You always know it's an MGoQuestion when it's something really technical like "who's competing for 3-tech" or "have you experimented with the spread punt formation" lol. I love it.
Fall Camp Presser 8-22-14: Brady Hoke
News bullets and other items:
Blake Countess and Ray Taylor would be the starting corners if the season started today
Ryan Glasgow would be the starting nose tackle and Willie Henry the starting three technique if the season started today
Jabrill Peppers will be returning punts
Dennis Norfleet is the starting slot receiver, though Freddy Canteen has gotten better as camp has gone on
“Number one, thanks for coming out. We’ll break camp tomorrow. We've had two really good practices after taking Wednesday just to get them a little back healthy and rest and all that kind of stuff. Guys have done a nice job. Those two practices were spirited obviously. We had some humidity which was good because that's really the first time and then yesterday we were inside because we were thinking that we were going to get the storm that we finally got and it was good because it was nice and hot in there so they got to work through that a little bit.
Their mindset has been awfully good and the competition level, competing in challenging each other every day I think has been really good for us and I think our coaches and players would say the same thing. The competition has been very positive at every position. I'm excited about how they've come out and competed. Today for us was a Wednesday, Tomorrow will be a Thursday in how we manufacture the practice time. Will give them some rest on Sunday, give them some rest on Monday. That would almost normal for what a school– getting them ready and acclimated to the school times of practice.
We should be healthy as we can be right now. Still don't know about Delano [Hill]. He's been practicing as far as no contact. He feels good. The doctors will still evaluate him one more time and let us know if he will be ready for Appalachian State or not. Jake Butt has come a long way but I would say were still on the timetable we talked about and we’ll get with the doctors on that a little bit more.
The leadership on this team has really been throughout the team. I think when they voted for guys out of each class it's been really a positive and those guys--you can see it just in how they've treated each other--came out and competed and the things you want to see. It's been really a good camp. We're going to finish that tomorrow morning. Most of that will be a lot of kicking up at the stadium and a little bit of some of the scout team work that we want to continue to do but we won't be there but an hour and 15 minutes. A little bit of a preview of game day. How we approach it, who goes out when, all the mechanics with that. We've done it once so far but this will give us another chance. We have new guys on the team who weren’t here before and we made a couple changes so I think those are all positives.”
We haven't talked a lot about special-teams. You talked about Matt Wile. How confident are you that he's going to go from being your long-range guy to being your every-field-goal guy?
“Well, you know, Matt was always consistent from long-range or from every-field-goal guy. He's done a nice job. We rushed him a little bit because he's been doing kickoffs and that the last two days but I'm sure that tomorrow we might not kick him just for the simple fact that he probably wouldn't be at his best. He had a little bit of a foot [injury] which wasn’t his plant foot but that's fine but we just want to make sure that we’re resting him enough.”
So it's his kicking foot then?
“Yeah, which I've never heard of. You'd think it would be a plant foot. I'd be more worried if it was the plant foot.”
Kyle Kalis – is he healthy now and which positions is he working yet and does he have a chance to start?
“Well, I think he has a chance. I think we're still going through that a little bit with him. He's practiced the last two days which is the positive. I think between him and the way we been running it over there, you know, we've got [Kyle] Bosch over there working some, Joe Burzynski has been over there working some but, you know, getting Kyle back out is a real plus. Gives you some more… a little more of different people that we can play with.”
Who's going to be returning punts?
“That would be Jabrill.”
[After THE JUMP: corner shuffling, your starters on the interior defensive line, and another non-answer regarding captains]
MGoQuestion: Who's competing at nose tackle and who's at three tech?
“Oh boy. I’ll tell ya, Ryan Glasgow has had a really good fall camp, Ondre Pipkins has had a really good fall camp, Mone, Bryan Mone. There's all four of them at the nose, they’ve played really well. Ryan would be the starter. At the three technique I think Wille Henry, Chris Wormley, and Matt Godin and Tom Strobel have all really done a nice job but if we started today Willie would be the guy up first.”
You said you're working with Jabrill on punt returns. You guys haven't had much from the punt return. I mean, you had some sure-handed guys but is that an area that you need to get more out of?
“Well, I think that number one we’re putting a lot of our best guys out on the field and I think that's a plus. I think we've had some in the last three years that have been decent, some that maybe we haven't fielded the ball as well as we should have sometimes and I think that's all true – every special teams you want to get improvement.”
Is Norfleet still in at kick returner?
“Yeah. Oh yeah.”
What were the two or three things when you opened camp that you felt you absolutely had to accomplish and did you?
