Al better look in the mirror on that one.
"Jim's a tough guy and you can see his personality is all over this football team," Fitzgerald said.
“We had a good practice yesterday. I thought we had a lot of energy. This is a pretty resilient group. I think they’ve proven that throughout the year. I think the leadership’s been good. Especially the senior class and the captains have taken their roles very seriously and have done a great job of how we approach each day. We have a big test on Saturday against Indiana from an offensive perspective. They’re top three in a lot of categories in our league. Have a lot of skill players. I think their offensive line got a little beat up through the course of the year, but they’re very athletic. Run very well in that system. They’re going to try to create some space with different things formationally. Defensively they have some new faces in there. I think the secondary and the linebackers they’re very active. It’s a good football team and Kevin [Wilson’s] done a nice job.”
Potential changes on the offensive line?
“We’ll see. Guys are working hard.”
In the last couple weeks, you’ve known by this point in the week what the switch would be.
“But I don’t know by now this week.”
How many guys do you have rotating at the guard position?
“Oh you’ve got Bryant, you’ve got [Erik] Magnuson, [Kyle] Bosch, [Joey] Burzynski, [Kyle] Kalis.”
Magnuson at guard?
“Yeah, a little bit.
Have you done that with him before?
“He hasn’t done that a lot, but he’s a really athletic guy. He did some good things the other night that warrant trying to get the best five on the field. He’s got a quickness to him. Quick feet. That’s why we recruited him to left tackle. It’s not his athleticism has kept him away from it, but it’s strength gains unlike some of the guys like Kyle Bosch, who’s been in the weight room a lot. Kyle wasn’t necessarily a three-sport athlete. Mags played I think lacrosse also, so the lifting and all that kind of stuff.”
So Taylor Lewan is fine and ready to go?
Did he get any concussion tests?
“He saw our doctors. There were a couple different issues that were boo boos.”
You had to keep his helmet away from him after half time.
“Yeah. Well you do that with a lot of guys so you don’t let them get back in.”
He ran on the field at one point.
“Yeah he did. I didn’t see it.”
But you didn’t want him out there.
“He didn’t play after that, did he?”
“So what would your assumption be?
“See, you can answer these questions for me!”
A lot of teams use two scout offenses to try to simulate Indiana’s tempo. Have you done that at all?
“We pretty much all year practice high tempo. I run the scout cards for the defense, so I have the offensive line with me. We do it at a pace so we can get reps of what the plan might be against certain plays so that we cdan see it as coaches and evaluate it if it’s good and all that. So we do that constantly. We’ve got two sets of skill people on both sides, so they’re ready to go. The offensive linemen, they do a tremendous job of finishing and wherever the ball is spotted, I’m running over there. I know it’s hard to believe. We go pretty quick.”
Has you added to that this week?
“It’s pretty much the way we practice.”
How big of a focus is that tempo, though? Especially with your rotations. Penn State got you a couple –
“They got us once. Really. They got us once, and that probably was trying to figure out their personnel with our personnel and to make them match as much as anything else.”
The passion of the fanbase is good and bad. For a younger team, is it harder to block out the noise?
“We talk about the important things that are said are what’s in this room. No one else really matters besides the guys in the room. We’re talking to the team, I think they’re pretty good. I can’t tell you each individual, how they’ll let things affect you. I think obviously the older guys, who have been here have heard the good and the bad, which comes with playing football at Michigan because of the high expectations. I think they’re pretty resilient about moving forward and they’re a pretty tight-knit group overall.”
What’s Jake Butt done to earn playing time?
“We think he can block the line of scrimmage at times pretty well. He’s a guy who’s got good skills when you look at hand-eye coordination and those things. I think the one the other night got knocked out of his hands was knocked out by the corner. This time of year when you’re a freshman, you’re starting to get used to how practices are. The intensity, the preparation, the mental effort it takes to get ready every day, and I think he’s more accustomed to it now.”
