Brady Hoke Presser 4-13 Comment Count

Tim April 13th, 2011 at 2:53 PM


Notes from Brady Hoke's final press conference before the Spring Game. Photo from file.

Weekend Festivities

Spring game - not enough depth to have a draft "and that would be what we'd wanna do, have the seniors draft." 1s will go against 1s, 2s against 2s. "We'll keep a score of some sort, but there's no scoreboard anyway." Winners get steaks, loser get hot dogs. The teams tied last Saturday. Scrimmage - "It will go until I think we've done enough plays."

Offense and defense will both be on the field the whole time. Al will coach the offense, Greg defense. "So that they can get the mechanics of gameday and getting the plays and personnel in and all that," Borges has been away from the field in the last couple practices.

Alumni returning - "It's great to have all these guys back. I think they've got close to 85 for the flag game they're gonna play. We've got over 300 coming in Friday night for a team meeting."

Team meeting: "We're gonna have a conversation. You know. We're just gonna talk about Michigan football." Introduce the new staff to the former players, and talk about how they're accountable. Current players will not be present.

The Team

Held out Saturday - Woolfolk, Floyd, Lewan, Demens, that's about it. Shaw and Molk are both back. Woolfolk has done very little. "He's done some individual drills and stuff like that. He maybe has taken a few snaps in 1-on-1 and a few snaps in 7-on-7." Floyd is behind in his recovery compared to where Woolfolk is.

Hoke always participates in hands-on coaching "I couldn't just walk around and watch stuff."

"We're heading down the home stretch of spring, obviously. We've got two days left to keep evaluating." Mindset, mentality, etc. will still be evaluated in the final two days. "We've made some progress in some of those areas but we're a long way from being the football team we want to be in the fall."

Koger, Herron, RVB leaders. Hard for Molk to assert himself since he's been out so much. "Your definition of a leader can vary. It doesn't have to be a vocal guy."

There's better communication, especially on defense, at this point than there was at the beginning of spring. It starts with communicating changed fronts. "I think that there's a pride that those guys are starting to feel as a defense." Defensive communication - "I think Ryan [Van Bergen] has done a really good job. I think he gets it." Cam Gordon and JB Fitzgerald, Kovacs, Carvin Johnson have been vocal out there.

Defensive coaching chemistry: "It's great. It's like they've coached together forever... As soon as recruiting was over, we started those meetings, how you wanna coach it, how you coach it."

"I think we're OK" with how much they've gotten done this spring. Really depends on how the next two practice days go. "I usually like to compete in 2 minute offense/defense] 3 or 4 times throughout the spring." They'll work that in earlier in fall camp to make sure they get it done.

Individual evaluations with every player, with Hoke and their coordinator and their position coach. "Expectations, where they're at, what they need to do. Where their weight needs to be when they report. What their role right now will be in the fall... The evaluations at the end, believe me, they'll be very specific."

Freshmen contributing this fall: "Really haven't thought about it much yet." Depth concern at OL and DL might provide some opportunities, but it's too early to say. Corner? "Maybe. We'll see. Greg Brown's really, in the last week and a half he's really stepped up." Courtney Avery has stepped up as well.

Lloyd Carr - "He's been over. Hasn't been to a practice, but he's been in and we've talked a little bit. Coach Moeller has been around a little bit, and Coach Hanlon is here every day [laughing]."


Denard and Devin: "I think Devin is a very talented guy and I think he's learned the offense well. I think he's got a good handle on it. There's some consistency we've gotta coach better with." QBs will organize 7-on-7s in the summer. What will Denard take into the summer to work on? Footwork issues, ball mechanics, play action game. He needs to settle his feet on dropbacks. "The mental aspect of getting you in the right plays" based on safety alingment, defensive fronts, etc.

Running back - "I think Hop's had a pretty good spring... Toussaint's been pretty steady." Mike Cox hasn't practiced as much because he has a class during Tuesday practice time "so that doesn't help him." Smith has played well. Incoming freshmen will have a chance to step in. "Hopkins is a guy right now who has been probably the most consistent." He can also line up at FB and do some things there.

Tight ends - they have the guys to run what they want. Koger was out early in spring "but he didn't miss much." He's been good on the line, Ricardo's more of a "move guy" right now. "I think the 4 guys you mentioned [Moore and Watson] all have done a good job in the offense, and that will be an important part of what we do offensively."

