UM's Eddie McDoom more than a jet sweep option
Ann Arbor – Within moments of Michigan receiver Eddie McDoom beginning to chat with reporters after practice Tuesday, a familiar sound was heard as a group of his teammates left the football building.
“I’ve been getting more reps,” McDoom was saying before he was momentarily interrupted by the all-too-familiar “Dooooooooooooom” chant that erupted in Michigan Stadium last season when the freshman would touch the ball.
McDoom subtly acknowledged his teammates off to this right, laughed and didn’t miss a beat as he continued to talk about how much he has improved this spring and where he intends to go this fall.
“Playing more, just getting more experience, getting faster, stronger this offseason,” McDoom said, finishing his original thought. “Learning the new playbook, playing with some of the older guys, and trying to be more of a complete player.”
Learning the new playbook means a few things. Pep Hamilton is the new pass-game coordinator, so it’s been all about adjusting to Hamilton’s approach, but it also means McDoom’s role will be expanding beyond the jet-sweep package from last season.
“No more jet sweeps across the field,” McDoom said, explaining he will be more involved this season. “I’m getting more plays, switching it up with me a lot more, yeah.”
But what about the jet sweep?
“They can’t get rid of that one,” he said, laughing.
Jedd Fisch was the pass-game coordinator the last two years as part of Jim Harbaugh’s staff, so that’s what McDoom knew last season. Fisch has moved on to UCLA, and Hamilton has arrived in Ann Arbor from the Cleveland Browns.
Hamilton has been hands on working with the offensive specialists on technique, specifically on ways to get open, and has brought with him a new look for the offense.
“It’s a lot different, a lot faster,” McDoom said. “The pass game is different, different concepts. We’ve been opening the playbook.”
With the departures of receivers Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson and tight end Jake Butt, who are awaiting the upcoming NFL Draft, the door is wide open for the young receivers to make a move. Early enrollee freshmen Donovan Peoples-Jones and Tarik Black have impressed this spring, but McDoom and Kekoa Crawford, who also played last season as a freshman, certainly are challenging to be in the mix.
The 6-foot, 180-pound McDoom, who also has been working this spring in the punt return game but isn’t sure how that will translate to the fall, said he is playing both the slot and outside this spring and doesn’t have a preference. He just wants to get the ball.
“I’m more than a fast guy who can run,” McDoom said. “I’ve got hands, and I’ve been showing it a little bit out there. I’m going to show it a lot more this year.
“We’re all on the same level now. We’re all getting the same amount of reps. It’s whoever shows out the most. It’s a battle. We’re all trying to earn our spots.”
To earn a prominent spot, McDoom feels he has to prove he’s versatile. He’s more than just a pretty jet sweep and says he can be physical and block, too.
“I feel I can do way more than be handed jet sweeps,” he said. “I can get downfield, I can make the routes, I can make the catches, I can make the big plays they’re asking for, and I’m trying to show it. I can block. That’s not an issue. If I need to go out there and hit somebody, I’m going to go out there and hit somebody.”
Anything he can’t do?
“No,” he said quickly, drawing laughs. “I’m going to try to do it all.”