Monday Presser Transcript 9-30-13: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on September 30th, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Bullets:

  • Jake Ryan is practicing!
  • There may be a change on the offensive line!
  • DaMario Jones might contribute on offense!
  • Derrick Green might get more snaps!

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Podium

Opening remarks:

“First thing I want to talk about a little bit is this weekend you saw a lot of the ‘Cure MD’ patches that all the coaches [wore]. The organization has been at the forefront with the cure. We obviously didn't play, so we'll have our patches this weekend, and we certainly want to raise awareness of MD. It affects a lot of children all across the country.

“On the Football side we had a very good week. We got a lot accomplished as a team. I know we as a staff felt that way. I know the players felt that way. In the practices that we had and the fundamental work that we had in all areas at every position. The intensity and the competitiveness was very good. We’re excited to start the Big Ten season. We’re excited to play in the oldest trophy game there is in the Brown Jug with Minnesota. We have a lot of work to do, as you all know. We’ll continue to do that throughout the week.”

It’s been almost a decade since Michigan has won a Big Ten title. How important is that to you and how can Saturday put you one step closer?

“Well I think you said the answer is to take it one step [at a time]. I think that first step is a big step. At home here for homecoming, the Brown Jug being a big part of it. We'll take it one week at a time. We understand what the expectations are and should be for this program, so we'll have a good week of practice and put our best foot forward.”

Have you made any decisions about the offensive line and personnel?

“No. And we've talked a lot and done a lot during the bye week. We've got two real good work days with Tuesday and Wednesday, and I think really probably after Tuesday, we'll have a little better indication which way we want to go.”

Looking at Minnesota, can you tell us one thing on both sides of the ball that you’re preparing for?

“Number one, I have as much respect for Jerry Kill as anybody in this conference because of how he coaches and what he's done. The program -- he's done a tremendous job with as he works through it. They're going to be a physical football team because that's the way Jerry wants his teams on both sides of the ball. Up front, they're very good defensively when you look at guys making plays, tackles for loss, negative plays. The linebackers are very active. The safety [Brock] Vereen has been playing for it seems like 10 years. From a defensive perspective, I think they're pretty daggone salty. Offensively they want to run the football, and they want to run it -- they have two quarterbacks who have both played, both had good performances, probably not as good as they'd like, totally, like all of us. We'd all like to be great every time we go out there. And they've got three backs that roll through there. Offensive line, it's a big offensive line. They're a well coached offensive line.”

Are you inclined to make changes to the offensive line?

“I think we'd be inclined to evaluate from the four games, from practices, from individual and fundamentals and all those things. Yeah, we wouldn't have a problem making a change if that's what we deem we ought to do.”

Can you talk about the level that Jake Ryan has reached in practice?

“He does some individual stuff. Most of that. He does some team stuff more and more every day. I think from talking to him, and I don't want to speak for Jake, but talking to him and talking to the doctors and trainers, he feels good. I think we'll get him a little bit more involved these next three days and see what next week brings.”

After the UConn game, you said Devin was a little banged up or sore. Do you think he’ll be a little fresher this week with the week off?

“You know, we went out tuesday last week and Thursday. He didn't look sore. He may be doing a good job acting, because he knows there's a lot of guys sore out there. It's just part of it. Part of playing. I thought he did a nice job.”

You’ve been a better team out of the spread than under center. Do you agree with that, and will you try to evolve back towards the spread?

“No. And I would tend to agree and disagree with you on that, because I think when you see some of the downhill runs and some of the play action runs off of them, the outside stretch play, I thought we've done a good job with those things. Too many negative yards, and a couple of them at the point of attack, but the downhill runs are something we need to be more cognizant of.”

We’ve seen a lot more Joe Bolden the past few weeks. He was at the WILL with James Ross. (?) Is there competition there?

“Really, no. We're just rotating those three guys through, so they both probably -- I don't have the information, but if you count the number of plays, I'll be they're even. Or close to it.”

