Monday Presser Transcript 11-12-12: Brady Hoke

Monday Presser Transcript 11-12-12: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on November 12th, 2012 at 3:10 PM


  • If Denard were a rapper his stage name would be Day2Day.
  • Hoke says decision on Denard's status for Saturday will be made based on health, not sentiment.
  • Mario Ojemudia is "coming along," which probably means he won't be ready for Saturday.
  • Will Campbell "probably played his best football game" against Northwestern.
  • Hoke did think about going for a touchdown instead of a field goal at the end of regulation but decided not to.
  • Whether Denard could play situationally even if he were unable to throw the ball is something Hoke may consider. (What does that even mean. Aye aye aye.) Take two: Hoke will talk to Denard about playing situationally or as a runner if he remains unable to throw the ball on Saturday. Maybe.




How are you doing?

“Better than the alternative.”

Opening remarks:

“Really proud of our football team. I’m proud of how they stuck together. I think I mentioned, I may not have -- they really stuck together the whole game. They believed in each other, believed in what we were trying to get accomplished. I thought there were some really smart decisions made by players and by some of the guys on the staff when the two returners at the end of the game on the punt, because of the way they tried to punt the ball, Gallon was able to get some real positive yardage and set up being able to get the ball to whatever yard line it was to try for the field goal to tie it. If you have one returner back and that ball bounces, you lose field position and those things. Kids executed it well.

“This week’s a special week. Number one, our seniors. Last time they get to play in the greatest stadium in this country. Get to wear that blue jersey here at home and so it’s really special for us as coaches and for those underclassmen who go out and play well. Iowa, as you know, they’re a very good football team. They’ve lost the last two games I think by a total of six points. Run the football well. I think they’ve had some nicked up people when you look at it earlier in the year, but I think they’re really coming together. James Vandenberg, I think, is a very good quarterback. We’ve got our work cut out for us, and we have a lot to do.”

Northwestern Postgame Presser: Players

Northwestern Postgame Presser: Players

Submitted by Heiko on November 12th, 2012 at 12:24 AM

Jordan Kovacs and Kenny Demens

Opening remarks:

Kovacs: “Coach Hoke let me know early in the week that I’d be wearing No. 11. He asked me how I felt about it, and of course I felt it was a huge honor. I’ve worn 32 for quite some time. I think I’ll always be 32, but I think it’s a great opportunity to recognize our legends. That’s the approach I have. I did a little research on the Wisterts and I actually had the opportunity to meet Albert yesterday, and he said that when he was first given 11, he was just so humbled and so excited, and it was a huge honor for him. He said he prayed before every game that he put it on that he’d be worthy enough to wear it, so that’s kind of my approach. It’s a huge honor and I just hope I’m worthy enough to wear it.”

Kenny, were you 100% assigned to Colter on those last few plays, and what was it like to be able to make that play at the end?

Demens: “Well I just have my reads. The coaches, they give us bullets to come out with and to make that play, I just felt so proud of myself, but not for me, but for my teammates. The defense, we didn’t play as well as we wanted to, and just to come up and make a play and to finish strong how we did, it means a lot.”

Northwestern Postgame Presser: Brady Hoke

Northwestern Postgame Presser: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on November 11th, 2012 at 1:58 PM

“All right, let me ask [you] a question. Who started writing the article before the game was over?”

[Multiple hands are raised.]

“Yeah. Exactly ... I should have picked you out.

“Obviously we’ve got a lot that we didn’t do well, but we did do well when you win the football game. I thought it was two teams that played hard. I have so much respect for Pat and how he runs his program and how his guys come to work every day and how they come to play. We knew it would be a dog fight. We missed way too many tackles. You’ve got to give Kain Colter some of that respect, because he made us miss him. We have to do a better job there. I think offensively, moving the ball pretty consistently. Still need to rush for more yards from the backfield, which means we still have to continue to improve up front. How we’re blocking the line of scrimmage. We missed a couple cuts, but Devin did a tremendous job really managing everything, staying into the game, extending some things, and then his athleticism obviously helped in some of the first downs -- we were seven of 10. That’s all I have to say.”

