Freddy P. Soft no stranger to Michigan practices

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Jim Harbaugh and Tim Drevno

Ann Arbor -- You might know him as the devil on your shoulder, telling you take it easy and rest on your success when you should be working harder, or convincing you to make a terrible choice.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has his own version of that nemesis and calls him “Freddy P. Soft.”

Harbaugh was asked Monday about Freddy P. Soft, because he was frequently heard telling high school players at the satellite camps this summer not to be like Freddy.

“He’s a four-inch guy that wears a cape and a hat with a plume in it,” Harbaugh said at his news conference. “He’s just tall enough to talk right into your ear and tell you, ‘You don’t have to practice today. Why are you working so hard? Get over there in the shade. No need to attack with enthusiasm unknown to mankind today. So take a break. Take a knee.’

“He’s not a guy you want around. You want to get him off your shoulders fast as possible.”

Harbaugh introduced the concept of Freddy P. Soft to his players when he coached the San Francisco 49ers. According to a 2011 story on, “Watch out for Freddy” was a team mantra. The Sacramento Bee even ran a Q&A with Freddy.

Mr. Soft apparently comes around Michigan practices every once in a while.

Harbaugh: Michigan, not UCF, was more physical

Quarterback Wilton Speight said Monday that offensive coordinator Tim Drevno will yell at Freddy. Speight said the long, brutal preseason camp practices in August provide fertile ground for Freddy P. Soft.

“Coach Drevno kind of brought Freddy P. Soft, a little guy, Freddy P. Soft, sitting on the shoulder, and we love when he brings it out, because Coach Drevno starts yelling at Freddy P. Soft saying, ‘Get out of here!’” Speight said. “It’s the funniest thing ever.

“All you’ve got to do is flick Freddy P. Soft out of there, and you’ll be good to go.”