Michigan Wolverines: Mike Martin

Exit Interview: TE Mike Kwiatkowski 

February, 21, 2013
2/21/13
10:30
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"Exit Interview" is a concept started at WolverineNation last year where we chat with players leaving Michigan about their experiences with the Wolverines and, in some cases, what's next.

Mike Kwiatkowski began his Michigan career like almost every other student. In the stands. As a spectator. But he eventually found his way on the team and for his final year, into the starting lineup for six games this season. He made four catches for 37 yards in his career.

WolverineNation caught up with Kwiatkowski as he prepares for a future in pharmacy.

Over the next few weeks, WolverineNation will look at every position on the Michigan roster and give a depth chart analysis of each position on the roster heading into the offseason.

Michigan head coach Brady Hoke and his defensive coordinator, Greg Mattison, both have backgrounds as defensive line coaches and perhaps more than any other position on the roster, have high expectations for their defensive linemen. Hoke believes a lot of a team’s success starts there.

Both also preach the importance of technique perfection -- and have for years. It is what makes this year’s defensive tackles group an interesting one for the Wolverines.

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Brady HokeRobin Alam/Icon SMIBrady Hoke's drive to win the Big Ten title appears to be influencing his Michigan players.
Brady Hoke called Michigan's 2011 season a failure -- never mind the 11 wins and the Sugar Bowl championship -- because it did not result in a Big Ten title and a Rose Bowl appearance.

When national titles are brought up around Hoke, he typically shifts the focus back to the Big Ten race.

Whether Hoke's singular focus excites you or disappoints you, it certainly rubs off on his players. Although they weren't happy about a 2-2 start to the season, they had no trouble turning the page to the Big Ten slate last week at Purdue. And if the Wolverines' performance in West Lafayette -- a 44-13 win -- is any indication, the Big Ten will bring out the best in them this fall.

"With the nonconference season, we had one of the toughest in the nation," Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan told ESPN.com, referring to games against No. 1 Alabama and No. 7 Notre Dame. "We took those games very seriously, but the goal's always a Big Ten championship. There's a little more fire in this team.

"We're excited about it, and every game is a Big Ten championship game."

Stifling defense and powerful offensive line play sparked Michigan in 2011, and the Wolverines appear to be reclaiming both hallmarks for the 2012 conference campaign. After struggling in just about every area against Alabama and seeing continued problems against Air Force, Michigan took a big step on defense against Notre Dame and also received better play from the offensive line as the game in South Bend went on.

Although turnovers doomed the Wolverines against the Irish, they made progress in both areas at Purdue. Michigan held a Boilers team averaging 51 points on its home field to 13 points, 213 total yards and 56 rushing yards (2.2 yards per attempt). It also controlled the line of scrimmage from the onset, holding the ball for 12:11 of the first quarter and opening the game with the program's sixth-longest drive (8:48) since 1978, a methodical 78-yard march that required 17 plays and 19 players.

Michigan's defense has surrendered only 13 points in each of its past three games, and opponents' yardage totals have dropped (259 to 239 to 213). The unit seemed to turn the corner at the same time last season, when it blanked Minnesota 58-0 in Week 5, allowing only 177 total yards. The Wolverines held six of their next seven Big Ten foes to fewer than 335 yards.

"What you're seeing is the younger guys who have been in the program for a second year, you would expect them to play up to their talent level, and that's what's happening," defensive coordinator Greg Mattison told ESPN.com. "Some of our talented young guys are starting to now become older, and play like older players."

[+] EnlargeJake Ryan
Sandra Dukes/US PresswireMichigan LB Jake Ryan continued to wow his coaches with his performance against Purdue last Saturday.
Although Mattison and his staff installed a new scheme in 2011, they had the luxury of leaning on three senior defensive linemen -- Mike Martin, Ryan Van Bergen and Will Heininger -- while working several young players into major roles. The difference this fall, according to Mattison: Seniors with a ton of starting experience are in short supply, so some of the unit's more seasoned players -- Jake Ryan, Desmond Morgan, Thomas Gordon -- are also young.

"We're getting a lot better communication," Mattison said. "... When you're young, at an early part of the season, you're just kind of fending for yourself. You're just trying to get yourself to play. And when you get a little older in the season, whether you're a sophomore or a senior, you start feeling more comfortable. Therefore, you can do the things that are expected of you, and that is to communicate and get everybody set.

