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Oilers Enjoy Michigan Satelite Camp


          It was a typical cold, windy and rainy night in Melbourne but that didn’t deter our Oiler representatives from participating in the Michigan satellite camp held last Friday night 3rd June.

          Coach Steve Rudd and OG Dylan Tyrrell made the long drive to meet and learn from the 6 University of Michigan Coaches.  The 130 strong group of enthusiastic players and coaches enjoyed participating in the well-structured group skill and drill sessions whilst enduring the nasty Victorian winter weather.
With so many people of different ages and abilities the coaches rotated quickly through warm up drills which saw Offensive linemen doing Receiver cutting drills and Receivers learning Defensive linemen swim moves.  The cross pollination of skills and drills was interesting to watch and the 5 minute counter for each station kept things moving really quickly. 

          Some participants went too hard too early and there were some pulled hamstrings and popped shoulders from guys dialling up to 11 too soon!  But they were still happy to watch from the sidelines.

          What was apparent was the level of depth and understanding these coaches have in teaching players of all levels of ability.  In particular linebackers coach Chris Partridge, who was an exceptional High School coach before moving to Michigan.  Teaching everything from WR stance to cutting techniques on curl routes through to body positioning for coverage linebackers and DBs.  He would see miniscule details of each athlete’s tendencies and endeavour to correct them.  Tight Ends coach Jay Harbaugh also worked a lot with the receivers breaking down routes and helping athletes understand their relationship to what the QB is looking for and how they can make themselves a bigger target even if they are small in size.  Jimmie Dougherty worked alongside these coaches after spending a good 45 minutes with the QBs and consolidated what the other coaches were demonstrating and imparting to the receivers.
Meanwhile our OG Dylan enjoyed training with scores of big blokes and actually getting to work with a full O line vs a full D line, something not often seen at Oiler training sessions.  Coach Mike Switzer broke down a lot of footwork techniques as well as reading techniques for pulling guards.  He emphasized strong disciplined hand placement and encouraged the O linemen to be the aggressor and not just react to what the defence was doing.  Dylan came away with some excellent new techniques and was also highly praised from Coach Switzer for his strength and aggression, and has been asked to send him some game film for the coach to critique and give feedback.

          The clinic was rounded off with 1 on 1 battles which saw the intensity go up a notch or two.  There is nothing quite like an American Football coach getting excited over a big guy running into another big guy or a DB breaking up a sure completion. It was a thrill to watch.

          After the clinic Coach Steve and Dylan got a chance to speak with Coach Harbaugh and Switzer at length and were encouraged to keep in contact as they were more than happy to help us grow as a club and win another championship.  As coach Harbaugh put it “It’s time for that fat lady to sing again”.  Yes it is…

          A worthwhile trip and a once in a lifetime experience for our Oiler boys!



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