Is that the kind of game where you just say you find a way to win and build off that?

“Well, yeah. There was a lot to build from and a lot to learn from. Our seniors play their last game at Michigan Stadium next week. That’s significant and if we want to send them out the right way, we have to play better. That always starts with the coaching side of it. That has to be paramount for us.”

Can you talk about the concentration on Roundtree’s catch and then Demens’s tackles to win the game in overtime?

“Yeah, and Roy really I think on a couple balls had really great focus and great intensity in what he was doing. The last tackle there, I think number one I like the call that Greg made because it was one where we may have talked them into running the football because of some of the space inside. And then Kenny just did a nice job of really working inside out to the ball, where maybe a little earlier we were maybe getting too far ahead of it.”

How much do you believe that your team’s experience in tight games in the past helped today?

“Yeah … I think that’s a great question. I think when you look at them on the sideline and you communicate with them and talk to them, never a doubt that they weren’t going to win the football game in my opinion. I think all that helps. I think experiencing anything in life helps you get through it the next time. I think the same thing [applies] in the game of football.”

What did Devin improve between game 1 and game 2?

“I don’t know if I could do that right now. I think he managed the game well. I thought he had two throws that probably weren’t the best throws. Did a nice job getting rid of the ball in the end zone. He made some good decisions.”

How differently do you run your offense with Devin in there? What strengths do you try to use?

“I think the biggest thing is there’s a little more two-back. There’s a little more vertical run, there’s a little more power play to some degree, lead play, iso … From that standpoint, there’s still the zone read and all those things from the gun, too.”

What were they doing on third down to have so much success, and how did you come up with stops late in the game?

“Yeah. What were they doing? I think they converted and they were a little more accurate in some of their throws on their seven routes -- smash routes. We needed to do a little better job in the seam part of our defense when they were throwing it. And I think he scrambled at times, and either we missed a tackle, which we did a couple times on a scramble, or we didn’t force the ball enough as far as when you talk about your lanes and compressing the pocket from the outside to the inside.”

Resolve of your team?

“These kids have been great. It didn’t surprise me. It really didn’t surprise me that -- there were 18 seconds left when they punted the ball or something like that. Dan Ferrigno did a nice job all week because they would rugby punt if you want to call it that -- it wasn’t a full on rugby -- but lining up Gallon where he lined him up, because that’s where, if you charted a year of punts, that’s where they were going if they rugby punted, and it was perfect. It got us great field position and got us the throw.”

Take us through Devin’s pass to Roundtree. Was that his first read? Second read? What was he looking at?

“Well I really can’t describe it at all for you, but we knew we had to get to a certain point on the field. We knew from the 35, 38 in is where we wanted to kick the field goal, tie it up. And it just so happened that the post part of the route, the combination was where we needed to hit it, and Devin threw it well, and Roy made a football play.”

If Devin somehow could not have continued in the game, would Denard have played?

“Maybe. He was dressed, right?”



What has Roy done to step up?

“I think Roy’s been like that. Roy’s always been focused. Prepares well and gets himself ready for a game.”

Have you seen a change in him the past two weeks?

“No, not really.”

You said you missed a lot of tackles, but from a schematic standpoint, how were you trying to stop Northwestern?

“Well scheme-wise was really good. I thought Greg and the defensive staff -- you’ll go back and look and [say], ‘Maybe I should have run this more,’ or whatever it might be, but I thought scheme-wise, especially some of the things we were doing -- I’m not going to explain them, obviously -- it was very effective. It kind of got them into one formation. When you can get someone into one formation or two formations, then you don’t have all the other problems.”

Just to follow up on Denard --

“Day to day.”

He didn’t do much in warmups.

“Day to day.”

If you were in our shoes, wouldn’t you have started writing the story before the game ended?


Why not?

“No. Because of those kids. No way. My wife just asked me that on the way in. ‘Did you know you were going to win?’ I said 'yes.'”