"These are guys that are now starting to feel like veterans."

Hoke singled out the linebackers as the group that has made the most strides in recent weeks. Ryan, who started 11 games last season as a redshirt freshman, has been particularly noticeable. "You can feel him on the field," Hoke said.

Ryan recorded five tackles and a pass breakup against Notre Dame and followed it with six tackles, including two for loss and a sack, against Purdue.

"The sky's the limit for Jake," Mattison said. "He has God-given talent, and he also has showed that it's very, very important to him. He's become a very good student of the game."

After Week 3, Lewan challenged the offensive line to "play angry, play nasty." While the group isn't quite there, in Lewan's estimation, there has been progress.

Michigan averaged 5.6 yards per rush against a talented Purdue defensive front, which failed to record a sack or a quarterback hurry against Denard Robinson (235 rush yards, 105 pass yards). The Wolverines' rushing attempts also are on the rise, from 30 per game in the first two weeks to 46 per game the past three weeks.

"In the Notre Dame game, it was somewhat of a change," Lewan said. "We saw we can move the line of scrimmage. We found out we have the capability to do that. It really came together at Purdue, but we have to be a better team this week than we were last week. Every week from now on is championship week because our goal is the Big Ten championship."

Lewan, who will make his 21st consecutive start Saturday against Illinois, welcomes a leadership role on the line. He shares the responsibility with fifth-year senior guard Patrick Omameh and fifth-year senior Elliott Mealer, a first-year starter at center.

"[Offensive coordinator Al] Borges put pressure on us, so did Coach Hoke, but at the end of the day, we need to put pressure on ourselves also," Lewan said. "Coach Hoke talks about it all the time. There's a standard you play at Michigan. I can throw cliché lines at you and every program says the same thing over and over, but the fact is we have the tradition to back it up. There's a tradition at Michigan, and there's a way you play."

Especially in the Big Ten season. There are still areas to improve -- Michigan needs to spark running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (169 rushing yards, 3.3 yards per carry) and its pass rush (five sacks in as many games, 104th nationally) -- but the team's identity is taking shape.

"You don't want to say the games leading up to the Big Ten don't count," Mattison said, "but when you come to Michigan, you come to win a championship. Now, it's on the line. Every game is on the line."
Denard RobinsonSandra Dukes/US PresswireImproved focus from the offensive line helped Denard Robinson rush for 235 yards against Purdue.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The week heading into the Wolverines' matchup with Purdue was one of the most memorable for offensive coordinator Al Borges.

"We had our three best practices maybe since I've been here, but certainly this season," Borges said. "So much of that tone was set by [the offensive linemen]."

It was the O-line position group that was called out during halftime of the Notre Dame game and told the final two quarters would rest on its shoulders. In that matchup the group missed more than 20 assignments and came into the following two weeks with a renewed focus. And because of that focus, they brought Borges and the rest of the offense the three best practices this season, which led a surprising rout of the Boilermakers.

"I love linemen because they're realists," Borges said. "They know you're only as good as your last performance and they're going to have to work hard."

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Michigan in the NFL: Week 5

October, 9, 2012
10/09/12
2:34
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Here are how Michigan's alumni fared in Week 5 of the NFL season:

