Wednesday Presser Transcript 10-26-11: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on October 26th, 2011 at 4:52 PM

[Coordinator transcripts will be up shortly after I figure out how to turn .wma files into Quicktime compatible files.]

News bullets and other important things (forgot this earlier, sorry, FML):

  • Barnum and Lewan have been practicing, should be healthy.
  • Justice Hayes is getting a redshirt.
  • Coaches are working on getting Marell Evans a sixth year of eligibility.

Brady Hoke

Opening remarks: “I thought we had a good day yesterday. Thought we had a lot of spirit to us, a little chippiness to us that I always enjoy. I think we competed really hard. I thought we played fast on both sides of the ball.”

Will Heininger said he’s been focused on playing lower. How much has he improved? “Well anytime you play with good pad level, and I think Will played his [best] football game two weeks ago to this point in the season. That has to translate to him playing better this week and better next week. I think he’s playing with a little more authority, which you like to see out of a guy who’s a senior, but I was pleased with his performance.”

Would you like to see Will and Mike not just push the pocket but also get past their guys more? “Well yeah, I mean the name of the game is football. That’s the object. You always want to be able to -- not just your block, your initial protection if you want to call it that ... the ability to ragdoll off and get to the football or get to the quarterback is a critical issue … We want more pressure from them, no doubt about it.”

What does chippiness at practice tell you about your team’s mentality? “Usually, and I’m sure you’ve all done the same thing, when you have a little bit of edge to you, no matter what your’e doing, it seems there’s a little bit of energy in there, a little bit of focus, and a little bit of wanting to get back out there on the field or do it again.”

Is it fair to say that your running backs are never going to be as productive as you want because of what Denard’s able to do? “I don’t know about that. I think that there’s enough in the system -- either it’s out of the two backs or split backs, I-backs, one back -- I think there’s enough diversity to it. [What] we all know is this thing gets a little harder as you go because you’re playing better football teams. The defenses you’re going to play against in the Big Ten, they’re obviously well-coached and the athletes are out there.” But does it change things at all because your best runner is your quarterback? “I don’t think so. Not for where we need to get to.”

*What are the keys to improving linebacker hesitancy problems? “I think the biggest key is your focus on that key. I was an A-gap linebacker years ago, now I’m a nose tackle. I think the initial reaction, the play recognition, the aiming points when you’re going downhill, there’s a lot of things. Playing with the speed that you need to play with. If you’re hesitant at all, that half a step that you’re behind can cost you as a defense.”

*Is that something you emphasized this week in practice? “Yeah, I think, in fact after watching all the tape last night as a defensive staff, we played faster. We played more downhill. That’s going to be something that constantly we have to do a good job of coaching and focusing on.”

Is Ricky Barnum healthy enough to take his job back? “Yeah. Well, we’ll find out. It’s competition. But he’s healthy. Lewan’s healthy. They all practiced.”

How confident is this group? “You know, the way they practiced yesterday, I think there was a confidence that they have. I think that part of it was one thing you wanted to see as a coach. And they were good on Sunday. Sunday they came out and flew around, but there was even more physicalness to how we practiced yesterday.”

Any update on Marell Evans? “No. I tell you what, he busts his butt out there though as a scout team linebacker. On the scout team, with the kicking game, and everything else. He’s been a great teammate.” Does he have a chance of getting another year of eligibility? “There’s a lot of hoops to go through and it’s pretty daggone complicated trying to obtain a sixth year and all those things.” Is that what you’re trying to do? “That’s what we’re trying to work towards.”

Do you feel like you need to give the running backs a certain number of carries in order to establish them? “I think you do have a get a number of carries. We’ve talked about that as a staff, that carries are important, and that probably sounds really dumb, but it’s important to get a number of carries that you can get with them. That’s one thing that we all felt that we maybe should have had a little more touches for them two weeks ago.”

Is there a number of carries you try to hit every week? “At the end of the day, you want to win the football game, so whatever you can do or whatever you’re going to do, that’s going to help you offensively … in saying that, I would love to have between the two of them maybe 20-25 touches a game. Now every situation changes. You get down, you think you can exploit something else maybe, and you don’t execute it as well as you should have -- those things happen in the course of the game plan. One thing, we talked about this, I thought Al and Greg both have done a great job of adjusting game plans in the course of games. They’re both really good football coaches. I don’t know if I answered your question. I think I did. I just think, we’d like to run them, but we’ve got to be able to run them.”

Are Fitz Toussaint and Vince Smith the two running backs at this point, or is Shaw included? “Michael can be in there, too. You see who gets a little bit of the hot hand, to some degree. Vince is very multiple in what he can do. Not saying Fitz won’t be, but Fitz, he’s a young guy still.”

Could Thomas Rawls get more carries? “He could. We’re trying to get him some work on some of the kick game and all that, but he could.” What about Justice Hayes? At this point are you redshirting him? “Oh yeah. Yeah.”

Anyone else (Ed: I think this person means freshmen) who hasn’t played yet that might play, barring injury? “Barring injury, I don’t think so. I think what we’ve done so far, we’re at our limit.”

