Wednesday Presser Transcript 11-14-12: Brady Hoke Comment Count

Heiko November 14th, 2012 at 1:34 PM


  • Hey hey what can I say, day to day day to day to day day.



Opening remarks:

“[We had a] good work day yesterday, [good] preparation. [Iowa is] one of the good football teams, especially a team that, capacity-wise, they’re playing well when you look at taking care of the football, turnovers, and the running game from an offensive line standpoint. They’re typical Iowa where they’re going to get on you and they’re going to do a great job in the zone schemes. Defensively they’re going to play very tight up front and let the linebackers flow. You see that. In the kicking game, they’ve got some real weapons in their kickoff return and their kick coverage and in the kickoff that they’ve done a nice job with. For us we had a good practice. Like I said, it was a good work day. Need another good work day today.”

Day to day on your quarterbacks?

“Yes. Good answer.”

Would you say the last two weeks were the best performances you’ve seen from your receivers?

“There’s other times where I think they’ve played pretty well, especially in getting on people and blocking. They’re probably stepping up like they should. I think Roy’s caught the ball well with his hands when you watch it fundamentally. I think they played well.”

Has senior day ever been a distraction in your experience?

“For the seniors? Not really. I think this group, it will be an emotional time and it should be. A lot of these guys have been playing since they were in third grade, and there will be some of them who will never play again. A lot of them.”

You have a lot of personal traditions. Do you do anything specific with the seniors this week?

“We’ll do something Saturday.”

Can you talk about some of the guys on special teams and coverage teams that have done a good job?

“Well Hawthorne is a guy. Him and Floyd Simmons, they’re two seniors who are on a lot of those teams and we expect a lot out of them. I think in the kickoff return phase of it and being a gunner on punt, I think Norfleet has brought some excitement and done a nice job. When you look at the guys, Joe Bolden’s got a lot of snaps out there. Wilson’s -- Jarrod’s had a lot of snaps, which are very valuable for young guys, but I’d say from Paul Gyarmati to the seniors that are out there with Floyd and Brandin, I think those guys are the guys who are on a lot of those teams.”

Do you grade those guys like you do with your offense and defense?

“Yeah. They’re all graded. Dan does that with every special team. We watch it and evaluate, critique.”

When you evaluated Mike Kwiatkowski when you first got here, did you think he would get to this point in terms of production?

“I think that’s all part of it. As you go through the process of coaching what you want to do offensively, the encouragement and the evaluation that you give on a daily basis is important. I think Mike is a guy who has gotten better, obviously. He’s done a good job inside that tight end room helping the young guys.”

You said he was more of a lineman. Did you think to move him immediately?

“Well I think it was a need as much as anything else. We play with tight end a lot. I don’t think that was part of the offense as much before we got here.”

Would you say the biggest thing Quinton Washington has done this year is improve the use of his hands?

“Yeah, I think that’s part of it. I think his confidence is a big part of where Quinton has established himself a little more. Probably starting with the Illinois game as much as anything. He is a better technician. He is visually keen [with] what he needs to be looking at with more focus. He just -- there’s so much further we can get him.”

How do you know with any player when the confidence starts to kick in?

“Uh. It’s a really good question. I think probably because of how … maybe you don’t get as many questions? Might be part of it. I think the speed that they play with is part of it.”

Al said yesterday it’s been a cram course preparing Devin the last couple of weeks. How hard is it to get someone up to speed that quickly?

“I think from the standpoint of the intricacies of the position and the checks and the different things you have to do, I think even people in here could take a snap where it’s a little bit more than that. It’s more than the protections, more than what you seen coverage-wise, the ball handling, the footwork, all those things. That’s where you get more and more as far as a mental piece to playing the position. I think the one thing is that Devin is a very intelligent young man. He is into the football part of it when you look at film and study an opponent.”

Is he playing at the highest level at quarterback that you’ve seen from him?

