Darboh is another guy that brings game experience?
News bullets and other important items:
“Good morning. I’m glad you’re here. Overall, we’re really happy with the progress we’ve made from spring. I think in the practices that we’ve had, we went two yesterday-- really good effort and good competition, which is what we’re striving for at every position but also offense versus defense, the kicking game versus the kicking game, all those things, we’ve come out and competed hard. Now we are not, as far as being a good football team yet. But the way they’ve come to work every day and what they’ve done, I think the identity of this team is still one that we’re developing and trying to develop. I think the team has invested themselves in a lot of ways in each other and in what we’re trying to get done. This next week is a grind and should be because you’ve got some double-day practices in there. We’ll scrimmage sometime during that time, during that week, trying to get reps and see what matchups we like as an offense and defense. Really looking into the situational football standpoint of it, how we match up and how we will match up during the course of the year. Excited about where we’re at knowing that we’ve got a lot of hard work that we’ve got to put into it. Staff-wise, player-wise, trainer-wise, manager-wise, everybody that’s involved. So from that standpoint there’s a lot of positives. From the standpoint of where we want to be, we’re not near that yet.
Can you say anything particular about any injuries that have occurred?
“You know,there are some guys who are banged up. Delonte Hollowell, he’s got a cast on his hand. As far as anything real major besides a couple guys we held out, Ondre Pipkins in two-a-day days, trying not to overwork him. We’re doing a lot with some of the GPS tracking that we’re into. I think the first time around doing all that stuff you’re trying to get some baselines and some data and all that and I think that’s helping us when we go out to practice.”
What can you tell me about your thought process through the kicking game this year? Special teams particularly, because you’re going to be seeing a lot of new faces. So what can you tell me, from long snapper to holder to PK…
“Yeah. Matt Wile has done a nice job in his career so far in the kicking part of it. Will Hagerup, it’s great to have Will back. He’s had a good camp so far. Kenny Allen is a young man who’s walked on here who’s worked really hard and is developing a little bit on kickoffs. He’s a very good punter. Snapper, Scott Sypniewski and Danny Liesman are two guys that are really competing there. Scott we brought in a year ago and were able to redshirt him, but losing Jareth Glanda, that’s a big loss but Scott’s done a nice job in that part of it. When you look at the return game there’s a lot of different guys. Norfleet’s really taken most of them but a guy like Freddy Canteen, a guy like Jabrill Peppers, some of those guys have a skillset that we think is pretty good. And the other part of that is having Drake Johnson back is a real plus.”
I’m curious to know how is the development of your wide receiver group going and the transition to a new offensive system?
“The wide receivers, I think, are learning every day. I think the pressure and the stress that we put on them and how we practice as a whole team but for those guys when you’re talking about formationally getting lined up and the different personnel groups and depending on what the quarterback sees and what he’s pointing and all that, I think they’re learning a lot there. I think with Devin [Funchess] and Jehu [Chesson], Amara [Darboh] coming back is a real plus for us. He’s had a real good camp so far. Again, it’s not like we’re in three weeks of it but he’s done a nice job. Freddy Canteen, I think all those guys, Bo Dever, Da’Mario Jones, all of them have improved. They fit what we’re doing. We’ve recruited them to fit what we’re doing offensively.”
[After THE JUMP: Jake Ryan, leadership, Gardner, and more.]
Are there any changes to personnel or scheme in the secondary and is it up to Jake Ryan to lead the defense on the field?
“I think that’s one side of the ball where we have more seniors. We have a lot of guys who’ve played a lot, a lot of guys with experience so from that standpoint I wouldn’t put it all on Jake. Frank Clark’s played a lot of football. Brennen Beyer’s played a lot of football. Ray Taylor and Blake Countess, Jarrod Wilson, they’ve played a lot of football so from that standpoint yeah, we’re going to be a little more aggressive. We think the development of the corners and the depth at the corners have allowed us to be a little more physical.”
Are you seeing the kind of senior leadership you need on this team?
