July 7th, 2014 at 10:36 AM ^

Although a very short clip the ball is flying out of Devins hand.  If he can stay healthy and a second reciever emerges.

Must keep hopes down.


3 tough road games.

EZ now-down boy.


July 7th, 2014 at 11:59 AM ^

I think part of that is just being cautious. If he sits there and says the offensive line is going to be great, he is going to be ridiculed by many citing last year's stats and you need to prove it on the field. The constant criticism regardless of what he says has made him more guarded. The criticism by Brian on Twitter yesterday of what he told Peppers shows that no matter what he says there will be critics blasting him so why bother saying anything.


July 7th, 2014 at 1:28 PM ^

Hoke's response barely met the definition of cautious. It was a non-response. Bonnie provided an open ended statement for Hoke to talk about and he parroted her statement with no elaboration. He provided some insight to every other question except that one.

I get that the O-line has been a sore spot for a couple years and no one likes having their flaws exposed (especially coaches), but from a PR perspective (which is why Michigan agreed to the interview in the first place) it does not help responding in that manner. 

Space Coyote

July 7th, 2014 at 2:48 PM ^

And yes, there is a difference between "not sucking" and "great", but there really isn't a great way to answer the question other than "they're working". Hoke isn't one to throw them under the bus or make it all about them, it's about the team, the whole offense in this case, everyone has responsibility and everyone needs to be better. He doesn't want units on his team pointing fingers at one another, like fans do to the offensive line, that is very unproductive. So all he can say is "everyone needs to improve" and "they are working hard". And they need to keep working hard, they can't just feel they are getting better and that's enough, it has to be more than that, and that's what he's saying.

As for the thing Hoke told Peppers, I think he's spot on. People take that as Hoke just calling out Michigan fans, but it's not. It's all the people that are surrounding him, his fans back home, his friends telling him he's the greatest thing in the world, the media telling him he's going to be great immediately. And all those things will turn on him when he slips up. The reaosn Hoke is telling him that is so that Peppers's head doesn't get to big, it has to be about the grind. It has to be about Peppers making himself better each and every day, for himself, for his team, and for his family, who will always be there for him. Looking into any more than that is ridiculous. This is about motivating Peppers to get better and to block out the people telling him he's the greatest now so he can block them out when they call him a chump later. Because neither will make you better, only the grind, personal accountability, and accountability to your teammates and family will do that.


July 7th, 2014 at 11:04 AM ^

My observations:

1) Answer about the head set makes sense.  Also reqlized one of the differences between Nuss & Borges is that Nuss will be on the sidelines along w/ Hoke & Mattison.  Not that I have strong opinions on logistics like headsets or where a coach is located, but for folks who do, maybe the answer offers a bit more clarity.

2) Interesing to see his unguarded reaction to the "national championship" question--"oh boy..." before he slipped back into coachspeak.  But even the coachspeak makes sense.  I suppose some teams are thinking "naitonal championship" from first day of camp, but a more realistic view would be something the lines of "good season; big ten championship", and then if undefeated in late October, start seeing the playoff as possible.

3) Also interesting to see him name the potential leaders of the team.  Ryan & Clark no hesitation, but there seemed to be a bit of "I need to throw in Gardner too" before he named him.  What exactly is the hesitation there?  Is it Gardner himself being shy or not vocal or something?

OK.  Time to end the July over-analysis.....back to work.


July 7th, 2014 at 11:33 AM ^

Point 3 has been ridiculuously overlooked for 3 years now.  Any mention of it around these parts draws the ire of many, including mods.  It is the NUMBER 1 reason there is even talk of Morris competing with Gardner for the starting spot. 

Some kids are naturally hard workers or leaders.  Their teammates see it, respect it, and respond accordingly.   It may be hard for some to imagine, but Gardner just might not be that guy.

CRISPed in the DIAG

July 7th, 2014 at 11:57 AM ^

I've been wondering that myself for a couple of years while reading between the lines of info from Fort Schem.  However, it sometimes take people a few years before they're comfortable in a leadership position.  Hopefully Gardner's superhero game against Ohio gave him some traction.


July 7th, 2014 at 12:04 PM ^

The phrase "some kids are naturally hard workers or leaders." To imply that working hard and "leading" are the same thing is ridiculous. The purported 'leadership' knock on Gardner is that he's not vocal enough. No one has ever suggested he doesn't work hard enough.

If you want my educated guess, the coaches are trying to get him to be more vocal, so they've been suggesting he needs to lead more. It doesn't change the fact that the whole "quarterback controversy" thing is a hilarious facade, but it is what it is.


July 7th, 2014 at 12:25 PM ^

The off-the-field knocks I've heard about Gardner:

1. He did not take the QB position seriously enough early in his career when he was the backup to Denard Robinson. Ever since he became "The Man," that seems to have changed (regarding film study, etc.).

2. He's not a vocal leader. He's one of the guys, but he doesn't challenge others to be their best.

3. He gets down on himself after poor performances and losses and has to be picked up by his teammates, rather than holding his head high and plowing through.


