Player Comments from Weekly U-M Football Media Luncheon


Ronald Bellamy | Emmanuel Casseus | Deitan Dubuc
Alain Kashama | Matt Lentz | Adam Stenavich

Senior Wide Receiver Ronald Bellamy

On the offensive production ... "We were clicking on all cylinders on Saturday. John (Navarre) spread the ball around and he gave the receivers opportunities to make plays and we did."

On if he felt he would get his chances in the new offense ... "As a receiver you never know when your number is going to be called. On Saturday my number was called pretty often and I made plays."

On making the most of his opportunities ... "I feel as though whenever the ball is in the air it is mine. On that touchdown that was my thought process."

On the difference in his play ... "I was not healthy so I could not do the things that I wanted to do. Now I am ready to go for the Big Ten run."

On the crossing routes ... "That is a good route because lately we have been playing a lot of man-coverage teams and that gives the receiver a chance to catch the ball and run with it. Braylon (Edwards) and Calvin (Bell) made a lot of plays Saturday with those particular routes."

On the key to the offense ... "It is a lot of timing and execution too. John (Navarre) and I get together so we can get those big plays."

On the difference between this year and last year for him ... "It was not anything as far as the offense. It was all on me because I was not healthy. Now that I am healthy I am able to contribute to this team."

On the corner routes ... "We do drills like that every day in practice. Our coach, Erik Campbell, tells us to just catch the ball and let the official make the decision. That is what I did. I ran my route, worked the corner and made a play on the ball. John (Navarre) made a nice throw where if I couldn't get it neither could the defender. That was a great pass."

On his French-Canadian teammates ... "Those guys are funny. When we are in the locker room, Alain (Kashama), Deitan (Dubuc) and Emmanuel (Casseus) get together and speak in French and no one understands what they are talking about. We hear them laugh and stuff so half the time we think they are talking about us. It is pretty funny."

On the double reverse ... "It is one of those decisions that Coach (Terry) Malone made. It could have worked. I thought it was going to work. It was a great play because we have been working on those plays every day in practice. You have special plays that you have in the game plan and that was one of them. As soon as I got around the end I thought I was supposed to have a clear path to the end zone. (Chris) Perry's man tripped me up and made the play. Illinois made a good play on that and you have to give them credit for that."

On the possibility of throwing off of a reverse ... "I cannot throw. You might see it but I cannot throw. My arm is pretty bad. We might do it but I would have to talk to Coach (Scot) Loeffler and maybe he can help me with that. Tim Bracken played baseball in high school. Chris Perry claims he can throw. Everyone wants to throw. I cannot throw so I cannot ask the coaches to let me throw a pass."

On the bye week ... "It is great because it allows us to get healthy. We have a lot of confidence going into the Penn State game. This week is going to give a lot of young guys a chance to get ready and some of the older guys a chance to heal their wounds."

On Penn State ... "Penn State is a real good team. Their offense is clicking and they play great defense. We expect their best effort whether they win or lose against Wisconsin."

On if they proved to themselves that the offense does work ... "Our main objective is to keep the ball off of the ground and not commit any turnovers. That kills drives and hurts your defense. We have been doing that the past couple of weeks. We have been turning the ball over and dropping passes. The defense stays on the field longer and you are not helping the defense out at all."

On what made the offense better on Saturday ... "Saturday John (Navarre) took what the defense gave him and that is part of the offense. Calvin (Bell) caught balls, I caught balls, Braylon (Edwards), Bennie (Joppru), Chris (Perry) ran well and so did B.J. (Askew). All the guys on offense were clicking on Saturday."

On wide receivers run-blocking ... "If you want to play you have to block. Coach (Lloyd) Carr is going to let you know that the first day you walk through the door. You have to be an unselfish player. Those guys are going to block for you when the ball is in the air so it is only fair that you run-block for those guys. The coaches really stress that. If your man makes the play they get on you and let you know about it. The next time you will not want to make that mistake again."