At cornerback, is the competition open between Courtney Avery and Raymon Taylor?

"Courtney coming off the knee, I think they'll both compete. And that doesn't mean Blake's not competing. I think they all are. Courtney coming off the knee we thought looked pretty sharp, so him and Ray, and we played so much nickel, which kicked Blake inside."

How do you balance making a change on the offensive line with keeping chemistry intact?

“Well so is production. And that might be more critical than chemistry. We've got to put the guys in there that give us the best opportunity to be successful.”

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Roundtable

What have you been doing up front on defense to have success against the run?

“You know, I think the guys are just getting better. We're playing a lot of guys. I think Quinton [Washington] and Jibreel [Black] and the three five-technique / strong ends with [Chris] Wormley, [Matt] Godin, and [Keith] Heitzman is really a good combination. At the rush, Mario [Ojemudia] with his improvement, and Frank [Clark]'s a better football player than he was a year ago. We've tried to get Taco [Charlton] into the mix a little bit, probably not as much as we'd like to. Those guys are doing a good job. We have to be tested, and we will. I don't know how much UConn tested us two weeks ago. I think we'll find out more as we get in the league with what people like to do. The linebackers, the three of them in the rotation that they have, have been pretty good. I think the outside position with Brennen [Beyer] and Cam [Gordon] kind of sharing the duties. Brennen Beyer probably is as important piece to our football team as anybody because he can do so many different things for you.”

You’ve faced 162 passes in four games. Considering that, how have you liked the ability of the secondary to hold up?

“I think we need to get a little better from a run support standpoint first. And then we've got to get a little better when you look at some of the coverage aspects, the concepts a little bit at times. I think some real ground we can gain, and I think we did. Last week was great for us, and then some of the fundamental stuff.”

How are the running backs behind Fitz doing in practice?

“Good. I think Derrick [Green] got a lot of work. [Thomas] Rawls and DeVeon got a lot of work, which was good. Fitz has played a lot of plays. I don't know if he needs to take 20 snaps in practice that are pretty live. So we'll get the other guys in.”

Would you like to lessen Fitz’s work load during games?

“Yeah. We would. Would love to give Derrick some more work, DeVeon some work.”

What does that give you?

"I think it gives [Fitz a chance] to be fresh. And it gives another guy an opportunity, who is a little different than what Fitz is."

More power?

“Bigger body. I would say [Derrick] -- Rawls is a pretty physical runner -- but him and DeVeon are big, physical big guys.”

If you were going to make changes to the offensive line, why did you wait so long? Why didn't you do it already?

“Well I think we're at the point where we want to make sure, so one more day isn't going to hurt us. And to be honest, Darryl rotates those guys through pretty good during practice. You see a lot of the same groupings.”

Is there one area in the interior you're looking at?

"I think we need a little better play from the center, whether it's Jack [Miller] or it's Graham [Glasgow] or Chris [Bryant] or Joe Burzynski at the guard."

What can you as coaches do to help Devin cut down on turnovers?

“It's like anything else. Like a guy false stepping from a defensive perspective. It's fundamentals, and you have to keep talking about the fundamentals. Devin isn't the sole responsible [person] for some of the turnovers. There's a lot of people that goes around to. Him getting back to fundamentals and techniques, footwork, is a big part of it. How you throw through the ball is something that helps. We talk about decisions all the time, and he's shown at times that he's made good decisions. I think that's a part of it. And us running the football. That's a part of it. Taking some of the pressure off of him to do everything.”

Who benefitted most from the week off in terms of healing?

“To be honest with you, everybody participated. I've been around teams where guys can tell the trainer that they have a hamstring pull, and it's hard to test hamstrings and backs. And so we didn't have any of that.”

MGoQuestion: Is there a disconnect between how you do in practice vs. how you perform in games, especially from an offensive perspective?

“No. I don't think so. We go against each other an awful lot. For the speed of the game, the competition level and all that. There's days and whatever drills we're doing where the offense is on fire. If you coach defense, you're not happy. There's days when the defense is on fire and the offense isn't very happy.”

