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 2:31 PM ^

While I think the calls for Hoke to sit on a hot seat are extremely premature, some of his comments are beginning to worry me.  I know he's probably saying different things away from the microphone, but to say that Nebraska wasn't predicting our plays?  And the "two meetings a week" thing with Borges?  That reminds me of RichRod and his involvement with the D.  He's not an offensive mastermind, but he needs to be enough of a leader to cast off an old friend if need be.

I've been a fan/supporter of Hoke since his first press conference, but he needs to find a way to correct problems that have presisted the entire season.  It's nice that he doesn't blame others for the problems, but "it's on me" only lasts so long when you get punked by your in-state rival and then get a similar 7-sack disaster to a terrible home.

I have no clue of the answer.  Do we need a new OC?  Do we need a new O-line coach?  Do we just need time for young kids to learn?  Are Nebraksa and MSU psychic?  Is Miss Cleo working against us?  To be so ineffective on just doesn't make any sense.  

might and main

November 11th, 2013 at 2:32 PM ^

OMG.  This makes me so mad.  so so mad.  You don't have to throw Al under the bus to acknowledge mistakes have been made.  My god, Hoke won't even say one of his typical bs blathering lines about some play calls were good, some maybe not quite "good." ???  Out F*cking Rageous.

You've lost this fan coach.  Of course I'll cheer for the players.  But the coach has lost me. 


November 11th, 2013 at 2:32 PM ^

Watching the game made me very sad. Reading the pressers make me depressed. If Hand doesn't commit it will be fitting. At least bball season is here (I sound like a Sparty in the early aughts)


November 11th, 2013 at 2:35 PM ^

"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 sure you go over."

No, you don't.

"I like how those guys got after it. We had a very good week of preparation, week of practice"

Even ugly people look in the mirror and find something attractive about themselves.  However, their opinion is a little subjective.

"Al and I meet twice a week, talk about the plan."

This is obviously a one sided conversation:  Al - "This is what we're going to do"  Brady - "ok"

"Number one: you have to take the things that you haven’t done very well, whatever it might be."

Ummmm, if you need help identifying the problem, I can help.  It's offense.  Specifically, your line and tailback can't block.

"Obviously we felt we could run the ball or we wouldn’t have called the play."

Brady, we CAN'T run the ball.  Period.  The only people on the entire planet that believe we can run the ball are you and Al Borges.  Every other living, breathing being knows we can't.

"We always play for our seniors"

Unfortunately though, some of the seniors aren't playing for you.  That's bad, but what's worse is the younger kids see it, yet see you still play seniors who have no right being on that field.  That's the recipe for complete anarchy.



November 11th, 2013 at 3:46 PM ^

I get the impression that it's happening a little more frequently.  A long time poster was quoted in Brian's Nebraks game review as saying "______ gave a 3% effort..."

I was brought up with the belief that blocking is 1 part talent/1 part desire.  When a player who makes the same mistake over and over, the guys who are behind that player on the depth chart start to question a lot of things.  That's the loose thread that can unstitch the whole suit.


November 11th, 2013 at 2:42 PM ^

These pressers are just maddening. They feel almost completely pointless. It's like pulling teeth just to get the coaches to admit that aren't playing well, let alone performing so embarrassingly bad that they're starting to rewrite the record books.

matty blue

November 11th, 2013 at 2:41 PM ^

i know nobody wants to hear this, seeing as how we're all freaking out and everything, but hoke is exactly right about the "we knew what was coming" quote.  that's generally true for every team - in today's world of full-time video staff, it's exceedingly rare to spring something completely unexpected on someone.  this weekend i watched stanford beat the crap out of oregon and alabama beat the crap out of lsu - it's not like either one of those teams was doing anything novel or new.  they just (wait for it) executed their offenses at an extremely high level.

which is not to say the offensive approach is a-ok, or that the playcalling hasn't been a gigantic, unwatchable tire fire, just that the whole "knowing what's coming" thing might be a little overblown.


November 11th, 2013 at 2:47 PM ^

Michigan runs offtackle left, with that tackle over thing.  Nebraska had at least 2 unblocked guys there before Fitz neared the LOS.  He was dumped for negative yards.  Even Spielman was saying: "Michigan doesn't have enough guys to block all the defenders...they're outnumbered."

That's a recipe for failure, a new level of predictability.  Not to mention the fact -- Michigan isn't Stanford or Alabama.


November 11th, 2013 at 2:44 PM ^

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.”


This right here is a simple question that most coaches could probably answer with a yes or no IMO. This probably would have been a better question for Mattison seeing as Hoke doesn't really know the play call.


