If Michigan coach Brady Hoke was a 10-year-old kid roaming the sideline, his catch phrase could be, “Look Ma! No headset!”

For all the passion and energy Hoke brought to the sideline in his first game as head coach, one thing was missing: his headset. That was by design.

With both coordinators calling the plays for their respective unit, Hoke doesn’t necessarily need to wear a headset. Without it, he has more time to do what he loves: teach.

“You’re not done on Friday,” Hoke said. “Keep coaching and keep teaching, that’s what I like to do. I usually have the headset on with the defense because that’s where my expertise is, and I just listen basically to make sure I know what the calls are, so if I have to grab a guy or whatever.”

While he has the headset on, he doesn’t say much. When asked about the types of conversations he and Hoke have during the game, defensive coordinator Greg Mattison made clear they don’t talk often.

“He doesn’t have (the headset) on, does he?” he said.

Hoke’s emphasis on teaching during the game paid dividends last Saturday against Western Michigan. After the Broncos marched down the field on their first drive, Hoke pulled the defense aside.

Western Michigan didn’t score another touchdown the entire game.

“He was over there saying the same things I was saying to those guys,” Mattison said. “A lot of head coaches might not have reacted like he did. And that pays dividends, because we trust these guys.”

On offense, Hoke grabs the headset during special situations, like the 4th-and-1 the Wolverines had on the Western Michigan 19-yard line. Hoke chose to go for it, but he still used Borges’s play call.

And while Hoke preaches toughness to his football team, one of the main things he can show on the sidelines is passion. His players noted his ability to show his emotion without losing his head.

“He doesn’t really get mad,” junior quarterback Denard Robinson said. “You never see him panic. … If he has to yell at you he’ll yell at you, but I didn’t hear him yell too much on Saturday.”

Perhaps part of that had to do with his team playing with the lead for most of the game. That controlled attitude is likely to be tested this week against Notre Dame, especially with a very different counterpart on the sideline.

Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly was criticized for his screaming outbursts during his team’s 23-20 loss to South Florida last Saturday. At his weekly press conference he showed a bit of remorse, saying that he had to keep his emotions in check due to the fact that the TV cameras were on him more than he was accustomed to.

Hoke doesn’t have time to address how his coaching style differs from others or how he appears on television screens.

“You don’t think of that,” Hoke said. “Everybody does stuff differently. I know I look real big on HD. But my whole point is: you’re coaching kids. You’re trying to help them so that they’re going to make improvements and fundamentals, techniques, recognition.”

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