Monday Presser Transcript 10-17-11: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on October 17th, 2011 at 4:02 PM

[As goblue232 on the mgoboard already mentioned (which, thanks), this is the only presser this week since this is a bye week. Most of the coaching staff is out recruiting right now.]

News bullets and other important things:

  • Team will practice on Tuesday and Thursday of this week.
  • Michigan has submitted several plays to the Big Ten to review.
  • Hoke's staff is out recruiting this week. Hoke himself is not.
  • Denard has a back injury but will practice this week.
  • A missed assignment led to Denard getting sacked on the fourth-and-inches play. Hoke still likes the call.
  • Michigan passed a lot in the second half because Michigan State was stacking the box and there were lots of opportunities for big gains.
  • Hoke is a long way from replacing Denard with Devin.

Brady Hoke

Press conference

from file

Opening remarks: “Obviously we’re all disappointed with the outcome of the game from Saturday. We didn’t win, obviously, and we didn’t play well enough to win. That’s where it starts, and it starts with me doing a better job caoching this football team and our coaches doing a better job of coaching and preparing our guys. The one thing I can tell you is the kids stayed in there and fought in there and played in there, and I’m proud of how they did that. We just need to execute better. We need to tackle better from a defensive perspective, block better from an offensive perspective. When we have the 6-8 plays you have to execute to win, you have to be on the right side of those plays, and we didn’t get that done.”

Do you wish you would have called a running play on the fourth and one? “No. I liked the play. If we execute the play, Koger’s in the endzone. We don’t make a block that we need to make, and that’s part of it. That play’s been very successful for us. It’s a nice complement to the dive. We just didn’t execute it.”

Did you notice that they were jumping your snap count? “I think everyone has an idea of snap counts from guns, because there’s a mechanic that every team has. We have a silent count, and we have a double silent count. I don’t think that’s all the way correct.”

On fourth and one, they brought the corner blitz, which was giving Denard problems all day … “That’s part of their defense, bringing their corners especially when you get into two tight ends. A lot of people will do that to the weak side of it. Again, he was accounted for if we executed.”

(jump the after more)

Did you see the Gholston punch? “Yeah. I’m not going to react to it. I’m a football coach. I’m not a referee or a rules maker. That’s not for me to say. Did I see it? Yes. Does it happen in games? Yes. Is that sometimes part of the game? Yes.” Gholston came up to you after the game and thanked you for bringing Michigan back. Is that what he said? “I don’t know.” Do you feel like he should be suspended based on what he did to Denard? “That’s not up to me.” Did you send film to the Big Ten? “I’m sure they have the film if it was on TV.”

What’s the protocol for postgame handshake (re: the Jims), and has it ever been awkward for you? “I imagine. It’s part of what you do. I mean, it’s … protocol. It’s a big word for me. It’s just what you do. I’ve done it when we’ve won, and I’ve done it when we’ve gotten beat. And believe me, they’re all very emotional on both ends.”

What aspect of the game aside from execution disappointed you the most? “I don’t think we tackled worth a darn. I don’t think we played the perimeter of our defense worth a darn. I don’t think we took on blocks and got off blocks and had very good block protection. From an offensive standpoint, I don’t think, besides the first series of the game, I think our route running started to hurt us and we were breaking them off too soon, and I don’t think we engaged with an aggression at the line of scrimmage like we should.”

Were those two touchdowns on the edge an example of poor tackling? “I would say, yeah. You see a guy try to block a guy instead of tackle a guy and wrap your daggone arms and put your face through him like you’re supposed to tackle him.”

How do you solve that problem? “That’s a great question. Northwestern wanted to do it with the speed option a little bit and with the bubbles. This week, Tuesday and Thursday, I can assure you we can work on block protection and chop blocks and all those things and make an emphasis. At the same time, there were times where it was played decently, but I didn’t feel the flow from our inside.”

What’s this week’s schedule looking like? “Tuesday and Thursday. We’re going to practice and lift three days.” Do they have time to go home or anything? “No. They’re playing Division I college football.”

Does it hurt to hear Kovacs saying you were outtoughnessed? “The truth never hurts. It’s things that aren’t truthful that hurts. But they did, they outphysicaled us. They outplayed us. They outcoached us. And we had a chance to win the football game.” Does that make it easier? “No. Never makes it easier, believe me.”

