Nebraska Postgame Presser Transcript: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on November 10th, 2013 at 5:08 PM

"I passed your floor on the way up, and now I'm passing it on the way down, and I don't think I'll be taking this elevator again." - Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon

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There’s probably some degree of frustration on the team. Can you talk about the number of missed opportunities on the field?

“Yeah. You know, frustration because we lost as a team. Yeah. It’s a frustration that we all have. I have to do a better job coaching this football team. The effort was really – guys were working, guys were fighting, guys were doing things. Did we do them well enough? No. And that goes on me.”

Seven sacks this week. How do you keep Devin’s spirits up?

“His spirits will be up because he’s a competitor. He’s going to be sore, and that’s part of it. Again, I have to do a better job coaching.”

When you talk about coaching, we do have to ask about the play calling from Al Borges. Do you have to look at that much more closely this week?

“I like the play calling. I think we thought we could do some things and we didn’t.”

Did you hear the booing after some of those offensive plays?

“Well, that’s you know, that’s the way things are.”

What’s Thomas Gordon’s situation?

“He had a little bit of an ankle. He played on the punt team. We also thought Courtney [Avery] and Josh [Furman] could give us something. And Jarrod [Wilson].”

What did you think you got from the safeties?

“I think it was okay. I don’t know until I watch it.”

Negative 69 rushing yards over the last two games. How do you explain that?

“Well, it’s hard to explain, isn’t it? I’ve got to do a better job coaching those guys.”

MGoQuestion: What kind of adjustments were you hoping to make over the course of last week as well as during this game?

“Well, you always have a plan that you think is going to work, number one. We change the plan all the time every week. I think there were some things that we did pretty well. But there were a number of things that we have to do a better job coaching the kids on.”

Can you talk about not cashing in on the turnovers?

“Well, we didn’t. We just didn’t execute.”

It looked like Devin really struggled scrambling. Is he banged up?

“His legs and everything are fine. I don’t know if he took a shot over there near their sideline. I think it was the second quarter. I thought he was fine.”

Was there fatigue on defense during the last drive?
“I don’t think so. Because of the number of plays guys are playing? No.”

What do you attribute it to?

“I have to do a better job of coaching.”

You have blocking issues all across the board.

“I don’t know about all across the board, but there’s some blocking issues.”

Why is that not progressing? If anything, it looks like it’s regressing.

“I’ve got to do a better job of coaching, it looks like. We’ve got to do a better job of what we’re doing and look at what we’re doing.”

You said you did some things good and some things not good. What were some of the things that were good?

“That were better as a team? Well defensively after the first quarter they settled in. Did a good job. I think they were 6 of 16 on third down. Most of the third downs – you want them all, but the critical ones, we needed to execute a little better on.”

How much does it hurt to see the home winning streak end?

“Home winning streak, away winning streak, any winning streak, you’re disappointed when it’s not there.”

Taco played today. What did you like about him?

“He’s been fortunate enough that he’s been able to improve over the course of the year without having to take full time snaps in a lot of critical situations. We just like how he’s come along. It’s about the right time for him because of how he’s come along to play.”

Is interior defensive line where he can play more?

“That was all in the nickel packages, sub packages. He’s still an outside end, but he’s got the length and the size and as good of quickness as anybody. He’s pretty good inside when you get in the sub packages.”

You were able to generate some offense with some screens and quick passes. Is that something you have to look at more?

“Last week we had that different screen in that we thought was going to be pretty good, and [Michigan State] sniffed that one out pretty good. This new one today was hitters but not consistent hitters. It’s something we tried to do. We threw the rocket to Gallon the one time, hit the windows route one time in there. Some of that stuff, it helps you a little bit, but at the same time, there’s some of it that’s similar when you look at what they did and what we did.”

At some point, do you have to admit that you can’t run the ball and not beat your head against the wall?

“I agree. And yes, you can do that.”

Is Devin holding the ball too long?

