Monday Presser Transcript 11-11-13: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on November 11th, 2013 at 2:02 PM


  • pew pew.


"Peace for our time."

Opening remarks:

“Obviously very disappointed. We all are. After the outcome of Saturday’s game, we need to make sure we’re finishing and doing all the things we need to do. As a coaching staff, that’s always where it starts. It starts with me. We have to do a great job of repping the things we’re going to see, which we have been. We do a great job of the details, the fine things you want to makes ure you go over. And as a team, we have to make sure we understand each and every plan. We started this thing in January with this football team. In June we inhereited the freshmen guys. Their work ethic has been exceptional. We have to translate that we do well in practice on the field, and we will do that.”

How difficult is it to plan for and execute an offense when the offensive line is struggling?

“Everyone’s going to point to the offensive line, but really it’s all of us. It’s not just them. It’s not fair. It’s never one guy, one thing, in anything in life, unless you’re golfing. I guess that would be you. In a team sport, it’s not that way. All 11 parts have to be working in the same direction. Offensively, defensively, and then you could say all 115 parts that are on this football team … it’s all of us. This has always been a ‘we,’ ‘us,’ and ‘ours’ football program.”

Can you talk about these next three games are a test of this team’s pride and passion?

“Well, there’s no doubt that there’s some adversity. We had some a week ago, and I like how our team responded. I like how those guys got after it. We had a very good week of preparation, week of practice. Again, that adversity has hit us. We will grind and we will work. There’s no solutions that won’t take hard work. Part of that is every day what we do in preparing.”

You mentioned after the game that you need to coach better. What will you do differently?

“I don’t know how many specific different things. I am pretty involved in a lot of things, from special teams to Al and I meet twice a week, talk about the plan. Maybe I didn’t handle Tuesday’s meeting as well as I could with the kids. Maybe I didn’t give them enough information. Maybe there was not enough motivation. Whatever it might be. That’s not a great answer, but it’s what it is.”

Speaking of the motivation, do you think you have a confidence crisis offensively? How do you get it back?

“I think you do a couple things. Number one: you have to take the things that you haven’t done very well, whatever it might be. Any position. It could be anywhere. We’ve got to constructively teach and use those teaching moments. You also have to show them the things they’ve done well. It’s usually similar in both cases. It may be oversetting, it may be my visual key, my eyes not being where they need to be. You’ve got to look at the negatives, and you’ve got to finish with the positives, because they know they can do it.”

Do you have to look at short term changes and adjustments that aren’t necessarily part of the long term plan?

“I think you always look at things that way as you study an opponent, as you formulate game plans. I think that’s part of it. Always will. The other day we went from spread to jet read to two backs in the backfield, two tight ends and a fullback. We hit all the buttons. When you have negative plays, though, your rhythm and everything that you want to do offensively … Coming out of halftime, we moved down the field and score a touchdown. Well, you had a rhythm. The negative plays weren’t there. We get a first down in a critical part of the game, and we miss a snap. Those things happen. Then you’re working in negatives. I think we were three of 13 on third down. They were six of 16. Negative plays on third down start on first and second down. Do you look at everythign? Yeah. You always look at personnel. You always go back to evaluate. You always look at did I work well enough on this scheme? I’ll take it individually because I’m a defensive line coach. Power scoops. Did I work enough on power scoops where Willie Henry and Ryan Glasgow can play the way they’re capable of playing?”

You talked about third downs being tied to what you do on first and second down. In hindsight, it seemed like you ran a lot of off tackle plays that didn’t work.

“I can’t tell you how many first downs we ran or not. I think sometimes we assume that. I can’t tell you that. Obviously we felt we could run the ball or we wouldn’t have called the play. I mean, I think that’s where it starts. Some of those plays are check plays depending on what you get defensively, what looks.”

MGoQuestion: You mentioned you threw out a lot of formations and hit all the buttons on offense. One of Nebraska’s players said they knew what you were going to do. Why do you think that is?

“Yeah. I don’t know if that was exactly the quote, but we know what other guys are doing, too. We knew when they were in pistol with two tight ends, and we got negative plays. Everybody has that. Everyone has -- there’s certain things people are going to do certain ways. Now, when you win a football game I think sometimes it’s easy to say that.”

