Monday Presser 10-20-14: Players

Monday Presser 10-20-14: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 22nd, 2014 at 9:04 AM

players 10-20

Jake Ryan, Jack Miller, Devin Gardner

Devin, as an in-state guy and your last shot at these guys, how much does this one mean to you?

DG: “It means a lot to me, but it means a lot to me every year so I’m just excited to get to the game.”

For Devin again, last year it was safe to say you got beat up pretty badly in the MSU game. Is there a mental hurdle that you have to clear yourself to get yourself prepared for this one?

DG: “No.”

For Jake: they have a pretty decent running game right now. Good wide receivers. How much have you and the defense talked about limiting the big plays [and] not allowing Langford to do what he does?

JR: “Yeah, that’s what our defense needs to do. Stopping the run’s been huge for us this year and we’ve got to keep on doing it. Lippett’s been a good receiver and we’ve got to shut him down.”

Devin, we were talking to coach Nussmeier and he said that he felt you made the biggest strides in understanding defenses this year. Talk about how that’s come about and the benefit of that for you.

DG: “I think it’s been really big for me, just being able to see what I need to see out there and it helps when you know where you want to go with the ball. You have to have an idea where you want to go with the ball, and he brought a lot of different coverages that we didn’t really know about and we didn’t really understand how they were played but we feel like we’re doing a good job of understanding now.”

Has that helped you a lot with pre-snap reads?

DG: “Yeah, definitely.”

[More after THE JUMP]

Upon Further Review 2014: Defense vs Rutgers

Upon Further Review 2014: Defense vs Rutgers

Submitted by Brian on October 8th, 2014 at 4:31 PM

FORMATION NOTES: Not a whole lot was different, but Michigan did line up in a number of under fronts…

4-3 under for M

…so that was frustrating what with Ross playing SAM and Ryan at MLB, neither of them doing particularly well.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Usual rotation on the line except Charlton got the start and played about the same number of snaps as Beyer. Hurst continues to get a few snaps, which is a change from earlier. LBs same; corners generally Lewis and Countess with Taylor coming in for the nickel, pushing Countess inside.

Wilson went the whole way; Clark was the other starter at S with Thomas coming in regularly.

[After THE JUMP: the center cannot hold.]

Monday Presser 9-29-14: Players

Monday Presser 9-29-14: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 1st, 2014 at 9:11 AM

players 9-29

Frank Clark, Jake Ryan, and Joe Kerridge

Joe, you’re obviously part of the offensive group. Did you notice anything different about Shane in the huddles after he took that hit and through the rest of the game when you talked to him?

JK: “With Shane, I was on the sideline. I was focused in trying to pay attention to the game. I really didn’t have any communication with Shane throughout that part of the end of the game, so I wasn’t aware of any of the symptoms or anything like that.”

Have you noticed anything, seeing him around the building the last two days, that’s been unusual?

JK: “No. I haven’t seen him in the building, but that’s a question for coach Hoke.”

This is a question for Frank and Jake. Does the team get together after a loss like that and the fallout from it and has there been a team meeting? Does there need to be? Do you guys talk about it, and what do you do going forward?

JR: “I think just us as leaders need to bring guys up and get people’s heads up. After a loss like that that’s what you need to do, and we came in and we did what we needed to do. We got our film in, we got our practice in, and it’s just about keeping guys up and keeping guys focused.”

This is for any one of you. I’m wondering how much communication there is between yourself and maybe coach Hoke on the sideline when you see someone get injured or if you see something happen; if you can go up to him and say something or what that’s like on the sideline.

FC: “I feel like really that’s out of our power. If someone gets injured or things aren’t going in our favor, that’s our coach’s power. He controls everything at the end of the day, [and] we just follow the rules.”

Then if you have an injury, say, on the field, how much of a say do you have in getting back on the field? Are you able to simply tell them, ‘I’m fine’?

FC: “We play football. It’s a difference between being injured and being hurt. Anybody can play hurt, but not many people can play injured. But if you want to play football, if you want to go back on that field as a player he’s going to allow you to go back on that field if it’s not too bad.”

[More after THE JUMP]

Upon Further Review 2014: Defense vs Utah

Upon Further Review 2014: Defense vs Utah

Submitted by Brian on September 24th, 2014 at 4:20 PM

FORMATION NOTES: Not much of note. M was in a 4-3 over most of the day with few deviations. Miami did do some of that late-model RR/Baylor stuff by putting their WRs way far away from everything. I called this Shotgun 4-wide far. (This looks like pistol but the QB is 5 yards deep and the RB will pick a side/position presnap.)

utah 4-wide-far

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Line starters were the usual. Backups saw some changes, though. The backup ends were still Charlton and Ojemudia; the second 3Tech was Godin—I don't think Wormley even played—and Hurst got in for some snaps that had previously gone to Pipkins. Again, don't think Pipkins played.