“Well I think any time you have negative plays either way, and let me go back to [the previous question]. The negative plays are what kill you on third down. First down negative plays, we snapped the ball again a little high. That was a 10-yard loss, so now you’re second and 20. I think as you watch the tape, he may have held it too long once or twice. I think you also coverage-wise, you have to give them a little credit also. They did a pretty good job on some of the coverage things that they did with Gallon and Funchess.”

You said you needed to do a better job coaching. In what area specifically?

“Just … everything.”

How did you think the other young guys played on defense?

“Willie started last week and played well. Again, I think you get a chance to look at it and grade it and do all that stuff. I know Willie [Henry] made some plays again, which is a good sign. I think Taco forced the sack that Cam got. Did a nice job on a gain. Also did a nice job on a run play in there. Until you really look at it, it’s hard I think for you to make an evaluation that’s fair.”

You mentioned the negative plays that hurt you on third down. What do you attribute that to?

“Because we had negative plays on first down.”

Those have increased, too. What do you attribute it to?

“I think you attribute it to the opponent did a good job, and I have to do a better job coaching our team.”

Looked like the running backs struggled in pass protection.

“That’s something we’re trying to get fixed to be honest with you. Is it a concern? Yeah. It always is. Not tackling, not blocking, not covering. Not throwing the ball, not running good routes. All that stuff is concerning.”

Are you concerned that you’re running out of practice time because it’s November?

“No, because we have three opportunities left. Two of them on the road, one here. Would we like to have played better? Yes. Would we like to have run the ball better? Yes. Would we like to have done a good job on third downs? Yes. And we’ve just got to go to work and keep working at it.”

Did Nebraska bring more pressure than you thought they would?

“I thought they brought a little more.”

What’s the most important thing you need to do as a coach?

“Right now it’s this team being a team. From a staff standpoint and a team standpoint. I tell you, they practiced their tails off. Tuesday and Wednesday they gave as good an effort as any team I’ve been around. The physicalness with which they attack each other and compete. We have to keep doing that.”

Comments

Sten Carlson

November 10th, 2013 at 6:26 PM ^

I've asked this in other threads, and I think it bears repeating given the current circumstances of Team 134.  Before I ask the question though, let me reitterate that I have lost confidence in Borges, Funk, and Jackson, and I think they all need to go.  Hoke on the other hand, I think is a fantastic coach who has hitched his wagon to a bad OC, a bad OLine coach, and a RB coach that needs to retire.

I read angry posters continually demanding "accountability" from this coaching staff.  My question is: what does this "accountability" look like, in your opinion(s)?  In reading the transscript of this, and every presser, I see Hoke continually saying, "we need to coach better..."  What else can he say?  What would make those of you asking for "accountability" feel like his giving you the level of accountability that you're looking for.

Further, I hear lots of people bemoaning the fact that Hoke & Co. talks about a "lack of execution."  But I have to ask, aren't his comments concerning a "lack of execution" him holding the players accountable for doing their jobs?

TennBlue

November 10th, 2013 at 7:11 PM ^

implies that the players know what to do and are capable of doing it - and they screwed it up.  In other words, it's not the coaches' fault.

 

Putting players in positions where they don't have the talent or experience to do what their coaches have told them to do is not "execution" - it's coaching.  The players are not capable of executing their assignments, and the coaches never should have expected them to.

 

If you put a 5-year-old at the controls of a 747, it's going to crash.  You can blame the crash on "lack of execution" of the proper controls, but the real problem is that he was sitting there in the first place.

 

Edit to add:  Hoke may not actually mean it that way, he may be including himself and the coaching staff in the "failure to execute" category.  However, it can be taken as blaming the players when it's stated without qualifiers as to the scope of his statement.

Sten Carlson

November 10th, 2013 at 7:28 PM ^

"The players are not capable of executing their assignments, and the coaches never should have expected them to."

But, what if what the coaches are asking them to do isn't overly complex?  You say this as if you know, for a fact, that the coaching staff is asking the players (specifically on the OL) to do is something that they cannot.  I don't know either, but it seems to me that there only so much simplification that a coaching staff at this level can do.

