Monday Presser Transcript 11-26-12: Brady Hoke Comment Count

Heiko November 26th, 2012 at 4:13 PM


  • Sorry I didn't post a postgame presser transcript. I was too busy avoiding the internet, and no one said much anyway.
  • Devin Gardner's redshirt paperwork will be filed soon. Hoke expects him to get his fifth year.
  • Hoke will talk to Taylor Lewan about the NFL draft this week.
  • Bowl practice will not begin until the opponent is revealed.



“You guys didn’t get fed. Well, that’s poor.”

Makes us ornery.

“Yeah. You know, we’re all real disappointed in the outcome down in Columbus obviously, but one thing I can tell you is we’re really proud of this senior class. Proud because of the leadership and the development of the program that they’ve helped and their commitment to the university, and proud of how they’ve continued to lay the foundation of what we want to be as a program. It was hard. It was disappointing for them to play their last game against Ohio and not be successful like we all want to, and that’s an expectation. But we’re proud of them and we’ll have one more opportunity with them. We’ll take that very seriously.”

As you looked at the film during the second half, aside from the turnovers, what did you see could have been done differently?

“Well, I think a lot of it, number one, was short yardage things. We prided ourselves on being good in short yardage. We tried three different, really four different schemes. Ran the iso, ran the power, ran the quarterback read play, and just couldn’t -- didn’t -- execute it like we’d like to. They all had possibilities besides probably the iso that could have been executed, but that was disappointing, when you get 21 plays in the second half. That’s hard when you want to get into rhythm and turnovers are part of it. We’ve talked about turnovers throughout the year. You turned the ball over four times, you’re not going to win many football games. At the same time, I thought from a defensive perspective, we’d love to have been a little better vs. the run in there, especially with Hyde. Braxton is going to get his share to some degree, but the defense stood up when it had to. Liked to have, on the last drive, gotten the ball back one more time. We went in at halftime and it was 21-20. If they don’t score, they can’t win. Well, we have to keep them from scoring.”

Was Denard limited at all, and did it affect the way you called plays?

“Not really. I mean, he can throw the ball, but he can’t throw it the way and with the confidence that he’d like to throw with. That was one reason we weren’t going to put him out there in a situation where he’s not throwing it as well as he knows he would like to. That would be unfair. No, he was okay. The last two drives we had to try and get points, so keeping Devin in the game and throwing the ball a little bit, and unfortunately we throw the pick. But that’s football.”

Why didn’t Denard get the ball more in the second half?

“We only had 21 plays. We tried to give him a shovel, tried to get him out -- I’m trying to think what other situation it was -- it just didn’t present itself. And then with the fourth and two, fourth and three, it was the same play he had a nice run earlier in the football game, and we don’t block it right.”

Why did you limit the amount of plays involving both Devin and Denard? Did you not think it would work?

“I would say the reason would be it wasn’t exactly the timing of it. There’s a timing of how you set things up, and especially in the second half. We turn the ball over three times, so offensively you’re a little bit out of your realm and just your mojo, if you want to call it that. So trying to do something that maybe wouldn’t be as successful, it just didn’t feel like it.”

Punt vs. go for it on 4th down? Whose call was that?

“Mine. Mine. Mine.”

Why did you change the call?

“That’s the only thing I wish I wouldn’t have done was call the time out. Should have left them on the field and gone for it.”

Were you going to fake punt?


Reasons for success on the road vs. at home?

“Well. I think when you look at turnovers on the road, the one thing I know you have to do on the road is run the football. We have not run the football or taken care of the football as well as we need to away from home.”

You called last season a failure because you didn’t win the B1&. What do you tell your players about this season?

“Well we didn’t win the championship, and that’s the expectation. I think there was some growth, and I think that growth is probably as much with how the senior class came together. I think it also is for the young guys who played some snaps, some valuable snaps in football games, so that foundation of what you want to do in the weight room, what you want to do in spring football, summer conditioning, winter conditioning, all those things -- there’s always that foundation, and how one group responds, and is it a better job than the last group? It’s disappointing to all of us, more disappointing because of the seniors. For them.”

Reaction to the 2012 schedule? Two undefeated teams, defending national champion, and potential B1G champion … What were some of the troubles this schedule presented?

“I don’t know about troubles. You’re going out there to compete. Maybe self-inflicted troubles at times, giving the ball up, not running the ball well enough, all those things are part of it.”

