April 13, 2013
Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke
Opening remarks ... "I think we got 65-66 plays in, which is about where we wanted to be. We did some situational work that we wanted to get done. We've really got a lot of young guys up front on both sides of the ball. We want to continue to improve in some of the fundamentals on both sides of the ball, and running the ball is one of them, playing the run, getting off of blocks, and all of those things. I think we got to do a little bit of that. I think we got to do a little bit of red zone. That's one area that we need to continue to work on, on both sides of the ball. The guys went out there and today was the first day outside, which is a little bit unusual. But, we got done what we wanted to get done."
On Devin Gardner's performance in difficult conditions ... "Devin naturally throws a tight ball. When you throw a tight ball, and he's got good arm strength, and he has good velocity on it, you can cut through the wind pretty well. He's always thrown the long ball pretty well. I think he had a good day."
On the progress of the wide receivers ... "Jeremy Jackson has had his best spring since we've been here. When you look at Jehu (Chesson) and Amara (Darboh), I think both of those guys have really come along. They are both very talented and can do a lot of different things. Joe Reynolds keeps pushing everybody. Joe is a guy who can play a lot of positions and that's a real positive for us."
On his confidence in the front four on defense ... "I think we've grown. We've got some young kids who have ability, obviously. I think with Greg (Mattison), and his passion and how he teaches it, rushing the passer, I really think the work is being put in. The guys are excited about it. They know what we want to do and what the goal is. We're better. We're not near what we can be, and what we will be, but we're a little better at it."
U-M Senior/Junior Quarterback Devin Gardner
On if it feels more like his team ... "Definitely. It felt kind of weird, not having Denard (Robinson) around, since he's been here since I got here. Other than that, it feels more like my team and we've been doing really well this spring."
On adjusting to the pro-style offense ... "I'm adjusting fine. We ran it for the last five games of last year, so I feel like it's not that big of a change. I felt like I was recruited for pro-style and for spread teams, so it's not just like you lose it."
On playing extensively in this game ... "It wasn't that I needed the snaps, but we just don't have a lot of depth at quarterback. We don't want Cleary throwing 150 balls when I'm very serviceable. I have no problem with getting better and that's what we did, so I have no problem with it."
U-M Junior Linebacker Desmond Morgan
On linebackers responding to Jake Ryan's injury ... "Both Cam (Gordon) and Brennen Beyer really stepped up. That's one thing that's been stressed since I got here is that if one goes down or if something happens, the next guy in line has to step in. This is Michigan -- we're going to have guys stepping in and making plays still. I think both Gordon and Beyer have done a tremendous job stepping in and filling those roles. They've both improved this spring and learned a lot, and that's good because we needed it."
On summer practice focus ... "We are going to continue to get better. We have made strides this Spring, but we're nowhere near where we need to be. We need to continue to play more physical and faster. That comes with time and experience, understanding the defense, moving around and flying to the ball. As we get more experience and time under our belt, guys won't second-guess themselves when a formation shifts or something like that. We just need to continue to progress and get better and play faster and faster."
U-M Senior Wide Receiver Drew Dileo
On entire receiving corps performance ... "As a whole, we really progressed strongly. A lot of the young guys, as you saw today, are getting a lot of reps. Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh both had really strong springs. There wasn't really anyone who didn't do well. As a group, we all did well."
On importance of wide receiver blocking ... "Without a doubt, we try to have the standard for knockdowns every practice. We didn't always reach them, but a lot of it from the outside is reading the coverage and what the corners and safeties are doing. I think from that standpoint the younger guys picked that up, which is actually more important than actually getting the knockdown. If you're getting the knockdown but somebody else is making a play, then you probably should have been blocking him."
U-M Fifth-year Senior Offensive Tackle Taylor Lewan
On how the defensive line performed ... "The defensive line played hard and they played fast. I think one of the biggest things is that Frank Clark is really emerging as a leader, and I think that is a really big deal because you need leaders -- you need leaders everywhere. I think Frank Clark, Jibreel Black and Quinton Washington have all done things that are going to help us be successful in the future."
On how the offensive line performed at the Spring Game ... "We moved and established the line of scrimmage today, and I think that is one thing that we haven't seen in a while. I think that just shows how hard these guys have worked in the offseason. But what we do in the summer and do in fall camp is really going to define us as an offensive line."
On quarterback Devin Gardner ... "I think Devin is a special athlete and if we (the offensive line) give him time, he is going to make plays. I have 100 percent faith in him. It is really hard to see a guy like Denard go, but it feels good to have the kind of talent here to know that if one guy leaves another guy steps up."
U-M Junior Defensive End Frank Clark
On how he has grown in the offseason ... "I think I believe I have made my biggest steps as a leader. I'm trying to bring the young guys up with me. I'm not a selfish player. I want everybody to come up after me and eat. I want other players to look at me as a role model. That is where I think I have grown the most."
On striving to be more consistent ... "That was a personal goal of mine. I want to be a player that Coach Mattison can rely on. I want to be that player that he can look at that says 'I know Frank can make that play.' I want him to know that if it is third down and five or third down and 10 that I am going to be the guy that is going to sack the quarterback and make a play."
U-M Fifth-year Senior Offensive Lineman Michael Schofield
On if the game was a step in the right direction ... "Well this spring, it was the first time in a while I wasn't switching positions because last year was the first time I played tackle; the year before was my first time playing guard. So I was really just focused on improving my skills, just minor technique things in pass protection, getting a good punch, all-around blocking, just focusing on things like that."
On focusing on one position ... "It definitely helps because everything is more comfortable. I can just remember everything from last year. It's definitely just more comfortable for me."
On playing on the opposite end of Taylor Lewan ... "I use it as motivation. Taylor gets all of the attention and I don't really like attention so I kind of like that part of it. I use it so I can try to make a name for myself."
U-M Fifth-year Senior Safety Thomas Gordon
On taking charge this year on defense ... "I would say I have to be in the weight room or in the film room, just taking the young guys under my wing and showing them how to do things, and I've been doing that."
On talking to Jordan Kovacs about taking on a leadership role ... "No I haven't talked to him, it's just something that's happening naturally. I've picked up some things from him, some tidbits from last year and throughout my career, but it's just happening naturally right now."
On how he is a different kind of leader than others ... "I'm not talking to the guys like that. I'm more of a lead by example kind of guy. That's how I see myself as a leader."
U-M Senior Cornerback Courtney Avery
On his goals for the spring game ... "Any time you step foot in the Big House, you have to get up for it. You're playing in the Big House. The spring practice is a time to showcase everything that we've been working on in these spring practices and put the finishing touches on everything adjustment-wise."
On nerves for younger guys in a game like this ... "For a younger guy, nerves definitely play a role in it. It's really just excitement. I remember my first spring game; I was just excited to get out there in the Big House and play. Once you get older, the nerves start to go away a little bit. You get more focused. Just reading my keys and the maturity part that comes along with it."
On defending against a more diverse offense ... "You definitely have to adjust your coverage. If you have smaller, quicker guys, you might want to back off a little bit. It's all about making adjustments to how you want to guard certain types of players. That definitely adds to the complexity of preparing to play against an offense like ours."