."

On what he worked on in the off-season ... "The main thing I wanted to work on personally was my one-on-ones. As a whole I think I improved a lot. As a secondary, I think we improved even more with our covering and our checks. The main thing we have to clear up is our tackling. We are coming up and delivering the blow, but sometimes we don't wrap up and we have to finish it."

On preparing for Washington ... "The main thing we will focus on is the formations. They have young receivers also, so we'll prepare and plan our formations so we can always adapt to their different players. Every week you prepare for someone different. They have different techniques, different ways they release and stuff like that. Hopefully, we will have some film on them, but if not then we will have to go out there and play them the best that we can."

On returning punts ... "I feel real comfortable back there. I finally got an opportunity to play punt return. But we also have two other guys -- Markus Curry and Ron Bellamy -- who also can do the job just as good as me."

On the noise being a factor ... "It is a real big issue -- the fans and the noise in the background. A lot of times you can't hear, so you have to work on signals every week and make sure everyone knows the signals. A lot of times we get the signals from the coaches, or someone who is assigned to give us signals on the sideline. We just have to be prepare for it."

Junior Defensive Lineman Dan Rumishek

On what the Michigan defense needs to improve upon ... "As coach (Lloyd Carr) said earlier, as a defense we definitely have to improve on our tackling. Give credit to where credit is due. He (Miami's Luke Clemens) was a very good running back. He had a lot of moves and spun out of tackles and as a defense we just need to wrap up. That is the key to stopping good backs ... tackle them, gang tackle them and stopping them where we hit them."

On the defense's approach to stopping a quarterback ... "We just have to get after him. It is going to be his first full year of starting, playing and getting all of the snaps. But you just have to get after him, frustrate him and get into the back of his mind. ... quarterbacks always have a clock knowing when the pass rush is coming and if we are getting to him early and often then he thinks about that. He doesn't want to get hit for a loss or a fumble, force a bad throw or run right into a sack. So as a young quarterback, you just have to get after him and pressure him into bad situations."

On talking on the field ... "I am not a big time trash-talker. I think intimidation comes when you hit them and hit them often."

On the meaning of the Washington game ... "Washington is a great team ... finishing No. 3 last year. They're excited. This is their season opener and they are ready to beat us in their stadium and prove to everyone that they should have been No. 1 or No. 2 last year. Listening to John Navarre, I think he was correct when he said you learn a lot about a team's character in a game like this and it's very good to learn about it early in the season because then you know what you are working with for the rest of the year."

On having a game under the belt vs. starting from just film ... "I probably would rather have the game under my belt because now I know what I need to work on. We have done things at game speed. We played a game. You have that fear and you get the jitters out of your system. I was so nervous going into the Miami game. I mean, the last game I played in was Ohio State and that was a long time ago for me. So it was fun going in there but I definitely would rather have the game out the way."

Fifth-Year Senior Offensive Lineman Jonathon Goodwin

On the offensive line's performance ... "I wasn't discouraged by anything. The main thing I saw out there was every guy on the field was playing hard and I feel as long as you are playing hard and giving an effort then all you can do is get better. We had some missed assignments, but I think we did a pretty good job in camp with eliminating missed assignments so it was kind of a shock to have a couple, but to eliminate those comes with more game experience."

On playing guard or center ... "I definitely prefer to play guard, but I have no problem moving to center if they need me. Kurt (Anderson) has done such a good job since last spring. He moved over there and he's done a real good job. In a way I am relieved, but he's done a good job, so he deserves to play there."

On the Washington defensive front ... "I think the two guys up front are extremely good. (Larry) Triplett is probably one of the best guys I have ever seen on film. The other guy, (Marcus) Roberson, on the other side, I don't think he is bad at all. I think he is a very good player too. So it is definitely going to be a challenge and we just have to step up our games a little bit."

On the comparisons of this year's offensive line to last year's ... "It's different in the fact that the one thing the guys knew last year was the guys knew the defensive linemen and were catching onto the calls with Hutch (Steve Hutchinson) and (David) Brandt and those guys. We wouldn't even have to make calls because everyone knew the plays for sure and knew what everyone was doing. Now, you have to tend to make sure you are making the calls, making sure everyone is staying in the game and staying calm and things like that. As opposed to last year, you knew Hutch, Maurice (Williams) and Jeff (Backus) were calm and they knew what they were doing."

On practicing with noise level ... "It definitely helps a lot because they crank it up in practice so sometimes it is even hard to hear in practice. It prepares you for a loud environment like we are going to face this weekend. It helps offensive linemen get used to yelling the calls and making sure everything gets passed on down the line."

On this being a defining game of the season ... "I see every game as a big game, at least to me, especially since this is my senior year. It's definitely a game that is going to be watched more across the country. We want to come and play well and play hard and just hopefully do what we are supposed to do. This will be a lot more emotional because it is a bigger game and you will be on the road. You are going to be getting booed and not going to be as liked there, but it will be a lot more emotional and exciting."

