ALLEN PARK, Mich - While there were plenty of Tom Brady Michigan jerseys spotted at Tuesday’s practice in Allen Park, it quickly became clear that Brady isn’t the only Patriot that Wolverine fans are eager to see.
Chase Winovich stood out during the second joint practice with the Detroit Lions. After a rookie-slow start to training camp, Winovich put on a show in front of a Michigan crowd very familiar with the former All-American defensive end. During 1-on-1’s he handled Lions tackle Ryan Pope with ease, coming up with two decisive victories over the rookie. Later in practice, Winovich’s speed was on display. During 11-on-11 work, two of his rushes would have been sacks if hitting the quarterback was allowed.
“It was really humbling just to see all these people out here in Lions jerseys cheering my name,” Winovich said. “It was kind of funny.”
“I felt like I had a pretty good day today, but I’m sure they’re going to get it corrected and get it fixed, so I’ve got to keep bringing my A-game every day.”
Several members of the Winovich family made an appearance at Tuesday's practice. Winovich's mother Nina, his father Peter, and his two nieces, all sported number No. 15 Michigan jerseys in support of their loved one.
“It’s priceless,” Winovich said of his family’s presence. “They brought me along to be the person I am today.”
Although Winovich has yet to take a snap in an NFL game, his maturity and enthusiasm for learning have left an impression on the leaders of his position group.
“He acts like he’s done it for a while, and he definitely follows the role of [John] Simon or Kyle [Van Noy] or Jamie [Collins] or whoever,” veteran linebacker Dont’a Hightower said. “Whoever he’s working with, he does a good job of just being a sponge.”
While it is far too early to make any predictions about how the Michigan standout will fare in the NFL, he is certainly a player to keep an eye on during preseason game action.
“He’s a rookie. He needs to work on everything,” Belichick said. “But Chase is tough, he runs well, he’s got good size, good power. He had a very productive career at Michigan, and we’re looking forward to seeing him out there in some game action, both on defense and in the kicking game.
“But, like every rookie, he’s got a long way to go and a lot of things to work on. It’s a different game, and the competition’s very high. He’ll battle it and see how it goes.”