On if receivers get away with holding more ... "Yeah, but at the same time the defensive back holds a lot too and they get away with it. You have to have some skills to get away with it but in most cases receivers hold."

On the progression of quarterback Matt Gutierrez ... "We practice with Matt (Gutierrez) every day. He goes with the first and second team. He is going to be a great quarterback if he keeps working hard. He has the system down pretty well, he has a great arm and great mobility. He is going to be a great asset to this team in the future."

On who looks to be a future star in practice ... "If I had to pick out a person it would be Tim Massaquoi. He is doing great things in practice. He is catching the ball well, running great routes and blocking better. He is going to be a great player here."

On Massaquoi's conversion to tight end ... "I thought he was going to be a pretty good receiver because he is big but the coaches decided to move him to tight end. It allows him to go against a linebacker or a strong safety who is not used to covering. He used to play receiver so he can use the things that he learned at receiver to his advantage."

On comparing Massaquoi's weight gain to his own ... "Our situation is a little different because I came in at 175 and had to put on 25 pounds. I stayed at the same position that required speed. He moved onto a position that requires more strength than speed. We usually do not use our tight ends to go deep. He came in at 220 so he was a pretty big guy anyway."

On his weight gain ... "Most of it was muscle. I was pretty fragile when I got here. I ate at training tables. Like B.J. (Askew) said last week, Subway, Spots and eating all the food I can makes me maintain my weight."

On if he wishes he had one more year ... "Looking back I would have liked to have the extra year. Physically I was not ready. I was 175 and only 17 years old. Physically it was not there yet. Now if I had the extra year it would be to my advantage but you cannot look on the past like that."

On if he talked to the freshman receivers about redshirting ... "I talked to Carl (Tabb) and Steve (Breaston) and I told them that if they have to redshirt to redshirt. Redshirt is a great thing. As a receiver or another skill position player you tend not to redshirt. You come out of high school pumped up to be an All-American and as a freshman you want to come in and make an immediate impact, but I told them that if it is not happening right now to be patient and redshirt. You can learn a lot, get bigger, get faster and get stronger. You learn the offense, you learn the physicalness of the game and you have an extra year to play."

On how much influence the players have over if they redshirt ... "For the most part if you want to redshirt you just go in and see Coach Carr and tell him, 'I do not think I am ready to play yet and I think it is better for me to redshirt.' Coach Carr will sit down and talk with you. He is one of those coaches that invites you into his office and will sit and talk with you. Whatever you want to say he will talk with about it."

On his decision not to redshirt ... "I basically let them make the call for me. My freshman year I had success but we were deep at the receiver position. Unfortunately with the injuries that we had in the secondary I was forced to play there."

Senior Linebacker Emmanuel Casseus

On the Illinois game ... "It was the Big Ten opener and we wanted to start out on a good foot. The offensive put up big points and the defensive played well. So yes, it was a good win for us."

On the recruiting process for Canadian football players ... "In Canada we don't get a lot of exposure to college football, but there are combines that we go to, to see if we are good enough to play in the United States. All the college coaches go to see us and we have to do bench press and run the 40 (yard dash), to see if you are able to compete in the United States. At first I was leaning toward Wisconsin, but my high school teammate was Alain Kashama and he said he was going to Michigan, so I decided to play here at Michigan because Michigan is Michigan."

On the language barrier ... "Most of the time when Alain (Kashama), Deitan (Dubuc) and I talk, we talk in French. It is automatic between the three of us when we talk. The other guys get angry sometimes because they can't understand us, but we do it anyway."

On the transition to speaking English in the classroom ... "It was hard my first year here because I couldn't understand my professors all the time. They cut me some slack in the classroom because I went to see them and told them I was from the French-speaking part of Canada."

On playing linebacker ... "My first sack felt really good. It proved for the first time that I could make a good play on defense and not only on special teams."

On his favorite NHL hockey team ... "I like the Montreal Canadiens. I was looking forward to seeing them play against the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup finals. I was glad to see Detroit win though."

On playing hockey in Canada ... "I didn't play organized hockey, but I played outside in the rinks during the winter when I was growing up."

