Roundtable Transcript: Denard Robinson

On Al Borges, on Brady Hoke, on his receivers, on the health of Woolfolk and Floyd, on his footwork, on Nebraska's Taylor Martinez, on if he thought of leaving... much more.

Question: You got the Maize-N-Blue tie rocking.

Denard Robinson: "Yeah."

Question: I know it is early but what do you think of the new system and the new coordinator?


Denard Robinson: "Coach Borges is a really down-to-earth coach. He is a coach that loves the players and he is doing whatever it takes to be successful."

Question: How much do you know Coach Borges? Obviously you are not having that much interaction, but do you go in there and talk to him when you're allowed to?


Denard Robinson: "Oh yeah. He is down-to-earth. He love to have fun like joking but when it is time to get serious, he gets serious."

Question: Is there any quarterback in the NFL that you look up to, maybe somebody you had as a role model as a kid?


Denard Robinson: "Peyton Manning, Michael Vick, those guys right there."

Question: How have you been handling the fame?


Denard Robinson: "I don't really look at it like fame, I just take it."

Question: What do you think about certain labels like dual threat, running quarterback? Obviously you want to be able to known for being able to do both, but what are you thoughts.


Denard Robinson: "I love being a dual threat quarterback. It is hard to stop a dual threat quarterback."

Question: Yesterday you were talking about reviewing film and when you look back, what are the games, what are the plays that you say okay, this is where I need to be better than I was a year ago?


Denard Robinson: "A couple of plays where I could have probably stepped up into the pocket and just made the throw. I scrambled and forced stuff instead of letting things unfold."

Question: The Michigan State game, the first interception, you remember it pretty well right?


Denard Robinson: "Yeah."

Question: What do you need to do better on that play?


Denard Robinson: "Get it out earlier because that was a route that Roy Roundtree was wide open there. I misfired."

Question: Is that the kind of thing, read and recognition, get it out early, take me through that play and where you've made improvement.


Denard Robinson: "Once I see him open I need to get the ball out as soon as possible that is all it is."

Question: What would you say has been the hardest part of the transition to the new offense for you?


Denard Robinson: "Play call is pretty long, but nothing really, just get me footwork down and set. That's all really."

Question: You're talking about your footwork, what is that you talk about bouncing around a little bit too much there, is that just a natural tendency for you?


Denard Robinson: "Yeah that was natural just to bounce instead of stepping up. That was a big thing that I have to work on and just get my feet underneath me."

Question: What kind of drills do you do to combat that? Anything gimmicky out there?


Denard Robinson: "I try to put some bags so I can step through it, two bags and step through it."

Question: Are you excited about that first night game against Notre Dame?


Denard Robinson: "Everybody excited for it, but we can't skip to the second game. We got to worry about the first one first."

Question: Do you have a lot of memories of that rivalry in the ‘90s when both teams were ranked in the top five and do you see it getting back there any time


soon? Denard Robinson: "It is Michigan and Notre Dame, so it is always going to be a big rivalry and it is always going to be a great game."

Question: In the ‘90s, he was like seven years old, right, you were born in what year?


Denard Robinson: "1990."

Question: Did Coach Hoke have to sell you and win you over on changing the offense?


Denard Robinson: "Naw."

Question: Was there any skepticism on your part? Were like the greatest offense in Michigan history last year and now we're going to change?


Denard Robinson: "I didn't look at it like that. If I would have looked at it like that I would have been messed up. I just look at as a learning thing."

Question: He said this offense is similar to what you ran in high school; how similar and how much did it help you?


Denard Robinson: "I was under center all the time. I didn't start getting under shotgun until my senior year, junior year."

Question: When you looked at the playbook what stood out to you immediately about it that you were going to have to adapt to besides being under the center?


Denard Robinson: "Getting in the I formation. It reminded me back of high school, so that was kind of cool."

Question: You brought up Drew Dileo yesterday as someone who has impressed you, tell me a little about Drew.


