Ryan Van Bergen
Aug. 8, 2011
Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke
Opening statement ... "Obviously, it's good to get back on the field. It's been a long time since we've been back with these guys, and being able to get out there and coach and watch these guys interact with each other and play football, seeing some improvement in spots when you look at them physically. You see some weight losses and some weight gains; all those things that you look for and what the summer is for. You see the leadership of our seniors and how they are interacting with their teammates and how they are involved. It's only one day and we have a ton of work to do but it was good to get out there and get started."
Who stood out in terms of body transformations? ... "Will Campbell I think left in spring at 342 pounds. He came in today at 316, 319, in that range. I know that Taylor Lewan gained some weight that he needed to gain. I could go through the whole roster and there were guys that we thought (should) get a little bigger and physical. Strength is good, that's an important part and playing with endurance is another part."
Who did you look at as punter today? ... "There are a couple of guys. We will just leave it at that."
Could Matt Wile handle both jobs? ... "You could see him doing both."
Did the offensive line get to the weights that you wanted to see? ... "I think for the most part yes. I don't think that there was anyone who didn't make it to where we thought they needed to be or where they should be. That was the good part about it."
Any injuries hold guys out of practice? ... "No, we are pretty healthy. Troy (Woolfolk) is full speed. (JT) Floyd is full speed. We are pretty healthy."
Did Will Campbell perform well during the conditioning aspects of practice today? ... "Just watching him move around and do those types of things tells me a lot. That's a commitment. A commitment is always important. It shows his teammates that he has a commitment."
Anyone else other than the three players announced from last night that are not on the roster? ... "No."
Can you elaborate on the decision to redshirt Darryl Stonum vs. suspending him for a number of games? ... "I'm not going to elaborate. It's a decision that took a long time. Darryl has done a good job with the things that we've asked him to do. We will leave it at that."
How was Denard Robinson during the first day of practice? ... "Fun. He is a fun guy to be around and loves to play. They have all shown that (energy and enthusiasm). We had meetings last night and their meeting demeanor and everyone in this building wants to improve and be better. It was good. There was a lot of spirit at practice and a lot of energy and that is what you want."
Is the competition level at running back where you expected on day one? ... "We are out there in shorts right now so it's hard, in my opinion, to get a great evaluation of whether a guy misses an assignment or protects well or takes the wrong steps. When the physical-ness of the game steps up, once you're in pads, you will see how guys respond to those challenges."
Fifth-Year Senior Defensive End Ryan Van Bergen
On reasons for Coach Hoke talking highly of the defensive line ... "There is just a lot of senior leadership. I think Mike Martin, Will Heininger and I did a good job of getting guys together when things were optional and coaches weren't around and going through different techniques and the calls we're going to be using this year. Mike had guys over for a barbecue. We tried to spend a lot of time together as a unit because Coach Hoke puts so much into us and invests so much into us as a unit. We tried to make ourselves as close and as tight as possible before camp started. That way once camp started we'd be able to lead the defense and be strong. We're still working on that. It's definitely not a process that is completed."
On how he decided to add weight ... "It was for the scheme. For me to be the most comfortable I needed to gain weight. I needed to make sure I could hold up my double teams as a five technique; make sure that I'm keeping guys off the linebackers so they can make plays; make sure that I can hold my ground. I just want to be accountable to my teammates, and to do that I felt I needed to put on weight."
On the defensive line's goal for pressuring the quarterback ... "I would definitely anticipate that we put more pressure on the quarterback and get more takedowns. I think we had some good pressure on the quarterback last year, but the amount of takedowns we had when we got there wasn't cutting it. I don't know where we were in the Big Ten but we want to lead the Big Ten (in that statistic), and that's something we've talked about. We have a veteran group. There is no reason that we can't make a push for the best in the Big Ten and the best in the country as far as takedowns. Coach Mattison emphasizes that we're going to get after the quarterback and make them make quicker decisions."
On his hunger to succeed this season ... "I feel an obligation to my seniors, to the guys who have been here since 2007 with Coach Carr. We've been through a lot as a class and it's unique to our class as far as the three coaches and four defensive coordinators. For the sake of the guys that I've been with I just want to have a successful season. I want these guys to be remembered as guys who came in and helped aid the transition for Coach Hoke and turn Michigan back around, put it in the graces that it used to be. If we can do that I feel like our senior class would feel like we were successful. That's something I'm fully committed to doing and I know the other seniors are fully committed to doing. That's why we had such great senior leadership this offseason."
Fifth-Year Senior Cornerback Troy Woolfolk
On how good the defense can be and why will it get better ... "It will be better because of just one word, and that's intensity. We have a drill where if the ball hits the ground, regardless if it's a dropped pass, it doesn't have to be a fumble, everybody just runs to the ball. I feel that it allows the defense to just swarm the ball and that's when you get results."
On what gives him confidence in the secondary ... "I would say just having more experience. We had a lot of young people out there that were just thrown into the pool last year and now they have a year under their belt. I think last year's freshman did a pretty good job and we have the veterans coming back as well. That will help out coaching wise so I think we can be pretty good this year."
On how his injury changed him ... "I would say it changed me from the football aspect the most because I never really paid attention to the mental aspect of the game. I was just going out there and trying to benefit from my athletic ability, which I don't think would have been able to take me to the next level. I don't want to say I'm glad I broke my ankle, but to look at the bright side of things, I'm able to understand why I have to play cover two and why I have to re-route the receiver to the outside. Learning the mental aspect of the game versus just the physical will help me a lot."
On what he respects most about coach Hoke ... "Most coaches use the college level as a stepping stone to go somewhere else. With coach Hoke, you can tell that this is his final stone and that he doesn't want to go anywhere else. His Michigan pride just had a trickle-down effect and we feed off of that. I think that's the reason why most of the incoming freshmen decided to come here."
Fifth-Year Senior Center David Molk
On the continuity of the offensive line ... "It's good because I know the guys on the line and we've been together for a long time. We know how each other play, we know each other work, we know how to work together. It can be only positive."
On how the summer benefited the team ... "It was good. We didn't only work hard, which we've always done, we've always been a hard-working team, but we all worked hard together. It was something where we all came together. We were one as a team and we made strides as a team. Now everyone is a group. There are no outliers, we are just one."
On the first day of practice ... "Today was good. It was good to put the cleats on, good to put a helmet on. I wish we had shoulder pads and full pads on because this really isn't practice yet. This isn't fun yet. Being on the field, being with coaches and teammates and playing football is always great."