[I forgot to turn my recorder on right away because I’m a doofus but the question was about Northwestern]
“I was very, very pleased with our players in that game and I have been for a while, and you know that. Our kids, they went out and they executed the gameplan and they played extremely hard. Didn’t matter where. They had their backs to the wall and they stayed in there strong, and that’s just kind of how they’ve been and i was just really happy for them because they really believe, they really want to be good and they’re starting to get some reward from it.”
When did you hear about Frank’s arrest and what was your reaction to it?
“Well, I heard about it I guess yesterday but Brady handles all that. And my reaction is always when a young man that is in your program that you’re very, very close to when something happens like this you feel very, very disappointed and you feel sad for the people that are involved and that’s about it.”
Brady was just talking about all the adversity you guys have gone through this year and how maybe he’s grown a little bit and learned from it as a coach. You’ve known him for 30 years. Have you seen it affect him, or how has he grown from this season?
“You know, I mentioned it before and that’s a great question. When you believe so much in a program like he does and like our staff does and you give everything you have to the program like he does, when things don’t go exactly like you want them to that’s hard. That’s hard, man. And I haven’t seen him- he never wavers. He’s the same guy every morning when he comes in. He’s the same guy when he dresses the players. Like I said before, I think he's done a tremendous job as the head football coach with some of the things that have happened."
Jake's [Ryan] preparation is evident when you see him on the field. I understand that you guys watch a lot of film together. Talk about how you've watched him grow as a student of the game and talk about how he goes about that [preparation].
"Well, I was fortunate enough. I think the first year I was here I had Jake, and he met in our staff room together and I said, 'Okay, let's go ahead and sit down and we'll start on film' and I looked and he was sitting in Brady's chair and I said, 'What are you doing!? You can't sit in that chair!' Well from that day on he's always sat in that chair. And Jake Ryan is a pleasure to coach, just like Joe Bolden is, just like- I could name a lot of guys in all they years I've coached. When you have guys who come to work every day like they do, and they come in those meeting rooms and you start showing film and you start talking about your opponent and they react and they study and they start taking notes like our guys do; then you feel really good about coaching. Jake's just one of those guys that you think about it [and] outside linebacker, that's all he'd ever played and we talked about it and said, 'Hey, listen. We're going to put you in the middle because we want you around the football a lot more. We want you to make sure that you're involved in it; that they can't run away from you' and in his senior year he does it. And he plays hard and unselfish and does everything you ask him to do and that's Michigan. That's what we hope this program's all about and we think there's a lot of players like that in this program."
[After THE JUMP: Thoughts on Maryland and the defensive line]
When you lose a guy late it leaves a hole in the defense, but in terms of Frank as a leader and things like that and a guy the defense seemed to rally around under these circumstances where does that leave the defense?
"Well, you know, football's a team game and you can never say, 'Boy, I hope we don't lose this guy and I hope we don't lose that guy' because it doesn't work that way and you have to, as a coach, just hope that there is the next guy steps up whether a guy gets hurt with his ankle, whether a guy gets hurt with a shoulder, whatever happens. All of a sudden if he's not there to play then that next guy's got to step up, and that's kind of a measure of a program. If the program is headed in the right direction then when things happen that way, injury or whatever, that next guy steps up and you move on and I believe we'll be that way."
Your thoughts on Taco [Charlton] moving over there and being able to play that position behind Mario [Ojemudia]?
"The good news is I think those guys up front, I'd think you all agree, you've all watched them [and] they've improved. They were recruited to be heading where they are right now. That's what that was about. Those were young pups that played last year and they were really young two years ago when they played. They've had a lot of experience and we haven't changed the scheme that much so those guys now should be able to slip into a new position and be able to do what you're doing so that's what you have. You have Henry Poggi, who's really looked good at times in practice and it's time for him. Taco, we all know Taco. He's made some really good plays already in his young career and Mario, I mean, if you really focus Mario's done some unbelievable things and Brennen Beyer, you don't have to say much about him. And there's more and more guys. That's just the guys at that position or at that category so we just keep going. Just keep going and doing what you're doing and good things will happen."
You know they don't have that wide receiver at Maryland but can you talk about what Maryland's offense does that you're going to have to prepare for differently?
"They don't have him?"
Well, didn't have him last time.
"Ok, good. I thought maybe you knew something I didn't know. I was hoping you were really coming forward with something there.
"They have very good wide receivers. I go more by numbers [and] not names, but having watched them in that last game No. 6 [Deon Long] is a heck of a wide receiver. No. 82 [Marcus Leak] is a heck of a wide receiver and obviously we all know No. 1. The quarterback to me is a very, very good football player because he throws it, he manages a game but the thing he can do is keep plays alive with his feet. I think he's their leading ball carrier and No. 4 [Wes Brown] and No. 45 [Brandon Ross], we studied them hard, man. We studied a lot of film on these guys and there's two good running backs right there that can get the job done if you let them, and No. 30 [Kenneth Goins Jr.] can do some things. They've got a number of weapons and they're a very well-coached team and we're going to have to play our best football, there's no question about it. And we're going to have to keep continuing to improve like we've done."
"Ok, thank you."
/pretends to leave the podium
"I tried, Angelique. I really did try hard."
I had one more question about Frank. Brady said he wants to have a conversation with him at some point. How difficult is it to weight [that] he's kicked off the team but you don't give up on a guy? Will you want to have a conversation with him?
"You never give up on your guys. You don't ever condone. You don't ever, ever- from day one in our meetings coach Hoke does a tremendous job of explaining what is never tolerated, ok? He does that all the time with our players, and if you looked at football teams all over the country, I mean, wow. Ours compared to that is pretty darn good and they're young kids. They're kids that make mistakes. I wish I could say that I never made a mistake. I really do. Do I condone it? Am I disappointed? Never been more disappointed but am I always there for him? Yeah, we always are and we'll always be."