July 7th, 2014 at 12:50 PM ^

DG strikes me as a naturally introverted guy - and a conscientious one.  I don't say that as a knock at all, but being someone who is hyper-aware of his own flaws makes it hard to also be someone who puts failure behind him quickly and tells his teammates to buck up. 

I like DG a lot and have high hopes for him this year, but I can see how he might not be a natural leader in some respects. 


July 7th, 2014 at 11:42 AM ^

in 2013, DG was speaking to the group and he stated what a hard time he had in leading the players off the field. Specifically, he said on game days, when a captain would be pumping up the other guys, DG usually likes to be by himself, listening to music, "getting into the zone". He has had a hard time being the guy who gets out there and pumps up the other guys, it's not his natural "thing".

Space Coyote

July 7th, 2014 at 2:57 PM ^

There is above discussion, and I can't respond to it all, so here's a general response/addition.

I can tell you right now that there is a reason why Jake Ryan pops out of Hoke's mouth immediately, and that him being down to start the year was not a positive thing for the defense. Clark has some of those abilities too, particularly when leading off-season workouts and things of that, but it is Ryan that the players are looking to, day in and day out, and he fits the bill.

As for DG, I think Hoke said what he meant there. DG can be that guy, I think he believes that. By all accounts, DG is a hard worker, lead by example, all that. But, like many introverts (his natural personality), he has to work to act outwardly, to display good body language outwardly, to be vocal to those around him. And when there were more vocal people around him last year (Lewan is a major extravert), he won't challenge them, talk over them, or something else. He'll fall back in line and be one of the guys, another hard worker.

All that said, he has the potential. When he is outward, when he is outspoken, when he focuses on that, he displays good leadership tendencies in that manner. But he needs to work on it. He needs to take command. He needs fight to be that guy. I wrote an article for the Lindy's Michigan preview (which is hard to say what is happening there, I can't really get into it), but it is about the exact need to have a QB competition this year. There is a reason it's a "competition". It's a competition because both Gardner and Morris need it to be one. Just being the guy wasn't sufficient last year, it won't be this year either. Gardner needs to be pushed, he needs to feel he won the job, he needs to take that responsibility and that leadership and carry it. That's the reason for the competition and why everyone is stressing it this offseason. It's because Gardner has the potential to be all those good things, from a QB to a leader, but he needs a push to get there.


July 7th, 2014 at 12:30 PM ^

Agreed. I think wearing a headset on the sideline can be a pain in the butt sometimes. Sometimes you get caught up talking/listening to coaches when the most important things are happening on the field with the players. It's long been known (at least to some of us) that Hoke has the calls being relayed to him, and he can clearly communicate back to the guys in the booth if necessary. It's really not a big deal, and if it's true what Bonnie Bernstein said about most of the Twitter questions having to do with the headset situation, then I think it just shows the ignorance of the average fan.


July 7th, 2014 at 12:50 PM ^

There's always going to be yammering from parts of the fanbase on something that they don't understand.  The base is too big and too diverse to be anything else.  

My response is to shrug, say "At least they care", and then ignore them.  

Listening to national radio, when I hear the caller start talking about Michigan football, I turn the station.


July 7th, 2014 at 1:41 PM ^

I know it's hard on this site but DG is not a leader and unfortunately likes to clown around too much. There is a reason he has not been named starting QB and it's because coaches were not happy with him after Spring ball. Morris has a legit shot at winning the job.


July 7th, 2014 at 1:59 PM ^

Roll out some objective proof and the blogerati will be all over it. Hell, we even talk about soccer and headsets. In the meantime, let us hope that Morris wakes up every day working toward taking the starting job. In fact, I hope Bellomy and Speight are doing everything short of sticking pins into a little DG doll to do the same thing.


July 7th, 2014 at 5:58 PM ^

Yes he does pal. DG has not taken the proper steps to secure anything. You will see.

And for the record I'm not a Shane Morris or bust guy. I'm in the camp that I would like to see an actual QB, who has been trained his entire life to play the position get his shot. I also believe Morris will improve significantly from the beginning of the year until the end where DG has hit his ceiling.


July 7th, 2014 at 10:17 PM ^

This is a case of backup quarterback syndrome. Gardner didn't do that well for a lot of reasons some that were his own like his early season interceptions and lots that were not his own like the OL. Without an OL Shane Morris only scored 14 points against KSU.


July 8th, 2014 at 4:36 AM ^

Even if Gardner isn't the most vocal leader on the team, that wouldn't be a reason to write him off as the starting quarterback. And where did you hear he "likes to clown around too much"?

Also, Morris has the stronger arm, but does not necessarily have a higher ceiling by any means. Devin adds the running threat and is a far better athlete. He isn't even close to reaching his potential, which you could argue is on a Cam Newton level.


July 7th, 2014 at 2:05 PM ^

Very hesitant to post this because I myself have to see it to believe it but I guess the O line is developing very well. Common word to describe them "Nasty" type players.