Wednesday Presser 11-5-14: Brady Hoke

Wednesday Presser 11-5-14: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 5th, 2014 at 5:03 PM

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News bullets and other items:

  • Jabrill Peppers will redshirt. He was initially supposed to be out 6-8 weeks but isn’t where he needs to be to play again this season. He’s 4-5 weeks away from being healthy and will be fine for spring practice
  • Derrick Green is 2-3 weeks away from “doing things” despite initially being ruled out for the season
  • Noah Furbush had surgery to fix an injury that occurred in an All-Star game and has only participated in meetings this season
  • Drake Harris is slowly getting better and able to do more things, but we won’t see him this season
  • Hoke met briefly with Hackett this week, and they talked about day-to-day aspects of the program and how the team has stayed together
  • Hoke said the one change they’ll make as far as road games go is not turning the ball over, which I personally am a proponent of

Opening remarks:

“I think we had a really strong, energetic practice yesterday outside. Trying to get as many of the elements as we could because weather could be a factor. Wind will be a factor at Northwestern. Excited about the opportunity to go back to Chicago. There's quite a bit of Michigan alums that will have an opportunity to come to the game. It's important that we, in the football game itself we've got to start fast. Got to start and then continue that throughout the entire game.

“With Jabrill I had told you guys I would probably have an answer a little bit and we are going to redshirt him for this year. Him and I have had a lot of different conversations. Talked to his mother, talked to the doctors, trainers, and everybody who should be included in the conversation but a couple things that he's done very well is take care of himself. He's done great with the treatments, great with the rehab and all those things. He's done a tremendous job in school right now academically and he's excited about when he can get back on the field. He's improved but he's just not going to be where you want a guy to be who has that kind of ability. So as far as that goes– obviously we’re excited about this weekend.”

What's Jabrill’s injury?
“He's got a leg injury. That's probably as specific as all get.”

Well, he had the ankle earlier. Is it the same thing? Is it a different injury?
“It's a leg injury.”

Will that require surgery or can you not elaborate on that?
“Well, he doesn't need surgery. It's one of those things that just if I could tell you exactly the medical diagnosis I would but he's improving as we go forward.”

He's expected to make a full recovery?
“Oh yeah. No question.”

About Northwestern's offense. They've struggled. We talked about this a little bit Monday, but what did they do that's similar to Indiana and what did they do better?
“Well, I think they struggled with Iowa but Pat [Fitzgerald], I heard some of his comments and it was one of those games where nothing kind of got put together. They beat Wisconsin and they beat Penn State at Penn State. Played Nebraska very well. They were ahead in the football game and then Nebraska came back and did a nice job. From an offensive standpoint, I think Jackson, the back, is a guy who is awfully good. He has very good burst, very good speed. The offensive line, basically all but one is the same line we faced a year ago. I don't think we slowed them down a whole lot a year ago like we’d like to, so from that standpoint– then Siemian. He was off a little bit on Saturday and give Iowa credit for that but you look at other games, you watch the Minnesota game, you watch other games and he can really, really be effective.”

With Jabrill, would you expect that he be ready for spring practice?
“Yeah. Yeah, I think he'll be, you know – initially it was 6 to 8 weeks we thought was kind of the timeline on it and so I think he'll be in good shape probably in the next 4 to 5 weeks.”

When do you expect to have a timeframe for when Derrick [Green] can start doing things again?
You know, I think it's going to be another 2 to 3 weeks as far as I can tell with what we've talked about. He's getting better. He's doing a lot of alternate conditioning and things that you want him to do. Both of them and all of the guys when they’re banged up a little bit is they’re in meetings. One of the things Jabrill has done a nice job in the meetings, and making sure he understands the checks that are made, stuff like that out on the field. So I think Derrick, he's getting better. I can't give you an exact time[frame].

[After THE JUMP: Injury-infopalooza rages on]

Monday Presser 11-3-14: Players

Monday Presser 11-3-14: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 5th, 2014 at 9:02 AM

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Jack Miller, Devin Gardner, Jake Ryan

Devin, we ask you every week but do you feel like you’re getting closer to 100%? It looks like every time you take a big hit it aggravates it a little bit. Is that just part of the game?

DG: “Yeah, sometimes but I fell like I’m getting healthier and healthier. I’m just doing everything I can to contribute as much as possible.”

