Fall Camp Presser Transcript 8-9-12: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on August 10th, 2012 at 1:00 PM

News bullets and other important things:

  • No word on Toussaint or Clark yet
  • Full pads today
  • Full scrimmage next week

Brady Hoke

From file

Opening remarks:

“You know, fourth day, two days in shoulder pads and helmets, we have a lot of work to do. Tomorrow we get full pads, which we’ll obviously look forward to. We still have some guys, the freshmen with the bridge program coming in and out a little bit finishing up some classwork. I was happy with how we came out today. I thought we were pretty spirited and pretty physical, but when you look at the tape, you go back and you can tell it’s the fourth day in pads. Fundamentals are still a little rusty to some degree. We have to do a better job playing with leverage at the line of scrimmage. But the effort’s out there and the effort’s good.”

Toussaint and Clark?

“They’re still not practicing with the team.”

Are they at practice?

“They’re not at our practice, no.”

Are the in this building?

“I don’t know. Are they?”

I’m asking you. You would know better than I would.

“I would.”

Any better idea on a timetable?


Do you need five guys on the offensive line to gel or can you rotate a little bit?

“I think you can at times. You’d rather have five guys who understand each other and do a nice job with kind of that sixth sense that you have and how long he’s going to post a power scoop, those kinds of things. That’s part of it. But at the same time, ideally you’d like to have 8-9 guys that are pretty good football players for you.”

Is there any urgency to decide on the left guard position?

“You know, I don’t think so. I think Joey [Burzynski] has done a nice job, Elliott has done some pretty good things. I’d say it’d be urgent 10 days from now. ”

Is Chris Bryant still on the right side?

“Yeah. You know, Chris has done a nice job. He’s improved since last spring. I think he’s physically a little better off than he was before from a endurance, conditioning, weight, and all those things. He’s a guy that’s come along.”

How does Patrick Omameh look?

“Good. I’m happy with how Patrick has -- Patrick has changed his body a lot in my opinion. He’s one of the guys that you say, man he looks a little bigger, a little stronger.”

How are Craig Roh and Jibreel Black looking with the added weight?

“You know, pretty good. I think both of them, they’re pretty quick twitch guys, which helps, and it’s going to help them inside playing. They’re pretty athletic guys, probably more suited athleticism for playing inside, so I think both of them are doing real well.”

Does Jibreel have the ability to be a run stuffer?

“Well, we hope. We hope that becomes he has some athleticism and quickness that we have a chance to move him a little bit.”

How much have you worked on special teams, i.e. in the return game?

“We’ve worked hard. We always work hard on the punt team. That’s the most important play in football because the momentum shifts, the field positions and different things we believe can happen. So we’ve worked punting hard, and we’ve worked a little bit of punt return, and a lot of that is just getting some new guys accustomed to what you’re doing as far as your fundamentals. We’ve done some with our kickoff team.”

Have you identified a core group?

“It’s early still. I think Dan said there’s eight out of 11 a year ago on the punt team who are back. So you have to fill those holes, but you also have to have good depth, and that’s a big part of it.”

Have you noticed any of the seniors coaching up the freshmen during down time?

“Yeah. I think the seniors have really taken an active role in the young kids. We’ve got seniors living with freshmen at the hotel. We’ve got seniors who have mentored some, and juniors who have played a lot. I can specifically, because I work with Will Campbell -- how he goes about coaching those guys up and helping them out, has done a good job with it, but you see it all over the place.”

How much improvement have you seen from Denard?

“I think there’s a marketable [Ed: marked] improvement from the football standpoint, but probably as much as anything in my opinion is his leadership. I think that’s where he’s really taken a hold of it, and he’s playing a lot of snaps here. He’s been in a lot of games, a lot of big games, and I think the way he’s gone about his business, because he’s not one of those rah-rah guys. He’s got a lead in skin, but I think he’s done a nice job with it.”

How do you feel about your tight ends right now?

“Brandon [Moore] -- did some good things physically today. That’s one of the big things with Brandon that probably was his biggest weakness, was being physical all the time. I think he did that today pretty consistently. Kwiatkowski -- Mike is a guy who we can use a little bit as a second tight end. I think he’s better. There’s the two young guys who are getting some looks as much as we can right now. A.J. [Williams] is a 280-pound tight end. For 280 pounds, he does pretty well. A lot of people think we’re going to make him a tackle, but he can run. Funchess is a very athletic guy.”

Is 280 too big for a tight end?

“Depends on what you want him to do. And he runs well enough. I shouldn’t say surprisingly because we recruited him. We must have thought he ran well enough. But for moving that big body around, he’s not bad.”

Is that a place where a freshman might have to play due to your numbers?

“I think it depends personnel-group wise, because we can do a lot what we do with two backs and one tight end in the game, which is what we do with two tight ends in the game. Obviously in your short yardage and your heavier packages, you’d like to have two bigger guys. So it could be.”

