Thanks for the behind the scenes excerpts.
Rich Rodriguez Hallway Presser Transcript
Enjoy the first - and only - time you're going to get a full press conference transcript from me. Trust me people, I'm representing the content of the interview accurately, while keeping only the relevant stuff. Presenting it in this form doesn't do you any better, and it's an enormous pain in my ass.
You see my daughter is… is… asked me to start teaching her football. So I don't know if her future goal is to be a sideline reporter, or the next Angelique, I don't know what she wants to be but uh, she's (inaudible).
Chengelis: What did you mean when you said you were the coach who's the most anxious to coach this year.
Well I think… you know, probably the best times as a coach is when you get on the practice field. Uh, maybe even mores than the games because that's when you're around, it's just you, the coaches, and the players, and you get to teach and watch them progress and learn, and when you get on the field there's none of that other stuff, if you know what I mean. So I'm probably as excited as I've been in a long time to just get to practice.
Snyder: You talked in the spring, a lot of your comments about Tate were about academics or maturity and stuff. What's your feeling on that at this point?
I don't know; we'll find out at the end of the week. I'm hoping that everybody - they grow and mature, not just on the field but off the field as well. You know, until we're allowed to do things with them you really don't know. I'm anxious to see how Tate responds to that. I know he's getting a challenge and I talked yo him this spring about this: "You're getting a challenge from Denard, you're getting a challenge from Devin, and if you're a true competitor we'll see how you respond." That challenge will continue in August.
Snyder: You said you had the seniors over. What did they say about, you know, him and his maturity?
We really didn't talk about individual players. They came over, some of the guys would say "hey this guy looks great" or "hey this guy looks great" but they more or less, they talked about themselves, and some of the things they want to do, some of the things they want to do in camp. And they seemed… they gave some great ideas, and I think - we've always met, I've always met with the seniors a few times a year. But I started earlier, and I'm gonna meet again a couple times. Probably, you know, once every 2 or 3 days in camp, just to get their input. And Im really excited about that (inaudible 1:58)
Rothstein: You said last year at this thing that if you didn't get to a bowl you'd be ticked. Where are you this year, what do you feel? Is there pressure more, maybe?
I don't know if you can put - again, this sounds like coachspeak - I don't know if you can put more pressure than you do on yourself anyway. I mean, you go into every ballgame, every season with a certain amount of pressure to win every game. Is there heightened pressure because we've done poorly the last two years? Externally, you may think so, but internally there can't be no more than we've already done. It's not like we're going "ok, first year we've got excuses, second year got…" nah, we fully expect our guys to compete. We always set a goal to compete for the Big Ten championship. Now I don't know if we're good enough yet, or if we're gonna deserve to win it. I would think that's gonna be our goal and expectation every year.
[?] You said the team's gotten closer from the adversity. How have you seen this, is it a surprise to you?
Well I think, no it's not a surprise, but I think young folks are that way. I think any time adversity strikes - and it can strike at various points - it usually will band your young group together more often than it tears them apart. I've seen that get our guys closer, talking to our senior class. I'll be able to judge through camp. I mean, they'll face adversity in camp, all teams do. You know, it's hot, they're tired, whatever, and they've gotta push through practice, and I think this team will be able to battle through that because of what they've been through before.
Borton: Is there any news about guys that won't be able to start, uh, fall camp. Because of injuries or… anything? [obvious Shaw leading question #1]
No, I don't, uh, and I don't know. I think we're pretty good, health-wise, talking to the trainers. I think Will Heinenger's the only one that, uh, that had an injury in the spring that won't be able to perform in camp. I don't have any concerns health-wise.
[?] There is a couple theories about if Michigan and Ohio State should be in the same division. Any theories on how that might break out?
Isn't that interesting?I think you guys know as much as I do. How this all is going to shake out. Is it geographically? Is it competitively? Is it history and tradition? I think, uh, we have a lot of smart people in our league, and they'll be able to figure out how to balance it out fairly and competitively, but still be able to keep your tradition alive. Because it may be where, uh, an institution can pick their two rivalry games that they wanna play every year. Whether in your division or the other division, who knows. I have not put - and this is an obvious tangent - I have not put one thought into that. Because right now I don't care. You know, I care that we play Ohio State every year, and I think fans care that we play Michigan State every year, but that probably gonna happen. I'm just worried about getting a first down against UConn right now.
