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September 3, 2012

Brady Hoke

BRADY HOKE:  Good afternoon.  We looked at the film, and the good news is we've got 11 more guaranteed opportunities to play Michigan football.  We didn't play the way we needed to play to win the football game in a lot of different areas, I think from a tackling standpoint to blocking at the line of scrimmage.  Those two are two of the biggest factors.  Didn't run the ball as well as we would have liked to and didn't stop the run, and those are two things that as a defense and an offensive unit you have to do.
We'll learn from the mistakes.  We have practice today.  We gave the guys off yesterday because of getting in at 5:00 a.m. Sunday morning.  So we'll start on, number one, fixing the mistakes, talking about the mistakes, coaching them up better.  That's probably number one, we've got to do a better job as coaches.  And then the other part of it is making sure that the execution is where we'd like it to be to play Michigan football.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
BRADY HOKE:  Well, obviously it's something that you hate to see anybody get hurt.  He's a valuable team member, and they'll do surgery I imagine sometimes in the next two weeks.  I don't know the schedule for that.  Brandon Moore probably will be out this week, and it's an MCL issue, not torn or anything, but I think it's stretched.  We'll see how his goes.
Lewan is fine.  I think it was more of a bruise.  But everybody else should be okay.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
BRADY HOKE:  Blake has always been a first gunner.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
BRADY HOKE:  Well, we try and only put guys who are going to play significant time on two teams, and the rationale is it's one third of the football game, and you'd better have guys who are capable and guys who you think are your best players, you know, and so the rationale is you've got to win the kicking game, also.

Q.  How is Denard health wise?  It looked like he took some shots, especially the one in his shoulder.
BRADY HOKE:  Well, I think his shoulder is fine.  I think he got more hit in the back the one time.  He's sore like most guys are after you play, but he was good yesterday.  He was in.

Q.  Do you worry at all, the fact that he seems as the year goes on to lose maybe a gear, at least the past few seasons, as he gets banged up?
BRADY HOKE:  I don't think he did last year at all.  Last year you look at Nebraska and Ohio, he was pretty healthy.  In fact, he told me it's the healthiest that he's ever been at this time of year.
You know, we didn't run him a lot.  They didn't allow us to run him a lot, I mean, how they defended him.  But I think that's all part of it.  He's going to stick his foot in the ground once in a while in those passing situations and go get yards for the team.

Q.  After a tough loss like that, what do you look for in your leaders in the week of practice that follows?
BRADY HOKE:  Well, you can't let one team beat you twice.  I mean, you can't do that.  I think what you look for is, number one, on the sideline during the football game, our guys were into the game.  I mean, never one time did I see the guys who were out there not being into the game, which is a good sign, you know, because believe me, I've been on other teams where you look and they're not really excited about being there.  These guys were excited throughout the four quarters of the football game.
I think this week we'll learn a little bit more about our leadership.  I've liked it to this point.  This week we'll learn a little bit more on how motivated they are.  I think when you only have 11 guaranteed opportunities left and you're Michigan, I think you'll be very motivated.

Q.  Is there an update on Fitz and Clark?
BRADY HOKE:  They're both going to play this week.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
BRADY HOKE:  Well, it was more probably in how much we liked James' progress throughout the course of fall camp.  You know, he's a pretty instinctive guy, picked up everything very well for a young guy, physical, and he has a knack for getting off blocks and accelerating, hits, things that you like to see a linebacker do, good vision.

Q.  Bennie Oosterbaan is being honored this week by the team.  A couple questions are, are you going to make the choice as to who wears his unretired uniform?

Q.  And I assume you didn't get a chance to meet Bennie Oosterbaan before he passed away?
BRADY HOKE:  I don't believe so.

Q.  Are you going to take any time to have anyone or have someone talk to the team about Oosterbaan, what he meant to this University, the kind of athlete he was, that kind of stuff?
BRADY HOKE:  Yes, we will.

