It could be far below the surface of Lake Erie or just barely hovering along the bottom of the Huron, but it’s out there.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s submarine is certainly out there.
Harbaugh may pop up the periscope every now and then, but it’s highly unlikely that he and his crew will emerge from the depths any time soon. But give them another week–they have to come up for air sometime, right?
Enough with the submarine talk. It was dangerously close to quoting Captain Marko Aleksandrovich Ramius of the fictional vessel Red October, which was hunted by some people in some movie back in 1990. I remember watching it on VHS.
It was a good movie.
Anyway, Sept. 3 can’t come soon enough. And since media availability is scare these days, the only thing left to do is speculate on everything.
What are they talking about down in that submarine? Is Harbaugh decked out in a Naval Academy uniform, complete with breast pin?
Who in the hell is working the radar?!
OK, those sub references just won’t go away–and they’re hard to shake. But for the sake of actually discussing something constructive, here are my best guesses at what the Wolverines are talking about as they dive into the abyss with Harbaugh.
Quarterbacks, of course
This one is a complete no-brainer. Any team worth anything has a reliable quarterback. Michigan needs one of those, and it has its choice of junior Shane Morris, senior transfer Jake Rudock of Iowa, redshirt freshman Wilton Speight and true freshmen Alex Malzone and Zach Gentry.
Two of those guys will be satisfied after camp. The other three won’t be happy.
On media day, passing game coordinator Jedd Fisch talked about his likes and dislikes in a quarterback. He likes “aggressive” but can’t stand “reckless.”
During the conversation, he mentioned that Morris had “won the spring.” But that was back in spring, he said, and Michigan’s only a few weeks from opening day. Prior to media day, Fisch often complimented Morris’ arm strength and competitive attitude.
As for Rudock, well, he doesn’t turn over the ball. That’s what Fisch likes about him. In 2014, Rudock threw just five picks–the fewest among Big Ten starters. He also threw 16 touchdowns, which were 16 more than Morris had thrown in two years at Michigan.
The Wolverines are looking for balance.
“So right now, it’s kind of just business as usual and we’ll really have to wait and see the first few days (and) how everything plays itself out,” Fisch said. Now, this was said a day before camp, but keep that in mind that Michigan remains in that “few days” window.
With that said, the coaching staff is definitely talking about who’s the most-qualified for the No. 1 and No. 2 job–and by now, the coaches may have a pretty good idea as to who’ll top the post-camp depth chart.
That’s my guess.
It’d be difficult to imagine Michigan really going down to the wire with the decision. Conversely, Fisch said that he didn’t want to end up making a change down the road–like he had to in 2014 with Jacksonville Jaguars quarterbacks Blake Bortles and Chad Henne–so maybe the Wolverines really won’t know until the 11th hour. They want to get it right, that much is certain.
For what it’s worth, there is someone who really believes Morris is the guy. And he may have included a little jab at Harbaugh.
— Detroit Sports 1051 (@DSports1051) August 14, 2015
— Detroit Sports 1051 (@DSports1051) August 14, 2015
Bryan Mone’s status
On Wednesday, Today’s U was told of an injury to the 6’4,” 325-pound sophomore defensive tackle. There was never any confirmation on a broken anything or timetable of return.
So far, the Wolverines haven’t released a statement on the matter; but one could come once the submarine emerges from the water. Either way, whether he’s out for one game or 12 games, the Wolverines are certainly discussing how to move on without Mone’s rising talent. They’re deep–not a submarine reference–on the D-line, so everything should be OK.
According to Tony Parks of 97.5 The Zone in Salt Lake City, Mone suffered a broken ankle while practicing on special teams.
Bryan mone was injured on a special teams play (FG block). He was blocking someone on a blocked FG return.Tough break for mone and Michigan — Tony Parks (@tonyparkszone) August 14, 2015
Recently, we don’t exactly when, Harbaugh received a phone call from Michael Jordan, who had an offer for the first-year Michigan coach. So imagine Harbaugh tucked away in some submarine office-compartment, sweating, with a cigar in his mouth–like on Top Gun–right before he gets the call from His Airness.
Why did Michigan football get changed to Jordan brand. MJ himself called up Harbaugh & said he wanted to make it happen.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 13, 2015
When it comes to exciting the 18-40 male demographic, Jordan/Nike brand apparel does the trick. Trust me, it really does. Tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh likes his shoes. He probably high-fived dad for this one. He could have bear-hugged athletic director Jim Hackett, who was the guy behind the Nike deal.
Look at Twitter to find more pro-MJ Wolverines.
Wolverines senior basketball player Spike Albrecht, who is recovering from hip surgery, jokingly requested a red-shirt year while tweeting with assistant coach Bacari Alexander. Michigan hops into Nike/Jordan starting in 2015-16.
But Albrecht is scheduled to depart this spring.
So yeah, other than the aforementioned topics, talk of the Wolverines wearing the little Jumpman logo on their jerseys–instead of the swoosh–starting next season has dominated social media. Players, both current and former, have expressed a great deal of excitement regarding the changes. At the moment, Michigan has an 11-year deal with Nike worth upward of $169 million with options to extend.
The news of MJ and Air Harbaugh came at the right time. Wonder if they coordinated the timing?!
Follow Adam Biggers of Today’s U on Twitter @AdamBiggers81