You asked one of the questions I think most fans wanted an answer too. I can't blame him for deflecting, but askign the question is half the battle.
Monday Presser Transcript 10-14-13: Brady Hoke
- Taylor Lewan will play Saturday against Indiana. He had a "hip deal" or something like that. Maybe something else too, but more the hip.
- Hoke was pretty defensive about the coaches and the players. Attributes most of the problems on the offensive line to youth. There could be some changes this week, though. Maybe. Wouldn't really commit to anything.
- Running Devin more is "unwise" because of the lack of quarterback depth.
- Play-calling at the end of the game wasn't conservative, per se. Hoke went with the high-percentage strategy. Delay of game penalty was a big mistake, however, and Hoke accepted full responsibility.
- Channing Stribling played the last drive and was told to go for interceptions. He had been doing that in practice a lot.
“It’s obviously disappointing to lose. You don’t play to lose. It is disappointing. Need to execute in multiple areas better. When the opportunity comes, you have to take advantage of it and you’ve got to make plays when you need to make plays. We didn’t do that throughout the game. There’s also an awful lot of good things that our football team did. I can tell you I was pleased with the physical effort that they put through. Tom Gordon played 91 plays and played a fast 91 physical plays. So did Jarrod Wilson. Both of them are key elements in our punt team. I’m just talking about those two guys, but you watch Jeremy Gallon, and you watch our team play, the physical effort was very good.
"Now let’s go back to the mental effort, because it takes both. Mentally we had some things that we need to do better from the standpoint of your targeting the line of scrimmage and blocking or finishing a little better on blocks with the angles or if you’re playing a coverage, making sure that we’re playing the coverage out. If you’re the nose tackle, you have to make sure we’re stepping with the proper foot there. We need to execute there better, and we will. I like our football team. There’s elements of it that need to produce a little more, need to have a little more urgency to how we’re playing. But I like our team and we’ve got Indiana coming in here this weekend. They’re a good football team. Kevin [Wilson’s] done a nice job offensively. They’ve got a lot of skill sets that they use. Defensively they’re more athletic than they’ve been the last couple of years.”
Can you update us on Taylor Lewan’s status?
“He’ll be fine. I think he got really two things a little bit. A little bit of a hip deal. Probably was most of it.”
You played Joey Burzynski and some other guys. Could we see a different starting lineup against Indiana? Could Schofield move inside to guard?
“Uh, probably not. The one thing – Mike Schofield in that football game I thought really, because he was asked to do a lot. When Taylor went out, with some of the unbalanced stuff, the shifting, he orchestrated all that with those guys. One time I think there were three redshirt freshmen, redshirt sophomore and Schofield in there. He did really a nice job. He played well but he also did a nice job of organizing those five guys. We had Chris Bryant come out and Burzynski come in. He did a nice job.”
Could we see a different starting lineup against Indiana though?
“We’ll go through Tuesday and Wednesday and see.”
MGoQuestion: It seems like the offensive line has had decreasing production over the last three years. The lack of depth has been well documented, but the talent does seem to be there. At what point do you start getting concerned about the coaching?
“Well the talent’s there. It’s young talent. I mean, redshirt freshmen playing, and they have a long ways to go.”
MGoFollowup: Are you concerned with the way they’re being coached at all?
“No, not at all.”
What can and has to get better now, especially with the young guys?
“I think when you look at it, they’ve been hit and miss a little bit. There’s times when they played well, and there’s times when they haven’t played as well. Now. You have to look at their preparation and talk to them about it. We had good preparation all week. We were physical, we were – watching the things we do against each other, I thought they were really good. Now we just have to keep taking them further.
Have you thought about reverting to the spread?
“Well, I think there’s times when we have still done that. The problem is Devin ran the ball I think 27 times the other day. Most of them, a lot of them were called runs. Not scramble runs. You worry about how many hits he’s taking. We’ve got to get production from the back end. The running back.”
Looking back, do you think the play-calling at the end of the game was too conservative?