Q.  Jordan on Saturday touched on the number of missed tackles.  How do you go about remedying that in a week?
BRADY HOKE:  Well, some of it is obviously the run fits within the defense, who's supposed to be where, and you've got to count on that guy.  Some of it is which‑‑ for us a year ago we were a pretty good tackling team.  We're going to tackle more in practice.  And we tackled a decent amount.  The NCAA limits you a little bit more now, especially during fall camp.  But we'll tackle a decent amount this week.
The only thing I know how to get better at anything is to do it.

Q.  You've got Courtney Avery starting opposite J.T. Floyd.  What did you see from him after Blake went down in that game?
BRADY HOKE:  Courtney is a seasoned veteran.  I think with him and Raymon and Terry Richardson, the young freshman, I think all three of those guys are guys that we've counted on to be able to step up and play.  Courtney has a lot of experience.  He's played a lot of football here.
I think he was bailing on the one, and the double move kind of got him.  But we trust Courtney.  I think that's as big an issue as anything.

Q.  Could Taylor be the starter this week?
BRADY HOKE:  I think Courtney right now, yeah, he'll be the starter.

Q.  And one thing with Clark, legally he's considered more serious.  What went into the decision to play him?
BRADY HOKE:  We've taken a lot of‑‑ he's had a lot of penal consequences internally.

Q.  What are the positives that you take out of the Alabama game?
BRADY HOKE:  You know, I think the positives are the good plays that are on there.  Denard's throw to Gallon was a big‑time throw.  A highlight in that play, but there were some good plays made by guys on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.  The thing we struggled with is stacking those together consistently, and that's one thing that as you watch the film, you talk about the good, but you talk about the bad.  Well, you can do it well, let's do it well.  And I think you're playing a team that traditionally is a good football team, and you find out where you're at and where you've got to improve.

Q.  Going off that passing game, what was it specifically about that that made it hard for Denard to get in a rhythm?
BRADY HOKE:  Well, you know, number one, I don't think it's just‑‑ people want to gang up on Denard, and they're making a mistake.  Routes being run where we had some drops that we can't have, when you look at the flow of your offense and where you're at, protection wise at times was pretty good, pretty solid, but then we got beat a couple times.  And you hurry to throw, or he had to move out of the pocket and his feet weren't the way he wanted, his hips and all those.

Q.  I've got two questions about Devin.  When Denard got banged up the one time, it looked like Russell was going to come into the game and obviously he was the quarterback that got some snaps at the end, and Devin was No.3 on the depth chart.  Is it fair to say that he is a wide receiver first and a quarterback second or third at this point?
BRADY HOKE:  I would say he's a wide receiver first, and then a quarterback depending on where you're at in the game or the week.

Q.  You talked a little bit about him on Saturday and you're talking about some of those routes.  He almost had two spectacular catches.  Those balls, and there's like a 15‑yard out that Denard actually dropped in between the corner and the safety where Devin in a couple weeks will make those catches because he'll adjust better to the ball?
BRADY HOKE:  Well, I think you're right.  A couple things:  I think we're very comfortable and confident in Devin at wide receiver, and I know Denard is.  And I think as he continues to play more, continues‑‑ especially at game level, game speed, and you try and do that every day in practice, but I think he learned a little bit more about playing wide receiver.

Q.  You kind of alluded to it, but is the approach to the players, look, here's the film, we've just got to get better, or is there some element of we might not face that much talent again all year?
BRADY HOKE:  You know, it's not the latter.  I mean, we've got to get better if we want to win a Big Ten Championship and play Michigan football.

Q.  Devin, Jeremy Gallon got a lot of targets on Saturday, pretty much similar amount of targets.  Is there a number one right now?
BRADY HOKE:  No, it's still, you've got to go through a progression, you know.  Obviously there's some calls that are a little more specific, but I think all those guys are guys who make plays.  So as Denard goes through a read, it's somewhere that we've‑‑ this is what we want to do and attack if we get this look, and it could be either one of them.

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