OT: ESPN Article on Hoke's Start as Oregon DC

Submitted by FauxMo on March 2nd, 2016 at 6:00 PM

Pretty good article, and I think we should all wish Brady the best (unless, of course, UM is playing the Ducks).




I have to admit I did laugh out loud when Hoke was quoted as saying: "“You’ve got to hear football,” Hoke said. “You’ve got to be out there and hear it. ... I think that’s a metric that’s measurable.”"


Maybe that explains the lack of a headset? He is some kind of football ninja that only needs his ears to measure football excellence, and therefore cannot be burdened with a headset?? :-)



March 2nd, 2016 at 6:52 PM ^

Ha well the metric "physicalness" must be measured somehow!

I sincerely wish Hoke the best and hope he succeeds, I'm just highly skeptical (as I've viewed Hoke as a solid dude and good DL coach who lacks the abilities / traits of elite coordinators and unfortunately ended up in over his head as the top dog at top 10 type program). Hopefully he proves his doubters wrong


March 2nd, 2016 at 7:15 PM ^

I too wish him well. But, based on the inability to get plays in quickly (while he was HC), I wonder if the game moves too fast for him. It's one thing as a D line coach to have four guys attack a gap and another thing to get 11 guys to defend a play you think is coming.

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March 2nd, 2016 at 11:04 PM ^

REPORTER: what x and o defensive scheme are you going to run this year coach Hoke?

HOKE:The tackle well and hit em hard scheme. What other scheme is there?

REPORTER: haha good one coach. But seriously, 3-4? 4-3? Lots of nickel?

HOKE: We are going to run the right one, because this is Oregon fergodssakes! Schemes aren't as important as some of you guys think they are.

REPORTER: I think a lot of us want to know how your going to plan on stopping some of the most explosive and innovative offenses that populate the PAC-12 coach.

HOKE: We prepare for games by practicing hard and executing. That's how you beat teams like Wash and that school in Corvallis.

Space Coyote

March 3rd, 2016 at 10:19 AM ^

I wouldn't be worried about them getting in plays. Hoke is going up against this thing every day in practice, he knows he needs to get plays in, and the program knows this too. The way plays are communicated are going to come from the program, which isn't dictated by him anymore.

So I really don't see that as an issue. I think he processes which plays need to be called fast enough, as he was able to process everything Mattison did in real time and decide could decide if he agreed or didn't with the calls, and he called plays in his last year at Ball St.


March 2nd, 2016 at 9:09 PM ^

I get it to some extent. I personally hated headsets, particularly with both earpieces. I felt disconnected from the 'game' as it happened, feedback from my players, the refs, just the speed of the game I guess. As a HC at the level he was at...there was no real excuse, but I do understand it.


March 2nd, 2016 at 6:09 PM ^

Agreed on good wishes to Brady Hoke.

A football question for people who played at a high level: is it possible to have practices be too intense with hitting?  I'm too lazy to actually check, you know, facts, but it seemed like we had a lot more off-season injuries under Hoke than RR and current staff.  Harbaugh has intense practices for sure, but we don't seem to have as many ACLs and busted legs (minus Mone who was half screwing around).  Maybe "hearing football" contributed?  Wouldn't know since Bo didn't want a 165 pound walk-on back when I was there.


March 3rd, 2016 at 12:29 AM ^

The excessive energy spent on hitting and "hearing football" was actually the final deal-breaker for me when it came to Hoke.

It's just pure chauvinism.

When he talked about "hearing football", admittedly, I was like, "awesome", football is a tough sport, and you need to be tough. But he literally fielded one of the softest looking Michigan teams I've ever seen.

We looked exhausted out there, flat out. And once I heard the quote of the players saying the same thing, I realized that Hoke was of the antiquated"if some is good, more is better" mindset. Which is old, out-dated thinking/reasoning.

The repeated hitting doesn't make you any stronger or tougher in the least.

Pushing 100% effort on 100% is the surest way to injury, exhaustion, and over-taxing your nervous system.

