Opening Statement: I thought we had a good practice yesterday, which is, always positive. You know, I think, you know, we're playing a football team that's, a good football team, plays well at home, I think they're 59 and 12 or something like that over the last ten years and, you know, we've got to do a good job with the environment and the communication on both sides of the ball, and, play with great composure and you know, play with poise, and play physical football.
What do you remember about the venue that makes it so tough?
It's just tight, you know. The bench is tight, you know. The bench is tight, probably similar to East Lansing, but, but, not, this even seems tighter, you know? And, you know, they're on top of you, which is good, and they're fanatical about, their team.
Are there other guys, now that Carvin Johnson is left, are there other guys that are going have to cross-train between the two positions?
Not really, you know, we've had a number of guys, you know, when we started that probably one of the deepest slots we were at, you know, to be honest with you, and with the progress that what's his name – Blake's – made, you know? I think that's helped when we're able to put, Troy over there.
Is Marvin Robinson in position to play?
He's got to be healthy to play.
Are you concerned…I mean, you know, this has been, two weeks mid-season, is that a concern at all?
About what? Oh.
Do you just chalk it up to regular attrition, or…?
Happens in football.
When you say Kovacs is fine, does that mean Kovacs plays Saturday?
I hope so.
So it's not definitive either, I mean, do you think he's…?
Well, I hope he does.
Is there a percentage?
I don't deal in percentages.
Did he practice yesterday?
Yeah. He did a lot.
How are Barnum and Lewan?
Barnum's probably the guy who's the furthest away, you know? Taylor, you know, he'll, I would hope he would play too.
Is Ricky more week to week than day to day?
You know, I hate to say that, because he's got such a great work ethic, and everything he does to get ready, you know, I would still say that he's day to day, you know, there's some guys that have that mentality and that toughness that, you know, can push through more, and I see that more in him than I have other guys in the past.
What have you seen from Koger that makes him so dangerous?
You know what, he's physical. I mean, he's, number one, he's got very good definitive vision, and when he plants his foot and wants to get north and south, he gets north and south. I think he's a physical runner, you know, he's 225-230 pounds, so he's a bigger back, they do a nice job in what they do, in blocking upfront, you know, and zoning guys off, which helps, and then I think the progress that you see from the quarterback, you know, I think he is you know, really playing well, you know, and getting him into the right plays and his accuracy, you know, that he has, so when you got that combination of being a good running football team, and the play actions that come off, you know, the run, because you're successful, it puts you in some tough spots. I mean, you've got to be disciplined in the back end, and making sure that you're keying all the way through what you're supposed to key to the end of the play.
Coach, earlier in the week you said you liked playing this early kickoff. Why is that?
Well, I think it's like you, you know, when you played Pee-wee football or Pop Warner, you know, you got up in the morning, and went by the donut shop and got a donut and rode your bike to the game, and your helmet was on, and you went and played, and I think it's great, it's the way football should be.
What type of donut did you get?
And you can eat the donuts before…?
Oh yeah, we have been any time we play at noon.
What kind of donuts?
Everybody eats glazed?
If they want it, they're there.
But you don't eat it on game day right?
But the team does? So in your Pop Warner you ate them?
Why'd you change?
I think it became a little more important than Pop Warner.
You said there's competition in punter, do you anticipate Hagerup…?
Ok what'd you think yesterday? How'd you think they both punted?
I brought my binoculars, I studied them.
You didn't even watch.
They looked fine, I'll use your words.
No, there is competition there, and I thought they both punted well, and more so when you uh, you know, I'm not going say anything's ever easy, but, you know, when it's just the snapper and the punter, and then you put the whole thing together, I was pleased how they both hit the ball when we went live and had live rushes and those things.
Gibbons has been pretty consistent. Was there ever a point when you had a "forget everything that's happened before" type conversation with him?
Yeah, when we first got here, you know. You know, kids change a little bit, their mindset changes a little bit, you know, sometimes the coaching changes, you know, are good for some and not as good for others.
Did you sense a point where he kind of turned the corner? Was it in the spring or after that point…?
You know, he was really consistent during the spring, um, and then during the fall, and the month they did during the summer I think going up Chris to the stadium, and putting a little pressure on ‘em, and all those things. I've never doubted the kid, you know, because of…and and, I want to clarify, I know nothing about place kicking, you know. I couldn't teach it. I know what to look for, maybe, if I watch a guy enough, just like the punters, if I watch them enough, but I've been real comfortable with how he's handled the different situations we put him in, how he's gone out and worked every day. I really, there hasn't, there's been competition, but I think he's done a, you know, he's shown us on a daily basis that he's got a good mindset, and uh, you know, he's got a good leg, and so, all those things are positive. I rambled a little bit, but I, I've you know, the kid has been beat up, you know, just like, you know, our quarterback. And that's not right. The kid's a heck of a quarterback.