What will the next six weeks say about the toughness level of this team? “I think that’s a great point. I was interested to see how we would react as a team in that environment going in because you don’t know until you go through it and see how we learn from it. I know one thing -- you can’t let one team beat you twice, you have to do a great job of pointing out the things that need to be corrected immediately and then focus on what’s next. We have five more guaranteed opportunities to play football. For our seniors, they have five more times to represent Michigan. That’s pretty significant.”

How do you solve the overload blitz? “You go back through the film, which is always helpful. We block the same blitz early in the game, and Fitz spurts for 17 -- something like that. We don’t block it later for one reason or another because they saw what they call the barrel 25 to 30 times Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week, but for some reason we don’t block it correctly, and then you have a problem.”

Has Blake Countess passed Troy Woolfolk on the depth chart? “Yeah, I don’t know if anybody passed anybody, but I do know there’s great competition there. I think that will make both those guys better players.”

Is Troy any healthier? Or does he need the bye week to rest up? “Well, I think he’s probably one of the guys who does. Rest him a little bit. During the off-week, we were going to go three times, but I thought a week and a half ago, you know what, I think we go two practices and give them some time to get a little rest and get away from us just a tad is always good.”

How is Denard healthwise? “He’s just beat up a little bit. I think it’s more his back than anything. But he’ll be fine. The rest will be good for him. We came out of the game pretty healthy, to be honest with you.”

You said you were outcoached. What do you think you did poorly? “Well I don’t think I prepared them well enough to go into a physical football game. You get punched in the mouth, you come back and punch back -- not literally -- come back and keep fighting. You don’t lose the composure and fundamentals and techniques. We talk about poise and composure a lot, and part of it is how you do your job. Are your eyes on the right key? Am I taking the right steps? All those things.”

Roundtable

from file

Hagerup’s punts? “Yeah, I thought Will, a couple times did a really good job in there. The biggest thing in a game when you have wind is the kicking game. The kicks have to change a little bit. It’s a mental thing. I thought he did a pretty nice job in there a couple times for sure.”

Will Devin get more snaps? “No. Denard is our quarterback. We’re six and one. A lot of that is because Denard is our quarterback.”

What do you say to critics and fans who want to yank Denard for Devin? “They have an opinion. Doesn’t carry much weight, but they have an opinion. We’re with [our players] every day.”

The Michigan State players said they were daring him to pass because they knew he couldn’t pass. “That’s not true. That’s a bogus statement, because he can throw. He’s proven it a couple different times this year, I believe. There’s a lot more than just Denard.”

When you put Devin in the game, is there a purpose to that? “There’s three plays that we like Devin to run. One was the touchdown that he had against Northwestern -- that boot. And there’s another boot in there that we really wanted him to be a part of besides the combination of them both in there.” Do you think putting Devin in messed with Denard’s rhythm? “I don’t think so. That would be similar to taking a defensive end out and rotating him. Both have fundamentals and techniques and things that they have to do when you look at schematically from a defensive standpoint.”

Do you feel like Denard’s passing has improved or regressed this season? “I think he’s fine. I don’t have a problem with him.”

Are you surprised you’re still dealing with fundamental things like tackling and blocking? “I think you always are. Am I surprised? I don’t think I’m surprised. Do I wish it was better? Yeah.”

Can you evaluate the trenches? “Well, inside, Will Heininger and Mike played some really good football for us. And their plan was not to attack the interior of the front. And they had a young center in there. I thought Mike and even Will Heininger, both of those guys, when you look at that tape and evaluate who did what, I thought both of those guys did pretty good.”

Did anybody submit any film to the Big Ten regarding personal fouls? “We always submit a few plays, yeah. But they already have all those, the ones that are called foul.”

Jack Miller has traveled with you the past few weeks. Will he play? “I hope not. He’s a guy, though, that has to be ready [at center].”

Denard’s back? “I think he got bruised.”

Have you moved forward yet? “I have not.” Is that because you don’t have another game to prepare for this week? “No. No and yes.” Partly because it’s Michigan State? “Yeah.”

