Hoke: Effort Is Key To Defense

Discussion in 'Oregon' started by Dells, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. Dells

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    Brady Hoke has moved eight different times during his 33-year career as a college assistant and head coach.

    One of the stops was a five-year stay in Corvallis, where Hoke coached Oregon State’s defensive line from 1989-94.

    VIDEO

    The new Oregon Defensive Coordinator Brady Hoke answers questions with local media in his first public appearance since taking the job for the Ducks. (Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard)
    So what does Oregon’s new defensive coordinator remember about his final Civil War?

    “I don’t,” Hoke said. “Did we get beat or win?”

    The Ducks, of course, won the memorable defensive slugfest with the Beavers, 17-13 at Parker Stadium, to clinch the program’s first Rose Bowl berth in 37 years.

    It was one of former Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti’s finest hours.

    “Saw Nick yesterday,” Hoke said. “He’s one of the good dudes, a good man.”

    Two seasons removed from Aliotti’s final game and a year removed from Oregon’s historic Rose Bowl win over Florida State in the College Football Playoff, Hoke was hired by coach Mark Helfrich to restore some glory to the Ducks’ defense.

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    The former Michigan coach met with the media for the first time on Thursday at the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex, where his office is still in need of decoration after its new occupant spent his first few weeks on the job recruiting and the last week getting to know his players.

    “It was a great opportunity to focus in on calling defense and coordinating a defense,” said Hoke, who has never been a defensive coordinator before. “Like Mark said, it’s your defense. Having that opportunity was great. We’ll see how we do with it.”

    Hoke has known Don Pellum, his predecessor, since they were young coaches on opposite sides of the Civil War.

    After Helfrich demoted Pellum, who he had selected as Aliotti’s successor at defensive coordinator, the loyal Oregon linebackers helped persuade Hoke to join the staff during a lengthy phone conversation.

    “It was all positive,” Hoke said. “Look, (Pellum) loves this school. I was fortunate enough to coach at my alma mater (Ball State). … He loves the kids on this team, he has great regard and respect for Mark and for the other guys on the staff.

    “We had a great conversation about what the vision is and we agreed on that vision. It’s been awesome. You talk about a guy who has done everything he possibly could to make a new guy feel comfortable.”

    Hoke held a meeting with the defensive players last Friday and has since met with all but two of them individually. He has watched Oregon’s 47-41 triple-overtime loss to TCU in the Alamo Bowl, the high-scoring Civil War and the Ducks’ win over USC to get a feel for some of the returning players.

    “The one thing I asked the guys on the staff is, I didn’t want to know about anybody. I didn’t want any preconceived (perceptions),” Hoke said. “I want to see it myself. I want to make those evaluations myself.”

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    Hoke couldn’t help but notice that he just missed out on coaching a special player in defensive end DeForest Buckner, who is projected to be a top-10 NFL draft pick.

    The coaches video Hoke has digested so far shows some intriguing talent running to the ball, but also players making mistakes and not always giving great effort.

    That last part is something the new defensive sheriff won’t tolerate.

    “I believe there’s a way you play defense. There’s a physicalness,” Hoke said of his philosophy. “You have to do that about every day, it just doesn’t happen on Saturdays.

    “The effort, if we are playing with great effort, all 11, if we are playing like our hair is on fire, we are going to be OK.”

    During spring practice, Hoke will float between the defensive line, linebackers and secondary to helping each member of the staff implement a 4-3 base defense.

    When the season kicks off on Sept. 3 against UC Davis at Autzen Stadium, Hoke plans to be calling the defense and also coaching a position group.

    “I can’t tell you which one,” Hoke said. “It’s where I think I can be the most valuable.”

    After getting fired by Michigan with a 31-20 record over four seasons, Hoke visited the Oregon and Oregon State staffs last spring. He also worked on the other side of the microphone as part of a college football show on SiriusXM, which gave him access to programs such as Clemson, Georgia, Florida and Florida State in the fall.

    Now the well-traveled coach hopes to use his experience and knowledge to make some more lasting memories with the Ducks.

    There will be plenty of work to do when spring practice begins March 29. Oregon’s defense finished the 2015 season ranked 116th in scoring defense (37.5 ppg) and 117th in total defense (485.3 ypg).

    “There are no excuses,” Hoke said. “We’re going to be pretty adamant about who we are and how we play. If we don’t play as well as we feel we should, then shame on us, we’ve got to get better.”
     
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  2. still

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    Great read, thanks, Hoke is a good coach, great philosophy,
     

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