Regimenting practicing techniques at lower exertion levels, is the key to top-performance (to try to say as much as possible without exploding into the entire field/theory itself).

There's so much research showing how olympic athletes specifically focus on sub-maximum training and thus reserving full effort and power until competition time, so they can "peak" at the right moment, and not fry their nervous/cardiovascular systems before the "big day".

All performers do this, musicians, actors, runners, olympic lifters, military, even chess players, anyone involved in hi-po feats.

The downfall of Hoke, was his over-investment in tradition and unwillingness to see things otherwise, even when though times had changed. It's 2016, you simply HAVE to adapt your methods and practices when you are presented evidence that proves otherwise. Unless you want to get left in the dust.

Conversely, this is exactly what sold me on Harbaugh, his ability to adapt and change with new evidence/circumstance. He's really a case-study on his own, if you want to learn how powerful a proper mix of discipline and creativity can really be. He's always thinking, always planning, looking for new insights everywhere. Respecting everyone's experience and opinion. But, he's also not afraid of being unorthodox and experimental. Experimenting and observing, experimenting and observing.

That's why the common phrases you hear from so many recruits, and recruits parents, is that he's both "really, real with you" "his own person, honest", and also "crazy and fun".

You can see it in his eyes, his mind is always churning, he's always present. The biggest indicator is in his media interviews, he's sharp as a tack and calls out the interviewers for lazy/half-effort/inspecific questions (read: Nick Baumgardner).


March 3rd, 2016 at 4:12 AM ^

"Hearing football" or practicing with excessive hitting does seem antiquated, especially with what we know about CTE. I just saw on PTI that the Ivy League is actually going to experiment next year prohibiting full contact practice. Perhaps excessive in the other direction. Seems kind of strange not being able to go full speed until a game, it would be interesting to see how this turns out in performance and injuries.

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March 4th, 2016 at 2:45 AM ^

Very true, being excessive in the other direction is equally detrimental.

I apoligize for the poor communication. I didn't mean to sound like you wouldn't ever go "full speed" until game-time. You would have TONS of maximum effort reps throughout practices leading up to game-day. Thus, familiarizing yourself with peak-performance, in a very intentional way. But. You wouldn't just go "balls to the wall" all week leading up to a "big-game". You only have so much capacity. And high-level athletic training and research is showing that your capacity isn't just linear, like daily effort, or only caloric, but hormonal, psychological, weekly, monthly, athletic loads and recovery rates, stress, growth, rebounding, and everything in between.

And the more professionalized college sports becomes (just look at photos of CFB-players through the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, today), the more powerful/important these factors become, and awareness becomes pivotal.

It's sounds obvious, upon reflection, but older coaching methods, the intensity of the moment/rivalry/must-wins, tradition, and just the sheer amount of things that go into coaching student-athletes, plus the particular coach's mindset, it's much easier to see from a removed position, how many other things coaches/teams already have to juggle.

Hence why you see every single sports franchise hiring so many additional support-analytics-trainer-recovery-psychologists.

It's getting complex. And cool for dorks!


Vacuous Truth

March 3rd, 2016 at 11:30 AM ^

We didn't tackle to the ground in college during practice once the regular season started. Very quick whistle, but we had major depth issues.

In high school it was a different story - coaches loved to make us hit as often as possible, even did Oklahoma drill mid-season if they weren't happy.

Certainly there were more injuries in HS practice, probably due largely to hitting. However, i know our college team was damned bad at tackling so if you can afford it perhaps the practice injuries are a cost worth paying.


March 2nd, 2016 at 6:10 PM ^

This makes a surprising amount of sense. Communication is so important on defense, and I bet Oregon's safeties and middle linebackers will get after it more this year.

My old Tae Kwon Do instructor used to say he needed to hear our uniforms. If you throw a technically perfect punch with enough power, the sleeve will give a whiplash sound. Also, when I was the fighting instructor I listened for people hitting pads with authority.