Monday Presser 11-17-14: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 19th, 2014 at 9:23 AM

players 11-17

Jake Ryan and Devin Gardner

Coach Hoke said that he addresses your team in regards to domestic violence. What has he said and what has the team taken from those presentations?

JR: "You know, a lot. He stresses every single day that he has expectations for everyone on this team and if you don't follow them and rules are broken then stuff will happen. He has talked about domestic violence with us and that's one of the things you can't do. It's just unfortunate."

When you see Northwestern roll up 40 points on Notre Dame does that make you feel better about your effort at Northwestern, knowing that you held them in like you did?

JR: "Yeah, I'm proud of this defense and it just shows what we can accomplish as a defense and we had a great game and need to keep moving forward."

For Devin: it's still a few days away put your last game in Michigan Stadium is on Saturday. Any idea what kind of emotions will be swirling through your head then?

DG: "I'm just really excited. There's a lot more at stake than just my last game at Michigan. It's never been about me and it's not going to be about me on Saturday. I'm just going to go out and give it everything I have, like I've always given, to try and get a win for the team."

Did the bye week help you at all with the ankle or whatever ailments you might have?

DG: "Yeah, I've gotten healthier through the bye week."

[After THE JUMP: senior day, adversity, and Devin's thoughts on what it means to be a citizen of the world]

Coach Hoke was talking about all the stuff that's gone on, all the adversity he's faced and this team has gone through and how even as coaches that's helped them grow and change a little bit. How have the coaches been handling all this and what's their message been through all the different stuff you guys have gone through the past couple months?

JR: "I think it's just the same as ours; you've got to block it all out. They don't know what we've done behind the scenes. They don't know how many workouts we've done and we've got to move forward and we're focused on Maryland and this week of practice."

Usually this time of year when we talk to players that are about to play their last game for Michigan in Michigan Stadium they talk about how quickly it's gone by. Do you two feel that way or [with] what's transpired over your careers, did it go by quickly? Not that you're glad that it's almost coming to an end, but where's your minds at when you look back and reflect about this?

JR: "I think it's gone very quickly. I tell these younger guys you've got to take advantage of it because it goes from freshman to senior year very fast and it's been a ride."

Jake, single best memory of playing these years in Michigan Stadium? Is there one that stands out to you?

JR: "I don't think there's a single best. I think they've all been great."

Your thoughts on the same question that Devin fielded about playing that last one? Have you thought ahead?

JR: "Yeah, of course it's sad, it's the last game you're going to play in the Big House but like Devin said, you can't just focus on yourself. It's all about this team and what we can do to get a win on Saturday."

Devin, it's been a ride for you as well. In five years you've had a lot happen; a lot of different coaches and a lot of different stuff. What's it all been like?

DG: "It's been a learning experience and something I've been able to grow from and continue to improve in all aspects of my life and I'm thankful for it and I'm still able to grow for at least two more games, so I'm excited to go and play against Maryland and help this team get a win."

Devin, Doug said that the offensive line has arguably its best game against Northwestern. Are you noticing a change in their cohesiveness and chemistry and how they're playing?

DG: "Yeah, they play really well. That's really all you can say. They've played really well in the past two games and I don't know the number of anything but I haven't gotten sacked much. Maybe hurried a few times but that's something that you expect so yeah, I'm excited about the way they're coming together and playing well."

How important is getting to a bowl at this point? You don't need the extra practices afterwards but for the team, the program going forward to get those additional practices in addition to a game?

JR: "You can't think about it as just getting to a bowl. We're going to focus on Maryland this week and just focus on this week of preparation before the whole bowl situation."

Just from a technical adjustment standpoint, they talked about Taco [Charlton] moving over and picking up the slack there. What have you seen out of him in how he's developed?

JR: "Taco's a great player and has had a couple of great games this season and is a big, strong kid that can play the position and is young and there's definitely room for development. Mario's [Ojemudia] another great aspect to the defense and he's been doing the same thing. He's had great games this season."

Devin, you're pretty calm and reserved. Is it emotional to think about your last game [in Michigan Stadium] or are you just not allowing yourself to do that?

DG: "I don't really think about it like that. Like I said, it's not about me and I feel all the other seniors share the same sentiment. It's about winning football games and we're getting another opportunity to win. That's what I'm looking forward to. It's probably going to be cool with all the extra stuff with your parents and stuff that's going to be there and you know is going to be there but my focus and only focus right now is preparing to beat Maryland."

