Michigan football players suggest defense different Wink Martindale

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The thought when Michigan football brought in Wink Martindale to replace Jesse Minter — who coached under Martindale with the Baltimore Ravens — was that there wouldn’t be much change. That it would be a continuation of the defense that the Wolverines have run under Minter and Martindale.

However, if you ask fifth-year safety Makari Paige, that’s not how he sees it, not one week into spring practice.

WolverinesWire asked Paige on Monday about the similarities and differences between the two defensive coordinators’ schemes, and Paige put it quite succinctly.

“It’s totally different,” Paige said. “It’s totally different. Everything’s different.”

OK, then.

Paige isn’t one to expound much, but we asked him again because it certainly could have been something of an obfuscation. But he insists: no, it’s a much different defense.

“No, I’m being serious — it’s totally different,” Paige said. “The plays, his mindset — not mindset, but philosophy, I guess?”

Well, let’s get a second opinion, then.

We also got a chance to hear from junior defensive tackle Mason Graham, and while he didn’t go into great detail, he did note that there are different ways that defenses can be run — even if they’re spiritually similar. As Graham tells it, there are nuances, but perhaps not wholesale changes.

“I mean, everyone just has their mix, their splash of their little ideas that they bring,” Graham said. “So I feel like Coach Minter and Coach Wink have different philosophies still within the same structure, but they just have their little differences on defense.”

It’s difficult to know for sure what the truth is here, but it adds intrigue to the defense moving forward.

Fans will at least be able to get a first glimpse on April 20 when Michigan football hosts the annual spring game at The Big House. It will take place at noon and will be broadcast nationally on Fox.


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