“I think the guys have done a nice job. I don’t have any complaints, believe me. Would I tell you, maybe, maybe not but I really don’t.”
The coaching shuffle that you did on your staff and the new offense- its impact on Devin Gardner and what have you seen in Gardner’s response and what, theoretically, will it make him better at?
“Well, number one, I think when you talk about the shuffling, from a defensive perspective I think it’s been tremendous for us. I think the two coaches in the secondary and just in meetings and everything you can get accomplished has been really good. Greg [Mattison] at the middle of the defense has been really good and Mark [Smith] with the defensive line, so I think that’s all been positive. I think obviously Doug [Nussmeier] coming in has been a real positive. I think it’s been a little bit of a clean slate for Devin to some degree but at the same time I think they have a tremendous relationship. The depth that we have, it’s not a backup who’s a true freshman, it’s a backup who’s played one full game and who’s really done a nice job when you look at Shane as far as the incremental leaps that he’s made. So I think overall all those things have been real positive.”
What do you want to see Gardner do better?
“I think a couple things. Realizing that fourth down, sometimes punting the football’s not a bad thing. He’s a guy who’s very athletic as you all I hope know. He’s a guy who’s tough and I think the other part of it is he’s got to learn he doesn’t have to do it by himself.”
Can you talk about the cornerback competition, who’s got first snaps there and how the guys behind have been playing as well?
“Well, you know, I think the way we’ve rotated they’re all getting a lot of snaps, number one. Jourdan Lewis and Ray Taylor and Countess probably right now would be the three top guys. I think Stribling’s come along. He’s got to keep improving. I think that’s been good for us. Delonte Hollowell in some cases. There were flashes last year with Delonte. The consistency, I think, we’re seeing more of.”
What has Darboh specifically shown you that he’s back up to speed physically and what does he contribute to you?
“I think that he gives us another guy who’s a receiver that’s got some game experience. I think when you look at his genetics and size and is able to really challenge a defense vertically. And then the strength on the line of scrimmage that he possesses, I think all those things. As far as what he’s shown us, he’s shown us in spring that he’s got that kind of ability.”
A guy like Wilton Speight, I know he’s competing, but at what point would you decide ‘okay, he can help us this year’ or ‘he’d be better off with a redshirt’?
“Probably in a couple more weeks, to be honest with you. The first two guys are getting a lot of snaps. Wilton and Russell [Bellomy] are kind of sharing some reps with the threes. But, you know, one of those guys will travel and one of them won’t.”
Has there been any player or players that have really surprised you in the first week?
“I think from the perspective Erik Magnuson, maybe not a surprise, but he’s done a good job. I think Ben Braden, he’s a very good athlete, hasn’t played a lot obviously. Played some. But fundamentally you see him. Jack Miller has done a nice job in there at center. Guys who’ve been surprising, I think the way Joe Bolden has kept playing, I think that’s a real plus in what he’s done. Up front defensively, I think a guy like Bryan Mone and really happy with where Ondre’s [Pipkins] at because he didn’t do any contact in the spring, but where he’s back.”
Going back to offense, given the changes on offense how confident are you that the defense is going to be able to support them through the learning curve?
“Hopefully we support each other in all three phases. Are there growing pains and are offenses usually behind the defense? Yeah, they usually are. Especially when we have so many older guys on defense so that’s a big part of it defensively, us playing to our ability every time we take the field.”
Could you talk about the offensive line; when you’re going to settle on a starting rotation and how long it will take that offensive line to gel to get the run attack going?
“I think there’s a couple things in there. Number one, sometime next week, middle of the week, end of the week, we’ll settle in a little more with what we want to look at, what we want to do as far as the top five guys. I think Darrell [Funk] and Doug [Nussmeier] have done a nice job of rotating the guys in who we think really have an opportunity to be in that first group. I think as we go through it, the improvements they made in the spring and through the summer, they’re taking that to the field so that’s been a real positive for us. I think in the running game there’s some things that we all feel that are important and that’s what the running backs see and what they’re doing. Drake [Johnson], Derrick [Green] and De’Veon [Smith] have really-- at this point in camp I think they’ve really done a nice job of run reads and those kind of things so excited about that.”