 

Talk about your ability to read defenses. Have you made progress in Nussmeier’s system would you say?

DG: “Yeah, I think so.”

In what sense?

DG: “All of it. Making reads and getting us in the right plays, things like that.”

 

Devin, is it frustrating at all because there’s times where it seems like you want to put your foot down and run but it doesn’t seem like it’s there?

DG: “Yeah, it’s always frustrating because of the type of player I am and what I’m usually able to do but you’ve got to find a way.”

How limited would you say you are feet-wise with your ability to run?

DG:I’m getting better. I mean, I’ll see on Saturday.”

 

How much is that changing what’s called for you, because you can have audibles and you can make decisions but is it your decision that you’re maybe not going to push it in terms of getting out and scrambling or is it Nussmeier’s?

DG: “This past week I didn’t have to scramble much so luckily I didn’t need to.”

 

On that 10-yard run it looked like that was one you tried to take off on…

DG: “Yeah, I probably would have scored [last year] but I got the first down and that’s what the team needed and it kept the chains moving, so that’s the most important part.”

[More after THE JUMP]

Monday Presser 11-3-14: Doug Nussmeier

Monday Presser 11-3-14: Doug Nussmeier

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 4th, 2014 at 2:03 PM

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When you’re grading film on Devin Gardner how much do the near-misses, the picks that maybe should have been, factor into that and how much do you talk about that?

“A lot. I mean, that’s always part of the evaluation. You want results but you’ve got to be process-oriented when you play the position. We’ve got to be on the right side of the field and have our eyes in the right place and our feet and timing and all that factors in, so any time we look at a pass play we look at all the factors that play into it whether it was a successful or not-successful play and why.”

Do you feel like you got away with a couple on Saturday?

“Well, I think there was a couple that I’m sure they felt like they should have had and obviously we look at it as well. Why were we there? Was it timing wrong or on the wrong side of the field, did we made a poor decision? The biggest thing is that goes back to communication and we talk all the time in our room [that] you’ve got to be open in communication because if I don’t know what he’s seeing then I can’t help him, so you’ve got to tell me what you see, what happened, what played out in your mind so now we can paint the real picture of what happened and get it corrected.”

 

How much extra does game performance count in terms of evaluation as opposed to practice? I’m thinking particularly in this instance of Drake Johnson.

“Well, I think obviously any time you play a game the goal is to play well and the best players in games are the guys you want to play. Now, that being said we evaluate practice every day. Guys challenge and compete and usually it’s very rare that you have a player that does not practice well that plays well.”

Does what he did give him maybe an extra look in terms of more snaps going forward?

“Well, I think that when you talk about Drake and what he accomplished it goes back to everything we talked about in the development of players and it’s kind of similar, it is very similar- I look back at where Derrick Green was at. We talked about right before he went down he had two very good weeks of practice and really kind of started to develop, and you look at Drake, once Derrick got injured the last two weeks he had two outstanding weeks of practice. Had the opportunity this week, did some great things, and [we’re] really excited about what he brings.”

 

To piggyback on what you were talking about earlier, how did Devin grade out? How would you evaluate him in that game?

“Devin did some really good things and he did some things we need to correct. Obviously 22/29, completed some balls, did some good things, two touchdowns, obviously the one interception we’d like to have back and there were a couple other decisions but he did some good things and he did some things that we corrected.”

[After THE JUMP: Talking about Drake, Darboh, and the Devins]

Monday Presser 11-3-14: Greg Mattison

Monday Presser 11-3-14: Greg Mattison

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 4th, 2014 at 9:04 AM

matty points

Twenty-four passing yards allowed and Tevin [Coleman] did break 100 yards but it didn’t hurt you guys. Talk about that rush defense, it didn’t break, and then also the pass defense with only giving up 24 yards.

“Well, the pass defense… let’s be honest, that’s a product of them not throwing it very much. The rush defense: I was very pleased with the attitude and the resolve our kids had as far as keeping the ball inside and in front. If you noticed the great production that they had had previous, a lot of it came on huge plays. Eighty yard runs, 70 yards runs and I think our kids did a real good job of making sure we kept it inside and in front and everybody got to the football.”

 

Northwestern’s offense [and] the challenges they pose?

