Brady Hoke's Spring Review (Part 2)

In part two of Brady Hoke's sit-down with the media today Michigan's head-man shared his thoughts on one of his biggest faults last season, the quarterback competition, and much more.more.

Question:  You’ve referenced a little bit of the changes that the NCAA is allowing you to do, what are those; what is different?

Brady Hoke:  “We’ve got two more hours I think it is.”

Question:  Two hours a week?

Brady Hoke:  “We can be with them.  They’ve got the voluntary discretionary period and now there is some mandatory periods, eight hours a week.  Within that, we can have film with them.”

Question:  You’ve mentioned a couple of times consistency in coaching, what does that mean?

Brady Hoke:  “I think every day…I look at it like parenting.  We have a daughter, Kelly and we were consistent on everything we did, right, wrong or indifferent every day.  I think it is the same thing with coaching.  You are not going to coach a guy hard one day and then back off him the next day.  Your consistency and how you are teaching and demanding how you want the fundamentals taught.  It could be a corner playing man coverage off or playing man coverage on, you want hands on, but every day.  When a guy doesn’t do it right, he better make sure that he does it right.  When a guy does it right, you’d better tell him that’s a good job, you did it right.  So there is a consistency to me in how you approach every practice and every drill in everything you do as a coach so that they learn that consistency and they learn that what comes with consistency is discipline.  So that discipline becomes part of it.”

Question:  What is the biggest difference that you saw Nussmeier make over the course of 15 practices?

Brady Hoke:  “I think he is a very sharp, very intelligent.  His teaching demeanor, his consistency with coaching every day, for a quarterback, for a receiver, for a tackle, and he has a way in his teaching that guys respond.  He does a great job of circling back.  Say I miss a block, he may rip Sam’s butt a little bit, but he is always going to circle back and make sure, ‘Hey Sam, you’ve done this before so just go there and do it.’  So there is a consistency with how you handle things.”

Question:  Can you talk about how players learn and grow from year to year.  After you reviewed last season, I’m sure you grow and learn every year too….

Brady Hoke:  “…you have to.”

Question:  Was there one thing you took away from last year?

Brady Hoke:  “I think I could have been a better leader.  I should have taken some of the leadership and not anointed some of that.  I just think I could have done a much better job and again, it gets back to what you said, consistency and every day.”

Question:  So you’re saying that maybe instead of letting the kids figure things out, maybe you should have stepped in?

Brady Hoke:  “A little more, yeah.  I think that is part of it.”

Question:  Is it also hard that you’re still learning how to be a head coach?  I know you’ve done it for a while but you’re still…

Brady Hoke:  “I don’t know if it is that part of it.  I think if you want to…I don’t know how to explain it but I just think we could have won the dag-on Rose Bowl and we still would have gone back and evaluated…did you lead the right way.  You still would have evaluated everything that you do.  There is always urgency every day.  If you do not have urgency then what you’re trying to get done as a program from the academic piece, social piece to the football piece then you are making a big mistake.  When you say that, you always…if you’re not hungry to find out.  How is this team running the power?  Well that is one way, but how are they motivating their team.  What is somebody doing that might be new.  What is something that…where your team chemistry could have been better.  What is the best thing for them?  We’re going to the NCAA August 1, the meals deal.  You’ve got to start working on that now so that you have answers and you can do what’s right for the kids.  Because at the end of the day that’s what this whole thing is about.”

Question:  Talking about urgency, is there a difference in an offseason of coming off of 7-6 versus a Sugar Bowl?  Does it feel like a different pressure?

Brady Hoke:  “I don’t think so.  Pressure for those 115 kids, do it right for them.  Be there for them.  Grow them.  That’s what this is all about.”

Question:  Because you decentralizing the leadership from the leaders, does that affect…

Brady Hoke:  “We only have 12 seniors first off.  So we’ve got a real small class.”

Question:  So does that affect the California trip kind of thing and that kind of stuff?

Brady Hoke:  “We’ll see.”

Question:  Does that need to be a better leader that you talked about is why you are implementing these leadership groups to kind of have these people that come back and give feedback to you, is that why you started that?

Brady Hoke:  “We’ve always done it.  We’ve always had outside sourcing to some degree, guys coming in, guys speaking to the team.  Let us face it, if you guys were all CEO and you had 100 people in your company, you’re going to get to about 70 of them, somebody else is going to get to 20, somebody else is going to get to 10.  So it is the same thing, when you’ve looked at what we’ve done with our representation within the team.  Also, when we do bring people in and we do have people work with us that’s part of it.  I’m probably going to get 85% of them.  That might be a higher number than it should be, I don’t know.  Coach Nuss is going to get 15% of them.  How you want to progress as a program.  Nuss and I are saying the same things a little differently.”

Question:  What is the difference, I know 2011 is not the goal because you didn’t win the Big Ten that year, but what is the difference between last fall and 2011, is it experience and then how close is this roster to getting to that level?

