Fall Camp Presser Transcript 8-6-12: Brady Hoke Comment Count

Heiko August 6th, 2012 at 9:24 PM

Michigan's athletic department has made a few changes regarding media access for the upcoming season:

  • Players' family members cannot be interviewed without permission from the athletic department. 
  • Freshmen will be withheld from media day.
  • Practice will be closed to all media.

This is just a heads up. Shutting off practice is the only item that affects MGoBlog directly, but it's not a huge loss. Last year I attended a few Tuesday practices and took a couple photos, but I didn't see anything other than stretching and a hand-off. If they're going to do things like throw a Jordan Kovacs jersey on Matt Cavanaugh anyway, nothing is left to be gained. No complaints from me. 

The other two items, however, will significantly affect the MSM (main stream media for those new to this blog). Enterprising features about David Molk's mother, Kovacs's journey as a walk-on, and Denard Robinson's humble beginnings will be harder to come by, as I predict that access will be granted sparingly and only to preferred media outlets. I doubt we'll see any freshmen this season, and relationships with their family members formed during the recruiting process will no longer be viable sources. Hail to the VictorsTM.

BREAKING, RELATED: Will Campbell dropped the F-bomb today (transcript tomorrow), so here's to never hearing from him again.


Brady Hoke

News bullets and other important items: 

  • Fitz Toussaint and Frank Clark did not practice today; judgment has not yet been passed.
  • Jerald Robinson did practice.
  • Antonio Poole is out with a pec injury. 
  • Ricardo Miller is playing both U-back TE and receiver.
  • Devin Gardner is taking reps at receiver.

I feel like there's something between us.

Opening remarks:

“Ready to go? All right. Thanks for coming out. For us, it was the first day back out there with a new football team. It’s always fun. There’s a lot of questions out there that we’ll continue to have as we go through this fall camp. I thought there’s some excitement, some chippyness, which is always good because there’s some competition. And that’s an important part of every day. We’re going to manufacture that as much as we can and put stress on our players and get them out of their comfort zone so that Saturdays are easy. That’s part of what the plan has always been. I thought we had a pretty good day. We got some good work as a team. Obviously when you’re going out there without pads on, helmets on, it can be deceiving at times, but I liked how we practiced with only helmets on. I thought they did a nice job with that. Thought the seniors and the guys who have played a lot of football at Michigan -- they’ve really taken an accountability, so that part of it is exciting and it was a good first day.”

Did Fitz Toussaint and Frank Clark participate?

 “They did not participate.”

Will they?

“I don’t know that.”

When will you make a decision on that?

“When I make it, I guess. When? I don’t know.”

What’s your hope and expectation for Schofield at tackle?

“What I like about him is that he has some good game experience from a year ago being at guard. I think his athleticism, I think his maturity -- when you look at the group as a whole, genetically I think we look better from what we did physically during the summer. He’s one of those guys who’s stronger. He’s one of those guys who I think the maturity level -- everyone’s a little different, but I think he’s pretty serious about it.”

With Frank Clark out, who will compete with Brennen Beyer, and how will he respond to the competition?

“I think when you talk about him responding, he’s always responded. He’s a competitive kid. He loves to play. I think he’s done a tremendous job. Mario Ojemudia is a guy we can play at that position. We can put Jake Ryan back down there and play him there and move Cam Gordon up and rotate some linebackers around if we had to. So when you look at it, there’s some freshmen who are going to get some looks obviously throughout our football team, depthwise. I’m not too worried about it.”

Jake Ryan’s been a playmaker without a whole lot of technique. How do you refine that technique?

“I think through the spring he got better. Greg did a nice job coaching him every day. I think Jake probably became [a] more focused and intense football player, so his fundamentals would improve, his technique would improve. You still like some of the natural things that he does instinctively best that he does at times.”

Given that the entire staff is back, is there some continuity?

“I think there is. I think there is from the standpoint that -- and I know Kovacs said this in Chicago. They [have] the same coaches, and they [have] the same playbook and the same terminology. So I think all those things are a big part of it, which help it.”

What does a “good practice” mean on day 1?

“Well we lined up right. We didn’t have too many balls on the ground. Didn’t have a whole lot of penalties. Personally I like it when it’s a little chippy. Come out with an attitude to compete with each other.”

Will Campbell.

“Well I think it would help our team an awful lot. He’s got a great atittude. He’s really become a tremendous leader of our football team in a lot of ways. He’s worked his tail off during the summer from everything I’ve heard from players on this team. He really was a guy who led by example and then when he had to get after somebody, he’s not afraid to do that.”

Is it uplifting when that kind of thing comes from the players?

“No question. If we have to lead -- if I have to lead or the coaches have to lead the team, we aren’t going to be any good.”

Is that why you think Campbell’s going to be better?