Linebacker was all Ross/Bolden/Ryan, and Michigan spent a big hunk of the game in a 4-3 playing zone so Ross got a fair share of time. When Michigan went nickel they slid Countess inside with Peppers and Lewis on the edge, and then Peppers disappeared and they stopped playing nickel. Hollowell didn't get on the field.

Safety was Jeremy Clark the whole way and Hill; then Hill left and Thomas came in.

APOLOGY NOTE: I used a different video file format and my conversion process balked at it, so the audio is messed up on the clips. I just didn't execute. Sorry guys.

[After THE JUMP: this went well.]

Monday Presser 9-22-14: Players

Monday Presser 9-22-14: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 24th, 2014 at 9:04 AM

players 9-22

Blake Countess, Jake Ryan, Jehu Chesson

Blake, earlier this season I remember talking to you about the secondary being a strength. Are you guys still confident that the talent’s there? I mean, you guys have given up some big plays now and then. Are you still as confident in the secondary as you were four or five weeks ago?

BC: “Oh, no doubt about it. We’re a group that’s growing just like the rest of the team and we definitely have the talent to do it. It’s just about getting better every week and proving it, but absolutely. My confidence in my secondary has not wavered at all.”

Coach Hoke has been taking a lot of heat, obviously. What do you guys talk about in the locker room? Do you guys rally around him a little bit at this point?

JR: “Yeah, I mean, we’re just trying to stick together as a team. You know, we can’t let last week affect us. We’ve got to hold our heads up and move on. It’s Big Ten season.”

[Ed. Totally inaudible, sorry]

JR: “You can’t listen to that. You know, you can’t be affected by that. You just have to block it out and, you know, these people don’t know what we’ve done behind the scenes. They don’t know what we’ve done in Schembechler Hall, but we’re just going to keep taking those necessary steps forward that we need to take to improve every single day.”

Does it tick you off, though? When you read the tweets or…

JR: “You can’t- I don’t go on the message boards and read all that stuff. You can’t do that. That’s just people’s opinions.”

[More after THE JUMP]

Monday Presser 9-22-14: Greg Mattison

Monday Presser 9-22-14: Greg Mattison

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 23rd, 2014 at 9:00 AM



Opening remarks:

“Hello, everybody. I almost didn’t make it today. I was kind of busy over there trying to get ready for this next one. Somebody had to tell me to come but it’s good to see everybody. Go ahead.”

Greg, the run defense remains a strength. I know that the secondary needs some work, though. Overall, what’s your assessment of your defense through four games?

“I don’t look at four games. I always look at the last game. We didn’t win. There’s a point when you become- and that’s our goal, to become a great defense, is you do whatever you have to to win. You do whatever you have to. And that in a lot of places means don’t even let them get in the end zone in any way. Am I proud of these guys? I’ve told you from day one I really like these guys. I mean, I like how they work. I like what they bring to the meeting room every day. I like what they bring to the practice field. I like how they compete. Do we do it perfect all the time [and] have we? No. And do we have to keep working to do that? Yes. Until we do whatever we possibly have to do to get the win then we haven’t totally reached the mark.”


Coach, I’ll have you comment on a couple of things. One, the breakthrough on producing a score on defense, but then the drive that they had coming out of the second half.

“Getting the score, that’s a guy playing hard in practice every day. That’s a guy doing the things [he needs to]. That’s a guy improving, Willie Henry. That was a guy making a play that he had to make a play and we’ve talked about him, too, [and] what he’s done since the day he got here. His improvement. Becoming mature, practice habits, all that and that’s great to see that happen for him. Same thing for Frank [Clark]. That sack he got was a big league sack. Those things happen because you work hard and you practice hard.

“Coming out in the second half at half time…they got us on two plays that were corrected immediately after that happened. It’s a shame that I didn’t see it quicker. It’s a shame that I didn’t do something after the first time to eliminate- it was the exact same play that scored a touchdown on it and that’s where maybe I need to see that quicker from what happened and stop that one touchdown and, again, that’s my job. But they adjusted then and that’s how they got there. That’s what happened after [the] half.”


Jake Ryan had a career-high 13 tackles. He has an unorthodox way of doing things sometimes but gets the job done. Talk about the essence of Jake Ryan as a defensive force.

“Well, Jake and Joe [Bolden]. I’ll put them together. Your linebackers in this defense have got to make a lot of plays because you’re getting very good play out of the front in front of them. When the front demands double teams and when the front does what they’ve been doing then there are so many times when a linebacker, if he does what he’s supposed to do with his footwork, with his keys, with his recognition, is there with nobody blocking him. Now make the tackle. And their effort, Joe and Jake, their effort, their toughness, their playing what I consider linebacker, that’s been good and we’ve got to keep getting better.”

