Monday Presser Transcript 11-4-13: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on November 4th, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Offense bullets: 

  • Devin Gardner is still "beat up." He'll probably practice tomorrow, though. 
  • The offensive line is young. Reacted poorly to the environment and didn't play their technique well in pass protection.
  • Running back needed to protect better, too. Fitz is the best pass protector on the team, so it looks like they're out of options. This-may-or-may-not-be-significant-alert: De'Veon Smith was removed from the travel squad for vague reasons.
  • AJ Williams will be back Saturday. Drew Dileo should be back as well.
  • Hoke doesn't think Taylor Lewan should be suspended for the facemask thing. Says it's "unacceptable" but if it were suspension-worthy he'd have suspended him already. 

Defense bullets:

  • Keith Heitzman injured his hand last week in practice, so he didn't travel. He may take a while to come back.
  • Willie Henry played a good game. He'll probably get more playing time moving forward.
  • The last two long busts were because of a mismatch in personnel, which got them run over.

------------------------

Podium

Opening remarks:

“You know, coming off not the way you want to start the five-game stretch, the meat of your schedule, Saturday is something we’re all disappointed with and everything that we have to do from a coaching standpoint and a playing standpoint. Obviously it was evaluated and we all need to do a better job, and that’s just a part of it. We had some opportunities we didn’t take advantage of during the course of the football game, and that’s a credit to them. We’ve got to do a better job. Offensively, we have to get Devin a little more of an opportunity because there were plenty of them down the field. Execution’s a part of that. Always is. When you’re sliding protections or whatever it might be. Defensively, I think our defense kept us in the football game for a long time with bad field position. Needed to make some stops more in the second half. Didn’t get that accomplished. Some third downs. The score right before the half is never a good score. And then them taking the ball for six minutes or five minutes to start the second half even though they got the field goal. Again, it’s posessions. Trying to get possessions. We had a really good day yesterday, which is a really good thing. The attitude of our team, they came in and worked like heck on the evaluation part of it, and we’ll work like heck out in practice. That being said … ”

Seemed like you had success giving Funchess the ball. In hindsight, do you wish you would have made more quick drops to get him the ball?

“There were some quick throws in there, but there were plenty of opportunities I wished we would have given Devin [Gardner] another half a click to step up and throw. Because there were a lot of opportunities down the field.”

How do you fix the issues on the offensive line?

“It’s a youth problem as much as anything. The only fix is the experience. I wouldn’t trade [Kyle] Bosch or [Erik] Magnuson or Graham [Glasgow] for anybody. Or the guys they’re competing with.”

You only got Fitz eight carries. None of the other running backs were mixed in …

“Well Derrick [Green] got a couple snaps. And when you got into a protection game, for a young guy, it’s not a great time [to put him in].”

Did you plan on avoiding running back carries?

“I don’t think so. From a plan part of it, I really thought it was a very good plan. Would we have liked to have run the ball better? More? That’s kind of dumb. Yeah. We’d like to. We’d all like to do stuff better. As far as getting him more touches, it would have been great to.”

How is Devin’s heatlh?

“He’s good. He’s fine. He’s beat up. Just like Andrew Luck is today. Beat up.”

Drew Dileo?

“Drew is coming along. He’s healthier every day.”

Will he play on Saturday?

“Yeah. I think so. I haven’t gotten full word, but knowing Drew and how he’s progressed, yeah.”

You mentioned a good day yesterday. To whom does it fall to make sure that you don’t have that carryover psychologically to the next game?

“Number one, it falls on me. That’s why our Sunday was a little different in how we did some things. The leadership, coaches, captains, seniors, Desmond Morgan, guys who have played a lot of snaps. But it starts with me first.”

You said part of the problem was the youth on offensive line. You can’t do anything about it.

