Wednesday Presser 10-1-14: Brady Hoke Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 1st, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Hoke presser 2


News bullets and other items:

  • It’s all in the statement
  • We don’t talk about injuries
  • Devin Gardner will be the starting quarterback against Rutgers

Opening remarks:

“Number one, thanks for coming as always. We appreciate you being here. Secondly, it was good for us as a team to get back on the field yesterday. It's always nice to get back to work, I think, coaching football and our guys getting together. They enjoyed the practice and what we got done. I think there is very much a competitive spirit and they’re excited about the opportunity to go to Rutgers and play. This is the two oldest FBS teams who play football, so I think that's an added plus.

“Rutgers [is a] very well coached football team, I think. They’re hard-nosed. You watch The tape, you watch them run around and they are 4-1. They had a close loss at home to Penn State early in the year. Led by a quarterback in Gary Nova who has broken the school record for touchdowns. Leads a very talented offense, very explosive. They have five returning starters on the offensive line back, so the experience level there. It's a physical team. Averaging 160 yards – 176 yards a carry [Ed: He meant per game. You’d think it’s been a long week or something] right now rushing and 30 points a game. Very active defense. They lead the Big Ten in sacks. They have some guys who really do a great job of chasing the ball. I think their quickness at the line of scrimmage is something that we’ll have to contend with and will present some challenges, but we’re excited about the opportunity. Playing at night is going to be a lot of fun and a great atmosphere.

Listen, there have been several apologies and statements that have been issued from the University, pledges to do better in certain areas including communication. To what extent do you feel you share in the responsibility and can help improve sideline communication?
“Well, I think from the start when you're a leader you’ve got to take responsibility, and I take responsibility for our student-athletes and I take it for their health and welfare. But I'll also make it clear that I don't make decisions when injuries [occur], and that shouldn't be a coach’s decision. That's why we have some of the best trainers, some of the best doctors in the country. We are fortunate here at Michigan because those are the type of people we attract and they will unchallenged have the authority to make those decisions.”

Hey coach, were you caught off by Dave Brandon's statement? It just seems like some of the information he released totally conflicted with some of the stuff you said on Monday.
“I don't think so. I think they worked very hard on getting it right in the statement. I think when you talk about evaluating the different things that we need to evaluate, I think that was all handled in the statement.”

[After THE JUMP: Statements about The Statement]

Coach, I know you answered this on Monday but there's been the statement since by the University about the fact that there will be certain areas looked at, ways to improve communication. Will you wear a headset more regularly starting this weekend?
“No, I won't. I really- that’s something that I've explained a lot. It allows me to coach guys on the sideline. I've got a guy right behind me who is telling me everything that I need to know as far as that's concerned but I think it helps when you want to be hands-on, a hands-on coach. Both coordinators are on the field. I have great respect for both of those guys and how they prepare our defense and our offense and also in the information that we talk about on the sidelines.”

Brady, you mentioned the statement earlier from Dave. Did you at all feel, given what it seemed like you knew or expected was happening on Monday, sort of hung out to dry there by him at all in the way he handled that the rest of the day?
“You know, someone else asked me that. Not at all. I believe this: number one, the statement covers what we all have done to go through this. Secondly, Dave Brandon and I have a great relationship. A relationship that's built on trust, that's been built on integrity, that's been built on character. We also understand the leadership roles that we both have. I think Dave being a former player here and playing for Coach Schembechler, I think obviously he understands those expectations that we all have and that is that we want to win football games, we want to mentor kids so that they learn great life lessons, and we want to do it representing Michigan with high integrity and high character.”

So when you came and talked with us on Monday you said that to your knowledge Shane had no concussion and you said you hadn’t spoken with Dave on Sunday or Saturday or prior on Monday. Is that, in fact, the case?

“Well, it's all in the statement. I believe it’s all in there.”

So you stand by what you told us on Monday at 12:30?

“Well, I'm telling you it's all in the statement.”

Coach, can you just talk about your biggest concern about pass protection so far with the offensive line? Is there one thing that concerns you the most about it?

“Well, and I touched on this a little bit the other day [but] we’ve got to do a better job as eleven playing together; eleven playing as one. We cut some guy loose because we were a little over-aggressive, and we cut some guys loose because we hadn’t picked it up the right way from a backfield standpoint, and we cut some guys loose because our quarterback hasn’t stepped up in the pocket and really used the pocket, and then there’s also a route that’s not run, a hot that’s not read. So we’ve got fundamentally those things are what we’ve been really concentrating on when you look at the football end of it.”

