Well I suppose thats a step in the right direction, but week after week blaming execution is blaming the players.
Mike Lantry, 1972
"I passed your floor on the way up, and now I'm passing it on the way down, and I don't think I'll be taking this elevator again." - Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon
There’s probably some degree of frustration on the team. Can you talk about the number of missed opportunities on the field?
“Yeah. You know, frustration because we lost as a team. Yeah. It’s a frustration that we all have. I have to do a better job coaching this football team. The effort was really – guys were working, guys were fighting, guys were doing things. Did we do them well enough? No. And that goes on me.”
Seven sacks this week. How do you keep Devin’s spirits up?
“His spirits will be up because he’s a competitor. He’s going to be sore, and that’s part of it. Again, I have to do a better job coaching.”
When you talk about coaching, we do have to ask about the play calling from Al Borges. Do you have to look at that much more closely this week?
“I like the play calling. I think we thought we could do some things and we didn’t.”
Did you hear the booing after some of those offensive plays?
“Well, that’s you know, that’s the way things are.”
What’s Thomas Gordon’s situation?
“He had a little bit of an ankle. He played on the punt team. We also thought Courtney [Avery] and Josh [Furman] could give us something. And Jarrod [Wilson].”
What did you think you got from the safeties?
“I think it was okay. I don’t know until I watch it.”
Negative 69 rushing yards over the last two games. How do you explain that?
“Well, it’s hard to explain, isn’t it? I’ve got to do a better job coaching those guys.”
MGoQuestion: What kind of adjustments were you hoping to make over the course of last week as well as during this game?
“Well, you always have a plan that you think is going to work, number one. We change the plan all the time every week. I think there were some things that we did pretty well. But there were a number of things that we have to do a better job coaching the kids on.”
Can you talk about not cashing in on the turnovers?
“Well, we didn’t. We just didn’t execute.”
It looked like Devin really struggled scrambling. Is he banged up?
“His legs and everything are fine. I don’t know if he took a shot over there near their sideline. I think it was the second quarter. I thought he was fine.”
Was there fatigue on defense during the last drive?
“I don’t think so. Because of the number of plays guys are playing? No.”
What do you attribute it to?
“I have to do a better job of coaching.”
You have blocking issues all across the board.
“I don’t know about all across the board, but there’s some blocking issues.”
Why is that not progressing? If anything, it looks like it’s regressing.
“I’ve got to do a better job of coaching, it looks like. We’ve got to do a better job of what we’re doing and look at what we’re doing.”
You said you did some things good and some things not good. What were some of the things that were good?
“That were better as a team? Well defensively after the first quarter they settled in. Did a good job. I think they were 6 of 16 on third down. Most of the third downs – you want them all, but the critical ones, we needed to execute a little better on.”
How much does it hurt to see the home winning streak end?
“Home winning streak, away winning streak, any winning streak, you’re disappointed when it’s not there.”
Taco played today. What did you like about him?
“He’s been fortunate enough that he’s been able to improve over the course of the year without having to take full time snaps in a lot of critical situations. We just like how he’s come along. It’s about the right time for him because of how he’s come along to play.”
Is interior defensive line where he can play more?
“That was all in the nickel packages, sub packages. He’s still an outside end, but he’s got the length and the size and as good of quickness as anybody. He’s pretty good inside when you get in the sub packages.”
You were able to generate some offense with some screens and quick passes. Is that something you have to look at more?
“Last week we had that different screen in that we thought was going to be pretty good, and [Michigan State] sniffed that one out pretty good. This new one today was hitters but not consistent hitters. It’s something we tried to do. We threw the rocket to Gallon the one time, hit the windows route one time in there. Some of that stuff, it helps you a little bit, but at the same time, there’s some of it that’s similar when you look at what they did and what we did.”
At some point, do you have to admit that you can’t run the ball and not beat your head against the wall?
“I agree. And yes, you can do that.”
Is Devin holding the ball too long?
“Well I think any time you have negative plays either way, and let me go back to [the previous question]. The negative plays are what kill you on third down. First down negative plays, we snapped the ball again a little high. That was a 10-yard loss, so now you’re second and 20. I think as you watch the tape, he may have held it too long once or twice. I think you also coverage-wise, you have to give them a little credit also. They did a pretty good job on some of the coverage things that they did with Gallon and Funchess.”