Is there anyone who you’ve seen improve significantly from spring?

“I think Blake Countess continues to take a lot of pride in how he plays. He works awfully hard at it. There probably is more guys out there, but I get a little tunnel vision sometimes with the front, because that’s where the game’s played. I can see Patrick. I can see him. I can see Ricky. I think Will Campbell. I think Craig. I think Rich Ash has improved some. There’s multiple guys. Heitzman, who we redshirted, is playing a physical brand of football.”

Is that an attitude thing or a physical thing?

“I think it’s both. I think it all starts with attitude. In my opinion Blake is one of those guys who’s driven. He has a lot to prove yet. But he wants to be as good as he can be.”

How high are the expectations for the secondary with all four starters coming back, and where do they have to make the biggest improvement?

“Well I think we need to play tighter coverage when we’re playing coverage, whether it’d be playing zones in the different zones that we’ll play or when we’re playing man coverage. I thought at times we got too loose, especially on money downs -- third and four, third and five. The ball has to come out quick at times, depending on what you’re running defensively and understanding that part of it. I think Courtney being in there as a nickel, making sure we have enough depth there -- we have some guys who are back, but we need more depth.”

What have the seniors told you about their first couple years here?

“Really nothing much. I don’t ask. We don’t live in the past. We live in the future. So the only thing I really care about is what we’re doing daily.”

What kinds of transformations have you seen from Kenny Demens on and off the field?

“I think Kenny is a guy who’s probably more committed. Probably understands a little bit more about the team and accountability. I think he’s playing a little more consistently than he did. I know it’s only four days, but just from what I’ve seen.”

Is it a maturity thing with him?

“It always is. It is for all of them. Some guys, after a year, kind of get it and mature. Some guys it takes three years. Some guys it takes four years.”

What helped spur that change with Kenny?

“Well I think when you may be playing the last games of football that you ever play, I think that always affects a senior. So I think that’s part of it.”

How important is Kenny’s progress to the younger linebackers?

“I think from a leadership standpoint I think it’s awfully important. It’s nice to have a guy like Desmond back who’s played a lot of snaps. We don’t look at him as being a young guy. I think that helps. Hawthorne has made some plays in the past. I think that helps. And Joe Bolden coming in January. Because he’s a good football player. He’ll put some pressure on guys. ”

Is Demens understanding personnel formations better?

“I think they all do. A year ago, they’d line up early in the year where they probably wouldn’t understand where the strength of the defense was or the weakness of the defense and what you’re trying to accomplish. From a conceptual point, they understand better the concepts of why you call certain things defensively and why you align leverage-wise and those things.”

How important is it for Brennen Beyer to win the WDE spot outright so that you don’t have to put Jake Ryan there?

“I think it’d be great. I think it is important. Brennen’s doing a nice job. He’s changed his body dramatically since he arrived here. So I think that’s always a big part of it, but we’ll play Jake a lot in our sub packages … there’s a lot of similarities between them.”

How has the linebackers’ coverage improved since the spring?

“From four days into it, we thought the first three days, we thought they were doing a better job at the zone concepts we were using and breaking on the ball and getting themselves a little tighter to receivers.”

What do you want to see from your team tomorrow (full pads)?

“Well you always look forward to it. I want to hear football. I think that’s important because then the guys up front are getting off the ball and getting after each other, either creating some space for the back or we’re doing a good job of fitting the run. That part of it, and their attitude and how they come out and want to play for each other.”

Do you have a scrimmage situation tomorrow?

“I’m trying to think of the schedule. We probably have some situation. I don’t know which one it’ll be. But we’ll always have some situation. Look, these guys, the one thing they’ve learned is in no pads, they’ve learned to get after each other. They’re pretty physical. That’s a good thing.”

Do you know when your first full scrimmage will be?

“Probably not until middle of next week.”

Do you get a sense of a personality emerging in this team?

“I don’t know. That’s a good question. I haven’t looked at it that way. I believe that you find out probably sometime in camp. I can tell you last year’s team, when they really finally got it, in my opinion, was the week of the Illinois game. We had Illinois, Nebraska, and Ohio. We were going to Champaign. [Illinois] had been playing pretty well. Lost a couple in a row before we got to them. I was going to take the pads off [the players] on Wednesday, and right before practice or before we meet, four of the seniors came up and said, ‘We practice in pads at Michigan.’ Once they said that, I knew we were going to be a physical football team the last three games.”



August 10th, 2012 at 1:17 PM ^

"right before practice or before we meet, four of the seniors came up and said, ‘We practice in pads at Michigan.’ "

Chilling. That was a great team


August 10th, 2012 at 1:39 PM ^

Toussaint and Clark?

“They’re still not practicing with the team.”