Is it good to have a bye week? “I think it helps us get a little more healthy. You guys were asking about Woolfolk and Denard’s back and all that, it’s always good to get a little healthier.” Taylor Lewan? “Yeah. He’ll be all right. He’s a tough sucker.”

Can you talk about the decision to pass more than you ran? “Well I think we ran for a grand total of 82 yards, and I think part of that is they were stacking the box a little bit, and you have to try and hit some things. They played zero coverage on Roy Roundtree and he went for whatever that was for a touchdown on a slant. If we run a couple more slant routes maybe more pure or better, and we may have had another one.”

Perimeter defense -- how do you teach your players to get off cut blocks? “Well there’s different drills that you do, and you have to do it live enough. I know during fall camp, you always get a lot of that stuff in. And then as the season starts you get away from that a little bit because of the game plans and seeing the opponent’s plays. This will be a good week to get back to that.” Was it surprising that Michigan State played the perimeter so much? “No, the stretch play was one of their plays [and we knew] that going in. I think they blocked a couple plays a little differently where they bossed it before with the fullback on the safety depending on how many tight ends were in there, [or] getting him up on the linebacker and taking the U-back on the safety. Some of that stuff was a little different, but it’s still football. The back’s angle -- you have to react to it.”

Do you expect Denard to practice this week? “Sure.”

Marvin Robinson and Brandon Herron? “Marvin still has some lingering things, and Herron still isn’t where we want him to be.”

How’s Cam Gordon? “He’s much better than he was.”

Those mistakes that you were talking about -- are those things where you can just say once and it’s corrected or do you need a bye week to fix them? “There was some good teaching going on on the sideline and in the locker room at halftime. This will be maybe more of an emphasis.”

Is this a big recruiting week for you? “The guys are out, yeah.” What about you? “No, I won’t go out.”

What do you do Saturday? “I’m not going to tell you.”

Where did you go between the first and second quarter on Saturday? “Well that is really a personal question. I had to use the men’s room. And I’ve had to do it before. I drink a lot of coffee and a lot of water.” Instead of eating? “Correct.”

At what point would you think about making a quarterback switch? “I wouldn’t even speculate, because that’s a point that’s way out there.”

Comments

robpollard

October 17th, 2011 at 4:51 PM ^

I see Hoke has double-down on the "it was a good call, we (i.e., Brandon Moore) just screwed up."  Fine.  Let's say Moore blocked the blitzer.  Was anyone coming open?  I honestly don't know, but perhaps there was someone at the game who saw a WR or someone who was just breaking into the clear and if there were 2 more seconds, he would have been easily open, but I couldn't tell.

I'll still think it's a bad call b/c you're making things more complicated when all you need is 6 inches, but I will understand it more.

nsweet

October 17th, 2011 at 5:00 PM ^

Do you wish you would have called a running play on the fourth and one? “No. I liked the play. If we execute the play, Koger’s in the endzone. We don’t make a block that we need to make, and that’s part of it. That play’s been very successful for us. It’s a nice complement to the dive. We just didn’t execute it.”

 

Not sure if their is video we have that supports this, or if Coach was referencing everyone's execution of the play.

BigBlue62

October 17th, 2011 at 5:08 PM ^

Hoke answered the question in this way.  It was painfully obvious that a PA with NO rollout was a bad call. 1. If Denard rolls out at least he has a chance to choose between run/pass 2. At that point in the game, I think it was around 10/25 ish for completions. I get the call in the sense that it's that everyone is thinking run and pull a TE out for an easy TD, but thats not a call you make when the game is on the line. Especially when you have Denard's ability to run the ball. Personally, this annoys me that he still defends that call when I feel it's pretty obvious it was horrible.

Of course the flip side is that he does get a block and Koger catches an easy pass for a TD, we're not having this conversation... :)

But, with what was going on to that point in the game, "ya run whatcha brung" and have Denard sneak over the line for another set of downs... my .02.

M-Wolverine

October 17th, 2011 at 5:31 PM ^

Considering how much this Blog has complained about them, and guys being in his face. Maybe he was worried that Molk hadn't been great, and not sure an not Navarre-tree-like QB might not get that push just up the middle.  But in any regard, Denard had a tremendous ball fake on the play...it just so happened that the one guy who had nothing to do on the play but go after the QB wasn't blocked.  I'm not sure anyone else knew he still had the ball.