“I’d be surprised if he didn’t because of his work ethic and his toughness and his leadership.”

Is lack of playing time a factor in his development?

“Well I think that’s part of it and when you play a couple different positions a couple different times around -- you’ve been in three different defenses when you did play defense, I think there’s a continuity level that you like to have.”

How do you know that a guy is going to be good before Sept. 1?

“I don’t know that you do. Some guys get in front of those big crowds and they just don’t quite play as well maybe as they practice. I just like his work ethic and what he’s done and not just physically but the mental part of playing the game of football.”

What about Ricky Barnum makes you think he’ll be ready?

“I think again there’s a guy who’s played some snaps. His work ethic, I mean, his leadership, you know I think Ricky’s got a really good quickness. I think that’s one of the pluses of a center that he has. Plays with pretty good leverage. I just like him.”

How is his chemistry with Denard?

“Well we’ve only had one day, but it was pretty good today. What I’ve seen of it. Now again, we’re out there in shorts. It’s a little different.”

Have you seen Denard be more of a vocal leader?

“Well I’ve seen that from him probably since the end of spring and through the end of summer. I think his maturity for the position and at the position has been really good. I thought today, again, we’re one day in. I thought he did a nice job of getting the offense where they needed to be from place to place and from practice. Talking with his receivers whether it was skelly or one-on-one and just how he runs the huddle.”

How different is that from how he was the first day of practice last year?

“Oh I don’t know. If I had to measure it, I couldn’t tell you that. I think what we observe, I think it’s there.”

What’s the goal of practices without pads?

“Well there’s a lot of installation obviously. The veterans are pretty clued into most of it. You always maybe tweak some things on either side of the ball during the course of spring and summer a little bit. You look at opponents, maybe somebody’s doing [something] that fits your scheme. There’s those kinds of things. I think it really is trying to establish the physicalness that we’re trying to play with.”

Have you decided how you’ll split Devin Gardner’s reps?

“Not yet. Again, it’s one day.”

Did Jerald Robinson practice?


Is his punishment effectively over?


How long does it take before you make decisions regarding position battles?

“We evaluate it every day. We evaluate the kids we’ll meet here in about an hour as a staff, and we’ll go through practice and talk about it. The coaches right now, they’re already into the tape, so they’re looking at it, so when we meet we’ll talk about them. From what we did in the special teams today and the different things we did there to how they [did in] the seven-on-seven, how the nine-on-seven went, the full line stuff. And trying to do a good job of talking about where everybody is as a staff. We’ve got walkthroughs in the morning, and we’ll meet before that and talk about it, then we’ll talk about it afterwards.”

Stephen Hopkins looks more like a fullback now with his weight gain. What will be his role?

“I think Steph is one of those guys who has good understanding and has accepted that role in a real positive way. I think he’s grown a lot maturity wise. I can just tell you from 18 months or however long it’s been we’ve been here, I think it’s really for the position. I think he’s become a teammate. So his role will depend on the game plan and what we want to do. I think he fits a great role for us.”

Has Al Borges used a fullback extensively before? Catching the ball, running the ball …

“Oh yeah. A whole lot.”

Did everybody show up?

“Yeah. Yeah.”

Any injuries?



“He’s the only one.”


“Well, his pec.”

You were pushing Kenny Demens pretty hard in the spring. How has he done so far?

“I think he’s done a good job. I think Kenny is, again -- these guys who are getting ready to play their last year, they finally realize that you tell them for three or four years it doesn’t last forever. I think those guys, there’s always a little difference in their approach in a positive way, and Kenny’s one of those guys.”

Overall, are you happy with the condition of the players?

“Oh yeah. I’m very happy with it. And they do a nice job. They’ve done a nice job and they had a little time off. The guys who have finished with school were able to go home for five, six days before we came back. I think they came back ready to go.”

How has Kovacs changed over the past year?

“I don’t know if he has. I think Kovacs has always been a guy who’s had a lot of passion and love for the game of football. He’s a guy that’s very instinctive. He’s smart. He’s got a love for Michigan, and if anywhere he probably feels a little more comfortable and confident talking when he needs to say something.”

Is that steadiness part of who he is, and do you think others feed off it?

“I think they do. I do think it makes him who he is.”

Ricardo Miller was a tight end last fall, a wide receiver in the spring, and yesterday he was a tight end again.

“Well he’s playing both. I think from a weight standpoint and everything he’s still going to be an edge guy, U-back guy, wide receiver guy. So he’s working them both.”

What do you most want to see from the team to know that you’re ready to go?

“Well, I really hope we’re a tough football team. And a physical football team. We have the mental toughness in how we prepare, to prepare at a high level, to play fast as a team, which means you’re confident and you’re knowing what you’re doing. There’s a physicalness to that because there’s an intensity to it. I think that’s what we would like to see.”