Does the quarterback situation for the bowl game change based on Denard’s progress?

“Yeah, a little bit. A little bit. But I think at the same time, there’s an opportunity to expand more maybe on some of the two-quarterback things.”




“As Phil Hanlon said, the sun came up and it wasn’t quite as bright.”

How much is Devin’s November a springboard for him going forward? Also, do you expect his redshirt application to go through?

“Um, yeah I would expect that would go through. I think all the documentation and everything is being sent to the Big Ten. And I think there is some momentum. I know how terrible he feels right now, but I know there is momentum and things to learn from, and also he had some success, too.”

Ball security? What can you do?

“Heh. Heh. You’ll see guys walking around campus with footballs in their arms.”

Have you done that previously?

“Not here. But I’ve done it.”

How happy are you to see Roundtree get some plays these last few weeks?

“Well, I think we’re all excited for all of them, but Roy, because of how he has handled himself as a student and an athlete, how he’s come to work every day, I think all those things are a big part of it. I thought he played a good football game the other day obviously, and being an Ohio kid, you want to see that for him.”

Denard and route running?

“Well, we had a couple routes in there for him. It was pretty obvious that they paid attention to where he was. You can do that. Has he had a whole lot of route running and that stuff? No. Maybe if he would have had a little more, but that wasn’t the plan.”

Did you think the offense became a bit predictable when Denard was on the field?

“I don’t think so, because I think there were plenty of opportunities. You have to block, too.”

How quickly can the offensive line and running back issues be fixed?

“Oh, sheez. I don’t know if there’s any quick fixes. I think there’s some, oh, some guys that we haven’t played that we’ll see. They have some growth to do, though. That’s a big part of it. That’s these 15 days that we’ll practice, will be a big part of it. We’ll bring them along. In both of those areas, there’s a higher expectation than what we’re doing right now.”

What do the young offensive linemen get during the bowl practice that they don’t get during the regular season?

“Well the one thing we’ve tried to do is continue to develop them all fall. But there will be a couple practices in there that will be a little more focused on what they’re doing.”

Will Fitz try to apply for a redshirt next year, or will he try to get back on the field?

“I don’t know. I think he’ll have a full recovery. How long that is? I don’t know.”

Going forward, will you think about using two quarterbacks in the future?

“I think depending on your personnel. I think there’s not any limitations to what you might be able to accomplish with it. But I think in doing that, you have to look at then, offensively, what are you? Are you a pro-style? Spread? What are you? How do you get them both the ball?”

Could you take a guy like Dennis Norfleet and turn him into a read-option back?

“You could, I’d imagine. You could.”

But you’re not thinking about it.

“I’m not as radical as you are right now.”

After Iowa, did you look back and wonder if you should have tried to the Devin-Denard thing earlier?

“No. Because we weren’t in position to. [Denard] was our quarterback. No.”

Going for 4th down? What’s the process for making that decision?


Do you talk to Al?

“I just told him to, after I called the timeout, be ready. And then go. And I thought we had a good play. In fact, we did have a good play if we execute the blocking.”

So it was more on the offensive line?

“It wasn’t blocked the way I’d like for it to be blocked.”

Does execution on the offensive line change the way Al calls the offense?

“Sure it does. Sure it does. And same thing defensively. You’ve got to have enough calls in there -- which I guarantee on both sides of the ball, we had enough calls -- that if they’re taking advantage of you somehow someway, that you can respond differnetly. Counteract.”

How much do you talk to Borges? Especially during the second half? What did you think of his playcalling?

“I thought he called a good football game. If we do a couple things better, I think we’ll all be much happier. I thought the playcalling was exactly what it should have been, and how much do I talk to him? I talked to him at half time. I talked to him during the third quarter. I talked to him during the fourth quarter.”

Chris Bryant’s recovery?

“He’s coming along. All those guys, Blake, all those guys are making progress daily. Who will be ready for spring? I don’t know that yet. We’ll be very smart in how we do get those guys back involved. ”

What’s your schedule in terms of recruiting, working out, practices, etc?

“Recruiting. Working out -- not the staff. Some of them do, but gameplanning once we find an opponent.”

Will you not practice until you have an opponent?

“Yeah. We won’t. We won’t practice. We’re going to lift and try and give them some time this week. Finals coming up. All those kinds of things.”

