Maize&BlueReview - Everything Sherrone Moore said on Champions Circle The L.A.B podcast (2024)

On how he's settling into the role

I don't think you ever settle in, I think there's something you always trying to get better at, something to do. For me, I've been trying to find every avenue for us to get better in every single way, every single day and that's all I've been venturing to do. Starting to look at the training camp schedule, summer schedule, training sessions, what we can do to get better there. Adjust and doing things with the roster, we've got guys visiting from different places. It's been good. I'm loving it. The coaches have been working hard on the road and getting great reports. Excited about the direction we're going.

On what the NIL partnership with Wolverine Boots meant to him and the team

Meant a lot. One, from a style standpoint, I love how our guys just rock all of it. I remember looking back at Trevor and Zinter walking into the room last year and different guys walk around the building, Blake, he presented the whole team with some boots. It's a really cool deal and it means a lot that a partnership can grow, especially with the mascot name, to represent the university, represent their program and their organization. It's a really cool deal that we created this partnership.

On the feeling of being named head coach

I can't really describe it with words. Just a very humble emotion. Something that seven years ago when I came here as a tight end coach, that was the last thing on my mind. All I wanted to do was be the best tight end coach I could be, I wanted to coach my guys in the room as hard as I can, coach them hard, love them hard, see where it takes us and hopefully win a championship. That's all I was trying to do at that point. Every single year that's all I try to do. When I got the opportunity for this to happen, it was something that was very humbling but not going to take my foot off the gas in the work ethic and the thought process that I have. I would say work like a GA, they're the hardest working people in our industry as far as hours and what they do and the grunt work. I want to take that responsibility on as a head coach. Delegating is a huge part of it but doing the little things to make the big things happen is also something I want to take part of.

On what changes when it comes to building a relationship with an entire roster and coaching staff

Number one, I get to be around all the players. Offense, defense, special teams all the time. I got to do that as a coordinator, even as a tight end coach, I tried to do that as much as I could. I feel like I can build an even deeper rapport with them and their families. For me I take a lot of pride in that. That's the first thing. As far as the staff and the organization, now you're in charge of a lot of people and my job is to continue to build this train of alignment that we've had these past three years and continue to do it the same. There's going to be things that I do a little different but the way we play, the style we play, how we play, the way the attack people, the violence in which we play, that's not going to change. That's the same mindset and mentality that I try to carry on with the O-line and the offense and obviously our defense has done the same. For me, going to try and continue to be myself. Not going to try to sway from that and those values and those things, continue to try and take this program and keep it where it is.

On what changed the perception of Michigan football

I was talking with Aidan the other night, we were at a charity event, just got to see him, got to be around him. By the way, the man is massive, forgot how tall but how big he's gotten. Proud of him and what he's done. I think the thing that changed, I was asked about the 2020 year which is arguably one of the worst years we've seen in Michigan football history and probably that most of us has been around, I think the players took accountability and took over the program. It became a player's program even more. As coaches, we led and we did the things we needed to do but we allowed the players to lead and take it to new heights. That's when it really changed and really turned. I would say that there were leaders on the team before that but not like Aidan Hutchinson, Josh Ross, Hassan Haskins and Andrew Vastardis. I think those four guys kind of started something different and they kind of changed the trajectory of what we're looking at now. The players have really taken ownership of that and doing that each year. Within each year, a different set of leaders appear and I think the Mikey's, the Blake Corum's, the Trevor's, the Zinter's, the Kris Jenkins, the Michael Barret, all those guys this past year watched that and tried to emulate it and surpassed it. I think that's what really took this program to new heights and people say, yeah, it was the scheme, it was all this, offensively, we ran the same schemes from a base standpoint, we just did them better. We executed them better. On defense, we did have a scheme change and it helped us. We had really good coaches that were here and we had really good coaches who came in and the players believed in them and competed at a high level. All in all, it was a mindset that the players had. They really were the ones who took it to new heights.

On the type of person is something he considers while recruiting

Absolutely. I think you look at the types of guys we just won a national title with, we didn't have a whole bunch of five-stars. We had some. We want to have elite talent, don't get me wrong, but I think there's enough of it out there that you can find that also fits the culture. Got the chance to talk to one of the greats in any sport, Derek Jeter, the other day. He talked about alignment, he talked about his whole unit that he had when he was playing with the Yankees. It was really about the mentality that they all had. They said that they would have first or second-round draft picks coming in and say, well, you're not gonna fit here, you're gonna have to leave. It's all about the culture, the fit and the alignment of the university, organization, even in business. You talk to businesspeople, it's all about alignment and how that does. It starts at the top. It starts at the top and then it goes to the bottom and then it goes up and down, you can flip it either way. Everyone has to be aligned with the vision. When you have that, you have something that is super powerful. We're definitely going to try and bring in the right type of guys here, the right type of families to become Michigan Men, and Michigan Women, and continue to keep this program at the highest level.