“No. At the end of regulation we put ourselves in position to kick the 52-yard field goal with 20 seconds left. Could have just taken a knee and played for overtime. So I would say no.”
Is this team having a hard time understanding exactly what kind of team they want to be?
“Heh. If they are, then I haven’t done a good enough job of expressing what kind of team we need to be and want to be. Physical at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.”
But it seems like you’re trying to make this team be something they’re not yet. Shouldn’t you consider doing what works instead of what you want them to be?
“Yeah, and I think we do that weekly as we look at the opponents you’re going to play. We played a lot of snaps last week out of a nickel defense. And because of number one how we kind of thought we stood up to them with their passing game, I think there were some pretty good things about it. We hit the quarterback 18 times, sacked him 4, two interceptions. From an offensive perspective, point of attack blocking has to be better. I know it can be better. Our fullbacks are pretty good lead blockers when we’re in 21 [personnel]. There’s times when everything’s blocked play-side, which were blocked really well, and a guy slipping off the backside because we weren’t doing a good enough job at cutting off. I think every week you have to look at what gives your guys the best chance to win. I think we look at that and make evaluations. Now did we think we could run the ball more effectively? I don’t think there was a doubt. Did we? No. Well then you have to change a little bit, and I think Al did that over the course of the game.”
When Devin lost his helmet, did you think about taking a timeout?
“Did. Thought about it, but it was the second half. It was that kind of game. I don’t know anybody who didn’t think it would be a game that went down to the wire. I certainly did, so I didn’t want to use the timeout then. ”
Delay of game at the end of the game?
“That’s me. Totally. Totally. That’s my fault. I have to help [Devin], and I let him down.”
What’s the process? Is there someone that gives you a heads up that the clock is running down?
“Yeah … yes. Yep.”
You put the headset on sometimes. When does that help you?
“End of game. End of half. Greg [Mattison] and I talk all the time, so I don’t have to, because we’re standing next to each other. I talk to Al [Borges] before halftime about what we wanted to do at halftime. What his thoughts were. What we wanted to change a little bit. Talked in there. And talked at the end of the half, end of the game. Do you take the knee with 20 seconds and play for overtime and try to throw it down the field with the possibility of fumbling it or them intercepting it, or do you take the chance of completing it and moving forward?”
Why was Channing Stribling on the field at the end?
“Strib’s coming on. He’s come on. If there’s anybody I would want back there, I’ll be real honest, in the secondary to make the interception, it would be Strib. I would still do this day, because of his skill level and his ball skills are really realy good. I watch him every practice. He’s going to take two or three balls. We wanted to get him in the game because of exactly what we asked him to do.”
He was in position both times.
“Yeah, but there’s a lot of tough lessons in life, you know?”
Why didn’t you play him earlier in the game?
“He might. He might play more.”
Any changes going forward?
No issues about bringing him in cold?
“Well he plays on all the special teams almost, and he’s getting experience.”
Concerns about the kicking game?
“Well, he was 23 for 23 at 40 yards coming in. He hit the ground on the first one with his toe. Obviously it was low. He pushed the other one. He nailed a 40-yarder down at the other end and 52-yarder was right there at the limit.”
No concerns about the mental aspect of his game?
“I think you could have killed the guy if I had switched kickers. I know one thing: he won the Sugar Bowl for us. Made a kick here at home to beat Michigan State. I have a lot of faith in that guy.”
With how good he’s been, does it change how you play offense in overtime?
“I don’t think so. You have all kinds of positives and negatives. I think every game, your strategy because of how the game goes has a lot to do with it. I mean, Bill Belichik called three timeouts yesterday. How they manufactured that win, at the end of the day it was guys making plays.”
What did you see from Erik Magnuson?
“I was happy enough with Magnuson for once, let’s put it that way. He did some good things in there. It was kind of up and down.”
What about Jake Ryan in his first game?
“I thought he got around pretty well. I don’t think there were any ill effects. I think he ended up playing 31 or 32 plays. It was great to have him out there. I think he brings something to our team.”
Did it help you get into the backfield more?