Will it be running back by committee?
“Well, we’ll find out. I think we’ve done it here before and it’s been pretty good but I wouldn’t say that’s what we’re looking at doing today. We want to find the best guy and the most consistent guy first. I think we’re going through that but they’re all getting a lot of reps. The other part of that, I think, is with our receivers and how they’re adding in in the running game to different fronts or different things the quarterback may be adjusting to or checking to, and I think that’s real positive.”
In what ways do you think you’ve evolved as a coach here and take us into your mind heading into the season with emotions or expectations or whatnot.
“The expectations never change. That doesn’t happen. If you lower the bar ever I think you’re making a mistake. I don’t know how to answer the other part of that. I think like everyone else we learn every day from things we may be able to do better and the consistency.”
What’s a guy like Dymonte Thomas have to do to solidify his spot?
“He’s just got to keep working. He’s had a good fall camp so far. I think him and Jeremy Clark both have really had a good fall camp. Jarrod [Wilson] obviously, and what we’ve asked Dymonte and Jeremy to do is be a little more take command out there. There’ll be days when I tell them ‘I want you to make all the checks because Jarrod makes them all the time.’ You know, Jarrod may break his helmet or something and not be out there so they’re doing a better job taking that responsibility.”
A guy like Jarrod [Wilson], can you talk about the kind of camp he’s had so far?
“He’s had a really good camp. I think he’s worked awfully hard during the summer. He’s really embraced the leadership back there because that’s the guy who’s go to do the majority of the communicating and so I think he’s had a good camp to this point.”
How legitimate a chance does Mason Cole have of seeing snaps?
“I think he has a very legitimate chance. I think if you’d ask our coaches we all felt that way. He’s kind of a little different as a freshman and I attribute that to his high school coach and the program that he was in at East Lake. He really has done a nice job. He comes every day, works hard, he’s physically better now than he was in the spring. Is he still 18 years old? I think so. But he’s done a nice job.”
Are there any true freshmen pushing for playing time this year?
“I think Mason Cole’s one of those guys. I think Freddy Canteen. On defense I think Jabrill [Peppers]. I think [Bryan] Mone is another guy who has the ability as a nose tackle. So the true freshmen, I think those guys will be the guys and I think there will be one or two others. Really impressed with Ian Bunting and he got here in June as a tight end, some of the things that he can do.”
How different does Derrick Green look from a year ago?
“Yeah, he looks a lot different. I think a year ago he looked a lot like me.”
“I don’t know why you laugh. But he’s really worked hard, through the nutrition with Joel Totoro, our nutritionist, to what he’s done in the weight room, from a physical standpoint he’s really done a nice job about getting his body—being a little more intelligent in what he feeds the engine because that’s a big part of it. He looks a lot different.”
What do you know now about Peppers that you didn’t before you had him on the practice field?
“Yeah, you know, I think obviously we think he’s a pretty good football player or we wouldn’t have recruited him. Jabrill’s got a lot of athleticism. He loves to play. I mean, he absolutely loves to compete and play. There’s an element that you love about that because of how he goes about it every day.”
I know you’re going to say there’s urgency and pressure every year, but going into the fourth year of the your program with the way the record has gone do you really need to see more of what you’re building here—are you anxious to see more of what you’re building here?
“I think you always are. I think there was a lot of depth issues that we’ve had and that’s not an excuse because there are no excuses. Number one, we’ve got to do a better job at what we’re doing. But really look at how those guys have come, the younger guys, how they’ve practiced. If you’re good enough you’re old enough to lead. So that’s been exciting.”
You said this team hasn’t found an identity yet. What do you want it’s identity to be?