You said you needed to do a better job coaching. In what area specifically?
“Just … everything.”
How did you think the other young guys played on defense?
“Willie started last week and played well. Again, I think you get a chance to look at it and grade it and do all that stuff. I know Willie [Henry] made some plays again, which is a good sign. I think Taco forced the sack that Cam got. Did a nice job on a gain. Also did a nice job on a run play in there. Until you really look at it, it’s hard I think for you to make an evaluation that’s fair.”
You mentioned the negative plays that hurt you on third down. What do you attribute that to?
“Because we had negative plays on first down.”
Those have increased, too. What do you attribute it to?
“I think you attribute it to the opponent did a good job, and I have to do a better job coaching our team.”
Looked like the running backs struggled in pass protection.
“That’s something we’re trying to get fixed to be honest with you. Is it a concern? Yeah. It always is. Not tackling, not blocking, not covering. Not throwing the ball, not running good routes. All that stuff is concerning.”
Are you concerned that you’re running out of practice time because it’s November?
“No, because we have three opportunities left. Two of them on the road, one here. Would we like to have played better? Yes. Would we like to have run the ball better? Yes. Would we like to have done a good job on third downs? Yes. And we’ve just got to go to work and keep working at it.”
Did Nebraska bring more pressure than you thought they would?
“I thought they brought a little more.”
What’s the most important thing you need to do as a coach?
“Right now it’s this team being a team. From a staff standpoint and a team standpoint. I tell you, they practiced their tails off. Tuesday and Wednesday they gave as good an effort as any team I’ve been around. The physicalness with which they attack each other and compete. We have to keep doing that.”
Well I suppose thats a step in the right direction, but week after week blaming execution is blaming the players.
every coach in the history of ever blames execution. It literally means nothing. He's not blaming the players anymore than himself and his fellow coaches when he says that.
Rod Marinelli did the same thing during that 0-16 season with the lions.
isn't saying it's on me to coach better--ad nauseum--exactly that?
Analogous to "sorry" saying "it's my fault" over and over eventually becomes worse because progress is obviously not being made. Don't say you're sorry/responsible, just fix it!
His new favorite line
Weren't you just complaining that he didn't put any of it on the coaches? Now you're criticizing him using a phrase that puts the blame on him, too much? Or am I reading that incorrectly?
I donno, I feel like a change will occur after this season, people have just convinced themselves it won't.
This year really feels like RR's last year. Losing at PSU and incompetence after. Thank goodness we play crappy non conference teams or our record would really suck.
At what point will Hoke be asked, "Do you think you are capable of "coaching better" ? If yes, when?
When, but how? Everything isn't an answer, what can he change in his perspective?
All coach speak. I wonder if any member of the media has the balls to ask him if he thinks Borges' play calling is as predictable as death and taxes?
Reporters really let him have it, as they should have. I wanted to hear him hold people accountable other than himself. Don't tell us you have to do a better job of coaching, we all know that. Tell us HOW you're going to do a better job. This is getting old.
Genius I am. Approval I get.
I think that Hoke should get at least 5 years. He inherited a team with a very very depleted o-line reserve. People will say that RR showed improvement, but that was a smoke screen. First of all, there wasn't much of a offensive line under RR's helm. It was Denard that made up for the lack of an o-line. He saved RR's behind a number of times, and most Ws came against weaker competition. MSU, OSU, Miss St, blew us up. Any solid teams beat the snot out of us. No to mention, the defense was abysmal under RR, and that was not getting better but progressively worse. So no, I do not think that had we kept RR, we would get better. With Denard gone, it would have been just as bad, if not worse, considering how pathetic the D was under RR.
Let's face it. The MAIN problem with the teasm is the o-line. The o-line now is mostly red shirt freshmen, most of whom have not played college ball. Their bodies are not ready and, clearly, mentally they are not ready. The o-line struggles were pretty evident early on. How can anyone expect Devin to do anything. Every game, almost every play, the guy is on the run because he has the opposing D on his heels. He may not be the best QB, but I am not sure what people are expecting him to do when he is getting swarmed on virtually every play because his o-line and supporting crew (TEs, RBs) can't block worth a damn. I heard some people calling for golden boy Shane to get the call. I don't think he would fare any better. If you have hardly any time to set your feet, because you're going to get mauled, your performance will be the opposite of good. Last year, with a servicable/decent 0-line, Gardner was infinitely better. That is why the expectations were so high for him. The o-line is really THE main problem with this team. It affects play development, it affects defensive performance (the longer our d is on the field, the less effective it becomes).