BigBlue62

October 18th, 2011 at 9:04 AM ^

He sold it to the other 10 guys on the defense.  I agree, Molk wasn't having a great game against their D-line. Martin was pretty quiet too for that matter - which I was really disappointed in. I was hoping he'd be able to put some pressure on Cousins and get some penetration but he was pretty quiet the entire game.

I can see what he was trying to do, but MSU wasn't loading up the middle of the line - Denard needs to read that and lunge foward for the 1st down, IMO. 

Easy to be the Sunday morning QB though after the game is over... :)

Just hoping Brady can keep the guys motivated and we get 2-3 more wins to make this a (at least in my mind) a successful season.

Really juiced for the 2012 kids to come in though. I haven't been this excited about a recruiting class in... well.. forever!

uminks

October 18th, 2011 at 12:54 PM ^

and our RB made it 4 yards past the interior of the MSU DLINE, I was just wishing he had the ball since it would have been an easy first down at the 5 or 4. I wonder why DROB cannot change the play based off of what he sees from the opposing defense. It was pretty clear that there was nobody to block the blitzing MSU player on the left end of the line. I wonder if he should have called a time out if he knew someone was going to come through unblocked.

M-Wolverine

October 17th, 2011 at 5:28 PM ^

Then say he should be all conservative the next.  I think the fact that it was "inches" does hurt him, because you should be able to all forward for that. And even though you should be able to get a long yard too, it might not seem so bad in that situation, perception-wise. But that's the life of coaching...if it works, you're a bold genius (see Desmond) and if some 19 year old misses his blocking assignment, you're an idiot. He knows how it works.

coastal blue

October 17th, 2011 at 10:06 PM ^

But there is a difference between say, going for it on 4th and 3 to put SDSU away or 4th and 1 against Northwestern to stop the bleeding to running that PA saturday. 

The calls themselves - all three of them - were good calls.  That is the "gamble" most fans who hate the convservative nature of coaches want to see during a game. When it comes to the execution of the play, we want to see it succeed and in our case, our best chance for success is to allow Denard to use his legs and gain the yard. If he gets stuffed in that instance, then you know you gave yourself the best opporutinity for the play to work and you can't be upset. But by calling that PA, Borges complicated what should have been a fresh set of downs inside the ten. 

I agree that had it come off I'd be hailing Borges as a mad genius, but at the time, myself and every single person around me - 95% MSU fans - knew that Denard was going to run for the first down. And then he didn't.  

sportsfreak0819

October 18th, 2011 at 3:46 AM ^

i guess to that extent that we are going to question the PA call we could have instead run a different PA? like the QB OH NOES? since almost everybody thought denard would run for it, why not do that if you wanted to fake out the defense... i didnt like the call, and i thought we should have just run it, but if we were going to do a pass why not do one that  will completely suck up the defense and allow denard to see the blitz coming?

ChetterBear01

October 18th, 2011 at 9:37 AM ^

It seems to me like it's one of those "if it doesn't work you're an idiot, if it does you're a genius" calls, perfect example being when Sean Payton onside kicked to start the second half in the Super Bowl - if the Colts recover that kick and the Saints lose everyone would have killed him for that call.

If that play worked and we scored a momentum shifting TD, and possibly won the game, we'd all be talking about how ballsy Hoke and Borges are and that our players come through in crunch time.

M-Dog

October 18th, 2011 at 11:26 AM ^

Yes, think about it . . . if it worked, it was not a first down, ti was a touchdown.  

MSU was dominating us all day then, boom, we are tied with them based on 2 passing plays and a turnover.

Momentum, with the wind as well, would have clearly been on the side of Michigan.  We get a decent kickoff to them and I think they go into a shell.  And they wern't exactly lighting it up in the first place. 

Don't know how it would have turned out, but it would have been a new game at that point, ala the Illinois game where we choked at the goal line after dominating all day.

 

 

 

M-Dog

October 18th, 2011 at 11:24 AM ^

Yes, think about it . . . if it worked, it was not a first down, ti was a touchdown.  

MSU was dominating us all day then, boom, we are tied with them based on 2 passing plays and a turnover.