“I think it was a combination of guys. Chris Wormley and Jibreel [Black]. We hit the quarterback five times. Frank [Clark] did some good things. I think Cam Gordon at times was good. It was just good to have Jake back out on the field.”
How many plays could Jake play against Indiana? How do you use all three SAM linebackers?
“Well, the tempo this week will be as high as it’s going to be all year, between them and Northwestern. We’re going to need bodies to come in and out. I think that’s fine. And then when you get in sub groups, it changes a little bit. But the more depth, the better you’re going to be. And you can see that. You can see Chris Wormley is a better player than he was four weeks ago because he’s been playing football. I could go through that whole group of redshirt freshmen. Willie Henry’s better than he was four weeks ago. And I think that’s part of it because we’ve had some depth.”
Now that Jake is back on the field, can you share the history of his recovery? How hard did he work?
“Well, since the day he had surgery and came back to Schembechler Hall, he’s worked tirelessly with the rehab specialist, the docs, the trainers, the strength staff. I don’t think there was any doubt in my mind that he would be back about this time. Just because, John, what he’s done – he gets voted captain on a football team by his peers because they’ve watched him and what he’s done from that leadership standpoint and example standpoint.”
You traveled with Kyle Bosch but he didn’t play. Is he up for that spot?
“Well I think the left guard spot, yeah. Does Bosch have a chance? Sure he does. We traveled him for a reason, and it wasn’t to feed him.”
You mentioned running back production. Is it blocking? Vision?
“We never got the running backs started. We never got him started. He had a 13 yard run? 12? Early in the game. Guess what? We got him started at the line of scrimmage. I mean, they had 11 tackles for loss. That’s not getting him started at the line of scrimmage.”
How do you fix that?
“Number one as a coach, you have to look and see, ‘Am I coaching it the way we should coach it?’ We are. What are we doing in practice to make sure we’re giving them the looks that they need? Am I motivating them to knock somebody off the football?”
You talked about the progress of your young defensive linemen and how quickly they’ve moved along. Do offensive linemen just take longer?
“It’s definitely a more encompassing position from a mental standpoint than defensive line. Defensive linemen, you’ve got certain things, there’s always fundamental parts of it. But there’s not the checks at the line of scrimmage as much. Do we have that? Yes. But not as much defensively. And protections. We’ve cut down on protections, believe me, because of the youth. And the different schemes you want to run, the different fronts you’re going to see and the movement of the defense and how that affects you. Does it take a little longer? I believe that does.”
To the outside observer, it appeared like you were scared to let Devin make a play with his arm. Was there any fear about turnovers? If so, is that a lack of confidence in your quarterback?
“Not at all. We wanted them to have to use their three timeouts. I think we started the drive six minutes and seven seconds. We take the drive all the way down to 52 seconds left on the clock, right? We have one penalty in there that hurts us a little bit because it stops the clock. Took all their timeouts, called a quarterback draw. We never took the ball completely out of his hands. I would expect our defense [to make the stop] if we had to make somebody go 80 yards in 52 seconds to make the stop. ”
If your best playmaker is your quarterback, shouldn’t you put him in positions to make plays instead of milking the clock?
“I think again, you have to look at the percentages. You have to look at what is the benefit of the team and the benefit of what the percentages are. How much time are you going to give them and where are you going to give them the ball? If I had no confidence in our quarterback, with the interceptions that we’ve had, he wouldn’t be our quarterback. I have all the confidence in the world in Devin Gardner. I have confidence in our offensive line getting better.”
So he’s not a short leash?
You talked about the power plays and managing the hits Devin takes. How do you balance QB runs and RB runs? Should Devin get more carries?
“I don’t think that’s wise to have Devin take more hits.”
Even if that’s the only thing that’s working?
“Who’s going to play quarterback if he takes all those hits?”
“You have to be conscious enough about the team. And he’s had 10 starts, right? 10 starts. He has improved every week. Even though we had two turnovers the other day. The fumble? That’s not his fault. It’s a blindside deal. One bad throw. He had no turnovers the week before. There is no short leash.”