  • Jay Feely, K, Arizona: Made 1 of 2 field goals in a 17-3 loss to St. Louis. Next up -- vs. Buffalo, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
  • Leon Hall, CB, Cincinnati: Had two tackles (1 solo, 1 assisted) and a pass defended in a 17-13 loss to Miami. Next up -- vs. Cleveland, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Jeff Backus, OT, Detroit: Idle. Next up -- vs. Philadelphia, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Charles Woodson, CB, Green Bay: Made eight tackles (7 solo, 1 assisted) and two passes defended in a 30-27 loss to Indianapolis. Next up -- vs. Houston, Sunday 8:20 p.m.
  • Tim Jamison, DE, Houston: Did not make a tackle in a 23-17 win over the New York Jets. Next up -- vs. Green Bay, Sunday 8:20 p.m.
  • Chad Henne, QB, Jacksonville: DNP in a 41-3 loss to Chicago. Next up -- OFF
  • Steve Breaston, WR, Kansas City: Did not catch a pass in a 9-6 loss to Baltimore. Next up -- vs. Tampa Bay, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Jake Long, OT, Miami: Started at left tackle in a 17-13 win over Cincinnati. Next up -- vs. St. Louis, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Tom Brady, QB, New England: Completed 23 of 31 passes for 223 yards and one touchdown along with four rushes for minus-2 yards in a 31-21 win over Denver. Next up -- vs. Seattle, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
  • Zoltan Mesko, P, New England: Punted three times with a 43 yard average and one inside the 20-yard line in a 31-21 win over Denver. Next up -- vs. Seattle, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
  • David Baas, C, New York Giants: Started at center in a 41-27 win over Cleveland. Next up -- vs. San Francisco, Sunday 4:25 p.m.
  • Stevie Brown, DB, New York Giants: Had three tackles (2 solo, 1 assisted), a pass defended and an interception in a 41-27 win over Cleveland. Next up -- vs. San Francisco, Sunday 4:25 p.m.
  • David Harris, LB, New York Jets: Had nine tackles (5 solo, 4 assisted) and a pass defended in a 23-17 loss to Houston. Next up -- vs. Indianapolis, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Jason Avant, WR, Philadelphia: Had three receptions for 34 yards in a 16-14 loss to Pittsburgh. Next up -- vs. Detroit, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Brandon Graham, DE, Philadelphia: Had one assisted tackle in a 16-14 loss to Pittsburgh. Next up -- vs. Detroit, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Larry Foote, LB, Pittsburgh: Had eight tackles (5 solo, 3 assisted) and recovered two fumbles in a 16-14 win over Philadelphia. Next up -- vs. Tennessee, Thursday 8:20 p.m.
  • LaMarr Woodley, LB, Pittsburgh: Had no tackles in a 16-14 win over Philadelphia. Next up -- vs. Tennessee, Thursday 8:20 p.m.
  • David Molk, C, San Diego: Played in a 31-24 loss to New Orleans. Next up -- vs. Denver, Monday 8:30 p.m.
  • Jonas Mouton, LB, San Diego: Was inactive in a 31-24 loss to New Orleans. Next up -- vs. Denver, Monday 8:30 p.m.
  • Jonathan Goodwin, OL, San Francisco: Started at center in a 45-3 win over Buffalo. Next up -- vs. New York Giants, Sunday 4:25 p.m.
  • Mario Manningham, WR, San Francisco: Had four catches for 26 yards and a touchdown in a 45-3 win over Buffalo. Next up -- vs. New York Giants, Sunday 4:25 p.m.
  • Alan Branch, DT, Seattle: Had two tackles (1 solo, 1 assisted) in a 16-12 win over Carolina. Next up -- vs. New England, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
  • Braylon Edwards, WR, Seattle: Had one catch for 10 yards in a 16-12 win over Carolina. Next up -- vs. New England, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
  • Steve Hutchinson, OG, Tennessee: Started at left guard in a 30-7 loss to Minnesota. Next up -- vs. Pittsburgh, Thursday 8:20 p.m.
  • Mike Martin, DT, Tennessee: Had five tackles (3 solo, 2 assisted) and a sack in a 30-7 loss to Minnesota. Next up -- vs. Pittsburgh, Thursday 8:20 p.m.

Michigan in the NFL: Week 4

October, 2, 2012
10/02/12
11:06
AM ET
Jay FeelyJennifer Stewart/US PresswireJay Feely's field goal in overtime on Sunday pushed the Cardinals to a surprising 4-0.
Here are how Michigan's alumni fared in Week 4 of the NFL season:

  • Jay Feely, K, Arizona: Made a field goal all three extra points in a 24-21 win over Miami. Next up -- vs. St. Louis, Thursday, 8:20 p.m.
  • Leon Hall, CB, Cincinnati: Was inactive due to injury against Jacksonville. Next up -- vs. Miami, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Jeff Backus, OT, Detroit: Started at tackle in a 20-13 loss to Minnesota. Next up -- Idle
  • Charles Woodson, CB, Green Bay: Made 11 tackles (8 solo, 3 assisted) in a 28-27 win over New Orleans. Next up -- vs. Indianapolis, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Tim Jamison, DE, Houston: Made one assisted tackle in a 38-14 win over Tennessee. Next up -- vs. New York Jets, Monday 8:30 p.m.
  • Chad Henne, QB, Jacksonville: DNP in a 27-10 loss to Cincinnati. Next up -- vs. Chicago, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
  • Steve Breaston, WR, Kansas City: Had one catch for 12 yards in a 37-20 loss to San Diego. Next up -- vs. Baltimore, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Jake Long, OT, Miami: Started at left tackle in a 24-21 loss to Miami. Next up -- vs. Cincinnati, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Tom Brady, QB, New England: Completed 22 of 36 passes for 340 yards and three touchdowns along with one rush for four yards and a touchdown in a 52-28 win over Buffalo. Next up -- vs. Denver, Sunday 4:25 p.m.
  • Zoltan Mesko, P, New England: Punted three times with a 39.7 yard average and three inside the 20-yard line. Next up -- vs. Denver, Sunday 4:25 p.m.
  • David Baas, C, New York Giants: Started at center in a 19-17 loss to Philadelphia. Next up -- vs. Cleveland, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Stevie Brown, DB, New York Giants: Had eight tackles (7 solo, 1 assisted) in a 19-17 loss to Philadelphia. Next up -- vs. Cleveland, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • David Harris, LB, New York Jets: Had 11 tackles (8 solo, 3 assisted) in a 34-0 loss to San Francisco. Next up -- vs. Houston, Monday 8:30 p.m.
  • Jason Avant, WR, Philadelphia: Had two receptions for 30 yards in a 19-17 win over the New York Giants. Next up -- vs. Pittsburgh, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Brandon Graham, DE, Philadelphia: Did not have a tackle in a 19-17 win over the New York Giants. Next up -- vs. Pittsburgh, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Larry Foote, LB, Pittsburgh: OFF. Next up -- vs. Philadelphia, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • LaMarr Woodley, LB, Pittsburgh: OFF. Next up -- vs. Philadelphia, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • David Molk, C, San Diego: Played in a 37-20 win over Kansas City. Next up -- vs. New Orleans, Sunday 8:20 p.m.
  • Jonas Mouton, LB, San Diego: Was inactive in a 37-20 win over Kansas City. Next up -- vs. New Orleans, Sunday 8:20 p.m.
  • Jonathan Goodwin, OL, San Francisco: Started at center in a 34-0 win over the New York Jets. Next up -- vs. Buffalo, Sunday 4:25 p.m.
  • Mario Manningham, WR, San Francisco: Had three catches for 47 yards and one rush for 28 yards in a 34-0 win over the New York Jets. Next up -- vs. Buffalo, Sunday 4:25 p.m.
  • Alan Branch, DT, Seattle: Had one tackle and one pass broken up in a 19-13 loss to St. Louis. Next up -- vs. Carolina, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
  • Braylon Edwards, WR, Seattle: Had no catches in a 19-13 loss to St. Louis. Next up -- vs. Carolina, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
  • Steve Hutchinson, OG, Tennessee: Started at left guard in a 38-14 loss to Houston. Next up -- vs. Minnesota, Sunday 4:25 p.m.
  • Mike Martin, DT, Tennessee: Had one assisted tackle in a 38-14 loss to Houston. Next up -- vs. Minnesota, Sunday 4:25 p.m.

Michigan in the NFL: Week 3

September, 25, 2012
9/25/12
8:40
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Here are how Michigan's alumni fared in Week 3 of the NFL season:

  • Jay Feely, K, Arizona: Made both his field goals and all three extra points in a 27-6 win over Philadelphia. Next up -- vs. Miami, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
  • Leon Hall, CB, Cincinnati: Was inactive due to injury against Washington. Next up -- vs. Jacksonville, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
  • Jeff Backus, OT, Detroit: Started at tackle in a 44-41 loss to Tennessee. Next up -- vs. Minnesota, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Charles Woodson, CB, Green Bay: Made three tackles (2 solo, 1 assisted) in a 14-12 loss to Seattle. Next up -- vs. New Orleans, Sunday 4:25 p.m.
  • Tim Jamison, DE, Houston: Made one tackle in a 31-25 win over Denver. Next up -- vs. Tennessee, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Chad Henne, QB, Jacksonville: DNP in a 22-17 win over Indianapolis. Next up -- vs. Cincinnati, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
  • Steve Breaston, WR, Kansas City: Had one catch for two yards in a 27-24 win over New Orleans. Next up -- vs. San Diego, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Jake Long, OT, Miami: Started at left tackle in a 23-20 loss to the New York Jets. Next up -- vs. Arizona, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
  • Tom Brady, QB, New England: Completed 28 of 41 passes for 335 yards, a touchdown and an interception in a 31-30 loss to Baltimore. Next up -- vs. Buffalo, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Zoltan Mesko, P, New England: Punted four times with a 38.3 yard average and two inside the 20-yard line. Next up -- vs. Buffalo, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • David Baas, C, New York Giants: Started at center in a 36-7 win over Carolina. Next up -- vs. Philadelphia, Sunday 8:20 p.m.
  • Stevie Brown, DB, New York Giants: Had an interception in a 36-7 win over Carolina. Next up -- vs. Philadelphia, Sunday 8:20 p.m.
  • David Harris, LB, New York Jets: Had nine tackles (8 solo, 1 assisted) in a 23-20 win over Miami. Next up -- vs. San Francisco, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Jason Avant, WR, Philadelphia: Had three receptions for 38 yards in a 27-6 loss to Arizona. Next up -- vs. New York Giants, Sunday 8:20 p.m.
  • Brandon Graham, DE, Philadelphia: Had four tackles (3 solo, 1 assisted) and a half-sack in a 27-6 loss to Arizona. Next up -- vs. New York Giants, Sunday 8:20 p.m.
  • Larry Foote, LB, Pittsburgh: Had seven tackles (5 solo, 2 assisted) in a 34-31 loss to Oakland. Next up -- OFF
  • LaMarr Woodley, LB, Pittsburgh: Had four tackles, all solo, and a sack in a 34-31 loss to Oakland. Next up -- OFF
  • David Molk, C, San Diego: Played in a 27-3 loss to Atlanta. Next up -- vs. Kansas City, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Jonas Mouton, LB, San Diego: Was inactive in a 27-3 loss to Atlanta. Next up -- vs. Kansas City, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Jonathan Goodwin, OL, San Francisco: Started at center in a 24-13 loss to Minnesota. Next up -- vs. New York Jets, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Mario Manningham, WR, San Francisco: Had five catches for 56 yards in a 24-13 loss to Minnesota. Next up -- vs. New York Jets, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Alan Branch, DT, Seattle: Had no tackles in a 14-12 win over Green Bay. Next up -- vs. St. Louis, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Braylon Edwards, WR, Seattle: Had no catches in a 14-12 win over Green Bay. Next up -- vs. St. Louis, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Steve Hutchinson, OG, Tennessee: Started at left guard in a 44-41 win over Detroit. Next up -- vs. Houston, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Mike Martin, DT, Tennessee: Had five tackles (3 solo, 2 assisted) in a 44-41 win over Detroit. Next up -- vs. Houston, Sunday 1 p.m.