Momentum, with the wind as well, would have clearly been on the side of Michigan.  We get a decent kickoff to them and I think they go into a shell.  And they wern't exactly lighting it up in the first place. 

Don't know how it would have turned out, but it would have been a new game at that point, ala the Illinois game where we choked at the goal line after dominating all day.

 

 

 

M-Dog

October 18th, 2011 at 11:24 AM ^

Yes, think about it . . . if it worked, it was not a first down, ti was a touchdown.  

MSU was dominating us all day then, boom, we are tied with them based on 2 passing plays and a turnover.

Momentum, with the wind as well, would have clearly been on the side of Michigan.  We get a decent kickoff to them and I think they go into a shell.  And they wern't exactly lighting it up in the first place. 

Don't know how it would have turned out, but it would have been a new game at that point, ala the Illinois game where we choked at the goal line after dominating all day.

 

 

 

Mitch Cumstein

October 17th, 2011 at 4:56 PM ^

I do like the general sense that he is taking accountability for the performance of the team.  And at the same time stressing that the players need to play better.  I like that.

Section 1

October 17th, 2011 at 5:07 PM ^

Good.  I'm glad.  I hope that they are the plays that have been featured here.  I want the Conference to review not just Gholston (that's easy) but also Marcus Rush.  I want the Conference to see how Gholston tried to break Lewan's arm.

I really want to see the Conference suspend both Gholston and Marcus Rush.

But wow, what a difference a couple of years makes.  Time was, Michigan was all defensive about Danny Hope accusing Rich Rodriguez of getting Zach Reckman suspended.  It was a false accusation.  Glad that the Hoke Administration can do this straight up with no apology given or asked for.

Duncan

October 17th, 2011 at 5:09 PM ^

"They played zero coverage on Roy Roundtree and he went for whatever that was for a touchdown on a slant. If we run a couple more slant routes maybe more pure or better, and we may have had another one.” 

Brian touched on it earlier today, but some of the plays/routes where the WRs were 20-30 yards from line of scrimmage didn't make sense, especially with the weather conditions.  Needed to have more hot routes to exploit the CB and LB blitzes. 

“No. I liked the play. If we execute the play, Koger’s in the endzone. We don’t make a block that we need to make, and that’s part of it."

That one was on Brandon Moore. 

M-Wolverine

October 17th, 2011 at 5:23 PM ^

They have an opinion. Doesn’t carry much weight, but they have an opinion.

Funny, because it's true. Kinda puts everything the last few days around here into perspective.

snoopblue

October 17th, 2011 at 5:24 PM ^

Maybe I'm reading too much into things but when Hoke says "When you get punched in the mouth, you come back and punch back--not literally" I laughed because he grinned a little bit. From the way he spoke, I get the feeling he isn't going to let his team forget about Saturday.

JT4104

October 17th, 2011 at 5:31 PM ^

So I take it Denard has NO wiggle room to audible??

Look at that play again....there is no one over Molk, the logic in that says denard see's it and gives molk a little pinch to the side he wants to go and they just snap the ball and go with it.

that's the kind of decision i would have loved to see Denard make at that point in the game, i dont care what the call is they are giving you a first down inside the 10 with all the mo on your side after the fumble. He lines up under center and the only thing in front of him is molk, I think in that instance you have to with what is there, I mean he takes a sneak and probably gets 3 or 4 on that play.

As a Qb Denard really needs to see something like this no matter what coach called and get your taem a first down and a fresh set of downs to work with.

Anonymosity

October 17th, 2011 at 5:33 PM ^

Where did you go between the first and second quarter on Saturday? “Well that is really a personal question. I had to use the men’s room. And I’ve had to do it before. I drink a lot of coffee and a lot of water.”

LIAR! I'm sure plenty of people saw him waiting in line at the hot dog stand for a couple brats and a beer.

griesecheeks

October 17th, 2011 at 5:50 PM ^

...want more of this. Would be ideal if Will Campbell could become more of a frequent force.

