Update: April 15
Michigan held it's spring game last weekend and
"It was very vanilla, very basic," Gardner said. "There wasn't really much."
There was also some good news that was let out of the bag by head coach Brady Hoke. According to Meinke, linebacker Jake Ryan could make his way back from his ACL injury at some point during the season.
"I'm not a doctor, but possibly middle of October," coach Brady Hoke said after Saturday's game at Michigan Stadium. "Some people react differently."
Update: April 12
As the offense begins to switch over to a pro-set, the offensive line has some adjusting to do. Never mind that three starters must be replaced as well. According to Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press, offensive lineman Taylor Lewan says things are better than you would expect at this point.
"This spring we've run a lot more under center stuff," offensive lineman Taylor Lewan said Wednesday during a Big Ten teleconference. "We're still going to have some spread scheme here and there because Devin's got wheels, too. He can run, and he's very elusive.
"But we're doing what these coaches want to do. They want to run a pro-style offense, they want to do all of those things, and I feel like coach (Al) Borges is much more comfortable running this offense than what he's been running for (two) years. It's a lot more under center, a lot more power scheme."
Update: March 28
Already searching for a replacement for linebacker Jake Ryan, Michigan has decided to move Brennen Beyer from defensive end to outside linebacker, according to Adam Rittenberg of ESPN. Although the favorite to replace Ryan remains Cam Gordon, who defensive coordinator Greg Mattison says looks a little different this year.
Right now for the first time, and it was starting to happen last year, he's really getting confidence and he can kind of look in the mirror and say, 'I am an outside linebacker,. Mattison told reporters Tuesday in Ann Arbor. It's not, 'I wonder if I can do this.' He knows he can do it, now he has to get better and better at it.
Update: March 20
Brett McMurphy of ESPN reported that linebacker Jake Ryan will miss the remainder of the spring with a torn ACL.
Fitzgerald Toussaint has stuck to his word and is in pads during spring practice. According to Nick Baumgardner of Mlive, the star running back participated in practice decked out in pads and all, but still has yet to participate in contact drills.
"He's been running around," Hoke said. "He's doing some individual stuff, Fred, you know, has different drills and those kind of things.
"He's doing a lot of that stuff, we're just not going to be putting him out there in live action."
Toussaint is still recovering from an injury he suffered last year. He may not be completely healthy at the moment, but this is a great sign for Wolverines fans that he is on track to being ready for the season opener.
Update: March 19
When you have as much talent at a certain position the way Michigan has at linebacker, it is only right to try different things. That is why the Wolverines coaching staff is teaching some of the top linebackers to play both inside and outside, allowing guys such as Desmond Morgan and James Ross to play on the field at the same time.
Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press reported that the rotation of players will give Michigan options and help create a better overall defense.
I think that position, probably if you had four that you could rotate through, that were all quality, that would be great. Hoke said. We rotated a ton at San Diego State. We rotated every four plays. We're getting a little bit more to where we may be able to do that more. The biggest difference here is we're still not at the point where (there is) the quality that you want or don't know yet because there's so many young guys who are going to be a big part of it, that are they ready or not.
Update: March 18
While spring practice is mostly all about the players, Michigan went ahead and made a smart move by giving defensive coordinator Greg Mattison a contract extension. Reported by Kyle Meinke of Mlive, the contract is good for three years, which will now keep the respected assistant coach around until 2016.
Head coach Brady Hoke recently gave a press conference on the progress that is being made, which you can see here. (H/t 247Sports)
Also, Steve Lorenz of 247Sports is seeing a wonderful trend going around in Ann Arbor. Players have spent much of the offseason getting in great shape. Guys that may have been a little small are now gaining weight, while the bigger guys have cut back and lost a few pounds.
Update: March 15
If you are one that just assumes a player is going to be starting at a certain position, you should seriously think again. It would be surprising if somebody else is suiting up at quarterback besides Devin Gardner this season, but according to Kyle Meinke of Mlive, head coach Brady Hoke says you shouldn't rule it out.
"We’re excited about him. Devin and him, they’ll compete (in the spring). Don’t assume that this is ‘here you go.’ They have to compete.”
Hoke then went on to speak highly of Russell Bellomy, as well as 2013 recruit Shane Morris, who will enroll later in the fall. It would be a shocker if anybody is the starter besides Gardner at this point, but apparently quarterback is another position to pay close attention to during the offseason.
Update: March 13
It is no secret that the offensive line is the biggest area of concern for the Wolverines as we enter spring practice. With three new guys entering the rotation as a starter, this unit up front is going to be key to the success, especially with the transition to a pro-style offense.
Although we are very early in the process, Kyle Meinke of Mlive Media Group reports what the group may look like early on:
As for Chris Bryant? Well...
Head coach Brady Hoke also sat down with Brian Bennett of ESPN and provided a quality interview, which includes what he is paying attention to this spring, what the defense will look like and how the leadership will be replaced.
Update: March 11
When most teams lose a starting quarterback that has been around for a while, it is usually a time to panic. But with Devin Gardner replacing Denard Robinson, it is actually the complete opposite, as folks in Ann Arbor couldn't be happier with the possibilities the senior brings to the table.
As for Gardner, he has not only taken on a new role as the starting quarterback but is emerging as one of the leaders of the team, according to Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press.
"I've already approached it in a great way," he said in a video on mgoblue.com "I've led, and I've done things I'm not ordinarily accustomed to doing. I feel I've stepped outside myself and been the leader I should be. ... The winter was great. We finished it with a great lift last Friday, and I'm looking forward to spring ball."
Gardner replaced Robinson late last season as the starting quarterback and will enter spring with a firm grip on the starting spot.