“Yeah, Northwestern, obviously we really respect them. I personally really respect them and their staff, the way they coach. They will be really aggressive. It’s- when they play they play, and the quarterback has a very good arm. They’ve got good wide receivers. Their offensive line has got some experience. They’re a team that has done very well throughout this year. Records, I don’t even look at records. I just know anytime you play Northwestern you better be ready to play because they’re going to play you strong and they’re going to play you hard and we’ve got to come with our “A” game on defense.”

Will you watch film of Iowa, for example, or just kind of stick to what you do?

“No, I’ll watch them very, very closely. That’s what we’ve been doing. That’s what I just came from. We study our opponent every little thing we do. We sometimes study them too much, I think. We study their last four games as closely as we can and then we go back and look at other games and see if there’s anything there. No, but we watch Iowa very, very closely. And Nebraska we watch closely. Wisconsin we watch closely. They’re very good games to watch.”

 

You see a kid like Mone doing what he did on Saturday, [does] that get you a little bit excited for his potential for the future?

“Oh, definitely. He did some very, very good things and he got the reward. Everybody sees him getting the fumble recovery and him doing some things, but there was other young guys that deserved an award also that played that allowed him to do that. That was neat. It was- I could go through every one of those guys. You saw some of the plays Wormley made in there. Godin keeps stepping up. Frank, Brennen Beyer [and] some of the plays he made you don’t see sometimes but it’s because of what he does that allows somebody else to play. I could- there was a lot of good play in there. There had to be to do that against a great runner like him. There’s some young kids. I mean, Ryan Glasgow. To strip the ball and recover the ball, to do that- I could go on and on. That wasn’t just the game they’ve done that. These young kids have done that and this might have been the game where they all kind of did it together or a lot more of them, and that was a good offensive line. I didn’t know how good they were but when I watched it and saw them come out on our backers a coupe times and they had some pretty good offensive linemen and for them, for our kids to have that success I was proud of them.”

[After THE JUMP: Greg Mattison is like, ‘Steal my signals, bro’]

Monday Presser 11-3-14: Brady Hoke

Monday Presser 11-3-14: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 3rd, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Hoke presser 2

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News bullets and other items:

  • Hoke found out from Brandon that he would be resigning on Friday
  • Hoke will have a meeting with Hackett “sooner than later”
  • Peppers is getting better but isn’t where he needs to be, and Hoke said he’d “…have something soon” on the situation. Read between the lines and it doesn’t look good for Peppers returning to the field this season
  • Erik Magnuson “could” stay at TE, but he’s also first in at LT, LG, or RT if needed
  • Hoke referred to a Devin Funchess toe injury when talking about Darboh getting increased opportunities, so if you’re reading this congratulations, the universe somehow hasn’t collapsed into itself yet!
  • Hoke isn’t worried about his job. He says if you worry about it then you get distracted from the job itself, and that he’s never been worried about employment

Opening remarks:

“Thanks for coming. Number one, sorry I was late. I hate to keep you waiting. It was good to win last week. It's always good to win. That’s kind of redundant and obvious but for really how these guys of practice, how they prepare it's always good to be on the right side of the scoreboard when they do that. I thought when you look at how from both sides of the ball they played together it was truly a team win because we came over a little adversity. Defensively really thought guys played well up front. Tackles for loss I think we had 12 so the negative plays, that helped. Offensively 184 yards rushing, which is 5.3 I think it was per rush. Nice to see to be able to end the game to be able to possess the ball. They only had 53 or 54 defensive plays so opportunities weren't there because of time of possession. We did set up some short fields with the two fumble recoveries and that was very positive, but like anything else it's nice that you’re balanced and that's what we were but we've got another game on Saturday with Northwestern. We look forward to that. Came in and got some things done yesterday when you look at it more from a health standpoint but it's exciting to go to Chicago and play Northwestern.”

 

Has Erik Magnuson’s role change on an ongoing basis or was that something you did for one game because you were short?
“No, I think that something that we could stay with. Obviously it was we were short a little bit but he's a good athlete as far as a left tackle what he can do some things and I thought we put him in No. 81.”

Can you talk about the progression of your guards and how they’ve kind of gotten better as the year’s gone on?
“I think that’s- I think Kyle Kalis. A little concerned early in camp because he had a back issue that flared up and we were a little concerned about that but I think because a lot of it is his toughness and how he loves to play the game. I’ve been happy with him. He's going to get us a false start once a game it seems like, where we’ve got to do a better job and he's got to do a better job and he is, but the physicalness he’s played with has been good. I think Graham [Glasgow] over on the left side I think has been very good for us. I just think the development of all those guys has improved and Graham's played center a little bit at times.”

