Wednesday presser 9-12-18: Al Washington Comment Count

Ethan Sears September 13th, 2018 at 1:44 AM




Things discussed

  • Khaleke Hudson: Good at football
  • The Devin Gil/Josh Ross rotation
  • Noah Furbush rotating in on third down. Also, planes!

[After THE JUMP: Michigan's ability on offense and defense, conveyed in the questions to Washington vs. Ed Warinner]


How good was it to see a guy like Jordan Anthony get in there and have some success?


“Great, man. He works hard, he’s young, he’s trying to make his name. So you can appreciate success when you see people work the way he does. It’s good.”


What have the first couple weeks been like for you, game action and all that?


“It’s been good, just kinda like you’re not really worried. It’s just — it’s football, know what I mean? Once the ball’s kicked, you’re like, ‘Alright, we gotta get the job done. We gotta do x, y and z.’ So in that regard it’s been kinda normal. But it’s been exciting, man. It’s been good and the team’s getting better, so it’s awesome.”


How would you assess Khaleke (Hudson) through the first couple weeks?


“Oh man. He’s coming on. Khaleke has done a very good job. I thought last week he made incremental steps and he’s gonna continue to do that. But I’m very pleased with Khaleke, and really impressed with his ability to lead. He’s trying to do a better job leading, so I’m very excited about this week for him.”


Where is he better since maybe spring?


“Where is he — I think in the leadership piece of it. I think anticipating things is another area he’s better at, but if you were to ask him, he’s still pushing to get to where he’s on another level. And that’s what we’re doing right now, but excited about this week. He’s had a great week of prep so far.”


You said leadership, is it verbal or what do you mean by that?


“Both man. But by his actions, you take yesterday, he took the bulk of the reps. Just rolling. And didn’t balk, didn’t do anything — he just grinded through it. And that’s the type of leadership that I think a lotta younger guys see, and are impacted more than what he says, you know.”


Is the plan to keep rotating Devin Gil and Josh Ross at that linebacker spot?


“I think again, that’s a coach (Don) Brown question, but just, I think you feel comfortable with both of ‘em. And I think if you have a guy that’s fresher, as the game goes, I think you’re better for it. So both those guys are doing a really good job. So it’s kinda hard to look at one guy and say, ‘We don’t wanna put him out there,’ know what I mean?”


What have you seen from Devin Gil in the last two weeks?


“Production. I mean, he’s producing, he’s making plays out there, getting us in the right — if there’s a check to be made, he’s making the right adjustments. He’s just a guy that’s making — doing his job. Making the contribution. So I’m very pleased with him. He’s getting better — better from Week 1 to Week 2, and we hope to see that again.”


With Ross, how have you seen him respond in the sense of he’s obviously a pretty young player still, in his second year. How has he responded to being able to be on the field as much as he has been?


“Just taking advantage. He’s not allowing things to chance. He’s appreciating going hard, like he does every day. So in my opinion, he’s being himself, embracing. Which is good to see.”


There have been a few times in the first two games where it gets to third down and Khaleke comes out, maybe Noah Furbush comes in. What is the thought process behind that specific kind of change?


“Yeah, I’m not sure, third down, Khaleke’s in the bulk of them. But just different packages, looks, based on the team we’re playing we may — based on the tendency or where we are, there’s so many variables there. But we’re just trying to get in the right situation for what we can do to exploit what they do. Know what I mean?”


Does Khaleke carry himself as maybe more an unsung hero, compared to maybe guys like Devin Bush or Rashan Gary, on the line?


“What do you mean by that?”


Just more quiet swagger


“Yeah, he’s not a talkative guy, I don’t think, unless you get to know him. But yeah, he’s himself. He’s a lead by example guy, so I think, yeah, I would agree with you in that regard. But he’s still impactful personality-wise, he’s still an impactful leader on the team, so yeah. I would agree with that.”


(While everyone is wrapping up) U-M spokesperson: I’m surprised nobody asked about Noah


Somebody did just ask about Noah


U-M spokesperson: About his pilot stuff


Would you fly with Noah Furbush?


“You know what, would I fly with Noah Furbush, that’s a good question. I know, yeah, I can say I would, after a couple trial runs. Great guy. Yeah, he’s a brilliant kid. He’s like, I mean, far beyond anything that I’ve been around as a football player, but yeah, he’s just a dream kid. Unique. Very tough. So, very excited about him, his passion.”


You’re gonna watch that plane go a few times before you get in there?


“Exactly right. Watch the first trip, second trip, third trip, then I go and then, you know. So yeah, for sure.”


You talked about Don Brown earlier, is that a trend during the gameweek plans? You say Devin, Josh, this is who I would put here? He’s making decisions on the sideline


“Yeah, and the situation also — you brought up a good point, like, there’s different things going on. Every team you play, no matter what team you are, there’s always you have to appreciate who’s in the game, where the ball is, are you up are you down? So all that stuff impacts your decision. So, coach Brown’s decision. Or anybody’s decision to make any decision. That’s a major factor.”


Cause you’re getting a feel for these guys on the sideline, too, you maybe know who’s kind of in the game a little bit more?


“Yeah, and you take note like anything, you see a person that’s in rhythm. Like, ‘Hey, keep grinding away.’ But I think that situation and those types of things are the most impactful factors when who’s in the game is considered, know what I mean?


You say Khaleke was getting the bulk of reps, why is that?


“Just, it’s kinda like, every Tuesday you kinda start the week off and you kinda start the week off, and you wanna start off on the right foot. And he just wanted to kinda get after it. So, we encourage that and it’s awesome to see. Really attacked the day.”


And the punt block


“And the punt block. That’s another one. Huge.”


I would imagine that fed his confidence a little bit


“Oh yeah, absolutely. That was a huge play. Really huge play. And the fourth down stop had a heck of a play. But you’re right, those things piggyback off each other and snowball. So it’ll continue. We’ve still got work to do, but he’s trending. His head is down.”


What have you seen from SMU on film and what scares you — not scares you, but —




What do they do well?


“I’m just playing. They’re a perimeter team, so they wanna get the ball on the perimeter and flank, so the quarter — the head coach there is known for being a fast-break, that type of offense. So it’ll be — we gotta do a good job. We will do a good job in the trenches, cause it’s something we always do. And just be assignment sound. When they space you out like that, it’s all about being assignment sound. It’s just like, it’s no different than triple-option back in the day. You got a job, you gotta do your job. Your eyes need to be where they need to be. That’s what they are. We’re more focused on what we gotta do. And it’s no disrespect to them, cause they’re a good team, but we gotta do what we gotta do. We gotta be on our game and that’s what we’re all focused, since the beginning of time. So, we gotta do a better job.”



September 13th, 2018 at 9:11 AM ^

He almost gave away something interesting there at the end and then caught himself.  Man, I'd love to be a fly on the wall during a gameplanning prep.  I remember volunteer coaching my high school team and being in on the ground floor for it and obviously, never getting to go to lunch during football season for film sessions, but the level of analysis must be so much higher.


September 13th, 2018 at 11:35 AM ^

That could be a money-raising activity for the university, with proceeds going to a scholarship fund or something:  sell a very limited number of "fly on the wall" slots to people who want to observe the behind-the-scenes of Michigan football.  Make participants sign a non-disclosure agreement, and set expectations that they're to sit quietly and not interfere.  No more than one "fly on the wall" participants in any meeting or activity.  $1000 an activity.  Heck, I might treat myself to a birthday present for that opportunity.