Brady Hoke:  “Number one, you had some fourth and fifth year seniors that year that had Michigan.  They had Lloyd (Carr) for a period of time and really understood Michigan and wanted to be Michigan.  You also had some really dominant leaders.  We all have different philosophies, we all coach differently and that’s part of it and that’s the way it should be.  You have got to coach within your personality, and your beliefs in the way you do things.  That roster when you look at it from the seniors, the fourth and fifth year guys, you had guys like Mike.  Mike Martin was a very good football player obviously, but he had very good leadership.  Will Heininger played his best football, and you could go (Dave) Molk and (Mark) Hugye that helped a lot.  Your question was how do you do what now?”

Question:  How far are you from having that kind of roster, how quickly can you get there?

Brady Hoke:  “Roster wise, overall we have much more depth, much more quality.  I don’t know if I can answer that until after the season is over to be fair.  You didn’t think we were going to win 11 games did you?”

Question:  I’m sure you will.

Brady Hoke:  “Yeah (laughter).  I never put, we’re going to win this many games.  You want to win them all.  Right?”

Question:  That’s the objective.  What do you think are realistic expectations for this team next year in terms of accomplishments?

Brady Hoke:  “We could lose them all or win them all.”

Question:  What about winning on the road?  When you look back and assess last few years, looking on the road, do you just say, it is tough to win on the road or does it go further than that?

Brady Hoke:  “I think, Sam part of it is the road – part.  Probably a smaller part, part of it is playing great defense.  Because if you play defense every week you have a chance to win.  I think maturity is part of it.  I can think of the games that we didn’t play well on the road a year ago and there is probably one of them overall without a chance to win the game.  The others, we had opportunities and it is converting when you have those opportunities.”

Question:  Going back to leadership, you talk a little bit about the expectations that have been set for the offseason.  One player who is already taking on that, watching what he eats, working out with strengthening and conditioning, behaving himself.

Brady Hoke:  “Jake Ryan, but Jake has done that for two years.  If you would go through our rosters and ask our guys, they would probably say Jake Ryan.  There are guys who have grown unbelievably.  Frank Clark has grown up.  That’s why you coach.  That’s the greatest part about it.”

Question:  Did Shane Morris close the gap?

Brady Hoke:  “Yeah.  I thought Shane had a good spring.  Was it flawless?  No.  I think he learned about the urgency that he needs to have to be the best quarterback for Michigan, but I thought he had a good spring.”

Question:  You would say right now that Devin (Gardner) would be the starter right now?

Brady Hoke:  “He might.”

Question:  How close is that?

Brady Hoke:  “I think it is close.  I think it is going to be a pretty exciting to hear what they’ve done all summer to better themselves.”

Question:  Devin really didn’t have competition last year.  Did you sense a difference in how he prepares, how he is doing things now that it is a real competition?

Brady Hoke:  “I think with the addition of Nuss…number one, his resume of who’s he has coached and how he has coached, his own resume as a player.  Pretty significant when you win the Walter Payton award, it is pretty significant.  I think the next one is Heisman.  How he does things, I think has been positive for both of them.”

Question:  Is he coaching from the box?

Brady Hoke:  “I don’t know if he’ll be in the box.  That’s something that we’ve talked about a little bit.”

Question:  Would you prefer him…

Brady Hoke:  “Here’s where I prefer him, where he feels he is most effective for our offense and for our team.”

Question:  I know you’re sick of this, the whole headset thing, but with a new offensive coordinator could you see yourself going that route more to communicate with him.

Brady Hoke:  “I’ll probably put them on because people think I should wear them (laughter).”

Question:  I know but it is a new coordinator, I didn’t know.

Brady Hoke:  “I know and I would say this to you, if he’s on the field maybe not as much.  I’m not going to talk to him in the midst of him calling plays.  I know how that is from a defensive perspective.  You don’t need to hear the head coach, ‘You shouldn’t do that, you shouldn’t run that.’  Believe me.  I wouldn’t do that but it gives us an opportunity to change it.  That’s how it has worked out on defense with Greg (Mattison).  I know every call that is going in and all that stuff, but Greg and I are right there.  They got three by one, do we want to run the MIKE or do we want to play the backside safety…so we can talk about this.  I don’t know if I answered your question.”

Question:  Yeah.  It sounds like it is whatever he wants.

Brady Hoke:  “What helps Michigan.  What helps kids on this team.”

Question:  Have you sensed a wow factor from recruits that have walked in and seen this and how does this help you win?

Brady Hoke:  “I think we’re doing fine.  You’re not going to find a better one.  I think the history, the access.  The old museum wasn’t really functional because they had to go in through the front door.  It is not functional when our players are coming in the same door as the public.  I think they did a great job.  I think that statue is as neat a thing and is Bo all the way.  We had 500+ former players here during Victor’s Weekend and just listening to them, guys who played in this program and looked at the different things.  It means a lot.”

Question:  Do you expect to add any players that could play this fall?

Brady Hoke:  “I don’t know that.”

Question:  Is that a possibility?

Brady Hoke:  “It could be.  I know where you’re going with that.” 

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