They had a lot of success running outside --

“Perimeter of the defense. Need to play better on the perimeter of the defense. Need to get off blocks better.”

Were you surprised they went away from that late?

“No, because I think he got beat up a little bit there for a minute. Siemian’s a very good quarterback, but he’s not the same quarterback. Then when he came back, they went to their bread and butter on the fourth down play. Tried to go option again.”

Talk about how hard Fitz ran and what the offensive line needs to do to help him?

“We have to finish on blocks better combination-wise, to answer the second part first because that one I can remember. I really thought they were getting some movement. Probably not as much as we would like, because it never is, and I did think he ran extremely hard. You could hear football on the field.”

Would you say this win keeps your Big Ten title hopes alive?

“Well. We can’t worry about what other people do. We have to worry about what we do. We got Iowa.”

When Denard is healthy enough to come back, what do you do with the quarterback situation?

“I think that’s something we’ll figure out.”

Faith in Brendan Gibbons to make that kick and the job Drew Dileo did to pick that ball off the ground?

“Well, that combination’s a pretty good combination. You know, they work so much together because we kick every day, but they’re two -- and don’t tell Gibbons I ever said this -- two football players.”

Devin was in a lot of pressure situations. What did you see out of him in terms of commanding the huddle?

“Well he’s realy done a nice job and always has. I thought the way he’s gone about his business, the maturity and the growth has been, I guess, expected.”

Wednesday Presser Transcript 11-7-12: Brady Hoke

Wednesday Presser Transcript 11-7-12: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on November 7th, 2012 at 3:03 PM


  • Both Denard and Russell Bellomy are day to day. Hoke doesn't want to comment on it, so don't ask or he'll get mad at you.
  • All's quiet on the Devin Gardner redshirt front.
  • Mario Ojemudia is not 100%, still limited in practice. My guess is he probably won't play Saturday.
  • Jeremy Gallon is "good." My guess is he probably will play on Saturday.
  • Joey Burzynski and Jack Miller have taken reps with the ones this week. If they do get shuffled into the offensive line rotation, that decision will be made after tomorrow's practice.

From the mixed up files of Dr. Basil E. Heikoyang

Opening remarks:

“It was a good practice, and I think it’s been like that most of the year. I think we had really good energy. We had good tempo. I think our team -- I know our team understands we’re playing an awfully good team this week. They’re very difficult in some ways to defend from an offensive perspective. Their playmakers on both sides of the ball with Mark and Colter, and Siemian throws the ball awfully well. They have a group of receivers that play the ball well in the air. I think they run after the catch very well. When you look at the big plays they’ve had defensively, they’ve had 20 plus runs. I think they have 12 touchdowns of them. And then throwing the ball, they’ve had a number of those they’ve done a good job with. And then defensively you look at them and, you know, Mike Hankwitz, who played here, the coordinator, does a tremendous job from a defensive perspective. Sound, disciplined, run to the ball, all the things you want to see a defense do. We’ve got our work cut out for us.

“Regarding our two quarterbacks, I’m not going to talk about it as far as what’s going on with Russell and Denard because it’s day to day and in fairness to those kids, I’m not going to give day to day updates. So that’s where that’s at.”

Tuesday Presser Transcript 11-6-12: Al Borges

Tuesday Presser Transcript 11-6-12: Al Borges

Submitted by Heiko on November 6th, 2012 at 5:01 PM


“There’s Heiko. What’s up? … Where’s your glasses?”

I left them in Minnesota.

“They’re cerebral. That’s why Heiko wears his.”

[email protected][email protected]: Yeah!

“That’s why I wear mine. Put glasses on and makes you look smarter. I’m just a dumb guy with glasses. What’s up? I’m sure you guys don’t have any questions, so.”

Did you vote today?

“Of course I voted! That’s a ridiculous question. I won’t go into it, but I am very politically minded, okay.”

When did you know Denard wasn’t going to play?