Was the reason you didn’t have Denard and Devin on the field at the same time more because you thought Ohio State’s defense was too good?

“Well I think I was talking about throwing the ball with Denard. If he can be successful, and he didn’t have that confidence, why put him in a situation that’s not fair to him?”

Were you planning on having a fake punt?

“We always have a fake punt ready. For a long time I’ve had it ready.”

What happens when you get that gut feeling in the moment?

“Coming off the first half we had, from an offensive perspective, you felt pretty good that we could get the first down.”

Early jumprs to the NFL? When do you have those conversations?

“No, we’ll talk about it this week. We’ve done our due diligence, sent all the information in that we need to.”

When does the draft advisory board meet?

“I’m trying to think. There’s a date that they’ll give you the information that you need. I can’t remember what that is.”

Have you talked to Taylor?

“No we’ll talk about it this week.”

Is Lewan the only player who’s seriously looking into it?

“I can’t think of anything else.”

When someone’s considering a move like that, do you gear them towards coming back for their senior season, or you take it on a case by case basis?

“I’m going to gear the young man towards what’s best for him.”

How discouraging is it that we’re talking about the same stuff for 10 weeks about the offensive line?


What do you attribute that to?

“You know, we just didn’t develop as well as we’d like.”

Have you seen improvement from Denard week to week?

“Mmhmm. Yeah. You mean in him healing? Oh yeah. Yeah.”

What is the difference between arm strength and confidence?

“I think it’s all part of it. How the ball spins. All that stuff.”

Ss is the ball not spinning right?

“I don’t think it’s spinning the way he’d like to.”

If Denard is 100% for the bowl,

“I would think he’d play quarterback, maybe wideout, maybe running back, maybe --”

Kick returner?

“He might do that.”

Is it safe to say that Devin’s your quarterback for next year?

“Well, he’s going to have to compete and earn it, but he’s put some -- he’s done a good job of what we’ve asked him to do to this point.”

Do you expect Russell to be back next year?

“Yeah. Oh yeah. I mean, and they’ll compete.”

How badly do you need a running back, too, in addition to fixing the offensive line?

“You need both. You better have a back, or a couple backs. And you better be able to have guys up front who can move the line of scrimmage.”

They didn’t progress this year, either, did they?

“I think it’s hard to evaluate to some degree, for the simple fact that maybe if we had blocked better, it may have been better.”

Why do you think Devin’s going to get his fifth year?

“Just a gut feeling. I mean, I’m serious.”

Do you have all the paperwork?

“We have all the paperwork, yes.”

You have a lot of gut feelings.

“Yeah, I do. I have a big gut.”



November 26th, 2012 at 6:15 PM ^

Give it up.  You can't believe anything Hoke says in a press conference about substantive questions regarding assessment of play, play calling, strategy, injuries, etc.  He is just not going to be open about those things.  Can you ever imagine him throwing anyone, let alone one of his coaches under the bus.

The only person he'll talk to about that will be Brandon.  I doubt that issue will come up this year re Borges.


November 26th, 2012 at 6:40 PM ^

I'm not asking him to throw anyone under the bus.  I think he could do without insulting everyone's intelligence by stating the the playcalling was exactly right.  By making that statement, it's clear to every single person that he's either lying or incompetent.  


November 26th, 2012 at 7:06 PM ^

I don't think he's insulting anyone's intelligence, but I am concerned that he might actually believe what he said. The comments he made re Devin and Denard in together were that he didn't want to try something that might be less successful. It really reads like he wasn't comfortable going with it in game bc it hadn't been practiced enough.

Which glaringly begs why they used it against Iowa, why the thought didn't come up that gee we might be projecting our plays with personnel, and why there was nothing special planned against Ohio. I feel uncomfortable with us not doing a few plays for Ohio every week and really out coaching this game.


November 26th, 2012 at 9:35 PM ^

I agree with paying special attention to the Ohio game throughout the year.  When asked about The Game last week a few times Hoke kept saying "It's a fun game to play in" I don't wanna hear that "Its fun" unless there's some other choice words said too. We all heard how Meyer treats The Game.  Thats what i want for our side.  I would like to see some more intensity and focus paid to beating Ohio.  They've owned us this past decade and it's downright embarrassing.  Maybe I'm jumpin' the gun on this because of our roster and it only being Hoke's 2nd yr. but this one really hurt.

