Edwards' comments have civil war brewing in Ann Arbor

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    Braylon Edwards makes a touchdown catch during his playing career at Michigan. More recently, he has been critical of the program for its 9-9 record in its last 18 games.

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  • ANN ARBOR — Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh came to the defense of his team Monday, telling a former player to “come at me” if he has negative opinions about the program.

    Shortly after the team’s 24-17 loss Saturday at Notre Dame, former UM receiver Braylon Edwards, a frequent critic of Harbaugh and his alma mater, tweeted comments about the play of the Wolverines, including quarterback Shea Patterson and center Cesar Ruiz.

    “Ruiz is weak, line is weak, shea is scared, [expletive] Michigan offense is so predictable…..Michigan football is sadly one thing…….Trash,” the tweet read.

    The tweet has since been deleted and Edwards apologized to Ruiz and Patterson. He also added, “UM football still needs to step up so no apologies here.”

    During his news conference, Harbaugh was asked about his reaction and fired back at Michigan’s all-time leading receiver.

    “First of all, it’s not true. It’s not factual,” he said. “There’s nobody in our program who thinks these things about any player on our team, let alone the two players he describes. On another level, it’s disappointing that a member of the Big Ten Network would choose to attack the character of our players.”

    BTN announced Edwards was suspended indefinitely for violating the network’s social media guidelines. But it didn’t stop him from continuing to target Harbaugh.

    “So funny that everyone is worried my tweet as opposed to the real issue, 0-17 on the road against ranked opponents, 1-6 against rivals and the one win was against a 3-9 MSU,” Edwards tweeted. “Last thing i will ask and really think about this before you get mad...is Michigan better than Iowa?”

    During Edwards’ four-year career, from 2001-04, Michigan lost 13 games. Harbaugh, in the midst of his fourth season, has 12 losses — nine in the past 18 games and four straight. The Wolverines did win two Big Ten championships in Edwards’ career, but it wasn’t a memorable stretch in Michigan history. The Wolverines were 1-3 against Ohio State, 1-2 against Notre Dame, and 0-2 in the Rose Bowl. Michigan also lost to Iowa twice.

    Last season, Edwards tweeted, “Who approved his scholarship transfer??” referring to quarterback John O’Korn.

    “At the end of the day, we’re college students, we’re college football players,” junior defensive lineman Rashan Gary said. “We love what we do, and we take it to heart. To take shots at a player and you're a grown man, I don't think that's cool.”

    Edwards’ brother, Berkley, is a walk-on running back on the team and had a crucial block in Ambry Thomas’ 99-yard kick return touchdown at Notre Dame.

    “If anyone wants to attack the character of anybody on our ballclub, come after me,” Harbaugh said. “Not the youngsters.”

    Contact Kyle Rowland at: krowland@theblade.com, 419-724-6110, or on Twitter @KyleRowland.