July 31, 2007

Lloyd Carr divulges -- away from the podium

Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr spoke to the assembled Midwestern media at the Big Ten meetings on Tuesday, noting he'd try to make them look good for predicting the Wolverines would win the Big Ten. Afterward, away from the crowd, Carr got down to the nitty-gritty on some pressing personnel matters and other items of interest.

Here is what Carr had to say regarding…

The Notre Dame extension: "There was a point there where I understood some of the same things some of you had learned. There was going to be a period in there where we wouldn't play.

"Quite honestly, that was disappointing to me. I didn't think it made any sense. I'm just excited that they were able to work it out, because I think it made a lot of sense."

James McKinney, one of four Wolverines missing from the most recent roster: "James McKinney has a medical issue. I can't really speak to that, other than to say we're hoping that he can get his health back to where it needs to be."

Cobrani Mixon and Justin Schifano: "Cobrani has transferred, and Justin Schifano has decided that he's not going to play football any longer.

"He was trying to find a way where he could stay in school. But it was just an issue where he decided he did not want to play anymore."

Quintin Patilla: "Quintin will report next week."

Carson Butler, and any chance that he might come back, after legal charges against him were dropped: "I'm evaluating that situation right now. I've got to make a decision, and there is a little bit more information I need yet…

"I want to make sure that it's the right thing for our team, first of all, and for Carson, second of all. I've got to make sure of that - as sure as I can be. Part of that will be dependent upon what his responses are."

Handling the situation differently (rather than dismissing him prior to the court case: "You'd have to know the whole story, which I don't choose to divulge.

"I have met with him, but I have another meeting scheduled at the end of the week, where I will really find out where we are at."

Mario Manningham's rehabilitation: "Early in the summer, he was having some issues, but I think his conditioning has really come along. He did some things late in the summer that our players … he can make everybody stop and say 'Wow!' Those are the reports I get."

Michigan's questions on both sides of the ball heading into fall camp: "I think Justin Boren has really distanced himself at center. The right guard and the right tackle positions - we've got to sort those out.

"Defensively, Obi Ezeh had a great spring. He was at the Sam linebacker position. He played last fall at the inside position. Based on what we saw in the spring, and based on where Shawn Crable is, we've got to give him a chance in there, probably at the Mike linebacker position, with John Thompson and Austin Panter.

"The freshmen defensive backs that have come in are all really talented guys. They're all guys that can really run. We've got to find out how fast they progress in the secondary."

The freshman defensive backs' talent level compared to the DBs who have started as freshmen at Michigan: "It takes a special player to do it. I wouldn't count that out…

"These guys come in with enough hype. The expectations are great for all of them. I'm not going to add to that, but certainly we're hoping. Until you get them on the field and you've been with them a couple of weeks through the drudgery of training camp and all the meetings, and you see how they respond to that - some guys, physically and mentally, it becomes too much, and they regress a little bit.

"We'll just have to see … certainly, with the receivers we have, we'll be able to get a pretty fast read on how they react to the pressure of guys who can run and who are experienced. I don't think it's going to take a long time."

Marques Slocum: "Marques has not had an easy road here. What he had to do to go through and pay his way through showed a real desire to seize the opportunity that could be here if he were able to come up with the money, if he could get admitted to school. I'm hoping he'll be able to realize the dreams he's been seeking.

"There is one thing left he's got to do - one class. So I can't say he's cleared, but I expect him to be."

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