It’s been a couple weeks since you’ve moved Funchess to receiver. How has he done?
“He’s done a really good job. I can’t tell you anything where he’s been a play killer, which is a term that Al uses a lot. I think he’s handled it well.”
Is he going to eventually be strictly a wide receiver?
“I don’t think so. As he continues to develop, and I think Al and the guys on offense are smart enough to use him as it fits us now. As he gets stronger and heavier, he’ll maybe be able to do a little more of both, which makes him even more dangerous to some degree.”
Are there any tight end-receiver hybrids in the NFL you point him towards?
“I haven’t, no. Al, he may have. I think that Devin, because of his high school career, he’s used to that space out there. I think he’s pretty familiar with it.”
Chris Wormley had a big TFL and a sack. What have you seen from him? You said he was coming on.
“Well, I think he is. There’s a progression that guys go through from high school to college, but even from college redshirting, or in Chris’s situation, not being able to practice since fall, he missed a lot of that transition you go through. Every time he gets on the field it’s an opportunity for him to grow. It’s a new experience. Maybe it’s taking on a block or a double team, maybe it’s getting knocked on your tail. It’s a new experience in a game situation where he’ll continue to improve.”
He seemed to come free on both of those plays.
“We had two sacks on the same defensive call. They executed it, Penn State didn’t react to it and could have.”
You mentioned that he was a large human being.
“He’s a large human being. Yes he is.”
Is he versatile enough to move in the middle?
“He can move in and play tackle a little bit and that’s kind if what we’re doing a lot with some of our sub defense and matching personnel groups and all that. He’s a very physical and large human that is really learning to understand how much ability he has and how good he can be.”
Are you happy with how the pass rush has progressed?
“Would you want to have 10, 15 sacks a game? Yeah. I’d love to. But people are going to try and keep us out [of the backfield] in some of those exotic blitzes by keeping two tight ends or playing with 12 personnel. That’s something we’ll face maybe not this week, but max protections and those things we’ll see.”
Will it be harder with the speed of Indiana’s offense?
“You know, we’re going to find out. I’m not going to say it’s harder because I think you can do it. I’ve experienced it being done. It can get you rattled a little bit and sometimes that makes it harder.”
What’s the most similar tempo team you can remember playing?
“Oh Central Michigan when we were at Ball State with Butch [Jones]. And Brian [Kelly] was more of a tempo guy back then, too.”
Since you’ve been here?
“Northwestern last year. They’re going to be a tempo team. Ohio can be. Just depends on what mode they’re in. Nebraska a little bit last year.”
As far as backup running backs, would you like to see other guys get a shot?
“There’s no doubt we’d rather have more than one running back so we can share the load, whether it’s Derrick [Green], who played a few spots, De’Veon [Smith], [Thomas] Rawls. [Justice] Hayes got in, and he’s good out of the backfield that way. Yeah. There’s no doubt.”
Al better look in the mirror on that one.
talk about irony !!!!
Heiko: Do you get a sense that the coaches are aware of how upset people are over the PSU game? I thought it was interesting that Borges's presser was only six minutes, which (IIRC) is unusually short even post-loss. It seems like the program - speaking very generally - is somehow conscious of fans being very unhappy with the way things went down last weekend.
They should be really fired up after that embarassing loss. Just mundane ho humness about the entire staff. Really disheartening. I want to see some damn fire so I can fool myself into thinking things will be different on Saturday. Im not getting that. But what do I need know anyway...just a fan like the rest wishing upon a friggin star that one day my wolverines will be an elite program again.
Right, because a John L Smith style meltdown at the podium is just what the doctor ordered
I get your counterpoint on this one, but can't there be a middle ground? Can't some fire and passion come through a bit?! I've listened to or read all of the press conferences from Hoke, G-Matt, and Borges, and it's lame duck. I don't need them to pull a John L. Smith, but I'd like them to pull some emotion from somewhere, convey confidence instead of "awww...shucks", and have some energy. There are times for coach speak, and there are times when you simply need to convey some sense of strength...