“Yeah, you just have to keep every day grinding. That’s all, and showing them the looks and doing everything you can. At times there’s a comfort level. Sometimes guys in an environment may want to try and set – and I’m talking pass-protection wise – a little further out than they should or a little too fast. They over set. I’m just using that as an example. If they just fundamentally keep to what they’ve been doing, there’s an excitement that I think guys get. And you see it in different guys. But we just have to keep grinding.”

After the game, you said the pass protection was about more than just the offensive line. What were some of the other issues?

“The back’s got to be able to pick them up a little better. I think there’s probably one or two where the quarterback needs to step up and feel it a little better. There’s sometimes the timing of a route. It’s hit or miss. You got ten guys good, one guy bad, it’s like anything else. That’s why it’s a great team sport. You have to have them all on the same [page].”

The first day you were hired, you said the goal was always the Big Ten championship.

“Yes.”

Four games left, it looks like that’s no longer a possibility.

“Is it possible though?”

Yes. But how do you get these guys to get motivated for the rest of the season even though it’s out of your hands?

“I don’t think you know our team very well. How they feel about each other and how they feel about Michigan and how they feel about the personal pride that they have.”

What was different about Sunday?

“We just did some things differently that were good for us.”

Seems like a couple times this game you were pushed around.

“I don’t know if it was pushed around. I don’t agree with that. We got ran over once. Twice. With a mismatch. But other than that, there was just not being in the right place a couple times.”

In hindsight, was that one of the more demoralizing moments you’ve ever had as a head coach?

“No. I didn’t feel demoralized at all. Disappointed. But demoralized? That’s kind of … I didn’t feel that.”

In pass protection, was there anything else you could have done to take the pressure off the offensive line?

“I think running the ball helps you. Any time. I think that helps you in a lot of different ways from your play-action game and all that. I think there were enough guys to protect.”

Is this a defining moment for your captains? In 2011 you were in the same place but you finished pretty well partially because of the leadership.

“Well not just the captains but the whole group of seniors because of what we ask of them. Yeah. There’s no question this is a time when your leadership always either steps forward or stays the same or steps back.”

------------------------------------

Roundtable

Fitz had a rough time in pass protection. Have you considered any of the other backs?

“They’re still in the mix. Fitz is our best pass protector. Has been. Derrick and some of the other young guys, it’s pretty difficult.”

What’s the status of De’Veon Smith and Keith Heitzman? Neither traveled.

“De’Veon didn’t travel because I took him off the travel team. Heitzman has a little bit of a hand issue.”

Is it because Smith didn’t earn a spot?

“Yeah.”

Will Heitzman play on Saturday?

“I don’t think so. It’s kind of day to day. He practiced a little Thursday, but he wasn’t as effective as we’d like. We’d love to have him, believe me.”

Is Funchess being coached by Ferrigno or Hecklinski these days?

“Mostly Heck.”

Is it because he already knows the tight end stuff?

“Heck knows the tight end stuff, too. If there’s anything that’s dual a bit, it’s easier to have the guy in one room the whole time.”

The cameras caught Taylor with his hand in an MSU player’s facemask. What’s your assessment on that?

“My assessment was it’s not what we want to portray or be, and he and I have had a discussion regarding that. It’s not who we are … If I think he should have been suspended it would have been done.”

With Jake Ryan healthier and Brennen Beyer playing SDE, how nice is it to have both on the field at the same time?
“Well Cam Gordon played a really good football game the other day, too, at the SAM. Having him and Jake in the sub packages, both those guys, I think it’s really good for us. I think Brennen has always been a guy that can wear a lot of hats. Smart, tough, good technician.”

What does he give you there that you may have been missing otherwise?

“I think number one it’s the quality of the football player.”

What’s it like to have an Athletic Director who’s so involved with your football program?

“I think it’s always nice to have people to work with that are positive.”

AJ Williams? Is he back this week?

“He’s back.”

Was his absence noticeable? Would it have made a difference?

“Well we changed a little bit. We used six offensive linemen in there a lot.”

Is the youth on the offensive line an anomaly? Will it be different going forward?

