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Henry says Harbaugh pushing envelope in good way

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News


Indianapolis — As peculiar as some of Jim Harbaugh’s coaching methods seem, one former Michigan player said the coach provided some inspiration in 2015.

Willie Henry is at the NFL Combine

Most people know by now that Harbaugh regularly wears cleats around Schembechler Hall, but the coach also likes to participate in practice sometimes to show players what he expects, according to former Michigan defensive lineman Willie Henry.

“I didn’t know his enthusiasm would be as high as it was, so when they came in and was very enthusiastic as he was, and … wearing cleats around the building and things like that, it kind of throws you off as a player,” Henry said Friday at the NFL Combine. “He’s out there doing drills as a running back and playing quarterback and (doing the) running back exchange.”

Henry said he tries to focus on his own duties during practice, but if he takes a water break, he notices Harbaugh’s hands-on approach.

“It kind of inspires you,” Henry said. “Man, if he could do it, I could do it at a higher rate and at a better pace than he’s doing.”

Henry is trying to prove he’s a first-round talent this week at the combine. When he chose to forgo his senior season,

Henry said Harbaugh was really supportive.

Of course, by declaring for the NFL draft, Henry will miss the spring-break practices in Florida this year, something he wishes he could’ve experienced despite the criticism Harbaugh’s received over the trip.

“He’s different,” Henry said. “He’s not breaking a rule. It’s a guy that, you know he’s going to do it the right way. If you tell him he couldn’t, he wouldn’t do it, so he’s a guy that is going to stretch every boundary and push everything he can push the right way.”

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

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