With spring practices fully underway, the big question mark heading into Saturday's spring game is how will the new Michigan offense look like under new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. While not fully installed yet, Brady Hoke gave some insight into how far along the offense is being implemented during his Thursday press conference.
About 80-85%, according to Hoke.
"We probably are about 80-85%, the whole method was to throw a lot up there, get them uncomfortable, coach them like heck and eliminate the mistakes to make them really understand the theme of what you're trying to do from an offensive standpoint," said Hoke. "You really want to get as much stuff as you can on tape, because that becomes a great teaching tool during summer and fall camps."
With the installation of the offense almost complete, many players have noticed how Nussmeier's schemes cater to the running backs with more explosive plays. This new perspective and look has even been noticeable with Hoke, he expanded more on what exactly has changed since last fall.
" I would say yes, there's no question," said Hoke. "Some of that difference is the simple fact that Derrick (Green) and what he is done with himself from a physical standpoint. He did a really nice job on a blitz drill picking up Desmond (Morgan), some good stuff that we can now reinforce the positives. You always want to reinforce the positives."
Hoke also went into further detail on how Green has improved not only his game, but his conditioning as well.
"He looks better, probably a little better balanced and his vision is better. His quickness is also better picking up the holes."
When asked about the running game as of right now, Hoke mentioned that Green, De'Veon Smith and Justice Hayes could see some playing time right now. As expected heading into the season, Hoke alluded to the fact that the running game appears to be heavily focused on Green and Smith seeing the majority of the snaps.
Also going on behind the scenes during the spring is a fierce quarterback battle between senior Devin Gardner, sophomore Shane Morris and early enrollee Wilton Speight.
With Gardner getting the vote of confidence by Hoke, he touched on the battle briefly and how it is progressing.
"I would say right now that Devin has a little better command of the offense," Hoke admitted. "I think much of that has to do with experience and some of it is Devin putting in a lot of good work. I think Shane had a better Tuesday compared to Saturday, he's making progress. Wilton Speight is also pushing."
Heading into this season, Nussmeier wanted Gardner to run less and stay in the pocket more which will leave him fresh for the fourth quarter. The Wolverines saw many games being lost late in the fourth quarter, thus having a fresh Gardner is important for the Michigan offense.
Hoke didn't exactly echo those sentiments, but said a lot of that has to do with Gardner's decision making and trusting his own judgement.
Michigan's spring practices conclude this weekend at the Big House with an event that is free to the public. According to Hoke, it will be more of a practice and not a scrimmage. It will also be aired on the Big Ten Network at 2 p.m.
It can also be heard live on the radio through the Michigan Radio Network with Doug Karsch and Jim Brandstatter.