“Yes. Should it be? Yes. When we got here, we had eight scholarship offensive linemen. That number is usually 14.”

How much would that make a difference?

“I think I’d be wrong if I didn’t say it takes a little developing physically and mentally because of the position. I’d also be wrong if I didn’t say there’s guys who have done it and guys who have done it at a quicker pace. Kyle [Bosch] has been here since January. I think he’s coming along pretty good in some instances. Did we all have our best moments Saturday? No. Coaches included.”

How many scholarship linemen do you have now?

“15? Isn’t it 15? Yeah. 15.”

Did you guys perceive this being an issue against Michigan State? Or is this not acceptable no matter what?

“Number one it’s never acceptable no matter who it is. The expectation is for the position, and it always has been this way and it will always be this way. Do we need to do a better job? Yeah. The coaches do. I think that’s always something that we look at. We have to be able to push forward. The kids have responded well. Was it representative? No. You get seven sacks and you snap the ball 20 yards [behind you], it doesn’t help your positive yardage.”

Did you tell your staff you need to coach these guys better?

“Yeah. We all have to.”

What do you have to do defensively in a game like this?

“Well you need to steal some possessions, which means we have to create some turnovers. You have to give your offense more opportunities. That’s part of it. Getting off the field. Third downs, we weren’t great. Especially in the second half and the last drive of the first one. Getting off the field again creates more opportunities for your offense.”

What jumps out at you about Nebraska?

“Ameer Abdullah is a really good back. They’ve play two or three good quarterbacks since [Taylor] Martinez has been out. The two that I’ve seen are very capable of running their offense and do a good job of it. Physical offensive line, and that’s part of their trademark. Defensively, especially up front, Willie Henry had a very good football game the other day. Willie’s gotten better as the year has gone on.”

You said you would have suspended Lewan already if you thought he should be. He pushed the line a bit, though, with the twisting of the helmet.

“It’s not acceptable.”

Was it the heat of the moment?

“Trying in some ways to get our quarterback out of harm’s way in the pile. Some of it was he got overtaken with his emotion. He’s kind of one of those guys, as you all well know, who is a very good teammate.”

Do you think what he did was just as bad as what Will Gholston did two years ago?

“I’m not going to judge that. That’s for somebody else to judge. You guys will write about it.”

You said having the bye week was overrated. Why?

“Here’s the thing about having two weeks: they get to rest. How you approach it is getting them some rest and at the same time doing some things for the next opponent. But you want a fresher team.”

So it wasn’t about making adjustments.

“Well we did the first bye week. We adjusted the offensive line. Did some things we needed to do. It’s the first thing we talked about. Where are we at the next five games with personnel? Do we have the right personnel on the field? Do we have the right guys in the kicking game?”

Devin’s beat up. Does he need a couple days to recover?

“He’ll probably need yesterday and today.”

Do you expect him to practice tomorrow?

“Oh yeah.”

What was he like yesterday?

“Like any quarterback who gets seven sacks and a lot of helmets in different parts of your body.”

Was it your decision to take him out of the game or Devin’s?

“No. It wasn’t his decision.”

So it was yours.

“Yeah. Now he was a warrior. Did he do everything perfectly? No.”

Where is Jehu Chesson now compared with the beginning of the season?

“He’s come a long way. Look at the special teams part of it and what he’s done. As a gunner on the punt and the kickoff. He’s made a significant amount of plays. As he’s grown into a guy who’s a receiver who’s very good for us. He can stretch the field. Went up and made a nice play on the ball. One thing he wanted to do, he said yesterday, ‘I wanted to finish.’ ”

Comments

WolvinLA2

November 4th, 2013 at 6:53 PM ^

Agreed.  This is just ridiculous.  All of the "Clearly this means Hoke doesn't ______ enough" posts are simply stupid.  No, that is not clear.  We don't know what Hoke really thinks or feels based on this press conference.  He might want to rip Al Borges's head off and has already decided he'll fire him, but even if he did he wouldn't say it during a press conference right now.

