|Transcript of Brady Hoke at Big Ten Media Days|
|Written by Matt Pargoff|
The Big Ten Media Days in Chicago kicked off on Monday morning, with every conference coach speaking about their respective teams. See the complete transcript from Hoke’s time at the podium, where he addressed talk of Jabrill Peppers, Ty Isaac and more.
“We’re all excited for another season to get started and looking forward to the start of fall camp on Sunday. Our football team has I think come together this summer and worked very hard. I think they’ve worked hard and I think a lot of that has been the foundation that’s been laid over the last three years and the depth we have on our football team. It’s as competitive a team as I’ve been around at all positions. I think that is exactly what Michigan, as the Leaders and Best, we should have. So the way they’ve come together and the things they’ve done, we’re very excited about.
“You never know what kind of team you’ll have until the season’s over, but the one thing I can tell you is that we’re encouraged by the qualities we’ve seen from our football team throughout the spring and throughout the summer.
“Again, I believe the foundation has been laid and you’re going to talk with three of our great representatives in Jake Ryan, Frank Clark and Devin Gardner, who have represented Michigan in a positive way.
“We’re excited for August. We need to have a good August camp, and I think every coach in here will tell you that. You need to stay healthy, but you better stay competitive and you better stay good. You better have a great camp. So we’re excited about that coming up.
“We’ve got a great schedule. It’s a good schedule. But the schedule starts on Aug. 30 with Appalachian State, and that’s where our focus will be. You can’t win all your games unless you win the first game, and expectations at Michigan are what they are, and are what they should be. They’re high. So we’re excited about getting that started.
“Staff-wise, Doug Nussmeier has come in and done a tremendous job offensively. He came in with a championship pedigree, came in with the pedigree of molding quarterbacks, and from what I’ve seen of his track record, it speaks for itself. But it’s not just something that speaks for him, he’s doing it on a daily basis.
“The moves that we made in the secondary and on defense, allowing Coach [Greg] Mattison to be more involved from the middle of the defense, instead of up front only, has been very positive. The movement of Jake Ryan to the inside of our defense has been very positive. I think Roy Manning coaching our corners and Curt Mallory coaching the safeties, because of the variables with the offenses you face, I think has been something very positive for our football team and positive for our players.
“Last, and then I’ll take questions, we’re very proud of who we are. And we will continue to be. We’re proud of what kind of young men, student-athletes that we have at Michigan.”
On if the plan stayed the same to put Jabrill Peppers at nickel, or if safety or corner could be an option:
“That hasn’t changed. The plan hasn’t changed. I think we’ve got to be careful about anointing any true freshman starting their college career, but that’s where he’ll start [at nickel].”
On the soccer game at Michigan Stadium or if he has been involved with it at all:
“I’d like to be, but I won’t be [involved], simply because that’s our freshmen’s first day of coming in as far as some of the administrative details that we need to take care of. But I think we’re going to break [an attendance] record.”
On the Eastern Division of the Big Ten:
“I think it’s a great competitive division. How it shakes out, we’ll find out. But as far as the competitiveness of the division, and at the end of the day, it’s what we all want to do is compete. We want to compete on every Saturday. So as far as we’re concerned, we’re looking forward to it.”
On how far into fall camp he expects to go before determining a starting offensive line:
“I think we’ll start camp with a lineup that we came out of the spring with and that will be based on some things that have been done during the course of the summer, when you see the work ethic and those things. But a lot of it will be based on coming out of spring football. We’ll go through that lineup, and at the same time, we’ll change it up every day a little bit to see where the pieces fit. I would say it would take two weeks maybe at the most.”
On if the pressure has increased on him to perform given how the season ended last year:
“You know, why do you coach? Why do you really coach? If we’re doing everything we can for 115 guys, sons on our roster. Since we’ve been there, 69 of 69 seniors have graduated. That’s important, because football’s only going to last so long. So the only pressure is every day preparing those guys for life after football. Competition, hard work and all that, that’s part of it. But socially and academically, that’s a big part of it.
“So when you talk about that, that’s the only pressure as a coach that I’ve ever felt, making sure we’re doing it for those student-athletes.”
On the college football playoff and the importance of the Big Ten doing better in its non-conference games:
“First and foremost, we’re very proud of the Big Ten conference. We’re very proud of the schools and the competition and the way our teams play, and how our schools from an academic standpoint graduate student athletes. Do we want to win every game? There’s no question. Every guy that will be at this podium, they want to win every game.
“When you talk about the non-conference schedule, we welcome those challenges. I know our conference does, and I think our conference is going to play very well in those games.”
On if having competition at every position is an important step in getting the program where he wants it to be:
“I think so. I think that’s always been part of it. We had a very good year in 2011 and played in the Sugar Bowl. But because of depth, Mike Martin played 82 plays as a nose tackle. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy, because that’s playing a lot of snaps and that’s taking a lot of hits. But if it were today, Mike Martin would play 50 plays. That’s what we have now.”
On Michigan’s relationship with the Mid-American Conference:
“I was the head coach at Ball State and we played Indiana twice, we played Purdue twice, played Michigan once. I think it’s great for the Mid-American Conference, which I have a ton of respect for, and I think it’s great regionally for families. I think it’s great for both schools. Obviously you’ve seen the Mid-American Conference teams come in and play awfully well and beat some of the Big Ten teams. So I think it’s a great partnership because of the competitive pace.”
On what tangible changes he’s seen Nussmeier make and when Peppers can be anointed:
“Anoint him when he does something. Right? Let’s see what he can do.
“What Doug has done, I think when you watch our practices in the spring, you watch the tempo of the offense, you watch the physicalness every day that guys are playing with, I think that’s where it starts.”
On Drake Harris’ health:
On if there are any players he expects to be limited going into fall camp:
“No. Not that I can think of or that I want to share at this time.”
On Ty Isaac’s eligibility for this season:
“As far as the hardship [waiver], we don’t know of anything. We expect Ty to report on Aug. 3, but we’re still going through the hardship with compliance and those things.”
On if the Notre Dame game is emphasized more with the players this year given that the series is ending for the foreseeable future:
“It definitely will be an emphasis simply because it’s a national rivalry. It’s a shame that series is over with because of the national rivalry that it carried along with it.”
On if he was happy to see the change made in the divisions, putting Michigan and Ohio State in the same side of the conference:
“Yeah, as long as those two great programs with their storied history are still playing.”