“I think he’s been pretty consistent. I think he’s managing games, and that’s a word that is probably overused, but you know, managing an offense, that starts with how your approach is in the huddle and how you talk to those ten other guys and those teammates. I thought on Saturday at the end of the game, just watching him run down the field to spike the ball, he showed great poise and showed great leadership with it.”

Can you quantify how hard it is to relearn all that?

“Yeah. I don’t know if that’s fair for me to say how hard it is for him. I think it’s difficult. I would think. He had some carryover obviously, and some guys -- and I think there’s some carryover, too when you look at him play wide receiver and studying coverages, if it’s two-deep or one-high, inside leverage and those things. I think that all helped him.”

How big is this for him moving forward into 2013?

“Let’s worry about Iowa.”

On the spike, it looked like Devin Funchess had to run off and dive over the sideline --

“He really didn’t have to. He was a little more dramatic.”

Why was there switching going on?

“We were in a hurry-hurry situation from an offensive standpoint. If you’re making a substitution, he’s getting ready to make that substitution and not waste time.”

So he was going to make the substitution after the play?

“Started to, yeah. But when he saw where the ball was, it was, ‘Hey, I’m going to get off the field.’ ”

Long snapper is sort of a thankless position. Can you talk about the job Jareth Glanda has done?

“I think he’s done a very good job. We always talk about the guys kicking the field goals and we critique punters a lot, but I think Jareth has been very consistent. It’s not easy in protection all the time to snap and protect. A lot of teams don’t ask those guys to do that as much, but within our system, I think he’s done a really really nice job [knock knock knock], and he’ll keep it up.”

James Ross got a lot of time last week. He was in there at the end. Was that specific to playing Northwestern because he might be a little faster?

“No, it’s just playing different guys.”

Desmond Morgan’s not banged up or anything?


Northwestern used a lot of cutblocking. What can you do as a defense --

“You’ll never get cut if you put your helmet and your face on that guy’s face. So you teach technique and you talk about it and you teach it and you drill it. Now sometimes you ask to be cut because you’re not being aggressive enough. Sometimes you ask to be cut because you won’t put your face and bend your knees and everything you need to do to play a cut block.”

Is that one of the harder things to learn for a defensive lineman?

“Eh. Not really. [For] defensive lineman, it’s not. I mean, we’ve hardly been cut.”

How similar is the culture of your team to what it was like when you were here before? How long did it take to get there?

“Oh, I don’t know. I mean, guys have done a good job.”

MGoQuestion: Regarding the seniors, a lot of them are thinking about their lives and careers after Michigan --

“I hope they’re thinking about Iowa.”

MGoQuestion: Has anyone expressed an interest in coaching, and what sort of advice do you give?

“You know what, we haven’t really broached those conversations at all yet.”

MGoFollowup: When do you talk about those things? After the season?

“… Yup.”

Mario’s status?

“You know what, he’s getting better.”

Do you expect him to play?

“I’m hoping so.”

Has he practiced?


How’s Jeremy?

“Jeremy who?”


“He’s fine.”

Will he return punts this week?

“He’ll be fine.”

Now that you’ve had time to think about the question, can you evalute Denard Robinson’s career and what he’s meant to the program? It’ll be his last game in Michigan Stadium.

“Well, it’s 23 guys’ last game at Michigan.”

Denard hasn’t been special at all though?

“I think they’re all special.”

Well yeah, but 10,000 yards and all that?

“I think that’s great, but they’re all special.”



November 14th, 2012 at 1:42 PM ^

Why is Hoke so stingy with his comments re: Denard's legacy?  I don't think a few statements like Mattison and Borges made about Denard's dedication, athleticism, career accolades, etc. would kill him, or his team-team-team mantra.  Certainly the players (e.g., Roh) realize how important Denard has been.  C'mon, Brady, show one of the most memorable Wolverines ever some love!!