Molk - "He's been doing some individual, and then yesterday he did more of some of the team stuff." With Lewan out, Huyge has played both tackle positions, Schofield has been good, Ricky Barnum has been kicked out to tackle a few times. "You have 7 or 8 guys who will form kinda the nucleus of the group."

Rocko Khoury has gotten a lot of good snaps. Omameh has taken most RG snaps, played a little bit at RT. "A guy like David who's played a lot of football, sometimes you need to give snaps to more of those other guys."

Barnum: "I tell ya, Ricky's a good football player. He's a tough kid, he's a smart kid, he plays with good technique. That's why he's a good football player." He's been as consistent as any player up front this spring.

Defensive Linemen: Mike Martin - "He's done a good job. We're doing a couple different things with him." "I think think Will Campbell has made strides, but the consistency has to be there. You know Quinton, I think he's going to be a good football payer here at Michigan."Jibreel Black "Jibreel is a guy that, as his body composition changes a little bit, he's gonna be a good football player. I think him and Craig at the rush have had pretty good springs." Roh has progressed better than they thought this spring.

Linebackers - "Marell's done a pretty good job. We moved Brandon Herron back to a Mike." Mike Jones and Brandin Hawthorne at Will. "Cam Gordon's getting better, and I think Cam will have a very good summer." Jake Ryan also at Sam. Those six plus JB Fitzgerlad who "has started to come along a little bit."

Safety situation is fluid. "Carvin Jonhson, I would say of anybody, and Kovacs" know the defense best. Marvin Robinson has also come in and made plays, along with Thomas Gordon.

Kicking game: "I think it's a work in progress." Everything from snapping, to punting, etc. needs to continue improving. Long snappers are competing. Placekicking is a "huge competition with 4 guys in there." Seth Broekhuizen, Kris Pauloski, Jeremy Ross, and Brendan Gibbons. They kicked 14 or 15 times during last week's competition at the stadium. "They haven't been there probably as much as we'd like for them to." The field is the same indoors, the elements are the only difference. "We've got a lot of work to do in that area of it." Wile will get a chance to compete when he comes in. [Author's note: those two statements weren't said back-to-back, so don't read too much into it. Hoke said every freshman has a chance to compete for playing time].



April 13th, 2011 at 3:29 PM ^

did the phrase "Al will coach the offense, Greg defense." put anyone into state of terror for a few moments while they struggled to remember Coach Mattison's first name, or was that just me?


April 13th, 2011 at 3:33 PM ^

Campbell needs to work on consistency? Safety situation is fluid? When will Brady Hoke get over his irrational hatred of Brady Hoke?


April 13th, 2011 at 3:35 PM ^

"Woolfolk has done very little."  "Floyd is behind in his recovery compared to where Woolfolk is."

Anyone have a good feel for when Woolfolk and Floyd will be game ready?  I would think it would be nice to have a couple healthy months under their belts before the opener so they can really get used to game speed again.  I may just be bored, but how much should I be worrying about their health at this point?

MI Expat NY

April 13th, 2011 at 3:49 PM ^

Don't worry too much, every year there are tons of players across the country that miss spring practice and return for the fall.  With Woolfolk being involved, even if it's very limited, I'd expect him to be able to get up to full speed by the opener.  Floyd also has plenty of time to get ready, but even if he's not quite 100% by the opener, I'm not sure how much it will hurt.  There's other guys with experience that I think might eventurally pass Floyd anyway.


April 13th, 2011 at 5:00 PM ^

Is it me, or does it seem that Devin has supassed Denard?  maybe i'm reading too much into the videos where Denard is mostly handing off and Devin throwing -- and then there's the epic Mike Martin Pick-6.



April 13th, 2011 at 5:53 PM ^

Don't think it matters at this point.  Borge's system is going to require a lot of touch + accuracy on the deep balls, something we knew Denard was weak at last year.  He's had to learn a whole lot of relatively new mechanics this spring, and if he looked confident or polished yet I'd be skeptical.  Everyone knows about Denard's insane work ethic, so I'm a lot more interested to see how polished and comfortable he looks after a summer of hard technique work.

The Blue in Ohio

April 13th, 2011 at 6:31 PM ^

I don't understand how people can say Devin has surpassed Denard, with out getting some real game time action yet. let's not forget all the records set by Denard, and his Big Ten offensive PLayer of the Year award he got his sophmore year. As of now I feel Denard is the best qb we have, until lI see proof otherwise.