MGoFollowup: Do the same issues that we see in games crop up in practice?

“No, I think the only thing is ball security and doing a better job with that.”

It seems like option teams aren't optioning the backside defenders much anymore. They're optioning the frontside guy --

"Well they'll get the frontside or -- Minnesota will option your 2-technique or your 3."

Midline?

"Oh yeah. It's true midline. It's option football. It's truly option midline football.

History of the Jug?

“We talk about it. We bring that trophy in. Yesterday -- yesterday was Sunday, right? We brought the jug in. Talked about it again. Kind of went through the history of it and what it means from that history.”

What’s the one thing you want to impress upon your players?

“You don't want them to come over to your sideline and take it back.”

Where is the Jug right now?

“It's safely secure with Jon Falk.”

This is Jon’s last game. A lot of people associate him with the Jug. Did you do anything special?

“No, but Tuesday we'll have Jon come down and talk to them. We practice tomorrow. That's how we'll start the team meeting.”

How important is it to preserve rivalry games like this in a college football landscape that’s constantly changing with respect to money, realignment, etc.?

“Well, you know, and I don't know if it's all changing for the good. But I do believe that those games that you have the privilege to play in because of the history and tradition that's been there, and this is a personal opinion. I think it's very important. I think the kids knowing -- and we have kids all over the country. I'm sure when Taylor Lewan came here never knew what the Little Brown Jug was. We educate them on the significance of it. Since 1909. I think it's important.”

What was the reaction of your team when you brought the Jug in?

“Well the guys who've been around understand what you're playing for.”

Has Devin come in and watched more film the last couple weeks?

“I'm sure he is, but he may be somewhere watching the film, where I may be watching film somewhere else. This is a big day because he has class from 9 to 4 because he's [working on] his master's [degree]. He'll be in after four o'clock and spend an hour with Al looking at Minnesota and also looking at things we need to improve upon.”

Did anyone else stand out during practice?

“There's some guys who played a little more. I think Ondre Pipkins, Willie Henry, Ryan Glasgow -- I'm a litlte more in tune with those guys because I coach them. HOw they've started to learn and started to grow and grow up, I guess, is the biggest thing. because that's part of it when there's young guys. In the back end there's Stribling. You like the way he and Dymonte Thomas, Delano Hill, from a defensive standpoint, and then offensively DaMario Jones is a guy we're going to play. And he's playing on special teams already. I mentioned the backs. And then Kyle Bosch. He's been playing better at left guard. So he can be in that mix.”

What’s the capacity of your team to improve over the course of the season?

“I think a lot of that is when you have youth on your team. We are young, which is not an excuse. There are no excuses. We just have to keep moving those guys in the right direction, and the guys who are the veterans keep doing a good job of being veterans and examples. And that's the thing that I've liked the most and how they've gone out. The seniors are really doing a good job.”

You mentioned DaMario Jones. Are you comfortable with a vertical threat in your passing game yet?

“Oh yeah. No question. You have certain shots you're going to take during the course of the game, depending on how you plan it out. Sometimes when your possessions don't equal up you don't get to use all the shots you'd like to use. So the verticalness, I think Jehu [Chesson] continues to be a guy who can really take the top off the secondary. DaMario can do that.”

Is DaMario going to get more chances with the offense?

“As he keeps coming along, yeah.”

The incident on DaMario Jones vs. UConn?

“That's our fault as much as it is anybody. You get what you call a peter call and all that kind of stuff in a normal situation. but in a pooch situation, Drew's trying to do a good job of faking them out. So he doesn't know that the ball's short or the ball's bouncing on the ground. That's not his fault. The good thing is he's blocking the heck out of his guy and being aggressive.”

So you'd rather him be aggressive.

"You're daggone right. But we've changed that, too. I mean for us not to [change] would be really poor."