Michigan in the NFL: Week 1

September, 11, 2012
9/11/12
10:34
PM ET
Here's a look at how former Michigan players fared during Week 1 of the NFL season:
  • Jay Feely, K, Arizona: Made both his field goals and extra points in a 20-16 win over Seattle. Next up -- vs. New England, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Leon Hall, CB, Cincinnati: Had four tackles (all solo) and two pass deflections in a 44-13 loss to Baltimore. Next up -- vs. Cleveland, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Jeff Backus, OT, Detroit: Started at tackle and blocked for 429 yards of offense in a 27-23 win over St. Louis. Next up -- vs. San Francisco, Sunday 8:20 p.m.
  • Charles Woodson, CB, Green Bay: Had five tackles (3 solo, 2 assisted), two quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and 1.5 sacks in a 30-22 loss to San Francisco. Next up -- vs. Chicago, Thursday 8:30 p.m.
  • Tim Jamison, DE, Houston: Had one tackle and one sack in a 30-10 win over Miami. Next up -- vs. Jacksonville, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Chad Henne, QB, Jacksonville: DNP in 26-23 loss to Minnesota. Next up -- vs. Houston, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Steve Breaston, WR, Kansas City: Had two catches for 30 yards in a 40-24 loss to Atlanta. Next up -- vs. Buffalo, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Junior Hemingway, WR, Kansas City: DNP (Practice squad) against Atlanta. Next up -- vs. Buffalo, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Jake Long, OT, Miami: Started at left tackle and blocked for 275 yards of offense in a 30-10 loss to Houston. Next up -- vs. Oakland, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Tom Brady, QB, New England: Completed 23 of 31 passes for 236 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions along with two rushes for one yard in a 34-13 win over Tennessee. Next up -- vs. Arizona, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Zoltan Mesko, P, New England: Punted four times with a 33.5 yard net average, including a long of 51 yards and three inside the 20 in a 34-13 win over Tennessee. Next up -- vs. Arizona, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • David Baas, C, New York Giants: started and helped block for 269 yards of offense in a 24-17 loss to Dallas. Next up -- Tampa Bay, Sunday, 1 p.m.
  • Stevie Brown, DB, New York Giants: had two tackles in a 24-17 loss to Dallas. Next up -- Tampa Bay, Sunday, 1 p.m.
  • David Harris, LB, New York Jets: Had seven tackles (4 solo, 3 assisted) and three assisted tackles in a 48-28 win over Buffalo. Next up -- vs. Pittsburgh, Sunday 4:25 p.m.
  • Jason Avant, WR, Philadelphia: Had four catches for 27 yards in a 17-16 win over Cleveland. Next up -- vs. Baltimore, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Brandon Graham, DE, Philadelphia: Had one tackle in a 17-16 win over Cleveland. Next up -- vs. Baltimore, Sunday 1 p.m.
  • Larry Foote, LB, Pittsburgh: Had eight tackles (7 solo, 1 assisted), a sack and a pass defended in a 31-19 loss to Denver. Next up -- vs. New York Jets, Sunday 4:25 p.m.
  • LaMarr Woodley, LB, Pittsburgh: Had three tackles (1 solo, 2 assisted) in a 31-19 loss to Denver. Next up -- vs. New York Jets, Sunday 4:25 p.m.
  • David Molk, C, San Diego: He played, but did not start, in a 22-14 win over Oakland. Next up -- vs. Tennessee, Sunday 4:25 p.m.
  • Jonas Mouton, LB, San Diego: Listed as inactive against Oakland. Next up -- vs. Tennessee, Sunday 4:25 p.m.
  • Jonathan Goodwin, OL, San Francisco: Started at center and blocked for 377 yards of offense in a 30-22 win over the Packers. Next up -- vs. Detroit, Sunday 8:20 p.m.
  • Mario Manningham, WR, San Francisco: Had four catches for 29 yards in a 30-22 win over the Packers. Next up -- vs. Detroit, Sunday 8:20 p.m.
  • Alan Branch, DT, Seattle: Had three tackles (1 solo, 2 assisted) in a 20-16 loss to Arizona. Next up -- vs. Dallas, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
  • Braylon Edwards, WR, Seattle: Had five catches for 43 yards in a 20-16 loss to Arizona. Next up -- vs. Dallas, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
  • Steve Hutchinson, OG, Tennessee: Started at left guard and blocked for 292 yards of offense in a 34-13 loss to New England. Next up -- vs. San Diego, Sunday 4:25 p.m.
  • Mike Martin, DT, Tennessee: Had one solo tackle and two assisted tackles in a 34-13 loss to New England. Next up -- vs. San Diego, Sunday 4:25 p.m.

Key to '12 -- No. 6 Craig Roh 

August, 24, 2012
8/24/12
12:00
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Craig RohTodd Kirkland/Icon SMICraig Roh will start at strongside defensive end, a position he believes suits him best.
Over the next two weeks, WolverineNation will break down the 10 players who need to play to the peak of their abilities for Michigan to have its best possible season, going from 10 all the way to No. 1.

For his entire career, Craig Roh has been a big, friendly guy who has always been on the field for Michigan but at the same time never truly at home with a position. He started as a freshman but was playing linebacker. Then he moved to defensive end on the weak side and found himself out of position.