[?] The question is the possibility of playing them twice a year, because, uh…
Yeah, that'd be… I'm sure our fans would be pretty excited. If you won it the first time you may think "well, I don't wanna play it the second time." I think Michigan loves to play against Ohio State and Ohio State loves to play against Michigan.
That would not diminish the rivalry in your eyes?
I don't think so.
Birkett: How about playing them on back-to-back weeks? I don't know if that would be a tough (inaudible).
I think it would sell out if you played three times a week, in Ann Arbor, Columbus, or Chicago. I don't think there would be any problem with that game selling out.
[?] How important is it to you that they play the last game?
You know, I'm just giving my opinion, but the last game, traditionally, has been terrific. I think that's, you know, I think you prefer that, but if you didn't, and say you had to play 'em earlier or something… as long as you're playing 'em. But I would prefer, again this is just myself, but I would prefer to play them at the end, just from a tradition standpoint.
Chengelis: Can you talk about the running back situation? Vincent Smith is back… [obvious Shaw leading question #2]
I believe Vincent is, talking to - again, talking to our training staff - should be 100% for camp, uh, and healthy, which is key for us there. And then, Mike Cox had a really good spring, he's a guy that we're really looking forward to progress, and Fitz Toussaint had a really good spring, he was injured last year. Those three in particular, we thought… uh… you know, should be guys that'll lead the charge for us.
Balas[?] What is Michael Shaw's eligibility status? [overt Shaw question]
Well we're still waiting on some - we don't comment on our guys' academically, and they still have two weeks of summer school left. Uh, which for some of our players, uh, we'll keep in touch with them.
Rothstein: Are you surprised with Vincent being able to come back as quickly as he has? Sometimes with these ACLs...
Not with the medical technology that's available these days, and the science-y part of it. Before ACL would be 10-12 months. Now - you have to do the rehab - now they can come back quicker.
Chengelis: With two quarterbacks - I know it's a really - could you see yourself shuffling them in and out, in and out during a game?
Not so much, Angelique, shuffling in and out, because you do want that - if they're on a roll, and in a rhythm, you don't wanna take a guy out. If he's hot, you let him stay hot. Certainly, I don't - I'm not opposed to playing two. Last year, we started in with maybe three in the thought process. But I wouldn't be opposed to playing two. Our biggest key is that they play better and more consistently. The biggest thing for us is just taking care of the ball. Taking care of the ball, executing the offense, and you know, if they can extend a play or make a play within the framework, they can do it.
You said up there that there were things you regretted from last season. Is there anything that really sticks out?
There's a number of things. You can go back after every game and search calls. I think it was a fair question, but I never really thought about going for two [against Michigan State]. If I'd known the end result would be what it was, I'd do it all over again, but uh, there's plays you call you would likke to take back, but after reviewing the film, after every game the coaches're like "gosh, I could have called this or called that." You know, you can play that "what if" game all you want. I don't think it does you any good other than learning. And we always learn. Always think we have to do that.
Can you learn, maybe, in the summer from that?
Well, you know, not one big thing, but I can tell you this, and I told the seinors this. I said the first year, with a team is a little bit tougher because as coaches you don't know your players as well, even though you watch them on film and all that. You know, you have to kinda ll, you don't learn their strengths and weaknesses as well as you would the second year. Same thing's true for the third year. The more you're around your guys, you know what makes them tick, what motivates them, what their strengths and weaknesses are. You try to find that out in 15 practices in the spring, and 29 in August, but… you know, that's not always the case.
[uh…] Let's say Denard wins the starting quarterback. Could you move Tate to another area on the field or is he your backup quarterback?
Tate's a quarterback. Denard could play other positions and we fully prepared him "hey listen, if you're not the starting quarterback, I don't want you standing next to me 70% of the time on the sidelines. Once you learn quarterback, you'll learn the other skill positions." But, you know, he's battling for the starting quarterback job, so he's not played anything else, and I don't think he'll play anything else in camp. Because he's trying to be #1, and I think he's right there.