You don't coach your team from in front of a podium. You coach in the locker room, on the sidelines, in practice, in film sessions and in 100 other places, but not during press conferences. News flash for those on this blog who bemoan every Borges / hoke presser: coaches don't put as much value in these media conferences as we the fans do. Most coaches regard them as necessary evils, but if given the choice most would skip them. Hoke and his coaches righty approach these conferences with a ciew of get in, get out, give away as little as possible and dont do anything to detract from the team.
You, and many others here, may want our coaches to slam their fists, yell and curse or whatever to show fire, but our program long term benefit from the fact that Hoke projects a steady hand when things are going poorly.
Yep. Usually the coaches that are the most emotional and animated during press conferences are the ones that don't stick around very long and aren't really respected in the media.
Bo's tone said it all after a loss, never a meltdown...but he surely conveyed that he was pissed off ............."We did not play Michigan football last week...but I can ASSURE YOU that we will play Michigan football this Saturday! And amazingly. Bo stuck around for awhile.
That's like almost word for word what Hoke said in the locker room after Akron.
Bill Belichick sounds like a robot on Prozac during his PC's and the press hates it I'm sure, I actulay like the Parcels/Lloyd/ schools of "venom" PC's.
You sir, need points for this.
You took the extreme there. The staff needs to show some fire....not scream and yell for the hell of it. There is no fire right now. That has been clear for the past month in case you missed it.
See the video of the locker room speech post Akron. Brady Hoke in pressers =/= Brady Hoke with the players.
Quite honestly you need to remove yourself from the internet before you embarrass yourself further.
I don't think it serves anyone to have a coach going psycho at a press conference. Hoke knows what he is doing, or at least has a plan, and I'm guessing he'll light into his charges as needed. His bigger issues are with his staff, and I'm guessing those will be handled internally.
Hoke needs to go all Brian Kelly on someone's ass.
Hoke needs to go all Brian Kelly on someone's ass.
Hoke says just about the same thing every week so you get nothing from him in pressers. I think we had a tough physical practice. We're competing with toughness and physicalness. I just want to see them make a change in game situations.
for you, as Hoke makes plain in the interview.
Bo was a fiery guy. He could cuss out a blue streak in practice and chew a refs ass out with the beat of them. But he was very reserved in front of the press.
Like it or not, we've got coaches from the Bo school of PR. And this is probably a good thing, as evidenced by all of the times RR was skewered for being too forthcoming.
The big man is understandably frustrated. Makes me sad because I know he loves his players and knows they're working hard.
what I'm not sure is if the players are frustrated at all with the scheme. These players aren't dumb.
Next week we could have a dozen reduntant threads titled "FIRE MATTISON!!!!one!11!!" instead of "FIRE BORGES!!!!one!11!!"
Won't happen. Unlike Borges, Mattison hasn't shown too much in the way of deficiencies other than a so so pass rush. Borges on the other hand, has strung together a good 10-12 failures already:
1. Bellomy entirely unprepared (nice QB coaching Al)
2. Choosing Bellomy to back up Denard instead of Gardner.
3. The offense actually improving when Gardner was moved to QB and away from WR where he was purportedly so "needed."
4. Second half Nebraska.
5. Second half Ohio.
6. O line horribly coached.
7. Tight end blocking horribly coached.
8. QB still more effective running than passing (pro-style fail).
9. RBs non-existent (pro-style fail)
10. Inability to adjust play calls to adjust to O line inexperience/horribleness.
11. Disorganization re getting plays in on many occasions, preventing time enough for check downs.
12. Mundane check downs (usually to a running play) the few times they happen.
13. QB turn overs.
16. PSU entire game.
I.e., Al Borges = worse than GERG. Mattison? A hero for trying to keep UM in games when the other side of the ball is such a mess.
A. It was a joke.
B. I think you might need to step away from sports a little bit. I feel like you might actually jump off the ledge you're standing on.
