Wednesday Presser Transcript 11-6-13: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Heiko on November 6th, 2013 at 8:10 PM


  • Drew Dileo and Keith Heitzman will be back Saturday. Brennen Beyer will start at SDE.
  • AJ Williams will "be in the lineup."
  • De'Veon Smith's demotion was to send a message. Still has a chance to earn his way back into the depth chart.



Opening remarks:

“Had a good practice yesterday. We expect it with the way this group has been. Most Tuesdays have been very good. It was good. The energy was good. The enthusiasm for the game of football was good. And in terms of preparation we got a lot done.”

Devin’s status physically? Has his leadership been tested?

“Oh I think all the leadership is always tested when you have adversity. He did a great job yesterday. Sore? Yeah. But every guy in the game of football across America who’s playing is going to be sore. He went out and attacked the day.”

Were there any lessons for him from last week?

“I think there’s always lessons. For him, maybe there’s some fundamental lessons when you look at technique that he can take home and learn from. I think leadership-wise I think there’s always those things we can build on ... I would think he keeps growing as a quarterback. That’s part of it. Being in those pressurized situations, made some awfully good throws. Obviously the Nascar series at the end of the game, late, showed a lot. He got them up even though he got him – he kept moving.”

Greg Mattison said Ameer Abdullah is the best running back you’ll face all year. What’s special about him?

“The kid’s a special athlete. He’s got good burst, good balance, can make you miss in the hole. I think the other part of it, traditionally, is their offensive lines have been pretty stout, pretty strong at the line of scrimmage. I think they’ve given him a chance to get runs started. I think his natural abilities, vision, jump cuts, all those things take over.”

Status of Keith Heitzman and Drew Dileo?

“Yeah they both practiced yesterday and they’ll both play Saturday.”

Who will start at SDE?

“I think Brennen [Beyer] will start the game, and Heitzman and [Chris] Wormley, I think we’ve got three guys in there that we like.”

How are the backups?

“Good. I think Tommy [Strobel] was set back. He had a little bit of burner that set him back a while. I think Matt [Godin] is coming along. I think he’s getting better. I like some of the physical things that he’s doing.”

How are your younger offensive linemen progressing?

“I think that group is a pretty good group. Logan [Tuley-Tillman], as he continues to get better as an offensive tackle [in terms of] football shape, strength, and all that because he’s a very good athlete. [Patrick] Kugler is a very smart football player. I think it runs in the family a little bit. His brother’s a center at Purdue, and his father is the head coach at El Paso. Those guys, I think, all are doing a nice job.”

How is Ben Braden coming along? Do you think he’s better suited to tackle than guard?

“Well I think Ben’s had really a good last four weeks. When you ask how he’s going along, I think he’s improving. I think he’s handling the communication at the line of scrimmage, getting into one protection and out of another one, all those things. From a body standpoint at the tackle position, it’s where he’ll end up at the end of the day, but we’ll work him in at guard, too.”

Do you do anything to stress the importance of playing well on the road?

“You know, I do about the consistency that we want to have. We’ve done a lot of different things when we’ve gone on the road depending on the time of the game. With a young football team, we’re going by stadiums and showing them the locker room. And we’ll do the same thing at Northwestern so they get an idea of here’s our bench, how close the people are. Here we obviously know our surroundings pretty well.”

Do you feel that the familiarity plays a role in your success here?

“I think if you take any team, if you look at their home wins compared to the away wins over the course of time, home is usually the better place.”

How are they doing making checks on the line?

“Doing good. I think Devin does a pretty good job. He identifies. Graham keeps growing, keeps getting better.”

How is Graham progressing?

“I think it is. Darryl would tell you the same thing.”

Are you going to try to give Derrick Green more snaps?

“Hope so. Him and De’Veon are both guys we’d like to get a little more work with.”

Did you see a different Devin emerge from that game?

“Yeah I think he learned. I think he grew … He took some shots, he got up, on the sideline he was great. He was encouraging guys and those kinds of things.”

When did you make the decision to take him out of the game?

“I think it was more after the last score. Let’s get Shane [Morris] some reps in that environment and see how he operates.”

How important is that for a young player’s development?

“I think it’s great. We’re going to be up there next year again. So that’s awesome for all those guys. The three freshmen on the inside. That’s got to be great for them.”

You mentioned De’Veon Smith. Does he have an opportunity to earn a higher spot on the depth chart?

“He’s got a chance to. Yeah.”

Has he responded to getting taken off the travel squad?


Was that to send a message?

“Usually is.”

Al said yesterday that rebounding after losses starts with the head coach …

“I’ve always believed with young people that this may be the only consistent discipline thing that some of them have ever in their lives. For us to be consistent with how we act and how we react to different situations or whatever it is or the schedule, how you want to do things. I think that’s important. We want to do everything perfectly, and that’s what it is.”