Comments

reshp1

September 30th, 2013 at 5:32 PM ^

Yeah, thought the same thing. I saw Mr Rager's preview of the comments but with the context, Hoke seems down right forthcoming about potential changes. My guess is Bryant, Glasgow, Kalis.

Also, glad to here Stribling get some unsolicited praise. I think Taylor and Avery are solid players, but maybe limited a little bit athletically. It'd be nice to have another option that has a little more raw athleticism and make up speed (and height for that matter).

getsome

October 1st, 2013 at 1:19 PM ^

agreed much better job with questions, more direct and solid follow ups, nice work if any came from mgo. also encouraged to hear stribling getting some unsolicited love as well as demario jones.  be great to get some better athletes onto the field, stribling stealing few snaps on D and jones on O.  be really great if jones could keep working and learning and progresses to point where he could supplant jeremy jackson in some sets down the road....kind of liability to utilize a very slow blocking WR in half your sets and never even target him....maybe jones, and hoopefully chesson, can bring addl productivity to WR postition other than gallon and dileo.  loved to see butt getting more meaningful snaps in 2nd half vs uconn....obviously coaches trust him more in blocking role than funchess.  surprised hoke was so forthright re potential OL changes, and even more shocked he singled out C position.  even if the same 5 start the minny game which i dont think they will (just guessing , interpreting hokes comments), theyll def play more than 5 OL.  and thank god hoke at least acknowledged touissant needs to share snaps....whether it happens or  not, who knows, but publicly acknowledging specific OL weaknesses and TB rotation is a start - considering theyre prob averaging below 3 YPC if exclude gardner and touissants longest runs each game....who knows, maybe combo of new C and devon smith or whoever else can average 4-5 YPC with much less negative plays....at least they realize theres an issue.  much better questioning though and more forthright responses by hoke....hopefully UM improves every day bw uconn and minn and gets after it on sat

samsoccer7

September 30th, 2013 at 5:31 PM ^

I agree Hoke seems a bit fed-up with the OL play and it sounds like change is coming.  He also can't just throw Miller under the bus b/c we'll undoubtedly need his services going forward.  B/C of that, it's a "slow" change to us I think, and they have to make sure Bryant and Glasgow can practice well in that configuration.  If they do, there'll be a change without much hoopla.  If not, status quo, and Miller's psyche isn't destroyed (hopefully).

Zone Left

September 30th, 2013 at 5:50 PM ^

There's no reason to throw him under the bus even if he quit the team. One of the maxims of public team leadership is to avoid placing blame on anyone other than yourself.

 

 

TakeTheField

September 30th, 2013 at 6:19 PM ^

Hoke said they had a really good week after Akron too, so not sure how much that means. 

In any case, not much time to turn things around.  We might beat Minnesota playing like we have the last two games (though maybe not), but we'll be lucky to go 4-4 in the Big Ten unless we get a lot better very soon.  

reshp1

September 30th, 2013 at 7:19 PM ^

Without turnovers, we beat both Akron and UConn handily, flaws and all. I think there's reason to be optimistic that we'll limit turovers to at least a sane level. I still think we're favored in all remaining games with the exception of NW and Ohio. I think 4-4 is pretty pessimistic, barring an inability to fix the turnover margin issue.

TakeTheField

September 30th, 2013 at 8:37 PM ^

that if we hadn't played so bad, we would have done better.  But we made a lot of poor plays that had nothing to do with turnovers.  And it remains to be seen if throwing 2 or 3 picks a game isn't just the kind of QB that Gardner is.  I see no reason for optimism after 8 picks in 4 games.  That's not a fluke or an anomaly...it's the way things are.  Lots of good QBs don't throw that many in a whole season, with a lot more attempts.

reshp1

September 30th, 2013 at 9:08 PM ^

And it remains to be seen if throwing 2 or 3 picks a game isn't just the kind of QB that Gardner is. I see no reason for optimism...