Obviously there’s been a lot of negativity, as you know, around this program. A) how are you dealing with it and then I guess the second thing is what’s your message to Michigan fans that this is still salvageable, that things are going to be different, that you are the right guy for this job?

“Well, that’s a question that I’m sure always has to be answered, but the one thing I can tell you [is] our attitude in this building, our attitude as players- I think the way their work ethic is and how they’ve gone about every day that they’ve been in here, it’s been unbelievably positive. We all understand we’ve got to be better. We all understand frustration, because we all have frustration but at the same time there’s 115 young men who’re busting their butt to represent this program just like the coaches are.”

Do you think it’s been fair, though; some of the reaction?

“I don’t look at that stuff. You can tell me that stuff. I don’t look at that. I never have, win or lose. You’ve got a job to do, and that’s with 115 young kids.”

A lot has been said about communication or lack thereof. What specific actions have been made to correct those problems [and] improve communications?

“Well, the protocol has been looked at and I know it’s in the statement. Obviously those are ongoing, they’ve evaluated and that’s one thing I think is special about Michigan; they haven’t shied away from it.”

Jabrill wasn’t on the sideline last week, or at least I didn’t see him during the game. What was so sever that he can’t stand there even if he’s injured, and do you expect that to change this weekend?

“You know I’m not going to talk about injuries.”

A lot of other injured guys were on the field, on the sideline.

“But we’ve had other guys who haven’t.”

Do you expect Jabrill to play on Saturday?

“We’re not going to talk about injuries. Is he hurt? Yes.”

Do you know yet if Devin will be your quarterback on Saturday?

“He will be our quarterback, and we have great belief in Devin. We have great belief in what he has done. I think the leadership that he has demonstrated with a lot of adversity, I think he’s done a tremendous job and I think his teammates and we all have belief in him.

I know you want to stand by the statement but there are some indiscrepancies between- or discrepancies, sorry, between what the statement said and what you said. Do you know that those will ever be cleared up, and do you think it’s fair that you and your players are the ones answering those questions as opposed to Dave and other people in the athletic department?

“Well, this is a big family, this university is. And that’s the way we look at it. The statement itself is what we stand by.”

If Devin’s going to be the quarterback then who’ going to be the backup?

“Well, right now Russell and Wilton have been competing and challenging and it’ll be one of those two. I would say it’d be Russell first.”

Coach, can you talk about with the controversy that has been swirling have your players rallied to that? Do you sense that-

“I think that’s a great question for them, because they will let you know. Believe me, I’m not in the locker room. The only thing I can tell you is how they came out to practice yesterday, how they’ve been in today with their lifting and the energy that they have and the excitement they have about getting another opportunity to play.”

Brady, as far as transparency and honesty goes there’s a lot of people questioning how honest everyone has been in the process. Do you guys feel like you have been completely honest throughout the process?

“Yeah, I mean, the statement itself- look, that wasn’t something that was just done. There was a lot of time, a lot of effort put into all of it so that we could cover everything that had to do with the incident.”

As far as accountability goes, people are expecting some kind of action usually in these situations. Do you think any punishment should be handed out?

“I’m not going to answer a hypothetical because that’s not something I want to deal with.”

Coach, obviously have two deals here. One, on-field struggles and two, another circumstance that has been in the news. So combining those things, what have you come up with as your specific message this week to your players? What have you asked them to do? What have you told them to do? What have you reminded them of this week?

“Well, number one, I think this: I think there isn’t any doubt that our guys, and people can take everything they want but they can’t take your attitude and our guys have a tremendous attitude about being a teammate and caring about each other, and how they practice and how they play. The effort and the competitiveness and the spirit that they went out yesterday with was second to none and I’m excited about where they’re at and they know that we all are in it together. It’s not players/coaches, coaches/players, it’s all of us and we all have a part to take of it and it starts with me, and I like where our football mindset is and where our team’s at.”



October 1st, 2014 at 5:45 PM ^

and off camera, he had a penchant for swearing like an I-94 trucker pounding one out in a Joliet gas station bathroom.

Hoke is definitely in over his head and the team is 2-3. He's not an eloquent man. He's not a politician.  He's incompetent. He's all these things, so what more do you want from him? Michigan hired a former DL line coach and thought someone of his caliber could play HC.  I think that reflects more negatively on the University of Michigan Athletic Department than it does on the remnants of Hoke's Ball State undergrad education from the late 1970s.


October 1st, 2014 at 5:29 PM ^

He is absolutely right about the release statement.
"I think they worked very hard on getting it right in the statement."
Yes, Coach Hoke, you felt the bus tires, I'm sure. I don't think he's competent enough to be the coach at Michigan, but I don't think he's dumb enough to not know how he's being overrun by a terrible AD.