Is Miller back going back to tight end due a depth problem?

“Well you got some death issues -- uh death, DEPTH -- depth issues, that’s part of it. You have some depth that you want to look at at wide receiver, too. Right now he’s kind of a guy who can be a swing U-back for you and play wide receiver.”

Any freshmen who have impressed you?

“Some of those guys -- most of them, they’re finishing classes so they’re kind of running in and out. So to be honest with you, no.”

What did you think about Denard’s speech at the B1G luncheon?

“I think he did an amazing job. I thought he really told a story and did it how Denard would do it. And I think that’s what you want out of your players. Just like your captains. You want them to be who they are.”

Do you know when you’ll choose your captains?

“No that’s not for a couple more weeks. Usually we do it the Saturday or Sunday before game week.”

Rawls runs angry, mean, and fast. Is that how you would describe him? Also, re: Devin. Did he take snaps at receiver today?

“Yeah. And Rawls is angry.”

How so?

“He just runs hard. He runs hard, he’s hard to tackle, he’s physical, he’s got pretty good balance. Between Justice Hayes and Thomas and Vince, they all got carries.”

Did Jibreel Black show up with a good weight on him?

“He did. He’s not near as big as his brother who plays at Indiana. I don’t know if his body can be that, but he did a good job of working hard to put some weight on him. He and Craig both did a tremendous job. I think how he is able to keep it during camp, and I don’t know what the weather is going to be. I’m hoping it’s hot like it had been for at least 10 days, because that’s good for us. You know, I sweat a little more, maybe lose a pound. You know, that’s always good. But I just think how he manages that …”

How’s the punting battle shaping up?

“It’s a heck of a battle.”



August 6th, 2012 at 9:40 PM ^

So the next time somebody asks me "what's an angry runner look like?" I'm going to say "see Rawls over there?  Watch him.  That  man runs ANGRY!"  

I think I'm going to like angry runners.


August 6th, 2012 at 9:45 PM ^

IIRC, Hoke didn't sound nearly as positive about his team last fall camp, and through much of last year in general.  I think it's a promising sign, but then again I could be reading too much into nothing.  Actually, I am almost certainly doing that.


August 6th, 2012 at 9:52 PM ^

Except I was thinking it was a negative sign. IIRC, last year preseason, Hoke was pretty negative about the D-Line especially, even calling Martin out by saying that he didn't see any playmakers on the defense. On the other hand, he and Borges _were_ very positive in the preseason about Denard's passing and the pro-style offense. Given how both those things turned out, I was thinking I like it better when Hoke is negative. Which makes me wonder/worry about this presser. But who knows?


August 6th, 2012 at 11:33 PM ^

"Hoke didn't sound nearly as positive about his team last fall camp..."

"... but then again I could be reading too much into nothing.  Actually, I am almost certainly doing that."

That's one of the finest examples of one's certainty falling off a cliff as I've ever seen.

And with a screen name of "unWavering"

My Monday ends with a smile ... thanks! :-)


August 6th, 2012 at 10:22 PM ^

Will there be pressers every Monday during fall practice?  Also, the side wall is not aesthetically pleasing.  It needs a picture or something.


August 6th, 2012 at 11:37 PM ^

Kenny Demens has basically had the career we dream about as fans when a guy signs his LOI.  Blue-chip recruit, breaks into the starting lineup in the middle of his sophomore year, honorable mention all-conference as a junior, and hopefully/presumably a slightly better year as a senior that sees him garnering more all-conference honors and drafted by an NFL team.

Yet people jumped on Magnus in that thread for suggesting he might be pretty good at playing football.  There's been a weird attitude across the board about this team it seems for everybody who isn't a returning all-American.  Will Campbell actually played pretty well last year and was behind a phenomenal player at NT, yet people act like he will enter the starting lineup in 4 weeks, promptly piss himself, and then happily escort Alabama ball carriers into the end zone to avoid their wrath.  I've heard depth at that position as a frightening concern as well, which is odd considering we have a 4+ star, 300+ pound player in each of the four classes at that spot (BWC, Washington, Ash, Pipkins) and three guys with valuable experience.

The hand wringing about our wide receivers is particularly weird.  Jeremy Gallon had a more productive season last year than Mario Manningham did in 2005.  Adrian Arrington had made only a few catches before his breakout 2006 season, but Roy Roundtree led the conference in receiving during league games as a sophomore and set the UM single game record for receiving yards against a team that held RGIII to 14 points in their bowl game.  Yet the word "unproven" gets thrown around like it is a death sentence.

This team is going to be really good.


Blue in Yarmouth

August 7th, 2012 at 8:03 AM ^

I agree with everything you said in your post. The only reason I think Magnus endured such a brow beating in his thread is simply because he is Magnus. I don't personally understand it as I think he is one of (if not the) most informed and valuable posters this site has, but for some reason many just disagree with everything he says.