WineAndSpirits

November 4th, 2013 at 7:56 PM ^

Look, all reporters are looking for is a story. Hoke's smart enough not to give it to them on a platter. If you think that means he doesn't have passion or isn't a smart head coach, you're crazy.

Reporters want Hoke to say that, No, Lewan's face mask wasn't as bad as Gholston's. That way they can lambaste him in the press. Thankfully, he's not that stupid.

Blue in Yarmouth

November 5th, 2013 at 8:35 AM ^

Honestly, I don't know what people expect. I never coached footbal before, but I have coached sports in my lifetime and coaches with a propensity for outburst (whether on the sideline or at press conferences) aren't doing themselves any favours. 

I honestly can't imagine that people think that this is the way Hoke is behind closed doors. And let's say for the sake of debate that even behind closed doors he doesn't scream and curse and throw thiings around, is that bad?

I have played sports at a pretty high level for much of my life and I have had all kinds of coaches with myriad different philosophies. I wouldn't say that any one style was a great degree better at getting your players to play to their ability. In fact, if I'm being honest the only kind I hated to play for was the ones who got in front of the media and aired their dirty laundry (calling players and coaches out etc.). 

I find his press conferences a little boring at times, but that's because of the questions being asked, not the manner in which he answers them because he answers them the way 99% of coaches will. If people don't like that fact then don't bother reading the transcripts but I think BH is an absolute genius in the way he handles the media. Other things I guess some could question, but he is far more saavy with the media than most people even recognize. 

erald01

November 4th, 2013 at 7:02 PM ^

What you talking about? Carr always showed when he was pissed, his face expressions were of that angry crazy man...When Hoke wins as much as Bill Belichek or Tony Dungen then he can be as quiet as he wants..

In the mean time we as fans, ticket season holders, contrubutors, money paying, Hoke's salary paying SOBs, would like to know where we heading because last time i checkec we have been OSu bitch since Tressel era and now we becoming MSU's bitch since MD has been around..oh yeah we own one of two rivalrys, the ND one.. But those guys have been as bad as us coaching wise so there goes that

erald01

November 4th, 2013 at 7:39 PM ^

Then who the fuck does he owe to? If it isnt for us the fans going and spending money or boosters paying up the ass for the program, then who the fuck does he own an explanation too? Dave Brandon? His circle jerk buddy who almost drove Dominos Pizzo into the ground? Quit using fuckin every excuse to make urself feeling better about a program that has been looking horrible for almost a decade now.

erald01

November 4th, 2013 at 10:03 PM ^

Hahaha and i dont have to prove you shit.. But its okay you are the delusional fan that said the same thing during the RR era, "its okay will do it next year" while we become osu and msu bitch....you all sound like the Lions fans, its okay next year will win the superbowl..

BannerToucher85

November 4th, 2013 at 7:26 PM ^

If the coaching staff is going to complain week after week about youth and the inability to execute, then I would like the coaching staff to develop a gameplan that they think their players are capable of executing. Youth and inexperience are perfectly valid excuses for failing to execute, but if that's the case it's up to the coaches to come up with something this team can execute which so far, against reasonable competition, has been nothing.

It feels to me like they are developing their ideal gameplan irrespective of their player's capabilities and looking at games as learning opportunities rather than contests to be won.  Regular season is not the time to be asking your players to execute beyond their capabilities.

matty blue

November 4th, 2013 at 8:57 PM ^

a thousand cocktails to you, sir.

this is exactly the same press conference demeanor he had when we went 11-2.  if we had won this game (or psu, for that matter) some of the dipshits on this board would be talking about how great it is that he keeps a steady hand on the tiller.  whatever.

i've been saying it all along - i couldn't care less what he says in a press conference, as long as he says the right things to his team.  he doesn't owe the press (or me, for that matter) one damn word of explanation.

uminks

November 4th, 2013 at 6:53 PM ^

two years from now. Me thinks it is just part of the problems. There are bigger problems with the coaching and development. But only time will tell.

alum96

November 4th, 2013 at 8:56 PM ^

Very few questions about the defense which is interesting other than the "matchup problem" - what is a matchup problem? I saw Raymon Taylor essentially give up on trying to run down the MSU back on that last long play?  Then they cut to Hoke who was swearing it appears about it.  No one in the press asked about it interesting.

