Monday Presser 11-17-14: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 17th, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Hoke presser 2


News bullets and other items:

  • Hoke said that domestic violence is one of the first things they talk about in team meetings at the beginning of the year and they talk to the team about it at least four times per year
  • Hoke said after they had received all the necessary information the decision to dismiss Frank Clark from the program essentially made itself
  • Hoke has not spoken with Clark but does plan to speak with him at some point
  • Mario Ojemudia will start at WDE with Taco Charlton behind him
  • Henry Poggi moves to SDE to back up Brennen Beyer

Opening remarks:

"Obviously you all know and we put a statement out, I put a statement out, let's put it that way, we had a situation during the bye week with a young man making a bad decision and after getting all the facts that we could get and I could get I made the decision to dismiss Frank Clark from the program. What was reported and all those things, and I'm sure you've been through it with a fine-tooth comb, was unacceptable and it was not what we want here associated with our program. I know in the statement I talked about it being tragic and domestic abuse is tragic. It's tragic on a national scale. It's tragic. Obviously it's somewhere in our society and we all need to do something about it, and being a husband and being a father [and] having two sisters it's a message that I send strongly to our football team about how we will handle ourselves with women.
"That being said we're excited about Saturday. We're excited about playing Maryland, and the biggest excitement is that we've got 12 kids who are going to play their last home football game here at Michigan. We have 12 seniors. Two of them will have graduated. One of them will have his masters. The others will graduate either this fall at the end of fall or at the end of winter and we're very proud of what they've done representing the University of Michigan, and hopefully people will be in the stadium early so they can be honored and then we've got a great football game with Maryland."

Maryland on film, especially defensively: what have you seen from them?
"Well, they do a lot and they've got a pretty big package, especially when you get into third downs. They've done a nice job of attacking the quarterback. I think they are one sack above us in the league when you look at it from a defensive standpoint. I think they run very well [and] I think they obviously if you watched Saturday night's game, which I know I did, that game was a heckuva game for a little while and then kind of got out of hand with the interception for a touchdown. But they're very impressive with what they can do. I think they've won three or four games on the road so they've played well on the road also."

In light of how big an issue domestic violence has been mostly in the NFL this year have you spoken to the team before this weekend about that issue specifically?
"We speak about it constantly. Believe me, at least four times a year. We have people from the University come in. I've told our guys since day one that it won't be tolerated. It won't be tolerated in this program. All you have to do is think about I have a daughter who's 29. I have a wife. I have two sisters, And so that's always been probably one of the first things I talk about with our team least a couple times a year."
You probably just answered that, but did the current climate with how big this issue has been influence how quickly you guys made a decision?
"No, it really didn't. The decision was made after getting all the information that we could and that I could, and in doing that there really was no decision to be made. I don't know if that sounded right but…"

[After THE JUMP: More on the Clark situation and young players who impressed in the intrasquad scrimmage]

When did you find out about the situation and have you spoken to Frank since?
"I have not spoken to Frank yet."
Do you intend to?
"Oh, I'll talk to him sometime. There's no question about it. I look forward to talking to him.

"About 8 o'clock Sunday morning. That's when I found out."
What was your initial reaction considering the announcement was this morning?
"Number one, make sure you get both sides of every story because there's always two. Make sure you get all the information that you can, and we have character and integrity that we believe in and to make sure that we are abiding by those beliefs."
Is there something you found out this morning that you didn't know last night when you released a statement?
"No, no. I just wanted to make sure that we're correct in everything we were doing."

Clark was somebody you had given a second chance to. [He] had prior issues. The whole issue of second chances; do you almost feel little bit burned by and then he got into trouble again, and how much of a risk is it to take second chances?
"I don't feel burned by anything. I feel it's just something that can't be tolerated. And I think you got 18- to 22-year-olds, and maybe we all made better decisions than they did, I don't know, but I know that we all and they – there's a standard that we believe in and I believe in in how you represent yourself and more importantly in how you represent this program and that's one of the things we talk about is I'm going to make decisions that are best for this program. Not for a person, not for a coach, not for– what's best for this program. I don't feel burned, no. That's part of mentoring and you feel like you failed a little bit. Let's put it that way."
It seems like he had grown as a leader, certainly more publicly in that regard. Your level of disappointment or shock?
"Yeah, Bobby, I wouldn't – you even been called Bobby in a long time? I'm sorry.