I could. I'm on the 20th floor of a building overlooking the Potomac on the Arlington side with a spectacular view of DC. Let's just say that come January when Hoke announces he's keeping Borges for another year, I probably won't go in to work that day to avoid the temptation.
Borges is worse than GERG? Not even close. We had one of the worst defenses in the country with GERG, and were completely unable to stop other teams from scoring. Borges is taking heat in a game where we scored 34 points in regulation.
I'm not sure Borges chose Bellomy over DG to back up Denard as much as Bellomy couldn't also be our best receiver and DG could. If DG wasn't needed at WR (or wasn't so athletic that his involvemen was necessary) I'm sure he would have been the actual back up.
That was a gamble that bit us a bit for Nebraska, but still mostly paid off. The coaches thought, "if Denard goes down, we're probably fucked either way so let's win as many games as we can assuming he stays healthy." And I like that outlook. WIthout DG in at WR for the beginning of the season, maybe we lose a game that we won. And I bet that if he gets thrown into the game against Nebraska like Bellomy did, he fares somewhat better but not enough to win. Hell, we were already losing when Denard went down so there's no guarantee we win even if he doesn't go down.
I for one am like... Promote Mattison to head coach!!!
1. Bellomy unprepared or just sucked and not ready for that pressure and speed of the game?
3. He WAS needed at WR as evidenced by his productivity there. That was an effort to get him on the field since he wasn't playing QB. This point is obvious.
4. 1-4 are all part of this but you're trying to make the list longer.
5. Fair enough.
6. He's not the Oline coach.
7. Also not the TE coach. Minimum culpability for 6 and 7 because he oversees these.
8. QB had shown the ability to pass but has had several mini-strokes, and scrambling is bound to be your best play when the OL is that bad.
9. See Oline sucking.
10. There's only so much you can do when the OL is that bad. Can throw with time, can't run.
11. The only times I remember this were against PSU and the crowd was insane.
12. Inexperienced QB not good at reading defense and checking down
13. Borges doesn't play in the game.
14. Borges doesn't play in the game.
15. Borges doesn't play in the game.
16. Fair enough but we still put up plenty of points if our secondary made a few more plays they were in position to make.
So really what you have here is about 5 failures that you broke into small details and results of the same problems to make him look worse. This is the problem with all conversation on the board this week.
So, there ARE reasonable people left on this board! Thank Jeebus.
And of course completely no credit given to the good games he helped us win, as if the players would just trot out and blow everyone out if Borges just got out of the way.
Give it a rest, for the love of God! It's this redundant armchair coach bullshit that has been making this blog and this message board pretty unreadable recently.
We are in dire need of a points system just for posts like this.
This list of points is so full of holes and assumptions, it's not even funny.
You clearly were not around here paying much attention during the GERG days.
The defense won't have their best day because that's the whole point of up-tempo. I'm not worried about that. They will play well enough to keep a competent offense in the game.
"Competent offense". . . THAT'S the problem. I'm worried that Indiana will see the PSU tape and roll out four DTs, a DE and four linebackers into the box on first down, and Borges will have the offense run right at it.
This could get ugly.
I hope we have just enough defense to out score them!
We're never unprepared for what we've supposedly stressed most. Then later, say early third quarter we'll totally control the situation only to fall apart in the final minutes of the game? Naw, never.
I'm curious why you think we haven't seen the last of "tackle over"? Doesn't seem to be in the transcript unless I'm missing it.
Not in the transcript. Just stuff I've been hearing that I occasionally post.
Give it a rest.
For all the times you trolled Section 1.
I miss the days of reading the Moderator Thread just to see how many times he tattled on me.
Send CLord to Bolivia.
Not one question about sheme or Borges. What a joke.
Not one questions for those topics but I'm glad somebody asked which NFL TE example Hoke was using to inspire Funchess. We were all dying to know this. Man sports media can be terrible sometimes.