Monday, August 1, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Hoke warns Big Ten: Michigan not rebuilding
By TIM ROHAN Ten Media Days, told reporters it
Daily Sports Editor was the accountability that Hoke
preaches that makes him so likable.
CHICAGO - Here sat the man So far, so good, for Hoke. But that
charged with restoring the shine to is the verdict before his team has
a program that used tobe one of the played a snap of football. That didn't
brightest. A program he loved. He stop him from staying in character
had just been officially introduced in his Big Ten debut.
to the rest of the Big Ten, months "I don't think we're rebuild-
after hetook over and then proceed- ing, period," Hoke said. "We're
ed to say and do all the right things. Michigan. And we've got kids who
A reporter wanted to know if Brady understand that they're Michigan. I
Hoke would revive the swagger that don't put any stock into (the idea of
Michigan once enjoyed. He didn't rebuilding)."
know Brady Hoke. Earlier, he had been asked why
"I don't know if it's swagger," ' he had so much early success on the
Hoke said. "It's who we are." recruiting trails, and he simply said:
A grin crept across junior quar- "This might sound arrogant and if it
terback Denard Robinson's face is, it is: we're Michigan."
as he sat to Hoke's left. Hoke went Now there's the swagger every-
on, like he usually does, about the one's talking about.
school he loves - there's the aca- For Hoke to quickly turn around
demics, the tradition, everything. the doldrums Michigan fell into
"(We're) one of the top-five under former coach Rich Rodri-
schools in the country," Hoke stated guez, it may hinge on two factors:
as a matter of fact. Robinson's face how Robinson orchestrates Hoke's
lit up with each statement and he offense and how quickly the defense
was now wearing one of his signa- can turn its own fortunes around.
ture smiles. "I can tell you, and I'm a defen-
It's that steady belief in what sive coach, that when your defense
he does that has his players buy- plays against a pro-style offense all
ing in. Seniors Kevin Koger and spring long, and they play against
Mike Martin, the two other Mich- a pro-style offense all fall camp,
igan representatives at the Big you build a toughness and an edge
"I think guys, right now, are
where they're supposed to be,".
Hoke said. "I can say that this fall
camp is as important a time for all
of us as anybody, but it also, when
you're new to a program, new to a
staff, like our players are, I think
how you go through your fall camp,
the attitude that you have every day,
the toughness thatyou have to have
to play this great game, the disci-
pline, the accountability, I think
that will say a lot about how we end
up as a football team.
"We are a senior-led football
team and always will be. I think our
seniors in my conversations with
them through the summer have
done a tremendous job of leading.
That's an expectation when you're a
senior at Michigan."
He himself did get a chance to get
away this summer, but he couldn't
take a vacation from his competi-
tive self: "You've got 115 sons to take
care of, so every day is different."
By all accounts, everything's
right on schedule for Hoke's non-
"We've been working hard all
summer," Robinson said. "So we'll
It's music to Hoke's ears.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke begins his first year of head coaching on Sept. 3.
because the schemes themselves that (Robinson) does well from
are different," Hoke said. what he did in the past, with the
"And this is a physical football spread, in our offense."
league. It's a physical offense, with Hoke said that Robinson is still
people who run the football. We comfortable in this new spread
think we can play better defense by offense that won't exactly replicate
the fact of how we do things on the the one Rodriguez ran last season.
offensive side of the ball because The ratio of pro-style to spread in
they feed off each other." Borges' playbook will depend on
Michigan offensive coordina- how the players do the next six
tor Al Borges installed a pro-style weeks, Hoke said.
offense that will feature Hoke's He'll get a good look at them
beloved "Power" run play. Yet, like when fall camp opens on August
he has said from the beginning, he's 8. That's when each player will be
"smart enough," to, "have elements judged if they did their part over
Fickell shows inexperience at Big Ten Media Days
Ohio State coach
prepares for first
season at the helm
By MICHAEL FLOREK
Daily Sports Editor
CHICAGO - At Big Ten Media
Days on Thursday, Ohio State
coach Luke Fickell said the best
thing that happened to him after
he was hired - following all the
scandals with former quarterback
Terrelle Pryor and former coach
Jim Tressel - was that he "had no
time to sit and think."
Fickell was hired just a day
after Tressel was canned as head
coach at Ohio State.
Well, apparently the first-year
coach was so busy that he had no
time to look through the Media
Day schedule to get an idea of
what he was about to take part in,
"I guess I thought it was a lun-
cheon," Fickel said of his first-
ever Media Day, a day loaded with
question and answer periods and
hundreds of media members. "I
thought you had to go up there,
it wasn't a question and answer
period, it was more of a talk."
For anyone keeping score, it
clearly says "Q&A" session on
the Media Day schedule. And
this wasn't exactly the first-ever
But regardless of Fickell's
naivete to the media day pro-
cess, he pinned his experience on
Thursday as a type of microcosm
of what he tries to preach to his
players as they embark on a new
era in Ohio State football.
"I like the mental challenges
at times just to see how you can
adapt to things," Fickell said.
"We try and get our guys, we
want to challenge them mentally
and throw them into situations
they're not prepared for to see
how they would react.
"Just not knowing (what's
going to happen), to me, that's
some of the greatest things about
ou do." ally mentioned that the Buckeyes'
ell certainly had one of his focus is on what they can control.
iggest mental challenges Building on what Jim Tressel
rsday - albeit with sweat started was one priority.
dripping down his brow "I think from day one, the big-
gest thing that I've tried to do is
focus on our leadership as well
as trying to pound home the cul-
"I thought ture that we believe is important
in moving our program forward,"
it wasn't a Fickell said.
"I believe as we talk a little
uestion and bit about our players, I think
the foundation has been set. I'm
swer period." really excited about growing and
continuing to grow upon that
foundation that has been set. I
know our focus needs to be on
hout the process - but our young guys that will be obvi-
is summer's scandals, his ously joining us and helping them
es will have plenty more to develop and mentoring them
to overcome, from deal- along and learning our founda-
h the scandals' backlash to tion.
g a quarterback to replace "I think and believe the num-
ber one most important thing for
ell insists that his team is our program right now, as well as
o move on from the past for me, is the stability that we've
e on whatever new hurdles had in our coaching staff. The
thrown at it. He continu- experiences that we have had as
a staff over the last eight, nine, 10
years is invaluable."
One aspect Fickell can find
solace in is the Buckeyes' recent
dominance in one of the biggest
rivalries in all of sports; Ohio
State has beaten Michigan nine
out of the last 10 matchups.
But with new coaches at the
helm of both squads this year -
which is certainly rare - a whole
new era of The Game will be set to
begin this November. Both coach-
es understand the importance of
what will happen on Nov. 26.
"If you can't get geared up for
that and get goose bumps and all
those things for that game, then
you may not be human," Michigan
coach Brady Hoke said.
Fickell echoed Hoke's enthusi-
"Nobody will overlook that," he
said. "I know that's not something
that will ever be overlooked at
Buckeye fans just better hope
Fickell is more seasoned than he
appeared at his Big Ten debut.