"I don't know where that came from.

"To be honest with you you are disappointed, and the lessons as a teacher and as a mentor and as a coach, that's what you're trying to do and that's why I got into coaching. That bores you when I talk about it but that's why I got into it. To help develop kids, because I had a coach the cared about me. Cared about me not just [as] a player."

This may be what you just answered, but the success stories that you've seen of someone that's struggled and then kind of been put back on their feet…does that make it worth it to take those chances?
"Yeah, and I think you've got to evaluate the word chance. What exactly is it? And I think there's no question that there've been so many positives with guys who have come through this program, guys who went through the Ball State program when we were there, and San Diego State that learned some hard lessons and paid some dear consequences. Obviously Frank's going to deal with some difficult consequences, but at the same time i'm going to support Frank to get back on his feet and keep growing as a man."

Is there any part of you that says 'Okay, what's it going to be today' when you wake up? It's been that kind of year.


"Yeah, it's been one of those years but honestly our focus, you may think I'm nuts, but it's on those 115 kids. That's what I focus on, and if I don't do that I'm going to get distracted because this guy says this or this is what some alum thanks. I do know we are doing the right thing for these kids in this program. The harsh reality of it is I did the right thing today."

You said Devin's [Gardner] moving around a little bit better. There's more things you can do with him in the offense, do you think, when he's –
"Yeah, and there's no question. I think just watching him, and he practiced last night and we had a very good practice- I think this is as close to healthy as he's been in the last six weeks. And does it open up some things because of his ability? Yeah, I think so."

I think this is the fifth arrest in the past 12 months for football players here-
"It may be, I don't know. I don't count."
Is there initial worry about discipline or an issue or some type of pattern that you see?
"Yeah, I have no worries about how we handle our kids or what we do with them, the consequences they pay for anything. I have no issues with that. I just know that we live in an imperfect world and sometimes there are mistakes that are made and for us to abandon ship, depending on the circumstances, I think is giving up on what's great about our country and developing men, because we need to develop men."

How do you compensate for Frank's absence? Will you move somebody over there?
"Yeah. What we'll do, and we did this a little bit last week, is Taco will go over with Ojemudia. Mario will be the guy who will take the first snaps and then Taco will go over there. Henry Poggi will come in and be Beyer's back up, and Henry- really, he's done a nice job. We scrimmaged. We talked about that I think we did on Wednesday. Really did some really good things. We went into Northwestern a little bit with a concern because Frank had banged up his knee a little bit, so we were a little concerned going into that game what we would get out of him so we kind of were already there doing that kind of rotation."

I know you said you haven't talked a lot about it to the team, but what would it mean after the early struggles this team has had to actually become bowl eligible?

"One thing about this team, they have been unified. They have stayed together. They've probably listened to the stuff out there and at the same time they've done a great job of shutting it off. I think we have an identity of what kind of team we are. We're not very flashy. We're not going to score a lot of points. We've got to play well in the kicking game, and Maryland really presents a challenge there with their return game. And defensively we've got to be very good in the red zone and try and create some turnovers. We've done that in the last couple games but we also need to take care of the football still. I don't know if I answered your question. Did I?"

Taking that step to make it to a bowl after it didn't look like early on-

"Yeah, we haven't talked about that. We've talked about a three-game season, and that started with Indiana because the fourth game, the last game on the schedule you know. If you have any fiber of Michigan in you you know what that game is, so we focused on these three games and playing the best football we can, playing as a team, and out-compete and out-challenge in everything that we do."

Just a follow-up to the question about off the field stuff. Can you kind of just go over your criteria for allowing second chances?

"No. I think every situation is different. There's too many hypotheticals out there to be honest with you, because every one of them are different. Some are bigger than others. Believe me, there's consequences that guys pay that aren't any fun."

SID: Bob.

Maybe the answer to this is-

"Bob. Bobby."