What is your reaction to Dave Brandon stepping down?
“Well, I think the one thing is I have a lot of respect for Dave and from a reaction standpoint he did a lot of good things for the University and now I'm really excited to work with Jim [Hackett].”

Have you met with Jim?
“I saw him after the game briefly. Just briefly.”

Did he talk to you about-
“No, it was just happy with the homecoming win, all that kind of stuff.”

Coaches are often tied to an AD. Does this make you any more concerned?
“You know, I've never been concerned about a job and I never will be because if I get concerned about a job then you get distracted from it. I threw brake drums on the assembly line for Dayton-Walther during the summer and I was never concerned because I knew I was going to outwork everybody. For this if I get distracted then I'm not being fair to those kids who haven't been distracted, so I've never, ever worried about employment.”

[After THE JUMP: bristling at player (under)development accusations and an ominous Peppers progress report you probably guessed weeks ago]

Indiana Postgame Presser: Brady Hoke

Indiana Postgame Presser: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 2nd, 2014 at 12:07 PM

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News bullets and other items:

  • Hoke wouldn’t take any questions about Dave Brandon; he said he’d address that on Monday
  • Hoke seemed pleased with the defense with the exception of two drives. He said the defense lost their intensity on Indiana’s last drive.
  • Hoke attributed Drake Johnson’s success in part to getting increased reps with the second unit after Derrick Green’s injury
  • Jake Butt will rejoin the team for the Northwestern game
  • Devin Gardner is slowly recovering from his ankle injury, though Hoke said it limits the designed runs they can use
  • Hoke chose to kill the clock at the end of the first half because they had just thrown an interception and didn’t want to put the defense in a bad position, and they were getting the ball to start the second half

Opening remarks:

“It was good to see the kids, as hard as they’ve worked – I see that weekly. Some of you believe that, some of you don't but what I can tell you it they work their tails off every time we go to practice. They work their tails off as a group. They really are accountable to each other and that's important and that's the way they came out and played. Obviously we got some good performances from some guys that haven't played as much but part of that is due because, talking about Drake [Johnson] probably as much as anybody, he's got a lot of second reps now since Derrick [Green] went out. So I think when you look at it from that side of that we've always thought he was talented but he took advantage of an opportunity and did a heckuva job.”

I was going to talk about Johnson and Darboh. They had 122 and 170 yards, respectively. Can you talk about Darboh and his receiving today?
“Yeah, you know, Amara played a little bit as it as a freshman, a true freshman, and then sat out all last year but I think the confidence, and again, for both of them being in a system for the first time and then learning a little bit of a different system– they both are very talented, we believe. They both work extremely hard and it's nice to see those kind of kids when they get rewarded because of the hard work and what they do and Amara, you know we have Devin [Funchess] on one side and Amara on the other, it maybe opens up some things a little better.”

[After THE JUMP: evaluating the defense, what’s left to play for, and a couple of comments from players]

Wednesday Presser 10-29-14: Brady Hoke

Wednesday Presser 10-29-14: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 29th, 2014 at 6:01 PM

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News bullets and other items:

  • Hoke says what they tell recruits hasn’t changed. Added that most kids are “…going to be committed to what this place has to offer”
  • Hoke thinks that the staff is developing young players and points to guys like Chris Wormley, Kyle Kalis, and Ben Braden as examples
  • Jabrill Peppers is “frustrated” about being unable to play, but Hoke said there’s not a point of no return as far as whether he plays again this season
  • Hoke added that one of the things to consider when discussing a redshirt with a player is whether it looks like they’ll stay four or five years or whether they’ll be gone sooner

Opening remarks:

“Thanks for coming. Obviously it's been a very exciting week with homecoming this weekend. Michigan is such a global University that people all over the world, they pick a game to come back for and a lot of them pick homecoming so that part is exciting, to have them back in Ann Arbor. Another opportunity for us to play at the greatest stadium in this country and play in front of our fans, our families, our students, who I thought with the Penn State game were excellent and really the energy they supplied to the team was great.

