Hoke: "Wearing a headset is overrated"

Brady Hoke is one head coach that you won't catch wearing a headset on game day.

“It is overrated,” Hoke told 97.1 (WXYT-FM) during his weekly radio appearance. “You ever watch guys on headsets? They don’t say a word. This gives me an opportunity to coach kids during the course of a game."

"The game is a mental game. It’s a game of emotion and enthusiasm, a game of teaching. Not wearing a headset, I get to teach on the sideline, and I get to be a real part of it." Hoke explained.

One of the co-hosts of the show asked Hoke if having a headset on would have changed the halfback pass call that resulted in an interception in the red zone during the Notre Dame game, suggesting that Hoke isn't fully aware of what the coordinators are calling.

"I do know what the calls are, because there’s a guy standing right behind me who tells me every call that’s going in.”

Hoke elaborated by explaining that he allows his coordinators do what he hired them to do.

"Al and I had talked about the halfback pass. We had run the toss earlier, which was really the only time we had run the toss this year, just setting it up to watch the safety and see how he played. Then when you got down in the red zone, it’s the perfect time for the play.” Hoke said about Borges' play call.

This weekend Hoke and the Wolverines take on Purdue (3-1), who bring in the #2 ranked scoring offense in the conference (averaging nearly 43 points per game). The rest of their schedule includes teams who have gone a combined 29-10, with Illinois as the only team on their remaining schedule with a losing record (2-3).

Meyer and Freeze weigh in on Saban's no huddle comments

Yesterday, Nick Saban made a comment about the no huddle that created quite a buzz.

During yesterday's SEC teleconference, Saban noted that the no huddle needs to be looked at, stating "We should look at how fast we allow the game to go in terms of player safety."

Saban explained that when no huddle teams are pushing the tempo and putting together extended drives, the defense doesn't have a chance to get lined up and there's a much higher chance of getting hurt.

"I just think there's got to be some sense of fairness in terms of asking is this what we want football to be?" Saban added.

So later on during the day, no huddle proponents Urban Meyer and Hugh Freeze weighed in on Saban's comments. Urban explained that he thinks that the no huddle is great for college football and all of the different personalities in coaching.

"I think it’s great for the game. There are so many different personalities in college football, and I’ve had guys on my staff who either played in the pros or coached in the pros, and the one thing about NFL football, I’m obviously not an expert because I don’t get to see it that much, but you don’t see the multitude of different offenses that you see in college. You can go from wishbone, spread-option to throwing it 50 times a game to pro style."

"I love it, because I love watching it. I love getting that film and using other people’s ideas, so I think it’s great for college football."

Hugh Freeze, who played Alabama last weekend and lost 33-14 (the 14 points is double what Alabama's scoring defense normally gives up per game), had a more humorous take on the tempo advantage that Saban described.

“I think we’re going to get hurt because they’re so big and physical. Obviously I’m for it. I think it’s an equalizer and it’s something I believe in. I have great respect for Nick and what he says but of course we’re going to be on opposite sides of this debate.”

The bottom line here is that the game is always evolving, and coaches at every level will always be looking for a new wrinkle to give their guys an advantage. Seeing teams like Oregon or Oklahoma State break a huddle now would just look silly anyway.





This defensive coordinator has seen success against Oregon

The Washington defense has improved almost 80 slots in total defense from where they sat last season. Credit much of that to new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.

Through the first 5 weeks of 2011, the Huskies were 4-1, with their only loss against Nebraska. Their defense during that stretch was allowing 427 total yards per game (102nd in the nation). Through five games this season, the Huskies are allowing over a hundred yards less, and now rank 23rd nationally with an overall record of 3-1 (their only loss coming to LSU).

Their most impressive performance so far this season was against Stanford, where they held the Cardinal to 68 yards rushing, and just 238 yards of total offense.

Yesterday, the Oregonian did a nice piece that highlighted Wilcox's coaching journey ranging from his switch from safety to corner during his playing days at Oregon, to his first job as a graduate assistant at Boise State, and his first full time job as a linebackers coach at Cal before returning to Boise State at 29 years old as the defensive coordinator.

With Oregon on their schedule this weekend, we are reminded of the successful games that Wilcox has had against his Alma mater. Back in 2009 while at Boise State, Wilcox held Chip Kelly's first Oregon team to 31 yards rushing and just 152 total yards, leading the Broncos to a big 19-8 win. Kelly later evened the score in 2010 against a Wilcox coached Volunteer defense with a 48-13 victory where the Ducks racked up 333 total yards and 182 rushing yards.

Late last December, when Wilcox left the Tennesse staff for Washington, he packed only one bag, and had the rest of his stuff moved later.

"I brought one bag. I packed a hanging bag. That was it. I never went back. I just had my stuff moved." Wilcox said of his return to the Pacific Northwest.

Sark called Wilcox on a Saturday, and by Monday morning Wilcox was on campus at Washington, ready to hit the ground running at his first recruiting meeting. Now, through their first four games, there has been some major improvements.

Wilcox and the Huskies will square off against Oregon this weekend at 10:30pm ET on ESPN.

Motivational highlight video from Marist

Jim Parady is entering his 21st season as the head coach at Marist College (FCS - NY) and currently has the Red Foxes sitting at 2-3, and 1-1 in conference play. Parady has seen his share of success with the Marist program, helping guide the Red Foxes to over 100 wins under his watch.

Going into their homecoming game with Davidson, Marist had lost two straight games by a combined total of 3 points. After wrapping up a 34-21 win over Davidson, Parady and the staff put together this highlight video to help keep the team focused and get them back on track moving forward.

To be successful you have to be consistent

When James Franklin looks at the Missouri program he sees Gary Pinkel and a staff that have put together a consistent winner the right way. 

"I have a great respect for him and his staff and what they've been able to do over the long term, really build it the right way. You don’t really see a spike one or two years. They've built it the right way and able to be really consistent."

"Coach Pinkel runs a real program. It's not, 'Let me go hire a coordinator and run one offense,' and then he leaves and you go hire a new coordinator and he runs a new offense. It's the same thing on defense. There's a lot of similarities. Obviously everybody tweaks things every year and you evolve over time."

Franklin went on to explain how staff continuity and running the same schemes on offense, defense and special teams year after year helps when your recruiting to build a consistent program, and the Missouri program illustrates that.

"I would say if you look at his team from the first couple of years until now, there's a lot of similarities in how they play, what they emphasize, their schemes and their mentalities. That's what you see whenever you see a real program."

"The better teams don’t have a lot of turnover on their staff. They run systems that they recruit for year in and year out. So you have a chance to be consistent. You change your scheme, you change your recruiting philosophy, it makes it really difficult to build for the long term and have the kind of consistency that they've had."

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