Coach Hoke: "Thanks for coming. We had a very good day yesterday. I thought for a Tuesday it was very intense and I thought competitive. It wasn't perfect, never is perfect. There is a lot of stuff when you tweak things and I've said this before, but it always makes a little bit of a difference in the learning process and playing fast and recognition and then when you put an opponent and what they like to do, there is always some adjusting going on mentality and physically to some degree. I thought we had a pretty inspired spirited day."
Question: How are some of your injured guys coming along. Would Cam Gordon start if he were able to go?
Coach Hoke: "Probably not. He's been out a long time. He did everything and so did Brandon (Herron). We'll just go one day at a time."
Question: Is that indicative of Jake Ryan's play?
Coach Hoke: "I think Jake's done a couple good things. I think he's nowhere near will he be as a player being a redshirt freshman and things that go along with that. He's doing some good things."
Question: Greg said yesterday that he's asking the Michigan defense to play perfect. Is that part of meeting the standard of Michigan defense or does perfect mean perfect?
Coach Hoke: "I think perfect means perfect, and it's a part of what you want to be. You'd like to go out and play a perfect game. Not that has never happened and will never happen, but ideally when you say that you have high expectations for each individual at there specific position and as a defense itself. Whether it's playing your base package, your sub packages, or whatever. Everybody doing exactly what they're supposed to do to the best of their abilities with great effort and toughness."
Question: You like your backs to be physical is there a point at which you can be too physical in terms of not avoiding contact and risking injury?
Coach Hoke: "I don't know. I suppose there is but we've had a standard here of having pretty physical guys and I think they all use what the good lord gave them as far as their athleticism to their best, but there is a always a time when you have to be physical."
Question: So Vincent Smith is going to be the starter on Saturday?
Coach Hoke: "Yeah, I would think so and Fitz had a good day yesterday, too. Both those guys ran the ball hard. (Thomas) Rawls ran the ball hard. He had some snaps in there. I think we're still trying to find what the magic combination is."
Question: I know you don't want to be a running back by committee, but is there a point where you want to see a guy get multiple games to establish a rhythm or is that not…?
Coach Hoke: "No I think there would be a point, but I can't tell you on the 21st of September that we know when that point is going to happen. I think there's good things that they all do to some degree, but at the same time, we want that guy who's going to play a perfect game."
Question: In the preseason you talked a lot about trying to find a guy by the end of camp, did you think you would be at this point, at this point?
Coach Hoke: "I would say probably not. The only reason I would say not is because we're at this point. We were hoping to get by this point, but to the credit of the kids, they all are competing like heck. They like to play and we all like to be the guy if you want to say that. I think their competition level is really at a high level."
Question: Where does Rawls fit into the depth chart right now? Would he be the second or third?
Coach Hoke: "Oh, I don't know, probably somewhere in there."
Question: Mike Shaw has seen a diminished number of carries the last couple of weeks, what is going on with him?
Coach Hoke: "I think he has to be a little more consistent in everything that we do. He'll have his time in there. There's a lot that goes along with being a back besides running the football, and we've got to be a little more consistent in those areas. He's working his tail off that's the encouraging thing."
Question: How important is pass protection for the backs?
Coach Hoke: "It will be very important. This is unique. You never know what Coach Rocky Long is going to have in store for you. In working with him for six years on the defensive side of the ball, he'll always have something maybe you haven't see and something a little different."
Question: How hard is that go get into a defense? As his head coach was that something that you were curious about as he was going through it?
Coach Hoke: "We ran it at Oregon State. Believe me I still got the playbooks from that and everything else, not that it helps, because he's evolved quite a bit from the basics back then. Number one, the personality of that team and the quickness of that team…the thing that you equate it to from a defensive standpoint, when you play midline option teams or true triple option, your defense has to catch up a little bit with the tempo and the speed and arc blocks and low blocks and all that stuff that is involved there. I think it's the same way offensively with three or four possessions in, trying to have a clear understanding of what the defense is doing and catching up to that speed."
Question: What do you do with your scout team?
Coach Hoke: "Well they've been working like heck. They gave them a great look yesterday. Roy Manning, the GA who runs it, did a nice job of preparing them for it. A credit to those kids down there on those look teams, those switch teams; they did a nice job."
Question: You have a quarterback in the first year of a new offense and still it is a big learning process for him; how difficult is it to prepare for such a unique defensive set?