OMG Shirtless

April 14th, 2011 at 10:21 AM ^

Spring game - not enough depth to have a draft "and that would be what we'd wanna do, have the seniors draft." 1s will go against 1s, 2s against 2s. "We'll keep a score of some sort, but there's no scoreboard anyway." Winners get steaks, loser get hot dogs. The teams tied last Saturday. Scrimmage - "It will go until I think we've done enough plays."


April 13th, 2011 at 11:07 PM ^

Coach Hoke is always careful to praise kids and not throw them under the bus....but he does the praise cautiously and without overdoing it.  In addition, when he does criticize...he has a way of taking the criticism off of the player and on to himself and his staff, for example: "We need to coach up more consistancy"  ..... that is just awesome and does so much for team unity.  Its WE not I.  No silly dumb attempts at jokes that come off as arrogant, squirrly and self-serving...No constant stream of excuses to cover his own big ass...No throwing a player or player group under the bus, or leaving a player off the bus to Columbus for that matter.  This guy gets how LEADERSHIP of young men is supposed to work.   The kids pick up on this... which is a main reason why the attrition has been kept to a very very low minimum for a coaching tranisition.  Hoke is It.


April 14th, 2011 at 12:58 AM ^

RR consistantly said things like "we need to prepare them better" and got criticized for it.  Show me where RR "threw a player group under the bus" I bet you won't find it. And there is no way you can consider the Hagerup suspension a negative on RR. When given the choice between discipline(because Hagerup was the one who violated rules) or trying to win at all costs, he made the decision I'd want the Michigan coach to make 10/10 times and benched the player.

Hoke has the potential to be a good coach here and I look forward to his tenure. But there is no reason to idiotically revise history just to prop him up. 


April 14th, 2011 at 2:19 AM ^

Just off the top of my head... Steve Threet.. openly criticized deeply by RR and staff and left home from the OSU trip, not allowed to travel with the team after he had poured his heart out trying to fit in to RRs system which was crammed down his throat.

The kickers last year who were constantly ridiculed in public by RR with his comments... boy that really helped their confidence didnt it?

I could go on with this...but you are not really open to listening or paying attention to what a chump RR was with blaming his kids for his faults.... ... so why bother you ignored those comments and situations that RR caused when they why would you bother to pay attention to them now?

Dont shoot the messenger. 


April 14th, 2011 at 4:24 PM ^

I was wondering if you are at least willing to give Coach Rodriguez some credit for not leaving the cupboard empty this time?  Hoke is very lucky to have more talent on his first team than what Carr left for his successor. 

I assume that you agree that with an experienced junior starting qb, healthy defensive backs with experience, etc.  that not only will Hoke have his 4th winnnig season in his 9 year coaching career but that he will continue the trajectory and win at least 9 games this year.  Anything less should be considered a failure on his part in my opinion. 

Hoke will obviously have a better chance with junior Denard at qb than Rodriguez had with Sheriden/Threet. 

Crazy Canuck

April 23rd, 2011 at 8:14 AM ^

RR had a better qb than Sheridan/Threet. He had Mallett. The thing with Hoke and his coaches is,  they are trying to install an offence (they know and want) with leaving in a lot of plays to exploit Denard's explosiveness. Unfortunately RR did not do the same. The first thing he should have done was to inform Mallett that he wasn't going to force him to run the spread. A good coach would've tailored his playbook to his players not the other way around. Not to mention trying to run the 3-3-5 with a DC that has never run it and so many Freshman and Sophmores starting on defence. He also managed to run off Mallett, McGuffie and a few DBs. I to have been lucky enough to watch my beloved Wolverines coached by Bo, Moeller, Carr, RR and now Hoke. The two things that they all had incommon with the exception of RR, is that the players came first and they all knew and followed the traditions of Michigan.

Don't get me wrong. I was excited when RR was hired. I thought he would bring the spread in and do great things with it here. But, his unwillingness to adapt to the situation, to change and to learn from his mistakes is inexcusable. Not to mention all the NCAA violations here and at WV. I hate OSU and Notre Dame. I want him to win the championship every year  but, if Hoke beats them 50% of the time and goes 9-3 or 8-4 every year. I'd be ok with that. At least he will return us to our winning ways, he will restore how others see us, he will value Michigan's traditions and he will care for each of his players as person, a student then an athelete. Not the other way around. I would much prefer this than to be like an SEC school. Over recruiting and where winning is the only thing.

But, if you were happier with RR than with Carr or Hoke. Feel free to change who you root for if and when RR comes back to coaching. I'll be ok with that to.