Will Taylor Lewan play on Saturday?
“Yeah. He’ll play.”
Has the offensive line improved?
“I think it’s a bit of hit or miss. Graham, a week ago, played pretty daggone well. Not as well this week. So I think it’s a little bit of hit or miss. If you don’t have consistency, you’re not going to win. We have to be more consistent.”
Are Glasgow and Miller still competing?
“Yeah they’re still doing that.”
Do you plan to spend more time looking at the offensive line?
“I don’t need to do that. I’ve got a great offensive line coach. I’ve got a great coordinator. I’m with them enough because we go so much against each other. I don’t need to do that. That’s some coach trying to think he’s a hero. That's not me. I'm not a hero.”
The thing I will be watching for: hoke bearing the headset. I want to see it. It will be a sign that he gets it.
He gets it because he wears a head set?
Because maybe then he can hear Borges say, "Lets just run Toussaint straight into a defensive lineman again", perhaps Hoke can chime in and say, "do something else".
I have never had a problem with Hoke not wearing a head set untill this game. He needed to tell Borges to STOP RUNNING THESE REDICULOUS PLAYS.
Guess what that isn't going to happen.. Did you not see Hoke say this
"We’ve got to get production from the back end. The running back.”
Clearly he thinks our RB are still a problem and not all on the O-Line
If you think that Hoke doesn't understand that the O-line needs to play better to get the production he wants from the backs you're crazy.
Yes, he specifically addressed this:
“We never got the running backs started. We never got him started. He had a 13 yard run? 12? Early in the game. Guess what? We got him started at the line of scrimmage. I mean, they had 11 tackles for loss. That’s not getting him started at the line of scrimmage.”
His point was that when the OL opened some holes, the RB was succseeful.
What would you have liked to have seen?
QB runs might have worked, but he had 27 carries. Hoke's right. What happens if Gardner gets a little ulnar nerve injury?
Did you want to only pass? Protection was horrible, and his two picks were bad too.
End around every time we want to run the ball
Pass to loosen up the D and set up the run, not the other way around.
We can actually do the former, we've proven we can't do the latter.
Its a good idea, but we still have to protect, which we do for shit. Got our QB stripped earlier this game. And the QB has to not suck at throwing, which he most certainly did not in the first half.
Also, we agree that we'd have to run it sometime. I don't think our guys can block at all, no matter how loosened up the D is by the pass.
Still, good idea. Couldn't hurt. Although it wouldn't help in OT when all we needed was a FG or on our 2nd to last drive, where we needed one more first to ice the game.
Yes, even our pass blocking isn't particularly good, and Devin throws picks often.
But have you noticed how many of those pass plays either:
1. Are a slow developing plays that forces the O-line to block for longer than they're able.
2. The passes are often only called once we're in a 3rd & long situation. Which means the opposing D knows it's a pass, or worse yet, they know it's a pass AND its a slow developing route that now has to contend with a blitz!
There is no quick short passing game within the 1st 2 downs.
If they can't run the ball and the o-line can't hold blocks on passing downs, why not go to something with a 3-step drop (assuming QB under center), swing pass, screen pass, or anything that is essentially a long handoff? I would be curious to know why none of these plays are in the offense (or if they are, why they aren't being run).
Of all the options u just named... risking the qbs health and taking what is working... yes... thats the correct answer 100% of the time
Id rather take a small risk of losing your qb than accepting a loss EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE WEEK
He knows what plays we're running and he can contact Borges if he needs/wants to. To me the whole he needs to wear a headset thing is overblown.
Can't we shift to a Texas A&M style offense with the pieces we have?
I said it first in a different thread, but why can't we just make pistol our offense and run the same zone stretch base with a pulling guard, but emphasize screen passes and wheel routes over run? It would look exactly like zone stretch run, it wouldn't be going away from the blocking techniques the team has practiced, but we pick up 3-5+ YAC on 1st down instead of -2.
Airraid, but simple airraid.
