Quarterbacks are under immense pressure every week in the NFL. Fortunately for Shea Patterson, he’s been dealing with sky-high expectations from the moment he joined the Michigan Wolverines.
After spending two season at Ole Miss, Patterson transferred to Michigan. Although the program didn’t reach its ultimate goal of winning a national title, he led the team to 19 total wins.
This past season, Patterson threw for 3,061 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also added 87 yards and five touchdowns on the ground, proving that he can beat defenses in a multitude of ways.
With the NFL Draft only two weeks away, Patterson was kind enough to sit down with us and talk about his time at Michigan, the future of the program and his preparation for the next level. Let’s get this interview started.
The Spun: Looking back at your time with Michigan, what’s your favorite moment?
Shea Patterson: Maybe my junior year against Northwestern. We were down by 17 points and we just rallied back, and I ended up making plays down the stretch to lead us to a 20-17 win on the road.
Soon enough, Shea Patterson (@SheaPatterson_1) will be playing on Sundays.
— Michigan On BTN (@MichiganOnBTN) April 5, 2020
The Spun: There might not be a coach under more scrutiny than Jim Harbaugh. How was your time with him and do you find the criticism he receives unfair?
SP: I think that’s something that Coach Harbaugh and I are a lot alike, in terms of what we listen to and let into our mental side of things. What I do know is that I enjoyed playing for him and he’s my favorite head coach up to this point in my career. I’ve learned the most from him. I don’t think the criticism he receives is fair. Michigan is an all-time great program, and there are always high expectations for the coach and quarterback, but I think he’s made the best of it.
The Spun: What does Michigan need to do to go from a really good team to a great team?
SP: Yeah, I think everything happens with time. This is going to be Coach Harbaugh’s sixth year, and sometimes great things take time. I think Michigan is on the verge of doing something really special, and I think they have a great group of young guys that just came in. It’s honestly just a matter of putting it all together on both sides of the football.
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) December 16, 2019
The Spun: Dylan McCaffrey is the projected starter at quarterback for next season. He’s a little different from you since he gets out in space more and you’re a more refined passer, so what can Michigan fans can expect?
SP: I got out in space, c’mon now (laughing).
The Spun: Oh I know, your time during the 40-yard dash surprised me. I was like “Ok, Shea has wheels.”
SP: I was actually upset with my time; I ran slower than I was during the entire offseason. To get back to your question, Dylan is a guy who works his tail off every single day. He has a good relationship with all the guys, he’s a good leader and he has that playmaking ability to make something happen. I’m looking forward to his future.
The Spun: You were at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. How were those experiences and how do you think you stacked up next to other QB prospects?
SP: It was cool, and it was a great experience. It’s the first time being around NFL coaches and getting to see the ropes and how they do things. As far as being around the other guys, that’s something I’ve been doing ever since I was in sixth grade, so it was really nothing new to me. Right now, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in and mentally I’m as bright as I can be. I think it’s all going to speak for itself once camp rolls around and teams get to see what I do every single day of practice. My playmaking abilities and my ability to learn a new system very quickly is going to pay great dividends.
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) February 28, 2020
The Spun: What’s your greatest skill coming into the NFL?
SP: I would say the ability to learn quickly. I’ve been in four different offensive schemes over the last four years. Just having that ability to come in and learn quickly is a huge advantage.
The Spun: Are there any quarterbacks in particular you watch on film?
SP: Ever since I started playing quarterback, I kind of just watch guys whether they’re in the NFL or older high school guys while I was in middle school. For example, I used to watch Brandon Harris when he was at LSU with Les Miles. I just liked his release, so I quickened my release and tried to emulate that. As far as NFL guys go, I watch a lot of Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.
The Spun: We’re in unprecedented times right now, so how are you spending your free time outside of working out?
SP: I’m doing everything I can every day. I’m getting ready to work out at a gym inside a garage right now – I’ve been doing that for the past three weeks. So, I’m doing that, eating right and playing some Call of Duty.
The Spun: What is an NFL team getting in Shea Patterson?
SP: They’re getting a game-changer. I have the ability to come in and change a game at any moment.
Shea is one of the most complete athletes at the QB position in this draft. He's faced adversity and still come out on top on the biggest stage in his arena his whole life. Not many can match his drive.
I don't expect anything to change in the NFL.
— Ben Neill (@QBC_Bham) April 2, 2020
It’ll be tough for Michigan to replace Patterson’s production under center. That being said, Patterson is confident that McCaffrey can lead the Wolverines to more success down the road.
As for Patterson, he’ll try to live his childhood dream this fall by playing in the NFL. We’ll find out which team selects him later this month.