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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Contact with players is minimal during the summer and since he can’t go on the road to recruit, Michigan football coach Brady Hoke is taking time to evaluate.

As the second-year coach begins to put together his plan for August’s preseason practice, he is looking at what worked and didn’t from last year’s 11-2 season that ended in a 23-20 win over Virginia Tech in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

“You start with a big template of what you did a year ago,” Hoke said before the Griese/Hutchinson/Woodson golf outing Sunday. “There’s always changes in the course of that year. You go back and you write everything down and you look at it and say did it help you win and did it help you develop your team or didn’t it. You’re always looking for new ideas.”

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WolverineNation Roundtable 

May, 17, 2012
5/17/12
9:07
AM ET
Denard RobinsonGregory Shamus/Getty ImageMel Kiper believes Denard Robinson can be an NFL receiver, but it's the guy lifting him who has the brightest NFL future.
Every Thursday, Mike, Tom and Chantel discuss three pertinent issues in Michigan sports. But let's be serious, it feels like summer in Ann Arbor, so we decided to tackle some lighter questions this week. We'll look at the draft, some basketball tournaments, and give out a few mock election awards.

1. Of anyone on the Michigan football team during this past season (including those who were drafted in the 2012 draft), who do you see having the most successful NFL career?

Tom Van Haaren: I think Mike Martin is going to have a good NFL career, but as far as the most successful career I think it might be Taylor Lewan. He has the size and ability to be another good NFL player from Michigan. He's nasty, and big linemen don't grow on trees. Mel Kiper Jr. even has him going No. 12 overall in his most recent mock draft.

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Michigan spring wrap

May, 11, 2012
5/11/12
10:00
AM ET
Michigan

2011 overall record: 11-2

2011 conference record: 6-2 (2nd, Legends Division)

Returning starters

Offense: 6; defense: 8; kicker/punter: 2

Top returners

QB Denard Robinson; RB Fitzgerald Toussaint; WR Roy Roundtree; WR Jeremy Gallon; LT Taylor Lewan; RT Michael Schofield; DE Craig Roh; LB Jake Ryan; LB Kenny Demens; LB Desmond Morgan; CB J.T. Floyd; CB Blake Countess; S Thomas Gordon; S Jordan Kovacs.

Key losses

WR Junior Hemingway; WR Darryl Stonum; WR/KR Martavious Odoms; TE Kevin Koger; C David Molk; RT Mark Huyge; DT Mike Martin; DE/DT Ryan Van Bergen; DT Will Heininger.

2011 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: Denard Robinson* (1,176 yards)

Passing: Denard Robinson* (2,173 yards)

Receiving: Junior Hemingway (699 yards)

Tackles: Kenny Demens* (94)

Sacks: Ryan Van Bergen (5.5)

Interceptions: Courtney Avery* and J.T. Floyd* (2)

Spring answers

1. Quarterback accuracy: Denard Robinson played one series in the public spring scrimmage, but coaches raved about his improved leadership, decision-making and accuracy throughout the spring. The latter two were major issues for Michigan last season. While it is unknown whether Robinson will truly be more accurate until Sept. 1 against Alabama -- Michigan closed all of its practices to the media this spring -- offensive coordinator Al Borges was very confident in Robinson’s potential for his senior season.

2. Cornerback has depth:
Two seasons ago, cornerback was the biggest question on Michigan’s team because of youth, inexperience and a lack of talent. That is no longer an issue. The Wolverines have as many as six players they could feel comfortable with come the fall, and that doesn’t include incoming freshman Terry Richardson (Detroit/Cass Tech), the highest-ranked player in Michigan's incoming signing class. Sophomore Blake Countess could turn into a star, and fifth-year senior J.T. Floyd is the most consistent corner the Wolverines have. They’ll be the likely starters.

3. A featured back is set: Borges made no hesitation: Redshirt junior Fitzgerald Toussaint is going into the fall as his top tailback -- a marked change from what the Wolverines endured last spring and through the first half of last season. Toussaint rushed for 1,041 yards and nine touchdowns last season, giving Michigan a dynamic dual running game with Robinson. With major questions at wide receiver and tight end, expect a lot of running from Toussaint and Robinson, especially early in the season.

