Kickback being felt from Lewis' return crunch

Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News
Penn State kicker Joey Julius stops Michigan cornerback Jourdan Lewis with a brutal hit on a kickoff return.

Ann Arbor — Assistant Jay Harbaugh, who handles tight ends and shares special teams duties with Chris Partridge, cracked a smile when asked about Jabrill Peppers allowing teammate Jourdan Lewis to get crushed by 258-pound Penn State kicker Joey Julius on a kickoff return last week.

“I don’t know if he (felt bad about it),” Harbaugh said, smiling. “He was in a little bit of self-. I might have made the same decision.

“I would have liked to see something different occur than that obviously for Jourdan’s well-being. (Julius) is surprisingly a very good cover guy.

“That’s not a new thing for him. He’s very comfortable filling holes on the kickoff team. ... You usually like to be able to ignore the kickers.”

Potent pairing

Harbaugh said it is possible Peppers and Lewis could play at the same time on punt returns.

“There’s merit to both them being on the field at the same time certainly and making people decide who they want to give the ball to,” Harbaugh said. “Both are equally dangerous.

“Some teams we’ll play in the year spray the ball all around and you don’t know where it’s going, so that could happen.”

Learning his craft

Zach Gentry arrived as a quarterback but continues to work at tight end. He also has been practicing at receiver.

“It’s probably not as big a difference as it would seem from the outside, because a second tight end, the position Jake Butt plays, is oftentimes a receiver position,” Harbaugh said. “It’s not like he’s not a tight end or he’s just a receiver. He’s kind of doing both.”

Welcome back

Lineman Taco Charlton returned last weekend against Penn State after suffering an ankle injury in the opener.

“It’s great to have him back,” Mattison said. “He spent countless hours in the training room. He’s had a good week of practice.”

Mattison, on freshman defensive lineman Rashan Gary’s eagerness to learn from older teammates:

“One of the key things with Rashan is to have role models like Chris Wormley and Taco. He sees them do it right, and if he doesn’t do it, he sees, ‘OK, this is how it’s supposed to be.’ It’s not having to pull up a highlight tape to show him.”

Heisman House

Michigan greats Anthony Carter and Dhani Jones will appear at Saturday’s game with ESPN anchor Neil Everett as part of Nissan’s Heisman Houise tour.

Carter will have a half-hour chalk talk at 11:30 a.m. and sign autographs from noon-1 p.m. at Michigan’s FanFest, at the corner of Main St. and Stadium Blvd. Jones’ chalk talk is at 1:30 p.m. and he’ll sign autographs from 2-3 p.m.



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