Interview w/ Koger & Roundtree (plus Denard)

Submitted by MGoShoe on August 20th, 2011 at 1:06 PM

[Ed. As noted below, this interview took place after Thursday's practice]

Kevin Koger and Roy Roundtree were made available to the media after practice Thursday. Here's a transcript of the Q&A from the GoBlueWolverine (Scout) staff:

First, Koger:

Question: Is that confidence, is it technique, where do you see the biggest difference [in Denard Robinson's game]?

Kevin Koger: “Probably more technique. Denard is always confident, always smiling, confidence is never faded in him. Probably just more technique wise.”

Question: Can you sense a difference in the ball you’re getting than maybe the one you were getting last year or in the spring?

Kevin Koger: “Probably just more timing wise, just the time it gets there when I’m out of my break. That’s probably the main difference.”

Question: You guys had a prolific offense last year, you guys put up points like crazy, do you feel that this offense can get to that level or be that successful?

Kevin Koger: “It is hard to compare last year to this year, two different philosophies. We’re just going to try and manage the game and help the defense out as much as we can so we can win football games.”

Question: How important is time management, time of possession?

Kevin Koger: “It is definitely a big part. Coach Hoke always says that the best defense we play is when the defense is on the side line and we’re on the field managing the ball so they can get their rest.”

So Denard's timing is improved and yes, the philosophy is to control the game on offense with long possessions that rest the Michigan defense and wear out the opposition.

Second, Roundtree:

Question: I know Denard is always confident, but is he more confident as a passer than he was say even in the spring?

Roy Roundtree: “Yeah I feel like in seven on sevens we’ve been doing all summer he has been getting all the wide receivers out there and getting the timing down. I feel he is very comfortable from when he first started. That’s good on our heads because to see him poised that’s our leader on the offense and basically the team -- to see him poised, all of us poised. We just stay calm and he’s really working hard to be comfortable back there.”

Question: Are there times that you come out of your break and the ball is there and you’re just like the timing is dead on?

Roy Roundtree: “Yeah. Today, we got a pass off today and as soon as I came out of route, it was right there. It just shows that our timing is getting better and better day by day.”

Question: With this offense are there going to times that fans are going to say man that looks familiar and times it looks like old school Michigan?

Roy Roundtree: “Yeah. The offense is ridiculous. We got a lot of plays, different formations. It is a lot of everything. Every day we put in new plays and we’re just trying to get the best one.”

Question: Are there plays that look like…we haven’t seen much but sometimes things are a little spread out and Denard is running, are there plays that are spread?

Roy Roundtree: “Yeah there are some spread like plays, but Coach Borges is going to keep Denard safe. Just having him back there and Denard is going to read the defense and if it is for him to run, I’m pretty [confident] he’ll take off.”

Again, the improvement in the timing of Denard's passes is noted. The offense will be multiple. Different sets that include spread concepts.   

Denard was asked to comment on the offense and according to Jeff Arnold of

WR Roy Roundtree suggested Thursday there are aspects of OC Al Borges’ offensive game plan that may look familiar from last year’s spread. QB Denard Robinson wasn’t as forthcoming when asked about similarities. “Oh man, you’ll see,” Robinson said. “I can’t really say. It’s going to be a surprise.”

I'm sure he said that with a smile.

Via MGoVideo, Roy Roundtree's interview:



August 20th, 2011 at 1:15 PM ^

they are getting the timing down since that is apparently the key to the west coast offense. So far, everything we've been hearing about Denard this camp seems to indicate the offense really is on track, despite what the spring game looked like.


August 20th, 2011 at 1:17 PM ^

Most interested to see how Roy does in a outside receiver position. He's been great so far at Michigan but he hasn't yet been put in situations where he needs to go up and get the ball. Hopefully his game will be able to translate


August 20th, 2011 at 1:21 PM ^

I really still just don't understand the mentality that the defense requires long rests (but, somehow, the offense doesn't) and so, consequently, the offense should drag out possessions to wear down the clock.  If the defense did their job and got three-and-outs, they wouldn't be on the field very long and maybe wouldn't require as much rest.  The problem last year was not that the defense wasn't adequately rested.  It was that the defense was terrible.


August 20th, 2011 at 1:36 PM ^

Well, in this case I guess it is playerspeak, but we've also heard Borges say "We're trying to score on every single play."  Brady Hoke continues to prove he is the master of PR.  He takes every dumbass criticism of Rodriguez, emphasizes the opposite in interviews, the press/fans eat it up, and Brady Hoke "gets it" even if the playbook looks identical much of the time.


August 20th, 2011 at 1:45 PM ^

Yes exactly I love it. At the same time he'll say "I'm defensive minded, I trust gorgeous al Borges" I'm paraphrasing of course. This offense wont be pure "manball". I just got done revisiting the San Diego state- Navy game. I saw some read option and other things of the sort


August 20th, 2011 at 1:52 PM ^

"The defense needs rest" is a polite way of saying "The defense is our weaker unit and the less they're on the field, the better."  That's all it really is.  

Also offensive players can rest while on the field to a degree.  They can know they're a decoy player or just need to block one guy and take the play off if they're feeling gassed.  Defensive players often don't know and have to go 100% every single down.  For example if you're a WR and just running a pattern to suck up the safety and clear out some space, you don't have go at an all out sprint.  Just move fast enough to suck up the safety and call it as a play.  