On what his recruiting process looks like

We have a lot of databases, a lot of services that can find names, players and people. There's people that watch it. For us, once we dig deep into who we want to look at and who we want to recruit, there's a lot of questions that you gotta ask. You're asking players but you're not only asking them but you're asking parents, you're asking the people in the lunch room, you're asking the janitors there, you're asking people in the front office, you're asking everybody that's involved with the kid. I've gone as far as going to the local gas station, you know about this kid? How is he when he comes in? You're trying to dig deep on every players because you've gotta figure out the player and what the mold is inside. You really find out how somebody is going to react to adversity when you do that. Obviously, we've faced some quote, unquote, adversity this year and we continue to just smash it in the face because our players are all built, and we're all aligned and we all have the same vision. We're going to continue to bring in those type of people. For us, that's a huge piece of it, the type of person. Obviously, you want talented guys and you want to recruit talented guys to be a fit from a program standpoint here for sure.

On the origins of the smash mindset

Really started when I was a younger kid. My dad is a military man, he's a retired Master Sergeant. He did everything with a lot of discipline. Actually, was a boxer a little bit in the military so I learned to box with him. Sometimes was fun, sometimes it wasn't if I missed and he connected. I learned it from the discipline of him and my mom, really, is where that came from. As I grew up and learned to really love the game and watch football and even play it, you can just see the mentality means so much. Especially down in the trenches. Talking to so many of my mentors like Bob Stoops and Charlie Strong, who I worked with, they would all say the same thing. It all starts up front. It's cliche to say that but when you watch games whether it's in high school, college or the NFL, it does, and you have to build your team that way. You have to have the thought process and mindset to do that. We're not going to run the ball 33 times in a row like we did against Penn State, that's not how we're — we're not trying to do that every game. Sometimes you might have to. The mentality really came from watching those successful teams win. Even if its a team that's a quote, unquote, passing, air raid spread team, these spread teams now, they run the ball. The good ones that are successful run the football. The Chiefs aren't lining up in 12 personnel or 13 personnel every play but they're going to run the ball and that's key for what they've done, what we try to do, what other teams that are successful try to do. Upfront if a mentality that I've tried to grow into, Obviously, being around Coach Harbaugh, which is crazy to think a quarterback had that mindset, you think quarterbacks want to throw the ball all over the place, he wants to run the power just as much as anybody. That's really where that all came from. Whether that came from my childhood growing up, watching different teams, different schools and as I've grown in the business and seeing successes of other teams, you can see it's always depending on those guys up front.

On what being a head coach looks like for him

As the head coach, you deal with so much less football. As a coordinator last year, at this time I was on the road, got back, we're doing camps and recruiting and any off-time that I had, I was staring at two giant screens and a laptop and I was watching film. Watching one of our opponents or I was watching clips of a play that I was going to try and take and use during a season. I was watching cut-ups of something, NFL teams. It was constant, constant football or I was recruiting. That's what I was managing. I was managing my room, the O-line room and the offensive room, I wasn't worried about the defense, wasn't worried about special teams and I didn't have to worry about what schedules are going to be, who is going to be in the building and what's this. The realm of things you have to do and manage as a head coach are just completely opposite of what you are as a coordinator unless you're calling plays, too. If you're calling plays, too, then you add that to the bucket of things. Kudos to those guys that are coordinators, head coach, it's a lot. You definitely have to have a lot of help and a great staff, which I certainly do. Those guys that do that do so. For me, on a daily basis, it's making sure that every day there's a schedule that's aligned, it's set. Right now, all the coaches on the road, I want to know where they all are, who is seeing who. Getting messages from coaches every five minutes about how visits are going, what's going on there, how we're doing with kids and setting up things for the summer. You are the CEO of an organization when you're the head coach. Along with that, you also have your players that are back home right now. Trying to make sure that they're good. Calling them every so often to see how they're doing. It's awesome, it's a great responsibility, it's a humble responsibility but it's just different than being a coordinator and, for sure, being a tight end coach.

On whether getting coaches on defense with coordinator experience intentional

I wanted to make sure that, one, I kept that scheme. Kept that intact because, one, I think our players are really good at it and they're really good players and I wanted to make sure that they were comfortable first. Two, you want to keep that scheme in there and want to bring someone in who can run the scheme, why not the person it originated from? That's how bringing in Coach Martindale came about and he's a wonderful human being. A great, phenomenal coach but an even better person. All the support staff, all the guys around him, Coach Brian Jean-Mary, Lou Esposito, LaMar Morgan, they're all phenomenal and all of those guys have been coordinators and have called plays which gives you even better insight. The cool thing is that they've all been in college, Wink was in the NFL, so they've all seen it from different spectrums. The MAC, Conference USA and the SEC with B-Mary, so I think it's really huge to have this mix of guys and mix of people there. They all get along great and it's awesome to be around that great group of smart football coaches.