What are the hardest things Devin Funchess has to grasp in order to be a really good wide receiver?

“One of the hardest things is when you start identifying in the run game who are you going to block? With coverages changing, with some people disguising what they’re doing, especially when you start looking at the read plays and those kinds of things, who he’s going to block. Is he going to bypass the read key, all those things.”

How’s Taco Charlton progressing?

“Okay. Making progress. Day by day making progress.”

What does he need to improve?

“I think it’s a lot of different things. How you react to visual keys. He’s used to, like most of those guys in high school, just running up the field. Style of offense you play, they change week to week. Your mindset, your mentality, what you learn is a little different.”

How has AJ Williams responded? Will he start?

“Good. He should be in the lineup.”

You mentioned De’Veon Smith. What is his running style?

“He’s a little more of a slicer. He’s a little more like Drake [Johnson]. He’s very much a downhill, physical guy. Has good balance. Has similarities that him and Derrick have, but there’s enough different physical traits that they have that make them different.”

Has Russell Bellomy been able to do anything in practice?

“No. Not yet. He does a little bit of what we do on Sundays, and the rest of the time is rehab.”



November 7th, 2013 at 8:00 AM ^

That is a certainty of progression I just don't buy. 


Sometimes, depending on the intellect and physical abilities, those little gains accumulate over time and you get a good player.


Sometimes they don't.


No matter how good the coaching - some players will never develop beyond "bad player".







November 6th, 2013 at 8:34 PM ^

I'm good with getting the freshmen more carries, I just wonder if Green and Smith want to run behind this line.  I guess experience is experience even if that experience will consist mostly of what to do when the hole doesn't open.  It's a good thing they're both built to break tackles.


November 6th, 2013 at 10:18 PM ^

Yeah, that's why I said "built to break tackles."  I've seen Green 'slap' tackled enough this year to have some doubt. But shit the kids 18 and the line has done him no favors as far as building his confidence. If I was on the sideline watching Fitz get smacked around I may be a little timid about plowing forward. Plus all our backs have been forced to the outside by the pressure up the middle. None of them ever really get a chance to get into a position to break tackles because their first contact is at the line or behind it.  Who knows with a good push from the line and a head of steam Green 'looks' like he can churn out some tough yards.


November 7th, 2013 at 10:43 AM ^

"If I was on the sideline watching Fitz get smacked around I may be a little timid about plowing forward."


Not being a jerk, but that's difference between you and most - if not all - elite athletes.  You would be timid, but they would say "put me in there, I could break that tackle/hit that hole/get a 1st down".  Elite athletes are competitive. 


November 8th, 2013 at 1:51 AM ^

before he took a small here that Green is the tire of f back that needs a 3 yard head of steam to succeed. That is ok add I thought (still do) that by the tune he leaves here he will have that. When he does? Good luck to defenses. Think Wisconsin backs but better than any they had outside of RD. He just needs that head start. look at his runs this year. Every time there was a hole he'd pick up nice yards and get physical. However, when given the ball up the gut with 8 in the box he dies go down quicker than Jenna Jameson (sp?). It's the fact that without that room to get a head of steam he is just standing there as our interior has only opened up those areas for him about 3-4 times. Same with Smith but not so dependant on that running start. If he stays (know the rumors but hearing about him for a while) that will be the two headed monster he envisioned as soon as our OL (hopefully) lives yo to their billing. To end on that, I dint care where we get them from but we need at least 2 coaches to get angry at kids. You can't cuddle the OL, young or not. Young or not, if in practice they fuck up so bad that it's pathetic you have to teach them m but also let them know they need to play mean. I'd take a dick OL Coach who is just average than a nice guy who is slightly better as kids get to a point on the field where they have the option to give up/play like a Sally because that know ask they'll do is be calmly "coached up". I want the dick. The old school UM OL guys that can coach Barksdale into a solid SEC freshman starter. As for OC, I hate the spread and Stanford (as well as bama, Syracuse under their old coach, etc) have shown that you can offensively still run a power system and with the right kids & coaches, win big. I don't think Borges is that guy. I'm not sure Funk is that guy. Outside of them, the staff is fine, imo. We just need up and coming guys who would jump at the opportunity (I mean guys are coming right out of HS to be great coaches these days) OR 2 proven guys who Brandon will toss money at.

Mr. Carson

November 6th, 2013 at 8:52 PM ^

I mean he has to because otherwise the psychos on this blog would be screaming about how Hoke is hiding and lacks accountability, but I really don't see the point.  He clearly doesn't enjoy doing it, and I can't imagine many fans enjoy reading it.