I am not sure if the lack of o-line performace is squarely on the coaches or if it is, in part, the fact that these are young guys who are still learning, developing physically, and have very little to no college game experience. It is probably a combination of both.
FIRE SOMEONE is only this many letters!
But the fact that were getting worse (o-line) is alarming!
A little because of how bad it is. We have possibly the worst o-line in college football despite two nfl linemen and hoke has not had a good o-line here ever. If it gets good, it will probably top out at good from sheer recruiting talent, but I think the poor scheme and technique will always keep us a step or two behind elite.
In 2010 we were all convinced that RR's defensive personnel were talentless naifs who were playing as well as they could. Then Mattison came in and showed what a difference some competent coaching could do.
We're at the same place with the offensive line. Too many people trying to make too many excuses why it's not the coaching, when in fact it really is. Youth explains some of their problems, but to be this bad requires inept coaching as well.
Does anyone with half a brain believe South Dakota State has better offensive line personnel than Michigan? Look at these numbers, I really believe the consecutive negative a zillion rushing yards is so grievous that the staff has to go. This rushing game or lack therof and the mindless playcalling is far more appalling than any thing I witnessed under RR.
why do we call plays that indicate we think it is our strength? That is the main issue that is frustrating. The one time we moved away from that strategy resulted in the only touchdown we scored over the past two games.
The defense cannot stop the other teams when they need to, the special teams are abysmal and the team as a whole plays soft.
You need to understand he is coaching the best he can! But the game is beyond him. To ask what will you do differently, he cannot answer because he honestly doesn't know. Clearly he has tried everything he knows but it is not enough.
The man cannot coach a football team. Maybe he can coach up some defensive tackles but that is the limit of his knowledge.
Brandon choose him because through his prograstination there was nobody else. He lost some good candidates by playing the big AD role. He was snubbed by the coaching community and I am not sure he can find a suitable replacement.
We are stuck with Hoke and if he loves Michigan as much as he says, he should tender his resignation for the good of the school and program. Highly rated recruits are going bale knowing the program cannot develop them.
Hoke press conferences are worthless. Carr's were the same but at least he was a character and his worthless responses were funny, cutting, insulting, etc. Hoke is basically just taking up time and space and I resent him for it.
/crawls back into hole
Carr used to win or be competitive most seasons so it wasn't a problem. We suck now so Hoke's stupid answers suck too.
There is nothing at all to be gained other than very short-term satisfaction for some fans by criticizing anyine in public. Do that, and you've immediately sowed seeds of doubt and possibly resentment among the players and staff. The last thing this crew of 18-22 year old guys needs right now is finger-pointing, confusion, and doubt.
CL: I know you get this. I picked you to respond to bc you'll know we aren't fighting.
Yeah, you're right on all points (and I appreciate you). IAfter being in Corporate America for years now and listening to Hoke I get the impression that CEOs are more forthcoming with information than Hoke and that blows my mind. I don't necessarily need to hear any critique of individuals but I do expect something, anything tangible rather than generalities like "it starts with me" and "we need to get to work" bullshit. Maybe that's not realistic. Maybe I got used to Rodriguez being so open and liked it. Maybe that makes me an idiot. Maybe I'm using the word "maybe" to start too many sentences. Maybe I should stop typing. Maybe I will.
When they asked him what area of coaching he needs to do a better job in SPECIFICALLY and he answered "just everything" I actually laughed. And I don't have emotions.
I need some Chicken Soup for the Michigan Fan's Soul
When Devin was sacked the defensive linemen did not feel the clash of their pads or feel the crash to the ground---one never does when a sack is executed---but they heard the devilish roar of glee that went up from the crowd. In that instant, in too short a time, one would have thought, even for the hit to get there, a mysterious, terrible change had come over Devin. He neither stirred nor fell, but ever line of his body had altered. He looked suddenly stricken, shrunken, immensely old, as though the frightful impact of the sack had paralyzed him without knocking him down. At last, after what seemed a long time---it might have been five seconds, I dare say---he crumpled to the ground. His arms gave up. An enormous senility seemed to have settled upon him. One could have imagined him thousands of years old.