Re: Perimeter defense … How do you think Purdue’s going to attack you? “Well, I would attack our perimeter. The stretch play they run and all those things are ready made for it.” Similar to what Michigan State did? “Similar. Not quite the same. They’ll TGO (Ed: ?) pull it, or do some different things depending on if the tight end’s on the line, in location or not in location, depends if it’s weak back, strong backs -- there’s a lot of different ways you can get to it. They throw the bubble. They throw the rocket. They run the outside zone, the stretch play. Yeah, that’s where I would start.”

How are you doing in terms of containment? “Obviously it’s been something we’ve done a very good job of emphasizing. Our attacking the blocks, getting off blockers, all those things that go along with it, our inside-out pursuit, all those things.”

What do you see out of Caleb TerBush? “Well I think he’s been very active in a lot of different areas, but I think he’s been accurate. I think he’s got a good arm, throws the ball well. He’s taking care of the ball pretty well for them. You don’t see him panic. He’s elusive enough to get out of some problems. They’re going to look at what you’re doing a little bit defensively, and they’re going to check. He’s done a good job of getting them in and out of plays. I think he’s a pretty daggone good quarterback.”

*asked by yours truly



October 26th, 2011 at 5:02 PM ^

With the recruiting numbers, is there really a reason to try to get another year for him? I understand he's a good guy, but don't we have better potential football players coming in?

Mr. Yost

October 26th, 2011 at 8:17 PM ^

Also, from the way he was rumored to be playing...I'm sure you'd take a 6th year senior over a true freshman. If they're equal, you can redshirt the freshman giving him another year.


Evans is on scholarship, but with guys like Cox and Moore likely headed out...probably Mealer can keep guys like Evans.


We lose Herron and Fitz, there could also be a transfer in there (not going to predict...but we have 2 guys I'm thinking of right now that are LB/DE, one even DT types that haven't played at all this year).


If anything, it'll be good to have a guy with some experience until the freshman take over midseason like Countess did. IMO, that's the way to go with freshman...basically use the first 4 weeks of the regular season like extended camp or spring ball to get them the # of reps in practice.


October 26th, 2011 at 6:21 PM ^

2003: Oct 25 at Michigan L 3-31

2004: Oct 30 at Northwestern L 10-13

2005: Oct 29 at Penn State L 15-33

2006: Oct 28 Penn State L 0-12

2007: Oct 27 Northwestern W 35-17

2008: Oct 25 Minnesota L 6-17

2009: Oct 31 at Wisconsin L 0-37

2010: Oct 30 at Illinois L 10-44

2011: Oct 29 at Michigan ????

Michigan is 5-3 since 2003, but has also been awful on this weekend over the last 3 years:

2008: MSU L 21-35

2009: at Illinois L 13-38

2010: Oct at PSU L 31-41


October 27th, 2011 at 9:55 AM ^

or both:

2002: Oct 26 at Northwestern W 42-13
2001: Oct 27 vs Northwestern W 32-27
2000: Oct 28 vs Ohio State W 31-27
1999: Oct 30 at Minnesota W 33-28
1998: Oct 31 vs Iowa W 36-14
1997: Oct 25 at Illinois W 48-3
1996: bye
1995: bye
1994: Oct 29 vs Iowa T 21-21
1993: Oct 30 at Iowa L 17-26

"Historically" is a misnomer unless you're bringing in 30-40 years of data, and even then, it's still meaningless stuff, data that Craig James uses to kill time on the air. It isn't like any of the games above have anything to do with the teams on the field on Saturday.

Even so, both eras are easy to explain. The six-game winning streak coincides with the switch from Colletto to Tiller, matched with a schedule that coincidentally had relatively easy opponents that week. Starting in 2003, there was a combination of ranked opponents, derp, and Danny Hope.

The Hope era so far has been an era of meh; there's no reason that any given weekend during conference play should be any different than any other weekend, except perhaps for the last game in November, and even that has been split.

A more accurate analysis would be "Purdue has done nothing under Danny Hope to indicate that the relative 'glory days' of the Tiller years will return; aside from a win over a 2009 Ohio State squad that would likely have vacated the game if the result had gone the other way, Hope's Boilers are firmly a lower-tier team. A home win should be expected."

The coaches and coordinators are saying the right things, but this isn't a good Purdue team. Injuries, lack of depth, and questionable coaching decisions have been a problem throughout Hope's tenure. Occasionally he seems to get a good game from the players, but the Illinois game may have been their one good shot this season.


October 26th, 2011 at 6:41 PM ^

Someone please correct me if this is a stupid question, but wouldn't Cam Gordon be a good fit at Will? He seems to have most of the attributes for the position and with Ryan securing the Sam position is there any reason not to try him out?

Mr. Yost

October 26th, 2011 at 8:08 PM ^

My poor laptop, I literally just spit out my drink after reading Hoke's response:

Would you like to see Will and Mike not just push the pocket but also get past their guys more? Well yeah, I mean the name of the game is "football."


Translation: "No shit...and one more thing..."