Blog Entry

Hoke says Michigan has a long way to go

Posted on: April 17, 2011 12:41 pm

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Saturday, around 25,000 Michigan fans were able to get their first glimpse of what life will be like under new head coach Brady Hoke. Michigan, like a lot of other schools across the country, concluded its spring practice with a scrimmage on Satuday afternoon. While trying to take away too much from one single scrimmage in the spring and using it to determine how the upcoming season will go is foolish, that doesn't change the fact that what Michigan fans saw on Saturday wasnt' much different than what they saw the last few years.

The Wolverines offense had its struggles as it tries to adjust from Rich Rodriguez's spread system to Hoke's more pro-style offense, though the Wolverines defense was kind enough to forfeit some big plays for it anyway. While it will be hard for Michigan's defense to be any worse in 2011 than it was in 2010, Saturday did prove to remind people that better doesn't always mean good.

So it didn't come as much of a surprise after the game that Hoke said his team has a long way to go.

“I don’t think we’re where we need to be, by far, at any position,” Hoke said after the scrimmage.

Any position? But what about at quarterback, the position that introduced Denard Robinson to the masses last season? Well, much like everybody else on Michigan, Robinson is still getting acquainted with a new offense that features a lot less of "Run, Denard! Run!" and a lot more read progressions. Robinson wasn't very electric on Saturday, but a lot of that had to do with the two-hand touch nature of the game when it came to Robinson, and the rust of the offseason. Though Denard did get Denarded on the very first play of the scrimmage, busting out a 55-yard run. Other than that play, however, Robinson missed on a lot of passes and admitted afterward that he's still "trying to get a grip on that offense."

While Saturday's game may not have Michigan fans excited about the possibilities of 2011, they shouldn't read much into it either. It's not as though Hoke can come in and totally overhaul and fix everything that Rodriguez had implemented in a matter of months. These things will take some time, and while some lumps will be given, Hoke's track record elsewhere leads you to believe there will be improvement in Ann Arbor.

The only real question is will the improvement be enough, and will it happen quick enough that Hoke doesn't suffer the same fate as the coach he's replacing.


Since: Mar 15, 2009
Posted on: April 26, 2011 2:59 am

Hoke says Michigan has a long way to go

Wiseguy1991,  Denard is not a RB playing QB, he's a QB with better natural running ability that natural passing ability.  His are is pretty good, but his accuracy and his reads do need work, but can you blame him?  He was running around all last year, trying to make all the plays.  I think with practice, and some talent on the line and at wideout (I'm not saying there isn't some now) he will be a fine QB. 

Since: May 8, 2007
Posted on: April 18, 2011 9:24 pm

Hoke says Michigan has a long way to go

I think Hoke is a positive step in the right direction for Michigan.  In the end, a step is just what he might end up being.  He's the step that helps Michigan transform back to their more traditional look.  I think he'll be judged more for his recruits, and for the teams overall poise than his win-loss record at first.  It's my belief that Rich Rodriquez was graded on the same scale and in the end couldn't get the poise thing figured out.  He showed the improvement in the win-loss column but off-field controversy hurt recruiting and his reputation in the process, leading to his firing.  Hoke will get his fair shot, but like the article reminds us, we need to be patient with our expectations of this team.

Since: Mar 14, 2011
Posted on: April 18, 2011 7:25 pm

Hoke says Michigan has a long way to go

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: April 18, 2011 1:08 pm

Hoke says Michigan has a long way to go

Robinson is a RB playing QB.  Robs arm is very suspect and his accuracy will not be good in a pro-style set.   Rob will probsbly be a KR/WR/RB  at the next level..why not get him used to that right now.

Since: Jan 3, 2011
Posted on: April 18, 2011 10:28 am

Hoke says Michigan has a long way to go

That last question is the right question.  Hoke is Brandon's guy so he will get more than the paltry 3 years RR got to turn it around.  Of course, no one can turn a program around in 3 years, but RR was not loved at Michigan.  The relationship between him and the fans was never comfortable, and the one between him and Brandon never seemed comfortable.  We all had the sense that Brandon wanted to hire his own guy from the day he stepped into the job.  Now that it's done, "Michigan Man" Hoke will be given every opportunity to succeed as Brandon's "hand-picked" coach.  Hoke's definitely on the 5-year plan, which, arguably, is the minimum amount of time it takes to build a champion.  Considering he's changing the entire system again, he will need every minute of 5 years.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or