Quotable: Brady Hoke at Michigan Football Media Day

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By Jake Lourim, Summer Managing Sports Editor
Published August 10, 2014

On the experience on the defense: “I think that’s one side of the ball where we have a lot of seniors, a lot of guys who have played a lot and a lot of guys with experience. From that standpoint, I wouldn’t put it all on (fifth-year senior linebacker Jake Ryan). Frank Clark’s played a lot of football. Brennen Beyer’s played a lot of football. Ray Taylor and Blake Countess, Jarrod Wilson, they’ve played a lot of football. We’re going to be a little more aggressive. We think the development of the corners and the depth at the corners have allowed us to be a little more physical.”

On new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier’s impact on fifth-year senior quarterback Devin Gardner: “Doug coming in has been a real positive. I think it’s been a little bit of a clean slate for Devin to some degree, but at the same time they have a tremendous relationship. The depth that we have, it’s not a backup who’s a true freshman, it’s a backup now who’s played one full game and who’s really done a nice job (sophomore Shane Morris).”

On what Gardner can do better: “A couple things, realizing that on fourth down sometimes punting the football is not a bad thing. He’s a guy who’s very athletic as you all know. He’s a guy who’s very tough. The other part of it is, he’s got to learn that he doesn’t have to do it by himself.”

On running backs by committee: “We’ll find out. We’ve done it here before and it’s been pretty good. I wouldn’t say that’s what we’re looking at doing today. We want to find a best guy and a most consistent guy first. We’re going through that, but they’re all getting a lot of reps.”

On freshman offensive lineman Mason Cole: “I think he has a very legitimate chance (of seeing snaps). He’s a little different as a freshman, and I attribute that to his high-school coach and the program that he was in at (East Lake High School in Tarpon Springs, Florida). But he really has done a nice job. He comes every day, works hard, he’s physically better now than he was in the spring. Is he still 18 years old? I think so. But he’s done a nice job.”

On sophomore running back Derrick Green’s body: “He looks a lot different. I think a year ago he looked more like me. He’s really worked hard. Through the nutrition, through what he’s done in the weight room, from a physical standpoint he’s really done a nice job of being a little more intelligent about what he feeds the engine.”

On the team’s identity: “I want it to be a football team that can run the football and have a toughness at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. … The identity part of it is a toughness that I think this program has had for many years. That’s part of what I’m looking for. Believe me, it’s been verbalized enough to the players. What I have heard and seen of this team since the bowl game, that part of it I think they’re improving on.”

On why his team hasn’t found that identity yet: “I wish I had the answer. If I had the answer, we would have been in a little better shape a year ago. I think the consistency that guys are seeing and demanding from each other daily, I’m excited about that.”

On sophomore running back De’Veon Smith: “The development of De’Veon has been really good. You’ve got competition there. The one thing I know about De’Veon is he’s probably as tough of a guy as I’ve been around. He is toughness. The way he practices, he’s a guy that can get dinged up, but he’s going to go, and he’s going to go, and he’s going to go.”