On living in the United States ... "I have a lot of family in the states. Some of my family lives in New York, so it isn't a big change to live here."

On his future plans ... "I will probably end up playing in the CFL. I would love to play back home in Montreal. If I could play in the NFL I would like to go to New York.

Fifth-Year Senior Tight End Deitan Dubuc

On his transition to living in the United States ... "I think the hardest part for me was learning the language. Emmanuel (Casseus) had some family living in the United States. I really didn't learn English until I got here. As for football, it was difficult to understand the coaches at times. I took four English classes and I worked hard to improve my English. I came here alone and I didn't have anyone to speak English with. I had to force myself to always speak and think in English."

On his decision to stay for a fifth year ... "Coach (Lloyd) Carr said that if you have a good attitude and you work hard, good things will happen. I could have left after last year; I got drafted by the CFL. But I felt that I have yet to accomplish all that I wanted to at Michigan and that's one of the reasons I wanted to come back. Since I've been here, I've been behind great athletes. I've learned a lot behind those guys and when my time comes, I just have to do the best I can."

On the CFL ... "They own my rights. If I want to play in the CFL next year, I have to report to Calgary. I just got engaged in July and plan to move to Minnesota. I plan to sell myself to the NFL. If I don't sign as a free agent, then I will head to the CFL. My goal after football is to be a police officer."

On his career highlight ... "I would say that it is still to come. I had a touchdown catch last year at Wisconsin, but I didn't really feel the effect of scoring a touchdown in the Big House. But I think the best of me is still coming. Last week, I did some good things. I'm still going to keep the same attitude and go out there every day and do the best I can."

Junior Defensive Lineman Alain Kashama

On playing more on the defense ... "To me it isn't really stepping up, I've been doing this for a long time. I just haven't had the opportunity to show my talent yet."

On his performance against Illinois ... "I think I played well, but I have to work on my game shape because I haven't played enough yet."

On the difficulties adjusting to the English language ... "I really think that if you speak another language you can relate to what Emmanuel (Casseus) and I are going through. When they call the play in the huddle it takes us an extra 45 seconds to understand what was said."

On his recruitment experience ... "Michigan, Central Florida, Syracuse and a few other teams in the Big Ten recruited me. My cousin, Tim Biakabutuka, played here and I always wanted to play here. I started playing football in 1995 and when Michigan began recruiting me, I wanted to come here and do my thing for U-M."

Redshirt Freshman Offensive Lineman Matt Lentz

On the offensive line being ahead of schedule ... "We need a lot of work. Saturday was a good win by us all. We came together like we should. That shows more of what is to come. That was a good win for all of us. It was amazing how much fun we had and how we came together like we should have done earlier."

On how offensive linemen view a fumble ... "When we fumble the ball it is a team thing not one person because the guy hitting him was probably a linebacker that should have been blocked by one of us."

On being the strongest person on the team ... "My father started me on lifting weights when I was in seventh grade because if I started earlier he was worried I might have had some joint problems. I liked it and I had a lot of fun with it. As you've probably heard he made me push my truck and then I lived on a farm too so he thought of other fun ways get me stronger, which at the time seemed insane to me but it's helped me here. I used to bear crawl from our barn to the house, which was about 100 yards or so uphill. It built up my shoulders and it taught me to stay low on defensive line in high school. Everything he did was with football in mind. Pushing the truck was good about getting your head low and learning how to get leverage. Every now and then he would tap on the brake to make sure I was still going. That craziness sort of led to what we do now so it doesn't seem so bizarre when we go out and do different things for workouts."

On some of his lifting numbers ... "I was benching 350 pounds six times last year before the bowl game but unfortunately I sub-flexed my shoulder during practice so now I'm on different machines where I'm on more of a vertical set. I am up to 330 pounds on that machine, which is more difficult. I can leg press 770 pounds 15 to 20 times depending on how I feel that day."