MGoFollowup: Have you noticed that increase the last couple of games?

“No. Not at all. We change formations and we change personnel on the same play every week.”

With the Big Ten title always being such a deal, what do you play for with these guys?

“Well number one you’re a competitor. You want to go out and fight. We always play for our seniors and we’re always going to work hard for those guys. This group is a group that’s been through some struggles and they’re very important to all of us. The other thing is you have a chance to win 10 football games. That opportunity is always out there. That’s always been a benchmark.”

Did Blake Countess get hurt?

“Early. He was out some time after the first quarter. He should be [okay].”

On their 4th and 2, were your corners supposed to be so far off the line of scrimmage? Was it a lack of confidence they were giving the receivers so much of a cushion?

“I don’t know if it’s confidence. How about experience? I think that’s something throughout our team guys are learning for the first time.”

Did a safety need to tell them to move up?

“They could. They could. I think that’s tough. In hindsight, I should have called time out.”



"In war we're tough and able / quite indefatigable."

What can you do to help Fitz out in pass protection? Do you take him out of the game?

“Yeah, it’s not lack of effort, it’s not lack of toughness with Fitz. You all know that from what he came back from. Again, it’s something we need to do a better job with. We have to coach it. There may be points we may not be doing a good job with. Your base, your knee bend, eyes on, hand inside, all those things. He’s a good screen runner. He does a good job. Do you want to take him out because of all the other good things he does? No, not really.”

Can you look ahead to Northwestern? What jumps out?

“Well, you look at how they’ve played this year, and the games they lost, they’ve lost some heartbreakers. I think from their defense, they’re opportunistic. Tyler Scott is one of the better down guys in this league. From an offensive perspective, you have to be ready to play two quarterbacks. Some of that, the offensive scheme itself is pretty the same, but they both have different gifts in what they can do.”

The suggestion from the Nebraks player’s quote is that the offense is predictable.


What’s your response?

“He’s wrong. I mean, you could say that about a lot of teams. So.”

Do you still like the play calling after you looked at the film?

“Yeah. There’s not even a question about it.”

So is it the offense not executing? Is it what the defense is doing to you?

“I think it’s both a little bit. You have to give them credit. They’re a good football team. We have to do a good job, too.”

You said it’s not all on the offensive line. A lot of it looks like it is.
“You can pick and choose. It’s everybody who’s involved.”

Devin doesn’t look like he’s moving as quickly as he was at the beginning of the season.

“He’s healthy.”

Why do you think he’s holding onto the ball for so long?

“Uh, I think sometimes when things go a little chaotic and [he’s] trying to make too many big plays.”

What do you like about the rotation you have at WILL and MIKE?

“I think it’s worked out pretty well. I think it’s kept them fresh, it’s kept them healthy. I think all of them have earned that right to play. So I think with three of those guys … I think Ben Gedeon is another guy that gets better daily. You like some of the things he does.”

What do you like about Desmond Morgan that allows you to play him at both?

“He’s a smart football player with I don’t know how many games of experience. He’s one of those guys that can fit both. He runs well enough to be the covered up guy at WILL and stout enough and strong enough and tough enough to play MIKE.”

MGoQuestion: Coach Borges says he uses the bye week to do a lot of self-scouting. Is that possible to do without a bye week?

“Oh yeah. They do that really every week. They’re going to look -- we’re going to look defensively, they’re going to look offensively and see maybe what things that may be tendencies or trends formationally.”

MGoFollowup: Have you been able to identify anything fundamentally about this offense that’s an issue?

“No. No. I don’t think so. Fundamentals, yes. That’s what I thought you were talking about. Techniques and fundamentals, yeah.”

MGo: I meant --

“No, I got ya.”

MGo: So no issues.


Are you disappointed in the young players and the offensive line in not being able to progress?

“I think any freshman, number one, they’ve -- it’s a grind. They’ve been here since June. It’s a grind. They haven’t been home. It’s a grind. For the guys that have been there that have redshirted, they understand a little bit, but it’s a different thing redshirting and looking on cards and all of a sudden, man you’re out there. From that standpoint, are you disappointed? I think you’d be lying if you said you’re not because of what you see they can do. And when they do it right, it speaks so right to them being able to do it right.”

