Full Transcript: Coach Hoke Unit x Unit

Coach Hoke gives a detailed analysis of his team -- unit by unit, player by player -- going into the last two practices of Spring Ball.

Brady Hoke: "Thanks for coming out. It is good to see you all. We're heading down the homestretch of spring. Obviously, we've got two days left that we need to keep evaluating where we're at as a team, keep evaluating our personnel, keep teaching, keep coaching, keep a mindset and a mentality that we want to play the game with. I think we've made some progress in some of those areas, but we're a long way from being the football team that we want to be in the fall."

Question: You're obviously still developing both sides, but defensively what are some of the things that you've seen from the start of the spring until now that maybe encourages you the most?

Brady Hoke: "This is probably simple and all that, but there is a better communication throughout the defense. When you have to change a front or check a coverage to some point, making sure that everybody is on the same page in general and it starts there to be honest with you and I think there is a pride that those guys are starting to feel as a defense, an expectation on how they want to play."

Question: Can you talk about the format on Saturday?

Brady Hoke: "It'll be just like last Saturday. We don't have enough depth to have a draft and that is what we want to do, have the seniors draft and we'd have done that today if we were doing it that way. Our ones will go against ones and twos will go against twos. We'll kind of punt in there a little bit, we'll do it just with a punter and a long snapper and a returner, we'll keep a score of some sort. There is no scoreboard anyway. We got a lot that we need to accomplish from the standpoint of getting guys on tape and finishing off a spring evaluation the right way."

Question: Can you talk about the plans with the alums that are coming back and how much of a process is with you…?

Brady Hoke: "To be honest with you, it is great. It is great to have all these guys back. I know they have close to 85 for the flag game that they're going to play. We got over 300 coming in on Friday night for a team meeting, which will be good from all eras. There is a guy, Jerry Leaf (I think) who was out yesterday and he is '49 grade, who played here from San Francisco, out from _____ County for the weekend. It is kind of neat to see all the different guys who will be there and friendship that they have bounded and their love for Michigan."

Question: What is this team meeting thing?

Brady Hoke: "We're going to have conversation."

Question: You going to tell them about your impressions of the program or what you're doing?

Brady Hoke: "We're just going to talk about Michigan football and talk about and introduce the staff and how accountable we are going to be to them."

Question: Will you have any of them talk to the team, address the team at all during the weekend?

Brady Hoke: "Probably not."

Question: You mentioned punting, can you talk a little bit about the kicking game now?

Brady Hoke: "I think it is a work in progress from the mechanics of snapping the ball from the mechanics of punting the ball and all those things. Will (Hagerup) has a tremendous leg on him. We've got to keep working on consistency, but we are trying to see who the long snapper is going to be, so those guys are competing on a daily basis and from a placekicking standpoint that is a huge competition with four guys in there and who the holder and there is so many things and elements that have to go into it. We have a lot of work to do in that area of it and really find out who that person is going to be."

Question: You said some guys will be held on Saturday?

Brady Hoke: "(Troy) Woolfolk won't play. (JT) Floyd won't play. (Dave) Molk is back in. (Taylor) Lewan won't play. (Kenny) Demens won't play. (Michael) Shaw has been playing. I think right now that is about it. I can't tell you any differently than those guys right now. It depends on what happens tomorrow too."

Question: With Woolfolk, I think I saw him make a pick, can you talk about what he is able to do and maybe…?

Brady Hoke: "The only thing he's done is very little. He has done a lot of alternative conditioning. He has done a lot of working out. He's done some individual drills and stuff like that, maybe he has taken a few snaps one-on-one and a few snaps seven-on-seven but any live bullets, he hasn't played."

Question: Is it a similar situation Floyd, I saw him out there?

Brady Hoke: "Yeah Floyd is behind in his recovery compared to where Woolfolk is though."

Question: You talked a lot about competition this spring. Is there going to be some type of incentive for the guys in terms of the game on Saturday?

Brady Hoke: "Sure."

Question: Can you share what it is?

Brady Hoke: "You get steaks or beans and hot dogs."

Question: In the parts of practice that we've seen, you're definitely literally hands on with guys, whether it is the punt team or different stuff like that. Is that how you've always been as a head coach or is that just now new because it is spring ball?

Brady Hoke: "Always. I couldn't just walk around and watch stuff, I'd go crazy."

Question: The first team offense will be teammates with the second team defense and vice versa?

Brady Hoke: "Correct. It worked out well Saturday. It was good Saturday in fact, we tied. It should have gone into overtime, but the head coach didn't think of that quick enough."

Question: Have you developed a pecking order at running back or is it still four or five guys?

Brady Hoke: "I think Hop (Stephen Hopkins) has had a pretty good spring. He's done pretty good. (Fitzgerald) Toussaint has been pretty steady. Mike Cox, he has got one day because of academics that he does not get a chance to get out there so that hurts a little bit. Vince (Smith) has had his snaps. I don't think we're ready to say this is the guy. We'll go into fall camp with a depth chart, but you never know what those freshman are going to do also. They know they are being evaluated and everything they do and from the academic side to how they perform what they do in the weight room, how they act; all those things."

