Chryst started his presser on Monday morning saying it’s was “good to be able to move on”. That may be the focus with the team, but the fans and media seem to be fixated on a poor performance last Saturday, and rightfully so. It wasn’t pretty. Due to that, a lot of today’s discussion was on this past weekend and very little was discussed in regards to upcoming opponent, the Michigan Wolverines.
Chryst was first asked about the offensive line’s play to this point and the pros and cons of rotating multiple players throughout the game.
“ I think there’s been times where they there has been enough to say that’s good and lets build on that, and then there are moments when you’re off and we can be better and close the gap on some things. As far as playing different guys, the first thing is, you have to earn the right to play, nobody is going on the field without earning the right to play... there’s a combination if they’ve earned the right to play they should play and if it’s also good for the group. I think there is some value sometimes for some individuals to take a step back and see how the game is playing out.”
After that, Chryst was asked about the miscommunications between quarterback Graham Mertz and the running backs which seemed to pop up repeatedly in the second half.
“It’s making sure that they know it, if they don’t know it they’re going to go to him (Mertz). That’s part of that right there. We didn’t have a lot of game plan specific stuff that way where it should have been tricky that way.”
You guys feel free to try and translate that quote how you want because I truly have no idea what it means, but it doesn’t seem great.
Later on, Chryst was asked about the trouble that has plagued the team this season and if he’s confident they can work their way out of this early season struggle.
“I am confident in that, and why do I say that? I base it on who we have in the room. I like this team and I like their intentions. We’ve got enough talent to be a good team. Right now, as a team, we’re doing things that make it harder to win... I still have a lot of confidence and belief.”
Following that, Chryst was asked about the struggles of Graham Mertz and what he thinks have been the issues that he has seen thus far.
“Every quarterback that I have been around when they’re playing well they’re playing in rhythm... when you have good rhythm, good timing, good footwork when you have good eyes you’re going to perform better... when one of those is off slightly for a number of different reasons then that you have to work through... it’s not just one of those things... we all know that he is one part of it, not the only part of it. Everyone’s gotta do their part.”
He later was asked what his message has been to Graham about being positive through his struggles.
“It’s what can we do, hopes not a method, what can we do to make progress. I think that you also have to tie everyone in with it. That’s what is awesome about this game is that it is a team sport... it takes a lot of people. It takes everyone. I understand and appreciate that’s going to go with certain spots and quarterback is certainly one of those but you’ve got to put your focus and energy on things that you can work on.”
After seemingly the entire segment focused on last week, the page finally turned to Michigan and what they present this week. Here is what Chryst had to say about the Michigan offense.
“They’re a really good offense and they’ve got a number of different weapons. They’re playing well up front, and they’ve got enough skilled players that they’re going to make you defend the whole field. Defensively, you’ve got to defend the whole field. You gotta play honest, that’s where they do a good job. I think they’re good. It will be a good challenge for our defense.”
Overall, it was a lot of Coach Speak, but it did give some insights on where Chryst thinks this team is at. The main point driven home seemed to be that Chryst did not think the struggles or the successes fell entirely on one person or the other.
He also emphasized that he likes this team and they’ll battle through. Sure, what else is he going to say, but I think it’s clear that Chryst believes this group can get things turned around, but it needs to happen rather quickly.