[Snyder] Not having to play too much quarterback in the games… can that be simulated enough between spring, and fall?
Well, the one thing you can't - it's hard to simulate - is when you go live. And in the spring, they were live the whole time except the spring game, and I thought that's one reason our spring game wasn't as good as I'd like, because we had them just getting tagged. I think it's better for their learning purposes when they're live. I don't want to go live in August though, because you don't want to be (inaudible) in camp. In August, I don't think we're gonna make them go live. But I think we saw enough in the spring of them being live in eight practices or so, and really let them practice.
Rittenberg: Do you know when you're going to meet with the NCAA, is that going to interrupt your…?
It's on the 13th in Seattle. It's when we'll appear in front of the committee. And normally it would be our first day of two-a-days, but we've adjusted our schedule, so our… I won't miss any arctics. We'll still have two-a-days, they'll just be the next day. I've been fortunate enough to not… we'll keep it from being a distraction, you know I'll have to go and do it. We all at the University have to go, and look forward to meeting with them, and further that process along.
[?] Can you talk a little bit about the outside receiver position. You're stacked at the slot position, but there really hasn't been a home-run threat on the outside. Junior Hemingway's been hurt, Darryl Stonum's been hurt, who's the big home-run threat outside for Michigan this year?
That is one thing we have been looking for. Particularly in this offense, I think there's a misconception about the outside receiver's role. They can have a huge role in this offense. And we hope they have. Darryl Stonum and Junior Hemingway are the two guys we hope to lead that charge. We have some youngguys, some freshman enrolled early we hope can help out, but it startswith Darryl and it starts with Junior. Both of those guys have been in the program, Darryl's got great speed, and if they can give us a deep threat on the outside, we can be a whole lot better offensively.
Snyder: Is Darryl gonna face any extra discipline… from you? Because of, you know, the jail thing.
No, I think he's faced that discipline. And he informed us when it was happening.
I love you, and I love your work. It really is awesome.
But don't ever do this again. The bullet points are more than enough.
I know he's getting a challenge and I talked to him this spring about this: "You're getting a challenge from Denard, you're getting a challenge from Devin, and if you're a true competitor we'll see how you respond." That challenge will continue in August.
That quote is AWESOME. See we will.
Thanks Tim, this was a great read
It amazes me that:
a) Snyder can attend these things and just ask questions like anybody else, and
b) RR answers his questions seemingly without a second thought.
RR's a better man than me I guess. I'd tell Snyder to F off everytime I saw him.
we don't comment on our guys' academically, and they still have two weeks of summer school left. Uh, which for some of our players, uh, we'll keep in touch with them.
To me, this seems a lot less scary about Shaw's eligibility than was first reported. Before, it sounded like RR was saying "Shaw has two weeks left of summer school, and it's not clear to me that he's going to make it."
Whereas the actual quote makes it seem like he's saying, "I'm not going to talk about any player's eligibility, certainly not while summer school is in session." Maybe that's maize-colored glasses, but it doesn't seem quite so bleak to me.
Yes, but when asked about which RBs were likely to contribute, RR mentioned Smith, Cox and Fitz - no mention of Shaw. That is not a good sign.
Thanks Tim! That was badass.
You are a superstar, thanks. Agree with prior (not that Pryor <NTP>) comment that bullet points are enough but appreciate the time put into this one.
Fired up for Saturdays!
Man, you do realize we all wish we could have been you, chillin at the press conference! Nice job!
Thank you Tim!
comparing Angelique's column to your initial report and the complete hallway transcript is interesting for understanding a little of the process.
Speaking for myself, one of the big reasons I read this blog is to get analysis and not just facts or information. Clearly both you and Angelique understood a very important item was hearing Coaches opinion on the Ohio State game, and he let more of his opinion show in the hallway than he did on the podium.
I think your bullet points caught that correctly.
Tim, sorry if I came off as a dick asking about full transcripts. Having done some interviews myself, I should have known that the extreme time-consuming nature of creating a transcript was the reason they don't show up much here. Trusting your ability to extract main ideas, I appreciate the timeliness over the verbatim.