Are you disappointed in the fans that booed?

“Yeah. If they’re booing the kids, then yeah. They can boo us coaches all they want. Look, I’ve got a harder time at home than I do there. Believe me. I mean, my daughter and wife, man. You guys are easy compared to them.”

Does it get to a point where you can’t or shouldn’t run play action from certain sets?

“Certain sets, maybe. I think you’re right.”

Do defenses copy what other defenses do against you?

“Yeah. A bunch. I mean, that happens. I think you all look at -- and I shouldn’t speak for every other coach in America -- we all look at who defended somebody well or offensively what gave this defense problems. You’ll get some copy cat looks.”

Do you think that’s why they blitzed more?

“It could have, but they’re the same blitzes that they had done before and we had repped and repped and repped.”

The rest of the roundtable segment harped one the same stuff over and over again, so I’m not going to transcribe it (sorry other writers who need the quotes). I bet most of you stopped reading by now anyway.



November 11th, 2013 at 2:11 PM ^

MGoFollowup: Have you noticed that increase the last couple of games? (In reference to other team knowing what play is coming)

“No. Not at all. We change formations and we change personnel on the same play every week.”


Really? Perhaps more than Borges does need fired if denial is the answer.


November 12th, 2013 at 3:34 AM ^

Michigan did get absolutely bombed and run out of the stadium the last 2 weeks, then one of the defensive players from Nebraska came out and said they knew what plays Michigan was running.

Borges isn't doing a good job, it's that simple. It's not all playcalling or predictability, but it's part of it, and as much it makes sense to seperate the process from the results, at some point the results are so bad it's hard to imagine the process is any good. 

-21 rushing yards, against a team that gave up over 200 to wyoming, and south dakota state...I is that a good job by anyone remotely associated with the offense?

Space Coyote

November 12th, 2013 at 9:04 AM ^

The big part, by far, is execution. As I've said probably thousands of times now, that ultimately comes back to the coaches as well. I think the crux of the issue is the OL. For whatever reason, the teaching is failing, and those are the results you're seeing on the field.


November 11th, 2013 at 2:17 PM ^

At least publicly, there's no telling what's going on behind the walls but I have to imagine that it's tense (or getting there).  Hoke may play denial in public, but if this really is his dream job and he wants wins and titles, I'm sure he's paying attention.

He's not going to throw Borges, Funk, Jackson, or any of the other coaching staff or players under the bus publicly, and honestly, it's the right thing to do.

Now, could there be more satisfactory answers even if it's just fluff?  Sure.


November 11th, 2013 at 3:19 PM ^

Yes but if Hoke believes this in private then we should be seeing different game plans. We should not see long developing pass plays. We should see short routes that allow us to get the ball out to our playmakers.

It just seems people are right that Hoke has no idea what to do on the offensive side of the ball and needs a coordinator to completely run it. He can't step in and show us with on the field play that the coaches acknowledge a serious problem in the gameplan.

This really is all absurd and feels like the Stepford wives. We will know soon enough. The offseason can't come quickly enough to finally figure out what the big man is thinking for sure.

Urban Warfare

November 11th, 2013 at 2:14 PM ^

Hoke: Now, Field Marshal Borges has formulated a brilliant tactical plan to ensure final victory in the field
Blackadder: Would this brilliant plan involve us climbing over the top of our trenches and walking, very slowly towards the enemy?
Darling: How did you know that Blackadder? It's classified information
Blackadder: It's the same plan we used last time, and the seventeen times before that
Hoke: E-e-exactly! And that is what is so brilliant about it. It will catch the watchful Hun totally off guard. Doing exactly what we've done eighteen times before will be the last thing they expect us to do this time.


November 11th, 2013 at 2:20 PM ^

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't essentially calling other teams' DC's copy cats.  Like Nebraska's Defensive game planning was somehow not legit b/c they tried to do what MSU did?  And we're too arrogant to switch stuff up since they're only "copying" them?

Christ, if only Mattsison had bothered to follow IU's plan of constantly blitzing Hackenberg.  But, no, that would've made him a copy cat.


November 11th, 2013 at 2:46 PM ^

You're misreading this. 