Coach Hoke: "When you look at your schedule, I think there's a uniqueness to every defense. Some of that may be if you're going to be a man team, a man free team, a Tampa two team. The bodies and the athleticism that you may have to defend. He did a nice job yesterday in what we ask a quarterback to do, getting in and out of things and so that's a good start."
Question: Getting back to Herron and Gordon for a second, do you feel comfortable that they will play Saturday?
Coach Hoke: "They're available."
Question: You talked about working with Rocky, have you ever gone against a defense of his?
Coach Hoke: "No. When he was at UCLA, I don't believe so."
Question: Trying to simulate some of your players, has that been a challenge for your scout team?
Coach Hoke: "Well, Russell Bellomy throws the ball pretty well. So that's a plus. I really think the pride that those guys are really getting when it comes to giving you great looks. We reward those guys who do the best job every week. We've had two guys a lot of the time, which is good. So that's good. I think they're doing a dag on good job. In fact, one guy came up to me and apologized after practice because he didn't think he did a good enough job. That tells you a little bit about their consciousness of helping their football team out."
Question: How would you assess the play of your tight ends to this point compared to what you were hoping to get out of that position?
Coach Hoke: "I think we're doing okay. Kevin (Koger) is a really good tight end, can do both, blocks at the point of attack well, runs good routes, catches the ball well. I think Brandon (Moore) has come along well. Steve (Watson) we've used both at fullback and tight end. Ricardo (Miller) hadn't gotten any playing time yet, but he gets some good work with them and then comes down. He's (Gavin) Escobar for us this week and doing a nice job of running the routes and the speed and all those things. I think they've been pretty good."
Question: I noticed you look a little mad when the team went over to the student's section to sing ‘The Victors' after the Eastern Michigan game.
Coach Hoke: "I wanted to score a touchdown at the end instead of a field goal."
Question: Is that something you're going to allow the team to continue to do?
Coach Hoke: "Yeah it's fine. I mean, the students are important. I hope they get there early. We'll need a lot of noise."
Question: Greg said yesterday that he's been very hard on Craig Roh, and about a week ago he saw a different player. Did you see that as well?
Coach Hoke: "Yeah and I think if you'd ask Craig, he'll tell you that his best week of practice was last week. It's amazing that how you practice is how you play. That's always a battle. Angelique, is it your birthday? I heard that. 39? 29? Something like that."
Angelique: I'm still younger than the head football coach at Michigan.
Coach Hoke: "So is everybody else (laughter). But, no, that's something that you always push and you always want. You're going to play like you practice, and that's what he did."
Question: How has he practiced this week?
Coach Hoke: "Good. He's been good. He's got a lot of self pride and a lot of pride and ownership of who you are, and pride and ownership of who you represent."
Question: Is part of something like that because he says that he is perfectionist and he thought he was doing everything perfectly. When you come in, it is sort of breaking people down, kind of breaking whatever habits and rebuilding them?
Coach Hoke: "We all have habits, good or bad. I think the expectations that we have for the kids and what they have for themselves are always different. We coach them pretty hard but fair. We love them and kiss them on the cheek when they do things the right way, and kick them in the butt, not literally, please understand that."
Question: You do kiss them on the cheek?
Coach Hoke: "I do. Yeah."
Question: On Monday, you said that you wanted to see more from the front seven what have you seen from them in practice?
Coach Hoke: "The good thing to some degree is that when were in our two back stuff offensively and we go one on ones a lot. That's an important aspect of competition, important aspect of the look you get and all that. It was good because we run the power play, we run the lead play, we trade tight ends. We do things very similar and that was a plus and we did some really good things and there are some things we have to shore up."
Question: Is there a lot of emphasis on special team coverage?
Coach Hoke: "Yeah. Part of that's placing the ball and part of that is doing a good job of your lane recognition and the block recognition at full speed. It wasn't as bad as you think, and I hate saying that. I think that those kids have a lot of pride, and they don't like when we think they didn't do as well as they could."
Question: Matt Wile said he hit a 59-yarder in practice the other day. Would you feel comfortable sending him out for such a long field goal?
Coach Hoke: "Yeah. Yup."
Question: You want defense to be perfect but at what point can you at them and say they had a good game or they were successful?
Coach Hoke: "Hmm. I don't know. I don't know."
Question: Have you ever said that?
Coach Hoke: "Nope."
Full Transcript: Brady Hoke Midweek
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