UM QB Patterson suggests fans 'relax a little bit'

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Shea Patterson

Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson understands there was criticism of the offense after the opening season loss at Notre Dame but said fans should be patient.

The Wolverines rebounded from the 24-17 loss with a rout of overmatched Western Michigan and faces Southern Methodist University, which has given up an average 44 points the first two games, on Saturday.

Patterson was asked about the criticism during an appearance Wednesday morning on 97.1 The Ticket’s “Jamie and Stoney” show. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh typically appears weekly on the show.

“Everybody just needs to relax a little bit,” Patterson said. “It was our first game and we lost by a touchdown at Notre Dame against a very good team, especially the first game of the season. We’re just going to continue to keep getting better and fight every week.”

Patterson said how the team rebounded against Notre Dame after giving up two quick scores was telling. The Wolverines had the ball with a shot at winning before his fumble ended the drive.

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Would Michigan have preferred having a game like Western Michigan before facing Notre Dame?

“No, not really,” Patterson said. “That may have been the best thing to ever happen to us. Come out at Notre Dame and play in South Bend and test us early. We went through some adversity early and we fought back, had a chance to march down and win at the end. It was good to get that sour taste out of mouth and come back and get that W (against WMU) in the Big House.”

Michigan rolled up more than 300 yards rushing against the Broncos.

“You can do one or two things after a tough loss like that,” Patterson said. “You can think about it the whole week and let it carry over to the next game or put it behind you and get better. We came in on Sunday watching the film and getting better and practicing hard all week and it paid off.”

Here are other highlights from Patterson’s interview on the “Jamie and Stoney” show:

What’s his relationship with Harbaugh? “It’s been a learning process with him, just coming here and getting to know him and seeing how he operates. I’ve never been part of something so special with the way he runs things around here. It’s so professional, and I just enjoy learning every single day with him.”

Is Harbaugh in his ear or Pep Hamilton? “Everything runs through coach Harbaugh but coach Pep, when I’m on the phone I’m talking to him going over the drive. He’s giving me advice and letting me know what they’re in. He’s my quarterback coach.”

Is it weird not having an offensive coordinator? “It’s different, but there’s also some benefits to it because everything goes through coach Harbaugh, but you’ve got coach Pep and coach (Jim) McElwain and (Ed) Warinner and Sherrone (Moore), all those minds who have had a lot of success pitching in all at once. It’s definitely an advantage.”

Shea Patterson

There was a lot of turmoil Ole Miss; what was appeal of Michigan? “It was all of it. I loved Ole Miss, I loved the coaches, I loved my teammates, loved campus, but to not be able to play for anything, it was kind of tough. I thought about staying but I had to make maybe a selfish decision for once. Just watching Michigan all year last year when I was hurt, I could tell they had the pieces. Their defense was unbelievable, had the coaching staff, the offense was great. I just wanted to come in and do my part. It was very exciting. Coach Harbaugh meeting with me the first time really sparked it.”

What was it like running out of the Michigan Stadium tunnel the first time? “I can’t even put words to describe it. Just going out there with my teammates and going up there and jumping and hitting that flag. That was probably one of the best feelings I ever had in my life.”

What was the transfer process like? “It was really tough waking up not knowing if you’re going to be able to do what you love the following season, but I had very good support around me and controlled what I could control. When I got here my teammates welcomed me, the coaches welcomed me and I felt at home. So really, play or not play, I was going to come in and work my tail off every single day and get better.”

How is the Big Ten different than the SEC? “It’s tough to say because talent is all relative. I haven’t really played in the core of the Big Ten yet, but like I said, players are everywhere so there will be good competition everywhere.”

What is your relationship with the other quarterbacks? What’s the room like? “Going in, the first couple weeks we were all just kind of maybe a little standoffish. Obviously, you’ve got Brandon Peters, Dylan McCaffrey and Joe Milton, all great talents. Just coming in one group, it was tough at first but we all bought into getting each other better every single week and now we’re as tight as ever. We help each other every week and get each other better. We have a great relationship in that room.”

Is he embarrassed by expectations, being called the "Sheavior"? “Not at all. I don’t really feel any pressure. I understand I have great coaches and teammates around me. I just go out there and be myself and have fun and that’s kind of how I’ve approached this game ever since I was little, and I don’t think that will change.”

You signed with the Rangers; is baseball your second love? “It was actually my first love just growing up playing travel ball, going to all those tournaments and Disney in Florida playing in the Elite 24 World Series when I was 9 through 13 years old. So that was a lot of fun and then football took off when I was in the seventh grade and that’s when my love for football started to grow. Baseball is interesting to me, but I’m all football. Football is definitely, definitely first.”