August 20th, 2011 at 2:30 PM ^

Due to substitution patterns, I actually don't buy your arguement. Considering a lot more substitution occurs on the defensive line than the offensive line then keeping the DL starters fresh becomes very important if there is a lack of depth there. Guess who has serious depth question marks on their DL? Although, I of course agree that the defense was terrible.


August 20th, 2011 at 2:39 PM ^

I think its more of the fact that playing defensive you have to be reactive to what the offense does so besides physical exhaustion, there is mental exhaustion. Also if a defender misreads a play they have to expend more energy trying to catch up.  Offense you know what your doing if you mess up the play usually ends.  Your not trying to play catchup and fixing your mistake or trying to tackle the ball carrier who just ran by you.


August 20th, 2011 at 3:18 PM ^

On every down the defenders have to worry about where receivers are going to run, the receievers already know where they are running so they should have a step on the db (theoretically) so they must be fresher than the wr so they can make up for that. Also defenders have to first shed blockers, and even once they shed blockers they need to then be able to physically tackle the ball carrier, thus exerting more energy. D-lineman are forced to have to try and push a OL back coming off the ball where as the OL on pass blocking have to keep a pocket formed, not necessarily drive them back off, conserving energy.  The WR's run routes, sometimes knowing they aren't going to get the ball, and are called on to block if they  ball carrier is on their side of the field. Except when it comes to the RB where he is constantly running through defenders and shedding tackles, which is why you see them rotated more often since they are exerting more energy.

I could be wrong, but this is just my take on why you hear that TOP is important to grind down the opposing defense because the defensive side of the ball exerts more energy on each play than the typical offensive possession.



August 21st, 2011 at 12:35 PM ^

If our opponents O is on the sideline, they arn't scoring. The more worn out their D, the easier we move the ball. And their offense can't get rolling if they are getting cold on the sideline.

Long drives kills opponents momentum. Quick scores are appreciated, but long drives will wear and tear at your foe.

Pea-Tear Gryphon

August 20th, 2011 at 1:31 PM ^

I hate TOP!. The goal of the offense is not to waste time in between defensive series. The goal is to score points. If TOP was that important, we should all yell for Denard to take a knee after a 25 yard run instead of taking it the distance. It's the defense's job to get off the field. #frustratingfootballtalkmakesmefrustrated

Pea-Tear Gryphon

August 20th, 2011 at 2:18 PM ^

So in that game, should our offense have slowed things down to keep the score lower? Was it the offense's fault Illinois scored in the 60's because they scored so fast? It's the defense's job to stop the other offense and not our offense's job to keep the other offense off the field. TOP as a strategy is a flawed strategy and I would love to see a team purposefully not score because it wouldn't take enough time off of the clock (end of half/game situations excluded for obvious reasons).

Blue boy johnson

August 20th, 2011 at 5:13 PM ^

No the O should have scored at their pleasure, but M teams of the past would have spanked that sorry ass Illini team by 30, which is why we have a new coaching regime in Ann Arbor. As good as the O was last year and it was good, the D for the last 3 years was the worst in school history. Putting together a great O at the expense of D and Special Teams will get your ass fired. Just ask RR. Moral victories about an O's productivity ain't gonna cut it. I really don't give a shit about TOP either. I am looking forward to M fielding good teams again, something they most definitely did not do in the ill fated RR era.

As David Brandon likes to sarcastically say, "we are going to tackle people this year"


August 20th, 2011 at 5:57 PM ^

I'm really not trying to argue for the sake of arguing, but Denard was the vast majority of that 70% number. Also, no disrespect meant to RR, but our offense was gimmicky to be polite and it led to our best weapon getting run down an beaten up. Maybe I'm giving the current coaching staff too much credit but it seems like they have a plan for the season, not just a "ride this horse until it drops dead" attitude. That's the point I was trying to make. Wisconsin running 26 straight running TOP abuse and I don't expect we do that but from the player comments, I do expect a much better balance


August 20th, 2011 at 1:54 PM ^

They interviewed Koger and Roundtree and all they did was ask questions about Denard. Why not ask how these 2 very important players are doing. I love me some Denard but gottt damnn.


August 20th, 2011 at 2:24 PM ^

I don't interpret this to mean "please eat up the clock Offense" but rather see it as "stop throwing up home-run plays every down.". There is a big difference between TOP and managing your series so you get 4 yards on first down or, more importantly, aren't left with a 3rd and 15. Last years offense was exciting but I don't think we can describe it as a well thought out game plan. Maybe what they're describing is a strategy instead of an ESPN highlight reel.

Pea-Tear Gryphon

August 20th, 2011 at 2:39 PM ^

I disagree. First, we didn't "throw up home run plays every down" as we ran it 70% of the time. Secondly, I think every team from Navy to Hawaii wants to win on 1st down and not leave yourself 3rd and 15. Just because Navy chooses to run and Hawaii chooses to pass doesn't change that fact. The strategy on offense should be to score points and nothing else. "Managing the game" is coachspeak so as to say something without saying anything.


August 20th, 2011 at 4:52 PM ^

From the coaches to the players.  The chemistry seems to be very positive.  We'll see the end product in two weeks, but three weeks from now is going to be a really good test.

Go Blue!