“Kind of right up until we played, because we kind of nursed him along all week just to see how he’s doing, so we’re going to give him a chance to take it all the way to game time. He deserved that. The team deserved that.”

Tuesday Presser Transcript 11-6-12: Greg Mattison

Tuesday Presser Transcript 11-6-12: Greg Mattison

Submitted by Heiko on November 6th, 2012 at 3:04 PM


Hey coach, how ya doin’?

“Better than last week, that’s for sure. It was good to get a win on the road. Glad that game is over with. Now it’s time to get these guys back at home and g et our seniors one of the last two times back in that stadium and play defense like we’re suppsoed to play.”

Can you talk about the early defensive effort in the game, particularly in light of having a new starter at quarterback?

“Yeah, I mean we understand the situation that we were in in that ball game, and we talked about it. That if you’re going to be a championship defense, then you have to do whatever you have to do to not let people score. It doesn’t matter how many times, what happens, turnovers-wise, where they get the football, then you have to stop them or you have to get the football back. And that takes everybody playing hard, everybody running to the football, and the biggest thing is you can’t give them big plays. You cannot allow in that situation someone to get a cheap one, and that’s what our guys preached. I was proud of them. Again, you hear us say this, we aren’t close yet, but they did do some good things. They did a really good job in the red zone. They did a really good job by the goal line, and that’s one of our big things is ‘Give me a place to stand, don’t let them in until they’re in,’ and we did that, but they shouldn’t have gotten there. That’s the thing we looked at. When we had a short field, we played pretty good at times, but when we had the long field, we let them get down there to make it a short field. We’ve got to get that corrected and we have to get that changed.”

Monday Presser Transcript 11-5-12: Brady Hoke

Monday Presser Transcript 11-5-12: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on November 5th, 2012 at 5:56 PM


  • Denard is improving slowly.
  • Russell Bellomy is suffering from Things and Stuff. Probably. Hoke wouldn't comment. Whatever it is should not be season-ending, however.
  • Mario Ojemudia's status is up in the air because he has a Boo Boo.
  • Jeremy Gallon is taking it easy with his ankle issue, but should be good to go on Saturday.
  • The coaches have talked about bringing in Jack Miller or Joey Burzynski to address some of the interior offensive line issues. 




Opening remarks:

“We all set? I was obviously pleased with the win on the road. Every week is a championship game, and we look at it that way, so going to Minneapolis and winning was important. Did we play our best? No. I don’t think we did. Kicking game and a lot of areas we have to do a better job -- kicking, covering, punting. We had two dumb penalties, the blocks in the back that obviously moves the ball back, puts you in a worse position. Defensively [I] thought we kept ourselves in the game and at the same time, we need to do a better job against the run. Didn’t think we did as well a job against the rush, but that being said, it kept us in the game offensively. We talked afterwards. I thought Devin did a nice job managing the offense. Thought he made some plays, extended some plays, and did a great job in that area. On the one pick, it was one that he’d like back, we’d all like back, but I think he learned from it. Took care of the football and did a nice job.

“This week we play a very good football team in Northwestern. Well coached, and I have a lot of respect for Pat. How he coaches and how his team plays. They have some threats, you know, offensively. Venric Mark is an extremely shifty, quick runner. Does a tremendous job. I think they’re blocking well up front. Defensively, overall as a team they’re plus six in turnover margin, which is a very good number, so from the defensive side, they’ve done a good job. They’ve only thrown three interceptions on the year. That’s with both quarterbacks in -- Colter and Siemian. So they’re doing a nice job managing that part of it. And Tyler Scott on the defensive side is a guy who’s very active. Leads the Big Ten in sacks and forced fumbles. We have our work cut out for us.”

