Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis said quarterback Shea Patterson has been playing "lights out" in camp Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News
Ann Arbor – Maryland coach Mike Locksley was playfully irritated during Big Ten media days last month when several Michigan beat writers peppered him with questions about new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis.
After all, Locksley and Gattis were co-offensive coordinators last season at Alabama. Locksley jokingly said “who?” a few times and later made clear he made the play calls last season at Alabama, a point that had never been refuted. Gattis is a first-time offensive coordinator, has installed a new offense at Michigan and will calls the plays this fall.
"I have tremendous amount of respect for Mike Locksley,” Gattis said Wednesday. “He called every play. There was never any other comments about that.”
Gattis said he is “100 percent” confident in his ability to call a game. In fact, throughout spring practice he was able to call plays during certain periods.
“Mike Locksley can say I watched him call every play. Ask him where the game plans usually came from. I’m fine with that, you know what I mean?” Gattis said, drawing laughs. “He did call every play, and I’ve got a notebook upstairs with a lot of the game plans written down in them.
“I’ve got tremendous respect for him. I consider him a friend and a mentor, and that’s the way I see it. I don’t have any bad feelings. He’s done a tremendous amount for my career and so I respect him for that.”
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has been hands-off as Gattis has installed the offense, and Gattis said that has remained the case through these first few days of preseason camp. And Gattis will be the one calling plays, and he said he’s prepared for that job.
“As far as my confidence level, it’s extremely high,” he said. “I’ve prepared for this opportunity. One of the things that I talk about, when you talk about play-calling and playing games, your call sheet is won Monday through Friday. What you call on Saturday is about putting your kids in a position to be successful.
"There’s been coordinators out there that have been coordinators for 20 years that aren’t successful. It’s not because they’ve been coordinators for 20 years, it’s because they’re not putting their kids in a position to be successful. You know, you win the game Monday through Friday and that’s something I’ve taken tremendous pride in throughout the years, is making sure I’m a big part of the game plan process at the places I’ve been.”
Before he let the topic go, Gattis did point out he did make one play call while he was at Penn State in a game against Iowa.
“How did it go?” he said, repeating the question. “Well, it was a game winner.”
Cornerback Ambry Thomas has been watching practices but hasn’t participated while he works through an unspecified medical issue. Thomas was projected to be a starting cornerback opposite Lavert Hill this fall.
“(He’s) working on the side, following all the trainers’ orders and the doctors’ orders, but all systems positive moving forward,” defensive coordinator Don Brown said Wednesday.
Defensive tackle Michael Dwumfour practiced when camp opened last Friday but has been held out, although Brown didn’t offer a reason why. He is expected back on Thursday.
Receivers Donovan Peoples-Jones and Nico Collins, who missed spring practice, are back and practicing, according to Gattis.