April 14th, 2011 at 9:38 AM ^

The gap between where the team is now and where they should be, per Brady Hoke.  Someone without any sense could interpret that as throwing the entire team under the bus.

Let's praise Hoke, I like what he's doing.  But constantly going back and saying "DickRod was stoo-pid!! lol!" is so ridiculous at this point.


April 14th, 2011 at 10:06 AM ^

Look, stop hating on people saying "Devin could pass Denard" because it could happen.  Didn't we have a very similar situation last year, where people were commenting "watch out for Denard, he's going to pass Tate" and there was a resounding uproar of "NOOOOO!!! STIMPY, YOU IDIOT!"?

The only difference is, Denard 2010 >>>>>>>> Tate 2009. 

But Tate was "diseased" and Denard is clearly a spread QB. 

Do I think it happens?  No.  But it isn't ridiculous to think that it might.  We'll know a lot more after the Spring game. 


April 14th, 2011 at 10:49 AM ^

And what were you saying last year the week before the Spring game?  Bet you were a Tate fan.

I love Denard, but it's a team sport.  Hoke and Company have made that clear.  If Devin gives us a better chance to win, he will play.  It's not rocket science. 

[Edit: I think Denard gives us the best chance to win.  I'm just saying there's a non-zero chance it's Devin.  Very close to 0, but it is a chance.]

Wolverine 73

April 14th, 2011 at 10:48 AM ^

The more I read about the safety position, the more I wonder if one of the corners (Avery, Brown, whoever?) might play well enough that he could start at corner and we could see Woolfolk move to safety again.


April 14th, 2011 at 10:57 AM ^

I was at the scrimmage Saturday at the Big House, they had Demens, Woolfolk, and  Floyd rehabbing with one of the strength coaches by walking up an aisle of the stadium, usually all the way to the top, then they'd walk across to the next aisle and walk all the way down. They repeated this around the entire stadium. When they walked by me about 3/4 the way around, the players were ready to be done with it. They ran a few times up the stairs, but for the most part just walked them.


April 14th, 2011 at 11:44 AM ^

It's kind of silly that people are still bitter about RR being fired on here.  Dave Brandon is a smart man and made the right decision.  All I have to say about RR is 15-21 over a three year span.  That should be enough evidence to justify his firing. That isn't good enough at Michigan.  You can make all the excuses you want.  Blame it on Carr or the UofM fan base. Most of you like to blame it all on G-ROB.  Even though he isn't the one that selected the defensive scheme.  It's kind of weird how G-ROB did a good job at Texas and for the Denver Broncos.  He must have suddenly forgot how to coach when he arrived in AA.  Scott Shafer must have forgot how to coach as well when he came from Stanford.  Magically he all of the sudden could coach again when he got to Syracuse.  Some say RR wasn't allowing these coaches to do their jobs.  RR was calling most of the defensive plays on third down. The bottom line is that RR was the coach during the worst three year span of Michigan football that I have ever witnessed.  It's kind of odd that most of RR's supporters think he should only be held accountable for the offense.   What about defense and special teams? If you’re going to blame everything on G-ROB and Tony Gibson you should give all the credit for the offense to Calvin Magee.  Because in your world RR had nothing to do with the defense and special teams. Defending RR's tenure as Michigan head coach is kind of like a defense lawyer defending a criminal that was videotaped committing the crime.  The attorney will come up with some kind of defense, but the jury realizes that it's bullshit.  The jury in this matter was UofM boosters, famous alumni, athletic department, and most of the fan base.  Everyone needs to forget about the "DARK AGE ERA" of Michigan football and hope that Hoke and Mattison can clean up the mess.  I think Michigan will be so improved in every aspect of the game that it will be shocking.  I think they have a shot at winning the Legends division.



April 14th, 2011 at 11:50 AM ^

I think it's kind of silly that you're angry at people who are bitter about RR's firing. He gave 3 years of his life to UM, and worked hard. It didn't work out in the end. Now we have Hoke. You're not helping by fanning the flames. Just let it go, and RR lovers will to when we start winning again. And yes, I realize I'm fanning the flames as well by responding to you. I'll shut up now.


April 14th, 2011 at 12:05 PM ^

Does this rant have anything to do with Hoke, spring ball or how current players are doing? The next time that you feel like ranting about the previous staff 1. don't and 2. at least place it somewhere where it relates to the main post. Not only is this way OT but it's outdated and incorrect.

Just wondering, are you an old white man with a mustache?