Harbaugh has not determined an OC, likes 'collaborative' process

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Allendale —  Michigan still does not have an official offensive coordinator heading into the upcoming season, and Jim Harbaugh has not committed to naming one.

Tim Drevno, now at USC, was the Wolverines’ offensive coordinator and offensive line coach the last three seasons. Pep Hamilton is in his second season as pass-game coordinator, Ed Warinner is in his first season at Michigan as offensive line coach and Jim McElwain is coaching receivers. Warinner has been an offensive coordinator and McElwain also has been a coordinator as well as head coach.

“What we’re striving for is a  great collaboration on the offensive side,” Harbaugh said Sunday at the Best of the Midwest Camp at Grand Valley State University. “Some people talk about (having) too many chiefs analogy. But we’re looking for warriors, and I believe that we have that. We’re working really well.

“We understand that offense is a place of improvement for our football team. But the collaboration part is what we’re striving for.”

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Harbaugh was asked if it’s possible he could go into the season without naming an offensive coordinator.

“We haven’t decided that, correct,” Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh and his staff this month will self-scout off spring practice, meaning they will break down the offense and determine what works, what doesn’t work, what could work. The coaches are back from recruiting, so this is an optimal time for the meetings.

“That was good, and we have to do it again,” Harbaugh said of having another self-scout session. “We’ll do two days this week and then five days next week off just spring ball.

“We'll go through it schematically. We've gone through the evaluation of the players and we want to reevaluate spring practice the way we reevaluated the previous season.”

Player departures

Two players have left Michigan, but Harbaugh would not reveal their names.

“There have been two for sure,” he said. “I’ll let them announce it if they haven’t.”

Michigan, he said, is a “little bit under” the 85-scholarship mark.

Peru mission a success

Harbaugh has made several mission trips to Peru and after a brief hiatus returned, this time with his daughter, Addie.

“That was amazing,” Harbaugh said. “Addie was a great young missionary. She really connected with the girls at the orphanage, connected with everybody, delivering food bags, building a house. I was really proud of her. She’s a great young missionary.”

Harbaugh enjoyed returning to Peru.

“It was great to be back, see my friends there,” he said.

Extra points

Harbaugh sounded definitive a few weeks ago on radio saying he plans to take the team on a spring trip to South Africa next year. It is more ambitious considering the 17-hour flight time from Atlanta to Johannesburg than flying from Detroit to Rome and Paris as the team did the last two springs.

“It’s full speed ahead unless some kind of obstacle comes about,” Harbaugh said. “Hopefully, we can make it a little bit longer (in terms of days) and tie some course credit into this as well. That’s some of the things we’re working out.”

… Harbaugh said he hasn’t been in any discussions about potential night games this fall. “Whenever they ask me, I say, ‘Football should be played at noon or 1 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon,’” Harbaugh said, adding the team plays whenever the game is scheduled.

… He said there’s been no decision yet about a potential alternate uniform this fall.