Fall questions

1. Who is catching the ball: Michigan’s coaches spoke highly of Jeremy Gallon, Jerald Robinson and Roy Roundtree during the spring as their top three receivers, but Robinson has never caught a pass, Gallon has had one season of consistent productivity, and Roundtree saw his numbers plummet last season, where he had 19 catches for 355 yards. Tight end isn’t much better, as the position group has two career catches. Denard Robinson’s two best safety valves -- Junior Hemingway and Kevin Koger -- graduated so even if Denard Robinson is improved, he might need to hunt to find a reliable receiver option. Incoming freshman Devin Funchess (Farmington Hills, Mich./Harrison) could be an option at tight end.

2. Who is pressuring the quarterback: Michigan took its biggest hits on the defensive line, which saw three starters graduate -- Mike Martin was a third-round draft pick, Ryan Van Bergen signed a free agent contract and Will Heininger graduated -- and its fourth starter, Craig Roh, switch positions. Michigan insists it’ll be OK there. Will Campbell and converted end Jibreel Black will likely start inside, and either sophomore Brennen Beyer or sophomore Frank Clark will start at rush end. The success of Michigan’s defense last season relied on pressure the front four created. With an almost completely new group there, how they fare against opponents will be interesting to see.

3. Punting problems: Somewhere along the way last season, Will Hagerup lost his mojo, much like kicker Brendan Gibbons the year before. A strong-legged punter, Hagerup wasn’t connecting with the ball well and eventually lost his job to freshman Matt Wile. Now entering his junior year, Michigan hopes either Hagerup regains his form or Wile becomes more consistent. The Wolverines’ offense should be fairly prolific, but with a defense searching for pressure early on, it needs to be able to control field position with the punter.

WolverineNation roundtable 

May, 3, 2012
5/03/12
10:25
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Mike Martin, Will Campbell, Ondre PipkinsIcon SMI, Getty Images, ESPN.comAs Mike Martin passes the torch to guys such as Will Campbell and Ondre Pipkins, the D-line will look vastly different.
Every Thursday, your WolverineNation writers will discuss three pressing issues in Michigan sports. This week, Mike, Tom and Chantel look at changes in the Michigan football team, Trey Burke’s growth as a point guard, and recruits with NFL potential.

1. Which part of Michigan's game will look the most different this year, as opposed to last?

Michael Rothstein: Personnel-wise, it is the defensive line and that isn't close considering there are three new starters and four players at new positions. In scheme, though, it'll be how Michigan moves the ball on offense. Although much has been made of Michigan looking for wide receivers, it wouldn't be shocking to see Michigan move the ball with shorter throws to get guys such as Jeremy Gallon open in space.

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The three-day NFL Draft came and went over the weekend with few surprises for Michigan players. Three players -- Mike Martin, David Molk and Junior Hemingway -- were drafted.

Many more were not.

The three players drafted equaled the 2010 NFL Draft, which had Brandon Graham go in the first round, Zoltan Mesko in the fifth round and Stevie Brown in the seventh.

In this year’s draft, Martin went to Tennessee in the third round, while Molk and Hemingway were selected in the seventh round by San Diego and Kansas City, respectively.

Hemingway, the last Michigan player taken, joins Steve Breaston as a wide receiver in Kansas City.

(Read full post)

Mike Martin to Tennessee

April, 27, 2012
4/27/12
10:31
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Former Michigan defensive tackle Mike Martin is in the NFL.

Martin, who was a three-year starter for the Wolverines and a team captain in 2011, was the first Michigan player taken in the 2012 NFL Draft, going to Tennessee in the third round at pick No. 82 overall.

Martin had 172 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in his career. As a senior, he had 64 tackles, six tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

The last time Michigan had a player drafted in the third round was 2008, when Shawn Crable went to New England with the No. 78 pick and Mario Manningham went to the New York Giants at pick No. 95.

Last five No. 82 selections: 2011 -- Vincent Brown, San Diego State (San Diego); 2010 -- Emmanuel Sanders, SMU (Pittsburgh); 2009 -- Derrick Williams, Penn State (Detroit); 2008 -- DaJuan Morgan, N.C. State (Kansas City); 2007 -- Tank Tyler, N.C. State (Kansas City)

Prior stories on Mike Martin:

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