As for "youth" the only place among the starters is YOUNG is the center of the OL.  Yeah its an important place.  But this youth excuse is geting stale.  There ARE 4 seniors on the offense along with a QB who now has almost this entire year plus the back half of last year under his belft.   On defense, 5 of the front 7 are upperclassmen - the only youth is Ross and Heitzman among starters.  Both corners had a full year of starting coming into the year and are now about 1.75 year starters.  In college 2 years is a lot of starting - you dont often get 3 year starters.  One safety is a senior.  So there is one youth in the secondary and that is Wilson.  So I count 3 "youth" in our defense among starters - this is rationalization if someone is still blaming youth on anything for the defense, its a good mix of veterans and young players.  No freshman are starting - 2 sophomores and a RS sophomore are... the rest are experienced.

For the OL a lot of these guys were brand new in August games now are 3 months in of playing football.  Where is the signs if improvement seen from their 8 weeks of playing on the OL?  I know we have switched guys in and out and Miller is not there but Kalis has had a few months, Magnuson was getting some time even against the CMUs etc.  Glasgo has been there the whole time albeit at a dif position.  And youth is going to be an issue on the OL next year too. 

 

Leonhall

November 4th, 2013 at 7:28 PM ^

Smith deal is puzzling....hate to assume or suggest something but have to wonder??? I really think green and him need to start getting 5-6 carries a game. Assuming both return, they will be getting the bulk next season and probably don't have carries combined this year...

bleed_trueblue17

November 4th, 2013 at 7:50 PM ^

We are 6-2 and with a team that cant even pick up a blitz. We are an extremely young team and its showing. are the coaches a problem? all of them? just some of them? how can we know for sure when all of their players are just coming in some as TRUE FR. Ik being young is not the only excuse but ppl that say oh thats just bs its michigan we should have Frosh that should be all americans every day, are just plain wrong. It takes time. I thought the same for RR and ill say the same now, wait and see. also firing coaches is bad for recruiting. 

ps. if your are a TRUE MICHIGAN fan you wouldnt give up on the team no matter what. I know at the wisconson game in 2008(3-9 season) i refused to let my grandpa and dad take me from the stadium. i said it could still happen. since that game, really since i was old enough to remember, i have never given up on the blue and said its over.

GO BLUE!

Mr. Carson

November 4th, 2013 at 7:55 PM ^

The absolute worst thing Michigan could do is fire Hoke or one of his coordinators after this year.  If this program does not retain some stability, we could be looking at a very long period of irrelevance.  Yes, it's frustrating, and yes, progress has been too slow or nonexistent in some areas, but people need to give Hoke more time.  Progress is not always linear.

CLord

November 4th, 2013 at 8:57 PM ^

Agreed re Hoke, not so much re Funk and Borges.  Losing Borges would not disrupt much in the way of recruiting continuity provided they brought something more akin to a Wisconsin or Alabama style coordinator rather than an RR smurf patrol clone.  And quite frankly, next year do we really want ANY continuity on offense from this year other than Funchess?  I have no faith whatsoever that 250 more days together will be an elixir that will transform this offensive line sans Schofield and Lewan into anything other than another heaping helping of mediocrity.

ComputerEngineer

November 5th, 2013 at 2:20 AM ^

Only two screen passes against a MSU defense that was blitzing almost every play?  Running the ball 30 times when you're averaging a yard per carry during the Penn State game?

 

Borges doesn't adapt, and he definitely doesn't understand football.  Keep Hoke, see what he can do with a real offensive coordinator.  

