By Ashley Dunkak
Michigan head coach Brady Hoke joined Stoney and Bill on 97.1 The Ticket on Thursday to chat about the upcoming football season. He talked about the improvements of quarterback Devin Gardner, how much the Wolverines will rely on Fitzgerald Toussaint, and his confidence in returning to the pro-style offense.
After building its offense around the talents of Denard Robinson the past two seasons, Michigan’s return to its traditional offense has many excited, including Hoke.
“It’s what we’re comfortable with and what we believe in,” Hoke said. “Getting the fullback in the football game, maybe getting another lead back from a tight end or U-back or whatever you want to call it, I think really is going to help us as a football game. I think it helps our defense because of the combination blocks at the line of scrimmage and the toughness that we want to play with.”
Hoke said Gardner has made big strides in his ability to lead that offense.
“His maturity, number one,” Hoke said. “When you talk about demeanor on the field, body posture, all those things, I think, are a big part of what a quarterback at Michigan is all about, not being too excited or not being too down. Being the face of the team out there in the huddle so guys understand that everybody’s going to work together. The way he studies the game, I think that’s improved, so there’s a lot that I like about Devin.”
Toussaint, who played in 10 games last season but suffered a broken leg in November, is expected to get the majority of the work in the rushing attack.
“We’d be very comfortable if Fitz was our lead back and then one of the other guys, either Drake Johnson or Derek Grain or Justice Hayes or any of those other guys can give him a blow now and then, but I think we’d be real comfortable with Fitz carrying the load.”
The Wolverines open the season by hosting Central Michigan on Saturday.