As to the content of your post...I just don't understand how people are so paronoid about this team. I mean, I don't picture us winning the NC, but a BIG championship is definitely in the realm of possibility and given the three years prior to Hoke's arrival, why would we be upset with that. This team returns almost everyone on offense (save Molk and Hemingway) amd defense (save Martin and Van Bergen). I know those guys were very good to great players for us, but we have talent stepping in for them too. 


August 7th, 2012 at 8:34 AM ^

It's a reaction to the 2007 - 2010 seasons and it's sort of like PTSD. I still remember the (dare I say it) Toledo game, sitting in the stands, incredulous. For me, it's self-protection - try not to be too optimistic because it all could be taken away in one quarter. With some more winning seasons, hopefully that will go away. 


August 7th, 2012 at 9:22 AM ^

I think my pessimism, or I would say cautious optimism, comes from the fact we were badly outmatched in two of the games we actually managed to win. Like it or not, State has had our number and even without Cousins, they're returning a very good team. This was even with the known entities like Molk, Martin, RVB, Hemmingway. Now those guys are gone, and while I have confidence in the guys replacing them and the coaches, I just have to temper my expectations. After the Rich Rod boom and bust fiasco, I think most of the fanbase entered last season with a good mindset to be patient and to give the coaches room to re-build the team. I still think that's the mindset we should go into this season with, despite the fact that we went 11-2 last season and exceeded expectations.


August 7th, 2012 at 10:21 AM ^

On something else, and when I went back it was gone. But it looked like a chart and graph type rebuttal to Magnus, which I though wow, was it worth the time for his question on that one remark in the magazine, and was it really worth front paging....and then it was gone as if someone said "is this really worth front paging?"  Either that, or deadline crunch, and they needed something for Musedays and saved it for that.

Sten Carlson

August 7th, 2012 at 12:42 PM ^

I also agree Purple Stuff.

I don't think the continuity of scheme and staff issue can be over emphasized.  Michigan's core of returning starters is among the nation's best.  Yes, we lost some key players, but again, a guy that had meaningful playing time last season, going into his second season with the same scheme/staff -- for the first time -- is bound to make a significant impact.  I am not taking anything away from Martin, RVB, Junior, et. al., they were a huge part of last year's success.  But, they could only do so much as they were learning the new system too.

As you aptly pointed out, Michigan has some studs who may not have started, but who have experience ready to make their mark on the program.  I think people are just scared to get too excited, but I am with you, and I am not scared.  I think we're going to be a better team than last season, on both sides of the ball, and we're going to surprise a lot of people.  Hoke is the real deal, and real deal coaches get results from players year in and year out.


August 6th, 2012 at 11:41 PM ^

How exactly can they prevent media access to players' family members?  The parents aren't under any obligation to the athletic department and if they want to talk to the media I don't see why they should have to go through the athletic department.  The athletic department doesn't seem to have much power over journalists anyway since they refused to do anything to Rosenberg and Snyder after their shenanigans.

Maybe It's just because I'm one of those people who when you tell me I can't do something, it makes me want to do it, but this seems overly controlling of the University.  Not granting access to freshmen I can understand, but restricting access to parents seems like a dumb idea to me.  Especially when some of these parents know the journalists from the recruiting process.

Also, where do parents of players who are HS coaches fall?  Can they be interviewed about other players from a recruint perspective?  Or are they off limits while their son is on the football team?


August 7th, 2012 at 12:12 AM ^

Coach Hoke seems like he truly is loving his job.  He deals with stress very very well...guy normally seems pretty upbeat.  In this video he looks and sounds like this is the best time of his life. I like that.

Blue in Yarmouth

August 7th, 2012 at 8:13 AM ^

When RR got hired a few years back I was super excited. I always followed his WVU teams and the thought of what he could do at UM had me so excited that he had the job. I rooted for him and was behind him 100% while he had the UM job, and at the time I almost thought he should stay on one more year.

When Hoke was hired I was a little underwhelmed. I got behind him immediately, but that first thought wasn't near the excitment I had when RR got hired. It didn't take me long to start getting excited though.

Fast forward to today and I have to say that I have never been so pleased about a coaching hire in any sport that I am a fan of. On top of his ability to make great decisions when hiring people and obviously being a good coach, he is just such a genuine man. His dedication to his job and the athletes under his watch is awesome.

I hope he stays here a long time and has a very successful career at UM. Oh...and I love reading his interviews even though they tell us just about nothing about anything. I love this guy!


August 7th, 2012 at 9:11 AM ^

Very well said.  I think there is a large percent of the mgopopultion that share your same sentiment.  A great amount of people joined this blog in 2008 to learn about the new coach and system.  Personally, I was so excited back then I stopped lurking and made an account. This new staff has earned my respect and admiration.