Robert. Maybe the answer to this is obvious but with all the latest has this been the toughest season of your professional career?

"Externally for some of that stuff, some things that have come up, maybe. But internally, to watch these guys work every day, which I've said at every press conference you've sat in, they truly come out and work every day and they compete. That is rewarding. We don't have an attitude problem here or there. If not they call each other out on it and so that's been really rewarding, and I think that's part of the leadership that guys are giving; even the senior level, but through the team itself. Some of the younger guys.

I know you said you talk to the kids routinely about domestic violence. Did you meet with the team today at all about it?

"No, not yet. I will. I will."

And will that be just a reminder that this isn't-

"Well, I think there's a lot of things you want to talk about with them as a coach, as their coach. I think that will obviously be one of them. I've seen some of the guys already, some of the older guys, and I've talked to them about it so yeah, we're going to meet and we'll talk about the situation and will we remind them of behavior and decisions? No question about it."

To follow up on Wojo's question there, with this year being tough and whether it's the toughest year you've had or not how has it changed you as a coach or has it at all, just going through everything you have?

"You know what, I think it's been an enjoyable year. No, not really. It is what it is. Leadership's supposed to be hard. I mean, that's part of what this is so to be honest with you it's part of leadership. Look, there's worse things that can happen in this world than going through some tough things from a professional or team standpoint."

You mentioned Poggi. Other guys in the young guys scrimmage that caught your eye or stood out?

"Yeah, well, I think when you look up front I thought Logan Tuley-Tillman was doing a lot of good things. Linebacker-wise Chase Winovich is a guy who- Jared Wangler, Jack Wangler. You know, what I'm going to do is not mention a guy and then I'm going to feel bad. Wilton Speight was...because quarterbacks were live, which we don't do a lot with the quarterbacks, he stood in there and threw it and did a nice job. Da'Mario, because Da'Mario, we played him in it. There's quite a few of them and I'm not going to get every one of them."

You said each incident is a different thing, how you deal with it. Did you consult with anybody? Do you have to consult Hackett or anything?

"Well, I talked to Jim [Hackett] but the thing about Jim is my decisions are how we're going to run the football program and that was my decision."

With the five arrests that were mentioned do you go back and think what could I have done differently or do change how you approach talking to the guys about certain issues that may come up?

"You know what, the one thing, and this is not arrogance, but we covered everything pretty well because I know how I was in college so we covered everything pretty well."

Can I ask one more?

"Sure. Go ahead. Sing."

Any update on Derrick Green and what his status might be?

"No. No update yet."

You hear about players growing through adversity often. Do you feel like you've grown as a coach through all the stuff you've had to go through?

"Yeah, that's a good point and I think you're right, I think you do. I think when you have the opportunity to enjoy adversity and keep focused on what really is important I think you grow."


bj dickey

November 17th, 2014 at 8:29 PM ^

Why don't you go back and read them. It's been painfully obvious that Brady has acted much differently after he was gone. The little comments two,or three times is indicative of this. Hoke would never say anything publicly, but it's there If you can see. I would imagine Hackett coming into this and learning just how much control Brandon asserted (and Brady allowed) is shocked. The real question is whether he's going to allow a reset.


November 17th, 2014 at 6:50 PM ^


Since Dave Brandon left Hoke seems to be his own man and different players are seeing    the field like Drake Johnson and they are playing better.

Knee-jerk reaction happened after Rich Rod won 3, then 5, then 7-games while rebuilding his style of football. Offense was significantly better his third year than the first year.

Problem problem was RichRod couldn't bring his D-Coordinator from WVU. Then what happened he got one from Standford, and then Greg Robinson was fired from Syracuse and called Rich Rod up and asked for the job--and he got RichRod fired because of poor defense. Then Robinson went down to Texas and got Mack Brown fired for all intents and purposes. Had Brandon been smarter, he would have had RichRod stay and had him find a legit D-coordinator like Mattison.

Fast forward, yes, it is Brady's fourth year---but with a new OC in Nussmeier. Yes he has experienced, but it takes a few years to jell.  Look at the Minny game---Shane Morris 2nd start and 1st start in a new system and people expect miracles. Same with Gardner what, three OC's in four years?