November 6th, 2013 at 9:19 PM ^

What good comes of hoke providing a shred of info during a presser? Does it help the team in any way? Because that is his job - to help his team. He doesn't owe us fans anything and giving us all info doesn't help - in fact, it can only hurt as the media loves to spin non-stories into more. Tough for rhe media to create controversy if he says nothing. I personally like that he realizes that, while mandatory, these pressers are a total waste of time.

Mr. Carson

November 6th, 2013 at 9:22 PM ^

I complete agree with you.  I don't think Hoke owes the fans information (which he isn't providing anyway), and I think it's stupid that he has to sit there each week and listen to lame questions and give worthless answers.

Shop Smart Sho…

November 6th, 2013 at 10:16 PM ^

Being a booster, I think he owes me something.  Everyone that is a booster is owed something by the people we help provide money to employ.  Not that he owes any of us a lot on an individual basis, but collectively?

Also, I want someone to ask both Hoke and Borges why they keep tipping plays based on where Funchess is lined up.  Because WTF?  I'm sure we all got sick of that shit with Carr, and were really hoping to never see it again.


November 6th, 2013 at 11:58 PM ^

 I listen to Sirius college football all the time trying to catch a tidbit on on Michigan footbal but they only seem to cover SeC schools. That being said some of the SeC coaches do the fan call in shows, Marc Richt for one take questions from fans. It's incredible to me the ammount of restraint he shows during these sessions.


November 7th, 2013 at 8:37 AM ^

love your school. If you think that gives you special entitlements, outside of whatever booster package you bought into, perhaps you should reconsider. You chose to give a donation, this does not mean that those you donated money to owe you anything, except to spend that money for the purpose it was given (this is not necessarily why you gave it, but what they said they would use the funds for.) 

Shop Smart Sho…

November 6th, 2013 at 10:17 PM ^

Do you really think he would answer good questions?  It seems that when Heiko asks what we think of as good questions, they end up getting dodged.  If I were a reporter tasked with doing pressers, I would need a really good weed hook-up to get ready to deal with the absolute stupidity and boredom flying around the room.


November 8th, 2013 at 2:14 AM ^

we have 2 losses and our fans act as if we have 8 and, bad coaching or not, fans forget the absolute tire fire he accepted and inherited so they ask him questions after each loss as to why his almost exclusively true Fr-So team did this or that. Maybe upset at how impatient us fans are. I know Harbaugh took a 1 win Stanford team to prominence after going 4-8, 7/8-? the next year (iirc) before turning them into a force. The fact is that Harbaugh is not our coach as well as he and Hoke beeing totally different in how they lead/coach. Also, who they surround themselves with as Harbaugh (in college) was the best mind there was in the country, even over Saban. I think UM fans expected a Stanford level turnaround when we don't have Harbaugh and Stanford wasn't gutted by changing everything about the entire program twice in 3 years. I'd get a bit miffed, too. He used the last decent Carr recruits, Denard and a lot of luck to win a BCS bowl year one. That wasn't Hoke or Borges or Funk. That was Mattison and Denard/Hemingway. We hired a game manager, prolonging the turnaround process and also subject to setbacks if he doesn't hire, say, a OC/OL coach up to standard. Maybe he didn't? Still, those acting like this program was going to even compete for the conference title were crazy. Yet, he had to say that even when he knows how bad they currently are at SO MANY positions. Add in transfer rumor questions not so subtly added in and I'd be a bit miffed, too.


November 7th, 2013 at 9:43 AM ^

You have to remember these are press conferences, as in they're intended for reporters to come and get a couple quotes for the fluff pieces they're writing for the week. That's why you get a lot of softball questions like "talk about Player X," because without fail a day later an article about player X gets published.

It's not really intended for public consumption, at least that's not the main goal. The reporters aren't really interested in asking hard hitting questions about the state of the program necessarily, and they don't have a vested interest in diagnosing the minutia of what's wrong with the team like we do here. The coaches certainly aren't interested in divulging those details. Hence the non-answers.


November 6th, 2013 at 9:12 PM ^

Summary - all is well, everyone is good, practice was great, progress is sufficient, leadership is booming, boo boos are healing.  And see you back here a week from now for the exact same answers.


November 6th, 2013 at 9:23 PM ^

This is wrong.

Hoke is saving up his presser honesty for Ohio State week. At that press conference, in an attempt to screw with the opponent, he will answer every question truthfully. This will, in fact, work, and we will roll Ohio.

Everyone knows that press conferences are a very important part of coaching. This is the medium that coaches use to train their players. It is also how they communicate with their assistants. And this is where coaches do their most important work: satisfying the fans that hold the coaches' futures in their hands. Fans, you see, hold a lot of power over the program.