Denard Robinson: "Drew is one of the most impressive receivers. He can do a lot. He can return punts. He can catch the ball. He probably has some of the best hands on the team."

Question: What makes Roy Roundtree such a special player?


Denard Robinson: "He knows how to get open. He'll find a hole just to get open. "

Question: Last year he obviously had a lot of success in the slot and a lot of those times when you would do the fake and you would find him wide open. How will he do matching up on the outside against the #1 cornerback?


Denard Robinson: "Roy can find a way to get open. That's one thing about him. He has been working on in the offseason, working on getting off the line and working on me and him having that chemistry that's the biggest thing."

Question: Last year you had a lot of spectacular individual plays, did any kind of stand out as one, like a favorite?


Denard Robinson: "I got to say the Notre Dame run that was a good one."

Question: Can you run through, what was 87 yards, can you run us through what you saw on that play?


Denard Robinson: "I saw one of my guards go down the field and he laid somebody down and Roy got a chop block and I just took off that is all it was."

Question: That play, you obviously kneel down after every touchdown, did it strike you as ironic at all that a Michigan player was essentially kneeling down, what Notre Dame players have done for 100 years?


Denard Robinson: "I didn't know that. That's crazy."

Question: Kind you talk a little bit about your relationship with Devin Gardner?


Denard Robinson: "It is like my little brother, just like a little brother. He is a great guy. Loves to have fun, always brings energy."

Question: How does he look on the field so far?


Denard Robinson: "He looks good, looks real good."

Question: Is it clear to you that you are clearly ahead of him in terms of competing for this position?


Denard Robinson: "He is competitive. We always compete. I wouldn't want it any other different. That's how I look at it, we always competing. I don't think it is my job yet, I have to prove it."

Question: What has this offseason been like for you personally with all the changes?


Denard Robinson: "Just a learning process, getting closer to my teammates, just fun."

Question: Do you feel like you are taking on more of a leadership role this year than in the past?


Denard Robinson: "Oh yeah. Everybody is trying to turn to me and look to me about what I'm going to do and how I look at things."

Question: Do you like to lead by example?


Denard Robinson: "Yeah. I like leading by example, but if I have to talk, I'll talk."

Question: Last year Taylor Martinez from Nebraska said you were one of his favorite players to watch, do you admire his style of play? What do you think of Taylor's game?


Denard Robinson: "Oh yeah. He is one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. He is a dual threat quarterback, just like me. He can make plays out of nothing. That's an impact player."

Question: Is there a certain thing that he does better or that you do better than him, compare your games?


Denard Robinson: "I can't really compare because both of us so similar."

Question: He did say that he is looking forward to playing at Michigan. What for Nebraska fans can you tell what it is like in the Big House, what can the people expect?


Denard Robinson: "Probably the best fans in the nation, the biggest stadium and a great game."

Question: What is your take on Nebraska joining the league, a good thing?


Denard Robinson: "They're a great team and a great tradition team. They always competing in the nation. So that is a great add to the Big Ten is what I think."

Question: What was your first thought when you had heard that Coach Rodriguez had been let go; what was your first reaction to that news?


Denard Robinson: "I didn't know how to react. I was surprised. I went in to talk to Coach Rod because he recruited me. He was like a father to me."

Question: Do you still stay in contact with him?


Denard Robinson: "Every now and then."

Question: When you talked to him that first time what did he tell you?


Denard Robinson: "He was at a loss for words and couldn't really talk."

Question: Did you consider transferring?


Denard Robinson: "I thought about it, but I didn't look too much into it."

Question: You thought about it, why didn't you? Not that you should have, not saying that, but what made you stay and think this was the best for you?


Denard Robinson: "My teammates, my family."

Question: How would you describe Al Borges in a word?


Denard Robinson: "He can be energetic."

Question: Why is that?


Denard Robinson: "When we're out on the field, that first play, he always get on us about that first play. He always tells us, as soon as we start practice, he is like let us go and be serious. Let us get this play right and he always wants that first snap to be crisp."