"If you put a 5-year-old at the controls of a 747, it's going to crash.  You can blame the crash on "lack of execution" of the proper controls, but the real problem is that he was sitting there in the first place."

I don't really care for that analogy, but whatever, I see your point.  I think you inadvertantly raised a point that is a potential causative factor: [they] shouldn't be there in the first place.  Meaning, I think this OL, aside from Lewan and Scofield, is completely staring "by default" because there is nobody else that is even close to ready physically and mentally.  Remember, most of our OLinemen are Freshmen or RS Freshmen.

I don't have a problem with Hoke saying the players didn't execute.  But then, I am a firm believer that failure is the best teacher there is.  I've said this over and over, that I think Hoke is basically FORCING these players to learn to execute the scheme.  I don't know if that is the best way to do it, and I am certain that there are a lot of fans that will get frustrated and start to beat the drums when the wins are harder to find early on.  But, in the long run we might all be thanking Hoke for his determination and dogmatism.  Maybe, maybe not.

Sten Carlson

November 10th, 2013 at 7:49 PM ^

I think Hoke has that "it" that makes a great coach.  He relates well to players, he loves his players, and his players love him.  I think he as passion for the game, and the University of Michigan.  I think he is an elite recruiter, and motivator.  There is just something about him, a gut feeling, a sense, if you wil, that the guy is going to be great at Michigan.  Greatness isn't always instantaneous, especially when you're starting from a deficient position.  If there is one flaw that I see in him, it's that he's hitched his wagon to a seemingly inept OC.

Don

November 10th, 2013 at 8:07 PM ^

I'll give you the recruiting prowess, but I think Brady Hoke has the motivational skills of a lukewarm bowl of plain oatmeal.

"There is just something about him, a gut feeling, a sense, if you wil, that the guy is going to be great at Michigan..."

There's a point at which optimism slides into self-deception. I'm not saying you're there yet, but your gut feeling is hardly proven knowledge.

UM_Columbus

November 11th, 2013 at 7:36 AM ^

but this year "feels" like RR's last, as another poster said. Before the team even lines up for the first snap I find myself resigned to the high probability that things are not going to go well. And it feels like there is nothing in the world that can change this before the final 3 games (+ bowl). Weren't we supposed to be WAY beyond this point by now?!?!

Magnum P.I.

November 11th, 2013 at 11:08 AM ^

I had that gut feeling about Hoke. I really did. It seemed everything was fitting and that Hoke had the it factor, some special knowledge or formula for how to make things work.

Starting with OSU last year, Iayers of that aura have been peeled away, and now it's gone. I started questioning his messiah-ness in the second half of the OSU game. I had my first serious doubts raised after Akron. After last week, he's just another guy to me. If he gets canned, fine. If he turns it around, good for Michigan. I just want M to play respectably. I don't care anymore if Brady Hoke is the guy to do it.

There's no more gold poop.

Sten Carlson

November 11th, 2013 at 11:38 AM ^

Well Thomas, I think you lack resolve and commitment.  I keep going back to the roster, and I'll do it again.  You seem like one of the guys that keeps saying, "Michigan has the talent..."  If the OSU game began to erode your faith, Akron furthered the erosion, and then you've now totally lost it, it's because you don't understand the roster issues that are driving the seeming decline.

Again, '11 was a charmed year with a very motivated and determined group of seniors.  Michigan lucked its way to an 11 win season, and a BCS Bowl win.  Fine, since that time it's been in rebuilding mode, and after Denard left, it lost the one real threat that it had offensively, not to mention a bevy of upperclassmen on the OLine.

Michigan is rebuilding.  You can offer up as many "if's and but's" as you want, but almost NOTHING that we're seeing is actually Hoke's fault.  Now I will say that Borges is calling some odd plays and probably isn't the guy Michigan needs going forward.  But, Hoke is trying to cobble together a squad from a position of weakness, not strength.  I would encourage your get back into Hoke's camp, Michigan needs all the positive thoughts it can get right now. 

