Injured Newsome still pitching in for UM coaching staff

Angelique S. Chengelis

Ann Arbor — Michigan left tackle Grant Newsome apparently is masterful when it comes to analyzing film, creating cutups for coaches and working with this teammates on the offensive line.

Newsome continues to rehab from his horrendous knee injury suffered in the Wisconsin game last season. He spent 38 days in the hospital, and this spring he said that he was minutes from losing his leg.

He remains very much a part of the team as a student-coach.

“Which has been very valuable,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said this week.

Harbaugh said Newsome is improving physically and said “best-case scenario” he could be practicing in December for the bowl game.

“That time frame,” Harbaugh said. “May not, either. That would be accelerated. You hope for the best and plan for longer, but he’s progressing nicely. Great attitude.”

Offensive coordinator Tim Drevno said Newsome’s help has been invaluable.

“He’s up in my office all the time in the O-line room, and he makes cutups for us,” Drevno said. “He’ll analyze stuff. He’ll look into information on the other team. We’re all talking about — he’s going to be a better player when he returns because he’s sitting in there, we’ve got him drawing up plays, he’s making cutups, he’s help coaching on the field. He’s helping those guys. ...

“Once you saturate yourself in it and you put yourself in a coach’s shoes and you have to go teach it, now you understand how hard teaching is and how creative you have to be to get some people to understand how you have to do it.

“It’s nice having him around. Grant’s a special, special young man, like all of them are, but I’ve got a fond place in my heart for Grant.”

Drevno was asked if Newsome has a future in coaching. Newsome is active on social media and comments on a number of issues, political, sports, whatever moves him.

“I’d love to have him coach,” Drevno said smiling. “I think Grant has bigger things. I mean, Grant might be the next president of the United States.”


Kudos to — media?

Late in camp, cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich admittedly used the media to get his message out to his position group. He was not thrilled at the time that no one had really stepped up and taken the lead.

They were the saltiest comments from camp and players later said they read what their coach had to say and embraced his words.

Zordich was jokingly asked Wednesday if the media did a good job as his conduit.

“You guys did a hell of a job. Thank you,” Zordich said, laughing along with the gathered media. “Thank you for getting that out there.”

He said the players took the comments as they were meant to be understood.

“They understood my angst and hopefully theirs in the end. It’s their team, it’s our team, and it’s their future. Just trying to help them along.”

Finally clicked

The defensive players said they finally felt it all come together for them those final days of camp as the team headed into game week to prepare for the opener.

Zordich said the explanation was simple.

“They saw Saturday was game day. Camp was behind them,” Zordich said. “I think that’s what clicked. Even for me as a coach, I was excited, ‘Hey, finally, getting into a routine of game week.’

“I think for all of us just the excitement of we’re going to play a game, we’re going to play another opponent, this is going to be fun, and I think that was the big click.”

Now it’s about developing consistency from his group. He said he wants the corners to do a better job of being physical at the line of scrimmage where so many battles with receivers are won or lost.