November 11th, 2013 at 2:51 PM ^

Why do you say Hoke "doesn't really know the playcall"? He's standing right there next to Mattison, why wouldn't he know? The D is his side of the ball, I don't have concerns about Hoke in that regard.

Offense? Managing the team? You betcha. 

Defensive calls? Not at all (with the maddening exception of end of half and EOG drives, which seem to be a given that we'll at least give up a FG). 


November 11th, 2013 at 2:46 PM ^

when he's got elite talent with more experience than the defense he's useless.  Anybody looks like an offensive genius in that situation.


The difference between a good OC and a bad OC is how he copes with talent and experience deficits.  That is the norm in college football.  Only rarely do you have truly exceptional talent to work with.  Most of the time you're struggling with sub-par talent or experience, or both, often in several critical positions.


His inability to make the offense work with what he's got tells me he needs to go.  I don't care how great his plays are in theory, because in reality they suck.


November 11th, 2013 at 2:46 PM ^

I can think of about million good responses to the question about plays being tipped in advance and Hoke's was definitely NOT one of them.  How about "He did?  Well that's something we're going to have work on this week that's for sure." OR "Yes I saw that, it's something I'm confident that Coach Borges will get rectified - starting this Saturday at Northwestern"  Or any number of other answers.  You can acknowledge the problem without (shudder) tossing your OC under the bus.

But to flat out deny it's happening?  Ostriches have a better sense of self-awareness.


November 11th, 2013 at 3:03 PM ^

too.  I'm very concerned that he doesn't command the kind of respect behind the scenes that he should.  He is seen as a great guy and friend.  Definiely the kind of guy that you would love to sit and have a beer with, but not the kind of guy you fear not pleasing.  Bo's players were scared to not play well and Mo's and Lloyd's to a lesser extent, but even they would get on the players(and coaches) now and then.  I just can't see Brady getting after Al in the meeting room, but who knows.  


November 11th, 2013 at 3:05 PM ^

"Why don't these great practices transition to on-field success?"

"What was Minnesota, South Dakota State, and every other team that played Nebraska this year able to do offensively that our team was incapable of executing?"

"The last coach improved win totals each successive year and was shown the door after year 3. In your third year as coach, have you seen successive improvement from your football team?"

Okay, that last one might be a bit harsh.


November 11th, 2013 at 3:10 PM ^

Being at the game on Saturday, something jumped out at me that I hadn't seen to this extent before.  It seemed to me that the team on both sides of the ball was lost.  The defense was continually running around trying to get set, no one seemed to know where where they were supposed to be, etc.  The offense seemed to be the same way.  In the replay at home I saw several of the sacks were the result of a Nebraska player running right by an M player who was looking for someone to block but somehow or other the guy running by him wasn't the one the playbook had him blocking so he didn't even throw an arm at him (offending player was a freshman).  Is this coaching? Or is it really inexperience?  How many game so you have to play until you get "experienced"?  It would seem by now we would be seeing some marginal signs of improvment but if they are there they are hard to see.


November 11th, 2013 at 3:28 PM ^

Inexperience is a relative term. These guys wouldn't be Michigan players without considerable previous experience and flashes of brilliance, right? If they look lost, then one or another the coaching they're getting is confusing them.

Good coaches make their players play better. Period. If they're inexperienced, a good coach will make them play like they have more experience. If they're seniors, good coaches will make them play with the fire of a freshman. Bottom line. if they aren't playing better than they were at the beginning of the season, if they're looking lost with a few games to go, it's ultimately all on the head coach.

"3 and done, until you find The One!" 


November 11th, 2013 at 3:14 PM ^

It would be good to see a post about teams and total # of formations in a given game, and how many plays out of each formation. Like...

Ohio: 40 plays, 5 formations, (10, 8, 8, 8, 6)

Michigan: 40 plays, 30 formations, (...........)

I guess that would be really hard to do...

Franko J Rasputin

November 11th, 2013 at 3:15 PM ^

I don't think its the play calling at all.  We just have to get better line play and that will come eventually.  Those kids are youg--lots of time to develop yet.


I break it all down in a video. click the link below to see.  


We all just need to relax.

Michigan football

November 11th, 2013 at 3:17 PM ^

This is the worse offensive output I"ve ever seen. The coach doesn't seem to have any answers, so to me, the team wouldn't either. The season is a wash, they can't win at home now, and haven't on the road. So what do you think?


November 11th, 2013 at 3:17 PM ^

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...

Well maybe you should figure that the fuck out, considering you're the head coach.

How the fuck does a school with as much money to spend as Michigan have a bottom half B1G head coach?