As Yost said, it's easy to cheer when things are going your way.  It's much harder (and more important) to stay positive and support the team (including the coach) when things aren't going so well -- especially when rebuilding.

mGrowOld

November 10th, 2013 at 6:32 PM ^

What I took out of the press conference is our OC is running an offense the HC endorses and supports.   And for about the fifth or sixth straigh week he has said HE needs to do better coaching without offering up any specifics of what that means.

So take out of it what you will. As I've said many times - I would''ve sacked Funk long ago and replaced with a GA.  It would've sent a strong message that this performance is intollerable and Hoke isnt afraid to make changes.  But that didnt happen and now I don't think it will happen even when the season ends.  And if Funk has job security.....EVERYBODY has job security - results be damned.

EDIT: Sten - I'd love to see Borges himself take some responsibility for shitty coaching.  Let me know if that has happened even once this year.  Hoke does it ad nauseum.  Borges - not so much.

michman79

November 10th, 2013 at 6:39 PM ^

I am so sick of people saying he deserves 5 years. No one gets 5 years. RR got 3. Not this year but he better be in Indy next year and competitive with the relevant players.

Soulfire21

November 10th, 2013 at 7:02 PM ^

RR was also 15-22, opened with a school record 9 loss season, and made it to one bowl game (where we were blown to bits).  Hoke is 25-10, opened with an 11-2 season and BCS bowl win, and has made it to a bowl 3 times in a row--narrowly losing to a talented SC team last season.

The comparison of RRs results to Hoke's is simply laughable.

Maaly

November 10th, 2013 at 6:44 PM ^

Progress was made this presser, although the "I have to do a better job coaching" means absolutely nothing because he's not really an x's and o's guy on either side of the ball so I don't know how he's going to help Borges/Mattison.
 

mgoman

November 10th, 2013 at 6:48 PM ^

He's a football coach, of course he is going to keep some stuff on the inside. He isn't going to throw Borges under the bus in public, but he might be doing so privately.

Hoke is taking full responsibility for the coaching of his team here, as he said over and over again. 

It's clear this team is close to a complete meltdown, it's Hoke's job to stay level headed.

Hoke is probably going to make coaching changes after the season, we should wait until next year for a clear verdict on Hoke.

BiSB

November 10th, 2013 at 7:00 PM ^

I remember Clinton's third State of the Union, where he was all "America's play-calling has been unacceptable. We can do better, we must do better, and we WILL do better. I have made it clear to the the Secretary of the Offense that the wasting of America's first downs will not be tolerated in this administration." 

ccarna

November 10th, 2013 at 6:59 PM ^

Refined specifics.......

1.) Fire Borges now! This must happen or we will lose recruits. It is actually possible to play call around a struggling OL.....(ie;Indiana) I truly think that this could be a great team with good O play calling and teaching, but not under some cocky jerk who blames the players.

2.) Fire Funk now! He obviously doesn't know what he is doing. Other teams have freshman and walkon's who can play the OL just fine.

3.) Fire Welman now! How can all of the lines be so week. With both the D and O lines doing so poorly there must be a strength and cond. issue.

4.) Hire a QB coach both Denard and Devin never reached their potential due to not having a QB coach. Borges' not being able to work with other coaches is another reason to can him (what he said regarding having a QB coach)

5.) Fire Borges now! Should have been done after he threw away last year's OSU game through pure stupidity! Didn't even pass the "man on the street test" on the play calling on that one.

Hoke is a good figurehead and recruiter, but that's it, so he needs the best assistants. Other teams hire the best not a bunch of MAC guys (WAC, whatever), that no one else wanted. Michigan can hire the best. If Hoke doesn't step up to these deficiencies than he needs to go. And my god the clock management is abysmal!!! I certainly hope that Hoke isn't responsible for that. Not playing the end of the 1st half and "leaving it in the hands" of the defense" is archaic football crap......Get Borges some diapers if he has to pee and can't wait until the half is over! Oh Yeh, we fired him, right????