Junior/Sophomore Quarterback John Navarre

On reviewing the Miami of Ohio game ... "Well, like I said in an earlier interview, we have some things to work on and we have some things to correct. The good thing is a lot of them are correctable, and we can get better. The team is confident that we can play better football than what we did on Saturday (Sept. 1). All in all we feel good."

On B.J. Askew's rushing performance ... "He ran tremendous. He has been working hard all through the spring and summer, and had a tremendous training camp. So he ran really hard and that's what we needed from him. He pounded the ball up the middle and broke some tackles and got the yardage he needed to get."

On last year's experience of playing on the West Coast ... "Team-wise it's going to help us tremendously. Last year we took a long plane ride, so we know how to adjust to the time difference. Last year, we left Friday morning, this week we're leaving Thursday night. As a team now, we know what to expect. Personally, I have to study last year and take it as a positive learning experience and that's what I treat it as."

On the benefits of leaving Thursday night ... "Well, as far as sleep-wise, it allows your body one extra night to get used to the time difference. If you get there are Friday, you're rushing. You have to get to the stadium and have a walk through. By leaving Thursday night, it allows us to have a normal Friday schedule."

On learning to play in front of loud, hostile crowds ... "One thing we try to do as a team is practice under loud conditions. We have a stereo system that we practice with, and one thing you learn is that communication is key. If you're not communicating, it's going to hurt you. That's when you start to get penalties and missed assignments. So I think communication is the key. You have to work on that and everyone has to be on the same page. We must remain focused."

On redeeming last year's loss to UCLA ... "This game will be redemption for us all. A lot of people are talking about an East-West thing, but I'm not going to get into that. We have to come out and play football. You know, last year we struggled out there, but we're going to play hard against a great ball club. So, you just have to look past the East-West thing and you have to look at two great football teams playing hard."

On Washington's defense ... "They're pretty unique. They have a defensive style all their own. They have a tremendous secondary, with Roc Alexander and Omare Lowe. Then you add in Larry Triplett, and the defensive line, and you have a solid defense that is going to play hard. So we're going into this game studying them a lot and looking forward to just going out and playing football."

On the difficulty of studying a team without updated game film ... "Well, you don't know what they're doing in different situations, so we just have to look over all their last year's film. They do have an advantage of watching our game, as opposed to us watching their games from last year. We just have to trust the film and believe their basics are the same, but you still have to be ready for whatever they throw at you on game day."

On playing on FieldTurf ... "I like it. It's softer, and I like the fact that you can wear any type of shoe on it. If there is any added comfort going into the game, it's that we do practice on it in Oosterbaan Fieldhouse. So it shouldn't be a problem for any of us."

On Washington's aggressive defense ... "They're very aggressive, they blitz a lot, and they drop back into coverage. They have talented athletes and they're aggressive and that's how they're going to play us at home."

On wide receiver Calvin Bell ... "Calvin had a great training camp. He really stepped up and made tremendous strides from where he was last year as a freshman. He got the number of catches that he did because he was open. You don't have favorites out there. You just throw the ball to the guy who is open and get the first downs."

On the tendency to throw to the tight ends ... "We wanted to get our tight ends involved a little more. That's what we intended on doing. The routes we had in worked, and we stuck with what worked and the guys kept getting open. They're a group of guys who will catch everything that's thrown at them because they all have tremendous hands. They work hard to get open and they block well, so we wanted to reward them for that."

On the importance of Ronald Bellamy to the offense ... "He is really important. Last year he returned punts for us and was a key part of the offense. Ron's going to get healthy, and he's going to work hard to help the team out."

Senior/Junior Outside Linebacker Victor Hobson

On Washington being a defining game for the season ... "I think it will be, it's a big game and Washington is a real good team with a lot of tradition. I think this will help us a lot; it will let us see where we are. Everybody talks about our defense being tested, but it will be a good test for us all."

On Carl Diggs and Zach Kaufman ... "They did a real good job. Larry (Foote) and Eric (Brackins) went down early and it was great to see two young guys take advantage of their opportunities. They played real well. They knew their assignments and they played good."

On comparing Washington's offense to Michigan's ... "I guess you can make similarities between any offense except Miami's. They're young, but they have a real good offense with a real good tight end. I mean, it's just a team you have to prepare for, so we'll be watching a lot of film and studying hard."

On the possibility of playing tight end Jerramy Stevens man-up ... "That's something we'll have to see from the game plan, but as an outside linebacker I'll be lined up right over him. We'll see as the week goes on and the game plans are developed."

On recapping the Miami game ... "I think the defense as a whole expects a lot from ourselves and we don't expect to miss tackles like we did against Miami. I think on Saturday we missed a few tackles we should have made and I think we gave up a few big plays that we shouldn't have. That's going to happen in a first game, but we expect a lot from ourselves and expect that not to happen."

On playing on FieldTurf ... "I like the turf. It's a softer surface and it's still a fast surface. I think the fact that we practice on it will help us a lot on Saturday."

On what shoes to wear on FieldTurf ..."I actually started out wearing turf shoes, but I have now switched to cleats. It really doesn't make a difference; each shoe gets the same amount of grip. I just happen to like the cleats better."

Contact: David Ablauf, Jim Schneider (734) 763-4423

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