I would bring back Hoke and Coach Nuss and give them time to develop. Think of RichRod's first offense here, it was horrible. What would happen if given time?

Stringer Bell

November 18th, 2014 at 12:23 AM ^

Rich Rods teams got better every year, Hokes teams have gotten worse. Its easy to recognize a downward trend when you see one. Each team is worse than the year before. Brandon is not the reason that 4 and 5 star prospects arent living up to that billing. You keep Hoke one more year and you mess up a potentially important season with MSU and OSU at home and a huge class for 2016. The program desperately needs a new direction.

bj dickey

November 18th, 2014 at 7:51 AM ^

It is not hard to Improve total wins each year when your total wins are three and five wins, and followed by the pinnacle of 7 wins. Keep in mind that in his seven win season the team was blown out by physical Ohio and Mississippi state the last two games. No improvement in competitiveness with good teams, rather a regression.


November 18th, 2014 at 8:53 AM ^

Sounds good but you are ignoring a few things. You said Brandon should have insisted that RR hire a good DC like Mattison. Brandon insulted Jeff Casteel with his money offer and no contract. So why in the world do you think he would have paid Mattison to come here. That was not in DB and LC plans. They had to have an excuse to fire RR. Casteel's defense is doing quite well, thank you. That's being in a tough conference like the Pac 10 not the joke Big Ten. One last point you say that RR first offense was terrible, you're right. Considering the fact that LC talked both quarterbacks into leaving before even got a chance to talk to them. So we had no scholarship quaterback. So all the smart people tell on this blog tell me which big time football program in the country could or would succeed under those circumstances?


November 18th, 2014 at 10:52 AM ^

Dude are you off your rocker? Since Dave Brandon has left we played Indiana who is probably the worst team in the Big Ten and Northwestern in possibly the ugliest game ever. The Northwestern game was only won because Northwestern fumbled a punt on the 21 yard line. Otherwise we don’t score a touchdown and we probably lose.


You also mention that Hoke started playing players like Drake Johnson (who started playing better). Well I’m not sure if you noticed, but a lot of the reason that Hoke played Drake Johnson is due to the Green getting injured for the year. On top of that, the last game Drake Johnson had 3 yards per attempt against the number 71st rush defense in the nation. Those aren't staggering numbers. Also name one other player that has seen a major increase in playing time since Dave Brandon left?


Lastly, you can’t compare Rich Rod’s first year with Hoke’s fourth year at all, for multiple reasons: 1)  We were switching to a drastically different system when Rich Rod came in. Sure there were some slight changes, but we weren’t switching from power to spread in 1 year. 2) This year we have a 5thyear senior qb who was a 5 star in high school. In Rich Rod’s first year we had Nick Sheradin (Walk-on Redshirt Sophomore) and Steven Threat (Redshirt Freshman). 3) Rich Rod only had a couple of his recruits available to play his first year. Hoke has recruited almost every player on offense. So it’s not like he is starting with a bare cupboard. 4) Since it was Rich Rod’s first year he only had less than a year to develop his new team/offense. Hoke has had 4 years to develop the talent on this team and plain out hasn’t done so. Yes the Defensive line has shown improvement, but no other group has consistently shown improvements other than DL.


So, I’m sorry dude, but I am going to have to disagree.


November 17th, 2014 at 7:23 PM ^

I talked to a player Saturday nite at a high school playoff game and he stated that a lot of things that hoke says we're dictated by Brandon. I know most of us figured that, but found it interesting that players even saw this.  Also said that Brandon spent more than normal amount of time around the football program and coaches in particular.


November 17th, 2014 at 7:49 PM ^

Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke really was a convenience marriage I think- each got something from the deal

Brandon got a pretty passive guy who would carry out orders and allow Dave to coach in a way

Hoke got a job he could never get otherwise and a hell of a lot of money

Both lived out their dreams

If Hoke is finally his own man now then its purely by default- he would gladly take Dave back and 4 more years- not sure I really see him growing here

bj dickey

November 17th, 2014 at 8:47 PM ^

GoOd points and I agree with all but the last--maybe.