Ali G Bomaye

November 10th, 2013 at 7:11 PM ^

I hope the plan for improvement isn't just "do the same things, but better." If things aren't working, it's the coach's job to change them.

People have noted that Hoke's style is to delegate. That's fine, but ultimate responsibility rests with him to get this fixed.

Wee-Bey Brice

November 10th, 2013 at 7:24 PM ^

Seriously what do people expect him to say? Coach speak exists for a reason. Coaches and players go through media training. They're trained to give vague answers so as not to come across sounding like an asshole. Hoke saying "ya know.. Borges really stunk it up today" doesn't help anyone inside the locker room and im sure it wouldn't help with recruits. Within the coaching fraternity, he'd lose respect from his peers for doing that because if he felt like the plan wasn't good he could've handled that during preparation earlier this week. It wouldn't be a good representation of him as a coach or the university. 

The team is not doing well, the coaching isn't good right now but get a grip. The answers you were looking for just aren't good answers outside of making MGoBlog users feel better, which  doesn't matter all that much in reality. He said "I have to coach better", how is that not acknowledging that there is a problem? M fans think way too highly of themselves. 

mcbronco

November 10th, 2013 at 7:27 PM ^

Has anyone stopped to think that Hoke's only good year was with Rich Rods guys and offense and it has been downhill ever since?  Not that I was a Rich Rod fan...he had to go...but Hoke is on the same path taking the program down.  If Borges isn't gone then Hoke and all of them should go.  How hard is it for opponents to stop us when my buddies and I are calling the plays before we run them from the stands?

jmblue

November 10th, 2013 at 10:55 PM ^

I thought 2012 was not that bad of a year, given that we played what turned out to be brutal schedule - the #1, #2 and #3 teams in the country, none of them at home, plus another top 10 team in the bowl and Nebraska when our QB got injured.

 

MGoStrength

November 10th, 2013 at 7:33 PM ^

He seems to still beleive we are a B1G championship caliber team if we just execute.  He thinks they just need to coach them harder, but with the same strategy.  We are nowhere near that.  We need to execute just to keep from imploding and moving backwards every time we get the ball.  It's not the effort from the coaches that's the problem it's the wholesale scheme/philosophy.  

 

Hoke needs to say listen, what we are doing isn't working.  We are broken.  We have a philosophy and a belief in what we want Michigan to be, but we are simply not capable of being that just yet.  We have faith in our kids and they are giving their best effort, but we are young in key positions which keep us from doing what we beleive in as a style of play.  So, instead we need to adjust and give the players a scheme they are capable of executing and then installing where we eventually want to go a little bit at a time.  And then, actually spend all week drilling those few things we can do well and give up on the rest until the offseason.

 

All this is purely selfish and I know Hoke will never say this in public, but I hope he at least is saying it in private.

Mgodiscgolfer

November 10th, 2013 at 7:33 PM ^

of  seeing opposing running backs run through the smallest of holes full speed to get at least two or three yards. Then watch Fitz stop at the line do a side step dance move and lose two or three yards. Another thing that burns my behind is Devin sticking his hand out to blitzing line backers or D lineman instead of throwing the ball out of bounds, play over for no loss 2nd and ten. But Noooo he gets sacked because the said defender won't go away pushes his hand aside and tackles him for a ten yard loss 2nd and 20.

Swayze Howell Sheen

November 10th, 2013 at 7:40 PM ^

i'm all with the frustration, etc., but to point to a press conference as meaningful in any way, well, that's just silly.

he mostly said "gotta coach better" which is reasonable.

let's see what happens.

if the guys don't give up and play OSU to a close game, we'll probably all look at this differently. yes, i know, a bit optimistic...

 

Sten Carlson

November 10th, 2013 at 7:43 PM ^

"Has anyone stopped to think that Hoke's only good year was with Rich Rods guys and offense and it has been downhill ever since?"

mcbronco,

you need to qualify that statement my friend.  Hokes best year was '11 and the team was lead by a very small, but determined, group of upperclassmen few of whom (IIRC) were recruited by RR.  Despite having some early offensive struggles, Michigan's OL gelled and was lead by the Rimington Award winner David Molk.  Further, the DL was anchored in the center by Mike Martin, and RVB, two players who totally blossomed under Hoke and Mattison system and coaching.