“Indiana – obviously we practiced yesterday. We had a good practice. I thought the energy was really good. I know you got to talk to some of the guys afterwards. The competitive nature of our team has not changed. The hard work has not changed and so it's great to be back out on the field because once you start putting in game plans you obviously move quickly from game to game but I thought that's been real positive.
Indiana offensively: Tevin Coleman, Shane Wynn, Stoner – Nick Stoner, the receiver. They've got good playmakers and obviously Colman, with his ability. They've got an offensive line that I think between the two-deep there’s 160 starts, so there's quite a few guys who have a lot of experience. Coleman himself [is] very explosive. I'm sure you've watched him closely but he does a nice job at the point of attack, at the line of scrimmage and he’s explosive off the ball and that part of it is something when you see a lot of long runs, a lot of big plays that he creates.

“It's important for us to do a great job with cupping the ball, leveraging the ball or however you want to call it. That means cutback players, chase-contain players, plug support players being in the right position and having the right fits and getting off blocks from the interior. For us this week it's about getting better and getting better every day we go on the field.”

Obviously when you hired Doug [Nussmeier] you expected a lot more from the offense than you've gotten. What are the things in terms of your evaluation of him you haven't gotten as much or –
“I think he's a tremendous football coach. I think we've had some things not go the way we’d like them to whether it's points, rushing, all those things. I think from when we hired Doug, and I’d say the same thing from [my perspective] right now, he's a great football coach, a great communicator, a great mind.”
Did he tell you that it was going to take longer to-?
“I don't think he knew the personnel as well. I think that's always something, but I think I don't ever see a coach who was not confident in what they can do saying, ‘Well, it's going to take four years or five years,’ something like that. To me you're just setting yourself up for excuses. Doug is very sure of himself and he projects that. I think he's added a lot to our offense and our personality offensively.”
What do you think is the biggest issue with the offense?
“Well, we haven’t blocked it all the time as well as we can. I think we’re a lot better there. I think you can go game by game and probably start with turnovers. The turnover thing is huge in pro football, in college football and so I think that – you don't get drives, all those things.”
[After THE JUMP: Recruiting and Peppers substance-like stuff]

Monday Presser 10-27-14: Players

Monday Presser 10-27-14: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 29th, 2014 at 9:05 AM

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Jack Miller, Yukon Cornelius, Amara Darboh

 

Jack, the offense didn’t score a whole lot but some people noticed the difference between last year against Michigan State and this year in terms of the offensive line holding its own. Was progress made there or does the frustration about not scoring that many points overwhelm that?

JM: “A little bit of both probably. There was some progress, especially when you compare it to the season before against Michigan State. We did a much better job picking up some of their blitzes, those type of things, and were able to move the line of scrimmage a little bit more than we did last year. Obviously the way it turned out kind of put a damper on it.”

 

With a record of 3-5 and just four games left to play how do the goals shift? How does the focus remain on just one game at a time? Also just kind of talk about the coaches message at this juncture in the season.

JM: “Being 3-5 it almost becomes easier to just take it one game at a time. When you’re winning you’re thinking of the big picture probably a little more. You’re thinking of what’s to come. When things aren’t going your way necessarily you buckle down and all you can really do is focus on the next game. That’s where we’re at. That’s the coaches’ message. That’s kind of been our approach throughout the season.”

BB: “Yeah, I’d agree with that. All of our focus has shifted to what’s in front of us: Indiana. The next game, that’s what we’re focused on.”

AD: “Yeah, both of those guys said it best. Just focused on Indiana right now and focused on practicing and trying to get better.”

 

Brennen, the way Michigan State was able to run the football…does that give an incentive to control an Indiana team that runs the ball also very well?

BB: “Yeah, they have a great back back there, their leading rusher. We definitely- we watched the State film and we’re going to have to learn from our mistakes. Definitely bring it in practice this week and be ready for that run.”

[More after THE JUMP]

Monday Presser 10-27-14: Greg Mattison

Monday Presser 10-27-14: Greg Mattison

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 28th, 2014 at 3:01 PM

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Brady talked about the defensive line at the point of attack and stopping the running game. What things will you hone in on this week, because Indiana obviously runs it pretty well, too?