“I want it to be a football team that can run the football and have a toughness at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. We want to be high when we look at the execution of everything that we do. That means if your backpedal is supposed to be this then execute it the way you’re supposed to execute it every time. I think the identity part of it is a toughness this program has had for many years, and so that’s part of what I’m looking for. Believe me, it’s been verbalized enough to the players. What I have heard, seen of this team since the the bowl game, that part I think they’re improving on.”
Why has it been so hard for this team to develop that type of toughness?
“I wish I had the answer. If I had the answer I think we would’ve been in a little better shape a year ago. I think the consistency that guys are seeing and demanding from each other daily, I’m excited about that.”
Talk about De’Veon Smith and talk about the development of the linebackers. At Sound Mind, Sound Body you sounded really excited about the linebackers.
“Again, the development of De’Veon has been really good. You’ve got competition there. The one thing I know about De’Veon is he’s probably as tough a guy as I’ve been around. His identity is toughness. The way he practices, he’s a guy who can get dinged up but he’s still going to go, and he’s going to go, and he’s going to go. As far as the linebackers, again, I’ll refer back to the great competition there is. Every one of them, though, they’ve got a have a great day or they’re not going to be out there. Doesn’t matter who it is.”
Is there a guy that’s standing out?
“Well, Joe [Bolden], like I said, Joe’s done well. Jake’s [Ryan] done some really good things. Desmond Morgan, Mike McCray’s a better player, a year older, and then James Ross and Royce [Jenkins-Stone], I mean, they’re fighting to play.
Has Jack Miller’s emergence at center allowed you to do some other things with Graham [Glasgow] and will that still be the case after the first game?
“I think Jack, as far as what he’s done, I think his consistency has been really good. As far as after the first game what happens with Graham, what happens with that position, we’ve done both. Had Graham in there with the ones for a little while, have graham in there at right guard once in a while so I think there’s a lot of flexibility there. By that time we’ll have settled who we need to have on the field.”
Where’s Pat Kugler in that?
“Kugs is fighting. Kugs is doing a nice job.”
Can you touch on the two new entries into the Big Ten, Maryland and Rutgers. What does that mean to the program, what does that mean to you as far as planning and preparation now that you’re in camp?
“We’ve broken down every opponent. We do that in the summer. We’ve looked at a lot of tape of everybody. We’ve done all the preseason studies you can. When you look at their depth, who they have and all those things. Style of defense, is it odd man, is it even man. Style of offense, who the playmakers are. As far as those two programs, we welcome them, we’re excited about them being here. Going to Rutgers will be a neat experience for our team, but they’re only neat if you win. We got to watch a lot of Maryland last year when we were getting ready for Connecticut and they’ve shown some things on defense and in their skill level at the receivers is pretty strong.”
Running back- maybe it’s by committee, maybe it’s not. Do you have a leader right now?
“I would say right now it’s Drake Johnson and De’Veon [Smith]. So you’ve got a one and a one-a and you’ve got a two with Derrick [Green}.
Offensive line-wise, you’ve done a lot of shuffling. Are they showing the progress you want them to make? Are the TFLs still there or are they fixing the issues?
“I think from that standpoint we did a couple drills last night that were pretty live stuff and we had two TFLs and both of them were because the line call—the defense stemmed and the line didn’t change the block.”
Darboh is another guy that brings game experience?
Well, he did play in 11 games as a freshman... But I guess you were probably focusing more on WR experience and less on special teams experience.
I think he did line up at WR at times in addition to special teams, just wasn't targeted.
Well hell, I thought has was a true freshman last year and got hurt before the year.
Lesson to you kids: do your research before making your claim.
Can I recommend a noon start time for the lemon-eating event? That way, us 9-to-5ers can still tune in.
Unless Gardner or Morris gets hurt, I can't imagine why they'd contemplate burning Speight's redshirt as a third string QB. He won't get any meaningful snaps in that spot, and if we're at the point where we've already used Morris, the game is almost over or way out of reach. Bellomy or even Cleary can do what needs to be done just fine in that case.
Imagine this: They feel sure about Speight being the starter next year and want some seasoning for him.