If there's no play, the strength of the o-line gives Devin room to scramble, and maybe he picks up a few yards himself. Hell, throw in a FB or TE motion to "lead block" for Fitz/Green to sell run even when you're intent is stick, wheel or screen. When you do run, clearly the extra help will be necessary from what we've seen.
The idea being, when we don't hand off to Fitz or Green, he just goes next level to help the pulling guard or make another block, and it sets up a nice little screen caravan for, say, Dileo or Norfleet? Or Fitz/Green can detach and run a wheel for potential big gains? Or Gallon/Funchess sits there for a 3-5 yard stick (if Funch, he can sell stick to get behind coverage to use height for a big play)? Isn't that the system we have the guys to run (at least somewhat effectively)?
I'm not an expert, obviously. But I'm curious what those of you who are experts think we can do with the pieces we have, considering what they've spent the most time getting coached up on. My sense is the fundamentals learned can be tweaked to the strengths of the players by using sensible allignments, and basically create a structure that allows these guys to play backyard football and use their athleticism.
Possibly to great improvement.
Totally agree. Short passes would've somewhat mitigated our OL problems among others.
My questions for coaches:
1. After studying PSU's tapes, did we foresee our OL's performance against PSU? Did we have a plan B when our OL underperformed? What's our plan C when the plan B didn't work?
2. Have we exhausted creative play callings offensively to keep their defense guessing?
3. Did we tried any diffenent count to threw off their DL's timing and possibly draw offside?
4. Can you pinpoint the reasons why we can't win road games against average teams?
5. Have the legacy jerseys been given out too soon?
I heard people on Ohio team have been studying our games week after week. Does anyone know if our staff has been doing the same? I would like to ask that question as well if nobody knows the answer
studies game opponents in advance too, its not like ohio is doing some earth shattering thing. our team is young, it will be okay, the future is going to be bright. we'll see what kind of staff we have, the rest of the season will tell us whether this team has learned from this experience or if it will take another year to mature.
but if you don't know the answer to this question, you haven't been paying attention. The answer to why can't we change is that our coach and OC are too stubborn and won't change for any reason.
Now I want to be clear and say I love BH and think he has done an excellent job as a recruiter. I do, however, have an issue with him either a) not being able to see that they just don't have the players to run what he wants or b) he can see that and is just too stubborn to adapt.
I also really like AB and think he is hilarious. As an OC however, I have come to the point where I think it is just not a good match. It isn't only about execution, his playcalling has been terrible and he's has shown no willingness to adapt. Just ask Heiko about his bubble screen questions.
My point is you brought up a great point and something that I think would work, but this staff seems hell bent on running the ball down the other teams throats from under center and don't care if they lose games failing at it.
Honestly, to me this is frighteningly similar (only in the inverse) to what went down under RR. With RR it was the offense that saw steady improvement over the course of his tenure while the defense went downhill. He was hell bent on running a certain variety of defense and come hell or highwater he was going to do that regardless of how poorly it was working.
With Hoke we have seen the oposite in that the defense has steadily improved while the offense has tanked and has been declining since he arrived. He is hell bent on running a certain form of offense and ignores the evidence that it just isn't working.
The really scary difference I see is that with RR what we saw was steady improvement to our overall record. BH had a great year with RR's players and then took a step back last year. If things continue the way they have we will be taking another step back this year which to me is a sad prospect.
Now I'm not advocating that BH should be fired by any means. I love the guy and think he could be very successful if he will just relent a bit and put his desire to run a certain brand of offense aside for the good of the team. I would also welcome either a) a new offensive coordinator or at the very least b) a new o-line coach. Something has got to be done about this o-line.
I guess I didn't think about it, but maybe we never see the headset because he prefers to confer with his coordinators during stoppages. Also, it's not like the cameras are on the side lines all the time. I haven't been to many games under Hoke, does anyone who is a season ticket holder know how often he actually has the headset on and we just don't see it on TV?
i don't watch hoke every play, but i can't think of him ever wearing a headset.