“State did a good job of bringing in an extra tackle, having two tight ends, and really in general they put a lot of beef out there. What happened is some of our kids didn’t hold the point like they wanted to and from that point on they ended up coming out onto our linebackers and it all has an effect [on[ down. We weren’t happy with how we played the run. We felt like that was something we’ve done most of they year and we had to do it this game. All that being said, you see how close you are because you’re right in it. We’re starting on the fifty yard line or starting wherever or doing whatever and you’re right in it until you give up the big play. And that’s bit us this year. That happened, and that’s me because I’m going to try any way I can to put your thumb in that hole, and whenever you do that there’s a chance of something happening and that happened here. Corner blitz and it was covered, it was covered, it was covered and then it wasn’t covered.

“The one that upset me more than anything was the goal line run down there in the first half. They came out- it was a good job by them. They came out in tempo. They hadn’t shown any tempo. I was looking to make a call and all of a sudden I look up and they’re on the line of scrimmage and that’s me, that’s not them. I felt really bad about that because our kids, they don’t deserve that. They work so hard. They really were into this game and they really wanted to show supposedly what kind of defense they are and not that.”

 

Brady was asked about what was left to accomplish this year just given the way things are and what’s left, maybe a bowl. When you talk to your guys about what’s left what are those [things you] focus [on]?

“Become as good as they can be. Go out every day and do what we started the season out to do, and that was one of the things we talked about watching the tape. We’re going to coach as hard or harder than we have all year and expect them to play as hard as they have and I still expect good things will happen for them and there’ll be no let down. That’s not the way our kids are, and it’s definitely not the way we are or I am and I have all the confidence in the world that our kids are going to come out and play their butts off because that’s who they are. We’ve got to go one game at a time.

“This next one is going to be, defensively, a real challenge. You’re going against a great running back. You saw what they did last year. They put some points up so this is the next one. This is a big test for our kids because you get all this not having success like you’ve worked to have and can you bounce back? Can you bounce back? And I believe they will. I really believe that this group will.”

[After THE JUMP: It’s a Joe Bolden/Jake Ryan/Delano Hill hype party and you’re all invited] 

David Brandon: "I Suggest You Find A New Team"

David Brandon: "I Suggest You Find A New Team"

Submitted by Brian on October 28th, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Ace Anbender contributed to this report.

A few weeks ago, one of our users posted a fuzzy picture of an email purporting to be from one David Brandon:

10615422_294725647389729_3736298342185053254_n[1]

We were already trying to confirm or dis-confirm the authenticity of this when Keith Olbermann's show presented it as a fact we're reporting. At that point we had to either confirm it or repudiate it. We've done our best to do so.

We are now reporting this is authentic.

This kind of thing is of course forgeable, but I let it stand because it felt like something Brandon would do. I know this because over the past few years about two dozen people have forwarded me conversations with Brandon ranging from polite enough to the above. 

While the message board thread had a number of details off due to the hand-me-down nature of the information, Ace tracked down the original source of the emails, confirmed his identity over the phone and on Facebook, and got the original. I believe this to be real.

fine-without-you-1

I asked the hivemind for help with confirming that the email was genuine. What followed was a primer on spoofing that led to one inescapable conclusion: nothing is 100% guaranteed. However, you can look at email headers and GMail histories and rule out all but extremely sophisticated forgeries.

This is where a second emailer comes in. Around the same time Brandon is alleged to have fired off the email above, he shot off another after receiving a short rant about how Al Borges was bad and should feel bad:

have-a-happy-life-2

This woman's husband forwarded a much longer exchange with Brandon he had afterward. This ended with the assertion that "you may need more luck than our football team" to deal with his wife.

It also provided a larger body of information to evaluate. I ran it by a couple people intimately familiar with not just email in general but GMail specifically. The results:

The short of it is that the headers check out but there's no way to be 100% sure unless you know for sure the assumptions below are true. The smoking gun is indeed the back and forth GMail thread, that's just not possible unless fabricated by the recipient which we don't think it is (details on why below).