Raback Omaba

November 14th, 2012 at 1:45 PM ^

And like he said, it's "23 other guys last game at Michigan."

They all put in work, just like Denard. We all love Denard and everything he's done for the program, but he's no more important than the Senior who has spent 5 years on Scout team. I'm sure Denard will tell you the same thing.


November 14th, 2012 at 1:52 PM ^

no more important than a guy on the Scout team?  We will agree to disagree. 

and to others, i don't think you can blame a reporter for wanting to cover Denard before his last home game.  That's not a bad guess as to what your readers want.  You're looking for his coach to comment on the player's prodigious career... and the coach won't do it, even in a short soundbite.  Hoke's drawing a too-strict line here.   



November 14th, 2012 at 2:17 PM ^

Any good coach treats everyone the same. As soon as a coach starts choosing favorites it becomes a problem because some superstars think they can and should get away with more.

I think Hoke has done the right thing by treating everyone the same. I'm sure when Denard is announced and coach Hoke hugs him and whispers something to him it will be pretty special. There is a reason coach Hoke does things his way. He's 18-5 with a bcs win and wins over all of our arch rivals. He's doing something right.

Blue in Seattle

November 14th, 2012 at 4:26 PM ^

The thing I really enjoy about college sports is that the players are not payed according to their skill level, with the exception of walk-ons who for some reason participate with little chance to play and no tuition money.  And they only get 4-5 years of time to participate in this unique bubble.

Hoke completely embraces this position of near communism within the uniqueness of the college student athlete.  And within that definition, all of the seniors are important on Senior day.  What has Denard meant to this program and this team sport?  He has meant as much as every other senior who shows up to practice and works hard and does what the coaches ask.

So the reason Hoke doesn't give Denard any special privilege is because Denard is one of many student athletes.  This is at the heart of Bo's message about the team the team the team.  The message is not just that you are partipating as a team member, but also because you are not "playing for a contract".  To Bo college provided the opportunity for the student athlete to play for the love of the game and the love of his teammates.  When you bring money into that in a capitalistic way, and pay people according to talent, you destroy the entire incentive that The Team provides.

It's the same belief that is behind the phrase, "the expectation for the position".  While everyone wrings their hands about, "how will we replace Mike Martin", Hoke already knows how.  By coaching up the next person in line.  And every year there are about 20 new faces that need coaching up, and there are about 20 seniors who are trying to suck every last bit of enjoyment out of each day.

These Seniors will "never play for a Team" again.

Or as Bo put it in the middle of his speech;

No man is more important than The Team. No coach is more important than The Team. The Team, The Team, The Team, and if we think that way, all of us, everything that you do, you take into consideration what effect does it have on my Team? Because you can go into professional football, you can go anywhere you want to play after you leave here. You will never play for a Team again. You'll play for a contract. You'll play for this. You'll play for that. You'll play for everything except the team, and think what a great thing it is to be a part of something that is, The Team.


November 14th, 2012 at 2:11 PM ^

Ya, that is taking it too far. Denard >> scout team senior in terms of impact on michigan's football team. Perhaps, you meant to say...Denard = scout team senior in terms of effort and dedication to the program.

Also, of course denard would say that even if it were untrue. I mean what is he supposed to say...I'm the guy who dump-trucked ncaa records so I'm more important. 


November 14th, 2012 at 3:18 PM ^

Because it's Team 133, not Team Denard. It's Senior Day, not Denard Day. Team 133 has 23 seniors, all of whom have their last game in the Big House on Saturday. They're all his sons and he's not playing favorites. I freaken love Hoke for being consistent with the idea of "the team, the team, the team." Even if he's just using it as an excuse to troll reporters.

That writer has asked a question about Denard to every single person that has spoken at a press conference. I'm sure there are enough "Denard = awesome" quotes out there to write an article. Heck, Chengalis has already written her Rich Rod interview about Denard. 