So we're not counting the 5 games he played last year? He had one per game. Same with ND, albeit a bad one. As far as I'm concerned, -3 and -4 turnover margin is hardly "the way things are." He might be good for one TO per game, but he's also the kind of guy that tends to make up for it by creating on the proverbial "third play." You are right, we didn't play well aside from the turnovers, hence why I said "flaws and all." Time will tell if that improves. There's no denying though that the TOs resulted in multiple TD point swings. Clean those up, something that is really only just regressing to the mean, and we still have a damn good shot against most of the remaining schedule. I frankly see no reason why so many like you have written off the season and most of our offense for dead after 2 bad games (wins no less).

nickb

September 30th, 2013 at 7:20 PM ^

Hopefully Hoke and his staff are aware of this. I wish he would have been more forthcoming regarding the inadequacies of the coaching staff. They have blue chippers on both sides of the line and they play like they are one star performers. I attribute to coaching as much as lack of experience.

GM to his credit took blame for the lack of pass rush. Admiited he had them thinking more about of not being out of position and not allowing their natural instincts be part of thier playing abilities. After all that is why they were highly touted and recruited by many of the top schools.

SalvatoreQuattro

September 30th, 2013 at 7:38 PM ^

Stars mean little on the playing field. All teams, even Bama(See(Hart, Dee) have busts.    Judging the quality of play on recruiting rankings is foolish.Player development depends as much on a player as the coach. Players fail to develop in all programs. That is a fact.

You will have to show us why this is an issue of coaching and not inexperience or player not developing. 

EGD

September 30th, 2013 at 8:27 PM ^

I'm not sure very many of our lineman were really considered blue chips when they were recruited. Guys like Lewan and Pipkins were, but they haven't been the problem. Our starting DEs (Heitzman and Clark) were both 3-stars, as was Jack Miller. The Glasgows were walk-ons. Kalis was a blue chip but he's currently a freshman, plus he's played okay so far anyway.

EGD

October 1st, 2013 at 11:13 AM ^

Right.  Out of fairness to the post I was responding to, I figured that a consensus 4-star would have to be considered a "blue chip."  If we're only talking about 5-stars, then I guess there's Kalis, Pipkins, and that's about it (unless you maybe throw in Kugler--but he's a true freshman).

Sextus Empiricus

October 2nd, 2013 at 1:30 AM ^

What is blue chip... ?  I don't know.  Final ranking?  OK - he ended up a 4 star - a low 4 star but a consensus one.  He was a sleeper who palyed his first 3 HS years on the DL where he projected to the MAC/Mountain West or Sun Belt.  He transfered and changed to OL and started to get looks.  He visited Minnesota and Michigan.  He was supposed to get offers from Alabama and Ohio but never did as far as I remember.

I love Lewan.  He's what he is because he has earned it.  He is not blue chip with respect to his recruit cred like DJ Fluker was, Kalis is or BWC was for that matter.  Ultimately that really doesn't mean much for OL recruits anyway.

It's sad to think that while RR pulled in a major coup getting Lewan from Arizona - Eric Fisher was playing in Rochester Hills right under his nose.  What could have been.

Sextus Empiricus

October 2nd, 2013 at 4:17 PM ^

Hmm... no disrespect to RR.  He pulled in Lewan.  Seeing talent in HS kids however is what these guys do for a living.  I don't think they get a pass because the recruiting services missed.  Kudos to Butch Jones for giving Eric Fisher the opportunity.  When a guy is 260 (which Fisher was as a graduating senior) and running the floor in a state BB tourney (so I've read)- I'd like to think OL coaches are looking.

Sextus Empiricus

October 3rd, 2013 at 1:04 AM ^

Nice article... uh... doesn't that  seem kind of specious to you at all?  The fact is recruiting services suck at OL ratings...especially for those kids who do pop their senior years and initial years in college. They and SB Nation like telling us that they didn't miss anything... well they did.  

Some guys put on weight to get OL ready- underrated.  Some guys shave it off - yes you guessed it overrated.  It's easy to see BWC push a guy into orbit.  It's hard to see talent and potential.  Butch Jones did - kudos.  RR didn't ... not the end of the world but a miss in our own back yard.