Imagine, in the below diagram, Roh, Martin, Campbell, RVB as the "Bear Front" with Hawthorne and Ryan as "Sam" & "Will" respectively (obviously, flipping their current roles). Bring Kovacs closer to the line on the Weak Side, edge Gordon over to the strong side as a safety, and on 3rd and long, sub a nickelback for one of the linemen. I haven't quite fully thought this out, but I've been a big proponent of Bear Fronts from the couple of coaches clinics I've attended.

anyway... just a thought, particularly as a way to hamper teams trying to move their linemen around or getting them to the 2nd level. 

                                          FS

                                      

                                                    M                                               

                                                                               SS 

C                              S         E  T   N  T      W                                 C

X                                          T  G  C  G  T                                        Y

                                       E            Q

                                                     FB         

                                                     RB

Drew Sharp

October 17th, 2011 at 7:50 PM ^

 “I’m sure they have the film if it was on TV.”

 

Great line from coach Hoke. It's also great to see how he handles what he feels is a ridiculous question.  I firmly believe that a ridiculous question deserves a ridiculous answer (non-answer in this case).  Nothing worse than someone who says something like "Really...you're asking that?"  I like how Hoke handles the press...pretends to be dumb on issues he doesn't want to talk about, yet clearly knows the details enough to make the question sound ridiculous enough that he doesn't have to answer.

 

 

griesecheeks

October 17th, 2011 at 10:19 PM ^

Theoretical weakness of the "Bear" D is perimeter runs and the aforementioned fact that you expose your corners.

Now, I respond to that by saying: what if you combine the Bear front with a 2-deep safety look and try a little cover-2? Well, it won't be all that effective against a team like Illinois running a spread-ish offense. But against Iowa & Ohio State, I think this would be an interesting concept to explore. I think there are multiple looks the D could give out of the below formation. Cover-2 man, 1/4-1/4-1/2 Cover 3, 5-under, 2 deep zone. Anyway...

 

would look like this:

                                      FS                                            FS

 

                                                             M

 

          C                                 S    E  T  N  T    W                      C

        X                                          T  G  C  G  T                          Y

                                               TE          Q

                                                             FB

                                                             RB

 

 

Mitch Cumstein

October 18th, 2011 at 9:28 AM ^

So if I'm understanding your adjustment correctly, you want to bring the SS back into more of a FS role to protect against over-the-top passing plays?  I think this is a good adjustment like you say for teams that might throw over the top.

Drbogue

October 18th, 2011 at 7:01 AM ^

The fake field goal was a much bigger "gamble" than the 4th and 1. However, in retrospect the game hinged on that play call so it does deserve a bit more scrutiny.

MGlobules

October 18th, 2011 at 9:43 AM ^

one) this guy is sticking up for his players in a totally appropriate tight-lipped play, saying they fought hard (thus refuting guys on couches who think everyone should grow bigger ones and whack people with them) and that he has sent in the plays for review. 

two) Denard is apparently okay. Ghoulston can sleep a little easier tonight, because the fury that would have remained against him forever on the part of M fans. . . 

It takes a little time to learn to read between the lines of these pressers, but Hoke is a smart guy, as is Mattison and Borges. All in all, I prefer his pressers to RichRod's, and I liked RichRod.

Hoke in no way has the persecution complex of a lot of coaches like Dantonio. He is not a preening narcissist like too many people in positions of power, right, left, and center in this country. (Tiny speech over.)

Wazoo

October 18th, 2011 at 9:23 AM ^

I love how he's straight forward in someways, doesn't get caught up in the moment, take the bait or make excuses, and is a bit of a curmudgeon and refuses to answer certain questions, a la Carr.  He's no Dantonio, thankfully, and is a great representaive of the university.  I also noticed that he didn't single out players who may have missed an assignment, etc.  I think Hoke is the real deal.   If i was a parent of a recruit, these are things I would notice.  Every coach is great when they win, but how does the coach react when they lose.

BigSi

October 18th, 2011 at 11:35 AM ^

MSU blitzed on most plays in the second half. They brought pressure on every first down with the double A gap blitz. Where was the screen game??? It seems like this would have been an ideal way of keeping them onest. MSU was telegraphing the corner blitzes most of the time and I dont understand why we did not check to draws or screens?

Instead we chose to rely on our backs to help pick up the blitz and for our receivers to run hot routes...this strategy requires everybody to be on the same page and most of the time we were not. We made them pay once on the roundtree TD, but jeez take the easier route and mix in some draws and screens.