But Jake in particular. I touched on his unorthodox manner sometimes in getting the job done. Can you talk about him in particular?

“I don’t know what unorthodox is. To me, it’s when the ball carrier has the football and you tackle him, you’re playing linebacker. Sometimes they’re not picture-perfect tackles. Sometimes you may not be perfect with your footwork, stepping down and all of a sudden coming back. Jake’s been unorthodox since the day he got here. You know, that’s Jake and that’s why I love him but I can’t say it enough: Joe being in there with him, Joe doing what he’s doing- I mean, I don’t know what you had him for tackles but I had him the same way with pretty close. And we’ve just got to keep them both doing what they’re doing and it’s the front that’s helping them do that.”


[After THE JUMP: playing euchre, wrestling Hoke, and other tales of a 30-year friendship]


Utah Postgame Presser: Brady Hoke

Utah Postgame Presser: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 21st, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Hoke presser 2


News bullets and other items:

  • Hoke thinks ball security is their biggest issue
  • The starting quarterback against Minnesota will be determined during the week via competing and challenging
  • Jourdan Lewis’ cross-field rundown that saved a touchdown was compared to a similar play Woody Hankins made in 1996 against Ohio State. The coaches show the team the Hankins play every season.

Opening remarks:

“Obviously very disappointed with the outcome of the game. I thought our kids came out very ready to play. I thought that they demonstrated that the first drive down the field and I think the defense, what they did early in the football game, was indicative of how they prepared, how they practiced, and how they got ready to play the game.

“I think obviously you have a punt return against you for a touchdown. Anything in the kicking game is momentum and we had some momentum and then we give up the touchdown on the punt return, which is very disappointing.

“You look at, from a standpoint of taking care of the football- you know, and we’ve talked a lot about that. Probably more than I would’ve liked to or you would like to talk about it but that’s one thing we’ve got to do a better job of and that’s constantly coached and we talk about it and sometimes those things happen and we’ve got to make sure we’re going back to work, working hard on it and we can’t have that happen through the Big Ten season.

“We talked as a team afterwards about what we need to do and I reminded them of the 1998 team, which was a team that went to Notre Dame- I was part of that team- and lost and then lost here at home against Syracuse and then went off and won the Big Ten or a part of the Big Ten championship. Those goals, our goals, are all out there. And I do believe we have a team that can do that. Now, you can’t play the way we did today and do that. We realize that. But we’ve got a bunch of guys in that locker room who every day work their tails off and are supportive and believe in each other.”


Brady, after a game like this when you pulled your quarterback and the score was what it was what do you see and why do you believe you can contend in the Big Ten this year?

“Yeah, and that’s a great question but I think the one thing I have that you don’t is I’m with this group of young men every day, these kids. I know how they go to work. There’s some things we did very well today. We did some things not as well as we needed to. And we’ve got to improve on that. We’ve got to go back to work. It starts with me as the head football coach. It starts with the assistants [and] everyone who’s in Schembechler Hall. We’ve got to do a better job for those kids.”

The incident on the sidelines with you and Greg Mattison right before or right after the penalty, was that a little loss of control there? What was that?

“Well, I’ve known Greg since 1984 and I can guarantee you that that wasn’t the first time two competitive men have had a- I wouldn’t even call it an argument.”


“Did I finish that? Sounded like it. Discussion. You ought to see us play euchre. We really have discussions.”

[More after THE JUMP]

Upon Further Review 2014: Defense vs Miami

Upon Further Review 2014: Defense vs Miami

Submitted by Brian on September 17th, 2014 at 4:06 PM

FORMATION NOTES: Michigan actually played their SAM linebacker extensively for the first time this year. Behold:

M 4-3 even look

That is Jenkins-Stone over the slot. This mostly indicated zone coverage; almost everything indicated zone coverage, with the exception of that rolled-up boundary corner, who was often nose to nose with his man. More discussion of this in a bit.

On short yardage Michigan had this press man okie-ish look with one LB back: I called this "Okie one robber," FWIW.

M okie one robber

Nickel packages were saved for passing downs for the most part.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Rotation has whittled down to an obvious starting front seven-ish with mostly obvious backups. The line is Clark/Henry/Glasgow/Beyer with Bolden/Ryan behind them and Jenkins-Stone as the SAM when they have a SAM. The primary backups are Ojemudia/Wormley/Mone/Charlton with Godin and Pipkins also fighting at the two DT spots.

The backup ILBs don't play and probably won't until Morgan gets back; Ross does spot RJS regularly.