This sounds like a diary challenge.  

Nice bone density study on the lack of correlation between physical maturity and puberty.  That really drives home the science.  Look here's a link with numbers and everything.

I really like this ...

Sometimes when a coach is recruiting a player from an area of abject poverty, he'll expect to be able to put more weight on him than the typical prospect, because the player is not being provided proper nutrition and protein at home.

Like the kids playing football are starving. Kids in abject poverty don't play organized football. Poor kids who play probably don't eat well that is true... but that is far more likely to mean they are obese and need trimming. The reverse is true. Well off kids eat better and are more likely to come into college needing to gain weight.

                         

 

And god dammit Lewan was not a blue chip.  He visited Minne and Mich.  He couldn't have gone anywhere which inversely is probably my best definition of a blue chip.

Fisher didn't play all over the country either so I give the rest of the 49 states a pass.  He played HS ball 37 miles from A2.  Somebody on that coaching staff or in that conference knew what they had.  Michigan wasn't listening.

 

Lewan was a maize and blue chip though. So there's that.

M-Wolverine

October 3rd, 2013 at 3:34 PM ^

Sometimes you see a guy up close as a staff member and don't think he's destined for greatness. I don't know that his high school coaches thought he was going to be a #1 pick someday. They may have thought he was underrated, but not necessarily a future All-American. Deserving Purdue offers if not only Central. MSU missed him too. It's far more likely people just didn't think he'd be that good and was the exception, not the rule.

I mean if Lloyd Carr said now that he thought Tom Brady was going to be one of the best NFL QBs of all time I'd call him a fucking liar. He never said so when he was getting drafted. There weren't any signs. He probably thought he deserved more of a shot than a 6th round pick, but if he was going to say "first ballot hall of fame" he didn't say it very loud. Because no one knew. And the only guy who believed it was probably Tom Brady. It happens.

M-Wolverine

October 3rd, 2013 at 3:56 PM ^

Actually, I was liking the discussion. You were bringing up some good points on the folly and analysis of rankings and recruiting. And pointing out some of the silliness of the article which wasn't to justify the defense of recruiting sites, but more used to point out really everyone missed on him. You're right; some of their reasoning as they went on was whack.

 

Edit: Plus you used cool graphics to accentuate your points.

Sextus Empiricus

October 3rd, 2013 at 8:50 PM ^

You win with people.  This will always be true despite it's dubious source.                                     

Hoke is recruiting high character - good academic studs.  Fisher was a highly motivated kid.  This staff took a swing at Gary Yerdon.  You take a few of these guys a year -  they come up Glasgow big or even Fisher great every once in a while.  Vinopal is a good example of this.  He would have done well under RR stubby legs and all; the guy had drive and a nose for the ball.

Respect to you MW.

TakeTheField

September 30th, 2013 at 8:41 PM ^

who don't perform up to expectations.  But Alabama still recruits lights out and many of their top-rated recruits DO turn out to be stars.  Not a coincidence or a matter of pure luck.  

And everyone here sure gets excited when we land a recruiting class full of 4 and 5 star guys...it's only when the coaches can't make anything out of them that the "stars don't mean anything" chorus starts.

KBLOW

September 30th, 2013 at 9:21 PM ^

Saban has been recruiting lights out at Alabama since he got there in 2007 (well, maybe that first class wasn't so great but for sure since 2008). That's SIX years. Six years of 4 and 5 stars. Hoke has only been working his magic since 2011.  In a few more years you'll see the constant stream of stars proving it on the field just like Alabama.  Be patient.

LabattsBleu

September 30th, 2013 at 10:16 PM ^

when does the clock start then?

Sure Saban has been there 6 years. Please refresh my memory about how many MNC and SEC titles he also has.

I am more than willing to give Hoke et al a grace period of four years...but honestly, even Dantonio won a share of the B1G title after four years...Hoke is better than Dantonio isn't he?