Question: When you say Cox has academics; did have a class?

Brady Hoke: "He had a class that it was the only time he could take, so he has missed some Tuesdays because of it. So that doesn't help you. If you're hurt or not there, it is hard to evaluate you."

Question: How about the linebacker situation, Demens has obviously not gotten a lot of action; how has that shaped up?

Brady Hoke: "Marell (Evans) has done pretty good job. We moved Brandon Herron back to the MIKE. He has some real natural instincts in there. Michael   Jones and Brandin Hawthorne are two guys at the WILL position. Cam Gordon is getting better and I think Cam will have a very good summer, which will even help him more from a physical side of things, and Jake Ryan. I would say those six are probably the guys who have made the most impact and have the improvement. JB Fitzgerald has started to come on a little bit. They've learned pretty well and I think they are making strides."

Question: Do you know much yet about your offensive line, you had Molk out?

Brady Hoke: "Well he had a hamstring and then he had strep, he has been doing some individual and then yesterday he did more of some of the team stuff. With Taylor out, Mark Huyge has played a little bit of both sides and Mark has done a good job and (Michael) Schofield has done a good job. We've kicked Ricky Barnum out a little bit at times. You'll have seven guys probably or eight guys that will be kind of the nucleus of the group. When you do that, they've got to be multiple to some degree."

Question: Have you been able to get a feel for it though because it has been sort of disjointed?

Brady Hoke: "There have been great snaps for Rocko Khoury, he has gotten a lot of good snaps and for Joey. I think at the center position, so those are great teaching snaps and great learning snaps. Patrick (Omameh) has taken most if the right guard snaps. We put him out a little bit at right tackle, but I think it has all been good. I think a guy like David who has played a lot of football, you need to sometimes get more snaps to some of those other guys."

Question: At this team meeting with these 300 alums, will your team be there?

Brady Hoke: "No."

Question: Talk to Al (Borges) last week about Devin Gardner's process. You've said that there is competition wide open, obviously Denard (Robinson) is your quarterback going in, but can you see Devin pushing him for playing time?

Brady Hoke: "I think Devin is a very talented guy and I think he's learned the offense well. I think he has got a good handle on it. There is some consistency that we've got to coach better with and in saying that, we've all got do to a better job coaching to keep pushing this team and it starts with me. He's talented."

Question: Can you talk about how the defensive line is coming along, specifically how Jibreel Black is doing and the competition between (Will) Campbell and Quinton Washington.

Brady Hoke: "Jibreel is a guy as his body changes a little bit, he is going to be a good football. I think he and Craig (Roh) at the rush have both had pretty good springs. We again need to be a little more consistent on a daily basis. I think Will Campbell has made strides but the consistency issues has to be there. Quinton, I think he is going to be a good football player at Michigan but we've got to continue to work fundamentals and techniques with that."

Question: A lot of your offensive coaches have coached together and a lot of your defensive coaches are coming from all over the place. How have you noticed them working together underneath Greg (Mattison)?

Brady Hoke: "It's great. It is like they've coached together forever and Jerry (Montgomery) has done a tremendous job up front and Mark Smith with linebackers and the little things that you have to see a linebacker have to do, they are doing great and Curt (Mallory) has done a really good job with the back end. As soon as recruiting was over and we started those meetings and how we want to coach and how you coach it, (did a) clinic (for) each on drills and how we're going to coach it and those questions have been addressed and those arguments have taken place."

Question: With spring ball almost over, are there things that you wish you would have been able to get to or are you kind of track?

Brady Hoke: "I think we're okay. I think overall there is some things and it depends on these next two days I'll be honest with you. The only thing I would have gotten to maybe a little bit earlier was some two minute stuff. I usually like to compete in that three or four times during the spring because I think that is an important part of a football segment because you can win and lose some games if you're not good at it at either side of the ball, so probably that. What will do is do that a little earlier in the fall camp to get enough snaps of it."

Question: You are able to assess, I know you haven't seen the freshman, but places where the freshman can help the most?

Brady Hoke: "Really Mark haven't though it much yet. Just trying to keep track of what we're doing now to be honest with you. No, not really."

Question: You've talked about depth concerns at certain spots.

Brady Hoke: "Offensive line being one and defensive line are two that can give you ten to 15 snaps a game. To me that is obvious, so I guess I should have said that before."

Question: Corner?

Brady Hoke: "Maybe, we'll see. We'll see. Greg Brown has done…really in the last week and a half he has really stepped up and did some really good things on Saturday and Courtney Avery is a guy who you can see the improvement in him and the different things that we've asked him to do."

Question: How is the safety situation?

Brady Hoke: "I think that's fluid, let us put it that way. I think Carvin Johnson I would say if anybody and (Jordan) Kovacs, both have probably got a good handle on the defense communicate well. Carvin has made some plays. Marvin Robinson made some plays and done some things. You look at Thomas Gordon and he has done some things that are pretty positive."

Question: You touched on the offensive line earlier; how has Ricky Barnum been?