Are they at practice?

“They’re not at our practice, no.”

Are the in this building?

“I don’t know. Are they?”

I’m asking you. You would know better than I would.

“I would.”

LOL. That could be Coach Carr right there. =D

Edward Khil

August 10th, 2012 at 1:39 PM ^

It's great to hear about BWC's leadership and how he's coaching up the freshmen. But I sure hope he's not part of the problem in getting leverage at the line of scrimmage. Man, I really want to hear Hoke or GM say that Will, specifically, is keeping his pad level low.

I'll bet Brandon's ears perked up when he heard Hoke has seen a "marketable (sic) improvement" in Denard.


August 10th, 2012 at 2:30 PM ^

I know it would suck, but I think both should sit the entirety of the 'Bama game. I'd like to see someone in this college football climate stick to their psalms for once.

And I second the WTF about the "are they in the building?" question. What purpose does that serve other than trying to get Hoke off-balance a bit?


August 10th, 2012 at 4:11 PM ^

the  seniors will ask for pads, WWF rules, and general mayhem as the practice requirements for the MSU game.

You could see a difference at the Illinois game.  Now we know why.


August 10th, 2012 at 4:24 PM ^

I have only really known 3 coaches in my time as a Michigan fan.

Lloyd, RR, and Hoke.  While Hoke has only been here a year, for the first time I feel confident and comforted by the coach and where I see him taking the program.  Even with Lloyd and his championship 97 year, I always felt like something was about to go wrong, or they were going to turn a game that should be a blowout into a close call, due to his conservative play calling.  Here is my summary of emotions and internal narrative under each coach.

Lloyd:  Great recruiting class Lloyd.  Sweet team we have this year.  Oh shit, why are we only up 3 on Purdue in the 4th quarter.  Lloyd!  Why do you stop throwing the ball once we are up 10?   Why do we not go for it on 4th and 2 at the 28!!!!

Well, we lost 2 games we should have won, but hell, at least we are going to the Rose Bowl.  Maybe Lloyd will come up with some new plays and we won't lose to USC by 2 touchdowns this time. 

Thanks for the memories Mr. Carr.  You are a class act, although sometimes you really did do less with more than any coach not named Mack Brown....and Appy State happened on your watch.

Rich Rod: I really want you to succeed here.  If you can win at WVU with 3 star talent, you will kill it here at Michigan.  I love that you get more out of your players, and they seem to overachieve. How you lost to Pittsburgh with a national title game birth on the line seems crazy, but it was probably just an anomoly.

Wow, 3-9 is a shit year, but you have to install your system.  Sometimes you need to take a step back to see how broken things really are, then start rebuilding.  Michigan wasn't ready for a modern era coach like you, but in a year or two we will be a BCS team and the offense will be unreal.

RR, your defenses are pathetic...do you even realize that side of the ball exists.  Sure watching Denard and Tate was fun, but wtf is that mess you call a defensive line.  I dont want to hear about injuries or the bare cupboard...you really dont give a shit about defense and you deserve to be fired.  If you cant realize in 3 years that your gimmick offense alone wont be enough to survive the Big Ten you need to get out.  I am done defending you.

Hoke: Noooooooooooo!  I can't believe we hired that guy.  He is Lloyd Carr 2.0.  We just resigned ourselves to 8-4, 9-3 seasons and competing for a share of the Big Ten Title every 3 years.  Typical midwestern mediocrity.  He even looks like Fred Flinstone.

That was quite the press conference.  Not the best speaker, but he really loves the university.  Maybe he deserves a shot.  Wow, I like his assistants.  Mattison and Borges are both really accomplished.  Cant believe he pulled in Mattison...if they actually play to the strengths of the offense, instead of forcing Denard to be a passer, the team may be decent.  Eh, lets wait and see.

Jesus, this guy has balls.  I love that he goes for it on 4 and 2.  Unlike under Lloyd where I waited for things to go wrong or the game to get close, or under RR...where I really pulled for us to keep it close and we seemed like we were right there in every game for at least a half, with Hoke, I expect things to go well.  I am not waiting for the wheels to come off. 

He's got Lloyd's ethics and Bo's heart.  I love me some Hoke.  This guy is at his career job, and its not a stretch for him.  If anything, we are as lucky to have him, as he is to have the University of Michigan Job.


August 11th, 2012 at 2:07 AM ^

I like this. I 99% agree with all of your statements/ analysis. I am (thankfully) old enough to remember the Bo era (born in 82, so not all of it) but the "remembering things about games/knowlage of the game" part is right on. It's Gary Mo now, only more D-minded. Let the O-coordinators and coaches (trust them) to do the right thing, and focus on a great D. Going for the win rather than the tie vs notre dame really set a tone or what may be a very Michigan like/ nothing like what we've ever seen before at Michigan like tone.