Red is Blue

September 30th, 2013 at 10:41 PM ^

Not how you start, its how you finish.  Larry Coker was 31-1 in his first 32 games at Miami (ytm), a few years later he was gone.  He won big with the players he inherited, then came back to earth when his recruits took over the team. 

SalvatoreQuattro

September 30th, 2013 at 11:34 PM ^

That took Dantonio 4 years to do. Dantonio also had two 6 loss seasons mixed in. Hoke is 4-0 in Year Three with a team laden with young talent. While the struggles are incredibly frustrating this team does have the talent to turn things around. 

StephenRKass

September 30th, 2013 at 11:09 PM ^

I believe Hoke & crew have done a good job of recruiting, but even so, they still don't have the number of 4 star guys on the defensive line that, say, Ohio has.

But more than that, there must be patience, because you can't expect freshmen and redshirt freshmen and even redshirt sophomores to do that well on the offensive line.The cratering of offensive line recruiting under RR is what really has set Michigan back. This was the first thing Hoke addressed in recruiting. Unfortunately, it won't be til next year and the year after that we'll see significant improvements across the entire line. Next year should be slightly better than this year on the O Line (given the loss of Lewan, and also Schofield.) 2015 and going forward, we should be rolling out a good O Line, every year.

B1G_Fan

October 1st, 2013 at 9:25 AM ^

 The way high school strength and conditioning programs are and the fact most blue chip recruits work out with ex college professional coaches 1 on 1 in the off season makes folks expect more out of them in college. Alabama moved Barrett jones over from tackle to center to make room for a redshirt freshman tackle. Ohio is starting 2-3 true sophmores and 1 true freshman on their D line this year and they are not doing to bad.

 It's not like 15-20 years a go when freshman o lineman would come in at 240-250 pounds. These kids are reporting for school at 290-320 pounds. Now not all kids are going to come in a rip stuff up but you at least should be able to expect a redshirt sophmore to not be terrible and if he is terrible you should expect someone behind him be able to play descently 7 out of 10 plays. I don't want to get on Miller tho because honestly if everyone could play center on a major college football program as a red shirt sophmore we prolly would.

 The offensive line coaching staff now is another story. If you are a good coach then you can get your point across, you're a good teacher and you judge a good teacher by their results. The last two years our o line has been laughibly bad. Last year they could pass protect but not run block, this year they are struggling with both. At some point you have to look at the coach/ coaches and say you're not getting the job done and get someone who can. I'm not saying fire anybody right now but you need to see some kind of improvement at least from the start to the end of the year. If we're playing Ohio and still having the same problems we did vs. Akron then yea a change should be made. There are O line coaches who could take 2 red shirt senior, a red shirt sophmore and 2 red shirt freshman and atleast have them performing at an acceptable level. What are you going to do next year when the senior tackles graduate and you're running with 2 redshirt freshman or redshirt sophmore tackles?

 

Blue in Yarmouth

October 1st, 2013 at 9:47 AM ^

I agree with what you're saying. I don't think it is unreasonable for a coach to be able to get the players we have playing at a decent to good level, and at this point they have been poor. We are still early in this coaching staffs career here and the early reviews I have of the defense are great, but the offense not so much and I think a big factor in that has been the o-line play the past two years. 

As you stated in your post, it isn't unheard of for a team to have three underclassment in the starting five of the o-line and for that o-line to be productive. This o-line (and last years just like it) have been terrible. I mean, we have seen o-lines from schools ranked at the tail end of the top 100 (if they are even that high) beat up on the past two teams we played and we couldn't get any movement to save our lives. I shudder to think what it is going to be like when we play teams that can actually play.

A lot of posters here are talking out of both sides of their mouths. They say "you can't expect a coach to do anything with this youth, they need to be older and have more experience" but last year our o-line was young at all...and they couldn't do anything with them either. I just have a hard time seeing this as anything other than a coaching issue. I don't necessarily want anyone fired right now, but if we don't see any improvement on the o-line as the year goes on I think we need to look at getting a new o-line coach for next season.