“I think yeah, we did accomplish it. The first thing which you guys all love to ask is the offensive line and I think that the progress that's been made there is really positive. Do I think that we're where we need to be as we get through the season? No, not yet but there's been a lot of progress. I think at the corner position we’ve had a great competition out there and I think all those guys have improved and that’s huge. I think up front defensively I think being a defensive line coach the noses and the three techniques, who is going to separate themselves and I think I said that the other day and Willie has done that at the three and I would say Ryan has right now at the nose position so those things were all – I think how the group of linebackers has worked together, and then the receivers. Who is going to come on and where Darboh’s health was. All of those things were part of what we wanted to see.”
You said you were going to work Jabrill more at the nickel but does Jourdan [Lewis] have that other spot? Is he a starter?
I think if we went out today it would be Ray [Taylor] and Blake [Countess]. Jourdan’s had a good fall camp. [Channing] Strib[ling]’s had a good fall camp, need a little more consistency. Delonte Hollowell’s had a good fall camp so I think that if we started the game today though it would be Blake and Ray.
Is that an experience thing?
“No, they've played well. The competition has been very heated.”
When you talk about the group of linebackers working together, how’s that come together with Jake [Ryan] changing positions and all of that and how are they working together?
“Well, I think that whole group has really worked well together and you can throw Ben Gedeon in there, Royce [Jenkins-Stone], James Ross, [Joe] Bolden, Desmond Morgan, and Jake. Mike McCray’s had a good fall camp. He's got to be a little more consistent but we like what we’ve seen of him so far. I think Jake had a little apprehension coming into camp even though he was over there all spring but I really think that he did a very good job of asserting himself in the position.”
You guys really liked Jarrod Wilson coming out of the spring. Has he solidified that free safety spot for you and what do you like about having him back there?
“Yeah, he has. I like his range, Like his intelligence, like his toughness, his ball skills and the abilities that he has.”
You mentioned the corners. What kind of rotating could you do at that point? You mentioned Ray and Blake but are Jordan and Jabrill going to be outside too?
“They can. They can. We haven't sat down yet to say we're gonna play this guy so many reps, this guy so many reps.”
But you don't mind shuffling them at those spots? I know Greg [Mattison] didn't like shuffling safeties...
“…as much last year. I think there were different reasons why. I think sometimes it’s just a comfort level with guys. You know everybody's going to get you in the right positions.”
So maybe there'll be more of it this year?
“Yeah, I would think so.”
What kind of weapon is Hagerup? We haven't seen him in a while. What does he add?
“Well, as far as Hagerup, what I like about Will is how he's come back, how he's taken some – that's hard to go through what he's gone through. I'm proud of him. You know, when he's on, which two years ago he was on most of the time, he's very effective in changing the field.”
“You know, we've got great leadership throughout.”
We heard a lot about Freddy [Canteen] in the spring and saw a lot of him in the spring scrimmage. Is he the slot guy or is Dennis [Norfleet] the slot guy?
“Dennis right now. I think one thing, Freddy, he started a little slower but he's finished very well.’
So you think that’s a shared position?
“Yeah, I think that personnel groups and formationally it makes a difference.”
Since when is "who's competing at [x position]" a technical question?
The tech means "technique." This is the definition of technique: 1.
the manner and ability with which an artist, writer, dancer, athlete, or the like employs the technical skills of a particular art or field of endeavor.
I don't think I've heard a journalist from the News or Free Press or TV say "3-tech" ever
I think he's a decent guy, and he does good by his athletes.
But when I watch the pressers I always wonder at the level of devotion the guy creates.. Guys like Mattison and Brady have nothing but glowing praise for the guy. But I just don't see the charisma in the pressers.
Watch this and you will see why:
It's the Hoke you always hear about, but don't see in pressers.
I saw him in action a few months ago and he's a much different person away from the cameras and microphones. I do agree with you that Hoke's not the most impressive guy when it's interview time. He doesn't always finish sentences, etc., and I could see why it'd make you wonder.
But when you talk to him in person or with a group of coaches or see him interact with his players, he shows a completely different side. He's very comfortable in his skin and extremely personable. You can see, for example, his appeal as a recruiter not only to the youngsters, but to the parents.
Just to exapnd on this a bit, one of the reasons why I think he brought Nussmeier is to change the general environment around the program. Hoke articulates the same programs goals he did when he first got the job, but my guess is that he needed to change some attitudes and mindsets from last year's program and that may be part of the reason why Borges is no longer offensive coordinator.
We'll see how things work out as the season progresses. I thought it was interesting to read that Nussmeier intends to be on the sidelines as offensive coordintor and not in the booth. If he needs to get hand's on with someone during the game, he's right there to coach them up, yell at them, praise them, etc. And who knows? Maybe we'll actually see a bubble screen from time to time.
Watch a Bill Belichick presser, He's trying to put you to sleep. The man sounds like an idiot and he's giving the media what they deserve.
I'm excited to see what Peppers can do as a punt returner, but I've always wondered why Norfleet doesn't play there and stays just at KR. To me, his asset is quickness not sheer speed, and quickness in space is a priority for punt returners.
