After an off week, Michigan football coach Brady Hoke talks about his team and Purdue
The week leading up to the Wolverines' homecoming game against Purdue on Saturday (noon, ESPN2) started with coach Brady Hoke and senior Ryan Van Bergen addressing the media this afternoon.
AnnArbor.com provided the following live updates from the press conference:
Brady Hoke has now left the press conference. Below are highlights from his comments to the media. Below Hoke's quotes are comments from Ryan Van Bergen:
Brady Hoke: Declined to expand on Gregg Brown leaving the team. Brown was Rich Rodriguez's first verbal commit of the 2011 recruiting class and an early enrollee last year.
Brady Hoke: I think we were a little tentative...You're going to make mistakes, if you're going to make mistakes, make them aggressive."
Brady Hoke: Said he watched last week's Purdue vs. Illinois game live. Doesn't like TV version of tape. Prefers coaches' copy.
Brady Hoke: Said he focused strictly on preparations for Purdue during the off week.
Brady Hoke: On production of running backs, "I'd like to get 100 yards out of them."
Brady Hoke: Said he hopes to have freshmen Frank Clark (DE) and Brennen Beyer (LB) in more. "Frank as more of a rush, Brennen more of a SAM linebacker."
Brady Hoke: Said in trying to correct running game, doesn't just single out the backs, "You can't put it all on them...Sometimes it's the front."
Brady Hoke: On Michigan State loss, "We move forward. I mean, you have to."
Brady Hoke: Said team practiced "fast" last week.
Brady Hoke: On Ricky Barnum, "He's more healthier now than he was a week ago."
Brady Hoke: On Denard Robinson and running game, "We're 6-1 and he's a lot of the reasons we're 6-1...We've got to get a lot more out of the backs and the running game without his as the featured back."
Brady Hoke: On the first drive of games (Michigan has scored on first drive each of past four weeks): "I think it helps with the whole team's mental framework, with your psyche."
Brady Hoke: On kick return game, "We've got to block better at the point of attack."
Brady Hoke: On Purdue, "I think, offensively, they're doing a lot with the football. I think they've got a lot of skill players."
Brady Hoke: Said Taylor Lewan and Ricky Barnum are healthy.
Brady Hoke: Confirmed that Gregg Brown has left the team.
Brady Hoke: Said the team had "moved on" from the Michigan State loss by Tuesday's practice.
Brady Hoke: Singled out Frank Clark, Blake Countess and Raymon Taylor as players who benefited from the off week.
Brady Hoke: "It was good in some ways, obviously, to have a bye week. ... I thought our practices Tuesday, Thursday and (Sunday) were at a high tempo."
Ryan Van Bergen: How important is getting the sixth win and becoming bowl eligible? "Six wins is not something we're focused on...Six wins, that's a failure of a season...That's not up to the Michigan standard...That's too low of a goal."
Ryan Van Bergen: Credits gained confidence of team "50-50" between seniors and coaching staff.
Ryan Van Bergen: Watched Purdue vs. Illinois game on Saturday: "Purdue plays hard...they're rolling as a team, they're going to be a good challenge for us."
Ryan Van Bergen: Said he thinks the team is better prepared to avoid a late season slide. Admitted that's what the team said last year, but "I think last year there might have been a lack of confidence."
Ryan Van Bergen: On Frank Clark and Brennen Beyer contributing: "I think as the season goes on, you're going to see more out of those guys...When you're an 18-year-old kid going up against 22, 23-year-olds, that can shake you. But we try to explain to those guys coaches put them in those positions because they think they can handle it."
Ryan Van Bergen: On moving on from the MSU loss, "I'd be lying if I told you we weren't down for a bit."