Assumptions

  • Dave Brandon uses a GMail/Google Apps web client (versus say, a desktop client)
  • [email protected] was not hacked and being accessed by an unauthorized third party
  • Neither a 3rd party or the recipients know the specific Google Apps servers for umich.edu's domain
  • The document with the thread between Dave Brandon and the sender was not fabricated

Details

  • The sender's headers appear consistent and indicate authenticity—however, a single email header is insufficient to prove authenticity
  • GMail automatically detects spoofed Gmails and Google Apps addresses—user(s) would have received a warning
  • Replies to spoofed email addresses will go to the real email address—the sender's emails were getting to [email protected] and being responded to.
  • GMail uses signatures in headers to group threads together. Spoofed emails with the same subject aren't put into threads—the back and forth thread is the strongest proof that the emails are authentic. 
  • The back-and-forth thread does not appear to be a forgery—the spacing, elements, and little details (such as "mgoblog.com" being in purple because it's a previously visited address for the user) all seem to check out. 

The longer thread looks authentic beyond reasonable doubt.

    Since the original email is discussed repeatedly in the longer thread, that seems certainly true.
    A second opinion from a professional in the field links the two emails together:

    We have two separate emails that claim to be sent from DB with the same mail server in the header and the same SMTP address. I'm wholly convinced that neither are forged if these are indeed from 2 different people that couldn't have colluded.

    The independent reports I've gotten over the last two years rules out a hack. Dave Brandon has on many, many occasions sent out emails of this nature in his tenure. People have forwarded me nice notes and not-nice notes; it is beyond a reasonable doubt these are authentic.

    Here are more interactions between fans and Dave Brandon provided to me.

"Quit Drinking And Go To Bed"

Another exchange around the time of Brandon's blog in support of Brady Hoke, featuring "quit drinking," class assertions, more ticket threatening.

Dave,

We are sick of all the talk, excuses, and most importantly the losses. You throwing Coach Rodriguez under the bus like you have this week was an embarrassment to the University and more importantly a big cheap shot on all of the players from his classes. Would you classify the game today as "big-boy football?" Would you consider Urban Meyer's offense "big-boy football?" Was that poor excuse of a defense today playing "big-boy football?" Not only was this season an embarrassment to this University, but your conduct over this past week puts a further black eye on this season and has no place at Michigan.  Michigan is now truly a middle of the road Big Ten team and we have you (not Rich Rodriguez) to thank for that.

BRANDON: Quit drinking and go to bed.

Thanks for the classy response. You may have just lost another season ticket holder.

BRANDON: Getting advice from you on what constitutes a classy email is really a joke.

Good luck!

Dave

Dave,

With all due respect, please explain to me what was wrong with my original email? Did I say anything that offended you or that wasn't true?  All I did was reference points that you used in your media tour last week.  When you go out into the public like you did, do you not expect some backlash? To accuse me of drinking is laughable coming from someone in your position. As I have been reading from various writers, I hope you have extreme concern that the 100,000 attendance streak is in real jeopardy. We just want to win and us fans don't necessarily appreciate seeing you on tv and in the newspapers every other day.

BRANDON: I don't believe you know what "due respect" is....

You sent a snarky, negative article at 11:58 PM the night of a very disappointing loss....telling me what "we" are sick of!  I didn't know you had been elected to represent anyone. I don't know who you are....and I really don't care about your views based on "what you read."  And, I don't accept you as a representative of anyone other than yourself.

For you to point out that "we just want to win" is really profound.  Do you think our kids and coaches don't want to win?  Do you think I don't want to win?  Really????

I don't know what you do for a living...but if you want to be an athletic director....go for it.  If you want to be a coach...go for it. 

As it relates to seeing me on TV or in newspapers....I have no idea what you are talking about.  I don't know or care about that stuff....apparently, you do.  You really should get a different hobby!

I will let the ticket office know of your decision to give up your seats.  I am sure we can use your email address to locate your file.  I am sure you will be much happier....because clearly your anger and frustration over our disappointing season has gotten the best of you.

It's too bad...if you got to know our kids and coaches, you would likely enjoy supporting them even when times are tough.  They are quality people who care a lot about Michigan.  Their efforts, sacrifices and commitment goes beyond putting go blue in their email address and pretending to be a loyal fan - they stay positive and continue to fight even when people like you attack them and the outcome of their efforts.

I wish you well....and I hope you find a team to support that wins every game and every season is a complete success.   