They experimented with him returning punts last year and his decision making and fielding of punts wasn't great. And granted, this is a super small sample size, but I did see a few clips of Jabrill fielding punts and having to go back and over his shoulder and he had not problem at all catching them cleanly.
they gave him a few games at it last year. unfortunately, that same determination to take one to the house on kick returns overrode his decision making on punt returns. he tried to return everything. even if it meant ranging all the way across the field to catch one on the sideline. there were several that he should've just let bounce out of bounds or let the coverage team down where it was, and he tried to return them anyway. i remember a couple of them very nearly going terribly wrong. that's why they pulled him off punts.
Still scratching my head over this. If we'll be rotating lots of guys who starts may not be all that important, but Pip was featured several times in the Michigan Drill video, and I didn't see Glasgow once.
Yeah, I don't see that happening. I feel like it will be Henry (DT) and Pipkins (NT) running with the ones and with Wormley, Hurst, Mone, and Glasgow being the first guys off the bench. I never buy into what Hoke is saying in pressers. I think he's just giving credit to guys who had good practices. Pipkins will be our best interior lineman this year IMO.
(I hope) that there is enough talent for them to rotate guys in and start nuking quarterbacks. Is love to see a hyper aggressive, super tough defense.
Unleash big Pip.
Normally I'd say you can never assume much with a freshman, but let's face it...Peppers is not your run-of-the-mill freshman. Most of us are pretty confident he'll be on the field a lot. Wilson is a returning starter with very few other guys that have played that position much, so it's not hard to believe that one. Countess and Taylor are a little harder to predict because although they are returning starters we've all seen what Lewis has done on video in the spring and of course there's also Peppers. But, if you look at a guy like Glasgow, I don't recall him ever getting snaps with the ones in a live game. So, to me that kinda falls under the talk about guys like Miller, Braden, etc. from last spring. They were talked up and we saw both of those guys get surpassed by other players. I hear what you're saying, but when you look at returning starters at that position, both of which are considered more talented guys, it's hard to believe what he says. That doesn't mean I'd dismiss anything he says, but I do take it with a grain of salt and certainly don't assume he's being 100% candid.
Hoke may be looking for the wrestler Mike Martin/Rob Renes type over the big immovable body.
I wouldn't fret...they're both going to play and so is Mone. Too many offensive snaps and too much spread and pace for those guys to go the distance and remain effective.
Renes is somebody I've been thinking about re: Glasgow. Was Ryan a wrestler in HS?
Pipkins is still a very large man and can tire out. They could like the idea of starting Glasgow so Pip has more left in the tank near the end of games.
Is Norfleet still in at kick returner? “Yeah. Oh yeah.”
So, it's his kicking foot then?
Glad to see he's locked down his spot. Looking forward to a big season from him.
I really think the change in offensive styles has benefitted Norfleet a bit here. Borges either wanted the type that could stretch the field vertically (which will still be used) or the more "crafty" player that read defenses and picked around underneath.
Nussmeier's offense has less of that. I rarely saw the hots even stemming from the slot guys. In this way, the slot has less reads and you can just let him go out there and be a bit more of a player. Run your tunnel screen. Run your shallow drag. Run your hitch. Those are the ways I expect them to use Norfleet, get him a little in space, but minimize how much he has to think and react and just let him be a player in space. I'm also guessing at this stage, despite his weight, that he's a better, more fiesty blocker, which helps him.
Canteen will still be used, and will be used quite a bit. They want someone in there who can more threaten over the top, threaten the seam, the sideline, the deep cross. I think Canteen is more suited for that, simply because he has more height and probably better straight line speed, especially in and out of breaks.
So both will have roles and both will be used. Canteen can slip a little "outside" as well when need be (note: Nussmeier will invert the WRs a lot, so slot will align inside and outside, "slot" in this offense is more just the Z-receiver if I understand it correctly, rather than actually the slot in alignment.
"Well" count: 5
Really shocked Jourdan Lewis didn't/hasn't beaten out Blake or Ray. I thought he was our best CB last season, I know he'll play...I kinda thought he would be starting.
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I'm sorry you are so upset
Was hoping he would start too. Ray scares me a little!
I think he may be our best corner...tested often and held up well. Some nice INTs also. Great to have depth, but Taylor is a gamer, IMO.
He has looked awesome and no mention?
I know! Hurst seemed right on pace to be in the thick of things!
Like everyone else, I am surprised that Glasgow is mentioned as the starter over Pipkins.
But what is even more surprising is all the fan chatter that goes like this "Oh, I know our coach said this, but it actually isn't real. Pipkins will obviously be the starter." I have all kinds of experience with obstinance and can understand that, but the illogic is hard for me to accept.