Brady Hoke: "Ricky is good football player. He's a tough kid and a smart kid and he plays with good technique and that's why he is a good football player. He loves the game."

Question: Has he been consistent this spring?

Brady Hoke: "Yeah I think as much as anybody probably, up front he has. I like what Ricky has done."

Question: You guys want to use those tight ends, what have Kevin Koger, Steve Watson, Brandon Moore and Ricardo Miller done; do you have the guys to run what you want from them?

Brady Hoke: "Yeah I think so. I think Koger was out early in spring. He had a little bit of a knee bruise or something, but he didn't miss much. Kevin on the line kind of guy is really been good. I think Ricardo is more of a move guy right now, which is good because you need a guy who can stretch the field a little bit and do that. Steve has done a nice…I think the four guys you've mentioned have all done a good job in the offense and that will be a very important part of what we do offensively personnel wise."

Question: Are you finding leaders emerge this spring?

Brady Hoke: "Some. I think Kevin Koger being one, I think Brandon Herron being one. I think Ryan Van Bergen has really come to light a little bit more. I think with David missing so much, I think it is hard for him to assert himself. There some of those guys, some of those seniors are doing a nice job and I'm sure there are others that…you're definition of a leader can vary. It doesn't have to be a vocal guy. It's a guy who just does things and does it right and does it from the weight room to the classroom to off the field to what they do in their preparation and how they practice."

Question: Has Lloyd (Carr) been around at all?

Brady Hoke: "Yeah he's been over. He hasn't been to a practice, but he's been in and we've talked a little bit and Coach Moeller, who is around quite a bit and Coach Hanlon is here every day."

Question: He is trying to coach the offensive line?

Brady Hoke: "That's okay. He's great. They've all been tremendously supportive."

Question: You mentioned earlier how the defensive is kind of communicating better. Are there certain guys that are stepping out maybe back in the defense…?

Brady Hoke: "I think Ryan has done a really good job. I think he gets it. I think Cam Gordon is a guy. JB Fitzgerald, he's another guy who has done a good job, Kovacs and it is good to see…I mentioned Carvin. He's been vocal out there."

Question: What are the things that Denard and even Devin can take beyond Saturday take with them into the summer to really work on and get to the point where you want them starting fall camp?

Brady Hoke: "I think the footwork issues that you have and the play action game and the ball mechanics I think. I think guys have a tendency to rush it. I know talking to Denard the other day, the one thing, his feet. He has got to settle his feet down a little bit in some of the drop back stuff. I think all of that and the mental aspect John of getting you in the right place of what you're seeing. Two highs, one high, whatever it might be from that or where the reduction is on the line of scrimmage. I think all of that is what part of that film work during the summer and the physical part of it of the seven on sevens and those things are a part of it."

Question: You mentioned on the radio show that you were going to be on the field behind away and observing.

Brady Hoke: "Yeah protect the quarterback. Honestly that's exactly."

Question: Is there going to be someone coaching the two teams?

Brady Hoke: "Greg will coach the defense. The offense is going to be on the home side and the defense will be on the away side. For different reasons, Al will be upstairs. He's been upstairs the last two practices and he will be on Thursday again. We'll put him up in a lift if we're outside or wherever so that they can get the mechanics of game day and getting the plays and the personnel in and all that. Defensively, during the year Mark Smith would be up and Curt Mallory, but defensively…"

Question: But not this week?

Brady Hoke: "…not this week. We didn't feel we needed to as much."

Question: How much Mattison?

Brady Hoke: "He'll be down."

Question: During the season too?

Brady Hoke: "Oh yeah."

Question: Mike Martin on Twitter yesterday said that he had a pick six in practice on Denard; how has he played and practiced?

Brady Hoke: "He's done a good job. We're doing a couple different things with him."

Question: What does that mean?

Brady Hoke: "It jus means…maybe. Maybe not."

Question: Re Zone blitz and dropping him back.

Brady Hoke: "Doing a lot with him."

Question: You didn't mention Mike and you didn't mention Craig Roh; has he progressed better than you thought maybe this spring?

Brady Hoke: "Yep."

Question: Anything more specific?

Brady Hoke: "He's gotten better."

Question: Do you sit down after spring with each player and do you have a one-on-one with each player or the other coaches?

Brady Hoke: "Yeah. One-on-one, they'll have both. Offensive guys all will meet with position coach and the coordinator and with me and the same thing on defense."

Question: You set expectations?

Brady Hoke: "Expectations and where they are at and what they need to do, where their weight needs to be when the report, all kinds of different things. What their role right now is in the fall. Some of them will be happy and some of them won't."

Question: Is there a plan that guys are giving that they should be working on during the summer, is that verbal and written?

Brady Hoke: "The offensive line will have specific things that Darrell (Funk) will give them that they need to do as a group and as a unit, led by the seniors. This is where you really find out about your seniors, how much leadership they have. Same thing with the defensive line. There will be seven-on-seven that the quarterbacks will organize that is just part of what they> need to do. The evaluations at the end, believe me they'll be very specific on where they are at right now and where the expectation is for them to get to."

The Michigan Insider Top Stories