Huntington Wolverine

October 1st, 2014 at 9:20 PM ^

The noble medical staff that resisted DB's language in the statement would surely be going public if this wasn't true - if they say a kid can't go, the kid doesn't go. Hoke has a track record in this area of heeding medical staff and being very cautious (bring JMFR and Butt back from injuries; also wouldn't surprise me if Kalis's back is still a nagging injury)


October 1st, 2014 at 9:29 PM ^

The medical staff determine if a player is fit to play and the coaches abide by that decision. The coaches make the decision whether a player hurt. injured or not is est left in or pulled based on their play and the best interest of the team and program.

Not even a moderately good straw man. 


October 1st, 2014 at 5:38 PM ^

Every time I listen to or watch one of Hoke's pressers, I immediately become sarcastic and cynical.

The level of BS and the manner in which Hoke spews his excuses for senteneces is simply unacceptable coming from a representative of the University of Michgian.

Carr never gave a lot of information, which didn't always make me happy, but he sounded articulate most of the time. Even Richrod was an order of magnitude better than Hoke.

Was it always this bad, or are treating things differently because of our dislike for where things stand?

Red is Blue

October 1st, 2014 at 9:41 PM ^

I want to like Hoke, I really do.  By, almost all accounts he is a really nice guy and loves Michigan.  I've been thinking about the Morris situation and I really don't think it was done with bad intent.  Being down 23 to Minny, I think Hoke finally realized that his run was probably over.  I think he really believed that the team would turn it around and maybe run the table in the B1G, but the Minny result brought home the fact that this was a fantasy, and thus Hoke was probably in a state of shock/disbelief/whatever.  The Morris incident was a function of Hoke being mentally distracted and not focused on the game.  I suppose you could argue it was "incompetance", but I really think it was he didn't act competently in that incident with respect to player safety.  A small, but important difference.

Nonetheless, I then read these pressers and get pissed.  For the love of whatever you want to love, Hoke needs to come off as open and willing to learn/improve.  But he comes off as a stubborn idiot. 



October 1st, 2014 at 5:44 PM ^

I think the writing is on the wall that Hoke will make it through the end of the year.  Hopefully, Brandon has been told NOT to fire Hoke because Brandon is going to get fired.  However, I am afraid of Stephen Ross money retaining Brandon.  If that's the case, I think the timeline of this week will also ensure that Hoke stays through the end of the year.  If he's made it through this much of the storm, he will make it through until the end of the year.  It's like a car wreck where you just have to look....As an aside, I do wonder what traffic on MGOBLOG has looked like this week!!


October 1st, 2014 at 6:09 PM ^

Do you think Ross is such a complete idiot as to continue to support a failing director and coach because they're, like, his pals and because he said (before Shanegate) he would? Are YOU that dim well then probably he isn't either.

Honestly people have strange ideas about how the wealthy operate. They don't like to back a loser any more than anyone else, and lots of them are pretty hard nosed about performance. Ross is a really smart donor, he wont throw his weight behind a lost cause once it is clearly lost.

(There is no way to edit the detritus below on ios8 iPhone because the keyboard is in the way sorry.)

performance. about perchance.


October 1st, 2014 at 6:13 PM ^

It's the Stephen Ross money that makes me nervous about the likelihood of dumping Brandon. 11,000 people may sign a petition but they, collectively, don't donate as much money to the school as Ross does with a single check.  You can bet that Schlissel and the regents are very aware of this fact.

I suspect that Hoke knows that the end may be near.  It cannot be fun to have to go to work every day with the likelihood of being fired at the end of the season hanging over your head, even if such action is deserved based on your team's performance.  As Hoke said, this is a big boy business


October 1st, 2014 at 9:48 PM ^

The entire athletic department makes around $115 million give or take. It nets around $12 - $15 million give or take. Ross gave $100 million to the athletic department free and clear. So that's what 6-8 years of net earnings? 

That money if invested probably can pay for all the football staff costs and the non-structural ongoing cost for the football program in perpettuity and maybe more. 

Yes guys like Ross carry a lot of weight with the university, and they should. Even if I disaagree with them, they pour an incredible amount of support into the university. It's up to the university if these guys ask for to much in return. Sometimes I think the U should say no thanks, sometimes I think it's obvious they should take the money. 

Now the fan base is the first or second largest in college football. That's millions of people. Millions of people can over power the contributions of any single individual. But the millions of Michigan football fans don't have anything like the viewpoint that the thousands or tens of thousands here do. Hell an honest poll of everyone here would find that we are splintered in many ways. There is a good chance that a completely anonomous poll of everyone who follows or comments here would find that a large minority and possibly a narrow majority don't want to dump Brandon. 