On what his relationship like with the offensive side of the ball as a head coach

That staff, obviously so close with them last year and we worked hand-in-hand and developed such great chemistry as a staff but also from an offensive perspective, we were completely aligned as a group. As a unit, as at staff and with all the players. Just super excited for Coach Campbell and I know he's going to do a heckuva job. All those guys on that side of the ball are phenomenal coaches, phenomenal people, phenomenal recruiters and it's going to be really cool to watch those guys really elevate it even more. Be better than I was calling plays and doing things. I'm super stoked for them. My relationship with them is great. I'm always around the O-line because they know that and they know they don't have a choice and that's how it's going to be. Love them. Going to make sure that we're in a great place and I think we are.

On tackling in spring and whether the players embrace it

I think, one, you only get better at playing football by playing it. You've gotta actually play football and go through the game and hit and tackle, block, and do those things to get better. Just experience that over the past three years here, really the past six years here, it's been a great formula to be a really good tackling team on defense, know how to break tackles on offense and know how to get off blocks and block guys up front. That's been really huge for us. It is a mentality but there is no pushback. Sometimes there's a, hey coach, let's make this live. I'm like, no, we're not doing that. It's a competitive nature that the guys have and they always want more. It's gotten to the point where you pull in the reigns and say, hey, this is not a tackle period and they'll be mad. They'll get verbally and physically, they'll get upset, you can see it in their faces but they'll understand why we're doing it different ways. We're going to tackle, we're going to hit in training and we're going to do the same thing. Build what we call a callous, as you know Coach Harbaugh loves to build a callous. Build a callous and you can tell when the callous has been built. You got the tear and then it heals and then you're ready to go. We're super excited. No pushback and it's really just a standard of me trying to hold them back from doing even more.


You have to have a plan for NIL, though. That's the game now, that's where college football is. There's a lot of other things with revenue sharing which we're all for here, I've always bene for it, I know coach has been for it. I think the players deserve to get a piece of it. NIL is a part of it. Champions Circle has done an outstanding job with all that and that fund to keep our players here that have excelled at the highest level and took us to where we are, they deserve it. They deserve to be rewarded for that. We'll use it as a tool and to help us as we go forward.

On how to develop leaders

I think, one, we did recruit some great leaders and their leadership just needed to come out. I think it started with Aidan Hutchinson and Josh Ross and those guys and it trickled down to the Blake Corums, the Zinters, the J.J.s, the Keegans and all the other guys and now it's boiled over to the Colstons, the Donovans, the Masons, the Wills, the Makari Paiges, the Max Bredesons. All those guys that are here now. When you have a set of leaders that have been successful and have done it a certain way, you often want to just emulate that and try to be better than that. Donovan is a key example, dude is immensely emerged as this great leader and he's grown so much from a maturity standpoint and a mental standpoint, he was in a room with Blake Corum for four years so he had a great leader to watch all the time. Now he's done it his way and he's done an outstanding job and become this tremendous leader and it's really cool to watch the progression of these kids. Yeah, we did recruit them but I think we did develop some of this piece and empowering them to do that was a huge piece of it, too. I was looking back last year, brought in Drake Nugent and Ladarious Henderson, both of them were captains. AJ Barner was a captain. Jake Tuttle is here, was a captain. Go down the list of guys that were captains. Josh Wallace. They all came in and these dudes were captains here and they just come in and they're just like, you know what, I want to come in here and work and do whatever I can to win. Those are the type of kids you want to come into your program and impact your program in a big way. That's what we're going to try to do, continue to bring those type of people into our program to continue to keep us competing at a high level.

On what's the best part of being head coach

Walking into Schem, that feeling you get walking into Schem. It's another great day, another chance for you to grow and get better as a person, as a head coach. Being around the players is the best thing. When the players are around, I remember players walking around the building, when the players are walk in my office and just sit down, it's like the coolest thing to me. I love just the embrace the players of just being around. I love our fans, they've been awesome. They've been so welcoming. Every time I see them on the streets, wherever it is, stores, has been phenomenal. It all starts with the players. The players, there's something special when you have a couple of players, young guys even, just come in and sit down, I've got candy in here for them because they just love Starburst and Life Savers, things like that. Just buy a whole bunch of them and they'll just sit there in my office or the lounge area and just sit and eat and hang out. For me, that's probably the coolest part of it.

On when the competitive flip gets switched for him

You know what, practice days it's up and down, it can go either way. I think you've seen me in practices where I've been calm and I think you've seen me where I'll lose it. It's all for a message. On game day, we'll go in and we'll let guys do their own warm ups. When we come out for warm-ups, that's when it's on. It's time to go. That's really when it all flips. Other than that, this is me 95% of the time and that 5% on game days, that's when there's another level.


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Maize&BlueReview  -  Everything Sherrone Moore said on Champions Circle The L.A.B podcast (2024)
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