Michigan running back Derrick Green jokes with teammates during media day on Sunday. (Elizabeth Conley / Detroit News)
Ann Arbor – Michigan offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier turned comedian on Sunday during media day.
Nussmeier, hired in January from Alabama, was asked how much of the offensive playbook he has been able install during preseason camp, which has entered its second week.
“All of it,” he said with a straight face.
Then he broke into a smile.
“I’m joking,” he said, laughing.
Nussmeier has been through spring practice with the Wolverines and is now in preseason camp. The players have said he has eased them into his offense and terminology, and they appreciate that he has simplified some things, particularly offensive line schemes.
“I wouldn’t put a percentage on (how much of the playbook is in) right now,” Nussmeier said. “We continue every day to give them a little bit more. And sometimes you want to give them more, but they’re not ready for it. So you say, let’s slow down a day, let’s get back, let’s re-teach. It’s about teaching.”
Still, while he has had to slow down some aspects of the installation, he said that overall, the players have learned at an accelerated rate.
“From the standpoint of one of the biggest challenges we gave our guys leaving the spring when we come back day one (of preseason camp), we’re going to re-install the same system we installed in the spring,” he said. “So we can’t go backward and have it be practice (No.) 1 again. This needs to be 16. We should know the basics because we did it. They took that challenge and excelled at it.”
Nussmeier said he is not experiencing any pressure to fix an offense that struggled particularly in the run game last season. Michigan ranked 102nd in the nation in rushing offense last season, averaging 125.7 yards per game. By comparison, the national leader was Auburn at 328.3 yards.
“I don’t feel pressure,” Nussmeier said. “People may say you’re under pressure, but I don’t really know how do you define that. I know there’s an expectation, and our expectation is we’re going to prepare and play our best every week.”