Note: Not saying this will happen, I'd be surprised if Speight didn't redshirt, but there are viable reasons for him not to. Especially with the '15 and '16 QBs already (tentatively) lined up.
Except that you don't really need that game experience. The last two Heisman trophy winners have been RS freshmen, with no prior game experience at all. A year of learning, watching and practicing can accomplish a lot. And, as noted, a third string QB is rarely if ever going to do anything but hand off. He'd get no or almost no snaps running a real offense.
Mostly agree. 90% of the experience will come through practice, but the 2015 season kicks off with an away night game (Utah) and then a home game vs Oregon State. You're talking about two legitimate opponents and nationally televised games. These are not cupcakes, they are high pressure situations where not every kid is going to thrive.
I dont see how any garbage time duty as a 3rd string QB would help with those situations.
Well, for starters, it could help ones nerves to have actually played in front of 100K before, or on national TV. More importantly, maybe it's not 3rd QB snaps he takes but 2nd QB snaps. If there is an injury to either QB ahead of him, or if he proves to be the best #2 QB over the course of the season.
Again, I'm not arguing he shouldn't or won't redshirt if he's clearly the 3rd string QB (or 4th string QB). I'm saying there are plenty of scenarios where it is completely rational to play him, as it was to play Shane and other true freshman in years past. We don't know what this season holds and every year our preseason expectations get disproved quickly. Already we are hearing the Cole is likely to play a significant role, that Drake Johnson is ahead of Derrick Green, etc.
And if he were that good compared to Shane, they'd flat make him the 2nd string.
The redshirt isn't burned unless he plays. Just because he's traveling and dressing doesn't mean he will play. You don't see third string qbs play very often.
Exactly. If they decide now he's going to RS, then he definitely will. If they decide he won't RS, he still probably will, much like Kalis being 2nd on the depth chart as a true freshman. He'll be next in line in case of injuries, but imo unlikely to take snaps in garbage time.
Can someone explain the lemon comment? Thanks in advance.
Bummer. I thought Yuri Wright was coming to town.
There have been a lot of lemon predictions over the years. I enjoy them. But I don't track every one religiously or memorize Brian's tweets, so I was in the dark here.
The post could have used a hyperlink to the tweet or something.
As long as Brian isn't allowed to take any Miracle fruit beforehand. I'll attest, you can drink straight vinegar and not have even a tiny bit of reaction.
Green as a solid 2...which really means he is a 3 once the 1a/1b thing shakes out. Was hoping he'd turn the corner and take charge of the RB spot.
What if Smith and Johnson are just better? That's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it may be a very good thing. I get that Green had all the hype coming in, but him not being the number 1 guy doesn't mean the end of the world. We will probably have a really solid stable of backs regardless.
To quell some DOOOOOM and as a further public service reminder, here are some numbers from the Michigan high school recordbooks:
2x State Hurdles Champ
36 TD in a single season (13 games; 2.77 per game avg.)
2x State Hurdles Champ
38 TD in a single season (12 games; 3.17 per game avg.)
Chris Lomasney: all-time single season rushing yards leader: 2,890 yds.; 360 carrries; 13 games; avg. 8.02 yds./carry and 222.31 yds./game.
Drake Johnson: single season: 2,809 yds.; 344 carries; 12 games; avg. 8.17 yds./carry and 234.08 yds./game.
I don't see this as a negative. A highly touted four star taking the place of a highly touted five star is not a bad thing. It just means the four-star right now is better than the five star.
Wasn't Smith a three star? And Johnson a two? Not that I greatly care, but that's my recollection
I kind of read that as a "they're all right there" kind of comment, it sounded that way live at least. Who the hell really knows at this point.
Could also be motivational. I think a couple weeks ago they said Green and Smith were the 1a/b with Hayes and Johnson competing for the next spot. If they think Green maybe isn't working hard enough to take hold of the spot they could relegate him as a tool; the opposite could work for guys like Drake to help give him a reason to keep competing by showing he has a shot at the starting spot.