I'm seen him with the headset. Both at UConn and on TV. I started commenting on it to my husband each time I saw it, but Hoke wears the headset enough that my husband has requested that I stop. Mostly on 4th downs plays or 3rd and longs. Near the end of the quarter/half. Very rarely with the defense on the field obviously, but he's usually standing right next to Mattison then.
MGoFollowup: Are you concerned with the way they’re being coached at all? “No, not at all.”
That is alarming. Anyone in the Big Ten (outside of Purdue, maybe) should field an offensive line that can get push against MAC teams. We got almost no push against Akron, UConn, and depleted Penn State.
That's probably more an ode to Fort Schembechler. Brady Hoke is never going to come out and say "I am thinking about replacing Funk" whether he is or isn't. Until the day someone is let go the public statement will be "Everything is fine. Don't bother asking"
Why does that change it? He doesn't answer to you and there's no reason for you to know the private conversations of the locker room or the details of the game plan.
call out your coaches in public, you do it behind closed doors. what good would it do to call him out in front of the whole media? it would be devastating, the same point can be made behind doors, this is michigan for christ sake, have some class.
Simply say we have to do a better job
I dont think they are capable of doing a better job. I'm really starting to lose faith in this coaching staff. I'm kind of happy he's not throwing his assistant coaches under the bus but Wisconsin's run game is crap for 3 games the O line coach gets fired and it picks up for them. The texas Defense gives up record ammounts of rushing yard they fire their Coordinator and hire Gerg who helps their D perform better. They could and probably should fire Funk now and hopefully try and save the rest of the season. You can't fire Borges now unless you think the offense is hopeless ( which it isn't). At the end of the season if they don't fire them both then Hoke should be on the hot seat
Did you see ANY of Brian's stuff pre-season about how long it takes O-linemen to develop?
You don't fire an offensive line coach because redshirt freshmen make mistakes.
He isn't going to say bad things about coaches to the media, that would just look bad. Those things should be talked about in private.
While I definitely agree with you, I was hoping for a different coachspeak answer, such as "we're examining ways to get better" or the like. Not simply "there's no issue" because we clearly do have an offensive line issue.
But as you said, these things are (and should be) dealt with in private. Hoke does a fairly noble job at these I think, particularly for coming off such a wrenching loss.
He wasn't asked a broad question about the line. He was asked about their coaching. If he says anything other than what he did, he would have been disparaging a coach on his staff. Not gonna happen. Lets be realistic.
i get that we all want to ask that question, but do you seriously think there was the slightest possibility he would answer any other way?
OL line coach is great! My God we are doomed if the head coach cannot see what every one else sees; an OL line that cannot block and allows more tackles behind the line of scrimmage than any other Big Ten team.
Since Hoke has been here he has had an enemic run game coming from his running backs. But for DR and now KG his run game would be at the bottom of major college football.
Hoke clearly is out of his element. He is fine for the MAC and Western Conference but at this level totally unprepared.
Anemic is the word I think you were looking for.
Enemic, were it a word, would have the root enema, which is hysterical and shockingly apropos for this line.
Not trying to play grammar police, but that literally made me LOL.
If it were "enemic" it would be easier to open up "A" hole to get the "runs" game going and maybe loosen up our tight ends? Go Lightly my friend.
and many of them were suppose to have good foot work and be much quicker than your average big lug who play for MSU or IA. Either the coaching is not good or the talent was over estimated during the recruitment stage. I find the interior line seems to be missing a mean streak. They often just get pushed back from the LOS, or lack technique despite their size to block properly. Funny how many NFL lineman are from smaller NCAA-1 teams.
is young, you have 2 seniors on the edge...who guess what...are the best we have... in the middle we have freshman and walkons. need you say more? relax....the oline is going to take some time to gel, right now there is youth and just players who aren't great...glasgow, burzynski, miller, bryant.
You guys who keep blaming everything on youth have your heads burried in the sand. These guys aren't that young, none are true freshmen for pete sake. Lots of teams play redshirt freshmen and make due.
Even if "youth" was the problem, what you would expect if you had a coach worth his salt would be steady improvement over the course of the season, as they gained game experience...where is that improvement? To me this is way more about the coaching than it is about the youth (though I know to a degree the youth plays into it as well, I just think the far greater factor is the coaching).
