The shot came across the bow a couple weeks ago, at Big Ten media days in Chicago. Maryland head coach Mike Locksley was asked about Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, whom he worked with at Alabama last season and later tried to hire at Maryland. Locksley took the opportunity to make clear last season's pecking order. "Josh is a good coach," Locksley told reporters in July. "He was very helpful as an assistant in our program. He had an opportunity to see me call every play and put together game plans." Wednesday afternoon, Gattis got his chance to respond. "Mike Locksley can say I watched him call every play. Ask him where the game plans usually came from," Gattis said to the media on Wednesday in Ann Arbor. "So, I’m fine with that. He did call every play, and I’ve got a notebook upstairs with a lot of the game plans written down in them." Gattis holds no ill will toward Locksley. He has "a tremendous amount of respect" for his former co-worker and considers him both a friend and mentor. But it's not hard to understand why Gattis responded the way he did. He has been answering questions all offseason about his proficiency as a play-caller. About whether he can handle doing so for the first time in his career at a pressure-laden environment such as Michigan. The answer, as it has for months, remains the same. "As far as my confidence level, it’s extremely high," Gattis said. "I’ve prepared for this opportunity. There’s been coordinators out there that have been coordinators for 20 years and aren’t successful. It’s not because they’ve been coordinators for 20 years. It’s because they’re not putting their kids in position to be successful. "So you win the game Monday through Friday, and that’s something I’ve taken a tremendous amount of pride in throughout the years, is making sure I’m a big part of the game-plan process at the places I’ve been." Gattis also took the opportunity to point out that he has, technically, called one play in his career, during his time at Penn State. It happened to be a game-winning touchdown against Iowa in 2017 in a fourth-and-goal situation on the final play of the game. Gattis says he has recommended "a lot of plays during games," too. "I’ve been fortunate enough to be around coordinators that have allowed me to be a part of it," Gattis said. "Mike Locksley, Joe Moorhead. Those guys, when they want your input and they allow you to be a part of it, when you develop ownership within everybody, and you entitle and empower everybody on your offensive staff, that develops the buy-in.” On top of that, Gattis has gotten plenty of practice at his new job this offseason. Many portions of practice are what Gattis labeled "call-it periods," where both he and defensive coordinator Don Brown are required to call plays on the fly, without a script — just like in a game. The situations often vary: First down, second down, third down, red-zone and more. Doing so, Gattis said, actually makes life easier for both him and Brown — the two don't have to script hundreds of plays each practice. "We’re constantly calling plays throughout practice," Gattis said. "Going through all those situations, even two-minute (drills) we did the other day, those are so valuable to me as a coordinator and to Coach Brown. That’s one of things that allows us to, once you get to Saturdays, you feel very, very confident about where you are.” Gattis is still in contact with some of the coaches who shaped him. He says he talks to Moorhead, the Mississippi State head coach and former Penn State offensive coordinator, two or three times a week. Gattis has kept close many of the lessons he learned from mentors like Moorhead and Locksley, and not just on the field. He stressed that he tries to work collaboratively with each offensive assistant, along with analysts like Steve Casula, Juan Castillo and Brandon Blaney. It's simply the way he came up as an assistant coach, and what led him to this position. "Obviously, when I throw things up on the board, I’m always asking guys I want input, I want involvement," Gattis said. "I’ve been around a lot of offenses that that have allowed me to be involved, and now it’s about having all of our coaches be involved as well. Having the buy-in and having the ownership of the offense that this is our offense. "This is not about Josh Gattis, this is not about me. That’s the last thing that ever needs to be mentioned. It’s about our kids, it’s about our players. This is our offense, the one that we’ve created together, and the one that we run here.” Shawn Windsor contributed reporting to this story. Contact Orion Sang at email@example.com . Follow him on Twitter @orion_sang . Read more on the Michigan Wolverines and sign up for our Wolverines newsletter .