Question: What did Coach Hoke tell you about how the pro style offense can assist the defense, did he explain that to you?


Denard Robinson: "No he really didn't."

Question: He was talking about how the defense will get more repetitions, a physical style; what do you think about that whole concept?


Denard Robinson: "I think it is a good idea because this is the Big Ten and you know it is going to be a physical thing. You got to get ready for it."

Question: Coach Hoke also talked about trying to find one main running back for this season, what is your take on that, would prefer to have one go to guy?


Denard Robinson: "Man, it is exciting just handing it off to all the running backs that we have. I'm going to be surprised who takes over the job because all of them can carry the ball."

Question: What has Coach Borges said about the process of when a play is developing you should decide when to take off and when to run; what is his philosophy about that?


Denard Robinson: "Do not force it. Don't force it across the middle, don't force anything. If a man is not open just take off."

Question: Is there a lot of room for you to improvise in this offense?


Denard Robinson: "Oh yeah. It is basically a broken play. If a broken play happens, you got to take off that's probably one of the hardest plays to defend is a broken play."

Question: How many times last year would you say that was the case, how much of a percentage of your big runs were broken plays and how many of them were designed?


Denard Robinson: "A lot of them were designed. We had a couple of broken plays. I can't really tell you seriously how many times that happened."

Question: In what ways has running this offense in high school helped you?


Denard Robinson: "Just being under center, being able to change plays and understanding stuff like that. All that stuff."

Question: How would you describe Coach Hoke with one word?


Denard Robinson: "He comes in the room for a practice and he is just get everybody hyped. I can't just really put one word on them. Him and Coach Borges, it is hard to put just one word on those two guys."

Question: Some of the Ohio State fans yesterday thought that Coach Hoke's comments were kind of rash, kind of bold, do you get that sense from him? You get that sense from him, we're not rebuilding, we're Michigan period.


Denard Robinson: "We are Michigan. That's it."

Question: Is that how he talks to the players?


Denard Robinson: "Yeah we are Michigan and we have to live up to that standard."

Question: What is that standard?


Denard Robinson: "Winning. Just competing for the Big Ten every year."

Question: How long did it take you for you to decide to stay after Brady talked to you?


Denard Robinson: "I had already made up my mind that I was staying. It was already there."

Question: I talked to Desmond (Howard) the other day and he said that you told him that it was 85% that you were comfortable with the footwork and everything in this offense. Where are you now going into the fall, are you working on the seven on sevens?


Denard Robinson: "I'm feeling good right now. I know coach is going to have tweak me a little bit. We'll see how it plays out in fall camp. It is going to be fun."

Question: Are you of the mindset that your only personal statistics in terms of rushing might down, but that is not a bad thing for the team overall; how do you approach that?


Denard Robinson: "I just approach it as I'm going out there to have fun with my teammates and whatever it takes to win that's what we're going to do."

Question: What is the most encouraging thing about the summer for you, working on seven on sevens, are you guys developing a pretty good chemistry with receivers?


Denard Robinson: "That's the thing I love about it just building that chemistry with all our teammates and all that stuff. I enjoy that."

Question: How has it been in terms of participation? Anybody you have to say, hey come on we got to go or has everybody bought it?


Denard Robinson: "Oh no, everybody bought it and everybody want to be successful this year."

Question: What is the difference in strength programs? Is there a big difference for you between Coach Barwis and Coach Wellman?


Denard Robinson: "Both of them are hard nosed coaches and they both get after you. There is not too much of a difference."

Question: Did it take some getting use to the different lifts and everything?


Denard Robinson: "Oh yeah."

Question: How did you feel at the end of last season physically after playing a full season like that?


Denard Robinson: "I was kind of beat up. The trainers and everybody made sure that I was okay."

Question: Did you put on more weight this year, strength, tell me a little bit about what you tried to do to yourself physically to get ready for another season?