Top 5 schools in rushing so far this season, start numbers pre-season
School - Avg. # of Starts for OL - # of OL with no starts
6.2 starts per OL
2 OL with zero starts
2) New Mexico
16.4 starts per OL
0 OL with zero starts
10.6 starts per OL
1 OL with zero starts
8.4 starts per OL
3 OL with zero starts
8.8 starts per OL
2 OL with zero starts
11.6 starts per OL
3 OL with zero starts
Baylor is starting just as many guys with no experience - and their two experienced starters are significantly LESS experienced than ours. Wisconsin really doesn't have much more experience on the OL either.... or Army...
Interesting! Thanks for posting those numbers. Maybe some of this falls on the fact that the OLinemen at these other schools have been practicing the same scheme for their entire time on campus -- where as Michigan has not. Meaning, sure there are guys that are making their first starts on those OLines, but maybe they're RS Jr.'s that have been practicing the same plays for 4 years now. The same cannot be said for many of Michigan's OLinemen.
Maybe further, the OLinemen at these other schools are just better. Not making definative statements of fact, just thinking out loud and wondering just like everyone else.
How many offensive lines have you coached from scratch in D-1 play?
I don't find his response alarming at all. Rather I choose to believe that Hoke understands how hard it is to build an effective Offensive line with 2 players whose first college snap was five games ago and with one whose first college snap was one game ago. Not to mention that we shuffled the line last week.
The various coaches who comment here have explained how hard it is to build an effective offensive line with this much inexperience. Maybe Funk is a lousy coach. I don't know yet. I won't know for another season possibly two. However, I'm pretty sure that Hoke and Borges (and a bunch of other coaches) can assess Funk's performance. For now, despite the pain of this season, I'll go with their judgement.
And while Lewan played OL as a RS freshman, my vague recollection is that he did not start immediately, and that when he did play, he was somewhat disappointing considering the recruiting hype.
And he wasn't starting next to two other newbies, one of them a walk-on.
Lewan's only real issue as a RS freshman was false start penaltys. Wasn't Lewans RS freshman year, the year Molk got hurt and Schilling had to play Center or Schilling got hurt and Molk had to play guard? Or was that the year before.. i dont remember but i do remember Lewan Playing well even despite a lot of penaltys
In '72 Bo lost 3 of his best lineman to graduation, one who was the center. If I'm not mistaken a RS sophomore and guard beat out the junior and senior at that position during summer camp. So with good coaching you can coach a younger player up to fill a need. That '72 line turned out very well. I think there was another time in the early 90s we had a young line without much playing experience but they dominated the LOS.
Why can't anyone accept that the poor performance could just be a result of poor execution and the game speed being more than our inexperienced players can handle right now? Listen to Schofield's presser from today and he says exactly that. Listen to Jake Ryan's presser and he says Wormley has gotten better in the first half of the season because he's seen game action. There's a difference for a young guy between playing well in practice against the scout team and playing against guys who know their game plan well and are good enough athletes to run it well.
Hoke said they are physical in practice.
My question: is our offense practicing against a 4 man defensive front or a stacked box?
^THIS! A million times, this. Especially the stacked box part.
is an awesome question.
Yeah it's snarky, but it puts the issue in front of Hoke's face; it's not just your linemen, it's the situation you're putting them in.
Heiko, great job. Hoke loves to get vague but when you lose you don't get to hide quite so much behind the generalities - he had to acknowledge a lot more today than he usually does.
I'm still butthurt about that game, but my son and I worked out the probabilities on that last regulation drive by Penn State - each of those catches is like a 1 in 100 thing - all told the odds were definitely in our favor, even after fucking up the clock on our drive. Most days the defense pulls our bacon out of the fire. Not saying I would have been perfectly happy with the god awful offensive play calling regardless, but it wasn't as bad as it felt at the time.
But I expect more losses imminently, if not next week, and the questions will undoubtedly get even tougher, as they should.