Offensive line coach Ed Warinner has helped Michigan’s offensive line develop into one of the best in the Big Ten.
Warinner said Wednesday he’s happy with the progress of the unit this season.
“I’m really pleased at where they’re at,” Warinner said. “We’re headed in the right direction. We keep getting better and better. I think we’ve grown a lot. I still think there’s some room to squeeze some more juice out of it and we’re going to try to do that.”
Warinner is in his first season with the program. He said when he came in, he noticed the offensive line had a confidence problem. They’ve grown out of that this season.
“Now they’re much different,” Warinner said. “They walk down the tunnel with a little swagger.”
When he got to Michigan, the offensive line was ready to be coached.
“Yes absolutely from day one when I had the reins of the offensive line because that’s why they came here,” Warinner said. “They came here to be in the situation we’re in. They came here to be playing at this level of football. They came here for those reasons. That’s why you come to Michigan. You want to play at the highest level.”
– One of the biggest reasons for the improvement of the offensive line has been the play of redshirt junior left tackle Jon Runyan Jr. After struggling against Notre Dame in the first game of the season, he’s been a stalwart for the Wolverines.
“Just being consistent in how he practices,” Warinner said. “We put him at left tackle, we left him at left tackle. He’s been coached in fundamentals every day. He’s practiced well.”
Warinner said like what he does with every player, he found what Runyan can do well.
“There’s lots of things he can’t do, there’s lots of things he can do,” Warinner said. “We ask him to do what he’s really good at and do it really hard. So, that’s made him a very confident player.”
– Warinner said he and defensive coordinator Don Brown are similar because they both like to do things hands on.
“We’re both cut from similar cloth,” Warinner said. “We do everything by hand. It’s not a computer game, it’s a people game. He draws cards, I draw cards. He does hand-written tip sheets, I do hand-written tip sheets.”
– Michigan was an attractive program for Warinner.
“I just had some good meetings with Coach Harbaugh. I have always admired the University of Michigan, the great University, the football program. I grew up in an era where this was a place.”
The first-year has gone well for Warinner.
“My expectation was this place is as it gets and it is as good as it gets,” Warinner said. “I’ve been at some good ones, so we’re not comparing, but this is as good as it gets in college football.”
– Warinner was the offensive line coach at Ohio State for many years. He said his return to Columbus will be emotional for him.
“Because it’s a big game, it’s a big game for the University of Michigan,” Warinner said. “It’s a big game for me. It won’t be about me, it will be about our football team being ready to play when we go there.”