Brown Bear

November 4th, 2013 at 8:02 PM ^

I really need to stop reading the comments. Some of the stuff I'm reading blows my mind and is based off of zero facts and only opinions of no nothing's who try to overanalyze everything said in a frigging press conference! Dammit people get a grip!
Unreal.

G. Gulo of the Dale

November 4th, 2013 at 9:06 PM ^

I've followed the blog for a number of years and rarely comment, but I think the last few weeks have shown us getting dumber almost by the minute.  If many of us are over the age of 21, it's frightening to consider our inability to separate "what we want to hear to make us feel better about ourselves" from what a responsible adult--who is an example for a team of young men--should be saying at a news conference with other adults who are in the midst of their work day.  It's also shocking to hear so many people attack Hoke for his lack of "passion."  Apparently, having passion and having a temper are equivalent.  I've seen plenty of passion from Coach Hoke in practice videos.  He was fairly passionate in the postgame talk in one of our wins that was far too close earlier in the season, and you can bet that he's more lively off camera than on it.  A few months ago Brady Hoke's passion was unquestioned, players talked about how critical Mattison was of their play, and now, all of the sudden, Brady Hoke and his staff are reviving Stoicism and are coddling their players.  I'm not absolving Hoke of all culpability, but the internet has done terrible things to our rationality.  We now want the staff to "perform" for us on a daily basis so that we can find comfort between game days.  How does Michigan football give me my high during the week after we underperform, since I can't reminisce about last Saturday?  The coaches can give me tangible evidence every day that they care and are making changes to our team.  Reality, and that means the maturation of nineteen-year-olds as athletes, can't move fast enough to meet our post-modern desires.  If we had a top recruit commit in the near future, many of us would feel better--not simply because it was a small gain for the future of our team--but because it was a "positive experience" that we can associate with Michigan football.  Anyway, I don't mean to be all better-than-thou about this, because I take football way too seriously, but things have been getting out of control.   

Sten Carlson

November 4th, 2013 at 9:22 PM ^

Well said!

The guy lives Michigan football. Add to that the fact that when he gives a reasonable reason why things are the way they are, guys go ape shit and say, "I'm tried of excuses!" When he is effusive, they say, "give us reasons!" Then when he gives reasons, the says, "bullshit excuses!" Which is it?!? If you want answers, listen, he's giving them to you. If you don't like the answers he's giving, if you think you know better, you don't. Not only has Hoke forgotten more about football than any of us will ever know, he's doing while we're all just observing from an uninformed position. It so sad to see a usually intelligent fanbase (at least in here) meltdown like nincompoops!

Brown Bear

November 4th, 2013 at 9:50 PM ^

A few weeks ago people bitched when he said "We need to do a better job at coaching". Now people are bitching about how he never accepts blame and is making excuses with youth and whatnot.
Guys saying he doesn't coach hard enough and "Oh I watched Nick Saban on 60 minutes and he was so intense at practice. How come Hoke doesn't coach like that?? Durr durr durr!!"
Are you serious?!! How much practice footage do they release? Not much and the little I've ever seen Hoke is screaming his butt off and very vocal and into coaching up the players.

But I guess if it doesn't satisfy their need to bitch and moan about everything it does them no good. Space Coyote was right. Board is out of control.

jigsmcgee

November 5th, 2013 at 1:36 AM ^

really interesting to see this blog react.

from what i have gathered, the majority of people saying logical negative things are considerably older to this blog.

those that are saying illogical negative things are considerably younger to this blog.

those that are saying logical positive things dont exist.

those that are saying illogical positive things exist as well though there is no pattern i can reconcile save for they most likely have emotional issues.

i would throw this gem into the mix -

1) Had Les Miles not slept with Gary Moellers wife (incredibly fitting)

2) UM loses every game from here to the end of the year (WILL NOT HAPPEN, i hope)

3) DB goes uncharacteristic

4) AND the fanbase somehow convinces DB to get rid of Hoke (NOT ADVOCATING THIS - AT ALL), 

Would there ever be a scenario where DB crawls over to Les Miles and begs him to coach our team?  Because right now, at this moment, I am unsure that this scenario has not come across DBs mind. And it pains me greatly.