The upperclassmen onTeam 134 are RR's guys, they were recruited in '09 and '10, and it is the weakness and deficiencies in those two classes that has Michigan (at least in part) in the situation it is in today.  There are very few upperclassmen, especially on the OL.

Don

November 10th, 2013 at 7:52 PM ^

For the first time since 1962, I can honestly assert in all seriousness that the godforsaken Detroit Lions are a better team in a given season—2013—than the Michigan Wolverines.

Have we had some lousy Michigan teams in the recent past? Of course, but the Lions have always been worse; in 2008-09, the Lions were 0-16 and 2-14.

Am I saying that the Lions this year are a great team? Absolutely not, but Team 134 has sadly proven to be a burgeoning clusterfuck, a team whose players are trying their best but failing repeatedly, and who are being coached by men whose decisions are frequently inexplicable and whose achievements appear transitory.

 

jmblue

November 10th, 2013 at 11:01 PM ^

Huh?  They were legitimately better than us in all three RR years.  From 2008-10, they went 9-4, 6-7 (4-4 in conference) and 11-2 to our 3-9, 5-7 (1-7 in conference) and 7-6. 

Last year, OTOH, we finished ahead of them, both overall and in our division, and won the game, so how were they better?

 

TheJuiceman

November 10th, 2013 at 7:46 PM ^

I appreciate that he's obviously heard everyone and their Mom saying he only blames the players (does he read this blog FerGodsakes????), and is finally taking responsibility, but that "I've got to do a better job", tagline is very concerning. Sounds like DB or somebody told him to say it almost.

It also sounds like a man with no answers, that has simply given in to that he doesn't know WTF he's doing at this particular level of ball. Either that or he's being cynical, and really does blame the players.  I underdstand that he's not going to be very forthcoming with the media on in-house matters, but he offers not a follow up statement to speak of after his little tagline, a tagline that almost requires a word or two of explanation, no? It's downright bizarre IMO and concerns the hell out of me.

I highly, highly, highly doubt that he'll be gone anytime soon, but he's coming apart at the seams and is showing a meathead/lineman type of loyalty and willingness to fall on the sword that you rarely see in a high level HC. DB can't be loving this. That's the good news for us.

 

PS...For those that still advocate for Hoke staying, ask yourself, do you really think this guy is leading the discussion as to what tactical adjustments can be made to fix what's wrong? Ever? No you don't. Now ask yourself who is...

TheJuiceman

November 10th, 2013 at 8:34 PM ^

I agree that it's not necessarily crippling, but your coordinators have to be uber competent in that case. At least one of his is not. Also, you don't have to be a coordinator to have the ability to guide strategy or to make tactical adjustments yourself. Seriously. If you're a B1G HC, and you lack that ability, then you are in the wrong place my friend. Frankly, after what we went through with RR,I'd say that taking the risk in 2011 of hiring a guy like that was not very smart. No 20/20 either. Especially with two, end- of the road coordinators that are both older than 50. Js

Sten Carlson

November 10th, 2013 at 8:02 PM ^

I think you need to be very careful about assuming that Hoke lacks intelligence or that Michigan is anything but Hoke's team.  Personally, I don't think you, nor anyone, truly understands what is going on inside the program away from the cameras. 

This is the first real adversity that Hoke has face since taking over the program.  As Teddy Roosevelt aptly said, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

Let's see how the big guy handles this adversity.  For all we know, this could be THE defining moment in Hoke career at Michigan.  I have faith in him, and the players.  They're struggling, no doubt.  But, I think failure and struggle are the best teacher. 