Mgoblog is the largest single program sports blog, but it hardly represents the views of all the fans of Michigan sports. Which, from time to time, various folks here assert with pride. 

As long as the money guys are behind Brandon there is a good chance he goes nowhere. I may not like that, but an unemotional assessment supports that view.


October 1st, 2014 at 5:47 PM ^

The only statement I've seen from this team this year came in the form of DG getting laid the fuck out in garbage time by ND and then left on the field to pick his own ass up while his teamates walked off the field.


That's a statement of a team that isn't really a team. 

That's the statement. 



October 1st, 2014 at 5:47 PM ^

Hate to be that guy...but I'm tired of all the typos!

"There was a lot of time, a lot of effort put into all of it so that we could cover up everything that had to do with the incident."




October 1st, 2014 at 5:50 PM ^

Wellllllll, This happened, and nobody cared... That's the statement of the statemen. If you just look at the statement, you'll see it right there, in the statement. 


A functioning team does not leave their star player out to hang like this. At that point in the game, I would have celebrated some ass kickings on the field. 

Huntington Wolverine

October 1st, 2014 at 9:24 PM ^

Look at the attention of the players in the screen capture. All of them are doing exactly what I want them to do in the case of an interception - pursuing the ball carrier to try and prevent a TD return. You and others are questioning some bs 'manhood card' that doesn't exist while they were focused on the matter at hand. 

Spontaneous Co…

October 1st, 2014 at 5:51 PM ^

"The effort and the competitveness...was second to none."

Second to none means first.  At least we are the best at something.

Seriously though, while it is great that everyone is working so hard, if true, that really proves that the coaching is god awful.  Second to none effort by highly talented players should show itelf on the field, unless all that effort is improperly focused.

All of his pressers beg the rhetorical, never-to-be-asked follow up, "Coach, we get it.  Everyone is working hard and has a great attitude.  And we can't see how hard all the kids are practicing and how hard the coaches are working.  The question is, what are you all working so hard at, because it obviously isn't football?"

I loved reading the Todd Howard piece yesterday and I loved his enthusiasm and loyalty.  But the Brady Hoke he saw in action had a small coaching role, and it is a role we probably would all love to have Brady responsible for now.  He has no idea whether Brady can handle the current job and the on-field results speak for themselves.  It doesn't mean Coach Hoke is a bad guy.  It just means he royally sucks at fielding a winning Michigan football team.  So let's do everyone a favor and remove him from a position he is failing miserably at.  It is ironic that he recognizes that the most important thing a coach can do is try to game plan such the player's strengths are maximized and the weaknesses are minimized.  Because he is apparently in a position where his strengths are minimized (other than recruiting) and his weaknesses are maximized. 




October 1st, 2014 at 7:32 PM ^

Hoke's lucky he got his dream job for three years. He had his moment in the sun. Now it's over.  Nothing to feel sorry for him about. Time to move on. Why feel sorry for him? There's a lot of nice guys in the world. Nice guy or not, we need someone who can coach high level college football.


October 1st, 2014 at 5:52 PM ^

Hoke is a 250lb guy on roller skates backwards and that's seldom pretty.  Nevertheless, for the sakes of the players and fans can we PLEASE redirect some attention to the game with Rutgers?  
It's practically Thursday, the contest is on Saturday, and I've been compelled to review native Rutgers sources for information and I'm beyond tired of 'Jersey custom and mentality already.  We can beat these bottom feeders, let's get down to it, shall we?  
Winningest college football program of all time irrespective of Doctor Brady-Brandon, MD.

rob f

October 1st, 2014 at 5:59 PM ^

and try to have a productive evening at home, but after reading what Hoke had to say at that presser, I just mixed myself another one and doubled up on the vodka.


October 1st, 2014 at 6:25 PM ^

1) before he's fired, Brady might want to understand what a hypothetical questions is.  Then again maybe not.  2)  Good to know he's not wearing a headset as these are intended only for coaches who want to know what is going on. It's best if he doesn't.  3)  If he really leans into his clapping and back-slapping I think we can double our offensive output from last Saturday, That gives us 6 pts.  4) If the defense can hold Ruckers to 5 pts or less we're golden. 5) Not going to happen,  Oh shoot.  More clapping...please.


October 1st, 2014 at 6:10 PM ^

Somebody needs to help that man out to determine what a "great relationship" would look like. I am really not seeing it from my side, looks like your buddy is fine hanging you out to dry.