Michigan big man says kicking no Suh-weat

Dave Dye
FOX Sports Detroit

Ann Arbor — Michigan’s Ryan Van Bergen is a little disgusted with the way Detroit Lions rookie Ndamukong Suh represented defensive linemen with his kicking ability.

Suh missed an extra point as an emergency replacement for Lions kicker Jason Hanson in Sunday’s 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Jets.

“I would have made that,” said Van Bergen, a 6-foot-6, 283-pound defensive end for the Wolverines. “Ndamakung should be a little bit embarrassed.”

Van Bergen, who kicked off in the Michigan High School All-Star Game after his senior year, wasn’t joking.

“There’s no way I miss an extra point,” he said. “I kicked in high school. I’ve got a long (field goal) of 46 (yards). I missed from 48 and it hit the cross bar.”

Asked why he hasn’t come to the rescue, considering Michigan’s kicking problems this season, Van Bergen answered, “I don’t know how to do it off the ground. I can only do it off the black box (tee) they use in high school.

“I was kicking in practice (earlier this season). Just messing around, I made a 35-yarder. It’s been four years (since high school), so I don’t think I have the technique down.

“I wasn’t 100-percent kicking field goals, but I was 100-percent on extra points. If I got called upon, I would make an extra point for sure.”

Take that, Ndamukong.

Counting every minute

A three-overtime victory and closure on the NCAA’s investigation has done wonders for U-M coach Rich Rodriguez’s mood.

During Rodriguez’s weekly news conference, a reporter wondered if the long game required more time spent Monday watching tape with the team.

“No, we’re not breaking no rules,” Rodriguez said, grinning. “We’ve got our four-hour limit today. They lifted for about 50 minutes or so. That gives us three hours and 10 minutes.

“When it gets close to that four-hour limit, we’ve got sirens going off, people screaming, countdown clock and all that stuff. Normally, we’re shorter than that. We don’t even cut it close.

“If we’re at three hours, 58 minutes, the coaches are running in the building. We’re not messing around.”

Rodriguez was then asked if it’s nice to be able to joke about it now.

“Yeah,” he said, “but I’m not joking.”

Jersey debate

One of the stranger controversies in Rodriguez’s time at Michigan involved the No. 1 jersey.

He had promised it to then incoming recruit J.T. Floyd, now  a third-year sophomore.

But Floyd is a defensive back.

That upset former Wolverines receiver Braylon Edwards, now with the New York Jets. Edwards had set up a jersey scholarship fund, which was to go to the receiver who had earned the No. 1.

A long line of Wolverines’ receivers that wore No. 1, including Edwards, goes back to Anthony Carter in 1979-82.

Roy Roundtree, who broke the school record Saturday with 246 yards receiving, wore No. 1 in high school. He’s now No. 12.

So, Roundtree was asked about the possibility of switching to No. 1.

“I’ve still got to work for it,” he said. “When it’s time, it’s time.”

But he wants it, right?

“Oh yeah, I want it,” Roundtree answered.

Why not ask for it now?

“I don’t want to ask for it,” he said. “I want them to give it to me. So I’ll just keep working.”

Rodriguez chuckled when he thought about the controversy the jersey created when he first got to Ann Arbor.

He said there are no plans to give anybody the No. 1 right now.

“I’m not touching no number things,” Rodriguez said, smiling. “Nobody’s asking for it. It might be because they don’t want to deal with all the drama either.”

Nov. 8, 2010