CLord

November 4th, 2013 at 9:45 PM ^

See your point but disagree that anything you're seeing is even remotely shocking.

Our fans love this team and thus want the problem they are seeing solved.  The first step in solving the problem is obviously understanding its root cause.  Thus it's natural for fans to formulate their own causal theories to, as you say, make themselves feel better.  Our fans are are just yearning to understand, and in absence of relevant data thanks to Hoke's stifling pressers, they are jumping to their own conclusions based upon an inadequately small amount of misleading data.  That's just what people do.  Since forever, our species has been jumping to conclusions and generalizations based upon limited data in an effort to simplify and thus comprehend an otherwise complex world.  They're wrong, so  you're right on that one, but nothing shocking here at all.

 

G. Gulo of the Dale

November 4th, 2013 at 10:01 PM ^

I'm not at all shocked that human beings act this way.  Nor is the endless speculation, analysis, second-guessing, etc., shocking on a sports blog.  This is par for the course for a sports blog and, even if somewhat crazy, not the unhealthiest thing in the world.  Even if almost all our comments outstrip our knowledge of the situation, it's good fun.  What I was really trying to say was something like the following:  The opinions expressed on Mgoblog in particular are usually more intelligent than those of the normal sports fan (insert: "that's what drew us here in the first place").  In the last few weeks, however, we've been whipped into such a frenzy that we're offering remarks that strain at the demands of prudence.  I'm beginning to wonder if people are even capable of reading what's posted, or are even trying.  People are accusing Hoke of blaming the players after reading the above presser?  Am I reading the same presser?  Are his responses different when the blog appears on a mobile device, rather than on a laptop? 

AtlantaWolverine

November 4th, 2013 at 8:03 PM ^

Is it just me, or are others starting to wonder - and worry - that Wellman's system isn't working?  I clearly understand that the puppy OL need to get older and stronger, but seems to me that many of our upperclasmen lack the strength of many of our opponents.  Last week was a prime example - many times during the game seemed to me that the MSU players were simply physically dominant against our guys.

Space Coyote

November 5th, 2013 at 8:39 AM ^

What it is, I'm not sure. But I can promise it isn't the strength and conditioning program. These guys are trained to maximize what players can offer, there is very little that is unpredictable about strength and conditioning (outside of players not showing up in the off season, which has never seemed the case). So for the vast majority of things, including when Barwis was a savior, are overrated. The young guys will continue to get stronger, the older guys will continue to get fine tuned.

More than anything right now it's mental and technique. But I can almost promise, like 99.99% that the issue isn't the strength and conditioning program.

FWIW, Wellman was an assistant under Ken Mannie (MSU's strength and condition coach) for three years. 

Everyone Murders

November 5th, 2013 at 10:16 AM ^

Space Coyote -  What do you make of Hoke's statement below?

Is the youth on the offensive line an anomaly? Will it be different going forward?

“Yes. Should it be? Yes. When we got here, we had eight scholarship offensive linemen. That number is usually 14.”

Seems to me that Saturday's game could be summed up as "young interior O-Line meets superior D-Line and linebacking corps, and carnage follows".  And it seems like there's not a lot of coaching that could fix that.  (Now UConn and Akron are another kettle of fish.)

I ask because most of us who did/do sports noticed our bodies change tremendously between ages 18 and 22.  So between the physical maturation that occurs and the difficulties of developing linemen, it seems Michigan's offensive coaches have had a much tougher task with the young/depleted O-Line roster than most of this (lately painfully shrill) board want to admit. 

But my background isn't football, so there's a possibility I'm talking outta my backside on this.  What do you think?