Wednesday Presser Transcript 10-31-12: Brady Hoke

Wednesday Presser Transcript 10-31-12: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on October 31st, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Bowlettes [Updated for clarity]:

  • Devin Gardner has been taking most of the snaps at QB this week. Denard is obviously limited during his recovery, but I think it's curious that Bellomy has gotten only "a couple," regardless of whether he's the No. 1 or No. 2 backup. You'd expect Gardner and Bellomy to split reps equally and compete for the top backup spot. Plausible explanation: Bellomy is also limited by some undisclosed injury. (I don't know for sure, but it's an educated guess.) Either way, it sounds like Gardner is the bona fide starting QB until Denard recovers.
  • As of now, Denard is expected back for Saturday. Hoke says the final call on the quarterback situation will be made just before game time. If you have been paying attention to Michigan's football program over the last season and a half, however, you have surmised that Michigan is highly unlikely to make this kind of decision just before game time. That decision will probably be made very soon if it has not been made already.
  • If the distribution of QB snaps (see above) and Michigan's track record for saying things that turn out not to be true (e.g. previous injury reports and recovery projections, most notably during the Nebraska game, "Michigan says Denard will return to the game in the second half ...") are any indication, I would guess the probability that Denard plays on Saturday is around 50%, maybe less. In the absence of real information though, anything is possible; I'm not optimistic, but I never am. 
  • Amara Darboh and Joe Reynolds have gotten the reps at receiver that Gardner is now missing.



Opening remarks:

“Thought we came out yesterday and had a really good practice. That’s good to see. We didn’t play as well as we’d like to. I think everybody understands that, but I think we’ve moved forward and did a lot of things as a team very well. Competed very well. We’re pretty physical with each other, which is always a good thing. You don’t have guys feeling sorry for themselves, so the intensity level was good.”

Can you talk at all about the division of snaps at quarterback?

“You know, I couldn’t give you an exact number, to be honest with you. You know, Denard took some, Devin took a lot, and then Russell took a couple.”

Will Denard play on Saturday?

“We’re planning on it.”

Does he have any physical limitations?

“Not really. Not right now. He’s better. It’s not all the way cleared up yet, but it’s better.”

Tuesday Presser Transcript 10-30-12: Al Borges

Tuesday Presser Transcript 10-30-12: Al Borges

Submitted by Heiko on October 30th, 2012 at 4:37 PM



You had to be happy with how you were moving the ball in the first quarter until you got into the red zone …

“Yeah. We got in sync pretty good. We had three drives of ten plays or more. Mix of run and pass was pretty good. I felt like we were starting to really get into sync and it was unfortunate. We’re not doing a good job of finishing drives. That’s our main focus for this week, particularly in the red area. This is not the first time it’s happened.”

Seemed like some plays were there to be made in the red zone, though.

“Yeah. There were some opportunities. There’s some opportunities, but it’s -- we have to run the ball better in the red area, too. I have just found in my experience as a coordinator that the best red zone years we had are the years we were able to rush the football for a touchdown probably about 60% of the time or better. That’ll really improve. It gets increasingly more difficult to throw it down there, obviously, because of the condensed field.”

Tuesday Presser Transcript 10-30-12: Greg Mattison

Tuesday Presser Transcript 10-30-12: Greg Mattison

Submitted by Heiko on October 30th, 2012 at 2:10 PM


Opening remarks:

“Well obviously I’m disappointed. We’re disappointed as a defense. I don’t believe we played at the same progress or the same way that we have been playing as far as moving forward. And we’ve got some things we’ve got to get corrected and still work towards becoming a very good defense. There were times in that game where we did play, but as a whole, we needed to play better to win that football game.”

Do you feel like you took a step back?

“No I don’t think we took a step back. I think that was the first game where our lack of communication hurt us, and it always will. It wasn’t because of the noise. It wasn’t because of it being loud or anything like that. In a game where you’re playing against a high tempo team, you have to make sure everybody gets set. That’s everybody’s job out there. It won’t hurt you until it does, and it did. When you go at fast tempo, that’s one of the things they try to get done, and if you’re not a tremendous defense, then you all have to be exactly on the same page all the time, every player. If one guy isn’t or two guys aren’t, and they’re not hearing it or they’re not completely set on the check, then you’re going to find little cracks, and those cracks become big. That’s what disappointed me.”