Mr. Yost

November 14th, 2012 at 3:00 PM ^

Maybe it's just who he is...who knows what he tells those guys and how he feels behind closed doors. He may tell Denard that he's the single greatest player since Charles Woodson...but he may also feel that's between him and Denard and not for you (or us) to know.

I really couldn't care less about how much information Hoke gives in his answers to questions as long as he wins.

PDX Blue

November 14th, 2012 at 10:45 PM ^

and won't have a "Circle of Trust" based on who the star players are. Hoke seems by all accounts to be fair and consistent and seems like he will resist the temptation to elevate one player above the others who are all putting in the work. The individual contributions on Saturday do not make a legacy.


November 14th, 2012 at 2:09 PM ^


"Well, I think that's all part of everything when you have a bunch of football players. From the coaching standdpoint, I think we need to improve technique-wise, and that should take care of the football part of it."



November 14th, 2012 at 2:10 PM ^

Please fluff Denard.  Tell us he's the most special player on the team and more important than anybody!  More than Kovacs and Mealer and Roundtree!  We love you Denard please smile for me keep smiling!


November 14th, 2012 at 2:12 PM ^

Another great exchange for someone to stick in front of a recuit's family to show Brady's mindset of each kid being like a son. It seems genuine and people who spend almost every day with him say it's really his perspective.

He'll gush about Denard when the season is over and advocate for him to achieve Legend status. Until then, just 1 of his kids.


November 14th, 2012 at 2:25 PM ^

I agree with you wholeheartedly.  But I have to say that, sometimes, a person earns the right to be singled out and recognized above all the others.  Just as Denard would want the focus to be on everyone (not on him), so too would his teammates want Denard to receive special recognition.  Maybe Hoke is waiting for the end of the season but now seems like as good of a time as any (his assistant coaches see to agree).  Nevertheless, everyone appreciates him and I'm sure he knows it.

Bill the Butcher

November 14th, 2012 at 2:36 PM ^

But he has always been singled out and given his due.  By the media and the fans.  Denard has earned the right and has been recognized above all others.  I don't think its appropriate for the coach of the team to only focus on one player, whether that player is a heisman winner or a scout team guy.  

I agree with Raback above, Hoke is responsible for the entire team and needs to make sure each of the 23 seniors receives their due.  


November 14th, 2012 at 2:51 PM ^…

(love how the AA updated the page, but not the link)

When they give out the Glenn E. 'Bo' Schembechler MVP Award to the only 3 time winner in history, that's the time for personal honors. Not during the season. 


November 14th, 2012 at 3:03 PM ^

The great Bo Schembechler once gave Andy Cannavino a special plaque for being "his greatest captain" after the 1980 team won Bo's first Rose Bowl.  They sure as hell didn't do that for every captain.  There's the value of a player, and then there's the player's VALUE.  I don't see the harm in at least acknowledging what Denard's done for the past few years. 


November 14th, 2012 at 3:09 PM ^

The key word is "after."  This team still has work to do. He may do something to acknowledge Denard's greatness or he may not.  I think what is said between the two of them and the entire team is more important what his says to appease the masses.


November 14th, 2012 at 2:31 PM ^

I love Deanrd like any UM fan does, but I am almost glad he will be gone, because so many of you treat him like he's your girlfriend.


OMG, what will Denard say, feel, do? They didn't mention Denard with enough emphasis, OMG, I better go hold his hand an explain to him he is loved. Good gosh.


November 14th, 2012 at 2:45 PM ^

This is a Michigan nation problem, it happens on every board known to Michigan fans. It needs to be said because people seriously treat the guy like an infant child.


I'll be at the game Saturday cheering my tail off for all of our seniors, and I will cheer a little harder when Denard's name is announced. I don't want to face a lecture about why Denards feelings may possibly get hurt.