On the offensive line's performance as a whole ... "Our pass protection has been better. We let up two sacks, which should not have happened. Everyone's technique is coming down. I always like smash-mouth football and just lining up against the guy across from you and just going at him in the run game. I think the run game is the strongest part of the offense right now."

On the amount of playing time between him and Dave Petruziello ... "Pretty much we know going into the game that we are going to alternate and that's the best way because then two guys get to play and help the team win. I don't mind alternating. It keeps us fresh and I do appreciate that. I do not see it as who is starting. He goes in, I go in, we both get to play and I am happy with that."

On what aspect of blocking he prefers ... "I will probably always be more comfortable with run-blocking. It took a while to get used to not leaning forward when I pass block."

On his desire to come to Michigan ... "I always wanted to go to Michigan. That was my number one goal. I do not know where else I would have gone. I always wanted to come here. Princeton and Harvard recruited me too but I knew I wouldn't fit in there. My school was small and Michigan was the right spot for me because it was so close to home."

Sophomore Offensive Lineman Adam Stenavich

On his first start ... "I liked it better. I knew going into this game I was going to play a major role at my position. I was more prepared from the standpoint of I should be ready to play and I am going to play a lot, instead of coming in second string and not knowing what kind of role you're going to play."

On finding out when he would start ... "On Thursday. I performed better in practice that week."

On who will be a starter ... "I think whoever practices better every week will be the starter. Every day you have to be ready and show up."

On what has improved his play ... "Just my overall strength and speed, adjusting to the game, playing at game speed, the mental aspect of recognizing defense, being able to react as fast you can and reducing mental mistakes."

On protecting quarterback John Navarre's blind side ... "There is a lot of pressure there but we do different things in our pass protection to switch it up."

On John Navarre stepping up in the pocket ... "He does it a lot. When a guy gets around the edge you don't know exactly where John is and it's nice that he has the awareness to step up a bit. That's a big help."

On being close to starting ... "It's very competitive. Courtney (Morgan) and I are always right next to each other when it comes to playing."

On the offensive line executing as a whole ... "It was so much fun Saturday because we didn't turn the ball over. It's frustrating when that happens but you have to forget about it and think about the next series."

On seizing control of the Illinois game ... "You could really tell that they were not coming across the ball the same. They almost gave up after that."

On controlling the opposing team ... "It's fun."

On being soft-spoken ... "The guys always joke around because off the field I don't seem like a jerk, but when I get on the field they say I talk the most trash out of all the old linemen."

On trash-talking ... "When you are out there playing, it's the competitive spirit of the game. It helps you get focused."

On pacing himself ... "I don't think that it's that big of an issue."

On scoring touchdowns ... "That was awesome. It's frustrating when you get the ball on the one-yard line and you can't get it in. That was the most frustrating out of all of them. It was nice to punch it in, do what you want to do and score touchdowns. It takes the crowd out of the game and wears down the defense."

On blocking at the goal line ... "You don't have to sustain your blocks as long. You have to knock them off the ball, that's the main point. We do a lot of drills in practice. Our line coach does a very good job of emphasizing short yardage."

On the bye week ... "I think it is good time for a bye week. We have some bumps and bruises on our team. It's good for our team to have a week off to recuperate."

Does being lefthanded help when playing left tackle ... "I think it does. I've always played on the left side and never really on the right side. Whenever I go over to the right side it feels weird."

On playing right or left side ... "Pretty much everyone knows how to play either the right or left side."

On being the strongest player ... "It's Matt Lentz, not me."

On Matt Lentz ... "Ever since he came here he has been a powerhouse in the weight room. You can just tell everything he lifts, he's a force."

On being the offensive line foundation ... "It's nice to look to the future and say that next year or two years from now we are going to have a lot of experience to lead younger guys who are coming up."

On why he chose Michigan ... "The line tradition here is a big reason why I came to Michigan."

On having support ... "In my hometown there are a lot of people who are behind me."

On the location of his hometown in Wisconsin ... "It's right in the middle of the state, not by any big cities."

On his hometown's population ... "20,000 people."

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

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