Go Blue!

mGrowOld

November 10th, 2013 at 8:20 PM ^

Sten:

I have to give you props.  On one of the darkest days of the board in recent memory you have definitely provided optomism where not many find any (me especially).  I really hope, for all of our sake, that what you are projecting on Hoke is accurate and he does deal with this situation and doesnt just hope it goes away on his own.  Obviously we see the future a bit differently but that's OK - I honestly hope you are right.

You win the mGrowOld "glass is half full" award for the night.  Good job!

Sten Carlson

November 10th, 2013 at 8:53 PM ^

LOL Thanks mGrowOld, you crack me up!

I am, through a concerted effort, a very positive person.

Think about it this way.  You're a college football coach, and you've landed your dream job, one that you want to be your last stop.  You've taken over the program coming off an historic low.  You unify the fanbase, you get an 11 win season in your first season, have a so-so/disappointing season in your second season, and seem to be on your way to another, even more, disappointing season.  Do you just let it slip away, go back to the MAC and say, "I gave it my best shot..."  Fuck no.  Hoke is fighter, a guy that isn't going to just sit back and let his dream job be taken from him. 

I am serious about failure and advertisty being a requirement for greatness.  I think many people in here are totally selling Hoke short.  I think 2011 was a blessing and a curse.  I am not saying it wasn't fun, and important for the program and for Hoke.  But, I think it deluded a lot Michigan fans into thinking that the situation was different than it was.  In fact, I personally thought the situation after 2011 was going to be FAR WORSE.  I've spent way too much time studying the Michigan roster -- it started in my defense of RR.  I am 100% convinced that what Michigan is going through is roster/recruiting related.

I think Fitz was NEVER a good RB, but he benefitted from a decent/good OL (lead by Molk) and one of the deadliest running QB's of all time.  Since that time, he's done absolutely nothing.  I am not saying the OL has been great, but he's been totally useless.  I remember one run in the MSU game in which, amazingly, MSU didn't hit him in the back field, and he actually had some running room.  He stopped in the hold, sort of stood still and then lunged forward for a 4-5 yard gain.  At least Green, on of his few carries, slammed into the hole, took on the LB, kept his legs moving, and fell forward for 4 yards against Nebraska.

What I am getting at is that in studying the roster (or lack there of) I feel strongly that the players Hoke inherited, for the most part, weren't very good, and it's become worse every year.  Add to that the fact that there are so few upperclassmen, and you have what we're seeing. 

Frankly, I am not surprised in the least as I completely and vehementy disagree with people that say, "we have more talent than..." or "we have more than enough talent..." No, no we don't.  I am sorry to say that because I love the guys for their effort, but they're NO WHERE near the level that Michigan was used to, and it shows.  I find it very telling how much better MSU is than Michgan right now.  Most players on MSU's roster are from Michigan, and all those upperclassmen chose MSU over Michigan under RR.  It's not like they were all guys that Michigan overlooked, like in the past.  Whiners parrot this "Dantonio coaches up 2-3 star guys..." horseshit.  They whine, "how could UCONN and Akron have more talent."  Well, they do.  If they didn't they wouldn't be able to push Michigan around.  Again, sorry to say it, but it's the truth and if Michigan fans cannot get their minds around that fact, if they cannot see how bad things had become at the end of Carr's tenure and under RR, then you're in for a fuck ton of misery for a few more years.

Hoke is going to be great, you'll see.  I think he need to shake up the OC, OL, and RB coaching, but he's got the pipeline open and flowing, and we'll be great, it's just going to take some time.  Better hope that DB give it to him because if he doesn't, I fear for the future of this program.  DB knows this, I am certain of that, and he's going to do the right things.

Sten Carlson

November 10th, 2013 at 9:15 PM ^

Res ipsa loquitur my friend res ipsa loquitur.  So you think that Hoke & Co.'s coaching is so utterly deficient that teams like Arkon and UConn, given the talent differential that YOU seem to think is in place, could so substantially dominate Michigan?  No chance.  I've played too many sports to believe that it is coaching.  It's talent, plain and simple and Michigan ain't got it, or if it does, it's almost all at the early end of the roster.  Sorry dude, you can continue to believe in the "Michigan Myth" as I call it, but that myth was busted for me in 2008.