They are still working through injury and uncertainty in the secondary, and this is a spot that will develop over time. Once Wilson is back it seems like Jeremy Clark is going to be his partner; he's gotten the most playing time of anyone so far and he seemed to be out there while Hill and Thomas rotated. Corner is still in flux but a dollar says Peppers is a boundary corner the rest of the year with Lewis your top field corner option and Countess preferred at nickel; Taylor is likely to spot Lewis and Peppers, or Lewis will spot Taylor and Peppers, to the point where calling two guys starters and one a backup is semantics. 

EDITORIAL POLICY: I'm calling Frank Clark just "Clark" and Jeremy Clark "JClark." Jeremy can be just Clark next year.

[After THE JUMP: derp and darts from Miami, mostly derp.]

Miami (NTM) Postgame Presser: Brady Hoke

Miami (NTM) Postgame Presser: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 14th, 2014 at 11:57 AM

photo 1

Brady Hoke in “Everyone’s reaction to this game”

Opening remarks

“Number one, it was great to play back at home, first and foremost. It was great to win the football game. We needed to come back and move forward and it’s always better to move with a win. I think from an offensive standpoint we did some very good things. I think the second half, obviously we took care of the football and didn’t turn the ball over and then completed some drives that we had. I think the running game is where-- we wanted to run the ball the whole game but I think the second half we stayed away from some negative plays that put you in bad situations and we were able to run the ball. I thought Derrick [Green] and DeVeon [Smith] both did a nice job. The offensive line worked very hard. I think the guys on the perimeter did a nice job.

“I think defensively holding them to 2-of-12 from a third down perspective is [good for] getting your defense off the field and more opportunities for our offense. The rush for the second week-- looking at our defense we played that very well, the front seven did or if we were in nickel situations the nickel did when he was involved so those were the positives of it.

“We only got the one pick as far as a turnover. We’ve got to do a better job there. I thought we harassed the quarterback and I think Brennen Beyer on the one sack made just a great play because he finished the play, and how he finished it. It was good to be at home, like I said. We’ve got to go to work. Utah’s a good football team. They’re a tough football team. That’s what-- they’ve had that M.O. for a long time and I think Kyle [Whittingham], coaching against him in the Mountain West and coaching against his team, they’re always a physical group. We’ll have our hands full.”


Is that about what you wanted to see, aside from a five minute stretch in the second quarter?

“Number one, I wanted to see—our guys came out with energy. That was something, and I think part of that was the crowd when the game started. I think part of it is they’re a very close team in a lot of ways and so them coming out and playing hard…would we have liked to have had a better first half in taking care of the football? Yeah.”


Devin Gardner and his receivers: what kind of versatility and depth did you see from that wide receiving core in the absence of Devin Funchess?

“I think the addition of Jake Butt helps, getting him back and getting him healthy and we kind of picked our spots with using him in some way. But Darboh and Chesson are both very talented. Norfleet gives you a great spark. Freddy Canteen is starting to get back to where he kind of was last spring, so having some depth there helps. Obviously Devin Funchess can be a difference maker because of his size and athleticism but I think the other guys did a nice job.”

Do you expect Devin back next week?

“Well, we’ll see.”


[More after THE JUMP, including player comments]


Monday Presser 9-8-14: Players

Monday Presser 9-8-14: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 10th, 2014 at 9:15 AM

clark, ryan, norfleet

Frank Clark, Jake Ryan, Dennis Norfleet

Could you guys talk about the receivers as a group beyond Devin Funchess and what you guys feel like you can give to this team?

Dennis Norfleet: “We’ve become one. Everybody expects everything from one another. We do things as a group so when one makes a play we all make a play. That’s how coach Heck[linski]’s got us and that’s how we’re going to remain throughout the year.”

Dennis, what’s your perception on how people perceive you? Is it as a big play guy, someone who can score at a moment’s notice or are you much more than an explosive player? What else can you bring to the table other than that lightning quickness?

DN: “My role on the team…I know that I’m a guy that can bring spark and that makes everybody happy so I’m just being the teammate that can get everybody going [and] to bring fire. That’s what I do. So if I can continue on doing that to get everybody to be happy and to let them know that the game can go our way at any time then that’s what I can do.”

Frank or Jake, you guys seemed to find more success stopping the run as opposed to getting to the pass. Is that just something that Golson might have been doing differently or that you guys were more prepared for with the run?

Jake Ryan: “That’s just something that we’ve got to work on, the pass game, more. Creating havoc for the quarterback. The run game we played pretty well but we’ve also got to focus on the pass game. Getting more blitzes in and getting more guys to the quarterback is really going to create a different atmosphere for him and create havoc for him.”

[More after THE JUMP]