Blue in Yarmouth

November 27th, 2012 at 8:03 AM ^

and don't have time to look it up now, but I am almost certain that Al said in his presser that he doesn't do anything special for the OSU game and in the prep leading up to it. I remember because I was a little puzzled by the statement and Al really isn't Hoke when it comes to pressers and he does actually give some relevant info. When he responded in that manner I was a little surprised and thought he may just be saying that, but after the game it became evident that he was being serious.

Okay, so I just looked back and it was a question about saving anything for OSU which I took to mean planning anything special for OSU. My take may be wrong, but that is how I read it. I have to say, I love Al's sense of humour and how he comes across in presser's. I love his interaction with Heiko. I do still have major concerns about our offense going forward with him at the helm. I'm not saying he should necessarily be fired at this point...I'm just concerned.

Blue boy johnson

November 27th, 2012 at 8:16 AM ^

Koger's TD last year against the Buckeyes was on a formation and play M hadn't run all year.

Watch a couple minutes of this video of SDSU vs Utah from 2010. It make so many of the assertion regarding Al Borges look rather uninformed

No huddle, up tempo, all the things Al is incapable of according to many MGO analysts.


matty blue

November 26th, 2012 at 10:44 PM ^

if you honestly think that he didn't devote "intensity and focus" to this game, well, i don't know what to tell you.  except that you're probably reading more into the press conferences of someone who learned at lloyd carr's knee than you really should.

and there's really no reason for you to be embarrassed, unless your effort on saturday was somehow wanting. 


November 27th, 2012 at 12:20 AM ^

It doesn't embarrass you as a fan that ohio has owned us this past decade??  No wins in the Snakepit in 12 yrs!!  I wouldn't be as embarrassed if we only lost to them once every 2-3 years.  I trust Hoke, I do.. he's recruitin his butt off..and I know I have to give him some more time, but its been a tough last decade against our archrival in "The Greatest Rivalry in Sports".  IT IS embarrassing in a game that gets lots of national attention.


November 26th, 2012 at 6:51 PM ^

Brady wouldn't make any public comments negative about any of his staff or single out a specific player that may have not played up to snuff. That isn't his style nor do we want it to be.

What we hope is taking place is, behind closed doors in their coaches meetings when they revisit the game film, it becomes clear that the play calling in the 2nd half was god awful to the point that the Ohio coaches came out and said our offensive play calling was predictable and easy for them to fighure out and defense.

On would hope that Hoke as clearly voiced his dissafisfaction with the play calling, the lack of progress with the offensive line (Funk). Hopefully he has set some clear expectations, goals and consequences if things don't improve.


November 26th, 2012 at 7:41 PM ^

With your statement, I hope hoke said something to the coaches regarding the playcalling, but then again, if hoke really had a problem with the playcalling, maybe the best thing to do would be to wear some headsets. If you have issues with something that you are accountable for, the obvious thing would be to become more involved in the decision making.

Blue in Yarmouth

November 27th, 2012 at 8:09 AM ^

I'm as critical of Al as anyone here but trying to make an issue out of Hoke not wearing a headset is beyond ridiculous. It isn't like there isn't one on the sidelines that he can pick up and talk to Al if he wants to.

We know for a fact that Hoke has very little to do with teh offense so havinig a headset on at all times doesn't make a lot of sense for him. He picks up the headset when he has something specific to say to Borges and otherwise leaves it alone. 

Now if someone wants to be concerned that a HC isn't involved enough with the offense (this is sounding familiar) then say that, but making it about the fact that he doesn't wear a headset all the time (when there is clearly one on the sideline he can pick up at any time) just seems silly.

Blue in Yarmouth

November 27th, 2012 at 1:10 PM ^

but I can't see how relevant that is given the context of this post. Since you obviously have and know so much more than I do, why don't you just enlighten the board as to why a coach needs to wear a headset the entire game rather than just putting it on when he wants to discuss something with a coordinator?

I may be the only one here who thinks this, but it's my opinion that BH has very little to do with the offense on this team. If my assumption is correct, why do you think he needs to have a headset on the entire game when he really has nothing to say to Al except "we're going for it"? Al makes the calls and everyone knows that, so why the need for constant contact? Please coach....tell me?

matty blue

November 26th, 2012 at 10:47 PM ^

i think that if we're going to count "de facto" defensive line coaches, we can probably count at least a couple of "de facto" offensive line coaches, too.  whatever that means.

i'm guessing that the offensive line isn't just going off to a corner of the field and making it up on their own.