Amen. With the obvious effort he has put into getting into A-1 condition, it is too bad that the number one ranked high school running back can't even crack the starting lineup. We can just hope it means that DeVeon and Drake are going to be PHENOMENAL!
He basically said the same fluff about Smith (and maybe even Johnson) being ahead of Green last fall as well. However, during the season Green got 80+ carries and Smith was in the 20's. Hoke is never truthful about these things. It's non-stop motivational tactics or whatever you want to call it. When they ask him who is the starter, or who he likes, he replies with the guys who are giving him the best effort or working the hardest. It has nothing to do with who is the actual starter. He's constantly trying to get more out of his guys. Maybe Green is the most talented one, and the best runner, but he's having problems with pass protection or fumbling, so Hoke lists Smith and Johnson to let Green know that he has to do better. Everything Hoke says is a tactic, unless it's regarding a proven, hardworking, guaranteed starter senior like Jake Ryan.
Positive comments regarding Braden, Cole, and Magnuson. Can everyone take a big breath now?
I count 4 "Well,"s in this press conference, and so you know I did subtract out all of the Hollo
4 is a low number for Brady.
Something must be wrong.
can someone explain the 'gps tracking' thing for me?
i'm assuming it means that they're putting some sort of sensor in the helmets to see how much they run during a session? did i miss that previously?
Most systems use a bra like garment that holds the actual monitor on the upper back between the shoulder blades. I don't know for sure but it's likely Catapult Sports which FSU used last year. The location tracking over time let's you know speed and distance. They can use these to get a fairly accurate sense of exertion which is helpful for strength and conditioning as well as injury prevention.
I don't like his answers to the "toughness" questions. Talks about "verbalizing" the importance. At some point though, you've got to teach it. If verbalizing isn't working, do something different. I put any failure to get the team to respond to a demand for more "toughness" (whatever that means) squarely on the shoulders of the coaching staff. Think it's inappropriate for him to say it's been verbalized enough. Better answer is "the coaches need to do a better job teaching the team what the expecations are".
Why are we not talking about Peppers being mentioned in the return game? I thought that we all had Peppers-fever? /s Has the Pepperspray worn off? C'mon people, this has me salivating like a mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, gagging obese patient watching food network while I am trying to capture images and trying to keep my powder dry for a CEREC crown!!
OK, I admit, I might have lost a few of you with that analogy.
I have concerns like when Brady says we are not a good football team right now.
He says it every year. He'll never show up to a fall presser and say "Welllll, we're a well-oiled machine, our work is done, bring on the season."
Before we thought it was coachspeak. But after a year like last, how can we be sure?
Funny, Narduzzi says:
Narduzzi, asked if the D is where it needs to be: "No. Hell no. OK? It's never been where it needs to be. Never was this year or last year"
— Dan Kilbridge (@MSUDanK) August 11, 2014
And people love it. Why? Because they were just good. Hoke says essentially the same thing, and people question it. Why? Because of the perception of the team.
The real difference though isn't the coaches, or their mentality, or the way they see the game. Like most coaches, they are never satisfied with how good they are, they always see room for improvement. The real difference is the people that read these quotes, and how they let their perception of events make up their mind about what the coaches mean, and what it means in the grand scheme of things.
Wish you would've posted sooner...
...more people need to read this.
General comment on Hoke's Press Conference. His Press Conferences are so useless, that I could barely start reading this review of the conference and then stopped. I wonder if he is the same with this team. If everyone is great and everyone is always competing so well, does it make his "coaching" meaningless. If starters hear the third string guy who is NEVER going to play is "great", what does that mean for when they are told they are "great". I'll tell you, it means nothing and thus you start to tune out...
That kind of coaching can make everyone feel warm an fuzzy, but it hardly makes people hungry and desperate and find that extra edge. I think we all know, these Michigan teams have hardly been "hungry" or particularly sharp.
If Hoke talks to his team like he talks to the press, he is the first and only coach to do so.