Like Jake and some other fifth-year guys you've gone through a lot. Do you think about that at all this week or is that something you don't think about?

DG: "I'll think about that after the season. I'm just focused on trying to beat Maryland."

It seems like every Monday you guys come in and talk about things that are not related to football like off the field stuff. Brady talked about it a little bit too; has that worn on you at all and how do you balance dealing with that?

DG: "I thought we were going to talk about Maryland today."

/room laughs

DG: "It is what it is. It's what we come to do and you guys ask the questions and we have to answer. I mean, I guess you can plead the fifth because it is one of your rights but you can't plead the fifth if that makes any sense."

JR: "Same thing. You've just got to block it out and keep improving every day."

It's not like we've invented something every day to ask.

DG: "It's pretty amazing that so many things keep coming up. I was talking to coach Hoke about it yesterday and today but it's preparing us to deal with [life] because in life you're going to have a lot of adversity. Things are going to come that you don't expect and that's a lot of things that we've dealt with, and I feel like we've dealt with it well and just continue to stay grounded and continue to work so that's what you're going to have to do as a citizen in the world and that's what we're learning to do right now."



November 19th, 2014 at 10:23 AM ^

It's great that these kids continue to have such a good relationship with Hoke. That'll be what we have to hang our hats on if, somehow, he keeps his job.


November 19th, 2014 at 11:08 AM ^

Despite the onfield inconsistency which is partially on him, sometimes it isn't all about wins and losses or the game. Where this guy came from and the chaos that has ensued during his tenure, he could have gone down a different path. But he didn't because he's the truest representation of a "Michigan Man"  the old fashioned way - he earned it. Hope he has a great last game at Michigan Stadium.


November 19th, 2014 at 10:57 AM ^

throughout my life and by that I mean successful people and times. I feel bad for these young men to have to struggle so much and endure so much difficulty without having success to hang their hats on, at least in the football sense. If they can win the next three games - of course I speak of a bowl game - that would be something to feel good about; a 5 game winning streak to finish the year, a win against Ohio State, and a Bowl victory which may give us an outside chance at being ranked in the top 25 and some redemption after a few difficult seasons. There is still a lot to play for, Go Blue...


November 19th, 2014 at 1:09 PM ^

yeah id love to see these guys somehow flip the switch and get to a bowl game.  some of our bowls were coolest experiences during my college years, not to mention the gift bags etc (unless its like new mexico bowl on 12/18).  but i only want these dudes to go bowling if majority of the team truly wants to extend the season by another month and then play again.  

some commented after buffalo wild wings game they were tired and sick of football, others complained about locker room divides, etc.  not to mention they got waxed on national tv and some did not appear too focused or perform to usual standard.  adding another month or so of practice, workouts, meetings, travel, it can be exhausting and you have to want it every day.  

so i only want this team to be bowl eligble if most of the players are 100% on board and really want to get after it for another month.  its been a rough season for this squad and many of their struggles would likely continue thru bowl season - including head coach stuff- so they really have to want it, thats all im saying.  if they want it, ill try to watch another game 


November 19th, 2014 at 12:03 PM ^

if Gardner didn't have to go through all the upheaval at HC and OC  ending up with men who really didn't know what to do with him. In some respects, he shares that experience with Denard Robinson. Lots of raw talent in need of the right coach to use it. 

He's definitely a class act and though he "stayed" and didn't become a champion on the field, he's a champion of a young man. I hope that's how he's remembered here. A lot of young players who were as highly touted as he was in HS would not have come out of this turbulent experience in Ann Arbor with the grace and positive attitude he displays. He'll be just fine in life.

He may make me cuss a lot on Saturday afternoons, but in almost every other way he makes me smile. Win or lose, I'd take him over an arsehat like Jameis Winston every single day.


November 19th, 2014 at 12:19 PM ^

is a class act who has dealt with more adversity than many. From system changes, coaching, position changes, injuries, this young man is phenomenal. I am very proud of him as an observer, as I believe he represents the team and University very, very well. DG is a winner in so many regards.


November 19th, 2014 at 12:31 PM ^

"I think it's just the same as ours; you've got to block it all out. They don't know what we've done behind the scenes."

No one will ever care, Jake.  It's not always fair, but that's not how evaluations work.  The person who's paid to care about the "how" is your boss or, in the case of sports, your coach.  But everyone -- not just athletes, EVERYONE -- is judged by results.  Not that this team owes anyone anything so you can hold your head high, but this is why Hoke is a dead man walking.