BlueGoM

November 10th, 2013 at 10:09 PM ^

Go and check the recruiting for Akron.  Check their record.  Check how many wins they've had over the past few years.  They DO NOT have the talent level Michigan has.

People were blaming talent for the defense when RR was here.  Mattison came in and showed what coaching can do. Turned the defense from inept to competent in one year.

Sten Carlson

November 11th, 2013 at 12:23 AM ^

So why did they completely stuff Michigan's running game? Do you think Fuke is so blitheringly incompetent that he cannot coach these supposedly more talented Michigan OLinemen well enough to block the defense of one of the worst teams in the nation? You guys want to heap it all on the coaches because you're 100% convinced its not the talent level because this is Michigan, and we have more talent. Well, again, why the inability to block? Even if Funk was a soccer coach whose only qualification was that he skimmed a book on coaching OLine play you'd expect the more talented Michigan OL to beat up on Akron. I mean, there kids played OL in high school right? Did they suddenly forget how to block? Is the blocking THAT much different than what they did then? Did Funk suddenly forget all the technique he's spent a career teaching? You guys ask one to take a lot of leaps, and I'm not willing to take them. To me, the simplest explanation is that the guys just aren't that good. Can they get better, of course. But as I said, they're a "default" starting unit for the most part.

Sure we said the same thing about the defense in '10 then Mattison gets ahold of them and they improved dramatically. Well, first off there is nothing to say this '13 won't see the same improvement, and the talented players, like MM and RVB, improved but several did not because they weren't that good and no amount of coaching was going to make them so.

We don't know what's going to happen, that's what make it so fun. Many fans are shamefully writing off any chance of improvement, and are selling the players and staff short. They're not talented enough right now to push those teams around, and certainly not talented enough to deal with MSU's defense. Will they become so? I dunno, but I think they're in good hands and the future is bright. If you don't, so be it. Keep believing we're so superior to everyone and it MUST be the coaches and see what happens if you get your wish. Replace the OC, fine. Replace the OL coach if a sacrifical lamb is needed. Tell Jackson it's time to retire and hire Hart or Wheatley, great! But Hoke is going to bring Michigan back, you mark my words.

aiglick

November 11th, 2013 at 12:59 AM ^

You are preaching to the choir. There are some people who are calling for Hoke but most of the board seems to be on the "let's get rid of Borges, Funk, and Jackson" bandwagon. At this point it is well documented that Borges has called a lot of stinker games and defenses know what is coming. He should be gone.

Jackson has been a great coach for UM but it may be time to get some new young blood since it's been a while since we've had a truly dominant back.

Funk I may actually be starting to question a little. The O Line is in shambles now sure but a lot of that is the youth of the line. They haven't gotten better as the season has gone on but I think the bigger question would be Lewan and Schofield. have they gotten better under three years of Funk? If so this may be some evidence to retain him but as you say the situation may require a sacrificial lamb.

You say a few years more of this but if we make good hires on the offensive side of the ball next year could start to already be a lot better. We will have three (hopefully) solid Hoke classes on the roster. In 2015 it will basically be entirely Hoke's team. I agree with you the future is bright if we make the changes. If we don't and keep all three of those coaches well it could be very bad. We will know in a few weeks and months.

TennBlue

November 10th, 2013 at 9:11 PM ^

about Rodriguez's defense in 2010.  They just were young/untalented/whatever and there was nothing to be done about it.  Then Mattison came in and showed what a bit of coaching can do.

 

Youth and inexperience is part of the problem, no question.  However, a decent coach would find a way to make some plays work despite that.  The level of ineptitude we're seeing goes far beyond the players into how and what they're being taught and evaluated on.

 

Either the players are executing these plays in practice (which means practice is insufficiently rigorous at simulating game condidtions) or they're not exectuing them in practice (in which case, why the hell are they being asked to do it in a game?).  Both of those conditions  go straight to the coaching staff. 

 

Stop kidding yourself that there's nothing the coaches can do.