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Golden Nuggets: Mitchell Schwartz On Coaching Changes, Improving the O-Line

BearInsider spent a half hour with Mitchell Schwartz, who talked about a variety of topics ranging from the return of Michalczik to details about playing left tackle to the team's motivation to bounce back from Tedford's first losing season.  It's a great interview and a good read to get a better perspective on what's going on in one of the team's most important units.   Early on in part one of the interview, he compares Marshall and Michalczik.

What's it like having Coach Michalczik back?

It's been great so far. You can tell he's learned, picked up some stuff from the NFL. He's doing some of the same stuff, some stuff is a little different. He's such a perfectionist, which is great for us. Me, individually, after the offensive line, after the team, since he's doing offensive coordinator duties too, a lot of the ideas he brings, the energy he brings, just really how detail oriented he is, it's all great stuff for us.

Having two different coaches at Cal, with two different styles, does that diversity make you a better player?

Yeah, I mean they both brought different strengths to the table. I think Coach M[ichalczik] is probably a little more, he's like really into the specific details and like certain technique stuff, he's like really kinda' hammers the point home. And Coach Marshall was great. He helped me understand defenses and you can kinda' -- you can see certain stuff in a defense, you kinda' know what they're doing and that helps you out obviously. So they both have different strengths, which has been great. I mean they're both good all-around coaches obviously. Just having two different perspectives has been good.  

In part two he answered a great question about being responsible for good QB play.

Quarterback play has been an issue the last few years. Part of the problem can be attributed to the quarterback, but then there's the play of the rest of the positions on offense as well. When you see your quarterback being booed and heavily criticized, how do you and your linemates handle that?

It's definitely tough because you're thinking, 'Well, I screwed up,' but then it has such a big effect on the quarterback, which has an effect on the offense, and it all ties in together. It's something where we talk about having 11 guys doing their job every single play and that's why football is such a team game. I know, like individually -- say last year I had a bad play, I'd go up and apologize to Kevin [Riley] because I know that makes him look bad.

That affects his job, his game. It's something I'm always asking the quarterback about. 'How's the protection?' 'How are we doing?' And they'll say, 'You know, I just need another half second,' then we can go back to the line and try to get them to hold their blocks for just a little bit longer. I think it's a very interesting thing how everything works together, and that is why football is such a team game. 

After the jump Marvin Jones chats with fans, Bear Insider continues its interview with Lindsay Gottlieb, and Natalie Couglin talks (or does not talk) about retirement.