He's not using "copy cat" pejoratively. He says Michigan will look at game tape and copy other team's looks as well. He's just using "copy cat" as a term to say that, yes, teams (including Michigan) replicate what other teams have succesfully done... 

But let's all throw a fit about a press conference.


November 11th, 2013 at 2:24 PM ^


“It may be oversetting, it may be my visual key, my eyes not being where they need to be. You’ve got to look at the negatives, and you’ve got to finish with the positives, because they know they can do it.”


That right there is what we call a head-scratcher...

Bobby Boucher

November 11th, 2013 at 2:19 PM ^

Yeah that's some big time BS!  Even I was able to call what they were about to do just watching from home and I probably know less than the average person about football.  And you can absolutely counter a defense from doing that by being less predictable.

If what Hoke says is true, then scoring more than 10 points in a game would be absolutely unhead of!!!!!!!!!!!


November 11th, 2013 at 4:05 PM ^

Hoke is lying through his teeth, you cant name me one game on defense that he took something from another team and tried to implement in our defensive game plan.  I watched all the games and cant think of one.  They come out in the same crappy looking venilla defense.  The guys is just feeding bullshit and the more he talks the more we can see through him that he has no clue what hell he is doing


November 11th, 2013 at 2:20 PM ^

"I need to coach better"

"The kids played hard"

"We need to execute better"

"This is Michigan"

"We did some things good, and some not so good"

"We're guaranteed 3 more opportunities"

Was I close?


November 11th, 2013 at 2:52 PM ^

I think he just didn't understand what he read, and thought he had found something really damning about Hoke, so he posted it a bunch of times in this thread so that people on the internet would like him.


November 11th, 2013 at 2:21 PM ^

I knew what they were going to do. The crowd knew what they were going to do. My daughter knew what they were going to do. So, you can bet your ass Nebraska knew what they were going to do. 

State Street

November 11th, 2013 at 2:25 PM ^

The fact that Hoke's only logical rebuttal to this comment was a deadpan "He's wrong" is the biggest indictment of Al Borges I've seen.  Couldn't muster any better explanation for the opponent literally calling out the playcalling.


The Dutchess

November 11th, 2013 at 2:22 PM ^

If we can't execute plays that are being called, why not call plays that the guys we have playing CAN execute.  Isn't that on the coaches to know what they can and can't do?  Judging by the results, we have about 2 total plays I've seen executed the last couple weeks.  Isn't that, then, on Al as well?  


November 11th, 2013 at 2:23 PM ^

I'm to the point of skimming, not reading, these answers.  Yeah, I get the idea of "coach-speak."  But just as the product on the field is the same week to week (not good), so is the apparent level of insight, even if we try to read between the lines.  "Funamentals," "execution," "got to do better," "young guys."

Reporter: "Coach, how do you improve a player's fundamentals?"

Hoke: "Well, we've just got to make sure that player improves.  Gotta get better at fundamentals."

Reporter: "But that doesn't answer my questio--"

Hoke: "Yeah, that too.  I think that's part of it.  Fundamentals and doing a better job."

Reporter: "What!?"

Hoke: "Yeah, that's part of it..."


November 11th, 2013 at 4:50 PM ^

He's not.  This is him.

We hear over and over from players, recruits, parents, other coaches . . . Brady Hoke is genuine and up front.  Now all of a sudden, we don't want to believe it?

We are back to DeBord 2.0.

We better hope like hell we can become Stanford, and fast.  Because there is no other plan.  

Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1997.



November 11th, 2013 at 2:28 PM ^

Fuck. Even from a PR standpoint these answers were terrible let alone indicating he has any idea what to do to right the ship. First step to improvement is self-awareness and accepting mistakes, he hasn't done either. We will be the next Tennessee/ND. This is going to get way worse before it gets better. God I hope I'm wrong.


November 11th, 2013 at 2:29 PM ^

did you notice that nebraska played press coverage and double A gap blitzed just like MSU?


did you have any response to that?

yeah, we did some things.




November 11th, 2013 at 2:30 PM ^

...and then there is just plain gibberish. I'm not of the school that says Hoke owes the media a detailed explanation of what he's doing behind the scenes to fix his little red wagon, but this is nonsensical.