November 27th, 2012 at 2:02 AM ^

The comment is referring to how the staff has 3 coaches with D-Line coaching experience: Jerry Montgomery, Greg Mattison, and Brady Hoke, while the O-line only has Darrell Funk.


November 27th, 2012 at 8:12 AM ^

What's the difference in technique for D-line vs O-line?  Aren't both sides trying to do the same thing? Block the opposite line? So wouldn't you be doing the same thing technique wise (except the center that needs to give the ball to the qb)?


November 26th, 2012 at 4:29 PM ^

So officially it was execution, turnovers, and get a little better on defense. Right. Doubt he's saying those same things to himself, or in private, though. Obvious coaching blunders, but he smartly didn't go anywhere near that. Nor should he have in a presser.


November 26th, 2012 at 4:35 PM ^

I thinkt it is the old addage, that the coach looks smart if the play works and looks dumb if it does not.  The rest is how well the players do.  I thought it was really dumb to run up the middle, our weakness against their strenght.  However, there were a few times when I thought the play call we good, and if they would have move one guy over a little then there would have been a running lane and we are all happy right now.  The only problem with this argument is that the playcall should be based on what we do well.  Unfortunatly, without trick plays that only work sometimes, not much was effective.  They block a little better, get on a roll, different outcome.


November 26th, 2012 at 4:46 PM ^

The problem is we don't know that. He might in fact truly think that Al's playcalling is perfectly fine. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if that's exactly what he thinks.

Hoke's emphasis on technique and execution is entirely warranted and justified on both sides of the ball, especially on defense. It's when there's no acknowledgement that scheme or strategy have to be in line with what you're actually good at doing that's the problem. Expecting our interior OL to suddenly be competent at blocking against OSU when they hadn't been all season long, and then basing many of our critical plays on that vain expectation was the triumph of hope over reality.


November 26th, 2012 at 5:18 PM ^

Absolutely. Of course he's absolutely right, those 3 areas could've been better, but yeah, they weren't spontaneously going to get better after they'd been consistant problems all season. In week 1 we can blame execution, and we did lol, but in week 14 it's on the coaches to know better. It would've been nice if they stopped calling plays we were terrible at in critical situations, or at least tried to mask what plays we were running before we did so. Hoke says only running 21 plays in the second half hurt us, but running poor plays was responsible for there being so few, more than turnovers was. If we run better plays that the players execute well, or favor matchups well, then we get to run a few more, lol. The players did drop the ball, but not even remotely disguising plays helped those turnovers happen, because the entire defense knew where the ball was going on half the plays, and could key on it. The players had almost no chance to pull off a good many of the plays that were called. By the end of November the coaches calling them up definitely should've figured that part out. Or like you said they were wishing more than planning, which gives my gut a bad feeling.


November 26th, 2012 at 4:40 PM ^

Hoke or Borges man up and accept the blame for calling a bad game just once. I am sick of them blaming a loss on execution or failing to get the players coached up. While those certainly contribute to the loss, they are the easy way to take the blame. When players step up and take the blame, as we have Denard do many times, I think it speaks poorly of the coaches when they fail to do the same.

That is why I agree that it is troubling that Hoke thought "thought the playcalling was exactly what it should have been"


November 26th, 2012 at 4:43 PM ^

but you have to realize that with the media and everyone listening the way we do, he has a fine line to skate.  Another leadership trait...praise in public, punish in private.  Yes, I agree someone needs to man up, which I do think Hoke does at one point (ref: the decision to go for it on 4th down), but again...that's a tough room he works every week. 

just my two cents


November 26th, 2012 at 4:53 PM ^

I am not looking for Hoke to name names and throw someone under the bus. The best he could probably do would be a collective "we failed to call a good game." Of course since he is so hands off with respect to the offense it would be obvious where the failure lies. I can respect that Hoke doesn't do that.

However, Borges could accept the blame and you know he won't. If we ever hear from him regarding this game all I expect to hear is that he wouldn't have changed anything, that the plays were there, that we failed to execute, and that he doesn't think he was predictable. He probably will also state that he won't reexamine his approach to the game because this is how he has been doing things for twenty some odd years.

Unfortunately the pessimist in me expects our bowl game to be just as poorly called if we face a remotely stout defense.