DB surely hired Brady with the intent of DB playing a pseudo coach role. Manipulative bastard. That doesn't make Hoke unqualified or a poor coach. He did great work at ball state and sdsu when you go back and look where those programs were traditionally, and where he took them.

Te question is what will he be without an ogre on his shoulder dictating what he says and does? I don't think anyone knows. It's too bad that Brady, nor we will ever know.

On the other hand, I assure you that brady has a lot do support from people that realize this, and people with knowledge of how domineering db was. Hackett values integrity. As does schlissel. Hoke graduates guys. That's never been an issue with him. He does all the right things off the field.

But Hackett also wants a guy that wants to win. A competitve drive. Cannot settle on "ok". Sounds a lot like harbaugh to me.

I think the last wo games will be important. Important from a preparation perspective, from a play calling perspective, from a competition perspective. The most interesting candidate for the job may be shaping up to be in ann arbor already.


November 18th, 2014 at 11:22 AM ^

I agree with where you're going but let me point out this. What was Hoke's record when UM hired him? 47-50, right? Now honestly tell what elite program in the country would hire someone who coached at two small schools with a losing record? Do you seriously think that Alabama, Oregon, USC or any other number of schools would have looked at Hoke? If the rumors are true I've heard that when LC retired Hoke put his name in the hat for the job. Obviously he wasn't hired. Maybe that's because DB wasn't the AD at the time. All the reasons that were used against RR during his time at UM can be applied against Hoke but for some reason all I read is what a great guy Hoke is. Might be but that sure doesn't make a good coach.


November 18th, 2014 at 9:08 AM ^

Makes me wonder. Two things I've always wondered about. Number one was why Brandon wanted so badly to get rid of RR and two why would Brandon hire such a clown as Hoke for a coach. I still think my first thought is right on both of these questions. I would bet that there is no way RR would have allowed Brandon to stick his nose into the program so Brandon refuses to hire a good DC for RR so he can fire him. Then Brandon lies to everyone about talking to JH and LM so he can hire the guy he wants. A good guy but a guy who would give anything to coach a big time program. If that means handing some of the control of the program over to Brandon, so be it. Hoke got his dream job even if he had to sell out to Brandon.


November 17th, 2014 at 10:37 PM ^

Add in the early presser comment--shifting from we put out a statement to I put out a statement.

Hackett seems to be encouraging Hoke to own his department in a way that Brandon didn't seem to let Hoke own his department. It's intriguing, and it makes me wonder quite a lot about the future of the football program.

Rusty Knuckles

November 17th, 2014 at 7:08 PM ^

Would it be possible to have which reporter asks each question?  It would make it more interesting for me, especially when I read their article based off of leading questions.


November 17th, 2014 at 7:28 PM ^

Today may have been the most important day in Brady Hoke's career.  With the integrity of the university and program on the line, he took the football element out and did what was right.


November 17th, 2014 at 8:20 PM ^

a bad situation is handled absent Brandon. Hoke said exactly what I would hope, including the development of men and second chances. And I was really happy to read that he will continue to support Clark...a lesser man would not have said that.


November 17th, 2014 at 11:49 PM ^

is off but when the Gibbons incident broke it seemed like Brady was extremely vague and pretty much cut off any questions.  Heck, the Shane Morris incident was a massive fiasco.  The Clark incident could have been a very touchy subject but I felt like Hoke was direct and to the point.  Any possible controversy squashed before it could get started.


November 17th, 2014 at 9:51 PM ^

but the problem is, taking him out of the equation does not now mean that it necessarily adds up to a positive.  Just a few days ago I remember reading on this blog about "the most ridiculous games of the hoke era" or something like that.  Hell, there were more ridiculous games than non-ridiculous games, the choices were numerous, it was hard to pick the winners(?)!  Was Dave Brandon responsible for the clock management? The 10 guys on punts?  yada, yada?  What we have here is not an "or" situation. We have an "and" situation, they are both in need of being gone.  

As my son always says "step one, cut a hole in the box, step two......"   it is time for step two!