Interceptions: Sometimes, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh threw them, too
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — When talking about Wilton Speight’s first offensive play in Michigan’s 63-3 win over Hawaii on Saturday, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh couldn’t help but to digress.
Everyone makes a mistake, he explained. Even he did, and he vividly recalled one he made in the NFL.
“The first play of a game in Green Bay, I was playing for the Bears, and the first play of the game was a pass, and an interception was thrown, by me,” Harbaugh said Thursday morning on Detroit’s WXYT-FM. “It happens.”
Did his coach, Mike Ditka, shrug off the miscue?
“No,” Harbaugh said, chuckling. “I don’t think that was the case.”
In 15 NFL seasons, Harbaugh threw for 26,288 yards, 129 touchdowns and 117 interceptions.
On a certain level, Harbaugh could relate to Speight’s interception, which came on the redshirt sophomore’s first play of the game. He also analyzed it.
“Stuff happens,” Harbaugh said. “It’s a combination of, we didn’t really run a proper route. Wilton cut the ball too loose, too early, and that was a play that briefed well, but did not execute the way we like.
“Put that one away and we’ll come back slinging the next series. I thought he did a phenomenal job. It’s like the old golf analogy. You hit the ball in the water, take another one out of your pocket, drop it, and take another shot.”
Harbaugh also cleared up any misconceptions surrounding the disciplinary status of his team entering Saturday’s game against Central Florida (1-0), following an unattributed report on ESPN last week that speculated Jourdan Lewis’ absence was due to a suspension. Ed Cunningham offered an apology to Michigan’s athletic department for mistakenly speculating on Lewis’ absence, which was due to an unspecified injury.
“We don’t have any player who’s suspended for whatever reason,” Harbaugh said. “So we can move on.”