Denard Robinson: "I've put on five or ten more pounds. I got stronger. I know I got stronger."

Question: Any of the freshman come in and caught your eye yet; have you got to work out with any of these kids yet?


Denard Robinson: "Blake Countness, he looks good. Justice Hayes look good. All of them look good, all of them are real solid. We haven't gone to pads, so we'll see what happens. I know when we do seven on sevens and stuff like that, they coming along and they going to be alright."

Question: You talked about how you made your decision to stay, was there like one moment where it kind of you just knew?


Denard Robinson: "No."

Question: Do you think people still underrate you as a passer?


Denard Robinson: "Yeah they do but we try to prove them different."

Question: Is that something that motivates you?


Denard Robinson: "Sometimes it does."

Question: Are you going to show people more this year in this offense, maybe a little bit more under center?


Denard Robinson: "Yeah probably. We did pass it in the last offense. We can't really say I didn't pass the ball."

Question: How do you think you've gotten better with passing this summer?


Denard Robinson: "Being patient and not rushing."

Question: Did Coach Borges show you film from San Diego State or anything like that to show you what they did and what they expect of you?


Denard Robinson: "Oh yeah."

Question: Is that when you watch film primarily is that it? You obviously do not watch film from last year, do you? What other films do you look at?


Denard Robinson: "He showed me some film when he was at Auburn. He showed us some film from San Diego State. He shows us that and tells us what we should do and shouldn't do."

Question: How much are you in there watching film?


Denard Robinson: "A lot."

Question: Do you go into the film room at times and just pop it in and try to learn?


Denard Robinson: "Yeah try to learn from mistakes and try to learn."

Question: What do you think of the other quarterbacks in this league, there are a lot of guys with experience and put up some good numbers throughout the league, what is your take on the quarterback position in the Big Ten this year?


Denard Robinson: "We got some great quarterbacks. We got some really great quarterbacks. We probably have the top quarterbacks in the country."

Question: Will there be more of a variety of throws that you'll make in this offense as opposed to last year?


Denard Robinson: "Yeah. We did a lot of routes last year. We'll have some different routes from last year."

Question: Coach Borges said he was going to keep some of the spread elements in this offense. How much have they kept? Is it enough that it is going to give you some room to run at times and keep the ball as well?


Denard Robinson: "Oh yeah. It is a lot. It is a good deal."

Question: Being under center rollouts and bootlegs are things and stuff like that are things they can do, run/pass type option make defenses kind of afraid of you out there on the edge?


Denard Robinson: "We was just talking about that. We might do it. We might not. It really doesn't matter."

Question: J.T. Floyd out there moving around in seven on sevens, Troy (Woolfolk), are they back and healthy?


Denard Robinson: "They both moving around. They moving around solid. They looking good."

Question: They are doing just about everything now?


Denard Robinson: "Yep."

Question: What are you looking forward to most this year?


Denard Robinson: "Just going out there and having fun. That's the biggest thing."

Question: Do you have any certain expectations for this season?


Denard Robinson: "We're at Michigan, we want to win the Big Ten."

Question: Do you think Coach Hoke will make a bigger deal out to the Ohio State rivalry being from Ohio and the way he has been calling them Ohio and tweaking them a little bit. Do you expect that and do you think would be good for you guys or do you care?


Denard Robinson: "Rich Rod got up there just like Coach Hoke is too. All of us want to get after them. They're a great team. They're not a pushover and we all want to play against them. That's the game, but we can't skip to Ohio State. We got to worry about Western Michigan first."

Question: What is Coach Hoke like? Even at that first meeting, he seems a very intense guy; how would you describe him and the impression he has made?


Denard Robinson: "He is a guy that wants us all to hold each other accountable. That's how he looks at it. If you see somebody else slacking, you hold them accountable, we all teammates. That's how he looks at it."

Question: Is he a funny guy as well?


Denard Robinson: "Oh yeah. He is a funny guy. There is a time to be serious and a time to have fun. He messes with us all the time."


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