Dave

"I Am Sorry You Are 'Upset'"

This was posted as a diary in September by the emailer himself over a year after he'd emailed me and asked me to keep the exchange private. This is the key section and is verbatim from the email he provided me in 2013:

[My first name],
I received your message and I am sorry you are "upset" over a noodle.
Clearly, this is a very troubling matter for you.
Perhaps the lesson here is for you to be careful not to believe everything you read. There was an event at the Stadium Friday and this promotional piece was included.  It was removed at the conclusion of the event.
I suggest you relax and enjoy the football game today!
Go Blue!!
Dave

His response:

Dear Mr. Brandon,

Thank you for your timely response. I am not upset about a noodle, however, but about the possibility of advertising in Michigan Stadium on game days now and in the future.

I suggest that you drop the condescending tone.

Go Blue!

Brandon:

Thanks for your very helpful input!!

Much appreciated!!

Dave

"Thank you so very much… incredible insight"

In response to a guy advocating against Les Miles for breaking oversigning rules, eating grass, and clapping annoyingly, ending with

Mr. Brandon likes to refer to Michigan football as a "brand." Though I would strongly suggest he stop using this term immediately (academia is not Corporate America, nor is UM football a pizza that tastes like cardboard), I'd also implore him to compare Les Miles' behavior with the "brand" he's trying to protect.

Brandon's response:

Mr. Smith,

As you are helping define the difference between academia and Corporate America for President Coleman and me (thank you so very much….incredible insight!) you inaccurately stated my reference to branding at the University.  I have never referred to Michigan Football is a “brand”….because it is not.  I have referred to the “Block M” as a brand….because it is!

Michigan Football is one of the many ways we build our brand at Michigan…as do the rest of our athletic programs, our health system, our academic units, and just about everything else we do at the University.

If this troubles you….I am sorry.  However, it won’t change the fact that our Block M is one of the most recognized global brands in higher education…and I would think anyone with an email address of “UM Alum” would understand the power of that!

Go Blue!  And, thanks for providing your deep research on Coach Miles.

Dave

What about FOIA?

I have been informed that Michigan erases Brandon's email regularly to prevent responsive requests by a person who worked in the athletic department for three years.

A FOIA request for an email sent or received by Dave Brandon would end up going to his secretary. If the date of the email is given, his secretary would not even need to look to see if the email exists. All of Dave Brandon's emails are manually deleted from his university email once they are about one month old. They have been since he started. Since it is done manually, sometimes it's actually a little later, sometimes it is a little sooner, especially if the email is something that may be FOIAed.

But it was explained to me that the whole point is to avoid responding to a FOIA request (like this one). I've been following this email/FOIA issue, and after I spoke with one of my friends in the athletic department, we agreed that we would be shocked if that email still existed in his email, even if it did exist at one time.

This is why a specific request filed by an MGoBlog member turned up nothing. I have two FOIAs in with the department currently, one for six days of mail to and from two email addresses, the other for [email protected] and [email protected] dating back to January 1st of 2013. The department wants to charge me $385 for the first request and $1215 for the second—if those are at all proportional than there's approximately three weeks of email sitting there.

Is this legal? Our local law-talker BISB weighs in:

--------------------------------

If a state employee (such as, for random example, a University Athletic Director) deleted email exchanges, he was probably in violation of Michigan's FOIA law. Emails sent by an employee in the course of his official function are considered public records. The University of Michigan, and its employees, have an affirmative obligation to maintain public records:

MCL 15.233(3): "A public body shall protect public records from loss, unauthorized alteration, mutilation, or destruction."

That duty extends to the individual employees. Intentionally deleting emails as a means of preventing them from being FOIAed would be a violation of MCL 15.240(7):

"If the circuit court determines... that the public body has arbitrarily and capriciously violated this Act by refusal or delay in disclosing or providing copies of a public record, the court shall award, in addition to any actual or compensatory damages, punitive damages in the amount of $500.00 to the person seeking the right to inspect or receive a copy of a public record."

"Capricious and arbitrary" essentially means without cause and in an abuse of power. The University of Michigan is the one subject to the penalty, but the employee is the one who committed the violation.

-----------------------------------

Since the punishment is so paltry, Michigan doesn't seem to care.

Documents

The recipients of these emails are private citizens who would like to remain such so I've blacked out their email addresses. All else is as received. There are links to the originals in every section; here they are in a group.

"We will be fine without you"

"Have A Happy Life"

Longer exchange 1

Longer exchange 2

Longer exchange 3

Quit Drinking 1

Quit Drinking 2

Quit Drinking 3

Les Miles

I'm sorry you are 'upset'