Thanks for all you do here.
how does RR even answer that guys questions after his half-thruthed hatchet job. I would ignore the guy. RR is much more forgiving than I.
Snyder wants the thruth, the whole thruth, and nothing but the thruth
I find it telling and amusing the only reporter's first-name used by RR is Angelique's.
fwiw, I think this is great that you transcribed the whole thing - wish there were some tools to make it easier for you. Nice job!
A humorous quote, i thought, was about rivalries:
You know, I care that we play Ohio State every year, and I think fans care that we play Michigan State every year, ...
FREEP HEADLINE: RichRod does not care if UM plays MSU!
Thanks for the look inside, Tim. This is very appreciated, especially because you can see which angle each reporter is gunning for.
Angelique: Coach Rod Wants to Put Past Behind Him
Snyder: Rodriguez: "Forcier Needs to Grow Up"
Rothstein: Michigan Year Three is Bowl or Bust
Michigan Tailback Could Lose Eligibility Big Ten Must Respect The Game, Says Coach
Birkett: Hey, what are you guys gonna write about? Wanna share notes after class?
Coach Rod Wants to Put Past Behind Him, Michigan QB Race Up for Grabs, Regrets, Rodriguez Has a Few
Snyder: Rodriguez: 'Forcier Needs to Grow Up' (Pllllleeeeeease give me the shred of quote I need to print this?)
Rittenberg: All Eyes on Rodriguez in Year Three
Rodriguez: 'Forcier Needs to Grow Up', Michigan Starting Tailback Not Yet Eligible (filler: Stonum ultimatums, deterioration of academics under Rodriguez)
Tim: Ooh, look, bagels.
as always, sounds like a moron.
"Is he gonna face any extra discipline, because of... you know... the jail... thing?"
What are you, a 12 year old girl? Will your next article be filled with "like"s and nondescript references to that "thing"?
Edit: I also like the "From You" slipped in there. "Michigan Coach comes down extra hard on players struggling accademically, has no mercy."
I don't think Snyder's a moron, and I really think he gets a bad rap here. He's a little negative, but outside of the Freep Jihad, I'd rather have at least one local reporter who's looking at both sides of the situation (and yes, even though nobody will admit it around here, he writes his fair share of positive stories as well).
You would have to read the Detroit Free Press's sports section to know that, Tim.
In retrospect, however appropos to the moment, deploying the word "jihad" was probably the single most irresponsible editorial decision in this blog's history.
Tim, quit fricking complaining. Would you rather be out catching cats all day? I think not.
the science-y part of it
I don't have any concerns health-wise.
Don't worry, coach... I'm worrying enough for the both of us.
For the awesomeness.
[Snyder] Not having to play too much quarterback in the games… can that be simulated enough between spring, and fall?
What exactly is Snyder asking here? I read this as, can you simulate having the #2 guy sit on the sidelines while the #1 guy goes during practice? -- which seems like a very strange thing to ask. RichRod is a smarter man than I for coming up with an informative answer to a question I personally didn't even understand.
[Edit] Also, Tim, great job with the transcript, and thanks for all your hard work.
What he's asking, basically, is if Denard can get "game experience" without playing in actual games. It was a little more obvious when he said it aloud, especially when you take it into context.
Thanks for the clarification.
it's just you, the coaches, and the players, and you get to teach and watch them progress and learn ... So I'm probably as excited as I've been in a long time to just get to practice
It sounds like RR can see real progress in all the players especially the younger ones and can keep teaching them as the practice and season starts. I can't wait to them on the field destoying the opposition.
He just put it right out there and challenged him to get better. Honestly, I htink he may have gotten somewhat complacent and Denard saw that and is feeding off it. I predict Denard will start the UCONN game.
Butthead: (Snicker) Hey Bevis, Angelique said "In and out, in and out…"
Bevis: HeheHmm, Yeah and Snyder said "Thing."
Great job Tim, that must have been irritatingly time consuming. It was a fun read and I appreciate the effort!
Stuff like this is why Mgoblog is #1
Well, that and the whole Michigan Football thing...