Orwell's Shooting an Elephant, paragraph 11 has quite an apt description of Devin. Hoke (the mahout) did not take care of him and he lost his way, soon to be eaten up by the crowd and defeated by defensive linemen who did not want to hurt him but had to.
Devin's worse now because he had to take an absurd number of sacks due to the ineptitude of the coaches. He deserves better.
Deserve's got nothin' to do with it. -- Will Munny
Hmmm, if Borges gets drunk first, will he call a better game?
So I hope they go back to a previous lineup and scrap the Bosch-Magnuson experiment.
Hoke is starting to lose it. Saying the same BS week after week about "getting better" and it's "on him" works fine when you actually do something obvious the next week to show progress that you have the ability to make things better. The more he says this and things get worse, just make him look incompetent.
Organization, communication, specificity and fire... all totally lacking. This is not leadership. I really wonder what Hoke's definition of accountability is?
Reading this makes me more confident. I feel change coming. The MSM talking about it confirms it for me. It is blitheringly obvious which unfortuantely is what it takes to get revolutionary change.
I don't know what extent the offensive staff is going to be shaken up but it is clear that there was a lot less "execution" in this presser and a lot more "coaching". He did not call anybody out but himself which is a good thing.
I really think we may have something here. Yes this season has not been great but if Brandon opens up the piggy bank and gets us an offensive staff that will adhere to pro schemes but do it in a smart way that gets the most out of our guys and devlops them I think we may have something.
This may be one of those times unfortunately where it will get worse before it gets betterf or this season, but maybe the team can rally around Hoke who has shown so mcuh confidence in them and really does treat this like a family.
I took a lot from this. He took the blame for his coaches, but he is fed up too. I think Funk is the one who he is pissed at. He watches the games and sees what we see. He is not going to risk losing his dream job to keep Funk and Borges around. I think the strength coach will be under pressure too. Hoke has a lot of young talent on the team. He has a lot of good talent coming in. He is being let down by his coaches and a few of his older players. But it is his job to fix this. I think there is something wrong with Gardner that they are not talking about. We all see the issue with the blocking, and the fact that the defenses know what the play is. I don't think he will be fired this year. I don't think Borges will be fired this year. But someone is getting fired. I think they will shop around for a replacement for Borges, but will end up giving him one more year. I think Funk is gone after the season. Is that enough I don't know. I know I just drove 6 hours up and six hours back to watch them lose to a bad Nebraska team. Watching in person is worse that on TV. Go Blue.
He is completely incompetent and if he is not fired then Hoke needs to go as well. This is not bad, its basically unprecedented how pathetic the running game is. Throw the idiot overboard.
I am with you, I think he needs to go. But I don't think they will.
"I think the strength coach will be under pressure too."
Yes, we do not look tough enough. MSU and NE have proved that.
blah execute blah blah coach better blah blah blah
I've asked this in other threads, and I think it bears repeating given the current circumstances of Team 134. Before I ask the question though, let me reitterate that I have lost confidence in Borges, Funk, and Jackson, and I think they all need to go. Hoke on the other hand, I think is a fantastic coach who has hitched his wagon to a bad OC, a bad OLine coach, and a RB coach that needs to retire.
I read angry posters continually demanding "accountability" from this coaching staff. My question is: what does this "accountability" look like, in your opinion(s)? In reading the transscript of this, and every presser, I see Hoke continually saying, "we need to coach better..." What else can he say? What would make those of you asking for "accountability" feel like his giving you the level of accountability that you're looking for.
Further, I hear lots of people bemoaning the fact that Hoke & Co. talks about a "lack of execution." But I have to ask, aren't his comments concerning a "lack of execution" him holding the players accountable for doing their jobs?
implies that the players know what to do and are capable of doing it - and they screwed it up. In other words, it's not the coaches' fault.
Putting players in positions where they don't have the talent or experience to do what their coaches have told them to do is not "execution" - it's coaching. The players are not capable of executing their assignments, and the coaches never should have expected them to.
If you put a 5-year-old at the controls of a 747, it's going to crash. You can blame the crash on "lack of execution" of the proper controls, but the real problem is that he was sitting there in the first place.