November 14th, 2012 at 2:52 PM ^

it wouldn't kill Hoke to say one or two things about Denard Robinson before his last game at Michigan Stadium.  That's all.  When a reporter asks about a guy who had a great game, Hoke usually doesn't say, "THEY ALL PLAYED A ROLE IN THAT GUY'S GREAT GAME, I WON'T TALK ABOUT ONE PARTICULAR GUY.  THEY ALL WEAR THE HELMET."  He usually comments on the specific player (albeit in his restrained way).  Sometimes a guy stands out and deservers a little extra praise or reflection.  Denard has stood out over four years, and reporter(s) are rightly asking Hoke to reflect.  

Just feels a little off key is all.   

EDIT:  and this isn't about Denard's "feelings."  Denard couldn't care less, I'm quite sure.  This is for the fans who root for the team and want to hear what the coach thinks about the program's greatest player over the last four years on the eve of his last home game.  Does Hoke really feel he's doing disservice to the other seniors if he comments on Denard??

I guess I'm missing something, but I will stop berating all of you now. 


November 14th, 2012 at 3:29 PM ^

Don't we probably already know what the coach would say he thinks about Denard, without it having to be a qoute for some guy to throw in a headline on some article he's writing?

I think Denard is as great as the rest of us, but I enjoy reading the articles about the walk on tight end as much as some reinforced comment from the coach on a damn great player that we already know is a damn great player, without hearing again about how damn great he is, again...

It's a team sport and I respect the hell out of Coach Hoke for digging in his heels are refusing to put Denard above the rest of the team and seniors just for some qoute.  It reinforces the teamwork and work ethic of a team sport like no other for the coach to answer it the way he does in public.  Behind the scenes, we and all the players can say all the "yea, but..." that we want; but you don't ask the dad who is favorite son is at the expense of the rest of the team.

After the season, as others have pointed out there will be countless discussions about his historic place in UM not just for football but as an athlete, student, and citizen.

Go Blue, stick to your guns Coach Hoke!

snarling wolverine

November 14th, 2012 at 7:39 PM ^

I don't understand how Michigan fans can recite Bo's mantra ("The team, the team, the team.") and yet, at the same time, get upset over the coach not giving out enough praise for one particular player. The whole culture of this program revolves around the idea of the team over the individual.

Mr. Yost

November 14th, 2012 at 3:03 PM ^

Is there any video of Funchess diving out of bounds? I had no idea until this presser. Good stuff!

You can definitely picture it just by watching Devin play this season. He's always so innocently happy. Every touchdown is like his first no matter who scores. I can totally picture his 6'5 frame soaring to the sidelines as he tries to get off them field...and there being like 4-5 more seconds where he could've just walked.


November 14th, 2012 at 5:12 PM ^

I do get a good chuckle out of how hard Hoke makes the reporters work for answers.  And I get the not highlighting Denard above anyone else on Team 133.  

But what does everyone make of the 'non-answer' to the question about team culture compared to when Hoke was here before?  Is it that Hoke doesn't really think about the culture he's trying to implement because it's just instinctive?  Just wants to get out of the presser? Doesn't want to grade himself?

I love the way Hoke leads and would love to hear more of his self-assessment of where he's at.  


November 14th, 2012 at 11:39 PM ^

not because he's uncomfortable up at a microphone but because he thinks that answering mind-numbingly repetitive and juvenile questions posed by comically unathletic-hard-pressed to do 25 girl pushups-donut-saturated doofuses who only care about getting some juicy controversial quote is a complete waste of his time. I don't blame him at all.

Blue boy johnson

November 15th, 2012 at 6:09 PM ^

This was my favorite moment of Hoke's presser. Hoke was dripping with contempt regarding his players getting cut block.


“You’ll never get cut if you put your helmet and your face on that guy’s face. So you teach technique and you talk about it and you teach it and you drill it. Now sometimes you ask to be cut because you’re not being aggressive enough. Sometimes you ask to be cut because you won’t put your face and bend your knees and everything you need to do to play a cut block.”