Former Michigan All-American Ty Law spoke to the team Friday ahead of Saturday's game against Notre Dame, and he shares some of his message. Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News
Ann Arbor – Ty Law, the former Michigan All-American defensive back recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame following his 15-year NFL career, spoke to the current Michigan team and told the players to tune out the “noise” and believe in themselves.
Law, in town for a Hall of Fame event Friday night at Michigan Stadium, along with Tom Mack, also in the Hall of Fame after his Michigan career (1963-1965), joined Mack in speaking to the team Friday ahead of Saturday night’s game against Notre Dame.
“There’s a lot of noise out there, ‘Michigan isn’t what it used to be,’ the ranking of Notre Dame or whoever else they’re playing, Ohio State,” said Law, who spent 10 seasons with the New England Patriots, in explaining what he said to the Wolverines on Friday night. “But just believing in yourself and believing in the guys in your locker room and shut out all the noise. I used some language I can’t say right now, but in a nutshell, that’s what it was. The only people that matter are the people in that locker room, when you go out there on the field.”
The 19th-ranked Wolverines are 5-2, 3-2 Big Ten and coming off a loss at Penn State. After trailing 21-0, the Wolverines made a comeback but fell short, 28-21, and the loss has essentially bumped them from Big Ten championship contention.
“When their backs are against the wall, that’s when they come out and play,” said Law, who finished his three-year college career with 154 tackles (120 solo), six interceptions, and 17 passes defended. “I said, ‘You’ve got to step out there on the field from the first whistle like your back is against the wall,’ because that’s how this team responds. If you take that same approach from the first kickoff, you’re gonna win a lot of football games and you’ll be sitting here undefeated right now because those guys can play. When you’re down, you can come back and show the character and poise that they’ve shown, just start like that, you know what I mean?”
Law said it has been frustrating to see Michigan on the losing end of the rivalry with Ohio State. The Buckeyes have won seven straight and 14 of the last 15.
“It’s frustrating because it’s not supposed to happen,” Law said. “I’ve been the rivalry for three years. I was 1-1-1. It always came down to a very tough game. The whippings they’ve been putting on us for that many years in a row, it’s unacceptable, because we gotta hear it in the locker room. Tom (Brady) and I talk about it now. We get pissed off, we get frustrated. At least he’s still playing to where he ain’t got too much time to think about it. And you’ve got to wait a whole another year again, that’s a long time to wait and to have to hear it.
“It’s time for us to turn the tables. Hopefully it will be this year. I know no one’s giving us a chance right now, especially the way (the Buckeyes are) playing, and they’re playing good football – I’m hearing double-digit underdogs. Only thing I can say, I was a double-digit underdog in a Super Bowl and we came out and won. For any given Saturday, anything can happen. I’m still going to be Blue at all times, because I think if they play with the passion that they played with when their back were against the wall, they can beat any team. I really believe that."