Football Media Day 2011: Brady Hoke Presser

Submitted by Tim on August 14th, 2011 at 2:18 PM


Now seven practices in, the kids are "learning more with each practice." They're bringing energy to practice, but need to sustain that throughout to show they can compete late in games and in the season.

The team is healthy, and there's lots of competition

Two-a-days start tomorrow. The adversity of two-a-days can "teach you about who the leaders will be on the team."

On padded practice: "guys are willing, wanting." Need to see consistency between the morning and afternoon practices. Will be in full pads for 3 days of two-a-days this week. Guys are anxious to establish themselves. Want to prove to coaches and teammates how they've progressed since spring.

On kicker Matt Wile: "Obviously he's a San Diego guy. His dad was one of our orthopaedics at San Diego State." Lance Ortega was his kicking coach, the staff knew him. Matt is a 5th generation Michigan grad.

"He's doing well. I think this is a big stage. That mental part of going out there, until you get on Main Street and have 110,000, you've gotta see where the guy's at." He can do a good job coaching himself with fundamentals, etc. Doing punting, KOs, and FGs right now. "I'd be very comfortable" having a true freshman handle those duties.

On running backs: The young guys missed some time finishing up summer school. Rawls is talented, has done a good job. Backfield is unsettled. Need to show consistency from practice to practice. "We'd like to have one guy who could tote it 25 times." Maybe a couple situational guys, 7-10 carries for a secondary back.

"Our base run play will be the power play, and that's no secret." Denard's talents, and opposing defenses wil adjust what they do. 10-15 snaps running for Denard. "The objective is to win, and we've gotta do what it takes to help Michigan and this team win." He's fitting into the offensive system. "We're fortunate enough that he has some other things that he brings to the table."

Denard is a great kid. "Leadership qualities really start to stick out more and more [for upperclassmen]. That's what I've liked that he's done in camp."

On rooming, Koger: "Seniors are rooming with freshmen. Part of that is to get to know them. Set the example, set the expectation." Koger extensively praised for his demeanor and selflessness, the sacrifice he'll give for this team. "He's a tremendous guy. I'm talking about things not on the football field."

The offense question again: "You've got a system that you wanna run, but you're not going to be putting a square peg into a round hole either." Al Borges has a coaching pedigree that proves he can adapt to different personnel. He'll get playmakers the ball. "At the end of the day, we've still gotta block up front, and knock people off the football."

On Mattison: great coach, great integrity. Builds great relationships with players. "He's coached a lot of football, coached a lot of guys. He brings so much from a knowledge standpoint."

On captains:  "They won't get picked for 2 more weeks. The team will vote."

On countdown clocks: "Those are important football games. Those are big rivalries."

On the defense and standouts: "I don't think we've played to the standard that's going to be acceptable, to this point. We need to be more physical at the point of attack."

"Tom Gordon has had a good summer. Kovacs has really taken ownership." Kovacs is one of the guys who shows urgency in getting to the football. Kenny Demens also mentioned as a standout. Nathan Brink shows toughness as a DT/DE. JB Fitzgerald: "you talk about another guy who stands out as far as his leadership goes, and selflessness."

On the two-deep: They'll start penciling that in by the end of the week. "We're gonna scimmage pretty good in six days on Saturday. We'll put them in a lot of situations and see how they respond."

On Woolfolk: Troy Woolfolk has progressed well. Has taken some senior ownership of the team. Had a minor hamstring injury yesterday, there's enough competition at that position that they could afford to rest him and be cautious. JT Floyd and Courtney Avery competing at CB. "We don't have the greatest competition everywhere. I wish we did, because that makes us better."

On McColgan: a tough guy. "When you look at it, he's one of the true fullback bodies that you have." TEs will get a chance to play H-back as well.

On this still being Michigan [tremendous van river]: "I think I've made this comment before: This is Michigan. There won't be any excuses. If we don't win the Big Ten Championship, we've failed these kids, as coaches."