You mentioned Coker. What can you do to kind of neutralize that….?
You better get bodies to the ball. You've got to tackle. Man, you've got to get 11 guys to the ball. You don't want your safeties and corners making all the first hits, you know, you want to be clean up guys, but you've got to get bodies to the ball, and get off blocks.
What makes Jeremy Gallon such a good blocking wide receiver?
His heart, his intensity, his toughness. I, you know, that's all I can tell you. I mean, he's got good feet, which helps, cause you can run your feet. When you run your feet in any position in this game, you can be pretty successful, and that's what he does.
Have you see a receiver so small before be such a good blocker?
Oh probably, probably have. I mean, seen a lot of receivers.
Your guys say that you all don't hear what's said or written, but it sounds like it bothers you that things have been said with regard to…?
Well, I get asked about that. You know, when you get asked all the time, obviously people are trying to make a story out of it, and you know, I'll defend him forever, as a quarterback.
As far as the league and quarterbacks go, do you feel like there's a lot more mobile guys now that when you were here as an assistant? Has that really changed offenses and defenses in this league specifically?
Well, you know, I, some of the spread is obviously opened the game up a little more, and you know, if you're not athletic enough, you know, in the perimeter, or at linebacker, I think at, it's really two things – you're either really athletic in those positions, or you have four dominant guys up front that you can defend the run with six guys in the box or five guys in the box. You know, I don't know, I, shoot, it's been a long time since I've been in this league, so there are always some guys who can move around a little bit.
But not like this? I mean, it seems like almost every team has a dual threat guy now?
Well, Northwestern, Nebraska, and us in our league, on our side.
Yeah. Not, I mean, we didn't face him, so I didn't…yeah.
And then there's Wilson, Scheelhaase as well?
Yeah, I mean, but the people who still run the football and have a back are the people that, you know, are going to last.
Coach, do you feel more in your comfort zone defending against more pro-style offense?
They get enough into some other formations, they are pro-style, it's just fun to play Iowa, I mean, because you know, they're well coached in fundamentals and techniques, you know, you love watchin' ‘em on tape.
Taylor Lewan just had his first penalty of the season last week, and last year obviously, well documented he did quite a few. How do you change a player from that mentality, a guy who was often penalized?
Well, I think you can, it's like anything else, you know, you have a message and you're consistent with it, you talk to him about it, you know, from an individual standpoint to a team standpoint, and you know, it really comes down to an accountability to your teammates, because any penalty that you have, and there's going be, and the ones that drive you crazy, are the ones that are before the ball's snapped, on either side of the ball, but you're hurting your teammates, and we're not in this to hurt our teammates, and then you know, most of the time championship teams don't hurt themselves by having penalties. So I think there was a lot of conversation and a lot of consistency, and there's a lot of accountability that guys as they mature understand for their teammates.
Was there a specific simple message though? Simple, as just, stop?
No, I mean, it's a conversation.
Van Bergen said Monday there's a method to your madness with the short sleeved shirts, even the late fall temperatures, it's cold, you're the only one wearing short sleeves. Is there, he said there's a toughness thing, that in December you won't see any of the defensive players wearing sleeves under their short sleeves?
I don't know if there's any method to it. I'm comfortable. It's about comfort. If I could wear shorts, I'd wear shorts.
In 20 degrees?
But is there a toughness thing there?
I don't know, I don't think anybody when I was here before upfront wore long sleeves.
Are the sunglasses part of that too?
No, just when it's sunny.
Wed Brady Hoke Presser - Full Transcript
The Michigan Insider Top Stories
Wroblewski says Rome trip is bonding teamMike Wroblewski says the trip to Rome is a team bonding experience.
The Michigan InsiderYesterday at 5:30 PM
Meeting Pope Francis made S. Harbaugh's tripSarah Harbaugh reflects on her interaction with Pope Francis today in Rome.
The Michigan InsiderYesterday at 2:59 PM
Jim Harbaugh discusses meeting Pope FrancisJim Harbaugh discusses the emotional moment that he met the Pope during Michigan's trip to Italy.
The Michigan InsiderYesterday at 1:30 PM
Hargaugh Goes out in Blaze of Paintball GloryIn what was dubbed a "team building experience" , the Michigan football team ventured just outside of Rome Italy for memorable paintball outing Tuesday morning. Jim Harbaugh has…
The Michigan InsiderYesterday at 8:46 AM