And that's not an exaggeration! Andersen, Meyer, Dantonio, O'Brien, Pelini and Kill are without a doubt better. (Fucking Minnesota is better than us, 8-2 and a legitimate shot of making the B1G title game, while we are mathmatically out of it. Jesus Christ.)

Mr. Yost

November 11th, 2013 at 3:18 PM ^

I know there's been a lot of sarcasm and bullshit on this board as of late...but great questions. I really appreciated the questions you asked and enjoyed reading the response.

Definitely a strong week for you!


Mr. Yost

November 11th, 2013 at 3:34 PM ^

Because if Briles fails then it's on you...he'd have to have immediate success. You'd also have to answer for paying two coaching staffs when your first staff was only there for less than three years.

My guess is that you don't know how athletics administration really works.

To keep it short...Hoke isn't going anywhere. His assistants or coordinators...sure, maybe. But not Hoke.

In fact, I wish that we'd realize that as long as Hoke wins 8 games this year and next, he's going to see 2015. THAT is his make or break year. Look at the team, the recruits, the senority, the schedule. Everything points at 2015 and in 2015...10 wins may not even be enough if it doesn't come with a B1G Championship and rivalry wins.

In the end, what Hoke a Head Offensive Coach. Not an offensive coordinator. He needs what Gus Malzahn was to the Auburn offense when they won the NC. What Casteel was to the WVU defense under Rich Rod. Borges is not that guy.

We need a guy who's going to leave and be a head coach somewhere. Kingsbury was that. The guy at Oregon. Petersen at BSU was that.

Borges is a lifetime offensive coordinator...and that's fine on a team with a balanced head coach. We don't have that. Hoke is not an offensive guy and never will be. He even answers an MGoQuestion by saying "we knew what they were going to do when they were on offense." What? HUH?! That's not what was asked!!

So if you're going to play AD...go find us a guy who's basically a head coach in waiting.

Indiana Blue

November 11th, 2013 at 3:37 PM ^

your "dream" job is being stolen away from you by an inept offensive gameplan.  This team CANNOT establish a running attack .... NOTE: look at the statistics from every B1G game this season.  NOTE #2 :  it ISN'T going to change in the last 3 games.

As Head Coach you are REQUIRED to know your teams strengths and weaknesses.  So what is this team's strengths and what are their weaknesses?  No need to answer to the public, but if Michigan is going to be even competetive in its last 3 games, the play calling better not rely on this team's weakness to carry the day.

Go Blue!


November 11th, 2013 at 3:38 PM ^

Grant made progress with the Union Army by stubbornly pounding away at Lee's army throughout the Wilderness Campaign and beyond. The results were often bloody and heavy with casualties but in the end Grant won due to superior manpower and resources. Maybe Hoke feels the same way - eventually down the road, Michigan with superior resources, talent and toughness to play "manball" pound the other teams into submission?

But maybe Hoke is Gen. Hooker all bluster and bombast and a failure in battle! 


November 11th, 2013 at 4:06 PM ^

Of all the questions I wanted answered, it was his thoughts on the play calling. "Coach speak" should have said something like, "Well, we're going to have to make a couple of adjustments because we are conistently not excuting what we want to accomplish. So we'll take a look at that this week and make some adjustments." 

That's all I really needed to hear, but knew I wouldn't. Why? Because this is manball. You call the same damn play until they run it right. If the line isn't getting it done then they need to replace some individuals and run the same damn plays until we see success. Why? Because it's manball. 

How about have a little reality check and come to one of these pressers and say "yeah, we aren't where we want to be as a team. We're going to have to make some serious adjustments as to how we as coaches approach the rest of this season because we obviously can't do what we want to do. I think you'll see us make those adjustments and be more successful as a result."

The kids on this team deserve so much better than what they are getting from this staff. 


November 11th, 2013 at 4:16 PM ^

Can anyone think of a successful  program where the head coach is just a rah-rah figurehead and all-around good guy but who isn't intimately involved in the X's an O's on both sides of the ball? I can't, although I don't consider my sphere of knowledge all-encompassing. Seems like mostly they're control freaks who have a say in everything.

Maybe it's just me, but if my job was on the line, I'd want to talk to the guy responsible for helping me keep it more than twice a week.


November 11th, 2013 at 10:42 PM ^

After RR left WVU, they went with a non-Xs and Os guy who really loved the school and the state and their tradition (and was reportedly a good guy).  A man who wouldn't need a map to the campus.  Amazingly, his three year record will likely match or eclipse Hoke's.  Yes, Bill Stewart went 9-4 each of his seasons as WVU's head coach.  Note, he even shared a conference title, something our coach never has.