Edit to add: Hoke may not actually mean it that way, he may be including himself and the coaching staff in the "failure to execute" category. However, it can be taken as blaming the players when it's stated without qualifiers as to the scope of his statement.
"The players are not capable of executing their assignments, and the coaches never should have expected them to."
But, what if what the coaches are asking them to do isn't overly complex? You say this as if you know, for a fact, that the coaching staff is asking the players (specifically on the OL) to do is something that they cannot. I don't know either, but it seems to me that there only so much simplification that a coaching staff at this level can do.
"If you put a 5-year-old at the controls of a 747, it's going to crash. You can blame the crash on "lack of execution" of the proper controls, but the real problem is that he was sitting there in the first place."
I don't really care for that analogy, but whatever, I see your point. I think you inadvertantly raised a point that is a potential causative factor: [they] shouldn't be there in the first place. Meaning, I think this OL, aside from Lewan and Scofield, is completely staring "by default" because there is nobody else that is even close to ready physically and mentally. Remember, most of our OLinemen are Freshmen or RS Freshmen.
I don't have a problem with Hoke saying the players didn't execute. But then, I am a firm believer that failure is the best teacher there is. I've said this over and over, that I think Hoke is basically FORCING these players to learn to execute the scheme. I don't know if that is the best way to do it, and I am certain that there are a lot of fans that will get frustrated and start to beat the drums when the wins are harder to find early on. But, in the long run we might all be thanking Hoke for his determination and dogmatism. Maybe, maybe not.
"Hoke on the other hand, I think is a fantastic coach..."
What gives you the confidence to say this?
I think Hoke has that "it" that makes a great coach. He relates well to players, he loves his players, and his players love him. I think he as passion for the game, and the University of Michigan. I think he is an elite recruiter, and motivator. There is just something about him, a gut feeling, a sense, if you wil, that the guy is going to be great at Michigan. Greatness isn't always instantaneous, especially when you're starting from a deficient position. If there is one flaw that I see in him, it's that he's hitched his wagon to a seemingly inept OC.
I'll give you the recruiting prowess, but I think Brady Hoke has the motivational skills of a lukewarm bowl of plain oatmeal.
"There is just something about him, a gut feeling, a sense, if you wil, that the guy is going to be great at Michigan..."
There's a point at which optimism slides into self-deception. I'm not saying you're there yet, but your gut feeling is hardly proven knowledge.
but this year "feels" like RR's last, as another poster said. Before the team even lines up for the first snap I find myself resigned to the high probability that things are not going to go well. And it feels like there is nothing in the world that can change this before the final 3 games (+ bowl). Weren't we supposed to be WAY beyond this point by now?!?!
I had that gut feeling about Hoke. I really did. It seemed everything was fitting and that Hoke had the it factor, some special knowledge or formula for how to make things work.
Starting with OSU last year, Iayers of that aura have been peeled away, and now it's gone. I started questioning his messiah-ness in the second half of the OSU game. I had my first serious doubts raised after Akron. After last week, he's just another guy to me. If he gets canned, fine. If he turns it around, good for Michigan. I just want M to play respectably. I don't care anymore if Brady Hoke is the guy to do it.
There's no more gold poop.
Well Thomas, I think you lack resolve and commitment. I keep going back to the roster, and I'll do it again. You seem like one of the guys that keeps saying, "Michigan has the talent..." If the OSU game began to erode your faith, Akron furthered the erosion, and then you've now totally lost it, it's because you don't understand the roster issues that are driving the seeming decline.
Again, '11 was a charmed year with a very motivated and determined group of seniors. Michigan lucked its way to an 11 win season, and a BCS Bowl win. Fine, since that time it's been in rebuilding mode, and after Denard left, it lost the one real threat that it had offensively, not to mention a bevy of upperclassmen on the OLine.
Michigan is rebuilding. You can offer up as many "if's and but's" as you want, but almost NOTHING that we're seeing is actually Hoke's fault. Now I will say that Borges is calling some odd plays and probably isn't the guy Michigan needs going forward. But, Hoke is trying to cobble together a squad from a position of weakness, not strength. I would encourage your get back into Hoke's camp, Michigan needs all the positive thoughts it can get right now.
As Yost said, it's easy to cheer when things are going your way. It's much harder (and more important) to stay positive and support the team (including the coach) when things aren't going so well -- especially when rebuilding.