It's one kind of weird to have April dreams of what the starters will look like in late-August, and it's another to be emotionally attached to those predictions, but to stick to them even when evidence surfaces that sink your special ideas...well I just don't know how to talk to someone like that.
The same thing is happening w/r/t Dymonte as well as Kalis or Bosch (and maybe both) not being starters.
There's an optimistic perspective here: Underdogs are playing even better than top prospects. That is a far cry from necessarily bad news.
It is not as illogical as you suggest. It exists because less than 2 weeks ago he said Drake Johnson was ahead of Derrick Green at RB, he suggested Morris is in heated battle at QB, he states Dawson is on first string line at one point, 10 days ago says Fox is getting reps with 1s.
Hoke has clearly tried to motivate people by suggesting spots are at risk and rewarded those having a good practice or two by giving them excessive praise in press conferences. The logical result is not paying too much attention to who he says would start as of today.
How's that working in the race to exchange Thomas for Clark? Or to push Cole and Miller off the field to make room for the two Kyles?
Yes, it's always a possibility that this is a motivational tactic, but Hoke's aforementioned camp depth charts (Safety, OL) seem for real. And we're much closer to gameday now than when the first rough RB depth chart came out.
Add to that, Glasgow has been getting praise from these coaches for a long time...and is regarded as a technician...and has the correct size for the position. It isn't a stretch to think he is ahead of Pipkins, especially one year after an injury, and given that Pipkins never played consistently before that injury. It also doesn't have to be bad news if Glasgow is in front there.
isn't necessarily telling the truth about the depth chart and actual position outcomes, given we are still a week away. If you notice, he always conditions his remarks by saying, if, which means when is the more optimum point to consider when judging the veracity of his statements in pressers. They are what they are, sometimes just true lies.
Lloyd Carr used to use press conferences to build up certain players and claim certain guys were on track to get lots of playing time and then you'd never see them on the field. Part of this is motivation for the team, and part of this hiding your intentions with better intentions. You didn't really lie, but you didn't actually tell the whole truth.
And that's the way I tend to view these things. As most good reporters will do, and you've seen it in the transcripts, they will ask repeated questions about a certain topic or guy and then if they don't get the answer they were looking for, they keep searching for the answer by changing the context and tenor of the question. Because you understand how this process works. The messenger is sending out the message he wants to convery to audiences other than the fan base where as the receivers of the message have thier own agenda in communicating through the same filter. They might be looking to tell a specific story, or get a different angle on something, and or just clarify a specific issue.
But when have you ever gotten the whole unvarnished truth fergodsakes from this coach. This is still
The Fort, this is Michigan. It is what it is or seems to be until it's not.
Is it possible that they could have captains for each class?
It kind of sounds like it from Hoke's comments.
hoke talks about consistency a lot in this question-answer session. i think talk of consistency makes me feel confident that this staff has a map for player development that ultimately lends itself to program development and stability. it's different from other feast-or-famine programs that go all-blue chip to build teams that will compete for championships "next year" and find themselves needing to start over the very next year or the year after. hoke's doing some blue-collar building and molding. we'll be good and sturdy in the next couple of years. i like it...
I'm excited for the game, which I'll be driving out from DC to see. I'm partially excited because I'm tired of speculating who's going to start as opposed to actually seeing it.
As for starters, I'd like to see Lewis over taylor. Taylor is a fine BIG corner, but I think he's a bit limited when compared to Lewis.
I'd also like to see Pipkins or Hurst playing over Glasgow, depending on where Hurst plays.
I don't care about RB. I just want someone to stand out.
I think that Hoke says something different every week, so it's not totally worthwhile to put stock in these pressers. That said, after rumors of team chemistry problems due to vets starting over younger guys, I'd like to see the best guys play, regardless of class. And yes, I think the coaches are sometimes wrong, ie Ezeh over Demens or Fitz getting all the carries for week after week last year.
FB may be the only one where we don't know the starter...
...the optimism by the staff is somewhat alarming, but exciting
I think we've got enough depth to really compete for 60 minutes in each game. Obviously OL is the question mark.
But on defense, even with Glasgow, you've got Mone and Pipkins. Then Henry, Godin and Wormley at the other tackle spot.
That's not a bad 3-deep.
Clark/Ojemudia and Beyer/Taco/Poggi...again, that's solid.
LB and CB are the best they've been in a LONG time. I don't even worry about the Lewis/Countess/Taylor battle because we've got 3 guys we know can play and that doesn't include the other 3 guys that are definitely capable backups. If one of the starters is struggling, take him out, at least we have options.
Safety is thin without Hill but we should be able to manage one game without him.
We've got options at RB and WR.
This team may be better sooner than I thought they would. Come on OL!
Always remember to be wary of information from Hoke pressers. He can be a bit of a troll sometimes.
"Hoke is lying about every position except the one(s) that fits what I think/want!!"