On the offensive line: Elliott Mealer: "He's competing." The rest of the guys: "Our left side of our line with Taylor back, and I think Ricky Barnum's done a nice job. Molk's back." Omameh at right guard. "Patrick and Elliott and Mike Schofield and Huyge - I think that's great competition."

On the backfield again: "I think there's some guys back there who can do it. All of them have shown signs of being able to run the ball like we'd like."



August 14th, 2011 at 2:44 PM ^

Coach Hoke, IMHO, is embraced not because he is a "Michigan Man" by pedigree or even lineage, something I think many people resent and/or reject the term for. Instead, Coach Hoke is a Michigan Man because, when pressed on his "We're Michigan," comment like here, doesn't back down- he leans right into it and says it again. He understands the Michigan football tradition not necessarily because he's a part of it (although, as a part of the 1997 NC team staff, he most certainly is), but very much like Bo, he simply, passionately, almost reverently, appreciates it.


August 14th, 2011 at 2:47 PM ^

It's interesting that there seems to be a competition between Omameh and Mealer at RG.  I wonder which positions he is referring to in which there isn't enough competition?


August 14th, 2011 at 2:58 PM ^

It'll be interesting to see if Denard gets elected as a team captain. I thought I recall earlier in the year that Hoke said captains would be selected from amongst the seniors. But, there has got to be strong sentiment on the team to honor Denard.


August 14th, 2011 at 3:06 PM ^

Featured back = 25 carries

Second back = 10 carries

Denard = 15 carries

My math isn't that good but that sounds like we are going to run the ball about 50 times a game.


August 14th, 2011 at 3:50 PM ^

He said:

Feature back 20-25

Second back 7-10

Denard 10-15

That would equal 37-50 run plays pergame. 37 isn't that bad. That would be a very balanced offense and if your run game is working well than 50 is great. Remember Chris Perry vs MSU in '03?


August 14th, 2011 at 4:02 PM ^

Glad to see the dividends of a renewed emphasis on the walk-on program (re-newed under Rich Rodriguez, definitely continued by Hoke.)  It's still early, but an extra couple of 2-star and 3-star caliber players each year should pay-off with an NFL caliber sleeper once every 8 players.  (Scroll down to discussion points #2 and #3 for the money-shot.)  Perhaps Nathan Brink is our NFL sleeper...


August 14th, 2011 at 5:27 PM ^

The bit about Matt Wile's self-coaching for every kicking job on the team sure makes me nervous. While it doesn't necessarily spell doom immediately, the expectation as of now is for him to 1) win the field goal kicking job, 2) win the kickoff job unless someone on the team can improve their distance on kickoffs, 3) win the punting job while Hagerup isn't available, and 4) do all of the above as a true freshman without a dedicated kicking coach to help him. I don't care how good he was in high school; that's an awful lot to expect out of a true freshman, and only brings back nightmares of the (lack of) kicking in last year's OSU game.


August 14th, 2011 at 6:35 PM ^

Was his comment about there not being enough competition as he would like. I think we all knew we need more talent, but still it's disheatening to hear Hoke say that.


August 14th, 2011 at 6:46 PM ^

And Hayes also.  It would be a shame if we burned a year of eligibility for either of them when we already have five guys at RB with experience.   It would be nice if someone stepped up as a feature back, but unless Rawls or Hayes is a very clear number 1, I think it would be a waste to play them this year.  

Blue in Yarmouth

August 15th, 2011 at 8:01 AM ^

I will be up front and say I loved RR before he came to UM, while he was at UM and still do to this day. I also believed it was time for a change once the bowl game was finished, but still wish him well in whatever he does.

I will also be honest and say that when Hoke was hired I was in the camp of people who weren't particulalry wowed by the hire. From his first press conference this man has started to win me over and continues to do so each time he speaks. If his onfield product can be close to what he has done in front of the microphone and on the recruiting trail I think UM is in very good shape.

What stuck out to me most in this presser is when he said if we don't win the conference title this year the coaches have failed the players. The one problem I had with RR (other than his record of course) was at times he seemed to subtlely try to shift the blame to the players. This was a refreshing comment from coach Hoke IMHE.